As Game of Thrones reaches its dramatic finale, we’re offering you a chance to WIN the entire Game of Thrones Single Malts Collection, plus White Walker by Johnnie Walker! All…
As Game of Thrones reaches its dramatic finale, we’re offering you a chance to WIN the entire Game of Thrones Single Malts Collection, plus White Walker by Johnnie Walker! All you have to do is get involved with a little YouTube choose-your-own adventure we’ve created…
“Whisky is coming”. So went the headline of our most-read blog post of 2018. Huge news it was! Then it came, and sold out immediately. Then we managed to get hold of a little more and it sold out again (we’ll keep trying to source more if we can!). It seems that many of you – and us! – love both Game of Thrones and delicious whisky. You’ll be pleased to know, therefore, that we’re offering you the chance to win the entireGame of Thrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection plus White Walker by Johnnie Walker!
For your chance to win, you’ll need to watch a show other than Game of Thrones, however (sorry). One of our own making that’s now showing over on our shiny YouTube channel. It’s a sort of choose-your-own show, in fact, as you’ll need to help guide the characters. Their fate is in your hands! Successfully make it to the end and you’ll be able to enter to win this epic prize.
Due to the licensing agreements involved with a record-breaking hit HBO show, the eagle-warged among you may notice that our show isn’t in fact set in any kind of medieval fantasy world. But it is set in the next best place: a spaceship in space. Let’s call it… the Interstelleros. And we’ll call the show… Contest for the Captain’s Chair. Yes, that’ll do. Aid the crew in their quest and the glorious bounty of every Game of Thrones whisky could be yours!
That’s nine bottles of highly sought-after whisky including Cardhu, Clynelish, Dalwhinnie, Lagavulin, Oban, Royal Lochnagar, Singleton of Glendullan and and Talisker single malts, representing House Targaryen, House Tyrrell, House Stark, House Lannister, the Night’s Watch, House Baratheon, House Tully and House Greyjoy from Game of Thrones respectively. It seemed churlish not to chuck the aforementioned White Walker blended Scotch in to complete the set!
Not bad for simply killing some time on YouTube, eh?
Hold the door! Just look at this incredible haul that’s up for grabs!
Just follow the on-screen options to navigate through the videos until you to receive the super secret passcode at the end. To enter, subscribe to our YouTube channel (natch) and email the passcode to email@example.com along with your YouTube username. Best of luck!
Competition open to entrants 18 years and over. Shipping restrictions apply. Entries accepted from 18 May – 13 June 2019. Winners chosen at random after close of competition. Prizes not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash equivalent. See full T&Cs for details.
View Full Terms and Conditions.
MoM Contest for the Captain’s Chair 2019 T&Cs
PROMOTER: The promoter of this competition is Atom Supplies Limited (company number 03193057), trading as Master of Malt (MoM), whose registered office is Unit 1 Ton Business Park, 2-8 Morley Road, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1RA, United Kingdom.
THESE TERMS: By entering this competition, entrants confirm they have read, understand and agree to these terms and to be bound by them. The promoter reserves the right to amend these terms at any time.
ELIGIBILITY: This competition is only open to private individuals who are 18 years old or older (and of legal drinking age to purchase alcohol in their country of residence). Ineligible entries (howsoever received) will be discarded. Employees of the promoter, its parent company or any of its affiliated or associated companies and any of their immediate family members are not eligible to participate in this competition.
ENTRY/COMPETITION PERIOD: This competition opens at 10:30:00am GMT on 18 May 2019 and closes at 11:59:59 pm GMT on 13 June 2019.
HOW TO ENTER: To enter, individuals must do the following within the competition period: (1) follow this link to arrive at the introductory video and subscribe to the MoM YouTube Channel; (2) following the on-screen instructions, make certain choices and navigate through several other videos; (3) locate a message which contains a passcode that you need to take note of; and (4) lastly, email us the passcode at firstname.lastname@example.org (each being a qualifying entry). Only one entry is permitted per person in the competition. No purchase is necessary, and no payment is required to participate in the competition.
WINNER: MoM will choose one winner at random out of all qualifying entries. The selection of the winner will be at MoM’s absolute discretion and will be final. No correspondence or discussion will be entered into.
SHIPPING RESTRICTIONS: The prize can only be delivered to certain countries due to licensing agreements. The winner must be able to provide a delivery address within the following countries in order to claim the prize: United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Dominican Republic, Iceland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and Taiwan, provided that these addresses are also within the destinations that MoM ships to. See here for guidance regarding the destinations to which we can ship.
If MoM ships the prize to a destination outside of the United Kingdom, the prize may be subject to import duties and taxes which are applied when the delivery reaches that destination. There may also be administration charges imposed by foreign customs authorities or by our delivery agents. Please note that MoM has no control over these charges and cannot predict their amount. The winner will be responsible for payment of the import duties, taxes and charges referred to in this paragraph.
