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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Mortlach

Mortlach video masterclass with malt whisky brand ambassador TJ

Last month we spent an evening at Diageo’s London HQ with Edinburgh bartender and malt whisky brand ambassador TJ learning about why they call Mortlach the Beast of Dufftown. And…

Last month we spent an evening at Diageo’s London HQ with Edinburgh bartender and malt whisky brand ambassador TJ learning about why they call Mortlach the Beast of Dufftown. And we’ve got the videos to prove it.

Mortlach is a Speyside legend famed for its powerful whiskies that are capable of great ageing (the distillery recently released a 47 year old). Its unique character is down to a peculiar distillation technique known as ‘The Way’ invented by Alexander Cowie who built the distillery in 1823. We won’t go into too much detail about how it works but you can read more about it here. In this technique the wash is distilled not once, not twice, not even three times a lady, but 2.81 times. So precise!

To talk us through the core range, we were lucky enough to have one of Diageo’s newest and shiniest brand ambassadors TJ. An Edinburgh native, TJ cut his teeth working in some of the city’s best bars before being snapped up to spread the malt whisky gospel.

Drams at the ready, let’s masterclass!

Here TJ tells us a little about himself and his journey from behind the bar to Diageo whisky brand ambassador.

 

The 12 year old is Mortlach’s bestselling expression offering all that trademark meatiness at an everyday price.

 

One step up in the range and a move up the complexity scale is the 16 year old.

 

And finally the biggest beast in the Mortlach core range, it’s the mighty 20 year old!

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Win a VIP trip to Mortlach Distillery

WIN the trip of a lifetime to Speyside and the Mortlach Distillery! Enjoy a VIP private tour, tastings, two nights at The Craigellachie Hotel and more! Everyone’s a winner –…

There are few Scotch whisky fans who wouldn’t jump at a chance to see inside the wonderful Mortlach Distillery. It’s one of Scotland’s finest distilleries and is well known across the globe for its unusual and unique distillation process known as ‘The Way’ and the spirit this produces, which is affectionately known as ‘The Beast of Dufftown’ for its bold, muscular and robust character. It’s such a shame it’s not usually open to the public. Somebody really should team up with the creators of those distinctive drams to offer an incredible VIP trip for one lucky person and their plus-one.

Somebody did. Us. Yes, that’s right people. We’ve launched another fantastic MoM competition and we’re taking one fortunate human being and their chosen human companion to Mortlach Distillery!

VIP trip to Mortlach Distillery

Mortlach distils its whisky 2.81 times in a process unique to the distillery

“What do I win?! What do I win?! What do I win?!”

It’s quite the prize. The winner of this competition will earn a VIP visit to Mortlach Distillery, including a private tour and tasting for themselves and a lucky plus one (they’ll certainly owe you one after this). We’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that this is particularly special because Mortlach is not usually open to the public so this is a rare opportunity for Scotch whisky fans to see an iconic distillery like few people have before!

If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also be treated to tours of Speyside cooperage and Cardhu Distillery, two nights’ accommodation in the Craigellachie Hotel (UK travel and food included) and you’ll even receive a bottle of the sensational Mortlach 20 Year Old.

Any Scotch whisky fan reading this will be aware of what an incredible opportunity this is. A VIP trip. To visit not one, but two classic Speyside distilleries. One rarely seen by the public. Open to explore for your pleasure. Plus food. And Flights. And food. And a bottle of delicious Scotch. Also free food. All this is just one competition? Applying is a must.

VIP trip to Mortlach Distillery

This beauty could be yours if you win.

“I’m in. How do I enter?”

I’m glad you asked. You will be automatically entered into the competition if you purchase a 70cl bottle of Mortlach 12 Year Old, 16 Year Old or 20 Year Old from 16 May to 16 June 2019 (For the nitty gritty details, see the competition terms below.) You can buy as many bottles as you want, and just in time for Father’s Day too!

Plus, for the length of the competition, we’ve reduced the price on each bottle of 12 Year Old, 16 Year Old and 20 Year Old by 10%! So even if you don’t win, you still win. What a world.

Good luck, all!

