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Master of Malt Whisky Blog

Author: Adam O'Connell

Brilliant Burns Night whiskies

Brilliant Burns Night whiskies

One of the biggest dates in the year for Scotch whisky fans approaches – Burns Night! Supply your supper with some of the best around with this sublime selection!

Commemorating the anniversary of Robert Burns on his birthday, 25 January, is a tradition upheld all over the world. Libation, literature and laggis – I mean haggis – will be enjoyed by many as we toast a man who loved a good Scotch himself.

A notable feature of his poems, Burns often spoke of his love of whisky, even scalding the English for raising whisky duty. It would surely please one of Scotland’s favourite sons to know people celebrate his life to this day with plenty of the water of life, or ‘usquabae’, as it was known back then.

Whether you’re a seasoned Burns supper pro or you fancy experiencing one for the first time (you really should do it at least once in your life, it’s great fun), you’ll need to stock up on Scotch to do the night justice.

So, we’ve rounded up a remarkable range to mark the occasion, from sublime single malts to brilliants blends, and a great grain whisky for good measure. Each has an accompanying Burns poem or song and themed cocktail to boot. And for those who simply can’t get enough of all things Robert Burns, be sure to check out our Burns Night poetry competition, where you could win a bottle of Robert Burns Single Malt!

Happy Burns Night all!

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The best January refreshments!

The best January refreshments

The annual season of overindulgence has ended. You’re probably in need of some good refreshment. These fab tipples ought to do the trick.

It’s time to face up to facts. We overdid it last festive season. Again. There’s no point denying it. We spent most of December non-stop consuming. We put away more pigs in blankets than a fairytale wolf. Our plates were more potato than ceramic. Cheese boards and selection boxes trembled in our wake. It was the best of times. But it could never last.

Now we need some refreshment. To swap indulgence for invigoration. The kind of booze we treat ourselves to is a fine place to start. So, feast your eyes upon these fresh and fun tipples, a list of drinks we think make up some of the best January refreshments around!

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The winners of the VIP trip to The Ardbeg Distillery are…

VIP trip to The Ardbeg Distillery

Three individuals will soon gaze upon the breathtaking views from the Seaview Cottage. The warmth and smell of peat bonfires filling their noses. They are the victors. Our competition has concluded and a VIP trip to Ardbeg Distillery is their prize!

Islay. Ardbeg Distillery. Distillery tours. Tastings. An enhanced Ardbeg activity. Two nights’ accommodation at the distillery with meals and more. All of this awaits the lucky three victors (and their plus-ones).

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Categories : Competitions
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Gins with wonderfully winter-y botanicals

Gins with wonderfully wintery botanicals

Make the most of the most of your nights wrapped up warm this winter with this selection of gins with appropriately wintery botanicals!

Christmas has concluded. But winter is still very much here, folks. The shorter, darker days. The seemingly endless cold. The dreaded heating bills.

But winter has its upsides, too. It’s the time of year for thick, cosy clothes, roaring fires and who-cares-if-it’s-healthy comfort food. It’s also the perfect excuse to indulge yourself with a few seasonal spirits. Some of the finest gins around are packed with ingredients that appear as the cold sets in, or warming botanicals that are ideal for those frosty evenings.

That’s why we’ve created this gin-tastic round-up of tipples that will keep you feeling jolly in the post-Christmas winter months.

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Master of Malt’s most read stories of 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, we reflect on the news and features that caught your eye the most this year.

Well, we’ve reached the end of another year. The Earth has put in another hell of a shift in its orbit around the Sun. Now is the time where we reflect on all that happened in 2018.

It has been another 12 months filled with standout stories, all manner of incidents, and of course highs and lows. Among the articles you read most on our award-winning blog were round-ups of great booze, limited-edition whisky launches, and a sorry tale of a collapsing warehouse. We shed a tear for all that bourbon.

Without further delay, these are the top 10 stories that you read, shared and talked about the most in 2018.

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Categories : News
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Terrific New Year’s Tipples

Terrific New Year's Tipples

A perfect New Year is all about family, friends, and the finest food and booze. This sublime selection of spirits, wines and beers will help you see in 2019 in style.

