Repeal Day Record for December 5, 2013

So much news, so little time! Below are a few of the more interesting press releases that landed in our inbox. But before we get to that, let’s acknowledge what makes December 5th a very special day for the imbiber in all of us…

Prohibition Ends at Last

Click the photo find out more about the excellent Ken Burns Prohibition documentary on the PBS website…


And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…


Click the pic to buy a bottle...

Click the pic to buy a bottle…

Christmas Mulled Cup from Professor Cornelius Ampleforth

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth launches the solution to creating a perfect Mulled Wine every time—just in time for the Christmas season.

The Christmas season is just around the corner, and you know what that means: festive gatherings, chilly days, and deliciously warm and spicy mulled wine! The Professor has always enjoyed a mug of this classic, cockle warming beverage but has noted a few problems when sipping a home-made version of this Chrismassy concoction.

The Problems: Most good people have left spices languishing in their cupboards for far too long, leaving them dry, old and flavourless. In addition, it’s often difficult for the average ‘muller’ to find the sweet spot for each spice. They must be left in the wine long enough for all the rich flavours to come through, but removed at just the right moment so that no bitter notes remain. Cooked citrus can release some off-notes as well, freshly ground nutmeg is difficult the completely strain from the finished product, and fresh ginger, if not properly prepared, can be just plain dull. 

Achieving balance and consistency in a mulled wine is nearly impossible given the aforementioned problems.

The Solution: Christmas Mulled Cup! The Professor has dealt with every problem one by one so that you can make perfect mulled win every time. No muss, no fuss. How has he achieved this?

  • Spices: Tinctures. These are basically macerations of spices in alcohol (in this case, the Professor has used VSOP cognac) which not only have the benefit of extracting the essential oils from the spices in a much more effective way than wine at 15%, but also lend almost total reliability to the concentration of the final drink.
  • Citrus: Cold-distillation. The peels are macerated in high-proof wheat spirit, and then distilled to remove nearly all the pesky terpenes (those compounds that can lend off-notes to the finished product) and leave only fresh and zingy notes from the oils.
  • Nutmeg: Filtration. The Professor painstakingly filters the nutmeg tincture to remove all traces of solid matter.
  • Ginger: Cold-distillation again. Fresh root ginger is macerated and distilled to remove the precious gingerol and leave behind any heavier compounds that would break down over time and lend nasty notes to the drink.
  • Balance: Blending. This is where the finished product comes in. We’ve accurately quantified the amount of each ingredient needed to produce the base of a perfectly balanced mulled wine allowing you to easily increase or decrease the entire ‘mulled’ flavour without ruining the overall balance of the drink.

How easy is it to make perfect mulled wine with Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Christmas Mulled Cup? Here’s the recipe straight from the Professor’s kitchen:

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Mulled Wine 

  • 1 bottle of decent red wine (something fruity like an Australian Shiraz works well) 
  • 65g sugar 
  • 50ml (or more to taste) Christmas Mulled Cup 

Directions: Heat and serve.

Christmas is officially sorted!


Misery Vodka

Misery Vodka of Iceland Prepares to Release Their Second Batch…

“The planet is f’ed. There’s a Mc Donalds on every street corner, H&M is a popular “brand”, and if you want to lighten things up with a bottle of vodka or two, next thing you’re lying in some gutter, hated by everyone you love, and Donald Trump still has his helicopter.

Misery is a micro-distillery on Iceland (actually, more of a moonshine operation). The vodka we make comes in really small batches. Every bottle is sealed by hand. The quality might not be the best, but it’s better than any of the other “ultra premium” industrial vodkas out there. 

Misery by Studio Total. Have a drink.”



Three Ships Whisky is in Top Seven in the World at New York International Spirits Competition

The two proudly South African premium whiskies, Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish and Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old, are among only seven whiskies from around the world to receive a double gold award at the 2013 New York International Spirits Competition.

The competition, now currently in its 4th year, sees spirits from 37 countries competing against each other and with only 48% of entries receiving awards, the competition is fierce. The impressive judging panel of trade judges includes buyers, retail storeowners, restaurant and bar proprietors, distributors and importers – the very individuals who have a direct impact on sales.

The Three Ships Premium Select 5 Year Old is an artful blend of grain and malt whiskies, aged for a minimum of five years in oak casks. The whisky is robust, aromatic and unpretentious with a full peaty character, ending in a lingering, warm finish. The Three Ships Bourbon Cask Finish is initially matured for three years, after which the final blend spends a further six months in oak casks originally used for bourbon. This results in the slight honeyed sweetness on the nose. The vanilla notes on the palate are complemented by subtle hints of pepper and spice, ending with a lingering finish and a hint of flavour from the bourbon casks.


