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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Aberlour

New Arrival of the Week: Aberlour 14 Year Old Double Cask

This week we’re taking the edge off Blue Monday, apparently the saddest day of the year, with a rich tasty dram from Speyside part-matured in sherry casks. It’s the Aberlour…

This week we’re taking the edge off Blue Monday, apparently the saddest day of the year, with a rich tasty dram from Speyside part-matured in sherry casks. It’s the Aberlour 14 Year Old Double Cask!

Aberlour means “mouth of the chattering burn” in Gaelic. The town is situated near Craigellachie on the river Spey and it’s world famous for being the home of Walkers shortbread. But this isn’t the Master of Biscuit blog, it’s Master of Malt so we’re far more interested in the town’s whisky. Though we do love a bit of shortbread at 4pm with our tea. It’s just so buttery!

Aberlour Distillery

Aberlour Distillery looking lovely in the sunshine

Aberlour Distillery was founded in 1879 by local bigwig James Fleming using the soft water from St. Drostan’s Well. Fleming wasn’t just a businessman but also a local politician and philanthropist, and one of his most notable acts was to bequeath funds for a footbridge over the dangerous fast-moving river to replace the ferry service. The magnificent suspension footbridge was finished in 1902 and still stands to this day. But this isn’t the Master of Civil Engineering blog either so we will return to his distillery.

The original building was partly destroyed by fire in 1898 and rebuilt by top distillery architect Charles Doig of Elgin, who you may know from his work with Balblair, Pulteney, Speyburn and many others. Despite the 1960s and ‘70s extensions it’s still a lovely looking place, nestled by the river, especially on a sunny day, and well worth visiting when such things are allowed again.

Capacity was doubled in the 1970s and there are now six stainless steel washbacks, and four oil-fired pot stills with shell and tube condensers producing a medium weight spirit. Aberlour can produce about 3.9 millions litres of pure alcohol per year. It has been in the hands of Pernod Ricard since 1974. With this pedigree, you won’t be surprised to learn that it’s particularly popular in France. 

Aberlour’s most famous expression is probably the mighty cask strength a’ bunadh (meaning the origin in Gaelic.) It’s entirely matured in Oloroso sherry casks and Ian Buxton in his 101 Whiskies book says: “If you like traditional Macallan or Glenfarclas, then you’re going to love this.”

Aberlour 14YO

A bottle of Aberlour 14 Year Old next to babbling burn

Our New Arrival is something of a chip off the old block and has already picked up gongs including a double gold medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2020, and a gold medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2020. It’s a 14 year whisky matured first in bourbon and then Oloroso sherry casks. It’s a big luxurious sweet-natured loveable sort of dram. Delicious and comforting sipped neat, it has a sweetness and smoothness that would lend itself to simple cocktails like an Old Fashioned or a particularly decadent Rob Roy. Though, look away malt whisky purists, the distillery’s marketing team suggests using it in a Bramble! Scandalous, but also delicious. 

Here’s how to make one:

50ml Aberlour 14 Year Old
25ml lemon juice
¾ tablespoon sugar syrup
¾ tablespoon Giffard Crème de Mure

Shake the Aberlour, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a shaker with ice. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Drizzle over the crème de mure and garnish with a bramble and a lemon slice. 

Tasting note from the Chaps at Master of Malt:

Nose: Big aromatics on this one with cloves, cardamom and camphor, and then comes a wave of sweeter notes like toffee, milk chocolate and orange rind.  

Palate: Full texture, round and creamy, with sweet dark cherries, fudge, and mocha coffee with a refreshing minty breeze. 

Finish: Quite long with lingering honey and wood spice.

Aberlour 14 Year Old Double Cask is now available from Master of Malt.

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Fantastic staff favourites we think you’ll love!

From an Islay single malt whisky to Jaffa Cake Rum, here’s a selection of staff favourites chosen by the team here at Master of Malt. We think there’s something here…

From an Islay single malt whisky to Jaffa Cake Rum, here’s a selection of staff favourites chosen by the team here at Master of Malt. We think there’s something here for everyone. As long as you want booze, that is.   

Here at MoM Towers, we’ve spent plenty of time tasting, sampling and mixing our way through some of the world’s finest drinks over the years so that we can pass on our knowledge and share our passion with you lovely people. Naturally, we develop favourites and so we thought it would be fun to round-up some staff standouts and recommend them to you, from beautiful blended whisky to innovative rum and more.

