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Master of Malt Blog

Category: Tasting Notes

Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 9 – Xoriguer

Welcome to week 9 of our Around The World in 80 Drams tour, the blog series where we find out all about spirits from far off lands and learn just…

Xoriguer

Welcome to week 9 of our Around The World in 80 Drams tour, the blog series where we find out all about spirits from far off lands and learn just how much I love lighthouses. Today we head south out of France and head to a wonderful Spanish island to get a taste of a particular gin with a very particular Geographical Indication. Yes, we’re setting sail for Menorca to enjoy some Xoriguer Mahon Gin.

Last week I mentioned I’d be travelling via a team of toads, and that it would take me just under 3 days to travel from Maison Janneau to Xoriguer (only if they travelled at their top speed the whole way, which is 5 miles per hour). I have to apologise, I was in fact wrong. The collective noun for toads is “a knot”. It would take me just about 3 days to travel from Maison Janneau to Xoriguer via a knot of toads.

All square? Good. We may continue.

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Diageo Special Releases 2015

It’s that time of year once again and last night Diageo invited us to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery to taste the 2015 Special Releases! There are nine this year. That’s…

Diageo Special Releases 2015

It’s that time of year once again and last night Diageo invited us to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery to taste the 2015 Special Releases! There are nine this year. That’s two less than last year, which as I’m always up against a bit of a time limit (two hours) to scrawl down some meaningful tasting notes for you all (as well as fight through the crowds and also try to avoid notes from elsewhere – ham, butter, bread, candles, aftershave…) was fine by me! There was, of course, still plenty of stunning whisky on show.

Before we go on, however, I should probably point out that the Special Releases are available for Pre-Order now! You may want to head straight over there. If you do miss out on any of them then keep your eyes on the @MasterOfMalt twitter feed over the next couple of weeks as there may be more available once the bottles land.

Ranging in price from £80 to £2,400, Nick Morgan has gone on record to say that even amongst Special Releases “This year is a special one”. Exciting.

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Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 8 – Janneau

It’s week 8 in our Around The World In 80 Drams tour – we’re one tenth of the way through! We’re making our third and final stop in France this…

Janneau

It’s week 8 in our Around The World In 80 Drams tour – we’re one tenth of the way through! We’re making our third and final stop in France this week, sampling yet another distinctly French spirit. As I mentioned last week, we were heading to a commune which my class in school couldn’t help but giggle at the name of when we were learning French geography. Yes, we’re heading to Condom to taste some Armagnac! But from which distillery? One that would take me over four hours to travel to from Courvoisier – it’s Janneau, of course!

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Battle of the Blends – The Results!

It was truly a battle for the ages, and now – sooner than you may have expected – we can reveal the results! If you’re wondering what this Whisky Magazine…

Battle of the Blends Whisky Magazine

It was truly a battle for the ages, and now – sooner than you may have expected – we can reveal the results!

If you’re wondering what this Whisky Magazine #BattleOfTheBlends in association with Master of Malt business is all about then you can catch up by reading our previous blog post about the contest. Right now though, it’s time to crown a champion…

The heavyweight contest between Dave Broom and Neil Ridley was decided by the noses and palates of over 250 judges including Master Blenders and well-known brand ambassadors as well as whisky and spirits writers, bloggers and enthusiasts – perhaps even your good self (if so, thank you!). Below you’ll find my own Battle of the Blends tasting notes, as well as some comments from the judging panel, before the 2015 winner is revealed…

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Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 7 – Courvoisier

Hello again and welcome to another edition of Around the World in 80 Drams, the blog series where I travel the world heading east tasting 80 different tasty treats. Well,…

Courvoisier

Hello again and welcome to another edition of Around the World in 80 Drams, the blog series where I travel the world heading east tasting 80 different tasty treats. Well, sort of. This week we’re actually just a touch more west than when we started! It’s a windy route we’re taking for sure, but we’re tasting excellent spirits all around the world, which more than makes up for it.

I left you with a hint last week, mentioning Emperors of the French with distinctive headgear, so of course I’m talking about Napoleon Bonaparte and Courvoisier Cognac! I also said it would take about 5 hours to travel the 240 miles south from Domaine Dupont to Château Courvoisier via a flock of seagulls (not the band – though their haircuts did look quite aerodynamic back in the day).

