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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Islay Whisky

Whisky Advent 2018 Day #23: Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair

We’ve arrived at the penultimate dram of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar. But there is no need to be sad. An epic Islay tipple awaits… It’s easy when…

We’ve arrived at the penultimate dram of Drinks by the Dram’s Whisky Advent Calendar. But there is no need to be sad. An epic Islay tipple awaits…

It’s easy when we think of Scotch whisky from Islay, to picture a certain style of tipple. One with provenance, personality – and plenty of peat. But distilleries such as Bunnahabhain have demonstrated that you can create some stunning spirits without the smoke. Want an example? Well, that’s handy. Because there’s one behind door #23 of your Advent calendar.

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An Ardbeg masterclass with Brendan McCarron

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

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

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

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

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The Islay moment competition winner is…

To mark another superb Fèis Ìle we asked the good public (that’s you!) to share a snap of your top Islay tipple and to flaunt your #MoMFeisIle t-shirt to be…

To mark another superb Fèis Ìle we asked the good public (that’s you!) to share a snap of your top Islay tipple and to flaunt your #MoMFeisIle t-shirt to be in with a chance of enjoying a bottle of our very own Bruichladdich 23 Year Old 1993 – Single Cask – and we’ve got our winner!

After all the spectacular sunshine, delightful drams and roaming data charges we’ve all finally recovered enough from another incredible Fèis Ìle to announce the two lucky whisky-lovers who have won our Islay moment competition!

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We’re going to Fèis Ìle 2018!

Drum roll please, folks… after too-long a hiatus we are packing our bags and heading to Fèis Ìle 2018! Good folks of whiskydom, we have news. After a four-year break…

Drum roll please, folks… after too-long a hiatus we are packing our bags and heading to Fèis Ìle 2018!

Good folks of whiskydom, we have news. After a four-year break (yes, and that parking, ahem, incident) we are returning to Islay for the dramming extravaganza that is Fèis Ìle. Team MoM is making final preparations for a voyage to the Islay Festival of Music and Malt! And we have many a treat in store for you whether you are likewise heading for the island or not…

From this Saturday (26 May) to the following one (3 June) we will be busily heading to the official distillery days, plus a selection of rather marvellous additional locations to keep us on our toes. And… the freebies are back!

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The Nightcap: 27 April

A record-breaking Macallan sale, a new Islay distillery, the star bartenders of the future and… the world’s finest cucumber specimens?! It can only be The Nightcap! We often get excited…

A record-breaking Macallan sale, a new Islay distillery, the star bartenders of the future and… the world’s finest cucumber specimens?! It can only be The Nightcap!

We often get excited about the goings on in The Nightcap. Booze is a bustling sector and there’s always a plethora of news and views to round up the week that was. But today… well! It’s the chunkiest Nightcap yet. Best pour yourself a dram, cosy up, and we’ll get stuck in.

So what’s been going down over on the blog? We wished Benromach a happy 20th anniversary and checked out its commemorative bottling, and then hightailed it up to London to mark St George’s Day with English whisky pioneer, Bimber. On Wednesday we took an in-depth look at GlenAllachie’s first releases under Billy Walker’s stewardship, and even got the man himself on the phone to chat distillery developments. Speaking of distilleries, we also checked in with Ian Stirling, co-founder of Port of Leith Distillery, one of the three in the race to become Edinburgh’s first single malt maker in over a century. Then there was the small matter of Jameson’s first cask-strength whiskey

And as The Nightcap shows, that’s a mere drop on the ocean when it comes to booze news this week! Here we go…

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Win a Bottle of Port Askaig 45 Year Old

To mark the start of Fèis Ìle 2017, we’re giving away a bottle of Port Askaig 45 Year Old Islay single malt worth £1,200!   Fèis Ìle, the yearly festival…

To mark the start of Fèis Ìle 2017, we’re giving away a bottle of Port Askaig 45 Year Old Islay single malt worth £1,200!
 
Fèis Ìle, the yearly festival of music and malt on the Isle of Islay, kicks off today! To those of you taking part in this year’s festival – we hope you have a smashing time (which we say jealously through gritted teeth while we sit at our desks many miles away from where all the fun is happening). If you’re not going to be on the Hebridean island this year, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying some cracking Islay whisky at home – and doing so could net you a bottle of whisky worth £1,200!

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Spotlight on… Lagavulin + Win a Trip to the Distillery!

We’re having a good ol’ look at Lagavulin today, and we’re also giving you the chance to win a trip to the legendary distillery; including a tour, tasting, bottles and…

Spotlight on Lagavulin

We’re having a good ol’ look at Lagavulin today, and we’re also giving you the chance to win a trip to the legendary distillery; including a tour, tasting, bottles and even some peat cutting!

Throughout 2016, the Lagavulin distillery on the Isle of Islay has been celebrating its 200th Anniversary. If 200 years of delicious well-peated whisky production isn’t something worth a year-long celebration, we don’t know what is! Fancy a trip to the Lagavulin distillery to see where they’ve been distilling for all these years, along with a whisky tasting, peat-cutting experience and signed bottles? Then you’ll want to enter our competition to win all of that!!!

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That Boutique-y Whisky Company Adds Age Statements

That Boutique-y Whisky Company has announced that they’re introducing age statements to all future releases with immediate effect and, right on cue, they have a raft of new and exciting…

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

That Boutique-y Whisky Company has announced that they’re introducing age statements to all future releases with immediate effect and, right on cue, they have a raft of new and exciting releases on the way!

All the new releases are listed below and are also available to buy or pre-order from Master of Malt now.

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Whisky Advent Day 12: Caol Ila 12 Year Old

We’re half way, can you believe it?! There’s still the same amount of delicious drams left after today as we’ve enjoyed from The Whisky Advent Calendar by Drinks by the Dram…

Whisky Advent Calendar

We’re half way, can you believe it?! There’s still the same amount of delicious drams left after today as we’ve enjoyed from The Whisky Advent Calendar by Drinks by the Dram so far! (We’ve decided to adopt some festive calendar-half-full thinking – there are still plenty more treats to look forward to!) It also means that Christmas is drawing ever nearer so time’s running out to sort out all those pressies, made easier we hope by our Free Shipping offers and the like. On to the window at hand though, appropriately revealing a 12 year old single malt Scotch whisky for Day 12.

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Whisky Advent Day 6: Kilchoman Machir Bay 2014 Release

As we approach the end of the first week of Drinks by the Dram’s #WhiskyAdvent, it feels like it may be time for a peated single malt Scotch whisky. Something…

Whisky Advent Calendar

As we approach the end of the first week of Drinks by the Dram’s #WhiskyAdvent, it feels like it may be time for a peated single malt Scotch whisky. Something from Islay, perhaps? Right on cue, behind window six of The Whisky Advent Calendar we find a delicious Kilchoman!

This 2014 release is a vatting of 5 and 6 year old whisky matured in ex-bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry butts, the last of the ‘work in progress’ Machir Bay releases, as it were, which have been a fantastic insight as to how the spirit from Islay’s youngest distillery has been developing. (Hint: it’s been going pretty well!) Machir Bay has now become both a continuous release and their core expression, with this December marking the 10th anniversary of spirit first running from the stills.

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