Turntable – flipping the record on ordinary whisky blending

Glasgow-based brothers Alasdair and Gordon Stevenson are on a mission to disrupt the whisky industry status quo – starting with this week’s launch of the first three of their new ‘Turntable’ range of whisky blends.

Both Gordon and Ally have worked in whisky for decades, and created Turntable in an effort to bring something ‘genuinely fresh’ to the industry. It has been a project many years in the making, with the pair having put wood management at the top of their agenda, sourcing ‘exceptional’ casks from around the world to run a sizeable rerack programme and develop the quality of their stock.

The first liquid results of all that preparation were unveiled this week, alongside the marque’s distinctive look and music-related aesthetic, with three limited edition bottlings each named after a classic rock track.

A song from fellow Glaswegians Biffy Clyro – ‘Joy. Discovery. Invention’ – gave the name to Turntable’s ‘Track 01’. In common with all their blends, the brothers are aiming for total transparency of the contributing malts – in Track 01’s case, that is 17% Knockdhu from a chinquapin barrel, 40% Linkwood from a virgin oak barrel, 24% Girvan ex red wine barrel, and 19% Strathcylde ex cognac barrel.

Turntable Track 02 has been christened ‘Firestarter’, after The Prodigy hit, and brings the smoke with 40% Caol Ila virgin oak barrel, 23% Cameronbridge virgin oak barrel, 22% Benrinnes chinquapin barrel, and 15% Invergordon Virgin Oak Barrel.

Track 03 invokes Jimmy Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’, going dark with 42% Craigellachie Oloroso sherry butt, 44% Balmenach Pedro Ximinez sherry puncheon, and 14% Invergordon ex sherry barrel.

Each of these has been left to marry for a minimum of three months before bottling, and all are non-chill-filtered, natural colour, and 46% ABV in strength. This introductory offer out of the way, Turntable’s core range will debut later this year.

“Gordon and I have been fortunate enough to travel the world with whisky,” said Ally, “and a real frustration of ours in recent years has been the global perception of blended whisky – the widespread opinion that single malt is where the quality lies, and blends are volume brands. Why does that need to be the case?

“Blending opens endless opportunities for innovation and flavour development,” he insisted. “We started Turntable with the belief that we could combine the best of both worlds – the attention to detail, transparency and provenance of single malts, and the scope of creativity and flavour development within blends. With Turntable we aim to flip the record on ordinary and create something truly special.”

The Turntable 2023 releases are limited globally to circa 1500 bottles of each Track and are available to purchase from specialist retailers and online with an RRP of £70.