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Kilchoman Spring 2010 Release

by Michael Orson     14. April 2010 13:20

 Kilchoman Spring 2010 Release

Kilchoman has firmly cemented itself as a member of that most exclusive club of distilleries… a club whose members release whisky which sells out instantaneously.

Now we’re up to the third release of single malt from Kilchoman having had the Inaugural and Autumn 2009 releases (both aged for roughly 3 years and finished for a few months in Oloroso sherry butts).

The distillery (to the very west of Islay) is one of Scotland’s very smallest, producing some 90,000 to 100,000 litres of alcohol per year – the whisky is rare and, by proxy, sure to sell out quickly.

The Spring 2010 release was matured in fresh Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels for 3 years before a finish in what the distillers describe as “very active” Oloroso sherry butts. This was then vatted with another four casks of refill bourbon matured spirit before being brought down to bottling strength with water from the Octofad Farm on the Rhinns of Islay. More...

Japanese Whisky

by Ben Ellefsen     2. March 2010 17:12

Yet more amazing samples of Japanese Whisky have turned up with us from the lovely folks at No 1 Drinks Company, so to whet your appetite – we’ve done a few tasting notes…


Both Whiskies are from the closed Distillery, Hanyu, Located in southern Japan. Both will be available in late spring… Subscribe to our twitter feed, and we’ll let you know exactly when they come in…


Hanyu Cask# 9305 Number One Drinks  Company 53.4%Hanyu Cask# 9305 Number One Drinks Company 53.4%

 

Bottled by Number One Drinks Company

 

1990-2009

 

Nose: Very full and fruity, peaches, calvados, hint of bourbon too, that tangy fruity top note you get in bourbon.

Palate: Fruity, Sweet and sour, quite meaty, some mushrooms, tangy,

Finish: Becomes Drying, refreshers sweets.

Overall: Very good – meaty, but not over the top.

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Bushmills Millennium Malt – Incredibly Rare!

by Michael Orson     11. February 2010 12:26

 Bushmills Millennium Malt

In 1975, the Old Bushmills distillery laid down some very special “private casks” of whiskey to be bottled for the new millennium. Straight from the cask, with just a little water added, these would be unfiltered, single cask whiskey. This is Bushmills Millennium Malt

 

With Bushmills you’ll typically find flavours like sweet barley and fruit and the whiskey is silky and creamy in true Irish style. The 10 and 16 year olds have both seen sherry casks lending a nutty, raisin-like character, this character is very different in the Millennium Malt due to the exclusive American white oak maturation.

 

We recently got hold of a consignment of this rare old whiskey, and wanted to find out more about it. As you’d expect, single cask Bushmills like this is rare stuff indeed, with very little to be found. We think some of you will want to consider this as an investment malt and, based on market performance, it certainly makes sense. Limited edition Irish whiskey can appreciate remarkably well and old editions of Jameson and Midleton have massively increased in value over the last few years.

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Compass Box Lady Luck

by Michael Orson     5. February 2010 16:37

 Compass Box Lady Luck Many of you will be familiar with Ardbeg Serendipity; a 12 year old blended malt that sprung, rather fortuitously, from a little carelessness at the bottling plant. A few casks of very old Ardbeg were accidentally vatted with a small portion of young Glen Moray (a distillery which was also under Glenmorangie PLC’s umbrella at the time).

 

It’s the sort of story that sparks controversy. Perhaps it was indeed a little too serendipitous and might sound more like the work of a well paid marketing department than that of a hapless blender. At least a great whisky came out of it – which is the bottom line after all.


When John Glaser of Compass Box created Lady Luck, the inspiration was “a lucky blend." Sound familiar?

 

John vatted 25 and 29 year old casks of Caol Ila - a malt known for its oily, smoky character - and some 14 year old Imperial – a sweet, smoky Speyside. It sounds like the perfect marriage, let’s find out…

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Enlightenment, Synaesthesia and The Whisky Taster

by Michael Orson     29. January 2010 15:05

 Whisky pouring

It’s interesting, and wonderful, to be in the company of whisky lovers. The air full of the bonhomie and personality that make a whisky show such great fun. There’s also a common trait amongst the enthusiasts; an ingrained appreciation for life’s small luxuries and, ultimately, the understanding that life’s luxuries all take time to reach fruition, and take time still to enjoy fully.

Without getting too “zen” about it all, it can be very satisfying to allow yourself to slow down and relax once in a while, and it is this strange “enlightenment” (too far?) that poses as a very fitting metaphor in James Graham’s latest play, The Whisky Taster.

With a demanding London as a bustling backcloth, Graham’s narrative follows Nicola and Barney, both marketing professionals, attempting to boost sales of a vodka brand.

