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Master of Malt Blog

Category: Gin

Master of Malt Dram Club – September 2018

Say hello to September and the selection of scrumptious Master of Malt Dram Club Tasting Sets members will be receiving this month! Whether you see September as a last chance…

Say hello to September and the selection of scrumptious Master of Malt Dram Club Tasting Sets members will be receiving this month!

Whether you see September as a last chance to do summer-y things (with an extra sweatshirt on deck) or as the official start of the true greatest month (autumn), we can all agree that it’s about time for a new month of Master of Malt Dram Club. Because it’s monthly. Can’t argue with that, just like you can’t fight the moonlight. Anyway, new Dram Club Tasting Sets! Here you go!

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Master of Malt Dram Club – August 2018

Behold – it is August! What does August be holding for our Dram Club members in terms of Whisky/Gin/Rum deliciousness? Well, let’s find out right now! It’s time for everyone…

Behold – it is August! What does August be holding for our Dram Club members in terms of Whisky/Gin/Rum deliciousness? Well, let’s find out right now!

It’s time for everyone to get a sneak peek at what Master of Malt Dram Club members will be receiving in their Tasting Sets this month. It’s like a miniature Christmas. In August. Which also reoccurs once a month if you happen to be one of those aforementioned Dram Club members. And you only get drams. It’s quite a specific event if you think about it…

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The Nightcap: 27 July

As a bevy of drinks companies post their full-year results, let’s get down to business with this week’s The Nightcap. Greetings from another Friday! You’ve made it through a week,…

As a bevy of drinks companies post their full-year results, let’s get down to business with this week’s The Nightcap.

Greetings from another Friday! You’ve made it through a week, which is always an achievement of note and worthy of commemoration. As you settle into the weekend, do so with a brain full of booze news – get ready for another edition of The Nightcap!

Firstly, let’s look at the week that was here at MoM Towers. Our Annie chatted to whisky industry legend Charles MacLean, and then got us ready for London Mezcal Week by interviewing festival co-founders Thea Cumming and Melanie Symonds. Kristy introduced yet another whisky-based excursion to add to our ever-expanding bucket list with the Hebridean Whisky Trail. Sam said goodbye to Rum Month with a run-down of ace dark rums. Henry showed us why we shouldn’t fear the sommelier, and gave us a look at the new range of Mortlach whiskies due to hit shelves later this year. And finally Sam drilled down into Diageo’s results. On that note, on with The Nightcap booze news and those all-important numbers!

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Diageo’s biggest winners and losers in 2018

Diageo has done its sums and presented the results of its 2018 financial year – we’ve had a good ol’ nosey to see how its brands performed. Get ready for…

Diageo has done its sums and presented the results of its 2018 financial year – we’ve had a good ol’ nosey to see how its brands performed. Get ready for some number, folks.

If you sit squarely in the middle of a Venn diagram that shows people who like tasty boozes and people who like business-y gubbins, this is one of the most exciting times of the year for you – when drinks companies start posting their full-year results. As one of the biggest drinks companies in the world, Diageo’s full-years results are always good for having a nose through, which we did.

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The Nightcap: 20 July

New distilleries on the horizon, new head bartenders at the ready and new record-breaking gins ahoy – The Nightcap keeps you stocked up on the newest in new this week….

New distilleries on the horizon, new head bartenders at the ready and new record-breaking gins ahoy – The Nightcap keeps you stocked up on the newest in new this week.

It’s been a week since the last Nightcap update, which can only mean one thing… Well, honestly, it could mean a lot of things. However, only one of those things is important for this compulsory blog preamble – it’s time for another edition of The Nightcap.

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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,…

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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The Nightcap: 6 July

Happy Friday, team! Summer is ON (at least here in the UK) and there’s a certain football match on the agenda tomorrow… But before that comes around, it’s time to…

Happy Friday, team! Summer is ON (at least here in the UK) and there’s a certain football match on the agenda tomorrow… But before that comes around, it’s time to get an update from the world of booze. Bring on The Nightcap!

This week brought with it a new month as well as a whole new cohort of booze goings on – and of course a new Dram Club box for our subscribers, too! We took a sneak peek inside those packs of tastiness on Sunday.

On Monday we looked back to Fèis Ìle 2018 when Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills shared his plans for the distillery expansion project, and got part three of Annie’s Bourbon Series – this time it was Rob Samuels from Maker’s Mark in the spotlight.

