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Master of Malt Blog

Author: Cat Spencer

Win 2 Tickets to Dramboree, a Whisky Weekend in Scotland

Our dear friends and all-around-good-chaps Jason B. Standing of Whisky Squad and Jonny McMillan from The Great Whisky Company are hosting the UK’s first-ever Dramboree. See what they did, there?…

Dog dressed as Spock

Our dear friends and all-around-good-chaps Jason B. Standing of Whisky Squad and Jonny McMillan from The Great Whisky Company are hosting the UK’s first-ever Dramboree. See what they did, there? They took “jamboree” and made it about whisky. Yes, you get it.

Dramboree is to be held from the 5th – 7th of July in the lovely town of Aberfeldy in Scotland. There will be tasting workshops, distillery tours, a barbecue, you name it! Though it’s now sold out, we’ve got a chance for you to get in on this awesomely relaxed whisky weekend. Well, not THE relaxed whisky weekend…

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Maltstock 2012: A Dutch Odyssey with its own (Highland Park) Whisky

Just before we officially launched ‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’ in the UK (and beyond), we packed up the Mini Malt Mobile (aka Ben’s car, complete with boxes upon boxes of…

Maltstock 2012 Tasting Glass

Just before we officially launched ‘That Boutique-y Whisky Company’ in the UK (and beyond), we packed up the Mini Malt Mobile (aka Ben’s car, complete with boxes upon boxes of Scotch whisky, suitcases, and a ukulele), piled in, and took to the motorways and Channel to get to Maltstock, a yearly whisky festival in the Netherlands.

Pitched as “the relaxed whisky weekend” it is—indeed—”relaxing”. Akin to a summer camp for whisky enthusiasts, the weekend is packed with music, bonfires, whisky masterclasses, whisky-themed games, a whisky quiz, and a veritable overdose (if that can be said) of food and friends. This was our third year in attendance, and believe me, it lives up to the hype. By the end, we were all a bit like newborn fawns: blinking in the sun and staggering gingerly about the place. We’ve got a flock of photos below to give you, dear reader, a taste of some of the activities to be had. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say…

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The Ship Hits the Fans…Caskstrength launches a Cutty Sark!

It’s finally here. Yes, folks, Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have raised the anchor and set sail to release the third instalment in their A-Z of whiskies series. This time,…

caskstrength cutty sark

It’s finally here. Yes, folks, Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have raised the anchor and set sail to release the third instalment in their A-Z of whiskies series. This time, they took to the high seas (or high rails?) to celebrate their first crack at creating a blend. And what a blend it was! It stands up to water, cocktails, and rush-hour traffic on the London Circle Line.

Our journey began with an introduction by two salty dogs, dressed to the nines in seafaring garb and presenting us with a fractured history of the London tube. Were there sea shanties, you ask? But of course!

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C is for… Cutty Sark!

That’s right, folks. Those crafty chaps from Caskstrength announced today their new bottling! Due to launch on 25 March 2013, the third instalment in the much-celebrated Alphabet Series is indeed…

Cutty Sark

That’s right, folks. Those crafty chaps from Caskstrength announced today their new bottling! Due to launch on 25 March 2013, the third instalment in the much-celebrated Alphabet Series is indeed a Cutty Sark, Neil and Joel undertook the herculean task of blending their own whisky, and the result is sure to be interesting!

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The Best in Glass Awards 2012

For the past 5 years, drinks writers (and now whisky bottlers!) Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have hosted an awards ceremony intended to turn the whisky judging world on its…

For the past 5 years, drinks writers (and now whisky bottlers!) Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley have hosted an awards ceremony intended to turn the whisky judging world on its head—or at least put it poolside with a drink in its hand. Jeil (or Noel, as they are affectionately referred to at MoM HQ) designed their Best in Glass Awards to celebrate whiskies that are accessible, delicious, and newly released. The annual Best in Glass Awards were held on 12th December 2012 at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in London. After a gruelling afternoon of a two-course luncheon (wink!) and blind tasting of ten whiskies, one whisky emerged victorious from the collection to be dubbed the champion of the Best in Glass Awards 2012!