Fantastic staff favourites we think you’ll love

Aerolite Lyndsay 10 Year Old – The Character of Islay Whisky Company with Enamel Mug

We’re always going to love a delightful, versatile and award-winning (Islay Single Malt 12 Years and Under at the World Whiskies Awards 2020, don’t you know) single malt from Islay but the fact that this beauty comes with a charming enamel mug perfect for enjoying a Hot Toddy in just makes it all the better. Oh, and if you need a recipe, Tammy Jackson (of @forcocktailsake fame) makes a particularly good one, which you can see her doing here.

What does it taste like?

Maritime peat, iodine, honey sweetness, paprika, salted caramel, old bookshelves, mint dark chocolate, espresso, new leather, soy sauce, liquorice allsorts, bonfire smoke and toffee penny, with a pinch of salt.

Fantastic staff favourites we think you’ll love

Kyrö x Ki No Bi Gin

Kyrö Distillery has launched a neat little series where it teams up with other brands to create something tasty, which is an idea we’re very much in favour of! For the first of its Kyrö x Friends releases the Finnish spirit-makers partnered with Kyoto Distillery over in Japan to celebrate 100 years of diplomacy between Japan and Finland, and created a gin that combines the best of each distillery’s local botanicals in one trans-continental treat.

What does it taste like?

A touch of berry fruit and red florals, with distinctive yuzu citrus and oily, piney juniper, leading into peppery spice and a smidge of savoury seaweed.

Fantastic staff favourites we think you’ll love

Jaffa Cake Rum

Combining two wonderful things doesn’t always work (my hamster never accepted that damn tiny sombrero) but this combination of Jaffa Cakes and rum is an absolute winner that we can’t help but talk about. It’s made with actual Jaffa Cakes, folks, which are blended alongside oranges, fresh orange peel and cocoa powder with Caribbean rum to create this expression, which makes for a mean Daiquiri or Rum Old Fashioned.

What does it taste like?

Rich hot chocolate, zesty orange, subtle ginger heat, vanilla pod earthiness, subtly grassy rum, cakey sweetness and a tangy hint of tropical fruit.

Fantastic staff favourites we think you’ll love

Aberlour 10 Year Old

There’s always going to room for vibrant, fruity and rewarding drams in our drinks cabinet, which is why it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a bottle like Aberlour 10 Year Old on-hand. Plus it represents outstanding bang for your buck. What’s not to love?

What does it taste like?

Sherried raisins, toffee, spicy rich fruitcake, foam bananas, honey, sweet spices and a pleasant nuttiness.

Fantastic staff favourites we think you’ll love

Eleventh Hour Gin

The Derbyshire Distillery made this dry gin by combining botanicals including juniper, angelica, cassia, ginger, coriander, orris, lemon, sour cherry and poppy seeds. The last ingredient is something of a symbolic choice, as £3 of each bottle of Eleventh Hour that’s sold will aid The Royal British Legion to make a difference. Tasty gin is one thing, but when you know that every bottle you purchase will support who served in the armed forces past and present, it’s really something.

What does it taste like?

Softly fruity, with cherry and lemon standing out amongst the angelica, spicy juniper and anise notes.

Fantastic staff favourites we think you’ll love

Chivas Regal 12 Year Old

A favourite of critics, an absolute bargain, a versatile option and an all-round tasty blend, there’s no secret as to why we enjoy Chivas Regal 12 Year Old. The world-famous Scotch blend was first made in the early 20th century by Chivas Brothers and continues to charm us to this day.

What does it taste like?

A creamy, aromatic melange of vanilla custard, hints of aniseed, lemon curd, butter toffee, dried banana chips, barley malt, ground walnut, caramel and cereal sweetness.

Fantastic staff favourites we think you’ll love

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked 

A deep, dark and rich twist on the delightful Woodford Reserve, Double Oaked is made using the same process as its classic sister expression but is then further matured in barrels which have been heavily toasted and lightly charred. Why do we like this one so much? Two words: Old. Fashioneds.

What does it taste like?

Lots of sweet oaken character, as well as rich fruit, vanilla and caramel notes.

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Sip on some superb Speysiders!

Sad about the cancellation of the Spirit of Speyside Festival? We’ve got just the thing to lift your spirits: a whole bunch of delicious whiskies from that very region! We…

Sad about the cancellation of the Spirit of Speyside Festival? We’ve got just the thing to lift your spirits: a whole bunch of delicious whiskies from that very region!

