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Master of Malt Blog

Author: Adam O'Connell

Springtime treats for Mother’s Day

Struggling for Mother’s Day presents? In need to replace the winter warmers with refreshing, spring-tastic booze? Well then you’ve come to the right place. With Mother’s Day fast approaching (it’s…

Struggling for Mother’s Day presents? In need to replace the winter warmers with refreshing, spring-tastic booze? Well then you’ve come to the right place.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching (it’s Sunday 31st) and spring very much in full flow, it’s the perfect time to indulge in some seasonal spirits and splash out on great gift ideas.

Fortunately for you, we’re on hand to give you a, err… hand. Not only have we put together a show-stopping list of perfect presents on our Mother’s Day gifts page (where you’ll find gin gifts, whisky gifts, tasting sets, gift sets and gift vouchers), but we’ve also picked out a super selection of spring-themed tipples that we reckon you and the matriarch in your family would most certainly love to sip on a warm evening.

So, what are you waiting for? Brilliant booze is just a scroll away…

The Epicurean

One of Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts, The Epicurean is an expression created to highlight the best of Scotland’s Lowland region and tell the story of a 1930s Glaswegian maverick, who is pictured on the bottle’s label. A small-batch bottling that’s presented without any additional colouring or chill-filtration, The Epicurean is another winner from the ever-reliable Douglas Laing that’s delicious neat or in a variety of serves.

What does it taste like?:

Apples, pears and white grapes, chocolate fudge, cloudy lemonade, honey’d barley and a thin layer of thyme honey are joined by notes of elegant lemongrass, grist and cereals, as well as a pinch of pepper.

Spring-tastic serve: The Epicurean Horse’s Neck

Douglas Laing created this cocktail to highlight all that’s great about The Epicurean’s light, sweet and grassy profile. To make, simply add ice, lemon peel and 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters to a tall glass. Then add 25ml of The Epicurean and top with a good quality ginger ale. Stir and then serve, while preparing yourself for any number of Godfather-based dad jokes.

Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin

Who doesn’t look at this beauty and immediately think of sprucing up their G&Ts or creating any number of delicious cocktails? You may know Whitley Neill as the English gin with an exotic, African inspired flavour profile, but the brand has looked closer to home for its inspiration with this expression. This Rhubarb & Ginger Gin pairs two rustic and distinctive flavours in delicious gin-tastic harmony, to the extent that the World Gin Awards 2018 felt it deserved a silver medal in the Flavoured Gin category!

What does it taste like?:

Subtly tart with clear rhubarb influence. A twist of orange sweetness and herbaceous coriander brings balance to the palate.

Spring-tastic serve: The Rhubarb and Ginger Spritz

This cocktail is spring and simplicity in a glass, metaphorically of course. To make, simply take a highball glass and fill with cubed ice. Pour 50ml Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin and 15ml of lemon juice into the glass and give it a quick stir to infuse. Top with a good quality tonic water, then garnish with fresh orange slices and serve to your guests who are no doubt picking flowers or birthing lambs or whatever people do when it’s springtime.

Glenmorangie Allta Private Edition

A rich, fruity and intriguing expression, Allta (Scots Gaelic for ‘wild’) was released as part of the pioneering Private Edition series. It’s the very first whisky to be created from a bespoke strain of wild yeast growing on local barley and the resulting spirit was matured in ex-bourbon barrels. Classic Glenmorangie style meets experimental flair. What’s not to love?

What does it taste like?:

Rounded, with biscuity, yeasty tones, floral notes of carnations, vanilla, butter candy, soft raisins, gentle mint and sweet mandarin orange.

Spring-tastic serve: The Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is delicious and simple. What more could you ask from a cocktail? To create, start by putting a level teaspoon of brown sugar into an Old Fashioned glass. Then add a splash of hot water and a two dashes of Fee Brothers Orange bitters. Stir vigorously so that the sugar dissolves, then add 80ml of Glenmorangie Allta Private Edition. Stir a bit more, add ice cubes, stir a bit more and garnish with a piece of orange peel. Serve while trying to keep the yeast-based facts to a minimum. It’s not much of a crowd pleaser for those who aren’t whisky geeks like us.

Issan (That Boutique-y Rum Company)

For those who want an introduction to the superb category of cane juice spirits, this complex and characterful Rhum Agricole should do the trick. It was sourced by That Boutique-y Rum Company from Issan, a Thai distillery that places a pleasing emphasis on sustainability and community. The spirit is made with the juice from red sugar cane, which is distilled in the copper pot still that you see on the label. Intriguing, tasty and perfect for enjoying in cocktails or on its own, this is one for the adventurous types.

What does it taste like?:

Grassy and herbaceous, with green olive water, damp hay, tinned sweetcorn water, aromatic vanilla, butterscotch, dark berries and a hint of honey blossom lingers.

Spring-tastic serve: Neat

It’s really worth trying this one on its own before you indulge yourself in the wonderful world of Agricole rum cocktails. The connoisseurs of this style of spirit will be rewarded with the kind of profile they adore, while newcomers will get a chance to experience the delights of its unique character in all of its naked glory.

Glenkinchie 12 Year Old

The flagship expression from the Glenkinchie distillery and a sublime introduction to the Lowland region, Glenkinchie 12 Year Old was declared the winner of the Best Lowland Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2016 for good reason. Full of light, sweet and creamy notes, this is one to have fun and play with in a number of serves.

What does it taste like?:

Light and aromatic with hints of barley malt, almonds, hazelnuts, stewed fruits, dessert wine, apple peels and manuka honey/beeswax.

Spring-tastic serve: The Whisky Sour

It’s a classic for good reason, the Whisky Sour. To create your own barnstorming edition, you’ll need to add 45ml of Glenkinchie 12 Year Old, 25ml of fresh lemon juice and 25ml of simple syrup (if you want to make your own, it’s one part water to one part sugar) to a shaker filled with ice. Then shake the mix and strain it into a tumbler filled with fresh ice. Finally, garnish with a single Luxardo Maraschino Cherry and a lemon wedge, then serve and raise a glass to whisky, springtime, whisky, Mother’s Day and great whisky!

