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Master of Malt Blog

Author: Master of Malt

Virtual pub quiz 29 May

Do you like booze? Do you like trivia? Then why not combine the two by taking part in our online computer-powered thoroughly-modern pub quiz.  Everyone who enters will get a…

Do you like booze? Do you like trivia? Then why not combine the two by taking part in our online computer-powered thoroughly-modern pub quiz.  Everyone who enters will get a discount code and one winner a £25 off voucher.  How brilliant is that?

It’s the very last pub quiz of May. Wow, that month flew past. Or maybe it didn’t, hard to know these days. Anyway, it is definitely Friday so it is time to do another pub quiz. This week’s quiz is all about pop culture and Piña Coladas, probably our two favourite things. You can find the answers to last week’s quiz here. Right, let’s get on with this week’s quiz. As usual, it’s strict pub quiz rules, no typing the answers into Bing, Yahoo or Ask Jeeves, or getting help from your pals on Myspace.

Simply click the button below, and quizzing with commence.

CLICK HERE

Will the pubs be open soon?

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The Nightcap: 29 May

It’s a vintage week on the Nightcap for the last Friday in May, including an Ardbeg aged in New Zealand Pinot Noir casks, a vineyard mosaic, and buckets and buckets…

It’s a vintage week on the Nightcap for the last Friday in May, including an Ardbeg aged in New Zealand Pinot Noir casks, a vineyard mosaic, and buckets and buckets of rosé.

It’s been a short week with the Bank Holiday on Monday, but that hasn’t stopped the booze news from pouring in. That was a pun which was not intended but greatly appreciated. If you’re looking to find out what’s been going on, we’ve got another edition of The Nightcap coming your way, packed full of the latest stories from the drinks world. Dig in.

On the MoM blog this week we launched two competitions, one with the fab folk at Goslings Rum and the other being a Father’s Day special with Tobermory Distillery. Speaking of the upcoming celebration, Adam selected some sublime spirits to give yourself a head start on Father’s Day, or you might consider the funky and fruity joy of Dunderhead Rum, our New Arrival of the Week. Annie returned to uncover Grenada’s best-kept secret and take a closer look at Langley Distillery, before Henry made a cocktail that marries New York and Ireland.

We’d also like to say congrats to Kostas Stavropoulos, who won last week’s virtual pub quiz! Thank you to all who entered, the answers to last Friday’s quiz are listed below, as always. For those who fancy their chances at besting this week’s edition of the MoM pub quiz, it will be on our blog from 5pm as always.

The Nightcap

We welcome any more Kylie-based puns you have

Where the wild rosés grow

Another day another missed opportunity in naming a celebrity pink. Last year it was Jon Bon Jovi declining to call his wine ‘Jon Bon Rosé’ in favour of the baffling ‘Hampton Water’, now it’s Kylie’s turn. The pint-sized pop star has just launched pink and it is not called ‘Where the wild rosés grow’ after her 1996 hit with Nick Cave. Instead, it’s called simply ‘Kylie Minogue Rosé.’ Boring! It’s a Vin de France (i.e. not from a specified viticultural area); the press release says it’s made from “Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes sourced from the sun-drenched southern French Coast.” It will only be available from 450 Tesco stores and retails at £9. Kylie herself commented: “I have a great passion for rosé and have loved working for the last two years on developing Kylie Minogue Wines. Working with the brilliant team at Benchmark Drinks we have created a rosé that I am truly enamoured by, it’s fresh, light and the perfect pink.” Benchmark Drinks is the team behind Ian Botham’s, really rather good, range of wines, and there’s talk of other Kylie wines to come including later this year a Côtes de Provence rosé. We should be so lucky. 

The Nightcap

We’re open to Ardbeg sheep-based puns too

Ardbeg Day goes online

Fèis Ìle might off this year, but that doesn’t mean that Ardbeg fans have to miss out. Especially as this year marks the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Ardbeg Committee. Tomorrow, 30 May, there will be a two-hour programme of tastings, games, and entertainment based around the just-released limited edition Ardbeg Blaaack, which was matured in New Zealand Pinot Noir casks. Distillery manager Mickey Heads said: “We were looking forward to marking Ardbeg Day this year with our dyed-in-the-wool fans here at the Distillery, and at celebrations around the world. Sadly, global events overtook us. However, we’ve put our heads together and come up with a back-up plan to keep our Committee Members entertained, safe at home. I’ll be shepherding the Ardbeg team in an online extravaganza instead expect tastings of some much-loved whiskies, fun, blether, and maybe even a few Blaaack-inspired surprises.” You can join in the Ardbeg Blaaack Whisky Trials from 7pm BST on Ardbeg’s Facebook page. So tune in, and don’t forget your sheep-based puns. Oh, and if you want to get hold of a bottle of Ardbeg Blaaack, don’t worry, it will be baaack in stock soon. Sorry. 

The Nightcap

Rosé Prosecco is on the way, folks!

Rosé Prosecco is coming! 

More pink news just in: Rosé Prosecco is now officially a new DOC category, approved by the Italy’s Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies’ National Wine Committee and all! There are a few things producers will have to adhere to in order to label their wine Prosecco DOC Rosé, such as the grape varieties (Glera and 10%-15% Pinot Nero), a second fermentation and residual sugars, among a few other things. Oh, and it has to be pink. Duh. Stefano Zanette, president of the Prosecco DOC Consortium thanked “all those who have contributed to obtaining this important result, in a moment particularly tough for the wine industry.” The Consortium’s estimates predict up to 30 million bottles of Rosé will be produced each year… We’d better get drinking! 

