It’s a scary place, the brain of Ben.
It consists mainly of Alan Partridge and Father Ted episodes, cocktail recipes, and rain-man-esque recall of horsepower and torque figures for most production cars. There’s also usually something in there about whisky.
What I can tell you about the brain of Ben though, is that these Boutique-y whiskies have recently been upgraded from ‘a bit of fun’, to ‘something with a lot of potential’.
Because of this, you’re going to see a pretty decent number of new releases from brand spanking new distilleries over the next few weeks / months, and if the results of some of the recent whisky auctions are anything to go by, I think we’ll see them selling out in pretty short order.
News just in: We've brokered a deal with Santa's top reindeer breeder to provide our elves with the fastest mode of transport in all the land. Thanks to our new herd of reindeer (and a sleigh we found in a garage) we’re able to extend our final order deadline for Christmas Eve delivery to the UK mainland until midday on Sunday 23rd December!
Call us insane if you please, but if you’re the kind of person who buys your Xmas presents when you get that flash of inspiration at the very last minute, you can still buy your gifts from us until midday this coming Sunday.
Pop over to our Christmas gift page to find those final stocking fillers or gifts for relatives you may have forgotten about (we won’t tell).
If you still need to grab wine to accompany Christmas dinner or even whisky and brandy to cap the day off with – order now to be in time for the night before Christmas.
Have a great holiday!
We at MoM Towers love whisky. Can’t get enough it. We also love the USA (yes, it’s true!), and we have a special place in our collective, malty heart for Craft Distillers. So, when we first heard about an American, whisky-producing craft distillery, our minds were blown. Blown, I tells ya! This was well before we even had a chance to behold the amazing beards of Chip Tate, Head Distiller at Balcones, and Jared Himstedt, the Production Manager at the Distillery. Once we saw what these chaps were sporting and making, we knew we would be hooked.
Chip Tate started up Balcones in 2008 and snatched the glory of producing the very first Texas whisky. Balcones is named for the fault line that runs through the south-western part of the state through Waco, Texas where the distillery is located. A dramatic illustrated interpretation of the Balcones Fault can be found in the logo and is truly representative of some of the flavour profiles found in their whiskies: ground-breaking and earth-quaking.
The London Distillery Company has just released their first product – the TESTBED1 Gin Set. A pack of four gins made to four different recipes which demonstrate the development process undertaken to create a new London Dry Gin.
The London Distillery Company was founded in 2011 by Darren Rook, who was then joined by Production Manager Andrew Macleod Smith in May 2012. Most excitingly, they will also be producing their very own whisky, making them the first distillery in London to do so in 100 years. Whilst we’re eagerly awaiting this, they've embarked on the TESTBED Gin project to keep us thoroughly entertained.
It seems most countries have a national drink – these are the kind of bottles that are bought on holiday and go dusty in the cupboard only to be pulled out for drinking games at parties years later. One of the most iconic national drinks of all time is of course Tequila.
Tequila, as we all know, has a bad reputation as being that party drink, that led to that night, and many have avoided exploring this infamous spirit unless forced to by a friend who is swaying on the spot with a party hat on his head screaming, "SHOT!". However, if this is the case, Tequila's rustic cousin Mezcal should pique your interest. "What is a Mezcal?" I hear you ask. Well take a seat and I will tell you a story.
Martha Stewart was wrong! Yes, I said it. The Queen of Entertaining got it wrong this Thanksgiving. While her recipe for a Cranberry Old Fashioned was delightful, it needed some serious tweaking to provide the smooth, sweet, balanced and refreshing pre-dinner drink I was going for. The end result, I don’t mind telling you, was a massive hit. I detailed my quest to create the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail (I made a rule of using bourbon and cranberries as the base), and did much research on the subject before finally deciding on Martha’s recipe. Here’s how the experimenting went.
Martha’s recipe called for muddling cranberries in 2 teaspoons of sugar—a necessity when working with fresh cranberries. The problem with muddling fresh cranberries is that they become so pulpy, when you mix in the bourbon and ice you’re left with a sludgy (but delicious) mess! I did try substituting maple syrup for the sugar, but found that while the maple flavour really balanced the bourbon, the cranberries were too tart to be fully subdued by the sweetness of the syrup. I also found that the end result was an exceedingly strong drink. While I enjoy neat spirits, not all of my guests have such prepared palates. What to do??
It’s fair to say that I’ve been a fan of the guys from Fluid Movement (the team behind The Worship Street Whistling Shop, Purl, and the new Dach and Sons) for a while now. In fact, I reviewed Purl almost 18 months ago here should you care to read about it.
It was a somewhat off-the-cuff suggestion that we ‘do something together’ made whilst at the Whistling Shop about this time last year which has ultimately led to the situation of us jointly launching the first retail product from this team of really very clever chaps.
So, without further ado – I give you ‘Cream Gin’. The main ingredient in the Whistling Shop’s signature cocktail – The Black Cat’s Martini.
This really quite marvellous concoction is the brain-child of The Whistling Shop’s erstwhile head barman, and all-round mixological genius, Ryan Chetiyawardana.
In the name of journalistic plausibility, and to make for a better read, I briefly forgot all about the extensive NPD conducted for the product, and the fact that I now know more about vanillin content and fat globule homogenisation than any man has the right to, and caught up with Ryan for a brief Q&A:More...
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...More...
Chivas Brothers have recently launched a new global educational campaign entitled ‘Great Things Take Time’.
To declare such a grand concept – Chivas treated us to a delicious lunch, courtesy of Mark Hix, at Brown’s Hotel to explain why age is important – undoubtedly because they have a lot of old whisky that needs selling, and selling is what we do. I am always happy to listen so I settled down to be wooed by these giants of blending.
According to their research only 10% of whisky consumers understand what the age statement on a bottle of whisky means, and 94% of people believe an age statement is an indicator of quality. This is understandable; it’s not immediately apparent, or indeed, at all apparent on the bottle that the age statement refers to the youngest whisky inside. Plus, it’s easy to see why older whisky should be better; older whisky is more expensive, if it’s more expensive surely it should be of a higher quality – that’s a fair assumption to make. However, this got me thinking as we tasted our way through the Chivas range with Master Blender Colin Scott: does age matter?
We were then ferried to the grotto of antiquities that is the Victoria & Albert Museum to watch a debate addressing the question whether age matters or not take place. The debate took place between historian Bettany Hughes and Peter Aspden from the Financial Times, however their inclination to agree with one another lended a bias to the argument that age does matter (remember old whisky is at stake here). Despite this what they had to say was interesting.
Today is two things: 1. It’s a day all the trains from London were delayed dramatically. 2. It’s Thanksgiving!
What do these 2 things mean when combined? Well, I found myself a rare free moment to muse upon all things American. Being a Yankee far from home at this time of year can be a bit sad (hello, 4-day weekend!), but luckily there’s enough turkey, cranberries, and canned pumpkin in the UK to get me through.
This year, I thought I’d add something new to my holiday tradition: pre-dinner cocktails. Normally, the drink of choice for Thanksgiving is Beaujolais Nouveau (I still recall the colourful paper signs propped in the liquor store window of my hometown: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!), but this year’s crop has been low, so the bottles have been allocated and as such are in limited supply in the UK. Boo.More...