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Master of Malt Blog

Category: Scotch Whisky

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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Behold the fancy new range from Grant’s!

Scotch whisky fans, listen up: Grant’s has overhauled its core range and it’s VERY different. Say hello to Grant’s Triple Wood, Grant’s Triple Wood Smoky (yes, PEATED!), Grant’s Rum Cask…

Scotch whisky fans, listen up: Grant’s has overhauled its core range and it’s VERY different. Say hello to Grant’s Triple Wood, Grant’s Triple Wood Smoky (yes, PEATED!), Grant’s Rum Cask Finish and Grant’s 8 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish!

Remember when we snuck up to Girvan a couple of weeks back? Yes, it was to check out the Girvan distillery (there’s still a blog post to come on that). But there was also a secret reveal (and another non-disclosure agreement. How exciting). The time has come to disclose the details: blended Scotch whisky brand Grant’s has a new look, four new core expressions, and what feels like a brand new cask-focused philosophy to match.

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WATCH: Anthony Wills on Kilchoman distillery expansion!

During Fèis Ìle 2018, we caught up with Anthony Wills, founder of Islay’s Kilchoman distillery, who shared with us plans to double the capacity of the farm distillery. It’s almost…

During Fèis Ìle 2018, we caught up with Anthony Wills, founder of Islay’s Kilchoman distillery, who shared with us plans to double the capacity of the farm distillery.

It’s almost the perfect problem. You work hard to produce something incredible, people love it, and then you can’t physically make enough to meet the demand. It’s a paradox not unfamiliar to the whisky industry, but for Islay’s Kilchoman distillery, which has always been a small-volume farm producer, it represents something of a dilemma.

When Anthony Wills first filled a cask back in 2005, it seemed almost impossible that he’d need to double his stillhouse in a such a short period of time. Yet the signature Kilchoman smoke paired with its strong island provenance has proved an alluring combination and whisky fans can’t get enough of the island drams.

Here Kilchoman distillery founder Wills chats us through the dilemma and shares details of the project to double capacity at the site…

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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: Jim Beveridge, Johnnie Walker master blender!

He looks after more casks than there are people in Scotland, leads a blending team of 12, and creates the world’s best-selling blended Scotch whisky… Meet Johnnie Walker’s Jim Beveridge!…

He looks after more casks than there are people in Scotland, leads a blending team of 12, and creates the world’s best-selling blended Scotch whisky… Meet Johnnie Walker’s Jim Beveridge!

Newsflash: Johnnie Walker, already the most popular Scotch whisky name in the world, has returned to triumphant growth. According to Brand Champions figures, released by trade magazine The Spirits Business this month, the brand saw volume sales soar by 5.2% to 18.3 million 9-litre case sales in 2017. That’s a LOT of whisky. And it’s the most the brand has shifted since 2013. In other words, Johnnie Walker is ON.

The secret to its success? It’s impossible to narrow it down to just one. But the team producing the stuff, led by master blender Jim Beveridge, should get a shout out. They preside over millions upon millions of casks, maturing all across Scotland, and it is their expertise that brings expressions such as Black Label, Blue Label, the experimental Blenders’ Batch releases and even the luxurious Odyssey to life.

We catch up with Beveridge to find out how he keeps his eye on so many expressions at once, get the lowdown on recipe development, and make him pick out just one Johnnie Walker dram…

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The winner of the Formula One Grandstand tickets is…

Last month we teamed up with Johnnie Walker to give a lucky winner a pair of Formula One Grandstand tickets for the British Grand Prix – and we have our…

Last month we teamed up with Johnnie Walker to give a lucky winner a pair of Formula One Grandstand tickets for the British Grand Prix – and we have our winner!

The excitement. The tension. The thrill of racing. The spectacular rewards of beating others to the finish line. We’re not talking about how we feel when someone brings cake into MoM Towers, we’re clearly talking about the kind of stuff you can expect watching Formula One. You might remember that we teamed up with Johnnie Walker to give away a pair of Formula One Grandstand tickets for the British Grand Prix, meaning a lucky winner (and an even luckier plus-one) would get to experience all this first-hand. Well, we have our winner!

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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…

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!

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Macallan-maker to sell Cutty Sark and Glenturret as sales hit £706 million

Calculators at the ready, folks – Edrington, the company that makes The Macallan, Highland Park and Famous Grouse, among others, has just released its financial results for the year to…

Calculators at the ready, folks – Edrington, the company that makes The Macallan, Highland Park and Famous Grouse, among others, has just released its financial results for the year to March 2018. And in the document the company announced it’s looking to sell the Cutty Sark and Glenturret Scotch whiskies! We investigate what’s going on and crunch the sums after sales climbed 7%* to £706.7 million.

It’s all change for spirits-maker Edrington. It’s a case of out with the old for Cutty Sark and Glenturret, and in with the new (THAT new Macallan distillery) as sales climb and stats are bolstered.

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The Master of Malt World Cup of Scotch

Shin-pads, sticker books and half-time oranges at the ready, folks. It’s time for the The Master of Malt World Cup of Scotch! You might have noticed that there’s some sort…

Shin-pads, sticker books and half-time oranges at the ready, folks. It’s time for the The Master of Malt World Cup of Scotch!

You might have noticed that there’s some sort of sporting jamboree going on in Russia at the moment. Sadly Scotland didn’t qualify but the spirit of Scotland – literally – is in the hearts of almost all football playing countries. What’s interesting is how different brands, some of which aren’t even available in Scotland, dominate different markets. So in honour of the country that might not be the best at football but is pretty damn good at whisky, here is the Master of Malt World Cup of Scotch, each country represented by its favourite Scotch.

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