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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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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Kilchoman & Jura Day

by Jake Mountain     30. May 2014 08:09

Tales From The Isle Kilchoman Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this special issue of Tales From The Isle - available with a choice of two covers - we visit both Kilchoman and Jura distilleries! Which cover will you choose? The Kill-choman option, which can be found to the right here (click on it to enlarge… if you dare…) features an ordinary farm scene (from films). After all, all sorts of exciting, terrifying, and actually quite horrendous and messed up stuff always happens on farms (in films). That's why I never stay overnight at a farm unless I've personally witnessed the one, single chainsaw that can always be found on a farm (in films) being grafted onto Bruce Campbell's arm well before bedtime.

The Jura cover, meanwhile... Well that comes from a chilling personal experience...

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Five New Boutique-ys Including a Bruichladdich

by Ben Ellefsen     29. May 2014 12:00

Glen Grant, Glenrothes, Bruichladdich, Linkwood, Blended Whisky #1 That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Well these have certainly been a wee while coming, but all good things, etc...

Truth is, I've sort of forgotten that any other type of whisky other than 'peated' exists given our recent exploits, but looking back at these labels reminds me that yes. They do indeed exist, and if memory serves, many of them are delicious.

Let's start with the very first Blended Whisky ever produced by That Boutique-y Whisky Company; Blended Whisky Number One.

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Laphroaig Day & iPed 2014

by Jake Mountain     28. May 2014 08:41

Tales From The Isle Laphroaig Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

They say that the devil no longer visits Islay, which is why one policeman is sufficient for a population of thousands. We'll be taking a closer look at exactly why Satan might be staying away from the isle tomorrow, but just because the lord of darkness is absent, that doesn't mean you're necessarily safe from the horrors of hell!

Laphroaig, of course, is a distillery that's seen its fair share of horror with former owner and co-founder Donald Johnston having fallen into a vat of raging hot spent lees in 1847! That's ten whole years after the devil's supposed final visit and poor old Donald tragically died from his injuries shortly after.

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Caol Ila Day

by Jake Mountain     27. May 2014 09:21

Tales From The Isle Caol Ila Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

Traditionally-rigged tall ships are pretty cool. Ships like the Bessie Ellen, for example, Britain’s last wooden coasting ketch still under sail. These days it's a regular sight at Fèis Ìle, making berth at Caol Ila distillery, having originally transported cargo (including peat) around the UK as early as 1906. Happily, it also shares part of its name with both a Laphroaig distillery manager of note and a nearby port town with a rather well-known closed distillery. Plus it has the added bonus of making us feel more than a little pirate-y too. Arr!

In this issue of Tales From The Isle we'll be taking a look at Caol Ila's festival bottling as well as reliving a terrifying tale of piracy from the seas surrounding Islay that's guaranteed to shiver yer timbers!

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Bruichladdich Day

by Jake Mountain     26. May 2014 10:48

Tales From The Isle Bruichladdich Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this issue of Tales From The Isle we travel to Bruichladdich over on the Rinns of Islay. This was good news for us as we're actually staying on the Rinns, although we still managed to arrive late for the Octomore Discovery tasting with Jim McEwan. Oops. Bruichladdich day is also one of Fèis Ìle's most fun distillery days - watch your step though, for it takes place on the site of some dark happenings and black arts.

Indeed, this is place where things are taken right to the edge and are often shrouded in a Scotch mist of secrecy...

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Lagavulin Day

by Jake Mountain     25. May 2014 09:47

Tales From The Isle Lagavulin Feis Ile

We've made it to Islay! In fact, we've been here since Thursday (quite keen) but it hasn't all been plain sailing. Alexandra and I actually missed our ferry, which, as every other one was fully booked for days, was a bit of a problem. Fortunately we managed to board another by using our powers of persuasion* and were soon running up and down the metal staircases on either side freeing hostages finding the very best views of Gigha, Northern Ireland, the Paps of Jura and, of course, Islay herself, including the silhouette of good ol' Cnoc Rhaonastil.

Without further ado though, welcome one and all to Tales From The Isle! Over the course of eight issues we'll be bringing you our own unique take on the events and releases at this year's Fèis Ìle, the legendary Islay whisky festival, as well as sharing some dark tales and perhaps even an adventure or two from this famous whisky isle...

Greetings traveller...

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