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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Master of Malt

The Nightcap: 9 August

Artificial tongues that can taste whisky? Vodka made from Chernobyl rye? The gin boom is still going?! These aren’t tales from 2054 – these stories all appear in this week’s…

Artificial tongues that can taste whisky? Vodka made from Chernobyl rye? The gin boom is still going?! These aren’t tales from 2054 these stories all appear in this week’s Nightcap!

Behind the scenes sneak peek at how The Nightcap comes together right here: sometimes this intro is written after the all the stories have been finished. Having a look at all the futuristic stuff in this edition of The Nightcap, you might think that time travel is real and MoM Towers has slipped through a dimensional rift and ended up in the year 2054. Stranded and working purely on instinct, we notice on the future calendar it’s a Friday, so we write up a new edition of The Nightcap, regaling the masses with tales of artificial tongues that can taste whisky and spirits made from crops in Chernobyl stories that these future folk see as perfectly normal, but to our minds are wildly out of this world. But it’s not. It’s today and stuff is just becoming more impressive by the day!

So, good people of 2019, what’s been happening on the MoM Blog? Henry kicked off the week with a gem of a rum from the Diamond Distillery for New Arrival of the Week, made a Pink Lady for Cocktail of the Week and spoke to Peter Lynch from WhistlePig about an oloroso-finished rye exclusive to MoM. Annie chatted to Bimber’s founder Dariusz Plazewski about where people can go wrong (and right) when starting a craft distillery, and then asked a very important question to us all: how do you make alcohol-free beer delicious? Guest columnist Nate Brown has opinions about drinks industry folk who RSVP for events then don’t turn up.

We also launched a new competition where you could win a trip down to Deven to visit Salcombe Distilling Co.! Take a look, pick up a bottle of excellent gin, and cross your fingers!

And now, the news of the future today!

Cardhu

How Cardhu will look when it’s been refurbished

Johnnie Walker gets the green light for Cardhu redevelopment

The final piece in the jigsaw is now in place. That jigsaw being Diageo’s £150m plan for whisky tourism in Scotland based around four key distilleries. As we have reported previously, developments at Glenkinchie, Caol Ila, Clynelish, and a Johnnie Walker HQ in Edinburgh have all been granted planning permission. Now it’s the turn of Cardhu in Speyside. This was the first distillery acquired by Johnnie Walker in 1893 and since then has been a key component in the blend. David Cutter, chairman of Diageo in Scotland, said: “Together these locations will create a unique Johnnie Walker tour of Scotland, encouraging visitors to the capital city to also travel to the country’s extraordinary rural communities.” Laura Sharp, brand home manager at Cardhu, added: “This announcement is very exciting and we want to thank Moray Council and all our neighbours for their continued support.” We love it when a plan comes together.

That’s what an artificial tongue looks like

Boffins baffle counterfeiters with artificial whisky-tasting tongue

Who can forget the story from 2017 when a Chinese businessman spent $10,000 on a glass of Macallan that turned out to be fake? Well, such occurrences might be a thing of the past thanks to a team of Scottish engineers from the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. A paper titled ‘Whisky tasting using a bimetallic nanoplasmonic tongue’ published this week in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s journal Nanoscale describes a metal ‘tongue’ that can be used to analyse whisky. The ‘taste buds’ are made up of gold and aluminium in a checkerboard pattern. It identifies whiskies from the statistical analysis of minute differences in how the metals absorb light. The device was tested on a series of single malts – Glenfiddich, Glen Marnoch and Laphroaig – and was able to tell the difference between them, as well as different expressions of the same malt with greater than 99% accuracy. The paper’s lead author, Dr Alasdair Clark (above), of the University of Glasgow’s School of Engineering, said:  “We call this an artificial tongue because it acts similarly to a human tongue – like us, it can’t identify the individual chemicals which make coffee taste different to apple juice but it can easily tell the difference between these complex chemical mixtures. In addition to its obvious potential for use in identifying counterfeit alcohols, it could be used in food safety testing, quality control, security – really any area where a portable, reusable method of tasting would be useful.” So next time you’re splashing out on the Macallan, don’t forget your artificial tongue. 

