Okay. I’ll start here with an apology. This is possibly the most overdue blog post in the history of man (except my review of Dead Rabbit NYC, that’s more overdue). Things have happened since then, y’see. Things involving setting up new and exciting drinks distribution companies, developing a whole mess of new products, and the introduction of a mini sleep-terrorist into my house. These things have precluded me from doing what I should have done ages ago. The last one has also probably precluded me from spelling any words in this post correctly or being sure if my hands are, in fact, my hands. If you’re reading this, Ballantine’s-press-folk, you can have one free shot next time I see you, subject to the normal rules of course*.
Welcome to our new feature: Master of Cocktails!
Yep, we’re diving head first into the wonderful world of mixology with a new cocktail recipe for you each and every week.
On Sunday evenings I’ll be walking you through each new recipe on twitter via #MasterofCocktails, prior to them appearing in full on the MoM Blog the very next day!
So, without further ado, we're kicking off with an absolute classic, and one of my favourite cocktails: The Negroni.
Suitably excited? Excellent. Let's get cracking!
Would you believe it's been over a quarter of a year since the last batch of releases from That Boutique-y Whisky Company? Amazing. It's almost like we had other stuff on.
Well – all that 'being about the place' nonsense is behind us now (for a bit), and due to a freshly sustained ankle injury (The other one for those of you paying attention. Gah) I'm at liberty to take a few moments to tell you about the new releases which sit before me today.
Hot on the heels of our success at the Off License News Drinks Retailing Awards, the World Whiskies Awards 2013 were presented last week at the Waldorf Hotel in London, and, erm, we cleaned up again*.
I’m not going to re-hash the recent blog post I wrote about our success at the OLN awards, but suffice it to say, there’s a reasonable-length post here about the innovations and initiatives we’ve launched in the past 12 months. It’s well worth a read if you’ve not already.
It’s an exciting one, this...
It’s not often that we get involved with Exclusive, Single-Cask bottlings direct from the distilleries themselves, as there’s generally much better value to be had from independent bottlings. We do lots of them instead. Lots and lots.
Every now and then though, something comes along that wouldn’t usually be available on the independent market.
This is one such bottling. A (very, very rare) Peated Balblair. Well, I say that – it’s actually a Balblair that’s been stored in a cask previously used to hold Peated Whisky. Sort of Peated through the medium of cheating. A Cheaty-Peaty whisky if you will.
Another month (well, nearly – it’s been over 3 weeks), another clutch of supremely awesome whiskies bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company. This time we’re bringing you whiskies from Brora, Arran, Tobermory, Tormore and Aberfeldy.
Sadly, one of these beauties has already sold out (no prizes for guessing which I’m afraid), but the rest are still available for your delectation:
I’m sure you’ll all remember the frankly fantastic couple of bottlings launched by the irrepressible duo from Caskstrength Neil and Joel in the past year or so?
First up was an Arran – a delight of a whisky with a frankly absurdly low outturn of only 92 bottles. This astonishing bottling rapidly sold out, and is now changing hands for hundreds of pounds on auction sites.
Second was an astonishing Benriach, matured for an impressive 16 years, and finished for 4 of those years in a Pedro Ximenez cask. This too, sold out in incredibly short order.
After ‘A’ for Arran, and ‘B’ for Benriach, must come ‘C’.
Last week was quite a week.
Tuesday evening saw the MoM team in the opulent surroundings of the Dorchester hotel, having been nominated for not one, but two awards at the highly prestigious Drinks Retailing Awards – organised by Off Licence News. Spoiler alert: We won them both.
Like a striding colossus of the whisky industry powered by pure inspiration, awesomeness and zeitgeist*, That Boutique-y Whisky Company have brought you not one, but seven brand new releases, as well as a second batch of Aberlour.
Without any further ado:
I like the Langham Hotel.
I like the Landau restaurant within the Langham Hotel, recently taken over by Albert and Michel Roux Jr. especially as there's a lunch menu which will allow you change from £80 for two people… We'll get onto the whisky in a bit. Patience.
I *really* like the hotel's bar – Artesian, the meeting place for the launch of Glenmorangie's newest addition to their Private Collection. Ealanta. In the last couple of years Artesian has come on leaps and bounds under the supremely competent stewardship of Head Bartender Alex Kratena.
It's possible to get one of the best Martinis in London at the bar in Artesian—The Langham Martini (and for almost £20 including service, it wants to be) and on Wednesday evening I did just that.