Master of Malt Whisky Blog

Diageo 2011 Special Releases

We’ve been sitting on this one for a few days now, ever since the email from Diageo arrived. In fact, this has been under strict embargo until today! You guessed it folks, Diageo’s 2011 Special Releases!

Every year, the Special Releases mark a particular highlight for us, as the global drinks giant showcases the very crème de la crème of its extensive inventory. This year sees some sure-to-be-stunners, including a 21 year old Rosebank, a 20 year old Port Dundas, and a 40 year old Glenury Royal, not to mention crowd pleasers like the Caol Ila Unpeated, Port Ellen, Brora, and cask strength Lagavulin. Here’s a brief synopsis of what’s to come, starting with our favourite from last year, the Brora… More…

Categories : News, Whisky
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Mezan Rum

We recently got the full range of Mezan rums in, and we’re very excited about them. You see, it’s rum as it should be, rum approached in much the same way a malt lover looks at whisky; vintages, distilleries, and all non-chillfiltered and unadulterated.

Let’s start out with the Grenada Westerhall 1998. It’s much like a Lowland whisky, in that it offers up that light, delicate and elegant flavour profile we’ve come to love from distilleries like Rosebank and Glenkinchie… It’s utterly beguiling. The distillery itself is based on a sugar estate which has been family-owned for three centuries, and during that time it produced both sugar and rum, though it didn’t bottle its own product until 1978. The rum, made in a column still, is known for its light character, and is much less smoky than its counterparts in Jamaica or Guyana (which we’ll discuss shortly). More…

Categories : News, Rum, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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High West Whiskey

Today I’m tasting a brace of “craft” rye whiskeys from the High West distillery – the first legally licenced distillery in Utah since US Prohibition ended.

I’m starting off with High West Rendezvous – the first commercially available whiskey from the distillery. It was named after the 19th century meetings of mountain men, who gathered together in the summer to trade their various wares (mostly fur). These gatherings were frequented by the kind of men who wore coonskin caps, bushy moustaches and moccasins, and the whiskey they drank at the time was fairly raw and fiery. More…

Categories : American Whiskey, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Balblair Competition

Balblair Competition

Balblair have teamed up with WIRED Magazine to come up with a very cool competition with some equally cool prizes. The distillery is encouraging amateur photographers, and the competition will run from September to October.

To enter, photographers have to submit shots which encapsulate Balblair’s motto: “timed to perfection”. It’s that simple, and we reckon there are going to be some brilliant submissions. More…

Categories : Competitions, News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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The Bushmills Nectarine Sour – Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

I’ve long held up Bushmills 10yo as one of my all-time favourite Irish Whiskeys, predominantly because it has such an incredibly clear and obvious flavour component within it, that of Nectarine.

In fact, I can be more specific than that. It’s the taste of the little pieces of Nectarine that are present in yoghurt. I can go further than that, too if you like – it was the standard range of Safeways (before they got eaten by Morrisons) yoghurts available in the late 1980s. Only available as a 4-pack with Strawberry, Peach Melba, and Vanilla I believe (seriously – who eats vanilla yoghurt?). More…

Categories : Cocktails, Irish Whiskey, Whisky
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Maltstock 2011 is coming!

As many of you will remember, a Master of Malt contingent attended last year’s Maltstock event, and had an absolute whale of a time – read all about it here

The Maltstock Sharing Table

Maltstock is coming again, and in under 2 weeks’ time, I’ll be making my way over there with the irrepressible Neil Ridley (from off of that there www.caskstrength.net), a car full of Master of Malt goodies, my responsible drinking boots, and my iPhone charger. Must take the iPhone charger (I figure if I keep writing it, there’s at least a 50% chance I’ll actually remember this time). More…

Categories : News, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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The Old Fashioned Cocktail

New product announcements! Hurrah!

Yes, today we are announcing a terrific addition to the Handmade Cocktail Company’s sterling range of ready-made bottled cocktails. Many of you cocktail enthusiasts have already been asking us for one particular cocktail – a classic that was left out of the original range. It’s the ultimate zesty, spicy bourbon cocktail, and the favourite tipple of none other than Don Draper, Harry S Truman and Cole Porter. That’s right… The Old Fashioned. More…

Categories : Cocktails, News, Tasting Notes
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Bushmills Whiskey Trip: Day Two

Make It 2 Bushmills

Yes, Day two of the Make it 2 Bushmills competition started early. Very early indeed.

As we prepared to roll out to the first event of the day (barrel rolling. See. Told you the jokes would get better) I had a chance to reflect on the competitors, all of whom I had a proper chat to last night, and am once again amazed at how all whisk(e)y competition winners seem to turn out to be the kind of people you’d be delighted to go out for a drink with socially. More…

Categories : Irish Whiskey, News, Whisky
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Bushmills Whiskey Trip: Day One

Make It 2 Bushmills

So after a slightly shaky start this morning (you may have guessed that the pristine looking cup of coffee posted on the blog this morning was put there merely to taunt me by Mike, our online editor) I arrived in Ireland to be greeted by a charming young PR lady and a driver to make the short hop over from Belfast to Bushmills.

On arriving at the (absolutely beautiful and highly recommended) Bushmills Inn hotel, we had a light lunch and were whisked away to the distillery for a tour. More…

Categories : Irish Whiskey, News, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Bushmills Whiskey Trip: Day Zero

Make It 2 Bushmills

Wouldn’t usually write a blog post before I’ve been on a trip – sort of defeats the point really, but as I’m sat here in the departure lounge having legged it all the way to the gate (for reference, most people would probably interpret ‘gate closing’ as ‘gate closing’, and not ‘nothing at all happening at gate except angry people sitting around wishing they’d had time to get a decent coffee from Costa’), I thought I’d pen a few lines on what the next dew days is all about. More…

Categories : Irish Whiskey, News, Whisky
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