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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Ardbeg

Master of Malt’s most read stories of 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, we reflect on the news and features that caught your eye the most this year. Well, we’ve reached the end of another year. The…

As 2018 draws to a close, we reflect on the news and features that caught your eye the most this year.

Well, we’ve reached the end of another year. The Earth has put in another hell of a shift in its orbit around the Sun. Now is the time where we reflect on all that happened in 2018.

It has been another 12 months filled with standout stories, all manner of incidents, and of course highs and lows. Among the articles you read most on our award-winning blog were round-ups of great booze, limited-edition whisky launches, and a sorry tale of a collapsing warehouse. We shed a tear for all that bourbon.

Without further delay, these are the top 10 stories that you read, shared and talked about the most in 2018.

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An Ardbeg masterclass with Brendan McCarron

We try Ardbeg’s core range with Brendan McCarron while he tells us about making raw, rugged whisky, the similarities between Bill Lumsden and Gordon Ramsay, and whether there are any…

We try Ardbeg’s core range with Brendan McCarron while he tells us about making raw, rugged whisky, the similarities between Bill Lumsden and Gordon Ramsay, and whether there are any plans to make a blend.

The team at Master of Malt were invited to Moët Hennessy’s swanky headquarters in London to try the core Ardbeg range with Brendan McCarron, head of maturing whisky stocks at the Glenmorangie Company. Lucky us. Ardbeg inspires fierce loyalty among whisky fans. Not least because it very nearly didn’t survive. The distillery was only working sporadically for most of the ’80s and ’90s, and by 1996, according to McCarron, “the bulldozers were at the gates”. But happily, in 1998 Ardbeg was saved when it was bought and refurbished by the Glenmorangie Company (who are now part of LVMH).

Back to the situation at hand. McCarron joined the team in 2014. He was a chemical engineering graduate who, after a stint making penicillin, joined Diageo. He had various jobs including blending at Johnnie Walker before, at 28 years old, he became the youngest distillery manager in Scotland at Oban. From there he moved to Islay to run Caol Ila, Lagavulin and the Port Ellen Maltings. Enough intro, let’s get the interview out of the way so that we can try some whisky!

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The Nightcap: 14 December

Thank heavens it’s the end of the week. It’s time to dust off your dancing shoes and head to your local discotheque to strut your funky stuff, perhaps whilst wearing…

Thank heavens it’s the end of the week. It’s time to dust off your dancing shoes and head to your local discotheque to strut your funky stuff, perhaps whilst wearing novelty reindeer antlers. It’s up to you. But first, the Nightcap!

A great way to make those winter days go a bit quicker is with a Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar. We’ve been counting down the days and this week we had a surfeit of K sounds in our whiskies: Kilchoman, Kirkwall Bay, Kavalan, Cotswold, Cardhu and Nikka. Plus Glenrothes standing aloof refusing to have anything to do with all those noisy Cs and Ks. For the Super Wish on Monday, #WhiskySanta was giving away a bottle of The Macallan M worth £3,300. And there was an opportunity to win £250 to spend at Master of Malt by finding #WhiskySanta in a Where’s Wally-style game. Head on over to our YouTube page to join in!

And that’s not all. Round 3 of the Master of Malt Auctions is under way; Annie talked to the people behind the Port of Leith distillery, Edinburgh’s first single malt distillery in more than 100 years; Henry wrote a bit about his favourite cocktail, the Negroni; and picked the best booze books of the year. Some excellent stocking fillers there.

Now on with the news!

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Behold! Six brilliantly old and rare Boutique-y whiskies are here!

‘Old’ and ‘rare’ are terms often bandied about with much abandon in whisky. Not here, folks. We’ve got six really rather marvellous, hard-to-find That Boutique-y Whisky Company gems that certainly…

‘Old’ and ‘rare’ are terms often bandied about with much abandon in whisky. Not here, folks. We’ve got six really rather marvellous, hard-to-find That Boutique-y Whisky Company gems that certainly live up to that billing, including a Macallan and not one but two Rosebanks!

We’re always on the look-out for unusual bottlings that max out deliciousness. And we love the people behind That Boutique-y Whisky Company because they are after the same: they sniff out incredible whiskies, independently bottle the best of the best, and then share them with the world. They are our kind of folk. And they’ve done it again. Say hello to six incredibly exciting brand-new bottlings: Rosebank 26 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); Rosebank 28 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); Ardbeg 27 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); Highland Park 26 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); Macallan 30 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company); and Springbank 22 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)!

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Win a VIP trip to the Ardbeg Distillery

WIN the trip of a lifetime to Islay and Ardbeg Distillery! Three winners and their lucky plus-ones will enjoy a distillery tour, tastings, an enhanced Ardbeg activity and an overnight…

  • WIN the trip of a lifetime to Islay and Ardbeg Distillery!
  • Three winners and their lucky plus-ones will enjoy a distillery tour, tastings, an enhanced Ardbeg activity and an overnight stay with meals and more!
  • Everyone’s a winner – Ardbeg 10 Year Old is now just £34.95!
  • Award-winning Scotch whisky. Incredible food. Adventures on air, land and sea. A scenic Scottish island. All of this can be yours. “How is all this possible?” We hear you cry. Because we’re offering an incredible VIP 2 night stay for three human persons (and their +1s) at the Seaview Cottage at Ardbeg Distillery!

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    Raise a glass to delicious discounts on some of our favourite drinks!

    Fancy treating yourself to something tasty? Getting a head start on gathering those Christmas provisions? We have news. We’ve lopped a chunk off the price of some of our very…

    Fancy treating yourself to something tasty? Getting a head start on gathering those Christmas provisions? We have news. We’ve lopped a chunk off the price of some of our very favourite bottlings. Hurrah!

    It seems like #WhiskySanta’s jolliness has well and truly rubbed off on us all here at MoM Towers. We’re spreading good cheer to all of legal drinking age with these incredible deals on some of our most beloved bottlings!

    And why wouldn’t we? We love deliciousness and know you do too. It’s like a celebration of the most delectable drinks!

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    Ardbeg launch limited edition 22 Year Old whisky

    Brendan McCarron, head of maturing stock at the Glenmorangie Company, explains why you have to be a bit mad to enjoy Ardbeg new make, and gives us a preview of…

    Brendan McCarron, head of maturing stock at the Glenmorangie Company, explains why you have to be a bit mad to enjoy Ardbeg new make, and gives us a preview of the new 22 Year Old limited edition, distilled when “the bulldozers were at the gates.”

    It might surprise you to learn that Brendan McCarron is not a fan of Ardbeg new make – “Scandinavian whisky fans say they love it but I’m not sure I believe them.” He came up with some unflattering comparisons such as “warm beer drunk out of a can”. But what the new make has is “potential”.

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    The Nightcap: 3 August

    Down tools, unplug the laptops and close those books, folks. It’s Friday, it’s the weekend and The Nightcap is here with your latest measure of boozy news! Helloooooo Friday! You’ve…

    Down tools, unplug the laptops and close those books, folks. It’s Friday, it’s the weekend and The Nightcap is here with your latest measure of boozy news!

    Helloooooo Friday! You’ve made it to the weekend. Well done, one and all. And, as has become custom here at MoM Towers, we have The Nightcap here for you – our handy distillation of the week’s biggest drinks stories in one easy-to-digestif post.

    But first, let’s recall the week that was over on the blog!

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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…

    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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    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…

    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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