The Nightcap

There’s everything you need in here to help you open your business after lockdown

100 Day Playbook created for return of hospitality industry

We’re slowly edging towards a period where pubs, restaurants, cafes and more can begin to reopen, which is delightful news. However, relaunching after so much time in lockdown won’t be easy and the hospitality industry could use all the help it can get. That’s why it’s great to see initiatives like the 100 Day Playbook, a marketing and communications guide, be unveiled this week. The playbook comprises over £150,000 of insider knowledge, advice and insight, as well as best practice on branding, marketing, PR, digital and social in order to offer businesses the best possible chance to tackle reopening in a post-COVID19 world. It was created by a collective of agencies and consultants including KAM Media, Fleet Street Communications, ME:MO Media, Smithfield, Supersonic Inc, 2 Forks, DataHawks, Bums on Seats, Wireless Social, Feed It Back, Studio Nomad, and was requested over 300 times ahead of its launch on the 27th May. The 100 Day Playbook is now available at www.100dayplaybook.com and will be free for all operators, although everyone that downloads the booklet will be encouraged to donate to charity Hospitality Action. “This project is about hospitality’s best agencies and brightest marketing minds coming together to really support our venues, brands and businesses in getting back on their feet, and getting as many guests as possibly back into their venues when they reopen” says Mark McCulloch, founder and CEO of Supersonic, who spearheaded the 100 Day Playbook project. “I’m so pleased to be sharing this with our industry and look forward to how businesses incorporate some of insight, methods, tips and tricks we’re sharing.”

The Nightcap

The stunning discovery could date back to the 3rd century AD. Credit: Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella/Facebook

And finally… Roman mosaic floor found under Italian vineyard

Have you ever lifted up some carpet or moved an old piece of furniture and found something cool? I’ve had the typical experience of finding some money. A friend of mine found a tiny crab behind a kitchen unit once, which was pretty rad. I think it’s safe to say that a recent discovery in Italy tops all of this, however. A perfectly-preserved ancient Roman mosaic floor dating back to the 3rd century AD was unearthed in an Italian vineyard. Archaeologists had first found the site in a hilly area above the town of Negrar di Valpolicella near the city of Verona in 1992, but it was later abandoned. A team from the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Verona returned to the site last October only to have the pandemic halt their progress. Archaeologists were able to resume work this month after Italy eased its lockdown restrictions and discovered the beautiful mosaic just a few metres beneath a row of vines at the site of an ancient villa. “After countless decades of failed attempts, part of the floor and foundations of the Roman villa located north of Verona, discovered by scholars a century ago, has finally been brought to light,” authorities from Negrar di Valpolicella wrote on the town’s Facebook page. “The superintendent will now liaise with the owners of the area and municipality to identify the most appropriate ways of making this archaeological treasure, which has always been hidden beneath our feet, available and accessible.” The town will now work to ensure the stunning floor can be seen by the public, officials said, but they warned: “The result will not come soon and significant resources will be needed.” 

The Nightcap

Pub quiz answers

1) Which of these cocktails is not mentioned by name in The Great Gatsby?

Answer: Martini

2) How many bottles of champagne make up a magnum?

Answer: Two

3) In which European city did Harry MacElhone open Harry’s New York Bar in 1923?

Answer: Paris

4) What is the name of “Pawnee’s Sickest Nightclub” in Parks and Recreation?

Answer: The Snakehole Lounge

5) How many times does Kendrick Lamar say the word “drank” in his song Swimming Pools?

Answer: 32

6) In Champagne, which of these designations is the driest?

Answer: Brut

7) Which barrel is the biggest?

Answer: Pipe

8) What cocktail did Anthony Bourdain describe as a “hell broth”?

Answer: Negroni

9) Whose mother is erroneously thought to have created the Manhattan cocktail?

Answer: Winston Churchill

10) A Caipiroska is a version of Brazil’s national cocktail the Caipirinha made with what spirit?

Answer: Vodka

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Win a VIP trip to Tobermory Distillery

Our latest competition offers a whisky-dipped VIP trip to the fabulous Tobermory Distillery, the perfect present for Father’s Day… Among the beautiful colourful houses of Tobermory, you’ll find the Isle…

Our latest competition offers a whisky-dipped VIP trip to the fabulous Tobermory Distillery, the perfect present for Father’s Day…

Among the beautiful colourful houses of Tobermory, you’ll find the Isle of Mull’s only distillery since 1979 and one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. The wonderful Tobermory Distillery is probably best known for its two delicious and distinctive styles of Scotch whisky: the fruity, non-peated Tobermory and the robust, smoky Ledaig, as well as its recent success with a certain award-winning gin… 

As big whisky fans, we’d all jump at the chance to visit the scenic distillery that sits at the water’s edge of its idyllic Hebridean home. But one lucky person reading this blog and their plus-one will have a chance to do just that. With Father’s Day on the horizon, we think this would make quite the present. Nothing says you love your dear old dad more than a bundle of brilliant booze and a once-in-a-lifetime trip, after all.

VIP trip to Tobermory Distillery

The kind of drinks and view you could be enjoying soon…

“I’m very excited. What exactly do I win? Tell me all the details”.

Well, you win a VIP trip to the Isle of Mull to visit Tobermory Distillery, enjoy the local surroundings and eat and drink all kinds of delicious things. Your transport for the duration of the trip is covered. Your accommodation, likely to be two nights at the Tobermory Hotel (depending on availability), is taken care of. You’ll enjoy lunch and a tour of the local village, as well as dinner for two at £50 per person per night (£200 dinner budget for trip). But best of all, you’ll get a private VIP tour and tasting with either management staff or ambassador and two 70cl bottles of a distillery exclusive Scotch whisky expression. It’s a whisky lover’s dream!

