Master of Malt Whisky Blog

The Lagg Distillery on the Isle of Arran Nears Completion!

The Lagg Distillery on the Isle of Arran has been in the works since 2016, we’re more than a little excited at the prospect of enjoying whisky from a brand new distillery!

For over 150 years there were no distilleries on Arran, once a hotbed of whisky-making – now there are two. Well nearly. The first is run by the aptly-named Isle of Arran Distillers and was opened at Lochranza in 1995. Their second distillery at Lagg in the south of the island started development in 2016 and is now nearing completion. The steelworks have just gone up and as you can see from the photo below it is now starting to look like a distillery, either that or a particularly ambitious house on Grand Designs.

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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Modern blended whiskies you’ll want to boast about

Blended whisky gets a seriously bad rap – call time on single malt snobbery, and stock your home bar with these modern blended whiskies (and blended malts) that equal far more than the sum of their parts…

In the age of the single malt, you’ll be hard pushed to find anyone who would freely admit that their favourite sipper is of the blended variety. For all intents and purposes, it’s the equivalent of wearing a Status Quo t-shirt to a Sex Pistols gig.

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Categories : American Whiskey, Japanese Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Annandale Distillery Scotch whisky comes of age!

The only thing more exciting than a new distillery is a new distillery’s first whisky coming of age! We popped over the border into Scotland to meet the Annandale Distillery team on a very special day…

What a difference a century makes. It’s 1918, and the Annandale Distillery, a historical Johnnie Walker production site, has just produced its final drop of spirit. Founded way back in 1836, the distillery is about to fall into disrepair, then dereliction. Located just 10 miles or so from the English border, what once made Annandale a convenient alternative to Island whiskies for blenders has seen it forgotten as other routes opened up. The distillery will soon be picked apart for salvage, its stills shipped off to Speyside. It’s a bleak scene.

Until David Thomson and Teresa Church come along. Fast forward to 2007 and the pair buy the dilapidated distillery, all crumbled stone and sylvan, sinuous weeds. Thomson grew up in nearby Dumfries and, buoyed by a passion for single malts and a background in sensory science, sets about the restoration project alongside Church.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Terrific Tomatin celebrates super-sized whisky growth

The Tomatin distillery has just released its results for the most recent financial year, showing its turnover climbed by an incredibly impressive 24.6%!

It was a good year for Tomatin in Inverness-shire. Financial results released by the Scotch whisky distillery covering the period between 31 December 2016 to 31 December 2017 show that Tomatin’s turnover grew by 24.6% year-on-year – tantalisingly close to 25%!

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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Sun’s out, rum’s out! Pub sales soar as the sun shines

New data out today confirms what pretty much everyone already knew – when the sun shines on the UK, we head to beer gardens in our droves. During the near-tropical month of May, sales in pubs soared 3.5%!

We Brits love to talk about the weather. The only thing we adore more than talking/complaining/commiserating about it is basking in it when the sun shows its face. That, and drinking in it, of course.

And now there’s proof! The boffins at Coffer Peach Business Tracker have crunched the sums, and we collectively spent 3.5% more in pubs during sunny May compared to last year. But while we flocked en masse to beer gardens up and down the land, restaurants suffered, reporting a 2.1% drop in sales on average.
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Categories : News
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The Bourbon Series: Part One… with Fred Noe of Jim Beam

From humble beginnings in Kentucky, Jim Beam has captured the hearts of American whiskey fans across the globe, quite rightly earning the title of ‘World’s Best-Selling Bourbon’. We travelled to Barcelona to meet master distiller Fred Noe, and hear him reflect back on German roots, cowboy stereotypes, and the ‘Kentucky chew’…

Since Jim Beam and his direct descendants have been making bourbon in Kentucky for more than 200 years, it’s safe to say the family know their way around a glass of whiskey. So when MoM was invited to a tasting led by Jim Beam’s great grandson (among other bourbon royalty – more on that next week!) there could only be one reasonable response: hell yes.

As we tackled the veritable line-up – which comprised Jim Beam White Label, Jim Beam Double Oak, Jim Beam Black, Basil Hayden’s, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, and Knob Creek – Fred Noe reflected on the past, present, and future of Beam’s legacy, and the wider bourbon category. Here’s what he had to share…
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Categories : American Whiskey
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The Nightcap: 15 June

Potential gin droughts and whiskey made with beavers. It’s all kicking off, isn’t it? The Nightcap is here to fill you in on this week’s booze news.

Look at a calendar. Or your phone. Or the bottom right/top right corner of your computer screen (dependent on what operating system you’re using). Notice that today is Friday. Revel in the joy of Friday, for it ushers in a new edition of The Nightcap, with all its booze news goodness. Revel in it. Go on. We’ll wait.

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Categories : American Whiskey, Gin, Japanese Whisky, News, Rum, Scotch Whisky, Vodka, Whisky, World Whisky
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Love bourbon? Heading to Kentucky? Make this your first stop…

Unless you’re lucky enough to live in or around the Bluegrass State, a visit to the birthplace of bourbon is something akin to a pilgrimage. As it readies to open the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center and The Spirit of Bourbon interactive exhibition, MoM reveals why The Frazier History Museum needs to be your first port of call…

If you’re hoping to cram in all 23 stops on both Kentucky Bourbon Trail tours, your whiskey-filled trip will require meticulous planning. Where to begin? It’s a question many have pondered. Thankfully, the good people at The Frazier History Museum, located in the heart of the Bourbon District of downtown Louisville, have been working hard on a solution. And come 25 August it will be open to the public.

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Categories : American Whiskey, News, Whisky
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The Islay moment competition winner is…

To mark another superb Fèis Ìle we asked the good public (that’s you!) to share a snap of your top Islay tipple and to flaunt your #MoMFeisIle t-shirt to be in with a chance of enjoying a bottle of our very own Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1993 – Single Cask – and we’ve got our winner!

After all the spectacular sunshine, delightful drams and roaming data charges we’ve all finally recovered enough from another incredible Fèis Ìle to announce the two lucky whisky-lovers who have won our Islay moment competition!

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Categories : Competitions, Scotch Whisky
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Father’s Day: A bond in booze

Ahead of Father’s Day (it’s the 17th June, AKA this Sunday, if you’ve forgotten) our new features editor Henry Jeffreys shares how the likes of The Macallan shaped the bond between him and his dad

Fathers can be very forbidding figures, standing there by the mantelpiece in their top hats, mutton chop whiskers and tailcoats, smoking a pipe and looking all severe and Victorian. Or perhaps that’s just mine.

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Categories : Armagnac, Cognac, Whisky, Wine
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