Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | April 26, 2010

Win With Black Bottle

 Win with Black Bottle

Following a great day sampling at the Melrose 7’s, Black Bottle is pleased to offer you the chance to win 4 tickets to attend the Braidholm 7’s on the 8th of May 2010.

This great prize includes:

  1. 1 × 70cl bottle of Black Bottle
  2. 4 x tickets to the tournament
  3. 4 x seats at the corporate lunch
  4. Reserved seating in the main stand
  5. Access to the VIP bar

To enter the competition, visit and click on the link to enter. The draw will take place on Tuesday 4th May 2010 and the winner will be emailed before 5pm on the same day.  

All the best and good luck!

Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | April 21, 2010

Black Bottle – Melrose Sevens

Hi Folks,
First of all, congratulations to Hamilton, (the oldest rugby team in South Africa, not the one in Lanarkshire) in beating University of Johannesburg 35-26 to win the 2010 Melrose Sevens.
Second of all, big thanks for all who dropped by to say help, particularly the bananas, scuba man, marshmallow man and all of the super heroes and sampled our “Black Ginger”. It was an absolutely stunning day, made even more enjoyable as we were expecting the worst from the weather, turning up with our wellies, water proofs and umbrellas.

Finally, over the coming months you will be able to have the chance to win some Black Bottle goodies and where we are sampling through our Black Bottle twitter page ( and through the Black Bottle 1879 Club on Facebook.
Join or follow us to find out more.
Bye for now!

The Black Bottle Team

Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | March 3, 2010

Next Stop…..

Hey Campers,

I hope the start of 2010 has been as fruitful for you as it has been for me and the Jalopy – we’ve been taking Black Bottle to the masses in Belgium!  We were invited to the Gent Whisky Festival, involving a 24 hour ferry from Rosyth to Zeebrugge (with a horrific Neil Diamond tribute act included free of charge), putting the camper into the tightest lift it could possibly fit in and talking Islay Whisky for 3 days solid.  Pictures below!

It was a great experience as many people in Belgium have not been introduced to Black Bottle before and I was pleased to hear on leaving that we were the best selling Whisky at the festival – a great compliment for me and Black Bottle.

I’d also like to mention how beautiful Gent is as a city. I found it a wonderfully medieval place filled with magnificent churches, canals and a historic castle. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a city break with a difference.

So what’s up next? Germany. I will be heading over to the Redebuel Fesival in March and the Limburg Festival in April. I’ll also be giving the locals the chance to make their own blend with the Black Bottle Blending Sessions…………..I just hope their English is better than my German.

Finally, over the coming months you will be able to have the chance to win some Black Bottle goodies, find out the where Black Bottle is on promotion and where we are sampling through our Black Bottle twitter page ( and through the Black Bottle 1879 Club on Facebook. Join or follow us to find out more soon.


Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | January 25, 2010

Happy New Year

Hey guys,

I must first offer a belated happy new year; all the best in the come 12 months. So what’s coming up for Black Bottle over the coming months? Well as I mentioned last month, sampling is very much still in my thoughts 2010 and once again I will be traveling the length and breadth of the UK (and a wee bit of Europe) in the good old Jalopy; I will also be educating consumers and bartenders on the “Art of Blending” – hopefully going to be able to offer readers of my blog the chance to attend and get the opportunity to create your own blend (more later in the year).  On that note I will be attending the Genk Whisky festival in Belgium on the 16th and 17th of Febuary . It would be great to hear from you if you are going to be attending, make sure you come and have a dram with me!

celtic connections

In the mean time, Black Bottle is currently one of the main sponsors of the Celtic Connections in Glasgow. This week you will find the sampling team on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday (26th, 28th, 29th, and 31st of January) at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, between 5pm and 7.30pm, get down before your gig for a free dram or Black Bottle with ginger beer and lime.

Have another great week,

Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | December 30, 2009

End of the Year

Ladies and Gents,

 As it is the penultimate day of the year (and the decade I may add), I thought it only fair to blog one final time. I would firstly like to thank every single person who has taken the time to read the campervan blog this year as I endeavored to sample 120k people – from a standing start we’ve had just short of 7k hits since April and I’m truly flattered!  We’re still counting the data from the last 8 weeks of events but pleased to let you know that we are over 120k mark!!!! Job done! !!!!

The last 8 weeks have been pretty hectic, sampling at the Birmingham Good Food Show, Master chef live! at the Olympia in London and the Taste of Xmas at the Excel Centre in London. Driving the Camper through London’s city centre was an adventure in itself; in fact whilst sitting at a set of lights at Buckingham Palace, a burly gentlemen driving a brandspankingnew Lambo rolled down his window and challenged the jalopy to a duel off the lights. Now let’s be fair, the camper is hardly Herbie, the camper was full of equipment at the time, making it more like Herbie’s heavier big sister – Hefty. The camper had no chance and so I laughed off the challenge…………..however as a stroke of luck when the lights turned green, Schumacher in Lambo managed to stall the beast and Jalopy shot away like a (fat) bat out of hell.

