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Tag: Jack Daniels

Win Jack Daniel’s Single Cask goodies

If you love Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, then we’ve got a competition for you. The chance to win special Jack Daniel’s Single Cask goodies including barrel heads, a decanter, glasses,…

If you love Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey, then we’ve got a competition for you. The chance to win special Jack Daniel’s Single Cask goodies including barrel heads, a decanter, glasses, and a commemorative certificate!

Last week we launched three very special Jack Daniel’s Single Cask whiskeys, all exclusive to Master of Malt. Yes, that’s right you can’t buy them anywhere else. 

Pretty exciting, but the excitement doesn’t end there because three lucky customers are going to win some Jack Daniel’s Single Cask goodies.

Jack-Daniel's Single Barrel Competition

How to win Jack Daniel’s Single Cask goodies

Courtesy of Jack Daniel’s, we are giving away the barrel heads from each of the exclusive casks, plus a special decanter with two special glasses, and commemorative certificate to authenticate the prize. So that’s three individual sets of prizes, one for each cask.

To be in with a chance, all you have to is buy a bottle of one of the following single cask whiskeys:

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (cask 21-07905)

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (cask 21-07906)

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (cask 21-07907) 

Buy a bottle and you will automatically be entered into a prize draw for that particular cask. You can buy all three bottles and you will be in with a chance of winning all the prizes! If you have already bought a bottle, you will be entered into the competition.

Good luck, everyone!

MoM ‘Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel’ Competition 2022 is open to entrants 18 years and over. Entries accepted from 10:00:00 GMT on 8 February to 23:59:59 GMT on 27 February 2022. Winners chosen at random after close of competition. Prizes not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash equivalent. See full T&Cs for details.

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New Arrival of the Week: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel whiskeys (MoM exclusive)

If you love American whiskey, you might be interested in three special bottlings that have just landed at Master of Malt. It’s three casks of Jack Daniel Single Barrel whiskey….

If you love American whiskey, you might be interested in three special bottlings that have just landed at Master of Malt. It’s three casks of Jack Daniel Single Barrel whiskey. And what’s more, you can’t buy them anywhere else.

The word ‘iconic’ is thrown around a lot in the whisky world. The word means ‘worthy of veneration’ but it’s usually just used as a synonym for ‘famous’ or ‘very expensive.’ But if there’s one brand that truly merits the word, surely it has to be Jack Daniel’s? 

From the T-shirts to the squat square bottle to the photos of Keith Richards carrying a bottle, Jack Daniel’s is the most famous whiskey brand in the world. When you see that label with its legend ‘Old No. 7’, the associates are so much richer than almost any other spirit you can name. You’re drinking a lifestyle, a country, a whole culture. You’d don’t get that from Famous Grouse. 

Introducing Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (MoM exclusive)

And yet, Jack Daniel’s is so familiar that it’s easy to overlook, especially for whiskey fans, forever going after the rare or obscure. Well, we’ve got just the JD for you. Three very special single cask whiskeys from Jack Daniel’s (cask numbers 21-07905, 21-07906 and 21-07907 if you want to get technical), all bottled at a nice punchy 45% ABV. And did we mention that they are a Master of Malt exclusive?

We’ll return to that special bottling in a moment, but first a bit of JD recap for those who need one. The brand dates back to the 1880s and was founded by Jasper Daniel. The first master distiller was a former slave called Nathan Green, also known as Uncle Nearest.  

Rick burn at Jack Daniel's

Yee haw!

How Jack Daniel’s is made

Jack Daniel’s is not a bourbon, it’s a Tennessee whiskey, but this is because of the production process rather than the location. You can make bourbon in Tennessee. The classic Jack Daniel’s starts with a mash bill of 80% corn, 12% malted barley and 8% rye, but there are now other JD’s including a rye. The water comes from a natural spring beneath the distillery.

The grains are first cooked and then fermentation takes place using a special proprietary yeast strain. Like most American whiskeys, Jack Daniel’s uses a sour mash process where leftovers from previous ferments are added to the latest fermentation. This raises the acidity in the washbacks, and prevents wild yeast and bacterial infection, which ensures a consistent outcome every time. 

Distillation takes place in a column still. This is a change from how things were done pre-Prohibition when pot stills were used. The spirit comes off at around 70% ABV and then we come to the uniquely Tennessee part of the process, charcoal filtering. This is known as the Lincoln County Process

At Jack Daniel’s, this involves dowsing a load of maple wood in new make and setting it on fire to produce the necessary charcoal. The team then breaks up the charcoal and packs it into oak vats. Then the new make is slowly dripped through the charcoal in a process that both removes bitter notes and smooths the spirit, but also adds some of the flavour of the burnt wood. 

Then the ageing process is the same as bourbon, charred new American oak casks which provide all those sweet spicy toffee notes that we love. The casks are aged in Jack Daniel’s vast seven and eight storey warehouse, before blending and ageing into a consistent bottle of Old No. 7. 

These go up to eleven

Or not as the case may be, as we’ve managed to snaffle three casks of our very own. What’s more they are bottled at a punchy 45% ABV as opposed to the normal 40%. This is closer to the original strength of Jack Daniel’s. Until 2004, it was bottled at 86 proof, 43% ABV, but it was lowered to the current 80 proof, 40% ABV, amid much furore. Fans petitioned JD to return it to the original strength, but to no avail.

Anyway, these very special whiskeys are a must for both lovers of Jack Daniel’s and American whiskey in general. All those sweet spicy toffee flavours of the original have been amped up. It’s Jack Daniel’s with all the knobs on the amp turned up to eleven. Apt really, for the most rock n’ roll whiskey on the planet. 

Jack Daniel's Single Cask

Tasting Note for Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel (cask 21-07906) 

Nose: Treacle tart and runny caramel, with balancing hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, plus a solid core of oak.

Palate: Cinder toffee, cedar, buttered toast, cracked black pepper, dried cherry.

Finish: Brandy snaps and custard creams, with some fruity esters lingering.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel whiskeys (MoM exclusive) is available from Master of Malt. Click on cask numbers to buy: 21-07905, 21-07906, 21-07907. But hurry, they are likely to go fast.

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Win a VIP trip to the USA with Brown-Forman!

A once-in-a-lifetime trip awaits the winner of our latest competition. Who wants to visit the Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve distilleries?! You could win a VIP trip to…

A once-in-a-lifetime trip awaits the winner of our latest competition. Who wants to visit the Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve distilleries?! You could win a VIP trip to the USA with Brown-Forman!

As we know lots of you are big whiskey fans, we assume you know all about Brown-Forman. After all, it’s been in the booze game for over 150 years and owns brands like Jack Daniel’s Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, GlenDronach, Benriach, Glenglassaugh, Slane, Chambord, and Fords Gin. 

Quite the selection, right? I bet if the Brown-Forman team wanted to they could put together a hell of a bash. Like taking a couple of lucky whiskey fans out to America to see some of those distilleries. Oh, wait, has someone already thought of that? It would appear so. And even more excitingly, it would appear that someone is us!

VIP trip to the USA

Want to win big?

Yes, when we say once-in-a-lifetime trip here we are truly not exaggerating. The winner of this competition (and their +1) will be jetted off to the Jack Daniel’s, Old Forester and, Woodford Reserve distilleries in the US for a complimentary tour with all the trimmings: bed and breakfast accommodation for four nights, transfers and transport as well as evening meals are all included.

And to enter, you just need to purchase any 70cl bottle here, from the Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve or Old Forester range. For example :

And that’s it. Greatness awaits. Now, you only have until 19 December, so get those entries in!

