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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Glengoyne

The Nightcap: 14 August

We’ve got important causes, distillery expansions, trade tariff news and a Scotch whisky distillery asking fans to pick its new whisky from the cask. This week’s Nightcap is a corker….

We’ve got important causes, distillery expansions, trade tariff news and a Scotch whisky distillery asking fans to pick its new whisky from the cask. This week’s Nightcap is a corker.

Seeing as the UK enjoyed a week of Caribbean-esque weather I’d say that’s the perfect excuse to make some classic summer cocktails this weekend. Particularly given that it’s International Rum Day on Sunday (16 August). The only problem is narrowing down which serve to choose. Maybe the tropical delights of a Piña Colada? Or perhaps the zesty refreshment of a Mojito? All I know for sure is, if it’s got tasty rum and can be sipped while reading The Nightcap then it’s the right choice. 

This week we kicked things off on the blog with the news that our summer sale is very much still going before we welcomed the new arrival of a gin with a purpose to support the hospitality industry. Ian Buxton’s then turned his focus to maturation and whether it can ever be manipulated or accelerated as Annie distinguished the difference between Canadian and American rye whisk(e)y and gave us the first instalment of her two-part series on Icelandic spirits. Adam, meanwhile, made the most of the glorious weather by enjoying some gin with some weird and wonderful botanicals and then an indulgent, summery serve which we recommend you make up a glass (or pitcher, it’s the weekend!) of while viewing our fabulous new video tour of Kent’s own Anno Distillery.

Before we proceed to The Nightcap, don’t forget that Scotch and Sofa is just over a month away and tasting sets are available now! 

The Nightcap

Want to help pick the latest Glengoyne single cask bottling? Then take part in the interactive tasting!

Glengoyne invites fans to pick latest single cask

Glengoyne announced this week that it wants you to decide what whisky will become a part of the distillery’s latest ‘Cask of the Moment’ single cask bottling. As long as you tune in to its live stream event at 8pm on Friday 28 August. ‘Casks Unlocked’ features a panel of industry figures join distillery manager Robbie Hughes and global brand ambassador Gordon Dundas tasting and discussing four single casks samples that were chosen from Glengoyne’s Warehouse #8 – including a Port pipe, hogshead, bourbon barrel, and Madeira cask. The truly exciting part is that you can join in at home by purchasing a tasting kit filled with each sample. At the end of the event the panel, viewers, and Glengoyne community will cast a vote for their preferred cask and the winner and the eventual whisky will be available to purchase at the newly reopened distillery shop and online via the Glengoyne website. “At Glengoyne, we’re incredibly fortunate to have some of the most loyal fans in the whisky world. That’s why, to show our appreciation for their ongoing support, we decided to host ‘Casks Unlocked’ – a special opportunity for our community to select Glengoyne’s latest single cask whisky,” says Hughes. “Some of the liquid in the sample kits may have never been released for sale, so this truly is a one-of-a-kind experience that we’re excited to offer our community.” Click here to purchase your Glengoyne ‘Casks Unlocked’ tasting kits.

The Nightcap

Buffalo Trace should meet the high demand for its bourbon soon thanks to the $1.2 billion expansion.

Buffalo Trace Distillery Continues $1.2 Bil Expansion

Despite the pandemic, Buffalo Trace Distillery has made great strides in its $1.2 billion infrastructure investment over the past year. Four new 22-foot-tall cookers with 80,000 gallons of cooking capacity were installed, as were four new fermenters with 93,000-gallon capacity and a new cooling tower. A new $50 million, 110,000-square-feet high-speed bottling hall opened just in time to package essential hand sanitizer, while three more barrel warehouses each with the capacity to hold 58,800 barrels were recently built and three more are on the way. Also in the works at the 247-year-old distillery are eight more fermenters, a new dry house (the area where spent mash is dried and shipped out), a water treatment facility, a second stillhouse, more barrel warehouses, and in the future, another craft bottling hall. Another craft bottling hall will allow Buffalo Trace to produce more single barrel and small-batch bourbons. Since tours resumed on July 1, guests have also been able to see the expanded visitor centre which includes additional tasting rooms and more retail space. The work will be welcome news to fans of the brand, as demand for much of the whisky Buffalo Trace creates exceeds its supply. “We promise we are doing everything we can to make more, as evidenced by our progress we’ve made in the past year with our expansion,” said master distiller Harlen Wheatley. “But great bourbon does take time to age, and we won’t compromise age, taste, or proof just to fill more bottles. We’re just asking our fans to remain patient as we wait for our stocks to mature.” To see a video of the progress Buffalo Trace has made on its $1.2 billion expansion in the past year, click here.

The Nightcap

A rum can now only be labelled as ‘Dominican’ if it meets certain production criteria

‘Dominican rum’ registered as denomination of origin

Some really intriguing news this week that landed at the doorstep of MoM Towers was that the application for the ‘Dominican rum’ denomination of origin has finally been granted. While you may associate the beautiful island with golden beaches, fine cigars and Merengue music, the Caribbean island is also home to a number of delightful rum brands such as Ron Barceló, Brugal and Atlantico and thanks to its geographical location, the island has a vast fauna and flora and the most varied climate of the Antilles. The World Trademark Review revealed that it’s these particular characteristics – “quality, reputation and geographical, including natural and human factors” – that are the foundation of the denomination of origin. A rum can now only be labelled as ‘Dominican’, if producers harvest the sugarcane locally and ferment, distil and age the alcohol in oak barrels for a minimum of one year, all within the borders of the Dominican Republic territory. It’s been a long road for the Dominican Association of Producers of Rum to achieve this milestone as it applied for the denomination of origin way back in July 2014. Third parties had opposed the application on the ground that it contained technical deficiencies but all the oppositions filed were eventually rejected. However, this resolution is not final and an appeal has been lodged by certain parties. For now, Dominican rum has its denomination of origin. The Distinctive Signs Department of ONAPI, in Resolution No 00204 dated 29 May 2020, stated that: “the application for the ‘Dominican Rum’ denomination of origin fulfils all the technical requirements, as it clearly describes the human and environmental conditions required in the cultivation area, as well as the type of sugarcane from the Dominican Republic that must be used and the ageing process required”. And just in time for International Rum Day as well.

