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Master of Malt win ‘Online Retailer of the Year’ at the World Whiskies Awards 2012

by Ben Ellefsen     2. April 2012 11:44

Well - last week was quite a week. Further to staying up unfeasibly late on Tuesday drinking Hot chocolate and Lemonade into the wee hours with the lovely folk at Glenfarclas and Pol Roger, I was invited to judge the World Whiskies Awards on the Wednesday evening (an amazing showing all round, the results of which can be found here). .

Following that, I was up bright and early (ish) to present at the World Whiskies Conference on Thursday afternoon (I didn’t say any rude words during the course of my speech. I am proud of this).

After the world whiskies conference was the World Whiskies Awards, whereupon myself and another couple of directors were left at a table, unsupervised by any kind of grown-ups, in the presence of a bottle of Kavalan Solist, and a Batch 30 bottle of Aberlour a’Bunadh. More...

New expression - The Famous Goose

by Ben Ellefsen     1. April 2012 00:01

A rather interesting package came in the post yesterday.

Now, we've seen several new expressions from The Famous Grouse in recent years - from the rather deliciously smoky Black Grouse, to the silky smooth grain whisky, the Snow Grouse and more recently the unbelievably popular Naked Grouse, which also won a prestigious world whiskies design award for the really rather beautiful bottle.

This, however, is the first time that another avian has been brought into the flock (sorry). More...

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Monkey Shoulder, Callooh Callay, and other abject nonsense

by Ben Ellefsen     7. February 2012 14:12

Monkey Shoulder Bar

It really only struck me as I was trying to explain to a (non-whisky-loving) friend the weekend after this event that I was, to all intents and purposes talking in tongues. “Oh yes – well earlier in the week, I went to a Monkey Shoulder event at Callooh Callay” could just as easily have been “Oh yes – well earlier in the week, I went to a Badger Scapula event at Lorks a Lawdy”. Nonsense. Just nonsense.


Anyway – muggle-confusing industry Jargon aside, I’ve been asked by a few people to jot down the recipes and photos from the evening, as it was by all accounts one of the best whisky cocktail events I’ve ever been to.


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Glen Grant 60 Years old Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee (1952-2012)

by Ben Ellefsen     6. February 2012 12:00

Glen Grant 60 Y. O.

This competition has now closed. Click here to find out the winner!
 

I spent most of the last week interviewing for our Online Editor’s job (more on that soon folks). A reasonable part of the interview process is the effective management of people’s expectations with regard to the ‘glamour’ of the job. In fact, I’d even got a bit of patter I could do on autopilot memorised. It went “You know – for every fantastic, 60 year old whisky that you’ll get to taste, there are another 100 less exciting ones, and probably 50 vodkas too”.

The events of this morning have somewhat stepped on my point, as on arriving at the office I was greeted by a little package containing a sample of the most recent über-premium bottling from Gordon and Macphail – the somewhat tongue-twistingly named Glen Grant 60 Years old Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee (1952-2012).

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Wanted: Online Editor

by Ben Ellefsen     6. January 2012 12:32

Note how careful I was with the punctuation there. It’s not that our online editor is wanted, but rather that we want an online editor.

If Mike - our current online editor- was wanted, it might at least go some way towards explaining his decision to move from the sunny, safe, really rather delightful climes of Royal Tunbridge Wells, to Perth. Nope, not that Perth (the sensible Perth, the Perth that’s within just a few miles of a load of great distilleries), the other Perth. The one in Australia. More...

A Christmas Message from Master of Malt

by Ben Ellefsen     23. December 2011 12:04

At this point last year, I was hobbling around the office on a crutch (that’s not a misprint - the mean, mean Osteopath at the hospital would only give me one) following what can only be described as the least impressive injury in the history of man.

Sit back Children, and I shall tell you a tale of Christmas Past, Present and Future(1):





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Dalmore Cigar Malt – Back for good.

by Ben Ellefsen     21. December 2011 10:54

Last Tuesday evening, I was invited to the salubrious surroundings of the Four Seasons hotel on Park Lane, to sample the re-invention of a classic Dalmore Dram. This whisky provoked more controversy through its ousting and subsequent reinvention a couple of years ago than perhaps any other spirit, save perhaps that which we do not mention:

I’m talking of course, about The Dalmore Cigar Malt.


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London Cocktail Society Bitters

by Ben Ellefsen     16. December 2011 15:48

It all began last month, when I was invited by the founders of the London Cocktail Society to go up to London and present our range of bitters to their members. Throughout the course of our conversation it became clear that we could potentially do even more than this, and turn the event into a bitters blending competition.

Throughout the course of another couple of conversations (and over a few lovely cocktails with The Cocktail Geek at the superb Shaker and Company), it became clear that not only was it our moral duty to bottle and release the winning bitters, but that more research at the bar was required as to which cocktails exactly contained bitters, and what were cocktails again, and who are you and why am I here? Ah. Cocktails.

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Aldi’s 24 and 40 year old Whisky Redux

by Ben Ellefsen     13. December 2011 13:10

So, it would seem that the hype surrounding the release of Aldi’s 24 year old and 40 year old ‘single malts’ has now died down (with one notable bombshell yet to come courtesy of our chums at caskstrength.net. Keep an eye on their site. We won’t spoil the surprise), and the whisky world has returned to its former calm self. Well, I say calm… As calm as it can be whilst sending out enough Christmas booze per day to fill a small swimming pool.


There are tales aplenty in the feedback to our first blog post about the queuing, jostling, and general shenanigans surrounding the release, but we, being the ever inquisitive souls that we are, wanted to revisit the whiskies away from the initial tasting, and see just what we made of them in the cold light of day.


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Bathtub Gin Cocktails

by Ben Ellefsen     8. December 2011 14:41

Okay – I’m not going to lie – it’s busy around here at the moment. Anyone would think that there’s some kind of holiday impending…


Anyway, it turns out that despite the craziness of the ‘tide, my wife’s sister wasn’t prepared to move her Hen Party back by a couple of weeks to accommodate the fact that I’d promised to develop a bespoke cocktail for them, and was quite busy at the moment. Something to do with already having booked her plane tickets over from Australia or something. Selfish if you ask me…


Anyway – yesterday evening, I finally settled in to make a cocktail both sufficiently special for the event, but which also reflected the turning season, and seeking to get the most out of our new Bathtub Gin.


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