MoM Super Premium American Whiskey Competition 2021 open to entrants 18 years and over. Entries accepted from 11:30:00pm 06 December to 23:59:59pm 19 December 2021. Date and travel restrictions apply. Winners chosen at random after close of competition. Postal route available. See full T&Cs for details. 

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The Nightcap: 3 December

A €13 million Midleton Distillery upgrade, $400K worth of spilled Jack Daniel’s whiskey, and Bruichladdich makes a sour beer. They’re all in The Nightcap: 3 December edition.  It’s December and…

A €13 million Midleton Distillery upgrade, $400K worth of spilled Jack Daniel’s whiskey, and Bruichladdich makes a sour beer. They’re all in The Nightcap: 3 December edition. 

It’s December and that means Christmas is officially here. Deck those halls, put the Michael Bublé on, and enjoy The first Nightcap of the festive season. It’s jam-packed with great stories, boozy news, and, of course, Christmas cheer. 

Something else that was jam-packed this week was the MoM blog, which went full blogmaggedon. We launched two VIP distillery trip competitions, one to Highland Park and the other to Aberfeldy, kicked off our Advent celebrations (we hope you’ve enjoyed the first three days!), and released some single cask Master of Malt exclusives. We also asked the lovely folk who work here for Christmas present recommendations, made a modern take on ‘70s classic with Christmas Pudding Rum, and welcomed Bathtub Grapefruit & Rosemary Gin, exclusively to our humble towers. #WhiskySanta also returned to grant a Courvoisier Heritage de Louis Renard Super Wish, while Adam enjoyed all kinds of premium whiskies, including some perfect for Christmas presents, and others from two seriously exciting distilleries, Rabbit Hole and The East London Liquor Company

The Nightcap: 3 December edition!

The Nightcap: 3 December

What the €13 million tourism upgrade will look like

€13 million Midleton visitor upgrade announced

Big news just in from Irish Distillers. The whiskey giant has announced the redevelopment of the visitor experience at the Midleton Distillery near Cork. It will include new shops, a bar, café, and a restaurant, and will turn the old distillery into “a world-class, multi-sensory whiskey experience destination.” Conor McQuaid, chairman and CEO, commented: “Over the past 30 years, Midleton Distillery has become synonymous with Irish whiskey tourism, welcoming more than three million visitors from countries all over the world to our home in East Cork. At Irish Distillers, we are always looking towards the future of Irish whiskey, which is why we are delighted to announce our plans for the redevelopment of the distillery experience at Midleton. Our ambition is to deliver an exceptional, world-class experiential offering which will bring whiskey lovers closer to the production process than ever before.” The aim is to attract 200,000 visitors a year. The design of the visitor experience is being handled by New York-based Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) which has worked with museums all over the world including the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The firm has a tricky line to walk in modernising the rather dated experience while not interfering too much with the incredibly atmospheric old distillery which dates back to 1794. The work is due to be finished by 2025. We await the results eagerly. 

The Nightcap: 3 December

This photo was sent to us by a man called Hamish. Yes, really!

Tamdhu puts on jamón and whisky night

Probably our two favourite things here at the Master of Malt blog are Tamdhu and Jamón Ibérico, so we were extremely excited to hear about a series of evenings at Brindisa Spanish deli in Borough Market in London. Tamdhu’s brand ambassador Gordon Dundas will be joined by James Robinson from Brindisa for a series of nights devoted to sherried single malts and sweet porky goodness. Disappointingly, they’re not calling the evening ‘Hamdhu.’ Nevertheless, it sounds pretty special. Robinson will be your guide to the wonderful world of Iberian hams offering such delicacies as Guijuelo, Dehesa de Extremadura, Jabugo, and Los Pedroches. They are traditionally served with sherry but, the idea goes, why not a sherry-infused whisky? To prove the point, Dundas will be bringing the big guns down with a flight of single malts including the sherrytastic Tamdhu Quercus Alba Distinction, aged in first-fill American Oak cask. The events will take place on 6/7/8 December from 6-7pm and 7-8pm. Tickets cost £95 (go here) and as well as the experience, guests will get to take home a 70cl bottle of Quercus Alba Distinction, two copita tasting glasses, and a jamón serving board made from oak whisky cask ends. So what are you waiting for? Jamón down!

The Nightcap: 3 December

RIP sweet whiskey

$400K worth of Jack Daniel’s spilled in Tennessee

We’ve all heard the expression “don’t cry over spilled milk”, right? It seems like good advice. It’s just milk, after all. That logic doesn’t quite apply when $400k worth of whiskey spills onto the road, however. When that happens, cry away. Ugly cry. Call your mum and cry down the phone to her. That’s presumably what folks did in Tennessee last week when a semi-truck transporting $400,000 worth of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey overturned as the driver was making a left turn onto an interstate. The main thing is that the driver was not injured, which on a whiskey blog we really must remind you is the most important thing, because we know people will be thinking about the “several gallons” of booze that spilled onto the pavement. According to a Facebook post from the Murfreesboro Police Department, the whiskey leak started when the trailer was being pulled upright by a wrecker. As you can imagine, the post was filled with responses along the lines of “I’m volunteering on THIS cleanup!” And thankfully it’s a huge brand who can take the loss on the chin. Besides, we’ve got plenty of Jack Daniel’s whiskey right here. So maybe there’s no need to cry over spilled whiskey after all? 

The Nightcap: 3 December

Congratulations, John.

John Campbell joins Lochlea Distillery

Laphroaig legend John Campbell has a new gig. He is joining the independent family-owned Lochlea Distillery as its new production director and master blender. Campbell, who dropped a shock announcement that he was moving to pastures new this year, has left his native Islay after 27 years working there in whisky. The former Laphroaig distillery manager will head up the production team ahead of the release of its inaugural liquid, set to launch in early 2022 (which we will have some of…) Campbell described the move as an “opportunity to develop a whisky that is innovative and distinctive, with a distillery that shares my ethos on quality, environment, and sustainability”. He added that getting involved in the process from this early stage means he can help to define “what Lochlea becomes”. Lochlea’s commercial manager, David Ferguson commented that it was clear that Campbell’s values aligned closely with Lochlea, and the most exciting part is that he brings “new ideas, an emphasis on quality and an entrepreneurial streak which shone through with the Cairdeas bottlings he was responsible for”. We look forward to seeing what he does there. Best of luck, John.

The Nightcap: 3 December

Redbreast has brought it back!

Limited-edition Redbreast bird feeder is back for another year

Redbreast just can’t stop helping the birds! After teaming up with Chris O’Dowd to protect “common birds” last month, the Irish whiskey brand is now shouting about the release of its limited-edition bird feeder bottle for the second year running. We have to admit, it’s pretty snazzy. Within an intricate copper shell you’ll find a bottle of Redbreast 12 Year Old single pot still whiskey. Out comes the bottle, and then you can repurpose the case as the fanciest bird feeder you’ve ever seen – even the common birds will be feeling like royalty snacking from this thing. You can get your hands on it here, and €3 from each sale is donated by Redbreast to Birdlife International with an aim of raising €80,000, as well as protecting the species you’ll find in your garden throughout the winter months. “After the success of last year, we are extremely excited to re-launch our beautifully crafted whiskey casing that has been specially designed to double up as a bird feeder”, says Billy Leighton, master blender at Irish Distillers. “We worked closely with BirdLife International to ensure the bird feeder continues to honour our mission of helping to protect not only robins, but all common birds, as we move into the colder months and food begins to become scarce.” Got a mate who loves birds and Irish whiskey? It’s nearly Christmas – you know what to do.