The Nightcap

Great drinks, friends and raising funds for a worthy cause. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon

Cocktails in the City returns with Community Spirit Edition

Cocktails in the City is back! On Friday 11 and Saturday 12 September 2020 an alfresco summer garden party at the Bedford Square Gardens will celebrate the city’s best bars that are now reopening, raising money and awareness for the industry. In total, 30 of the city’s most innovative bars will gather at the socially distanced event, including Callooh Callay, 68 & Boston, Nightjar, Trailer Happiness and more. Brands including Moët & Chandon, Belvedere Vodka, The London Essence Company, Campari, Hennessy, Glenmorangie and more will also be making an appearance and guests will be treated to live music from Nightjar and The Piano Works. There will be tasting sessions hosted by The Mixing Class, and complimentary interactive demonstrations throughout the weekend including the Art of the Aperitivo and cocktail making sessions hosted by TT Liquor. This year’s event partners are the wonderful folks at The Drinks Trust and all profits from tickets will be donated to further their outstanding work. Cocktails in the City is the brainchild of Sophie Bratt and Sly Augustin, who created the initiative in the wake of the Grenfell Towers fire in 2017 to raise funds for worthy causes and bring the hospitality industry together. “Boasting nearly two acres of wide-open space, Bedford Square Gardens is the perfect place to bring people together in a safe and socially distanced environment,” says Andrew Scutts, the organiser. “It is a unique opportunity to rediscover the venues that have been forced to close for so long, take part in a series of interactive experiences and enjoy great drinks with friends whilst raising money for a worthy cause”.

The Nightcap

The stunning Glenmorangie House is back open and ready for Highland whisky lovers to enjoy

Glenmorangie House reopens to the public

Highland whisky fans, you can visit Glenmorangie House once more! The 17th-century country house is back open for business as of today, so long as you’re a group of between six and 10 people. Groups of six will have to shell out £1,500 per night, though this gets you a private chef, waiting staff and concierge, and of course, the run of an absolutely breathtaking house. “Prior to our reopening we have introduced additional, rigorous health and safety procedures to ensure social distancing can be adhered to,” said Glenmorangie brand home manager Stuart Smith. “Our team are fully ready to host guests and deliver the very best luxury retreat, accompanied by the finest Highland hospitality all with the aim of restoring our guests’ tranquillity.” If lockdown all got a bit much and you fancy a Highland escape, then this could do the trick. The rest of us will just have to settle for a delicious dram instead.

The Nightcap

The Bekaa valley, home of Lebanon’s wonderful wines

Wine auction to raise money for Lebanon

Following what Anglo-Lebanese writer Michael Karam described as: “a perfect storm of revolution, financial crash, Covid-19 and now this terrible blast,” Lebanon faces a worrying future of food shortages, poverty and political turmoil. Many of us are asking what we can do to help. Madeleine Waters, who knows the country well from organising the award-winning Wines of Lebanon publicity campaign, is organising a charity auction to raise money. She commented: “Wine is pretty much Lebanon’s only export, and one which is bringing much-needed export dollars into a country in the midst of a financial crisis. I would love this to all be about Lebanese wine, but that will limit what we can achieve – so I want it to be a celebration of all wine-producing countries, acting in solidarity with Lebanon.” Expect rare vintages of Chateau Musar and Ksara as well all manner of boozy goodies. Proceeds will go to the re-building Kamal Mouzawak’s Souk el Tayeb & Tawlet, a farmers market and restaurant in Beirut where Lebanese of all religious denominations sell food side-by-side, and Impact Lebanon, which distributes funds to vetted NGOs. The online auction will take place over four days from 28-31 August. Click here if you want to get involved. Or just buy some of Lebanon’s wonderful wine or arak. You won’t regret it.

The Nightcap

It’s a relief that British gin has been excluded from the ongoing US trade tariff saga says Miles Beale

US trade tariffs will not extend to British gin

There’s a new development in the seemingly ongoing US/EU trade war saga! No, don’t scroll down, this time it’s good news: the US will not be extending the tariffs which apply to Scotch whisky, among other things, to British gin. With exports of £672 million, gin is a big money-spinner for the British economy. As you might expect, Miles Beale from drinks industry body WSTA had something to say: “The news that the US has decided not to escalate tariffs is encouraging. This will come as a huge relief to the growing UK British gin sector which has seen distilleries more than double in number in the last five years. Our innovative British distillers, particularly those working in the SME distilleries that the WSTA represents, can breathe easy and raise a glass to America. This is the first important step in what should prove to be a closer trading relationship, and should provide the necessary space for constructive discussions between the US and UK Governments, and for both administrations to work to remove the remaining tariffs against liqueurs, bourbon and Scotch products – and all wine products affected as well. Industry’s voice on both sides of the Atlantic for a free and fair trade agenda is being listened to and that is good for business and good for consumers.” See, we told you it was good news.

