I woke up, and removed myself from bed with the cautiousness of a man who has just undergone complicated surgery.
Unbelievable. Despite my memory rendering the last few hours in similar detail to a five year old’s picture of the Sistine Chapel, I was all right. Praise be indeed!
I congratulated myself on my iron constitution. Today would be a day of winding Highland roads and tight schedules. Not a day to be under the weather.
It all started so well. The Master of Malt Mobile was pimped, packed with drams and a simply outrageous selection of fine booze, and we were ready to go by 9.30am… not bad going I think you’ll agree.
We’ll be doing a bit of entertaining in Islay, so we packed our entire range of Vintage Cocktails, a selection of whisky and a few special bottles including Glenfarclas Cognac Cask, a single cask Ardbeg 1993 (more on this in coming weeks – yes – it’s going to be a new bottling from MoM), and a 28-year-old Port Ellen.
So – it’s that time of year again - Feis Ile time.
We went along for the first time last year, and despite several fates befalling us which wouldn’t have seemed out of place in the bible*, it was an absolutely awesome holiday strictly work-related event.
As a result, we’ve decided to go back again this year, en-masse for the full 8 days of the festval, starting next Saturday (26th May) and ending the Saturday after.More...
I know what you’re thinking: The shock! The horror!
Scratch that. You’re thinking: I know. Boring. Old news. Who gives a doodle?
Full disclosure: until 3 March, 2010, I was a whisky hater. Full on. In my youth, I partook of the occasional whisky sour, but that was in an attempt to sound sophisticated to a bartender who could not care less about my ingénue posturing. Mostly, I just couldn’t stand the stuff. More...
Okay, so here’s the thing – I’ve got a reasonably good idea. It’s a secret for now, but won’t be for much longer – in fact to those of you with reasonably astute imaginations, the cat’s probably out of the bag already. The idea hinges on being able to find sources of Juniper which are specific to one particular location, and to be honest I’m drawing a little bit of a blank.
Now it’s worth pointing out that as I type this post, I have a rotavap going behind me, I’m planning the details of a trip to Islay, ordering some Vinyl Graphics for our car (more on that later), working out the final details of a business trip to Poland, planning for a visit to the Tanqueray distillery next week, sorting out tastings for the lovely folk at Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, finalising a gin for The Spectator, and there was one more thing as well… oh yes – ‘running a whisky business’. So – it’s probably fair to say that perhaps I’ve not gone as far as I can down the road of investigating each and every producer in the world, or contacting every friendly distiller to try and prise out of them the details of from whence their juniper came, but I’ve had ‘a bit of a crack’.
This, dear readers is where you, and the bounty come in. More...
The weather may have thwarted the brave Walking with the Wounded team’s attempt on the summit of Everest, but their journey is still an inspiring story.
And tonight, they will commiserate by staging the world’s highest ever whisky tasting, streamed live on Glenfiddich's website at 7pm tonight. Technology eh? More...
Magic happens on the darkest night according to Bowmore, and to prove it the company recently employed some of the dodgiest Scottish accents in North London to guide a group of slightly bemused drinkers through “a sensory-filled journey of exploration that conjures mystery, myth and legend.”
Some things are better in the dark. Nightclubs, hiding from people, sleeping… being Fred West… It’s an exhaustive list. Bowmore’s exploration of darkness and/or novel marketing strategies didn’t include any of these things, but we did get to try Bowmore 15 Darkest (do you get the theme yet? Do you?).More...
I’m a big fan of Compass Box whiskies, particularly Flaming Heart and Spice Tree, so the chance to blend my own concoction under the expert tutelage of John Glaser was like offering chateaubriand to a starving dog.
You may have noticed we’re also running a competition to win several bottles of Compass Box, and giving away a free dram with each bottle bought, so it was good to go up and sample some of the company’s whiskies and meet the team at their office in Chiswick. More...
If you haven’t yet discovered Compass Box whisky it’s high time you did because the company produces some of the best Scotch blends on the market today.
And this month, the raptor-retinaed among you will have noticed we are running a really rather brilliant competition, and all you have to do is buy a bottle of Compass Box to enter!
The prize is superb – a bottle of the original, illegal Spice Tree, plus two very different whiskies from the company’s intriguing Canto Cask Range; Canto Cask 48 and Canto Cask 20 to be exact.
And even if you don’t win, every bottle of Compass Box you buy will be accompanied by a free dram of another Compass Box whisky. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m just off to buy a bottle of Flaming Heart and… what’s that? I’m not allowed to enter?
Ok, unfair as that seems (there are only 250 chances after all) instead I’ll tell you a bit about Compass Box.
The company launched in 2000, the vision of American blender John Glaser, ex-marketing director at Johnnie Walker.
John started his career in the wine trade where blended products are celebrated as much as their single varietal cousins. With whisky however it was, and to an extent still is, single malts that get all the glory.More...
We had to double check this first to make sure it wasn’t late April Foolishness, but it seems Ardbeg really has boldly gone where no other whisky has gone before.
Yes… they’ve sent Ardbeg to the International Space Station at 25,000 mph, which we believe is just short of Ludicrous Speed.
Well, to be strictly accurate they’ve sent new make spirit, so it’s Ardbeg, but not as we know it…at least not yet.
Because the point of this extra-planetary excursion is not to make the lives of the crew more bearable by providing them with delicious peaty whisky, but to explore the effects of zero gravity on the mysterious maturation process.
Along with the new make, samples of oak have been blasted into the earth’s orbit where the reactions between the two will be noted and closely compared to control samples back on earth.
A US team will closely monitor the experiment both in Houston, Texas, at the NanoRacks' facility, and also in Warehouse 3 at Ardbeg Distillery. More...