Nicola, played by Kate O’Flynn, embodies the extroverted, fearless saleswoman persona. Samuel Barnett’s Barney is her polar opposite, whose shy reticence is compensated by the double-edge blade of his synaesthesia: a condition whereby sensory observations manifest themselves as colours.

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It’s here – the Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old Fall 2009 Edition

by Ben Ellefsen     4. December 2009 12:04

Sazerac Rye 18yo Fall 2009 edition

So then – Jim Murray’s 2010 World Whisky of the Year – the Sazerac Rye (fall 2008 edition) has been replaced by the all-new new fall 2009 edition, and it’s an absolute belter.

As far as we know, at the time of writing this post, we’re the only retailer in the UK to be offering this for sale – and there are only limited quantities available.

The delivery arrived at 09:30, and before the pallet was even off the lorry, a bottle had been snaffled, opened, and was in the process of being tasted. Here are the results:

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old Fall 2009 Edition 45%

Nose: Huge and powerful sweet rye on the initial nosing gives way to cinnamon toasted brioche, leather, and more than a hint of maraschino cherry. A really huge hit of oak follows, somewhat vinous with it - we were reminded of a barrique aged chardonnay. There’s something slightly medicinal lurking somewhere - a hint of iodine perhaps? It’s definitely not out of place amongst the other huge aromas given off by this whiskey though. A slight suggestion of coconut right at the tail end.


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Turbo-tasting – 5 new Japanese malts (and spirits)

by Ben Ellefsen     1. December 2009 14:41

Turbo-tasting – 6 new Japanese malts (and spirits)It's a bit like Christmas at MoM towers today, albeit with fewer board-games and no crap jokes (well, maybe just a few). A very exciting package has turned up from the smashing folks at the 'Number one drinks company'. It's their newest selection of cask bottlings, and some sneak previews of the very exciting new malts from Chichibu.

All of these bottlings are currently on a cargo ship from Japan, and should be available in the next two months, keep watching - we'll get them up as soon as they're in.

So - enough with the pre-amble and onto the malts. First up, we've got 3 single cask bottlings from (the now closed) Hanyu and the sublime Karuizawa distilleries:

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Amrut Fusion – East Meets West

by Michael Orson     30. November 2009 17:21

At Master of Malt, we’ve loved Amrut’s releases over the years, especially the awesome cask strength bottlings! Now Jim Murray has declared Amrut Fusion to be the Third Finest Whisky in the World with a whopping 97 points, we thought we’d have to offer our thoughts…

A little about the distillery…

The Amrut distillery was founded in Bangalore (or Bengaḷūru as it's known in India), an area known as India’s Silicon Valley. Originally producing dark rums and brandy, it wasn’t until the ‘80s that Amrut began to distil single malt.

Interestingly, Indian whisky is bottled after only a few years of ageing. The reason for this is the intense climate which speeds maturation to the extent that 12% of each barrel is lost every year to the angels’ share (more than 6 times that of Scotland!).

To create something completely original Amrut distilled Fusion from both Indian and Scottish barley and before tasting we’re already expecting Amrut’s trademark fruity, malty house style, so here goes…

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Movember

by Ben Ellefsen     27. November 2009 13:51

Movember bottlings on the bar at the Whisky Picnic in Edinburgh
Movember bottlings on the bar at the Whisky Picnic in Edinburgh.

The more observant of you will have noticed that for the past 27 days, a blooming great moustache has adorned the front page of our website, and the Master of Malt logo has also sported a rather dashing pair of lip-weasels. The reason for this isn’t temporary insanity – we’re simply showing our support for the month-long men’s health charity event – Movember.

Every November (November, Moustache, Movember – geddit?) men all across the country grow their ‘taches from scratch, and join in with events to raise funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity. It’s a sobering thought that prostate cancer accounts for a full quarter of all incidences of cancer in men in the UK, and raising awareness of this condition is something that we’re glad to be a part of.

The Master of Malt team has shown its support in 2009 by growing (mainly very inadequate) moustaches, and launching a special edition ‘Whisky 4 Movember’ bottling. All the profits generated by this bottling are being donated directly to Movember.

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Yummers-zaki

by Michael Orson     16. November 2009 16:56

With so many amazing Japanese whiskies on the market we thought we’d review one of our favourites – the Yamazaki 18 Year Old, a whisky from the more thickly sherried, savoury school of Japanese malts.

A little about the distillery…

Yamazaki was Japan’s first whisky distillery and it was built by Suntory’s founder, Shinjiro Torii, in 1923. In Japan there are only two major players in whisky: Suntory and Nikka. Between them they control almost every distillery in the country.

Because of this there is no trading of malt and grain whisky between companies (as is the practice in Scotland’s whisky blending industry). Distilleries must be as self-contained as possible, so Yamazaki houses a whopping 12 stills of different type and configuration, allowing the distillery to produce a range of whiskies.

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