“How do I win?! I want to win!!!”

We’ve made this competition really easy to enter. All you need to do is purchase any qualifying 70cl bottle from the Tobermory distillery range for a chance to win. You can buy as many bottles as you want from the following selection, from the sherry-soaked and sublime, to the peaty and powerful, and even one particularly delicious gin! A selection of expressions from the range also boasts some incredible savings:

You’ll also be entered if you purchase one of the following:

VIP trip to Tobermory Distillery

Buy one of the eligible bottles, including the tasty Ledaig 10 Year Old, and you’re in it to win it!

So, even if you don’t win, you’ll still have a terrific bottle of whisky or gin to call your own. That’s some consolation prize. Best of luck to you all and happy Father’s Day!

MoM Competition 2020 open to entrants 18 years and over. Entries accepted from 12:00:01pm 29th May to 23:59 29th June 2020. Winners chosen at random after close of competition. Shipping restrictions apply. See full T&Cs for details. 

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Win two brilliant bundles of Gosling’s Rum and more!

We’ve launched another tremendous bundle competition, this time with Gosling’s Rum from Bermuda; Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktails, anyone? With summer on our doorstep, it’s time to break out the swimsuits and…

We’ve launched another tremendous bundle competition, this time with Gosling’s Rum from Bermuda; Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktails, anyone?

With summer on our doorstep, it’s time to break out the swimsuits and Bermuda shorts, regardless of whether you’ll have to settle for wearing them around the house or not. Friday is Bermuda Day, after all. The perfect accompaniment to such a get-up is a bottle of rum, which we have plenty of. But if you want to get your hands on a whole host of rum-based goodies, we also have an option to do so that will cost you absolutely nothing.

That’s right, it’s another MoM competition! This time we’ve teamed up with Bermudan rum legends Gosling’s. You may well know them as the brand who owns the trademark for the Dark ’n’ Stormy, a Highball cocktail made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum (the ‘dark’) and ginger beer (the ‘stormy’) which is served over ice and garnished with a slice of lime. You can also add lime juice and/or simple syrup if you’re a maverick. For all your Dark ‘n’ Stormy needs, as well as your general rum cravings, you’ll want to get your hands on this prize.

Goslings Rum

All this could be yours!

“Tell me about the prize. The Prize! THE PRIZE!!”

We’ve got two bundles big enough to break Mary Poppins’ handbag to give away. If you are lucky enough to win this delightful competition, then you’ll receive the following: 

“So how do I enter? I’d like to win this. I’d do unspeakable things to do so”

Well, it’s actually ridiculously simple, which you’ll know if you’ve ever entered one of our bundle competitions before. All you have to do is:

That’s it. Seriously. Nothing else to it. Best of luck, folks!

MoM Competition 2020 open to entrants 18 years and over. Entries accepted from 10:01pm 26 May to 23:59 29 May 2020. Winners chosen at random after close of the competition. Shipping restrictions apply. See full T&Cs for details. 

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Virtual pub quiz 22 May

Do you  think you know a bit about booze? Well, why not put your knowledge to the test in our weekly pub quiz? There’s some easy questions, some difficult ones…

Do you  think you know a bit about booze? Well, why not put your knowledge to the test in our weekly pub quiz? There’s some easy questions, some difficult ones and some that look easy but are actually difficult. All entries will get a discount code and one winner a £25 off voucher. Prizes all round!

It’s the return of the Master of Malt pub quiz. Last week was the most popular ever though we noticed that some people didn’t leave their email addresses. No email addresses, no prizes, so please do fill in that bit of the form. You can find the answers to last week’s quiz here. Right, enough preamble, no more beating about the bush, let’s get on with this week’s quiz. As usual, it’s strict pub quiz rules, no Google, phoning a friend or asking the audience.

Simply click the button below, and computerised quiz magic will happen.

CLICK HERE

Poitín

This is what a beer in a pub looks like, in case you’d forgotten

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The Nightcap: 22 May

We’ve got another smashing edition of The Nightcap to take you into the long weekend. All the week’s top booze stories in one handy chunk.  It’s always pretty hard to…

We’ve got another smashing edition of The Nightcap to take you into the long weekend. All the week’s top booze stories in one handy chunk. 

It’s always pretty hard to predict things. Even just coin flips are tough to get right every time, and there’s only maybe about two outcomes. I’m not sure many people could have predicted how this year was going to go. It’s a bit like taking a sock full of coins, throwing them in the air and trying to predict which one a magpie will swoop in from the window and steal to buy itself a bag of Jelly Babies. However, you could easily have predicted that we would have another edition of The Nightcap, packed with bite-sized bits of booze news, for you to peruse this Friday! Enjoy!

On the MoM blog this week, we invited you to join our celebrations of all things Islay, in light of the absence of a certain huge whisky festival, on Instagram Live! As today is World Paloma Day (have a great one, guys!), we made Mexico’s favourite cocktail the slightly fancy way, while our New Arrival of the Week was a delightful limited edition fino. Elsewhere, Ian Buxton returned to present a story of great wealth and the Scotch whisky industry, while Henry was given a lesson in the complexities of sherry cask-ageing by the fab folk at Tamdhu. Annie then shared some industry top tips for drinking mindfully during lockdown before enjoying four simple and delicious Scotch whisky, Cognac and vodka-based cocktails courtesy of Moët Hennessy.

Congratulations are in order for Alex Priest, who was the victor of last week’s virtual pub quiz! A huge thanks as well to all those who entered and if you’re curious to see all the answers to last Friday’s quiz, they’re listed below. For those who want some more boozy brain teasers or some sweet, sweet discounts, this week’s edition of the MoM pub quiz will be on our blog from 5pm as always.

