Master of Malt Whisky Blog

The Nightcap: 1 June

That’s another week in the books, folks. Now’s the time to crack out a tasty beverage and kick back with our round-up of this week’s booze news – The Nightcap!

You might not have noticed, but a portion of the team has been over on Islay getting involved in all things Fèis Ìle 2018. This has included coopering at Lagavulin, Hawaiian shirts at Bruichladdich, being stranded at Caol Ila, bung curling at Laphroaig, pizza ovens at Bowmore, hoopla at Kilchoman, and many dogs. The festivities continue over the weekend, so keep your eyes peeled for more from the team.

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Categories : Gin, News, Scotch Whisky, Vodka, Whisky, World Whisky
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Master of Malt Dram Club – June 2018

June is here, bringing a bounty of good things – the official start of summer, a particularly popular globe-spanning tournament of the football variety and new Master of Malt Dram Club Tasting Sets!

You may have noticed that June is here. There are many telltale of this, whether it be the generally not awful weather, ill-advised purchases of straw hats skyrocketing or even just looking at a calendar and whispering to yourself “How is it June? I don’t understand.” Yes, we’re nearing the halfway point of 2018 already, even though it feels like we only just said goodbye to that garbage fire of a year known as 2017 yesterday. The passage of time is mysterious. However, the drams that Master of Malt Dram Club members will be receiving in their June Tasting Sets are no longer a mystery! Let’s take a look…

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Categories : Gin, News, Rum, Whisky
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Fèis Ìle 2018 Day Seven: Bunnahabhain

The sunshine came back! The sunshine came back! Bunnahabhain’s Fèis Ìle 2018 was a warm affair, both in terms of the weather and the welcome we received down at the distillery. Join us as we recount tales of the geekiest of geeky tours, bewitching tastings and incredible views across the bay…

Full disclosure: There was slight panic in the MoM household this morning. One of our number (who shall remain nameless. Hint: it wasn’t me) might have had a bit too much fun with The Whisky Lounge folk the previous evening and forgot to set an alarm. Drams and hot tub anyone?!

Despite the mega rush to get out the door on time, we slithered down the labyrinthine road to Bunnahabhain with smiles on our faces with The Spice Girls and Britney blaring out at full volume (hint: this time it was me, but designated driver gets to be DJ right?!) just in time to meet distillery manager Andrew Brown out in the sunshine by the bay. The breeze rippled the flags on the tall ships that had sailed in for the occasion, and even though it was early, enthusiastic drammers were filing in thick and fast. We were on for another good one.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Fèis Ìle 2018 Day Six: Kilchoman & Jura

Well, it couldn’t have lasted forever. Perhaps we jinxed it. Either way, this morning dawned decidedly overcast. But that didn’t stop us having an absolute blast at both Kilchoman and Jura’s open days!

After just a couple of drams the night before, this morning’s 7am alarm came around all too quickly. The sun was not shining and the results of a hideous midge incident from the evening before were clear for all to see (note: do NOT leave windows open and lights on at night on Islay. We’ve got the bites and the alarming pile of carcasses to prove it). But despite the challenges (Team MoM is short on breezy morning folk), we were super keen for the day ahead. There were not one but TWO distillery days afoot!
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Plans unveiled for new whisky distillery at Craggan

Speymalt Whisky Distributors, parent of the Benromach distillery and Gordon & MacPhail, has announced plans to build a brand new malt whisky distillery at Craggan in the Cairngorms National Park.

News of new whisky distilleries continues to be music to our ears, and the hits keep coming. Plans have just been announced for a brand new malt whisky distillery to be built at Craggan in the Cairngorms National Park by Speymalt Whisky Distributors. As the parent company of the Benromach distillery and long-running whisky specialist Gordon & MacPhail, setting up a second distillery ought to be an exciting project with a particularly delicious result – more Scotch whisky for us all to enjoy!

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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Fèis Ìle 2018 Day Five: Bowmore & Islay Ales

Drams in the fanciest house ever, sunshine on Bowmore, and ale and chill in a stunning courtyard. Fèis Ìle 2018 Day Five has been full-on, but with this much fun we wouldn’t have it any other way…

Not wanting to jinks it but… the sun is STILL shining on Islay! Unfortunately this means the midges are still biting, but spirits are tip top and the whole island is smiling. Well… the calibre of drams might also have something to do with the last part…

Yesterday’s shindig down at Laphroaig put a spring in our step, and while we were there we bumped into the wonderful Helen from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS). “Would you like to come up to Islay house and have a masterclass with John tomorrow?” She asked us during the day. “Hells yes!” was our response.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Fèis Ìle 2018 Day Four: Laphroaig

The sunshiney-ness continues! Day four on Islay dawned as delightfully as the previous three, and we headed back south for Laphroaig’s Fèis Ìle open day!

This morning dawned exceptionally brightly. And exceptionally early. At 4:30 this morning I was woken up by the sunlight streaming through the windows of our MoM-Whisky Lounge villa out on the Rhinns. But really that’s no complaining – the glorious weather, even if it does cause very early starts, has been the defining theme of Fèis Ìle 2018. And it continued unabated today as we basked on the island’s south coast for Laphroaig Day!

We hopped out the car at 9am sharp in an already balmy 18C warmth. We were at Laphroaig super early to squeeze in a Q&A interview with John Campbell, the brand’s distillery manager, before the ribbon was officially cut at 10:30. Devoted friends of Laphroaig were already queueing to gain entry into one of the most hotly anticipated days on the island. And it didn’t disappoint.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Share your Islay moment and win a bottle of Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1993!

Fèis Ìle 2018 is well and truly under way. The sun is spectacularly shining, the drams are flowing, and we’ve got not one but two chances for you to win a full bottle of something delicious: our very own Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1993 – Single Cask, no less!

We’re back on Islay for Fèis Ìle 2018 and we’re not going to lie, we’re having a blast. Eight distilleries, eight days, much merriment and some of the finest whisky folk under the sun to share a dram with… it’s heaven. And to add to the fun and games, we have not one but TWO competitions to further spread the whisky love!
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Categories : Competitions, Scotch Whisky
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Fèis Ìle 2018 Day Three: Caol Ila

As Monday at Fèis Ìle draws to a close, we look back at the Caol Ila distillery open day.

Greetings traveller,

With Annie sadly heading back to the mainland, and Kristy having only just joined us on Islay this evening, it falls to yours truly to fill you in on all the action from Caol Ila day! Following, as it does each year, the lively festivities of Bruichladdich’s open day, Mondays at Caol Ila have always been a somewhat calmer affair by comparison in our experience. For many, however, who may have thrown themselves into all the delicious whisky proceedings with gusto, shall we say, this is often welcome! The difference between 2014 and 2018 seemed nevertheless clear to me: the distillery has succeeded in creating far greater buzz with more going on (live bands, food vans, whiskies, cocktails, stands) within a more focused area (the main courtyard).

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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Fèis Ìle 2018 Day Two: Bruichladdich

Fèis Ìle 2018

It’s known that Bruichladdich day is an unmissable Fèis Ìle occurence. Here’s how our second day on Islay went down…

My alarm rang through the MoM-slash-Whisky Lounge villa at 7am, alerting the entire house that it was time to wake up. Ordinarily, I’d have remained horizontal. But today was a little different. Today was Bruichladdich day.

Showered and dressed, we whizzed us across the island with the help of Boutique-y Whisky Dave Worthington, who put the pedal to the metal in a bid to get us to Port Ellen Maltings for 9.20am. If you’ve never had the privilege of touring real life maltings in action, check our Instagram Stories. You’re in for a treat.

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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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