Master of Malt Whisky Blog

Category: World Whisky

Raise a glass to the Chelsea Flower Show with these floral whiskies!

This week, tens of thousands will descend upon the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to marvel at some of Britain’s most brilliant blooms. Indulge your inner Alan Titchmarsh with these fragrant drams – no green fingers necessary.

Chelsea Flower Show has graced the grounds of London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea every year since 1913 (except for during the two World Wars, naturally), in a room large enough to comfortably fit 500 London buses. This five-day floral spectacle is a British institution. It’s Crufts for flower fanatics.

If you’ve got hayfever just thinking about it, why not pay homage to horticulture from the comfort of your very own garden with a dram in-hand? After all, floral doesn’t necessarily have to mean ‘perfumed’.
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Categories : American Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Japanese Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, World Whisky
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London Rye and beyond: East London Liquor Company on English whisky

Last week, East London Liquor Company steamrollered its original crowdfunding target of £750,000 in a mere 24 hours. Here, founder Alex Wolpert reflects on four transformative years, details the distillery’s next steps, and anticipates the future of English whisky with his hyper-local London Rye.

“It’s been quite a week,” a humble Wolpert tells me over the phone, and I don’t doubt him for a second. The gin, vodka and whisky distillery – east London’s first for more than a century – exceeded the £1 million marker of its Crowdcube campaign within four days, with investments ranging from £10 to £175,000. At the time of writing, ELLC is making clear headway on its amended target of £1.5m.

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Categories : Gin, News, Rum, Vodka, Whisky, World Whisky
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Q&A: The Lakes Distillery’s Dhavall Gandhi!

Earlier this year we headed up to Cumbria to check out The Lakes Distillery, the National Park’s first legal spirits producer. It would have been rude not to catch up with Dhavall Gandhi, whisky-maker-in-chief, to find out more about his plans for the (shortly to come of age!) whisky, the distillery’s wood programme, and how the former-Macallan man got into whisky full stop…

Dhavall Gandhi is a busy chap. We were planning to chat in person when Team MoM travelled to The Lakes Distillery earlier this year. We were on a mission to check out the production area, the award-winning Bistro (it’s gooooood) and even meet the on-site alpacas (top tip: they’re fluffsome but not the friendliest. But head up on certain days and you’ll be able to encounter them up close). Gandhi was called away to the US just before the visit – there were casks to check out. His trip sums up the intense focus on wood – more on that later – and meant that when we caught up on the phone shortly afterwards, there was a lot of ground to cover.
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Categories : World Whisky
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Q&A: Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky’s Andy Watts!

Bain's

We catch up with Distell’s head of whisky intrinsic excellence, Andy Watts, to chart his intriguing back story, how he created Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, the World’s Best Grain Whisky, and what the future holds for South African distilling.

What does it take to make a world’s best whisky? The team behind Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky should know. The recent winner of the World’s Best Grain Whisky award was named after Andrew Geddes Bain, an innovative and pioneering Scot who came to South Africa in the mid-1800s and built the famous Bain’s Kloof Pass. Nearly two centuries later, another Brit has made his name in the scenic Western Cape.

Andy Watts, a former English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Derbyshire and Boland in South Africa, now works for Distell as head of whisky intrinsic excellence and is a man who had a lot to celebrate at the World Whisky Awards 2018. Not only did his creation Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky win in a category it had previous success in 2013, but Watts himself was awarded the prestigious Master Distiller/Blender of the Year. We sat down with him to talk all things whisky and much more besides…

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Categories : World Whisky
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Brenne: The bold and beautiful French whisky

The concept of terroir in whisky has become a real talking point over the last few years – and no brand demonstrates sense of place more eloquently than Brenne. Professional ballerina-turned-whisky entrepreneur Allison Parc delves into the intricacies of her seed-to-spirit whisky, which is harvested, distilled and bottled in Cognac by a third-generation Cognac distiller…

