As I’m sure you all remember, about 3 months ago I told you all how to make beautiful clear ice for your cocktails.
Today, I’m going to show you an easier way. You know how much we all like things that are easy, right?
It started when a chap called Dan Skinner* posted an innocent comment at the end of the post mentioned above, saying that there were some guys in the USA making directional freezing equipment.
So – it's that time of year again.
Last week, we attended the Whisky Magazine World Whiskies Awards (and Icons of Whisky), and came away with a slew of trophies and awards to show for another year's hard work.
First things first – we're absolutely delighted to announce that we've retained our crown as 'World's Best Online Whisky Retailer' for the third year on the trot. An absolutely fabulous achievement which we're immensely proud of. We've said this before (and will keep on shouting it from the rooftops) but our site remains the only purpose-built online whisky shop coded from the ground up. It took an extraordinary amount of effort to build something that wasn't based on a standard e-commerce platform, and we're all hugely proud of the software stack we've built.
Good news, interweb users! Your favourite online spirits retailer Master of Malt now accepts Amazon payments!
Simply select “Pay with Amazon” at the checkout, enter your Amazon password when prompted, and you’ll find both your Amazon Address Book and any Cards you've stored with them available to use on the next page. No need to enter those details every time you visit the site anymore! Huzzah!
Townspeople – I bear exciting and groundbreaking whisky news.
It’s not often we see the launch of a new malt whisky distillery, what with the tremendous setup and operational costs, and the sheer difficulty of actually doing the thing, but, as of yesterday, it was announced that there will be a new distillery on the Isle of Skye, named Torabhaig.
Glenmorangie’s Private Edition range really took the spotlight this year when Jim Murray named the 19 year old, Ealanta, World Whisky of the Year 2014. Jim claimed Ealanta stole the show “because it went out and did something very different: not only did it blow [him] away with its deftness, beauty and elegance, but it gave an aroma and taste profile completely new to [him] in over 30 years of tasting whisky”. High praise indeed.
Soon after, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Dr Bill Lumsden, faced the unenviable challenge of creating a follow-up. After such a coveted title, any successor malt would surely pale in comparison, or at least one might think. We were expecting intensity of flavour, perhaps a big dose of sherry this time? Well, rather that playing it safe, Bill took the somewhat risky decision of releasing a red wine finish – something we’ve seen a lot of over the years, but very rarely done well. In fact, put bluntly, most of the time red wine ruins whisky. I won’t name names*, but we’ve all had an “experimental” whisky buggered up by overdosing with wine casks that have perhaps unnecessary pedigree (aside from marketing purposes, why anyone feels the need to finish in First Growth casks is beyond my understanding!). So – how would Bill’s latest fare?
42. I’ll save you the trouble of counting.
Turns out that it’s not only the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything, but is also the number of releases from That Boutique-y Whisky Company to date.
I’m pleased to say that numbers 39-42 are as fabulous as those that preceded them, and am delighted to reveal that we’ve got yet another 4 releases to come before the end of the year (including time-travelling barmen, and an absolute belter of an Islay that’s something of an exclusive).
Back at the end of May, just before all the busyness and rushing about, Ben and I attended a very special event, which I was no doubt supposed to write about back then. Drawing attention to the fact that I didn’t is probably a terrible decision, but the people must still know, damn it!
The time has come for you to learn all about this: Glenfarclas & Hine 1953 – Auld Alliance.
The second World Whisky Day™, organised by Aberdeen University student Blair Bowman, is just around the corner. A new date of Saturday 18th May has been chosen for this year’s celebrations, a date that Blair hopes one day could even become a national holiday in Scotland.
And…we’re back! That’s right folks, we’re now shipping to the USA again! It was scary there for a moment, but this brave little eagle has personally agreed to fly all of your packages across the Atlantic ocean for just a few kippers a day!
I like the Langham Hotel.
I like the Landau restaurant within the Langham Hotel, recently taken over by Albert and Michel Roux Jr. especially as there's a lunch menu which will allow you change from £80 for two people… We'll get onto the whisky in a bit. Patience.
I *really* like the hotel's bar – Artesian, the meeting place for the launch of Glenmorangie's newest addition to their Private Collection. Ealanta. In the last couple of years Artesian has come on leaps and bounds under the supremely competent stewardship of Head Bartender Alex Kratena.
It's possible to get one of the best Martinis in London at the bar in Artesian—The Langham Martini (and for almost £20 including service, it wants to be) and on Wednesday evening I did just that.