Monkey 47 Dry Gin

An ever-popular, wonderfully unusual and utterly delicious gin from the Black Forest in Germany, Monkey 47 contains a total of 47 botanicals (actual monkeys, or indeed any member of the band The Monkeys aren’t one them, relax) and was bottled at a healthy 47%. No prizes for guessing why it’s called Monkey 47 (also presumably because monkeys rock). Among the 47 botanicals are the likes of Acorus calamus, almond, angelica, bitter orange, blackberry, cardamom, cassia, chamomile, cinnamon, lemon verbena, cloves, coriander, cranberries, cubeb, dog rose, elderflower, ginger, Grains of Paradise, hawthorn berries, hibiscus abelmoschus, hibiscus syriacus… you get the idea.

What does it taste like?:

Fresh grassy citrus, sweet liquorice, plenty of spice, juicy berries, cardamom, pine and herbal juniper.

Spring-tastic serve: Schwarzendorff Martini

A brilliant Black Forest-inspired twist on the universally adored cocktail, the Schwarzendorff Martini couldn’t be simpler to make. All you have to do is combine 45ml of Monkey 47 Dry Gin, 45ml of Schatzel Riesling 2016, two dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters and a little ice together in a cocktail shaker. Shake this mix and then strain it into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with lemon zest and a dash of cinnamon, and have a few monkey-based puns ready for when you serve. If you don’t do it, somebody else will.

Cazcabel Honey Liqueur

One for the mothers or mother figures that are sweeter than sugar, this superb honey liqueur from Cazcabel was made using its Blanco Tequila as a base and honey sourced from local bees. An individual, distinctive liqueur, this is a bold and crowd-pleasing tipple that’s simply begging to be put to good use in a cocktail.

What does it taste like?:

Rich, sweet and full of honey and caramel with earthy and smoky notes.

Spring-tastic serve: Honey I’ve Made Margaritas!

A refreshing, warm and street treat, you can make this take on the classic Margarita by combining 55ml of Cazcabel Honey Liqueur, 20ml of fresh lemon juice and 40ml of Gran Marnier in a cocktail shaker. Stir vigorously then add a cup of ice and shake for 10 seconds. Pour straight into a Margarita glass, garnish with a lemon wheel and serve. If you want a salted rim, then before you make the cocktail you’ll need to take a lemon wedge and coat the rim of the glass. Then dip it in margarita salt, rotating until coated.

Compass Box Hedonism

Smooth, creamy and really very tasty, Hedonism represents Compass Box trying to create a decedent dram, as the name suggests. It’s a blended grain whisky featuring liquid (depending on batch variation) from Cameronbridge, Carsebridge, Cambus, Invergordon, Port Dundas or Dumbarton that was matured in 100% first-fill American oak barrels or rejuvenated American oak hogsheads. Equally delicious neat or in a multitude of classic cocktails, Hedonism is also amazing with a caramel-based dessert.

What does it taste like?:

Fraises des bois, sponge cake, red pepper, black cherry, milk chocolate, toasted oak and sweet spices with some cereal notes.

Spring-tastic serve: The Rob Roy

In this delightful Rob Roy the vanilla-rich Hedonism mirrors the bourbon-based profile of the cocktail’s inspiration, The Manhattan. To create, stir 50ml of Compass Box Hedonism with 20ml Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, a dash of Angostura Bitters and ice. Then strain and serve up in a coupe glass garnished with a Luxardo Maraschino Cherry before toasting your mother/mother figure because they’ve almost certainly earned it!

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BBR unveils photography-inspired Perspective Series

Berry Bros. & Rudd (BBR) has released The Perspective Series, a collection of blended Scotch whiskies, in collaboration with award-winning Scottish photographer Lindsay Robertson. We were invited to the brand’s…

Berry Bros. & Rudd (BBR) has released The Perspective Series, a collection of blended Scotch whiskies, in collaboration with award-winning Scottish photographer Lindsay Robertson. We were invited to the brand’s famous home at 3 St. James’ Street, London to check it out.

If you know us at all, you’ll be aware that a collectable range of limited edition blended Scotch whiskies with serious age was always going to be of interest to us. But, London wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros. & Rudd (BBR) didn’t just have sublime Scotch to present last night, but some remarkable photography, too.

The Perspective Series, Berry Bros. & Rudd master blender Doug McIvor explained, “is all about the use of our senses”. That’s where Robertson comes into the picture. He was approached by BBR with a task: to adorn each bottle in the range with images of majestic Scottish landscapes. Having seen these images in person, it’s fair to say he met his brief.

Robertson himself began life as an advertising photographer, where he often found himself snapping promotional shots for Bell’s. Now, all these years later, he’s gone full circle, creating images that portray a visual metaphor of each whisky’s flavour. Combine this with McIvor’s experience in expertly blending Scotch, and you’ve got yourself a range that’s all about artistry, inside and out.

Perspective Series

The lone cottage on Rannoch Moor, the striking image that was chosen to pair with the 35-year-old expression.

“Photography is to see,” Robertson explained. “The art of being aware of our natural surroundings which are the raw ingredients to compose the image – that image is then captured within a moment in time. Whisky is similar in that it is the taste which is the art… using the same raw natural ingredients, composing and distilling these ingredients in time, then patiently awaiting the day of maturity with anticipation.”

McIvor added: “Absorbing the spectacular images on the label whilst taking a sip of the amber dew provides a powerful combination that can amplify and instil joyful memories of a time and a place. Visual beauty is emotive, and I look for balance and complexity, maturity and texture in the whisky. It is the task of the blender to bring all these elements together to create extraordinary landscapes of aroma and flavour.”

The Perspective Series will be available from Master of Malt soon. In the meantime, let’s check out the range:

Perspective Series

The 21-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky

21-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky

First in the selection is a 21-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky, bottled at 43% ABV and set to retail for £89.00. We were seriously impressed by this one, which could prove quite the bargain for a spirit of its age.

Producer Tasting Note: Fresh, vibrant fruit is undercut by delicate oak and spice, gracefully interwoven with vanilla and honey. A lingering finish caps the experience.

Label image: Sandwood Bay, a natural bay on the north-west coast of mainland Scotland best known for its remote mile-long beach.

Robertson says: “The last shot of the day. I can still hear the cliffs resounding with the timeless echo of the waves. The combination of the creamy, subtle tones of the ocean crashing onto the fine, granular structure of the sand capture the soulful and beautiful peace exuded by the area.”

Perspective Series

The 25-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky

25-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky

Next up is 25-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky, bottled at 43% ABV and priced at £145.00. An intriguing blend, the 25-year-old features a stunning snap of The Cuillins as its label art.

Producer Tasting Note: The nose exudes soft, ripe autumnal fruit and fresh citrus with waves of honey and prickles of spice. The palate is full, viscous, fresh and lively, leading to a long, satisfying finish.