CLAIMING THE PRIZE: The name of the winner (and/or along with their Youtube username where applicable) will be announced on MoM’s blog as soon as practicable after the competition period. MoM will make reasonable efforts to contact the winner either via Youtube direct message or via email depending on the mode of communication used by the entrant as soon as practicable after the competition period. If the winner cannot be contacted or is not available or has not claimed the prize within 5 days of MoM contacting them, MoM reserves the right to offer the prize to another eligible Entrant. MoM cannot accept any responsibility if the Winner is unable to take up the prize or fails to claim the prize within the time limit as set out above.
In order to accept the prize, the winner shall be required to agree that we can use his or her name and county, state or region of residence (as applicable) when announcing the winner of the competition and for other reasonable and related promotional purposes (nothing sinister, and we won’t sell the winner’s or the runner-ups’ or any other entrants’ details to anybody else – we promise). MoM may contact the winner for feedback in respect of the competition and/or prize and may use any feedback provided when announcing the results and promoting the Competition or subsequent competitions.
MoM reserves the right to verify the validity of entries and entrants (including an entrant’s identity, age and place of residence) at any time and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who, or any entry which, it believes has breached any of these terms, tampered with the entry process or engaged in any unlawful or improper conduct which may undermine the fair and proper conduct of this competition.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: Insofar as is permitted by law, the promoter, its agents, employees, and/or representatives shall in no circumstances be responsible or liable to compensate any entrant who participates in the competition and/or the winner who claim(s) the prize for any loss, damage, personal injury or death whatsoever and howsoever caused, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, for any direct, indirect or consequential losses arising out of or in connection with their participation in this competition, any failure or delays or postponements or cancellations in making the appropriate travel and accommodation arrangements as a result of the winner taking up the prize (including in relation to their guest), except where it is caused by the negligence of the promoter, its agents, employees, and/or authorised representatives. competition entrants’ statutory rights are not affected.
MoM reserves the right to hold void, suspend, cancel or amend the competition where it becomes necessary to do so. If there is any reason to believe that there has been a breach of these terms or any attempt to circumvent or to frustrate them, MoM may, in our sole discretion, exclude any person from participating in the competition.
MoM reserves the right to verify the validity of entries and entrants (including an entrant’s identity, age and place of residence) at any time and reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who, or any entry which, it believes has breached any of these terms, tampered with the entry process or engaged in any unlawful or improper conduct which may undermine the fair and proper conduct of this competition.
These terms shall be governed by English law, and the parties submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
It’s Friday, and around these parts, that means one thing – it’s time for another edition of The Nightcap! Imagine the scenario – last Friday evening, you felt a bit…
It’s Friday, and around these parts, that means one thing – it’s time for another edition of The Nightcap!
Imagine the scenario – last Friday evening, you felt a bit tired. You yawned, looking at your watch or at a clock on the wall or at your phone – it doesn’t really matter where you look to find out the time. All that matters is that it was time to go to sleep. However, instead of sleeping in a bed, you decided to go to sleep under a rock. For a week. Imagine that. Now, if you have been under a rock since last week, you’ll want to know what’s happened during said week, and we’ve got all the booze news right here in The Nightcap for you! Wow, that was a pretty far fetched introduction, even for us.
One of the best whisky books of the last 20 years was Peat Smoke and Fire by Andrew Jefford which was published in 2004. Jefford, best known as a wine writer, applied a lyrical touch in this hymn to Islay’s culture, history and whiskies which were at the time relatively unknown except by the cognoscenti. Back then, you could pick up a bottle of Port Ellen, for example, for around £100 as opposed to the thousands you’d pay today. Oh, to have saved a few then! Fast forward 15 years and the island is booming with two new distilleries since the book was published, Kilchoman and Ardnahoe, and Fèis Ìle, the island’s annual festival, becoming an international tourist event. So, it’s a good time to republish this classic book now under the slightly less evocative title of Whisky Island, with a forward by Dave Broom. It’s a must read for peatheads everywhere.
Who wouldn’t want a garden full of gin botanicals?
Kyrö brings first Finnish garden to Chelsea Flower Show
The Chelsea Flower Show and Kyrö Distillery have joined forces, with the distillery bringing the first ever Finnish garden to the ‘Space to Grow’ class! The brains behind this stunning show belong to Finnish landscape designer, horticulturist and environmental biologist Taina Suonio. The garden is inspired by Kyrö’s delicious Napue Gin, with plants native to the Finnish meadows and woodlands, while the display will also stress the importance of pollinators with a butterfly garden. “Taina has done excellent work in creating a garden that reflects the Finnish countryside and the botanicals we use to make our gin”, says Kyrö’s Managing Director Miika Lipiäinen. “Out of all of the raw materials presented in the garden, we could actually distil a gin.” Maybe we’ll take our still along to the show…
Introducing: Ardbeg Drum!