Let’s face, a lot of people have turned on New Year’s Eve. The over-priced, watered-down drinks. The insane queues and extortionate entry fees. The overwhelming pressure to have a good time. The dreaded annual Hootenanny …

Well, blow that for a game of soldiers! Put the enjoyment of New Year’s back on your own terms this year, starting with booze. Whether you’ve finally given up on the hype and are settling in for a night on the sofa, going to a house party to enjoy a drink among friends and family or preparing to brave the town, make sure you’ve got a terrific tipple in your hand.

From spectacular spirits, classic Champers and welcome post-Xmas bargains, we’ve got everything you need, right here. Happy New Year everyone!

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Whisky Advent 2018 Day #23: Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair

Whisky Advent 2018 Day #23

We’ve arrived at the penultimate dram of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar. But there is no need to be sad. An epic Islay tipple awaits…

It’s easy when we think of Scotch whisky from Islay, to picture a certain style of tipple. One with provenance, personality – and plenty of peat. But distilleries such as Bunnahabhain have demonstrated that you can create some stunning spirits without the smoke. Want an example? Well, that’s handy. Because there’s one behind door #23 of your Advent calendar.

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How Neptune became 2018’s most awarded rum

Neptune Rum

Neptune Rum was only launched in 2017, yet it already boasts over 40 prestigious global awards. How did the brand do it? We find out.

“I actually, physically, dreamt Neptune Rum, which is the most bizarre experiences I’ve ever had. I was walking down a beach in Florida after a hurricane, with large waves crashing and dark clouds. Then a beam of sunlight broke through the clouds and hit something shiny. I picked it up, and it was bottle of Neptune. I then immediately woke up.”

The name of Richard Davies’ rum brand, Neptune, came to him in a dream. The former hot air balloon pilot, bartender and restaurateur had been struggling to find the right name and angle for his new rum. It seemed too good be true, however. Rum has such an obvious association with sailors (not just pirates, people). Neptune is the Roman god of the ocean. Neptune’s trident is on the flag of Barbados. Davies wasn’t optimistic. Surely somebody had already trademarked it?

He was pleasantly surprised when he uncovered, after much Googling and research that began post-dream at 3am, that this was not the case. There were bars. There were cocktails. But there was no Neptune Rum brand. Davies was confident he had stumbled upon something. He consulted with James Molloy, now Neptune’s commercial operations director, who agreed. The two trademarked the name at the end of 2016 and launched Neptune in the UK market in 2017. The Neptune brand was born.

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Whisky Advent 2018 Day #19: Jim Beam Rye

Whisky Advent 2018 Day #19

Nineteen days into Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar and still no rye whiskey? Good thing that’s all about to change…

Rye whiskey is enjoying something of a renaissance in recent times. As bartenders and consumers become more adventurous, rye’s resurgence can be attributed to its powerful, punchy profile and ability to satisfy the increasing desire for spirits with provenance and history. It’s no surprise then that both new brands and expressions from established distilleries are popping up all over the place, keen for high-rye interpretations to become the new go-to for whiskey lovers.

One such example comes from the stalwart that is Jim Beam, whose rye bottling is today’s dram in the Whisky Advent Calendar. It’s sure to please both fans of the style and new converts in-waiting.

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Whisky Advent 2018 Day #11: Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky

Whisky Advent 2018 Day #11

Open Door No. 11 and you’ll find that Drinks by the Dram has treated us to the first dram of English whisky in 2018’s Whisky Advent Calendar

Christmas in an exciting time, isn’t it? There’s all kinds of amazing food to look forward to, you’ve got some days off work and who knows, you may even get a present you absolutely adore on the day itself. But even more exciting than waiting for Santa is the burgeoning English whisky scene. First expressions from interesting and innovative new distilleries are hitting the shelves (virtual or otherwise) seemingly all the time, joining an ever-growing list of impressive bottlings to sample. It’s fair to say things are looking very bright for the category, as a superb distillery in the Cotswolds countryside demonstrates. It released its first whisky this year to much acclaim and today you can find out what all the fuss is about yourself.

Behind window 11 is…

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