Label image: The Cuillins, a range of rocky mountains located near Talisker’s home on the Isle of Skye.

Robertson says: “The light danced around the mountains, creating interesting shapes and textures over the rugged terrain, and eventually all the elements came together for that one moment. Pure in its simplicity, it captures the vastness, ruggedness and subtlety of nature.”

Perspective Series

The 35-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky

35-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky

We felt the standout of the range (narrowly edging out the 21-year-old), was this 35-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky, bottled at 43% ABV and priced at £250.00. It’s absolutely sublime, and also features our favourite image of the image of the night as its label art.

Producer Tasting Note: Rich, mature notes of fruit and malt are augmented by a lively crispness from the grain. Candied fruit emerges, carried on waves of honey and balanced by judicious hints of oak. The finish is long and relaxed.

Label image: Rannoch Moor, an expanse of around 50 square miles of boggy moorland notable for its wildlife.

Robertson says: “Below the distant Grampian mountains, silence and solitude reigns, with the deer, heather and bog myrtle all contributing to this desolate no-man’s land fashioned by nature. One thousand feet above sea-level, the light and shadow play against the lone cottage on Rannoch Moor.”

Perspective Series

The 40-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky

40-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky

The final expression in the range is the impressive 40-Year-Old Blended Scotch Whisky, bottled at 40.1% ABV and set to retail for £450.00. This is the only bottling with a peat-forward profile, so if that’s your kind of thing don’t miss out on this beauty.

Producer Tasting Note: Plentiful soft, ripe tropical fruit combines with hints of vanilla, coffee beans and subtle yet uplifting spice. A rich, textured, lively palate builds in luxuriance towards a deliciously long, lingering and rewarding finish.

Label image: Buichaille Etive Mòr, a mountain at the head of Glen Etive in the Highlands of Scotland.

Robertson says: “The sentinel of Glen Coe displays its majestic dominance over the landscape in a striking yet sympathetic way. The early morning light, coupled with the winter morning air, rendered an absolute clarity and sharpness not normally seen.”

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Say hello to some spring spirits!

Spring has finally arrived and there’s no better way to ring in the warmer months than with a seasonal spirit in hand. Shed your layers and rejoice: spring is here!…

Spring has finally arrived and there’s no better way to ring in the warmer months than with a seasonal spirit in hand.

Shed your layers and rejoice: spring is here! The grass is green, there are new baby animals to coo over, and surely the heating bill is about to reduce (adulting truly sucks). So, why not put off the spring cleaning for another day and indulge in a tipple, or two. Whether you’ve got a penchant for Prosecco, a love of liqueurs, a soft spot for Scotch or a taste for Tequila, this is a time of year when the refreshing and rewarding really come into their own.

Here at MoM Towers, we love a bit of flower power when spring arrives. That why we’ve chosen to celebrate the coming of spring with a host of gins featuring fantastically floral botanicals, like rose petals, violets, lavender, lotus blossom and more. Enjoy!

Kyrö Napue Gin

This particular gin has two very exciting properties. 1) It was distilled using rye grain. 2) It features meadow sweet among its botanical selection. Alongside the aforementioned meadow sweet, Napue Gin was also crafted at the Kyrö Distillery in Isokyrö using citrus, cumin and juniper. Plus, it was named as the inaugural winner of the IWSC Gin & Tonic Trophy in 2015!

What does it taste like?:

Creamy vanilla, angelica, juniper, pink peppercorn, orange blossom, a herbal twinge of coriander root and cardamom seed, as well as plenty of floral and perfumed qualities.

Spring-tastic serve: Gin and Tonic

Classic, easy and, in this case, award-winning – it’s the Kyrö Napue G&T! To create, simply add 40ml of Kyrö Napue Gin to a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Top with 100ml of tonic water, stir well, garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a few cranberries. Serve while reminding any guests that this is an award-winning cocktail, thank you very much.

Alkkemist Gin

A wonderfully-presented gin that shines in a number of cocktails, Alkkemist Gin features among its 21 botanicals one of the classics of the floral genre: rose petal. Used to add depth and delicate sweetness, it was distilled (apparently under the light of the moon, no less) among other ingredients such as Muscat grape, orange and lemon peel, samphire, fennel, thyme and mint.

What does it taste like?:

Lemon peel, lavender, apple blossom, grape sweetness, fennel, clove, peppery juniper and a floral waft of rose.

Spring-tastic serve: Tom Collins

Add some Spanish style to this classic gin cocktail by stirring 50ml of Alkkemist Gin, 25ml of lemon juice and 15ml of simple syrup in a highball glass. Then fill the glass with ice cubes and top up with soda water. Garnish with a slice of lemon and serve while howling at the moon like the big badass wolf you are.

Harahorn Norwegian Gin

Sunndal wild marjoram is the star floral botanical is this interesting Norwegian gin. Mind you, you’d be forgiven for not noticing that thanks to the very distinctive label. While Harahorn is named after a mountain in Norway, the gin was actually inspired by the story of a hare with horns. Is it rad? Yes. Is it quite scary? Certainly. Does the gin taste delicious thanks to a botanical selection of Røros juniper berries, Nordmarka blueberries, Grimstad rhubarb, bladderwrack, Oppdal angelica and the highlighted Sunndal wild marjoram? Obviously.

What does it taste like?:

Juniper and blueberry always go together handsomely. The subtle tartness of rhubarb plays well with the pairing too.

Spring-tastic serve: Nordic Martini

See in spring with some Scandinavian style in this wonderful Martini. To create, combine 60ml of Harahorn Norwegian, 1 tbsp of Noilly Prat Original Dry and a little ice together in a cocktail shaker and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with candied rhubarb and serve while impressing your guests by correctly pronouncing all those botanicals!

Dorothy Parker American Gin

We’re always happy to celebrate Dorothy Parker, whether that’s the legendary writer, poet and satirist, or this delicious gin from the New York Distilling Company! A fine example of some of the great gins we’re seeing come out of America, this tipple was crafted with a mix of traditional botanicals, juniper, citrus, cinnamon, and more contemporary examples such as elderberries and the floral highlight here, hibiscus petals.

What does it taste like?:

Sweet floral notes, muscular juniper, elderberry, citrus, cinnamon and hibiscus petals.

