Whisky Boys, Back to School – Week 5

The Scotch Whisky Trail Certificate 2011 – City of Glasgow College (week 5)

We are now into week 5 of this great wee course.  This week we have moved on to the Whisky Industry Development 1850 – 2011, and a very turbulent time it was with many ups and downs experienced by the industry.

In 1915 an Act was passed to say that to be called Whisky, it must be matured for two years, but in 1916 it was increased to three years, as it still is today.

When prohibition was introduced in the USA in 1920 and lasted until 1934, sales of Scotch Whisky to America actually went up.

So we had two world wars, cereal rationing the South American economy collapse in the late 70’s so to prevent an ever increasing Whisky Loch, many distilleries were mothballed, some never to re-open.

In the 80’s, 90’s and into the new millennium the face of Whisky owners changed, Diageo was formed and is the worlds largest spirits company.

Some of the mothballed distilleries were re-opened, some under new ownership, like Bladnoch and the rebuilding of Glengyle in Campbeltown and new ones like Kilchoman on Islay. In 2009 up in the Moray Firth, Diageo opens it’s super-distillery called Roseisle. As some rise, then some fall, Diageo closed its plant in Kilmarnock and its distillery at port Dundas.

So as you can see the last 100/160 years has not been boring.  So as the evening class comes to a close we get onto the much awaited part, the tastings, and these were :-

Dalmore 12 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40% Alc/vol, Hint of sherry, soft fruits and a wee bit of spice.

Jura 10 Year Old Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40% Alc/vol, Burnt cinders, dry and earthy with a malty sweetness, Jim prefers Superstition.

Ardmore Unaged Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46% Alc/vol, Vanilla and chewy toffee, rich and peaty drying with a touch of spice, a little oily.


GlenDronach Revival 15 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46% Alc/vol, Lots of sherry, some floral notes, sweet Christmas cake and a pepper nip, Jim’s favourite of the evening.

Glen Grant 16 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 43% Alc/vol, Orchard fruits, spicy vanilla and honey, a delight of a dram.

Springbank 10 Year Old Campbeltown Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46% Alc/vol, Full bodied and dry and oily with burnt wood shavings.


Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera Cask Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 40% Alc/vol, Smooth and light, a little dry but creamy.

Tobermory 15 Year Old Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 46.3% Alc/vol, Damp washing, spice and sherry, the slightest hint of smoke, very complex dram.

Bowmore 12 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky,40% Alc/vol, Sweet peat, chocolate, floral notes, lemon boiling’s, delicious.


Another great tasting event and a wonderful selection (a whopping nine drams again) from John Lamond our tutor. Next weeks selection for the tasting session looks as though it could be the best yet, canny wait for that one.

Only three more lecture sessions to go and that includes a Distillery visit, and on that note we have not yet got a clear winner in the vote for a selected distillery to visit.

All our readers that are within easy commuting distance to the Glasgow Metropolitan College should check their website and enrol for the next Whisky Trail course, no Whisky lover or novice to this “ water of life “ will be in the slightest disappointed, remember to tell them that the Whisky Boys suggested you enrol.


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