The Nightcap

How rebellious is Smokehead’s latest release? Imagine Billy Idol singing Rebel Yell x Bowie’s Rebel Rebel.

And finally… Drink whisky on International Rum Day?

As we are sure you are aware, it’s International Rum Day on the 16 August, so you have to admire the sheer chutzpah of the team at Smokehead who are using the day as an excuse to push their latest Islay single malt; almost as bold as the English whisky distillery who tried to muscle in on Burns Night earlier this year. A Sassenach whisky on the Bard’s own night? Is nothing sacred? At least there is a proper hook as this latest Smokehead is aged in an actual rum cask. Iain Weir, brand director, explained: “We are overwhelmed by the boldness of flavour in our new bottling and can’t wait to see our Smokeheads’ reaction. When our rich, smoky, salty Islay Smokehead collides with spicy, sweet Caribbean rum casks, carnage is inevitable.” We can confirm that not only is Rum Rebel delicious, the sweetness and smoke combining into an exquisite hell broth, but also that it’s coming soon to MoM. Furthermore, on International Rum Day itself, this coming Sunday, top bartender Mikey Sim will be showing you how to make a special Smokito on Facebook and Instagram, go to @smokeheadwhisky. So rebellious.

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The Nightcap: 1 May

Pinch, punch, it’s the first of the month! What better way to welcome its arrival than with a healthy helping of boozy news. It’s the Nightcap! Hey, it’s May! Everyone,…

Pinch, punch, it’s the first of the month! What better way to welcome its arrival than with a healthy helping of boozy news. It’s the Nightcap!

Hey, it’s May! Everyone, look! It’s May! Though it might be hard to keep track of the days of late, a new month is definitely here and we can bid farewell to what was perhaps the longest April. Or what felt like the longest April, at least. We are welcoming this new month in the best way we know how – a new edition of The Nightcap! Would we have done a new edition of The Nightcap today even if it wasn’t a new month? Totally, but sometimes things line up great like this.

On the MoM blog this week, Ian Buxton returned to discuss the often murky past and present of private casks sales, we counted down the best drink advertisements of all time and Adam reminded us that the cancellation of the Spirit of Speyside Festival shouldn’t stop us from enjoying the best Scotch whiskies the region has to offer. Our Cocktail of the Week was a fluffy, deliciously creamy and super simple creation that Annie turned our attention to before she grabbed a quick chat with the co-founder of James Eadie, Rupert Patrick. Elsewhere, Henry spent his week looking into the story behind delightful creations such as a very special dry vermouth from Piedmont and an ultra-premium gin from Kenya, although he did thankfully leave enough time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Casamigos Tequila. Oh, and best of luck to all who entered our new competition with our wonderful neighbours, Greensand Ridge Distillery.

Speaking of which, we’d like to say a big thanks again to all those who entered our virtual pub quiz last Friday and congratulations to our winner Moa Nilsson! That £25 gift voucher can be put to good use at MoM Towers on any number of delightful drinks, including that Jaffa Cake Gin everyone keeps talking about… The answers to last week’s quiz are listed below, while this week’s edition will launch at 5pm here, so fix yourself a tipple and keep your eyes peeled on the MoM Blog!

The Nightcap

Lockdown drams and jigsaw, the new Netflix and chill?

Glengoyne releases custom jigsaw puzzle

With many of us on the search for ways to spend all this new-found spare time, Glengoyne Distillery has come up with a potential solution: a limited-edition jigsaw puzzle. Created to be enjoyed as the perfect companion while savouring a good dram, the 500-piece puzzle features a special painting by John Lowrie Morrison (Jolomo), entitled ‘Spring Blossoms at Glengoyne Distillery’. The celebrated Scottish artist spent weekends painting at the distillery during his student years attending the Glasgow School of Art.  Glengoyne’s jigsaw, which is available through the brand’s online shop, is priced at £10 and £1 from each purchase will be donated to drinks charities The Drinks Trust and The Ben. “Many of us are obviously finding ourselves with more time on our hands right now, and time has always played such a big role in our whisky-making at Glengoyne,” says Katy Muggeridge, senior brand manager for Glengoyne. “We hope this limited-edition jigsaw will provide fans of our whisky with some special at-home entertainment during a difficult time, as well as offering a special keepsake from one of the nation’s leading artists.” The puzzle, which will be available, while stocks last, with any 70cl bottle of whisky purchased on Glengoyne.com, also features 10 Wonka-esque golden jigsaw pieces. Those lucky enough to stumble upon them will win a pair of tickets to a Glengoyne Wee Tasting Tour, redeemable once the distillery re-opens to visitors.

Woodford Reserve unveils homage to Kentucky Derby

Woodford Reserve embraced its sentimental side this week by releasing a music video as a homage to the delayed Kentucky Derby. The song, titled ‘My Old Kentucky Home’, features Kentucky cellist Ben Sollee playing solo in the Derby Winner’s Circle at a vacant Churchill Downs, where Derby 146 was scheduled to run this Saturday. The Kentucky Derby has been postponed for just the second time in its 146-year history (1945 was the first time, unsurprisingly) due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and is not set to run on the 5th of September. The Kentucky-based bourbon brand, who is the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, has also chosen to mark the history and tradition of the event by announcing its Kentucky Derby at Home celebration, which will take place tomorrow (2nd May). The programme features a live tasting and toast, as well as a demonstration on how to make the perfect Mint Juleps by Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris. For those not from Kentucky or not really interested in horse racing, the images of the Twin Spires, vacant stands, track and starting gate may not move you, but it’s worth pointing out that for many in the state the Derby isn’t just a sporting event, but a celebration of Kentucky. “Now more than ever, we need to be connected to each other,” Morris explained. “This beautiful rendition of My Old Kentucky Home keeps the tradition and pageantry of the Kentucky Derby alive during these hard times.”

