A Day With Ardray
On a gorgeous June day in Edinburgh, we met with Ardray brand ambassador Stephanie Peck and Chief Blender Calum Fraser to ask them some questions about their new creation. If you haven't heard, Ardray is an elegant reimagining of blended whisky made with the finest Scotch from every corner of Scotland.
Together with the acclaimed Suntory blending team in Japan, Calum Fraser worked for two years to find the perfect balance of the fine whiskies chosen. Stephanie Peck is the one tasked with telling the story of Ardray, from their Japanese inspirations, to their fresh take on blended whisky, to their representation of the Scottish terroir.
Endlessly intriguing, Ardray brought to mind many a question. We compiled the most pressing ones, and then Luke Crowley-Holland (our W Club Manager) made his podcast host debut by interviewing our guests on camera. This is to be our first W Club Decanted podcast, with this episode being called The W Club Meets... Ardray. We also had Declan Corcoran behind the camera, and Charlotte Whitenstall (myself) as a production assistant.
Our rendezvous location was our beautiful new Multrees Walk store, where our interviewees saw their whisky on the shelves for the very first time. Each one glowed under the new table lights, highlighting the specially made bottle with indents that reflects the rugged nature of Scottish topography.
We then moved on to Scotch whisky bar at The Balmoral hotel. With over 500 unique varieties of Scotch whisky within the bar’s hand-crafted, oak-panelled whisky cabinet, the room is truly a sight to behold for any whisky fan. As you enter, you are greeted by around two dozen rare Macallan's above the doorway, all encased under lock and key for the hotel guests that they belong to. It's a quiet little nook, with windows facing the hustle and bustle of Princes Street - a sanctuary of whisky where you can watch the world go by. Of course, I resolved to come back another time as I wasn't drinking on the job - or at 11am for that matter!
It was then time for the interview itself. More of a conversation about Ardray, Luke did a superb job as host and we learned lots of new info about what went into making the expression. We finished by having a small taste of the star of the moment. I left excited to get my bottle, and to share with my friends who are partial to a dram, and also the ones who usually aren't. Ardray is a very quaffable dram, perfect for those new to whisky, but also for those willing to challenge their expectations and unpack the layers of flavour that it has to offer.