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Oops!... We did it again: IWSC Results (International Wine & Spirits Competition)

by Jake Mountain     26. July 2013 17:21

Master of Malt 30 Year Old Speyside IWSC 2013 Tasting

Another week, another set of awards results announced! This time from the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), “the premier competition of its kind in the world”. (I know, I know, they can’t all be the best - and they do indeed have similar sounding names – but this is another one of the really, really BIG competitions. Important stuff.)

As well as the usual Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, there are also Gold Outstanding and Silver Outstanding Medals at the IWSC, with a huge score of 90-100 out of 100 required for a Gold Medal and Gold Outstanding Medals only being awarded at the judges’ discretion! Welcome to big school!

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Master of Malt's Gin-tastic, Whisky-licious, and Rum-eriffic Christmas Gift Buying Guide!

by Cat Spencer     30. November 2012 15:20

Whether it's gifts for your gran or a last minute pressie for your bestie, we've got you covered! The holiday season is just about upon us (duck and cover, y'all), and we know you want to avoid the mad rush. So mix yourself a hot toddy, throw an extra log on the fire, put on some Bing Crosby tunes, and let your fingers do the work by perusing our Christmas whisky and spirits gift selection. We're sure you'll find something to suit everyone in your life this Christmas, and maybe—just maybe—you'll find a way to treat yourself, too!

We've taken all the people in your life and put them into neat little categories to save you time and brain power. After all those mince pies and champers and mulled wine, how can you be expected to create a spreadsheet of potential gifts for all your friends and family? Really? Especially when the Downton Abbey Christmas Special is about to come on...

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Summer Fruit Cup from Professor Ampleforth

by Ben Ellefsen     15. August 2012 16:16

So – Summer’s here. Sort of. From time-to-time. When it’s not flooding or what-have-you.

With this in mind, Professor Cornelius Ampleforth has turned his attention to perhaps the most quintessentially British drink that there is – the Summer Fruit Cup.

Now – it’s worth noting that there are several other cups on the market, from the Ubiquitous Pimm’s, through several distillers’ own recipes (Chase is rather good – coming soon – watch this space) to the really rather excellent Sipsmith. There was one thing that the Professor had deemed to be missing from all of these concoctions though – pure, distilled Madness*. More...

Cask Aged Gin from That Ampleforth Fellow

by Ben Ellefsen     22. June 2012 12:51

Well, he’s been at it again.

We try to rein him in from time to time, but the man just won’t listen. After his last couple of excursions into the world of gin  - a Sloe Gin made with half a pound of sloes per bottle, and an Old Tom which I’m reasonably sure he made just because he likes drinking Martinezzes (Martinez? Martinezs? Martiniz?), he’s been at it again with this, a cask-aged offering made using the superb Bathtub Gin as the base.

The Professor has acquired a stock of Octave casks (only 50 litres capacity as opposed to the more usual 250 litre hogshead) which have been previously used to store whisky (and prior to that, either Sherry, or Bourbon) for his newest creation. This means that in comparison to other cask-aged gins, there is a significantly higher surface area to volume ratio (roughly double as I’m sure you’ve all worked out by now). This, in turn, means that the gin will interact with the cask faster, making the 6-months-ish that the gin spends in cask lends a fantastic amount of flavour to the gin. 

The casks used to store and mature the Gin are used a maximum of twice, before being retired and used as garden furniture / plant pots / props in a massive game of real-life Donkey Kong I’m planning for the warehouse staff in a couple of weeks. Not the last one. Definitely not that. 

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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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Bathtub Gin Cocktails

by Ben Ellefsen     8. December 2011 14:41

Okay – I’m not going to lie – it’s busy around here at the moment. Anyone would think that there’s some kind of holiday impending…


Anyway, it turns out that despite the craziness of the ‘tide, my wife’s sister wasn’t prepared to move her Hen Party back by a couple of weeks to accommodate the fact that I’d promised to develop a bespoke cocktail for them, and was quite busy at the moment. Something to do with already having booked her plane tickets over from Australia or something. Selfish if you ask me…


Anyway – yesterday evening, I finally settled in to make a cocktail both sufficiently special for the event, but which also reflected the turning season, and seeking to get the most out of our new Bathtub Gin.


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Hot Buttered Rum

by Michael Orson     18. November 2011 12:39
Hot Buttered Rum

Every year on the 5th of November here in the UK we set off fireworks and burn an effigy of a man who tried to overthrow a king who enforced religious oppression against Catholics living in England. To an outsider, Guy Fawkes night looks like an insane, cult-like pagan ritual, but really it’s just about merriment, the partaking of yummy winter cocktails, and watching fireworks in awe and wonderment with their loud noises and pretty colours (we’re easily amused).

For the unofficial Master of Malt 2011 Firework More...

Movember Whisky 2011

by Mike & Chris & Ben     2. November 2011 14:38
Tom Selleck

“Hey! Wait just one second. People are incorrectly spelling November and are growing things on their faces that suggest they shouldn’t be within a 500 metre radius of a school. What the devil is going on?”

Maybe that reaction was entirely made up, but it does give me an excuse to fully explain Movember to all who will lend an ear, and so here goes…

At Master of Malt, we’ve been loyal Movember supporters for ages, but for the past few years we’ve actively participated by launching our own, incredibly special, More...

The Bushmills Nectarine Sour – Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

by Ben Ellefsen     1. September 2011 16:54

I’ve long held up Bushmills 10yo as one of my all-time favourite Irish Whiskeys, predominantly because it has such an incredibly clear and obvious flavour component within it, that of Nectarine.

In fact, I can be more specific than that. It’s the taste of the little pieces of Nectarine that are present in yoghurt. I can go further than that, too if you like – it was the standard range of Safeways (before they got eaten by Morrisons) yoghurts available in the late 1980s. Only available as a 4-pack with Strawberry, Peach Melba, and Vanilla I believe (seriously - who eats vanilla yoghurt?). More...

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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...

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