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It is time...

It is time…

And lo winter is upon you. The world turns and the night rises in hunger to gobble your days at both ends. The air takes upon itself the keen chill of steel, it nibbles roses into cheeks and draws your breath in wreaths.

Yet about you scurry – another dweller in the freezing northern wastes. Catching the comfort of some condensation-dampened bar like the muggy twinkle of old tinsel in half-forgotten memory. Your friends – both real and imagined – huddle with you; witnesses round the campfire of your foaming ale. They are comrades in your endurance, drinkers from a fellow mulled cup. While outside lies only cold and darkness, furrowed by the brightly strewn viscera of festive retail, the lights of which burn as coldly as the darkness they percolate. And so you step – a sorrowful leap of faith – from the precipice of autumn into the long arms of winter.

So, with that in mind why not chase away those winter blues with Whiskysponge’s second collection of 40 fun facts about whisky.

You’re welcome!

1: Did you know… Whisky was invented in 1836 by Bruce Forsyth.

2: Did you know… The newly expanded Glenlivet Distillery was based on the novel 1984 by George Orwell.

Founder's reserve, double plus-good!

Founder’s reserve, double plus-good!

3: Did you know… The first whisky in space wasn’t Ardbeg, it was actually a large measure of Dalmore Cigar Malt that someone accidentally put in their mouth and promptly spat into orbit.

4: Did you know… The Islay Calmac Ferry has a small boat constructed entirely from spent grains from the Islay distilleries mash tuns. It’s called a ‘Lifedraft’.

5: Did you know… Ralfy is actually a Druid.

6: Did you know… Speyburn distillery is home three exceptionally frisky Salmon called Alvin, Simon and Theodore and they all have their own offices.

7: Did you know… Nikka have forgotten they own Ben Nevis Distillery on at least nine separate occasions.

8: Did you know… Donald Trump tried to buy Karuizawa Distillery and rename it Trumpruizawa but he was defeated in an arm wrestle by Marcin Miller.

Remarkably little upper body strength.

Remarkably little upper body strength.

9: Did you know… Scientists predict that by 2082 all remaining stocks of Drumguish will have to be contained within a tungsten-carbide exo-shell with a protective anti-matter outer core if we are to prevent the formation of a black hole here on earth. Or a Boutiquey Whisky Co Drumguish bottling – the jury is still out on which would be worse.

10: Did you know… The 1976 erotic Japanese/French art film ‘In The Realm Of The Senses’ was based on some early tasting notes of Hakushu 18 year old by Jasper Clementine.

11: Did you know… When Edradour Distillery failed to clean out their Low Wines & Feints receiver for seventeen years in a row, when they finally opened it up they found they had created Kanye West.

Part Ballechin. Part Edradour. All twat.

Part Ballechin. Part Edradour. All twat.

12: Did you know… The Auld Alliance in Singapore is predicted to be a Nuclear power by 2018.

13: Did you know… You can build your own blazing oil well at home by burying a super-soaker loaded with Loch Dhu in the ground and setting alight its subsequent jet.

14: Did you know… In less than five years time 90% of all whisky retailers will be older than 90% of the products they sell.

15: Did you know… Bowmore Distillery are hosting a new reality TV show in their Number 1 Vaults warehouse called ‘I’m A Whisky Nerd Get Me Into Here’.

16: Did you know… Noel & Joel are to have their own TV series in 2016. It will be a one-off special loosely based on the Hunger Games only with fewer winners.

17: Did you know… The upcoming Dornoch Distillery will be built entirely from Lego and be run by cats.

Mr Pushkin - the new Distillery Manager - describes his approach to whisky making as both 'aloof' and 'food centric'. He also hates lego.

Mr Pushkin – the new Distillery Manager – describes his approach to whisky making as both ‘aloof’ and ‘food centric’. He also hates lego.

18: Did you know… The novel Finnegan’s Wake was actually written by Allwind Kilt when she spent an entire month in the shower while stricken with the Norovirus.

19: Did you know… The architect Charles Doig released a string of wax cylinder recordings of rap, r’n’b and dubstep works which were surprisingly unpopular in their day. His effects laden, multi-tracked rendition of ‘Kilning My Phat Pagoda Bitch’ is now recognised as an early masterpiece of the trance genre.