The Nightcap

The fantastic cause is worth donating to if you haven’t already.

The Drinks Trust fundraising reaches £1 million

The news these days appears to mostly be bad. Just this week it was announced that Imbibe Live 2020 has been postponed to 5-6 July 2021 (the full statement is here). However, we’d prefer to focus on the number of people and organisations who are working tremendously hard in the name of good causes. The Drinks Trust is one of those who are making a difference and the community organisation for the drinks industry has revealed it has raised just over £1 million to support individuals who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Your Round, Help Your Trade” campaign has raised this amount thanks to £650,000 in generous donations and numerous fundraising initiatives and a further £350,000 from business partners either renewing or renewing at a higher level. The Drinks Trust has been supporting over 350 ongoing beneficiaries since the beginning of March and has recently completed the COVID-19 Emergency Grant fund, enabling it to provide 1750 beneficiaries with a one-off financial grant of £250 primarily assisting those who are facing a loss of earnings. In the weeks ahead the organization will launch a new initiative which “will assist members of the drinks industry to live a constructive and healthy life in these times of uncertainty, isolation and distance from an otherwise social and community-orientated industry”. The Drinks Trust also thanked those who have supported its good work, allowing that none of this would have been possible without the generosity and support from all areas of the drinks industry. “We are so grateful to absolutely everyone who has responded so quickly at this difficult time,” said CEO, Ross Carter. “We hope to work with you all on an ongoing basis to ensure that we continue to provide support for all drinks industry professionals. The Drinks Trust supports drinks industry people”. You can donate to this superb cause here.

The Nightcap

Salcombe Gin’s online service allows you to create your own bespoke gin.

Salcombe Gin launches Virtual Gin Schooling programme

It’s another bank holiday weekend soon (yay!), and gin is a tipple on many people’s minds. You may have been one of the people planning to visit the beautiful waterside Salcombe Gin distillery and its awesome gin school. Well, clearly that’s not essential travel (as much as we would like to kid ourselves), but luckily the distillery has brought its experience to you! Dubbed the Home-Gin-Schooling programme, it’s a virtual gin school experience, with three options to choose from. Through a live video with a member of Salcombe Gin’s distilling team, you can either create your very own new gin recipe, or if you’ve visited the gin school before, you can recreate that. Your tasty creation will then be posted to you complete with personalised labels, a copy of the recipe and a serving suggestion. You can also get your pals (virtually) involved with the virtual gin school, with the full experience of a distiller guiding you through each step of the process. Up to four households can tune-in and co-create the gin, which will then be made into four 70cl bottles which are presented in wooden boxes. You can check it all out here, and get those creative juices flowing!

Russell Swallow, he’s spent some time in Berlin

And finally… Big Drop Brewing brings the pub gig to your living room

Here at Master of Malt the thing we miss about the before times is going to the pub: cold beer, warm friends and hot music, there’s nothing better. To help us through the pain of lockdown, Big Drop, the delicious (yes really, genuinely delicious) zero alcohol beer people, has come up with Big Drop Living Room Pub Gig. Every Sunday between 4-5pm (BST), a top musician will entertain you via the magic of electronic jiggery-pokery. Coming up this Sunday 3 May, it’s Russell Swallow who, as you can probably tell from his publicity photo melds “the British singer-songwriter tradition with ambient Berlin soundscapes”, according to the press bumf. Go to Facebook or youtube to find out more. There’ll be a new act every Sunday from now until the pubs reopen. Please let that be soon.

The Nightcap

Pub quiz answers

1) Which brand of champagne do Rick and Ilsa (Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman) drink in Paris in the film Casablanca? 

Answer: Mumm

2) Typically, what kind of vessel is a Moscow Mule served in?

Answer: Copper mug

3) What’s the minimum number of ingredients need to make a cocktail?

Answer: Two

4) Which country does the grape variety Malbec originate from?

Answer: France

5) What does it mean to ‘dry shake’ a cocktail?

Answer: Shake without ice

6) What’s the only distillery within the town of Elgin?

Answer: Glen Moray

7) Aeneas Coffey, inventor of the eponymous still, was from which country?

Answer: Ireland.

8) What’s the only Scottish distillery to make both single malt and single grain whisky?

Answer: Loch Lomond

9) In the production of Port, you would add aguardiente. . . 

Answer: Before fermentation, during fermentation, after fermentation

10) A member of which band described their 1972 American tour as the “cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour”? 

Answer: The Rolling Stones

 

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Five minutes. . . with Kerri Watt

We talk to Scottish singer Kerri Watt ahead of her gig at Glengoyne Distillery on 20 March about music, meeting your heroes and the best ever song about whisky.  Whisky…

We talk to Scottish singer Kerri Watt ahead of her gig at Glengoyne Distillery on 20 March about music, meeting your heroes and the best ever song about whisky. 

