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Monkey Shoulder, Callooh Callay, and other abject nonsense

by Ben Ellefsen     7. February 2012 14:12

Monkey Shoulder Bar

It really only struck me as I was trying to explain to a (non-whisky-loving) friend the weekend after this event that I was, to all intents and purposes talking in tongues. “Oh yes – well earlier in the week, I went to a Monkey Shoulder event at Callooh Callay” could just as easily have been “Oh yes – well earlier in the week, I went to a Badger Scapula event at Lorks a Lawdy”. Nonsense. Just nonsense.


Anyway – muggle-confusing industry Jargon aside, I’ve been asked by a few people to jot down the recipes and photos from the evening, as it was by all accounts one of the best whisky cocktail events I’ve ever been to.


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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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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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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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Rumbullion!

by Michael Orson     4. November 2011 15:01
You wouldn't steal a pirate ship.

That's right folks; Professor Cornelius Ampleforth has done it again! After the superb reception Bathtub Gin and the fabulous Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink received, he’s moved onto the spiced rum market for his latest stunner!

The Professor’s newest concoction is loosely based on the kind of rich, warming blends enjoyed by the seafaring fraternity of yesteryear (roughly “some” hundred years ago). It couldn't have been better-timed either, as the mercury is quickly dropping and nothing warms the cockles (and indeed other appendages) like a hearty spiced rum! We are thrilled to present to you...More...

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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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...

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...

Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink

by Master of Malt     7. October 2011 10:12
Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink

Created by the “madcap” Professor Cornelius Ampleforth, the romantically- and SWA-appeasingly-named Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink combines the Professor’s signature love for infusin’ and mixin’ with his passion for whisky and the ways and techniques of yore. Yes, yore.

For this thrilling instalment, Ampleforth turned to Spain, and to the mountainous countryside that surrounds Pajarate. It was here that Paxarette was born; a dark, syrupy liquid made by boiling down grape juice and fortified wine. In the past, the Scotch whisky industry made use of Paxarette to season casks, simply by pouring this rich flavouring into the wood, to help impart a fuller, richer sherry character into the whisky that was aged in them.More...

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