20: Did you know… Brewdog are widely expected to place a competitive bid to buy Diageo in February next year.

21: Did you know… Dark Mollesty – presenter of Whiskyshaft – was created when a waxwork of Captain Haddock was struck by lightning.

22: Did you know… Jill Bumsden’s White Paper was recently used by Jordan to blow Peter Andre’s nose after he had a tantrum in Lidl.

23: Did you know… A new film adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles starring all the employees at The Whisky Exchange is currently in pre-production. It will star Willie Bishop, Dr Chilton, Andy Pandy and Rocky V as Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardo respectively. The role of Master Splinter will be played by Enrico Linguini, while Berlinda and Raj will play Rocksteady and BeBop. The film will be directed by Dame Maggie Smith with a score by DJ Tim Forbes and is scheduled for release in December 2016.

There is still some contractual grumbling over who gets the most lines.

There is still some contractual grumbling over who gets to do the big soliloquy at the end.

24: Did you know… Drambuie is actually Gaelic for Discharge.

25: Did you know… Tampons are still considered a taxable luxury item in the UK because the Scotch Whisky Arsociation still refuses to acknowledge the existence of menstruation.

26: Did you know… The film Avatar was shot entirely on location in Bruichladdich’s paint storage shed out the back of warehouse 12.

27: Did you know… Since the introduction of distillers yeast to whisky production on Islay in the 1970s cases of Scurvy have more than quadrupled due to the lack of fruit in the Ileach diet.

There's a distinct lack of this sort of thing these days.

There’s a distinct lack of this sort of thing these days.

28: Did you know… Fiddler’s Inn in Drumnadrochit was recently awarded the prestigious Golden Sting award by David Attenborough for its pivotal role in Wasp Awareness Year.

29: Did you know… Scapa Distillery was founded in 1885 and is widely regarded as playing a decisive role in France’s victory over the Chinese forces in Đồng Đăng in northern Tonkin during the Sino-French War. The fact that France later went on to claim victory over the Chinese at Kép the same year is also seen as no surprise whatsoever given the successful commencement of distillation at Scapa some weeks earlier.

30: Did you know… An Artichoke is anywhere between 30-34% Highland Park Dark Origins.

31: Did you know… The staff at Disaster Of Malt were the original inspiration for most of the puppets on Sesame Street.

32: Did you know… http://www.sausagefun.org by Oliver Kermit is the most accidentally visited whisky website on the planet.

It's the wurst kind of joke!

It’s the wurst kind of joke!

33: Did you know… Aberlour A’Bunadh is the only whisky legally made from cocaine instead of barley.

34: Did you know… Macallan’s new distillery will have a large toilet facility stationed over a huge pit containing a library of all their old bottlings so that visitors and staff alike can literally shit all over their legacy.

35: Did you know…  Diageo are getting quite close to just giving Victoria Barfly a lot of money to take her Scotch Chatter and ‘just go away’. they plan to later recoup their losses by crowdfunding her assassination.

36: Did you know… None of the staff at Bladnoch distillery have yet had the courage to tell the new owner it is not a yoghurt factory.

37: Did you know… Craft whiskies are mostly bollocks.

38: Did you know… The letters of last resort in Britain’s Trident nuclear submarines stipulate that if – upon surfacing – Lagavulin 16 year old and Talsiker 10 year old have both been replaced with NAS expressions the Captains are instructed to initiate total global thermonuclear war ‘on principle’.

The last Pete & Jack strip.

The last Pete & Jack strip.

39: Did you know… Jim Murray died in 2005 and Jim Henson’s creature workshop has been operating him around the clock 24/7 ever since. They even won several awards in 2010 for creating something ‘scarier than the Skeksis’.

Jim Murray seen here hosting a tasting at Whisky Live Damascus 2015

Jim Murray seen here hosting a tasting at Whisky Live Damascus 2015

40: Did you know… whisky tasted better when it wasn’t made by accountants who confuse efficiency with quality and ‘maturity’ with ‘vanilla’.

