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However, I'm sure you'll agree it was worth waiting for - I'm delighted with the issue; great articles, fantastic photography and interesting tastings. What more do you want?
With regard to Huurman's copies being regularly behind publication date, we are looking at our entire overseas distribution system and are endeavouring to improve it.
Sorry about any inconvenience the delay may have caused you...
Thanks for the response. You were right Issue 17 is very good !!
If we could be kept informed via these pages of publishing dates / delays it would 'keep the punters happy' I believe. The delay itself was not so much the issue - it was the lack of information from WM that was.
As for the question 'What more do you want?' - a bottle of Lagavulin for every reader with Issue 18 sounds appealing !!!!!
Keep up the excellent work.
Monks? Heather ale? Not so - anyone can check with the Scottish Catholic Archives. The monastery was a couple of miles away.
A strath is Gaelic meaning a river? Not true - a Gaelic-English dictionary will confirm. A strath is a valley.
Fons Bulliens? It's the Broomhill Spring! Unsurprisingly, the people in Keith don't speak Latin. An old Ordnance Survey map will confirm the name Broomhill Spring - as will Alfred Barnard's guide, published in 1886. The name "Fons Bulliens" was invented by a Chivas employee in 1986.
Strathisla has only stopped distiling once, during WW2? Not so - it ceased distilling at least once during Napoleonic Wars (there were several bans on distilling in the late 19th and early 20th century). Strathisla was certainly not distilling in 1819, according to government records.
And there's more - but this is probably boring the pants off most people already.
I like the Lagavulin idea. But it might be quite a tricky one to pull off.
Ah, Strathisla. The myth, history and mystery of whisky...
None of the assertions in David Stirk's piece are entirely original. He used several different research sources. May the debate continue.
In response to your criticism of my article:
"Great articles indeed - except for all the untrue stuff on Strathisla.
Monks? Heather ale? Not so - anyone can check with the Scottish Catholic Archives. The monastery was a couple of miles away."
I didn't write the above.
"A strath is Gaelic meaning a river? Not true - a Gaelic-English dictionary will confirm. A strath is a valley."
"Fons Bulliens? It's the Broomhill Spring! Unsurprisingly, the people in Keith don't speak Latin. An old Ordnance Survey map will confirm the name Broomhill Spring - as will Alfred Barnard's guide, published in 1886. The name "Fons Bulliens" was invented by a Chivas employee in 1986."
The Fons Bulliens was not invented by a Chivas employee as it was documented some 400 years earlier. It is not relevant what the original name of the spring was only the name that it is known by now - otherwise Strathisla would still be called Milton Distillery.
"Strathisla has only stopped distiling once, during WW2? Not so - it ceased distilling at least once during Napoleonic Wars (there were several bans on distilling in the late 19th and early 20th century). Strathisla was certainly not distilling in 1819, according to government records."
This is an error in my wording. I meant to say that Strathisla has had a near faultless distilling period other than WW2 and since its legalisation in 1824.
"And there's more - but this is probably boring the pants off most people already."
I would like to know the rest Ian. I used several sources in the preparation of this article - almost exhaustive sources (short of getting out government documents)and I would like to know what facts are printed incorrect.
[This message has been edited by Davids (edited 18 June 2001).]
Nothing wrong with myth and mystery, so long as it is not presented as fact.
The quote was that the well "had been previously used by monks, the previous occupants of the land on which the distillery stands." But librarians and archivists tell me they can find no no record monks ever lived at the Strathisla site. There was a castle nearby (the ruins of Milton Tower still stand), but no monastery.
Re Fons Bulliens - I confess to anorak tendancies. I have searched the Seafield Estate papers in search of the name. I found 16th century papers that refer to a spring or well on the site, but it is not named. If you have a reference, I'd be grateful to receive it. But the earliest reference I have found to "Fons Bulliens" is in a history of Strathisla produced by Seagram in 1986. Which is also the earliest reference I have seen to monks living at Strathisla, and which appears to be a highly unreliable source.
I'll take your word on Bowmore, but I don't believe that Littlemill or Glenturret is older than Strathisla (founded in 1785 or 1786). The earliest historical record of distilleries at L and G are from the 1800s.
"After George Taylor's death, the distillery went into the ownership of Mr William Longmore..." Well, eventually. Taylor died 1816. A list of distilleries working 1816-19 compiled by the Scottish Excise Board does not contain the name of Milton/Strathisla. It seems to have remained shut for several years. In 1826 it was reopened by MacDonald Ingram & Co, a firm composed of a coppersmith and other local tradesmen. That business finally went bust in 1829, and Longmore boutght the distillery in 1830.
Distilling from corn was banned in Scotland in 1795, 1801, 1809 and 1813. I can't see 1824 as a date of any significance in the history of Strathisla.
I agree Strathisla is a wonderful place, and I really enjoy the product. The distillery was run as a local, old-fashioned business, with many local people as shareholders. Records show it supplied a great deal of its new make to publicans and shopkeepers in the area, to sell as single malt. From the 1920s until the early 1940s, the stuff was even bottled as a single malt on site.
An interesting coincidence - One of the men named in the Inland Revenue's investigation into the events at Strathisla in 1944 was Samuel Rosenbloom, who admitted receiving arrangement fees as part of the complicated deals involved, and who was suspected by Inland Revenue commissioners to have received 3,000 gallons of whisky too. Mr Rosenbloom also went by the name of Campbell, and was the founder of the company which became known as Campbell Distillers - now the Scotch whisky subsidiary of Pernod, which is set to become the new owner of Strathisla.
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