Last week I had the pleasure of attending The Electric Cinema, Birmingham for a special preview screening of Gillies MacKinnon’s remake of Whisky Galore! courtesy of The Birmingham Whisky Club. In addition to a preview of the film we were also treated to three whiskies from The Lost Distillery Company at specific moments during the film.
Having not seen the original film I wasn’t sure what to expect – all I knew was that the film was about whisky and starred Eddie Izzard so I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy it. Before the film started we were introduced to Ewan Henderson (Global Brand Ambassador) from The Lost Distillery Company who introduced the first dram of the evening – Towiemore.
This is an interpretation of Peter Dawson’s historic whisky (which was on the S.S. Politician), and gave the audience a taste of the story itself.
Malt, vanilla, sherry, dried fruit and caramel.
Sherry, rich fruit – raisins and apples. Caramel and slight spice that fades quickly.
Oak, fruit and malt – drying.
With the smell and taste of whisky fresh in our minds the film began. I won’t give away all the details of the film but for those who’ve not heard of it here’s the basic plot.
Based on real life events, when the 8000 ton cargo ship the SS Politician ran aground off the Island of Eriskay during gale force winds, Whisky Galore tells the story of the inhabitants of the isolated Scottish island of Todday, where gloom sets in as their wartime rationing of whisky runs out. When cargo ship the SS Cabinet Minister runs aground, the shrewd islanders run rings around the buffoonish English Home Guard commander Captain Waggett (Eddie Izzard) and conspire to hide away cases of the precious amber nectar.
At two further points during the film we were stopped and handed another dram to enjoy. Details of these including my tasting notes are below.
A new addition to the Lost Distillery range Dalaruan operated from 1825 – 1925 in Campbeltown. This is a classic coastal expression.
Light. A touch of brine, light smoke and milk chocolate.
Caramel, vanilla and chocolate. Tempered by some oak, smoke and more brine.
Sweet chocolaty smoke – very similar to a Lagavulin 16.
Founded in 1817, Lossit was the biggest producer of whisky on Islay in the industry’s formative years and lasted for half a century until it was silenced in 1867.
Light – almost clear.
Smoke and peat yet sweet. Plenty of malt and digestive biscuit.
Sweet peat smoke, slightly bitter but quickly becoming sweet again with vanilla and a touch of dried fruit.
Sweet smoke and peat.
At the end of the film we had an extra treat as the director Gillies MacKinnon did a Q&A session. Interestingly all the whiskies mentioned in the film were completely made up as unlike with the original film no whisky brands wanted to be associated with images of people drunk on whisky… Also believe it or not, no whisky was actually drunk during the film… yeah I don’t believe that one either!
I highly recommend looking out for future film and whisky tastings from The Birmingham Whisky Club as they are a great experience.