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Ardbeg Whisky

by Michael Orson     14. May 2010 15:58

 Ardbeg Supernova

After one of the greatest montages in motion picture history (the training sequence in Rocky IV), came the epic fight between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago (a fight that ended with a victorious Stallone and also what looked like the beginning of the end of the Cold War).

A similar title fight took place in the whisky world last year, when Bruichladdich flexed its peaty muscles with Octomore, and Ardbeg came back with a well-placed right hook in the form of Supernova – the peatiest Ardbeg yet - weighing in with peating levels of over 100ppm!

The interesting thing was Bruichladdich’s riposte – Octomore 02.1, a monstrously phenolic whisky at 140ppm. The odd thing is, it just doesn’t knock your socks off like Supernova does. The ‘Laddie just doesn’t seem as punchy, and perhaps this is because Bruichladdich’s style is much lighter and fruitier than Ardbeg.

When we first tasted Supernova we were beguiled by the medium weight nose of toffee and tequila. It leads you into a false sense of security. What comes next is a palate entry of mescal, smoked paprika and iodine, and then it develops into the biggest chili hit you’ll ever experience in the world of spirits. It’s just mind-blowing! More...

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Alchemist Whisky

by Michael Orson     12. May 2010 09:13

 Signatory Whisky

Alchemy is one of Science’s earliest precursors; it is the tool the ancients used in the search of the three most desirable treasures known to mankind: gold, eternal life, and infinite knowledge.

 

The early Arab chemists - more conjurers and cooks than scientists - were obsessed with Alchemy’s elusive rewards, but they remained unattainable. They did, however, make one great discovery: alcohol – without which there’d be no whisky!More...

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Signatory Whisky

by Michael Orson     7. May 2010 18:01

 Signatory Whisky

Signatory came up with an excellent game plan: find the best single cask whiskies in Scotland, and package them beautifully. Unsurprisingly, they’ve been very successful.

 

The range is staggeringly large, with an enormous breadth of whiskies from all sorts of Scotch distilleries; some silent, many still up and running, some grain whiskies and some from the most legendary distilleries in the world!

 

There are several different Signatory lines, but the jewel in the crown is the Cask Strength Collection. The range consists of natural cask strength whiskies, almost all of which are from single casks. Every time we’ve tried anything from the range we’ve been consistently delighted, so imagine our joy when a set of 5 samples arrived through the letter box!More...

Maraschino Cherries

by Ben Ellefsen     4. May 2010 17:00
A Jar of Maraschino Cherries
Okay, so this was taken a couple of weeks after the jar was filled…

Every good bartender (and home cocktail enthusiast) knows that a cocktail is only as good as its ingredients, and one ingredient that is indispensable in the preparation of a plethora of whisky cocktails is the Maraschino cherry.

Traditionally, Maraschino cherries are prepared by preserving small, light coloured cherries in a brine solution, dyeing them red, and then dousing them in Maraschino Liqueur. This technique, whilst effective, is also time consuming, and impossible to undertake unless the cherries are in season and fresh.

Commercially available ‘cocktail cherries’ (note the conspicuous absence of the word ‘Maraschino’) for sale in supermarkets and on the interweb tend to be of inferior quality, containing no Maraschino Liqueur at all, using cheaper sugar syrup, and artificial flavourings to achieve a poor approximation of the real thing. More...

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Bruichladdich Whisky

by Master of Malt     29. April 2010 13:14

Bruichladdich’s New Releases for 2010


 Bruichladdich Whisky Distillery

The Bruichladdich distillery is one of Scotland’s most innovative. Their back catalogue is massive, and they are constantly finding new ways of breathing new life into a centuries old industry. 


Peating levels, barley strains and distillation methods are all fair game for their whisky alchemy and Jim McEwan, the Master Distiller at ‘Laddie, is an ardent fanatic when it comes to sourcing casks – they’ve used casks from first growth Bordeaux wineries – a 16 year old Château Lafite Finish for example - we’ve sampled a wonderful Guyanan rum finish and have even witnessed them delve into the occult with the 1989 vintage Black Art, finished in bourbon barrels and a medley of wine casks in the “stygian darkness of Warehouse No.12” (the tin and bottle are even emblazoned with a rather sinister looking pentagram!). More...

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Adelphi Whisky

by Michael Orson     28. April 2010 14:15

 Adelphi Whisky

We’re proud to announce that we now stock whiskies from Adelphi. Over the years we’ve had the good fortune to sample quite a few Adelphi bottlings, and we’ve been very impressed, so we were thrilled when the new bottles arrived.

The Adelphi Distillery is actually one of the lost distilleries of Scotland, which operated from 1826 to around 1907. In 1880, the distillery was acquired by Messrs A. Walker and Co and it was Walker’s great-grandson, Jamie Walker, who restored the Adelphi name in 1993, but this time not as a distillery, as an independent bottler.More...

St George's Day Whisky

by Michael Orson     19. April 2010 13:37

 St George's Cross

This Friday will be St George’s Day and, as always, it’s a great excuse for some unabashed celebration of all things blighty. With flights across Europe pretty much written off for some time, we can only employ our trademark stiff upper lip and make the best of this glorious sunshine that’s been sweeping the nation.

It’s important to remember St George’s greatest deed, and so we’ll kick start this with the tale of St George and the dragon…

The story begins - according to medieval bestseller Jaobus de Voragine’s classic The Golden Legend - once upon a time in ancient Libya, in a place called Silene. More...

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Diageo’s Manager’s Choice Part Three

by Master of Malt     16. April 2010 16:56

 KManagers' Choice

The third batch of Diageo’s Managers’ Choice whiskies is looming (which you can preorder from us now), following the first two batches in September 2009 and January 2010 (with the fourth and final batch set for May of this year). Ultimately the complete selection will feature a single cask bottling from every one of the 27 working distilleries owned by Diageo, which is a noteworthy feat, and quite a talking point amongst whisky drinkers. More...

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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...

Hottest Summer Ever

by Michael Orson     23. March 2010 10:14

 Here Comes The Sun

When we flung open the MoM shutters this morning we were greeted with the sound of birds chirping and children playing as blissful sunshine poured into the room.

 

We’ve earned this summer, having had the coldest winter for 31 years! Just imagine our chagrin last year, when the Met Office promised us a “barbecue summer” and instead we were given drizzle, and lots of it.

 

Positive Weather Solutions (who have been a tad more reliable than the Met Office and have a pleasingly optimistic name) have predicted Summer 2010 to be a record breaker, with a good chance of temperatures exceeding 2003’s high of 38.5C. This is good news indeed. More...

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