We were all disappointed to find out the Spirit of Speyside Festival had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event welcomes a huge number of visitors from across the globe each year to enjoy over 700 whisky-themed activities in a celebration of the biggest whisky-producing region in Scotland. But we can still champion Speyside and its huge variety of delicious whiskies by helping ourselves to a bottling from one of its many distilleries. We’ve done our bit by narrowing down your considerable choice. This selection features a wide range of some of the finest expressions from the region so you can get your hands on some delicious Speysiders with ease. Enjoy!

Speyside #2 25 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)     

We begin our round-up with a delightful mystery. We know is that this a 25-year-old single malt from a Speyside distillery and that it was bottled by the wonderful folk over at That Boutique-y Whisky Company. We also know that’s it’s from a different distillery in the region to Speyside #1, which only increases the intrigue. What we can confirm, however, is that it’s very, very tasty.

What does it taste like?

Estery malt, candied fruit, nutty almond oil, barley sugars, a hint of Turkish delight, ginger, cinnamon, lemon citrus, white oak, praline, hazelnut, cedar, honey, dried apricot,  gingerbread, dark caramel, vanilla essence and maybe even a hint of rancio.

Aberlour A’Bunadh Batch 63      

Aberlour is one of those distilleries that has a passionate following who look forward to every release, in particular the excellent A’Bunadh batches. Well known for being made of whiskies with intense and complex profiles that are matured in Spanish oloroso sherry butts and bottled at cask strength and the 63rd edition is no exception. The series is incredibly popular and its expressions always end up selling out so you’ll want to get your hands on this one sooner rather than later.

What does it taste like?

Buttered malt loaf, sherried peels, spearmint, Christmas cake, dark chocolate mousse, cinnamon, white pepper, dried fruit and sugared almonds.

Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask     

There are few distilleries that boast a range as consistently excellent and intriguing as The Balvenie, who demonstrated how to put ex-rum casks to good use with this tasty expression. The single malt Speysider was initially aged in traditional oak casks before it was finished in casks which previously held Caribbean rum, imparting some extra sweetness and warmth.

What does it taste like?

Tropical fruits, namely passion fruit, sweet vanilla, apples, mangoes, orange and creamy toffee.

Glenfarclas 15 Year Old        

Those who love sherried whisky love Glenfarclas whisky, and for good reason. The independent and family-owned distillery is well known for producing some spectacular sherry bombs and its 15-year-old expression maybe the standout from its impressive core range.  A fabulously complex and rich Scotch, Glenfarclas 15 Year Old is bottled at 46% ABV simply because this was the strength that George Grant’s grandfather preferred it at. 

What does it taste like?

Intense, powerful sherry, rancio, orange peel, walnuts, dates and peppermint.

Cardhu Gold Reserve      

A sweet, mellow and easy-drinking expression from one the region’s oldest distilleries, Cardhu Gold Reserve is an impressive no-age-statement release that represents seriously good value for money. It’s a whisky that’s delightful when mixed and we can tell you from experience that it makes a very good Hot Toddy.

What does it taste like?

Honeyed tinned stone fruits, toffees, strawberry, red apple, ginger and biscuity oak.

Master of Malt 10 Year Old Speyside Whisky Liqueur        

Something a bit different to conclude our list is a whisky liqueur that’s excellent over ice with a healthy helping of fresh orange peel, but more than good enough to drink neat. Our very own Speyside Whisky Liqueur was made exclusively using 10-year-old single malt whisky from one of Speyside’s most famous distilleries that was previously matured in sherry casks to give it that classic Speyside style. We emphasised this flavour by adding a host of tasty ingredients such as cinnamon, two different kinds of orange peel and cloves. Delicious.

What does it taste like?

Dried, aromatic fruit, nutmeg, cinnamon, anise, Angostura bitters, cola, peppermint, dark chocolate, dried ginger, crème brûlée, blood oranges, mint humbugs, sweet malty cereal and vanilla.

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The Master of Malt World Cup of Scotch

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…

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.

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A new dawn: Billy Walker sets out plans for Glenallachie distillery

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…

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.”

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6 New Master of Malt Single Cask Series Bottlings!

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,…

Master of Malt Single Cask Series

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!

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That Boutique-y Whisky Company Adds Age Statements

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…

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

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.

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Burns Night: Traditional vs. Untraditional

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…

Robert Burns

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.

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Have Yourselves a Brilliant Burns Supper This Sunday!

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…

Robert Burns

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!

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A new batch of Boutique-y Whiskies for a Tuesday Morning

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…

Fettercairn, Blended Malt #2 and Blair Athol That Boutique-y Whisky Company

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…

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