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A look at Port of Leith Distillery’s fabulous first booze bottlings

Port of Leith Distillery

Mere months from breaking ground on what is set to be Edinburgh’s first single malt whisky distillery for more than 100 years, Port of Leith Distillery co-founders Paddy Fletcher and Ian Stirling have introduced their very first boozes. We took a peek inside the bottles…

When we heard that childhood friends Paddy Fletcher and Ian Stirling had designed Scotland’s first vertical distillery, our ears pricked up Alsatian-style. Set in (where else?) Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith district, the project is a real labour of love, as Stirling told Kristiane on the blog back in April.

Now, eight months on, finance and planning permission has been secured, and an 18-month construction programme is scheduled to begin in March 2019, with an opening date of Autumn 2020. So far, so exciting.

As you can imagine, the Port of Leith Distillery’s inaugural single malt won’t emerge for a good few years, so to whet our collective appetites in the meantime, the duo has kicked off the range with Port of Leith Distillery Sherry and Lind & Lime Gin.

The curious among you may wonder how a distiller goes about distilling… without actually having built a distillery yet. Well, the gin is produced at The Tower Street Stillhouse near the site of the future distillery; a co-operative set-up shared by fellow local producer Electric Spirit Company (creator of Achroous Gin!).

Port of Leith’s sherry, meanwhile, is sourced from Bodegas Baron in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The future distillery site is also home to the experimental whisky development programme, where the team will test yeast strains and fermentation styles over the coming months before settling on the final recipe.

Thirsty for more information, we asked Fletcher to talk us through the releases. Here’s what we learned…

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The Nightcap: 7 December

Another week, another round-up of all the news that’s fit to drink. Yes, it’s the Nightcap! Or c’est le Nightcap as our cousins across la Manche might say. So pour yourself a snifter and have a nose around.

This week on the blog there can be little doubt that Christmas is coming. To get any more Christmassy, you’d need Noddy Holder to pop up and shout “it’s Christmaaasssss!” We’ve been counting down the days in some style with our office Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar. And what treats there have been: Day One was the Lost Distilleries Blend from the Blended Whisky Company, followed by Starward from Australia, something special from Dufftown, a French single malt, a BenRiach, and finally, the mighty Hudson Baby Bourbon. To get you in the mood, we brought you exclusive interviews with the people behind these very special drams!

If that’s not Christmassy enough, Adam came up with some boozy gifts for guaranteed Yuletide satisfaction. Oh, and #WhiskySanta’s Super Wish was something quite spectacular: a bottle of Talisker Bodega Series 40 Year Old, worth £2,750! Blimey.

But it wasn’t all festive fun on the blog. On Monday, we had a closer look at the last Dram Club Tasting Sets of 2018. Annie delved into the mad world of spirits maverick Rebel Rabbet, maker of drinks that defy easy categorisation (and nothing to do with fluffy bunnies.) And Henry met with Cognac sniffer-outer extraordinaire David Baker and tried some brandies distilled during the Second World War.

Some quality booze writing there, and talking of booze and writing, here are the top drinks stories of the week. Bon weekend!
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Master of Malt Auctions: Get set for Round 2!

Last month we kicked off Master of Malt Auctions, a brand-new way to snap up incredible bottlings at delicious prices. Now we’re back with another haul of extraordinary booze!

Cast your mind back a mere two weeks. We kicked off Master of Malt Auctions with a bang, with you setting the prices on a bunch of glorious whiskies, including Littlemill 27 Year Old – Private Cellar Edition 2017, Glen Grant 1970 and Bladnoch 29 Year Old – Bicentennial Release! The time has come for round 2 and a fresh batch of incredibly exciting spirits!

From 3pm today, we will go live with these particularly appealing bottlings, spanning sensational Scotch whiskies, hard-to-find Irish whiskey expressions, a highly sought-after English whisky release, and even a delectable rhum Agricole. Hurrah!
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The Nightcap: 30 November

Welcome to Friday, team! The weekend has arrived as so has The Nightcap, with our round-up of the newsiest booze stories of the week. Enjoy!

And what a week it’s been! Among all the Black Friday excitement and the most dreamy, delicious deals, there’s been loads going on over on the blog.

On Monday, #WhiskySanta revealed the next Super Wish he’d squirrelled away up his sleeve: a bottle of Midleton Method and Madness Single Pot Still 28 Year Old! And he’s even selected one person who has CLEARLY been very good this year… all will be revealed at the end of the Nightcap.

Next, our Annie caught up with the one and only Salvatore Calabrese to get his take on how to store spirits. Opened something special? Want to keep it in its finest form for as long as physically possible? We got Salvatore’s tricks of the trade to maxing out tastiness.

On Wednesday news broke that La Martiniquaise-Bardinet, the French drinks group that owns the likes of Glen Moray, had snapped up the Cutty Sark brand from Edrington, significantly bolstering its Scotch portfolio in the process. Exciting times. Later that same day we received word of some mighty exciting Scotch bottlings from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, including a 30-year-old Macallan expression and sibling 26 and 28-year-old Rosebanks. Delicious!

Rounding off the week (until now, that is), Henry took us on a journey to Herefordshire where he discovered Chase Distillery, purveyor of potato-based vodka and gin. Intrigued? Check out the post!