MoM Mortlach 2019 Competition open to entrants 18 years and over. Entries accepted from 16 May to 16 June 2019. Winners chosen at random after close of competition. Travel only provided from a UK location. Prizes not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash equivalent. Entry also available with no purchase. See full T&Cs for details.

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Celebrating Speyside!

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival kicks off next Wednesday, but even if you don’t have a ticket you can still enjoy the spoils of the historic region. Speyside is…

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival kicks off next Wednesday, but even if you don’t have a ticket you can still enjoy the spoils of the historic region.

Speyside is home to some of the best distilleries in all of Scotland and to some of our favourite drams. From Glenfiddich, Macallan, Glenlivet and more, the region boasts some of the industry’s biggest names as well as a variety of styles – not just the classic honeyed and sherried single malts (though it does have plenty of those, and they are mightily marvellous, of course).

With The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival on the horizon, it seemed only right that we took the time to celebrate the most prolific whisky-producing region in Scotland with a selection of some of its most magnificent whiskies. Enjoy!

The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak

Macallan produces some of the most revered, sought-after Scotch whiskies in the world that can sell for eye-watering sums. The Macallan 12 Year Old Sherry Oak might not grab the headlines like some its older, rarer drams, but it’s one of the most impressive bottlings around in its age group and makes for a perfect introduction into what has become the modern Macallan style.

What does it taste like?:

Sultanas, fresh apple blossom, tropical fruits, golden syrup, hot pastries, barley sugar, marmalade and a solid oaked notes.

Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask

A terrifically tasty and well-rounded single malt from The Balvenie, the distillery perhaps best known for its use of secondary maturation (or finishing). This bottling was initially aged in traditional oak casks before it was finished in casks which previously held a select blend of Caribbean rums chosen by malt master David C. Stewart MBE, imparting additional notes of toffee, spice and dried fruit.

What does it taste like?:

Tropical fruits, creamy toffee, sweet vanilla, apples, baking spice and mangoes.

Scallywag

Scallywag from Douglas Laing is a blended malt made from a host of whiskies sourced from some of Speyside’s finest, including Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes, many of which were matured in Spanish sherry butts. Some bourbon cask whisky is also in the blend for balance, making this a go-to expression for many Scotch whisky lovers. Also lovers of dapper little Fox Terriers. It’s wearing a monocle for goodness sake!

What does it taste like?:

Icing sugar, sultanas, candied ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, oak spice, nutmeg and cereal.

Tomintoul Tlàth

Tlàth (pronounced “Tlah”) means gentle or mellow in Gaelic, which gives you a clue as to what to expect from this non-age statement whisky which was matured in ex-bourbon barrels. The Speyside distiller’s Scotch is often described as ‘the gentle dram’ and this expression boasts plenty of distillery character and makes for a perfect introduction into all things Tomintoul.

What does it taste like?:

Sweet toffee, toasted vanilla, shortbread citrus peel, hints of mint leaf, lively white pepper and some oak-driven spiciness.

Mortlach 12 Year Old

The Mortlach distillery is known for its robust, muscular malts which proves a delightful reminder that Speyside is as varied as it is spectacular. Its 12-year-old expression, drawn from bourbon and sherry casks, features the subtitle The Wee Witchie, which comes from the name of the tiny still that distils a portion of the whisky.

What does it taste like?:

Warming oak, damson, soft raisins, toasted almond, cinder toffee and heavy barley with some lingering citrus oils cutting through.

Tamdhu 10 Year Old

Since its return to the Scotch whisky scene, Tamdhu has established a principle of ageing all of its whisky exclusively in Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks. That distinctive, well-sherried profile, and the fact that it’s rather lovely, makes Tamdhu 10 Year Old the perfect go-to dram for those who desire a classic sherried Speysider.

What does it taste like?:

Dried orange peel, red wine, pecan, soft red fruit, brown sugar, chocolate-covered Brazil nut, crystallised ginger, cacao, spicy clove and raspberry jam.

Speyside 26 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

That Boutique-y Whisky Company independently bottled this 26-year-old single malt from the Speyside distillery in the Speyside region. Imagine celebrating The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival with a dram of Speyside Scotch from a distillery actually named Speyside. That’s commitment, people. Oh, and it’s a seriously delicious whisky, in case you were wondering.

