After Fèis Ìle 2014 I travelled straight down to Liverpool - do not pass go, do not collect any clean underwear - and jumped on the Steam Packet over to the Isle of Man for the famous TT motorcycle races!
These legendary road races date back 107 years and the lap record now stands at 17 minutes 6.682 seconds for 37.733 miles, set by Bruce Anstey this year. That's an average speed of 132.298 mph! On narrow roads with over 120 corners!!! What's any of this got to do with whisky though? Well, last year the Joey Dunlop Foundation released a special limited edition blended malt Scotch whisky, which they sourced with a little help from Ralfy off of ralfystuff, with all profits going to the charity.
This week on #MasterofCocktails we're making a lesser known cocktail – the 'Modern Cocktail No. 2', taken from the superb reference tome that is The Savoy Cocktail Book.
Now – it's worth remembering that Mr Harry Craddock, the author of this book, would have had access to very different ingredients to the ones we have today. For that reason, I've (hopefully lovingly) changed a few of the quantities and in one case omitted an ingredient. I'll explain as we go.
It’s fair to say that this project has been a while in the making*, but hopefully it’s been worth it. It’s a bit of a two-sided coin, this – one side of it is that there are 3 whiskies here that are utterly delicious and will be super-appealing to everyone. The other side is incredibly obsessive, probably super-geeky, and almost certainly not for everyone. If you’re still reading at this point, well done. You’ve passed the test, and you can be in our club.
I’ll explain the inspiration, before going into the mechanics and the way it’s going to unfold over the coming months and years. It’s a journey, and one which I hope you’ll all come on with us. Actually, I’ve just been sick in my mouth a bit because of how marketinggy that sounds. I’ll re-phrase. It’s a cool thing, and it will become cooler still over time. That.
On Monday night I attended a Burns Supper with a difference, courtesy of the Monkey Shoulder Social Club. There was haggis, of course, and Scotch whisky too, but rather than Scotland’s favourite son taking centre stage, the star of this particular show was one Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber Burns, Sr. Oh, yes.
Monkey Shoulder, as I'm sure many of you will know, is a fantastic blended malt from William Grant that's made with whiskies from their three Dufftown distilleries: Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie.
The theme for the evening had been hiding in plain sight for some time as guests entered to win tickets to ‘A Celebrations of Mr Burns’, accompanied by a picture of Rabbie in a pair of shades that had apparently been enough to throw many off the scent. Upon arrival at The Caledonian Club, everything seemed perfectly above board... although... did I spot Groundskeeper Willy on my way up the street?.. Probably nothing, let’s just enjoy this Monkey Shoulder whisky punch (created by Roman Foltan of the Artesian Bar) in the library and speak to a couple of these nice people from the ‘Dufftown Burns Appreciation Society’.
The 11th November 2013 will forever go down in the annals of history as 3D-Day, the day when the chaps off that there Caskstrength.net officially launched their fourth whisky bottling as well as a piece of cinema that may well prove to be the most significant televisual event since Quantum Leap, and I don't say that lightly.
‘A’ was for Arran, ‘B’ was for BenRiach and ‘C’ was for Cutty Sark. That leads us to ‘D’ in Neil and Joel’s epic A-Z series, and why have one ‘D’ when you can have 3? A tremendous blended malt constructed from the Diageo trio of Dailuaine, Dalwhinnie and Dufftown single malts was the result. It’s quite literally 3'D' malt whisky, and who doesn’t love a bit of 3D?
Like a striding colossus of the whisky industry powered by pure inspiration, awesomeness and zeitgeist*, That Boutique-y Whisky Company have brought you not one, but seven brand new releases, as well as a second batch of Aberlour.
Without any further ado: