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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Charity

The Nightcap: 15 November

Celebrity booze, a motorcycle built in collaboration with Smokehead whisky and the goodest of boys (#dogbassador). It’s another wild and wonderful week for The Nightcap. We all have our personal…

Celebrity booze, a motorcycle built in collaboration with Smokehead whisky and the goodest of boys (#dogbassador). It’s another wild and wonderful week for The Nightcap.

We all have our personal moments when we start to feel just a little bit festive. For some, it might be when the town lights come on, for others it might be that first bag of turkey and stuffing-flavoured crisps. At Master of Malt, however, there’s a very clear sign that it’s safe to get out the reindeer jumpers, start stocking up on mince pies and trying to think of amusing puns based on the word Yule: it’s the first sighting of #WhiskySanta! And lo, he has been spotted, and verily he’ll be giving away all kinds of boozy goodness. Yule be mad not to get involved (see what we did there, first yule-based pun of the season). Right, that’s enough Christmas dad jokes, nothing is going to hold back this week’s Nightcap!

On the MoM blog this week we heard the sound of sleigh bells jingling, ring tingle tingling too as he returned. That’s right, #WhiskySanta is back at MoM Towers! Elsewhere, we launched another fantastic competition, this time with the fab folks at Starward! Henry then managed to pin down Dave Broom to chat about his new whisky film The Amber Light, before he enjoyed a sacrilegious gin liqueur, and made the classic The Corpse Reviver No.1 our Cocktail of the Week! Annie, meanwhile, looked at the future of flavour and cask whisky investment, before Adam talked Comte de Grasse with its founder Bhagath Reddy and uncovered the magic behind the latest bar menu at The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar.

Now, onto the Nightcap!

The Nightcap

Congrats to you, David!

Isle of Arran Distillers names Lochranza distillery manager

Lochranza Distillery, the second spirits-maker of the Isle of Arran, has a shiny new distillery manager! Say hello to David Livingstone, who is set to touch down on the island to take on the top job. He’s hot-footed it over the water from Islay, where he was previously assistant manager at Laphroaig before he helped in the set-up of Ardnahoe distillery. Sounds like the ideal candidate to oversee Lochranza operations, a site that will produce around 600,000 litres of spirit per year when it’s fully up and running. James MacTaggart, who has been master distiller at Isle of Arran Distillers since 2007, will take on a new role as director of production and operations, overseeing both the Lochranza and Lagg Distillery sites. “It’s an especially exciting time to take on this role at such a remarkable whisky company and I’m very proud to be given the opportunity to look after the future of these great spirits,” Livingstone said. “Being from the islands myself, I recognise how important distilleries are to island communities and that’s something I’ve always been passionate about.” MacTaggart added: “As the company continues to grow and develop, it’s necessary that we have the best whisky people around us. We’re delighted to have David on board for the next part of our journey and know that we can learn plenty from his wealth of knowledge and experience.” Bring on the whisky!

The Nightcap

The special Ducati motorcycle built in collaboration with Smokehead whisky

Man rides motorbike into whisky tasting, nobody hurt

“I’m getting TCP, I’m getting wood smoke, I’m getting petrol.” Petrol? From a whisky? No, from that enormous throbbing motorbike being ridden indoors. Don’t worry our whisky event hadn’t been invaded by Hell’s Angels, we were at the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club in London’s fashionable Shoreditch district for the unveiling of a special Ducati motorcycle built in collaboration with Smokehead whisky. We were sipping delicious Smoker cocktails made with Smokehead, lemon juice, honey syrup, ginger liqueur, and activated charcoal (so much nicer than deactivated charcoal) when the beast arrived. Also called The Smoker, it’s a Ducati twin built by Edinburgh-based bike customiser Tyler Lunceford. From the sound of the machine, the crowd were expecting Meat Loaf crossed with Beelzebub to get off, but in fact, the bike’s builder is a mild-mannered American, who after switching off the noise, quietly told us about his creation. For those struggling to see the connection between a motorcycle and an Islay single malt, Lunceford explained: “Smokehead whisky is not for everyone and neither is The Smoker – it’s bold, it’s intimidating and it’s loud. It’s really loud. It attracts a certain crowd. It’s certainly not for everyone.” Makes sense.

