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Fèis Ìle - The Islay Whisky Festival 2015

by Jake Mountain     15. May 2015 11:00

Feis Ile Islay That Boutique-y Whisky Company

As some of you may already know, we're sadly not going to be at Fèis Ìle this year. I know, I know. We had a good run though - attending the last four years in a row as Master of Malt, keeping you all (hopefully) entertained whether you'd made it along or not, running some great promotions and even kitting many of you out with some top notch drams, t-shirts and snazzy tote bags. And it was our absolute pleasure to do so.

There'll be no Malt Mobile to look out for this year though (much to the delight of Bowmore's bollards), no gratuitous shots of limited edition whiskies next to hot tubs or Port Ellen tastings and no week long series of our ramblings from the event. But if you are indeed going, especially if it's your first time, allow us to present our little guide to this year's festival...

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Coastal Whisky: The Curious Relationship Between Whisky and the Seas

by Jake Mountain     18. February 2015 12:30

Coastal Whisky Bowmore

Some whiskies can be said to have a 'coastal' or 'maritime' character, and invariably these are also whiskies that I absolutely love. In fact, these seaside malts are the reason I became interested in whisky in the first place, and the very best examples are still probably my favourite spirits in the world. This is personal taste, of course, and whilst I love most of the gods' rich tapestry of whisky flavour profiles, I just happen to be a sucker for the Neptunian ones. So, consider me your Neil Oliver as we embark on a journey of discovery and also consider exactly how is it that some malts seemingly take on the very taste of the coast. This, is whisky on the edge... *Cue music*

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Diageo Special Releases 2014

by Jake Mountain     7. November 2014 17:00

Diageo Special Releases 2014 Caol Ila 30yo

On Tuesday evening I found myself the nearest thing to a corner possible at a curvy and buzzing Magazine Restaurant in Kensington Gardens on a cold, rainy November night. Here I would attempt to write some meaningful tasting notes for 11 limited edition cask strength single malts in a couple of hectic hours, including the time it would take to fight through the crowd each time I needed to move on to new whiskies, and the time it would take for the smell of prawn hors d'oeuvres to dissipate each time the diligent waitresses came over to offer them.

Meanwhile, our Spirits Buyer Toby Cutler (he's nice, you'd like him - he really enjoys a good picture of Kevin Costner, or Chris Tucker for that matter) was having no such problem as he enjoyed a range of whiskies, some quite valuable, in a leisurely fashion alongside some pleasant conversation. Add all of this up, and it can only mean one thing: it was the launch of Diageo's much-anticipated 2014 Special Releases!

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Maltstock 2013: There and Back Again… A Whisky Tale with another new Highland Park!

by Jake Mountain     10. January 2014 17:55

Maltstock 2013 logo

Ah, Maltstock! 2013 marked Master of Malt’s 4th visit to the “relaxed whisky weekend”, although of the four people who went, three of us were, in fact, Maltstock virgins! That Boutique-y Whisky Company have also now released their second batch of Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky, complete with Maltstock label – more on that towards the end!

As mentioned above, Cat (now Maverick Drinks’ Brand Communications Manager), was the only one of us who had travelled to Maltstock before (making the local newspapers in the process), the rest of the team was made up by her Maverick minion Teesh, Sam Alexandra (who is MoM’s marketing maestro), and yours truly!

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Feis Ile 2013: The Islay Whisky Roundup!

by Jake Mountain     6. June 2013 09:34

Feis Ile 2013 map

It's fair to say that Feis Ile aka That Boutique-y Whisky Company On Tour 2013 was a rip-roaring success! Enjoyment was had by all, 3 fantastic Competitions were run and entered into with rabid enthusiasm. And nobody died, either! Great success.

From our Distillery Dog Peaty getting lost (and getting found again) to our Message in a Bottle Islay Treasure Hunt, to loads of you literally flagging us down with the signal, you (yes, you) all made this our best Fèis Ìle yet! We’re already hard at work planning next year’s shenannigans...

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Feis Ile 2013: Day 8 (Ardbeg) - Ardbog & The SS Malt

by Jake Mountain     4. June 2013 10:48

Ardbog

The final day of Feis Ile 2013 was of course Ardbog Day! Although thoroughly shattered, we nonetheless dragged ourselves down to the Kildalton coast with dogged enthusiasm!

(The good thing about Ardbeg of course is that they have Ardbeg there. Mmm... Ardbeg.)

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Feis Ile 2013: Day 3 (Caol Ila) - Caol-Itos, Way

by Jake Mountain     28. May 2013 13:17

Monopoly Islay

The day ended with a game of Islay-opoly where three people landed on Caol Ila at the same time at one point (apt).

That morning we had headed over to Port Askaig, to that very distillery, to continue the search for our lost dog Peaty...

Have you seen him?

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Feis Ile - Islay Competition 2: Peaty, The Lost Distillery Dog

by Jake Mountain     21. May 2013 13:20

Peaty distillery dog

Following on from Competition 1, it’s time to offer a little more detail on the second competition we’re running whilst on Islay. Let me introduce you to ‘Peaty’, our bold and feisty little friend. He’s also a toy dog.

Peaty’s hero is Shortie, the Ardbeg distillery dog, but he loves all Islay whisky equally and when we take him to visit the distilleries he often doesn’t want to leave! If you find him on your travels between 24th May and 2nd June, we’re offering a reward for his safe return to the Malt Mobile – a full 50cl bottle of our brand new That Boutique-y Whisky Company Caol Ila, worth £54.95! One good deed deserves another, after all.

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We're Goin' To Islay!

by Jake Mountain     1. May 2013 12:37

Message in a bottle

Feis Ile is almost upon us once again and to celebrate our third visit to The Islay Whisky Festival, we will be running 3 Competitions (count ‘em) for all those souls lucky enough to be joining us on the Hebridean island between 24th May and 2nd June 2013!

We will also be releasing a brand new bottling from That Boutique-y Whisky Company: a Caol Ila! Schwiing! This new release will be up for grabs on Islay as well as other prizes. To see how you can get in on the action, read on...

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Tasting the Diageo 2012 Special Releases

by Angus     1. October 2012 23:19

It’s that time of year again - the weather has given up the pretence of caring, the trees are shedding their leaves like a sinking ship sheds ballast, and the sun can’t summon the energy to stay in the sky for longer than is absolutely necessary. Thankfully all is not lost as Diageo are about to release their much anticipated Special Releases Range.

Diageo is a multi-national drinks company that owns twenty-eight working distilleries and the remaining stock of a number of closed ones, and every year they release a selection of limited releases from some of these distilleries.

With such a large portfolio to draw from these whiskies tend to be the cream of the crop and get us whisky geeks slathering at their merest mention [go on, find a whisky geek and mention it, watch it slather…].

So this evening we all trooped to London to taste these high-demand whiskies in the warm and, more importantly, dry confines of The Deck at the National Theatre. Last time I was in this theatre I watched Benedict Cumberbatch (that guy off of Sherlock) prance around the stage as Frankenstein’s monster with nothing but his self-esteem to cover his modesty. This time I came armed with a notebook and pen - ready to record my experience of facing this enormous tackle of whisky. 

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