Spring-tastic serve: The Aviation

A classic gin sipper with a spring in its step and a beautiful purple-bluish hue. You can make this variant of the Aviation cocktail by adding 60ml of Dorothy Parker American Gin, 15ml of Maraschino liqueur, 7.5ml of Crème de violette and 20ml of fresh lemon juice into a shaker with ice. Simply shake this mix and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry and serve while saluting the great Parker – “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.”

Forest Gin

What a success story Forest Gin has been for its creators, Lindsay and Karl Bond. Forest Gin is the only gin to have ever been awarded two separate Double-Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirit Awards, a feat it achieved in 2016. In this family-created small batch gin you’ll find classic botanicals, such as organic juniper berries and coriander seeds, as well as local ingredients foraged from Macclesfield Forest and processed with a pestle and mortar. This includes the gorse flowers, the floral fancy that means Forest Gin made our list, as well as wild bilberries, raspberries and local moss.

What does it taste like?:

Sweet berries, dewy, forest floor, moss, fresh spring water, rooty liquorice, cassia and cinnamon.

Spring-tastic serve: Negroni

Add a dose of forest funk to the Italian classic by combining 25ml of Forest Gin, 25ml of Campari and 25ml of Martini Rosso vermouth together in a cocktail shaker. Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a handful of raspberries and a cinnamon stick. Serve and marvel at that maverick weasel you’ll notice on the label of the distinctively English porcelain bottle.

Silent Pool Gin

The fragrant and delicately sweet lavender is the floral botanical you’ll find in the sublime Silent Pool Gin, which is produced on the Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills. This is right next to the Silent Pool, a beautiful, mysterious spring-fed lake that was the inspiration for a gin which features 23 other botanicals, including makrut lime, chamomile and local honey among others.

What does it taste like?:

Violet, lavender, lime leaf, elderflower, chamomile, orange blossom, vanilla-rich honey, cardamom, a spark of black pepper and juniper give it a spicy edge.

Spring-tastic serve: The French 75

The French 75 is an excellent celebratory cocktail, the perfect choice to toast the arrival of spring. To make, add 45ml of Silent Pool gin, 15ml of lemon juice and 7.5ml of sugar syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an empty glass, then top up with Champagne. Garnish with lemon peel and raise a glass to gin, springtime and, why not, gin again!

Sharish Blue Magic Gin

Sharish Blue Magic Gin is probably known best for its ability to transform in your glass from blue to pink with the addition of tonic. This is all down to the magic of the blue pea flower extracts which are used as a botanical. They not only provide that magnificent blue colour you can see in the bottle above, but also the colour changing properties that make this Portuguese gin so popular. Botanicals also include juniper, coriander, angelica root, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, lemon peel, strawberry and raspberry.

What does it taste like?:

Raspberry, strawberry, stem ginger, leafy coriander, lemon and angelica and soft juniper.

Spring-tastic serve: Like Magic Gin and Tonic

Let’s face it, we all want to make the colour changing G&T. So, what you’ll need to do is take a large glass (a Copa de Balon glass is ideal) and fill it with ice cubes and a 50ml measure of Sharish Blue Magic Gin. Then slowly pour 150ml of tonic water down a bar spoon onto the ice. Garnish with a slice of fresh orange, then play Eiffel 65’s Blue (Da Ba Dee) and Prince’s Purple Rain, in that order.

Roku Gin

When it came time for Suntory to create its first gin, there was little surprise it opted to include some wonderfully Japanese botanicals. These include the fabulously floral sakura flower and cherry blossom, as well as sakura leaf, sencha tea, gyokuro tea, sansho pepper, yuzu peel and traditional gin botanicals such as juniper, orange peel, lemon peel, coriander and cinnamon, among others.

What does it taste like?:

Earthy and vegetal, with a light whisper of fruity sweetness hiding underneath. Peppery notes develop on the finish.

Spring-tastic serve: Roku & Soda

The highball is a Japanese institution, so making a gin-based equivalent seems particularly appropriate. To create, pour 30ml of Roku Gin into the highball glass and fill with ice to the brim. Then slowly and gently pour 150ml of soda water along the edge of the glass and stir. Garnish with sticks of fresh ginger and, if possible, sakura flower petals to keep the floral theme going.

Boë Violet Gin

Boë Gin is delicious enough as it, but the recipe has been revamped here with the fantastically floral addition of violets! Delicate, refreshing and beautiful to look at, Boë Violet Gin is a smashing tipple, Enjoy it with tonic or any number of mixers, or use it to bring colour and sweetness to a variety of cocktails.

What does it taste like?:

Hugely floral, with classic citrus-forward notes cutting through cleanly.

Spring-tastic serve: The Amethyst Aviation

Fabulous and floral, this beautiful cocktail celebrates its violet spirit. To create, add 40ml of Boë Violet Gin, 25ml of lemon juice and 10ml of Maraschino liqueur into a shaker with ice. Shake this mix and strain it into a cocktail glass, then top with premium grapefruit tonic or soda water. Garnish with a twist of fresh pink grapefruit, serve and enjoy – it’s spring and you’re drinking delicious gin for goodness sake!

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Jim Murray and Glen Grant: A love affair

Creating world class Scotch means staying true to your roots, Jim Murray believes. It’s an approach that Glen Grant’s master distiller Dennis Malcolm knows a thing or two about. We…

Creating world class Scotch means staying true to your roots, Jim Murray believes. It’s an approach that Glen Grant’s master distiller Dennis Malcolm knows a thing or two about. We spoke to both in London to find out more.

Once again, Glen Grant 18 Year Old has been awarded the prize of Scotch Whisky of the Year in the 2019 edition of 2019 edition of Murray’s Whisky Bible. For the third year in a row, in fact.

It’s no small feat. Over 5,000 whiskies, a thousand of which were new entrants, were rated by Murray. In the end, only the 2017 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection release of William Larue Weller ranked higher to scoop the coveted accolade of World Whisky of the Year. In an official statement, Murray declared: “Once more the stunning Glen Grant 18 Year Old single malt carried the banner for Scotland, displaying Speyside Whisky in its most sparkling light.”

Glen Grant

Jim Murray

Providing the world with a refined whisky is what Glen Grant has been all about since 1840, when brothers John and James Grant founded the site in Rothes in Speyside. Some will tell you the secret to its style is the innovative tall slender stills, others will point to the revolutionary purifiers that James ‘The Major’ Grant, son of founder James Grant, was one of the first to introduce to the Scotch whisky industry over a century ago.

