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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Whisky Santa

Time for #WhiskySanta to say a festive farewell…

Another year, another magnificent display of boozy gifting from #WhiskySanta. He’s spoiled us once again with his Christmas spirit, but before he goes on his well-earned holibobs he has one…

Another year, another magnificent display of boozy gifting from #WhiskySanta. He’s spoiled us once again with his Christmas spirit, but before he goes on his well-earned holibobs he has one more thing to say…

HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Ho! Ho! Ho! We always say Christmas comes around so fast, but it goes just as quickly when you’re as busy as I am. My good friend Mr. Lennon has just asked me what I’ve done this year through my nifty little radio system here at MoM Towers and I’m delighted to say that I can look back at another sensational season of sharing. Since this year’s festivities kicked off at the start of November, I’ve given away over £250,000-worth of delicious drinks gifts!

But now it’s time for me to say goodbye for another year. A year with so many wishes coming in all around the clock on social media, I had to upgrade the Wish-o-meter the elves made for me! See for yourself all the wonderful wishes I granted in my original post. I’m particularly proud to have shared so many sublime Super Wishes in 2019, from an Old and Rare Whisky Calendar, a bottle of Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old, a bottle of Fettercairn 40 Year Old and a Glenfarclas 50 Year Old Decanter! Any one of those would certainly make it the most wonderful time of the year…

And of course, gift after gift after gift was also given away to thousands and thousands of lucky Master of Malt customers who placed orders, some of you even received your orders completely free!

But, even supernatural, omniscient, festive, heavily-bearded beings need a break. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an enormous Mojito waiting for me on a beach somewhere sunny. l wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year too!

#WhiskySanta

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And the winner of our Where’s #WhiskySanta 2019 competition is…

We’ve got just one more #WhiskySanta-themed surprise for you. One lucky person has successfully located our supernatural, omniscient, festive, heavily-bearded friend and has nabbed themselves a £250 Master of Malt…

We’ve got just one more #WhiskySanta-themed surprise for you. One lucky person has successfully located our supernatural, omniscient, festive, heavily-bearded friend and has nabbed themselves a £250 Master of Malt voucher! The question is, who…

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a jolly game of hide and seek, right?! We certainly think so here at MoM Towers. So, during the great festive run-in, we set you the challenge to locate our chum somewhere in a mega distillery montage in our Where’s #WhiskySanta competition!

And it really was quite the challenge. You searched low and high (hint!) in all manner of distilleries. Still houses, tun rooms, warehouses (ahem) and more. And where was he lurking? Right at the top of a stack of casks at England’s very own St George’s Distillery!

There he is, the sneaky sort!

Loads of you looked, and a fair eagle-eyed few located #WhiskySanta. To enter, you had to subscribe to our YouTube channel and email us your YouTube username and time stamp of the moment you spotted him. And one very lucky person is about to embark on a £250 Master of Malt shopping spree…!

And the winner is…

Christopher Edgington!

Where's #WhiskySanta

Cheers from #WhiskySanta, Chris!

Congratulations from Team MoM and #WhiskySanta!

All that’s left to say is… charge the tasting glasses, and have the most fantastic Christmas, folks!

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Where’s #WhiskySanta? Find him and win a £250 MoM voucher!

Looking for a self-treat of something tasty this Christmas? Spot our favourite omniscient, heavily-bearded one in our Where’s #WhiskySanta distilleries video and you could nab a never-expiring, interest-accruing Master of…

Looking for a self-treat of something tasty this Christmas? Spot our favourite omniscient, heavily-bearded one in our Where’s #WhiskySanta distilleries video and you could nab a never-expiring, interest-accruing Master of Malt voucher worth £250!

Don’t panic, folks – there’s just over a week until The Big Day! Struggling with Christmas pressies? Not sourced the entire banquet yet? There’s still time… just. But if you are just finding it all too much and have found yourself making your own wish lists instead of actually buying pressies for other people, we have something you may find interesting. A chance to scoop a £250 Master of Malt voucher to spend on your actual self! That’s a lot of good whisky. Or a mega assortment of tasty drams. Or a gin haul of dreams. Or a wondrous array of rums… you get the idea.

But how can one nab this awesome prize? This is where #WhiskySanta comes in!

Where's #WhiskySanta

Can you find our festive friend?

Where’s #WhiskySanta?!

Regular readers will know we adore a distillery visit. And when we head out and about, we generally take our beloved film crew with us, complete with VR cameras. And on one occasion, #WhiskySanta snuck along too! He was on his holibobs, it was only fair to let him come explore.

The trouble was, we lost track of him at one point. Probably after a snack. Luckily, our film team spotted him. And this is where you come in. We need you to help spot #WhiskySanta!

But those bods behind the camera haven’t made it easy. They’ve made a marvellous montage of some of our favourite trips over on our YouTube channel – including the moment they caught up with #WhiskySanta. But can you spot him in the video?  Locate him, and you could be the lucky recipient of that £250 voucher!

Got him in your sights? Great. Now tell us where, complete with time stamp!

To enter:
1. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
2. Ping an email to
whereswhiskysanta@masterofmalt.com with your YouTube username, where you saw #WhiskySanta, and that crucial time marker

Ideal!

We must have your entry by 23:59 on 23 December, and we’ll announce the lucky winner on Christmas Eve.

Happy finding!

18+ only and some exclusions apply. Further T&Cs apply.

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#WhiskySanta’s Glenfarclas 50 Year Old Decanter Super Wish

It’s been an exciting year of #WhiskySanta, but he’s got one last Super Wish up his immaculately cuffed sleeve – and it’s a real showstopper! Well, I’ve certainly been a busy Blitzen,…

It’s been an exciting year of #WhiskySanta, but he’s got one last Super Wish up his immaculately cuffed sleeve – and it’s a real showstopper!