The Nightcap: 3 December

Changing the game by… doing the same thing we’ve seen before

Wee Smoky adman blasts whisky industry for not being ‘culturally relevant’

Watch out, the whisky industry is about to get ‘disrupted’. Again. Creative director Barrington Reeves, who has worked with global brands including Nike and Red Bull, has teamed up with Wee Smoky, a single grain aged in peated whisky casks launched last year by Rory Gammel. According to Reeves: “Many brands have postured to try and be different, but nobody has actually truly disrupted whisky – it’s still inaccessible and elitist.” Some of his criticisms seem to have been beamed in from 2002, blasting the industry for trading on “twee” perceptions of Scottishness, something most brands abandoned years ago. Also isn’t the name Wee Smoky more than a little twee? He continued: “If Scotland is to be on the cultural map, we need to break through those out-dated, unhelpful stereotypes perpetuated by whisky.” Reeves thinks the potential is there to turn Wee Smoky into a global brand. But they are starting small: the second batch of only 5,000 bottles will be released in time for Christmas. Reeves went on to say: “I’m not a whisky drinker, and that’s because I’ve never felt any affinity to it. I always felt there was never a brand that engaged people like me. Whisky brands try to be diverse but I don’t think sticking a black person in your campaign is enough to be honest. Wee Smoky can be something that no other Scottish whisky is – culturally relevant.” Let the disruption commence!

The Nightcap: 3 December

Good luck, guys! Glad it’s not us rowing across the Atlantic

Mermaid Gin founder plans to row across the Atlantic

Mermaid Gin co-founder Xavier Baker (centre above) has just announced he will be taking part in the 2023 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Chris Mannion and Paul Berry (a well-seasoned rower) from the Isle of Wight will join him to row across the Atlantic in their boat Mermaid Atlantic to raise awareness of ocean habitats and to raise funds for marine-focused charities. The team will be using sustainable suppliers and will seek out and refurbish an older Rannoch boat to minimise their impact, all while raising funds for The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, and the Seahorse Trust. “We are all focused and determined chaps with a good understanding of the sea and certainly know not to underestimate her,” Baker says. “While we each have our personal reasons for undertaking such an exciting and challenging adventure, we’re united in our passion for preserving the oceans and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to undertake the Atlantic challenge to spotlight these causes.” Embarking on ‘the world’s toughest row’, the team will leave La Gomera in the Canary Islands in December 2023 and will need to row 3000 miles around the clock to arrive in Antigua within 35 days to break the record in their class. To find out more about donation and sponsorship head here. Best of luck, guys!

The Nightcap: 3 December

Guess who has joined the sustainable Scottish whisky sour beer game?

Bruichladdich creates sustainable Scottish whisky sour beer 

Bruichladdich has gotten into the beer game with fellow B Corp Brewgooder and sour brewery Vault City to create a tasty tipple that does some good. The limited-edition barrel-aged whisky sour beer was brewed in Portobello, Edinburgh, using a mixed fermentation base sour before being barrel-aged in Bruichladdich casks for nine months to infuse it with the character of the distiller’s unpeated Islay single malt. The result? According to the press release the depth of flavour from the casks provides “delicate notes of sweet oak and barley”, while the addition of hand-picked lemon balm, foraged locally from Islay, and Scottish heather honey create a “balance of tart acidity and smoky sweetness”. Sounds tasty, but there’s more. In a combined effort to strive for a better future, every litre of beer sold will fund 1,000 litres of clean water to communities around the world through Brewgooder’s ‘Billion Pint Pledge’ which aims to produce one billion pints of clean water in the next three years. So many booze brands trying to do their bit to do a little good in the world. We love to see it.

The Nightcap: 3 December

When something like this happens you’ve just got to roll with it…

And finally…. Snowasis!

Last week a pub gig went on a bit longer than expected when the band and the entire audience were snowed in. Top Oasis tribute band Noasis played in front of 60 people at the Tan Hill Inn in the Yorkshire Dales on Friday 26 November. But when it came time to leave, Storm Arwen had wreaked havoc making the roads leading to the isolated pub impassable. So the band and the entire audience had to remain until Monday morning. Tough gig! Somehow, everyone made the best of it, with the pub providing food and drink, and the band played an acoustic set. In fact, it was so much fun that there’s talk of doing it all again next year. Just goes to show, if you have to snowed in, the best place to be is a pub. 

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Win some Halloween goodies courtesy of Jack Daniel’s!

Not everything to do with Halloween is scary. This year we’re giving you the chance to win a big bundle of boozy goodies from Jack Daniel’s. It’s competition time! What…

Not everything to do with Halloween is scary. This year we’re giving you the chance to win a big bundle of boozy goodies from Jack Daniel’s. It’s competition time!

What you’re about to witness here is a masterclass. A demonstration that it is possible to write about wonderful things happening around Halloween without using the word ‘spooktacular’. It doesn’t even really scan that well over ‘spectacular’, does it? And yet, everywhere you look this time of year people are suggesting new products and promising events that will be ‘spooktacular’. Ugh.

Well, you’re not going to see that here. Even though we’re doing a big Halloween competition with Jack Daniel’s. That’s right, we’re offering you the chance to win all kinds of delicious prizes. So many goodies, in fact, that you’re not even going to need to go trick or treating.

Jack Daniel’s Halloween

Who wants to win some Halloween goodies courtesy of Jack Daniel’s?

All you have to do to enter this competition is follow @MasterofMalt on Instagram or like the Master of Malt Facebook page (@MasterofMalt); follow @jackdaniels_uk on Instagram or like the Jack Daniels Facebook page (@jackdanielsuk); like the competition posts on either Instagram or Facebook, and then tag one friend you’d like to share the prize in the comments section o your chosen competition post. Basically, you’re choosing a preferred social media platform, doing some liking and some tagging, and putting yourself in the running to win big.

Because if you do that before Halloween and TWO of you (that’s right, it’s a two winner competition, one winner from Facebook and one from Instagram) will win the following each:

  • A 70cl bottle of Jack Daniels Fire
  • A 70cl bottle of Jack Daniels Apple
  • A Jack Daniel’s Fire t-shirts in medium and large
  • A pack of 10 Jack Daniel’s Honey non-illuminated lanterns
  • Two Jack Daniel’s highball glasses
  • A pair of Jack Daniel’s cufflinks in a gift box
  • A Jack Daniel’s Honey deck chair

How good is that? Spooktacular I reckon. Wait, dammit! Good luck, everyone.

MoM Jack Daniel’s Halloween ‘Bag This Bundle’ Competition 2021 open to entrants 18 years and over. Entries accepted from 25 October to 31 October 2021. Winners chosen at random after close of competition. Prizes not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash equivalent. See full T&Cs for details.

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Whisky icons – we have a winner!

Whether they’re bourbons, single malts or blended whiskies, some brands are so famous that they’re iconic. But which is the biggest whisky icon? We’re running a poll on social media…

Whether they’re bourbons, single malts or blended whiskies, some brands are so famous that they’re iconic. But which is the biggest whisky icon? We’re running a poll on social media to find out, and this is the page to follow the results.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word ‘icon’ as: “A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration.”

So, what makes a whisky an icon? Well, it has to be a great whisky to start with. One that’s revered across the world. But more than this, it has to have a strong memorable image. Say the name of a particular distillery or brand, and it should instantly resonate. 