 The Black Bottle Sampling team and I have met lots of weird, wonderful and passionate people this year; we’ve had experiences and difficulties that only the most  creative of minds could have imagined: From the four days of horrific rain in Wales to the wonderful couple near Inverness who purchased a bottle of Black Bottle and then put two homeless ‘Wegies up for the night when our hotel  let us down.   It would also be unfair not to mention the campervan, or the Jalopy as she is fondly (or not) referred to here at Black Bottle HQ; like an aging rocker, she’s rough round the edges, but she still goes for it hammer and tongs.  It really has been a tremendous year for Black Bottle and the good news is that we (or me to be more accurate) are going to continue sampling next year.

Top 3 highlights of 2009:

Unnamed distillery managers stealing back their own whisky at the West Coast Whiskies Festival dinner bash – I put it on this blog and it made the local press!

The afore mentioned trip to the Black Isle Show where Pat and Sandy bought a bottle of Black Bottle and put us up on hearing that our Hotel had let us down. True Scottish hospitality!

Arriving home two weeks ago after sampling over 50k people in 3 week.  I know talking to people sounds like an easy job, but it definitely has its moments!

 I’d like to wish you all the best in 2010 and I’ll be back blogging as (un)regularly as possibly in January!


Black Bottle Whisky

Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | December 6, 2009

Crazy Busy!


sorry for the lack of blogging. I’ve had a crazy few weeks being at the Glasgow Good Food Show, Birmingham Good Food Show, Taste of Xmas and Mastershef Live London. Hopefully I’ll be able to give a full blog this week and tell you some of the many funny stories from the last few weeks including the Campervan racing a Lamborghini at Buckingham Palace……….

Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | October 14, 2009

Blending Sessions and a Dutch of Magic

Hey campers,

When I blogged last, I spoke about running bartender sessions involving Black Bottle and educating people a little about Islay. I have now run a couple of sessions and I’m pleased to report that it the sessions are definitely one of the major success stories of this year for Black Bottle. The idea is so simple, give interested people the chance to do something they would never normally be able to do, with a result that invigorates people about Black Bottle and educates them at the same time. Easy peasy!

After test running the session in Glasgow, we rolled out the full session in The Player in Soho, London. As you’ll be able to see from the pictures below, we started the session talking about Black Bottle and how it relates to Islay (tasting a few drams along the way) and then the guys got the chance to make their own blended whisky. Finally we ran a bartenders playground, an array of ingredients and as much Black Bottle as required to create the most super fantastic Black Bottle cocktails to go into a booklet that we will publish. I’d like to give a special thanks to guys at the Albannach Bar in Trafalgar Square who ensured that I had somewhere to go and wet my whistle with a dram (Black Bottle of course!) during my stay in London. I had a fantastic time.

My other recent travels have taken me to a land of tulips, windmills and red lights (in certain areas in certain cities) – Holland. Actually I was invited along to help out at The Pot Still Whisky festival in Amersfoort, about 40km east of Amsterdam and I couldn’t miss the challenge of taking the van on tour again! It is definitely a very special festival, put on by the Van Wees family who ensure that the exhibitors are thoroughly looked after and want for nothing over the three days, I can’t thank them enough for their great hospitality.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Holland; however I’m not so sure that the local’s liked my kilt……none of the pubs or nightclubs in Amersfoort would let me in with my Kilt on. I’ll ensure that the next time the Dutch come over to Scotland that they won’t get into nightclubs with their clogs on……..

Have another great week,


Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | September 12, 2009

Another Busy Couple of Weeks

Hey guys, 

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged last, but with good reason: I have been sitting about the office doing absolutely nothing. Actually that’s not what I’ve been doing; in fact it could not be further from the truth….

A large part of my job is obviously, you’ll have seen from previous posts, consumer facing and talking to the public about Islay, Blended Whisky and of course Black Bottle. However another really important part of my job is to talk to the people who are carefully pouring your dram. The people who choose not to work 9 till 5, ensuring that you can wet your whistle into the wee small hours. The same people who know the difference between a Whisky Sours, a Whisky Mac and a Rusty Nail – and know exactly what Whisky to use in each.

I’m talking about bartenders.

The great thing about bartenders is that they want to learn; in fact most of them give up their spare time to go along to find about the products that they are pouring – especially if it is something they are passionate about. Over the coming weeks, I’m going to be meeting a host of bartenders, talking to them about the obvious things like Islay, Bunnahabhain and Black Bottle…..but Black Bottle isn’t just about doing the normal, so we’ve decided to give something back (because we’re the giving kind of people!).  How better to educate people about a blended whisky than giving them the opportunity to understand the craftsmanship that goes into creating an amazing dram like Black Bottle? We’re going to give the guys who come along the chance to blend their own dram; in fact they’ll even be able to take it home in their own labelled bottle. How cool is that???  For once I’m on the wrong side of the bar!

