Fraoch Mòinteach Edition VI

Queen of the Moorlands Whisky

At last! The long awaited 6th Edition of our The Moorland Distiller Fraoch Mòinteach range of rare whiskies is nearly here!

Our Latest Single Cask Whisky

For those whisky lovers with a sweet tooth this is very much the dram for you. Our latest single cask single malt whisky hails from a remote area of Speyside, a stones throw from Cromdale and not too far from Grantown on Spey.

This very special whisky has been drawn straight from a single sherry cask where it has matured for the entire 14 years of its life during which time the spirit has taken on a wealth of rich and sweet flavours. This has resulted in a very easy drinking dram indeed even though it has been bottled at the natural cask strength of 57.3% which is just over 100 proof!

The spirit was distilled in 2005 and it was bottled in June 2019 without any colouring or chill filtration. The whisky is drawn directly from the cask, is completely natural, has all its natural oils and bottled without the addition of water.

Whisky label art
Our character is a cooper on the Edition VI label. Here he is depicted driving the hoops on a large whisky cask

Unique Whisky Labels

Our Fraoch Mòinteach labels are skillfully designed by Dr Curly from Dr Curly’s Toothbrush illustrations. He uses nothing but a toothbrush to create his incredible illustrations. Each of our Fraoch Mòinteach Editions depict our character performing different tasks often seen in a whisky distillery.

Each of the labels are individually numbered and signed.

On the Fraoch Mòinteach Edition VI label, our character is using a hammer and a coopers driver to drive the hoops on a large whisky cask. In preparation for a cask being filled with spirit, coopers drive the hoops to make sure that the staves are as tight as possible so as to avoid any leaks of the precious whisky and to limit the loss to the angels, AKA the Angels Share.

Order a Bottle

We have taken pre-orders for many of the Edition VI bottles available but there are still a few left. The price is £85 per bottle and we can arrange shipping to UK addresses and sometimes overseas too.

If you are interested in enquiring about purchasing a bottle, please complete the form below and we will be in touch as soon as possible!

Previous Fraoch Mòinteach Releases

Islay Whisky Festival 2020 With Distilled Events

Whisky Tasting Masterclasses at The Islay Whisky Festival 2020

Once again I will be hosting Single Malt Whisky Masterclasses on Islay during the Islay Whisky Festival 2020. This is an exclusive opportunity to attend a tasting featuring drams from the different distilleries on Islay hosted by a former Caol Ila distillery manager.

I have no links to any distilleries so my tastings give guests an unbiased look in to the distilling industry on Islay. We’ll be tasting some awesome drams, both proprietary bottlings and independently bottled drams.

Dates and times for our Single Malt Whisky Masterclasses on Islay during the 2020 Islay Whisky Festival will be posted here in the near future so please watch this space!

If you would like to enquire about attending one of our exclusive tastings at the Islay Whisky Festival 2020, please complete the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Islay Whisky Festival 2020

The 2020 Islay Whisky Festival is set to begin on Friday 22nd May and run for just over a week until Saturday 30th May. Just like last year, we will be hosting a number of whisky masterclasses. Our tasting events on Islay are very special because we show whiskies from each of the distilleries as we are not tied to any of them. Our tasting events are therefore biased to one thing, Islay whiskies!

Join Our Events at The Islay Whisky Festival 2020

If you would like to express an interest in attending one of our events at the Islay Whisky Festival 2020, please fill in the contact form above and we will reserve your tickets and contact you for payment as soon as they are released.

Islay Festival Accommodation Available – On Our All Inclusive Week Long Guided Islay Distilleries Experience – Sorry this experience is now sold out – Join us in 2021!

We will be hosting an exclusive, week long guided Islay distilleries experience commencing Saturday 23rd May 2020. We are working closely with one of the largest sporting estates on the island to offer the Ultimate Islay Experience for up to 8 very lucky guests who are looking for the very best of what Islay has to offer during the greatest whisky festival in the world.

Whats Included In The Ultimate Islay Whisky Festival Experience?

  • Luxury traditional farmhouse accommodation with stunning Islay mountain views and roaring fires
  • All food specially prepared for guests including a three course evening meal each day
  • All transport to and from distillery events and transfers to and from the ferry or plane
  • A full itinerary of distillery tours and tastings
  • Myself David Wood, former Caol Ila Distillery Manager as your host for the week
  • The opportunity to fish for wild brown trout on the loch adjacent to the house
  • Deer stalking as an optional extra

Exclusive Islay Whisky Festival Accommodation

Our guests will be staying in a very large traditional sporting estate house for the entire week. The house is very well equipped and has plenty of space so as to ensure that all guests have privacy. There are spectacular views across Islay from both the library and the dining room, the perfect rooms to relax and have a dram whilst looking for golden eagle and sea eagle which are regularly spotted nearby.