Ardbeg Day and Ardbeg Drum
Look past the busy bank holiday weekend to 1 June, because that’s Ardbeg Day! This year’s celebration ‘Drum Roll Please…’ is taking place in London’s Regent’s Park. What to expect? A fantastic afternoon marrying the best of Islay and Caribbean flavours, games and influences, from steel bands to ceilidh dances, Ardbeg whisky to Caribbean food. Ardbeggians are also encouraged to arrive on the day in Caribbean-meets-Islay finery, and we can’t wait to see how that turns out! All this to celebrate the limited edition Ardbeg Day release, Ardbeg Drum, and you can be sure there’ll be a tasting of that peaty treat at the celebration. This expression is pretty special because for the first time Ardbeg has finished the single malt in rum casks from the Americas. If you say ‘Ardbeg Drum’ really fast, it sort of sounds like ‘Ardbeg rum’… Coincidence?
Don’t fear the spirits…
Beefeater Gin and The London Dungeon: Partners in crime
In a somewhat unlikely partnership, Beefeater and The London Dungeons have teamed up to present Dungeon LATES. Kicking off on 24 May, these nights are said to be darker, scarier, and definitely more alcoholic, so it goes without saying they’re adult-only. Guests can sip while they’re scared, and in between screams it looks like they’ll be drinking Beefeater Blood Orange. After a tour of the dungeons, you’re then treated to a cocktail with said gin, which will have been wholeheartedly deserved. We’re sure their choice of tipple was no coincidence. Now blood orange takes on a whole different tone.
Prince Charles was guest of honour at the annual Fortnum & Mason awards
Prince Charles rocks the Fortnum & Mason awards
As we have outlined before on the Nightcap, where there’s fine booze, you are often likely to find Prince Charles. First, it was the distillery visits, and then on Thursday afternoon, he was guest of honour at the annual Fortnum & Mason awards. The awards celebrate the best in food and drink writing, photography and broadcasting in Britain. But he wasn’t just there to knock back the Champagne with Chris Evans and Claudia Winkleman, Prince Charles was presented with a special award for his services to the sustainable food industry. Other winners included Nina Caplan winning Debut Drink Book award for The Wandering Vine; Mary Berry won Personality of the Year; Marina O’ Loughlin from The Sunday Times won restaurant writer of the year; Nadiya Hussein was a popular winner of TV Programme of the Year for her ‘Asian Odyssey’. And finally, we are delighted that Alice Lascelles from the Financial Times won the most important award of all, Drinks Writer of the Year. Everyone partied responsibly long into the night.
Scenic views, delicious whisky and plenty of local culture will be on show
The first ever Hebridean Whisky Festival begins next week
We hope you’ve kept your diary clear between the 21st and 25th May 2019, because that’s when the first-ever Hebridean Whisky Festival begins! A celebration of the four distilleries along the Hebridean Whisky Trail, the festival will feature free tours, tastings, music, casks and special events at Talisker, Torabhaig, The Isle of Raasay Distillery, Harris distilleries and the Aros Centre, Portree. Proceedings kick off with two days on Skye at Torabhaig Distillery on Tuesday 21st May followed by events at Talisker on Wednesday 22nd. Then it’s across the water to the Isle of Raasay Distillery on Thursday 23rd May 2019, where whisky pilgrims will witness the launch of the exclusive new warehouse and enjoy whisky and chocolate tours. The self-guided whisky trail route up will then lead festival-goers to Isle of Harris Distillery on Friday 24th May. Meanwhile, in Portree, the Aros Centre will showcase the distilleries at a special Hebridean Whisky Festival tasting stand for the duration of the festival. The finale is the ‘Big Day at Slig’, where the four distilleries will come together at the Sligachan Hotel on Saturday 25th May for a day of whisky tastings, Hebridean Whisky cocktails, distillery vehicles, cask displays, craft ales and a visit from the Isle of Skye pipe band. These events are free entry and the choice is yours whether you want to experience part of the festival or follow the full trail over five days by land or sea. We’re sure those who are attending will have a smashing time!
It’s been a good week for the folks at Winchester Distillery!
