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Postby Iain » Thu Feb 21, 2002 8:56 pm

I'm confused!

The Macallan-Glenlivet Distillery is not in Glenlivet. Malts such as Dufftown-Glenlivet don't come from there either.

The Glenlivet is a Speyside malt. But, like tomintoul-Speyside and others, it isn't by the side of the river - it's several miles from the Spey.

Glenmorangie is a Highland malt, but it's by the sea on the edge of a lowland plain.

All Islays are peaty - but the Bunnahabhainn I have tasted doesn't have much of a peat reek at all!

Meanwhile, Balvenie is a Speyside - even when it's finished in Islay casks.

Do we need to revise whisky categories?

How about calling that Balvenie a Spisla? Or an Isleyside?

Help!!!!
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Fri Feb 22, 2002 11:29 am

Young man,

Don't be confused. If you care to peruse my great work all will become clear - in particular the difficulty you seem to have between Spey-side distilleries and those in the Glenlivet district.

AB
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Postby Iain » Sat Feb 23, 2002 10:57 am

I have indeed read your (very long) book. And I remember that, just before nodding off, I became more confused than ever.

The Glenlivet District? What is that? You don't locate Macallan in that district (you claim it's in Rothes, you silly old sausage!), but that distillery is now known as The Macallan-Glenlivet.

And you mention the "Benrinnes Distillery, Glenlivet" and "Mortlach Distillery, Glenlivet" - but I looked at the map, and they clearly are not in Glenlivet at all!

Did you get lost? Perhaps your memory ain't what it used to be?

I'm sorry - but I remain as confused and in need of help as ever before.

Good day to you, sir.
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Postby Chris Brousseau » Mon Feb 25, 2002 8:04 pm

The Glenlivet suffix-prefix arose out of a court battle a long time ago that the original "The Glenlivet" distillery had with other distilleries using its name because the whisky was so popular. The Glenlivet won the case to protect its name but it was deemed that the suffix/prefix could be used by other distilleries. Over 20 distilleries were using the suffix/prefix at one time but most have dropped it today.

Also, I understand that only one distillery actually takes it's water from the River Spey and that Speyside refers to a broad area bisected by the Spey.

Does this help?

Chris
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Postby Iain » Mon Feb 25, 2002 11:42 pm

I had another look at Alfred Barnard's book - and it gets even more confusing!

He says that The Glenlivet is in Glenlivet. Hardly a controversial view.

But he also says "the Whisky... is pure Highland malt."

So - according to Mr B, The Glenlivet is from Glenlivet, but it is not a Glenlivet. It's not even a Speyside, but a Highland malt!

But it's worse - Alfred says Isle of Jura is "pure Highland malt". Eh?

And Talisker? "The make is Highland malt."

So what is going on? Should we accept the new classifications of whisky? Or revert to the Barnard system?

I'm more befuddled than ever :-)
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Postby lexkraai » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:20 am

And, if I may add, Bankier distillery in the Lowlands produces a whisky 'in the Highland style' ....

Dear deceased AB, what is your grand scheme?


Slainte, Lex
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Postby Ize » Tue Feb 26, 2002 9:31 am

I have old finnish phrase, that describes well my feelings when reading this thread. Translation would be something like:

I laughed so that my hernia bursted.

Maybe you have similar right phrase in english in your mind, please tell me that. Image
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Postby lexkraai » Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:54 am

While we have the opportunity to talk to the greatest Victorian whisky writer ever, let me ask him one question I've been pondering about for a long long time:

Dear AB, in your description of Langhom distillery you mention 'birch whisky'. Would you mind enlightening us about this category of whisky? What is 'Birch Whisky'?

Many thanks, oh great one!
Lex
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Tue Feb 26, 2002 12:31 pm

Lex,

So many questions, and so little time !

But Ah ! The delights of Birch whisky from that long-forgotten whisky making region, the real home, I was often told by my hosts, if illicit distilling.