Whisky and music have a long history together. Dave Broom’s recent film, The Amber Light, is as much about his love of music as it is about whisky. Continuing in this grand tradition is Glasgow-born singer-songwriter Kerri Watt. She shot to fame with her single ‘Long Way Home’ which was all over the radio in 2015. Since then she has played Glastonbury, opened for Coldplay, and played with legendary Latin smoothie Julio Iglesias at the Royal Albert Hall. Her latest track is the excellent ‘Kissing Fools’.

On Friday 20 March she will be playing a special gig at the Glengoyne Distillery near Glasgow aptly-called ‘The Spirit of the Song’ (tickets available here).  It will be a special all female line-up with Liv Dawn (runner up of the BBC Scottish Songwriter Award) and Beth Keeping (founder of movement ‘Write Like A Girl’). When we discovered what an enormous whisky fan she is, we jumped at the chance to talk to her: 

Master of Malt: How did this event at Glengoyne come about? 

Kerri Watt: I had the idea after touring round Scotland last year. There was such incredible history and things to discover during the day but most of the little towns went quiet at night. I thought it would be so cool if there was something happening in the evenings. Some of the distilleries I visited had great entertaining spaces where you’d start off the tour. It got me thinking they could be perfect for a small intimate gig. I think music and whisky often go hand in hand and when I started floating the idea to a few people they thought it was great! Ultimately, I’d like to take ‘The Spirit of Song’ on a tour of Scotland hitting as many distilleries as possible. But I thought Glengoyne was a good place to start. When I approached them, they loved the idea! I’m so excited it’s finally happening.

MoM: Can you remember the dram that made you fall in love with whisky?

KW: I think it was Laphroaig when I was 25. Definitely a late starter, but I used to really not get the fascination. I met my partner in 2015, and every time he’d have a whisky in the evening, he’d go through the ritual of offering me one. I eventually gave in and the rest is history. I love that it’s something we can enjoy together especially when we’re travelling. He’s English so it’s been so much fun visiting places like Laphroaig since we moved up to Scotland together.

Anyone for tennis?

MoM: What’s your favourite everyday whisky?

KW: The Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Old. It’s accessible and affordable no matter where I am, which makes it great for an everyday whisky.

MoM: And what’s your dream dram?

KW: Hmm tough one! Anything rare that I might otherwise not get to taste. But if I had to name one that I’ve had my eye on, it would be Dalmore Constellation 1973.

MoM: Do you have a favourite distillery that you have visited?

KW: Last year, I had some American friends come to visit, so I took advantage of a holiday in my own country and took them to Islay. It’s crazy because I grew up here, but it really was such an adventure driving down to Kennacraig and getting the ferry across. We visited Laphroaig, Bowmore and Lagavulin. It was amazing to walk through the whole process. The guides are so knowledgeable and passionate about whisky and many of them have been associated with the distilleries for generations. Despite growing up five minutes down the road, I’d never actually visited Glengoyne until recently. My uncle was a tour guide there for years, so that has to be my favourite! They also sell incredible Glengoyne whisky-infused tablet which is to die for. If you haven’t been to Scotland you might not be familiar with tablet it’s much like fudge but less soft and a bit grainier.

MoM: How important are whisky and music in Scottish culture?

KW: Stories of music and whisky are woven into the fabric of our history and both have been enjoyed on Scottish soil for generations. It’s the reason so many people from around the world come to visit us. So many cultures can relate to enjoying music while sharing a drink and Scotland is one of the best places to do it!

MoM: What’s your favourite song about whisky?

KW: There are so many! Especially if you’re into country music like me. But when Chris Stapleton’s album ‘Traveller’ came out in 2015, ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ was the track that made me fall in love with him. If you’ve never heard the song, check it out. Or even better, look up the duet he did of it with Justin Timberlake at the Country Music Awards a few years ago… amazing!

MoM: What did you miss most about Scotland when you were in California?

KW: Well I definitely missed my family. We’re really close so moving to the other side of the world at 16 years old was definitely a bit of a shock. But they came to visit and Skype had just come about around that time. Although i’d never complain about the sunshine, at times i did miss the rain! I’m big into hiking and you can’t wait for a sunny day here in Glasgow, so I’m used to braving the stormy skies for some exercise. There’s no feeling like it!

MoM: And what do you miss most about California?

KW: So many things. The people for a start. I think the sunshine just puts people in a good mood. Everybody was so friendly where I lived a little beach community called Dana Point in Southern California. I miss that you could get up at 5am to go down and watch the surfers catch the first waves (no I wasn’t one of them!) The tacos, the frozen yoghurt and the sunsets. 

MoM: Who is the biggest influence on you musically?

KW: Sheryl Crow. I loved her growing up and she has stood the test of time. 30 years in the business and she’s still a total rockstar. Amazing lyrics, incredible stage presence and she’s just the definition of cool. After being a superfan much of my life, I finally saw her play live a few years ago and was totally blown away and very inspired. Her classic songs from the 90’s still regularly feature on my playlists and I always play her ‘C’mon, C’mon’ album on a roadtrip.

MoM: Do you ever get nervous playing with or meeting your musical heroes?

KW: Luckily, most of them are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met so I’ve always felt welcomed. Chris Martin must be the biggest super star I’ve rubbed shoulders with backstage he was really kind! And getting to share the stage with Keith Urban last year was definitely an experience I’ll never forget. His stage presence is second to none. Funnily enough, I was at a music event recently and got talking to this American guy. About half way through our conversation it clicked with me that he’s the dude who co-wrote all of Sheryl Crow’s biggest hits! Suddenly he was a totally different person to me and admittedly I did feel a bit star struck but I had to tell him I was a fan.