Winchester Distillery smashes first crowdfunding target by over 200%
As Winchester Distillery acknowledged its fifth years anniversary this week the English gin brand it quickly found out there was cause for further celebration as the distillery’s crowdfunding campaign had already reached over £240,000 from 94 investors, exceeding its first 30 day target by over 200%. The need for external investment was first made public in April 2019 by Winchester Distillery as it announced plans to increase the production of its premium spirits, install a brewhouse, further develop its whisky & rum, increase marketing activity, pursue export opportunities and open an onsite gift shop. To date, the £375,000 for 8.1% equity campaign has been in ‘private mode’ on Crowdcube, which means it was open only to followers of Winchester Distillery, and the target during this time was to reach 20% of the overall amount. However, at the time of writing, 65% of the funding has been achieved. There’s still a month to go, during which time the Winchester Distillery pitch will go public on the Crowdcube website. Founder Paul Bowler commented: “The news this morning that our supporters have pledged almost a quarter of a million pounds, plus the overwhelming amount of support we’ve received over the last month, has been the best fifth birthday present for Winchester Distillery. We’re really excited that our Crowdcube campaign will be open to all later this week and that we’re another step closer to being able to proceed with our expansion plans.” For more information about Winchester Distillery’s crowdfunding campaign and how to invest from just £10, (rewards are available from £20) then visit http://crowdcube.com/winchesterdistillery.
Anyone doing lifts to Manchester?
Lucky Manchester diner given £4500 bottle of Bordeaux by mistake
On Thursday night a customer at Hawksmoor in Manchester got rather more than they bargained for when instead of a bottle of bottle of Château Pichon Longueville Contesse de Lalande worth £260, they were accidentally given a bottle of one of the world’s greatest wines, Château Le Pin 2001. The restaurant lists this cult wine from Pomerol at £4500 a bottle! The restaurant tweeted on Friday morning: “To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4500 on our menu, last night – hope you enjoyed your evening! To the member of staff who accidentally gave it away, chin up! One-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway”. The customers in question then tried to order another bottle, but it was the only one in the restaurant. What we want to know is, when will this member of staff be working again? There will be queues around the block.
The Pineapple Daiquiri Slushie, our stand-out serve from the event
Jerk & Beyond Festival
We were lucky enough to head down to Limin’ to grab a sneak peek of the wonderful treats that are going to be on offer at rum and food festival, Jerk & Beyond! Created by Sham Mahabir, a native Trinidadian-turned-Londoner, the late May bank holiday weekend will see Old Spitalfields’ Limin’ bar showcasing the diversity of Caribbean food for three days. Mahabir founded Limin’ and has partnered up with Plantation Rum for the festival, with cocktails including Rumgria (we’re sure you can guess what combo that is), Mai Tai, Limin’s (in)famous Rum Punch and, perhaps our favourite, a Pineapple Daiquiri Slushie, made with Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy. These were accompanied by some delectable Caribbean canapés, including traditional Trinidad street food. Limin’ is an abbreviated version of ‘liming’, a Trinidad expression for ‘hanging out’, which is exactly what this whole-family-friendly festival is encouraging. Surrounded by music, delicious food, fabulous cocktails and even two daily Plantation rum masterclasses, what more could you want?
This actually happened. And we really want one.
And finally… Lambrini doughnut launched for National Doughnut Week
Doughnuts and Lambrini, you say? That’s right, in honour of National Doughnut Week (11-19 May), Shrewsbury’s Planet Doughnut has launched a new Lambrini doughnut! Freshly cooked, it’s frosted and filled with Lambrini, dusted with edible gold, sprinkled with more gold and finally crowned with a doughnut tiara (where can we get one of those?). Though this launch happens to coincide with Lambrini’s new release, this isn’t merely frivolous fun, oh no. The bakery will donate a portion of each doughnut sold (we assume the money from the doughnut, not the baked good itself) to The Children’s Trust. In case you’ve missed it, National Doughnut Week has been running for 28 years after its launch in 1991, and last year it raised a smashing £33,679. Time to get your Lambrini hats on and contribute to a deliciously good cause.
Remember Talisker’s maritime-inspired Race to Skye competition? Well, this year the single malt Scotch whisky distillery’s annual cocktail challenge has transcended the tumultuous Skye shoreline to encompass Britain’s fields, forests,…
Remember Talisker’s maritime-inspired Race to Skye competition? Well, this year the single malt Scotch whisky distillery’s annual cocktail challenge has transcended the tumultuous Skye shoreline to encompass Britain’s fields, forests, and farmer’s markets. Here, brand ambassador Jason Clark shared tips for crafting a drink inspired by the wilderness…
If there’s one thing the Isle of Skye’s only distillery excels at, it’s crafting a bold, smoky, spicy, maritime dram. And if there’s one thing the UK’s bartenders know how to do, it’s make a damn fine cocktail with the stuff. So, it’s with great anticipation that we welcome back Talisker’s bartender training programme and competition for a third year. And this time, it’s evolved.
To spread this fine news, Talisker brand ambassador and double World Class Global Finalist Jason Clark has embarked on a UK-wide tour of 16 seaside locations and other cities to chat about the brand’s history, production and characteristics, and share a few Wild Spirit cocktail techniques. Oh, and he’s doing the whole thing in a Talisker Land Rover Highland Defender – camping in each location and documenting his journey along the way.