Clouded Leopard Gin bottle

This is gin, it’s still very popular in Britain

Gin still booming according to the WSTA 

There have been articles recently in the Spectator and the Financial Times saying that the gin boom is over, but figures just released by the WSTA seem to contradict this. As a trade body, the WSTA has an interest in bolstering the industry but nevertheless the stats make interesting reading. Retail sales up to March 2019 were up 43% by value on the previous year, worth nearly £1 billion. The off-trade is up 56% by volume on last year’s sales with nearly 6 billion bottles sold between March 2018 and 2019. Combining domestic and export sales, the British gin market is worth over £3 billion. WSTA chief executive Miles Beale commented: “It’s been another phenomenal 12 months for gin and, despite recent reports suggesting the gin bubble may have burst, our numbers suggest the exact opposite. Gin’s continued domestic popularity, and the growth in the spirits category overall, has no doubt been helped by the decision to freeze duty on spirits in the last Budget. We need further supportive action from the Government as we approach Budget time once more. Looking at the popularity of British gin overseas is also cause for celebration. £350 million, or around 46% of all British gin exports head to the EU, and so it is imperative that the Government works with the European Union to secure trade that is as seamless in the future as it is now.” What could possibly go wrong?

Firestone & Robertson TX whiskey, now just a tiny bit Frencher

Pernod Ricard bets on American whiskey with Firestone & Robertson buy

French drinks group Pernod Ricard, which owns the likes of Beefeater Gin, Absolut Vodka, The Glenlivet Scotch and Jameson Irish Whiskey, this week bolstered its presence in American whiskey by snapping up Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. The Texas-based producer makes TX-branded whiskey and bourbon, and the deal includes its Whiskey Ranch distillery too. “This is an exciting day for all of us at Firestone & Robertson,” said Leonard Firestone and Troy Robertson, who co-founded the business. “Building our company and producing award-winning whiskeys has been a truly remarkable experience. We are so proud of our team, and grateful to the many people that supported our efforts over the years. It is an extraordinary opportunity to partner with Pernod Ricard, and we are confident this relationship will accelerate the growth of our brands while preserving our roots and shared core values.” Pernod chairman and CEO, Alexandre Ricard, said the (undisclosed) transaction was a “very promising venture” that “strengthens our portfolio and footprint in the United States”. If it means more tasty American whiskey to go round, we’re all for it. 

You can swap a tin of beans for one of these!

The Alchemist tackles food poverty with cocktail exchange

Foodbank use is soaring in the UK (charity the Trussell Trust recently reported a 19% increase in food supplies it’s donated in the last year). Loads of us are both donating to and accessing our local food banks (there’s a list on the Trussell Trust’s site), so when news reached us that UK bar group The Alchemist is encouraging people to bring supplies in return for a cocktail, we whooped and cheered. On 29 August, any customers who bring non-perishable donations (unopened and in date; tinned, dried and packaged foods) into one of the bars with them will get vodka-based serve The Colour Changing One for free! All collections will be donated to local food banks. “These are truly fantastic local charities tackling food poverty across the UK, which is an issue we’re particularly passionate about at The Alchemist,” said Hannah Plumb, head of restaurants at The Alchemist. “This activity is a fun and engaging way to encourage customers to donate to their local food banks, who are in need of donations now more than ever.” You can find The Alchemist in Birmingham, Cardiff, Chester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Oxford. You know what to do on 29 August!

Bruichladdich's Bere Barley

Bruichladdich’s bere barley

Bruichladdich reinforces barley focus with Exploration Series trilogy

Remember earlier this year when we checked out Bruichladdich’s trial barley plots? Well, the Islay distillery’s long-running focus on the grain has continued with new flavour-focused expressions, which will form a Barley Exploration series. Its focus on barley has become a bit of a USP for the distillery, which works with different local producers, and is currently trialling up to 60 different varieties. There are also plans to open its own maltings by 2023. So what does this new range look like? First up, Bruichladdich The Organic 2010 was distilled in 2010 (obvs) and made using barley from Mid Coul Farms harvested in 2009. It was matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks for at least eight years, and was bottled sans chill-filtration or caramel colouring at 50% ABV. Bruichladdich Bere Barley, made from Orkney-grown Bere, a variety considered “obsolete” by many distillers, was likewise distilled in 2010 and bottled at 50% ABV just as it is. Rounding off the trio is Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011, made from Islay-grown barley, which spent 75% of its six-year maturation life in American ex-bourbon casks, and 25% on European ex-wine casks. “We want to support people who grow for flavour, those champions of heritage and natural crops,” said Bruichladdich head distiller, Adam Hannett. “By partnering with them we can find new and forgotten flavours, reconnecting our whisky with its vital raw ingredients.” Sounds great to us! 

Doesn’t it look jolly in Fentimans’ Secret Spritz Garden?