Well, I’ve certainly been a busy Blitzen, haven’t I? I’ve been giving out gifts to Master of Malt customers at the checkout, and I’m not really looking to slow down until the middle of next week (I’ve got something I’m contractually obliged to do that Tuesday night, you know…), so that means you shouldn’t slow down on doing wishes either! That being said, it is time for my very last Super Wish of 2019. However, never fear, because I’ve got my hands on something absolutely incredible indeed…

This week’s Super Wish is for a single malt whisky that has matured for half a century! Or 50 years, if you prefer your units of time to be more plentiful but smaller. It was distilled by a magnificent family-owned distillery in Speyside. It slumbered in Spanish oak sherry casks. It’s just awesome. That enough preamble for you? Good, because I’m extraordinarily excited to say that the Super Wish this week is for a bottle of Glenfarclas 50 Year Old!

Oh yes, chums. For the final Super Wish of 2019, I’ve managed to get my mitts on a bottle of Glenfarclas 50 Year Old Decanter, worth a massive £12,000! Oodles of years maturing in sherry casks has given this one a spectacularly rich, complex and decadent flavour profile – the sort of thing any whisky fan would be astonished to find wrapped up underneath the Christmas tree.

You should know the score with Super Wishes by now, but in case you don’t, let’s go over it one last time, eh? If you fancy being in with a chance to get this bottle, you’ll want to wish for it! Head on over to the Glenfarclas 50 Year Old Decanter page and slam dunk that zazzy red button that says “Wish” on it. Using magic, a box will pop up with a  pre-populated Twitter or Facebook post. Hit publish and ta-da – you’ve gone and wished! You can also wish over on that fancy Instagram, just ensure you use the #WhiskySanta hashtag, otherwise my elves won’t be able to see it.

There’s that button!

You’ve got until the end of Thursday to make your wish for this breathtaking bottle, so ensure that you do that! In the meantime, I’ll continue granting all sorts of delicious wishes across the social medias, and handing out gifts to Master of Malt customers! I’ve got to keep busy, y’know, otherwise I’ll get bored and end up helping myself to whatever the MoM folks have put in the fridge. They put their names on all the food in there so I know who to thank after I gobble it up. Very kind of them.

UPDATE: My final Super Wish of 2019 has been granted – I do hope you enjoy deliciously old Glenfarclas, Catriona McCaw!

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#WhiskySanta’s Fettercairn 40 Year Old Super Wish

It’s Monday and it’s December, which can only mean one thing. #WhiskySanta’s back with another marvellous, mouth-watering Super Wish! Ho, ho, ho! Isn’t time flying, my drinks-loving chums? Somehow it’s…

It’s Monday and it’s December, which can only mean one thing. #WhiskySanta’s back with another marvellous, mouth-watering Super Wish!

Ho, ho, ho! Isn’t time flying, my drinks-loving chums? Somehow it’s 9th December already, my reindeer are limbering up for the Big Flight to come, and I’ve already given away Santa sack after Santa sack of the finest spirits known to humankind, at the Master of Malt check out, and of course, I’ve granted tons of your wishes on social media. If you’ve been truly good this year, of course. And that’s not all. I’ve gifted three magnificent Super Wishes already!

And why stop there? There might only be 16 days until Christmas, but that’s a lot of time for everyone’s supernatural, omniscient, festive and heavily-bearded being. So keep wishing! And this week, if you’ve got a hankering for decades-old, delightfully textured and captivatingly complex stuff you can wish for…

… the fabulous Fettercairn 40 Year Old!

It’s Fettercairn 40 Year Old, #WhiskySanta’s next Super Wish!

I’m almost not ok with giving this one away. It’s sold out, highly sought-after, and worth a mammoth £3,093! It’s the very last bottle at MoM Towers, and if my chums here won’t let me keep hold of it to sip and savour after that aforementioned Big Flight, then I suppose it’s only right that it goes to one of you lovely lot. But you’ll have to wish for it!

Flavour-wise, it’s an absolute treat (MoM’s Kristy tasted it herself when Fettercairn released its new core range in 2018). If you’re not in the know, Fettercairn has become a little bit of a cult malt. To bring you up to speed, it’s a sister distillery to Dalmore and Jura, so there’s a load of history and expertise behind the whisky-making (its stills, with the striking cooling rings, are pretty cool too). But back to the flavour. It’s ex-bourbon matured, Apostoles sherry-finished (for a whopping five years) so there’s nuttiness galore, bitter dark chocolate, nutmeg spice, and delicious, leathery rancio notes. There’s a reason I’d like to keep this one for my #WhiskySanta stash…

But enough of that. If you want to get your wintery mittens on this really rather special bottle, then head on over to the Fettercairn 40 Year Old product page with haste. Hit the ‘Wish’ button, which will automagically produce a box with a pre-populated Twitter or Facebook post. Hit publish and voila! (If Instagram is your platform of choice you can wish there too, just be sure to use the #WhiskySanta hashtag. Or those non-omniscient folks at MoM just won’t see it. I pity them. And you, because your wish won’t count!). 

You have until the end of Thursday to get your wishes in. Then let the granting commence! #WhiskySanta out, for now…

UPDATE: I told you I’d do it, and now I’ve done it – I’ve gone and granted this superb Super Wish to Tim Matthews! Enjoy, Tim!

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#WhiskySanta’s Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old Super Wish!

It’s another wonderful week and #WhiskySanta is on a roll, so get ready for his third fabulous Super Wish. Well, well, if it isn’t my third #SuperWish! In between giving…

It’s another wonderful week and #WhiskySanta is on a roll, so get ready for his third fabulous Super Wish.

Well, well, if it isn’t my third #SuperWish! In between giving away £250,000-worth of delectable drinks, for this particular treat I managed to find the time to pop over to Islay to scout out something exceptionally tasty. If your mind has jumped to peaty treats galore, then spoiler alert! This one is fruity and creamy, which should narrow down which distillery the delicious liquid has come from. We’ll save the coal and ash for a certain someone’s stocking (not yours, obviously…).