After his tour is over, bartenders across the UK will be invited to submit a Talisker Wild Spirit serve and add it to the menu in their bar for eight weeks to be in with the chance of bagging a Talisker Wild Spirit adventure for themselves and two of their colleagues. We’re a curious bunch, so we decided to sneak into Clark’s first session, which was hosted in London-based subterranean whisky den Black Rock. Here’s what we learned about crafting cocktails with a touch of Wild Spirit…
Test your palate
Experiment with “seasonal, natural flavours that are different to the classic flavours you find in a bar”, Clark suggests. Things like different mushroom varieties, toasted nuts, pine needles, olives, beetroot, tomato, different blossoms and flowers, salt, different types of honey, different types of apples, pears, weeds, roots, cured meats, samphire, rhubarb, figs, nettles, tangerines, stone fruits, dandelion, and seaweed varieties.
“These flavours may be grown in your garden or on your windowsill,” Clark suggests – indeed, garden centres sell all-in-one kits for mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and various herbs. Otherwise, “they might be foraged from a local park or coastline, they might be purchased from a local farmers market, or even from the supermarket,” he adds.
Forage with care
Our neighbourhoods, parks, reserves, and coastline are all abundant with forageable produce, you just need to know what you’re looking at, suggests Clark. However, “you need to know that the area you’re sourcing from is natural, clean and safe,” he says. For example, don’t pick blackberries from a graveyard, a dog park, or an industrial area.
Utilise the ingredients
If you forage something, and simple use it as a garnish or muddle it in the drink, you’re missing a trick. “It’s going to be gone in a day or three,” says Clark. “But if you look at ways of preserving it, you can use it on an ongoing basis for, potentially, the remainder of the season.” Syrups, infusions, shrubs, bitters, tinctures, pickling and cooking all bring out flavour in different ways. “You could do something as simple as infusing ginger bitters with magnolia flowers,” he adds.
Give it a fancy name
When someone opens a menu and sees the name of a cocktail, it instantly creates a mental image, says Clark. Think: Winter Waves, Spring Orchard, Shackleton Toddy, Highland Fire, Campfire Tales, and so on. Take it a step further by creating a little story about that as well.
Foraging not your forte? Here are three pre-approved Talisker cocktails you can whip up from the comfort of your own home…
Talisker Sea Sour
Ingredients: 50ml Talisker (10 Year Old, Skye or Storm), 30ml lemon juice, 1 egg white, 15ml honey syrup, 3 dashes celery bitters Glass: Old fashioned or tumbler Garnish: Fennel or samphire Method: Shake and double strain then garnish.
Talisker Campfire Hot Chocolate
Campfire Hot Chocolate
Ingredients: 50ml Talisker (10 Year Old, Skye or Storm), 50ml boiling water, 45g dark chocolate (60%), 150ml milk (dairy or oat), 10ml golden syrup Garnish: Toasted marshmallow and spice dust Method: Mix chocolate with water and stir. Add other ingredients and steam on a coffee machine milk wand. Pour into mug and garnish.
Talisker Hot Toddy
Ingredients: 50ml Talisker (10 Year Old, Storm, or Port Ruighe), 10ml ginger liqueur, 15ml heather honey syrup, 25ml lemon juice, 25ml apple juice, 100ml boiling water Garnish: Cinnamon-spiced honeycomb Method: Build in a pre-heated mug and garnish.
It’s been a big week for Irish whiskey, BrewDog, and our very own blog. The Nightcap is here with all the stories from the week! April has arrived, and with…
It’s been a big week for Irish whiskey, BrewDog, and our very own blog. The Nightcap is here with all the stories from the week!
April has arrived, and with it came news both real and fake. Of course, the storied tradition of ‘spend the first morning in April lying through your teeth at every opportunity’ continued this year, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here for the news. The newsiest of news! The news built upon facts, but also built upon booze. The Nightcap is held up by those two pillars: facts and booze. Like Stonehenge, except not big rocks.
After all that, it’s probably time to bring you what else went down this week!
We wish the team at Masons Gin a speedy recovery
‘Still explosion’ causes fire at Masons Gin distillery
Sad news came from Yorkshire this week. Masons Gin, set up in the Dales six years ago by husband and wife team Cathy and Karl Mason, suffered an explosion. According to numerous reports, one of the stills blew out, causing a major fire. The Masons team put a statement on social media shortly afterwards. “We’d like to thank everybody for their concern and well wishes following a fire at the distillery today,” it read. “We can report that all staff are unharmed and there are no injuries sustained. We’d like to express our thanks to the emergency services and staff at SPAR for their support this morning.” We’re thinking of everyone at the distillery and hope things are back up and running soon.