The Nightcap

The wonderful St. Vincent will be hosting the bar

Veuve Clicquot launches Souvenir Bar with St. Vincent

Give us great music and a good glass of Champagne, and we’re happy. If that sounds good to you, then you’ll want to head over to Veuve Clicquot’s very own bar in Covent Garden, Souvenir, opening from 22 to 23 November. The Champagne house has teamed up with American musician St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark), who will be hosting the bar, though this isn’t any run-of-the-mill establishment. The bar is described as a part speakeasy, part sensory space, aiming to transport visitors far away from reality with a glass of Veuve Clicquot in their hand. The bar will be filled with a unique mix of sounds, specifically designed to trigger memory, and feeling of past, present and future. Consider our interest piqued. To create the space, St. Vincent collaborated with a collective of creators, designers, and mixologists. Every detail has been thought through, with St. Vincent determining what people will eat, drink, see and hear. It also looks like there will be a few unexpected twists and turns throughout the night, as she will also play with the notion of unexpected characters and appearances… It’s all very mysterious, though we’re thoroughly intrigued. What’s the souvenir then, we hear you ask? It’s the memories created when you’re in the space, of course! Plus maybe a slight headache the next morning. Remember folks, sip don’t gulp.

The Nightcap

The great whiskies will raise money for a great cause.

Islay whisky collected on 110 miles row up for auction

This weekend, 16/17 November, you can take part in a very special auction to get your hands on some Islay whiskies and raise money for the RNLI. The Islay Sea Collection is a collection of whiskies from each other island’s coastal distilleries gathered by a team of enthusiasts who rowed from Northern Island, stopping off at each distillery to pick up the goods. Yes, rowed, talk about commitment to the cause. It took over nine hours to row the 110 miles to Islay and three days to collect all the whiskies. We imagine they probably stopped for a dram or two to keep out the cold. A film has been made about their amazing voyage. The collection is made up of Bowmore 15 Years Old Feis Ile 2018 bottling, Caol Ila 12 Years Old, Bruichladdich Scottish Barley The Classic Laddie, Bunnahabhain 12 Years Old Small Batch Distilled, Laphroaig 10 Years Old, Ardbeg An Oa, and Lagavulin 16 Years Old, plus a special cask created with wood from each distillery. Graham Crane from the auction site Just Whisky commented: “This is a really exciting collection and we are honoured to have been asked to auction it in support of the RNLI. We are in awe of the journey these men took and hope to fetch £XXXX for the charity. We look forward to seeing the bids rolling in.” Keith Gilmore lifeboat operations manager at Portrush Station added: “This is a really exciting and novel way to raise funds for the two stations. We often have to work with Islay, and this is a great way to work with one of our neighbours and local supporters to raise funds for the RNLI.” So a worthwhile cause and a unique collection of whisky. Auction closes on Sunday 17 November at 8pm.

The Nightcap

Ryan Chetiyawardana and co’s swanky new menu has launched at Lyaness

Seven-ingredient new Lyaness menu is pretty damn tasty

Last week we hightailed it up to London to check out Ryan Chetiyawardana and co’s shiny new menu at Lyaness. Taking a cook’s approach to bartending, it’s the result of playful experimentation – you can try a twist on a classic, or you can go “off piste” and base a drink around a favourite flavour profile. And it’s all focused around seven core ingredients, each prepared in the Lyaness kitchen: Infinite Banana, Lyaness Tea-mooth, Peach Emoji, Vegan Honey, ONYX, Golden Levain, and Purple Pineapple. The whole shebang is very much designed as a guide book, not a rule book, or as the team describes it, “a mechanism, to help people think differently about cocktails”. And the hours that go into the prep for each is unreal: the Peach Emoji, for example, is designed to “pull a peach apart, dissect it and put it back together again”. The stones are roasted then steeped, the flesh is rested in enzymes until it becomes a liquid, while the rest is lacto-fermented. Fancy. Lyaness recognises that drinking can be creative, fun and unique, and that success should be in the palate of the beholder, rather than in the eyes of someone dictating the rules. Go check it out!

The Nightcap

Get involved, guys!

The Benevolent launches 2019 Online Silent Auction

Following the success of the “Thanks for Giving” Online Silent Auction in 2017, the wonderful folk at The Benevolent are launching a new silent auction to raise £10,000, and they need your support! The online auction will start on Friday 22nd November at 9am and run until 5pm on Friday 6th December. The charity seeks to help those within the UK drinks industry who are in need of support. The auction also provides an ideal opportunity to buy some exceptional Christmas presents, as items available range from Michelin starred restaurant vouchers, coveted sporting memorabilia, tickets to prestigious events as well as several incredible items generously donated by members of the trade. You will be able to browse the lots before the auction goes live in order to plan your bids. Whilst this auction is primarily aimed at people in the drinks trade, nonetheless, it is certainly available to anyone, whether involved in the trade or not so there’s no excuse not to get involved. In order to bid, you will need to register first. To do so, as well as browse and prepare to place your bids, click here. Good luck!

