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David Beckham Haig Club Single Grain Whisky

by Jake Mountain     22. October 2014 12:21

David Beckham Haig Club Grain Whisky

This is really a follow up to my previous post 'Will Grain Whisky be promoted to the Big League as David Beckham signs for Haig Club?', where I talk more generally about single grain and David Beckham as well as taste the Girvan 25yo. Since then a couple of things have happened. Firstly, the brand and the whisky are out there now - from teaser shots where you don't even get to see Becks' face back in July, to us having the whisky for sale on the site, to the Global Launch at the start of October through to the release of the UK television advert at the end of last week. The other thing that's happened is that I've actually got around to tasting it now, finally!

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Categories : News | Review | Tasting Notes | Whisky


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Master of Cocktails - Gin & It

by Ben Ellefsen     20. October 2014 14:53

Master of Cocktails Gin & It

Hello again, time for another #MasterofCocktails, innit? Now this one's not a particularly common drink, but it's a recipe that's definitely worth having in your repertoire. We're going to make a 'Gin and It'. The 'It' being a contraction of 'Italian Vermouth', which makes up 50% of the drink.

I've chosen to use St. George Dry Rye Gin as the gin for this drink - it's made from a much more flavourful spirit which, whilst it's not necessarily more authentic for the drink, it does lend it a punchy white-dog-esque flavour.

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Auchentoshan 25 Year Old 1988 Wine Cask Finish - "YEEAAAHHHH!!!"

by Jake Mountain     17. October 2014 16:18

Auchentoshan 1988 Wine Cask Finish

A 25 year old 1988 vintage. That's quite enough about me though. Feeling a little guilty that I haven't got to this whisky already (we received the package with the sample about a month ago), I'm now making a concious effort in these busy 'already-sort-of-started-but-also-still-building-up-to-Christmas-retailing' times to get to it before my birthday, after which I'll suddenly have a little less in common with it.

Everybody enjoys getting their hands on a whisky distilled in the year of their birth, it's fun. It's one of those things that shouldn't really matter perhaps, but many people are willing to fork out that little bit (or lot-a-bit) extra to get their paws on something from 'their vintage'. Something that's spent the same amount of time on this oblate spheroid as they have. Indeed, some whisky lovers go out of their way to secure these as often as possible. But if it's the same age as you as well? Better still, surely?

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Master of Cocktails - Pisco Sour

by Ben Ellefsen     13. October 2014 09:31

Master of Cocktails pisco sour

Well hello friends. I almost didn't see you there. Is it time for a drink? Seems a lot like it, doesn't it? Today we're making a sour recipe with an oft-maligned ingredient, Pisco. If you're not familiar with pisco (or worse, if you've only tried the really cheap stuff), it's worth getting to know.

It's in the brandy/grappa family, made in Peru (and Chile, which has caused quite a rivalry between the two nations - many thanks to @robbo_123 for this knowledge). We'll be using a perfect example of truly ace pisco - Payet Acholado.

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Glenfiddich 18 Year Old's New Packaging and the 12-Pointed Antlers

by Jake Mountain     9. October 2014 16:45

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old New Bottle Launch

Glenfiddich 18 Year Old will soon be getting some new threads in the form of a new bottle, label and tin, thus differentiating it from the 12 and 15 year old offerings in the core range. Present at the unveiling of the new packaging, created with Here Design, we can confirm that the changes aren't drastic or overblown - it still feels very much like the 18yo rather than being anywhere near as grand as the 21yo, whilst nevertheless providing more of a bridge to the the older, more expensive offering. This approach is clear right from seeing the new square tin. (The price, by the way, isn't changing.)

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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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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 3: Lark)

by Michael Orson     7. October 2014 12:23

Lark distillery

In many ways, Lark was the flagship behind the burgeoning whisky scene in Tasmania. Established in 1992, it was the first fully licensed commercial distillery on the island since the ban of 1839, and it all began when distillery founder, Bill Lark, started speaking to a political friend of his, asking why small-scale distillation was still illegal. This set in motion a series of calls, letters and discussions, and the end result was legal distillation on Tasmania. For technical accuracy, it’s worth mentioning that Tasmanian Prohibition was partially lifted in 1901, but only for stills of 40,000 litres and over, making any kind of startup nigh on impossible.

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Master of Cocktails - Hot Buttered Rum

by Ben Ellefsen     6. October 2014 10:05

Master of Cocktails Hot Buttered Rum

This week's #MasterofCocktails marks the turn of the seasons. It's clearly autumn now, and with fireworks displays, Halloween etc. coming, clearly we need a hot buttered rum recipe.

Like many 'oft-neglected' classics, this drink has a simple problem, with a simple solution. The problem is immiscibility, by which I mean that butter and rum simply don't like each other and don't want to play together. One's Lipophlic, or Hydrophobic, or some other shit that I can never remember. Basically we need an emulsifier. That's where the lecithin comes in...

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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 31st October.*) 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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Master of Cocktails - The Champagne Cocktail

by Ben Ellefsen     29. September 2014 10:45

Master of Cocktails Champagne Cocktail

An incredibly simple drink this week, which is so often fucked right up by one stupid 'ritual'. Sugar Cubes. I saw a cocktail this week from some place in London which they're claiming is the world's most expensive (at £8888) and from the looks of it, even at nearly £10k, you get a load of idiotic sugar-sludge in the bottom of your glass.

Using a sugar cube instead of sugar syrup not only makes a nonsense of the 'as served' concentration of sugar as more and more will dissolve as the drink is consumed, but even worse, it provides hundreds upon hundreds of nucleation points (the sugar granules), which are pretty much guaranteed to knock all the fizz out of champagne. Not exactly ideal for a Champagne Cocktail recipe, eh? So, for that reason we're going to be using sugar syrup like a non-mental person.

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