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Shackleton's Whisky

by Master of Malt     18. March 2011 15:34

Richard Paterson

Last year there was an astonishing discovery in Antarctica, just outside of what was once Ernest Shackleton’s hut. The discovery was several cases of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt whisky, which had been left behind after a failed attempt to reach the South Pole between 1907 and 1909.

Whyte and Mackay, who own the Mackinlay’s brand, leapt at the incredible opportunity to try and recreate a whisky from a bygone era, under the lead of their inimitable Master Blender, Richard Paterson.

"It's a beautiful colour. It's that lovely rich golden colour and what's more important at this early stage, it's beautifully clear.” Richard describes the whisky, adding: "It's telling you that it's not contaminated -- that's very important." More...

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The Glenlivet 70 Year Old – The World’s Oldest Whisky (Mk 2)

by Ben Ellefsen     8. March 2011 15:26

Glenlivet 70 Year Old

Those good ol’ boys at Gordon and Macphail have done it again – they’ve release another ‘the world’s oldest whisky’…

Following on from the huge success of last year’s release of a 70 year old Mortlach under their new ‘Generations’ brand, G&M have released another cask that has been sitting dormant in their warehouse since the days of the second world war.

Perhaps the most astonishing part of both of these releases has been that neither of the whiskies have been described in any way as ‘over the hill’ or ‘too woody’. It’s testament to the absolute vastness of G&M’s stock that they’re able to pull out gems such as these after the best part of a lifetime in Oak.

Distilled on 4th February 1940 (just 3 days before the release of Disney’s Pinocchio – thank you Wikipedia), the whisky was filled into a first-fill sherry butt which has yielded only 100 70cl bottles, and 175 20cl bottles. The bottling ABV (at natural cask strength of 45.9%) is actually comparatively high for a whisky More...

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A Message from The Chaps at Master of Malt

by Master of Malt     3. December 2010 11:19
Master of Malt Headquarters - A scene of peril - it just claimed Ben's ankle

“I’m just going outside and may be some time…” one of our directors was heard to say as he ventured out to an icy scene of treachery and peril, in equal measure. He will be missed.

Yes beloved customers, friends and passers-by, the conditions here at MoM HQ have worsened, and despite our best efforts (we’ve hired legions of extra staff and a fleet of off-road vehicles with altimeters on their dashboards), things have gotten awfully chaotic. We are currently one of just a handful of business in Tunbridge Wells still open today (thankfully the majority of our staff lives locally, and those who haven’t have been collected by Ben in his 4x4). More...

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Master of Malt Cask-Aged Whisky Bitters

by Master of Malt     30. November 2010 13:40
Master of Malt Bitters

Bitters, bitters, bitters. We’ve made some bitters!

Hurrah! As lovers of the fine whisky/whiskey cocktail, we knew it was time to make our first foray into the land of bitters. So, at great length, we created what we at Master of Malt consider to be the finest bitters for making of whisky cocktails, KNOWN TO MANKIND.

In fact, these are (to our knowledge), the highest alcoholic proof bitters, which are the most costly to make and the most expensive to buy, ever! Oh yes… More...

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Glengoyne English Merchant’s Choice Review

by Master of Malt     27. October 2010 16:54
Glengoyne English Merchants' Choice

Earlier this year we flew up to Glengoyne to help select a very special cask for bottling. The cask would be chosen by the great and the good from England’s whisky retailers, and we’ve been very excited to announce it is now in stock!

Sample after sample were tried until the very best cask was found - it’s a hard life, that of the whisky merchant ;-). Pleasingly, it’s a very, very dark little whisky, thanks mainly to the sherry hoggie it was matured in. The beautiful bottles arrived yesterday, and the packaging is rather handsome – wooden and very smart.

The whisky was distilled on the 17th June 1997, and, of course, it’s bottled at cask strength (bottled on the 20th May 2010 at 13 years of age). We uncorked a bottle to recount just how wonderful it is… More...

