Shin-pads, sticker books and half-time oranges at the ready, folks. It’s time for the The Master of Malt World Cup of Scotch!
You might have noticed that there’s some sort of sporting jamboree going on in Russia at the moment. Sadly Scotland didn’t qualify but the spirit of Scotland – literally – is in the hearts of almost all football playing countries. What’s interesting is how different brands, some of which aren’t even available in Scotland, dominate different markets. So in honour of the country that might not be the best at football but is pretty damn good at whisky, here is the Master of Malt World Cup of Scotch, each country represented by its favourite Scotch.
Back in July, news broke that Chivas Brothers had sold the Glenallachie distillery to a consortium of investors led by Billy Walker, former managing director of The BenRiach Distillery Company. While the multi-million pound deal came as a surprise to some, for Walker it was written in the stars.
“The concept was always on the radar,” he confirms, after I ask whether he’d anticipated embarking on such a momentous project this year. After all, up until relatively recently he was still involved with BenRiach; the company he built up and sold to Brown-Forman in April 2016. “The reality [of it happening] was unlikely, but, as it was, the planets aligned themselves.”
And as the planets came together, so too did The Glenallachie Distillers Company. “We’re like-minded people,” says Walker of his colleagues – long-time business partner, Trisha Savage, and Inver House Distillers’ former managing director, Graham Stevenson. Combined, they have almost 100 years’ experience in the Scotch whisky industry. “I knew we shared the same kind of vision for the next journey – whatever that journey was going to be.”
Categories : Scotch Whisky
We’ve got 6 brand new Master of Malt Single Cask Series bottlings!
Independent bottlings are always very exciting, and we’re particularly excited about these ones – because they’re ours! Yes, we’ve been very busy indeed and bottled 6 new whiskies for our Single Cask Series.
These newest 6 releases include a pair of Aberlours, a very old Bunnahabhain, an Ardbeg, a Speyside and a Benrinnes! Feast your eyes on all of them below!
Categories : News
That Boutique-y Whisky Company has announced that they’re introducing age statements to all future releases with immediate effect and, right on cue, they have a raft of new and exciting releases on the way!
All the new releases are listed below and are also available to buy or pre-order from Master of Malt now.
Categories : News
So. Burns Night. That’s next week. Burns Suppers date back to 1801, with the first one being held by friends of the celebrated Scottish poet Robert Burns. They’ve continued ever since, with people around the world enjoying haggis, poetry and whisky on the 25th of January. When something happens for over 200 years, sometimes people think about trying to do something a bit untraditional – like the year that Monkey Shoulder hosted a Burns night celebrating Montgomery Burns and Jake wrote a blog post mostly about a completely different TV show character.
On Sunday the 25th of January, folk around the world will be taking part in a Burns Supper to celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s most renowned and loved poets. Some might be very traditional, some less so, as Jake found out last year, but either way, these suppers are usually filled with three great pillars – poetry, haggis and Scotch whisky.
Basically, Burns Suppers are good fun and a great excuse (if you needed one) to enjoy some lovely whisky. If you’ve never been to one, keep reading to discover what you could be in for. If you’re hosting one, good on ya!
So – it’s about that time again – new batches, and replenished batches of some absolute crackers from That Boutique-y Whisky Company.
First up – spoiler alert – we do have a new batch of both the Port Ellen, and Brora. I’ll understand if you want to stop reading for a bit and take care of a small (okay – large) transaction.
We’ve also got some brand spanking new lines though – 2 single malts and a blended malt (which after the editor’s choice award in the most recent edition of Whisky Magazine), should see some interest piqued…
Doesn’t really take a huge deal of explanation, this one, does it?
What we’ve gone and done is take a range of delicious single malts, and finished them for a touch over 3 months in specially commissioned, 50 litre, First-Fill Sherry casks.
Traditionally known as ‘Octave Casks’, these smaller-than-average maturation vessels give a significantly greater surface area to volume ratio, meaning more cask-influence, and more of that superb rich, Christmas-cakey deliciousness that we all know and love from heavily-sherried whiskies.
The Glenlivet is one of most popular single malts in the world, selling around 11 million bottles a year (they’re second only to Glenfiddich in terms of overall sales) and is owned by Chivas Brothers (i.e. Pernod Ricard). It is perhaps because of these facts that Nàdurra was such a welcome addition back in 2006 – here was a very big player willing to extoll the virtues of bottling speyside whisky at cask strength without using chill filtration, or adding caramel (Nàdurra being the Gaelic for ‘natural’). It was also (and still is) matured exclusively in first-fill Bourbon barrels, with the batch number displayed on the bottle. The fact that it was/is a great whisky helped too, of course.
Fast forward to 2014 and The Glenlivet are giving the Nàdurra range a bit of a shake up with new permanent editions. Why only release a bourbon cask edition when they’re filling spirit into other cask types? And so, last night, I came to be in front of a glass of The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso, matured exclusively in first-fill Oloroso Sherry casks from Jerez. This first batch is bottled at 48% and will be available exclusively in travel retail (just as the first ever Nàdurra was back in 2005), but the real cask strength deal should be available around September/October time. Suffice to say we’ll be stocking it as soon as we can! Excluding the Rare Single Cask Editions (which were second-fill), this will be the first exclusively Sherry cask matured Glenlivet “in living memory”. And it’s a Nàdurra. If you’re thinking “that’s pretty fucking cool” right about now, then you, Sir, are correct.
For the longest time, I’ve had a suspicion about That Boutique-y Whisky Company being full of powerful wizards, what with the lightning-bolt shaped scars on their heads, their ability to talk to snakes (they’re very boring, all they want to do is sing songs about falling asleep) and how they’re very good at conjuring up delicious drinks. Sha-zam and abracadara!
Seeing as a number of their independently bottled marvels have just won Wizards of Whisky 2014 Awards, we think it’s pretty safe to say that they’re definitely sorcerers of the highest order, up there with Dumbledore, Gandalf and Emperor Palpatine (he shoots lightning from his hands, he totally counts as a wizard).