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Issue 101 - Scotland Magazine Loves

Scotland Magazine Issue 101
November 2018


Copyright Scotland Magazine © 1999-2018. All rights reserved. To use or reproduce part or all of this article please contact us for details of how you can do so legally.

Scotland Magazine Loves

Just a few of our favourite things


PRICE: £12 (CD) or £7 (Digital Download)

Free One is the much-anticipated debut album from the new band Kinnaris Quintet. All vigorous, driving, high-spirited musicians in their own right, Fiona MacAskill (fiddle), Laura Wilkie (fiddle), Aileen (Reid) Gobbi (five-string fiddle), Laura-Beth Salter (mandolin) and Jenn Butterworth (guitar) have all come together to form the brand-new quintet that is taking the Scottish traditional music scene by storm.

Since their debut performance at the end of 2017, an extraordinary hype has surrounded them - not only because of the calibre of musicians involved, all being well known and respected on the Scottish folk scene for their individual playing styles, but also down to the dynamic sound that emanates from their diverse musical backgrounds, influences and styles.

Each of the band members are highly accomplished players. With the accompaniment powerhouse that is Jenn Butterworth and Laura-Beth Salter, a duo in their own right, and three dynamic fiddle players, each with their own individual flair. Kinnaris Quintet have recorded Free One ‘as live’ in order to ensure that the musicality that is so apparent in their live performances is not lost in overproduction or their own over-analysis. It is well worth a listen!

@KinnarisQuintet | @Kinnaris5 |


PRICE: £122 (70cl bottle)

Though first established near Edderton, in the Scottish East Highlands, in 1790 by John Ross, Balblair has nevertheless remained relatively under the radar as a single malt throughout its long history. Still produced today using traditional methods and ‘hands-on’ distilling practices, Balblair single malt Scotch whisky has become known among real whisky connoisseurs as a bit of a hidden gem.

Usually, Balblair is released with a vintage year instead of an age statement, which means all whiskies used to create that batch were distilled and filled into cask in the year printed on the bottle. This allows one to track the course of Balblair’s history as its traditional style was refined over the decades.

The Balblair 1991 vintage (46% ABV, bottled 2018) has been blended using spirit matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and Spanish oak sherry butts, with the latter providing the prevailing character of the palate. The orchard fruit notes one expects from Balblair are complimented by luscious flavours of date, cherry, clove, and crème brûlée.

@Balblair | @BalblairWhisky |


PRICE: Copper Edition, £1,250 (limited to 250 copies)

Black Edition £450 (limited to 1,000 copies)

The brainchild of award-winning commercial photographer Jon Purcell, The Art In Whisky is a unique, handcrafted, limited-edition book that takes whisky lovers on a journey from grain to bottle and all points in between. Travelling from the rocky shores of Ireland to the windswept island of Islay, through the heartland of Scotland to the tropical heat of Taiwan, taking in the unique oak woodlands of Spain and finishing up in the forested foothills of Japan, The Art In Whisky provides a captivating and intimate view of the incredible world of whisky.

Without a doubt, it is the level of access afforded to Jon that makes this book so incredibly special; the cooperation from the distilleries allowed Jon to explore places that very few people ever get to see and has revealed elements of the whisky journey that many never knew existed. Made with a unique binding technique that allows every page to lay completely flat, making for a truly cinematic viewing experience, the lavish, hand-numbered volumes balance timeless photography with bold and luxurious contemporary design.

@TheArtInWhisky |


PRICE: From £300

A multiple award-winning creator of cutting-edge kilts, Siobhan Mackenzie is no stranger to innovative design. This time, however, she has created a bespoke kilt inspired by Caorunn Gin - the small batch, handcrafted gin that has its home in the heart of Speyside. Known for her extremely eye-catching, contemporary styles, Siobhan often highlights contrasts between multiple fabrics and colours, leading to unexpected style features. Chiming with her ethos, Mackenzie describes Caorunn as a particularly current brand underpinned by a strong sense of Scottish craft.

The unisex Caorunn kilt is formed of a staple black skirt replete with a swoosh of grey Caorunn tartan (which has been officially registered with the Scottish Tartan Authority) running through back pleats, finished with a touch of tartan on the waistband and fringe. "It can be taken from day to night in a heartbeat," says Mackenzie. "The daytime look may be teamed with a cashmere sweater, long riding boots and tights; for the evening, it can be paired with black heels and blouse." The menswear kilt, meanwhile, may be worn formally with a black or grey Argyll kilt jacket and waistcoat, with black kilt socks and shoes, or casually with boots and a polo shirt or sweater for a more relaxed look.

www.siobhanmackenzie.comc | @siobhanmackenziekilts | @caorunngin


PRICE: £135

Inspired by her own family history spanning England, Scotland and Ireland, London-based Laura-Marie Nixey created the 1834 bag with the aim of ‘giving the sporran a makeover’. This collection celebrates the Celtic spirit of this classic piece of Scottish military dress. Laura-Marie found a traditional leather-worker in the Scottish Highlands and every bag is painstakingly handcrafted with British leather, which takes time, precision and passion. From cutting and sewing the leather to hand-fitting more than 30 metal components and woollen fabric, the attention to detail is commendable. Made to complement the modern lifestyle, both men and women can wear the 1834 as a daytime cross-body, casually as an around-the-waist belt bag or more formally as an evening shoulder bag. We chose the 1834 bag in chestnut tan leather (pictured). However, many other styles are available in a variety of colours and materials including tartan cloth and hair-on hide, which offer a more traditional looks.

Recommended & modelled by @Cathistle_ of | @nixey_ltd | @Nixeyltd


PRICE: Dining only: £115 per person | Bedchambers for two including dinner and breakfast: £750 | Wine pairing supplement: £45

Some things really do have to be experienced to be believed. Borthwick Castle is one of them. No expense has been spared in restoring this battle-scarred, 15th-century keep to its former regal glory, with entirely bespoke interiors that transport guests back to its halcyon years, while delivering the utmost in modern luxury.

Though today an exclusive-use venue available for weddings and events, Borthwick Castle does open its doors for a seasonal dining club that offers the chance for visitors to relish in this unique historical environment that has no equal in the nation. Beginning with afternoon tea and, later, pre-dinner cocktails in the majestic State Room, one knows from the start that this will be a truly unforgettable evening.

Dining in the breathtaking Great Hall is an unadulterated joy that’s made all the more special by virtue of Roux-trained chef Derek Johnstone’s culinary talents. Showcasing the very best of Scottish seasonal produce over five courses, which are expertly paired with fine wines, Borthwick’s dining club has swiftly risen to become one of the country’s finest gastronomic experiences. Staying the night in one of the keep’s grand yet cosy rooms is recommended. It’s the details that make the difference: exquisite hand-carved beds, Burlington bathrooms and lavish bedding complement each of the unique bedchambers, while views from their narrow windows deliver unrivalled views of Midlothian.

The next morning, breakfast is served in the Great Hall and this final meal continues the exceptionally high standards set throughout what is arguably the finest Scottish luxury experience that money can buy.

Borthwick Castle, Midlothian, EH23 4QY +44 (0) 1875 820 514 @BorthwickCastle |


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