The Nightcap

We’re big fans of the 2020 edition of the Redbreast Dream Cask

Redbreast’s new Dream Cask is here!

Regular readers will know we’re pretty keen here at Master of Malt on Redbreast Irish whiskey, in all its many forms. That’s why we’re so excited about the launch of the third limited-edition Dream Cask earlier this week. It’s made up of liquids no younger than 28 years from ex-bourbon casks, an oloroso sherry butt and a Port cask, all brought together and finished in a ruby Port cask. The whiskey was bottled at 51.5% ABV. Master blender Billy Leighton commented: “It’s more than three decades since my predecessors went to the Douro Valley and hand-selected the cask which would become Redbreast Dream Cask 2020. I’m delighted to be able to share its creation with whiskey lovers around the world. Blender Dave McCabe added: “Because a Dream Cask is not constrained by volume, we have great licence to select a unique expression with a bold flavour which couldn’t be replicated in a permanent offering. Thankfully, Billy and I were in absolute agreement that this was the right time to release this year’s Dream Cask.” We were given a little taste and we have to say that we were absolutely knocked out: it’s beautifully creamy and spicy with notes of butterscotch, cooked apple, ginger and walnuts, but what really comes through is cherry: fresh cherry, cooked cherry and then on the finish, the lingering taste of cherryade. Top stuff Midleton! So how do you get your hands on this dreamy release? Well, first you’ll need €490, and then you need to go to Redbreast’s private members’ club, The Birdhouse, where you can take part in a ballot that runs from Monday 25 May until 14:59 (GMT +1) on 2 June for a chance to buy a 500ml bottle. There are 921 available. Good luck!

The Nightcap

The new initiative from California’s Wine Institute should brighten up your Zoom meetings

California wine country comes to Zoom

The team here at MoM has just discovered the joy of changing your background on zoom. It’s brilliant, your friends will think you’re in a tropical paradise or floating in space, and there’s no need to rearrange your bookshelves to remove all those old Jeffrey Archer novels. Now wine lovers can look as if they’re exploring the vineyards of Napa rather than in a semi in Surbiton thanks to a new initiative from California’s Wine Institute. Simply download a jpeg from the link here , go to the menu on the bottom left and click virtual background, and then upload your very own wine wonderland. There are loads to choose from and more available from Visit Napa Valley, the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau, Visit Temecula Valley, Visit California, and Discover Buellton. Amaze your friends! Brighten up dreary marketing meetings!

The Nightcap

Happy 20th anniversary!

The Glencairn Glass celebrates 20th anniversary

While 2020 may resemble what the Mayans predicted 2012 would be for most of us, for the family-owned and award-winning Scottish crystal company Glencairn Crystal Studio it’s a special anniversary. That’s right, it’s been 20 years since it created its iconic Glencairn Glass. The glass, which was designed by the brand’s founder Raymond Davidson, has become the definitive whisky glass around the world today over the last two decades, with over 3 million being sold each year, across 140 different countries in every corner of the globe. The brand boasts clients such as Liverpool FC, BP, Brown-Forman, Cunard, Diageo, Houses of Parliament and Scottish Parliament, Muller, Google and the majority of the Scottish whisky manufacturers. The Glencairn team have marked this momentous anniversary by launching the Glencairn PodGlass series: a series of podcasts with Davidson and guest appearances by some renowned and respected names like Richard ‘the nose’ Paterson. The brand will also release new versions of the Glencairn glass, launch a fundraising initiative with the proceeds going to the company’s chosen charity partners and open the new expanded Glencairn Crystal Studio site in East Kilbride, which incorporates a refurbishment and a substantial new build on the original Glencairn site to cater for expanding demand – all built by local businesses. Glencairn is also encouraging whisky lovers to follow @TheGlencairnGlass and share their favourite stay at home Glencairn moments with the tag: #beathomewithGlencairn. For more info, go to: http://www.glencairncrystal.co.uk/ or https://whiskyglass.com/.

The Nightcap

Noble sentiments from winner Bréagha Wolfgang, though the skeletal hand is a bit ominous, don’t you think?

Fernet Branca coin winner announced

The winner has been announced in the Fernet Branca coin competition and it’s Bréagha Wolfgang of Draffens cocktail bar in Dundee! As we’ve mentioned on the Nightcap before, the competition has been going since 2010, and every year Fernet Branca picks a design to be made into a coin to be distributed among bartenders. There’s even a game that they can play with the coins. In these incredibly difficult times for the hospitality industry, it’s not surprising that a design has been chosen with a positive message (see above). Wolfgang commented on her winning entry: “My coin design was inspired by reflecting on the tough times and stress we all go through in this industry and how incredible it is that our communities support and lift each other during those times. The ‘cheers’ around the edge of the coin is about seeing each other as an equal part in life, drinking to new friends and to those we’ve lost along the way which I think defines our industry well. Winning this means a whole lot to me, getting given a Fernet coin was such an incredible relief after working so hard for so long and now having my very own coin design! That’s something I will never forget the feeling of.” Poppy Croft, Fratelli Branca brand manager, added: ‘Launching the Fernet Branca Coin Design Challenge just after lock-down was something I felt needed to happen, then more than ever, to show solidarity and support to the incredible bartenders in the UK who, at that point, had literally no idea of what was ahead. Bréagha’s design really stood out, reflecting the camaraderie of the industry in the face of stark adversity, a truly well-deserved win and I’d also like to congratulate all the runners up for their incredible designs,we hope to raise a Fernet with them all soon!” Here’s hoping.

