The Port Ellen distillery is sadly no longer with us, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot to be said about it.

Diageo Special Releases 2016

Diageo Special Release 2016

The 2016 Special Releases are available for Pre-Order now and we tasted them all last night, including the oldest ever Port Ellen!

When it comes to whisky releases, Diageo’s aptly named annual Special Releases always attract plenty of excitement each year. This year’s selection including whiskies from Port Ellen, Brora, Lagavulin, Caol Ila, Glenkinchie, Cragganmore, Linkwood, Auchroisk, Mannochmore and Cambus distilleries, all of which (at the time of writing) are available to Pre-Order!

One thing you may notice, is that we’re not going to be doing our lotteries or charity auctions for any of these, as we have for some other exciting releases this year, and there’s a simple reason for that. Unlike the situation we had with the Yamazaki Sherry Cask, for example (or will have shortly with a certain collection of American whiskeys), Diageo have endeavoured to price the rarer releases at their ‘market value’. That’s why the prices went up so quickly a couple of years back as they bridged the gap before more or less levelling out (this year’s Port Ellen, from ever-depleting supplies, is £100 more than last year, an increase of around 4%, whereas there had been increases of 100% in recent years).

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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Allocations, limited releases, bastards, speculators and gobshites

Allocations Yamazaki

Right.

We last talked about this when we knackered up the release of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection back in November, but, well, there have been quite a lot of comments on the product page we’ve set up for the Yamazaki Sherry Cask Release Japanese Whisky (we don’t censor these, remember).

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Categories : Japanese Whisky, Whisky
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Whisky Advent Day 19: The Lost Distilleries Blend

Whisky Advent Calendar

We’ll be honest with you, we didn’t think anything Drinks by the Dram’s The Whisky Advent Calendar could throw at us would be more exciting than the release of a new Star Wars movie. (Even with the endless adverts beforehand “make sure you have the official Star Wars mascara” etc.) Not until the final window, perhaps. Wrong, we were, however, as day 19 has provided The Lost Distilleries Blend from The Blended Whisky Company!

Named World’s Best Blended Whisky at Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards in 2014, it does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s a blend of whiskies exclusively from sadly now closed distilleries, many of whom have become legendary such as Port Ellen and Caperdonich. There’s even some Imperial entanglements in there… Yes, the force is strong with this one.

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Categories : Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Diageo Special Releases 2015

Diageo Special Releases 2015

It’s that time of year once again and last night Diageo invited us to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery to taste the 2015 Special Releases! There are nine this year. That’s two less than last year, which as I’m always up against a bit of a time limit (two hours) to scrawl down some meaningful tasting notes for you all (as well as fight through the crowds and also try to avoid notes from elsewhere – ham, butter, bread, candles, aftershave…) was fine by me! There was, of course, still plenty of stunning whisky on show.

Before we go on, however, I should probably point out that the Special Releases are available for Pre-Order now! You may want to head straight over there. If you do miss out on any of them then keep your eyes on the @MasterOfMalt twitter feed over the next couple of weeks as there may be more available once the bottles land.

Ranging in price from £80 to £2,400, Nick Morgan has gone on record to say that even amongst Special Releases “This year is a special one”. Exciting.

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Categories : News, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Fèis Ìle – The Islay Whisky Festival 2015

Feis Ile Islay That Boutique-y Whisky Company

As some of you may already know, we’re sadly not going to be at Fèis Ìle this year. I know, I know. We had a good run though – attending the last four years in a row as Master of Malt, keeping you all (hopefully) entertained whether you’d made it along or not, running some great promotions and even kitting many of you out with some top notch drams, t-shirts and snazzy tote bags. And it was our absolute pleasure to do so.