Fentimans kicks off Secret Spritz Garden

If The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was one of your favourite books as a child, AND you now like refreshing summer sippers, then we have news. The Venn circles have officially crossed, courtesy of tonic brand Fentimans. Tucked away behind ivy-covered walls, away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Farringdon is (for the next three weeks, anyway) a little oasis of tranquility, aromatic plants, and a Spritz menu of dreams! The garden itself is overflowing with trailing greenery, herbs, and a 200-year-old olive tree, while Fentimans has added a lemon-filled fountain, highly-Instagrammable swing seat and the all-important bar into the mix. The menu (developed with the likes of Lillet and Martini Fiero) was created by Dino Koletsas (from The Langham, Bourne & Hollingsworth and Callooh Callay) and showcases the wonder of low- and no-alcohol cocktails, including the Rose Spritz, made with Fentimans Rose, lemonade, Martini Prosecco and fresh strawberries; and the Valencian Spritz, with Fentimans Valencian Orange Tonic Water, with Belsazar White Vermouth and peach liqueur. Head on down (you might even find yourself in a free guided workshop, from the Art of the Aperitivo to watercolour classes) Wednesday to Saturday up until 29 August to enjoy!

Aecorn range

Aecorn, a range of non-alcoholic aperitifs, has just been launched by Seedlip

Diageo acquires majority stake in Seedlip

In a move that will surprise no one, it was announced this week that Diageo has taken a majority stake (mmm, majority steak) in alcohol-free ‘spirit’ manufacture Seedlip. The brand was launched by Ben Branson in 2015 and created a new category of non-alcoholic drinks flavoured, packaged, and priced to rival premium gin. Distill Ventures, Diageo’s venture capital arm, took a minority investment in June 2016. Since then, Seedlip has gone global: it’s sold in top bars and restaurants in 25 countries, and comes in three varieties. It has also inspired legions of imitators such as Ceder’s from Pernod Ricard. Earlier this year, Seedlip launched Aecorn, a range of non-alcoholic vermouth-style aperitifs. We have been informed that Branson will still be involved with business. He commented: “We want to change the way the world drinks and today’s news is another big step forward to achieving this. Distill Ventures’ and Diageo’s shared belief in our vision has enabled us to build a business that’s ready for scale and I’m excited to continue working with Diageo to lead this movement.” John Kennedy from Diageo said: “Seedlip is a game-changing brand in one of the most exciting categories in our industry. Ben is an outstanding entrepreneur and has created a brand that has truly raised the bar for the category. We’re thrilled to continue working with him to grow what we believe will be a global drinks giant of the future.” And Shilen Pate from Distill Ventures added: “Supporting the vision of founders is what Distill Ventures was set up to do, and we’re proud of the impact Ben has had on our industry in such a short period of time.” With all that Diageo cash behind it, expect Seedlip’s upward trajectory to continue. 

GlenDronach

Mouth-watering malts

The GlenDronach’s new Cask Bottling releases will have whisky lovers salivating 

Prepare yourselves, The GlenDronach has just announced the seventeenth batch of its Cask Bottling series! It contains whisky drawn from fourteen casks ranging from the years 1990 to 2007, all of which have been selected by none other than master blender, Dr Rachel Barrie. What to expect? Each Highland expression has been bottled from a single cask from a selection of the distillery’s signature Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks alongside two Port pipes. Particularly special is a bottling from a rare vintage 1995 cask, one of the last remaining casks from that year still at the distillery. “The batch seventeen cask selection truly celebrates The GlenDronach house style; robust, elegant, fruity and full-bodied,” said Barrie. “Each cask individually explores the sophistication, powerful intricacy and rich layers of Spanish sherry cask maturation found in every GlenDronach expression; from layers of crème brûlée, treacle toffee and over-ripe banana in 1990 […] to toasted pain au raisin and butterscotch simmering beneath the surface in 2007.” Is your mouth watering as well? Then keep your eyes peeled for your favourite online retailer (us, duh) over the next few weeks.

Atomik Vodka

Don’t worry, it isn’t radioactive

And Finally… anyone fancy a Chernobyl Martini?

