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Crystal Head Vodka

by Michael Orson     28. October 2011 16:46

For anyone who has so much as casually glanced at our interwebsite, Ron de Jeremy is clearly a product we love. We love it so much so we’ve blogged about it; emailed our beloved customers to alert them to its very existence; and even spent a weekend with Ron Jeremy himself at RumFest (a day in which we observed hundreds of people clearly not sure whether or not they should admit to recognising him). More...

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Categories : News | Review | Vodka


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Tasting the Diageo 2011 Special Releases

by Michael Orson     21. October 2011 10:14

Last night played host to one of the biggest events in the whisky calendar: the launch of the Diageo Special Releases. This annually released selection showcases the very best whiskies in the global drinks giant’s unrivalled arsenal, including massive crowd pleasers like Lagavulin, Caol Ila, and the legendary Port Ellen.

Unlike Ben, who’s off doing some ‘real work’ in the form of running the Cocktail bar at the Movember Launch Party for 750 people, then doing a sampling of our new Movember Whisky until the small hours, I’ve been lucky enough to sit in a lovely warm room, with lovely warm people, drinking delicious and exclusive whiskies all evening. Also I spend too much on male grooming products and have a penchant for singing about my feelings. I’m also not very competent at sending through images by e-mail, and am currently asleep in my bed, like the weaksauce young man that I am, and hence uncontactable by phone so you’ll notice that the images herein are stock images from Diageo’s Powerpoint presentation. Sorry about that. This paragraph may or may not have been written by me. More...

Caption Contest #2 – Win a bottle of Bathtub Gin!

by Michael Orson     11. October 2011 14:29
Win a bottle of Bathtub Gin!

One of the most exciting events that sometimes, inexplicably comes into being is a Master of Malt caption contest. This certainly has absolutely nothing to do with the fact we had to do a blog post and this is the best Ben and I could think of at such short notice...

This week we turn to every aspiring rapper’s favourite gangster, Tony Montana (as everyone knows, the first rule of hiphop is if you’re going to quote a movie, it better star Al Pacino, and Scarface of course is high up on the priority list for “movies-you-have-to-quote-from-if-you’re-a-rapperm'n”). More...

Ron Abuelo Centuria

by Michael Orson     5. October 2011 12:01

Ben came into the office excitedly today, clutching a bottle of rum. He thrust it at me declaring Nick Masters (a chap from Ron Abuelo’s UK distributor Hi-Spirits) had heralded it as “one of the best liquids ever”. I dutifully cracked it open for a tasting and, as everyone knows, nothing beats the early morning blues better than a 9am rum tasting (#DrinkAware).


Centuria is the flagship from Ron Abuelo, and they age it for as much as 30 years in the solera system, using Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels. The mix of JD’s signature foam banana flavour, vanilla, and some serious old Panama rum is a very exciting prospect… More...

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Categories : Rum | Tasting Notes


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Christmas Bitters

by Michael Orson     26. September 2011 13:34
All I want for Christmas is a remote-controlled monster truck that shoots real foam bullets.

‘twas some nights before Christmas (alright, three months before)

And Ben was a-mixing some bitters for all

He flavoured them richly, with many a plant

And left them to marry in a cask from Glen Grant

He then added frankincense with a satisfied purr

And threw in a handful of the very best myrrh

Next up was some gold, for sparkle and glitter

then he spread the good word with a message on Twitter.

He called to us gaily, with all of his might:

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night”

That took me over 10 minutes to write so I really find it hard to believe you’ll need any more information than that. More...

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Categories : News | Bitters


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St Isidore and the Bloggers’ Blend

by Michael Orson     21. September 2011 11:03
St Isidore

If you can cast your minds back to July of this year (has it really only been two and half months?), you might remember the magic and excitement of the Bloggers’ Blend Competition (you can click here for a quick recap – but prepare for magic and excitement). Basically, we asked ten top whisky bloggers to create their own whisky blends, and then we asked you, the public, to judge which was the best. It was a very exciting time, notable by a proliferation of photos of Chihuahuas dressed as people on our blog. More...

Aberlour a’Bunadh Batch 37

by Michael Orson     19. September 2011 15:43
Aberlour a'Bunadh Batch 37 Label

Today I have the supreme pleasure of tasting the latest batch of Aberlour a’Bunadh.

Of all the on-going cask strength whiskies, a’Bunadh is steadfastly in the top three of our “best value for money” malts, because it’s just such an awesome, enveloping dram.

It’s actually a recreation of whisky from the days of yore (from 1898 to be precise), and it all started in 1975, when a team of distillery workmen were installing the second pair of stills at Aberlour. As they worked, they discovered a time capsule which contained a newspaper from 1898, wrapped around a bottle of Aberlour whisky. More...

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Categories : Tasting Notes | Whisky


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High West Whiskey

by Michael Orson     5. September 2011 17:17

Today I’m tasting a brace of “craft” rye whiskeys from the High West distillery – the first legally licenced distillery in Utah since US Prohibition ended.

I’m starting off with High West Rendezvous – the first commercially available whiskey from the distillery. It was named after the 19th century meetings of mountain men, who gathered together in the summer to trade their various wares (mostly fur). These gatherings were frequented by the kind of men who wore coonskin caps, bushy moustaches and moccasins, and the whiskey they drank at the time was fairly raw and fiery. More...

Meantime Brewery and the College Beer Club

by Michael Orson     12. August 2011 13:36
Meantime Brewery

We’ve long since been firm advocates of the Meantime Brewing Company, and it’s largely because they’ve had such great success in fighting against the rather dull mainstream of mass-produced lager that our nation is sadly awash with. Meantime focus heavily on quality and authenticity, shunning methods like pasteurisation, whilst making use of a minimum 28 day maturation period for all their beers. But despite all this attention to detail, one of the truly great things about the brewery is how prevalent their beer is; you can walk into Sainsbury’s and buy a bottle of their London Porter or IPA, and we love that. More...

Dailuaine 27 Year Old Whisky

by Michael Orson     4. August 2011 16:31
Dailuaine 27 Year Old

It must be said, we’ve been on a bit of a bottling frenzy recently; in the last few of months alone we’ve put our name to four new casks, including an incredibly bourbon-rich North British, a big, complex Cragganmore, a rich and spicy Dalmore, and an impressively malty Inchgower!

Today we have another new addition to the Master of Malt range, in the form of an utterly delicious number from Dailuaine (pronounced Dall-YEWan). More...

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