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WIN a Chivas Regal Cocktail Set as The Chivas Master is announced!

by Jake Mountain     17. July 2014 11:00

Chivas Cocktail Masters

Tuesday night saw the first ever Chivas Master announced in New York following the conclusion of The Chivas Masters global final. You can read all about the UK leg of the competition here, with Hawksmoor's Ali Reynolds coming through the heats and a fantastic UK final to take his place in the international showdown of Chivas Regal's first ever global cocktail competition!

Before we tell you who won the big prize though, here's your chance for your very own whisky cocktail win: We're giving away this rather handsome Chivas Masters Cocktail Set to one of you lovely folk. Keep reading to find out how you could get your hands on this cheeky little prize, including a full 70cl bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, a stylish Cocktail Shaker and Bar Spoon, plus Recipes for 4 classic cocktails (one from each 'age')!

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Kininvie Single Malts. They're Coming.

by Jake Mountain     4. July 2014 09:00

Kininvie Single Malt Whisky

Back in October we heard that there was to be an exciting, new, secret product from William Grant & Sons and our thoughts immediately turned to a long-anticipated Kininvie single malt release. On that occasion we quickly realised that the imminent launch was in fact for Girvan single grain, but not this time folks. This time it’s the real malty deal!

Kininvie has been William Grant's slightly mysterious, almost secret distillery for almost 24 years now, and I'm sure Brian Kinsman has lost count of the times people have asked him whether they'll ever release an official Kininvie single malt. Well last year they did just that - with an exclusive release in one country - and now it's the rest of the world's turn...

If you’ve ever visited Balvenie, then you may well have seen Kininvie distillery, it’s that corrugated iron shed in its more famous brother’s back garden.

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Categories : News | Tasting Notes | Whisky


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The-Eccentric-History-of-Berry-Brothers-and-Rudd-Part-III

by Michael Orson     3. July 2014 10:47

Berry Brothers and Rudd

In 1920, Berry’s was joined by Hugh Rudd, a lover of Bordeaux and German wines. Such an essential part of the business, Hugh Rudd’s name was officially added to the door when the firm became a limited company in the 1940s.

The Second World War raged on, and tragedy struck when two of the partners lost their sons: Francis Berry’s son George Gilbert died leading a charge against in the enemy in North Africa; and Hugh Rudd’s son Brian was killed in action in Italy at just 20 years of age.

No. 3 was never hit directly during the London bombings, though the top floors were badly burnt. The shop itself escaped too much damage thanks to the old wooden shutters which protected the shopfront. Years later, during the 2011 London Riots, these shutters were put to use for a second time (though, in my opinion, Pomerol probably wasn’t on the agenda).

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Highland Park Dark Origins

by Jake Mountain     2. July 2014 10:04

Highland Park Dark Origins

When we received an invite to the launch of a new core Highland Park expression, we were naturally quite excited. The invite said that we were to be taken into the darkness for a whisky “dark by nature and character”. Having recently released our own Darkness! range we had a pretty good idea what this meant. (Hint: yummy Sherry!)

What amused us about the invite, however, was that there was a hooded chap printed in the background that looked suspiciously like the protagonist from the ’90s computer game ‘Thief: The Dark Project’ (emphasis added). Apparently it’s actually supposed to be Magnus Eunson, the butcher/church official by day, legendary whisky smuggler/illicit distiller by night of Highland Park foundation myth (dating back to 1798). Indeed, whilst other whiskies may have adopted the dark, we’re told that the Orkney single malt was very much born in it. BaneCat would be suitably impressed.

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part I

by Michael Orson     1. July 2014 11:03

Berry Brothers and Rudd

Earlier this year, I became rather enamoured with what is arguably the drinks world’s most prestigious address – No. 3 St James’s – home to the wine and spirits merchant, Berry Brothers and Rudd (known henceforth variously as BBR or Berry’s).

This springtime love affair all started with a ‘three martini lunch’ on a surprisingly balmy day in February. I arrived fashionably late at No. 3 and climbed a steep wooden staircase through a locked door at the back of the shop to meet a group of familiar faces from spirits retail. The event’s hosts were BBR’s charming spirits man, Doug McIvor, and Glenrothes’ brand ambassador and gifted raconteur, Ronnie Cox.