We’re no strangers to far-out spirits at Master of Malt, after all, we sell a gin distilled using botanicals that have been into space, but a new spirit might be the strangest thing yet. It’s called Atomik Vodka and it’s distilled using rye and water from the contaminated area around Chernobyl, site of the world’s worst nuclear energy disaster in 1986. Just this week, London bar Swift on Old Compton Street made the very first Atomik Martini with it. But before you start calling for Soho to be cordoned off, and send in the men in yellow suits, this vodka, despite its name, isn’t radioactive. The man behind it, Professor Jim Smith from the University of Portsmouth, told the BBC that though the rye was “slightly contaminated”, distillation has removed any impurities, and radioactivity levels are “below their limit of detection.” Only one bottle has been made so far but the Chernobyl Spirit Company, consisting of Smith, Ukrainain scientist Dr Gennady Laptev and others, plans to make 500 bottles per year. The team still has some legal hoops to jump through before production can start but when it does, 75% of the profits will go to help people in the region. Smith commented: “I think this is the most important bottle of spirits in the world because it could help the economic recovery of communities living in and around the abandoned areas. Many thousands of people are still living in the Zone of Obligatory Resettlement where new investment and use of agricultural land is still forbidden.” Sounds very worthwhile and, according to Sam Armeye, the vodka tastes good too. Atomik Martinis all round!

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FYI – we do next-day weekend drinks delivery!

Saturday night soiree and missing something critical? Got a Sunday birthday gathering and forgot the all-important gift? Fret not – we can save the day with our next-day weekend drinks…

Saturday night soiree and missing something critical? Got a Sunday birthday gathering and forgot the all-important gift? Fret not – we can save the day with our next-day weekend drinks delivery!

Our mission in life is to create amazing drinks experiences and get all manner of delicious things out into the world. And we love doing it. So much so that a while ago we introduced Sunday shipping, on top of our weekend Saturday service. All for just £8.95!

And it’s super speedy, too! If you’re on most of the UK mainland and order before 9pm on Friday night we’ll reach you on Saturday. If you want your boozes on a Sunday, just order before 3pm on Saturday afternoon. (Sorry, Highland and Island-dwellers. We can still reach you but we’ll need a little more time. We’ll need to summon the ferries, extra delivery folks and the like, they’re not always nippy. Not sure? Pop your postcode in at the checkout.)

This isn’t anything particularly shiny and new. But now spring has finally sprung and barbecue weekends might actually be A Thing again in the UK, we thought we’d give it a mention. Consider it a public service announcement, if you will. If you need next-day deliciousness, we can help. Even at the weekends!

If you’re not the sort to plan ahead, it now literally doesn’t matter. Weekend drinks delivery is here! Although that does mean you’ve got one less excuse for turning up at Sunday lunch empty-handed…

Weekend drinks delivery

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Google Pay is officially in the building!

Browsing on an Android device right now? We have news for you. Google Pay is live on the site, which means it’s even easier to grab something delicious at Master…

Browsing on an Android device right now? We have news for you. Google Pay is live on the site, which means it’s even easier to grab something delicious at Master of Malt!

What does this mean? Gone is the need to mess about with address and payment deets at check-out. Just let your device do the work! Simply hit the pay button and you’re good to go. Your boozes will be en route to you before you know it!

All you need to do is make sure you’re signed in to your device with your Google account, and then set up your payment options. Once that’s done, just browse Master of Malt and pop what takes your fancy in your basket as per usual (if you want the super-fast experience, instal the Google Pay app). Head to the checkout, tick the Google Pay option and BOOM! It’s cocktail hour.

Google Pay

Google Pay is here!

This is something we’re incredibly excited about. Last month, we got Apple Pay up and running, and now Google Pay is here, too. More and more of you use smartphones to browse the site, check out New Arrivals and read the blog, so we wanted to make it even easier to shop, too!

With Google handling all your details, there’s less typing and more time getting on with your day. You could check out cocktail ideas for your new bottle. Or go down the Buzzfeed quiz rabbit hole. Don’t let anybody tell you that knowing what type of cactus you are is ridiculous.

So. What are you waiting for? Happy shopping!

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Introducing the Master of Malt Luxury Trilogy

It’s with enormous pride that we’re able to bring you an incredible new range of single malt Scotch whiskies, like no others that have come before. Meet the Master of…

It’s with enormous pride that we’re able to bring you an incredible new range of single malt Scotch whiskies, like no others that have come before. Meet the Master of Malt Luxury Trilogy.

*UPDATE: It’s time for you all to know the truth about Limitless, Opulence and Kryptós.*

Today represents the start of a journey, one that will lead drinkers to new worlds and new possibilities. Leave all your preconceptions at the door and join us…

It was important to us to bring the concept for each of these new whiskies to life and to convey its meaning in a coherent manner. By working with acclaimed filmmaker Sven Nekyan, we hope you’ll agree the video above does just that and more.

