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A well-deserved dram for World Whisky Day

Sir Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Frank Sinatra, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Princess Kate… they all loved/love a fine dram of whisky, and this Saturday May 19, we celebrate some of the finest drams around the world for World Whisky Day. We took some time to sit down with new (whisky) kid on the block, Pure Scot and their two new blended Scotch whiskies: Pure Scot, and Pure Scot Virgin Oak 43 from their Bladnoch Distillery on the banks of River Bladnoch in south west Scotland.
Bladnoch Distillery was founded in 1817 and has just celebrated its 200 year anniversary. Owned by a family until the mid 20th Century, the Distillery changed hands a number of times until 2014 when it fell silent. Rescued out of administration in 2015 by David Prior, an Australian businessman, Bladnoch Distillery underwent a major renovation and whisky flowed once again from four brand new stills in April 2017.
Bladnoch Distillery produces a range of single malts from the old casks in the warehouse and are now gaining new spirit to ensure its place in the future of the Lowlands region.
Bladnoch created Pure Scot Whisky in 2015 to challenge the way blended whisky was consumed. Most blended Scotch is made to recipes hundreds of years old following tradition. Pure Scot is a blend of Bladnoch Single Malt, a handful of Islay whiskies, Highland and Speyside malts alongside a Lowlands grain whisky. It is bottled at 40% and has a light honey colour.
Head of Sales, Will Pitchforth, tells us "We at Pure Scot say ‘don’t be told’ and therefore created a whisky that stands out in how it tastes, the packaging, and the types of consumers we talk to. We believe that mixing whisky whether it be with water, a mixer, or in a cocktail - creates new occasions to drink - and not just neat or on the rocks as some traditionalists might believe."


Taking the brand in a bold direction is Pure Scot Virgin Oak, where the whisky is aged in brand new White American Oak barrels for 6-9 months, imparting a distinctive oaky, vanilla character and a deeper amber hue. It is bottled at a higher ABV of 43%. Virgin Oak is only available in Australia and the USA and recently won Double Gold at the San Francisco Spirits Competition.

When asked for the best way to enjoy Pure Scot, Will’s suggestion is a Penicillin Cocktail; blended Scotch Whisky, lemon, honey and ginger shaken then strained over ice with a dash of peaty Islay Whisky on top. The history of this drink came from Australian bartender Sam Ross when he was working at Milk and Honey in New York.


"It has always been made from a premium blended Scotch Whisky, and so with Pure Scot’s link to Australia - it is a fitting base for this great cocktail. Virgin Oak has such a unique flavour, I want to taste it in a drink - so I like it with a simple mixer like a dry and spicy ginger beer."


When asked about trends or myths in the industry, Will states that ‘NAS’ or ‘Non Age Statement’ Whisky is here to stay. Consumers were initially sceptical of brands that didn’t state the age of the whisky; but as seen in Scotch and Whisky from other countries, those that are made from whiskies ranging in all ages can actually be quite exceptional. Brands like Starward, Kilchoman, Hibiki, Westland, and Pure Scot from Bladnoch, are leading the way in excellent NAS whisky.


So come get whisky’d away at the Osbourne Hotel from 12pm on May 19 as we showcase some of the world’s most celebrated whiskies including Mitcher’s, Woodford Reserve and Buffalo Trace from America, as well as Scottish favourites Octamore and Macallan.

Australia, Canadian, American, Scottish and Irish Whiskies will also be highlighted in classic and signature cocktails, as well as tastings and mini master classes. Grab your tickets here.