Master of Malt Whisky Blog

Author: Kristiane Sherry

The Nightcap: 13 July

Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but not if you follow the world of booze! It’s been an action-packed week, and we have the glorious highlights right here, right now. It’s The Nightcap!

Happy Friday, folks! The weekend is here and it’s time to celebrate with something tasty. Perhaps a delish and straightforward dram. Or, as Beam Suntory was highlighting when we stopped by this week, a Highball in all its glory. Or a G&T, Daiquiri, Margarita… the possibilities are endless. And now we’re distracted.

So. The tumultuous week that was. England tumbled out of the World Cup (at the semi-final stage so we’re still pretty proud here at MoM Towers), Brexit was back in the headlines (did it ever leave?!), and the astonishing Thai Cave rescue came to a successful close (huge respect to the rescue team, and of course we remember Saman Kunan, the brave diver who tragically died while saving others).
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Categories : American Whiskey, Beer, Cocktails, Gin, News, Rum, Scotch Whisky, Tequila, Whisky, Wine, World Whisky
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Ten sensational spiced rums for summer

Think spiced rums are one-dimensional and sickly sweet? Think again! Modern day spiced rums can be complex, mixable and exceedingly delicious. And seeing as July is Rum Month we thought we’d bring you a pick of our favourites – be warned, they’re ridiculously tasty.

Over ice, with cola or stirred up into something a little more impressive, spiced rums are versatile crowd-pleasers – and will make you look like quite the star bartender when served in a Ginger Mojito at your next barbeque.

But where to start? Spiced rums are sticky and saccharine, right? Not necessarily. If you want to get dabbling, we bring you our favourites, in no particular order. Be warned: tastiness incoming.

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Categories : Rum
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Behold the fancy new range from Grant’s!

Scotch whisky fans, listen up: Grant’s has overhauled its core range and it’s VERY different. Say hello to Grant’s Triple Wood, Grant’s Triple Wood Smoky (yes, PEATED!), Grant’s Rum Cask Finish and Grant’s 8 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish!

Remember when we snuck up to Girvan a couple of weeks back? Yes, it was to check out the Girvan distillery (there’s still a blog post to come on that). But there was also a secret reveal (and another non-disclosure agreement. How exciting). The time has come to disclose the details: blended Scotch whisky brand Grant’s has a new look, four new core expressions, and what feels like a brand new cask-focused philosophy to match.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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WATCH: Anthony Wills on Kilchoman distillery expansion!

During Fèis Ìle 2018, we caught up with Anthony Wills, founder of Islay’s Kilchoman distillery, who shared with us plans to double the capacity of the farm distillery.

It’s almost the perfect problem. You work hard to produce something incredible, people love it, and then you can’t physically make enough to meet the demand. It’s a paradox not unfamiliar to the whisky industry, but for Islay’s Kilchoman distillery, which has always been a small-volume farm producer, it represents something of a dilemma.

When Anthony Wills first filled a cask back in 2005, it seemed almost impossible that he’d need to double his stillhouse in a such a short period of time. Yet the signature Kilchoman smoke paired with its strong island provenance has proved an alluring combination and whisky fans can’t get enough of the island drams.

Here Kilchoman distillery founder Wills chats us through the dilemma and shares details of the project to double capacity at the site…
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Top tipples for Wimbledon 2018!

Forget new balls – this summer Wimbledon, the pinnacle of grass court tennis, is all about trying new drinks! So if you’re hosting a soiree or just fancy a refreshing sipper while watching the pros, we’ve got just the thing for you. Ace!

Strawberries and cream, summer cups, white outfits and rain delays – it can only be Wimbledon.

The most quintessentially British of all sporting events, Wimbledon fortnight turns us all into tennis umpires – albeit with greater interest in the sort of serves you can drink rather than the type that results in contentious Hawkeye calls (the VAR of SW19).

So in the spirit of all things Wimbledon, we picked out ten of the best tipples to enjoy during the Championships, from the fruity and refreshing to the more unusual and unexpected. Enjoy!
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Categories : Gin, Liqueurs, Whisky
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Liverpool Gin to open £1 million distillery!