Have you never heard of the practise of putting bunches of birch twigs in the mash and/or washbacks (the 'secret' was applied in different ways at different sills) in order to impart that traditional 'Border's gout' to the make ?

Hush hush !

AB
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Postby lexkraai » Tue Feb 26, 2002 1:38 pm

I am honoured you deem me worthy of such a quick reply ....

I can not stop wondering what has made you return from your long, well-deserved, sleep. But whatever it was, the world of whisky is the richer for it! I guess you're surprised at how much the whisky industry has changed since your 'Grand Tour'. But then again, you may have foreseen it all back in the 1880s .....

I sincerely hope I may call on you and your unmeasurable knowledge in the future. As you may know, I have the hounour of being the transcriber for your Irish Tour which is published on the internet.

With warm regards,
Lex
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Postby Iain » Tue Feb 26, 2002 3:35 pm

Birch whisky now! Is that categorised as a special wood finish?

It sounds so similar to the old practice at Laphroaig, where heather was added to the brew in the much the same way.

So - is this what we mean by Flora and Fauna malts? Is that a category too? Are there other plants and twigs that can be added to improve the flavour?

I'm not nearly so confused now...
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Tue Feb 26, 2002 4:17 pm

Iain,

You are so very well informed for someone who claims to be so confused - perhaps you are teasing me, and trying to take advantage of my advanced years ?

Birch, I was always led to believe, was unique to the Borders, but heather more widely used in the Highlands (where-ever they may be)and Islands.

Regions are not confused, simply imprecise. My references to 'Highland Malts' simply follow the practice of the Trade, who adopted a very simple classification for the purposes of announcing new season's fillings. In my day the Trade recognised neither Spey-side nor Glenlivet (or Glenlivat as it was often written, as I recall from my conventional correspondence)so both of these makes were properly referred to as 'Highland'. Of course for blending purposes there was a further subdivision into Grades within the Highland Class, so some might be 'First Grade Highland', others not .......

But then I'm sure you know all of this already, don't you ?


AB
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Postby lexkraai » Tue Feb 26, 2002 4:44 pm

With heather or birch we have a Flora malt, but what do we use to get Fauna malts?

Maybe the fact that I'm doing research on fruit flies in daily life should give me hint .....

Would Drosophila's like a whisky-only diet? Would they have a preference for Highland/Lowland/Island? There's one way to find out ....
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Postby Iain » Tue Feb 26, 2002 5:02 pm

But my good Sir,

I would never dream of being disrespectful to one so old (nay, so deceased!) as you claim to be. I seek only enlightenment, and you are indeed venerable and wise.

But I must disagree with you on one issue - your classifications are far from simple!

For example, you tell us in your book that a malt whisky made in a distillery in Glasgow (which is in the Lowlands, I believe?) is sold as a Highland malt, if it is made with peated malt!

So does that mean it is not WHERE a malt is made, but the ingredients, which determine the classification? Or is it the taste?

And it seems Speyside didn't exist in your day. I wonder who invented it? I can't find it on a map. Is it near Strathspey?

Oh dear - just when I thought I was beginning to understand it all...
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Postby Iain » Tue Feb 26, 2002 5:12 pm

Ps:

Poor Ize - I do hope you are feeling better now. You have a painful affliction, and should lie down and keep still for a while.

A whisky may help you feel better, but I must warn you that it is unlikely to help repair the unhappy damage you have sustained.

But tell me - you must know a lot about the meaning of a wood "Finnish", surely? Perhaps you have a Flora and Sauna category in your country?

Share your thoughts with us :-)

With best wishes, and wishing you a speed recovery,
Iain
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Tue Feb 26, 2002 5:21 pm

Lex,

What an unusual and interesting name you have, if I may say so young man.

I do not recall seeing any fruit flies in my many and varied travels in England, Ireland and Scotland.

