Master of Malt Whisky Blog

Piedmont part two: The sparkling union between Bava Winery and Giulio Cocchi

Aperitif and sparkling wine producer Cocchi recently welcomed MoM to its Italian home in Piedmont. We marvel at the brand’s fascinating history, take a peek at aromatised wine production at Bava Winery, and touch on the world of Futurist cocktails…

“Our family tree dates back to 1682 – and it started on that hill,” says company director Roberto Bava, as he gestures at a vineyard opposite the Bava Winery. “We were farmers who came from the Savoy area to run the farm. We’ve been there ever since.”

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Categories : Features
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The Nightcap: 14 September

The Nightcap

Friday has arrived, meaning another edition of The Nightcap is in order, complete with all the booze news from the week that was. Surf’s up, folks.

Look at a calendar. Whether that calendar is made of paper or pixels, it’ll tell you that today is Friday. Unless you’re reading this on a day that isn’t Friday – then the calendar will tell you that it was once Friday. That’s generally how calendars work. Sometimes they give you the definition of interesting words or a picture of a small dog hanging around in a fishing village, but mostly they exist to tell you when Friday is. It’s today. Therefore, The Nightcap is a thing.

Firstly, let’s see what happened on the blog this week. Our Annie recapped the first leg of her visit to Piedmont with Cocchi, then showed us how to drink like a particularly famous British super spy. Kristy got the low-down on the final addition to Diageo’s 2018 Special Releases (they’re now available to pre-order, too!). Henry chatted to Cabby’s Rum founder Moses Odong about making rum in London and The Knowledge, then gave us a Macallan history lesson. Phew.

On to the rest of this week’s booze news!

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Awesome antique Macallans alert!

Antique Macallan

With the arrival of 28 rare Macallan expressions, we take a moment to delve into the rich history of probably the most famous distillery in Scotland, if not the world.

The buyers at Master of Malt have been wearing their Indiana Jones outfits recently (they do actually have special outfits for whisky sleuthing) and have discovered a stash of rare Macallans that will have enthusiasts salivating. There are further details below, but we thought this was as good an excuse as any to look at a distillery that really does sanction the use of that overused word, iconic.

Macallan dates back to 1824 when a distillery was founded by Alexander Reid at Craigellachie. Many distilleries were built (and many illegal ones went legitimate) around this time due to the 1823 Excise Act which liberalised licensing laws. The distillery passed through various owners until 1892 when it was bought by Roderick Kemp, a giant of whisky who at one point owned Talisker, though not at the same time as The Macallan. He completely rebuilt the distillery and renamed it Macallan-Glenlivet. It was common practice to add ‘Glenlivet’, the area’s best-known whisky, as a suffix to your distillery. Nowadays many distilleries would love to put Macallan after their names, though I think Macallan’s lawyers would have something to say about that.

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Want to imbibe like Bond? London’s top bartenders show you how…

Shaken – Drinking with James Bond and Ian Fleming

From the Vesper in Casino Royale, to his iconic Martini ‘shaken, not stirred’ in Diamonds are Forever, James Bond’s penchant for high-class tipples is something we can certainly get behind. We go behind the scenes of brand new cocktail compendium Shaken – Drinking with James Bond & Ian Fleming, curated by the folks behind London bar Swift…

If you’re a fan of James Bond, you’ll know he’s fond of dishing out some pretty specific drink specs to bartenders. Now, 65 years after he first became immortalised in ink, 007 has his very own recipe book to draw from.

The Shaken compendium, launched in collaboration with The Ian Fleming Estate and Ian Fleming Publications, contains 10 classics lifted directly from the novels – along with 40 brand new recipes that pay homage to the people, places and plots of the original novels.
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Meet Cladach, the blended malt that completes Diageo Special Releases 2018

Last month we joined Diageo to taste the Special Releases 2018 cohort – but there was one expression we were asked to keep under wraps. Until now. The mysterious 10th Scotch whisky expression is… Cladach!

‘What IS Cladach?’, we hear you cry. No, it is not the first release from a secret new distillery (although like many new releases it doesn’t carry an age statement). It is a blended malt from six coastal distilleries: Caol Ila, Clynelish, Lagavulin, Oban, Inchgower and Talisker. And it’s delicious.
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Our Selections for Sherried September Treats

If you’ve been thinking about breaking out the sherried whisky from its summer slumber, you’re in good company. We’ve got a whole bunch of ace sherried whiskies to enjoy during the chillier months…

As the fiercely mild September weather continues to cause a polite ruckus outside the window, we’re diving into autumn head-first. Everyone is wearing about five sweatshirts. We’ve spruced up the halls of MoM Towers with decorative gourds. Nobody is daring to go outside to forage lunch items for fear of frostbite and the bite of frostcrocodiles. It’s all very thrilling. However, none of this compares to the excitement of unearthing our favourite sherried whiskies from the cupboards where they sheltered from the harsh rays of the sun.

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Q&A: Moses Odong, Cabby’s Rum founder

The winner of The Rum & Cola Trophy at this year’s IWSC wasn’t from Jamaica or Cuba; it was Cabby’s Rum from London. We met with its founder Moses Odong, who you won’t be surprised to hear is also a cab driver. On the agenda? Rum, Bradley Wiggins and whether the Knowledge makes you a better distiller…

A railway arch in Bow, East London, is probably the last place on earth you’d expect to find a rum distillery, but step inside the home of the Taxi Spirit Company and there’s a gleaming copper and stainless steel still. Its proud owner, Moses Odong, took the time out of his busy schedule of distilling, cabbing and being father to four children (how does he have the time?) to answer some searching questions.

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Piedmont part one: The epicentre of Italian vermouth

Piedmont: home of slow food, fine wine, and… medieval horse festivals? Well actually, yes. Aperitif and sparkling wine producer Cocchi recently welcomed MoM to the region for a weekend packed with bareback horse racing and vermouth-flavoured ice cream. Here’s what we discovered…

Many people go through their entire life without hearing those three little words. Unforgettable words that, when uttered together, promise the recipient that life will never, ever be the same from that moment on. No not ‘I love you’ – we’re talking about ‘medieval horse festival’. Or, if you want to be specific, ‘Palio di Asti’.

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The Nightcap: 7 September

Star Wars, poetry and spicy memes – these are the things that September is all about. At least, that’s what you might think after reading this week’s edition of The Nightcap!

September has arrived, and it brings tidings of booze news stories in the form of The Nightcap! Should you be winding down your week, get yourself a glass of something tasty and have a read of what happened since we last greeted you with Nightcap-y gubbins.

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This is why your next drink should be a bottled cocktail

Pre-batched cocktails have experienced something of a glow-up in the last few years. Forget ‘shaken or stirred?’, we’ll take ours bottled, please. Here’s why you should, too…

When you consider our collective obsession with theatricality, traceability and quality ingredients, on the surface the bottled cocktail phenomenon almost presents itself as an anti-trend. But delve a little deeper and you’ll find that the concept offers all three by the bucketload.

Once a cardinal cocktail sin, the stigma long associated with pre-made tipples has dissolved, and bartenders alike have welcomed the challenge of turning batched ingredients into bar-worthy serves. James Law, co-founder of London-based tonic, seltzer, and soda maker the Longflint Drinks Company, says a “huge shift in quality” is enticing drinkers to the burgeoning pre-batched category.
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