Worthy of veneration

Now this could be a globally famous brand like Johnnie Walker or Jack Daniel’s. Many people who have never even drunk whisky will have heard of these brands. Jack Daniel’s for its association with music, and Johnnie Walker because it’s an icon of consumer capitalism (as well as a great whisky). Then there’s Macallan, a symbol of luxury up there with Rolls Royce or Cartier. 

But lesser-known names can be iconic among the whisky cognoscenti. Take Springbank, for example. You have to know a bit about whisky to have heard of it but it’s undoubtedly “worthy of veneration.” We’ve seen grown men and women go all tearful at the thought of a rare bottle of Springbank. 

But your whisky icon might be Lagavulin from Islay, Four Roses from Kentucky or even a newer distillery like Mackmyra from Sweden. So to decide this once and for all, we’re giving Master of Malt customers the opportunity to shout about their favourite brands. 

Vote for your whisky of icon

Social polls will be posted on a @masterofmalt Instagram story Monday to Friday this week (simply view our story and tap on the distillery/brand you wish to vote for). Or alternatively you can vote over on the @MasterOfMalt Twitter page where a poll will be posted to our feed.

The tournament will end on Monday 27 September with the winner announced that day. This is how it will work:

Monday 20 September – first round with 32 whiskies

Tuesday 21 September – second round with 16 whiskies

Wednesday 22 September – quarter finals 

Thursday 23 September – semi finals 

Friday 24 September – finals

Saturday 25 September – voting closes

Monday 27 September – announcement of the winner

Get voting so we can say once and for all what the greatest icon of whisky is! And then we find something else to argue about. 

UPDATE, 27 September:

The winner was… Bunnahabhain with Lagavulin as the runner-up.

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The Nightcap: 27 August

What do a Scotch miniature that’s apparently worth the price of a small family car, the ‘world’s first’ Tequila taproom, and the first age statement bottle of Jack in a…

What do a Scotch miniature that’s apparently worth the price of a small family car, the ‘world’s first’ Tequila taproom, and the first age statement bottle of Jack in a century all have in common? Well, they’re all in this week’s Nightcap: 27 August edition, of course.

I like to think at this point we’ve got a nice little Nightcap following with people who regularly read along every Friday, perhaps even with their own rituals. Maybe you have a certain chair you like to sit in, or you try a new dram every time you read. For those of us who write the Nightcap, we have our own routines we do every week, which typically entails dressing up in commemorative robes and chanting ‘NIGHTCAP’ at our screens while drinking White Russians. It’s the little things, you know?

Anyway, even though we know you all love the MoM blog and devour every word we’re going to recap as usual because it’s fun to remember all the good times we’ve had in the past week. Like Henry enjoying a new aperitif made to match with Indian food or making a cocktail inspired by a PM and his trusty axe. Or Millie exploring the world of experimental wine cask whisky and Ian asking the big questions, like what happens when all the delicious old whisky dries up? Adam, meanwhile, spent his week wishing our subscription service Pour & Sip a very happy first birthday (make sure you check out the birthday subscription box), tasting new Glenmorangie whisky (there’s literally only one left at the time of writing), and marvelling at Fettercairn’s resplendent resurgence.

But there’s more boozy brilliance to come. Here’s the Nightcap: 27 August edition!

The Nightcap: 27 August

Let’s hope it’s worth the wait!

Jack Daniel’s reveals first age-statement whiskey in a century

Good things come to those who wait. For the first time in over 100 years, Jack Daniel’s will release a whiskey with an age statement: Jack Daniels 10-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey, to be exact. While the brand has launched plenty of innovations and premium products alongside its classic No. 7 whiskey, the 10-year-old release will excite the whiskey nerds who love an age statement. The design elements are influenced by the brand’s considerable history, with the original cartouche (the design around that age statement) making an appearance on the bottle, slightly updated by a present-day artist. Master distiller Chris Fletcher told Forbes that the addition of two new stills and 14 fermenters has given the brand more flexibility, so while that new equipment is too new to have made the 10-year-old, it gave the distillery breathing space to experiment, rather than bottle immediately for sale. Although, you would think being bigger than Elvis would have helped that too. Jack Daniels 10-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey will be bottled at 97 proof (which is 48.5% ABV) and is described by the brand as featuring notes of “dry fig and raisin laced with oak on the nose, warm butterscotch alongside soft fruit and smoke on the pallet, and an incredibly long finish with sweet tobacco and spice.” The 750ml bottles are being sold for $70 in annual batches with limited quantities, so best of luck getting your hands on this one.

The Nightcap: 27 August

Every bit as swanky as you’d imagine

Rare and swanky Karuizawa 1981 single cask whisky unveiled

Some extremely swanky whiskies just released from Karuizawa Distillery are about to go on sale. Called ‘The Legend of Asama’, just 30 sets of two bottles of 1981 vintage single cask malt whiskies are being released over a three-year period.  It comes from casks aged for 20 years at Karuizawa, before being transferred to Chichibu Distillery, Saitama Prefecture, where Ichibori-san, the legendary former distiller at Karuizawa, watched over them. And somehow resisted drinking it all. Whisky collector and connoisseur Mahesh Patel, founder of Universal Whisky Experience, chose casks 4059 and 6183 in 2011 and he also managed to not drink all the contents himself (what’s wrong with these people?) keeping them at Chichibu until 2017 before he started selling stock in tiny batches. The last remaining bottles were held back until now. The bottles are decorated with ‘Noh masks’, which is Sino Japanese for skill, craft or talent and each set comprises five tubes. Two contain the Noh bottles, two hold empty handmade Glencairn crystal decanters with gold caps and decorated with detailed engravings of the original labels, and the last holding two specially created Glencairn cut crystal glasses and a Glencairn water-jug. Each set is also accompanied by a signed and numbered hardback book written by whisky writer Charles MacLean MBE featuring the story behind The Legend of Asama collection and some tasting notes. And the price for all this swank and rarity? Well, we’ve been told it’s ‘price on application’ ie. if you have to ask, you can’t afford. To register your interest and to find more details, head here

The Nightcap: 27 August

We’re seriously impressed with this distillery and highly recommend you get your hands on its whisky

Oxford Artisan Distillery releases “Britain’s first corn whisky”

We love the rye whiskies coming out of the Oxford Artisan Distillery. Now there’s a new series called Grain Stories. The inaugural release, Heritage Corn, is billed as “Britain’s first corn whisky.” And it truly is a British corn whisky using pre-industrial strains of maize from North America, but planted by John Letts, the distillery’s grain guru, in England. After harvesting the first crop by hand, he thought his labours were in vain because half of the yield was damp and began to germinate as it was being cleaned. But Letts snatched triumph from the jaws of defeat by immediately processing it. He explained: “I flaked and crushed all of this maize and sent it to the distillery in a panic… and the team immediately put it in the distilling vat.” The result uses a classic bourbon-style mash bill of 51% corn, 34% rye, 10% wheat and 5% malted barley, and aged for 3.5 years in new American oak. Master distillery Chico Rosa commented on the flavour: “The second most abundant grain used is rye which is quite noticeable through its spicy character, but the corn is oily and its charm comes through with butter and biscuity notes that elevate the spirit. The whisky is full of the distillery’s characteristic floral and herbal tones coupled with shortbread and unroasted nuts, while banana and ginger cake flavours interplay with the whisky’s smooth velvety mouthfeel, finishing with spicy and green grass vibes.” We have to agree. It’s another cracking whisky from the Oxford crew with banana bread on the nose, menthol herbal notes, and then spicy as hell on the palate with sweet toffee and vanilla notes. Truly a corn whisky with character and bottled at a nice punchy 50.4% ABV. All this deliciousness doesn’t come cheap at £95 for 50cl, but with only 830 bottles available exclusively from the distillery, it’s sure to sell out fast.

