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Master of Malt Blog

Category: News

Copenhagen distillery Empirical Spirits is the future of booze

To most people, oysters, chicken stock and katsuobushi are ingredients. To Lars Williams – former head of R&D at Noma, one of the world’s most influential restaurants – they’re botanicals….

To most people, oysters, chicken stock and katsuobushi are ingredients. To Lars Williams – former head of R&D at Noma, one of the world’s most influential restaurants – they’re botanicals. Forget everything you think you know about booze: at category-defying distillery Empirical Spirits, nothing is off-limits.

If a distillers’ rulebook exists, Lars Williams hasn’t just thrown it in the bin – he’s set the whole thing on fire. The grain-to-bottle distillery he shares with fellow Noma alumni Mark Emil Hermansen wasn’t solely built to bottle. The entire set-up, designed and built by Williams, was imagined in the kitchen.

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The winner of The Open Championship tickets is…

We recently teamed up with Loch Lomond to give a lucky someone a pair of tickets to The Open Championship – and we have our winner! Television, refrigerators, Dolly the…

We recently teamed up with Loch Lomond to give a lucky someone a pair of tickets to The Open Championship – and we have our winner!

Television, refrigerators, Dolly the sheep, chicken tikka masala, kaleidoscopes, the Grand Theft Auto video game series – Scotland as a country has given the world so many wonderful things. However, for some, there are two suitably Scottish contributions to the world that stand out more than most: golf and Scotch whisky!

In this spirit, you may recall that we teamed up Loch Lomond to give away two tickets to The Open Championship for Friday 20 July, as well as two nights’ accommodation with dinner in Glasgow, a visit to the Loch Lomond Distillery and a bottle of Loch Lomond Carnoustie 1999 (RRP £150) signed by master blender Michael Henry (with arrangements for UK travel taken care of). Only one lucky winner (and an even luckier plus-one) would get to experience this smashingly Scottish treat first-hand. Well, we have our winner!

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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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Steven Soderbergh launches Bolivian spirit in London

On Monday night we were at Flemings Hotel in London’s swanky Mayfair district for a very special launch, Singani 63, a new spirit brought to you by Steven Soderbergh. Yes,…

On Monday night we were at Flemings Hotel in London’s swanky Mayfair district for a very special launch, Singani 63, a new spirit brought to you by Steven Soderbergh. Yes, that Steven Soderbergh. We managed to get an exclusive interview with the man himself which will run next week but meanwhile here’s a little primer on Singani:

What is Singani?

Singani is the national drink of Bolivia. It’s essentially an unaged brandy but it differs from Pisco – a similar drink from Peru and Chile – in that it can only be made in Bolivia from Muscat of Alexandria grapes which are grown at very high altitude, around 6000 feet, this gives them a fresh floral quality. Furthermore because the spirit has to be distilled at high altitude where liquids have a lower boiling point, that delicate aroma isn’t damaged by heat.

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Master of Malt Dram Club – July 2018

Welcome to the second-half of 2018! Let’s start strong with a bundle of brand new tasting sets for Master of Malt Dram Club members… The pessimists among us might look…

Welcome to the second-half of 2018! Let’s start strong with a bundle of brand new tasting sets for Master of Malt Dram Club members…

The pessimists among us might look at the calendar and sneer, saying something along the lines of “Well, the days are getting shorter already…” That might be correct, but aren’t there more pertinent things to consider when glaring at the calendar – like how the new month means a whole new batch of Master of Malt Dram Club tasting sets! We reckon it’s time to let members know what they’ll be receiving in their sets in July…

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The Nightcap: 29 June

Down those tools and pick up a dram: it’s Friday, folks! And with the last day of the working week comes your regular round-up of delicious developments from the wonderful…

Down those tools and pick up a dram: it’s Friday, folks! And with the last day of the working week comes your regular round-up of delicious developments from the wonderful world of booze. It can only be The Nightcap!

Happy Friday, team! We made it. Perhaps you’ve been following all the highs and lows of the World Cup (soz, Germany) and are relishing today as a football-free period of recovery. Or maybe you’ve eschewed all things FIFA and have been basking in the summer sunshine instead (it’s been SIZZLING here in the UK). Either way, there’s a high chance some of this week’s biggest stories might have passed you by. Which is why we’re here to help!

So before we dig into the main Nightcap round-up, let’s look back over the last seven days of all things booze…

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Q&A: Andrew Auwerda, president of Philadelphia Distilling!

He’s helped build the company from the ground up, overseen the construction of a new distillery and managed the rise of the superb Bluecoat gin. Meet Philadelphia Distilling’s Andrew Auwerda!…

He’s helped build the company from the ground up, overseen the construction of a new distillery and managed the rise of the superb Bluecoat gin. Meet Philadelphia Distilling’s Andrew Auwerda!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a city all too familiar with revolution. But, after so many years spent outside of the national distilling conversation post-Prohibition, the town where independence was born probably didn’t expect to find itself at the forefront of the US craft revolution. Thanks to producers like Philadelphia Distilling, that’s all changing.

When its micro-distillery opened in 2005, it was one of only around 50 operating distilleries in the United States and the first craft distillery in Pennsylvania since Prohibition. But president Andrew Auwerda is used to beating the odds. In 1997, Auwerda established contemporary beauty brand Tony & Tina Cosmetics, which he sold eight years later for $5 billion. Philadelphia Distilling is enjoying a similarly impressive rise. In 2017, the brand moved operations to a beautiful $4.5 million distillery, a move that cements its stellar growth.

Auwerda’s commitment to a high-quality spirit with eye-catching packaging has struck a chord with gin lovers, who are turning to Bluecoat, the company’s core expression which was launched in 2006, in greater numbers than ever before. We spoke to the man himself to find out what life is like in the new digs, how to stand out in the crowded American craft distilling landscape, and why history is on his side…

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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…

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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Diageo eyes Baijiu boom with potential Shui Jing Fang investment

Diageo has proposed upping its stake in the company that makes premium baijiu brand Shui Jing Fang. Could there be a baijiu boom on the way? Do you fancy getting…

Diageo has proposed upping its stake in the company that makes premium baijiu brand Shui Jing Fang. Could there be a baijiu boom on the way? Do you fancy getting ahead of the curve like the hip specimen you are? We take a gander…

Earlier this week, drinks giant Diageo shared the news that it has proposed a plan to increase its stake in Sichuan Shuijingfang, a baijiu producer based in Chengdu, China. While the drinks giant currently holds a 39.71% equity stake in the producer, it could top it up to 60% if the move comes off.

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CO2 shortage: What’s going on with my fizzy drinks?!

All week there have been doom and gloom reports of CO2 (carbon dioxide) shortages affecting everything from our beloved summer pints and G&Ts to soft drinks and beyond. But what’s…

All week there have been doom and gloom reports of CO2 (carbon dioxide) shortages affecting everything from our beloved summer pints and G&Ts to soft drinks and beyond. But what’s actually going on, and should we be stockpiling all things fizzy? We investigate…

The CO2 shortage just got real yesterday as in a statement Coca-Cola announced it will be “temporarily pausing” some of its fizzy drinks production. This is a problem that has been bubbling up (sorry!) all week, with all kinds of stories and rumours that without carbon dioxide there might be no beer, which combined with the hot weather and some sort of football tournament going on in Russia, could lead to anarchy on Britain’s streets and, possibly, the end of civilisation as we know it.

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