Marvellous stuff. But now: on with the booziest news from the week that was!

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Behold! Six brilliantly old and rare Boutique-y whiskies are here!

‘Old’ and ‘rare’ are terms often bandied about with much abandon in whisky. Not here, folks. We’ve got six really rather marvellous, hard-to-find That Boutique-y Whisky Company gems that certainly live up to that billing, including a Macallan and not one but two Rosebanks!

We’re always on the look-out for unusual bottlings that max out deliciousness. And we love the people behind That Boutique-y Whisky Company because they are after the same: they sniff out incredible whiskies, independently bottle the best of the best, and then share them with the world. They are our kind of folk. And they’ve done it again. Say hello to six incredibly exciting brand-new bottlings: Rosebank 26 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); Rosebank 28 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); Ardbeg 27 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); Highland Park 26 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); Macallan 30 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); and Springbank 22 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)!

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Glen Moray parent buys Cutty Sark blended Scotch whisky brand

La Martiniquaise-Bardinet, the company that owns Glen Moray single malt, has boosted its Scotch portfolio with the acquisition of blended whisky Cutty Sark from Macallan parent Edrington.

In a statement released this morning, Edrington said it was ‘pleased’ that it had sold the brand to La Martiniquaise-Bardinet, but didn’t disclose how much the French drinks group had paid for the whisky.

It’s set to be a pretty swift transaction, with all the legal and regulatory stuff expected to be complete within a month. As part of the deal, Edrington says it will continue to help with bottling, blending and other practicalities during a transition period.

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The Nightcap: 23 November

Oh hi there! You’ve made it to Friday. Well done. Pull up a comfy chair, pour a dram, and give yourself a pat on the back. But before you go into full weekend mode, we have one final thing for you. Yep, The Nightcap is here with the week’s booziest developments in one super handy digestif!

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve has LOADS on this week. MoM Towers has been buzzing. It all kicked off on Monday with #WhiskySanta’s Craigellachie 31 Year Old Super Wish! Then we received news that Brora’s stills have been whisked off for refurbishment ahead of the closed distillery’s reawakening. We kicked off our mega Ardbeg competition on Tuesday (want to visit the distillery? Check out the blog post and you could be away on a jet plane/train/ferry/alternative mode of transport and be Islay-bound!)

That’s not all. Henry got the lowdown on Dandelyan’s final cocktail menu (sob!), Annie caught up with New York Distilling Company’s Allen Katz, and we introduced our delicious Black Friday Deals. Oh, and we launched a tiny little thing called Master of Malt Auctions… Phew.

Enough for now, though. Here are the other need-to-know drinks stories from the week that was!

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East London Liquor Company’s first whisky is here: meet London Rye!

London Rye

To welcome the comeback of whisky distillation in East London, we travelled to East London Liquor Company and were among the first to taste London Rye!

Last night MoM was invited to an incredibly exciting preview dinner. Why? The marvellous folk over at East London Liquor Company (ELLC) revealed London Rye whisky for the first time! This is a very exciting development for a number of reasons, the first being the obvious – yay, more whisky! But more pertinently, this is a particularly notable launch because it’s a part of history. Not only is the expression the first whisky ELLC has ever released, but it’s also the first to be distilled in London’s East End since the closure of Lea Valley in 1904.

The inaugural London Rye release is an attempt from ELLC to make an English whisky that could appeal to a range of drinkers and bartenders. East London Liquor Company’s whisky distiller, Andy Mooney described it as “perfect to drink neat the minute you crack open the bottle”. What stands out straight away is that it’s a rye whisky. However, don’t expect the classic American variety. The recipe Mooney and his team created features a mash bill of 42% rye and 58% extra pale malted barley.

London Rye is intriguing. It was distilled in a combination of pot and column stills before the new make spirit was initially matured for a year in 30-litre and 60-litre new French oak casks with Level 5 and 3 char. This was followed by two years in ex-bourbon before it was finally finished for one month in an ex-Pedro Ximénez sherry cask. It was then bottled at 46.8%.

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Whisky auctions: The great, the good, and the delicious!

Here’s why we think whisky auctions are great – and why you’re about to see loads more of them on Master of Malt!

For the love of great drinks. That’s why the top team here at MoM Towers got into the whisky game. And that’s why we keep striving to bring you the most delicious products, money-can’t-buy competition experiences and the news views shaping all things booze.

Which is also why we’re about to kick off a whole host of product auctions, with many an incredible bottling about to hit the lot spotlight. We’re talking a 1953 Glenfarclas, a Tomintoul 40 Year Old, and even Glen Mhor 50 Year Old 1965 (cask 3934) – Cask Strength Collection Rare Reserve!

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Master of Malt’s Black Friday Deals!

The ultimate shopping holiday is here, and – bucking the trend somewhat – we’re offering you exclusive deals right the way through to Friday 30 November!

Black Friday 2018 is upon us. The time has come for you to treat yourself (and others, don’t forget that part) to big products at bargain prices. Obviously, as a savvy sort, you’re not actually going to venture outside to the mayhem and the madness that descends on the high street. You’re going to score a great deal online. In your pyjamas. With a bowl of cereal. Because you did not come to play. You came to save a buttload of money.

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