2013 Whisky Advent Calendar Video

Spirits bottler Drinks by the Dram has pulled out all the stops–just in time for Advent–to bring a most spirited advertisement to Whisky lovers worldwide. Featuring the incomparable talents from Whisky and drinks notables, this short film is sure to spread as much cheer as the Whisky Advent Calendars themselves.

This star-studded film features the talents of Japanese Whisky expert Marcin Miller of Number One Drinks, Ryan Chetiyawardana from Mr Lyan and White Lyan fame, Balvenie Ambassador extraordinaire Sam Simmons, Master of Malt sales director Ben Ellefsen, and the irrepressible Colin Dunn from Reserve Brands at Diageo as none other than Santa Claus!

We’d love to tell you more, but we’ll let this delightful piece of cinema speak for itself.

What Do You Get For Someone That Has Everything? The Master of Malt Advent Calendar!

Advent Calendar 2012

Click the pic to purchase the 2013 version from Master of Malt!

This is my dilemma each year when shopping for a Christmas gift for my parents. They are up there in years and certainly don’t need any more stuff. So what do I do? Well, to my great fortune, I received an email from Master of Malt and was directed to the Whiskey Advent Calendar which is a part of their Drinks by the Dram program.

This was a perfect gift for the following reasons:

  • First, my Pappy (and to a certain extent, although she would never admit it, my Mom) is a big fan of the brown spirits.
  • Second, it was something that they could enjoy over the course of the month rather than get a gift one day, then file it away for the rest of year.
  • Lastly, I remember quite fondly how we waited in anticipation for my Great Aunt in Cleveland to send us our annual Advent calendar. We would take great care to open each door as it became our turn to extract a prize. How much better is it when the prize is a sample of whiskey, each of which is a surprise? Is it going to be Scotch? Rye? Bourbon? Is it going to be oak aged? Sherry finished? Single cask? Is it going to be aged 12 years? 18 years? 30 years? 50 years?

As promised, the calendar arrived on time. Prior to gifting it to my parents, I carefully opened a couple of doors and took a few photos (they are included at the end of this post). I found a Four Roses Single Barrel 2012 , Glenfarclas 105 20 yr old, Wild Turkey Straight Rye, Glenlivet Nadurra 16 yr old Batch 0512, Auchentoshan Three Wood, Glendronach 15 yr old Revival, and a Master of Malt 50 yr old Speyside (3rd Edition). Truth be told, I wanted to pull a couple of the bottles out, but I suspect my parents might have noticed.

As you can see, this is how I answered the age old question, “What do you get for someone who has everything?”. What do you plan on giving to that special someone that has everything? Let us know in the comments below!

Whisky Review – Cragganmore 20 Year Old 1991 Single Cask

Way back in August 2011, our friends at the Master of Malt sent G-LO a nice sample pack as told by this post: As you can see, I’m really behind in getting to this review.

Here are my impressions of this whisky… Continue reading

Whisky Review – Inchgower 29 Single Cask

Awhile ago, the folks at Master of Malt sent a few samples our way and I selected the Inchgower 29 Single Cask as we divided the spoils. I chose the Inchgower because I had not tried anything from that distillery. It also didn’t hurt that it was well-aged and a single cask. Inchgower is located on the outskirts of Buckie, Moray and is considered a Lower Speyside Malt. The distillery now part of the Diageo empire, had long been operated by Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd and remains the major contributor to Bell’s blended whisky. Master of Malt obtained an Inchgower that was distilled in June, 1982 and then aged in a single refill hogshead until bottled by Master of Malt in November, 2011.

Here are the tasting notes for the Inchgower 29 from Master of Malt: Continue reading

Whisky Review – Master Of Malt St. Isidore aka The Blogger’s Blend

In early May of 2011, Master of Malt announced The Bloggers’ Blend. In a nutshell, Master of Malt picked ten bloggers and asked them to create their own blended whisky using various single malt and grain whisky samples that they would provide. Here is the list of bloggers that took part in this competition: Continue reading

Whisky Poll: Would You Buy A $12,710 Bottle of Whisky To Honor The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?

Earlier this week, I received an advertisement from Master of Malt. Apparently, the folks at Gordon and MacPhail have released a 60 year old Glen Grant to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. For the low, low price of £7,995 (roughly $12,710), you can purchase a 70cl bottle that comes in a wooden case with a piece of mounted Continue reading

Let’s Play, “Name That Cocktail!”

On July 26th, our friends at Master of Malt announced a a new contest on their blog called “Guess That Booze!” (all of the contest details are listed in the screen capture above). Since five people came pretty damn close to listing all of the ingredients and guessing what they were making, Master of Malt decided to call it a five way tie, and Continue reading