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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Single Malt Whisky

Five new Scotch distilleries we can’t wait to explore

With around 30 new Scotch whisky distilleries in the planning or construction phases, it’s an exhilarating time to be a dram fan. Here, we’ve picked out five of the most…

With around 30 new Scotch whisky distilleries in the planning or construction phases, it’s an exhilarating time to be a dram fan. Here, we’ve picked out five of the most hotly-anticipated producers preparing to join the fold…

The last few years have been a ride, haven’t they? Scotland’s best-known distilleries are expanding, new players are making waves and old favourites like Port Ellen, Brora, and Rosebank are en route to resurrection.

While there are many more Scotch whisky distilleries in progress and no doubt plenty others to be announced over the coming year – we’ve picked out five we’re particularly excited about. What’s yours? Let us know where and why in the comments below…

port of leith distillery

Port of Leith Distillery (it doesn’t quite look like this yet)

Port of Leith Distillery, Edinburgh

We’ve had a soft spot for Port of Leith Distillery for a little while now. A whisky crush, if you will. Not only will the Leith-based site be Edinburgh’s first single malt whisky distillery for more than 100 years, but its ground-breaking design means it’ll be Scotland’s very first vertical distillery too. It’s expected to be up and running by autumn 2020, with the first whisky bottles slated for release in 2023, but that hasn’t stopped co-founders Paddy Fletcher and Ian Stirling from giving us a flavour of what’s to come. Last year the duo released Port of Leith Distillery sherry, sourced from Bodegas Baron in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and Lind & Lime Gin, produced at nearby The Tower Street Stillhouse which will later house the Port of Leith’s whisky development programme. Expect unusual yeast strains, fermentation experiments, and a whole new world of flavour.

Clutha Distillery

Clutha Distillery

Clutha Distillery, Glasgow

Situated at Glasgow’s Pacific Quay development on the south side of the River Clyde, Douglas Laing’s project Clutha – meaning Clyde in Gaelic – isn’t just a single malt whisky distillery. Oh, no. The £10.7m building will also house a bottling complex, visitor centre, whisky laboratory, whisky archive, bar, bistro, and corporate head office. The family-owned business plans on producing whisky with a heavy sherry influence that will differ from traditional Lowland styles: think macerated fruit, dark fruit, chocolate and cocoa character. Last year, third generation family member Cara Laing told MoM to expect a “down-to-earth, very honest distillery” that focuses on “everything from the barley to the finished bottle”.

Cabrach Distillery

Cabrach Distillery as it will look when finished

Cabrach Distillery, Moray

While the stills at Inverharroch Farm in the Highlands – home to Cabrach Distillery and its accompanying heritage centre – are new, the 150,000-or-so bottles of single malt they’ll produce each year will “made with historical methods” according to “the blueprint of an early 19th-century distillery”. The project, operated by The Cabrach Trust, aims to essentially produce Cabrach whisky as it would have been produced in the area in 1820, when wild, remote and rural Moray was at the centre of illicit whisky-making and smuggling. Cabrach Distillery is expected to release its first mature bottling in 2024.

Ardgowan Whisky Distillery

Ardgowan Whisky Distillery visualised by digital artist Tom Barnett

Ardgowan Distillery, Inverkip

Lowlands liquid with a maritime touch is what the good folks at Ardgowan Estate (around 30 miles from Glasgow, FYI) plan on serving up at their site, which will nestle across a cluster of ancient farm buildings on their Bankfoot site. The original Ardgowan Distillery was founded in 1896 in Greenock, and made grain spirit and industrial alcohol until it was destroyed during the Second World War. A £12 million distillery and visitor centre, Ardogowan 2.0 will produce three separate whisky styles – heavily peated, lightly peated, and unpeated – which will be available for sale as four, five, and seven-year old drams. In September 2018, the team released their inaugural whisky, the Ardgowan Expedition: a 20-year-old blended Scotch made with liquid that has travelled to the South Pole and back.

Ardross Distillery

Shadowy figures lurking at Ardross Distillery

Ardross Distillery, Inverness

Located in the Averon Valley, 30 miles north of Inverness, Greenwood Distillers’ Ardross Distillery is set on a 50-acre farm complex that dates back to the 19th century. The two-storey still house, tun room, mash house, milling area, blending and product development lab, vaulted cask storage area, tasting room, marketing suite, offices, and staff accommodation will split across steading buildings, farmhouse and cottages that once made up Ardross Mains Farm. Keen to get distilling, the folks at Greenwood recently unveiled Theodore Gin, created with guidance from olfactory expert and perfumier Barnabe Fillion. Our very own Jessica popped along to the launch in London read all about it here.

That’s it, folks! Five new Scotch whisky distilleries we’d love to visit. Which next-gen distilleries are on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below, on social.