The Nightcap

Porto Protocol is taking action against climate change and environmental degradation.

Drink Port, plant trees

Here’s a charitable initiative we can all get behind, drink Port and help fund a reforestation project in the Douro Valley. When you buy a bottle of Taylor’s Select Reserve Port from the Co-Op, some of the money will go to a charity that plants trees. It’s part of Porto Protocol, an organisation mentored by Taylor’s to take action against climate change and environmental degradation. Adrian Bridge, Taylor’s CEO commented, “we are delighted to have Co-op’s support for this important project. By allowing us to plant more trees, Co-op’s investment will significantly increase the positive impact of the reforestation. As custodians of the unique environment and landscape of the Douro Valley, we understand the importance of extending our environmental initiatives beyond the vineyard itself.” Co-op wine buyer, Sarah Benson, added: “We’re thrilled to be exclusively supporting Taylor’s on this important project through the sales of this brilliant Port, which will help bring new life to the Douro Valley.” The Co-Op expect to sell enough Port to plant 2,500 trees, that the size of four football pitches so the more Port you buy, the better it is for the environment. Everybody wins.

The Nightcap

The vodka was inspired by events Hudson hosted at her former home on King Street in New York

Welcome to the celeb booze club, Kate Hudson!

All aboard the celebrity booze bandwagon! The latest passenger to jump aboard? Actor and entrepreneur Kate Hudson, who this week launched her King St. Vodka in the US. The spirit has been ‘distilled seven times’ in Santa Barbara, California, is gluten-free (like all spirits), and is made with alkaline water, said to result in an ‘insanely smooth and clean’ tipple. Hmmmmm. According to Hudson herself, it was inspired by the evenings she used to host at her former home on King Street in New York. “I have always found the spirits industry fascinating, and I love Dirty Vodka Martinis,” she said. “The creative side of me thought it would be a fun challenge to develop a vodka for my palate, and in a beautiful package that I would love to have on my bar and share with friends. The business person in me is now looking forward to the challenge of building a brand in an entirely new industry.” She’s previously co-founded Fabletics activewear, and recently launched her own clothing label, Happy X Nature – so booze really is a new venture. She should be in safe hands though; also involved in King St. Vodka is David Kanbar, the spirits entrepreneur behind the likes of Skyy Vodka and Bulldog Gin.

The Nightcap

Keep an eye out on the MoM Blog for the full story on this one…

Sir Ranulph Fiennes gets his very own rum

In the week that Kate Hudson launched her very own vodka, top explorer Ranulph Fiennes has unveiled his very own rum made in conjunction with English Spirit. You’d think that they would have checked the celebrity product launch calendar. Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Great British Rum, as it’s called, is a bit unusual. It’s distilled from molasses but rather than being aged in casks, different woods representing Fiennes’s adventures such as sequoia from Canada, pine from Norway and date palm from Oman have been added during distilled. What strange alchemy is this? Distiller Dr John Waters explained: “This launch represents a milestone for British rum production. We are putting a marker into the ground that Britain can produce a premium, quality rum and it’s the perfect testament to a legendary British expedition leader.” Sir Ranulph commented: “Rum has always been associated with exploration and adventure, but I only wanted to work with a distillery that was daring and determined. When Dr John told me of the world’s doubt that Britain could make a truly great rum, well, that sealed the deal. From that moment, we aimed to tread new ground”. We have the full story coming soon in an interview with Sir Ranulph (Kate Hudson, though, has not returned our calls).

The Nightcap

Is this the best story we’ve ever had on the Nightcap? Yes. Yes it is.