 

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To celebrate international whisky day, Whiskysponge has managed to secure a rare interview with the drink itself.

Whiskysponge: Hello.

Whisky: ….hi

WS: So…how are you?

W: Ok, I suppose. I’ve been blended a lot lately and left to sit around in Asian warehouses for quite some time which is undeniably testing but there’s not much to be done about that so I probably shouldn’t complain.

WS: Right…

W: What exactly is a ‘whiskysponge’?

WS: Well…I absorb you I suppose.

W: I see. Couldn’t you just drink me like everyone else?

WS: Well I’m a non-human, partially metaphorical construct. And also I don’t have lips.

W: I don’t have lips either and I’m also a partial metaphor.

WS: So are we going to struggle to conduct an interview in the traditional question and response mode?

W: Well let’s find out but can we make it snappy because I’ve got to be nosed and tasted by a significant number of people today so I’m really quite busy.

WS: Yes of course, sorry. Where exactly are you from Mr Whisky?

W: I’m sorry but why do you assume I’m male?

WS: Just the thing to do really; a bit like God I suppose.

W: Well I can assure you that I am a thoroughly genderless liquid.

WS: Right…sorry.

W: And what’s more – despite all this ‘Angel’s Share’ and ‘Devil’s Cask’ pish – I remain thoroughly agnostic. At least until the Pope and Richard Dawkins agree to participate in an unnecessarily violent bar brawl whilst reeking of me to determine the ultimate existence of any deity or higher form of being.

WS: Ok, well I don’t think we need to involve a third potentially metaphorical construct, certainly not one as flamboyant as God at any rate. So, where are you from ‘Whisky’ ?

W: I’m from Scotland, Ireland, Japan and most of North America but I also have a little Indian, French, Swedish, German and Australian in me. Not to mention a family tree that stretches quite far back to ancient Chinese, Persian and Egyptian cultures. Although, I was a different sort of character in those days mind you. All fireworks, eye shadow and surprisingly few parts per million phenol.

WS: How would you define yourself these days then?

W: Well ever since I graduated from 13th century monastic brewing culture I suppose I just sort of stumbled into being a malt based distillate. I used to be all about clarity and herbal infusions and providing methanol-induced infertility – but since I got into wood ageing I’ve never really looked back.

WS: Is there a particular age you enjoy being bottled at?

W: To be honest I don’t really have a preference. It all depends on what kind of mood I’m in. Sometimes I just feel like I’m five years old and I want to run about the place being totally off my tits on wood sugars, being lively as fuck and bouncing off the walls. But then there are more melancholy or pondersome days where I would really just rather lounge about from the ages of twenty to forty and be kind of relaxed and mysterious. Usually I’m quite happy to just flop along in a slightly adolescent ‘hands in the pockets’ ‘I’m off to develop an obnoxious taste in music’ teenage fashion.

WS: And what about when you’re bottled without an age?

W: Do you mean when I’m ‘NAS’?

WS: Yes.

W: Well – now I know people are getting their knickers in a twist over this lately – here’s the thing. I’ve actually been bottled as NAS for well over a century now. Even if you put blending aside – that’s another thing, I really don’t like it when I’m forced to share a room with my rather uncouth sibling Grain. But I digress, even just as a single malt I was bottled without an age statement ever since people stopped guzzling me direct from wooden transport casks in Victorian ale houses. I don’t really mind being vatted together and bottled as NAS, it can be a bit of a mind-tangling girofuck at times but it’s generally ok in principle. It’s just that there’s a rather disconcerting trend of giving me silly names and ever sillier price tags all the while hiding any real information about what I really am. Do you ever have those days where you just feel like you’re loosing your identity a little bit? It would drive me to drink but what does an alcohol do to drown its sorrows I ask you?

WS: I’m not sure there’s an answer to that. Is that what makes you such a caustic and edgy sort of character then?

W: Well, having said all that I suppose what irks me most is the things I’m forced to wear nowadays. I used to be kind of left to my own devices in some lovely, rather tasteful little refill hogsheads but now its all ‘vanilla’ this and ‘coconut’ that and ‘extra matured’. I hate vanilla, it really is such a vulgar flavour and yet that’s all they ever seem to dress me up in these days. Sometimes I just look in the mirror and I’m like’ give me some fucking minerals Goddamn it!” And I’m forever being evicted, just when you get comfy and settled in onc cask some burly men come and upend you into some horrid and completely overactive new cask. I barely ever have time to pack up my hemicellulose from my old cask.