Islay Whisky Festival 2020 Distillery Events

There are currently 9 distilleries on Islay, and soon to be 10 once the new Port Ellen Distillery is in operation. There is also a distillery on Jura, the neighbouring island, Jura Distillery. The other distilleries which will be holding special events throughout the week are Ardbeg, Ardnahoe, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Bowmore, Kilchoman, Laphroaig and Jura.

The distillery events programmes tend to be released a couple of months before the whisky festival commences. Once published, you will be able to book tickets for events at each distillery, but be sure to keep an eye out as they book up very quickly!

We hope to see you at one of our tasting events at the Islay Whisky Festival 2020!

Slainte and happy drams!

David

Stag Party Whisky Tastings

Stag party whisky tastings

Planning the perfect stag party or more often than not, a stag do that lasts an entire weekend, isn’t the easiest of things to do. You are tasked with filling a huge amount of activities for the stag and his guests to enjoy. We host whisky tastings for stag parties whether in a private residence or at the self catering property you have hired for the special weekend!

Private Whisky Tasting For Your Stag Party

Let us arrange a fun and informative whisky tasting for your very special stag party wherever the venue in the United Kingdom. During the tasting your guests will taste 6 awesome single malt whiskies from around Scotland. We’ll talk your stag party guests through the history of Scotch whisky and how it makes the incredible journey from field to table.

The whiskies that we present are drams that you are less likely to see on the supermarket shelves. There will be guests amongst your stag party who think they don’t like whisky, don’t worry, we will try our very best to change their minds!

Stag Party Whisky Tasting Host

When you book us to host a stag party whisky tasting you can be sure of an authentic whisky tasting experience. We have worked in every aspect of the whisky distilling industry from managing production of iconic whiskies from the Isle of Islay to bottling and retailing our own single malt whiskies.

Most other companies offering whisky tastings haven’t the experience that we have. We are not brand ambassadors, we are not tied to any brand, we simply show the whiskies that we love. Our tastings are fun and above all authentic!

Contact Us!

For more info about our private whisky tastings please see below. If you would like to contact us or to check availability or to book, please call David on 07875 405 980 or complete the form below and we’ll be back to you quickly.

Bunnahabhain Warehouse Tour

What Is Involved In a Stag Party Whisky Tasting?

When you arrange a whisky tasting for your stag party with us we will liaise with you to ensure that the event is designed to fit around your other activities, and that the tasting commences at a time convenient to you. That might be before dinner, with dinner (we can pair the whiskies with each course), or as after dinner entertainment.

We bring all of the whisky, the glassware, tasting notes, all we need you to provide us with is some space to conduct the tasting. Some times we use a projector and screen to show a virtual distillery tour, a dining room is great for this.

We have worked with whisky for 25 years, we’ve produced it, bottled it, marketed it, retailed it and presented it. Our tastings are therefore very authentic as well as being good fun.

Looking for Accommodation for a Stag Party?

We host whisky and gin tastings throughout the UK and can travel to any location. We regularly host tasting events in holiday lets and self catering properties. If you are looking for a large holiday rental for your stag party or for your hen do, please click on the links below, we regularly host tastings in properties marketed by Partyhouses Uk. Please click the image below for more info.

 

Party Houses – Big Houses for  Your Special Occasion, Holiday or Business Event

Large Accomodation Stag Party Hen Party

To contact us for more information about our tastings or to enquire about availability for a tasting, please complete the form above and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope to see you at your stag party soon!

David

PS we host gin tastings for stag parties too!!

 

Hen Party Gin Tastings in the Peak District

Gin Tasting Hen Party

Hen Party Gin Tastings in the Peak District National Park!

We love to host gin tastings for hen parties! We also host gin tastings for private parties and at corporate events. We host gin tastings for hen parties and corporate events at venues within the Peak District and all over the UK. Often our tastings take place in large self catering holiday houses.

Gin Tastings Anywhere in the UK!

During our exclusive gin tastings guests taste 6 gins neat before preparing the perfect serve gin & tonic with garnishes as suggested by the distillers. Our tastings are fun and informative and are enjoyed by those both new to the wonderful world of gin and by seasoned enthusiasts!

We provide everything needed to ensure that your guests will thoroughly enjoy the tasting:

  • A range of wonderful gins including craft gins
  • Garnishes for each gin and tonic as recommended by the distiller
  • Tonics to accompany the gin
  • All glassware
  • Tasting notes
  • An industry expert to host the tasting

We specially select the gins that we present at our tastings very carefully. We present authentic gins that we believe have been made properly by passionate distillers who have integrity, knowledge and skill. Above all we present gins that we enjoy and that truly speak of their provenance and placeness due to careful selection of botanicals by the distillers.

