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Master of Malt Whisky Blog

Category: American Whiskey

Check out the latest news relating to American Whiskey, including Bourbon from leading producers such as Smooth Ambler and St George Spirits.

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 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.


Categories : American Whiskey, Gin, Liqueurs, News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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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, 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).

Categories : American Whiskey, Beer, Cocktails, Gin, News, Rum, Scotch Whisky, Tequila, Whisky, Wine, World Whisky
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Q&A: Dave Pickerell, Whistlepig master distiller!

We caught up with Dave Pickerell as he zoomed into London on a flying visit to launch WhistlePig FarmStock Rye Crop No.002 whiskey (available exclusively here, FYI!), first at a rammed tasting at the Bloomsbury Hotel and later at Hedonism Wines in Mayfair. He’s a busy man but he managed to give us half an hour of his undivided attention to tell us about his obsession with all thing rye…

WhistlePig is a distillery that’s made the headlines for many reasons over the years, from founder Raj Bhakta’s original dream of making rye whiskey in Vermont and its first releases to the brand’s cameo in Breaking Bad and everything in between. We meet master distiller Dave Pickerell to discuss recent events as WhistlePig FarmStock Rye Crop No.002 hits the shelves here in the UK.

MoM: Hello Dave, welcome to London, could you tell us how you first got into making whiskey?

Dave Pickerell: I enrolled at the University of Louisville and was studying for my Masters degree (in chemical engineering) and discovered that I’m an idiot savant at distilling! Truly, it’s not about smarts; it’s about some innate sense that I can close my eyes and see molecules running around in a still and know where they’re going next and why. My mentor told me that the beverage alcohol industry needed me. And there was a small consulting firm in Louisville that did nothing but beverage alcohol and they’d just landed a contract and it was more than they could handle and they needed another chemical engineer. I got to work in China, Mexico, Canada, Scotland, the Dominican Republic, and all over the US. I learned about fine spirits, and lousy spirits, all over the world.

Categories : American Whiskey
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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 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!

Categories : American Whiskey, Cocktails, Cognac, Gin, News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, World Whisky
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The Bourbon Series: Part Three… with Rob Samuels of Maker’s Mark

Our Bourbon Series concludes with Maker’s Mark, one of the world’s most beloved wheated bourbons. Rob Samuels, chief operating officer – and grandson of the brand’s founder, Bill Samuels – shares Scottish roots, ‘ageing to taste’, and the story behind the bottle’s iconic red wax seal.

Founded in the 1950s, Maker’s Mark may be among the youngest of the traditional bourbon brands, but there are old hands behind the stills. In fact, the Samuels family has been distilling whiskey for more than 500 years.


Categories : American Whiskey, Whisky
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The Bourbon Series: Part Two… with Freddie Noe of Jim Beam

If there’s a gene responsible for skilful whiskey distilling, clearly Jim Beam and his descendants have it in abundance. Here, eighth generation Beam family distiller, Freddie Noe, talks whiskey forecasts, the bourbon boom, and why single barrel Booker’s will never, ever happen…

Last week we brought you the first instalment in The Bourbon Series, with whiskey chat from none other than Jim Beam Bourbon’s legendary master distiller Fred Noe. He’s not quite ready to hang up his hat just yet, but with son Freddie Noe next in line for the throne, the business will clearly be in excellent hands when he does.

Growing up in the knowledge that you’re Jim Beam’s actual great-great grandson would give anyone an inflated sense of self-importance. But not Freddie. Rumour has it the American dictionary definition of the word ‘humble’ is just a picture of his face. It might be hearsay, but after the tasting, we’d believe it.

As we collectively tasted our way through Jim Beam White Label, Jim Beam Double Oak, Jim Beam Black, Basil Hayden’s, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, and Knob Creek, Freddie regaled us with tales of his youth. Here’s what we discovered…

Categories : American Whiskey
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WATCH: Kentucky warehouse collapse creates giant bourbon barrel heap

On Friday Kentucky distillery Barton 1792 experienced something of a disaster: a partial warehouse collapse sending as many as 9,000 barrels of bourbon tumbling to the floor. The aerial footage of the aftermath is something else…

It’s a whisk(e)y fan’s worst nightmare. Thousands upon thousands of prime maturing barrels lost accidentally in a momentary disaster.

That’s exactly what happened over in Kentucky last week at Barton 1792 Distillery when part of a historic rack house came crashing to the ground.

Categories : American Whiskey, News
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The Nightcap: 22 June

Another week comes to a close, so it’s time for a round-up of booze stories to help you start your weekend with a brain full of knowledge – it’s The Nightcap!

It’s Friday! Unless you’re in Australia, where it’s probably next Wednesday. For those of you in Oz, keep powering through hump day. For everyone else, it’s time to grab a tasty beverage and have a gander at the booze news from this week with The Nightcap.

And today has been a news fest! If the Nightcap wasn’t enough for you, Macallan owner Edrington announced its financial results with a bit of a bang: as well as posting 7% growth, it also announced plans to sell Glenturret and Cutty Sark. Wowzers.

Elsewhere on the Master of Malt blog this week; Annie looked at the world of Bourbon alongside Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe and picked out the blends you’ll want to boast about. Sam took a glance at Tomatin’s turnover (of the money variety, nothing to do with delicious baked goods). Kristy headed (just) north of the border to taste the first whiskies from the Annandale Distillery, and looked at how everyone goes to the pub when it’s sunny.

Henry didn’t quite share the enthusiasm for the sunny weather this week, as he introduced us all to Light Strike Awareness Day (it’s a thing), as well as showing off his knowledge of popular Scotch whiskies around the world, and exploring an upcoming Island distillery.

Phew. On the with booze news!

Categories : American Whiskey, Beer, Cocktails, Cognac, News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Modern blended whiskies you’ll want to boast about

Blended whisky gets a seriously bad rap – call time on single malt snobbery, and stock your home bar with these modern blended whiskies (and blended malts) that equal far more than the sum of their parts…

In the age of the single malt, you’ll be hard pushed to find anyone who would freely admit that their favourite sipper is of the blended variety. For all intents and purposes, it’s the equivalent of wearing a Status Quo t-shirt to a Sex Pistols gig.


Categories : American Whiskey, Japanese Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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The Bourbon Series: Part One… with Fred Noe of Jim Beam

From humble beginnings in Kentucky, Jim Beam has captured the hearts of American whiskey fans across the globe, quite rightly earning the title of ‘World’s Best-Selling Bourbon’. We travelled to Barcelona to meet master distiller Fred Noe, and hear him reflect back on German roots, cowboy stereotypes, and the ‘Kentucky chew’…

Since Jim Beam and his direct descendants have been making bourbon in Kentucky for more than 200 years, it’s safe to say the family know their way around a glass of whiskey. So when MoM was invited to a tasting led by Jim Beam’s great grandson (among other bourbon royalty – more on that next week!) there could only be one reasonable response: hell yes.

As we tackled the veritable line-up – which comprised Jim Beam White Label, Jim Beam Double Oak, Jim Beam Black, Basil Hayden’s, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, and Knob Creek – Fred Noe reflected on the past, present, and future of Beam’s legacy, and the wider bourbon category. Here’s what he had to share…

Categories : American Whiskey
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