The Master of Malt Luxury Trilogy is made up of three innovative whiskies, each representing a different story. Be brave and invite a little glamour, or perhaps some mystery, into your life and into your glass.

Limitless

Your destiny is in your hands. Be who you want to be in your limitless life with this majestic single malt Scotch whisky. Aged patiently in carefully selected American and European oak casks for at least three long years, this expression is beautifully presented in a decanter bottle complete with sterling silver stopper and matching wings. We leave it up to you to embrace the infinite.

Opulence

Eau de Vie de grain vieillie en fûts de chêne. Pour Homme ou Femme. Or simply for everyone, actually. Everyone to whom style and grace speaks. Adroitly assembled for this very purpose by a perfumier par excellence and leading aromachologists, this is an expression that’s certainly not to be missed. You only get one life, make it opulent.

Kryptós

The most enigmatic expression of all is saved until last. The excitement in life is often in the unknown, thusly we offer fewer details for Kryptós than for any of the rest of the Luxury Trilogy. The elegant, opaque bottle, adorned with its greek name (meaning ‘secret’), contains a liquid inspired by the science of cryptography. Based on an incredibly ancient recipe that’s been reinterpreted for a thoroughly modern experience, we’re committed to not revealing any more information about this whisky until this time next year.

So there you have it. Three extraordinary whiskies borne of the desires of now. Although currently produced through unprecedented exclusive partnerships with the very finest distilleries, within a couple of years the already celebrated Master of Malt Luxury Trilogy will become the first releases from our cutting-edge 3D-printed distillery.

Limitless, Opulence and Kryptós will be available to purchase later this month. You will, of course, also be able to experience these whiskies digitally through our multi-sensory Joculus Snift eDramming headset.

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You can now snap up delicious boozes using Apple Pay!

Big news, folks! As of today, you can use Apple Pay to complete your orders on Master of Malt. Which means it’s even easier to stock your drinks cabinet with…

Big news, folks! As of today, you can use Apple Pay to complete your orders on Master of Malt. Which means it’s even easier to stock your drinks cabinet with treats!

Browsing Master of Malt in Safari on an iPhone right now? A Mac? Or even an iPad? If so, you can forget all the faffing associated with typing your address and payment details at the checkout. Simply fingerprint/facial recognition it and go!

Apple Pay MoM

Simples

We’re super-excited about this development. We know more and more of you use your smartphones to check us out, research what’s new in the world of drinks, and read up on developments on the blog. As such, we wanted to make it even easier to actually get those bottles you’re eyeing up from your basket to your booze cabinet!

If you’ve got Apple Wallet set up of your device, you’re good to go. If not, if you’ve got an Apple gadget and you want in, there’s a little bit of admin involved to add your payment card to your Apple account. But don’t worry, we’ll wait.

Then, once you’re ready to check out, pop in your delivery postcode and head to the payment page. Hit the Apple Pay box above the card payment option, and voilà! Easy peasy. Ready the glassware – your drinks are on their way!

MoM Apple Pay

Not THOSE sorts of apples

How does it work? All the necessary deets are held by Apple Pay, so we get the info (encrypted and super-safe, obvs) from them, not you. So you spend less time typing and more time watching all-important cat videos. You’re welcome.

Reading this on a Google device and feeling all kinds of FOMO? Fret not. Our team of ace developers are on the case. We’ll have more news soon…

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IWD 2019: Meet our content assistant, Jess Williamson!

Want to get into writing about whisky? On International Women’s Day, we meet our content assistant Jess, who does just that! It’s International Women’s Day! All week, I’ve been chatting…

Want to get into writing about whisky? On International Women’s Day, we meet our content assistant Jess, who does just that!

It’s International Women’s Day! All week, I’ve been chatting to just some of the women who work at Master of Malt, in all different departments across the business. We’ve met Emma, our head of service; Mariella, our PR manager; Rachel, our trade service manager; Laura, our campaign executive; and earlier today, Charlotte, our digital marketing assistant.

Now, wrapping up our Q&A series, we have Jess, the newest member of the MoM marketing team. She joined Content in January 2019 and immediately hit the ground running, helping to research and write about – and, most importantly, taste! – the very many products we get live on the site every day. She also contributes to The Nightcap, the blog, and a whole host of other drinks and words-related things.

Intrigued about getting into drinks writing? Want an insight into content at MoM? Over to Jess!

Tell us about you and your role at Master of Malt.
I’m the content assistant at Master of Malt, so I mainly help with the shed-loads of new products that flood in, and write some (hopefully) witty and informative content for them!