The Nightcap: 27 August

We’re not there yet, but Scotch whisky sales are recovering

Scotch whisky exports “very promising” says SWA 

It’s been a tough couple of years for the Scotch whisky industry. First, there were the tariffs from its biggest market, the US, something we’ve detailed ad nauseum on this blog. And then there was the small matter of a global pandemic leading to most countries closing down their watering holes. Master of Malt customers did their best to make-up the shortfall but still, sales were dramatically down. According to Karen Betts, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the double whammy “brought Scotch whisky exports to their lowest level in a decade”. Now there are signs of recovery, according to the SWA. Sales are still 10% down on 2019 but exports by value were 31% higher than in the annus horribilis [that’s enough Latin, Ed.] of 2020. Things look less rosy looking at sales by region. Exports are down to the EU, a combination of continued lockdowns and changes in trading arrangements caused by Brexit. The US market is still down by 34% compared with 2019. But there’s brighter news from Asia as the Chinese market is booming. Scotch sales at £91m have already overtaken the total for 2019, £89m. Betts described the figures as “very promising.” But, she added that there are still problems with “trade disruption on our supply chain and global distribution,” plus “the cost of goods and services has risen significantly.” And don’t even mention tourism, something that smaller distilleries especially rely upon. It looks like Scotch whisky isn’t out of the woods yet.

The Nightcap: 27 August

If Tequila cocktails are your thing, make sure to head down!

Jose Cuervo launches ‘world’s first’ Tequila taproom

You know how there’s all kinds of craft ale taprooms? Well, imagine going to one of those but instead of beer, you get served Tequila and delicious cocktails. That’s exactly what Jose Cuervo is doing, tapping into the trend (no apologies for the pun), giving the nation’s favourite Tequila cocktails the full taproom treatment, served from kegs, all mixed and ready to go. Expect delights like the Marg My Words (Margarita) and Mexican Dynamite (Tequila & Tonic), as well as an opportunity to book a Tequila masterclass with Tequila educator Oliver Pergl. The world’s oldest Tequila beand, Jose Cuervo, will host the free-to-enter pop-up in Shoreditch, East London from Friday 10 September to Sunday 12 September and in Bristol from Friday 17 September until Sunday 19 September. There’s no need to book, simply walk in, choose your cocktail and enjoy some tasty Tequila! To find out more info head to Jose Cuervo’s Instagram page @JoseCuervoUK.


Time to root through the old cupboards and find a potentially priceless miniature

Springbank miniature goes for a record £6,440 at auction

News from Whisky.Auction will have whisky lovers rifling through their cupboard looking for rare miniatures. A 5cl bottle of Springbank distilled in 1919 has just fetched £6,440 – a record for a miniature. We plugged that number through the Master of Malt Amstrad and it computed that this is equivalent to over £90k for a full bottle. Or more as from the photos the bottle seems to contain substantially less than 5cl of whisky. It’s part of a collection belonging to Sukhinder Singh from The Whisky Exchange. Other jewels included a 1940s Glenfiddich Special mini which fetched £2,530, a Macallan Spiral Label from the ‘70s, £2,185 and a 1967 Glenlivet 50 Year Old (bottled in 2018) which someone paid  £1,552.50. Singh commented: “I am thrilled to see that interest in miniature collecting is at an all-time high as it’s something I fell in love with four decades ago.” Isabel Graham-Yooll from Whisky.Auction added: “Bidders are willing to pay what seems like a lot of money for tiny bottles of whisky but it is the opportunity to taste a piece of history – particularly when standard 70cl or 75cl formats have become inaccessible for many enthusiasts to buy.” We wonder what treasures lie in Master of Malt customers’ whisky collections.

The Nightcap

Play your cards right and you could be working with brands like Fernet Branca at Domino PR

Paid for internship up for grabs with London PR agency

Here’s a brilliant opportunity for someone who wants to get on in the drinks world: a three-month internship at one of the country’s top PR agencies, Domino Communications. And it’s paid, unlike many of these things, £50 per day and the use of a laptop. It’s being run in conjunction with the Drinks Trust. Candidates must have two years experience in the hospitality industry and a passion for all things drink-related. One lucky person will get to work with Lucy Francis and her team on a mouth-watering list of clients including Regal Rogue vermouthCrystal Head vodka and Fernet Branca. You’ll be working three days a week from London W2, and the rest of the time at home, the Drinks Trust may be able to help with transport costs. Francis explained the initiative: “This opportunity is geared towards someone working in the drinks industry who absolutely loves what they do, passion is paramount. We will introduce them to the world of drinks PR and give them unique kick-starter skills to potentially move over to the communications world of premium beverages. If you love a challenge, want to learn how to launch amazing drinks brands, then we want to hear from you!” If you think you have what it takes, email [email protected] with a CV and covering letter.

The Nightcap: 27 August

There’s a joke about a message in a bottle here…

And finally… Sting gets stung as Italian vineyard story hots up 

Have you been following the Sting being duped into buying a Tuscan wine estate story? For those who haven’t, here’s a recap: the Geordie pop star recently told Sette, an Italian magazine, of how he visited Il Palagio and the owner gave him a glass of wine that so impressed him that he bought the estate. Later Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, claimed that he had been given a glass of Barolo rather than the estate’s Chianti. Well, the plot thickens as the Drinks Business, who broke this story way back in 2017, has reported that the late owner’s son, Simone San Clemente Jr, has written to Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano describing Sting’s claim as “poisonous slander.” The letter continued: “Apart from the fact that an internationally experienced gentleman like Sting should not confuse Barolo with Chianti, nothing could be more alien to my father’s character, habits, behavior, in one word, to his spirit, than to behave like a swindling innkeeper.” He ended by demanding an apology from the former Police frontman. The ball is in your court Mr Sumner.

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#BagThisBundle – Win boozy goodies from Jack Daniel’s!

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey has teamed up with Master of Malt to help you get your hands on some delightful prizes. It’s competition time! Do you know what I imagine you’d…

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey has teamed up with Master of Malt to help you get your hands on some delightful prizes. It’s competition time!

Do you know what I imagine you’d all rather be doing right now than working/studying/trying to build a bloody flatpack with a baffling number of seemingly indistinguishable screws? Lounging on a comfy chair in the sun with a tasty drink as some of your favourite music plays in the background. If only there was some way to get a deckchair, Bluetooth speaker, and tasty booze right into your hands with minimum fuss and no cost.

Oh wait, there is! Because we got together with Jack Daniel’s (we presume you’ve heard of them, right?) to create a #BagThisBundle competition that promises all kinds of boozy summer bliss. We can’t help you with the flatpack furniture, though.

Win Jack Daniel’s

Look at all you can win!

Anyway, here’s exactly what you’ll win:

To enter, do the following:

Complete those simple steps and you’re in it to win it. Best of luck! 

MoM ‘Jack Daniel’s Bag This Bundle’ Competition 2021 open to entrants 18 years and over. Entries accepted from 12:00:01 GMT on 5 August to 23:59:59 GMT on 9 August 2021. Winners chosen at random after close of competition. Prizes not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash equivalent. See full T&Cs for details.