Behold the marvellous Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old! It’s matured for an entire four decades in the Islay warehouses by the sea, which is a long old time….

Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old #WhiskySanta

It’s the magnificent Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old!

Sorry, I’m just imagining being holed up in the same place for 40 years. I know I only get out of the house for one day a year, but still. This particular whisky was actually in the casks for so long that they were forgotten about (they should make lists like me to help them remember), until the master blender stumbled across them whilst reviewing the warehouse ledgers. Before it’s bottled and boxed up, it’s blended with pure spring water from the peaty moorlands.

It’s pretty impressive. Flavour-wise, think berries and cream, toasted nuts, caramel and tropical fruit. Normally, this liquid gold would cost any regular whisky-loving human a whopping £1,750! Though, thanks to me, this marvellous week one lucky person is going to get it absolutely free.

If your mouths are watering like a reindeer’s around a carrot, then scoot on over to the Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old product page, and hit the ‘Wish’ button! You can’t miss it. There’s one more step. When you do this, a box will appear with a pre-populated Twitter or Facebook post. Publish that, and you’re all set! If you’re more of an Instagram fan (Insta-fan?) yourself, you can wish on there too, but just make sure you use the #WhiskySanta hashtag.

bunnahabhain 40 year old

Make haste, you have until Friday to wish for this tasty bottle!

Though the whisky spent a leisurely 40 years maturing, this is time-sensitive stuff, and you have until the end of Thursday to get those wishes in. What are you waiting for?!

While you’re busy wishing away, I’ll be unpacking from my travels. I wonder what the MoM minions will think of my new ‘I ♥ Islay’ t-shirt…

UPDATE: And just like that, I’ve gone and granted this spectacular Super Wish to Phillip Scott! Hope you enjoy incredible Islay whisky!

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#WhiskySanta’s Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar Super Wish!

#WhiskySanta has already granted one extraordinary wish, but he was only just getting started. The second Super Wish is here and it’s pretty amazing As I’m sure you all know,…

#WhiskySanta has already granted one extraordinary wish, but he was only just getting started. The second Super Wish is here and it’s pretty amazing

As I’m sure you all know, it’s not easy getting your hands on rare and remarkable booze, even if you are a marvellously omniscient and handsome festive fellow. Sometimes you wish all these tasty treats could be in one easy location, preferably some kind of seasonal box of treats. One that delivers you a daily dose of deliciousness, perhaps in dram form. You don’t want to overdo it. I once had too many mince pies in one sitting and the thought of another one… oh, who am I kidding? Anyway, while I tuck into another pack of Mr. Kipling’s finest, you can get wishing for the beauty I’ve just described. How is that possible? Because it’s The Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar. That’s how.

Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar

The amazing Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar!

The Advent calendar includes 24 different wax-sealed glass drams of magnificent malts and exceptional blends by 21 distilleries from America, Japan and, of course, Scotland. What whisky fan wouldn’t love this? Ordinarily, this beauty would set you back £999.95, but for a lucky someone, it will cost absolutely nothing!

How can I be in with a chance to win all this loveliness?? Simple. Head to The Old and Rare Whisky Advent Calendar product page and you should see a shiny ‘Wish’ button. Click on that and a box will appear with a pre-populated Twitter or Facebook post. Press publish and voila, just like that you’ve made your wish! How does this work? Through complex technology befitting the current age we live in? Don’t be ridiculous. It’s magic, silly. Christmas magic. You can also wish on Instagram too if that especially appeals (just make sure you use the #WhiskySanta hashtag to make it easier for those delightful minions at MoM Towers). The deadline is the end of Thursday, folks!

Make your wish by Friday if you’d be into this sort of thing…

Now, I have a six-pack to tuck into (#pielife) while I stare at the windows of my own Advent calendar and resist tearing them open to see what delights are hidden behind them. Get wishing!

UPDATE: Would you believe it, I’ve only gone and granted this Super Wish! James Maddock, I do hope you enjoy your Old and Rare Advent Calendar!

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The Nightcap 22 November

This week on the Nightcap: The Macallan turns its distillery into a festive wonderland, register to vote and you’ll get a free drink, and stop worrying about your hangover: you’re…

This week on the Nightcap: The Macallan turns its distillery into a festive wonderland, register to vote and you’ll get a free drink, and stop worrying about your hangover: you’re only making it worse. 

We don’t know about you, but we’ve spent most of this week scavenging for firewood around the Master of Malt warehouse. At the first sign of a broken pallet out came the kindling vultures to squabble over scraps of pine and medium-density fibreboard to be hoarded and turned into life-giving heat later in the day. What a life! This is just a roundabout way of saying that it’s been properly cold this week. But it’s also the perfect weather to curl up by the fire with a dram of something rich and smooth, and revel in this week’s Nightcap. 

The blog went competition crazy this week with a chance to win tickets to see singer songwriter Jarrod Dickenson with Balcones whisky and with #WhiskySanta is giving away a bottle of Hennessy Paradis worth nearly £1,000. In non-competition news, our Jess tried The World Whisky Blend from That Boutique-y Whisky Company, and went to Seville to discover the Royal Salute 29 Year Old Pedro Ximénez. Meanwhile, Annie got acquainted with Dutch spirit genever, and spent five minutes with Dr Kirstie McCallum, the new head of whisky creation at Glen Moray. Adam tried a bourbon with a Japanese twist courtesy of Beam Suntory, and, clearly in a Kentucky frame of mind, spoke to Jackie Zykan, master taster for Old Forester. Kristy peered into her crystal ball to look at rum’s future with Lucy Cottrell from Dead Man’s Fingers; and Henry brought us news on the revival of Rosebank distillery and cooked up a hot cider cocktail to keep the cold out. 

That’s the week that was. On with The Nightcap!