The Nightcap

The Cold Brew Espresso Martini

And finally… Cocktail Porter delivers cocktail kit to your door

The lockdown is an ideal time to work on your cocktail-making skills, but ideally, you wouldn’t have to leave the house to get your hands on the perfect ingredients. Cocktail Porter may well have a solution for the budding bartender trying to stir and shake in the comfort of their home. Since 2018, it has delivered over 500 cocktail boxes a month to the Australian market and it’s now arrived in the UK. From the 18 May 2020, it has been delivering craft cocktail boxes from Global Drinks Agency Sweet&Chilli (you may know them as the guys that brought us the fab Nine Lives cocktail bar in London Bridge) containing individual recipes, bottles of spirits, infusions, cordials, home-grown garnishes, infused tonics and bespoke barware to fill out our drink trolleys. Each cocktail in the collection is designed by professional bartenders and the first collection features the ingredients to create a Passionfruit Margarita (Don Julio Blanco Tequila, fresh passion fruit, fresh limes, passion fruit-infused syrup and dehydrated limes to garnish), an Elderflower ‘Le Fizz’ Spritz (Grey Goose Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Double Dutch Soda Water, fresh lemon and with organic Persian rosebuds to garnish), the Whisky Highball Collection (Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky, Belvoir Farms ginger/lemon & mint/elderflower cordials, Double Dutch soda water and dehydrated lemons & candied ginger to garnish), Cold Brew Espresso Martini (Ketel One Vodka, Kuka’s Cold Brew Espresso, Conker Coffee Liqueur, simple syrup and Halo Raw organic dark chocolate to garnish) and a Seville Orange Negroni (Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla, Campari, sweet vermouth with orange to garnish). It should be stressed, these are not pre-batched cocktails, you do have to do some work yourself. Each cocktail is available in The Petite Kit (£45, 6 serves) and The Porter (Full Size) Kit (£85, 17-20 serves) and if ordered by 3pm will be delivered the next day, while live hosted masterclasses on YouTube will show you how to stir things up whilst staying safe at home. Order from the website: cocktailporter.co.uk

The Nightcap

Pub quiz answers

1) What Champagne brand is Beyonce drinking in 2013 banger Drunk in Love?

Answer: Armand de Brignac

2) Which sweet wine is known as ‘the king of wines, the wine of kings’?

Answer: Tokay

3) Which lager refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach (according to the ad campaign)?

Answer: Heineken

4) Which brewery serves a beer known colloquially as ‘man in the box’ in its tied pubs?

Answer: Sam Smith’s

5) In Breaking Bad, which spirit does Gus Fring lace with poison and gift to the Cartel?

Answer: Tequila

6) What is the pub called in Shaun of the Dead?

Answer: The Winchester

7) What counts as a ‘hole in one’ in pub golf?

Answer: Downing a drink

8) Rapper and singer Post Malone launched a wine brand this week. But what style is the wine?

Answer: Provence rosé

9) Single Pot Still whiskey can only come from which country?

Answer: Ireland

10)   In the book ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ what wine does Hannibal Lector eat with fava beans and someone’s liver?

Answer: Amarone

 

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Join our Islay celebrations on Instagram Live!

Just because we won’t be heading to Islay this year, doesn’t mean we can’t keep the festival spirit alive! Thanks to the magic of Instagram Live we’ve organised a series of…

Just because we won’t be heading to Islay this year, doesn’t mean we can’t keep the festival spirit alive! Thanks to the magic of Instagram Live we’ve organised a series of interviews with the island’s distilleries that features tastings, chats and Q&As.

This is usually the time of year where we would pack our travel bags, camera kit and 10-litre bottles of midge insect repellent to head north to the beautiful Scottish island of Islay to revel in one of the highlights, if not the highlight of the whisky calendar. The week-and-a-bit from 22-30 May was sure to provide all the whisky-dipped merriment you could shake Dave Worthington’s pipe at.

But we have no intention of letting this period pass by without some recognition of an island that is home to some of Scotch whisky’s finest distilleries. Which is why we’ve put together the next best thing. Through the wonderful medium of Instagram Live, we’ve created our own virtual festival by teaming up with the island’s distilleries (and the fab folk at Jura, of course). We’ve put together a programme of tastings, chats and Q&As with your questions, comments and tasting notes to keep the Islay spirit alive and your tasting glass full from the comfort of your own home.

We thoroughly hope you enjoy our virtual Islay celebration. The schedule for the Instagram Live shows is listed below, complete with accompanying dram. Don’t forget, you can always embrace the Islay spirit whenever you like with Drinks by the Dram’s Islay Whisky Tasting Set! Why not order one for you and a pal and set up your own Zoom tasting?

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Aerolite Lyndsay 10 Year Old

Day One

Who’s joining us? The Character of Islay Whisky Company and its head of whisky, Sam Simmons for a tasting. What a way to kick off proceedings!

What whisky will we be tasting? Aerolite Lyndsay 10 Year Old, Green Isle, Grace Île and Fiona Macleod.

When is it? Friday 22 May at 7:30pm

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Lagavulin will be joining us on day two

Day Two

Who’s joining us? Lagavulin and its distillery manager Colin Gordon for an evening dram and a chat. Grab a tasting glass and get your questions ready for Colin!

What whisky will we be tasting? Lagavulin 8Lagavulin 16.

When is it? Saturday 23 May at 8:30pm.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Head distiller Adam Hannett will join us for a tasting and Q&A

Day Three

Who’s joining us? Bruichladdich and its head distiller Adam Hannett for a tasting and Q&A. Bruichladdich also has its own Laddie Lock-In, while its ballot system to decide who can get their hands on its alternative festival bottling, Port Charlotte 16, has now concluded.

