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NEW: Master of Malt 10 Year Old Blended Whisky

by Jake Mountain     7. May 2014 11:52

Master of Malt 10 Year Old Blended Whisky

It’s all go over here at the moment and having recently launched the Reference Series, there is another exciting project or two just on the horizon, not to mention some much-anticipated new releases from That Boutique-y Whisky Company*. With all this going on it’s fallen to me to tell you a little about yet another exciting release – our shiny, new 10 year old blend!

Some people still get their knickers in a bit of a twist about blended whisky, persisting with some kind of Orwellian mantra of “single malt good, blended whisky bad”, but blends can be absolutely marvellous, and many are. Indeed, we’ve been encouraging you all to try your hand at creating your own with our Home Blending Kits and Blend Your Own Whisky service for a long time now, and I covered the subject on the blog last year when I had a go myself. (Don't worry, I had nothing to do with this new blend!)

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Will Grain Whisky be promoted to the Big League as David Beckham signs for Haig Club?

by Jake Mountain     30. April 2014 11:32

David Beckham

Ah, David Beckham. What a fine figure of a man. And now one who’s set to join the whisky industry as the face of Haig Club single grain whisky (from Cameronbridge distillery) as well as becoming actively involved in the marketing of the brand along with his manager Simon ‘Spice Girls’ Fuller. A couple of stories here then – massive celebrity endorsement of a Scotch whisky, and the planned launch of another single grain following William Grant & Sons’ Girvan Patent Still.

You may have seen the Girvan range launch at the end of last year – it’s the first single grain from William Grant, or the first official bottling from Girvan, or the first bottling “under the emblem” of the Girvan still... or something.

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The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso

by Jake Mountain     24. April 2014 16:22

The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso

The Glenlivet is one of most popular single malts in the world, selling around 11 million bottles a year (they’re second only to Glenfiddich in terms of overall sales) and is owned by Chivas Brothers (i.e. Pernod Ricard). It is perhaps because of these facts that Nàdurra was such a welcome addition back in 2006 – here was a very big player willing to extoll the virtues of bottling whisky at cask strength without using chill filtration, or adding caramel (Nàdurra being the Gaelic for ‘natural’). It was also (and still is) matured exclusively in first-fill Bourbon barrels, with the batch number displayed on the bottle. The fact that it was/is a great whisky helped too, of course.

Fast forward to 2014 and The Glenlivet are giving the Nàdurra range a bit of a shake up with new permanent editions. Why only release a bourbon cask edition when they’re filling spirit into other cask types? And so, last night, I came to be in front of a glass of The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso, matured exclusively in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks from Jerez. This first batch is bottled at 48% and will be available exclusively in travel retail (just as the first ever Nàdurra was back in 2005), but the real cask strength deal should be available around September/October time. Suffice to say we’ll be stocking it as soon as we can! Excluding the Rare Single Cask Editions (which were second-fill), this will be the first exclusively Sherry cask matured Glenlivet “in living memory”. And it’s a Nàdurra. If you’re thinking “that’s pretty fucking cool” right about now, then you, Sir, are correct.

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The Singleton Whisky Night Market with Tailfire and Sunray

by Jake Mountain     16. April 2014 13:38

Singleton Tailfire and Sunray

The Singleton of Dufftown recently launched two new NAS expressions. You may have seen them, they’re the ones named after hot rod car paints fishing flies (in keeping with the Singleton logo): Tailfire and Sunray. The colours correspond to the flavour profiles of the whiskies, which makes it a little easier for folk who may otherwise find choosing from a shelf of single malts a daunting proposition.

The new releases are set to be celebrated at The Singleton Whisky Night Market on Thursday May 15th (18:30-22:30) down at Southbank, where they will be paired with specially made chocolates (Cocomaya), cheeses (Pong), and whisky marshmallows (The Marshmallowists) alongside theatrical presentations (no doubt involving the one and only Colin Dunn), comedy (Tom Sandham* off of Thinking Drinkers), some top grub (Forza Win and Mark Hix) and whisky cocktails from the excellent Andrea Montague (of Callooh Callay fame, now Diageo’s in-house ‘malt mixologist’).

