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Battle of the Blends - The Results!

by Jake Mountain     12. October 2015 13:50

Battle of the Blends Whisky Magazine

It was truly a battle for the ages, and now - sooner than you may have expected - we can reveal the results!

If you're wondering what this Whisky Magazine #BattleOfTheBlends in association with Master of Malt business is all about then you can catch up by reading our previous blog post about the contest. Right now though, it's time to crown a champion...

The heavyweight contest between Dave Broom and Neil Ridley was decided by the noses and palates of over 250 judges including Master Blenders and well-known brand ambassadors as well as whisky and spirits writers, bloggers and enthusiasts - perhaps even your good self (if so, thank you!). Below you'll find my own Battle of the Blends tasting notes, as well as some comments from the judging panel, before the 2015 winner is revealed...


Become a Judge in the Battle of the Blends 2015!

by Jake Mountain     9. September 2015 09:00

Battle of the Blends Whisky Magazine

UPDATE: Following huge demand, all Judging places have now been filled!

Whisky Magazine readers will know all about the Battle of the Blends already, but for those who haven't had the pleasure of perusing their glossy pages over the last few months, it's "a truly legendary contest... a test of skill, ingenuity and the sternest of palates" as Dave 'The Rummager' Broom and Neil 'Copper Dog' Ridley go toe to toe!

The eight rounds of blending, in accordance with the Marquis of Ridley rules (see below), have taken place and it's now time for the all important judging! Excitingly, as we've been working on this alongside Whisky Mag, this means that there's an opportunity for you to be one of the esteemed judges in this battle royale, an undertaking that will involve receiving and tasting delicious whisky. Sorry about that.


Gift Vouchers Are Evil

by Master of Malt     11. June 2015 13:35

Master of Malt Gift Vouchers

Vouchers… Vouchers, vouchers, vouchers. They’re the dirty little secret of retailing. They are a little bit of magic. Shops have somehow convinced people to hand over their money in return for something which becomes literally worthless anywhere between 6 months and a couple of years later or whenever you lose it (whichever comes sooner).

In the meantime they get to have your hard-earned money sitting in their bank account earning interest, or financing the operation of their business. And in return for this you, the gift voucher owner, the Lord of the gift voucher manor get… nothing.

*Nothing*. Does that seem right to you? No. Nor us.


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Sorry guys… The Bruichladdich Prices *were* wrong

by Master of Malt     1. May 2015 18:25

Master Of Malt Single Casks Glass Closures

So, here's the thing. We fucked up. We got the pricing on our recently released Bruichladdich single casks wrong. To be precise, we accidentally used the figure per litre of pure alcohol instead of the figure per litre of finished liquid in our calculations. The prices of our bottlings are always based on the cost of the liquid, and in this case the costs we used were incorrect. This blog post, for the avoidance of doubt, was written on the naughty step. We took ourselves there.


New Innovative Glass Closures Now Available Separately For Just £1

by Master of Malt     30. April 2015 16:00

Master Of Malt Single Casks Glass Closures

You may have seen that we recently launched a couple of single casks that featured our shiny new innovative glass closures, which you can read all about here. We also invited you to give your feedback and one query that arose was whether we were going to sell the closures separately, after all, they'll fit any of the bottles in our Single Cask Series! We thought this was such a good idea that we should do it immediately. So we did.


Six New Master of Malt Single Cask Bottlings PLUS We Present Our New Glass Closures

by Master of Malt     22. April 2015 07:59

Master Of Malt Single Casks Glass Closures

So then. Single Cask bottlings, eh? Specifically our Single Cask bottlings. It's been a little while since we've bottled a load of delicious whisky for our Single Cask Series, but we're happy to announce not one, not two, not four, but six brand new Master of Malt Single Cask Series bottlings! This bunch includes a 23 year old Ardbeg(!), a 23 year old Invergordon single grain, a 17 year old Ben Nevis and two Bruichladdich single malts.

Exciting, yes? Of course it is. What's also very exciting is that we're releasing two independently bottled single cask whiskies with innovative glass closures, making cork-taint in single malt whiskies a thing of the past. (To be honest, it's a bit of an experiment - we'd love to know what you think but we'll get to that in a minute.)


Winnings from the WWA, WDA & Icons of Whisky

by Jake Mountain     20. March 2015 09:40

World Drinks Awards World Whiskies Awards 2015

Yesterday saw the winners of the 2015 World Drinks Awards announced, as well as the winners of Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whisky and World Whiskies Awards - a very busy rotation of the Earth! It was also a fantastic day for many of the brands we work with / own / represent as you'll see from the veritable cornucopia of trophies and awards below.

Drink by the Dram have also produced a selection of Winners Tasting Sets, which you can find here.


Master of Malt 60 Year Old Whisky, and my contribution to the NAS debate

by Ben Ellefsen     7. March 2014 11:00

Master of Malt 60 Year Old Speyside

Well. This is sort of a big deal, isn't it?

I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of whiskies ever released that are over 60 years of age, and it's absolutely unthinkable these days that a 60yo distillery release would ever see the light of day at anything less than a five-figure price tag. Yet here we are bringing this astonishing piece of liquid history to you for a three-figure sum*.


Well rather than re-iterate, I'll refer you to my explanation of the economics behind this, here: Do please read it, as every bit of it still rings true, and it's the reason behind our ability to continue to deliver exceptional, unbelievably well-aged whiskies at price-points an order of magnitude less than some other folk.


World Whiskies Awards (6 of them. Yes. 6)

by Ben Ellefsen     27. March 2013 11:10

World Whiskies Awards 2013

Hot on the heels of our success at the Off License News Drinks Retailing Awards, the World Whiskies Awards 2013 were presented last week at the Waldorf Hotel in London, and, erm, we cleaned up again*.

I’m not going to re-hash the recent blog post I wrote about our success at the OLN awards, but suffice it to say, there’s a reasonable-length post here about the innovations and initiatives we’ve launched in the past 12 months. It’s well worth a read if you’ve not already.


Brand New 30, 40 and 50 Year Old Whisky

by Ben Ellefsen     26. October 2012 17:04

For those of you hitherto unfamiliar with them, our ‘Secret Bottlings’ series of Single Malts have long been a staple of our core range of Master of Malt branded whiskies. They provide exceptionally well-aged whiskies at a price that seems utterly unthinkable in today’s world of 5-figure 50 year olds, and six figure 54 year olds.

The secret with these whiskies has always been that we’ve released them without the name of the distillery present on the label, hence preserving the distillery in question’s brand equity, and allowing us to buy them at a fraction of the price that would be possible if the distillery’s own name was on it.

A bit more on that, because I’ve just read it back, and it sounds suspiciously like marketing bullshit. I’ll expand:

If a distillery (let’s call it Glenyummy) has a certain number of customers (X) for its standard 12yo whisky, the chances are they’ll have a customer-base of about 0.05X for their 18yo expression, 0.0005X for their 30yo expression, and 0.0000005X by the time they hit anything over a few hundred quid. More...


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