Malcolm appreciates the influence of both, but is keen to underline the importance of approach, “it’s consistent quality from the whole process, from the production right through. I used to jokingly say to people, when you mill it and mash it and ferment it, it’s almost a generic process!” he explains, “the secret is in your stills and your casks, that’s your big influencers, but you’ve got to be consistent with everything you’re doing.”

It’s this steadiness that resonates with Murray. “Glen Grant is the best distillery in Scotland and it is the most consistent. What I can tell you, is that if you tasted Glen Grant from a 1952 distilling or whatever, there’s no difference to now. It’s one of the few distilleries where the DNA has not changed”, Murray told us, “I can’t think of any other distillery that is as true now as it was in the past. And it’s one of the reasons I love it so much, and that makes it virtually unique in Scotch.”

Glen Grant 18 Year Old

Master distiller Dennis Malcolm

Nobody typifies the consistency at Glen Grant like the multi-award winning Malcolm. He was actually born in the grounds of Glen Grant in 1946 and has worked for the distillery in various capacities for over five decades. “My grandfather worked at Glen Grant and worked for the son of the founder, then my father worked there and then I left school at the age of 15 and went to be a cooper”, Malcolm recalls, “I wanted to create casks. That’s helped me along my career but I’ve always said ‘I know what casks are all about.’ Casks are like people, they all mature at different stages.”

It’s because of this background that he knows what Glen Grant whisky should be better than anybody. When I ask Malcolm how he knows when a spirit has that crucial Glen Grant profile, he says: “We look at it before we put it into the cask and what we want is a new, fine, fruity, estery Glen Grant new spirit. So the spirit at Glen Grant is monitored and passed fit for casking in the still house. That’s when we do it.”

Every part of the Glen Grant distillation process is about retaining a consistent quality. “We have a standardised system so it’s easy to operate. It’s broken into four pairs of stills, so one batch does a six hour process from mashing into distilling,” Malcolm explains, “when the spirit comes off, the first one pair, two pair, three pair, four pair, goes into separate receivers and it’s checked individually. I think attention to detail is the secret of consistent quality.”

Glen Grant 18 Year Old

The legendary Glen Grant stills

Murray concurs, revealing that when he trains blenders around the world it’s by following this approach. “So they can always make sure that they’ve got control. Because if you take your eye off it and you don’t have control that’s when suddenly something goes wrong,” he says, “now it’s this attention to detail that separates the great distilleries from the good distilleries and Glen Grant is just a great distillery, it just is.”

Talking to Malcolm and Murray, it’s clear how passionate they are that part of Glen Grant’s triumph is that it retained its identity and didn’t change simply to satisfy the market. “You’ve got to hold your ground. You have to be careful it doesn’t just become a fashion item for that one year. So what I try to do is protect the DNA of Glen Grant,” Malcolm says, “if the financial people want to save some money, they would say ‘use the casks four times there because you’re using a million pounds for bloomin’ casks every year!’ and that would put another million pounds on the bottom line. But I say: ‘hey, wait a minute, the only reason we’re here is because of our consistent quality so we need to keep that’.”

The Campari Group, who acquired Glen Grant whisky distillery in 2006 for €115m, were obviously wise enough to heed Malcolm’s advice. Under its ownership, the 12 Year Old and 18 Year Old whiskies were added to the core range in 2016, alongside The Major’s Reserve and the 10 Year Old. It’s notable to Murray that these were additions, and not replacements.

Glen Grant 18 Year Old

Glen Grant Distillery

“There was another really brilliant Speyside whisky that used to be ten years of age and it doesn’t exist anymore now because the company that owns it decided that ten years was too young. Not because ten years was too young for the whisky, it was too young in marketing terms,” Murray says. “Because the main guys that they were fighting against were 12 year olds. So they obliterated this fantastic whisky and bought it out as a 12 year old which was brainless! Utterly brainless! They had just destroyed a great whisky.”

So, after all that work, how did it feel to be honoured with the title of Scotch Whisky of the Year? “Well, you can’t really print what I said when I heard it for a start!” Malcolm jokes, “I really liked it because I was going back in time with this one, back to our roots. I thought, ‘well maybe it hasn’t always got to be new decorations all the time’, you know you decorate a house in different colours every year?”.

But what makes Glen Grant 18 Year Old stand out among all other Scotch whiskies for Murray? Well, one reason, he explained, is that it’s so complex that it takes him longer to nose then any other whisky: “You just watch every nuance come through because there’s a half hour journey in every single glass. You never get it on one nose.” Murray told us that the tasting note in the Whisky Bible is actually the shortened version: “You think ‘this could go over two pages, this is ridiculous’, because it is that complex. That’s why it gets number two in the world.”

Glen Grant

In all its glory: The Glen Grant 18 Year Old

Murray is particularly impressed by this depth of character given it’s what he describes as a “purely naked whisky.” He explains that, “because it’s 100% bourbon cask. There’s no sherry or anything in there that can go over the top and hide something, it’s all there to be seen. Which makes it very special.” Malcolm agrees: “There’s no sherry there, there’s no colour correction there, it’s just natural single malt Glen Grant.”

It’s clear that Murray feels a very strong connection to the Glen Grant distillery and its whisky: “I’ve tasted Glen Grants from before the Second World War, I’ve tasted a lot of Glen Grant over many, many years. Everything about it is natural and it’s just utterly true to its roots, it is the true Speyside.” Glen Grant 18 Year Old is his go-to whisky when he’s at home. “If I’m travelling around and I’m knackered, I just curl up with a glass of this, over half an hour and suddenly I just feel human again, it’s just absolutely amazing.”

It’s fascinating watching Murray be so intensely passionate about a Scotch whisky, because he’s acutely aware of his and the bible’s reputation. “People say to me ‘oh Jim, you don’t like Scotch’ and I say ‘don’t I, really?! Have you ever seen what I’ve written about the 18 year old Glen Grant?’” he explains defiantly. “Scotland makes some of the best whisky in the world, because there’s things like Glen Grant 18 that can just absolutely seduce you.”

Having enjoyed a dram or two myself that night, I’m inclined to agree.

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Celebrate St. David’s Day with wonderful Welsh tipples

St. David’s Day is a day of celebration of both St David’s life and of the Welsh culture, so why not enjoy the festivities this year with a wonderfully Welsh…

St. David’s Day is a day of celebration of both St David’s life and of the Welsh culture, so why not enjoy the festivities this year with a wonderfully Welsh tipple?