A ‘momentous achievement’, says The Irish Whiskey Association
Irish spirits get GI recognition
Top news, folks! Irish whiskey, Irish cream liqueurs and Irish Poitín have all secured geographical indication (GI) status in the EU. What does this mean? Basically, both in the EU and markets that the EU has trade agreements with, a product can only be labelled as Irish whiskey, gin or Poitín if it was made on the island of Ireland to set production methods and standards. Single malt Irish whiskey, pot still Irish whiskey, blended Irish whiskey and grain Irish whiskey were all included in the GI agreement, which the country’s drinks industry first submitted in 2014. It essentially means it will be much harder for people to fake Irish drinks or make misleading statements on non-compliant products. The Irish Whiskey Association called the development a “momentous achievement”, giving the drinks the “strongest possible protection”. Best raise a dram of something Irish!
Pernod Ricard to ban single-use promo plastics by 2025
Global drinks group Pernod Ricard, which owns the likes of Beefeater, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet and Havana Club, has published its 2030 Sustainability & Responsibility roadmap (see video above). The document sets out eight “ambitious and concrete” targets, each developed to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Under Biodiversity, Pernod Ricard has pledged to have a dedicated project with evert affiliate, and as part of Regenerative Agriculture, there will be projects to improve topsoil, watershed and ecosystems in eight wine regions. As part of its Equal Pay and Future Leadership banner, the group has pledged to ensure equal pay by 2022 and gender-balanced top management teams by 2030. Shared Knowledge and Learning will see 10,000 bartenders trained in being anti-waste and plastic-free, and on the topic of Packaging and Waste, all promotional single-use plastic items will be banned by 2025. A Water Balance and Carbon Footprint focus will see the company’s total carbon footprint cut by 50%. Pernod Ricard’s Alcohol Misuse focus will see every affiliate have at least one programme to fight problem drinking; while under the Responsible Party pillar, more than one million young adults will learn about responsible consumption. “These 2030 commitments provide us with a focused framework across our business in helping to address some of the biggest sustainability issues, so consumers can enjoy our products in a convivial and sustainable way,” said Vanessa Wright, VP Sustainability & Responsibility. Go Pernod!
The most extensive and famous private whisky collection in the world is set to stay!
Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch collection to stay in Edinburgh
Anyone who has visited the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh will remember the Diageo Claive Vidiz collection. The 3,384 bottle-strong haul includes some seriously rare and covetable expressions, including a Buchanan’s whisky bottle dating from 1897! It was Brazilian businessman Claive Vidiz who gathered the collection over 35 years before it was acquired by Diageo in 2009. It’s been on display at the visitor attraction ever since, attracting a whopping 1.5 million whisky fans. And a deal has been struck to keep it in situ for another 10 years! “The Diageo Claive Vidiz Collection is uniquely eclectic, with brands from across the whole industry and ranging from extremely rare bottlings to everyday drams from years gone by. It really gives visitors a fascinating insight into our whisky history,” said Christine McCafferty, Diageo’s chief archivist. The Scotch Whisky Experience has just revamped its display units for the collection, to make sure the bottles are kept in prime condition for the next decade. Susan Morrison, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Experience, added: “After 10 years of seeing the collection every day we still have the privilege of seeing the reaction of surprise and delight on the faces of each of our visitors as they enter the collection vault for the first time.” We’ll be up again soon!
The BrewDog Distilling Co. has arrived (complete with scary wolf)!
BrewDog reveals more spirits, plans a beer hotel
Sound the klaxons, The BrewDog Distilling Co. is here! Yes, BrewDog, responsible for your favourite craft beer, has launched some quite incredible spirits. Although it’s still fairly shrouded in secrecy, here’s what we know. Flagship gin LoneWolf has been on our radar for a while, and is juniper heavy with a touch of lavender. But there’s now another gin, Zealot’s Heart, a small-batch expression “made by zealots for zealots”. Then, we are also treated to Rogue Wave, “a vodka you won’t forget”, dedicated to the co-founder’s cousin, One-Armed Alex, who you can spot on the label. Finally, the distilling team has collaborated with a trio of leading spirit-makers to create the Boilermaker Series, sporting three limited-edition whiskies that are actually designed to be paired with BrewDog craft beer. What a spread! If you think BrewDog has forgotten a certain spirit, fear not. Next on the cards is an authentic spiced rum aged in oak, though you’ll have to wait a little longer for that one. But there’s more! The team has certainly been busy, because this week it also revealed it’s planning the UK’s first craft beer hotel. Known as DogHouse London, it will have its own craft beer museum, fresh craft beer you can pour for yourself in each room, and something called a shower-beer fridge. At least being in the dog house won’t be such a bad thing now. We’ll wag our tails to that, BrewDog!
