17 July 2014

Win a Bottle of the New Jim Beam Maple

To help celebrate the official UK launch of their new ‘Maple’ expression, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Jim Beam to give one of our lucky readers the chance of winning a bottle of their latest liquid americana innovation.

Jim Beam Maple which will be released later this month at a RRP of £19.99, is made with 4 Year Old Jim Beam bourbon and is slowly infused with maple. It makes for a perfect pour on its own, over ice or mixed in a long serve. As we always say ‘drink your whisky your way!’.

To be in with a chance of winning a bottle all you need to do is click here and email us your contact details along with the following phrase that dramming pays:
“By Jim Jim-in-ey, I’d love to beam me up
a bottle of maple, that could quite possibly end
up as a liquid americana staple”
*Remember to mark the subject line of your email with: JB Maple Comp

If you’re not already doing so follow us on Twitter via @TheWhiskyWire and RT one of our related competition tweets for another chance to win!

 Competition closes at 23:59 on July 25th 2014. You have to be aged 18 years or over to enter.
For more information on Jim Beam Maple visit: jimbeam.com/maple

15 July 2014

The Whisky Business From The Whisky Wire

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that in addition to all the dramspankery here at The Whisky Wire, we’ve just launched The Whisky Business your one stop shop for all your copper-bottomed national and international whisky news needs.

For the latest news hop on over to thewhiskybusiness.com and for the latest updates via Twitter follow @TheWhiskyBiz

3 July 2014

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #39

Small Batch Bourbon
Nose: Oven baked peaches, hot buttered cobs of sweetcorn, Frank Cooper's coarse cut Oxford orange marmalade, Thorntons special toffees, Haagen-Dazs pralines & cream, mixed spice, ripe avocado, fresh mint, toasted oak, an air of something rather Irn Bru-esque and wondrous waves of vivacious vanilla.
Palate: Homemade peach cobbler, toasted walnuts, vanilla fudge, Hartley's blackberry jam, a clove studded orange, candied lime peel, winter spiced honey, Butterkist toffee popcorn, rye grains, ripe avocado, cardamom, Fisherman’s Friend lozenges and oodles of opulent oak.
Finish: A sumptuously soft, sweet spiced smoocher of a lingering finish.
Summary: A beautifully balanced big bang for buck drop of liquid americana. An elegant easy drinker that’s great straight but also adds a touch of vibrant versatility to a cocktail. An Old Fashioned anyone?

2 July 2014

The Girvan Patent Still Tweet Tasting

Continuing our teaming throng of hugely successful Tweet Tastings, we’re absolutely thrilled to announce that on the evening of August 20th we’ll be hosting our 50th event!

To mark the occasion in fine dramming style, we’ll be sampling and savouring the gargantuanly glorious ‘Single grain Scotch whisky’ wares from The Girvan Patent Still range.
Aimed at whisky lovers looking to experiment, the Girvan Patent Still from William Grant & Sons is genuinely different and delicious thanks to its unique continuous distillation technology, which delivers a pure and intensely rich spirit.
During the evening we’ll be enjoying and exploring our way through their inaugural set of releases and finding out all about this recently established brand and indeed whisky category, from a distillery that’s played a pivotal part in the blended whisky world for the last 50 years.
On the night we’ll also be joined by Kevin Abrook, World Whisky Specialist at William Grant, who’ll not only be tweeting in on the action but on hand to answer all your Girvan based questions on the night.
Full details to follow soon, but if you would like to take part in an evening that’s all about the glory of the grain, register your interest by emailing your name, address and Twitter handle via the contact tab, remembering to mark the subject line #GirvanGrain
The closing date to register is July 18th, and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the night!!!
Spaces for this particular Tweet Tasting are open to UK residents only!
Even if you're not one of the selected Tweet Tasters, it'd be great to have you following the evening’s dramfotainment. So we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on August 20th at 7pm BST via hashtag #GirvanGrain
Until then Happy Dramlaxing!
For more information on The Girvan Patent Still visit: thegirvanpatentstill.com

26 June 2014

Highland Park & White Lyan Tweet Tasting

One thing we’ve always passionately preached is that you should "drink your whisky, your way!" be it neat, over ice, with a mixer or in a cocktail. Infact we’re such huge fans of the latter that we’ve teamed up with our friends at Highland Park and those cocktail extraordinaires at East London’s White Lyan cocktail bar, to bring you an evening of specially crafted and created Highland Park whisky based cocktails.

White Lyan is a world-first innovative concept based on the notions of control, efficiency and taking bars back to be truly fun experiences. White Lyan is also considered to be one of the world's leading cocktail bars. So with Highland Park in the mix, we have a pretty amazing recipe on our hands for one dramspanker of a Tweet Tasting.
Full details coming soon, but if you would like to be one of our lucky Tweet Tasters, register your interest by emailing your name, address and Twitter handle via the contact tab, remembering to mark the subject line #HPLyanTT
You need to register by 9am on June 27th and if you are registering to take part please make sure that you will actually be free on the evening of July 9th to take part!
This particular tasting is open to UK residents only!
Even if you're not one of the selected Tweet Tasters, it'd be great to have you following all the night’s tweet tasting dramfotainment. So we look forward to seeing you over on Twitter on July 9th at 7pm BST via #HPLyanTT
Until then Happy Dramlaxing!
For more information on Highland Park visit: highlandpark.co.uk
For more information on White Lyan visit: whitelyan.com

19 June 2014

Whisky Insiders Interview - Georgie Bell


Luxury Malts Ambassador - Mortlach


How long have you been working in the whisky industry?
I’ve been working in the whisky industry for just over three years now, although my love for the liquid started long before that while I was a cocktail bartender in Edinburgh.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
I recently put myself through a second degree – a diploma in distillation with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD). As a result, I gained the overall highest mark internationally for the qualification and was commended by the Worshipful Company of Distillers. I don’t have a scientific background, having originally studied Geography at University, so I’m extremely proud of myself to have achieved this in a biochemistry/chemical engineering course.

