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The Nightcap: 11 January

It’s our first Nightcap of 2019 so it’s a special bumper edition. We’ve got a lot to get through so without further delay, ado, procrastination or beating about the bush, here’s what we’ve been up to since the last Nightcap way back in 2018.

Cast your mind back to New Year’s Eve, we know it seems like a long time ago, Adam came up with some top tips to drink on the night. Between Christmas and New Year, we rounded up our most-read stories of 2018, and looked at Glenkinchie’s exciting plans to become a top tourist destination. Then as January began, Annie fell in love with grain whisky and learned how your other senses affect how you taste. Adam produced a list of mouthwateringly-refreshing drinks and got all seasonal with winter-y botanicals. Kristy peered into her crystal ball (yes, she really has a crystal ball) to see what we’ll be drinking in the next few years and spoke to some bigwigs at Johnnie Walker about the future of whisky. And finally, Henry put in a plea for fortified wines, introduced a new regular feature, Cocktail of the Week, and got all bitter and twisted over amari. See what we mean about bumper edition?

And that’s not all. We had our first Dram Club of 2019 and announced a competition to win a VIP trip to Ardbeg!

Such content. Now we can’t hold back the tide of news any longer. Here it comes!

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Categories : News
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The Nightcap: 7 December

Another week, another round-up of all the news that’s fit to drink. Yes, it’s the Nightcap! Or c’est le Nightcap as our cousins across la Manche might say. So pour yourself a snifter and have a nose around.

This week on the blog there can be little doubt that Christmas is coming. To get any more Christmassy, you’d need Noddy Holder to pop up and shout “it’s Christmaaasssss!” We’ve been counting down the days in some style with our office Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar. And what treats there have been: Day One was the Lost Distilleries Blend from the Blended Whisky Company, followed by Starward from Australia, something special from Dufftown, a French single malt, a BenRiach, and finally, the mighty Hudson Baby Bourbon. To get you in the mood, we brought you exclusive interviews with the people behind these very special drams!

If that’s not Christmassy enough, Adam came up with some boozy gifts for guaranteed Yuletide satisfaction. Oh, and #WhiskySanta’s Super Wish was something quite spectacular: a bottle of Talisker Bodega Series 40 Year Old, worth £2,750! Blimey.

But it wasn’t all festive fun on the blog. On Monday, we had a closer look at the last Dram Club Tasting Sets of 2018. Annie delved into the mad world of spirits maverick Rebel Rabbet, maker of drinks that defy easy categorisation (and nothing to do with fluffy bunnies.) And Henry met with Cognac sniffer-outer extraordinaire David Baker and tried some brandies distilled during the Second World War.

Some quality booze writing there, and talking of booze and writing, here are the top drinks stories of the week. Bon weekend!
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Irish Distillers ramps up Jameson production with €150 million investment

As Irish whisky and Jameson in particular continues to boom globally, Irish Distillers will be spending €150 million to increase production, warehousing and bottling capacity in Cork and Dublin.

Irish Distillers, the company behind such legendary whiskeys as Jameson, Powers and Redbreast, has announced massive investment in sites in Cork and Dublin.

€130 million of the money will be spent in Cork on expanding and upgrading the already massive New Midleton Distillery to increase capacity. Exciting new equipment will include a mechanical vapour recompression evaporator, a third mash filter, and new fermenters. And that’s not all; they’re getting a new office building too.

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The Nightcap: 14 September

The Nightcap

Friday has arrived, meaning another edition of The Nightcap is in order, complete with all the booze news from the week that was. Surf’s up, folks.

Look at a calendar. Whether that calendar is made of paper or pixels, it’ll tell you that today is Friday. Unless you’re reading this on a day that isn’t Friday – then the calendar will tell you that it was once Friday. That’s generally how calendars work. Sometimes they give you the definition of interesting words or a picture of a small dog hanging around in a fishing village, but mostly they exist to tell you when Friday is. It’s today. Therefore, The Nightcap is a thing.

Firstly, let’s see what happened on the blog this week. Our Annie recapped the first leg of her visit to Piedmont with Cocchi, then showed us how to drink like a particularly famous British super spy. Kristy got the low-down on the final addition to Diageo’s 2018 Special Releases (they’re now available to pre-order, too!). Henry chatted to Cabby’s Rum founder Moses Odong about making rum in London and The Knowledge, then gave us a Macallan history lesson. Phew.

On to the rest of this week’s booze news!