The Glencairn glass has become synonymous with spirits (whisky in particular), and on Tuesday we met the family behind the business. Sales are soaring – it seems we can’t get enough fancy glassware to hold our boozes!

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10 of the best gins with wonderfully unusual botanicals

Tired of typical tipples? This summer, make sure your new drink is a gin that stands out! We’re shining a light on ten weird and wonderful gins that have the…

Tired of typical tipples? This summer, make sure your new drink is a gin that stands out! We’re shining a light on ten weird and wonderful gins that have the most intriguing ingredients…

The gin bubble simply refuses to burst. As more and more expressions hit shelves, back bars and home drinks cabinets, gin brands are all over the world need a way to stand out. What’s an enterprising, discerning distiller or rectifier to do? Look to the botanicals, of course!

By packing a peculiar botanical, the following gins have carved a singular path. Whether these additions are a reflection of the producer’s local area, or the result of radical experimentation, each and every one has found that distinctive can be delicious.

Tarsier Gin

Usually, when somebody goes backpacking around Southeast Asia you’re laboured with tedious tales about how they ‘found themselves’ and ‘saw a different side to the world’ (without remembering you have them on Instagram and can see they spent the entire time either drinking or hungover, on a beach). Not the brilliant bunch who made Tarsier Gin. They put their travels to good use and created a citrus-forward gin! Alongside seven traditional gin botanicals, Tarsier Gin features the addition of the exotic calamansi, Kampot pepper, Thai sweet basil and galangal. Now there are some unusual botanicals!

Dà Mhìle Seaweed Gin

Unexpected botanicals don’t have to be exotic. A decidedly local ingredient makes this Welsh gin stand out – seaweed! The delightful Dà Mhìle Distillery infused the marine algae, sourced from the Celtic coast, with its small-batch gin for three weeks. The result is a seaside sensation that pairs brilliantly with seafood and makes a mean Martini. Coastal cocktails anyone?

Ki No Bi Gin

Not many gins can boast a botanical list that includes the likes of yuzu, hinoki wood chips, bamboo leaves, green sansho and gyokuro tea – but Ki No Bi Gin can! The first release from the Kyoto Distillery was been made using a rice spirit base and a selection of locally-sourced ingredients, which were split into six distinct flavour groups: Base, Citrus, Tea, Spice, Fruity & Floral and Herbal. Each group was then distilled individually before being blended together. Unconventional? Yes. Delicious? Definitely.

1897 Quinine Gin

A superb gin helping a superb cause, 1897 Quinine Gin features an unusual botanical for a very good reason. The ingredient in question – cinchona bark – is the natural and traditional source of quinine, a medication used to treat malaria and babesiosis. Alongside cold-distilled fresh lemon and grapefruit peels, the addition of cinchona bark not only makes 1897 Quinine very tasty but also highlights the gin’s important message. 1897 Quinine Gin supports Malaria No More UK and over 50% of the producer’s profit (at least £5 per bottle sold) will be donated to the charity. Great work all around – with a distinctive botanical to boot!

Mr Kamm’s Gin

This next product proves that inspiration for a great gin can come from anywhere. Mr. Kamm’s Gin is from Kamm & Sons, creator of Kamm & Sons British Aperitif. The 45-botanical recipe of the apéritif, which includes the likes of hibiscus, apricot kernel, ginseng, blue butterfly pea and citra hops alongside classic ingredients such as fresh grapefruit, orange and lemon peels, was used a basis for this gin, with some minor tweaks. An excellent cocktail companion, there’s plenty that’s individual about Mr. Kamm’s Gin, and even more to like.

Copperhead Gin – The Gibson Edition

This terrific tipple is probably best described as a savoury gin. That’s enough to make Copperhead Gin – The Gibson Edition notable on its own, but there’s more. The collaboration from head bartender at The Gibson, Marian Beke, and Copperhead features all five botanicals from Copperhead’s core gin – juniper, coriander seed, cardamom, angelica and orange peel – as well as 14 additional botanicals from Beke. Most of these are spices and some are pickled, which is unusual enough, but the most interesting aspect of this gin was the inclusion of an extra ingredient: eight-year-old jenever. Not wanting to use sugar as a sweetener to keep the gin from moving into Old Tom territory, the jenever adds an extra dimension to an already pretty singular spirit.

