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Michael Owen Signs for SPEY Whisky

by Jake Mountain     29. July 2014 13:19

SPEY Whisky Michael Owen

We're a little late to this one (busy 'n' that), but yet another footballm'n has in fact entered the whisky world. Following Haig Club's signing of 'Sir' David Beckham, SPEY have now snapped up his old England team-mate Michael Owen! (Meanwhile, Sven has wine covered - surely it's only a matter of time before we're hit with a Rio Ferdinand Cognac...)

I'll cover the interesting history of SPEY whisky below, but first allow this to sink in for a second: Michael Owen is the Global Brand Ambassador for a single malt Scotch whisky.

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WIN a Chivas Regal Cocktail Set as The Chivas Master is announced!

by Jake Mountain     17. July 2014 11:00

Chivas Cocktail Masters

Tuesday night saw the first ever Chivas Master announced in New York following the conclusion of The Chivas Masters global final. You can read all about the UK leg of the competition here, with Hawksmoor's Ali Reynolds coming through the heats and a fantastic UK final to take his place in the international showdown of Chivas Regal's first ever global cocktail competition!

Before we tell you who won the big prize though, here's your chance for your very own whisky cocktail win: We're giving away this rather handsome Chivas Masters Cocktail Set to one of you lovely folk. Keep reading to find out how you could get your hands on this cheeky little prize, including a full 70cl bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, a stylish Cocktail Shaker and Bar Spoon, plus Recipes for 4 classic cocktails (one from each 'age')!

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Can't Stomach The Football? It's the World Cup Final of Digestifs!

by Jake Mountain     11. July 2014 16:25

World Cup Fional Germany Argentina Digestifs

I've done quite well at not boring "the crap out of you" about this "kickball tourney" as Ben suggested I would, haven't I? I've not done quite so well at keeping those who do have some interest "entertained" though. So, without going too far off the topic of drinks (I don't think...) I bring to you: The World Cup Final of Digestifs!!!

There is some logic to this, I promise.

Argentina, you see, have reached the World Cup final for the first time since Italia '90 (which is quite apt, as you'll see in a sec) so Sunday's match is going to be quite the event for La Albiceleste. And no Argentinian event is complete without fernet!

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Kininvie Single Malts. They're Coming.

by Jake Mountain     4. July 2014 09:00

Kininvie Single Malt Whisky

Back in October we heard that there was to be an exciting, new, secret product from William Grant & Sons and our thoughts immediately turned to a long-anticipated Kininvie single malt release. On that occasion we quickly realised that the imminent launch was in fact for Girvan single grain, but not this time folks. This time it’s the real malty deal!

Kininvie has been William Grant's slightly mysterious, almost secret distillery for almost 24 years now, and I'm sure Brian Kinsman has lost count of the times people have asked him whether they'll ever release an official Kininvie single malt. Well last year they did just that - with an exclusive release in one country - and now it's the rest of the world's turn...

If you’ve ever visited Balvenie, then you may well have seen Kininvie distillery, it’s that corrugated iron shed in its more famous brother’s back garden.

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Highland Park Dark Origins

by Jake Mountain     2. July 2014 10:04

Highland Park Dark Origins

When we received an invite to the launch of a new core Highland Park expression, we were naturally quite excited. The invite said that we were to be taken into the darkness for a whisky “dark by nature and character”. Having recently released our own Darkness! range we had a pretty good idea what this meant. (Hint: yummy Sherry!)

What amused us about the invite, however, was that there was a hooded chap printed in the background that looked suspiciously like the protagonist from the ’90s computer game ‘Thief: The Dark Project’ (emphasis added). Apparently it’s actually supposed to be Magnus Eunson, the butcher/church official by day, legendary whisky smuggler/illicit distiller by night of Highland Park foundation myth (dating back to 1798). Indeed, whilst other whiskies may have adopted the dark, we’re told that the Orkney single malt was very much born in it. BaneCat would be suitably impressed.

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Limited Edition Joey Dunlop Charity Whisky from the Isle of Man TT

by Jake Mountain     20. June 2014 17:01

Joey Dunlop Foundation Whisky

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.

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The Affinity Cocktail & Handmade Cocktail Company 2014 Releases

by Jake Mountain     18. June 2014 14:19

The Affinity Cocktail

Cocktails galore! Not just on the blog though – these ones below will come right to your door. Not only are we bringing you Bramble Bar’s signature Affinity Cocktail as of today, but we also recently launched the 2014 vintage releases from The Handmade Cocktail Company. The latter including new additions as well as totally re-specced versions that have been improved significantly with even finer ingredients (no mean feat). These are exciting, tasty times, my friends.

First things first – Bramble Bar in Edinburgh. It’s awesome. For a while now they’ve been creating barrel-aged and bottle-aged Affinity Cocktails, which they serve at the bar in individual bottles for you to pour out yourself. (They’re pre-chilled and don’t require dilution.) We’re rather partial to a couple whenever we visit - it’s a perfect mix of Speyside single malt whisky and top quality vermouths (technically a red quinquina and a dry vermouth).

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Ardbeg Day

by Jake Mountain     1. June 2014 16:38

Tales From The Isle Ardbeg Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this final issue of Tales From The Isle everybody was very much in the mood for the upcoming football extravaganza. You must know about the huge sports competition that's now upon us and that everybody has been talking about all around the world - that's right, it's the The Ultimate Ardbeg Distillery Swamp Football Tournament!

Ardbeg Day is celebrated all over the world, not least at the distillery on Islay as part of Fèis Ìle. It's also fair to say that when Ardbeg do something, they do it properly, so there's an awful lot to tell you about here. I'd packed my yellow and blue havaianas and a Brazuca football, but there's always still time for a beastie or two as well...

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Bunnahabhain Day

by Jake Mountain     31. May 2014 11:04

Tales From The Isle Bunnahabhain Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

Today we travelled as far north as most ever venture on Islay. In this issue of Tales From The Isle I'll be telling you why we've made this arduous journey as well as sharing the tale (tail?) of the giant fire-breathing lizard of Islay. That's right, the isle was supposedly once home to a formidable and terrifying dragon! Fear not though, as in Game of Thrones, they say all the dragons have now been dead for centuries...

Herein we'll also be taking a look at Bunnhabhain's two Fèis Ìle bottlings and events as they unfolded throughout the day. The reason we were at this particular distillery though was the same reason as all those who take the long road north. We were there to take the black...

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Kilchoman & Jura Day

by Jake Mountain     30. May 2014 08:09

Tales From The Isle Kilchoman Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this special issue of Tales From The Isle - available with a choice of two covers - we visit both Kilchoman and Jura distilleries! Which cover will you choose? The Kill-choman option, which can be found to the right here (click on it to enlarge… if you dare…) features an ordinary farm scene (from films). After all, all sorts of exciting, terrifying, and actually quite horrendous and messed up stuff always happens on farms (in films). That's why I never stay overnight at a farm unless I've personally witnessed the one, single chainsaw that can always be found on a farm (in films) being grafted onto Bruce Campbell's arm well before bedtime.

The Jura cover, meanwhile... Well that comes from a chilling personal experience...

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