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The Monkey Comp Winners Have Popped-Up In London!

by Jake Mountain     8. October 2014 14:21

The Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Challenge

The Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Challenge has been quite a journey - over 50 teams signed up back in March and April, but as Connor MacLeod has taught us (with alarming regularity on this here blog):
"There can be only one."

Having followed the competition on twitter and attended the grand bar-off last month, I can thoroughly recommend hunting down the competition's worthy winners at their London Cocktail Week pop-up in 7 Dials this week (as I did yesterday). To explain a little more about this cocktail competition that was totally unlike anything we've ever reported on before though, let me hand you over to Monkey Shoulder's new brand ambassador...

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2014 Advent Calendars and our Pre-Order Promotion!

by Jake Mountain     3. October 2014 10:48

Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendars 2014

You may have seen, but the fantastic Drinks by the Dram advent calendars for 2014 are now available for pre-order! (Estimated despatch date 5th November.*) Full of your favourite spirits rather than the usual naff chocolate fare, each one contains 24 different 3cl sample ‘drams’, one behind each window for your Christmas countdown! (Full contents can be found on the product pages for those who don’t want it to be a total surprise.)

So, what’s new for 2014? As well as exciting new lineups of specially selected contents, we’re also rather chuffed with the new boxes, illustrated by the brilliant Duncan Beedie. Let’s take a look at the 2014 Whisky Advent Calendar first (the one with the pre-order promotion attached to it…).

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The Glenlivet - The Winchester Collection, Vintage 1964

by Jake Mountain     24. September 2014 14:43

The Glenlivet The Winchester Collection Vintage 1964

Last week I was fortunate enough to taste an upcoming release from The Glenlivet, the second best selling single malt Scotch whisky in the world. It's a limited edition 50 year old vintage release - the first in a series of 50 year olds (!) that are to be called The Winchester Collection.

Matured in a single American oak hogshead (as far as I understand from my chat with Brand Ambassador Phil Huckle) this whisky was laid down back in 1964 by none other than Captain Bill Smith-Grant, the final distilling descendant of the distillery's founder, George Smith. The Winchester Collection therefore represents a special piece of history for The Glenlivet, a final liquid link with the family that started it all back in 1824.

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Public Voting Open Now! - IWSC Best Online Retailer Award

by Jake Mountain     16. September 2014 14:12

IWSC best indie

It always means an awful lot to us when we win retailer awards at Icons of Whisky (Whisky Mag), or indeed the eCommerce Awards (that one wasn't even limited to the drinks industry!), and when we do win awards like these, we always make sure to thank all of you, our beautiful customers, for making it possible. We really do love you all.

Fortunately for us, you seem to rather like us too, as we get to see every single day as we read through your amazing feedback! It makes the jobs we all do here at MoM all the more rewarding to see just how much you enjoy using the site for your delicious drinks purchases. Now, if you are of the opinion that we're a rather good retailer (one worthy of awards, perhaps) then there is one little thing you could do for us...

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Irish Whiskey Academy

by Jake Mountain     10. September 2014 12:00

Irish Whiskey Academy

I like a bit of Irish whiskey me. That's why I made a point of writing a big ol' three-part blog post about it earlier in the year. So, bearing that in mind, when I received an invitation to attend the Irish Whiskey Academy at Midleton distillery over in County Cork I didn't really need to think about it for too long. The Academy opened in February 2013 and along with a new still house and archive became a focus for the Irish Distillers' Housewarming celebrations last year.

The Academy is a state of the art training facility whose courses have been attended by many of the leading whisk(e)y writers, journalists and bartenders. There's a nice Dave Broom quote on their site that sums it up quite nicely: "I can honestly say that this is the finest training facility I have ever been in, and some of the finest training I have ever had". That.

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Glenfarclas 60 Year Old

by Jake Mountain     20. August 2014 12:30

Glenfarclas 60 Year Old

Back in the 1950s, when George Grant's daddy was quite literally still in nappies, George's grandfather was busy laying down stock for the future and to this day the family-run independent distillery and its followers have been reaping the rewards of this policy with some incredible releases.

In 2007 they launched The Family Casks range showcasing some of the best single casks in their warehouses with vintages ranging from 1952 (!) to 1994 on release. Glenfarclas' envious inventory of maturing stock then saw them able to add a 40 Year Old to their core range in 2010. How many distilleries can boast that?

Following a couple of 1953 vintage releases over the last couple of years taken from casks that were the very oldest in the inventory (like this and this), the inevitable has now happened. Glenfarclas have released an official 60 Year Old bottling for the first time ever.

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Dramboree 2014 - Another Whisky Weekend in Scotland!

by Jake Mountain     18. August 2014 15:38

Dramboree 2014

Ah, Dramboree. A truly fantastic event, and one that’s difficult to convey in all its glory within a blog post. (One of the many reasons it’s taken me a little while to get round to this write-up.) For those who don’t know, Dramboree is a whisky weekend held in Scotland in early July that’s simply getting better and better with age. Next year it will be three years old. The requisite age for it to be referred to as the real deal? Well, based on the taste we had this time around, we think it's getting pretty close to perfect already.

The second ever Dramboree was attended by 64 people (that’s about double the number from the first year), most of which first descended upon Glasgow in order to hop aboard the Dramboree coach for a magical mystery tour the hour or so long journey to the shores of stunning Loch Lomond.

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Michael Owen Signs for SPEY Whisky

by Jake Mountain     29. July 2014 13:19

SPEY Whisky Michael Owen

We're a little late to this one (busy 'n' that), but yet another footballm'n has in fact entered the whisky world. Following Haig Club's signing of 'Sir' David Beckham, SPEY have now snapped up his old England team-mate Michael Owen! (Meanwhile, Sven has wine covered - surely it's only a matter of time before we're hit with a Rio Ferdinand Cognac...)

I'll cover the interesting history of SPEY whisky below, but first allow this to sink in for a second: Michael Owen is the Global Brand Ambassador for a single malt Scotch whisky.

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WIN a Chivas Regal Cocktail Set as The Chivas Master is announced!

by Jake Mountain     17. July 2014 11:00

Chivas Cocktail Masters

Tuesday night saw the first ever Chivas Master announced in New York following the conclusion of The Chivas Masters global final. You can read all about the UK leg of the competition here, with Hawksmoor's Ali Reynolds coming through the heats and a fantastic UK final to take his place in the international showdown of Chivas Regal's first ever global cocktail competition!

Before we tell you who won the big prize though, here's your chance for your very own whisky cocktail win: We're giving away this rather handsome Chivas Masters Cocktail Set to one of you lovely folk. Keep reading to find out how you could get your hands on this cheeky little prize, including a full 70cl bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, a stylish Cocktail Shaker and Bar Spoon, plus Recipes for 4 classic cocktails (one from each 'age')!

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Can't Stomach The Football? It's the World Cup Final of Digestifs!

by Jake Mountain     11. July 2014 16:25

World Cup Fional Germany Argentina Digestifs

I've done quite well at not boring "the crap out of you" about this "kickball tourney" as Ben suggested I would, haven't I? I've not done quite so well at keeping those who do have some interest "entertained" though. So, without going too far off the topic of drinks (I don't think...) I bring to you: The World Cup Final of Digestifs!!!

There is some logic to this, I promise.

Argentina, you see, have reached the World Cup final for the first time since Italia '90 (which is quite apt, as you'll see in a sec) so Sunday's match is going to be quite the event for La Albiceleste. And no Argentinian event is complete without fernet!

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