Talk us through a typical day…  
Mostly I’ll be looking through all the new product listings and writing content for those, with some social media content on the side. Occasionally, we have brands come in to show us their products; those days are always educational and delicious. I contribute to The Nightcap posts each week, and if I’m lucky then I’ll also have some tasty drams to write tasting notes for!

How did you get into content and writing?
I graduated from Bristol University with an English Literature degree, so I’ve always loved writing, and have written for online music magazines in my spare time for nearly three years. I also worked in an extensive gin bar for a while (it had 64 gins!), which is when I realised that drinks were really a thing – when I say that, I mean more than just vodka and squash, which happily I shall never drink again. I started temping in another department within the company for a few months, during which time the industry got me hook, line and sinker, and I applied for my current role at MoM!

Jess, who loves music and booze, is our content assistant!

What’s one of the most surprising things about your role?
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was (happily) surprised at how varied it is, and how everyone is happy to pitch in, and for me to pitch into projects. I don’t think I’d quite understood the scale of the industry and the level of discernment involved – I was blind but now I see! Also, three cheers for the hands-on nature of actually tasting the drinks I write about. Yum.

What makes the drinks industry such an interesting place to work?
As someone fairly new to the industry I’ve learnt so much in such a short space of time, and I don’t think that’ll slow down any time soon! Everyone involved is so enthusiastic; there’s such a great combination of tradition and innovation. The whole nature of drinks is so subjective as each consumer is unique, so it feels like the possibilities are endless!

Recommend a drink!
Just one? I’m a big fan of trying any new and exciting cocktail when I’m out, but I love a Bramble. Although if I’m making a drink for myself, then it’ll probably be a Gin & Tonic!

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IWD 2019: Meet digital marketing assistant, Charlotte Gorzelak!

It’s International Women’s Day! All week, we’ve been celebrating by interviewing some of the women who work at Master of Malt. Today, we chat to our digital marketing assistant Charlotte…

It’s International Women’s Day! All week, we’ve been celebrating by interviewing some of the women who work at Master of Malt. Today, we chat to our digital marketing assistant Charlotte Gorzelak, who landed at MoM Towers after working in Germany and LA. Kent is very different in comparison…

8 March is here and it’s International Women’s Day! To mark the occasion, we thought we’d take the opportunity to quiz some behind-the-scenes faces at Master of Malt. Not only have you got to meet some of our dream team, hopefully it’s potentially sparked some drinks industry career ideas, too…

Today we’re chatting to Charlotte Gorzelak, who joined MoM in July 2018 as our digital marketing assistant. Charlotte’s career path so far has certainly been geographically diverse, and she’s also our resident detective with her Criminology degree. Intrigued? Read on!

Tell us about you and your role at Master of Malt…
I’m the digital marketing assistant at Master of Malt, so I do a little bit of everything from pay-per-click, to email and social marketing. I mainly build the social media posts which go out on all channels, and I go to a few events to post stories on Instagram to give our followers an insight into the interesting new things happening in the industry. Most recently, I was in Mayfair for the launch of our new MoMer’s Web Page Gin, and the week after that I was in Covent Garden for an Irish whiskey tasting and book signing with Anne Griffin, the author of When All is Said.

How did you get into digital marketing?
I actually got into marketing by applying for a waitressing role after graduating with a degree in Criminology. They saw I had media and PR experience on my CV, and offered me a different role in the interview. Cue four years of me working in a microbrewery, helping during brewing (read: getting malt in my wellingtons and generally making a mess), making cocktails and serving drinks, and doing marketing for a few drinks businesses. I also did a short stint in Los Angeles working with a film company as their marketing person, and in Germany filming with Audi at the Nürburgring. I then came back to England (and the drinks industry!) to work at MoM.

She might not be a GoT fan, but Charlotte is queen of the Iron Throne.

What makes the drinks industry such an interesting place to work?
It’s varied and fun. It’s such a broad industry. From the making of the drink to the selling and then the serving, you need lots of different skills at each intersection and I think that’s why you get such a mix of people working in our industry. There’s a place for everyone. When I worked in brewing, we used to do the brewing process in these steel vessels next to the bar. I was inside cleaning out the malt one day and popped my head out of the hatch. I totally surprised this couple eating their lunch next to the tank! It was hilarious, and it made their day that they could talk to someone who was really involved in the drink they were drinking at the time.

