Dramboree was conceived in 2012 as a way to enjoy whisky with likeminded folk in a relaxed setting, getting out of the city and out into the Scottish Highlands – what better way to enjoy a dram or 3?
Taking inspiration from the annual Dutch weekend event, Maltstock, we felt that there must be another way to enjoy whisky in the UK in parallel with the excellent range of festivals, tastings, whisky schools, and such which already exist and thrive.
Dramboree 2014 took place on the shores of Loch Lomond, with a bigger number of whisky fans in a GORGEOUS setting and featured more great tasting workshops as well as a much larger sharing table, and saw us joined by guests from 5 other countries!
Dramboree 2015 was our most ambitious outing yet – with tastings from 3 unreleased distilleries, one highly-prolific and fascinating distillery a little left of the single malt nerd’s limelight, and a once-in-a-lifetime behind the scenes tour of Cragganmore Distillery.
Dramboree 2016 upped the ante with a 3-way head to head to head tasting from 3 of the UKs oldest independent bottlers, a visit to Loch Lomond Distillers for a not-available-to-the-public tour, a tasting of some of William Grant & Sons finest new whiskies, and a cooking with whisky session.
Dramboree 2017 saw us lead off with a tasting of some wonderful liquids from the country’s largest whisky retailer and their independent bottling sister company. The next morning we were treated to a science lesson (and tasting) on The Science of Peat before heading off for an unforgettable lunchtime in Rothes with The Speyburn Olympics. And then the coach took us to Benromach Distillery for a lovely tour, courtesy of Gordon and MacPhail.
The Ultimate Dramboree in 2018 saw the masterclass focus shift further towards production, with a session on Dilution by Elixir Distillers’ Mr Oliver Chilton showing that there’s a lot more to life than just natural cask strength or 40%abv. Saturday’s masterclass was on The Importance of Esters (and how you get them into a whisky) by the Head of Distillation at Atom Brands, the incomparable Lora Hemy. And for a distillery tour the crew at Deanston did a sublime job of showing us what their often overlooked distillery can do, as well as giving us more context about the Burn Stewart portfolio.
Whisky representative for Berry Brothers & Rudd, co-organiser of The Whisky Show Old & Rare festival, and member of Whisky Squad and Glasgow’s Whisky Club, Jonny has a passion for whisky which has put him in the highly enviable position of working in the area of his hobby.
A keen fan of sitting around and talking nonsense with other similarly-interested people, Jonny’s championed the idea of Dramboree and breathed life into it so that more fun can be had by all. And more whisky.
As the co-founder of London’s Whisky Squad, judge at the World Whiskies Awards, and regular fixture at whisky related stuff all over the UK & Europe, Jason has always been interested in finding more ways of getting people together to informally enjoy whisky: and what could prove finer than the chance to taste some great whisky, with great company, in summer, in Scotland?!
The Rest of the Crew
Dramborees didn’t run themselves so to help keep on top of things and keep everything going smoothly we also enlisted the help of some of our good whisky buddies, some of whose names are known about the district:
- Billy Abbott
- Joe Clark
- Lee Connor
- Tim Forbes
- Stefan Kah
- Angus Macraild
We really couldn’t have done it without some of them.