Macallan60old

Some very rare Macallans like those in the Vietnamese collection

Whisky collection smashes record with £10m valuation

How much is your whisky collection worth? A few hundred quid? Maybe into the thousands? This week, Guinness World Records confirmed a Vietnamese collector was the delighted owner of the most valuable whisky collection in the world – weighing in at a mighty £10,770,635! The haul belongs to Mr Viet Nguyen Dinh Tuan of Ho Chi Minh City, and it was valued by the team at Rare Whisky 101. They reckon the figure could top £13,032,468, when you add on the 21% buyers’ premium if it was sold through a UK auctioneer. The collection features 535 bottles, including the only known complete Macallan Fine & Rare set, complete with three 1926 bottlings. Only forty were ever released! There are also 12 bottles of the oldest and most expensive Bowmore ever released (it fetched £300,000 at auction recently), and one of only 24 bottles of the 1919 vintage Springbank. Phew. Mr Viet has been building his collection for over 20 years. “For me, whisky collecting has been my life’s passion,” he says. “Every spare I moment I get, I’m searching auction sites and trading websites to find famous and rare whiskies from around the world. Clearly this requires a lot of patience and no shortage of tenacity, but I’m proud of my efforts. As for my collection, I have no intention of selling any of it. Not one bottle. In fact, I’ll continue to hunt for more old and rare bottles and add to and enrich it.” Wowzers!

Warehouse X Experiment 2 Barrels resize

“Careful Jed, it’s one of those experiential casks!”

Buffalo Trace Distillery completes second Warehouse X experiment

Cask ageing is still a perplexing business, but the team at the Buffalo Trace Distillery is attempting to break the process down using the specially-designed and mysteriously-monikered Warehouse X. The second experiment at the facility, which began in 2016, has just been completed. It focused on how temperature affects the ageing process. The warehouse’s four chambers were used to determine how barrel activity correlates with temperature changes, keeping two chambers constant and varying the other two chambers and leaving the breezeway unchanged. Buffalo Trace tracked temperature fluctuations, monitored barrel pressures and collected a total of 9.1 million data points. As a result, the distillery was able to confirm how temperature affects pressure, colour and flavour over a period of three years. After leaving Warehouse X, the barrels were rolled into a traditional warehouse to continue ageing, as was done with the first experiment. Built in 2013, Warehouse X was created to study the many variables that affect the bourbon maturation process, and Buffalo Trace is now almost a third of the way through a 20-year project to monitor numerous atmospheric elements, including natural light, temperature, humidity and air flow. The first experiment, which ended in 2016, focused on natural light. The next two-year experiment will begin soon to expand on the most recent findings, focusing on how temperature swings affect whiskey activity in the barrel. We’re intrigued to see what they find.

It’s David C. Stewart or DCS to his friends

The Balvenie unveils final DCS Compendium instalment

In brilliant but bittersweet news, Chapter Five of The Balvenie DCS Compendium has been unveiled. Why bittersweet? Because it’s the last of the series, so for one final time we all have the opportunity to gaze longingly at five unique and intriguing single-cask Balvenie expressions that none of us will ever taste. Titled ‘Malt Master’s Indulgence’, the rare vintages were selected by David C. Stewart MBE (hence DCS) for their significance to his career. Aged between 16 and 56 years, the selection includes The Balvenie’s oldest-ever bottling, the fragrant and sweet 1962 expression taken from a European oak oloroso hogshead, which commemorates Stewart’s very first year at the distillery. The longest-serving malt master in the whisky industry, who started the role back in 1974, commented on Chapter Five: “It takes a good deal of time to understand how each cask differs and how whisky maturation is affected by various wood types. You need confidence to select casks and know which are likely to achieve greatness. Working for a family company, I’ve been lucky enough to have been given the freedom to make stock decisions based on my preference and vision, with the free rein to pick casks and hold on to whisky, not always knowing what I’m going to do with it, for no other reason than thinking one day it will be extraordinary. For me, this is indulgence in its truest form.” As with past Chapters, Chapter Five is presented in a handcrafted, individually-numbered frame, with just 50 sets available worldwide. It also features The Balvenie DCS Compendium book depicting rare archive imagery from the distillery, along with information on each of the five chapters, which documents Stewart’s thought process in curating the Compendium. The Balvenie is also planning a series of celebratory events throughout 2020 to mark the completion of the project.

£2500 and you have to bottle it yourself.

Bottle your own 40-year-old at Aberfeldy Distillery

Heading up to the charming Aberfeldy Distillery? You can now hand-bottle the delightful Aberfeldy 40 Years Old! Directly from the cask. In the warehouse. Yes, that’s the oldest whisky the Highland whisky-makers have released to date. If that doesn’t get you excited, nothing will. In total, three single cask editions will be launched, all of which were first filled on 22nd August 1978 and matured in American oak, ex-bourbon hogsheads. “To find one cask at this venerable age, is extraordinary but to find three, is exceptional. Just think of the four decades of history these casks have slumbered through,” said malt master Stephanie Macleod. “The single cask is something that we at Aberfeldy bottle rarely – to have the honour of filling your very own bottle of our oldest and most exclusive whisky yet, is a truly special opportunity. The golden hallmarks of the distillery are evident; beautifully-balanced, elegant and well-mannered with peerless texture, perfectly expressed by these 40-year-old bottlings.” The whisky will be on sale for £2,500 a bottle, exclusively from the Aberfeldy Distillery.

Just some of the mouth-watering rums drunk on World Foursquare Day at Trailer Happiness in London

Barbados distillery honoured with inaugural World Foursquare Day

Rum lovers of London descended on Trailer Happiness in Notting Hill last Sunday (17 November) for the inaugural World Foursquare Day. The day was the idea of Facebook group Foursquare Rum Appreciation Society to celebrate the much-loved Barbados distillery. According to Foursquare brand ambassador Peter Holland, they chose 17 November because it “was the day that Foursquare Distillery and Heritage Park was officially opened by Sir David Seale [father of the owner, Richard], and the Prime Minister of Barbados Mr. Owen S. Arthur in 1996.” Holland organised the London event; there were rum cocktails, bottles from Holland’s own collection (including the ultra-rare Foursquare Triptych), and even a surprise appearance from the Seales themselves. There was also a well-attended event in Milton Keynes. Holland told us: “Next year, I think we will look to grow the event, and, perhaps in conjunction with the UK importers, see if we can get a few more bars involved across the UK. Increase the celebration, but try not to make it crass and commercial.” So put 17 November 2020 in your diary now.

