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Maltstock 2011 – A review

by Ben Ellefsen     16. September 2011 16:00
Maltstock

It’s official – Maltstock is Awesome.

 

I mean, last year’s event was really, really good, but this year it kicked up a gear in every conceivable way. Having sung the praises of the event to Neil from Caskstrength, we decided to go to the event together, and resolved to deliver a masterclass on some of our favourite whiskies from closed distilleries.

 

Having set off for the drive from Tunbridge Wells to Dover in ‘plenty of time’, we managed to miss the ferry like a complete pair of rejects (well, one reject, and an immaculately dressed man in Crepe Soled Shoes at any rate). Having secured passage on the next available ferry, we settled in at Dover for the wait. After what seemed like an eternity, our Ferry arrived, and we boarded. After ascertaining that there was nothing of interest in the Duty Free Shop, we repaired to shoot Zombies (we couldn’t find a ‘boy in care’ to help us out, and were consequently killed reasonably soon). More...

The Bushmills Nectarine Sour – Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

by Ben Ellefsen     1. September 2011 16:54

I’ve long held up Bushmills 10yo as one of my all-time favourite Irish Whiskeys, predominantly because it has such an incredibly clear and obvious flavour component within it, that of Nectarine.

In fact, I can be more specific than that. It’s the taste of the little pieces of Nectarine that are present in yoghurt. I can go further than that, too if you like – it was the standard range of Safeways (before they got eaten by Morrisons) yoghurts available in the late 1980s. Only available as a 4-pack with Strawberry, Peach Melba, and Vanilla I believe (seriously - who eats vanilla yoghurt?). More...

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Categories : Cocktails | Whisky


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Maltstock 2011 is coming!

by Ben Ellefsen     30. August 2011 12:32

As many of you will remember, a Master of Malt contingent attended last year’s Maltstock event, and had an absolute whale of a time – read all about it here...

The Maltstock Sharing Table

Maltstock is coming again, and in under 2 weeks’ time, I’ll be making my way over there with the irrepressible Neil Ridley (from off of that there www.caskstrength.net), a car full of Master of Malt goodies, my responsible drinking boots, and my iPhone charger. Must take the iPhone charger (I figure if I keep writing it, there’s at least a 50% chance I’ll actually remember this time). More...

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Categories : Whisky | News


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Bushmills Whiskey Trip: Day Two

by Ben Ellefsen     18. August 2011 10:36
Make It 2 Bushmills

Yes, Day two of the Make it 2 Bushmills competition started early. Very early indeed.

As we prepared to roll out to the first event of the day (barrel rolling. See. Told you the jokes would get better) I had a chance to reflect on the competitors, all of whom I had a proper chat to last night, and am once again amazed at how all whisk(e)y competition winners seem to turn out to be the kind of people you'd be delighted to go out for a drink with socially. More...

Bushmills Whiskey Trip: Day One

by Ben Ellefsen     17. August 2011 10:28
Make It 2 Bushmills

So after a slightly shaky start this morning (you may have guessed that the pristine looking cup of coffee posted on the blog this morning was put there merely to taunt me by Mike, our online editor) I arrived in Ireland to be greeted by a charming young PR lady and a driver to make the short hop over from Belfast to Bushmills.

On arriving at the (absolutely beautiful and highly recommended) Bushmills Inn hotel, we had a light lunch and were whisked away to the distillery for a tour. More...

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Categories : Whisky | News


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Bushmills Whiskey Trip: Day Zero

by Ben Ellefsen     16. August 2011 09:43
Make It 2 Bushmills

Wouldn't usually write a blog post before I've been on a trip - sort of defeats the point really, but as I'm sat here in the departure lounge having legged it all the way to the gate (for reference, most people would probably interpret 'gate closing' as 'gate closing', and not 'nothing at all happening at gate except angry people sitting around wishing they'd had time to get a decent coffee from Costa'), I thought I'd pen a few lines on what the next dew days is all about. More...

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Categories : News | Whisky


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New Product entitled… erm… “Brown Drink”

by Ben Ellefsen     3. August 2011 15:43

browndrinkthumb

So – we’ve been doing our Drinks by the Dram whisky sample service for almost a year now, and in that time have decanted ‘loads’ of 700ml bottles into 30ml samples.
 
700 divided by 30 is 690, so even if one is slightly generous with the 30ml measure, there’s still going to be a little drop or two left over.
 
My original plan (and I thought it was a darned good one) was to save all of this up, and make some awesome cocktails at the staff Christmas party, or maybe do something at the directors’ joint birthday party, but it turns out that “a little drop or two” multiplied by “loads” is about 37 full-sized bottles-worth.
 
Even we aren’t that thirsty. More...

Guess that Booze!

by Ben Ellefsen     26. July 2011 11:41

Okay then – new competition / announcement / sort of thing…

guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze guessbooze

If I told you that these images represented the ingredients of a brand new concoction we’re currently putting together, would you think: More...

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Categories : News | Competitions


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Bar Review – Purl

by Ben Ellefsen     19. July 2011 17:28

Astonishing.

It’s an easy term to bandy around (and god knows I’m possibly more guilty of doing so than most), but from time to time, one is simply so taken aback that the term “astonishing” is really all that fits the bill. I found myself using that particular word on approximately a dozen occasions, when my good lady wife and I visited Purl earlier this year.

Just as it is usually possible to accurately assess the competence of a curry house by ordering a simple Madras, the ‘control’ drink in any half-decent cocktail bar, for me, is a martini cocktail. Good glassware – points; correctly chilled glass – yet more points; really, really good Sicilian lemons for the twist, many points. If, however, as in the case of one restaurant recently visited who shall remain nameless – you serve it in a chipped glass, complete with crushed ice, and a slice of lemon, you’re scoring very low indeed. More...

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Categories : Whisky | News | Cocktails


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A brief Islay interlude – the new world’s most expensive whisky

by Ben Ellefsen     31. May 2011 16:44

Crikey, a lot happens whilst you’re away for a few days doesn’t it? Turn your back, and all of a sudden the recent uber-releases from Dalmore, Macallan, and Aisla T’Orten ain’t no thang – it’s all about the Isabella’s Islay… Released a week or so ago, this extraordinary piece of work is being billed as the world’s most expensive whisky, at $6,200,000: More...

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Categories : Rum | Whisky


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