In case you are not familiar, Master of Malt is a spirits shop based in East Sussex, UK. “MoM” (as may people lovingly refer to them as) specializes in the sales of malt whisky (be it Scotch, Irish, American, Japanese, Swedish, Australian and Kiwi, Welsh, Indian or Canadian) – they do it all. They’re also getting into other fine spirits such as Rums, Gin, Vodka, etc…
These men and women are true Masters!
Something new for Master of Malt, and the wide world of whisky sales in general, is their innovation of selling 3cl sized samples of many of their whiskies! They now offer, not just for the distillery owned bottles, but samples of their exclusive bottlings as well. Very smart on their part if’n you ask me. The program is called “Drinks by the Dram” and they have many whisky expression available for you to try (for a small fee) before you buy the full bottle. Click here to check out their offering.
I got my hands on some of their samples (mainly of their exclusive expressions) and… do these samples look cool or what? Even my wife thought they were “cute”.
Being that I have about 10 or 12 of these samples sitting at home, I thought that I should start opening, tasting and reviewing these cuties. So I will get them into my regular rotation and see if I can review a new Master of Malt expression every Tuesday (for the next 10-12 weeks).
Just a note here: when I refer to the “Master of Malt expressions”, I want you to know that these are not simply whisky blends that they concoct. No, these (or, at least many of them) are single cask, cask strength whiskies. So when they come out with a new bottle, chances are there’s 200-400 bottles per chosen cask, and once those bottles are gone, you’ll never see them again. These MoM bottlings are truly unique.
Here is a review of their 26yr Bowmore I did a short while back – amazing stuff!
With regards to the samples in question, and in the “spirit” of full disclosure, I will tell you that these 3cl sweeties were gifted to me by Master of Malt for analytical and reviewing purposes. My guess is that most of these whiskies are going to be quite nice but, if I find one I don’t care for, I will say so (heck, just look at the first Bruichladdich review I did). These are unbiased and independent reviews.
Without further ado, I now begin my weekly review of the Master of Malt exclusive bottlings (or the samples thereof):
Islands region – Master of Malt Exclusive Single Cask Arran 12yr – 54.7%ABV – 700ml bottle – £45 (as stated above, you can also get a 3cl sample of this one)
On the nose — Big nose, soapy (not like Bowmore but soapy still, castile?), apples, sandalwood and ocean breeze, tamarind juice and a touch of smoke (my imagination?)
On the mouth — Big chewy caramels! A touch of chocolate (milk), orange, fantastic.
Can’t get past the caramels; I don’t want to actually (this reminds me as to why I seek out the caramel squares in a box of chocolates).
Finish — Decent length, the milky caramel goodness remains, you’d never know this is a cask strength Arran, warming but not burning in any way.
In sum –– The palate and finish are delectably delicious, the balance is slightly off (from the nose to the palate/finish) but the palate and finish by themselves make up for it in ways you would not believe!
This would be a nice springtime whisky but could also warm you up in the Autumn and winter seasons.