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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Bordeaux

Spotlight on… Armagnac!

Armagnac is a French brandy with a longer history than its famous cousin Cognac Single distilled in continuous alambic to lower abv for richer, more full-bodied spirit Bas-Armagnac area has…

Armagnac is a fantastic spirit that many savvy drinkers, including many whisky fans, have begun exploring with enthusiasm in recent years. The good news is that there’s never been a better time to dip a toe in the Armagnac ‘eau’, as we’re offering Free UK Shipping on your *entire* order (or £5 off elsewhere) when you buy any bottle of Comte de Lauvia until the end of July. That includes their Fine, Réserve and Hors d’Age expressions, newly launched in the UK!

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Gascony Calling: A Single Cask Series Armagnac!

So it may be gorgeous, So it may not be famous, Armagnac, twenty-one years old. There’s a new release in the Master of Malt Single Cask Series charts, and the…

Château de Castex Armagnac Master of Malt

So it may be gorgeous,
So it may not be famous,
Armagnac, twenty-one years old.

There’s a new release in the Master of Malt Single Cask Series charts, and the artist isn’t even Scottish! In fact, it’s not even whisky. (We do have some more Single Cask whiskies on the way shortly though… and not necessarily all from Scotland…) Extending the range into different spirit types entirely, we’re delighted to present our very first independent bottling of Armagnac!

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Auchentoshan 25 Year Old 1988 Wine Cask Finish – “YEEAAAHHHH!!!”

A 25 year old 1988 vintage. That’s quite enough about me though. Feeling a little guilty that I haven’t got to this whisky already (we received the package with the…

Auchentoshan 1988 Wine Cask Finish

A 25 year old 1988 vintage. That’s quite enough about me though. Feeling a little guilty that I haven’t got to this whisky already (we received the package with the sample about a month ago), I’m now making a concious effort in these busy ‘already-sort-of-started-but-also-still-building-up-to-Christmas-retailing’ times to get to it before my birthday, after which I’ll suddenly have a little less in common with it.

Everybody enjoys getting their hands on a whisky distilled in the year of their birth, it’s fun. It’s one of those things that shouldn’t really matter perhaps, but many people are willing to fork out that little bit (or lot-a-bit) extra to get their paws on something from ‘their vintage’. Something that’s spent the same amount of time on this oblate spheroid as they have. Indeed, some whisky lovers go out of their way to secure these as often as possible. But if it’s the same age as you as well? Better still, surely?

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd — Part III

In 1920, Berry’s was joined by Hugh Rudd, a lover of Bordeaux and German wines. Such an essential part of the business, Hugh Rudd’s name was officially added to the…

Berry Brothers and Rudd

In 1920, Berry’s was joined by Hugh Rudd, a lover of Bordeaux and German wines. Such an essential part of the business, Hugh Rudd’s name was officially added to the door when the firm became a limited company in the 1940s.

The Second World War raged on, and tragedy struck when two of the partners lost their sons: Francis Berry’s son George Gilbert died leading a charge against in the enemy in North Africa; and Hugh Rudd’s son Brian was killed in action in Italy at just 20 years of age.

No. 3 was never hit directly during the London bombings, though the top floors were badly burnt. The shop itself escaped too much damage thanks to the old wooden shutters which protected the shopfront. Years later, during the 2011 London Riots, these shutters were put to use for a second time (though, in my opinion, Pomerol probably wasn’t on the agenda).

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Renegade Rum

Cask finishing is rather trendy these days, and it’s becoming a case of the more exotic and unusual the better. Murray McDavid took this to a whole new level with…

 Renegade Rum Tasting

Cask finishing is rather trendy these days, and it’s becoming a case of the more exotic and unusual the better. Murray McDavid took this to a whole new level with their Renegade Rum range. You see, it’s independently bottled rum with a difference; all of the casks are taken to Islay for maturation at the Bruichladdich distillery, and (this has got ‘laddie’s prints all over it) the rums are “enhanced” in some pretty extraordinary wine casks. They also earn the packaging prize for their handsomely sand-blasted bottles, replete with metal dog tags!

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Ardbeg Whisky

After one of the greatest montages in motion picture history (the training sequence in Rocky IV), came the epic fight between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago (a fight that ended…

 Ardbeg Supernova

After one of the greatest montages in motion picture history (the training sequence in Rocky IV), came the epic fight between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago (a fight that ended with a victorious Stallone and also what looked like the beginning of the end of the Cold War).

A similar title fight took place in the whisky world last year, when Bruichladdich flexed its peaty muscles with Octomore, and Ardbeg came back with a well-placed right hook in the form of Supernova – the peatiest Ardbeg yet – weighing in with peating levels of over 100ppm!

The interesting thing was Bruichladdich’s riposte – Octomore 02.1, a monstrously phenolic whisky at 140ppm. The odd thing is, it just doesn’t knock your socks off like Supernova does. The ‘Laddie just doesn’t seem as punchy, and perhaps this is because Bruichladdich’s style is much lighter and fruitier than Ardbeg.

When we first tasted Supernova we were beguiled by the medium weight nose of toffee and tequila. It leads you into a false sense of security. What comes next is a palate entry of mescal, smoked paprika and iodine, and then it develops into the biggest chili hit you’ll ever experience in the world of spirits. It’s just mind-blowing!

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Bruichladdich Whisky

    Bruichladdich’s New Releases for 2010           The Bruichladdich distillery is one of Scotland’s most innovative. Their back catalogue is massive, and they are constantly…

 

 

Bruichladdich’s New Releases for 2010

 

 

 

 Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery

 

 

The Bruichladdich distillery is one of Scotland’s most innovative. Their back catalogue is massive, and they are constantly finding new ways of breathing new life into a centuries old industry. 

 

Peating levels, barley strains and distillation methods are all fair game for their whisky alchemy and Jim McEwan, the Master Distiller at ‘Laddie, is an ardent fanatic when it comes to sourcing casks – they’ve used casks from first growth Bordeaux wineries – a 16 year old Château Lafite Finish for example – we’ve sampled a wonderful Guyanan rum finish and have even witnessed them delve into the occult with the 1989 vintage Black Art, finished in bourbon barrels and a medley of wine casks in the “stygian darkness of Warehouse No.12” (the tin and bottle are even emblazoned with a rather sinister looking pentagram!). 

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