Annabel Meikle, one of the judges at the Spirit of Speyside Awards

Top whiskies shortlisted for Spirit of Speyside Awards

Awards and whisky go together like bread and butter, and Speyside is about to get its fair share! Eight Speyside single malts have been shortlisted as finalists in the international Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards. The initial judging process took place earlier this month in the heart of Speyside (well, where else could it be?), where a panel of leading whisky experts carried out a blind tasting of 41 entries. A tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. However, it’s not the experts who get the final say. The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Awards are the only industry awards in the world to give consumers the final vote. Over the next six months, the two finalists in each category will be put forward for judging by whisky drinkers all over the place, from the UK and Europe to India and Canada. Spanning four categories, this year’s finalists are Aberlour 10 Year Old and Cardhu 12 Year Old, Benromach 15 Year Old and Glenallachie 15 Year Old, Glenfiddich Grand Cru 23 Year Old and Glenfarclas 25 Year Old, and finally Tamnavulin Sherry Cask Edition and Cardhu Amber Rock. “It was almost impossible to pick just two finalists in each Awards category this year – the standard of whisky produced here in Speyside by our local craftsmen and women is truly exceptional,” said James Campbell, Chairman at The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. “We’re very much looking forward to opening up the judging to consumers over the next six months before celebrating the winners at what we believe is the finest whisky festival in the world.” You’ll have to wait a few months for the results, as the category winners will be announced at the opening of the 2020 Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival in late April.

Fairy lights from Robert Dyas at The Macallan

The Macallan Distillery goes festive

The team at the Macallan are pulling out all the stops to turn the award-winning distillery into a festive wonderland this Christmas. As you’d expect from such a luxury brand, this will be a little more lavish than neon Santas, plastic holly, and M&S mince pies. Instead, the decorations have been inspired by the character of the single malt with golden acorns, dried berries and a palette of sienna, gold, copper and black, colours traditionally associated with The Macallan”, no less. At the centre will be a “towering” 15 ft Christmas tree. But that’s not all. There will also be a special Christmas menu in the restaurant, seasonal Macallan cocktails like the Speyside Flip and the Clootie to be sipped, and a special after-hours dinner on Thursday 5 December. Stuart Cassells, general manager, commented: “We are incredibly proud of the success our new distillery experience has enjoyed since opening 18 months ago. But we want to be more than a fantastic visitor attraction. Our ambition is to become a key Speyside destination, a place where people from the local community and further afield want to return to again and again. We’re extremely excited about the exclusive experiences we are offering, from unique gifting options to our new brasserie and bar menus. We hope to attract visitors old and new and look forward to providing a warm welcome to The Macallan Estate this festive season.” Sounds magnificent, though we’d have been just as happy with M&S mince pies as long as there was some Macallan to wash them down with. Don’t tell #WhiskySanta…

Remember kids, don’t drink and vote

Free drink if you register to vote

Here’s a good way to combat voter apathy (and we are being asked to vote a lot more than normal). A free drink when you vote. Brilliant! Why did no one think of this before? Well, of course they did. In elections past, unscrupulous politicians would ply the electorate with booze to get them to vote the ‘right’ way. But this new initiative from the Lollipop group of venues around London, is not trying to corrupt, just get people to vote. Simply turn up at a Lollipop bar, like Journey on the King’s Road or Dear Sunny in Hackney, prove that you have registered to vote before 26 November (the closing date), and a free drink will be yours (full details and list of venues here).  Founder Seb Lyall had this to say: “We know how important it is for people of all ages and backgrounds to get out there and vote on December 12. These elections will have a significant impact on our industry and we want as wide a group of voices to be heard as possible.” Make sure, however, that you vote sober, or you never know who we might end up with.

We could be saying, ‘goodbye Joe to baijiu” (sorry)

Are we heading for a baijiu shortage?

Kweichow Moutai is one of the biggest baijiu brands on the planet – and this week, at its overseas distributors conference, the company suggested that the Chinese spirit is gaining such a following internationally that stock shortages are becoming a reality for the first time. “It’s one of the most significant changes we have seen in overseas markets since Moutai rebounded in the domestic market in 2016,” said Moutai Group chairman and party committee secretary Li Baofang. Baijiu is the most consumed spirit category in the world, although the vast, vast majority is drunk in China. This looks to be slowly shifting though – and from 2017-18, we saw a 650% uptick in sales here at MoM Towers, albeit from a teeny base. Keep an eye out for more baijiu in 2020 – if international supply can keep up with demand!

Don’t worry, be happy

And Finally… Worrying about your hangover ‘makes it worse’

We’re all about responsible drinking here at MoM Towers. Remember – sip, don’t gulp! But sometimes, a little overindulgence can happen. And new research from the University of Salford this week appears to confirm something we’ve had a little inkling about: worrying about a hangover makes it worse. It’s all linked to whether someone is likely to “catastrophise pain” or not. What’s that, we asked. Apparently it’s when you worry too much about the threat of pain, which makes you feel like you can’t manage it, and then dwell on how much something hurts. 86 people ages from 18 to 46 were quizzed about a recent time they’d had a drink (more gulping than sipping. Just don’t). The results showed a “significant relationship” between all that catastrophising and the severity of the hangover. Turns out there are actual dehydrated-related symptoms, but also stress-related ones, too – and the stress ones were more likely to get on that catastrophising. “These findings suggest the importance of cognitive coping strategies in how people experience hangovers after drinking alcohol,” said lead researcher, Sam Royle. “This may have implications in understanding behavioural responses to hangovers, and also for addiction research.” Good work, Sam. But the best way to avoid that hangover? Keep the booze consumption sensible in the first place! 

