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Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink

by Master of Malt     7. October 2011 10:12
Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink

Created by the “madcap” Professor Cornelius Ampleforth, the romantically- and SWA-appeasingly-named Proprietary Barley Spirit Drink combines the Professor’s signature love for infusin’ and mixin’ with his passion for whisky and the ways and techniques of yore. Yes, yore.

For this thrilling instalment, Ampleforth turned to Spain, and to the mountainous countryside that surrounds Pajarate. It was here that Paxarette was born; a dark, syrupy liquid made by boiling down grape juice and fortified wine. In the past, the Scotch whisky industry made use of Paxarette to season casks, simply by pouring this rich flavouring into the wood, to help impart a fuller, richer sherry character into the whisky that was aged in them.More...

Ron Abuelo Centuria

by Michael Orson     5. October 2011 12:01

Ben came into the office excitedly today, clutching a bottle of rum. He thrust it at me declaring Nick Masters (a chap from Ron Abuelo’s UK distributor Hi-Spirits) had heralded it as “one of the best liquids ever”. I dutifully cracked it open for a tasting and, as everyone knows, nothing beats the early morning blues better than a 9am rum tasting (#DrinkAware).

Centuria is the flagship from Ron Abuelo, and they age it for as much as 30 years in the solera system, using Jack Daniel’s whiskey barrels. The mix of JD’s signature foam banana flavour, vanilla, and some serious old Panama rum is a very exciting prospect… More...

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Categories : Rum | Tasting Notes

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Aberlour a’Bunadh Batch 37

by Michael Orson     19. September 2011 15:43
Aberlour a'Bunadh Batch 37 Label

Today I have the supreme pleasure of tasting the latest batch of Aberlour a’Bunadh.

Of all the on-going cask strength whiskies, a’Bunadh is steadfastly in the top three of our “best value for money” malts, because it’s just such an awesome, enveloping dram.

It’s actually a recreation of whisky from the days of yore (from 1898 to be precise), and it all started in 1975, when a team of distillery workmen were installing the second pair of stills at Aberlour. As they worked, they discovered a time capsule which contained a newspaper from 1898, wrapped around a bottle of Aberlour whisky. More...

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Categories : Whisky | Tasting Notes

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High West Whiskey

by Michael Orson     5. September 2011 17:17

Today I’m tasting a brace of “craft” rye whiskeys from the High West distillery – the first legally licenced distillery in Utah since US Prohibition ended.

I’m starting off with High West Rendezvous – the first commercially available whiskey from the distillery. It was named after the 19th century meetings of mountain men, who gathered together in the summer to trade their various wares (mostly fur). These gatherings were frequented by the kind of men who wore coonskin caps, bushy moustaches and moccasins, and the whiskey they drank at the time was fairly raw and fiery. More...

The Old Fashioned Cocktail

by Master of Malt     26. August 2011 12:20

New product announcements! Hurrah!

Yes, today we are announcing a terrific addition to the Handmade Cocktail Company’s sterling range of ready-made bottled cocktails. Many of you cocktail enthusiasts have already been asking us for one particular cocktail - a classic that was left out of the original range. It’s the ultimate zesty, spicy bourbon cocktail, and the favourite tipple of none other than Don Draper, Harry S Truman and Cole Porter. That’s right… The Old Fashioned. More...

Meantime Brewery and the College Beer Club

by Michael Orson     12. August 2011 13:36
Meantime Brewery

We’ve long since been firm advocates of the Meantime Brewing Company, and it’s largely because they’ve had such great success in fighting against the rather dull mainstream of mass-produced lager that our nation is sadly awash with. Meantime focus heavily on quality and authenticity, shunning methods like pasteurisation, whilst making use of a minimum 28 day maturation period for all their beers. But despite all this attention to detail, one of the truly great things about the brewery is how prevalent their beer is; you can walk into Sainsbury’s and buy a bottle of their London Porter or IPA, and we love that. More...

Caskstrength and Carry On

by Master of Malt     28. June 2011 16:41
Caskstrength and Carry On whisky

Today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of’s first official whisky! Bottled to mark its 3rd Birthday, this is the first time any blog has released its own single malt, and we’re very proud to be the exclusive stockist! was founded in 2008 by Neil and Joel, both formerly rival A&R men, working at Warner Bros and Island Records respectively. They formed the blog to share their love of whisky with friends and family, but since More...

Suntory Whisky Tasting

by Master of Malt     15. June 2011 17:03
Suntory Whisky Tasting

On Monday we took the train up to London for an event we’d been looking forward to for some time. London in summer is quite possibly the best combination of city and season the world has to offer, it has to be said. So we were in high spirits as we arrived at the Saatchi Gallery for a Suntory tasting entitled “The Art of Japanese Whisky”. More...

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Categories : Whisky

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Tiger Blood

by Michael Orson     7. June 2011 16:52
Charlie Sheen

Sadly, due to the sheer number of brilliant whisky blogs out there, we could only invite ten to participate in our Bloggers’ Blend competition. We felt simply awful about limiting it in this way; it was like we’d discovered utopia but, due to out-dated licensing laws, were forced to allow just 10 people in.

In response to this, some bloggers sent us tear-stained letters, one fled to Nepal and now makes and sells terracotta pots, and, in protest, one has pledged to talk exclusively through a Kazoo. More...

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Categories : Whisky | News

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Old Pulteney Tasting

by Michael Orson     6. June 2011 12:35
Old Pulteney

A couple of weeks back, a contingent of Chaps from Master of Malt attended the brand new Boisdale over at Canary Wharf, for an extra special Old Pulteney tasting.

The tasting was led by Lucas of Edinburgh Whisky Blog fame and now brand ambassador for Inver House.

First off, the venue was fantastic. The Boisdale over at Victoria is superb, but the new one, right in the heart of Canary Wharf, is astonishing. On the 2nd floor (the whisky bar/jazz club) is an enormous window that spans one side of the room entirely, and it overlooks the Credit Suisse building, and beyond that, the Thames. It was an idyllic setting as we sat at the bar enjoying a couple of G&Ts prior to the tasting. More...

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Categories : News | Whisky

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