Gin Tastings

Gin Tastings For Hen Parties

As well as our regular scheduled gin tasting events around the UK, we arrange private gin tastings for private parties, stag parties, hen parties, corporate events and for special birthdays. We can host a private tasting for you and your guests in your home.

Please contact us here if you would like more information or to book us for a private tasting event. Alternatively please call David on 07875 405 980.

To enquire about a gin tasting anywhere in the UK, please call David on the number above or complete and submit the form below and we will get back to you very quickly.

Accommodation For Hen Parties

We can host your gin tasting wherever you are in the UK, whether in your holiday accommodation or in your own home. We regularly hold gin tastings in the Lake District and the Peak District in large self catering houses. Here are two recommendations for accommodation providers who we work with regularly, please click on the link for more info:

Party Houses UK

Peak Venues

Is It Ginuine? – The Alarming Growth of Fake Gin

Gin Tasting

The growth of the gin category continues at an incredible rate. It isn’t too long ago that bottles gathered dust on shop shelves, the product not enjoying the popularity that it does today. It is a fantastic time for gin drinkers and enthusiasts as many more exciting, delicious gins are now available to buy. However it is this incredibly fast growth that threatens to damage the category which risks losing it’s identify and confusing consumers.

In a bid to secure market share, new “distillers” are continuously searching for new unique selling points at the cost of quality and stretching the legal definitions of gin to the limit and beyond. Furthermore there are many new inexperienced distillers who are manufacturing products that they believe to be gin but which often fall short of what the legal definitions prescribe to be gin, particularly that which states that the predominant flavour (of gin) must be juniper.

Look & Feel of Gin

Certainly at craft level, how a gin looks and is presented seems to have become almost more important than how it tastes. The fact that it is presented in an expensive elaborate ceramic bottle often results in sales even if the consumer has no idea of what the product tastes like or even if the spirit within is what it claims to be on the bottle.

A very highly regarded manufacturer in Stoke on Trent announced this week that it was about to launch gin packaged in a decorative ceramic bottles. When I enquired as to what type of still was used to produce the gin they apologetically stated that they were unsure. When they announced the new product on social media the post achieved nearly 12000 shares in a little under 17 hours. I’m sure they’ll sell a lot of bottles of their product about which they know very little.

There are products being launched on an almost weekly basis that are so cosmetically manufactured that they look like at best fizzy soft drinks and at worst nail varnish. By law, gin must taste of juniper. If a product is being marketed as Parmo Violet gin, as Strawberry Candy Floss gin or as Sherbert Lemon gin, it is highly unlikely that the prominent flavours being displayed are that of juniper.

The way that our gins are sometimes served in bars has an impact too. All too often a gin will be served in huge goldfish bowl glasses with masses of ice, multiple garnishes and mixed with incredibly flavoursome tonics, more a gin cocktail than a gin and tonic, but once all of those flavours are built on top of the gin, the consumer is in any case unlikely to be able to detect whether the overpowered gin tastes of juniper or not and so the manufacturer gets away with producing a product more akin to vodka than gin.

What Is Gin?

In 2008 legislation was passed that stated that all gins must be:

  1. Made with suitable ethyl alcohol with JUNIPER* berries and other flavourings. (see note below)
  2. The ethyl alcohol must be distilled to the minimum standards stated in the Spirit Drink Regulations.
  3. The predominant flavour must be JUNIPER.
  4. Water may be added to reduce the strength of the gin but it must have a minimum retail strength of 37.5%abv.
  5. Further ethyl alcohol can be added after any distillation.

* There are very few rules defining gin but at the very least a gin must taste of and have the aroma of juniper. If a gin does not taste of juniper it is not gin, and the word ‘gin’ should not appear on the label. If your strawberry candy floss gin tastes of strawberry candy floss and not juniper then it is a strawberry candy floss spirit drink and not gin. The product manufacturer knows by wrongly adding the word gin then popularity, sales and profitability are likely to be maximised. I recently challenged a local company distilling gin having tasted one of their products and discovered that it did not taste of juniper. To my surprise their attitude was that because they were not told exactly what the proportion of juniper berries in relation to the rest of the botanicals used in the production of their gin, then they were not at fault and that it not tasting of juniper was a matter of opinion.

Gin Tasting

Gin Tasting

Defining Gin

The rules also legislate on three distinct definitions of gin:

GIN

  1. The ethyl alcohol does not have to be redistilled.
  2. Flavours can be either approved artificial or natural and these can be simply compounded (mixed with the alcohol).
  3. No restriction on the addition of other flavourings such as sweeteners or colouring.