March 1st isn’t just the first day of spring, but a very special day in the Welsh calendar – St. David’s Day, of course! To some it might be the country of daffodils, unpronounceable towns and Sir Tom Jones, but to us here at MoM Towers, we see a land with a long and notable history of alcohol production and a modern industry that is currently booming. Whether it’s craft beer, climate-defying wines, sublime gins or the emerging array of fab Welsh whiskies, there really is something for everyone.

St. David’s Day is the perfect time of year to check out the results for yourself. Whether you’re a non-Welsh person looking for something new or a Welsh native that wants to champion and reconnect with their roots, you can toast the country’s national day with a local tipple. Cooking up a feast of leek dishes accompanied by lamb, mutton and Welsh cake isn’t the only way to mark the occasion. Take a leek look (sorry) at these delectable St. David’s Day drinks that we’ve selected to celebrate the patron saint of Wales.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus*, everyone!

Cygnet Gin

The first tipple on our list hails from Swansea and was created by master distiller and Cygnet Distillery director Dai Wakely, in what he described as “the only live micro gin distillery in Wales”. The botanica list includes juniper, lemon peel, lime peel, pink grapefruit peel, orange peel, liquorice root, orris root, coriander seed, angelica root, cardamom seed, almond and chamomile.

What does it taste like?:

Floral at first, with chamomile playing a big part on the nose. Fresh citrus peel give it a vibrant palate, joined by a bite of juniper and coriander spice.

Saintly serve: The Red Dragon

A fantastically fun and fruity tribute to the Welsh emblem and pride of the Welsh flag, The Red Dragon is a punchy, patriotic serve that’s incredibly easy to make. To create, simply add 30ml of Cygnet Gin, 30ml of Grand Marnier, 25ml blood orange juice, 25ml lemon juice and 3ml grenadine in a chilled glass together with ice. Shake well and then strain the mix into a chilled glass. Garnishing with an orange peel and belt out a resounding edition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau should you be so inclined.

Barti Ddu Spiced

Inspired by famous Pembrokeshire Pirate, ‘Barti Ddu’, (or ‘Black Bart’ in English), The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company crafted this spirit using a blend of Caribbean rums spiced with notes of vanilla, cloves and orange and one special, appropriately patriotic ingredient: Pembrokeshire laver seaweed, also known as Welshman’s caviar.

What does it taste like?:

Warm, rich baking spices, marmalade, toffee apples, red cola cubes, vanilla and a wave of coastal saltiness.

Saintly serve: Pistol Proof

Who doesn’t love the modern classic that is the Espresso Martini? This Barti Ddu take on the serve is designed to make you ‘Pistol Proof’, something Barti Ddu himself was known for. To create, put 30ml of Barti Ddu Spiced, 35ml of St. George Nola Coffee Liqueur, 25ml of Reyka Vodka, 25ml of sugar syrup and lastly 25ml of fresh espresso into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds before straining into chilled Martini glasses (20 minutes in the freezer should do it). Dust with nutmeg, then try to avoid any terrible pirate impressions as you serve.

Penderyn Portwood

Penderyn managed to forge itself quite a reputation for producing some mighty fine single Port cask releases, so it was only a matter of time before the Welsh distillery created a single malt bottling for its core range. The whisky, which was initially matured in ex-bourbon casks and then in Portwood casks, received recognition in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible in 2018 with a Liquid Gold Award.

What does it taste like?:

Sweet, jammy and creamy with some toffee, rich fruit, plum wine, sweet goji berries and wood spice.

Saintly serve: Iechyd Da

A toast to good health, the Iechyd Da is a simple but effective way to make great use of this delicious Welsh whisky. To create, simply pour 50ml of Penderyn Portwood, a bar spoon of Welsh honey, 10ml blood orange juice, 2 dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters and ice into a tumblr. Stir vigorously and garnish with a twist of orange peel. Serve and try to pronounce ‘Iechyd Da’ correctly (yeah-ch-id dah).

Aber Falls Orange Marmalade Gin

Aber Falls is North Wales’ first whisky distillery in over 100 years and we’re big fans, as you can probably tell from this blog post. While whisky stocks mature the brand has released a slew of seriously tasty liqueurs and flavoured gins such as the Aber Falls Orange Marmalade Gin, which may well be as good on toast as it is in a Citrus Fizz…

What does it taste like?:

Fresh orange juice, with a punchy kick of dried juniper. A bit pithy at points.

Saintly serve: Citrus Fizz

We decided to go with the Citrus Fizz here and not toast for reasons we’re sure you’ll understand. This cocktail is as refreshing as it gets and it couldn’t be simpler to create. In a chilled glass add 25ml of Aber Falls Orange Marmalade Gin, 50ml of dry white wine (something like Isabel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017), 75ml of soda water and plenty of cubed ice. Stir well and then garnish with orange zest. Serve and figure out how to actually pair gin and toast together later.

Penderyn Legend

If you want to toast the patron saint of Wales with a great Welsh whisky, then one with the red dragon proudly adoringin the label seems a sensible choice. Penderyn Legend is another rather tasty Welsh single malt whisky from the brand, who matured this spirit in bourbon barrels and finished it in ex-Madeira casks. It’s received a slew of awards, including Gold at in the European Single Malt – Premium category at The World Whisky Masters (The Spirits Business) in 2018.

What does it taste like?:

Rich and well-balanced, with dried fruit, dark chocolate, green apples, cream fudge and vanilla.

Saintly serve: Dewi Sant

This recipe was actually created as part of a St David’s Day celebratory menu in Donovan Bar, London by bar manager Armand Wysocki. All you need to do to create your own interpretation is add 50ml of Penderyn Legend, 25ml of Noilly Prat Original Dry, a dash of Angostura Orange Bitters and a dash of sugar into a Martini glass and stir well. Garnish with a lemon twist and raise a glass to Dewi Sant (St. David)!

Hibernation Gin

From Dyfi Distillery comes the delicious Hibernation Gin, which was crafted with some fantastic foraged ingredients including bilberries, crab apples and blackberries. Post-distillation the gin spends time maturing in white Port casks from the legendary Port house Niepoort.

What does it taste like?:

Gloriously bright and fruit-forward, with fresh white grapes and green apple, tempered by oily juniper and Alpine herbs. Slowly develops a subtly oak-y warmth on the mid-palate.

Saintly serve: Negroni

Add a dose of hearty Welshness to this Italian classic by combining 25ml of Hibernation Gin, 25ml of Campari and 25ml of Martini Rosso vermouth together in a cocktail shaker. Shake well with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel, grate some fresh ginger on top and serve alongside a wholesome helping of cawl.

