Yesterday saw the winners of the 2015 World Drinks Awards announced, as well as the winners of Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whisky and World Whiskies Awards - a very busy rotation of the Earth! It was also a fantastic day for many of the brands we work with / own / represent as you'll see from the veritable cornucopia of trophies and awards below.
Drink by the Dram have also produced a selection of Winners Tasting Sets, which you can find here.
Greetings cocktail-lovers. Who's up for a swift whisky cocktail then? The second #MasterofCocktails whisky cocktail in a row, no less. Is it you?
If it is indeed you, that's perfect, as that's what we're doing for this week's #MasterofCocktails
This week we're making a drink I've named 'The Naked Barista'. The reasons will hopefully become clear as we go through the recipe.
Greetings all. Time for a cocktail?
This week we're going to be making a very Japanese-y cocktail, heavily inspired by the amazing work of Zoran Peric, a Brand Ambassador for Suntory Whiskies, whose work we've got a lot of time for here at #MasterofCocktails. We'll be making a 'If The Umeshu Fits...' recipe, a name that will make sense when you see the ingredients.
'Twas six nights before Christmas, when all through the house.
Not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse!
Not just the situation in Jake from Master of Malt's home, but also in the homes of all those with Whisky Advent Calendars. In the latter case though, the mouse in question is fortunately none other than Douglas Laing's Timorous Beastie! A tongue in cheek name for a corker of a Highland blended malt that's created by the jolly folk behind one of my other favourites, Big Peat at Christmas. (Plus, I like his beard.)
Timorous Beastie is made exclusively with malts from Highland distilleries including Dalmore, Glen Garioch and Glengoyne!
Plenty of Japanese whisky in the news lately, of course, but we all know that Japan has been making fantastic whiskies for years, don't we? Behind window 17 of your Whisky Advent Calendars you'll find a belter of a Japanese whisky from Masataka Taketsuru's Nikka, which founded its first distillery back in 1934.
Masataka's fascinating life and his relationship with his Scottish wife Rita Cowan recently became the topic of a popular Japanese television drama. I'd recommend it but it is in Japanese and I know you're not all fluent like me. (Omniscience, isn't it.)
Nikka Whisky From The Barrel, meanwhile, is delicious, powerful and also entirely affordable. In fact, after trying a dram you may not be able to resist buying a whole (very stylish) bottle, and if that's the case you should definitely keep reading...
Day 16 brings with it a second Irish whiskey in your Whisky Advent Calendars. You'd think the fact Tullamore D.E.W. didn't have its own distillery between 1954 and 2014 might be a slight problem, but the brand became the second best selling Irish whiskey in the world during that time! Owned by William Grant since 2010, spirit has now been running at the Tullamore distillery since September and will in time provide all the spirit they need.
This 12 Year Old Special Reserve of theirs though, it was a travel retail release originally, which tends to get on my Oreamnos americanus. I mean, how many people clock up more air miles than me?! And yet I still can't get my hands on a number of new releases just because I don't happen to use inefficient
muggle non-supernatural transportation methods. Fortunately, many of these whiskies (including this Tullamore D.E.W.) graduate to their brand's main ranges. Ho, yes!
On the Twelfth Night ye shalt discover a fabulous, unpretentious blended malt in your Whisky Advent Calendar. Why it's Monkey Shoulder, of course: "Better a witty fool than a foolish wit"!
Why is it called Monkey Shoulder, you ask? Well, back in what you refer to as 'the old days', maltmen turned the barley by hand - a very labour-intensive job. With the strenuous work and long hours these chaps undertook, they ended up with a bit of a hunch, known as 'Monkey Shoulder'. I end up with something similar on Boxing Day after carrying around my heavy sa... my heavy bag of presents all night. Luckily I get a year to rest up afterwards!
Made exclusively with malt whiskies from William Grant's three Speyside distilleries (Glenfiddich, Balvenie & Kininvie), Monkey Shoulder's matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks and married for three-to-six months. It's a lovely treat served neat, with ice or indeed in cocktails.
So – it’s about that time again – new batches, and replenished batches of some absolute crackers from That Boutique-y Whisky Company.
First up – spoiler alert – we do have a new batch of both the Port Ellen, and Brora. I’ll understand if you want to stop reading for a bit and take care of a small (okay – large) transaction.
We’ve also got some brand spanking new lines though – 2 single malts and a blended malt (which after the editor’s choice award in the most recent edition of Whisky Magazine), should see some interest piqued...
This range was born almost 6 months ago with the release of the initial ‘Reference’ Blended Malt Whiskies I, II, and III, and have received some lovely reviews from all over the web – not least of which from Serge of Whiskyfun who rated the initial batch from 83-88 points.
The theory is initially simple – we took 4 components (2 blended malt and 2 single malt), and as the range progressed from I to III, the proportion of older whisky went up. This was designed to give us all an insight into the way that age affects whisky.
Today, however, is where it all really starts to get fun.
Ah, Dramboree. A truly fantastic event, and one that’s difficult to convey in all its glory within a blog post. (One of the many reasons it’s taken me a little while to get round to this write-up.) For those who don’t know, Dramboree is a whisky weekend held in Scotland in early July that’s simply getting better and better with age. Next year it will be three years old. The requisite age for it to be referred to as the real deal? Well, based on the taste we had this time around, we think it's getting pretty close to perfect already.
The second ever Dramboree was attended by 64 people (that’s about double the number from the first year), most of which first descended upon Glasgow in order to hop aboard the Dramboree coach for
a magical mystery tour the hour or so long journey to the shores of stunning Loch Lomond.