MoM: Finally, do you have a favourite whisky cocktail and if so what is it?

KW: You can never go wrong with an Old Fashioned. It’s a timeless classic that’s relatively simple and I love it with Woodford Reserve after coming off stage. But I’m always up for trying exciting new brands!

 

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Fantastic Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is coming; you need a gift. But there’s no need to panic. We’ve got all kinds of fantastic booze-based presents right here! On 16 June we have a…

Father’s Day is coming; you need a gift. But there’s no need to panic. We’ve got all kinds of fantastic booze-based presents right here!

On 16 June we have a welcome opportunity to show our dads how much we appreciate them. Father’s Day is when we say thanks and give a little bit of love to the father figures in our life. But man can they be hard to buy for.

That’s why we’re here to make it easier. From tasting sets to gift vouchers, our snazzy Father’s Day gift ideas page complete with our shiny new gift finder – we’ve got it all. It’s so simple you’ll be wondering why you ever thought you’d need to leave the house. You should never want to leave the house. Inside is warm and has Netflix.

We’ve also rounded-up a spectacular range of drinks in one handy little blog post just to give you an idea of the kind of treats you can buy for your old man. It beats socks, right?

Happy Father’s Day, all!

The Father’s Day Whisky Tasting Set 2019

Yer da loves whisky, right? But which whisky? What style does he like? Do they have a preference of distillery? What if you get it wrong? These are all questions that can go through the mind of someone trying to buy their dad whisky. But in the The Father’s Day Whisky Tasting Set 2019 (an exclusive made for us by our good friends Drinks by the Dram), none of this matters. That’s because each set contains five different 30ml drams of terrific whisky from world-class producers, so there’s bound to be something he loves inside.

What’s inside?:

The contents of the The Father’s Day Whisky Tasting Set 2019 includes: Tamdhu 10 Year Old, Lagavulin 8 Year Old, 1792 Small Batch, Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky and Johnnie Walker Green Label 15 Year Old.

The Father’s Day Gin Tasting Set 2019

Drinks by the Dram have created, just for us, the perfect Father’s Day gift for any gin lover. This tasting set features five different 30ml drams of delicious gin from a range of superb producers, exactly the kind of thing you’d want if you were looking to find a new favourite juniper-based libation…

What’s inside?:

The contents of the The Father’s Day Gin Tasting Set 2019 includes: Hernö Gin, Salcombe Gin – Start Point, Elephant Gin – Elephant Strength, Japanese Gin and Rhubarb Triangle Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company).

Glengoyne 12 Year Old

An especially approachable bottling for newcomers and a welcome dram for experienced whisky drinkers alike, Glengoyne 12 Year Old is a wonderfully-made whisky with a clean, fresh profile and plenty of depth of flavour. You just can’t go wrong with this one.

What does it taste like?:

Toffee apples, a little acacia honey, nectarine in syrup and spice, over-ripe grapes, coconut milk, oak spice and coffee supported by toasted barley and chocolate ice-cream in the background. Yum!

Peaky Blinder Spiced Dry Gin

One for the Tommy Shelby fans out there. For those not in the know, the Peaky Blinders were a street gang from the late 19th/early 20th Century that became the basis for a very popular TV show. This spicy gin is no gimmick, however, as its medals at both the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the International Spirits Challenge in 2018 demonstrate.

What does it taste like?:

Ginger and black pepper make for a spicy opening, though well balanced by ample helpings of ripe orange, oaky cassia, oily juniper, and hints of eucalyptus and coffee bean.

Rumbullion!

If rich, full-bodied rums are what you’re looking for this Father’s Day, then look no further than the proudly maritime Rumbullion! Part of the fantastic Abelforth’s range, this spiced rum was created using a blend of high proof Caribbean rum, creamy Madagascan vanilla, zesty orange peel, a handful of cassia and cloves and just a hint of cardamom.

What does it taste like?:

Intense, sweet vanilla, flamed orange zest, cardamom, old-fashioned cola, Manuka honey, molasses, candy floss, toffee apples, crème brûlée and a fabulous mix of thick cut bitter orange marmalade and tingling, zinging spices from cloves and cinnamon.

Forest Gin

A family-made small-batch gin, Forest Gin is a real labour of love. Karl and Lindsay Bond made it using their own copper condenser with local spring water as well as a blend of classic gin botanicals (think organic juniper berries and coriander seeds) and bundles of foraged botanicals (wild bilberries, gorse flowers, raspberries and local moss) from Macclesfield Forest which were processed using a pestle and mortar. That’s dedication.

What does it taste like?:

Plenty of earthy forest floor notes, sweet berries, moss, rooty liquorice and spice from cassia and cinnamon.

WhistlePig 12 Year Old Oloroso Cask – Old World (Master of Malt)

Why not make your father feel really special this year by getting him a gift he can’t find anywhere else, like this Master of Malt exclusive bottling of 12-year-old rye whiskey from WhistlePig! Finished exclusively in Oloroso sherry casks and released as part of the Old World series, this is a sublime sherried rye whiskey.

What does it taste like?:

Bucketfuls of dried fruit, with sweet caramel and vanilla, new leather, wonderful rich sherry notes and a pinch of tobacco alongside prominent warming spicy notes and orange oil.

Manchester Gin

Emblazoned with the bee from Manchester’s coat of arms and featuring the dandelion and burdock root, Manchester Gin is a delightful celebration of the North. It was created with 12 botanicals in total, including juniper, ground almond, coriander, angelica and citrus peels, all of which were distilled in Wendy (a copper pot still, just to be clear) by couple Jen Wiggins and Seb Heeley (who aren’t copper pot stills, just to be even clearer). A string of awards has followed since its release, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s tasted it.