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The Dalmore Trinitas

by Master of Malt     19. October 2010 12:36
The Dalmore Trinitas 64

How does it make you feel?

A robin and a magpie were perched on a windowsill at Master of Malt Advanced Base Camp 1. They peered in inquisitively and, by chance, happened to see an email from The Dalmore on someone’s screen, after several attempts to open the email and a quick rebooting (why would anyone unleash a travesty like Outlook on the world?).

Anyway, the email advertised a rather unusual, groundbreaking bottle of Scotch whisky, a bottle known as “Trinitas”. Aside from its age (64 years), its handsome packaging and rarity (there are but three bottles in the world), Trinitas has one overriding talking point; it’s £100,000 a bottle… More...

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Glengoyne English Merchant’s Choice

by Ben Ellefsen     23. September 2010 13:37
Sample Room

Okay, so just a teaser at this stage, but you all remember the Glengoyne ‘Scottish Merchants’ Choice’ that was released last year?

Yep – you’ve got it - the English Merchants’ Choice is coming soon!!!

A full report will follow, but suffice it to say that Master of Malt were sequestered in the Glengoyne sample room with four of England’s greatest (other) whisky merchants earlier this year, and at great, great length selected a cask of which we are all supremely proud. More...

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Who loves Scotch Whisky the most?

by Michael Orson     14. September 2010 14:06
Navigating the sea of whisky

The Scotch whisky export figures for 2009 are in, and they make for very interesting viewing!

 

In the ultimate battle for supremacy, the pole position didn’t go to the UK, the Japanese or even the Americans. No, 2009’s greatest Scotch importers were the French. On average, each adult imported 2.45 litres of Scotch whisky… that’s 3 ½ bottles a year, which isn’t bad going for a country that makes some of the world’s very best brandies. More...

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Noh Karuizawa 32 Years Old 1977 - Japanese Whisky Review

by Ben Ellefsen     10. September 2010 12:18

Noh Karuizawa 32 Year Old 1977 Cask 4592I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever seen a delivery driver so amused.

Literally the second the new bottling of the Noh Karuizawa Whisky walked through the door, the office broke out into a frenzy – photographers snapping, directors grabbing tasting glasses and falling upon the beautiful decanters like they contained the elixir of eternal life.

Such is the sense of anticipation and wonderment that surround all whiskies bottled by the Number one drinks company. This particular release is a 32yo Karuizawa from 1977 (Karuizawas before 1981 are revered as somewhat special because of their intense Umami-rich flavour), and it’s spectacular. It’s by no means a gentle giant at 32 years of age – we’d describe it more like being kicked in the face by an angry bosozoku than the peaceful tranquillity brought by Hanami (ed - d’you like that? Bit of Kulcha and that)…

Anywhoo, enough rambling, here are our tasting notes:

Nose: This dram opens with an olfactory delight of walnuts, chestnuts roasting in New York, pineapple and maple syrup. As it sits in the glass the nose develops stewed fruits in mulled wine, a slight note of autumnal bonfire and orange peel element and finishes on glacé cherries

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Riedel Glassware – a tasting event

by Master of Malt     8. September 2010 16:16

Riedel Glassware - a tasting eventFor a long time now, we here at Master of Malt have been boring anyone who cares to listen senseless about the importance of good quality glassware (both for whisky and other drinks). We’re also (as you may have noticed) more than a little pernickety about detail, and like to do things ‘properly’.

It’s very heartening therefore, to find another company who are as obsessive about quality, and even more heartening to find out that they’re going to be running a tasting masterclass open to the general public (previously we’ve only encountered the team from Riedel at trade events).

For those of you who don’t know about Riedel, they are a company that make glassware (primarily wine glasses, but some for spirits and whisky too – more on that later in the year) to a standard that has to be seen to be believed. Riedel manufacture dozens and dozens of wine-glass varieties, all of which are tailored specifically to a particular region or grape varietal and painstakingly engineered to deliver the perfect size, shape and even angle of palette delivery for each individual style of wine. More...

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