And finally… Early Times’s dogbassador Earl ‘graduates’ service dog programme

Yes, we love whisky. And yes, cats are our collective first love of the animal kingdom. But there’s always going to be space for a good dog or two, too. And goodest boys don’t come much better than Earl, the ‘dogbassador’ for Early Times whiskey! The one-year-old hound just graduated from the K9s For Warriors programme, which sees dogs trained up to become service animals for military veterans in the US. The specialist pooches don’t just look cute – they also help those who have served post-9/11 and are suffering from PTSD, brain injuries and other trauma. The programme is part of a four-year partnership in which Early Years has donated more than US$225,000 to K9s for Warriors. “The minute our team met Earl, we knew he was special and we had high hopes he would graduate and be matched with a veteran,” said Dallas Cheatham, Early Times senior brand manager. “50% of the dogs who begin training do not complete the programme due to medical or behavioural incompatibilities. It takes a specific personality to become a service dog.” Not only does Earl respond expertly to verbal cues (the typical ‘sit’ and ‘down’), but the training also improved his focus and sensitivity to touch. He’s now been paired with a veteran and, after three weeks of side-by-side training, the new pair will head home for their happily ever after. Just look at Earl’s face. We’re not crying, you are.

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The Yamazaki Mizunara 18 Year Old: Lotteries and Charity Auctions

Hello, fellow whisky lover. You might’ve heard about a little thing called The Yamazaki Mizunara 18 Year Old. Well, we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on six bottles…

Hello, fellow whisky lover. You might’ve heard about a little thing called The Yamazaki Mizunara 18 Year Old. Well, we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on six bottles – and this is what we’re gonna do with ’em.

Want to find out when this is all going down? See the timeline below.

If you’re not sure what all the faff is about, let us explain. This extraordinary bottling is a blend of single malt whiskies aged entirely in Mizunara casks for at least 18 years. Mizunara oak is only found in a few regions in Japan, so it’s pretty hard to come by; it’s also soft and porous, so it’s not particularly great at retaining liquid. Suntory Whisky persevered, and released just 1,000 bottles of this unbelievable whisky worldwide – of which we’re delighted to have six.

To say this bottling is highly sought-after is an understatement. It has an RRP of £1,000, but a quick Google search confirms that it’s going for way more than that already (Think double that price, or even more…), which is why we’ve decided to split our allocation between a 30ml dram lottery, a bottle lottery, and a charity auction.

This has been the case with rarities like this for the past few years (most recently, the hotly-anticipated Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2017, and before that, the Yamazaki Sherry Cask Release, to name just a few). If you’re wondering what the hell we’re on about, we invite you to read this post for an in-depth explanation.

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Bowmore Fèis Ìle 2017 Charity Auction!

Thanks to one very, very generous customer, we’ve got our hands on a bottle of Bowmore’s 11 year old Fèis Ìle 2017 release, which we’re auctioning to raise lots of…

Thanks to one very, very generous customer, we’ve got our hands on a bottle of Bowmore’s 11 year old Fèis Ìle 2017 release, which we’re auctioning to raise lots of marvellous moolah for our chosen charity, Malaria No More UK!

It’s time for another charity auction, folks! But this time round it’s going down a little bit differently. A wonderfully generous Master of Malt customer by the name of Lala donated a *signed* Bowmore Fèis Ìle 2017 bottle for us to auction and raise funds for Malaria No More UK – and we were more than happy to oblige!

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Macallan Lalique & Bowmore Black Charity Auctions: Own Whisky History!

We’re auctioning the final and oldest releases in two legendary ranges: Bowmore Black 50 Year Old 1964 – The Last Cask and The Macallan in Lalique 65 Year Old –…

We’re auctioning the final and oldest releases in two legendary ranges: Bowmore Black 50 Year Old 1964 – The Last Cask and The Macallan in Lalique 65 Year Old – Peerless Spirit with everything over RRP donated to our nominated charity Malaria No More UK.
 
Following the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection auctions (which raised well over £4k for an excellent cause) and another update to our auction system, it’s time for our first charity auctions of 2017! And, well, just look at the extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime bottles we have available.

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1897 Quinine Gin – supporting Malaria No More UK

1897 Quinine Gin is made with cold distilled cinchona bark and citrus peels. Over half the producer’s profit (at least £5 per bottle) donated to Malaria No More UK. Saturday…

  • 1897 Quinine Gin is made with cold distilled cinchona bark and citrus peels.
  • Over half the producer’s profit (at least £5 per bottle) donated to Malaria No More UK.
  • Saturday 20th August is World Mosquito Day, marking 119 years since the link between malaria transmission and mosquitoes was discovered in 1897.1897 Quinine Gin

This Saturday is World Mosquito Day. It’s the anniversary of the day on which Indian-born British Medical Doctor Sir Ronald Ross discovered the malarial parasite in the gut of a female mosquito in 1897. “With tears and toiling breath, I find thy cunning seeds, O million-murdering Death. I know this little thing A myriad men will save.” Ross was subsequently able to establish the complete life cycle of the parasite and lay the foundation for fighting the disease ever since, saving millions of lives.

