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Master of Malt Blog

Category: Tasting Notes

Highland Park Dark Origins

When we received an invite to the launch of a new core Highland Park expression, we were naturally quite excited. The invite said that we were to be taken into…

Highland Park Dark Origins

When we received an invite to the launch of a new core Highland Park expression, we were naturally quite excited. The invite said that we were to be taken into the darkness for a whisky “dark by nature and character”. Having recently released our own Darkness! range we had a pretty good idea what this meant. (Hint: yummy Sherry!)

What amused us about the invite, however, was that there was a hooded chap printed in the background that looked suspiciously like the protagonist from the ’90s computer game ‘Thief: The Dark Project’ (emphasis added). Apparently it’s actually supposed to be Magnus Eunson, the butcher/church official by day, legendary whisky smuggler/illicit distiller by night of Highland Park foundation myth (dating back to 1798). Indeed, whilst other whiskies may have adopted the dark, we’re told that the Orkney single malt was very much born in it. BaneCat would be suitably impressed.

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd — Part I

Earlier this year, I became rather enamoured with what is arguably the drinks world’s most prestigious address – No. 3 St James’s – home to the wine and spirits merchant,…

Berry Brothers and Rudd

Earlier this year, I became rather enamoured with what is arguably the drinks world’s most prestigious address – No. 3 St James’s – home to the wine and spirits merchant, Berry Brothers and Rudd (known henceforth variously as BBR or Berry’s).

This springtime love affair all started with a ‘three martini lunch’ on a surprisingly balmy day in February. I arrived fashionably late at No. 3 and climbed a steep wooden staircase through a locked door at the back of the shop to meet a group of familiar faces from spirits retail. The event’s hosts were BBR’s charming spirits man, Doug McIvor, and Glenrothes’ brand ambassador and gifted raconteur, Ronnie Cox.

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Limited Edition Joey Dunlop Charity Whisky from the Isle of Man TT

After Fèis Ìle 2014 I travelled straight down to Liverpool – do not pass go, do not collect any clean underwear – and jumped on the Steam Packet over to…

Joey Dunlop Foundation Whisky

After Fèis Ìle 2014 I travelled straight down to Liverpool – do not pass go, do not collect any clean underwear – and jumped on the Steam Packet over to the Isle of Man for the famous TT motorcycle races!

These legendary road races date back 107 years and the lap record now stands at 17 minutes 6.682 seconds for 37.733 miles, set by Bruce Anstey this year. That’s an average speed of 132.298 mph! On narrow roads with over 120 corners!!! What’s any of this got to do with whisky though? Well, last year the Joey Dunlop Foundation released a special limited edition blended malt Scotch whisky, which they sourced with a little help from Ralfy off of ralfystuff, with all profits going to the charity.

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New Product – Rumbullion! XO 15yo

It’s hard to believe, but the original Rumbullion! hasn’t even been with us for 3 years yet. Initially launched in November 2011, and followed by a punchier Navy-Strength version late…

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Rumbullion! XO 15 Years Old

It’s hard to believe, but the original Rumbullion! hasn’t even been with us for 3 years yet.

Initially launched in November 2011, and followed by a punchier Navy-Strength version late in 2012 (you’ll want to click on that one – it’s got explosives in it), it felt like high time we stepped up and produced a super-premium version.

With this in mind, development and sourcing work for this ultra-aged expression began over 2 years ago – it’s taken us this long to find a reliable source of exceptional, superbly-aged Caribbean rum that fits and compliments the flavour-profile of the original offering.

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle – Ardbeg Day

Greetings traveller, In this final issue of Tales From The Isle everybody was very much in the mood for the upcoming football extravaganza. You must know about the huge sports…

Tales From The Isle Ardbeg Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this final issue of Tales From The Isle everybody was very much in the mood for the upcoming football extravaganza. You must know about the huge sports competition that’s now upon us and that everybody has been talking about all around the world – that’s right, it’s the The Ultimate Ardbeg Distillery Swamp Football Tournament!