Dà Mhìle Apple Brandy

Dà Mhìle is another very impressive Welsh distillery with a range of interesting products, including this organic Apple Brandy. It’s crafted using wild apples from the brand’s own farm and nearby valleys, which were first made into cider and then quadruple distilled. The spirit was then matured for a year in barrels which has previously held French red wine.

What does it taste like?:

Sharp and sweet apple, brown sugar, butterscotch and a little oak spice.

Saintly serve: The Apple Old Fashioned

The Old-Fashioned gets a gloriously autumnal makeover here in this tasty serve. To make, start by stirring together a teaspoon of maple syrup with a few good dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters in an old-fashioned glass. Then add ice and 80ml of Dà Mhìle Apple Brandy. Garnish with a wedge of green apple and serve.

Brecon Special Reserve Gin

Penderyn don’t just make fine whisky, but delicious gin as well! Brecon Special Reserve Gin was distilled with a host of botanicals sourced from all over the world, such as juniper from Macedonia, orange peel from Spain, Chinese cassia bark, Sri Lankan liquorice, Madagascan cinnamon, French angelica root, Russian coriander, Indian nutmeg, Spanish lemon peel and Italian orris root. Very impressive stuff indeed.

What does it taste like?:

Juniper, warm citrus, coriander and hints of spicy cinnamon.

Saintly serve: Smoky Welsh Martini

Martinis are such a versatile and tasty serve. This edition adds a little smokiness via a tasty Welsh whisky. To make, you just need to pour 75ml of Brecon Special Reserve Gin and 5ml Penderyn Peated Whisky into a Martini glass filled with ice. Stir well and then garnish with a fresh lemon peel, or a bit of leek if you’re feeling particularly patriotic/brave.

 

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Jameson launches second Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength

The only cask strength Jameson is back! It pays homage to Jameson’s Dublin heritage by being matured at Bow Street, home of the old distillery. We travelled to Ireland to…

The only cask strength Jameson is back! It pays homage to Jameson’s Dublin heritage by being matured at Bow Street, home of the old distillery. We travelled to Ireland to learn more. . . 

Irish whiskey fans, rejoice! From August 2019, you will be able to get your hands on a new batch of Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength. Bottled at 55.1% ABV without chill-filtration, the blend of pot still and grain Irish whiskeys was produced by Irish Distillers in Midleton Distillery where it was matured initially for 18 years in both ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks under the watchful eye of master blender, Billy Leighton.

In January 2018, the expression was then re-casked in first-fill ex-bourbon American oak barrels to finish its maturation for a final six to 12 months in Dublin’s only live maturation house in the brand’s original home in Bow Street. The warehouse, which you can see for yourself if you tour what is now an award-winning visitor centre, can only hold 84 casks at any one time. Now that’s small batch.

Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength

The whiskey is a celebration of Jameson’s Dublin heritage

Leighton commented on the process: “As a tribute to the Jameson distilling legacy in Smithfield, we’ve introduced some methods that would have been employed in days past. The final maturation period in Bow Street is our nod to the traditional ‘marrying’ method – I like to think of the whiskey getting engaged in Midleton and then ‘married’ in Dublin! It brings the provenance and heritage back to where it started. It is the ultimate expression of Jameson.”

Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength comes in a luxury bottle that features 18 facets, one for each year of maturation, housed in a wooden box that references the traditional pot stills used in distillation. A special copper coin underneath the bottle provides fans with the opportunity to access an exclusive online portal where they can explore the whiskey’s story.

Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength

Good cheesy fun at Bow Street Distillery

To mark the launch, Jameson has partnered with artisan Dublin cheesemonger Loose Canon to create a luxurious whiskey and cheese pairing and you’re encouraged to do the same this St. Patrick’s Day.

Leighton commented: “I hope that together with our cheese and whiskey pairings, we can inspire the world to match the strong flavours of the Jameson 18 family with the perfect Irish cheese to make a truly unique St. Patrick’s Day experience.”

Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength will be available in the USA, Europe and Asia at an RRP of €240.

Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength

Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength Batch 2

 

Tasting note by Billy Leighton, master blender at Midleton Distillery:

Nose: Rich wood-driven influence with deep toffee notes and spice.

Taste: Toffee and oak remain consistent with hints of leather and vanilla along with a subtle sherry nuttiness creating depth and complexity.

Finish: Long and full with the sweet toffee notes slowly fading while the toasted oak and spice linger throughout until the very end.

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Are you Thirsty for a Terrific Tequila?

Tequila is fast becoming a favourite among spirits enthusiasts worldwide. Experience some of the best around with this sublime selection. Tequila and agave-based spirits are enjoying even more time in…

Tequila is fast becoming a favourite among spirits enthusiasts worldwide. Experience some of the best around with this sublime selection.

Tequila and agave-based spirits are enjoying even more time in the sun right now then, well, agave, quite frankly. Tequila as a category in particular has worked hard to shake off its hard-partying image of shots, slammers and lime and salt to emerge as one of the most fascinating distilled spirits available.

Part of Tequila’s appeal is how versatile and characterful a cocktail ingredient it is. With National Margarita Day on the horizon (22 Feb), now seems like the perfect time to shout about the fab Mexican agave-based spirit. We’ve picked out a few choice expressions for you to get your teeth into, each with its own sublime serve…

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Eight beers you have to try in 2019

Explore the endless possibilities found in the brilliant world of beer with this super selection. It boggles the mind why anyone would want to live in a state of booze-based…

Explore the endless possibilities found in the brilliant world of beer with this super selection.

It boggles the mind why anyone would want to live in a state of booze-based monogamy when choices have never been wider and more intriguing in all categories. There’s no excuse to squander the opportunity to taste and explore with so much great stuff just waiting to be appreciated.

Take beer, for example. It’s been produced, sold and enjoyed all over the world for generations and boasts an incredible range of varieties. There are bitters, blondes, APAs, IPAs, fruit beers, low-alcohol bottlings, lagers and pilsners, and porters and stouts among others, so there’s sure to be something for everyone. Variety is very much the spice (or should that be hop?) of life, after all.

So, make 2019 all about playing the field. We’ve listed a beer from each of the aforementioned categories so there’s no excuse not to broaden your beer-based horizons. It’s our round-up of eight beers you have to try in 2019!

