Master of Malt Whisky Blog

John Crabbie & Co 2.0: Edinburgh’s son returns to whisky distilling

Five months after resurrecting the historic John Crabbie & Co. whisky brand with the launch of two single malts, Halewood International revealed plans for an Edinburgh distillery – the old stomping ground of Crabbie himself. Despite his Scotch kudos, surprisingly little is known about this influential character. MoM delves into the past, present and future of Crabbie Whisky…

When Halewood announced plans to invest more than £7 million in a new Crabbie distillery in Leith, industry ears pricked up. Though best known for its green ginger wine and ginger beers, the brand’s roots lie in whisky: it was founded a few short years after Blair Athol and Highland Park. Now, it’s the third contender in a race to build the first new distillery in Edinburgh for almost 100 years.

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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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#WhiskySanta strikes Gold!

Some very exciting news from #WhiskySanta himself – while he couldn’t be there on the night to collect the accolade, our favourite supernatural, omniscient, festive, heavily-bearded being only went and won Consumer Initiative of the Year at the Grocer Gold Awards! This is the closest thing to an acceptance speech we could lure from him while he’s away on his holibobs…

You better watch out, you better not cry… *ahem*, I may be getting slightly ahead of myself (I’ve still got a good few months of extended holiday to go in my beachfront holiday residence after all) but I hear the spirit of #WhiskySanta was certainly in town last night for the Grocer Gold Awards!

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Categories : News
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The inaugural MoM Fèis Ìle Awards are here!

There were drams, live bands galore (often the same one), much merriment and more epic dogs than you could even try to count. Yes, folks – Fèis Ìle happened. And now, partly as an excuse to relive the best bits, partly to give mega kudos to the star performers, behold: we present the entirely-not-scientific-at-all, totally-subjective-in-every-way MoM Fèis Ìle Awards 2018!

Well. We’ve just about sort-of recovered. Fèis Ìle 2018 was an absolute riot of whisky geekery, drams of much deliciousness, and of course, incredible, incredible people. We had a proper blast on Islay, and we’re still wading through the reams of content, video footage, and social posts from the week at the pinnacle of the whisky calendar.

And as we reminisced all the action, debating heatedly at MoM HQ as to which tip-top tour was the most tremendous and which masterclass was most masterful, it suddenly became clear: The MoM Fèis Ìle Awards should be a thing!
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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Q&A: Loch Lomond master blender Michael Henry!

Michael Henry is a man with many hats. He might be a whisky blender by title, but he works across all aspects of spirit production at the Loch Lomond Scotch whisky distillery. We get our geek on and chat all things yeast, on-site cask rejuvenation, and that genuinely intriguing still set-up…

Loch Lomond prides itself on its flexibility – and it is indeed a chameleon in spirit form. Set up in 1966 to be as self-sufficient as they come, the distillery is perhaps the only one in Scotland able to simultaneously produce its own single malt and single grain. It’s a fascinating one, indeed.

To get under the skin of the distillery, find out how and why it makes the spirit it does, we caught up with master blender, Michael Henry. His background in beer and seeming obsession with yeast has set him in good stead to handle the ambidextrous producer and its multifaceted ways.
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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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The Nightcap: 8 June

Jack Daniel’s-maker Brown-Forman lines up a new CEO, World Gin Day hype aplenty, and fizz in space? It can only be The Nightcap!

It’s Friday and the world’s most eclectic round-up of booze newses is back for another week! We’ve got a whole host of hot-off-the-press product launches, bar happenings galore and incoming CEOs up our sleeves. But first, let’s look back on the week that was…

While we were all recovering from the mega week-and-a-bit of Fèis Ìle 2018, Annie was bar flying-it-up at Artesian as the renowned bar team unveiled a new menu. Then, on Tuesday, she hightailed it over to The Zetter Townhouse to check out its partnership with cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro… It’s a hard life.

On Wednesday, we had a look at your top 10 gins across Master of Malt to make what we think is a cracking list of must-tries ahead of World Gin Day (it’s tomorrow, team! Perhaps there’s just enough time to sneak in a next-day delivery…). Sticking with a theme, yesterday Adam caught up with Alex Kammerling, who just happens to have released a Kamm & Sons gin! Good timing, right?!
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Categories : American Whiskey, Cocktails, Gin, News, Scotch Whisky, Tequila, Whisky, Wine
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Q&A: Kamm & Sons’ Alex Kammerling!