Say hello to the new Glenfiddich UK ambassador: Alex Walker
Meet new Glenfiddich UK brand ambassador, Alex Walker!
We have a new national brand ambassador at Glenfiddich, folks! Independent family distiller William Grant & Sons has confirmed Alex Walker has taken on the role with immediate effect. Walker, who began his career in Australia before working in prestigious hotels bars The Beaufort Bar at The Savoy and Artesian at The Langham, will be tasked with talking all things Glenfiddich Distillery as often as possible (or ‘elevating brand awareness’, to use the industry term). He’ll also keep up comms between the brand and whisky drinkers, bars and restaurants, retailers and the press. Stephen Rutherford vacated the role after taking up the Glenfiddich UK brand manager position. “Alex has proved himself to be an exceptional candidate and a passionate whisky enthusiast, ticking all of the boxes for the role,” he said. Walker added: “I am extremely excited to be joining the William Grant & Sons UK family. It is a huge honour and privilege to work for a brand that represents over 130 years of history, heritage, and experimentation. I can’t wait to be part of this journey and help craft future success for Glenfiddich!” Congratulations, Alex!
Dewar’s releases film starring Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon
To celebrate the launch of its new Double Double range of whiskies, Dewar’s has teamed up with a whole bunch of glitzy actors to produce Four: four short films set in the Savoy Hotel in London. First up is Tuppence Middleton (you might remember her from TV series such as War and Peace and Black Mirror), alongside the likes of Iwan Rheon, who plays the baddest of all the baddies from Game of Thrones, and Jack Farthing from Poldark. The film is named after the four-stage ageing process used in these whiskies (step 1: ageing individual grains and malts separately; step 2: blending malts together and ageing, blending grains together and ageing; step 3: marrying the two; step 4: finishing in sherry casks). The Double Double (2+2=4, geddit?) range consists of three luxury age-statement whiskies: a 21 year old finished in oloroso casks; a 27 year old finished in palo cortado wood; and a 32 year old finished in PX barrels. We had a sneak preview with master blender Stephanie Macleod (at the Savoy, natch) and were extremely impressed. According to Macleod, the special ageing process is all about “the pursuit of smoothness”. It’s not unusual these days for drinks brands to make starry promotional films but, Macleod reminded us, Dewar’s was the first. Tommy Dewar commissioned a cinema advert for his whisky way back in 1898. Now there was a man ahead of his time.
It’s the Wild Spirit tour and bartender competition!
Talisker kicks off Wild Spirit tour and bartender competition
Isle of Skye’s Talisker Distillery has launched a fancy new bartender training programme and competition – the Wild Spirit Whisky Tour! That’s right, no more Race to Skye. Instead, we’ve got a new initiative which kicks off with a 20-stop UK-wide Wild Spirit Whisky Tour inspired by Talisker’s ‘Made by the Sea’ campaign. It runs until 19 April, and events will be delivered by Talisker brand ambassador Jason Clark. He’ll educate bartenders on the distillery’s history and production, and will explore Wild Spirit cocktail techniques. Once that’s wrapped up, bartenders will be invited to submit a Wild Spirit serve, from 20 April to 15 May, on behalf of their bar. The three bars chosen by a judging panel will win a Talisker Wild Spirit adventure for three members of staff! “For two years running, Talisker’s Race to Skye competition was a huge success and we’ve been delighted with the support and excitement received from the nation’s bartenders,” said Clark. “This year, we’ve mixed things up a little and have advanced the event into an all-new training programme and competition, the Talisker Wild Spirit Whisky Tour, which aims to reach and engage as many bartenders as possible.”
The Tempus Fugit Spirits range was on show at Ziggy’s Bar at the Hotel Cafe Royal
Tempus Fugit Spirits eyes up cocktail bars
We found ourselves at Ziggy’s Bar at Hotel Cafe Royal last week for an extra-special tasting of Tempus Fugit Spirits. Founded in 2007 by John Troia, the brand’s birth coincided with the reintroduction of absinthe into America. Troia and his partner collected old absinthes and paraphernalia, so when the ban was lifted in 2007 they decided to corner the market. And now time has come for a push into cocktail bars! Tempus Fugit has an expansive portfolio of liqueurs and digestifs, as well as many absinthes. The range of spirits are all made from historic recipes, dating back to the 19th century. Including Gran Classico Bitter, Creme de menthe and Fernet del Frate. Jack Hanlon made some fabulous cocktails with the spirits, including a 20th-century cocktail using Creme de Cacao, Kina L’Aero D’Or and gin, and a Banana Bliss from the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book 1937 using Creme de Banane and Cognac. Yum.
You can always avoid a hangover by drinking responsibly, of course
And finally… could hangover-free alcohol actually become A Thing?