What whisky will we be tasting? The Classic Laddie.

When is it? Sunday 24 May at 6pm.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Caol Ila Distillery, as seen from the skies.

Day Four

Who’s joining us? Caol Ila and its distillery manager for an evening dram and a chat with Pierrick Guillaume.

What whisky will we be tasting? Caol Ila 12.

When is it? Monday 25 May at 8:15pm. 

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

We’ll be spending lunchtime with Laphroaig

Day Five

Who’s joining us? Laphroaig for a lunchtime taste and learn session with distillery manager John Campbell. It will also be hosting its own celebration, #LaphroaigLive from 18:15pm.

What whisky will we be tasting? Laphroaig 10.

When is it? Tuesday 26 May at 1pm. 

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

The beautiful Bowmore Distillery who will join us on day six

Day Six

Who’s joining us? Bowmore for another lunchtime Live, with time with distillery manager, David Turner. We’ll have a chat about all things whisky, so ready your questions!

What whisky will we be tasting? Bowmore 12.

When is it? Wednesday 27 May at 1pm.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills will stop by to kick-off our Thursday with a bang

Day Seven

Who’s joining us? Kilchoman and its founder Anthony Wills will be kicking off the day with us. The distillery also has quite the online festival Programme, complete with live tastings and a distillery tour.

What whisky will we be tasting? Kilchoman Machir Bay, Loch Gorm 2020, the new Am Burach, 100% Islay 9th Edition, and the official Festival Bottling!

When is it? Thursday 28 May at 10.30am.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

Bunnahabhain Toiteach a Dhà

Day Eight

Who’s joining us? Bunnahabhain and its global brand director, Derek Scott, who will host a tasting with a very delicious dram, usually distillery-exclusive dram (it will also host its own 8pm tasting, ‘Fèis at home‘). 

What whisky will we be tasting? Bunnahabhain Toiteach a Dhà, Bunnahabhain 25-Year-Old, and the very exciting Bunnahabhain 2003 Amontillado Finish, which is usually only available from the distillery.

When is it? Friday 29 May at 5pm.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

The scenic Jura Distillery makes delicious and subtle smoky whisky

Who’s joining us? Jura and Whyte & Mackay’s Gregg Glass, who will be online with us for an evening tasting. 

What whisky will we be tasting? Jura 10 Year Old.

When is it? Friday 29 May evening.

Fèis Ìle on Instagram Live

The stunning Ardbeg Distillery at night

Day Nine

Who’s joining us? Ardbeg and Brendan McCarron, head of maturing whisky stocks for Ardbeg (and sister distillery Glenmorangie) ,for an Ardbeg Day tasting. You can also join the distillery at 7pm on Facebook for its first-ever online Ardbeg Day!

What whisky will we be tasting? Ardbeg 10An Oa and Blaaack. 

When is it? Saturday 30 May at 3pm.

 

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Virtual pub quiz 15 May

It’s the return of our celebration of booze-related trivia, the Master of Malt pub quiz. All entries will get a discount code and one winner a £25 off voucher. And…

It’s the return of our celebration of booze-related trivia, the Master of Malt pub quiz. All entries will get a discount code and one winner a £25 off voucher. And there will be prizes for all!

Yes it’s back and it’s harder than ever, our virtual pub quiz. Well, a couple of the questions are hard. Some are really easy. If you took part in last week’s quiz, you can find out how you did here. If you didn’t then get with the program! All entries get a discount code and one winner will get a £25 off voucher. How brilliant is that? Be aware, it’s strict pub quiz rules, no looking at Google!

So if you fancy your chances, you can take part by hitting ‘click here’! Almost too easy.

CLICK HERE

People having fun together. Remember?

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The Nightcap: 15 May

It’s the eve of World Whisky Day and there’s no better way to prepare yourself for all its boozy brilliance than with a read of another fantastic edition of The…

It’s the eve of World Whisky Day and there’s no better way to prepare yourself for all its boozy brilliance than with a read of another fantastic edition of The Nightcap…

It’s another Friday, and that means another edition of The Nightcap! Tomorrow is World Whisky Day, so if you’re looking to go into it with a brain full of booze news, you’ve come to the right place. Your internet browser. It’s also a good place to go if you’re looking to find out facts about rare species of birds or get into arguments with strangers about what counts as a soup. Of course, you’ll have to visit other websites for that – although we will say that people who think chilli con carne is a soup should reconsider their stance because it’s absolutely not a soup and they’re wrong.

On the MoM blog this week we announced the good news that That Boutique-y Whisky Company has ensured we can still enjoy World Whisky Day together thanks to its World Whisky Summit, which is sponsored by us! We also launched a flash sale (which ended this morning) containing booze from England’s largest wine producer, Chapel Down, before Annie took a peek behind the scenes at Two Drifters’ planet-friendly production process, Adam learned the story behind the Pearse Lyons Distillery and Ian Buxton returned to deliver the second part of his investigation on private cask sales. Elsewhere, Henry enjoyed five minutes in the company of John Little, of Smooth Ambler fame, a deliciously herbaceous Cachaça-based concoction and a bitter bottling from top vermouth producer Carpano.

Once again we’d like to say a huge thank you to all those who entered our virtual pub quiz last Friday and salute the winner, Conal Wright. We sincerely hope you enjoy your £25 gift voucher! The answers to last week’s edition are listed below and for those who want a chance to get their hands on the prize or just test their boozy knowledge, the MoM pub quiz will be on our blog from 5pm as always.