Tell us about a career highlight…
When I was just starting out at MoM I was asked to go to the Macallan Magnum exhibit to celebrate the opening of the new distillery. It was the first event I attended at MoM. I was able to take an in-depth look at the distillery and chat to people in the industry, while sipping amazing whisky cocktails – and I got to sample the Macallan Magnum expression bottled especially for the opening. I also went to Diageo’s Game of Thrones Johnnie Walker White Walker launch which was amazing, even though I have never seen the TV show! As we were filming, I even made a tiny cameo.

Recommend a drink!
The Penicillin cocktail. Smoke, ginger and sweetness. I’m still yet to perfect it at home but whenever it’s on a menu, it’s my go-to drink.

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MoM does the double at UK eCommerce Awards!

Yep, we’ve not quite calmed down yet, but there are two more shiny trophies to add to the Master of Malt awards cabinet – and we’re so excited! We’re beyond…

Yep, we’ve not quite calmed down yet, but there are two more shiny trophies to add to the Master of Malt awards cabinet – and we’re so excited!

We’re beyond thrilled to share some marvellous news – last night we picked up not one but two trophies at the glitzy eCommerce Awards in London: Food & Drink eCommerce Website of the Year, and eCommerce Social Campaign of the Year for everyone’s favourite supernatural, omniscient, festive, heavily-bearded being, #WhiskySanta!

Yes, folks, it was another celebratory evening, and today the whole team is buzzing. It means so much to be recognised for something you love doing – purveying delicious boozes is never not going to be a joy!

Charlotte and Dan from the digital team picking up our UK eCommerce Awards trophies!

We’re pretty chuffed that the UK eCommerce Awards judging panel chose to celebrate all things Master of Malt. Dan and Charlotte from our digital team were our reps on the ground, picking up the two shiny trophies and raising a glass on behalf of us all.

The Food & Drink eCommerce Website of the Year was a big one for us. We were up against some stiff competition, and the judges said they were especially impressed by our advanced search function, which makes it even easier to track down those mouth-watering bottlings. Anything to make it easier to find that perfect tipple.

And then #WhiskySanta only went and bagged a trophy, too! We’re super proud. This year’s campaign was bigger than ever before, with £250,000-worth of the finest spirits handed out as gifts, either in response to wishes on social or tucked away in parcels through November and December. No wonder #WhiskySanta has to take the rest of the year off. That’s a lot of booze to haul about!

We’re delighted – and we’ll keep it up in our quest to bring our incredible customers the best drinks experiences possible. It’s our very favourite thing to do, after all!

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IWD 2019: Meet trade service manager, Rachel Matthews!

It’s probably fairly obvious that we love and sell all kinds of delicious boozes here at Master of Malt. But did you know that we also work with the likes…

It’s probably fairly obvious that we love and sell all kinds of delicious boozes here at Master of Malt. But did you know that we also work with the likes of bars, restaurants and pubs? It’s Rachel Matthews and her team who look after this side of proceedings, and in today’s instalment of our International Women’s Day series we’re getting stuck in to all things Trade!

Rachel joined Master of Malt five-and-a-half years ago, and has been instrumental in building the Trade team out. Her hospitality background is a huge advantage, as is a love for the hundreds of new products we see each week. Over to Rachel!

Tell us about you and your role at Master of Malt.
I’m the trade service manager.  What do I do, I hear you ask… well, I’m here to support and help develop the team to provide the best service to our customers that have businesses in the world of booze. We give our on-trade customers a service which is knowledgeable, product-filled and a cut above the rest. And we continue to make Trade a thriving sector at Master of Malt!  Each year we gain more customers through word-of-mouth because of the service we proudly provide.

How did you get into trade service?
I’ve been at MoM for five-and-a-half years; before that, I was waitress at a cocktail bar when I met you (love that song – The Human League!). Sadly, it wasn’t as cool as that – it was a seafood restaurant. I’d worked in the hospitality industry for long period of time after university and I was ready to get out, but I still wanted to continue dealing with customers as I enjoyed that aspect of my work. This is when I decided I wanted to work for MoM, I knew a fair bit about alcohol, but my main love was dealing with customers. I finally, got an interview (after stalking the website daily) with Emma Golds, and they accepted me for a stock assistant role (not what I wanted but it developed my understanding of the company). I quickly transitioned into the Trade department. From there, I grew within the department, continually learning and building my knowledge about how to give our customers the best service possible. I’ve always been a believer that you have to work hard for what you want and always push yourself, learn from your strengths and weaknesses.  

Master of Malt International Women's Day Rachel Matthews

Meet trade service manager, Rachel!