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Glenlivet Launch Peated Cask Nàdurra After Claiming Top Spot

This summer saw The Glenlivet overtake Glenfiddich to become the best selling single malt Scotch whisky in the world, having enjoyed +11% net sales growth in the last financial year….

Glenlivet Nadurra Peated

This summer saw The Glenlivet overtake Glenfiddich to become the best selling single malt Scotch whisky in the world, having enjoyed +11% net sales growth in the last financial year. The gap had been steadily closing for a long time and this follows The Glenlivet’s milestone of selling over a million nine litre cases in a year by last September.

In September of this year they also began work on another *huge* expansion project at the distillery, doubling the capacity to 21 million litres(!), which will make it the largest malt whisky distillery in Scotland. It was only back in 2010 that the capacity was increased from 6 million to 10.5 million litres, an increase that was larger than the capacity of most distilleries. When Pernod Ricard-owned Chivas Brothers stated that their mission was to make The Glenlivet the number one single malt back in 2004, it seemed extremely ambitious (at the time Glenfiddich outsold them around 2:1). Their growth, especially in the last five years, has been nothing short of astonishing.

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Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 6 – Domaine Dupont

Hello and welcome to the 6th stop on my Around the World in 80 Drams expedition! Last week we were in Belgium with the Filliers fellas, and this week we’re…

Domaine Dupont

Hello and welcome to the 6th stop on my Around the World in 80 Drams expedition! Last week we were in Belgium with the Filliers fellas, and this week we’re heading south to France! I mentioned that you should prepare for apples before reading this instalment, so of course that means Calvados is on the cards! We’re heading to one of the most well-known Calvados producers – Domaine Dupont!

I also mentioned that it would take me about 20 hours to travel between Filliers and Domaine Dupont via American crocodile, which I admit wasn’t much of a hint. I think I was just a bit more concerned about locating said American crocodile in Belgium at the time, both because it would be difficult and also because if I did find one it would be absolutely bloody terrified.

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Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 4 – Zuidam

Welcome to another edition of Around The World In 80 Drams, where we are continuing to explore distilleries from the Netherlands. Last week we took a look at Lucas Bols…

Baarle Nassau

Welcome to another edition of Around The World In 80 Drams, where we are continuing to explore distilleries from the Netherlands. Last week we took a look at Lucas Bols in Amsterdam and their long history with distilling. Today we’ll be heading south to visit another well-known Dutch distillery, one that uses windmills to mill the barley to make their whisky – yes, we’re looking at Zuidam!

The Zuidam distillery is situated in Baarle-Nassau, about 60 miles south of Amsterdam. As I mentioned last week, it would take me around one and a half hours to travel between the two by pelican going full pelt, with their top speed being 40 mph. If I was lucky the pelican would carry me in its big beak like that scene in that fish movie.

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Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 3 – Lucas Bols

My around the world journey continues with my first overseas distillery! I hinted towards the next stop by saying there’s canals, art, a cool tram network and a very long…

Amsterdam

My around the world journey continues with my first overseas distillery! I hinted towards the next stop by saying there’s canals, art, a cool tram network and a very long history of distilling – the last one really should have given it away… We’re off to Lucas Bols in The Netherlands, known for being one of the oldest distilling companies in the world, if not the oldest!

It would take me around 4 hours to travel from Southwold to Amsterdam (the capital of the Netherlands, I’ll have you know) by giraffe, but only if the giraffe didn’t mind running full speed the entire way and could walk on water. Both are unlikely. Giraffes are so lazy.

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Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 2 – Adnams

Welcome back to my Around The World In 80 Drams journey, which kicked off last week from the East London Liquor Co., unsurprisingly in East London. I left you with…

Southwold

Welcome back to my Around The World In 80 Drams journey, which kicked off last week from the East London Liquor Co., unsurprisingly in East London. I left you with something of a riddle at the end of the last post, leaving hints as to where I’m off to next: sun, sea, superb beer and how it would take me 23 hours to travel there by pug (pugs run at an average of 3-5 miles per hour). Of course, I’m off to Adnams in Southwold!

Now, when I said I’m bad at geography and that this series will help me learn things, I meant it. If you had asked me where Southwold was before I looked at a map, I’d have said it was somewhere near Southampton. “It’s got ‘South’ in the name and those two kind of sound similar, they’re probably right next to each other,” I believe were the words that went through my head. Well, it’s safe to say I’m learning already, as Southwold is a little bit more northerly than I thought.

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