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Gin, Sin & 5 Soaking Barrels!

by Jake Mountain     19. March 2014 11:00

Gin, Sin & 5 Soaking Barrels

On 16th March five top London bartenders faced off in a fantastic cask-aged gin cocktail competition, which may also have been the best named event of all time!

Maverick Drinks had armed each bartender with a different gin that had been aged or rested in casks, all from their awesome portfolio. Following a preview tasting where this fascinating crossover category was discussed, it was time for the #ginsin main event held at Megaro Bar. The winner would be chosen by 7 'tasters' (they're the fun version of judges) and would subsequently win the opportunity to create their very own cask-aged gin, which will have their name and even their face on it if they really want. (The latter, it was said at the time, may actually depend on who wins...) There should also soon be a Gin, Sin & 5 Soaking Barrels Tasting Set from Drinks by the Dram we hear, so you'll be able to sample all of these eminently mixable aged gins for yourself...

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Caption Contest #5 - Win an Irish Whiskey Tasting Set!

by Jake Mountain     12. March 2014 10:56

St. Patrick's Day

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we're giving away THREE of the fantastic Irish Whiskey Tasting Sets from Drinks by the Dram!

As with our Clynelish competition last year, to receive full marks we'd like you to actually add your caption to the image below in an internet meme style and then Post it on our Facebook Page. If you google "meme generator" there are plenty of sites that'll do the technical bit for you, so you don't have to be a whizz on Photoshop or anything, just a whizz at captioning things!

Enter by 3pm on Friday 14th March to be in with a chance of winning, then we'll select our 3 favourites to each win a set. So, all you have to do now is decide what Sam's been getting up to lately. Over to you...

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Ballantine's Brasil!

by Jake Mountain     11. March 2014 11:00

Ballantine's Brasil

You put the lime in the Ballantine’s, you drink 'em both together,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, then you feel better,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, drink 'em both up,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, and call me in the morning…

Flavoured whisky, eh? Obviously not that though. What I should say, of course, is flavoured whisky liqueurs and whisky-based spirit drinks, eh? This one’s a little different to many, however. First of all, it’s not honey flavoured (or even cherry flavoured). Secondly, it’s essentially made by actually steeping lime peel in Scotch whisky, in the cask.

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Amazon Payments - Win Your Shopping!

by Jake Mountain     27. February 2014 12:54

Amazon Payments logo

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!

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Irish Whiskey - Everything You Need To Know! (Part 3)

by Jake Mountain     14. February 2014 12:00

Ireland

Blimey, it's Friday already! A Valentine's Day Friday, no less! Well, today we only have eyes for delicious Irish Whiskey as we move onto the third and final instalment of this bumper blog post.

Back at the start of Part 1, I mentioned Teeling Whiskey Company's recently confirmed plans to build a new distillery in Dublin, the first in 125 years. This post will cover this and many other projects that could see the number of distilleries in Ireland double, treble, or perhaps even quadruple!

First though, I'll try to briefly run through some other news and developments, starting with the fact that in 2011 Beam Inc. bought Cooley, introducing another big player alongside the giants of Pernod Ricard and Diageo and leaving Ireland without an independent distillery once again (albeit briefly...).

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Irish Whiskey - Everything You Need To Know! (Part 2)

by Jake Mountain     13. February 2014 12:00

Ireland

Yesterday, I began my serialised guide to Irish Whiskey with a rundown of its turbulent history through some difficult times, becoming the most popular spirit in the world before nearly disappearing altogether in the 20th century! Fortunately, it has been on a road to recovery in the last few decades and is now thriving.

Despite this resurgence, which has made Irish Whisky the fastest growing drinks category in the world, Scotch whisky still comfortably sells 15 times more cases worldwide, and has about as many times more active distilleries too. With Scotch whisky's dominance since the 1930s, there's perhaps understandably still some confusion, even amongst whisk(e)y enthusiasts, surrounding the styles of Irish whiskey available.

Fret not, however! In this second instalment I'll be looking at each style in turn, complete with a number of yummy examples of each!

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