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Back in the US of A!

And…we’re back! That’s right folks, we’re now shipping to the USA again! It was scary there for a moment, but this brave little eagle has personally agreed to fly all…

And…we’re back! That’s right folks, we’re now shipping to the USA again! It was scary there for a moment, but this brave little eagle has personally agreed to fly all of your packages across the Atlantic ocean for just a few kippers a day!

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Winner of the Highland Park Distillery Trip!

You bought loads of Highland Park for Christmas, and each of you who did earned a chance to win an amazing trip to the Highland Park Distillery in Orkney! Now…

You bought loads of Highland Park for Christmas, and each of you who did earned a chance to win an amazing trip to the Highland Park Distillery in Orkney! Now that you’ve cracked open the bottle (or gifted it to a loved one) to enjoy while drafting your resolutions for 2013, it’s time to announce the lucky chap (or chappette) who’s going to Orkney.

Drumroll, please…

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Important Changes to Shipping…

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that as of 14 January 2013, new aviation transport regulations have gone into effect that will make it *very* difficult…

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that as of 14 January 2013, new aviation transport regulations have gone into effect that will make it *very* difficult for us to ship to the US. You may find that shipping to the States is unavailable intermittently over the next few weeks as we test alternative shipping routes. Boo.

This doesn’t mean that we will *NOT* ever again ship to the US, it simply means that right now, it’s very difficult to send you any gin, whisky, tequila, rum, cognac, vodka—basically, anything with a high abv. Double boo.

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Balcones – The Spirit at the Heart of Texas

We at MoM Towers love whisky. Can’t get enough it. We also love the USA (yes, it’s true!), and we have a special place in our collective, malty heart for…

We at MoM Towers love whisky. Can’t get enough it. We also love the USA (yes, it’s true!), and we have a special place in our collective, malty heart for Craft Distillers. So, when we first heard about an American, whisky-producing craft distillery, our minds were blown. Blown, I tells ya! This was well before we even had a chance to behold the amazing beards of Chip Tate, Head Distiller at Balcones, and Jared Himstedt, the Production Manager at the Distillery. Once we saw what these chaps were sporting and making, we knew we would be hooked.

Chip Tate started up Balcones in 2008 and snatched the glory of producing the very first Texas whisky. Balcones is named for the fault line that runs through the south-western part of the state through Waco, Texas where the distillery is located. A dramatic illustrated interpretation of the Balcones Fault can be found in the logo and is truly representative of some of the flavour profiles found in their whiskies: ground-breaking and earth-quaking.

 

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Thanksgiving Cocktails: The Result!

Martha Stewart was wrong! Yes, I said it. The Queen of Entertaining got it wrong this Thanksgiving. While her recipe for a Cranberry Old Fashioned was delightful, it needed some…

Martha Stewart was wrong! Yes, I said it. The Queen of Entertaining got it wrong this Thanksgiving. While her recipe for a Cranberry Old Fashioned was delightful, it needed some serious tweaking to provide the smooth, sweet, balanced and refreshing pre-dinner drink I was going for. The end result, I don’t mind telling you, was a massive hit. I detailed my quest to create the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail (I made a rule of using bourbon and cranberries as the base), and did much research on the subject before finally deciding on Martha’s recipe. Here’s how the experimenting went.

Martha’s recipe called for muddling cranberries in 2 teaspoons of sugar—a necessity when working with fresh cranberries. The problem with muddling fresh cranberries is that they become so pulpy, when you mix in the bourbon and ice you’re left with a sludgy (but delicious) mess! I did try substituting maple syrup for the sugar, but found that while the maple flavour really balanced the bourbon, the cranberries were too tart to be fully subdued by the sweetness of the syrup. I also found that the end result was an exceedingly strong drink. While I enjoy neat spirits, not all of my guests have such prepared palates. What to do??

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