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The Nightcap: 23 April

On this week’s Nightcap there’s new Ardbeg and Talisker to drool over, the ‘world’s first Tequila board game’ and a man pouring a pint of lager over his head. Its…

On this week’s Nightcap there’s new Ardbeg and Talisker to drool over, the ‘world’s first Tequila board game’ and a man pouring a pint of lager over his head. Its all in The Nightcap: 23 April edition.

Happy St George’s Day, everyone! We hope you’re having something delicious and English to celebrate, whether it’s whisky, gin, rum, sparkling wine, or whatever takes your fancy. Personally, we’re very much enjoying The Oxford Artisan Distillery’s first rye whisky. Sadly, there’s very little of it about, so you’ll have to enter our latest lottery for a chance to buy a bottle. But you don’t have to slay any dragons to get involved. So that’s something. 

Elsewhere, the MoM blog was the place to be if you love Japanese booze as we uncovered the philosophy of Suntory and recommended seven of the finest Japanese whiskies available now. Australian whisky was also on our mind as we unveiled That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s new series of delightful expressions, as was the role of the Scotch Whisky Association and the news that Elixir Distillers snapped up Georgie Crawford in a surprise transfer from Diageo. The forgotten Prairie Oyster, Glen Scotia’s special Campbeltown Festival release, Canaïma’s cause-led gin and the simple but sublime Cuba Libre also caught our attention in a packed week.

But we’re not done yet. It’s The Nightcap: 23 April issue!

The Nightcap: 23 April edition

The fearsome fire-breathing limited edition will be arriving at MoM Towers soon…

Fearsome fire-breathing Ardbeg Scorch unveiled for Feis Ile

Fèis Ìle might not be taking place IRL, but the distilleries are still doing plenty to keep the fans spending money. Sorry, happy. We’ve just heard the news that Ardbeg will be releasing a limited edition in time for Ardbeg day on 5 June. It’s called Ardbeg Scorch based on a dragon that apparently lives in Dunnage Warehouse no. 3. No this isn’t a St. George’s Day fool, the team really is releasing this whisky (though the dragon thing sounds unlikely, imagine the health and safety implications with all that flammable whisky.) It’s aged in heavily-charred ex-bourbon casks and bottled with no age statement at 46% ABV. Dr Bill Lumsden described it as “a fire-breathing beast of a dram!” The tasting note is quite something: “A long and heroic finale, with a subtle tarry aftertaste. A finish that will drag on, well into its happily ever after.” Blimey! Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s new distillery manager, said: “This year will be my first Ardbeg Day ever: a baptism of fire! It’s a shame we Ardbeggians can’t enjoy it together in person, but the online event is shaping up to be tremendous fun. With a whole virtual world to explore, including fantasy inns, campfire tales, medieval feasts and live tastings, there’s plenty for people to be excited about this year.” Sounds fun! Ardbeg Scorch will be available from 27 May for £100 from your favourite online retailer. And it’s been a busy week for Dr Bill and team as they also unveiled X by Glenmorangie, a whisky that’s “made to mix.” Full feature on this mixable malt coming soon…

The Nightcap: 23 April edition

A remarkable liquid with a story that’s… well, it’s a story alright.

Talisker releases its oldest expression to date: 43 year old Xpedition Oak

In what might be the most convoluted bit of coopering ever, the latest release from Talisker called Xpedition Oak The Atlantic Challenge was finished in casks containing staves that sailed across the Atlantic. James Aiken took the unusual cargo on his yacht, the Oaken Yarn, for a 3,264 journey following the route of the rowers in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge from La Gomera in Spain to Antigua. The staves were then sent back to Scotland and made up into barrels which were used to finish a 43-year-old Talisker in. We’re not quite sure why. Still, 1805 bottles were filled at 49.7% ABV and should cost you around £3500. Bottle number one will be auctioned to raise money for conservation charity Parley for the Oceans. Brand ambassador Ewan Gunn commented: “This whisky is a sublime single malt that captures the pinnacle of the key aromas of Talisker – spice, sweetness, waxy and creamy, with a sense of the sea salt spray the morning after a storm. The four decades of maturation have given a full flavour, yet a softness to this bold dram resulting in a rounded and elegant experience.” We were given a little sample and can only agree with Gunn, that Talisker DNA just shines through even after 43 years with an incredible lingering creamy sweetness. What a treat, though what effect the Atlantic voyage has on the flavour is not obvious to us.

The Nightcap: 23 April edition

Arnett is moving on to exciting new pastures

Former Jack Daniel’s master distiller to found $20m distillery

When Jeff Arnett left his role at the world’s biggest American whiskey brand back in September 2020, I think it was pretty clear to all of us that he was going to put his experience to good use. This week, the former master distiller of Jack Daniel’s revealed he’ll do just that at a new distillery being built in Tennessee. Following a US$20 million investment, Arnett’s Company Distilling project will open a 4,000 sq ft site with a tasting room and restaurant in Townsend, Tennessee in autumn 2021. It will be followed by the opening of a multi-functional ‘family-friendly’ facility in Springbrook Farm in Alcoa, Tennessee in 2022, which shows you how serious this plan is. The latter 20,000 sq ft site will eventually be home to the main distillery and manufacturing operations and will also include a tasting room, restaurant, brewery, and retail store with outdoor activities and entertainment hosted in 31 acres of space. There will be live music and games such as corn hole and pickleball (we have no idea what these but are guessing they are something Cletus from the Simpsons would play). Arnett is not the only significant figure in American whiskey at the centre of this project. It’s collaboration with Kris Tatum, former president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild; Heath Clark, founder of Tennessee-based H Clark Distillery; construction management professional Corey Clayton; and Clayton Homes CEO Kevin Clayton. Arnett is understandably excited about the project. He commented: “For years now, we’ve had this spirit in the back of our minds. It’s straight bourbon whiskey finished with maple wood to produce a sip like no other. It’s hard to believe it’s finally real. And it’s better than we ever imagined.” And there pickleball too!

The Nightcap: 23 April edition

It was quite the return to the world of in-person events for us this week

Bowmore and The Savoy team up to open Solas

This week did something truly amazing. We went to a bar for an event. Frankly, we’d have bit your hand off for an evening at Moe’s Tavern but we got to enjoy some a little more sophisticated at The Savoy. The London landmark was celebrating the launch of Solas (which means light, joy and comfort in Scottish Gaelic), an pop-up outdoor dining space in the historic Savoy Court that takes advantage of this age of outdoor hospitality. It’s a collaboration with Bowmore, which helped put together quite the menu. There’s an array of sublime cocktails that we got to taste as well as a raw seafood bar (mmmmm, raw seafood bar) that serves oyster selections, lobster rolls, gravadlax and scallop ceviche. The venue is a feast for the eyes too, but as you might imagine, it was the cocktails that really sold it for us. Standouts include the Pursuit For Perfection, a light, refreshing and elegant combination of Haku Vodka, peach, rosebud cordial and Champagne and Timeless, a rich, deep and complex mix of Bowmore 15 Year Old, Chezakette Bianco, Averna, Angostura, aquavit and sugar. It’s a truly impressive experience, to be honest. It looks great, the cocktails were delicious and the food? Well, Gordon Ramsey was there and he seemed perfectly happy. Solas is now open seven days a week until 21 June 2021 and I’d imagine reserving ASAP would be a good idea. 

