Master of Malt Whisky Blog

Why sherry and Scotch are a match made in heaven

Sherry cask-finished whisky is nothing new, but just why does the combination work so well, and why have the butts become so important? We investigate the magic of sherry and Scotch

All whisky lovers know that sherry casks and Scotch go together like Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, but the term ‘sherry cask’ isn’t as simple as it may at first appear. To get to the bottom of this much misunderstood part of the whisky process, I spoke to Donald Colville, Diageo global malts ambassador, about sherry, whisky, history, and Talisker’s super fancy recently launched Bodega Series 40 Year Old single malt.
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Categories : Features
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We paid a visit to Copper Rivet in Kent

What’s more exciting than a local whisky distillery? One that makes gin, vodka and an intriguing Port-like wine, too! We have a nose around Kent’s Copper Rivet distillery and get to sample some very intriguing spirits indeed…

The building that houses the Copper Rivet Distillery looks like it should be in a piazza in Siena rather than amongst the retail parks of what used to be the Royal Naval Dockyards in Chatham, Kent. A former pump house, it lay derelict for years until it was spotted by Matthew Russell who was having a picnic over the River Medway at Upnor Castle. His family had been looking all over the country for a place to start making gin, but when he saw those Italianate arches, he thought “bingo” (or perhaps “gingo”).

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Categories : Features
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Specialist spirit bars that deserve a spot on every bucket list

Wild about whisky? Got a taste for Tequila? There’s a specialist bar for that. We take a look at the bucket list-worthy haunts around the globe that have made it their mission to master a single spirit…

We love a bit of spirits geekery here at Master of Malt. When bar owners eschew the ‘Jack of all Trades’ operating formula, delve deep into a single category and share their spirited discoveries with the rest of us, magical things happen.

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Categories : Features
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What’s your flavour? MoM checks out modern liqueurs

Forget sticky screw-top lids and teeth-rotting syrups – small-batch, foraged, organic and homegrown are the buzzwords of today’s liqueurs. We chat with Tom Chisholm, co-founder of Aelder Elixir, to find out why there’s never been a better time to stock up your cabinet…

We’ve probably mentioned it once or twice, but Team MoM hit up a certain little whisky festival called Fèis Ìle earlier this summer – and in the rare moments we weren’t Instagramming our way around distilleries, interviewing Scotch whisky legends and stroking fine poochies, we got busy meeting and greeting fellow festival folks.

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Categories : Features
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Raise a glass of fizz and say Happy Birthday to Champagne!

4 August marks the Birth of Champagne. Instead of celebrating this momentous day with a traditional birthday cake and candles (although you can partake if you wish), why not join us as we unpick the Birth of Champagne backstory – with a glass in hand, of course.

Fan of all things fizzy? Then you might be interested to know that 4 August is a pretty vital day when it comes to the history of sparkling wine. It’s the Birth of Champagne – so roll up and celebrate!

Not that I need an excuse to drink a glass of fizz, but what’s this Champagne Day all about?

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Categories : Features
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The Nightcap: 3 August

Down tools, unplug the laptops and close those books, folks. It’s Friday, it’s the weekend and The Nightcap is here with your latest measure of boozy news!

Helloooooo Friday! You’ve made it to the weekend. Well done, one and all. And, as has become custom here at MoM Towers, we have The Nightcap here for you – our handy distillation of the week’s biggest drinks stories in one easy-to-digestif post.

But first, let’s recall the week that was over on the blog!

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Scotch whisky visitor numbers hit record high!

Love visiting distilleries? So does everyone, it would seem! The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has crunched the numbers and it turns out we collectively made a record 1.9 million visits to Scotland’s whisky distilleries in 2017!

1.9 million people is the equivalent of the entire population of Latvia, or of Guinea Bissau. Or the same as everyone in Cyprus visiting a distillery twice. It’s also an 11.4% rise year-on-year, and a figure 45% higher than 2010’s visitor numbers. That’s a hefty increase.

And it also puts whisky distilleries squarely on the tourism road map. The National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle are the top attractions outside London, and they both attracted 2 million visitors each in 2017. The distilleries are catching up!
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Categories : News
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Celebrating Signet: Inside Billy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory

There are few whiskies that you could truly describe as mould-breaking, but one such single malt is Signet from Glenmorangie. To celebrate the chocolate malt-based expression’s 10th anniversary, Dr Bill Lumsden, director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks at Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, invited a select few for an in-depth look at how this unique single malt is made.

From the moment I arrived at the Glenmorangie distillery it was clear that something unusual was going on; the air was alive with the aroma of roasting coffee and chocolate. I half expected to turn the corner and see a gang of Oompa Loompas lugging sacks of malt.

We were here to deconstruct Signet, a single malt that has garnered something of a cult status. Launched back in 2008, the expression has raised eyebrows and piqued palates for its unconventional raw material use and distinct flavour profile. It is made using chocolate malt, a highly roasted malted barley like that used to make stout, and it’s all about those chocolate and coffee notes. It’s also delicious, award-winning, and as popular now as it was way back when it launched.
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Categories : Features
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Fettercairn unveils new single malt range

One of Scotland’s lesser-known whisky distilleries is about to make a big splash on the single malt scene. Say hello to Fettercairn and meet its new – and first! – core range, comprising a 12 year old, 28 year old, 40 year old and even a 50 year old!

Dalmore is a behemoth of a whisky brand. Jura is pretty well known too. But what about Fettercairn, Whyte & Mackay’s ‘other’ distillery? Located in Aberdeenshire close to the Cairngorm mountains, the comparatively small producer has largely made spirit for blends, with the exception of its Fior and Fasque no-age statement expressions released in 2009. But that’s all about to change with the launch of a four-strong core range with some pretty hefty age statements.

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Categories : News
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Brilliant booze for International Beer Day!

Get your snacks and novelty pint glasses at the ready, folks – Friday 3 August is International Beer Day! Ale admirers across the globe will be enjoying the best of the brewer’s efforts, so why not join them? We’ve done the hard work, narrowing down a sublime selection of the finest beers from around the world so you can relax and crack open a cold one…

International Beer Day is coming, folks! And, in a marvellous twist of fate, it happens to land on a Friday this year. What greater excuse could you need to drink good beer with good friends? It’s the ideal time to thank your brewer and bartenders, gift your loved ones a brilliant bottling and branch out into new styles and varieties from different places around the globe.

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Categories : We're drinking...
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