The great distillery rush continues – Halewood Wines & Spirits-owned Liverpool Gin is the latest brand to announce plans for its own production site, and this one will include not one but two bars, a lab, and even a bartender school!

The distillery, set to open by the end of 2018, will cost £1 million to build, and the kit includes a 600-litre copper still.

Other production details are scarce at this stage, but it is clear this will be a super visitor-friendly site. In the lab, intrigued gin fans will be able to select their own botanicals and distil their own bespoke gin. In addition to the two bars (gin on the ground floor, dark spirits at the basement), there’s also food on offer, with guests able to choose from small tapas-style dishes and pizza. Delicious.
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Categories : Gin, News
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WATCH: Kentucky warehouse collapse creates giant bourbon barrel heap

On Friday Kentucky distillery Barton 1792 experienced something of a disaster: a partial warehouse collapse sending as many as 9,000 barrels of bourbon tumbling to the floor. The aerial footage of the aftermath is something else…

It’s a whisk(e)y fan’s worst nightmare. Thousands upon thousands of prime maturing barrels lost accidentally in a momentary disaster.

That’s exactly what happened over in Kentucky last week at Barton 1792 Distillery when part of a historic rack house came crashing to the ground.
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Categories : American Whiskey, News
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Q&A: Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker master blender!

He looks after more casks than there are people in Scotland, leads a blending team of 12, and creates the world’s best-selling blended Scotch whisky… Meet Johnnie Walker’s Jim Beveridge!

Newsflash: Johnnie Walker, already the most popular Scotch whisky name in the world, has returned to triumphant growth. According to Brand Champions figures, released by trade magazine The Spirits Business this month, the brand saw volume sales soar by 5.2% to 18.3 million 9-litre case sales in 2017. That’s a LOT of whisky. And it’s the most the brand has shifted since 2013. In other words, Johnnie Walker is ON.

The secret to its success? It’s impossible to narrow it down to just one. But the team producing the stuff, led by master blender Jim Beveridge, should get a shout out. They preside over millions upon millions of casks, maturing all across Scotland, and it is their expertise that brings expressions such as Black Label, Blue Label, the experimental Blenders’ Batch releases and even the luxurious Odyssey to life.

We catch up with Beveridge to find out how he keeps his eye on so many expressions at once, get the lowdown on recipe development, and make him pick out just one Johnnie Walker dram…
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Macallan-maker to sell Cutty Sark and Glenturret as sales hit £706 million

Calculators at the ready, folks – Edrington, the company that makes The Macallan, Highland Park and Famous Grouse, among others, has just released its financial results for the year to March 2018. And in the document the company announced it’s looking to sell the Cutty Sark and Glenturret Scotch whiskies! We investigate what’s going on and crunch the sums after sales climbed 7%* to £706.7 million.

It’s all change for spirits-maker Edrington. It’s a case of out with the old for Cutty Sark and Glenturret, and in with the new (THAT new Macallan distillery) as sales climb and stats are bolstered.
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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky
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Annandale Distillery Scotch whisky comes of age!

The only thing more exciting than a new distillery is a new distillery’s first whisky coming of age! We popped over the border into Scotland to meet the Annandale Distillery team on a very special day…

What a difference a century makes. It’s 1918, and the Annandale Distillery, a historical Johnnie Walker production site, has just produced its final drop of spirit. Founded way back in 1836, the distillery is about to fall into disrepair, then dereliction. Located just 10 miles or so from the English border, what once made Annandale a convenient alternative to Island whiskies for blenders has seen it forgotten as other routes opened up. The distillery will soon be picked apart for salvage, its stills shipped off to Speyside. It’s a bleak scene.

Until David Thomson and Teresa Church come along. Fast forward to 2007 and the pair buy the dilapidated distillery, all crumbled stone and sylvan, sinuous weeds. Thomson grew up in nearby Dumfries and, buoyed by a passion for single malts and a background in sensory science, sets about the restoration project alongside Church.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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