Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2017 Winners

Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2017

Jim Murray has announced the winners in this year’s Whisky Bible, with a rye claiming top spot for the second year running and a Scotch whisky in the top three for the first time since 2014.

Following on from Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Canadian rye, it’s an American rye whiskey that’s been named World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible this time around: Booker’s ‘Big Time Batch’, aged for 13 years, 1 month and 12 days. Laid down by the legendary Booker Noe himself in 2003, shortly before his death, his son continued to watch over the casks and they were finally released earlier this year. Booker’s first ever rye, it was already described by Beam as an “extremely rare, limited edition offering, made from a very limited number of barrels” and will now become an even more sought-after bottling.

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Categories : American Whiskey, News, Whisky
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Pikesville 6 Year Old 110 Proof Straight Rye is Back in Stock!

Pikesville 6 Year Old Rye

Cast your mind back to November of last year and you might just remember seeing a fantastic rye whiskey come through our doors – the Pikesville 6 Year Old 100 Proof Straight Rye. Not only was it rather yummy and a Master of Malt exclusive, it also made an entertaining whoosh-ing noise as it flew right back out the door in a very swift manner. This might have had something to do with Jim Murray naming it his Second Finest Whisky in the World shortly after it arrived (and it’s since been crowned World’s Best Rye Whisky at the World Whiskies Awards 2016)…

If it whoosh-ed past you the first time, you’ll be happy to know that Pikesville 6 Year Old 100 Proof is back in stock! Go a get yourself a bottle now! (Update: Aaaaaand it’s gone. Again.)

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Categories : American Whiskey, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – The Old Pal

Master of Cocktails The Old pal

Right then – everyone about ready for a #MasterofCocktails?

This evening we’re going to make an oft-overlooked drink, the ‘Old Pal’. The use of Dry vermouth lends this drink a light and very ‘aperitiffy’ (definitely not a word) character which makes it a wonderful springtime drink.

We’re going to start off by summoning up the energy to get off the sofa and walk over to the bar.

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Categories : Cocktails, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – The Long-Standing Beef

Master of Cocktails Long Standing Beef

Right then chaps – time for this week’s #MasterofCocktails. We’re making a sort of Old Fashioned/Manhattan hybrid using Maple Syrup as the sweetening agent. Oh, and candied bacon as a garnish, as if this cocktail recipe wasn’t sounding awesome enough already.

However, before you even think about touching any of the liquids, you’re going to need to candy your bacon. No, that’s not a euphemism.

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Categories : Absinthe, Cocktails, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – The Silver Lining

Master of Cocktails The Silver Lining

For this week’s #MasterofCocktails, we have a Silver Lining recipe. It’s a twist on a whiskey sour using Licor 43 Cuarenta y Tres, which is one of those sort of inexplicable flavours, like Vimto or Dr. Pepper. But with the added bonus of making you better at telling stories, and really good at playing pool. It’s sort of chocolatey, and also sort of vanilla-y.

This drink is courtesy of Jim Meehan’s PDT Cocktail Book. You should really all have this, it’s a superbly curated compendium:

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Categories : Absinthe, Cocktails, Liqueurs, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – The Sazerac

Master of Cocktails The Sazerac

Another classic for this week’s #MasterofCocktails, the Sazerac.

Now this really is a very, very simple drink, but, like the Mojito from a few weeks ago, one that people love to overcomplicate. The most common over-complication is the belief that you need to stir a sugar cube with the whiskey forever and a day…

Luckily enough though, some bright spark has invented this stuff. It’s called Sugar Syrup. You may have heard of it.

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Categories : Absinthe, Cocktails, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – Vieux Carré Noeleux

Master of Cocktails Vieux Carre Noeleux

This week’s #MasterofCocktails recipe is an absolutely stunning, christmassy twist on one of the true classics. The Vieux Carré dates back to the 1930s, but as we’re creeping ever closer to Christmas 2013, here’s a version using the latest festive ingredient from Professor Cornelius Ampleforth.

Many thanks go to Mark Gill (@thecocktailgeek) for the inspiration behind this one – a top suggestion that’s very much appreciated.

In case you’re sick of Christmas cocktails, apart from the fact that we pity you, there’s also some good news – next week we’re doing something totally different and you can find all the ingredients you’ll need for that one at the bottom.

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Categories : Cocktails, Cognac, Liqueurs, Whisky
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Hudson Whiskey

Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon

The Hudson Whiskey range boasts the first legally distilled and aged grain spirits produced in New York since Prohibition! Fantastic in itself, Tuthilltown Spirits’ craft distillery (yep, another one – we love ’em!) charm certainly runs deeper than this single fact, with its very existence oweing much to fate and circumstance. Its success however is owed only to hard work and the high quality of what they have managed to create in the past few years.

When Ralph Erenzo bought Tuthilltown Gristmill and the 35 acres that surrounded it, distilling was far from the professional climber’s thoughts. Originally, he had dreamt of creating the perfect climber’s paradise: a ranch that would act as a base camp for those wishing to scale the cliffs at nearby Shawangunk Ridge.

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Categories : American Whiskey, Tasting Notes, Vodka, Whisky
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Visiting Smooth Ambler Craft Distillery

james at smooth ambler distillery

It’s not often I manage to crowbar distillery visits into trips back to my hometown, near Washington, DC. Last December though, I was invited to go and check out Smooth Ambler Distillery in Maxwelton, WV, only about 4 hours’ drive away.

I put the offer out to a group of friends I’ve known for the better part of 15+ years: Would you like to go down to one of the finest distilleries in the country and try all of their delicious American whiskey and gin?

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Categories : American Whiskey, Gin, News, Whisky
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1512 Spirits – Barbershop Booze!

1512 spirits closeup.jpg

When I first heard about a distillery from San Francisco run by a man who spends his days also running a barber shop, I have to say, I was intrigued. What followed was a story you couldn’t even make up.

Cutting hair and distilling are both skills that run deep in Salvatore Cimino’s family; he learned to make wine and distill grappa from when he was just a young boy. As a child, he would even climb inside the stills to give them a good clean! Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, ‘Sal’ grew up to be a Master Barber as well as now becoming a legitimate Master Distiller!

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Categories : American Whiskey, Whisky
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