I was most impressed, as I seem to remember, by the Berkshire pigs kept in vast quantities at Kirkliston.

Perhpas they accounted, in some little part, to the hog-like aroma I experienced in the Mash House?

AB
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Postby Iain » Tue Feb 26, 2002 5:27 pm

Alfred, if I may be so bold,

The hog-like aroma may have emanated from a hog'shead?
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:26 pm

Iain,

Though not so greatly in my dotage as some of your remarks might suggest I am beginning to find this particular thread of conversation a little confusing.

As my memory is not all it once was I have in front of me some old copies of Harper's Magazine. Let me try once more to lift the mist from your eyes that seems to hang there as a grey London fog might once have done over my offices in Crutched Friars.

To make our Opening Prices for Scotch Whisky Distilleries easy to follow (by chaps like you - young, impetuous, with no time to learn. Is that what has become of the industry today?) Harper's divided Scotland into four producing regions - Highlands (from Teaninich to Talisker, Aberfeldy to Highland Park), Lowlands, Islay and Campbeltown. Grains were priced alone.

As I have already explained the Trade subdivided within these producing regions by quality - 'First Grade Highland' etc. - which was also reflected in some part by price (you might find it interesting to consult some of these Opening Prices lists young man).

In my book I also classify malt whisky by style - as distillers, as I'm sure you must know - can change the style of their spirit if they so wish, and defy regional stereotypes. Nothing new in this - I think I heard tell that some of the Campbeltown distillers changed their style of whisky to 'Glenlivet' or 'Highland' after the Great War to try and recover sales and business.

But that, as they say, is another story. I'm tired and for my bed. What say we start afresh on pastures new?

Alfred
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:27 pm

Iain,

Though not so greatly in my dotage as some of your remarks might suggest I am beginning to find this particular thread of conversation a little confusing.

As my memory is not all it once was I have in front of me some old copies of Harper's Magazine. Let me try once more to lift the mist from your eyes that seems to hang there as a grey London fog might once have done over my offices in Crutched Friars.

To make our Opening Prices for Scotch Whisky Distilleries easy to follow (by chaps like you - young, impetuous, with no time to learn. Is that what has become of the industry today?) Harper's divided Scotland into four producing regions - Highlands (from Teaninich to Talisker, Aberfeldy to Highland Park), Lowlands, Islay and Campbeltown. Grains were priced alone.

As I have already explained the Trade subdivided within these producing regions by quality - 'First Grade Highland' etc. - which was also reflected in some part by price (you might find it interesting to consult some of these Opening Prices lists young man).

In my book I also classify malt whisky by style - as distillers, as I'm sure you must know - can change the style of their spirit if they so wish, and defy regional stereotypes. Nothing new in this - I think I heard tell that some of the Campbeltown distillers changed their style of whisky to 'Glenlivet' or 'Highland' after the Great War to try and recover sales and business.

But that, as they say, is another story. I'm tired and for my bed. What say we start afresh on pastures new?

Alfred


[This message has been edited by Alfred Barnard (edited 26 February 2002).]
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:29 pm

Iain,

Though not so greatly in my dotage as some of your remarks might suggest I am beginning to find this particular thread of conversation a little confusing.

As my memory is not all it once was I have in front of me some old copies of Harper's Magazine. Let me try once more to lift the mist from your eyes that seems to hang there as a grey London fog might once have done over my offices in Crutched Friars.

To make our Opening Prices for Scotch Whisky Distilleries easy to follow (by chaps like you - young, impetuous, with no time to learn. Is that what has become of the industry today?) Harper's divided Scotland into four producing regions - Highlands (from Teaninich to Talisker, Aberfeldy to Highland Park), Lowlands, Islay and Campbeltown. Grains were priced alone.

As I have already explained the Trade subdivided within these producing regions by quality - 'First Grade Highland' etc. - which was also reflected in some part by price (you might find it interesting to consult some of these Opening Prices lists young man).