What does it taste like?:

Lemon peel, chocolate, oily barley, honey, strawberry jam, clove, ginger and apple strudel, topped with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Glenfarclas 25 Year Old

Last, but certainly not least, is a classic of the genre. You say Speyside and many will immediately think of this long-time family-owned distillery and its magnificent 25-year-old single malt. Glenfarclas 25 Year Old, which spent its entire maturation period in 100% Oloroso sherry casks, is a refined, complex and delicately peated dram that’s sure not to disappoint.

What does it taste like?:

Sherry and creamy barley, hints of gingerbread and nutty chocolate, oak rich, smoke and cocoa.

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Master of Malt tastes… Mortlach 47 Year Old

We found ourselves dram-to-face with the oldest ever distillery expression released from Dufftown’s oldest distillery: Mortlach. It’s safe to say that Mortlach is one Scotch whisky’s finest distilleries. The spirit…

We found ourselves dram-to-face with the oldest ever distillery expression released from Dufftown’s oldest distillery: Mortlach.

It’s safe to say that Mortlach is one Scotch whisky’s finest distilleries. The spirit is reliably good and possesses a distinctive distillery character. It’s current core range is one of the most impressive you’ll find. But what are things like at the other end of the age spectrum?

We were invited to a tasting of its latest release, Mortlach 47 Year Old, to find out. The brand arranged for 47 guests in total to imbibe the imperious at The Violin Factory in Lambeth, London last night. Global Scotch ambassador Ewan Gunn hosted and was at hand with anecdotes and answers. Did I mention there’s was a 47-year-old Mortlach? It was all obviously incredibly exciting.

Mortlach 47 Year Old

An introduction to Speyside whisky at the Violin Factory: Knockando 12 Year Old (front) Cardhu 12 Year Old (middle) and finally Mortlach 16 Old (end).

Anybody who’s ever enjoyed a dram of the good stuff knows that there’s always going to be a level of intrigue about whiskies of a certain age, no matter how many brilliant young spirits are released by great distilleries.

An extra-old whisky can prove to be something of a double-edged sword, however. An expression of that age may have actually suffered from too long in the cask, suppressing a lot of flavours and any trace of the distillery’s profile. You don’t want to end up writing a tasting note that’s essentially just a list of synonyms for ‘woody’. Worse still, you could come to the realisation that your dreamy dram was actually a relatively poor whisky before it was even matured in the first place. Respect for your elders can only go so far.

Mortlach 47 Year Old

Mortlach Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland

That said, my impression going into this tasting was that Mortlach was exactly the kind of distillery that would avoid this fate. The spirit is known as The Beast of Dufftown’ for its robust, bold and uncompromising character and its noted ability to stand up to long maturation and distinctive cask types. It’s also been described as being atypical of ‘Speyside style’, though I’m not sure you could or should reduce any region to one profile.

Instead, it’s worth exploring what makes Mortlach unique, and for many that lies in the distillation process. You may have heard the brand explain that it distils its whisky 2.81 times, using a complicated process known as ‘The Way’. Gunn describes it is a method that “can only have come from the mind of a world-class engineer.”

It’s essentially a partial triple distillation. Only two out of its six variously sized stills operate conventionally, the first being a wash still that carries out the first distillation and the second is a spirit still, which takes care of the second distillation. This pair of stills creates one spirit stream. All pretty standard fare so far.

Mortlach 47 Year Old

The famous Mortlach stills

That leaves a remaining four stills, two wash and two spirit. The wash stills carry out the first distillation for the second and third spirit streams and what they produce is split between the remaining two spirit stills. One spirit still receives 80% of it, making a second spirit stream, while the remaining 20% is distilled three times in the last still, which is known affectionately as ‘Wee Witchie.’ The middle cut is taken after the third distillation, creating the third spirit stream.

All three spirit streams are then combined, having been condensed using wooden worm tubs (Mortlach remains one of only a handful of distilleries still using these to cool its spirit). The end result is the classic Mortlach new-make, muscular, meaty and full-bodied. You can get an idea here of why long maturation or cask types don’t tend to undermine Mortlach whisky. You’d have to think it would take a lot to shackle that particular beast.