DISTILLED GIN

  1. Must be made in a TRADITIONAL** still by redistilling neutral alcohol in the presence of natural flavourings but there is no minimum strength of the resulting distillate.
  2. Other flavourings, sweeteners and approved additives can be added after distillation whether natural or artificial.
  3. Distilled Gin may have approved colourings added.

** The legal definitions for both Distilled Gin and London Dry Gin state that traditional stills must be used for the production of the gin. To me, traditional stills mean copper pot stills. Many of the very recent small scale distillers are not using traditional stills, moreover most are using stainless steel automated stills. Stills made of copper make a clean and smooth spirit. The copper removes volatile sulphuric compounds which if remained in the distillate could result in unwanted flavours and aromas in the final product. Indeed the manufacturers of some of these new automated stainless steel stills know this, and so include small pieces of copper in chambers in the necks of their stills. The new automated stainless steel stills barely have room for enough botanicals to be used within the distillation process, and particularly do not allow enough space for the amount of juniper berries needed to ensure that the resulting finished product tastes and smells of juniper. I know of at least three brands of ‘gin’ being manufactured by new distillers with these automated stainless steel stills within a 30 mile range of my home in Staffordshire, their brands being very well known locally. The only part of the process that can claim to be handcrafted in the manufacture of gins in many of the new automated stainless steel stills is when the operator depresses the green ‘on’ switch on the front of the machine. The skill and knowledge required to accurately make the spirit cut is redundant as the machine takes over that responsibility from the operator.

LONDON GIN

  1. Must be distilled in traditional** stills by redistilling ethyl alcohol in the presence of natural flavourings (botanicals).
  2. The methanol level in the ethyl alcohol must not be greater than 5 grams per hectolitre of 100%abv alcohol.
  3. Flavourings used must be approved natural flavourings (botanicals) and they must impart their flavour DURING THE DISTILLATION PROCESS***.
  4. No artificial flavourings are permitted in the production of London Gin.
  5. The resulting distillate must have a minimum strength of 70%abv.
  6. NO FLAVOURINGS CAN BE ADDED AFTER DISTILLATION***.
  7. Other than a small amount of sweetener and water, nothing else may be added.
  8. No colouring can be added to London Gin.

*** A local ‘craft’ distiller near to where I live produces a gin presented in a decorative ceramic bottle and labelled as ‘London Dry Gin’. The back label states that flavours are infused after distillation, this precludes the product from being called London Dry Gin.

How To Buy Gin

Due to the change in the law regarding the minimum size of a still used to produce gin, many new small scale distilleries have recently opened throughout the UK, many of them making fantastic products of quality and integrity. For me, when a craft gin from a small local distillery is good, as well as tasting of juniper, the distiller paints a picture of the local environment through the use of local botanicals that grow near to the spirit’s place of birth. This idea of placeness is very important to me as a consumer and appeals to those who are interested in a product’s provenance and journey from field to table.

Placeness portrayed by a distillers use of local botanicals shows that they have invested time in creating and developing their brand. Their product name may also tie in to placeness and provenance but some lack that time invested as apparent all too often at the moment when a gin is simply named “(insert name of town) Gin”.

Some gin brands have been around for many years, some for decades, some for hundreds of years and have survived through challenging times when gin sometimes wasn’t as popular as it is today. These brands have survived because of the skill and tradition that exists within their businesses which enables them to consistently make quality gins.

  • Before you buy a bottle gin make sure you taste it neat. If it tastes of juniper (piney / citrusy) its good, and legal! If it doesn’t taste of juniper it isn’t gin.
  • Check out the distiller’s website and look for a description of the production process. Distillers using traditional copper pot sills will be eager for you to see their wonderful stills and there will be photos all over their website. If there is no photo of a still it is highly likely that it is either a) being produced in an automated stainless still or b) being made elsewhere on a site making contract gin in an automated stainless steel still.
  • Go to gin shows and taste gin (neat)! A great way to find out about gin products is to attend shows and tastings and speak to the distillers directly to find out about their production processes.
  • Buy your gin from your local independent who should be able to offer advice.

Non Alcoholic Gin

By definition there is no such thing as non alcoholic gin. By law gin has to be a minimum of 37.5% alcohol by volume.

Gin Tastings

Call Time On Fake Gin

In September 2018 producers of the finest of gins Haymans launched their campaign “Call Time on Fake Gin” highlighting the rise in producers marketing gins that have only trace notes of juniper  or juniper character overshadowed by other dominant flavourings. Have a look at the website for more information.

It truly is an amazing time for the category and for all of us who love gin. There is so much choice of fantastic product for us to buy and enjoy, lets not let fake gins ruin the fun for us. By demanding that our gin tastes of juniper we can help to call time on fake gin.

Slainte

David