And with that in mind… Happy weekend, folks!

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#WhiskySanta’s Hennessy Paradis Super Wish!

Christmas is coming which means the return of #WhiskySanta’s Super Wishes! And the big, shiny, first Super Wish of 2019 is a corker of a Cognac: Hennessy Paradis! When I’m…

Christmas is coming which means the return of #WhiskySanta’s Super Wishes! And the big, shiny, first Super Wish of 2019 is a corker of a Cognac: Hennessy Paradis!

When I’m not busy delivering presents, grooming my beard or practising my ho, ho, hoing, I like to spend my time hunting down rare boozes to make sure my Super Wishes are really extremely super indeed. This requires lots of travelling, but I usually don’t use the old sleigh as I don’t want to be conspicuous or people will want to have selfies taken with me which is so tedious. Sometimes I even wear sunglasses, a hat and a false beard over my real beard just to make sure I’m not recognised. On one of my incognito jaunts to France, I stumbled across this week’s Super Wish hidden away in Cognac. It’s a little bit of heaven in a bottle.

Hennessy Paradis is #WhiskySanta’s first Super Wish of 2019!

Hennessy Paradis is blended from a selection of super rare Cognacs that are kept under lock and key safe from prying hands in a special place in the firm’s cellars called ‘le Paradis’. Yes, this Cognac literally comes from paradise. Imagine that! The Paradis expression was first conceived by master blender Maurice Fillioaux back in 1979 using Cognacs that had been laid down by his grandfather. This tradition has been continued to this day using only the rarest and oldest of spirits. And how does it taste? Like paradise, of course. Think dried apricots, tobacco, honey and the kind of polish you only use on very expensive furniture. Normally this would cost £975 but someone is going to get a bottle absolutely free this week. I know, I do spoil you. Well, I am #WhiskySanta, after all!

Sing with me: ‘This is how we do it’

How, I hear you ask? Well, head to the Hennessy Paradis product page, and hit that shiny ‘Wish’ button! It’s [almost!] as simple as that. As if by magic (except it’s me!), a box will appear with a pre-populated Twitter or Facebook post. Publish, and voila! You can also wish on Instagram too, if that especially appeals (just make sure you use the #WhiskySanta hashtag. I might be omniscient, but my MoM Towers minions are not and they need to see it!). You’ve got until the end of Thursday to get those mega wishes in, so go, GO, GO!!!

Time for me to reminisce about my Cognac trip with a glass of something tasty… luckily I know just the thing!

UPDATE: The time has come for me to grant my first Super Wish of 2019, and Alex Hosking will be the lucky recipient of the bottle of Hennessy Paradis!

5 Comments on #WhiskySanta’s Hennessy Paradis Super Wish!

£250,000-worth of free gifts! #WhiskySanta has made his return!

Someone is going to need to do a mince pie run… #WhiskySanta has returned to MoM Towers! He’s ready to get to business and give away loads of gifts to…

Someone is going to need to do a mince pie run… #WhiskySanta has returned to MoM Towers! He’s ready to get to business and give away loads of gifts to Master of Malt customers in the run-up to the Big Day.

That’s right, enjoyably thoughtful blog preamble – someone is going to have to hop out to the shops for a brace of mince pies, because I am most certainly back! I had a rather lovely time on my hols, but I’m ready and raring to return to giving away hundreds of thousands of pounds of fantastic gifts to Master of Malt customers yet again, all the way up to Christmas Eve!

So, fancy finding out how you could get your hands on some of these yuletide goodies? Let me spin you a yarn…

1. Gifts with orders!

Yes, the folks here at MoM Towers have given me the key to their checkout, so I can give away tens of thousands of gifts up until Christmas Eve! It’s lucky I’m supernatural, omniscient, festive and heavily-bearded, because that certainly sounds like a busy ol’ time, doesn’t it? (The beard helps my productivity as I can use it to store snacks, a bit like a rucksack on my face – I’ve got a few roast potatoes in there right now…)

Fingers crossed you see a little message from me like this one!

Oodles of Master of Malt customers will discover a little note from me (like the one above) at the Master of Malt Order Confirmation page, offering them something wonderful for free. “Like what?” I hear you ask (yes, I heard it. Omniscience, y’know? Can’t turn it off!). I’ll be giving away 30ml sample drams, full bottles, gift vouchers up to £50 and more – I’ll even be picking up the tab for entire orders! Grab your Christmas presents from Master of Malt and I could give you the whole lot for free! You’ll want to click that ‘Yes please!’ button to accept my gift, but if you’re something of a Scrooge, you can click the ‘No thanks’ button and I’ll offer the gift to some other lucky person.

2. #WhiskySanta Wishes!

So, say you were having a little browse of Master of Malt’s festively plump selection of whiskies, gins, rums and… Well, there’s a lot of deliciousness on this website, let’s put it like that. But, say you were having a gander and you saw something that would make you yelp with joy if you found it all wrapped up under the Christmas tree with your name on it. Well, wish for it! Follow the links on the page to share your wish for this treat on Twitter or Facebook using #WhiskySanta, and I very well could grant that wish!

Wishing for Lagavulin 16 Year Old? Ho ho ho, delicious stuff!

You can also wish on Instagram, which I’m making nice and easy by dropping a festive vid with some top picks on Master of Malt’s Insta Story each day. Grab a screenshot and post it to your feed for a chance to win what you land on! Just make sure your posts are set to public, and include #WhiskySanta. My aforementioned omniscience can only do so much against technology. I’ll be granting wishes right up to and including Christmas Eve, and will be keeping track of them at the bottom of this post…

3. Super Wishes!

Some wishes are just a little bit… bigger than others. I like to call these Super Wishes (look, my talent isn’t naming things, it’s giving gifts, OK?!). I’ve got my hands on some incredibly exciting treats, and each week there will be a different awesome goodie you can wish for on top of all your regular wishes. For this week’s Super Wish, I managed to get my hands on a bottle of Glenfarclas 50 Year Old Decanter! Normally this would set you back over £12,000, but someone will be getting it absolutely free this week! Make sure you get your wish in before the end of Thursday to be in with a chance!