Which brings me to the Mortlach 47 Years Old. It’s worth pointing out that it’s not the oldest bottle of Mortlach whisky. In fact, a 75-year-old bottling of Mortlach released by Gordon & MacPhail is one of the oldest whiskies in the world. The 47 Year Old is the oldest ever released from the distillery itself, and the first from a new collection of single cask whiskies called The Singing Stills Series. The range will eventually feature three rare single cask expressions and was named after Mortlach’s famously vocal distillation equipment. Talk of beasts and singing inanimate objects all sounds a little Beauty and the Beast, but “the sound of the stills is as distinctive to the distillery as the taste of the whisky,” Gunn explains.

Mortlach 47 Year Old

It’s the oldest distillery expression released from Mortlach

Mortlach 47 Years Old was matured in a single refill American oak hogshead that was filled in 1971. For 47 years the spirit rested in the original warehouse before it was bottled at 46.8% ABV. There are just over 90 bottles left from the original 100 that were filled, so Mortlach has launched an online registration, which opened last night, on Justerini & Brooks in order to handle demand. It will set you back £10,000. Quite steep, but then we are living in increasingly silly times.

In the material sent out with the announcement of this series, master blender Dr Craig Wilson describes the 47-year-old as “exquisite for its age and is unmistakably Mortlach, with its intensely complex character and well-balanced flavour profile”. There was also a tasting note provided, which read as such:

Producer’s Tasting Note for Mortlach 47 Year Old:

Nose: Aromatic and exotic with orchard and tropical fruits followed by honey and waxy notes. Subtle spice notes emerge with sage, rosemary, incense and myrrh followed by a faint touch of smoke.

Palate: Soft, ripe fruits with an intriguing combination of sweet and sour notes – umeshu plums and peaches are both present. There are balanced by firm tannins and a rich earthiness with just a little smoke.

Finish: Earthy and spicy with a touch of wood ash.

It all sounds very delicious. Happily, we can confirm that it’s exactly what it is. As we tasted our dram, music commissioned specifically for this whisky (no, really) played. It was written by Alexis French using the singing of the stills as inspiration. It added a nice ambience to the tasting, but there was simply too much going with this whisky to notice it that much.

What really stood out was the elegant structure of the dram, with a sublime nose as the highlight. There was enough there of what people would recognise was classic Mortlach, but also plenty of welcome surprises. Here’s a full MoM tasting note, so you can get a better idea of just how good my Tuesday night was:

Mortlach 47 Year Old

Mortlach 47 Year Old

Master of Malt Tasting Note for Mortlach 47 Year Old:

Nose: Rich, deep and elegant, the nose begins with dark chocolate with raspberries through it, Christmas pudding and a little floral honey. Fleshy nectarines, pineapple rings, ripe mango and a little banana foster add an exotic and refined sweetness. Vanilla fudge emerges and is followed by a fascinating blend of incense, star anise and thyme. Dried mushroom and cured meat provide a savoury, umami backbone, which baked earth and sandalwood complement. A helping of butterscotch and soft toffee pennies are present throughout, adding a sticky, unctuous sweetness.

Palate: The 47 years of maturation is more apparent on the palate, with sparks of oaky tannins rushing to the fore among dry earth and rancio. Then a raft of dark fruit sweetness and bittersweet, menthol herbs: blackberry compote, rosemary and more thyme predominantly, provide the all-important depth. Rich toffee, ginger snaps and a notable return of the fresh tropical fruits add very pleasant support.

Finish: The finish starts auspiciously with a thick spread of melted, salted butter. It then morphs into a decadent flourish with pear drops, a little retro lemonade and salted caramel sauce, which are balanced by notes of wood ash and charred Chinese pork spare ribs.

Overall: Very, very impressive. The nose, in particular, I could have enjoyed for a fortnight at least. In summary: I’ll fight you all for another bottle.

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The Nightcap: 22 March

Looking for bite-sized bits of booze news? That’s exactly what The Nightcap is all about! This week we’ve got stories about distillery facelifts, trees and 47 year old whisky… It’s…

Looking for bite-sized bits of booze news? That’s exactly what The Nightcap is all about! This week we’ve got stories about distillery facelifts, trees and 47 year old whisky…

It’s time once again for the MoM editorial team to remove the selection of stylish toppers from our heads and don our snazzy newsy caps with the little bit of paper saying “PRESS” or “NEWS” sticking out of them. The Nightcap is back for another round of news stories from the booze world. You can wear whatever variety of hat you want as you read it. Perhaps a pillbox hat? A Stetson? A whoopee cap?! All headwear is allowed.

