Master of Malt Whisky Blog

New release from Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare range on the way

Johnnie Walker ain’t afraid of no ghost – the second bottling in the Blue Label Ghost & Rare series has been announced, featuring whisky from Islay’s legendary Port Ellen distillery at the heart of the blend.

This week Diageo announced the launch of the (deep breath) Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost & Rare Port Ellen, or JWBLG&RPE for short. It may sound like two whiskies, but is actually a new blend created by Johnnie Walker master blender Jim Beveridge and his team. It gets its spooky name because it’s based around whisky from legendary ghost (ie. closed) Islay distillery Port Ellen, as well as two lost grain distilleries – Carsebridge (which closed in 1983) and Caledonian (which closed in 1988). These priceless whiskies are then blended with some very rare malts from non-ghostly distilleries – Mortlach, Dailuaine, Cragganmore, Blair Athol and Oban.

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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Renegade Rum Distillery: the future of rum?

Last week, Renegade Spirits broke ground on a US$20 million distillery on the Caribbean island of Grenada. We caught up with CEO Mark Reynier – founder of Bruichladdich and Waterford distilleries – to find out why his terroir-driven single cane rum could be the hero the category deserves…

“All men have limits. They learn what they are and learn not to exceed them. I ignore mine.” – Mark Reynier

Pretty profound, huh? Alright, full disclosure. He didn’t actually say that, Batman did. But he could’ve, because in many ways Reynier is the Batman of the spirits industry.

Like Batman, he excels at subverting the system. Drawing from years of experience as a vigneron, shipper, wholesaler and retailer, Reynier turns traditional practice on its head. By channelling a winemaker’s approach to distilling, he paves the way for a new normal. And (like Gotham), the booze is far better for it. No word on whether he too knows 157 different types of martial arts.

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Categories : News, Rum
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The Nightcap: 27 July

As a bevy of drinks companies post their full-year results, let’s get down to business with this week’s The Nightcap.

Greetings from another Friday! You’ve made it through a week, which is always an achievement of note and worthy of commemoration. As you settle into the weekend, do so with a brain full of booze news – get ready for another edition of The Nightcap!

Firstly, let’s look at the week that was here at MoM Towers. Our Annie chatted to whisky industry legend Charles MacLean, and then got us ready for London Mezcal Week by interviewing festival co-founders Thea Cumming and Melanie Symonds. Kristy introduced yet another whisky-based excursion to add to our ever-expanding bucket list with the Hebridean Whisky Trail. Sam said goodbye to Rum Month with a run-down of ace dark rums. Henry showed us why we shouldn’t fear the sommelier, and gave us a look at the new range of Mortlach whiskies due to hit shelves later this year. And finally Sam drilled down into Diageo’s results. On that note, on with The Nightcap booze news and those all-important numbers!
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Categories : Cocktails, Cognac, Gin, News, Scotch Whisky, Vermouth, Whisky, Wine
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Ten delightful dark rums to enjoy beyond Rum Month

Similar to how dogs are not just for Christmas, rum is not just for Rum Month. As July nears its end, we take a look at ten terrific dark rums for you to enjoy now and savour during months that aren’t quite lucky enough to be officially designated as Rum Month.

All good things must come to an end, and that includes Rum Month. However, there is nothing stopping you from taking the things you have learnt during Rum Month and applying these lessons to other months of the year. Y’know, months like August, March, November, et cetera. We may not have mentioned your favourite month there, but rest assured, other months do exist.

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Categories : Rum
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Diageo’s biggest winners and losers in 2018

Diageo has done its sums and presented the results of its 2018 financial year – we’ve had a good ol’ nosey to see how its brands performed. Get ready for some number, folks.

If you sit squarely in the middle of a Venn diagram that shows people who like tasty boozes and people who like business-y gubbins, this is one of the most exciting times of the year for you – when drinks companies start posting their full-year results. As one of the biggest drinks companies in the world, Diageo’s full-years results are always good for having a nose through, which we did.

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Categories : American Whiskey, Gin, Liqueurs, News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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How to order wine at a restaurant

Feel lost ordering a bottle in a restaurant? Want to impress a friend/partner/hot date and paralysed with The Fear? We can help! Read on for an actual sommelier’s top tips for tasty wine every time.

Picture the scene: you’re at a swanky restaurant. You’ve just been handed the wine list and everyone is looking you expectantly. The waiter glides over to take your order but just at that moment your mind goes blank, so you point to a name that looks vaguely familiar and when the wine comes, it’s a bit disappointing. We’ve all been there. But now help is at hand from Donald Edwards, the sommelier at hot new restaurant St Leonards in Shoreditch*, the brainchild of chefs Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke. It’s been described by Marina O’ Loughlin in the Sunday Times as “a classic in the making” – so you’ll want to pay attention. Here, Edwards gives us his top tips on how to get the most from a wine list.

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Categories : Wine
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Mortlach reveals three new whiskies

The Beast of Dufftown is back at it again. Mortlach has unveiled a trio of single malt whiskies for its core range, including 12 year old, 16 year old and 20 year old expressions.

Today mighty Speyside distillery, Mortlach, aka the Beast of Dufftown, announced the launch of three new expressions: the 12- year-old “Wee Witchie” bottled at 43% (RRP £50), the 43.4% 16-year-old Distiller’s Dram (RRP £80) and also at 43.4% the 20- year-old Cowie’s Blue Seal (RRP £200). Mark Brunton, Distillery Manager, said: “The 16-year-old is a classic Mortlach expression, while the 12-year-old offers a strong distillery character through its use of refill casks. The 20-year-old offers a balance of character and distillery character with active wood.”

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Categories : Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Intrigued by the mezcal hype? MoM digs in…

This September, London Mezcal Week will return to the capital in a blaze of agave with the largest mezcal selection the UK has ever seen. We chart the rise and rise of Tequila’s smoky sister with festival co-founders Thea Cumming and Melanie Symonds…

Clear your diaries, book your train (or plane…) ticket, and rinse your copita: London Mezcal Week is back from 10-16 September, bringing with it more tastings, dinners, talks, parties, cocktails and pop-up mezcalerias than you can shake a piña at.

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Categories : News
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The Hebridean Whisky Trail is here!

If you’re a fan of island single malts, there’s a new Scotch whisky trip to add to your bucket list. Taking in Torabhaig, Isle of Raasay, Talisker and Isle of Harris, the Hebridean Whisky Trail launches on 15 August – just in time for your summer holiday!

A collaboration between the four distilleries and CalMac Ferries, the Hebridean Whisky Trail will see guests take in the four distilleries across three islands (Torabhaig and Talisker are both on the Isle of Skye).

Tours need to be booked directly at each distillery, but the handy Hopscotch ticket from CalMac lets you zip about on all its routes for 31 days, getting between islands easily and breezily. Just want the set routes? You can book individual ferry passes for foot passengers or vehicles, too!
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Categories : Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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The past, present and future of Scotch whisky… with Charles MacLean

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society did one better than birthday drinks when it turned 35 this year: it tasked all-round legend type Charles MacLean to assemble a selection of 21 exceptional single cask bottlings. Here, the charismatic whisky expert takes stock of Scotch…

A lot has changed in the 35 years since The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) was founded. Just ask Charles MacLean. A longtime supporter of the Society, he joined the members’ club in the early 1980s, and became a chair of the tasting panel in 1992.

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Categories : Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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