There’ll be no Malt Mobile to look out for this year though (much to the delight of Bowmore’s bollards), no gratuitous shots of limited edition whiskies next to hot tubs or Port Ellen tastings and no week long series of our ramblings from the event. But if you are indeed going, especially if it’s your first time, allow us to present our little guide to this year’s festival…

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Categories : News, Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Coastal Whisky: The Curious Relationship Between Whisky and the Seas

Coastal Whisky Bowmore

Some whiskies can be said to have a ‘coastal’ or ‘maritime’ character, and invariably these are also whiskies that I absolutely love. In fact, these seaside malts are the reason I became interested in whisky in the first place, and the very best examples are still probably my favourite spirits in the world. This is personal taste, of course, and whilst I love most of the gods’ rich tapestry of whisky flavour profiles, I just happen to be a sucker for the Neptunian ones. So, consider me your Neil Oliver as we embark on a journey of discovery and also consider exactly how is it that some malts seemingly take on the very taste of the coast. This, is whisky on the edge… *Cue music*

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Categories : Scotch Whisky, Whisky
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Whisky Santa’s Whisky Advent Day 24: The Lost Distilleries Blend

The Lost Distilleries Blend

For those of you not blessed with omniscience or immortality, window 24 of Whisky Advent Calendar offers an exciting opportunity to taste some historic whiskies. And if you do happen to be omnipotent or immortal? Well it’s still an opportunity to taste some jolly delicious old and rare whisky!

The Lost Distilleries Blend was named World’s Best Blended Whisky 2014 at Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards and does exactly what it says on the tin (or at least the bottle and handsome box). It’s made up solely with whiskies from sadly now closed distilleries, many of whom have become legendary, with batch six containing malt from Port Ellen, Mosstowie, Caperdonich, Glenisla, Imperial, Glen Mhor and Brora, alongside grain from Port Dundas.

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Categories : Competitions, Whisky
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Diageo Special Releases 2014

Diageo Special Releases 2014 Caol Ila 30yo

On Tuesday evening I found myself the nearest thing to a corner possible at a curvy and buzzing Magazine Restaurant in Kensington Gardens on a cold, rainy November night. Here I would attempt to write some meaningful tasting notes for 11 limited edition cask strength single malts in a couple of hectic hours, including the time it would take to fight through the crowd each time I needed to move on to new whiskies, and the time it would take for the smell of prawn hors d’oeuvres to dissipate each time the diligent waitresses came over to offer them.

Meanwhile, our Spirits Buyer Toby Cutler (he’s nice, you’d like him – he really enjoys a good picture of Kevin Costner, or Chris Tucker for that matter) was having no such problem as he enjoyed a range of whiskies, some quite valuable, in a leisurely fashion alongside some pleasant conversation. Add all of this up, and it can only mean one thing: it was the launch of Diageo’s much-anticipated 2014 Special Releases!

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A new batch of Boutique-y Whiskies for a Tuesday Morning

Fettercairn, Blended Malt #2 and Blair Athol That Boutique-y Whisky Company

So – it’s about that time again – new batches, and replenished batches of some absolute crackers from That Boutique-y Whisky Company.

First up – spoiler alert – we do have a new batch of both the Port Ellen, and Brora. I’ll understand if you want to stop reading for a bit and take care of a small (okay – large) transaction.

We’ve also got some brand spanking new lines though – 2 single malts and a blended malt (which after the editor’s choice award in the most recent edition of Whisky Magazine), should see some interest piqued…

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Our International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014 Winnings

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014

The folks here at MoM Towers aren’t going to win the World Cup anytime soon. Our team, Bitter Bastards FC, are just a few players short of a full squad and therefore wouldn’t qualify, so the German team has nothing to be worried about… Yet. We’re also not going to win Wimbledon, despite a small subset of us being pretty gosh-darn good at squash (they’re basically the same sport, one just has more passive aggressive connotations and a wall). Oscars? Probably not. Grammys? Unlikely. Nobel Peace Prize? Doubtful at best. Medals for making stunning drinks? Now you’re talking!

That’s right, that little preamble is leading up to us proudly showing off the medals our products scooped up at the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition 2014. We’re always immensely excited and grateful when the products we make are commended by the highly knowledgeable tasters behind these awarding bodies – it really does mean the world to us.

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Categories : Cocktails, Competitions, Gin, News, Rum, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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