As modern brand backstories go, French single malt whisky Brenne is particularly enthralling. If the prospect of organic estate-grown heirloom barley, fermented with a Cognac yeast strain, distilled in traditional Cognac stills, aged in new French Limousin oak and finished in ex-Cognac barrels isn’t compelling enough, the career path of founder Allison Parc certainly is. The New York native retired as a professional ballerina in the early 2000s, the beginning of a long journey that led her to swap Grande Jetés for Grande Champagne (well, almost).
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Categories : World Whisky
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The stars align: 10 years of Starward whisky

Gone are the days where the word whisk(e)y solely referred to liquid produced in Scotland, Ireland, or America. Today, a fresh wave of whisky-makers across the globe, with their unique climates and natural resources, are offering malt fans a taste of regionality. David Vitale, founder of Australian whisky brand Starward, delves into the inner-workings of his distillery down-under…

When he founded Starward back in 2007, David Vitale penned the concept “a distinctly Australian whisky” in his notebook, and set out to define what that meant. Ultimately, he wanted a whisky that was “as distinctive as peat is to Islay whisky, in an approachable fashion”.

“We could have gone down the wattle or eucalypt path, but it wouldn’t have tasted all that great,” muses Vitale, who earned his whisky stripes working for Bill Lark at Tasmania’s Lark Distillery. “It had to be something that you could share with friends that wasn’t going to be an acquired taste or something you cross off your bucket list and then move on.

“With hindsight it’s bloody obvious that we should be using wine barrels to do that, but at the time it was a big leap of faith. If we could crack that nut, we’d have a whisky that’s more Australian than Scotch is Scottish.”
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Categories : World Whisky
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Whisky Advent 2017 Day #16: Kavalan Single Malt Whisky

On the penultimate Advent weekend, we sample the delights of a Taiwanese tipple in celebration of day 16 of #WhiskyAdvent!

It’s time to start pretending you’re not in when carollers come calling – Christmas is just a stone’s throw away!

While I convince myself that there’s definitely still enough time to buy presents (let’s hope my girlfriend likes that desk fan I bought for myself a month ago), let’s find out what joy lies behind window #16 of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar… It’s Kavalan Single Malt Whisky!

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Categories : Gin, World Whisky
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Whisky Advent 2017 Day #14: Mackmyra Brukswhisky (The Swedish Whisky)

We’ve arrived at day 14 of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar, and today we’re going so far north even the Scots might begin to feel the cold!

Day #14 has rolled around, meaning there’s only 10 days left of #WhiskyAdvent… *sad face*. To appropriately begin our Final Countdown*, we’ve hopped over to Sweden for this dram.

Satisfying your need-for-Swede (sorry), behind window #14 of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar is… Mackmyra Brukswhisky (The Swedish Whisky)!

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Categories : Tequila, World Whisky
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Whisky Advent 2017 Day #3: Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky

On this first weekend of December, I welcome you, my Christmassy, whisky friends, because it’s time to tear open window #3 of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar!

Ah, the first weekend of December – the perfect time to pop into town and get some Christmas shopping done – right? Wrong. Town will be so unacceptably busy, you’ll be better off doing it online! It’s 2017 for goodness sake, you can get everything on the internet these days… presents, cards, alcohol-based-Christmas crackers, ordainment – it’s all there.

It’s Christmas after all, so you should be relaxing with a nice tipple… perhaps the one Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar kindly put behind window #3 for you – Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky!

#WhiskyAdvent takes us to the golden shores of South Africa today, for the county’s first ever single grain whisky, courtesy of The James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington.

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Categories : World Whisky
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Spirit of Yorkshire unveils its first creation – a one year old blend!

Spirit of Yorkshire

Earlier this year we introduced you to dynamic English whisky distillery, Spirit of Yorkshire. To pacify impatient fans (ourselves included!) as its single malt comes of age, the independent producer has released a one year old blended spirit. We called whisky director Joe Clark for the lowdown…

Spirit of Yorkshire has stirred excitement among whisky fans since it fired up its stills in May 2016, and with good reason. Headed up by experienced brewer, farmer (and now distiller) Tom Mellor and longtime friend David Thompson, the “grain-to-glass” operation is as localised as it gets.

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Categories : World Whisky
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