Tag Archive | "Whisky"

Whisky Tasting at Milroys of Soho with The Quarry

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Whisky Tasting at Milroys of Soho with The Quarry

Posted on 22 February 2017 by Chris Ford

In the office here we love whisky and we love pretty much anything HBO does.
From the Sopranos to Game of Thrones and The Wire they know how to put together a drama so we of course said a big YES PLEASE when HBO invited us down to whisky bar Milroy’s of Soho for a evening of whisky tasting to celebrate the DVD / Blu-Ray release of HBO’s latest show Quarry.

You may ask what does this have to do with the show? Well the main character, a Vietnam vet, is rather partial to a drop hence the theme of the evening.
Milroy’s of Soho was founded over fifty years ago by John ‘Jack’ Milroy in 1964. Now it’s owned and run by whisky lover Martyn Simpson, who would be our guide for the evening ahead.
I confess I’m no expert in whisky. I like what I like and am constantly learning, So I think what I liked most about Martyn’s approach to the tasting was he made clear there was no right or wrong answer for what makes a great whisky – it’s all down to personal taste.
He for example said he doesn’t get on with the Jack Daniels range which I have always quite liked, especially the Single Barrel, our tastes are constantly developing and changing. Martyn himself started off drinking Bells in his youth.

So here’s everything we tried:
Kavalan, a port cask finished single malt from Taiwan (the closest Martyn could get to Vietnam explaining that while Vietnam do make whisky it really isn’t very good!)
Next we moved on to Kentucky USA via Blanton’s single barrel bourbon, notable by the model horse on the bottle cap, because the distillery is next to a racecourse.
Then to the familiar grounds of Scotland we tried the Glenfiddich 21 Year Old Gran Reserva – a notable change of pace from the bourbon and most enjoyable it was too. I think this was my second favourite of the evening.
European Bourbon Rye Association – cask strength, single barrel bourbon rye, this one was a bit too strong for me, maybe one day I will grow to appreciate it but I think most of the room was in agreement with me.
We finished back in Kentucky with a with a sour mash from Michter’s called, possibly my favourite of the evening. In fact I think I shall be seeking out a bottle of this one!

If you are looking to experience something like this yourself Milroy’s have regular tastings in their shop upstairs and also the excellent basement bar where this tasting took place. The staff are all very knowledgeable and have a passion for what they do, a rare thing indeed.

Milroys of Soho can be found at 3 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 4NX
A bit about Quarry

Quarry stars Logan Marshall-Green as Max Conway is a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran who returns home to Memphis in 1972, only to find rejection by his loved ones and demonised by the public. With whisky only friend he is approached by a mysterious man known only as The Broker, he is drawn into a network of killing and corruption that spans the length of the Mississippi River.

Quarry is out now on DVD and Blu-Ray and having watched it this weekend I can thoroughly recommend it.

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Discover whisky this Christmas

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Discover whisky this Christmas

Posted on 03 December 2014 by Chris Ford

Whisky is synonymous with the festive season and finding a dram to suit you and your loved ones – whether as a gift or to enjoy together, has never been so easy. Discovering whisky is one of life’s more enjoyable pursuits – are your taste buds tickled by light and sweet notes or are you of a smokier disposition? Well, why not take it upon yourself to find out this Christmas with whisky from the remote Scottish Isle of Jura, which produces both sweet and smoky whiskies. This Christmas you can try both with the new 20cl twin packs.

Jura Whisky Selection

The sweet and smoky combo includes the delicate Jura Origin which is matured in ex-bourbon barrels for ten years creating a light taste and warm honey finish. Jura Superstition, on the other hand, is a mysterious spirit that displays unique style and character with a subtle taste of spice, honey, peat and a whisper of smoke. Both flavours complement the festive season and are a great inroad into the world of whisky for beginners.


For more information, please visit www.jurawhisky.com


To be in the chance of winning your very own selection of 70CL Jura Whiskies this Christmas, simply answer the following question:


What is the name of the island home to Jura Whisky?

  1. A) Isle of Man
  2. B) Isle of Jura
  3. C) Isle of Wight


Email your answers to enterthecomp@gmail.com


A winner will be chosen at random on Friday 12th December and will be notified via email.