Behold – the Glenfarclas 50 Year Old Decanter!

And that, dearest chums, is how this will go down. It’s going to be a big ol’ year for me, so I’ll say it again… Someone is going to have to hurry out to the shops for a fresh shipment of mince pies, and it’s not going to be me – I’ve got gifts to give away!

#WhiskySanta

18+ only and some exclusions apply, including countries we can ship to. Further T&Cs apply.

 

Wishes already granted:

@Chrishood57 received a bottle of Glenfarclas 105!
Eileen Purves received a bottle of Balvenie 21 Year Old PortWood Finish!
@m_h_mckillop received a Japanese Whisky Advent Calendar!
@calum_friel received a bottle of Tamdhu 15 Year Old!
@glen_whisky received a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail!
Tony Cummings received a bottle of Glenmorangie Signet!
@smcganity received a bottle of Port Charlotte MRC:01 7 Year Old!
@lucyrobinson33 received a bottle of Keepr’s Cotswold Honey Spiced Rum!
Joanna Hehn received a Rumbullion! Magnum (1.5L)!
@Jamh27James received a bottle of Diamond (Port Mourant Still) 9 Year Old (That Boutique-y Rum Company)!
@pinkmarshmello88 received a bottle of Chesterfield Strawberry Candy Floss Gin!
@Si1982 received a bottle of Redbreast 15 Year Old!
@1987CF received a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Series No. 6!
@fantasticmrfish_sw received a bottle of Foursquare Premise – Exceptional Cask Selection!
@vickydoo received a bottle of Fallen Angel Blood Orange Gin!
@corallaws1 received a set of Pickering’s Gin Christmas Baubles!
@Whisky_Sorensen received a bottle of Loch Lomond 22 Year Old 1995 (cask 12799) – Old Particular (Douglas Laing)!
@guterwhiskycom received a bottle of Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Experimental Series – Winter Storm (Batch 2)!
Louise Rook received a bottle of Orange Sherbet Gin!
@paulrjevans received a bottle of Knob Creek Rye!
@andreasangman received a bottle of Hernö Old Tom Gin!
@Cityfevercaz received a bottle of The English – Triple Distilled!
@TheArtpunk received a bottle of Bellevue 19 Year Old (That Boutique-y Rum Company)!
@charliegentxox received a bottle of Peaky Blinder Spiced Rum Gift Pack with Hip Flask!
Björn Grétar Baldursson received a bottle of Tomatin 11 Year Old 2008 (cask 79) (Master of Malt)!
@andrew2049 received a bottle of Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey!
Gerard Hepton received a bottle of Mackmyra Vintersol 2019!
@maltcircle received a bottle of Ardbeg Corryvreckan!
@mossy8710 received a bottle of Sazerac Straight Rye (75cl)!
@ch_ch_ch_chewey received a bottle of Inchmurrin 18 Year Old!
Stephen Yearnshire received a bottle of WhistlePig 10 Year Old!
@DarkMarkReturns received a bottle of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength!
@chameleons17 received a bottle of Hendrick’s Orbium Gin!
@joeo1988 received a bottle of Littlemill 27 Year Old 1991 – Single Cask (Master of Malt)!
@GiuseppeNiro received a bottle of Langatun 5 Year Old 2014 (cask 87) – Nero d’Avola Finish!
@iheartwhisky received a bottle of Auchentoshan 24 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)!
@lgaal_maverick83 received a bottle of Tomatin 12 Year Old!
@warmachinerox received a Port Charlotte 10 Year Old Gift Pack with 2x Glasses!
@louisrbz received a bottle of Talisker 15 Year Old (Special Release 2019)!
@kerrilouw received a Cognac Advent Calendar – Classic Style (2019 Edition)!
Robert Earl Purves received a bottle of Connemara Distillers Edition!
@the_zoseus received a bottle of Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin!
@IEngineer_CAH received a bottle of Scallywag!
@wd_powerlifting received a bottle of Mortlach 16 Year Old!
David Cohen received a bottled of Penderyn Faraday!
@chris_f74 received a bottle of Edradour 18 Year Old 2000 – Barolo Cask Finish!
@garmitch received a bottle of Kilchoman 9 Year Old 2010!
@debbieskerten received a bottle of Baron de Sigognac XO Platinum!
@rich_dyson received a bottle of Jura 21 Year Old Tide!
@HarryDaProducer received a bottle of Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash Toasted Barrel Finish!
William Gould received a bottle of Old Pulteney 15 Year Old
@aspronnie received a bottle of The Glenrothes 18 Year Old – Soleo Collection!
@polley82 received a bottle of Glen Scotia 25 Year Old!
@dancemumkelly received a bottle of Opihr Gin Arabian Edition!
@martenssonfia received a Mature Your Own Gin Kit!
John Anderson received a bottle of Bladnoch Samsara!
@welshwonders received a bottle of Martell XO Cognac!
@dannjrh received a bottle of Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice!
Helen Wrightson Sproule received a bottle of Six Kingdoms & Mortlach 15 Year Old – Game of Thrones Single Malts Collection!
@PoshScotch received a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label – Ghost & Rare Port Ellen!
@olliegent received a bottle of Suntory Toki!
Julie Wrightson received a bottle of The GlenDronach 21 Year Old – Parliament!
@studentwhisky received a bottle of Nardini Riserva 15 Year Old – Selezione Bortolo Nardini!
@moe_better_booze received a bottle of Yellowstone Limited Edition – 2018 Edition!
Colin Taylor received a bottle of Balvenie 21 Year Old PortWood Finish!
@ErikaLoulabelle received a bottle of Two Swallows Cherry & Salted Caramel Rum!
