Author Archives: Kenny Smith

Whisky casks go digital

Whisky casks go digital

RESEARCHERS at the University of Strathclyde have developed a computer simulation to help whisky distillers fill their casks without spilling any spirit. As well as the computer program, the engineers built a cask-filling test rig and achieved 99% consistency when filling a 200-litre cask in less than one minute. Inconsistent cask filling can lead to tooContinue Reading

Nine of the best from Aldi’s summer beer festival

Peter Ranscombe slips into his slippers and remembers Aldi’s first beer festival, a decade ago, as he samples this summer’s offerings. I’M ABOUT to sound really old. German discount supermarket chain Aldi has just launched it’s 21st biannual Scottish beer festival – and it doesn’t seem like five minutes since the first one. A decadeContinue Reading

Johnnie Walker unveils paper spirits bottle

THE world’s biggest Scotch whisky brand will go on sale in paper bottles from next year. Johnnie Walker has unveiled what it bills as the world’s first plastic-free, paper-based spirits bottle. The bottle is made from sustainable-sourced wood and can be recycled after it’s been used. Ewan Andrew, chief sustainability officer at Diageo, the companyContinue Reading

Glasgow Distillery expands exports after bank deal

THE Glasgow Distillery Company has borrowed £5.5 million from Barclays to help grow its overseas sales. The distillery will lay down more spirit to turn into whisky after signing a deal to sell drinks to Russia. Distribution deals covering Belgium and Luxembourg are also being developed. Europe is already the firm’s biggest overseas market, withContinue Reading

Winemaker’s love of Scotland shines during online tasting

Peter Ranscombe enjoys three great-value South African wines while hearing what their maker would serve alongside them. THE Co-op in Melrose is perhaps the last place you’d expect to find a South African winemaker – but Alastair Rimmer has an affinity for the Borders. The cellar master at Kleine Zalze winery enjoys fishing on theContinue Reading

Whyte & Mackay clocking up 29,000 miles for charity

WORKERS at whisky maker Whyte & Mackay aim to walk, run, row and cycle almost 29,000 miles at home to raise cash for charities. They are trying to raise £50,000 over the next eight weeks for good causes, including the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). As well as employees from the UK, funds willContinue Reading

Indulging in restaurant fizz at home

Indulging in restaurant fizz at home

As indoor restaurants and other hospitality businesses get ready to reopen from 15 July, Peter Ranscombe ponders some food and wine pairing for a lockdown treat at home. SOMETIMES a particular grape variety or a style of wine will strike a chord with sommeliers. Riesling is a classic example; beloved by the trade, but neverContinue Reading

Seven of the best from Edinburgh Beer Box

Brewers in the Scottish capital have been thinking ‘inside the box’ during lockdown, with a curated beer selection that demonstrates their talent, writes Peter Ranscombe. FROM historic names like Caledonian, McEwan’s and Younger’s through to the modern wave of micro-breweries, the words “Edinburgh” and “beer” go together like a cheeky wee “hauf an’ hauf”. AlthoughContinue Reading

Welcome to the ‘lollipop vineyard’

While South Africa may have a strong reputation for its old vines, that isn’t stopping farmers from planning for the future, as Peter Ranscombe discovers. WHEN you see the phrase “old vines” on a label, it can mean dramatically different things in different places. On a remote hillside in Australia or Spain or the LanguedocContinue Reading

Meet the paper wine bottle coming to Scotland…

Peter Ranscombe ponders a cardboard wine bottle that’s been launched today – and revisits the wine inside. I ALWAYS feel more than a wee bit guilty on recycling day. As the blue box is lugged off the pavement and its contents heaved into the back of the bin lorry, I pause and think about theContinue Reading