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Whisky loving musicians build world's first Scotch whisky cask bass drum

A pair of whisky-loving musicians have built the world's first bass drum made from an entire Scotch whisky cask. 

Published: September 11, 2019
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The Rhythm and Booze Project was set up by Felipe Schrieberg and Paul Archibald in 2018 to fuse their passion for music, performance, and whisky.

The pair collaborated with Islay’s iconic Lagavulin distillery and vintage drum specialist Majetone Industries to create a bass drum from a barrel originally used to mature Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Scotch whisky cask bass drum

The drum. Picture: R & B P

The cask, which would have contained American bourbon until it was shipped over to Islay shores, has been transformed into a Viennese timpani-style drum.

To showcase their creation, the band has released a video on its YouTube channel, chronicling the drum’s construction and showcasing its colossal sound with its cover version of John Lee Hooker’s classic blues tune ‘Boom Boom’.

“The idea for the drum began as a light-hearted chat that we didn’t think would actually happen, but when we asked Colin Gordon (Lagavulin’s distillery manager) about it, he was on board,” explained Felipe.

Paul described the drum, which is currently on display for all visitors to the Lagavulin distillery on Islay, as sounding like "thunder", adding that they were “We’re "delighted and proud" of the result, he said: “Our first visit together to Lagavulin in 2012 is one of our most memorable whisky experiences.

"Because of that trip, we now play at the distillery every year during the Feis Ile. This drum is the representation of that personal connection, our passion for Lagavulin, and for Scotch whisky in general.”

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Felipe and Paul. Picture: R & B P

The drum was created with the skins on either side of the drum stretched over the top of chime hoops, metal hoops normally used to help hold the cask together. The heads are then attached via a specially designed system of lugs, bolts, and hooks.

Paul said that by using the entire cask for the drum, its resonance is given "unbelievable depth", with the resulting sound loud, vibrant and deep - and unlike any other instrument of its kind.

Distillery Manager Colin Gordon said: “I have known the band for a few years and similar to myself they share a passion for great music and great whisky. Having played the drums since school, I was so excited when Felipe and Paul presented us with this idea.

"We quickly sourced the cask, which had previously held our iconic Islay whisky Lagavulin, and in a short space of time it was transformed into the bass drum. I was lucky enough to join the band at Feis Ile 2019 and play along on the drums using the new bass drum.

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"It was the perfect way to celebrate the building of the drum and we all agree that it is an excellent musical representation of our whisky, famous worldwide for its signature smoke and robust flavours.”

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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