WS: Do you want a tissue?

W: No. Why?

WS: Well it’s just that you’re crying?

W: Metaphors don’t cry!

WS: Right, of course, sorry. Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

W: In ten years time? Well, it’s hard to say, it really depends on what my commitments are abroad. Apparently they’re having some sort of issues with me when I’m blended where there’s rather a lot of me and sales are ‘stagnant’. If that keeps rumbling along I suppose things could get more relaxed for me when I’m in my native malty format. I’d quite like that to be honest, and my sibling Grain is managing to keep itself pre-occupied these days, hanging out with David Beckham all the time. If things kick off again though then it could all go tits up and I’ll just spend all my time being made in only four different distilleries by 2040.

WS: You mention your sibling Grain, has there been a long history of sibling rivalry between you?

W: No not at all. For a long time Grain and I were really just there to be blended for mass market consumption. Not an ideal situation but that’s just the way things evolved – bloody capitalism! It’s only recently that Grain has been getting all up in my face and being like “Look who’s the big important grain based alcohol now! I’m getting bottled as single cask and everyone loves me.” And I’m totally like “Whatever, they only pretend to love you because they can’t afford me anymore darling!”

WS: Do you have a favourite distillery to be made at?

W: Well I’ve never really enjoyed the distillation process at Mortlach or Springbank, it always feels like I’ve been on a particularly boke-inducing roller coaster going through all those half-distilliation bits and pieces. And don’t get me started on Glenmorangie, it’s basically a very very long uphill hike, the view at the top is undeniably pleasant but you’re only there for a few seconds and then BOOM you’re condensed again. I don’t mind being Clynelish but I’m not sure the wax is really good for my hair.

WS: Can partial metaphorical constructs have hair?

W: I like to think I have hair.

WS: Ok….but any distilleries you actually enjoy…?

W: Hmmmm, I used to very much enjoy being Laphroaig and Bowmore back in the 60s. Short stills, no rush, and so much tropical fruit I was getting well over my five a day at the time. I also always used to have a soft spot for being Speyside because I could sneak off and have a nap. It was great until someone ruined it with Michael Owen. Now I have to go and be Loch Lomond whenever I don’t want to be noticed or disturbed.

WS: What is your relationship like with other spirits?

W: Well when I’m young I don’t really get on well with any of them, although as I get older and wiser I suppose that I get closer to Rum and Brandy and we tend to get on a lot better together. Don’t get me started on that trashy slut Vodka though, and I can’t understand a word that Tequila says. I have always had a secret youthful soft spot for Mezcal but it is eccentric to say the least.

WS: What about wine?

W: It’s a tricky one. Sometimes I have to share a cask with that poncey bitch and it really is the roommate from hell but at other times there’s a grudging respect for one another. The best of times is where someone consumes a large amount of both of us over one night. We kick up a right storm then, it’s undeniably hilarious.

WS: How do you like to relax on your time off?

W: Oh, a nice big refill european oak butt with plenty of leg room, a quiet coastal dunnage warehouse and the chance to just catch a few decades of me time.

WS: What advice would you give to people interested in getting into you?

W: I’m a chilled out kind of drink, no need to be afraid of me or treat me with too much reverence. I enjoy a laugh as much as the next grain based, wood aged distillate. Sure I can be a complex character at times but I’m easy going and open, and if you take the time to get to know me we can have a lot of fun together over the years. Just remember not to take me too seriously.

WS: Nice.

W: Well that’s what it says on my Tinder profile anyway. Took me fucking ages to think that line up!

WS: Any luck with Tinder so far?

W: Mmmm, not really. Got a match the other day but I told them the story about how Jim Murray once had sex with some brazillian half-wit over a cask of me in a warehouse and I haven’t heard from them since.

WS: I’m sure you’ll find someone sooner or later. Maybe just don’t lead with that story next time.

W: I’ll bear it in mind.

