‘The Exceptional’ Whiskies Now Available!

The Exceptional whisky

The Exceptional Malt, Grain and Blend from Don Sutcliffe and former Managing Director of The Macallan Willie Phillips launch in the UK.

Available on Master of Malt today are three new Scotch whiskies from American independent bottler Sutcliffe & Son, brought to the UK by Number One Drinks. Called ‘The Exceptional’, the chaps behind them are none other than Willie Phillips, who was Managing Director of The Macallan between 1978 and 1996 (crucial years for the development of this famous single malt, of course) and Craft Distillers Managing Director Don Sutcliffe who worked with him to grow The Macallan in the US back in the late 1980s. Friends for 25 years, The Exceptional is something of a passion project for them both, working also with Master Blender Bill Arthur.

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Categories : News, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Father’s Day Tasting Sets!

Drinks by the Dram Father's Day

Pre-Order Drinks by the Dram’s new Father’s Day Whisky Tasting Sets now!

Drinks by the Dram have released two new whisky tasting sets especially for Father’s Day 2016: The Father’s Day Whisky Tasting Set and The Father’s Day Deluxe Whisky Tasting Set! Both of these fantastic gifts are now available for Pre-Order, despatching early next week.

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Categories : News, Whisky
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Whisky Advent Day 16: Balvenie 12 Year Old DoubleWood

Whisky Advent Calendar

December 16th? My goodness, fewer than ten days left until the main event! This is when excitement or panic sets in, in earnest, depending on how much shopping you have left to do! Try not to worry just yet though, we’ve got you covered.

So, to The Whisky Advent Calendar, faithfully counting down those days to Christmas in delicious style. Today’s dram is another Balvenie! We tasted the delights of Sherry cask matured Balvenie on Day 8, now it’s time to see what American oak brings to the table alongside Sherry with surely one of the most satisfying and accessible speyside whiskies available today.

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Categories : Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Whisky Advent Day 10: Monkey Shoulder

Whisky Advent Calendar

We’ve made it to day 10 of #WhiskyAdvent! Time to open another window of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar, and we have a good feeling about this one…

Yep, it’s time to have some fun with Monkey Shoulder! Whether it’s Pop-Down bars or Monkey Comps with UK Brand am-BADASS-ador Grant Neave, or practising your spooning so you can mix up some delicious Monkey cocktails, pretension gets left firmly at the door today.

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Categories : Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Whisky Advent Day 8: The Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel Sherry Cask

Whisky Advent Calendar

Week two of #WhiskyAdvent and we’re starting in much the same vein as the first, with a truly fantastic Sherry matured Speysider and a perfect winter dram, from another distillery that’s rightly gained a reputation for producing some of the best Sherry matured whiskies available today. Behind the eighth window of The Whisky Advent Calendar is Balvenie’s fantastic Single Barrel Sherry Cask 15 Year Old.

Although ‘Single Barrel’, this 15 year old is a continuous release, with each bottle drawn from a single cask. This means that no more than 650 bottles of this whisky actually come from the exact same cask (whilst no two casks are identical, legendary Malt Master David Stewart selects those with the desired character). The potential outturn from each cask also points to something else – The Balvenie Single Barrel Sherry Cask isn’t really matured in a ‘barrel’ at all, but rather a big first fill European oak ex-Oloroso Sherry butt!

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Whisky Santa’s Whisky Advent Day 14: Balvenie 12 YO Single Barrel

Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel First Fill

Day 14 is upon us, which means two things…

1) We’re 10 days away from Christmas. This could either instil joy or fear into your heart, dependent on whether you’ve figured out what gifts you’re going to get everyone. (By the way, do you think the reindeer will mind getting a hamper full of carrots for the 18th year running?)

2) Behind the window of your Whisky Advent Calendars today, you’ll be finding a delicious dram of IWSC Trophy-winning Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel – First Fill! A superb single malt from the spectacular Speyside distillery, matured in first fill bourbon casks, with each bottle being one of no more than 300 drawn from a single cask. Top quality mince pie accompaniment, this is.

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Categories : Competitions, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – Pedro Grant goes to New Orleans

Master of Cocktails Pedro Grant Goes To New Orleans

Right then folks. Time for another #MasterofCocktails! This week’s involves setting things on fire, which is always fun.

We’re going to be making a Christmassy twist on a Sazerac recipe using Balvenie 15yo Single Barrel and PX Sherry. If anyone feels like complaining about the fact that we’re using a good single malt in a cocktail, can I suggest you jog on and complain to the Daily Mail – they’ll probably have a story to print about it being responsible for immigration. Or something.

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Categories : Absinthe, Cocktails, Whisky
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Kininvie Single Malts. They’re Coming.

Kininvie Single Malt Whisky

Back in October we heard that there was to be an exciting, new, secret product from William Grant & Sons and our thoughts immediately turned to a long-anticipated Kininvie single malt release. On that occasion we quickly realised that the imminent launch was in fact for Girvan single grain, but not this time folks. This time it’s the real malty deal!

Kininvie has been William Grant’s slightly mysterious, almost secret distillery for 24 years now, and I’m sure Brian Kinsman has lost count of the times people have asked him whether they’ll ever release an official Kininvie single malt. Well last year they did just that – with an exclusive release in one country – and now it’s the rest of the world’s turn…

If you’ve ever visited Balvenie, then you may well have seen Kininvie distillery, it’s that corrugated iron shed in its more famous brother’s back garden.

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Categories : News, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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An Alternative Burns Night with Monkey Shoulder!

Montgomery Burns

On Monday night I attended a Burns Supper with a difference, courtesy of the Monkey Shoulder Social Club. There was haggis, of course, and Scotch whisky too, but rather than Scotland’s favourite son taking centre stage, the star of this particular show was one Charles Montgomery Plantagenet Schicklgruber Burns, Sr. Oh, yes.

Monkey Shoulder, as I’m sure many of you will know, is a fantastic blended malt from William Grant that’s made with whiskies from their three Dufftown distilleries: Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie.

The theme for the evening had been hiding in plain sight for some time as guests entered to win tickets to ‘A Celebrations of Mr Burns’, accompanied by a picture of Rabbie in a pair of shades that had apparently been enough to throw many off the scent. Upon arrival at The Caledonian Club, everything seemed perfectly above board… although… did I spot Groundskeeper Willy on my way up the street?.. Probably nothing, let’s just enjoy this Monkey Shoulder whisky punch (created by Roman Foltan of the Artesian Bar) in the library and speak to a couple of these nice people from the ‘Dufftown Burns Appreciation Society’.

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Master of Cocktails – The Scottish Gold Rush

Master of Cocktails Scottish Gold Rush

Welcome to the second instalment of Master of Cocktails, our new cocktail recipe feature on Twitter each and every Sunday evening (#MasterofCocktails), followed by a write up here on the Blog the very next day!

Last night, we made something super-easy with just three ingredients: whisky, honey and lemon. Yep, I’ve got a massive cold, but rather than what you may be thinking, we actually created a twist on The Gold Rush.

In terms of the whisk(e)y, a bourbon-matured scotch is ideal, or simply a bourbon, or at a push, just anything that’s not peated! For a truly perfect choice see below…

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Categories : Cocktails
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