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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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55yo Whisky Liqueur – The World’s Oldest

by Ben Ellefsen     28. November 2011 14:13

I’m going to relay to you two phrases that I’ve uttered over the last few weeks which have genuinely made me chuckle maniacally to myself for about 5 minutes.

The first is unrelated to this post, but I think very pleasing anyway – “Look – all I need is for someone to find me a consignment of Fresh Sloes - how bloody difficult can that be” (incidentally, if anyone knows where I can get hold of a consignment of Fresh Sloes, there’s a bottle of something nice in it for you).

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Aldi’s 40 Year Old Whisky

by Ben Ellefsen     22. November 2011 11:26

So, a couple of Tuesdays ago, I had possibly one of the most random evenings of my life. And I'm not talking about the end of the evening, where Myself, Joel Harrison (one half of caskstrength.net), Dr. Whisky, and Pierre from off of that there Connosr ended up in a basement Sherry bar late in the evening arguing the finer points of the various Port Ellen releases over Manzanilla and nibbles. No. I'm talking about the launch of Aldi's 40 year old whisky.


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Old Pulteney 21 Year Old Voted World’s best whisky

by Ben Ellefsen     24. October 2011 14:20

So – it’s that time of year again. Jim Murray waves his magic wand, and retailers and brand owners alike scrabble around frantically trying to fulfil orders of what, last week, was a very good, if slow-selling line (before you ask, the 90 bottles I managed to prise out of the distributor’s hands disappeared within an hour and a half. I’ll let you know when there’s more stock available).

For those of you who are interested, you can read all about my trip up to The Old Pulteney distillery here and Mike’s tasting notes of the full range (including an exclusive taste of the soon-to-be-released 40yo) here.

Now; I’m going to leave all the usual punditry around whether or not it deserves this title to others (and I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of discussion as ever). It’s a very good whisky, for sure, but what I really wanted to talk about was this screenshot: More...

Dry Martini, Barcelona – Bar Review

by Ben Ellefsen     30. September 2011 15:01

It’s hot today in Tunbridge Wells. Really hot.

Whilst it’s never too hot for whisky (by Jingo I could go for a Great King Street Highball right about now), the palate does tend to crave something a bit more refreshing and crisp on occasion. If the last few days’ sales of our new Bathtub Gin are anything to go by, it’s Gin that the nation turns to when things start to hot up.

If I’m honest, I thought I’d stowed the trusty flip-flops away for good, but they’ve made a re-appearance. Here they are next to the Christmas bitters: More...

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