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Charity Whisky Auction up to £1,700 per bottle!

The Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition auction bottles are up to £1,700 each with just a few hours to go until the hammer claps down at 14:00 BST today! After tax,…

  • The Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition auction bottles are up to £1,700 each with just a few hours to go until the hammer claps down at 14:00 BST today!
  • After tax, everything raised over the £200 RRP will be donated to Malaria No More UK.
  • Every £5 raised is enough to buy, deliver and hang a mosquito net for a family living at risk from malaria in Africa – protecting their children whilst they sleep.Wolfburn Lottery and Auction

UPDATE: A total of £3,066.66 was raised for Malaria No More UK through the auction!

We’re on the home straight of our Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition auction and the two available bottles of this brilliant single malt are up to £1,700 each with just a few hours left to go!

The bottle auction runs until 14:00 BST (GMT+1) today and everything raised over the RRP of £200 (net of any applicable VAT) will be donated to Malaria No More UK. This will support the charity’s tremendous work protecting millions of children and their families as well as unlocking funds and leveraging government policy to help bring an end to this preventable and treatable disease. Our previous auction for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 raised £2,800 for the charity, with these bottles set to top that figure!

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Lottery & Auction: Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition

We’re splitting our allocation of Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition single malt whisky between a bottle lottery, an auction (with anything over RRP donated to our nominated charity Malaria No More UK) and…

Wolfburn Lottery and Auction

We’re splitting our allocation of Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition single malt whisky between a bottle lottery, an auction (with anything over RRP donated to our nominated charity Malaria No More UK) and a 3cl dram lottery. See the timeline below for when all this is going down.

Back in March we introduced a new solution for limited releases (you can read that post for a lot more information on the ‘why?’). It’s now time to put that into practice once again, this time for the Wolfburn Inaugural Special Edition. Just 875 bottles were produced, with only 100 available in the UK, and the whiskies used were selected by Distillery Manager Shane Fraser from some of the very first casks filled back in early 2013. Some liquid history from the new northernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland!

So, what to do with the 6 bottles – for which there’s sure to be huge demand – that we now have available having received our full allocation and updated our auction system?

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Scapa Jutland 16 Year Old – HMS Indefatigable Auction!

We are auctioning a one-of-a-kind bottle of Scapa Jutland 16 Year Old named after HMS Indefatigable, to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The Scapa distillery have produced…

Master of Malt Single Cask Series

We are auctioning a one-of-a-kind bottle of Scapa Jutland 16 Year Old named after HMS Indefatigable, to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The Scapa distillery have produced a limited edition bottling of their single malt Scotch whisky to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the First World War, with the profits raised to be donated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Only 249 bottles of Scapa Jutland 16 Year Old were produced, and 11 of them were named after ships from the British and German Navies which took part in the battle, including HMS Invincible and HMS Queen Mary. We are auctioning the bottle named after HMS Indefatigable to raise further funds for the RNLI – the auction will begin at 16.30 BST on Monday 6th June and conclude at 18.00 BST on Friday 17th June.

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Yamazaki Lottery & Auction Roundup raising over £2,800 for Malaria No More UK!

Now that the action is over, it’s time to let you know how it all went… To recap, our allocation of Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 was 6 bottles, so we…

Allocations Yamazaki

Now that the action is over, it’s time to let you know how it all went…

To recap, our allocation of Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 was 6 bottles, so we decided to have 4 bottles turned into Drinks by the Dram 3cl samples (drams) with a lottery that would give 90 people the chance to taste it, 1 bottle available through another lottery (with a nice message scribbled on the back to encourage the winner to crack it open), and 1 final unadulterated bottle was auctioned (with everything over the RRP of £200 going to charity). Much more on the ‘Why?’ can be found in the previous Yamazaki Sherry Cask post: Allocations, limited releases, bastards, speculators and gobshites.

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Allocations, limited releases, bastards, speculators and gobshites

Right. We last talked about this when we knackered up the release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection back in November, but, well, there have been quite a lot of…

Allocations Yamazaki

Right.

We last talked about this when we knackered up the release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection back in November, but, well, there have been quite a lot of comments on the product page we’ve set up for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask Release Japanese Whisky (we don’t censor these, remember).

115 Comments on Allocations, limited releases, bastards, speculators and gobshites

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