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Chivas ‘Made for Gentlemen’ by Bremont Watch Company

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Chivas ‘Made for Gentlemen’ by Bremont Watch Company

Posted on 15 October 2014 by Chris Ford


Whisky to me is special because its something I will sit down and take some time out to relax after a hard day or a long productive week and have a bit of me time. I’ve always enjoyed doing this with a whisky as I can appreciate the time, effort and care it has taken to produce thag liquid in your glass and for it to be consistent each and everytime is some achievement and something Chivas Regal have always done extremely well.
Much like that care and attention to detail that went into my glass of Chivas the same can be said for a good Automatic watch, all the intricate details and parts much be perfectly placed and lubricated to allow the smooth running of the mechanism which from Chivas Regals latest collaboration is certainly the point I take away in this video.

In a celebration of that craftsmanship, Chivas Regal unveils a ‘Made for Gentlemen’ collaboration with The Bremont Watch Company.


Only 12 Bremont ‘Chivary’ Limited Edition timepieces have been handcrafted and will never go into retail. The rare, numbered, collector’s pieces include a piece of oak cask used in the maturation of Chivas Regal blended Scotch whisky, among many other special features. One watch will be released for a global online charity auction 22nd October to 9th November via www.chivas.com/bremont.


The collaboration between the two British luxury houses also includes a limited edition gift tin that houses a bottle of Chivas 12 and visually deconstructs the movements of a Bremont chronometer in striking, bold detail and goes on sale globally from this month. The gift tin would make a fantastic Christmas gift idea for the Gentleman in your life.


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Mortlach Whisky – A Rebirth

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Mortlach Whisky – A Rebirth

Posted on 25 July 2014 by Chris Ford


A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to a tasting of three new expressions from the Mortlach distillery.


I’m in no way a Whisky expert (in fact far from it) so it was wonderful to be guided through the tasting by Georgie Bell Morlachs global ambassador.

I have always been a casual whisky drinker, and have been to these sorts of tasting before and while always enjoyed the whisky I can honestly say this is the first time my eyes have been truly opened to the world of whisky and what it has to offer. It obviously helps when you are guided by someone so knowledgeable as Georgie but even that aside the expressions really spoke for themselves, my palate was overwhelmed by new flavours exciting and moreish, not something I experience often with whisky.

Powerful and unique in flavour, Mortlach is a ‘best-kept secret’ among those in the whisky-know, with previous limited quantities on-sale being snapped up quickly by enthusiasts. The Beast of Dufftown will be unleashed in the UK this summer in four new expressions: Rare Old; Special Strength; 18-Year Old; and 25-Year Old.


Commenting on the launch, Scotch Whisky expert Georgie Bell said:

“The richness and authenticity of Mortlach’s heritage is what, along with its extraordinarily distinct flavour, really sets it apart. It embodies the brave vision of its entrepreneurial owners, the Scottish civil engineer George Cowie and his son Dr. Alexander Cowie. They, like other likeminded Victorian ‘makers’ of that golden age, are responsible for creating the unique and astonishingly complex distillation process described as ‘2.81 Distilled’.


Mortlach have provided some tasting votes for the range which I found very helpfull when revisiting these at home last weekend :

Rare Old:
Availability: Domestic Markets
Strength: 43.4% ABV
Appearance: Clear, bright amber
Tasting Notes: A complex and bold Mortlach with the exquisite balance of sweetness and dryness for which the distillery is renowned. A superbly structured and well-balanced whisky in which stylish fruit and floral notes on the nose introduce a rich, complex, energetic palate and a pleasantly drying finish.

Special Strength:
Availability: Global Travel Exclusive
Strength: 49% ABV
Appearance: Clear, bright amber, Moderate beading.
Tasting Notes: A big, friendly and warming special strength Mortlach, best enjoyed straight, which is at once complex and delicious. Very grown up, with a complicated yet harmonious mix of young vanilla and mature oak underscored by roasted aromatics and a long and deeply affecting finish.