Ardbeg Day is celebrated all over the world, not least at the distillery on Islay as part of Fèis Ìle. It’s also fair to say that when Ardbeg do something, they do it properly, so there’s an awful lot to tell you about here. I’d packed my yellow and blue havaianas and a Brazuca football, but there’s always still time for a beastie or two as well…

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle – Bunnahabhain Day

Greetings traveller, Today we travelled as far north as most ever venture on Islay. In this issue of Tales From The Isle I’ll be telling you why we’ve made this…

Tales From The Isle Bunnahabhain Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

Today we travelled as far north as most ever venture on Islay. In this issue of Tales From The Isle I’ll be telling you why we’ve made this arduous journey as well as sharing the tale (tail?) of the giant fire-breathing lizard of Islay. That’s right, the isle was supposedly once home to a formidable and terrifying dragon! Fear not though, as in Game of Thrones, they say all the dragons have now been dead for centuries…

Herein we’ll also be taking a look at Bunnhabhain’s two Fèis Ìle bottlings and events as they unfolded throughout the day. The reason we were at this particular distillery though was the same reason as all those who take the long road north. We were there to take the black…

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle – Kilchoman & Jura Day

Greetings traveller, In this special issue of Tales From The Isle – available with a choice of two covers – we visit both Kilchoman and Jura distilleries! Which cover will…

Tales From The Isle Kilchoman Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In this special issue of Tales From The Isle – available with a choice of two covers – we visit both Kilchoman and Jura distilleries! Which cover will you choose? The Kill-choman option, which can be found to the right here (view the full size image, if you dare…) features an ordinary farm or homestead scene (from films). After all, all sorts of exciting, terrifying, and actually quite horrendous and messed up stuff always happens in these kinds of places (in films). That’s why I never stay overnight at one unless I’ve personally witnessed the one, single chainsaw in the vicinity has been been grafted onto Bruce Campbell‘s arm well before bedtime.

The Jura cover, meanwhile… Well that comes from a chilling personal experience…

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle – Bowmore Day & Gartbreck

Greetings traveller, In today’s Tales From The Isle I’d planned to bring you the story of the devil’s final visit to Bowmore in some detail, but an action-packed day at…

Tales From The Isle Bowmore Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

In today’s Tales From The Isle I’d planned to bring you the story of the devil’s final visit to Bowmore in some detail, but an action-packed day at Fèis Ìle means that this issue has rather taken on a life of its own! The story is still worth telling, however, if only in brief. The famous round church in Bowmore, constructed ten years before the distillery was established, is said to be round so that the devil had no corners to hide in. According to legend, the architectural trap worked so well that when he did finally pop by in 1837 he was instantly spotted and pursued down the road by an angry Christian mob. Entering the distillery buildings, he made his escape by hiding within a cask of whisky that was being loaded onto the Maid of Islay for transport to the mainland. It’s said that he never dared to return.

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Five New Boutique-ys Including a Bruichladdich

Well these have certainly been a wee while coming, but all good things, etc… Truth is, I’ve sort of forgotten that any other type of whisky other than ‘peated’ exists…

Glen Grant, Glenrothes, Bruichladdich, Linkwood, Blended Whisky #1 That Boutique-y Whisky Company

Well these have certainly been a wee while coming, but all good things, etc…

Truth is, I’ve sort of forgotten that any other type of whisky other than ‘peated’ exists given our recent exploits, but looking back at these labels reminds me that yes. They do indeed exist, and if memory serves, many of them are delicious.

Let’s start with the very first Blended Whisky ever produced by That Boutique-y Whisky Company; Blended Whisky Number One.

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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle – Laphroaig Day & iPed 2014

Greetings traveller, They say that the devil no longer visits Islay, which is why one policeman is sufficient for a population of thousands. We’ll be taking a closer look at…

Tales From The Isle Laphroaig Feis Ile

Greetings traveller,

They say that the devil no longer visits Islay, which is why one policeman is sufficient for a population of thousands. We’ll be taking a closer look at exactly why Satan might be staying away from the isle tomorrow, but just because the lord of darkness is absent, that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily safe from the horrors of hell!

Laphroaig, of course, is a distillery that’s seen its fair share of horror with former owner and co-founder Donald Johnston having fallen into a vat of raging hot spent lees in 1847! That’s ten whole years after the devil’s supposed final visit and poor old Donald tragically died from his injuries shortly after.

2 Comments on Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle – Laphroaig Day & iPed 2014

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