In my book I also classify malt whisky by style - as distillers, as I'm sure you must know - can change the style of their spirit if they so wish, and defy regional stereotypes. Nothing new in this - I think I heard tell that some of the Campbeltown distillers changed their style of whisky to 'Glenlivet' or 'Highland' after the Great War to try and recover sales and business.

But that, as they say, is another story. I'm tired and for my bed. What say we start afresh on pastures new?

Alfred


[This message has been edited by Alfred Barnard (edited 26 February 2002).]
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Postby Iain » Tue Feb 26, 2002 8:57 pm

Mr B,

I am thrice blessed by your gracious reply.

But you say a whisky from the Dundashill Distillery in Glasgow, if made from malt "dried with peat", "is known as Highland malt", and an unpeated one from the same distillery is named by you as "Old Still Malt". Surely, if things are as you say, both must be described as Lowland malts?

I fear you are indeed a little tired. To cheer you as you wend your way to bed, I have composed a little poem in your honour:

You are old, Father Alfred
(You say you are dead!)
And your book is a matter of worry.
In truth it's a bore
And we'd rather read more
Of the writings of Jackson and Murray.

Toodle pip!
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Tue Feb 26, 2002 11:06 pm

Young Man,

You should not presume to mock the arthritic fingers of one so old as I - or at least what remains of them.

I still believe in your haste you have simply missed the commonsense in my answer - but there is youth and today's whisky industry for you.

As for you doggerel Sir, you are a scoundrel to abuse me so. And who - if I may so ask, are the two gentlemen you refer to, 'Jackson and Murray' - some sort of ironmonger's establishment, or perhaps a haberdashery ?

I remain yours,

Hoping for a new subject to debate,

Alfred Barnard (deceased)
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Postby St.Peat » Wed Feb 27, 2002 3:26 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Arial, Verdana">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ize:
<B>I have old finnish phrase ... something like:

I laughed so that my hernia bursted.

... similar right phrase in english Image</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hello, Ize!!
In America we say "I laughed so hard it hurts!", which can mean the belly muscles hurt from so much laughing, or even the hard palate can hurt from extended laughing. We also say, "I just about busted a gut!", which is actually very close to your Finnish phrase, I think. Then there is the oft used, "I laughed until I cried!"
Cheers -- Mark.
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Postby lexkraai » Wed Feb 27, 2002 9:21 am

Dear AB,

I do hope a good night's sleep has refreshed your old bones.

Going slightly on a tangent, you wouldn't have copies of your other great works ('Noted Breweries', 'Orchards') still lying around, would you?

Allow me to ask you another question, and do forgive me if this is too personal): where did you spend the last 85 years? To be more precise, where were you laid to rest and did you get a nice tombstone?

By the way, what strikes you as unusual and interesting about my name?


With respect for your wisdom,
Lex
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Postby Iain » Wed Feb 27, 2002 10:41 am

Mr B, You are indeed a national treasure, and it is a matter for scandal that your contribution to public life has never been recognised with a knighthood.

Be that as it may, I am eager to discuss with you the thorny issue of neglect. By which I mean, the neglect by so many young whippersnapper journalists of the world's most popular type of whisky - blended Scotch.

Choose your ground sir, and let us meet there soon. I am eager to learn your views.
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Postby Ize » Wed Feb 27, 2002 10:55 am

About Flora & Fauna (not Flora and Sauna Image ), it is quite mindboggling name. Flora I would accept immediately, but fauna!? That brings in my mind very old poor days in Finland when carcasses (especially rats) were used to get fermentation going on (due to lack of yeast I guess) ... :P Name for such a "drink" would be in english "carcass booze" and yes it was distilled several times, I wonder why. Image
Does other countries have a similar poor history of booze?

Kippis,
Ize
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Wed Feb 27, 2002 9:31 pm

Oh dear, I seem to have dropped off again. Please do forgive my sleep-filled days and my sometimes-wakeful nights.

