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Ballantine's Want To Make #WhiskyEmoji Happen

by Sam Smith     6. August 2014 15:27

whisky emoji ballantines

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. If this is true, then emoji means you could write a novel in no time at all. If you’ve not got a clue what emoji are, they’re a selection of tiny little cartoons used mostly on mobile phones in texts, which range from the normal (dog, cat, car, etc…) to the frankly ridiculous (man in a bathtub, an aubergine, dollar bill with wings, etc…). Just looking at the assortment of little emoji on my phone now, I see a best-selling novel starting to appear…

Santa and one of the Queen’s Guards found a turtle near a volcano. They were happy and drove a tractor to a castle where they saw the head of the Statue of Liberty and a ghost. To celebrate they rode a horse into the city to enjoy a… whisky? But, but, but, but… There’s no whisky emoji!

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Categories : Beer | Blended | Cocktails | News | Whisky | Wine


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The Importance of Cats in the Workplace (Specifically in Distilleries)

by Sam Smith     31. July 2014 12:40

Whiskeh Kitteh Whisky Cat

Earlier this week, Amy Hopkins over at the Spirits Business posted a fantastic article that really spoke to us here at Master of Malt, all about the most famous mousers at distilleries around the world. If you had any doubts about cats being the best animal ever, then these brave feline warriors ought to cement their place at the top of the "Best Animal Podium". (If you were wondering, pugs are a close second, followed by bumblebees.)

But why does a distillery need a cat? You can understand other job roles like Master Blender, Maltster and Warehouse Manager being vital for the day to day tasks, but a cat?

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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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Our International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014 Winnings

by Sam Smith     23. July 2014 10:20

International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014

The folks here at MoM Towers aren’t going to win the World Cup anytime soon. Our team, Bitter Bastards FC, are just a few players short of a full squad and therefore wouldn’t qualify, so the German team has nothing to be worried about… Yet. We’re also not going to win Wimbledon, despite a small subset of us being pretty gosh-darn good at squash (they’re basically the same sport, one just has more passive aggressive connotations and a wall). Oscars? Probably not. Grammys? Unlikely. Nobel Peace Prize? Doubtful at best. Medals for making stunning drinks? Now you’re talking!

That’s right, that little preamble is leading up to us proudly showing off the medals our products scooped up at the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition 2014. We’re always immensely excited and grateful when the products we make are commended by the highly knowledgeable tasters behind these awarding bodies - it really does mean the world to us.

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Master of Cocktails - The Sazerac

by Ben Ellefsen     21. July 2014 12:41

Master of Cocktails The Sazerac

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

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

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

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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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Kininvie Single Malts. They're Coming.

by Jake Mountain     4. July 2014 09:00

Kininvie Single Malt Whisky

Back in October we heard that there was to be an exciting, new, secret product from William Grant & Sons and our thoughts immediately turned to a long-anticipated Kininvie single malt release. On that occasion we quickly realised that the imminent launch was in fact for Girvan single grain, but not this time folks. This time it’s the real malty deal!

Kininvie has been William Grant's slightly mysterious, almost secret distillery for almost 24 years now, and I'm sure Brian Kinsman has lost count of the times people have asked him whether they'll ever release an official Kininvie single malt. Well last year they did just that - with an exclusive release in one country - and now it's the rest of the world's turn...

If you’ve ever visited Balvenie, then you may well have seen Kininvie distillery, it’s that corrugated iron shed in its more famous brother’s back garden.

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Categories : News | Tasting Notes | Whisky


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The-Eccentric-History-of-Berry-Brothers-and-Rudd-Part-III

by Michael Orson     3. July 2014 10:47

Berry Brothers and Rudd

In 1920, Berry’s was joined by Hugh Rudd, a lover of Bordeaux and German wines. Such an essential part of the business, Hugh Rudd’s name was officially added to the door when the firm became a limited company in the 1940s.

The Second World War raged on, and tragedy struck when two of the partners lost their sons: Francis Berry’s son George Gilbert died leading a charge against in the enemy in North Africa; and Hugh Rudd’s son Brian was killed in action in Italy at just 20 years of age.

No. 3 was never hit directly during the London bombings, though the top floors were badly burnt. The shop itself escaped too much damage thanks to the old wooden shutters which protected the shopfront. Years later, during the 2011 London Riots, these shutters were put to use for a second time (though, in my opinion, Pomerol probably wasn’t on the agenda).

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Highland Park Dark Origins

by Jake Mountain     2. July 2014 10:04

Highland Park Dark Origins

When we received an invite to the launch of a new core Highland Park expression, we were naturally quite excited. The invite said that we were to be taken into the darkness for a whisky “dark by nature and character”. Having recently released our own Darkness! range we had a pretty good idea what this meant. (Hint: yummy Sherry!)

What amused us about the invite, however, was that there was a hooded chap printed in the background that looked suspiciously like the protagonist from the ’90s computer game ‘Thief: The Dark Project’ (emphasis added). Apparently it’s actually supposed to be Magnus Eunson, the butcher/church official by day, legendary whisky smuggler/illicit distiller by night of Highland Park foundation myth (dating back to 1798). Indeed, whilst other whiskies may have adopted the dark, we’re told that the Orkney single malt was very much born in it. BaneCat would be suitably impressed.

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part I

by Michael Orson     1. July 2014 11:03

Berry Brothers and Rudd

Earlier this year, I became rather enamoured with what is arguably the drinks world’s most prestigious address – No. 3 St James’s – home to the wine and spirits merchant, Berry Brothers and Rudd (known henceforth variously as BBR or Berry’s).

This springtime love affair all started with a ‘three martini lunch’ on a surprisingly balmy day in February. I arrived fashionably late at No. 3 and climbed a steep wooden staircase through a locked door at the back of the shop to meet a group of familiar faces from spirits retail. The event’s hosts were BBR’s charming spirits man, Doug McIvor, and Glenrothes’ brand ambassador and gifted raconteur, Ronnie Cox.

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