18 Year Old:
Availability: All Markets and Global Travel
Strength: 43.4% ABV
Appearance: Clear, bright amber. Elegant beading.
Tasting Notes: A very compelling, moreish and appetising Mortlach for those who like their whiskies robust; best enjoyed straight. Astonishingly complex throughout and characterised by a fine interplay of meaty notes, malty sweetness and balancing acidity.

25 Year Old:
Availability: All Markets and Global Travel
Strength: 43.4% ABV
Appearance: Clear, bright amber. Good viscosity.
Tasting Notes: A multi-faceted Mortlach that is all full-strength, full-on impact, with an intriguing mix of elegance and power. Complex throughout and very moreish: a big and chewy dram with high complexity, mixing roasting spices and an almost animal intensity with dense layers of decadent sweetness.


The RRP for the range is £55 for Rare Old, £180 for Mortlach 18 Year Old, £600 for Mortlach 25 Year Old Available from Alexanderandjames.com and thewhiskyexchange.com and £75 for Special Strength, which will be a travel retail exclusive.

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Sponsored Video – THE MACALLAN & OAKLEY presents THE FLASK

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Sponsored Video – THE MACALLAN & OAKLEY presents THE FLASK

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Chris Ford

The Hip flask has been around in its current form since the 18th Century but the evolution of the hip flask is rather interesting.
The first known version of something similar to today’s hip flask dates back to the middle ages where documentation from the time would suggest hollowed out fruits were used to store whisky, Gin and such while travelling.

During the 18th century women were known to fill pigs bladders and hide them under their petticoats to enable them to smuggle gin on board ships where it was otherwise prohibited.

These of course are both quite primitive stages in the evolution of what you will be familiar with in today’s flask and recently The Macallan , a rather fine Scottish Whisky distiller have collaborated with sports and lifestyle brand Oakley to produce a truly beautiful and limited piece they call ‘The Flask’.

Featuring on trend black carbon detailing the fantastic modern almost futuristic design Oakley have come up with is truly stunning.  The flask has been designed to a ridiculously high standard  with durability and quality and the forefront of the design process.

Don’t think they haven’t taken the durability seriously either, in the video below Oakley demonstrate the lengths they have gone to to make this a durable product that will last a lifetime

The Flask is rather exclusive,  only 100 have been made so if you want one you better act quickly and head over to  The Macallan Shop to get yours before they are all gone!


This post has been sponsored by The Macallan & Oakley  but all thoughts are our own

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Suntory Japanese Whisky

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Suntory Japanese Whisky

Posted on 12 June 2012 by Chris Ford

Recently I was invited to a Whisky tasting in London by  Suntory the  Japanese Whisky distiller.

I’m by no means an expert when it comes to Whisky but I was excited to see what Japan has to offer to the Whisky world.

While you may not of heard of or known Japan makes Whisky they have infact been doing so since 1899 and more recently Suntory has won several International Spirits Challenge awards here in the UK for their 12 year old Yamazaki line.

The techniques used to create Suntory are  of  Scottish  tradition but like a fine wine or hand rolled cigar climate and other conditions native to the orgin make a huge difference to the finished product , Suntory has a very distinctive refreshing taste unlike other whisky I have had the pleasure to try. This is no doubt due to Suntory’s Hakushu distillery being built amidst the deepest forests of Mt. Kaikomagatake in the Japanese Southern Alps, the Hakushu distillery is without question one of the highest in the world. With a very particular microclimate, luxurious forests, and water offering a rare softness and purity, only made possible by filtration of rain and snow through thousand-year-old granite rocks.

Each whisky was paired with a food course,  I wasn’t convinced this could be done that successfully if I’m honest but was pleasantly surprised how well the Whisky paired with the Dim Sum on offer provided by the excellent Hakkasan restaurant.

Suntory really have created something special, for me this is something to bring out after a dinner party, or to make that occasion a bit more special I certainly will be picking up a bottle of the Yamazaki 18year old which was my favourite from the range.

Suntory comes in five varieties



Hakushu 12 – RRP £50

Hakushu 18 – RRP £105




Yamazaki 12 – RRP £42
Yamazaki 18 – RRP £105

Hibiki 21 – Will be available from June RRP TBC aprox. £150 (not available in Selfridges)


oh and i had to add this from the movie Lost in Translation

For more information on Suntory head over to www.suntory.com

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