Master of Malt Whisky Blog

10 things you need for a dynamite home bar

Home bar looking a bit… lacklustre? It’s time to give your boozes the tender loving care they deserve. To paraphrase the late, great Aretha Franklin, all they’re asking for is a little respect. Sock it to ‘em with our selection of home bar essentials…

We have an inkling that you’re into tasty spirits and cocktails. That’s why you’re here, isn’t it? Coincidentally, that’s why we’re here, too. The two of us have so much in common… but please, enough flirting for a moment.

We’re gravely concerned about the wellbeing of your cherished bottles and request that you complete this short quiz. Tempting as it may be, don’t circle your answers like in newspapers, because you’ll ruin your computer. Just try to remember them instead.

I keep my spirits bottles (a) kinda sticky, by the kitchen counter, (b) lightly dusty, in a display cabinet, or (c) squeaky clean, in a designated bar cart.
Ice is (a) merely a solid form of water, (b) what happens to the freezer until it needs defrosting, or (c) often essential for making a decent drink.
Cocktail garnishes are (a) a nuisance, (b) for eating, or (c) for adding aroma (and style) to a mixed drink.

If you answered mostly A or B to the above, consider this an intervention.

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Categories : Features
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The Nightcap: 17 August

The weekend is here, folks! And with the promise of two days of raving (or behaving) comes this week’s Nightcap, our digestif of the week’s top booze news stories. Enjoy!

Step away from that keyboard, put the high viz down. The weekend is here! While you unwind with a dram, why not catch up on the week’s goings on from the world of drinks?

On Monday, Annie explored the world’s best spirits-themed hotels for booze lovers, while on Tuesday Adam brought us his top tipples for the upcoming bank holiday weekend (soz if you don’t get the bonus day off where you are!). Then, on Wednesday, Annie checked out the delectable world of savoury gins – herbal is most definitely delicious in our book. Then yesterday we published our chit-chat with Alasdair Day, co-founder of R&B Distilleries, where he shares the family history of all things Tweeddale. It was a good week indeed!

But what other liquor-related activities else went down this week? We’re glad you asked…

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Categories : News
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Stefanie Anderson wins Talisker’s Race to Skye comp!

Talisker’s Race to Skye

Some of the UK’s finest bartenders took part in the Scotch whisky brand’s challenge, but there could be only one winner of Talisker’s Race to Skye competition.

Stefanie Anderson of Bon Vivant, Edinburgh has been crowned the champion in the annual Race to Skye competition. She follows in the footsteps of inaugural winner Andrew Lennie, from The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh.

The Scottish native was able to see off worthy opponents in Elysa McGuire from Epicurus: Death & Taxes, Leeds; Alex Francis from Devil’s Darling, London; Mike Pendergast from East London Liquor Company, London; Adam Day from Peggy’s, Manchester; Liam Grogan from Kelvingrove Café, Glasgow; and Miran Chauhan from Buck & Birch, Edinburgh.

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Categories : News
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Q&A: Alasdair Day, R&B Distillers co-founder!

We meet Alasdair Day, R&B Distillers, to chat Tweeddale blends, his whisky heritage and what the future holds for blended Scotch whiskies…

R&B Distillers is a company on a fascinating journey. Inspired by a mysterious old ledger, its Tweeddale blended Scotch whiskies challenge long-held conventions around the category. Its first distillery, Isle of Raasay, is bringing jobs and tourists to the eponymous little-known Hebridean island. And there’s a second distillery in the works in Scotland’s Borders region, too. Co-founder Alasdair Day is the driving force behind it all, and we caught up with him over the phone to talk specifically about all things Tweeddale…

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Categories : Features
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Savoury gin: Explore a boozy herb garden

Thanks to the rise in hyper-local gins and imbibers’ burgeoning fervour for bitter flavours – Negroni, anyone? – savoury gins are having something of a moment. From lemon verbena to loveage, sage to sorrel, we cast our eyes over the herbal delights that bring drinkers a taste of the countryside…

Gone are the days when cocktails were solely saccharine-sweet – in 2018, menus are peppered with all kinds of complex, herbal, bittersweet drinks, made with barks, roots, herbs and spices. Many, you’ll notice, are gin-based. So, what’s driving the trend for these vegetal tipples?