Kamm and Sons

As Mr Kamm’s Gin hits the shelves at MoM Towers, we find out all we can about the latest creation from the mind of Alex Kammerling, founder of Kamm & Sons. Up for discussion: why he swapped bitters for (juniper) berries, how bartending affected his process, and his thoughts on the ever-growing gin bubble…

Earlier this year a new gin hit the market. In this age of the modern gin-boom, it would have been understandable for this news not to have turned many heads. But Kamm & Sons is anything but ordinary and the recently released Mr Kamm’s Gin represents an intriguing new expression.

How does one go from bartending and brand ambassadorial roles to creating an aperitif and now a gin? Alex Kammerling knows. Over his 22 years in the industry he’s worked as a bartender at some of the finest establishments around, and has been involved in projects with likes of Bombay Sapphire, Campari and Grey Goose in various capacities. But now he is best known for the brand he created, Kamm & Sons. It’s only previous release was the well-received Kamm & Sons British Aperitif, so a gin marks a new direction for the company.

It’s a tough act to follow, but early signs suggest Mr Kamm’s Gin is up to the task. Hard work and patience paid off for Kammerling, who took more than two years and 180 distillations to create a gin he was happy with. The final product is built around a barley base spirit and boasts a selection of 45 botanicals, including hibiscus, fresh grapefruit, orange and lemon peels, rosehip, apricot kernel, ginseng, blue butterfly pea and citra hops and it’s been described as ‘fruitier than your grandmother’s jam cupboard’.

As World Gin Day approaches (Saturday 9th June), we thought it worth seeing what the Mr Kamm’s Gin fuss is all about. Who better to ask the man himself…

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Categories : Cocktails, Gin, News
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Your top 10 awesome gins for World Gin Day!

Prep the ice and ready the tonics, folks – this Saturday is the 10th World Gin Day! Yep, on 9 June, juniper fans across the globe will be sipping, shaking and sampling their way through the finest gins to ever grace the planet. Why not join them? We’ve scoured the shelves and picked out a tasty selection of your top gins to help you celebrate in lip-smacking style…

All set for World Gin Day this Saturday? If you’re still looking for some botanical-based inspo, we’ve got your back – right here we’ve picked out 10 of the best gins from across MoM HQ, according to you, our discerning shoppers.

With literally thousands of gins in stock, it’s no easy task to curate a list of MoM-approved tipples. What to do? Check out what you, our judicious juniper devotees, make of them, of course! Here you’ll find our top picks, backed up by your reviews, so you know these bottlings are as tasty as it gets.
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Categories : Gin
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Awesome sauce: When The Zetter Townhouse meets Tony Conigliaro

London’s boutique hotels are carving a real niche in the cocktail world, giving both overnight guests and fleeting drinkers incentive to linger. When you combine the plush eclecticism of The Zetter Townhouse with pioneering drinks creators like Tony Conigliaro and his neoteric Drink Factory, magical things happen. As we discovered…

If you’re not familiar with Tony Conigliaro, his east London-based cocktail consultancy Drink Factory is known for approaching drinks differently*. Conigliaro’s cocktails have Warhol-esque swagger, and not just because of the Factory reference. Or the fact that his Dalston bar, Untitled, is said to take design cues from the legendary studio.

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Categories : Cocktails, News
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Making memories Proust-style with London bar Artesian

Forget bright, the future’s positively beaming for the team behind Artesian at The Langham. Head bartender Remy Savage gets up close and personal with his nostalgic cocktail offering, ‘Artesian Moments’…

We’ve all experienced it: you’re doing something menial, like crossing a road, and a long-forgotten scent hits you. Suddenly you’re on a beach in the summer of ‘92. The aroma – fish and chips, sun lotion, candyfloss – has triggered a powerful and deeply personal emotional response.

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Categories : Cocktails
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Fèis Ìle 2018 Day Eight: Ardbeg

Well, well, well… on the final day of Fèis Ìle 2018 we got swept away in a time warp, landing in late 1960s Ardbeg. And if the sixties were like this, they were indeed swinging…

Welcome to 1960s Ardbeg! We were warned back in March that attending Ardbeg Day 2018 would result in serious time travel, but little could prepare us for the sixties extravaganza that awaited (did you see Mickey Heads’ attire? That medallion). From the second we rolled down the Ardbeg drive (no designated driver today, we’re partying on and picking up the wheels tomorrow!) to when we departed later, drams in hand, we were enveloped in the bright, bustling world of a 1960s village party, complete with flares galore, flowers painted or stuck on every available surface and the hits in abundance from the incredible live band.

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Categories : Scotch Whisky
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