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New Arrival of the Week: Mackmyra Äppelblom

Our new arrival this week is Mackmyra Äppelblom, a whisky from Sweden’s original single malt distillery which has been finished in a pretty rare cask. The clue is in the…

Our new arrival this week is Mackmyra Äppelblom, a whisky from Sweden’s original single malt distillery which has been finished in a pretty rare cask. The clue is in the name…

Back in 1999, Mackmyra was the first and only whisky distillery in Sweden. The story began with eight friends who all loved whisky but realised there were no Swedish producers. Naturally, they questioned why, and solved this problem by creating their own!

Today, Mackmyra is actually made up of two distilleries and continues to push boundaries. When it launched in 2002, distillation was carried out at the Mackmyra Bruk site, until 2011 when production was moved to the new Gravity Distillery at Gävle. This innovative feat of construction stands 35 metres tall and seven storeys high. As you might have guessed from the name, the distillery makes use of gravity throughout the whisky-making process. In 2017, the old distillery at Mackmyra Bruk was brought back up-and-running under the name Lab+Distillery, which explores slightly more experimental spirits.

The Gravity Distillery!

Mackmyra Äppelblom, the latest release, is a single malt aged in ex-bourbon and new American oak casks. Äppelblom, meaning apple blossom in Swedish, refers to the very special finishing process in oak casks which previously held Calvados from one of the region’s leading producers, Christian Drouin (Calvados is an apple or pear brandy from Normandy in France). The family-run company began in 1960, and the apples come from the Drouin family orchards, many of them harvested by hand. Mackmyra’s master blender Angela D’Orazio partnered with Christian Drouin and his son Guillaume to create the whisky, which is bottled at 46.1% ABV. It seems it was a match made in heaven; D’Orazio commented that “the choice of Calvados producer was easy. Christian Drouin creates absolutely fantastic Calvados, […] he has challenged French traditions in this area, and is therefore the perfect match for Mackmyra’s approach and our enjoyment of experimenting”.

Since Christian Drouin’s Calvados is aged for an exceptionally long time, a minimum of 20 years, there’s very little opportunity for the casks to be used a second time. For the first 20 years of the business, all of Drouin’s Calvados was ageing and not one bottle was sold. We’d say that was quite an investment, and clearly this isn’t a finish that we’ll see all that often! Guillaume Drouin, managing director at Calvados Christian Drouin stated that he was “happy to see the result of this innovative ageing using one of the very few casks we ship from our cellar”.

We present to you, Mackmyra Äppelblom!

The result is a lightly-spiced and fruity whisky, reminiscent of fresh green apples, just in time for spring! While wonderful served neat, you can also try Mackmyra Äppelblom alongside a warm apple dessert or even apple sorbet.

Tasting note for Mackmyra Äppelblom:

Nose: Toasted oak and orchard fruits galore, namely apple and pear with a hint of lemon, delicate floral notes with sweet vanilla and toffee.

Palate: Well-rounded fruity and spicy notes continue with the marriage of pear and citrus. Cedar wood emerges alongside aniseed, caramelised almonds, white pepper and ginger spiciness.

Finish: Spicy tones linger with gentle oak and zesty lemon and apple.

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Craigellachie to give away 51 year old whisky for free!

Attention Scotch enthusiasts: Last night we headed to London and received the most excellent news. Craigellachie is set to launch its oldest whisky to date – and it won’t cost…

Attention Scotch enthusiasts: Last night we headed to London and received the most excellent news. Craigellachie is set to launch its oldest whisky to date – and it won’t cost you a penny!

When us whisky lovers hear that a distillery has released a whisky that’s over five decades old, we tend to all think along similar lines: a) this is most wonderful news; b) I wish I could taste it; and c) I probably won’t. It’s going to be PRICEY.

Well, not this time my friends! We found out to much excitement and intrigue at last night’s launch event that Craigellachie has decided to rally against convention. We gathered at Lyle’s, a superb new restaurant in Shoreditch, London, to taste a 51 year old expression. It was GOOD. Delicious, even.

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Win a VIP trip to BenRiach Distillery!

WIN one of three fancy-pants trips to Speyside and discover the BenRiach Distillery! Three winners and their lucky plus-ones will enjoy a distillery tour, tasting, trip to The Speyside Cooperage,…

  • WIN one of three fancy-pants trips to Speyside and discover the BenRiach Distillery!
  • Three winners and their lucky plus-ones will enjoy a distillery tour, tasting, trip to The Speyside Cooperage, an overnight stay with meals and more!
  • Everyone’s a winner – enjoy £5 off BenRiach 10 Year Old and BenRiach 10 Curiositas until 11 September!
  • What’s better than a distillery tour? A luxurious VIP trip for you and your favourite person with posh accommodation, a tasting which features some SUPER exciting limited edition whiskies, delicious meals at top local establishments, a detour to the Speyside Cooperage, UK travel, and a personal, exclusive distillery visit with a fabulous brand ambassador as your personal guide, of course! (For the nitty gritty details, see the competition terms below.)

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    Fettercairn unveils new single malt range

    One of Scotland’s lesser-known whisky distilleries is about to make a big splash on the single malt scene. Say hello to Fettercairn and meet its new – and first! –…

    One of Scotland’s lesser-known whisky distilleries is about to make a big splash on the single malt scene. Say hello to Fettercairn and meet its new – and first! – core range, comprising a 12 year old, 28 year old, 40 year old and even a 50 year old!