The Nightcap: 23 April edition

The distillery has always had sustainability at the core of its business

Flor de Caña Rum to plant one million trees by 2025

With it being Earth Day yesterday, many brands have put the PR machines into overdrive in order to shout about how environmentally friendly they are. There are a few that aren’t simply greenwashing however, like Flor de Caña. It’s a sustainably-produced rum distilled with 100% renewable energy that’s carbon neutral and Fair Trade certified. It also has its own reforestation program, which has led to the planting of nearly 750,000 trees since 2005. Now it’s ramping up those efforts by pledging to plant more than one million trees by 2025. By partnering with One Tree Planted, its global campaign aims to raise awareness on the importance of reforestation and inspire consumers, bartenders and the general public to donate through the One Tree Planted platform. This guarantees that one tree will be planted for every dollar received. In turn, Flor de Caña will then match all donations received in order to have a greater impact. The global campaign, titled ‘Together for a Greener Future’, will also see the launch of several events with retailers, bars, restaurants and on social media (#TogetherForAGreenerFuture) to engage eco-conscious consumers. “Trees are essential for biodiversity and a healthy climate, so it’s great to work with a brand so committed to making a positive impact for reforestation and sustainability overall,” said Diana Chaplin, canopy director at One Tree Planted. Keep up the good work, guys!

The Nightcap: 23 April edition

Congratulations Mark!

Mark McClintock is Diageo World Class GB Bartender of the Year

Congratulations to Mark McClintock who fought off stiff competition to be crowned last night as Diageo World Class GB Bartender of the Year. The test consisted of two challenges. The first dubbed ‘Alive with Freshness’ used Tanqueray No. Ten and was judged solely on flavour and balance. The second was more complicated and involved contestants designing a dream whisky bar along with two cocktails, one made with Talisker and one with Johnnie Walker Black Label. World Class ambassador Jo Last praised McClintock’s “impeccable skills and hospitality throughout both challenges”.The judging panel was led by Pippa Guys who commented: “Mark has demonstrated a consistently high quality of drinks, knowledge, and personality ever since he stepped into the World Class programme.” McClintock himself said: “I am genuinely shocked and so honoured to go on and represent GB on the global stage”. In addition to the glory of going to the final 4-8 July (virtually), McClintock wins a 12-month contract with Global Bartending, WSET Level 3 spirits course, a personalised Cocktail Kingdom kit, and photoshoot. We wish him the best of luck for the final.

The Nightcap: 23 April edition

Loser has to sing The Champs – Tequila on karaoke.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Cazcabel’s ‘world’s first Tequila board game’

Last week we heard about Jose Cuervo’s plans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, now Cazcabel has revealed how it will mark the event. The brand has launched the ‘world’s first Tequila board game’, La Lotería. A hand-illustrated version of the Mexican classic bingo-style game, the aim is to be the first to match all the pictures on the sheet, La Tabla, with those called out by the host from the deck of cards. Each La Lotería game, comes in a magnetic box complete with a deck of cards, eight reusable La Tabla sheets and pens, a rule sheet, and a Spanish translation guide. Cazcabel Tequila is also hosting a Mexican Fiesta two-hour virtual event filled with tequila cocktails and La Lotería at 6:30 pm on Thursday 6th May. It will be hosted by the brand’s global brand ambassador Nate Sorby, with tickets available via Design My Night for £25 per person. It also sounds great, but to be honest the idea of mixing up some Margaritas whilst playing a Tequila board game sounds hard to beat. You can pick one up from the brand’s website and grab your Cazcabel Tequila here

And finally… man celebrates end of lockdown by pouring a pint over his head

Here in England, we’ve unable to contain our excitement that the pubs are opening again so we can have a delicious pint of beer in the garden. But not as excited as one St Helens man who was so overcome with emotion at the thought of that first pint, that rather than drink it, he poured it over his head. 45-year-old Charlie Richards commented: “My mate was just doing a video showing everyone there really enjoying the day and it went onto me, and well I got a bit excited and ended up rubbing the beer on my face before pouring it over my head for a few laughs. I didn’t think too much of it really, but my mate posted it on Facebook and now it’s gone everywhere.” So this St. George’s Day, we raise a glass to a true Englishman. Cheers Charlie!

1 Comment on The Nightcap: 23 April

The Nightcap: 22 January

In the Nightcap this week we cover the cancellation of some of our favourite whisky festivals (boo!), plenty of great work from The Drinks Trust (yay!) and the US Supreme…

In the Nightcap this week we cover the cancellation of some of our favourite whisky festivals (boo!), plenty of great work from The Drinks Trust (yay!) and the US Supreme Court’s verdict on a parody dog toy that upset Jack Daniel’s (???).

Hello again everyone. We hope you’re all staying safe and managing the seemingly endless lockdown ok. We found a useful way of doing that is to appreciate those small moments of joy we can overlook. Like hearing a new song you love or making yourself a plate of delicious carbohydrates to inhale. Plus, there’s vaccines and dogs and all kinds of exciting and wondrous things happening in the world of booze to enjoy. Which is why we do The Nightcap. This industry never fails to amaze. Did you ever think you’d see Fatboy Slim, pre-French Revolution Cognac, pirate-themed whisky, CBD gin and the US Supreme Court in one article?

On the blog this week, we introduced our solution to the blandness of the season with Try January! Then, we looked forward to a different but still delightful Burns Night by checking out the most exciting virtual events taking place and recommending some cracking whiskies to enjoy on the night. We also had our fill of tasty cocktails, from a classic gin-based pre-Prohibition serve to serves that can transport you across the world. Expressions that caught our eye included a terrific dram from Aberlour was our New Arrival of the Week, a non-alcoholic spirit inspired by the historical distinction of London Dry gin and a selection of bargain white wines.

Now, on to The Nightcap!

On The Nightcap this week: Fèis Ìle,

It’s heartbreaking to know we won’t be going back again, but safety is the priority.

Fèis Ìle and Campbeltown Malts Festival cancelled

In unsurprising, but still terribly sad news, there will be no Fèis Ìle or Campbeltown Malts Festival this year. Much like in 2020, the organisers of the two internationally-renowned events were moved to axe them in the face of huge uncertainty over the impact of coronavirus restrictions. Planning a programme, buying/selling tickets and booking accommodation in advance as normal hasn’t been possible due to the ongoing curbs on travel, social gatherings and events. Virtual versions of  both festivals will take place instead. Springbank Distillery announced last night on Instagram that the Campbeltown distilleries felt it was the only option, “as the UK is currently in the midst of lockdown restrictions and it is unlikely that mass gatherings will be allowed by May”. Islay’s hugely popular music and malt festival released a similar statement. “With deep regret, we announce that this year’s festival is cancelled. We have discussed this with our distillery partners, and we have come to this decision together,”. The organisers went on to say, “We know you won’t like hearing this news. We don’t like saying it. But please just keep Islay in your hearts for a little longer: hold on to the love of the island, the music, the whisky and the company, and the embraces when we see you again will be all the sweeter.”

On The Nightcap this week: Arrrrrrrdbeg

It’s a most fitting tribute. Arrr!