So what’s been going on here on the MoM Blog? Well, it kicked off with Henry looking at Graham’s Blend No. 5 Port, which he followed up with the Cocktail of the Week (it’s a Manhattan) and an overview of the last 20 years of the London cocktail scene. Annie explored the world of terroir and how it relates to vodka. Kristy took a look around the home of American craft distilling pioneer St. George Spirits in San Francisco. Adam collected together a bunch of suitable springtime treats that would make excellent Mother’s Day pressies. We also had a nose around Aberfeldy, and made it so you can use Apple Pay at the checkout!

That’s all well and good, but what about the rest of the news? Read on…

Clynelish

Clynelish, the Highland ‘home’ of Johnnie Walker, is set for a radical revamp

Clynelish and Cardhu set for fancy facelifts

Diageo has revealed the latest recipients as part of its £150 million investment in Scotch whisky tourism – Highland distillery Clynelish, and Speyside’s Cardhu! Local residents have been invited to check out yet-to-be-submitted plans for both sites, which will become outposts for blended Scotch brand Johnnie Walker. Clynelish, situated about an hour north of Inverness, will get a visitor centre on the upper floor, along with a new bar and tasting area, boasting stunning views of the Sutherland coast. As the Highland ‘home’ of Johnnie Walker, the distillery will share design cues with the major new visitor attraction in Edinburgh. Clynelish shares its site with Brora, a long-closed distillery that’s being brought back into production in a separate project. Meanwhile, over in Speyside, Cardhu is also set for a refurb. The distillery, just north of the River Spey near Knockando, will become Johnnie Walker’s Speyside home. It’s association with the brand dates back to 1893 when it became John Walker & Sons’ first distillery. The investment will see a visitor experience dedicated to Helen and Elizabeth Cumming, the two women who set up and ran the distillery in the 19th century, plus a new orchard space for people to enjoy. “Tourism is an increasingly important part of the Speyside economy, alongside distilling,” said Laura Sharp, Cardhu Distillery brand home manager. “The investment we are making here at Cardhu will add another jewel to Speyside’s whisky tourism crown and we look forward to working with the local community and stakeholders as we progress our plans.” Jacqueline James-Bow, her Clynelish counterpart, added: “Scotch whisky tourism is one of the major attractions driving economic growth in rural communities such as Brora. With the work we are already doing at Brora Distillery, and that we plan to do at Clynelish, we are bringing major investment and creating exciting new economic opportunities for the community.” Subject to planning permission, work is expected to get underway at both sites later this year.

Tres Agaves

Feast your eyes on the new Tres Agaves Distillery!

Tres Agaves opens new Tequila distillery

We’ve heard a lot about new distilleries across Scotland and Ireland recently, but this week we bring you news of a pristine Tequila distillery! San Francisco-based Tres Agaves has opened its first production site in Amatitán, Mexico, with Iliana Partida at the helm as its founding master distiller. Tequilera TAP has been custom-built and will continue to make Tres Agaves’ Blanco, Reposado and Añejo 100% agave range, only now with full organic certification. The set-up includes a 20-ton autoclave, a four-stage roller mill, shallow stainless-steel fermentation tanks, and copper coiled alembic distillation stills. As well as the shiny new kit, there’s also a traditional brick horno, a tahona wheel and shallow pine fermentation tanks, to provide time-honoured production options, too. Capacity will reach more than 600,000 litres of spirit per year. Visitors are welcome, and can take advantage of tours and private tastings, including single-barrel releases. The Tres Agaves team seem delighted with the developments. “Tres Agaves has always been about family, the local community and producing the finest quality authentic Tequila,” said Barry Augus, founder and CEO of Tres Agaves Tequila. “I’ve known Iliana’s family for twenty years and even purchased the land for the new distillery from her father, David. The opening of our state-of-the-art distillery with Iliana, whose family I have known since my start in the Tequila industry, marks a major milestone for us.” Congrats to all!