While we always intend to drink responsibly, many people have, on occasion, slightly over-indulged. The resulting hangover is NOT fun. So we read a story from Food & Wine this week with interest. A chap called David Nutt from Imperial College London has been working on something called ‘alcosynth’ for some time. It’s billed as a synthetic form of alcohol that gives you all the fun effects but none of the nasties. Up until now, he’s not been too optimistic about the timeline, suggesting it could replace regular alcohol by 2050. But there’s been a development! Apparently, he’s consumed the stuff himself already, and has cut the projected pipeline to a mere five years! The bad side? Nutt says he has to mix it with fruit juices to mask the taste. We’re not sure what the alternative is if you’re into Martinis or Negronis, but if a super-sweet Piña Colada floats your boat, you could be hangover-free before you know it. But remember, folks – sip, don’t gulp.
And that’s a wrap for this week, folks. We hope you enjoyed The Nightcap – have a tip top weekend.
It’s so nearly Christmas! Have you bought all your presents? Ordered a turkey? Thought up a list of safe topics for the dinner table? No? Nor have we! It’s going…
It’s so nearly Christmas! Have you bought all your presents? Ordered a turkey? Thought up a list of safe topics for the dinner table? No? Nor have we! It’s going to be chaos this weekend. But before we panic, it’s time for the final Nightcap of 2018. Where did the year go?!
#WhiskySanta has returned with the first spectacular Super Wish of December – and it’s another absolute Christmas corker. This week a lucky someone will receive a bottle of Talisker Bodega…
#WhiskySanta has returned with the first spectacular Super Wish of December – and it’s another absolute Christmas corker. This week a lucky someone will receive a bottle of Talisker Bodega Series 40 Year Old, worth £2,750!
Happy December, my festive friends! The most merry of months has returned, which I’m sure all who remembered to open their Advent calendars will know (particularly if they’re filled with the good stuff). As you can probably imagine, this is the month when I really get in the groove, which is just one of the many things Michael Bublé and I have in common.
But I’ve already got one up on my baritone buddy, as I’ve spent the previous few weeks making this the jolliest season it can be by granting wishes every single day across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I’ve also been building up to the big month by doing what I do best: frequenting MoM Towers to give away all kinds of wonderful things with orders – be it drams, bottles or gift vouchers, as well as picking up the tab for whole orders! Oh, and I’ve been granting those little things called Super Wishes!
Fancy treating yourself to something tasty? Getting a head start on gathering those Christmas provisions? We have news. We’ve lopped a chunk off the price of some of our very…
Fancy treating yourself to something tasty? Getting a head start on gathering those Christmas provisions? We have news. We’ve lopped a chunk off the price of some of our very favourite bottlings. Hurrah!
It seems like #WhiskySanta’s jolliness has well and truly rubbed off on us all here at MoM Towers. We’re spreading good cheer to all of legal drinking age with these incredible deals on some of our most beloved bottlings!
And why wouldn’t we? We love deliciousness and know you do too. It’s like a celebration of the most delectable drinks!
‘What IS Cladach?’, we hear you cry. No, it is not the first release from a secret new distillery (although like many new releases it doesn’t carry an age statement). It is a blended malt from six coastal distilleries: Caol Ila, Clynelish, Lagavulin, Oban, Inchgower and Talisker. And it’s delicious.
Some of the UK’s finest bartenders took part in the Scotch whisky brand’s challenge, but there could be only one winner of Talisker’s Race to Skye competition. Stefanie Anderson of…
Some of the UK’s finest bartenders took part in the Scotch whisky brand’s challenge, but there could be only one winner of Talisker’s Race to Skye competition.
Stefanie Anderson of Bon Vivant, Edinburgh has been crowned the champion in the annual Race to Skye competition. She follows in the footsteps of inaugural winner Andrew Lennie, from The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh.
The Scottish native was able to see off worthy opponents in Elysa McGuire from Epicurus: Death & Taxes, Leeds; Alex Francis from Devil’s Darling, London; Mike Pendergast from East London Liquor Company, London; Adam Day from Peggy’s, Manchester; Liam Grogan from Kelvingrove Café, Glasgow; and Miran Chauhan from Buck & Birch, Edinburgh.
Sherry cask-finished whisky is nothing new, but just why does the combination work so well, and why have the butts become so important? We investigate the magic of sherry and…
Sherry cask-finished whisky is nothing new, but just why does the combination work so well, and why have the butts become so important? We investigate the magic of sherry and Scotch…
All whisky lovers know that sherry casks and Scotch go together like Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, but the term ‘sherry cask’ isn’t as simple as it may at first appear. To get to the bottom of this much misunderstood part of the whisky process, I spoke to Donald Colville, Diageo global malts ambassador, about sherry, whisky, history, and Talisker’s super fancy recently launchedBodega Series 40 Year Old single malt.