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin

Created by Joanne Moore, Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin kinda gives away what striking botanicals it has in its title. The recipe for this London dry gin was chosen to emulate the traditional spice route that led back to the UK. While the botanicals on their own are not particularly unusual, it is the combination of interesting ingredients that makes this product stand out. There’s Malaysian cubeb, Indian black pepper, cardamom and ginger, Moroccan coriander seed, Italian juniper, Spanish bitter oranges and angelica from Germany. Exotic and exceptional!

Elephant Aged Gin

The fab folks at Elephant Gin have been boosting conservation efforts for Africa’s large and loveable since 2013 with sales of its excellent expressions, like Elephant London Dry Gin and this aged edition. While there are some classic ingredients among the 14 botanicals used in both gins, there’s also a whole bunch of atypical additions, such as baobab fruit, buchu plant (similar to blackcurrant), African wormwood, lion’s tail (a broadleaf evergreen large shrub) and devil’s claw (a plant that bears distinctive, hooked fruit). Elephant Aged Gin was rested in a combination of new and aged wood over a period of a year after distillation to bring together unusual botanicals and an experimental process. The result? A wonderful gin that’s as good as the cause it supports.

Sharish Blue Magic Gin

Sharish Blue Magic Gin is named for its magnificent colour, the secret of which comes an unusual botanical. Extracts of a flower known as blue pea are what makes this Portuguese gin from the Sharish range stand out. Things get even funkier when you mix the gin with tonic: it turns pink! All thanks to that one special botanical…

Yuletide Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company)

Now is the time of year when the industry starts to throw its ‘Christmas in July’ events as press and retail types prepare well in advance for the most hectic time of year. Not only are these events a great way to throw your body clock out of the window and celebrate some exciting new expressions, but it’s the perfect excuse to include this little beauty in this list. The folks at That Boutique-y Gin Company got seriously seasonal when they crafted this gin and somehow found room for gold, frankincense, myrrh, an entire gingerbread house and Christmas tree needles alongside more traditional winter botanicals like nutmeg and clove. The gold is in flake-form, so if you shake the bottle this delight doubles as a boozy snow globe! Think of it as your reward for being good this year (well, the first half anyway…).

And with that, our celebration of unusual botanical-based gins comes to an end. You can sample the special spirits yourselves by picking up a bottle or, if you’re struggling to decide which should be your go-to-gin, you can always assemble the most tempting in a Build Your Own Tasting Set!

Have another unusual favourite that we’ve missed off the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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Imbibe 2018: What goes on at the UK’s biggest booze trade show

Imbibe Live: You might have heard of it. You may even have been along to it. It’s one of Europe’s top drinks trade shows where trends are spotted and ideas…

Imbibe Live: You might have heard of it. You may even have been along to it. It’s one of Europe’s top drinks trade shows where trends are spotted and ideas shared. Want to know what you’ll be drinking next? Our Henry headed to Imbibe 2018 to find out…

There’s always a moment when I first arrive at a trade show where I feel like a rabbit in the headlights. I am sure this would happen to me at Photocopier Expo but at Imbibe Live, one of Europe’s largest on trade shows, I was particularly overwhelmed with the bibulous possibilities on offer. Thank heavens then for Pol Roger, which had a quiet tent offering bacon sandwiches and its vintage 1999 Champagne – just the thing at 10 in the morning. While I nibbled, chairman of Pol UK, James Simpson, told me about a stash of ancient bottles that they had just discovered in a cellar that collapsed 118 years ago. Apparently they are in great condition. I am now waiting for an invite out to Epernay to try one. Watch this space.

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All hail the apéritif! Author Kate Hawkings on the art of pre-dinner cocktails

We have a very special guest on the blog today: it’s Kate Hawkings, drinks writer, restaurateur and now author of a book on apéritifs called, controversially, Aperitif. Aperitif contains recipes…

We have a very special guest on the blog today: it’s Kate Hawkings, drinks writer, restaurateur and now author of a book on apéritifs called, controversially, Aperitif.

Aperitif contains recipes and tips but also some interesting history behind brands like Campari as well as drink-based anecdotes from Kate, including one about turning down an Italian smoothie (a suave man, I mean, rather than a thick drink made from fruit) in a Jaguar E-type. What I gained most from the book is that a good apéritif is more than just a drink, it’s a way of life. A sip of vermouth with an olive can transport you to a backstreet bar in Barcelona when you’re actually on an industrial estate just outside Tunbridge Wells.

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