WS: So what’s next for you Whisky and how will you be celebrating your international day?

W: I’ve got a busy year – particularly on Islay where I’ve got to be a bewildering amount of special Ardbeg and Laphroaig in a couple of months, I’ll have to work on my peatiness for that and probably go to the gym as well. Other than that just the usual crazy running around doing lots of day to day being whisky stuff and a few special events where I’ve got to be lots of older bottlings at nerdfests. Did you know that once a year in Limburg a load of Germans wear me round their necks in little tasting glasses on string? I mean it’s all well and good being a lovely old 1965 Longmorn but I have to dangle between a pair of sweaty German man boobs for hours on end. It’s a tough metaphorical existence sometimes I tell you!

WS: Ok. And what about International Whisky Day?

W: Well it’s all undeniably very flattering, it’s so nice to get all that attention and be enjoyed by so many people.

WS: What about your memories of Michael Jackson?

W: It was always a pleasure to be tasted by Michael, he really got me. Not to mention the fact that he was a great friend to my cousin Beer, especially when it was going through a period of time when it really had very few friends.

WS: Anything else you’d like to add?

W: Not really, I think we pretty much covered everything.

WS: Great, thanks for taking time to speak to Whiskysponge.

W: My pleasure.

 

Merry International Whisky Day from Whiskysponge. Xxx

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Today Whiskysponge is pleased to offer an exclusive guide to whisky investment by Jasper Clementine, the beloved Brora hoarder, convicted moustache nurturer and writer of award-repelling personal online whisky stream of consciousness: whiskybling.com.

Jasper as a young pineapple at Umbongo University.

Jasper as a young pineapple at Umbongo University in 1978.

Wow. Thanks to Whiskysponge for such a great opportunity to write something I had always been meaning to witter on about on whiskybling but just never found time and also the general crappyness of the website is an obvious hinderance which really says long. Anyway (cut to the chase Jasper!) here is my kind of crappy guide to whisky investment which I’m sure someone who is a professional and not just some total amateur such as yours truly will really be able to come along and do a much better job of (Japer it’s really time to leave that poor bush alone). Here we go…

Jasper’s Guide To Whisky Investment

Step 1… First thing you need to do is get interested in whisky in about 1998.

Step 2… Be intelligent.

Step 3… Start two internationally successful marketing companies in the early 1990s.

Step 4… Buy a lot of bottles of Brora, Clynelish, Lagavulin, Bowmore, Talisker, Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Port Ellen, some Macallan, many old blends such as Mackies and White Horse, some Longmorn, Highland Park and numerous other excellent Speysiders and Islays.

Step 5… Put them in an underground bunker next to some old Joni Mitchell CDs, a Ducatti, a VHS of Frank Zappa in concert from 1974 and more broken watches than is strictly necessary.

Step 6… Hide everything amongst about 3800 half empty sample bottles.

Step 7… Avoid inviting Scottish people to any birthdays/bar mitzvahs/funerals/distillation parties/pet funerals/graduation ceremonies/dinner/halloween/fancy dress parties/acid trips/cocktail afternoons/coffee mornings/grouse shoots or wine tastings.

Step 8… Leave to marinade for upwards of a decade and then post photos of yourself drinking them on the Malt Manaics Facebook page until 6000+ whisky geeks crowd fund you to stop torturing them.

Step 8… If further funds required sell the Brora 1972 Rare Malts to engineers looking for fuel capable of breaking the land speed record.

Alternatively you can sell everything at auction. Here are my latest notes on selling bottles at auction.

At first you find small bids on bottles with a big emphasis on the peat such as Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Talisker but there can also be surprises in the form of Ledaig and after a while even some Mezcal. The whole is very gripping and engaging right from the start where prices really start to open up and rise once you give it some time. Zzzz zzzz zzzzz… right where are we? Wow! The Highland Park and the old Glen Garioch have really exploded with some very clear top bids. Quite incredible the way it holds your attention. Lets add some job lots…. with job lots you have all kinds of prices really starting to make the whole kind of complex and difficult to follow. It really starts to diversify in quite a bizarre but captivating way. We like mucho this style of auction at Whiskybling towers.

