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.
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.]
It was 11am in Gatwick airport on Saturday 14th March. The plane taking a small drinks press contingent over to Ireland for Jameson’s extended #HelloDublin St. Patrick’s Day celebrations was due to leave in just over an hour from Heathrow. Had I made a terrible mistake?
In fact, I’d just arrived back from a holiday and had always known I couldn’t make that flight, just as I knew all I’d be seeing on my return to blighty was Gatwick airport itself. My flight to Cork was later, and until then I’d simply be pretending I was Tom Hanks in The Terminal. (Although there were no Catherine Zeta-Jones love interest developments to speak of.)
I like a bit of Irish whiskey me. That’s why I made a point of writing a big ol’ three-part blog post about it earlier in the year. So, bearing that in mind, when I received an invitation to attend the Irish Whiskey Academy at Midleton distillery over in County Cork I didn’t really need to think about it for too long. The Academy opened in February 2013 and along with a new still house and archive became a focus for the Irish Distillers’ Housewarming celebrations last year.
The Academy is a state of the art training facility whose courses have been attended by many of the leading whisk(e)y writers, journalists and bartenders. There’s a nice Dave Broom quote on their site that sums it up quite nicely: “I can honestly say that this is the finest training facility I have ever been in, and some of the finest training I have ever had”. That.
Earlier this week, Amy Hopkins over at the Spirits Business posted a fantastic article that really spoke to us here at Master of Malt, all about the most famous mousers at distilleries around the world. If you had any doubts about cats being the best animal ever, then these brave feline warriors ought to cement their place at the top of the “Best Animal Podium”. (If you were wondering, pugs are a close second, followed by bumblebees.)
But why does a distillery need a cat? You can understand other job roles like Master Blender, Maltster and Warehouse Manager being vital for the day to day tasks, but a cat?
What are you doing on May 16th to May 18th? If you’ve got plans, cancel them. If you don’t have plans, make some and then cancel them, because the wonderful folks from The Whisky Lounge are putting on The London Whisky Weekender, a weekend-long celebration of whisky from around the world, and you definitely don’t want to miss it.
The Whisky Lounge are good peoples. They’re devoted to educating, entertaining and generally making the world of whisky not feel like an impenetrable wall of arduous lexicon that you need to attack with a shining silver sword to get any joy from. With a mission statement of “Turn Everyone on to Whisky”, we couldn’t think of a better bunch to put together a whisky festival in the country’s capital.
Categories : News
Blimey, it’s Friday already! A Valentine’s Day Friday, no less! Well, today we only have eyes for delicious Irish Whiskey as we move onto the third and final instalment of this bumper blog post.
Back at the start of Part 1, I mentioned Teeling Whiskey Company‘s recently confirmed plans to build a new distillery in Dublin, the first in 125 years. This post will cover this and many other projects that could see the number of distilleries in Ireland double, treble, or perhaps even quadruple!
First though, I’ll try to briefly run through some other news and developments, starting with the fact that in 2011 Beam Inc. bought Cooley, introducing another big player alongside the giants of Pernod Ricard and Diageo and leaving Ireland without an independent distillery once again (albeit briefly…).
Yesterday, I began my serialised guide to Irish Whiskey with a rundown of its turbulent history through some difficult times, becoming the most popular spirit in the world before nearly disappearing altogether in the 20th century! Fortunately, it has been on a road to recovery in the last few decades and is now thriving.
Despite this resurgence, which has made Irish Whisky the fastest growing drinks category in the world, Scotch whisky still comfortably sells 15 times more cases worldwide, and has about as many times more active distilleries too. With Scotch whisky’s dominance since the 1930s, there’s perhaps understandably still some confusion, even amongst whisk(e)y enthusiasts, surrounding the styles of Irish whiskey available.
Fret not, however! In this second instalment I’ll be looking at each style in turn, complete with a number of yummy examples of each!
Last week Teeling Whiskey Company (who have the tagline ‘The Spirit of Dublin’) officially announced that they’re set to bring whiskey distillation back to Dublin, something that’s been in the pipeline for some time now. Jameson, meanwhile, are already looking ahead to St. Patrick’s Day with a new limited edition packaging design (with the tagline ‘The Spirit of Dublin’ – well, they couldn’t let those pesky newcomers cause anybody to forget Jameson’s own Dublin roots, could they?!). These are interesting times over on the Emerald Isle, and it seems like an ideal moment to shine a massive ol’ spotlight on Irish Whiskey, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.
So, what’s it all about? What else is new? Herein lies all you need to know about the fastest growing spirits category in the world; from the history, to the styles of whiskey available, through to more recent developments and news. This is the tale of the rise and struggle and rise and rise and monumental collapse and hanging on in there and rise of delicious Irish whiskey!
Tullamore Dew is returning to its spiritual home after 58 years with the announcement that William Grant & Sons will be building a new distillery in Tullamore town itself.
The company, which also owns Glenfiddich and several other brands you’ll be not unfamiliar with, acquired Tullamore Dew in 2010. Second only to Jameson in the popularity stakes, sales of the Dew are growing by 15% annually according to William Grant & Sons, and production from the new distillery is intended to sustain the long-term demands.
Work on the new distillery is scheduled to begin later this year, subject to planning permission, and from the sound of it, it’s intended to be something of a showpiece for Irish whisky. More…
So after a slightly shaky start this morning (you may have guessed that the pristine looking cup of coffee posted on the blog this morning was put there merely to taunt me by Mike, our online editor) I arrived in Ireland to be greeted by a charming young PR lady and a driver to make the short hop over from Belfast to Bushmills.
On arriving at the (absolutely beautiful and highly recommended) Bushmills Inn hotel, we had a light lunch and were whisked away to the distillery for a tour. More…