I have been dreaming again.

First of a firm of speculative builders nearby in Holloway. Purveyors of rather showy terrace houses, fitted with marble fireplaces but lacking in any structural substance, and built with poor, if not fatally flawed foundations. Iain, could this be the Jackson & Murray to whom you refer, or am I thinking of another?

Then I walked in Mr Whitley’s Orchard again – I smelt the wonderful scent of fresh fruit on the branch, of the clean crisp linen of the happy, loyal and contented workers who followed my path. But Lex (what an interesting name, my boy); I awoke to find myself here – by what pernicious trick of fate or act of devilry I know not.

Must I lie here forever frustrated? If only you knew where?

But enough of such self-pity. As you suggest, my Dear young lain, let us move on, or stay here if you wish, but choose another ground to gird our loins and stretch our intellect.

I remain yours fitfully,

AB
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Postby Iain » Wed Feb 27, 2002 10:11 pm

My loins are girded, my intellect stretched and, unlike poor Ize, my hernia remains unbursted.

Let is proceed tomorrow to another place. And let the great debate begin!

ps: Jackson & Murray, to my knowledge, are manufacturers of sanitary ware. Flushed with success, but compared to you they are no more than a splash in the pan.
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Postby lexkraai » Thu Feb 28, 2002 10:22 am

Dear AB,

As the e-scribe of your Irish Tour, may I ask how you missed Banagher distillery? Tiredness creeping into your bones? Too much 'hospitality' already?

Hoping you can brush away the cobwebs of your long sleep and explain this glaring omission in your Magnum Opus ....

Your humble servant,
Lex
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Postby St.Peat » Thu Feb 28, 2002 10:35 am

-- test only --
tested okay
Marcin, Brigid? you can make this one disappear Image

[This message has been edited by St.Peat (edited 28 February 2002).]
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Thu Feb 28, 2002 4:08 pm

Lex, my dear boy,

As far as I remember (through the darkening mists of time etc.) Banagher, that most unfortunate speculation of 1873, was closed, in liquidation, and up for sale when I visited other such establishments in Ireland.

My timing was as ever unfortunate, as the highly energetic Mr Scott purchased the distillery in September of 1887, and had it back in operation shortly thereafter. But alas, by then I had passed on....

Which of course I have !

Yours ever,

Alfred B
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Postby lexkraai » Thu Feb 28, 2002 4:18 pm

Most unfortunate indeed! I'm sure you also regret not having had the opportunity to include the Bala distillery in your Grand Tour.

As ever yours,
Lex

[This message has been edited by lexkraai (edited 28 February 2002).]
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Postby Alfred Barnard » Thu Feb 28, 2002 6:27 pm

Lex young man,

I think you are making a plaything of me, with my poor ailing mind and arthritic fingers, so painful that I can barely sign my own name.

Had it been built, I would have visited Bala, but as you and I know only too well, built it weren't !

Of course it would have been a lovely journey by steam-packet from Liverpool to Portmadog. A coach from thence, I fancy to Ffestiniog, and then on the railway to Bala.

But alas, as before, wrong time, wrong place.

Now, lets please move on !!!

Yours sincerely,

Alfred B
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Postby Marcin Miller » Thu Feb 28, 2002 6:29 pm

Sorry St Peat.

I'm enjoying this one too much.

I'd love to know who AB's medium is...

M
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Postby St.Peat » Thu Feb 28, 2002 6:36 pm

Marcin --

Sorry I wasn't clear ...
I didn't mean make this topic disappear; I was referring to my empty 'test' post. I was having trouble viewing a post I new was there, and used the test post as a way to check my hunch.

All is okay.

This topic, and the honorable AB are a wonderful creation, and like the rest, I am reading with a wide smile, and a sidelong glance!! Image

Good to know you agree.
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