Can you remember your first dram, and indeed what it was?
I only actually began to like whisky around 5-6 years ago. While I was bartending I taught myself to like whisky as I wanted to enjoy it –whisky is an acquired taste and I really wanted to learn to appreciate it. In learning to like it I fell in love with it, and originally this was through cocktails. The first cocktail that took my fancy was a sweet Rob Roy, and the first dram – Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. I have a sweet tooth and the finish in a port cask did it for me.

What does whisky mean to you?
Whisky is my life – my passion – and I’m very lucky to be involved with it 24/7. There’s never been a better time to be in the industry. Through whisky I’ve got friends across the world, both those who work directly with it and those who enjoy a dram every now and again.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Three years ago I didn’t think I’d be doing what I am today, although it was my dream to be where I am right now. Who knows where I’ll be in five years’ time, but hopefully I’ll be enjoying it just as much as I am now!  

What was your last dram?
I’ve spent this last week in Taipei working with the whisky team out here and introducing people to the rebirth of Mortlach and the new expressions. Last night I hosted a dinner at a really cool Japanese speak-easy style restaurant – reminiscent of those found around Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo – and we finished the meal with Mortlach 25 Year Old. A sultry, sophisticated, perfumed and decadent whisky – the perfect end to a delicious meal with new friends.

Do you have a favourite whisky and food pairing combination?
I’ve got a sweet tooth and am a sucker for good dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage. I’ve recently been working with Iain Burnett – the Highland Chocolatier – matching the new Mortlach range to some São Tomé single origin truffles. The combinations we’ve come up with have absolutely blown me away.

I absolutely love oysters – I got the taste for them last year when I travelled across the states hosting whisky & oyster tastings. As a result I’m now able to identify nuances between east vs west coast; cold vs warm water oysters etc…and my favourite combinations – a fresh, green young whisky with a creamy oyster, such as a Kumamoto; and an oily, briny whisky, such as Talisker 57 degrees, with a cold-water oyster. There’s an amazing oyster bar in Seattle called ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ – when I went there last summer the shuckers gave me an incredibly intense, briny arctic oyster that would have matched perfectly to anything with a hint of smoke and iodine.

What’s your favourite time and place to enjoy a dram?
I love going home and enjoying a whisky with my dad – he’s a big fan and often saves bottles for us to enjoy together! Always with friends and family – I love the way whisky brings people together.

What do you think is going to be the next big thing on the whisky horizon?
World whisky has been on the rise for the last few years and there are some delicious bottling’s out there. More recently we’ve seen an increase of flavour driven whiskies where flavour is king, rather than age. I think we’re going to see more of these in years to come, especially as through science we’re understanding more and more about oak and its role in flavour creation through maturation. 

What’s the one dram you couldn’t live without?
I love perfumed, waxy whiskies – one of my highlights being Clynelish. I recently tried the distiller’s edition and was completely blown away by it – an absolute stunner!

Many thanks to Georgie Bell. Who will be the next Whisky Insider? Click back soon to find out!

16 June 2014

Quick Fire Whisky Tasting Notes #38

Laphroaig Select
Nose: Diluted TCP, smoked crispy bacon rinds, Caffè Nero mocha, Tetley lemon green tea, ripe bananas, plum and blackberry crumble, Waitrose Madagascan vanilla custard, toasted almonds, sugared fennel fronds, Haribo Pontefract cakes, a mixed bag of pineapple and cola cubes from a pic ‘n’ mix and a wavering earthy, peaty pepperiness.
Palate: Puff-ettes of peat smoke, slightly over toasted granary bread smeared with Tiptree lime marmalade, Tetley lemon green tea, a warm wedge of raspberry frangipane tart, toffee apples, baked bananas, ground ginger, freshly grated nutmeg, cloves, dried oak, sugared almonds, Paul A Young’s sea salted caramels and a bite of a Walls mint Magnum.
Finish: A dry light lunging linger-ette of a finish, that highlights all the sweet, smoky and citrusy notes that made themselves present on the palate.
Summary: “It’s a Laphroaig Jim but not as we know it!” Well it certainly has to be said that it’s not as kick ass as their Quarter Cask and it doesn’t quite pack the same umptuous umph as their 10 Year Old, but is that necessarily a bad thing?
If you’re new to Laphroaig or Islay whiskies as a whole, it makes for a good honest bridging dram, allowing you to test those peaty protruding waters before moving onto something more meaty and medicinal.

On the other hand if you’re already a lover of Laphroaig and open minded enough to explore something with a somewhat lesser trademark style, it's a great lighter alternative should you fancy a night off from those more pumped up PPM'd Islays. It also just happens to go down rather pleasantly on the palate during those warmer summer evenings.