Monday, December 19, 2011
Blended Scotch Whisky
I am sure if you are reading this then you are likely familiar with the back story, but...
Master of Malt, clever 21st century spirits merchants and genuinely lovely people, came up with the idea to get a group of bloggers to take part in creating a blended whisky. Simple as that, really. And thus the work-in-progress formerly known as THE BLOGGERS BLEND was born.
Read Jason's backstory HERE.
Complex, deep and fruity with wood, wood smoke, and all the promise of the industrial revolution.
Wow. Thick. Hearty. Real vanilla, spice and fruit again all swoddled in a blanket of fragrant wood smoke, finishing with a toasty, buttery and popcorn-y character and a resurgence of fruit, now more dried or even burnt. Lovely.
Chewy and hearty with an Islay heart, not unlike a bowl of coal soup. While admittedly not the most elegant drop on the block, this beauty matches the complexity of some of the world's favourite malts, most premium blends, and reminds of the old-school blending stylings of mid-20th century Johnnie Walker Black and White Horse all for a fraction of the cost. What's more is that in the spirit of Christmas, all proceeds go to cover MoM's admirable investment in such a brilliant project.
Think you could have done better? Now you can try to prove it. Master of Malt have assembled a Home Blending Kit fit for exactly what it says on the tin.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Honestly? I have no information about this bottle to share except for what the label told me:
It is a blended malt and is chill-filtered at -8 degrees Celsius, a proposition that seems familiar to the brilliant commercial failure of J&B -6. The label explains that this whisky was specially designed to celebrate Famous Grouse's 25 years as Scotland's number 1 blended whisky.
I took a sample off a bar in an office in Taipei and I am afraid neither the internet nor my shelves of books offer me much else by way of background. Sorry! Do you know this whisky?
For more info on the Famous Grouse family of blends and to see all tasted so far on the mission, click HERE.
Friday, December 02, 2011
Originally introduced as the iconic Johnnie Walker range's premium export brand, Johnnie Walker 'Swing' or 'Celebrity' was introduced way back in 1932 and was Alexander Walker II's last blend. Although this whisky was apparently made available in the UK from 1982, it isn't a whisky we see much of on these shores. In fact, the world renowned Red Label is at least as absent from the home market having left the UK in 1977 following DCLs need to comply with EEC competition rules.
I look forward to an email from Dr. Morgan correcting at least half of the above. Thank you in advance.
For all Johnnie Walker had on the mission, click HERE.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Great King Street
Compass Box Whisky Co.
Blended Scotch Whisky
Friday, September 30, 2011
Labelled as "Old Scotch Whisky" with a 15yo age statement, this extremely rare drop from the house that Johnnie built is perfectly suited to mark this whisky blog's landmark tasting #400. This whole journey began with Johnnie Walker Black Label over four years ago, alone at a desk/dining table in a cozy flat in North London.
Malt Mission #396
Malt Mission #397
Malt Mission #398
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Not only have the good people of Master of Malt created a beautiful blended whisky for under £20 (to be tasted as a part of the malt mission at a later date) but they have asked some online whisky geeks to share their ideas for ways in which to consume it.
They invited Dr. Whisky to create a cocktail with their perfectly-lovely-as-is blended whisky. I told them, "I am not a mixologist." They said that was exactly why they were asking me. "But I am not a medical doctor!" Their response, "thank god."
So here it goes.
The "cocktail" is called Breakfast Whisky. Let's begin with what you will need to make it:
You will need NONE of the above items to make this cocktail.
But, you will need ALL of the below
I want to create something to balance the care, cost, and quality of this whisky. The whisky is full of cream soda, vanilla and grape juice. Really juicy whisky. I need to ride that wave. First I thought Ribena, but then the Aha! moment: Vimto! If equivalent in size, the Fizzy Vimto would cost £1.17 to the whisky's £20. Wow, the critics are right. Whisky IS expensive! Fizzy Vimto comes in this nice small bottle for only 39 pence. And for something so tiny and cheap, they sure pack a lot of ingredients in there! The whisky only has water, yeast, wheat and barley. Rip-off!
THE BREAKFAST WHISKY *
1 part Master of Malt 8yo Blended Scotch Whisky
2-4 parts Fizzy Vimto (depending what kind of morning* you desire)
1 mint sprig
Jam (of your choosing)
Put your toast in the toaster. Mix the liquid ingredients together over ice (ice optional). Remove toast and apply jam. In turn, take gentle sips of the drink and slap yourslef in the face with mint sprig.Good morning and enjoy!
* I am not actually suggesting that you drink alcohol for breakfast. However, if you do, I recommend it with vimto and a mint sprig slap to the face.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Although I try not to use this whisky blog as a platform for my job or to talk too much about my whisky work, I am so proud of what we have just completed that I just have to. Please excuse me.