@cassmumbles received a bottle of Harahorn Norwegian Gin!
Andrew Sims received a bottle of Glengoyne 21 Year Old!
@will70707 received a bottle of Cardhu 15 Year Old!
@JanCherryJovi received a bottle of Bunnahabhain 37 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)!
@MrKristopf received a bottle of Octomore 10.3 6 Year Old Islay Barley!
Charlee Munn received a Christmas Gin Tasting Set 2019!
@andyhells received a bottle of Bruichladdich Scottish Barley – The Classic Laddie!
@pat_cfc received a bottle of Glenfarclas 21 Year Old!
@whisky_antiques received a bottle of Tormore 24 Year Old 1995 – Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)!
Kerry Wrightson received a bottle of Mermaid Pink Gin!
@coolbrizze91 received a bottle of Glen Scotia 15 Year Old!
@DistilleryBikes received a bottle of Darkness! Tobermory Heavily Peated 20 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish!
@greenforgo1 received a bottle of Dailuaine 16 Year Old – Flora and Fauna!
John Wrightson received a bottle of Aberlour A’Bunadh Batch 63!
John Meikleham received a bottle of Croft Pink Port (50cl)!
@wenevermade received a bottle of Midleton Very Rare 2018!
@emmabooth2002 received a bottle of Salcombe Gin – Start Point!
Andy Wright received a bottle of Highland Park 18 Year Old – Viking Pride!
@rossc0pic0 received a bottle of Jack Daniel’s 150th Anniversary of the Distillery Special Edition!
Stephanie Crab Filled Hearne received a bottle of The Exceptional Blend – 1st Edition!
@themotionclinic received a bottle of Rhum J.M Vintage 2007!
@barry.laws.98 received a bottle of Camus VSOP Elegance!
@sandratingle received a bottle of Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia 2018!
@whisky_trale received a bottle of Glenfarclas 105!
@timstasting received a bottle of BenRiach 19 Year Old 1997 (cask 8634) – Dark Rum Finish!
Marie Pickles received a bottle of Feckin Irish Gin!
@TheAndrewCarr received a bottle of Bruichladdich 11 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)!
Paul Newcombe received a bottle of Ragtime Rye Whiskey!
@JamesCh23376064 received a bottle of The Glenrothes 18 Year Old – Soleo Collection!
@devonshrviolet received a bottle of Glen Scotia Victoriana Cask Strength!
@NJB_91 received a bottle of WhistlePig 12 Year Old – Old World (Drinks by the Dram)!
@helswidd received a bottle of Clynelish 14 Year Old!
Jo Lawson received a bottle of Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask Finish – Fèis Ìle 2018!
@hannahdart09 received a bottle of The Macallan 18 Year Old Triple Cask!
@MartinGalea83 received a bottle of Tamdhu 15 Year Old!
@SgtTwatbadger received a bottle of Balvenie 21 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish!
@KarenNiro received a bottle of Garnheath 45 Year Old 1974 (cask 13462) – Xtra Old Particular (Douglas Laing)!
@mellor888 received a bottle of Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky!
@StanCDT received a bottle of Dewar’s 25 Year Old Signature!
@TeddyHobble received a bottle of Auchentoshan 26 Year Old 1993 (cask 243) – Infrequent Flyers (Alistair Walker)!
Amanda Bateman received a bottle of Ardbeg 10 Year Old!
Steve Miles received a bottle of Aberlour 18 Year Old!
@TheWhiskyHermit received a bottle of Bimber Re-Charred Oak Casks!
@evilwoodchuk received a bottle of SPEY Royal Choice!
@nikki2912 received a bottle of Gin David!
@guidomathison received a bottle of Jura 21 Year Old Tide!
@vadams10 received a bottle of Perrier-Jouët 2011 Belle Epoque!
@he.rides.bikes received a bottle of Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Solera!
@jasperjohnkane received a bottle of Laphroaig Brodir!
@JohnMcManus34 received a bottle of Château Du Breuil 15 Year Old Calvados!
@RoccoMckay4 received a bottle of Mackmyra Svensk Rök / Amerikansk Ek!
@BaldyBryna received a bottle of Octomore 09.3 5 Year Old!
@phibro13 received a bottle of Ben Nevis 10 Year Old!
@ThePunHouse received a bottle of The Macallan Rare Cask – Batch No.2 (2019 Release)!
@Roogie_3 received a bottle of Strathmill 21 Year Old 1996 (cask SM96A) – The Single Cask!
@mrs_mashtun received a Rémy Martin VSOP Glass Gift Pack with 2x Glasses!
@CriticalMassage received a bottle of Lagavulin 12 Year Old (Special Release 2019)!
Steven Young received a bottle of Hernö Old Tom Gin!
@whisky_angels received a bottle of The Macallan 12 Year Old Triple Cask!
@chunky900 received a bottle of Deanston 1999 (bottled 2018) (cask 2514) – Samaroli!
@dram_gazette received a bottle of Islay #2 25 Year Old (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)!
@Dizzo81 received a bottle of Milk & Honey 1 Year Old (That Boutique-y Malt Company)!
@sam__kelly received a bottle of Benromach 10 Year old!
@marto_10 received a bottle of Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year Old!
@whiskydaft received a bottle of Wolfburn Single Cask Selection (cask 87)!
@grahampage1 received a bottle of Maxime Trijol XO!

…plus there was the Glenfarclas 50 Year Old Decanter Super Wish, the Fettercairn 40 Year Old Super Wish, the Bunnahabhain 40 Year Old Super Wish, the Hennessy Paradis Super Wish and the Old & Rare Advent Calendar Super Wish!

65 Comments on £250,000-worth of free gifts! #WhiskySanta has made his return!

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