What does it taste like?:

Earthy and creamy with a pleasant sweetness and balancing juniper and citrus.

Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Gift Pack with x2 Glasses

If you want to really spoil the father in your life this year, then why not get him a delightful gift pack? This particular edition features a beautiful pair of glasses perfect for enjoying a 70cl bottle of Rémy Martin’s stunning 1738 Accord Royal, a Cognac created to celebrate Louis XV’s decision to grant a young Rémy Martin the right to plant new vines on his land (banned in France at the time) with the Accord Royal in, yes, you’ve guessed it, 1738.

What does it taste like?:

Ripe fruit and vanilla with a slightly herbal vinous note and pronounced, but not overpowering, oak finish.

Fortaleza Añejo

A family occasion should be celebrated with a good bottle of booze created using generations of knowledge passed down through a rich family history. That’s exactly what Guillermo Sauza had on his side when he launched Fortaleza in 2005, bringing back the traditions of previous generations at the family distillery to make expressions like this delicious añejo, which was aged for 18 months in American oak casks.

What does it taste like?:

A beautiful combination of agave and butterscotch, sultanas and mixed peels. Oily, complex, outstanding.

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Top-notch new releases!

Love being in the loop with all things new and delightful in the drinks world? We’re here to help! Eagle-eyed MoM users may have noticed that on our site we…

Love being in the loop with all things new and delightful in the drinks world? We’re here to help!

Eagle-eyed MoM users may have noticed that on our site we have a New Arrivals page, where we list all the shiny new booze that comes to MoM Towers. From beer, Cognac, gin, rum, Tequila, vodka, whisky and more, it’s the place to be to find the latest and greatest drinks.

Fans of our blog will also have seen that we’ve started a weekly series: New Arrival of the Week, where we take an in-depth look at an interesting and tasty new products from the previous week that caught our eye. On Monday we talked all things HYKE Gin, for example.

But we decided that this week, just to make things even easier on you, we’d round-up some of the most intriguing, original and downright delicious drinks to be released recently. So whether you want to see what’s new in the world of gin, whisky, liqueur or rum, we’re sure you’ll find something in this list to suit your needs. Enjoy!

Listoke 1777 Gin

Irish whiskey isn’t the only spirit category on the Emerald Isle that’s enjoying a boom in popularity, Irish gin is making its mark also. Listoke 1777 Gin, one of the most recent additions to the bourgeing scene, was distilled at what is said to be Ireland’s largest gin distillery with a botanical selection including juniper, rowan berries, cardamom and orange. Try this in a G&T with a sprig of rosemary and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.

What does it taste like?:

Pronounced piney juniper, bursts of citrus throughout and herbaceous notes, with warming spice lingering on the finish.

Nikka Days

It would appear that legendary Japanese whisky producer Nikka has created another winner here in Nikka Days. A blended whisky featuring spirits from the Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries, this dram is fruity, bright, slightly peated and thoroughly tasty.

What does it taste like?:

Fresh and fruity apples, pears, honeydew melon and strawberry, orange oil, malt sweetness, roasted nuts, toffee apple, vanilla fudge alongside a hint of barrel char.

Big Peat 10 Year Old

A celebration of Big Peat’s 10th birthday, this limited 10-year-old expression of Douglas Laing’s tribute to the feisty Ileach fisherman is a very welcome new addition to MoM Towers. Bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration or colouring, this popular Islay blended malt Scotch whisky packs plenty of those classic smoky flavours the brand’s followers love. It’s the perfect way to toast the familiar face on the bottle’s label.

What does it taste like?:

Roasted peanuts, petrichor, fresh pear, meaty malt, BBQ char, toffee, new leather, tobacco, honey on toast and plenty of peat smoke.

Milk & Honey Levantine Gin

Milk & Honey may have stolen the headlines as Israel’s first whisky distillery, but the brand has certainly demonstrated it knows its way around all things juniper. Milk & Honey Levantine Gin was distilled with a base spirit made from 100% malted barley and locally-sourced botanicals such as cinnamon, chamomile, black pepper, lemon peel, verbena, coriander and hyssop. The botanicals were macerated for 24 hours before a third distillation in order to create a smooth profile. Anyone for Martinis?

What does it taste like?:

Prominent juniper and lemon citrus, with herbaceous notes and soft spices in the background.

Tamdhu 15 Year Old

Anybody who has followed Tamdhu since its welcome comeback knows that the Speyside distillery is all about sublime sherried whisky. The limited edition 15 Year Old is no exception. Matured in American and European oloroso-seasoned casks and bottled at 46% ABV without any chill-filtration or additional colouring, Tamdhu 15 Year Old makes for an intense, rich and rewarding dram.

What does it taste like?:

Strawberry boiled sweeties, heavy dried fruit notes, a hearty slice of dense fruitcake, toasty oak warmth, orange oil, earthy vanilla, waxy peels, clove, chocolate ice-cream and walnut.

Bimber Classic Rum

Making delicious rum that’s value for money is not an easy balance to strike, but that’s exactly what west London distillery Bimber has achieved here. Crafted using local ingredients, Bimber Classic Rum was distilled from molasses in both copper pot and column stills before it was also bottled and labelled on site. We recommend you put the fruits of Bimber’s labour to good use in a nice Daiquiri.