Ardbeg reveals new whisky: Arrrrrrrdbeg

There can’t be many jobs that reward you with leaving presents as cool as the drinks industry provides. Just ask Mickey Heads. As regular Nightcap readers will know, the well-regarded distillery manager announced his retirement last year from his role at Ardbeg (although he will be continuing in his role as chairman of the Ardbeg Committee). So the Islay-based distillery has created a new whisky to celebrate his time there. How cool is that? The new whisky is a pirate-themed expression called Ardbeg Arrrrrrrdbeg (hell yeah) and is the distillery’s first-ever whisky matured in ex-rye casks. The brand’s tasting notes describe flavours such as gunpowder, smoked banana, rye bread, sweet vanilla toffee, an aniseed breeze, Brazil nuts and gentle smoke. Sounds delicious. But, sadly, this is an Ardbeg Committee exclusive bottling. That means if you want to get your hands on a bottle you’ll have to head on over to the Ardbeg website and join the committee before it is released in the UK on the 2 February 2021. Members are due to receive an email that morning with a link giving them the chance to buy a bottle. Dr Bill Lumsden, director of whisky creation at Ardbeg, described the dram as a “perfectly peaty parting gift” and thanked Heads for his time there, commenting: “Working with Mickey has been an absolute joy. He’s somebody with a genuine passion for Ardbeg and we hope that this bottling will take pride of place in his collection. He’s presided over many momentous Ardbegs over the years, but this ‘end of an era’ edition is a special one”. You can still pick up all kinds of tasty Ardbeg whisky from us, however, and raise a glass of that to the man who led Ardbeg to three IWC ‘Distillery of the Year’ titles in a row and was named Distillery Manager of the Year 2014 instead. Slange var! 

On The Nightcap this week: Fèis Ìle,

The Drinks Trust welcomes Troy Christensen, Jaega Wise, Ian Burrell and Becky Paskin.

The Drinks Trust welcomes new chair and patrons

We got some good news courtesy of The Drinks Trust this week as it appointed a new chair of its board of trustees, Troy Christensen and welcomed three new patrons, Ian Burrell, Becky Paskin and Jaega Wise. Christensen, who first joined the charity in 2018,  brings 15 years’ experience in the drinks trade with Constellation Brands and as CEO of Accolade Wines from 2011 until 2013. He was appointed CEO of Enotria Wine Cellars in June 2014 and oversaw the acquisition of Coe Vintners in 2015. “This remarkable charity has represented and defended employees of the wine and spirits industry for over a hundred years. After the unbelievable challenges 2020 presented to our industry through the impact of Covid and government policy, this is a very relevant time for The Drinks Trust,” he commented. Helping Christensen and co. to raise awareness and increase the charity’s reach and impact are new patrons Ian Burrell, rum ambassador; Becky Paskin, spirits journalist and co-founder of Our Whisky; and Jaega Wise, TV and radio presenter and head brewer at the Wild Card Brewery. They will join existing patrons Matthew Rhys, Jancis Robinson MW OBE and Olly Smith as well as Founder Patron, Tom Yusef who said, “The help and time from our new patrons to further our causes whilst helping The Drinks Trust to reach new audiences is greatly appreciated. We are excited to be working with such dynamic and inspirational people in the drinks industry”.

On The Nightcap this week: rare Macallan

This beauty is sure to fetch an eye-popping price

World’s most expensive whisky tipped to set new records

The second half of an incredible collection of whisky will go under the hammer next month in a sale that is set to enter the record books. From 12-22 February 2021, over 1,900 bottles of the rarest single malts in existence, will feature in the sale hosted by Whisky Auctioneer. Leading the auction is The Macallan 1926 Fine and Rare 60 Year Old, which is expected to beat the current world record hammer price of £1.2m, which is held by a Macallan from the same original bottling batch. Other standout whiskies include The Balvenie 1937 50 Year Old, Bowmore’s legendary 1964 vintage and a 1921 private cask bottling of Dallas Dhu which has not been seen on the secondary market for over 25 years. The Perfect Collection Part Two, which initially launched last April, was postponed following a major cyber attack. Part one took place in February 2020, fetching a total hammer price of £3.2million as Whisky Auctioneer became the first online auction house to sell a million-dollar bottle. The collection was amassed by late American businessman and philanthropist, Richard Gooding and is one of the largest and most significant ever to go to public auction. “Mr Gooding’s Collection is nothing short of extraordinary and we are honoured and delighted to bring it to auction,” says Iain McClune, founder of Whisky Auctioneer. “Collectors, investors and whisky lovers alike will have their interest sparked by the truly astonishing array of whiskies on offer”. 

On The Nightcap this week: rare Cognac

Want to own Cognac distilled when Napoleon was eight years old? Now you can.

Pre-French Revolution Cognac goes under the hammer

We got quite excited last year at getting hold of some 1895 Cognac from Hermitage but new lots going up on Whisky.Auction on Sunday 31 January make that venerable liquid look positively sprightly. The collection belonging to Jacques Hardy, from a well-known Cognac family, contains bottles from 1802 and 1777. The last one a pre-Revolutionary vintage distilled when Napoleon was just an eight-year-old boy with big dreams. It boggles the mind that you might be able to taste such a piece of history. The grapes came from Domaine de la Vie in Grand Champagne and after distillation, the liquid spent around 100 years in oak before being transferred to a demijohn and finally bottled in 1936. It was given to Jacques’ uncle, James Hardy, on his wedding day by his new family-in-law. Much better than new linens. It’s one of only five such bottles in existence. Sukhinder Singh from Whisky. Auction commented: “I am pleased to have tried this around 10 years ago when it was available at The Lanesborough Hotel in London. What a privilege it was to taste such old liquid that was still fresh and full of life with the lingering rancio flavour that you find in pre-phylloxera Cognac.” The rest of the collection is equally mind-blowing as alongside the 1777 and 1802, there’s an 1812, a 1906 and a mere baby, the 1914. The bottles are being sold as individual lots, and the auction will go live on Sunday 31 January 2021, running for ten days until Tuesday 9 February. Happy bidding!

On The Nightcap this week: The Drinks Trust,

The money goes to a great cause, so do check it out

Fatboy Slim signed prints up for auction for The Drinks Trust

How’s your living room looking? A bit bare, perhaps? What you need are some gorgeous limited edition prints which have just gone on sale called A Shot in Time. These five pictures celebrate five emotions associated with hospitality: togetherness, happiness, resilience, family and, not forgetting, shenanigans. Remember shenanigans? The creator of these prints is drinks photographer Addie Chinn. Each one costs £50, is A3 size and part of a limited run of only 50. Best of all, all the profits go to The Drinks Trust, to raise essential funding to those needing critical social, medical and financial help for them and their families in the hospitality sector.  Go to Our Future Proof Website to buy yours. But that’s not all! Mr Fatboy Slim himself, Norman Cook, has signed and captioned a set of prints which will be auctioned at Whisky.Auction of 31 January 4pm. It’s all happening there this week. Follow @OurFutureProof for more information. 

On The Nightcap this week: spaniels

It’s not a story of Jack Daniel’s getting into a fight with actual dogs, but it’s no less ridiculous.

And finally… Bad Spaniels beat Jack Daniels

In a long-running legal battle between a small dog, VIP Products, and a big animal, Brown Forman, it looks like the little dog will, at last, have its day. It all started with the launch of a dog chew toy called Bad Spaniels that looked a lot like a bottle of Jack Daniels, with the words ‘Old No. 7 Tennessee sour mash whiskey’ replaced with ‘The Old No.2 on your Tennessee carpet’. Clever! Following cease and desist letters from the whiskey firm, VIP products sued Jack Daniel’s in 2014. Initially, a court found that the toy did infringe on Jack Daniel’s trademarks but then in 2020 the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in favour of Bad Spaniels. The big boys at JD weren’t done yet, so they petitioned the Supreme Court but this month the highest court in the US declined to hear the case. So it looks like, finally, the spaniel has won. Moral of the story: don’t get in a fight with a dog over a chew toy. Not only will you lose, but you’ll be left looking foolish.  

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