Aberlour A’Bunadh is a popular sherried scotch whisky made in small batches. Read here to learn about the latest and upcoming releases.

Burns Night: Traditional vs. Untraditional

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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Categories : Beer, Gin, Rum, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Have Yourselves a Brilliant Burns Supper This Sunday!

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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Categories : Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso

The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso

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.

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Categories : News, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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For Christmas this year…

Dear Santa

With plans to make Christmas 2013 closely resemble a night out with Charles Bukowski during his downtime, I’ve been thinking hard about what booze I want. Historically, I would have written to Santa Claus, but I recently read a thought-provoking essay by biologist Dickie Dawkins and now no longer believe in his existence. This, then, is an open letter to anyone who knows me and wants to get me the boozes.

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Categories : Rum, Whisky
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Master of Malt win ‘Online Retailer of the Year’ at the World Whiskies Awards 2012

Well – last week was quite a week. Further to staying up unfeasibly late on Tuesday drinking Hot chocolate and Lemonade into the wee hours with the lovely folk at Glenfarclas and Pol Roger, I was invited to judge the World Whiskies Awards on the Wednesday evening (an amazing showing all round, the results of which can be found here). .

Following that, I was up bright and early (ish) to present at the World Whiskies Conference on Thursday afternoon (I didn’t say any rude words during the course of my speech. I am proud of this).

After the world whiskies conference was the World Whiskies Awards, whereupon myself and another couple of directors were left at a table, unsupervised by any kind of grown-ups, in the presence of a bottle of Kavalan Solist, and a Batch 30 bottle of Aberlour a’Bunadh. More…

Categories : News
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Aberlour a’Bunadh Batch 37

Aberlour a'Bunadh Batch 37 Label

Today I have the supreme pleasure of tasting the latest batch of Aberlour a’Bunadh.

Of all the on-going cask strength whiskies, a’Bunadh is steadfastly in the top three of our “best value for money” malts, because it’s just such an awesome, enveloping dram.

It’s actually a recreation of whisky from the days of yore (from 1898 to be precise), and it all started in 1975, when a team of distillery workmen were installing the second pair of stills at Aberlour. As they worked, they discovered a time capsule which contained a newspaper from 1898, wrapped around a bottle of Aberlour whisky. More…

Categories : Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Bourbon vs Sherry

Sherry vs Bourbon

The two most popular choices for whisky ageing – sherry casks and bourbon barrels – offer a totally different style of single malt and here at Master of Malt, we love both in equal measure. Just like with children, it’s wrong to have a favourite (unless one child is a maths-whiz-head-boy-sports-star-type, and the other is one of those miserable kids that dyes his hair black and combs it over his face, whilst complaining constantly about how “unfair it all is”). More…

Categories : Competitions, News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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