In the mid-auction straight away you have the impression with this amount of time that the Cognacs, Rums and Whiskies are really beginning to converge which can really happen with these spirits if they are given sufficient time in auction I find. You really get similarities between them becoming quite apparent. Now out of nowhere BAM: aged Tequila, just coming through in small bids here and there, totally unexpected. But overall it is the peaters that you really get the feeling are finally beginning to dominate, all these big bids on aged Port Ellen, vintage Laphroaig, rare Brora; it’s really quite a showstopper towards the finish.

The finish is now really long – there are STILL people bidding – it really fades and fades quite beautifully…especially as it is my bottles that are being sold. Quite astonishing in the finish really. All these little fluttering bids of Longmorn, Strathisla, old herbal liqueurs, aged Pinot Noir and even something of Gentian eau de vie. Finally wet dogs (I’m sorry Pongo, we didn’t mean to sell you).

Winnings: 98/100 bottles sold!

 

 

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There's draff EVERYWHERE!

There’s draff EVERYWHERE!

The latest Bruichladdich release has been unveiled as ‘Whisky Of Mash Destruction’. The bottling commemorates the recent explosion of the distillery’s mash tun. The company’s director of having a right good boisterous time of it Simon Coughsyrup said while perched on top of a wine barrel with a frothy pint of Finlaggan:

“Jimbob went a bit too far with the phenol count this time. According to the lab report, the latest batch of Octomore we were working on had such a high phenol content it passed briefly through an entirely new state of matter, then spent a short time as some incredibly heavily peated crystal meth before creating a medium sized thermo-phenol explosion. The mushroom cloud has given everyone on the Rhinns that peat reek tang to their washing that the tourists love so much. I came home to find a flock of Germans chewing the socks on my washing line. No harm done though, I just shoed them away, they’re more scared of you than you are of them you know.” 

The distillery’s Grand High Spirit Pope Jimbob Paterson said in a statement:

“This is a sad day for the people of Islay, just thinking about the number of bottlings that we’ll be wringing out of this one is already causing many of them to have nervous breakdowns. I’ve already instigated the first Valinch, it’ll be called Remains Of The Mash: Volume One. It’ll come with a free CD of me whispering inspiring asides to myself in a warehouse interspersed with tape loops of the mash tun being rend asunder by the mighty force of the Octomore we were attempting to produce. I’m looking forward to the label as well, we’ve already got our work experience student Janine drawing one up on Microsoft Paint as we speak.” 

There's...just...so...many...

There’s…just…so…many…

Production at Bruichladdich is expected to begin again in March as soon as Duncan McGillivray can weld together an entirely new mashtun from scratch. Simon Coughsyrup explained:

“In keeping with our philosophy of everything being local here at Bruichladdich we’ll be mining the ore for the new mashtun here on Islay just outside Port Charlotte. Some of the lads are a little unhappy about having to drill several kilometres into the Earth’s crust but at least we’ll have a big hole afterwards into which we can pour and then seal off most of the remaining cases of Black Art. That way they’ll never darken the lives of our children and their children’s children.” 

The lads had to put in a fair bit of overtime for this one.

The lads had to put in a fair bit of overtime for this one.

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There will be a charming petite Boulangerie when its finished.

There will be a charming petite Boulangerie when its finished.

Since it was announced that Islay was to have its ninth distillery in the form of new French led micro-distillery Gartbreck, the locals on Islay have complained that despite the Gallic origins of the project it remains insufficiently French. Local farmer and winner of the annual Bridgend cow stretching contest 2006-2009 Donald MacPeabody said:

“C’est ridicule. Je veux dire que nous avons tant de distilleries appartenant à la française ici sur Islay maintenant que cela se sent plus comme un anti apogée au mieux. Nous adorons toutes ces choses françaises, nous ne savions jamais existé avant l’occupation. Pour ma part je ne sais pas comment j’ai pu vivre sans croque monsieur.”