Yeastie Boys Gunnamatta Earl Grey IPA Can

The Yeastie Boys’ award-winning new world IPA with an old-world influence, Gunnamatta Earl Grey, was inspired by the pale ales that travelled from England to the East Indies but also by all that precious tea that returned on those same ships. That’s why it features a healthy dose of Earl Grey Blue Flower. It was also influenced by the instrumental surf rock opening track of Paul Kelly’s 2004 album ‘Ways and Means’. There’s just so much going on here.

Style:

Indian Pale Ale (IPA).

What does it taste like?:

Jasmine, lots of bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, ice tea, herbal, late overripe tropical fruit and leafiness.

Troubadour Blonde

For some, Belgium is the greatest beer-brewing nation in the world. Many of its styles were copied and modified as part of the craft revolution, and the country is renowned for its vast array of traditional and modern beers. This from the excellent Troubadour range is a classic Belgian Blonde, a subtle, light, and dry style of beer that pairs really with spicy food, cheese and summer days.

Style:

Blonde.

What does it taste like?:

Well balanced, with citrus fruit at the fore (think grapefruit and lemon for this one) and grassy hops playing around in the background. Hearty yeast influence too.

Beavertown Gamma Ray American Pale Ale

London-based brewery Beavertown was founded by Logan Plant, the son of legendary Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, but the company has very much forged its own identity with innovative brews and its brightly-coloured, graphic novel-style label designs. This American pale ale was made with best pale, caragold and caramel malts as well as Columbus, Bravo, Amarillo, Citra and Calypso hops (dry-hopped for days). It’s a big, hoppy and fresh beer with a deliciously drinkable juicy, tropical character, and thankfully no radioactive side effects.

Style:

American Pale Ale (APA)

What does it taste like?:

Golden tropical notes, grapefruit, integrated malt and gorgeous hoppiness.

Moritz Can

Moritz is something of an iconic name in beer; the brewery’s first release was way back in 1856. After period of obscurity, the company resurfaced in 2004, thanks to the descendants of the Moritz family, who relaunched the brand to much success. This is its core release, a pale Pilsner made with mineral water from the Font d’Or, pale malts and Saaz hops. It’s a clean, crisp and delightfully malty beer from the brand behind Barcelona’s original beer.

Style:

Lager/Pilsner

What does it taste like?:

Refreshing lemon and crisp grains, with pepper hops coming alongside subtle bready hints.

Wild Beer Sleeping Lemons

You don’t have to travel to Belgium to get your hands on a decent fruit beer anymore. The fun and refreshing take on the classic pint is represented brilliantly here from The Wild Beer Co., who boast quite a range of vibrantly-flavoured beers. Lemons that were first preserved in salt were used here in a beer that packs a tart, acidic bite and pleasant salinity without compromising the character of its malt and hops.

Style:

Fruit beer

What does it taste like?:

Tart lemons, apple and hay before the introduction of the sea salt notes, with a hint of flint too.

Einstök Icelandic Toasted Porter

In what is almost certainly the finest way to share Iceland’s amazing water with the world, this toasted porter from Einstök Ölgerð in Iceland was brewed with Icelandic roasted coffee, lager malt, Munich malt, chocolate malt, Bavarian hops and pure Icelandic water. The result is a robust, supple and very drinkable porter.

Style:

Porter

What does it taste like?:

Roasty and toasty with dark mocha and bitter treacle.

Adnams Broadside

Adnams Broadside was first brewed in 1972 to commemorate the battle of Sole Bay fought against the Dutch Republic in 1672 just off the Southwold coast, close to the brewery. There’s not just history to be enjoyed here, however, Broadside is a delightfully dark and rich bitter that was brewed with pale and chocolate malt and First Gold hops. Pair with good, hearty home-cooked food (think stews, pies etc.) to make the most of it.

Style:

Bitter

What does it taste like?:

Full-bodied and rich, notes of fruitcake, red berries, warming malt and dark caramel. A touch of almonds lingers on the finish.

BrewDog Nanny State

Low-alcohol tipples are becoming all the rage, so it’s worth seeing what all the fuss is about. This is Nanny State, BrewDog’s take on the category, weighing in at a mighty 0.5% ABV. However, a hearty helping of hops, including Centennial, Amarillo, Columbus, Cascade and Simcoe, as well as plenty of dry hops means this is still a flavoursome brew.

Style:

Low-Alcohol Beer.

What does it taste like?:

Yep, this is well-hopped indeed – loads of orange, grapefruit, mango and pine, with a little bit of biscuit-y malt shining through.

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Valentine’s Day gifts for drinks lovers

Mark the occasion of all things love and romance with these Valentine’s Day-themed tipples! The 14th of February approaches. Valentine’s Day. It’s the time of year when you need to…

Mark the occasion of all things love and romance with these Valentine’s Day-themed tipples!

The 14th of February approaches. Valentine’s Day. It’s the time of year when you need to be your most romantic, passionate and thoughtful, but it’s also the day dinner reservations die and expectations go through the roof. Just how on earth are you supposed to come up with an original, Instagram-able way to celebrate your relationships every year?

Luckily, there’s an alternative. A better way. Sure, you could say ‘I love you’ with roses, chocolate or one of those personalised novelty cards with cats on the front (actually, you really should still invest in that last one). But if you want to make this a memorable February 14th, then why not say it with your beloved’s favourite tipple??

Let us play Cupid this year and help you touch the heart of your favourite drinks fan with our round-up of Valentine’s gifts for drinks lovers. Don’t forget you can also give a gift with a personal touch by personalising a bottle of whisky for your beloved. Enjoy!

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Challenging how we drink Scotch with Auchentoshan

We take a look at how Scotch whisky is embracing cocktails, competition and change with Auchentoshan and the New Malt Order. You know it as the producer of triple distilled…

We take a look at how Scotch whisky is embracing cocktails, competition and change with Auchentoshan and the New Malt Order.

You know it as the producer of triple distilled Scotch. But Auchentoshan is evolving its identity through its New Malt Order program. Over the last three years the competition has brought some of the world’s finest bartenders together with an aim to challenge perceptions, innovate and collaborate to create a limited-edition expression of whisky.

It’s part of a larger movement within the industry to welcome a more diverse consumer base. It’s become commonplace to see many brands intent on questioning how we drink Scotch now and how it will change in the future. This is often expressed by embracing modern cocktail culture and the bartending community.

We were fortunate enough to be invited to the Lowland whisky distillery in September 2018 to see how the New Malt Order works and to speak to Ron Welsh, master blender at Auchentoshan, on what it has achieved so far.

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