The Nightcap

Whisky makers Tomer Goren, Dhavall Gandhi and Michael D’Souza – what a trio!

What’s happening on World Whisky Day…

Wondering how to celebrate World Whisky Day tomorrow (Saturday 16 May)? Well, luckily you’re spoilt for choice, as there’s all sort of fun to get involved with! We’re pretty stoked to be involved with the rather exciting Boutique-y Whisky World Whisky Summit, with quite the lineup of industry greats kicking off at 7pm. Then, if you want to gain some worldwide whisky knowledge, England’s Lakes Distillery has partnered up with Israel’s Milk & Honey and India’s Paul John Distilleries for another virtual celebration at 5pm! You’ll be greeted by Dhavall Gandhi, Tomer Goren and Michael D’Souza,  distillers at each respective distillery, exploring the influence of location on whisky maturation. What a trio! Tune into the Lakes Facebook page for all the goods. Royal Salute has also got in on the act with a series called ‘Behind the Kingdom Doors’, a live stream series that discusses three different topics in style and luxury, taking place over the three weeks. It kicked off this week with a live whisky tasting hosted by master blender Sandy Hyslop and whisky blogger Alex Robertson on Wednesday. Coming up next is a Polo & Lifestyle session hosted by Hyslop and polo star Malcolm Borwick on the 20 May, followed by Around The World With Royal Salute, hosted again by Hyslop and Nathan Wood, prestige whiskies brand ambassador, on the 1 June. What’s more, if it’s a challenge you’re looking for, Whyte and Mackay are hosting a series of online events featuring Jura whisky, and special guests including World Whisky Day founder, Blair Bowman! Head over to the Big Fat Online Whisky Quiz at 7:30pm where none other than Gregg Glass will make an appearance, if you want to test your knowledge. Happy World Whisky Day, folks!

The Nightcap

Cocktail hour is back, but this time it’s virtual!

The Cocktail Hour is back… and it’s virtual 

Though the circumstances that have led to this are less than ideal, we bring you cheerful news: the cocktail hour is back! The last time the cocktail hour was at its peak in Britain was the roaring ‘20s, so it looks like we’ve come full circle. We’ve got some fun cocktail facts for you from a survey by Bacardi for World Cocktail Day (which was this Wednesday, 13 May), which revealed that more than half (53%, if you want numbers) of the Britons asked believe that the cocktail hour has made a comeback in recent weeks, though this time, of course, it’s online. What’s more, it’s not just any old tipple they’re whipping up, with 43% revealed to be experimenting with drinks, and the Mojito taking first place as the number one lockdown serve. Nearly a third are getting real fancy and fishing out their cocktail glasses and shakers, too! Could we be expecting another cocktail renaissance? The good news is that over a quarter of those surveyed said that they will continue hosting virtual cocktail hours with friends and family beyond lockdown. Cheers to that!

The Nightcap

Congratulations on your double win, Dave!

Double win for Dave Broom at the Fortnum and Mason awards

In what will be a popular move in the world of booze, it was announced last night that Dave Broom has won Drinks Writer of the year at the annual Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink awards for his words on whiskymanual.uk. Rather than the usual riot of B list celebs, A-grade champagne and Claudia Winkleman, that normally makes up the awards, it was done online, though still with Claudia Winkleman, obviously. It was a double celebration for Broom as his film, The Amber Light, won the best programme too. Well done Dave! Other winners include the nicest man in food Tom Parker-Bowles as Restaurant Writer of the ear for his column in the Mail on Sunday, Rachel Roddy got the Cookery Writer gong for her mouth-watering Italian food column in the Guardian and we were particularly pleased to see Just the Tonic by Kim Walker and Mark Nesbitt pick up Best Debut Drink book. Congratulations to all the winners and fingers crossed that next year we will be allowed near enough to other people to have a proper party.

The Nightcap

The vineyard features a small quantity of a ‘secret experimental variety’…

Pig hotel man plants vineyard in the South Downs

Imagine you have founded a group of acclaimed upmarket country hotels around England. What’s the next challenge? A racehorse? A football team? A crack at the America’s Cup? Well, the choice was easy for Robin Hutson, he’s long championed English wines in his Pig hotels, so rather than any of the above, he’s just planted his first vineyard in the South Downs. It’s located by Madehurst Lodge which will be the next Pig to open sometime next year. This two-acre south-west-facing site has been planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and a small quantity of a ‘secret experimental variety’. Oooh, mysterious! Hutson enlisted the help of some of his winemaking chums including Ian Kellett from Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire and Charles Simpson from Simpsons Wine Estate in Kent. He’s unlikely to see any fruit until 2022 and wine may take even longer depending on whether he makes still or sparkling. Apparently he hasn’t decided yet. Hutson commented: “I can’t wait to taste that first glass, albeit a couple of years away yet. The investment further endorses our complete commitment to home-grown, to local produce and to local contractors.  We will post regular updates from the vineyard as we progress. Wish us luck!” Good luck!

