Since our whisky mountain biking holiday was launched late last year we have had some fantastic reviews from the press and lots of exciting correspondences with companies in the whisky industry. One of the most interesting companies we have come across is the Master of Malt, and to top it all of a very interesting package landed on my desk the other day with a selection of sample bottles! For my ‘Ahem’ approval ;-)
Master of Malt is a UK-based independent bottler and whisky retailer with an incredible range of fine whiskies from Scotland, Japan, America, India and even England! The company has been in operation since 1985, and over the years they’ve learnt a thing or two about what makes a great single malt.
Their own is range is quite something, and it includes a selection of single cask whiskies (completely unique, unadulterated whiskies from a single barrel) and single malts from all over Scotland.
We’ve been lucky enough to sample a little assortment from the Master of Malt, and here are our findings…
We’re kicking things off with a “single cask” 12 year old single malt whisky from the Isle of Arran. There’s only one distillery on Arran, and we’ve heard only good things. Now, this whisky has been bottled straight from the barrel, no dilution here, so it’s at a whopping 54.7%! The aromas are rich and fragrant. More like a fine brandy than a whisky – very distinctive indeed. The taste is overwhelming with malt and fruit notes. It’s sweet and rich and very long in the finish. Master of Malt Arran 12 Year Old £44.95
Back to the mainland for this next whisky, a beautifully dark single malt from a secret distillery in Speyside. Even without the auspicious “30 year old” on the label, you can tell this is a very old whisky just by looking at the liquid in the bottle; it’s so syrupy and treacle like! This is the 2nd edition of Master of Malt Speyside 30 year old £99.95, and, oh my, it’s a beautiful whisky. Aromas of sherry and spices, it tastes like Christmas! This is a really rich, smooth whisky. It’s astonishing. You don’t get to taste a fine spirit like this every day!
The final whisky is another single cask whisky. This time it’s from the Highlands of Scotland (not too far from our base) from a distillery called Tomatin. This 19 year old single cask Scotch from Master of Malt is actually the favourite whisky of comedian Stephen Fry, who says it’s “like ethereal Dundee cake”. And Fry is not the only fan of this delightful single malt; even Jim Murray (renowned whisky critic and writer) has extolled its virtues, rating it with a remarkable 96 out of 100 points in his Whisky Bible – only 1.5 points below the top rated whisky ever! In his tasting notes he describes this stunning dram as “quite simply astounding”. Master of Malt Tomatin 19 Year Old £69.95
All in all it’s a fantastic batch from Master of Malt. You can browse through thousands of whiskies on their site www.masterofmalt.com and even read about new and upcoming releases as well as their own brand of industry-leading knowledge on their well-rated blog www.masterofmalt.com/blog.
So, enjoy tasting some fantastic whisky after a good mountain bike ride! We did!