Like a whisky-geek's dream fulfilled, we have completed a series of films on the history, production, and enjoyment of Scotch Whisky called The Balvenie Whisky Academy.
In working with film-maker Stuey Burnett, we initially imagined a series of films for the education of William Grant employees, sales and distribution partners. What we quickly realised was that we had something taking shape that would be of interest and benefit to the wider whisky drinking world, as well.
What I am most proud of is that The Whisky Academy is not a "brand" video, it is not an advertisement, it is an educational series of films about the wider category of Scotch Whisky featuring Charles MacLean, Sukhinder Singh, Eddie Ludlow, Arthur Motley, and Gavin D. Smith as well as colleagues, distillers, scientists, and, of course, yours truly.
The whole series goes live today for members of Warehouse 24 and comprises four modules, containing a total of 34 short films. We hope to expand and grow the content over time, but think that we are starting with a pretty impressive chunk of films.
Yes, in the process, I have developed an entirely new respect for TV presenters, and for my colleague David Mair who deftly hosts the bulk of the series. So a big thanks to David as well as the film crew of Stuey, John, and Anita.
I really hope you enjoy it and if you have any feedback, let me know!
Monday, March 07, 2011
Arran 10yo, 10th Anniversary (1995-2005)
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Once the new kid on the block, Arran has settled in to its existence as the Harry Belafonte of malt whisky, the charming islander with mainland appeal. Day-O!
Now in its 16th year of production, Isle of Arran continues to show what a fine spirit they have been quietly making on "Scotland in minature." It has always been tasty and many have written about it's "potential," but age is allowing Arran to figure out who it is and wants to be at least as much showing folks that they were right.
For more distillery info or to see all the Isle of Arran malt that Dr. Whisky has enjoyed, click HERE.
Comes across like a classic speysider (which it is not) with great mellow fruitiness and soft oak influence. Raisins, apples and salt taffy.
Spicy, bready rye notes, raisins and apples again, and a toasty oak impression of dry amontillado sherry casks and sweet treacly notes of oloroso. Nuts and fudge through the finish.
I loved this today just as I remember loving it when Ewan from Arran poured us some at a Water of Life Society meeting in Edinburgh back in 2005. That was the same night, after tasting new make, 3 year old, various 7 year olds and this Anniversary malt, that I uttered the classic "it is so cool tasting the progression, it is like a child growing in your mouth!" Umm...
I bought a bottle that I have lost somewhere between my moves to London, New York, and back again, although our running hypothesis is that they guy with whom we left other bottles for safe keeping (including JMR original Irish-only Smooth Sweeter and Hazelburn 8yo 1st edition, BOTH of which he consumed) may have had something to do with this disappearance. That's what friends are for.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
Pure Malt Whisky (Single Malt Whisky)
26 2/3 Fl.oz
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Islay Blended Malt Whisky
Welcome to March! I haven't seen you since 2010. I have to get back on the horse and gallop towards the 400 landmark!
I am sure by now you have already met or read about Big Peat. Brought to you buy the good people at Douglas Laing & Co., he was released back in September 2009 and has since received word-of-mouth acclaim and awards from Whisky Magazine (World Whisky Awards) for Best Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, Best Peated Malt Whisky(Daily Dram) 2009 by the Malt Maniacs, and Jim Murray called it Best Vatted Malt in his 2011 Whisky Bible.
Apparently, Fred Douglas Laing senior loved Port Ellen and thus invested heavily in casks from the now shuttered distillery decades ago. This legacy has left an emotional attachment to this distillery for his offspring with every nose of a Port Ellen likely reminding them of their father's goodnight kisses.
The vatting includes several anonymous malts but Bowmore, Ardbeg, Caol Ila, and the increasingly rare Port Ellen are all named in the mix with the youngest whisky coming in at 5 years old, the oldest at least 26.
Thanks to Kirsty and Fred for the sample and I will see you for a dram this weekend at WhiskyLIVE London. For other Douglas Laing bottlings enjoyed on the Malt Mission dig deep into this whisky blog's past.
Tarry, with some toffee, candied lemon, raw salmon, and a generally sweet core.
Salty and sweet, even more tarry than the nose suggested, earthy, but with only gentle smokiness wrapped in toffee and orange.
Extremely enjoyable drop that is at once industrial and sooty but equally confectionary with sweetness, creating a very well balanced whisky in a very 21st century package.
For other opions, JSMWS tasted Big Peat HERE, Whisky For Everyone HERE, Whisky Boys HERE, and Dramming share some tasting notes. In the medium of moving pictures, Ralfy shares his thoughts HERE and Dickie P and Fred Laing share a few HERE.
Malt Mission #395