The Nightcap

Gautier Cognac 1762

And finally… Sotheby’s auctions one of the world’s oldest surviving Cognacs

Sotheby’s certainly know how to put together an auction and it’s latest online sale is no exception. The auction, titled Distilled – Iconic Samaroli, Dalmore 62 and The World’s Oldest Cognac, comprises of 216 lots and is estimated to bring a combined total in the region of £1.1 million. The headline item has to be the oldest vintage Cognac ever to be sold at auction, a bottle of Gautier Cognac 1762. Only three bottles of this vintage still exist, having been held in the same family for generations with their original labels attached. It’s the last and largest of these remaining bottles, known as ‘Grand Frère’, or the ‘Big Brother’, that will feature in Distilled and is expected to fetch between £80,000-160,000. Should your bid prove victorious, you’ll also get to enjoy a bespoke experience at Maison Gautier, courtesy of the distillery. Some people have it all. “The Gautier 1762 is renowned and revered across the world as a Cognac that transcends the world of spirits collecting. This bottle represents not only an example of pre-phylloxera viticulture but also of early cask maturation from the dawn of Gautier’s production and even precedes the French Revolution. This bottle contains a distillation not only of superb brandy, but also of Cognac’s history,” commented Jonny Fowle, Sotheby’s spirits specialist. Alongside one of the world’s oldest surviving Cognacs, there’s the aforementioned collection of Samaroli goodies, which comprises of 55 bottles, including three of the legendary Bowmore Bouquet 1966 (estimated at £40,000-55,000 per bottle). Sotheby’s also has two bottles of The Dalmore 62 Year Old which are estimated to fetch £75,000-100,000 each and its first-ever collaboration with a rum distillery. A cask of Dictador’s 1980 single vintage rum will go on sale with the bidding starting at £50 with the proceeds being donated to the Dictador Art Masters Charity Fund to develop an art gallery within the Colombian Jungle, an anchor point for the conservation of the area. The Distilled auction is open for bidding from the 14 to 28 May.

The Nightcap

Pub quiz answers

1) Which classic cocktail is mixed up on a train in Some Like It Hot?

Answer: Manhattan

2) Where was the inventor of the modern carbonation process, whose name is on bottles to this day, born?

Answer: Germany

3) What does Kesha brush her teeth with in the song Tik Tok?

Answer: Jack Daniels

4) In the Friends episode “The One Where Ross is Fine”, which cocktail is Ross drinking?

Answer: Margaritas

5) The founder of which distillery was famous for packing a pair of pistols to deter criminal distillers?

Answer: Glenlivet

6) In the film Sideways, Miles says, “I am not drinking any f**king —–”. What wine does he say?

Answer: Merlot

7) Which fictional character said “I love Scotch. Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.”? 

Answer: Ron Burgundy

8) What is Captain Jack Sparrow’s favourite drink?

Answer: Rum

9) Which whisk(e)y does Rihanna drink in her song Cheers (Drink to That)?

Answer: Jameson

10)  This year which Champagne house opened some recently-discovered bottles of wine that were buried when a cellar collapsed in 1900?

Answer: Pol Roger

 

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Chapel Down flash sale!

Just landed at Master of Malt, a shedload (this is an actual recognised measurement) of wine from England’s largest producer, Chapel Down. But that’s not all, we’ve got some of…

Just landed at Master of Malt, a shedload (this is an actual recognised measurement) of wine from England’s largest producer, Chapel Down. But that’s not all, we’ve got some of its gin and vodka in too, and we’re selling it all at dramatically low prices until this Friday.

English wine is on a roll at the moment. In the last 20 years, it has gone from something of a joke made by retired colonels to a multi-million pound industry stocked in retailers, pubs and restaurants across the country. Nobody will bat an eyelid if you order English wine now. English wines, especially the sparkling ones, are now exported all over the world. Even Champagne houses are getting in on the act; Taittinger planted a vineyard in Kent in 2017. At the forefront of this revolution is Chapel Down, the country’s biggest and best-known producer, with strong branding, wide distribution and most of all consistently excellent wines from everyday sippers to sparkling wines to rival the best of Champagne. But it doesn’t stop there: the company also produces some great spirits. And we’ve just landed a whole load and we’re offering them to you at ridiculous prices. But be quick – these deals end at 11am this Friday!

Bacchus 2018

Bacchus, a German cross, has become England’s signature grape thriving in this marginal climate and producing crisp wines laden with the scene of cut grass, gooseberries and elderflowers. Tastes like a summer’s day in Kent. 

Flint Dry 2018

Another Bacchus, this is made in a leaner, drier style, it’s all flint (hence the name) and citrus fruit with plenty of herbal Bacchus character. This will appeal to lovers of Sauvignon Blanc.

Sparkling Bacchus 2019

This is a really clever wine. The fizz comes not from bottle fermentation but, to preserve all those vibrant Bacchus flavours, it’s simply carbonated. The result is zingy, refreshing and enormous fun. Excellent chilled on its own or in cocktails like a French (or should that be English) 75

Brut NV

A stone cold classic and one of England’s best selling sparkling wines, a blend of Champagne varieties and bottled-fermented, it majors on green apple and fresh lemon with subtle bready yeasty notes. Sheer class in a glass. 

Brut Rose NV

This gets its pretty colour from a little skin contact with red grapes which also impart a subtle cherry and strawberry flavour. Like the Brut it’s bottle-fermented so expect delicate bubbles with some toasted brioche notes on the finish. 

Chapel Down Chardonnay Vodka

English winery Chapel Down doesn’t simply make wine and then call it done. The team uses the leftovers from vinification to make spirits. Ths vodka is made using the skins of leftover Chardonnay grapes so it’s not only delicious but also ecological.

Bacchus Gin

A gin made with a wheat spirit based combined with a grappa-esque concoction made from leftover Bacchus skins (made by the English Whisky Company) before going to Thames Distillers to be combined with juniper, orange peel, lemon, lavender, elderflower, orris, angelica and coriander.

Pinot Noir Gin

Made in a similar way to the above but with leftovers from Pinot Noir. To accentuate the red fruits, the botanical mix is different including dried red berries, rose buds, coriander, angelica, grains of paradise, citrus, rosehip and, of course, plenty of juniper. It is a gin, after all. 

 

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