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How did The Glenlivet, Chivas Regal and Jameson perform in 2018?

With Pernod Ricard’s full-year sales results hot off the press, we take a peek at how the likes of Scotch whiskies The Glenlivet and Chivas Regal, Ireland’s Jameson, Cognac brand Martell and Absolut vodka fared in 2017/18. Spoiler alert: Scotch wasn’t the star of the show…

It’s results season, folks! Big companies left, right and centre are publishing their annual (or quarterly) reports, giving us an insight into how they’re getting on sales-wise. Today it’s the turn of Pernod Ricard to disclose its full-year data to the end of June. We had a nose through the docs and crunched the numbers to see how some of the world’s biggest drinks brands got on…
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Raise a glass to the Chelsea Flower Show with these floral whiskies!

This week, tens of thousands will descend upon the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to marvel at some of Britain’s most brilliant blooms. Indulge your inner Alan Titchmarsh with these fragrant drams – no green fingers necessary.

Chelsea Flower Show has graced the grounds of London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea every year since 1913 (except for during the two World Wars, naturally), in a room large enough to comfortably fit 500 London buses. This five-day floral spectacle is a British institution. It’s Crufts for flower fanatics.

If you’ve got hayfever just thinking about it, why not pay homage to horticulture from the comfort of your very own garden with a dram in-hand? After all, floral doesn’t necessarily have to mean ‘perfumed’.
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Categories : American Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Japanese Whisky, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, World Whisky
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Jameson launches first cask-strength whiskey!

Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength

Jameson has introduced its first cask-strength whiskey, championing the provenance of its Bow Street visitor attraction. And wow – we enjoy that extra ABV…

It’s been a good year for Jameson. News that the Bow Street site welcomed more than 350,000 visitors in just twelve months was followed by parent company Pernod Ricard’s announcement that sales grew 12% in the first half of its financial year. Now the Irish whiskey giant is keeping the good times rolling with the launch of Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength.

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Categories : Irish Whiskey, News
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Jameson Distillery Bow St. breaks 350,000 visitors in first year!

Jameson Distillery Bow St.

The home of Irish whiskey giant Jameson capped off a very special first birthday celebration with some tremendously exciting news. Its Bow Street site has officially become the most-visited whiskey experience in the world!

It took just twelve months for 350,000 visitors from over 70 nations across the world to visit the new-look Jameson Distillery Bow St, quite the feat for a new visitor attraction!

While the distillery has stood on the same site in north Dublin Smithfield Market for 237 years, in March 2017 Irish Distillers, the company behind Jameson, completed an €11 million refurbishment (the process of which you can view in the video below), revamping both the site and the authentic Jameson experience. The timber beams and cobbled courtyard may remain, but those who walk inside the famed distillery today enjoy a vastly different encounter.

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Visiting the Reopened Jameson Distillery Bow St. in Dublin

Pernod Ricard Jameson

Jameson has reopened its Bow St. brand home in Dublin – formerly known as The Old Jameson Distillery – following an €11m redevelopment. We sent Jake over to Ireland for the lowdown on the new multi-sensory experience and masterclasses.
 
First covered here on the blog during our interview with Irish Distillers Master Blender Billy Leighton a month ago, Jameson’s Bow St. brand home in Smithfield, Dublin has recently reopened following an ambitious €11m redevelopment. Now fully up and running, I paid them a visit last week.
 
Located on the site of John Jameson’s original 1780 Irish whisky distillery, a Jameson visitor centre in Dublin was first opened back in 1997. By the summer of 2016 a significant refurb was required to bring the experience up to date and handle greater numbers of visitors (over-subscription and delays had become a real problem, by their own admission), but what they’ve achieved since September is pretty damn impressive.
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Categories : Irish Whiskey, News, Whisky
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Jake & Sam’s Top 10 Greatest Ever Whisky Appearances in Film & TV!

Top 5 Whisky Film TV

Something of a rarity this – a joint blog post! Jake and Sam are proud to present our top whisky appearances on the big and small screen.

So, with Blur’s new album still relatively fresh off the press, we give you Whisky & TV! (You know, like Coffee & TV… Geddit?)

Sam: If you’re going to call it that, I’m going to make my own list.

Jake: But…

Sam: Yeah. I’m definitely just doing my own list.

Jake: Fine, after you then. I didn’t want any of your suggestions in my (super-fun-better-than-Sam’s) list anyway.

 

[Jake holds back tears long enough to look a bit sulky.]

 

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Categories : Irish Whiskey, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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