The folks at Master of Malt (MoM) are a bit of a whirlwind. Speak to Sales Director Ben Ellefsen for a few minutes, and you’ll have a good idea of what I mean. They are constantly coming out with products, from vintage pre-mixed cocktails to a whisky advent calendar and more and were named Whisky Brand Innovator of the Year at this year’s Icons of Whisky awards in March.
Recently, I had the chance to sample a couple of drams from MoM’s “That Boutique-y Whisky Company” range. As a bit of background, the whiskies in this collection are sourced from various distilleries and bottled by MoM – so, an independent bottling if you will. They do single malt, single grain, blends and blended malts and each is adorned with a comic book style illustration featuring various people from the whisky industry.
As an example, here are two for your viewing entertainment:
The two I have sampled come from Invergordon and Springbank. The former is located on the Cromarty Firth and produces grain whisky. The bottling from MoM is a single grain and one of 252 bottles. It’s still available here. The latter is based in Campbeltown and is famed for the fact it survived when many other Campletown whisky distilleries closed, the fact it is still family owned and the fact it does everything on site (from malting to bottling). It was, actually, one of the first whisky companies I came across thanks to the folks at Milroy’s who recommended a bottle to me about five years ago, so it sits dear to my heart. This independent bottling from MoM is still available too, and more details can be found here.
Here is what I thought of each of them:
That Boutique-y Whisky Company:
Invergordon: Batch 1: 41.6%:
(C): Golden Syrup
(N): Sweet biscuity goodness! So sweet, I imagined myself floating down a golden syrup river at Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. Under those notes, there were some pleasing springtime floral hints, a bit of marzipan, vanilla ice cream and oakiness. With water, more fleshy fruits (peaches and apricots) emerged from the vanilla haze. Marzipan, maple and orange peel followed.
(P): Wowee! Peaches galore! Sweet but classy. It had a really attractive palate with more depth than I was expecting. Almost wine like in the slight oaky and fleshy fruit notes – I wrote “Chardonnay?” on my notes. Also a hint of fennel candy sweetness. With water, a bit of a peppermint edge came through and it lost some of that fruity richness for me. Still sweet and quite satisfying.
(F): Slightly drier and woodier than anticipating. With water, peppermint and cardboard boxes.
That Boutique-y Whisky Company:
Springbank Batch 2: 53.1%:
(N): Initially, loads of pine: trees, forest, pine boxes. Then something more herbal and a sweetness akin to pineapple came through. The strength tickled the back of my nose – it had a bite for sure! Intriguing but perplexing. With water, initially, it smelled of “Christmas” which is an entirely unhelpful nosing note, since that’s rather a personal reflection. I think this came from that pine note again because with water, it reminded me of a pine forest in the depths of a freezing winter: fresh but sappy.
(P): Much softer on the palate than I would have expected with the 53.1% tag. Slightly soft fruit influenced but with a fresh, minty zing. Lemon oil and licorice followed. With water, the spice calmed down and some cherries and orange pith emerged for me.
(F): A rich finish with a chilli burn and then (after a while) some papaya. With water, blackberries and mint.