I’m seriously excited about this one; I am hoping we’ll even be able to get a video of some of the best bits up over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out.

Finally for this week, for those of you who live in the West of Scotland, it might be worth starting to listen to Rock Radio 96.3 FM……… you’re are shortly about to be introduced to the Black Bottle Busker…….I’ll tell you more about this next week……

Keep on trucking,


P.S I’ve stuck some photo’s of my last sampling @ Retrofest at Louden Castle Theme Park a few weekends ago….yes you can believe your eyes, that is the really is Aswad from the 80’s in the pictures!

Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | August 19, 2009

Restoring a little faith in man kind…..

Hope you are all well,

I have blogged on many occasions this year about the different people I have met on my travels this year, and it would be only fair to say that I have encountered a wide variety of weird, wonderful and interesting people. With the daily tales of woe on evening news, I have a great story this week, one that will hopefully renew your faith in the human spirit (did it ever need renewing?) and tells of great Scottish hospitality…….

At the start of August, the Black Bottle Whisky Sampling team were given the opportunity to sample at the Black Isle Farmers Show, one of the biggest outdoor events in the North of Scotland. Tony and I (my fellow Black Bottle sampler) took the arduous journey that is travelling up the A9 to Inverness to sample at show on the Wednesday night and then all day on the Thursday. On arrival at the site, we carried out the usual process of setting up our stand in preparation for the expect visitors (an expected 12k over the evening and the following day).

During our setup (around 5pm), I received a call from our hotel (one that will remain nameless!) with the unfortunate news that they had double booked our room and they had no alternative accommodation. At this stage I didn’t assume this was going to be much of a problem; Inverness and the surrounding areas have many hotels and B&B’s. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I called every hotel and B&B in a 50 mile radius of Inverness with absolutely no luck: apparently with the Black Isle Show, The Moy Games and the local jazz festival, it’s a busy time of year.

By 8.30pm, I had given up any hope of getting a room (We would have slept top ‘n’ tail we were that desperate!), it looked like we would have to sleep in the front of the van (as the back was full of equipment). Until……..

A local couple (who were purchasing two bottles of Black Bottle Whisky at the time) heard of our plight and explained that they lived on a farm not far away and would be more than delighted to put us up for the night. At first we thought they were joking, but we soon realised that the offer was genuine and with delight, we accepted the offer (we didn’t have much choice).

After the show, we drove along the local windy roads towards a place called Cawder Castle (yes the same one that is in MacBeth) to a farm. We arrived to a reception of a bit of cake and the offer or a dram or a coffee – I’ll leave it to your own intuition which one we took them up on.

After sleeping in individual en suite rooms, we woke to a full breakfast (including eggs from the farm) and a pot of tea. We genuinely couldn’t have got a better service in a 5 star hotel.

I did offer Pat and Sandy money for their great hospitality, however they blankly refused. It is indeed an extremely decent thing to put anyone up for the night your house, but to allow two strangers to stay is beyond the call of duty and if they are reading this, I would once again like to thank them very much.

Every good turn deserves another and hopefully I will be able to return the favour one day,

Speak to you soon,

Posted by: blackbottlewhisky | July 23, 2009

Being “Slightly” Damp at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show

Hey guys,

Is it still summer? I’m currently at an extremely wet Royal Welsh Agricultural Show (RWAS) in Builth Wells in Wales (funnily enough!?). We’re day three into a four day show and we’re having all sorts of fun and games; I think it is only fair to say that we have brought the great Scottish weather with us to Wales, as we had torrential rain every day at the show so far.

Being honest, on reflection this year so far, we have had excellent weather at almost all of the events that we have attended. However I can only describe the weather here in the true Scottish style that it deserves: Murder! As you you’ll see from the pictures below we have managed add our own private pool in front of our stand, in fact one unfortunately lady went head first into it…………. 

Regardless of the weather, this has been a great show. I have been genuinely surprised how many people have tried Black Bottle before, or at least recognise it. I have found the local Welsh to very hospitable and other exhibitors around us even more so; I’m unsure if the weather is making everyone pull together, however I must say that I met some of the friendliest folk here at the show – we have been provided with Wellies (if it wasn’t fur yur Wellies…), an unquantifiable amount of Muller Yoghurts and coffee until comes out of our ears.

On Monday, after the show (much to some peoples dismay, we don’t work all the time!), we stumbled upon what can only be described as a Welsh Farmers Rave. For fear of talking about things that shouldn’t be described on a page like this, all I will say is this…..I wonder how many children called Builth Wells are born around April next year???

I have left some pictures for you check out, enjoy the rest of your week,

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