It seems appropriate to celebrate Cotswolds Dry Gin victory with a quick tipple…

ADI names Best of Class craft spirits

Remember when we headed out to San Francisco for the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits? Well, the winners have been announced! And they are a diverse bunch indeed. Those named Best in Class were deemed outstanding by the individual panels, and then re-tasted by the entire judging contingent – so you know they’re good. And leading the gin charge was England’s very own Cotswolds Distillery, which won the International Gin category with its Dry Gin! Other top tipples were NAUD’s VS Cognac, which won International Brandy; and Casa D’Aristi, which scooped International Liqueur with its Kalani Coconut offering. Kudos also goes to The Heart Distillery which won in the US gin category, Solar Spirits, which snapped up US vodka for its Eclipse Vodka, and Cutwater Spirits, which triumphed in the US Whiskey section with Devil’s Share American Whiskey. Overall, there were hundreds of medals awarded to all kinds of spirits across the category spectrum. Congratulations to all the winners!

Mortlach

Just look at this beauty. Wow

Mortlach releases 47 year old ‘Singing Still’ bottling

We love the meaty taste of Mortlach. It’s not known as the beast of Dufftown for nothing. So, we were particularly excited to learn about a new 47 year old expression from the single malt Scotch distillery. 47 years! Imagine the beastiness. This is the oldest expression ever released by the distillery. It’s the first to hit the market in a new series of single cask whiskies called The Singing Stills Series (can now picture Disney-esque stills actually singing) after Mortlach’s famously vocal distillation equipment. This one is from a refill American oak hogshead that was filled in 1971. “This bottling is exquisite for its age and is unmistakably Mortlach, with its intensely complex character and well-balanced flavour profile,” said master blender Dr. Craig Wilson. Global Scotch ambassador Ewan Gunn added: “The sound of the stills is as distinctive to the distillery as the taste of the whisky. Mortlach’s exceptionally bold and complex flavours effortlessly bridge the gap between mellow and smoky.” Mmmmmm, mellow and smoky. On 25 March one bottle will be auctioned by Bonhams of Singapore with the money going to Daughters of Tomorrow, a charity that supports underprivileged women. A further 94 will go on sale on 9 April for £10,000 apiece. Master of Malt will be given a wee taste soon; we will let you know ASAP whether it’s worth dipping into your wallet.

Barton 1792

You can enjoy bourbon and the Kentucky sunshine with Barreled And Bold

Kentucky distillers team up for free tours!

Great news if you’re Kentucky-bound – Buffalo Trace, Copper & Kings and Barton 1792 have partnered to offer complimentary (yes – free!) distillery tours! Known as Barreled And Bold, the experience takes in each of the three distilleries, based in Frankfort, Louisville and Bardstown respectively. To take part, visitors need to register at BarreledAndBold.com, and then collect their B&B pass at the first stop. The pass gives bearers access to a free tour at each site, and progressive discounts along the journey (10% at the first distillery, 15% at the second, 20% at the third). Visit all three, and get a commemorative gift! “This is not just serendipity, this is allowing for a partnership that can provide an exciting, adventurous window to the past, present and future of distilling in America, well beyond the borders of Kentucky,” said Mark Brown, Buffalo Trace Distillery and Barton 1792 Distillery president and chief executive officer. Copper & Kings founder Joe Heron added: “What a proposition! Bourbon Pompeii to Rock & Roll Brandy, Warehouse X, maybe not SpaceX, but it does feel like a rocket about to take off. Three completely unique perspectives of adventurous Kentucky spirits, Bourbon, American Brandy, Gins and Absinthe. From the barrel for the bold, bold from the barrel. It’s Kentucky hospitality distilled.” We’ve got it on the travel bucket list.