He continued…

“Oh, sorry, I just slipped into French there again didn’t I. It’s just such a devastatingly romantic tongue. Anyway, like I was saying, we’ve all come to adore France and all it stands for around here since so many of our distilleries are now owned by the French. Those three hour lunch breaks where you just stop work and enjoy some locally produced goat’s cheese on a really crispy baguette are just heaven, I don’t know how we survived before. I know most of the lads at Bruichladdich distillery are on their second bottle of Beaujolais-Nouveau before four o’clock.”

They all look like this now.

They all look like this now.

Speaking with a haggard expression that suggests a brooding internal philosophical quandary with the very core of his own existence and at least three days of stubble while smoking his second packet of Gauloises that morning The Mayor of Islay, Frank Holland, said:

“The influence of mother France is never far away for us here, every wine cask that rolls into Bruichladdich distillery, every silly new Ardbeg that we all buy about seven cases of and flog slowly through auctions, it all gives us a new sense of identity. We were all so excited when we heard that there was to be another French distillery on Islay, but it turns out it is simply a small, micro affair. Now it seems that all the effort we put into building that drystone chateau on the shores of Lochindaal was all for nothing.” 

"If Gartbreck don't want it we can just use it for next year's wine festival."

“If Gartbreck don’t want it we can just use it for next year’s wine festival.”

Since the increased French colonisation of Islay in recent years there have been many changes to local culture and customs. Most distilleries now only fill spirit into wine barriques, and occasionally ex-cognac casks. The local co-operative supermarkets have been decommissioned to make way for small local markets that are only open for about three hours on a Saturday morning and sell mostly olives, rotisserie chicken and suspicious looking homemade cheese.

Local schoolteacher Morag McKinnon, or as she is now known Marie Monette, said:

“We did change to driving on the right hand side of the road but no one noticed the difference to be honest. Can I offer you a plate of canard du confit?” 

Speaking while standing naked from the waist down in his loft studio while slashing his previous nights oil paintings in a fit of twisted romantic self-loathing, local fisherman Murdo MacIntyre said:

“There’s a few downsides to all this French stuff, I mean you have to validate your ticket for the Calmac now in one of those wee yellow box machines, it’s fearful confusing like. But all in all life is good, I used to drink McEwan’s 80 shilling all this time but this 1990 Latour is actually much nicer, plus the doctor says it counts as one of your five a day. I’m on my sixth case this week.” 

Getting to the mainland is much more complicated now.

Getting to the mainland is much more complicated now.

It was reported that Bruichladdich’s Blending Oligarch and Tsar Of Distillation Jimbob Patterson has been cultivating a moustache that can only be described as ‘unnecessarily French’ in recent months, however it was later discovered that this was simply born out of a long running rivalry with Dalmore’s Grand High Nostril Wizard, Richard McEwan who has long held the Glenfiddich Award for Inconspicuous Facial Hair Of The Year.

Speaking through a mouthful of cigarettes while driving a charming little Citroen 2CV over a peat moor, Mayor of Islay Frank Holland said:

“The director of Gartbreck, Monsieur Donnay, will have to make an extra effort to be French, he will only be allowed onto the island if he agrees to arrive on a bicycle wearing a horizontal stripy sweater with bulbs of garlic and onions hanging from his neck. There will also have to be some kind of agreement over the eventual marketing and labelling of the Gartbreck whisky. He must also comply heavily with the new compulsory beret laws we are about to bring into force. If he agrees to this he should approach the island slowly waving our newly adopted ceremonial white flag. He can use a tea towel if he likes.” 

The label will have to be something like this.

The label will have to be something like this.

Gartbreck distillery will be the ninth distillery on Islay and is due to begin operations in 2015, or whenever lunch is finished.

Director of Gartbreck Jean Donnay said while tanking his 8th pint of heavy from a bar stool somewhere in Glasgow:

“Nane o that French pish fur me like ye ken! Ahm makin whisky here like, big fuckin peaty whisky fur good honest Scots like maslef. Dinnae be fooled by that Glan Ar Mor stuff like, that wis just practise, ahm gonnae make whisky that’ll make that Octomore pish look like fuckin poof juice!”

Asked whether he was worried that the building of the new Port Charlotte distillery might suddenly commence and force Gartbreck into last position as the 10th distillery Jean Donnay simply burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter before headbutting the whiskysponge journalist and eating his pint glass.

 

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