What are the particular challenges to working in Trade?
I love a challenge; it is the only way you learn about yourself. But one particular area I find challenging is keeping up with the constant flow of new products. There are thousands of them, and it is not slowing down! For instance, the gin industry is still booming, and I believe there are 315 distilleries in the UK according to from HM Revenue & Customs figures, and gin drinkers helped category sales exceed more than £1.9bn in 2018. It’s absolutely mind-blowing!

What makes the drinks industry such an interesting place to work?
The industry is ever-changing, you never stop. People said after the EU referendum that the alcohol industry was in danger. Well, I can confirm that Trade is seeing sales climb 65% year-on-year.  People are wanting to spend more on the quality of the liquid, and are more focused on the ingredients and stories behind the bottles. This is great, as we are able to help our customers expand their knowledge on the products available, as well as our own knowledge, too! We are constantly learning, and no day is the same.

Recommend a drink!
Tough question! If I’m needing a pick-me-up then I’d go for an Espresso Martini. If I’m putting the world to right with my friends, then I’ll have a wee dram of the Glenfarclas 15 Year Old.

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IWD 2019: Meet our head of service, Emma Golds!

Our International Women’s Day 2019 interviewee today is Emma Golds, our head of service! Emma leads our trade and retail service teams, is partial to a Japanese G&T, and was…

Our International Women’s Day 2019 interviewee today is Emma Golds, our head of service! Emma leads our trade and retail service teams, is partial to a Japanese G&T, and was also recently featured on a very exciting bottle of gin indeed…

Friday 8 March is International Women’s Day! To mark the occasion, all week we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes peek into the inner workings of MoM Towers and introducing you to different people across the team. Today, meet our head of service, Emma Golds.

Emma joined Team MoM more than six years ago – and you’d be hard-pressed to find a human who cares more about the customer experience than she does. She’s part of the senior management team at Master of Malt, and has an incredibly varied role spanning service (of course!) product, and operations. Over to Emma!

Tell us about you and your role at Master of Malt.
I am head of service for Master of Malt, which means that I’m responsible for managing the Service teams (Retail and Trade) and ensuring that our amazing customers always receive the support and service that they deserve. I have worked at MoM for six years and absolutely love it! I truly believe that our customers are the best in the world and the fact that I get to spend my days coming up with different ways to improve our service delivery and make even more people happy is the greatest.

Talk us through a typical day…
First thing, I’ll have a catch up with our Trade and Retail Customer Service managers to get updates about how their teams are looking and what type of things we have been helping our customers with recently. I want to understand what our customers are asking for and how we can help them better in the future. Listening to our customers and taking their feedback to other areas of the business is something that I absolutely love to do! It really is our customers that drive and shape our business, and I’m incredibly fortunate to work with some amazing colleagues and teams that also love to listen and respond to the challenges that are asked of us.

Then, after a coffee, I’ll continue to test out some of the new systems that we are trialling which will make the customer experience even more seamless. The rest of the day might include more meetings, or knuckling down and working on some upcoming projects. I work very closely with all other areas of the business to make sure that we have complete cohesion in our strategy – from our Fulfilment Centre, to make sure that all of our orders are packed beautifully, to our Stock Replenishment team, to ensure that we have enough stock for an upcoming promotion that our Digital Marketing team will be running over the weekend. The overarching goal is always to make our customer experience the absolute best it can be. 

International Women's Day Master of Malt Emma Golds

It’s Emma!

How did you get into customer service?
I had always worked in customer service but had never really thought about it as a career path – I just knew it was something that I really enjoyed and was good at (I think, really, I just like to chat with people and do what I can to help and make their lives a little easier!). After taking myself off to university and travelling for a few years, I returned home and began working directly with customers again. I found that I was not alone in being shocked and dissatisfied with the customer service I was receiving from companies that I interacted with, and that I was extremely passionate about improving service levels across the board. Fortunately, I found myself joining a business (MoM!) that felt the exact same way, and I began to build and shape a team that puts customers at the absolute forefront of our decision-making.

What makes the drinks industry such an interesting place to work?
I think the fact that it attracts so many different types of people, all with such varied skills but passionate about the same thing. It really breaks down barriers and the opportunities are endless! It is such a fast-paced industry and is constantly evolving. It keeps you on your toes and is so exciting – who knows what trends are just around the corner?!

Tell us about a career highlight…
Being featured on the MoMer’s Web Page Gin label recently has to be a very proud moment!

Recommend a drink!
Easy peasy – Ki No Bi Gin & Tonic with a sprig of rosemary to garnish. Absolutely beautiful (and if you can guarantee sunshine and good company, that is even better!).

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