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Courvoisier Cognac with an Age Statement

by Michael Orson     2. June 2011 15:33

For the first time ever, one of France’s big Cognac houses has started putting age statements on its products. Courvoisier have begun labelling Cognacs just like we do in the whisky industry, where the number reflects the age of the youngest spirit in the bottle.

The new age statement releases give a real insight into Cognac, and it’s particularly interesting that Courvoisier should take this route, as the previous designations were very vague indeed. In fact, if you were to ask the average spirits drinker what the difference between a More...

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Categories : Cognac | News

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Feis Ile – The Islay Whisky Festival 2011 – Part Six

by Master of Malt     1. June 2011 12:20

Friday was Bunnahabhain’s distillery day...

As far as Islay distilleries go, Bunnahabhain is perhaps the least talked about among the Scotch cognoscenti, and whilst this is entirely unfair (due to the quality of the spirit), it is unsurprising in many ways. For a start the whisky isn’t particularly peaty, nor is not subject to any wild experimentation during production or maturation, and overall, well, it’s decidedly gentle. More...

A brief Islay interlude – the new world’s most expensive whisky

by Ben Ellefsen     31. May 2011 16:44

Crikey, a lot happens whilst you’re away for a few days doesn’t it? Turn your back, and all of a sudden the recent uber-releases from Dalmore, Macallan, and Aisla T’Orten ain’t no thang – it’s all about the Isabella’s Islay… Released a week or so ago, this extraordinary piece of work is being billed as the world’s most expensive whisky, at $6,200,000: More...

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Categories : Rum | Whisky

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The World’s Oldest Whisky Liqueur

by Master of Malt     3. May 2011 17:02

Oldest Whisky Liqueur

We hope you’ve had a wonderful Easter! It’s been a very eventful past couple of weeks for everyone, and we’ve certainly had more than our fair share of barbeques, cocktails and general revelry (there was some kind of wedding on at the weekend, apparently).

In other news, we have some new products to announce (for real this time, this isn’t another April Fool), and we’re sure they’ll be the topic of much enjoyment, discussion, and possibly even a little controversy.


Vintage Armagnac

by Master of Malt     28. April 2011 11:49

Domaine Boingnères

Today we were greeted with a very exciting little parcel, containing a selection of samples of vintage Armagnacs from Domaine Boingnères.

Before we begin the tasting, here’s some brief history…

Founded by Jean Boingnères in 1807, the company is now run by the family’s sixth generation. In 1953, the house style changed when Léon Lafitte took the helm. Mr Lafitte enlarged the vineyards, and he began to sell the company’s Armagnac to some of France’s top restaurants, a move which increased Boingnères’ popularity massively.More...

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Categories : Armagnac

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Shackleton's Whisky

by Master of Malt     18. March 2011 15:34

Richard Paterson

Last year there was an astonishing discovery in Antarctica, just outside of what was once Ernest Shackleton’s hut. The discovery was several cases of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt whisky, which had been left behind after a failed attempt to reach the South Pole between 1907 and 1909.

Whyte and Mackay, who own the Mackinlay’s brand, leapt at the incredible opportunity to try and recreate a whisky from a bygone era, under the lead of their inimitable Master Blender, Richard Paterson.

"It's a beautiful colour. It's that lovely rich golden colour and what's more important at this early stage, it's beautifully clear.” Richard describes the whisky, adding: "It's telling you that it's not contaminated -- that's very important." More...

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Categories : Whisky | News

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Bourbon Tasting

by Michael Orson     10. March 2011 14:39

Van Winkle Bourbon

After a busy few days meeting the great and the good from the whisk(e)y world, we were invited up to the London Cocktail Club for an astonishing bourbon tasting, led by Preston Van Winkle. All in all, it was the perfect end to the week.

Before we began the tasting, Preston talked us through the history of Van Winkle...

The company was founded by Preston’s great grandfather, Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle Senior. During the late 19th Century, Pappy worked as an itinerant salesman for W.L. Weller & Sons (a whiskey company based in Louisville, Kentucky), selling bourbon from a horse and cart.

In 1910, he bought the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery (which made the whiskey for W.L. Weller), and with it he gained control of the W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell and Cabin Still brands – the four horsemen More...

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Categories : Whisky

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Tasting our new Single Cask Caol Ila

by Master of Malt     11. February 2011 16:44

Caol Ila

The most recent addition to our single cask selection is a 30 Year Old Caol Ila, distilled in 1980.


It was aged in a refill hogshead, and is of a release including just 154 bottles, all of which are non chill-filtered and bottled at natural cask strength (which was 57.4%).


Having never tried a Caol Ila of this age that wasn’t delicious, we’re looking forward to getting our lips around this one… More...

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Categories : Whisky

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Noh Karuizawa 32 Years Old 1977 - Japanese Whisky Review

by Ben Ellefsen     10. September 2010 12:18

Noh Karuizawa 32 Year Old 1977 Cask 4592I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever seen a delivery driver so amused.

Literally the second the new bottling of the Noh Karuizawa Whisky walked through the door, the office broke out into a frenzy – photographers snapping, directors grabbing tasting glasses and falling upon the beautiful decanters like they contained the elixir of eternal life.

Such is the sense of anticipation and wonderment that surround all whiskies bottled by the Number one drinks company. This particular release is a 32yo Karuizawa from 1977 (Karuizawas before 1981 are revered as somewhat special because of their intense Umami-rich flavour), and it’s spectacular. It’s by no means a gentle giant at 32 years of age – we’d describe it more like being kicked in the face by an angry bosozoku than the peaceful tranquillity brought by Hanami (ed - d’you like that? Bit of Kulcha and that)…

Anywhoo, enough rambling, here are our tasting notes:

Nose: This dram opens with an olfactory delight of walnuts, chestnuts roasting in New York, pineapple and maple syrup. As it sits in the glass the nose develops stewed fruits in mulled wine, a slight note of autumnal bonfire and orange peel element and finishes on glacé cherries


Samples from the Buffalo Trace stable...

by Master of Malt     24. August 2010 10:38

Buy Buffalo TraceAll you small batch bourbon fanatics are going to be in whiskey heaven with the hellz-a-poppin’ fun we have in store for you today...

We’ve just added some extraordinary whiskey samples to our Drinks by the Dram range, including a corking selection of American classics.

We thought we’d give you a quick rundown of highlights from the new additions...More...

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Categories : Drinks by the Dram | Whisky

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