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Whisky Advent Day 12: Caol Ila 12 Year Old

by Master of Malt     12. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

We're half way, can you believe it?! There's still the same amount of delicious drams left after today as we've enjoyed from The Whisky Advent Calendar so far! (We've decided to adopt some festive calendar-half-full thinking - there are still plenty more treats to look forward to!) It also means that Christmas is drawing ever nearer so time's running out to sort out all those pressies, made easier we hope by our Free Shipping offers and the like. On to the window at hand though, appropriately revealing a 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky for Day 12.

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Whisky Advent Day 11: Arran - Batch 4 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

by Master of Malt     11. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

So, what do we have behind window number 11 of The Whisky Advent Calendar from Drinks by the Dram? Why it's the fourth batch of That Boutique-y Whisky Company's Arran single malt!*

Each of the Arrans in this series features illustrator Emily Chappell and a friend stranded on a desert island after an ill-fated kayaking trip. As you may know, there are often subtle differences between the labels of Boutique-y batches, however, and if you look carefully on the right hand side of Batch 4... you'll see that she's actually put up her Christmas tree!

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Whisky Advent Day 8: The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel Sherry Cask

by Master of Malt     8. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

Week two of #WhiskyAdvent and we're starting in much the same vein as the first, with a truly fantastic Sherry matured Speysider and a perfect winter dram, from another distillery that's rightly gained a reputation for producing some of the best Sherry matured whiskies available today. Behind the eighth window of The Whisky Advent Calendar is Balvenie's fantastic Single Barrel Sherry Cask 15 Year Old.

Although 'Single Barrel', this 15 year old is a continuous release, with each bottle drawn from a single cask. This means that no more than 650 bottles of this whisky actually come from the exact same cask (whilst no two casks are identical, legendary Malt Master David Stewart selects those with the desired character). The potential outturn from each cask also points to something else - The Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask isn't really matured in a 'barrel' at all, but rather a big first fill European oak ex-Oloroso Sherry butt!

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Whisky Advent Day 7: Glen Scotia Double Cask

by Master of Malt     7. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

The final dram of the first week of #WhiskyAdvent... Time to open up window seven of the Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar and see what it is!

Why, it's a Campbeltown malt from Glen Scotia, whose whiskies have received all-new, all-new packaging this year and whose range has also seen a complete overhaul. Out have gone the 10, 12, 16, 18 and 21 year olds (most of which were relatively new themselves) and in come Double Cask, a 15 Year Old and Victoriana. It's not just the bottlings that have been revamped either, the last year or two have seen upgrades to the stills, three new washbacks, a new spirit safe and the building of a visitor centre at the distillery!

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Whisky Advent Day 6: Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release

by Master of Malt     6. December 2015 10:00

Whisky Advent Calendar

As we approach the end of the first week of Drinks by the Dram's #WhiskyAdvent, it feels like it may be time for a peated single malt Scotch whisky. Something from Islay, perhaps? Right on cue, behind window six of The Whisky Advent Calendar we find a delicious Kilchoman!

This 2014 release is a vatting of 5 and 6 year old whisky matured in ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry butts, the last of the 'work in progress' Machir Bay releases, as it were, which have been a fantastic insight as to how the spirit from Islay's youngest distillery has been developing. (Hint: it's been going pretty well!) Machir Bay has now become both a continuous release and their core expression, with this December marking the 10th anniversary of spirit first running from the stills.

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We're Indie Islands Bottler & Grain Bottler of the Year!

by Jake Mountain     4. December 2015 17:30

Independent-Bottlers-Challenge

After being named Highland Independent Bottler of the Year in 2014 at Whisky Magazine's Independent Bottlers' Challenge, we're extremely proud to announce that for 2015 Master of Malt have picked up two overall category wins, being named:

Islands Independent Bottler of the Year 2015
&
Grain Independent Bottler of the Year 2015

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Whisky Advent Day 2: Yoichi/Miyagikyo Single Malts

by Master of Malt     2. December 2015 10:00

Yoichi Miyagikyo Whisky Advent

It’s Day 2 of Drinks by the Dram’s #WhiskyAdvent and once again we get to open a window of the excellent Whisky Advent Calendar to see what delights lay within…

Starting with Speyside single malt Scotch yesterday, the second dram takes us all the way to Japan with Nikka’s Yoichi Non Age! If you’re now staring at your dram and thinking to yourself “Hey, hold on, mine says Miyagikyo Non Age”, then I believe we can explain... You see, these advent calendars have been so unbelievably popular this year, with sales surpassing all forecasts, that there are a very small number of days where not everybody could have the exact same dram. Indeed, we’ve been careful to ensure that the contents/spoilers of all the respective calendars were always up to date on the product pages of our site to reflect where this may happen. What we have today then are two single malts from Nikka’s two malt whisky distilleries, set up by the great Masataka Taketsuru (whose own story has recently reached a new generation in his native Japan thanks to the popular television serial Massan).

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Whisky Advent Day 1: Glenfarclas 25 Year Old

by Master of Malt     1. December 2015 10:00

Glenfarclas 25 Year Old Whisky Advent

Once upon a beginning, the folk of the world drew chalk lines on their doors to physically count down the first 24 days of December. Today that sounds more reminiscent of a prisoner counting the days of their incarceration than a celebration of the festive season, but it would be many years before some bright spark decided that using candles would be rather less bleak. I mean, candles, they're okay aren't they?

It wasn't until the early 20th century that calendars with windows first emerged. Ah, the possibilities! You could put literally anything behind them! What did the combined intellect of man decide upon? Well... pretty drawings. Again, quite nice, but there was more potential here. Enter the chocolate advent calendar. In a post-rationing world, this was a pretty big deal. They still delight children the world over, but cheap choccies are just one thing you can hide behind a window. Better than a drawing? Yes. Better than a slap in the face? Certainly. The best thing? Not even close...

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Whisky in Space (2015: A Space Oddity)

by Jake Mountain     13. October 2015 09:30

2001 A Space Odyssey

Space. The final front ear. Home of paranoid robots named HAL, space stations that ain't no moons, cats and David Bowie. Recently whisky has also been crowbarred into this list with alarming regularity. So much so, that I thought it was time to take another look at it all.

You see, having inexplicably found myself in Disneyland Paris for a few days back in August, during which time I naturally took up residence on Space Mountain, I now quite reasonably consider myself to be the office expert when it comes to all things space.

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The Lakes Distillery - A Delightful Weekend In The Country

by Jake Mountain     9. March 2015 12:00

The Lakes Distillery

"Are you a sponge or a stone? Do you like to experience all facets of life, or do you shut yourself off from new experience?"

With whisky distilleries opening right around the world, you must quite reasonably ask yourself questions such as this. We live in an age where a wide variety of excellent whiskies are being made outside of the traditional and well-established whisky producing counties, and if you're not open to them, you're missing out. In England, for example, the latest whisky distillery to come on stream is The Lakes Distillery near Cockermouth.

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