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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...

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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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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Maltstock 2011 – A review

by Ben Ellefsen     16. September 2011 16:00
Maltstock

It’s official – Maltstock is Awesome.

 

I mean, last year’s event was really, really good, but this year it kicked up a gear in every conceivable way. Having sung the praises of the event to Neil from Caskstrength, we decided to go to the event together, and resolved to deliver a masterclass on some of our favourite whiskies from closed distilleries.

 

Having set off for the drive from Tunbridge Wells to Dover in ‘plenty of time’, we managed to miss the ferry like a complete pair of rejects (well, one reject, and an immaculately dressed man in Crepe Soled Shoes at any rate). Having secured passage on the next available ferry, we settled in at Dover for the wait. After what seemed like an eternity, our Ferry arrived, and we boarded. After ascertaining that there was nothing of interest in the Duty Free Shop, we repaired to shoot Zombies (we couldn’t find a ‘boy in care’ to help us out, and were consequently killed reasonably soon). More...

Bathtub Gin

by Master of Malt     13. September 2011 15:30

New product day is always a good day, and today is no exception as we announce the release of Professor Cornelius Ampleforth's Bathtub Gin. Like anyone named Cornelius, Professor Ampleforth would never put his fine name to a gin unless it was really very good. So, as could be expected, Bathtub Gin is a truly marvellous recreation of the gins of yore, produced in a very traditional, entirely small-batch and, dare I say it, artisan manner. Every little detail, from the beautiful packaging, to the superb liquid inside the bottle has had as much attention paid to it as you’d give to a talking dog wearing a top hat and monocle, or as you’d give Morgan Freeman if he gave you advice on anything. More...

Mezan Rum

by Master of Malt     8. September 2011 15:44

We recently got the full range of Mezan rums in, and we’re very excited about them. You see, it’s rum as it should be, rum approached in much the same way a malt lover looks at whisky; vintages, distilleries, and all non-chillfiltered and unadulterated.

Let’s start out with the Grenada Westerhall 1998. It’s much like a Lowland whisky, in that it offers up that light, delicate and elegant flavour profile we’ve come to love from distilleries like Rosebank and Glenkinchie... It’s utterly beguiling. The distillery itself is based on a sugar estate which has been family-owned for three centuries, and during that time it produced both sugar and rum, though it didn’t bottle its own product until 1978. The rum, made in a column still, is known for its light character, and is much less smoky than its counterparts in Jamaica or Guyana (which we’ll discuss shortly). More...

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...

The Old Fashioned Cocktail

by Master of Malt     26. August 2011 12:20

New product announcements! Hurrah!

Yes, today we are announcing a terrific addition to the Handmade Cocktail Company’s sterling range of ready-made bottled cocktails. Many of you cocktail enthusiasts have already been asking us for one particular cocktail - a classic that was left out of the original range. It’s the ultimate zesty, spicy bourbon cocktail, and the favourite tipple of none other than Don Draper, Harry S Truman and Cole Porter. That’s right… The Old Fashioned. 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...

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