Cooper King Distillery

Cooper King Distillery, doing its bit for the environment

Cooper King marks International Day of Forests by planting hundreds of trees

Over in North Yorkshire, Cooper King Distillery has donated over £1,000 to the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) to mark International Day of Forests on 21 March. The donation will enable it to plant 115 trees! It comes as part of a wider distillery vision to plant 400 trees in its first year of operation. 335 are already in the ground, offsetting 167.5 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 50kg of carbon dioxide for every bottle of Cooper King gin sold. Imagine if every distillery did that! It’s one of just a handful of distilleries in the UK to run on 100% green energy, and instead of relying on fresh water to supply the cooling system, the team uses a nifty closed loop system, saving an eye-watering 13 tonnes of fresh water every year. Cooper King is also the first distillery in England to launch a scheme encouraging people to bring their empty gin bottles back to be refilled. You’ll get 15% off if you do! Think of it as a much more rewarding supermarket plastic bag scheme. If a small distillery that’s been up and running for less than a year can do this, why aren’t others stepping up? As Michael Delvin, development manager at YDMT, commented: “Big businesses can learn a lot from passionate start-ups such as Cooper King Distillery.” Hopefully it will inspire many more to follow suit.

Near & Far

Near & Far comes to Camden!

Get a taste of California in Camden at the latest Near & Far

The Near & Far family of bars is growing once again! With locations already in Peckham and Angel, another bar has just opened in Camden. The third instalment spans four floors of Californian-inspired decor, with room for 180 happy guests. Prepare yourself for palm trees, pastel hues and a copious number of cacti. There’s even a roof terrace which, being in England and all that, is sure to get its fair share of use all year round. With a cocktail menu inspired global tastes and Mexican street food from Elote, there’s literally something for everyone. A few of the cocktails are old favourites from other bar locations, as well as some new blood on the scene (not literally). We’re sure a favourite is going to be The Benedict Cucumberbatch – though isn’t that just his regular name..? There’s also a fabulous range of non-alcoholic cocktails and beers. In even more good news, it’s open seven days a week! Now, near or far, you’ve no excuse not to go…

P(our) Symposium

P(our) Symposium will come to the English capital for the first time

P(our) Symposium heads to London

Listen up, bartenders and other booze folk: thought-provoking non-profit convention P(our) is coming to London for the first time! As well as revealing the location for the proceedings (Village Underground, 24 June), the team has also unveiled this year’s topic: Understanding. Speakers unpacking the theme through a variety of talks and collaborations include Isabella Dalla Ragione, and agronomist and expert on biodiversity; Brigitte Sossou Perenyi, a documentary producer and author; and bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. More names will be announced in due course. “We’re excited to bring to the fore this year’s theme of ‘Understanding’, looking at it from different perspectives – where it comes from, why it’s important, where more is needed and how it can be built,” said co-founder Monica Berg. Other P(our) founding members include Alex Kratena, Simone Caporale, Ryan Chetiyawardana, Jim Meehan, Joerg Meyer and Xavier Padovani, who united to bring and embrace change in drinks through discovering new ideas, sharing information, and exchanging inspiration. Tickets for P(our) are free, will be released in April through an application process. Fancy going along? keep your eyes peeled.

Highland Whisky Festival

Fancy Glen Ord? It will offer visitors a chance to operate the distillery themselves

Highland Whisky Festival reveals programme, complete with Game of Thrones tasting

The Highland Whisky Festival, Scotland’s newest whisky event, is really taking shape! Set to run from 10-17 May, the celebration takes in distilleries across one of Scotland’s most beautiful and varied, though often overlooked, regions. Programme highlights include a special Game of Thrones tasting at Clynelish on 12 May, and a peek inside the soon-to-be reborn Brora distillery. Balblair will screen Ken Loach’s film The Angel’s Share among the casks of Dunnage no. 3, while on 14 May Glenmorangie will host a special single cask dinner. Meanwhile, the brave team at Glen Ord will offer visitors a chance to operate the distillery themselves on 16 May (sounds potentially dangerous.) To round things off on 17 May, Tomatin will roll out the barrel with live coopering demonstrations and a dinner, just in case you need more feasting after a week of festivities. It all sounds brilliant!