    Dalmore is a behemoth of a whisky brand. Jura is pretty well known too. But what about Fettercairn, Whyte & Mackay’s ‘other’ distillery? Located in Aberdeenshire close to the Cairngorm mountains, the comparatively small producer has largely made spirit for blends, with the exception of its Fior and Fasque no-age statement expressions released in 2009. But that’s all about to change with the launch of a four-strong core range with some pretty hefty age statements.

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    London Calling: How single malt returned to the capital at Bimber Distillery

    Join us as we head to Bimber Distillery to talk about its English single malt whisky: how to make it, what it will taste like and the exciting future ahead,…

    Join us as we head to Bimber Distillery to talk about its English single malt whisky: how to make it, what it will taste like and the exciting future ahead, all in a week when England celebrated St. George’s Day!

    Since the 1905 closure of the Lea Valley Distillery and the subsequent end of barley-based whisky production in England, it has taken quite some time for the category to get back on its feet. While Scotch whisky has continued to thrive and has retained an enviable international regard, and Irish whisky has turned its luck around, English whisky production is still in its relative infancy. But times are changing, and changing fast.

    We are undoubtedly in the most exciting period for the category yet; modern English whisky makers are refusing to rest on their laurels, or curse the success of their Celtic counterparts. Instead, distilleries such as St. George’s Distillery, East London Liquor Company, Adnams and Hicks & Healey are releasing various interpretations of English whisky, while Copper Rivet Distillery, The Cotswolds Distillery, The Lakes Distillery, Wharf Distillery, The London Distillery Company, Spirit of Yorkshire, Cooper King, and Bimber Distillery are all close to putting quintessentially English whisky on our shelves.

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    From phoenix to dragon: How Welsh whisky rose from the ashes

    In celebration of St. David’s Day, we’re exploring the revival of Welsh whisky. Join us as we talk to Penderyn Distillery about identity and innovation, consider the category’s exciting future,…

    In celebration of St. David’s Day, we’re exploring the revival of Welsh whisky. Join us as we talk to Penderyn Distillery about identity and innovation, consider the category’s exciting future, and recommend some terrific festive tipples.

    With the world whisky map ever broadening and countless distilleries popping up on almost every continent, malt enthusiasts have had plenty to choose from in recent times. However, with St David’s Day just around the corner (Thursday 1 March 2018) we thought it was an apt moment to champion the Welsh option. After all, its fledgling scene is producing some absolute corkers, and this looks set to continue over the coming years.

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    Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish is back in the building!

    We’ve received an allocation of three bottles of Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish direct from the supplier, and we’re going to split the bounty between a two-bottle lottery and 30ml drams!…

    We’ve received an allocation of three bottles of Bowmore Mizunara Cask Finish direct from the supplier, and we’re going to split the bounty between a two-bottle lottery and 30ml drams!

    The exciting news that three bottles of the single malt Scotch whisky are currently in stock does come with certain realities. While all of us here at MoM Towers are thrilled the bottles are back, it does mean that, with thousands of interested customers, there will be some disappointed people whatever we do.

    Acknowledging the price and availability of the product, we decided that splitting the stock up between a lottery (see timeline below) and drams was the fairest way to proceed. While there’s no age-statement, the whiskies that were blended for this release were distilled in the 1990s (so they are between 15 and 25 years old) and Mizunara is a highly unusual cask finish. Individual bottles are being sold for a considerable price (£1,195.00, RRP). Given this is the case, there will be no auction.

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    The world’s best boozy Advent calendars are ready to rock and roll!

    Drinks by the Dram’s delicious range of spirits-filled Advent calendars are ready to ship – snap yours up today! Our friends over at Drinks by the Dram announced details of…

    Drinks by the Dram’s delicious range of spirits-filled Advent calendars are ready to ship – snap yours up today!

    Our friends over at Drinks by the Dram announced details of their bumper range of booze-filled Advent calendars earlier this month. The stash has arrived at MoM Towers, and the heavenly haul is shipping now!

    From whisky and gin to rum, Tequila, Cognac, and many, many more, each fabulously festive box is filled to the brim with 24 different wax-sealed drams, one tucked behind each window. There’s literally no tastier way to count down to Christmas!

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    Ballantine’s Single Malt? The blended Scotch giant branches out

    Ballantine’s Single Malt is officially a thing – the Chivas Brothers-owned blended Scotch (the second-largest in the the world by volume) is launching three 15 year old single malts under…

    Ballantine’s Single Malt is officially a thing – the Chivas Brothers-owned blended Scotch (the second-largest in the the world by volume) is launching three 15 year old single malts under its own brand: Glenburgie, Miltonduff and Glentauchers.

    Ballantine’s shifts more than 70 million bottles a year worldwide, second only to Diageo’s Johnnie Walker in the global Scotch whisky volume stakes. It’s big news that the brand is to release three Ballantine’s-branded Speyside single malts into the world – each with a fairly hefty age-statement at that.

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