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Categories : Features
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The bank holiday boozes you need in your life

With a precious bank holiday fast approaching (if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that marks it) there is little time to waste. You need some delicious booze, but what should you choose? And where to find it? Don’t fret, dear reader. We have all the answers you need…

Bank holidays provide us with a well-earned break, a chance to catch-up with friends and/or family, and offer a seriously good excuse to indulge in a tasty tipple or two. So, what’ll it be this year? Maybe you’re one of the many going gaga for gin, or perhaps you’re on the lookout for a new go-to wine. Others will be searching for a superb single malt or are looking for some cocktail inspiration. With so many different styles and spirits around, the biggest challenge is finding the right booze to tickle your taste buds!
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Categories : We're drinking...
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The world’s best spirits-themed hotels for booze lovers

Forget ‘bed and breakfast’, this summer it’s all about the ‘bed and beverage’. Dream of sleeping in a giant wooden Tequila barrel? Fancy a 5-star stay with a built-in rickhouse? We’ve picked out the most alluring spirits-themed hotels across the globe…

It’s no secret that hotel bars have been stealing the show over the last few years. Of the ‘50 Best Bars Of 2017’ list, the top four (in the world!) can be found in 5-star lodgings. Now, this spirited excellence is transcending the ground floor and weaving its way into hotel rooms.

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Categories : Features
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The Nightcap: 10 August

Fair warning: this edition of The Nightcap features Rick Astley. If that doesn’t make you click through immediately, we don’t know what will.

Friday greetings from your very favourite online drinks retailer in the whole wide (and round) world. If you’re feeling a touch tired from a long week, then The Nightcap is here to ease you into the weekend. Acquire a cocktail, commandeer a seat and read on, folks.

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Categories : News
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Royal Salute unites master blender and perfumer with latest whisky

Royal Salute 28 Year Old Flask Collection - Kew Palace Edition

Perfume and Scotch whisky may seem like unlikely bedfellows. However, Royal Salute 28 Year Old Flask Collection – Kew Palace Edition, the latest release from the distillery’s annual Flask Collection series, demonstrates how the two worlds can harmonise to create something truly unique…

We’ve previously explored the interesting crossover between perfume and Scotch whisky. The two have plenty in common: both are luxury elixirs, both are crafted by specialists and both attempt to create aromas that become a mode for recalling memories.

That partnership of perfume and whisky has arisen once again thanks to Royal Salute 28 Year Old Flask Collection – Kew Palace Edition. The latest addition to the acclaimed annual Flask Collection range was inspired by London’s Kew Palace (the charming former home of George III) and the substantial sensory experience that is its iconic Kitchen Garden.

It was created from a collaboration between Chivas Brothers’ director of blending Sandy Hyslop and famed perfumer Barnabé Fillion. This is exciting, not only because this is the first time in Royal Salute’s history that a master blender has teamed up with someone else on a new expression, but also because it provides us with another chance to examine how the world of perfume can provide an inspiration for whisky as it attempts to innovate and grow.

We spoke to both Hyslop and Fillion about the latest offering from the luxury whisky brand to see what whisky can learn from perfume, and what memories the new edition evokes for the pair.

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Categories : Features
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Why sherry and Scotch are a match made in heaven

Sherry cask-finished whisky is nothing new, but just why does the combination work so well, and why have the butts become so important? We investigate the magic of sherry and Scotch

All whisky lovers know that sherry casks and Scotch go together like Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, but the term ‘sherry cask’ isn’t as simple as it may at first appear. To get to the bottom of this much misunderstood part of the whisky process, I spoke to Donald Colville, Diageo global malts ambassador, about sherry, whisky, history, and Talisker’s super fancy recently launched Bodega Series 40 Year Old single malt.
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Categories : Features
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