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Global Online Whisky Retailer of the Year, World's Best Blended Whisky & more...

by Ben Ellefsen     28. March 2014 10:53

World Whiskies 2014 Awards

So – it's that time of year again.

Last week, we attended the Whisky Magazine World Whiskies Awards (and Icons of Whisky), and came away with a slew of trophies and awards to show for another year's hard work.

First things first – we're absolutely delighted to announce that we've retained our crown as 'World's Best Online Whisky Retailer' for the third year on the trot. An absolutely fabulous achievement which we're immensely proud of. We've said this before (and will keep on shouting it from the rooftops) but our site remains the only purpose-built online whisky shop coded from the ground up. It took an extraordinary amount of effort to build something that wasn't based on a standard e-commerce platform, and we're all hugely proud of the software stack we've built.

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Peaty Whisky Returns To Knockdhu

by Sam Smith     27. March 2014 15:46

Knockdhu Distillery

Considering that the Knockdhu distillery was founded over 100 years ago in a land brimming with peat, they’ve certainly taken their sweet time bringing out some peated whisky in the shape of the anCnoc Peaty collection. What have they been doing with all that peat all this time? Hoarding it in case Islay ever runs out? Using it to run some very slow trains? Dirt clod fights?

In actual fact, back in 1894 when Mr. John Morrison and his cohorts first started producing whisky at the Knockdhu distillery up near Aberdeen, a location chosen for its proximity to the Great North Railway line and the abundance of barley, peat and springs of Highland water, the malted barley was indeed dried using peat-fired kilns. They were making peated whisky all the way back in the 1800s!

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Master of Cocktails - The (Original) Martinez

by Ben Ellefsen     24. March 2014 12:21

Master of Cocktails The original Martinez

This week we're re-visiting a recipe for the first time on #MasterofCocktails – The Martinez.

The reason we're doing this is that the first recipe published way back in October was the distinctly modern version. Heavy on the gin, and light on Vermouth. Today we're going back to the old-school, with a 1:1 Gin:Vermouth recipe.

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Gin, Sin & 5 Soaking Barrels!

by Jake Mountain     19. March 2014 11:00

Gin, Sin & 5 Soaking Barrels

On 16th March five top London bartenders faced off in a fantastic cask-aged gin cocktail competition, which may also have been the best named event of all time!

Maverick Drinks had armed each bartender with a different gin that had been aged or rested in casks, all from their awesome portfolio. Following a preview tasting where this fascinating crossover category was discussed, it was time for the #ginsin main event held at Megaro Bar. The winner would be chosen by 7 'tasters' (they're the fun version of judges) and would subsequently win the opportunity to create their very own cask-aged gin, which will have their name and even their face on it if they really want. (The latter, it was said at the time, may actually depend on who wins...) There should also soon be a Gin, Sin & 5 Soaking Barrels Tasting Set from Drinks by the Dram we hear, so you'll be able to sample all of these eminently mixable aged gins for yourself...

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Caption Contest #5 - Winners Announced!

by Sam Smith     17. March 2014 12:00

Bearded Cat

So it seems there was a Caption Competition announced a couple days ago and we need to declare some winners. I was out of the office on the day it was announced, so imagine my surprise when I returned to find a picture of me training for my upcoming Broadway show CATS (in Ireland) had been used for the competition! I knew I should never have become friends with Jake on Facebook.

Nevertheless, we received a bunch of entries and (using a very scientific method which definitely was not just us chuckling away at our desks) decided on whom shall be receiving each of the three Drinks by the Dram Irish Whiskey Tasting Sets for St. Patrick’s Day!

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Master of Cocktails - The Boulevardier

by Ben Ellefsen     17. March 2014 11:25

Master of Cocktails Boulevardier

This week we're making a nice potent, wintry drink for #MasterofCocktails to accompany all the unseasonably warm weather we've been enjoying. D'oh!

Don't worry about that though, we're making a Boulevardier. You'll notice, ingredients-wise, that it's basically a Negroni made with whiskey instead of gin. It appeared in Harry McElhone's Barflies and Cocktails right back in 1927 after the New Yorker set up his bar in Paris and it's just an absolutely superb drink.

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Caption Contest #5 - Win an Irish Whiskey Tasting Set!

by Jake Mountain     12. March 2014 10:56

St. Patrick's Day

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we're giving away THREE of the fantastic Irish Whiskey Tasting Sets from Drinks by the Dram!

As with our Clynelish competition last year, to receive full marks we'd like you to actually add your caption to the image below in an internet meme style and then Post it on our Facebook Page. If you google "meme generator" there are plenty of sites that'll do the technical bit for you, so you don't have to be a whizz on Photoshop or anything, just a whizz at captioning things!

Enter by 3pm on Friday 14th March to be in with a chance of winning, then we'll select our 3 favourites to each win a set. So, all you have to do now is decide what Sam's been getting up to lately. Over to you...

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Ballantine's Brasil!

by Jake Mountain     11. March 2014 11:00

Ballantine's Brasil

You put the lime in the Ballantine’s, you drink 'em both together,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, then you feel better,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, drink 'em both up,
Put the lime in the Ballantine’s, and call me in the morning…

Flavoured whisky, eh? Obviously not that though. What I should say, of course, is flavoured whisky liqueurs and whisky-based spirit drinks, eh? This one’s a little different to many, however. First of all, it’s not honey flavoured (or even cherry flavoured). Secondly, it’s essentially made by actually steeping lime peel in Scotch whisky, in the cask.

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Master of Cocktails - Mai Tai

by Ben Ellefsen     10. March 2014 12:15

Master of Cocktails Mai Tai

This week's #MasterofCocktails is an absolute doosie. We're making a Mai Tai. Probably one of the most abused and under-appreciated drinks in the world.

Now, if you've ever ordered one of these in a bar, you'll either have had a delicious variant on a Daiquiri, or a juice-laden mess that bears as much resemblance to a proper cocktail as a bottle of Hooch and an apple schnapps chaser.

Can you guess which version we're going to be making?

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Master of Malt 60 Year Old Whisky, and my contribution to the NAS debate

by Ben Ellefsen     7. March 2014 11:00

Master of Malt 60 Year Old Speyside

Well. This is sort of a big deal, isn't it?

I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of whiskies ever released that are over 60 years of age, and it's absolutely unthinkable these days that a 60yo distillery release would ever see the light of day at anything less than a five-figure price tag. Yet here we are bringing this astonishing piece of liquid history to you for a three-figure sum*.

How?

Well rather than re-iterate, I'll refer you to my explanation of the economics behind this, here: http://www.masterofmalt.com/Blog/post/Brand-New-30-40-and-50-Year-Old-Whisky.aspx. Do please read it, as every bit of it still rings true, and it's the reason behind our ability to continue to deliver exceptional, unbelievably well-aged whiskies at price-points an order of magnitude less than some other folk.

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