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The Woodsman Blended Scotch Whisky, 70cl

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As an adult, John Dewar found employment as a Woodsman and a Sawyer. At one stage he was on the payroll of the Duke of Argyll’s Rosneath Estate, making, among other things, fence posts. His life changed drastically in 1859, when word reached him that J.F. Campbell of Islay was willing to pay money for good folk tales.

John Dewar was born in 1802 in the Gortan Estate on Loch Long, Argyll. Little is known of his upbringing or education but the Gaelic language was in common use in the area and John was a fluent speaker in both English and Gaelic. He grew up in a world where the oral tradition of storytelling was still strong. Indeed, it was one of the main forms of entertainment. The young Dewar was fascinated with such tales and thanks to an impressive memory, became a fine storyteller in his own right. Records the default button state of the corresponding category & the status of CCPA. It works only in coordination with the primary cookie.John scoffed at the idea but by 1862, his health had begun to fail him. Palpitations of the heart brought his ability for manual labour to a crushing halt. In his forced retirement, he decided to heed Campbell’s advice and travelled for more than a decade, meeting people and recording as many different stories as he could.

Not to worry. As a lover of Folk Tales and Celtic Mythology, I figured that their simply had to be something in the Gaelic traditions that related to a Woodsman of some sort. What I found instead was the story of a storyteller. A storyteller who was also a Woodsman. Thoughts: At least to begin with, the nose promises more than the palate can deliver. However, given time and a little splash of water, the dram opened up and improved. Some tinned pineapple started to come through and the mouthfeel seemed to loosen up. Where the whisky previously felt tense and restrained it now felt relaxed and flowed over the tongue. Water took it from disappointing to gently satisfying. A decent, if unspectacular, dram. Dewar was meticulous. He spoke with many storytellers, often recording several different versions of the same story before combining them to make the most complete, definitive version. Then he would carefully write it all out in Gaelic. Through his years of travelling, he amassed an incredible wealth of material; around a million and a quarter words spread throughout ten volumes.Full disclosure: this sample was included in an advent calendar that was sent to me free of charge. As always I will strive to give an honest opinion on the quality of the dram and the value for money it represents. This particular whisky is in many respects far superior to brands that have led the market for decades. Smell: Smells a bit like standing between a bakery and a carpenter’s workshop. Lots of wood and baking spices. Bread baking in the oven. Scones with cream and butter. Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Sawdust and pencil shavings. There’s also caramel and runny honey. Dried banana, coconut and hazelnut. A touch of apple and white grapes.

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