What does it taste like?:

Dried grass, caramel, vanilla, soft stone fruit, cracked black pepper, dark chocolate, banana foam sweets, more grassy malt and dark Muscovado sugar.

Cambridge Elderflower Liqueur

If you’re going to make a gin-based liqueur, you’ll want to make sure you at least start with a quality gin. That’s exactly what Cambridge Distillery did with this Elderflower Liqueur, which was distilled using its award-winning Cambridge Dry Gin. Made to be enjoyed over ice, splashed in a glass of fizz or in any number of cocktails, this liqueur should prove as versatile as it is terrifically tasty.

What does it taste like?:

Heady floral notes, wonderfully fragrant elderflower against a backdrop of juniper and herby botanicals.

Glengoyne The Legacy Series Chapter One

An expression that celebrates Cochrane Cartwright, the distillery manager in 1869 who famously introduced sherry casks to Glengoyne, Chapter One of The Legacy Series was fittingly matured in first fill European oak Oloroso sherry casks as well as refill casks. For those who enjoy the sherried and the sublime, this is one for you.

What does it taste like?:

Luxurious sticky toffee pudding, dried fruit, Christmas spices, vanilla custard, gentle oak, stewed pear and cinnamon spice.

Smoked Rosemary Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company)

Smoked rosemary is no longer just a fixture in distinctively delicious cocktails thanks to That Boutique-y Gin Company and its latest release: Smoked Rosemary Gin. Evocative, intriguing and bold, I can only imagine the raucously good Red Snappers you could make with this gin.

What does it taste like?:

Strong herbal notes, plenty of juniper, saline seashore smells, smoked bacon, lemon, a big hit of rosemary and cracked black pepper.

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The Return of Ask #WhiskySanta… He’ll grant one wish per day!

[Update: He’s now giving gifts away at the checkout too!] Guess who is back… Back once again… #WhiskySanta is back! Tell all your friends and loved ones. Ho ho ho!…

Whisky Santa

[Update: He’s now giving gifts away at the checkout too!]

Guess who is back… Back once again… #WhiskySanta is back! Tell all your friends and loved ones. Ho ho ho! A bit of the M&M-style wrap for you there. I like to stay current.

That’s right, your favourite festive, omniscient, supernatural, heavily-bearded being is back from his holibobs. I may have only had ten months off after last year’s festivities (during which I even received a shiny ISC award) but a tinsel-covered alarm clock has gone off somewhere and I’m feeling extremely generous once again! Time to make some lists and check them twice – lists of people using #WhiskySanta, that is – before granting one wish per day for you lucky people for a second year running!

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#BagThisBottle is Back!

Earlier this year we launched our #BagThisBottle Twitter competition, with 10 lucky winners bagging themselves a free bottle of tip-top-tipples. Well guess what? We’re bringing #BagThisBottle back! In just a…

#BagThisBottle Twitter Competition

Earlier this year we launched our #BagThisBottle Twitter competition, with 10 lucky winners bagging themselves a free bottle of tip-top-tipples. Well guess what? We’re bringing #BagThisBottle back! In just a few quick clicks you could get your hands on a free bottle of some of the tastiest spirits around.

Each day of the #BagThisBottle competition, we’re going to give away a different bottle to a different lucky winner on Twitter. To be in with a chance to be one of those aforementioned lucky winners, here’s what you’ll have to do…

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Ask #WhiskySanta… He’ll grant one wish per day!

Greetings, chums. It’s your favourite festive, omniscient, supernatural, heavily-bearded being here, Whisky Santa! Around this time of year, I always start feeling particularly generous. Usually I just give the reindeer…

Whisky Santa Pug

Greetings, chums. It’s your favourite festive, omniscient, supernatural, heavily-bearded being here, Whisky Santa! Around this time of year, I always start feeling particularly generous. Usually I just give the reindeer some extra carrots and be done with it, but this year, I’m going all out with the presents for drinks fans. I’ve already upgraded 1 in 10 Whisky Advent Calendars to Premium Whisky Advent Calendars, and now, I’m going to grant one wish per day for you lucky people!

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The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Malt… Sometimes Go Pretty Well!

An autumnal morn I come to find, Some lovely folk have been very kind. A box on my desk! Who left this behind? A curious thing. I suppose to me…

Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie

An autumnal morn I come to find,
Some lovely folk have been very kind.
A box on my desk! Who left this behind?
A curious thing.
I suppose to me this box was assigned,
But what was within?
 
With a pen I opened it, like a vault,
And claimed the contents within by default.
Sweeties and whisky, could not find a fault,
My, what a feastie.
Here sat Douglas Laing’s newest blended malt,
Timorous Beastie!

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Dramboree 2014 – Another Whisky Weekend in Scotland!

Ah, Dramboree. A truly fantastic event, and one that’s difficult to convey in all its glory within a blog post. (One of the many reasons it’s taken me a little…

Dramboree 2014

Ah, Dramboree. A truly fantastic event, and one that’s difficult to convey in all its glory within a blog post. (One of the many reasons it’s taken me a little while to get round to this write-up.) For those who don’t know, Dramboree is a whisky weekend held in Scotland in early July that’s simply getting better and better with age. Next year it will be three years old. The requisite age for it to be referred to as the real deal? Well, based on the taste we had this time around, we think it’s getting pretty close to perfect already.

The second ever Dramboree was attended by 64 people (that’s about double the number from the first year), most of which first descended upon Glasgow in order to hop aboard the Dramboree coach for a magical mystery tour the hour or so long journey to the shores of stunning Loch Lomond.

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