Bacardi

Look at its little face. This is vitally important work

And Finally… Bacardi backs the bats in Puerto Rico

We are a bunch of animal lovers here at MoM Towers. From cat pictures to office dogs, we are fans of all things fluffy. And the not so fluffy too, it turns out. News reached us this week that Bacardi Limited, owner of Bacardi rum (makes sense), has been rewarded for its efforts to protect bats at its rum distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico, and our hearts soared. Like a bat in flight. Bacardi picked up WHC Conservation Certification, becoming the first site on the island to do so. What’s all the fuss about? Well, the bat programme offers education to employees and locals alike, stressing the creature’s importance to the island’s ecosystem. The company is also working to restore the natural forest area near its campus, creating a better habitat for the local bats. “Bacardi is an environmental leader, voluntarily managing its lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them,” said Margaret O’Gorman, president, Wildlife Habitat Council. “Achieving certification at the Bacardi Corporation facility in Puerto Rico demonstrates the company’s commitment to the environment, employee engagement and community relations.” Hurrah for Bacardi! And actually, looking at that little dude above, we reckon bats fall into the fluffy animal category, after all…

That’s it for The Nightcap for this week, folks. Have a marvellous weekend!

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10 new Master of Malt Single Cask Series whiskies!

We’ve got a whole new batch of Master of Malt Single Cask Series whiskies, people! 10 of them, to be specific. Are you very excited? You should be. Whisky fans,…

We’ve got a whole new batch of Master of Malt Single Cask Series whiskies, people! 10 of them, to be specific. Are you very excited? You should be.

Whisky fans, rejoice. We’ve done it again! You know the drill by now. We introduce a brand new selection of Master of Malt Single Cask Series whiskies, you enjoy the spoils of our labour. What a system.

As always, we’ve managed to get our hands on some truly sublime single malts from a host of fantastic distilleries, including: Laphroaig, Bunnahabhain, Mortlach, Craigellachie and more. The single cask expressions range from 8 to 37 years matured and every single edition is presented at cask strength, without any chill-filtration or added colourings. All you find in these MoM-tastic bottles is very, very tasty whisky.

Now go check out our brand new selection below and enjoy!

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Mortlach reveals three new whiskies

The Beast of Dufftown is back at it again. Mortlach has unveiled a trio of single malt whiskies for its core range, including 12 year old, 16 year old and…

The Beast of Dufftown is back at it again. Mortlach has unveiled a trio of single malt whiskies for its core range, including 12 year old, 16 year old and 20 year old expressions.

Today mighty Speyside distillery, Mortlach, aka the Beast of Dufftown, announced the launch of three new expressions: the 12- year-old “Wee Witchie” bottled at 43% (RRP £50), the 43.4% 16-year-old Distiller’s Dram (RRP £80) and also at 43.4% the 20- year-old Cowie’s Blue Seal (RRP £200). Mark Brunton, Distillery Manager, said: “The 16-year-old is a classic Mortlach expression, while the 12-year-old offers a strong distillery character through its use of refill casks. The 20-year-old offers a balance of character and distillery character with active wood.”

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That Boutique-y Whisky Company Adds Age Statements

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

That Boutique-y Whisky Company

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

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

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Master of Cocktails – Tasting Notes; Reconstructed

Greetings one and all to another edition of #MasterofCocktails. If you didn’t catch last week’s instalment, you might not have seen that we’re changing up how we do this –…

Master of Cocktails Tasting Notes Reconstructed

Greetings one and all to another edition of #MasterofCocktails. If you didn’t catch last week’s instalment, you might not have seen that we’re changing up how we do this – a much less step-by-step affair, though you’ll be getting more advanced, exciting recipes, with more focus on presentation and garnish. This week we’re going to be using the ‘Beast of Dufftown’, Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky.

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Whisky Santa’s Whisky Advent Day 21: Mortlach Rare Old

Time for us all to open the 21st window of our Whisky Advent Calendars! And inside it’s… a new look single malt Scotch whisky from Dufftown in Speyside. A whole…

Mortlach Rare Old

Time for us all to open the 21st window of our Whisky Advent Calendars! And inside it’s… a new look single malt Scotch whisky from Dufftown in Speyside. A whole new expression from Mortlach to be precise, a distillery that was founded back in the 1820s and you may know best from their 16yo ‘Flora & Fauna’ release featuring a Goldeneye duck. (James Pond, anyone?)

With past distillery releases few and far between, Mortlach (or ‘duck massacre’) now has its own shiny new core range! Time to jump in with Rare Old, which has a greater bourbon cask influence than you may expect alongside the more familiar Sherried spirit.

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