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Limited Edition Joey Dunlop Charity Whisky from the Isle of Man TT

by Jake Mountain     20. June 2014 17:01

Joey Dunlop Foundation Whisky

After Fèis Ìle 2014 I travelled straight down to Liverpool - do not pass go, do not collect any clean underwear - and jumped on the Steam Packet over to the Isle of Man for the famous TT motorcycle races!

These legendary road races date back 107 years and the lap record now stands at 17 minutes 6.682 seconds for 37.733 miles, set by Bruce Anstey this year. That's an average speed of 132.298 mph! On narrow roads with over 120 corners!!! What's any of this got to do with whisky though? Well, last year the Joey Dunlop Foundation released a special limited edition blended malt Scotch whisky, which they sourced with a little help from Ralfy off of ralfystuff, with all profits going to the charity.

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The Affinity Cocktail & Handmade Cocktail Company 2014 Releases

by Jake Mountain     18. June 2014 14:19

The Affinity Cocktail

Cocktails galore! Not just on the blog though – these ones below will come right to your door. Not only are we bringing you Bramble Bar’s signature Affinity Cocktail as of today, but we also recently launched the 2014 vintage releases from The Handmade Cocktail Company. The latter including new additions as well as totally re-specced versions that have been improved significantly with even finer ingredients (no mean feat). These are exciting, tasty times, my friends.

First things first – Bramble Bar in Edinburgh. It’s awesome. For a while now they’ve been creating barrel-aged and bottle-aged Affinity Cocktails, which they serve at the bar in individual bottles for you to pour out yourself. (They’re pre-chilled and don’t require dilution.) We’re rather partial to a couple whenever we visit - it’s a perfect mix of Speyside single malt whisky and top quality vermouths (technically a red quinquina and a dry vermouth).

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The Chivas Masters Cocktail Competition

by Master of Malt     18. June 2014 11:00

Chivas Cocktail Masters

Jake: The Chivas Masters 2014 is Chivas Regal’s first ever global cocktail competition. Within the UK, heats were held in Bristol, Oxford, London (x2), Manchester and Edinburgh, with the winners of each going through to the UK final that was held on 3rd June. The UK champion will now be heading off to New York for the grand final against ten other champs in July, the winner of which will then be announced at Tales of The Cocktail in New Orleans!

So, who’s been mixing up a storm in the UK using Chivas whisky? Well I was able to pop down to the second London heat and Mike attended the final so we’re in a pretty good position to let you know whether Britain’s got talent… (Hint: there was a lot more on show than you’d have found on ITV last month.)

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Categories : Cocktails | Liqueurs | News | Whisky


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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Ardbeg Day

by Jake Mountain     1. June 2014 16:38

Tales From The Isle Ardbeg Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this final issue of Tales From The Isle everybody was very much in the mood for the upcoming football extravaganza. You must know about the huge sports competition that's now upon us and that everybody has been talking about all around the world - that's right, it's the The Ultimate Ardbeg Distillery Swamp Football Tournament!

Ardbeg Day is celebrated all over the world, not least at the distillery on Islay as part of Fèis Ìle. It's also fair to say that when Ardbeg do something, they do it properly, so there's an awful lot to tell you about here. I'd packed my yellow and blue havaianas and a Brazuca football, but there's always still time for a beastie or two as well...

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Bunnahabhain Day

by Jake Mountain     31. May 2014 11:04

Tales From The Isle Bunnahabhain Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

Today we travelled as far north as most ever venture on Islay. In this issue of Tales From The Isle I'll be telling you why we've made this arduous journey as well as sharing the tale (tail?) of the giant fire-breathing lizard of Islay. That's right, the isle was supposedly once home to a formidable and terrifying dragon! Fear not though, as in Game of Thrones, they say all the dragons have now been dead for centuries...

Herein we'll also be taking a look at Bunnhabhain's two Fèis Ìle bottlings and events as they unfolded throughout the day. The reason we were at this particular distillery though was the same reason as all those who take the long road north. We were there to take the black...

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