Monthly Archives: July 2017

Why you should buy and drink Sherry

Halo Single Malt Mates,

Time was the British drank sherry by the boatload . Sherry barrels cannot be reused to mature sherry. So lots of them were laying about in England.

The Scots, thrifty as always, told the English to give them to us and used them to mature their Scotch Whisky.

Nowadays, far more bourbon is consumed and bourbon barrels cannot be used twice. The used barrels are cheap and plentiful and are used by all distilleries to mature Scotch..

Glenmorangie owns a forest in Tennessee, a cooperage to make barrels, which they rent to Bourbon Distillers and the spent barrels are sent back to Glenmorangie to make Scotch. Simple No?

Anyway, your humble Scotch Spirit Master loves sherried whisky’s so it would please me no end if more people drank sherry. Thus lowering the price of sherry barrels used for maturation of Scotch Whisky.

Hopefully it will make more distilleries to use Sherry barrels in the maturation process….

Here is a deal from the Whisky Exchange.

Valdespino Fino Inocente
Half Bottle
37.5cl / 15%

Special Offer
Two free bottles of Classic Tonic!
Web Exclusive Price £8.55 £7.13 ex VAT

Valdespino is a historic sherry producer. Inocente is produced using grapes grown in one single vineyard, Macharnudo, this full-bodied fino is a great match for fish dishes.


“So many guid Whiskies! So little time and money!” Scotch Spirit Master

May you aye ha’e a copper to spare,
And a pinch o’ guide sneeshin’ to share!
And what is the best thing o’ a’ –
A freend at yet beck an’ yer ca’.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones!

Slainte Mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee poem by our National Bard

Halo Single Malt Mates,

When I get moved patriotically for Alba I toast this to you all.
Scot’s Wha Hae!

Here is the poem.
From Rabbie Burns our National Bard.

Scots Wha HAe means Scots Who have in Scots English.

Scots Wha Hae
By Robert Burns

Scots, wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led;
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victory!

Now’s the day, and now’s the hour;
See the front o’ battle lour;
See approach proud Edward’s power—
Chains and slavery!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward’s grave!
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland’s king and law
Freedom’s sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand, or freeman fa’,
Let him follow me!

By oppression’s woes and pains!
By your sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty’s in every blow!—
Let us do or die!

Here’s tae us? Whas like us? Gey few and they’re a deid. Mairs the pity!

Slainte mhor agad

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee wish for you my dear readers

Halo Single Malt Mates,

May the best ye hae ivver seen be the warst ye’ll ivver see.
May the moose ne’er leave yer girnal wi a tear-drap in its ee.
May ye aye keep hail an hertie till ye’r auld eneuch tae dee.
May ye aye juist be sae happie as A wish ye aye tae be.

In English
May the best you have ever seen be the worst you will ever see.
May the mouse never leave your pantry wlth a teardrop in its eye
May you always stay whole and hearty until you are old enough to die..
May you still be as happy as I always wish you to be..¬¬¬

May the winds o adversity ne’er blow open your door!

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi’tippeny, we Fear nae evil;
Wi’usquabae, we’ll face the devil!

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannach duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you.

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee Dailuaine pairing

Halo Single Malt Mates,

I paired Greek lamb, and beef plus some lobster bisque. It really went well as sherried whiskies usually do, The finish was nice and long and the palate

Here is the whisky:
Dailuaine 16 Year Old – Flora and Fauna (70cl, 43%)
(7 Reviews)

A Flora and Fauna official release from the Dailuaine distillery, a 16 year old single malt which has been sherry matured for thick fruitcake notes with winter spice, a great digestive.

1st September 2011
Dailuaine 16 Details
Country Scotch Whisky
Region Speyside Whisky
Distillery Dailuaine
Bottler Dailuaine
Age 16 year old Whisky

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Cereals, barley sugars, sherry. Fruitcake, oily, nutty.

Palate: Medium body, clean. Malt, estery fruit. Sherry. Nutty.

Finish: Nutty, almonds, oily, smoke, oak.

This really went well with the lamb, beef and lobster bisque. Highly recommend it..

Here’s tae the heath, the hill and the heather,
The bonnet, the plaid, the kilt and the feather.

A h-uile la sona dhuibh‘s gun la idir dona dhuibh!
May all your days be happy ones.

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.
Great health and every good blessing to you.

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee bit of Scottish Fact

Halo Single Malt Mate,

When I was in Scotland driving on the M9 Highway we saw the Scottish Kelpies. I had no clue of the significance and thought they were impressive. Here is an explanation of what a Kelpie is.

The Kelpie
by Ben Johnson

Falkirk in Scotland is home to The Kelpies, the largest equine sculpture in the world. Unveiled in April 2014, these 30-metre high horse-head sculptures are situated in Helix Park near the M9 and are a monument to Scotland’s horse-powered industrial heritage.

But what are ‘kelpies’?

A kelpie is a shape-changing aquatic spirit of Scottish legend. Its name may derive from the Scottish Gaelic words ‘cailpeach’ or ‘colpach’, meaning heifer or colt. Kelpies are said to haunt rivers and streams, usually in the shape of a horse.

But beware…these are malevolent spirits! The kelpie may appear as a tame pony beside a river. It is particularly attractive to children – but they should take care, for once on its back, its sticky magical hide will not allow them to dismount! Once trapped in this way, the kelpie will drag the child into the river and then eat him.

These water horses can also appear in human form. They may materialize as a beautiful young woman, hoping to lure young men to their death. Or they might take on the form of a hairy human lurking by the river, ready to jump out at unsuspecting travellers and crush them to death in a vice-like grip.

But there is some good news: a kelpie has a weak spot – its bridle. Anyone who can get hold of a kelpie’s bridle will have command over it and any other kelpie. A captive kelpie is said to have the strength of at least 10 horses and the stamina of many more, and is highly prized. It is rumoured that the MacGregor clan have a kelpies bridle, passed down through the generations and said to have come from an ancestor who took it from a kelpie near Loch Slochd.

The kelpie is even mentioned in Robert Burns’ poem, ‘Address to the Deil’:

“…When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord
An’ float the jinglin’ icy boord
Then, water-kelpies haunt the foord
By your direction
And ‘nighted trav’llers are allur’d
To their destruction…”

So now you know what a Kelpie is. You will see them on the M9 if you visit Scotland..

Here’s to the men of all classes, Who through lasses and glasses Will make themselves

To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure
Of drinking at somebody else’s expense.
—Henry Sambrooke Leigh

Slainte Mhor Agad,

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee Auchentoshan

Halo Single Malt Mates,

Auchentoshan has a new designer whisky which I will share with you.


The Bartenders Malt 47% 70cl

Alc. Volume 47%
Bottler Official
Region Lowland
Country Scotland

The Bartender’s Malt is a collaborative effort between Auchentoshan and a dozen renowned, innovative bartenders from across the globe. These 12, together selected a range of casks from Auchentoshan’s warehouses, varying between American oak, European oak, Sherry casks, Red Wine barriques, and spanning maturation ages across five decades. The result is a deep and complex malt, combining mixed fruits, chocolate, tobacco and spices. This is the first of what will be an annual release of unique bottlings.

Official Tasting Notes
Nose: Dried apricots, milk chocolate, honey, and green tobacco leaf.
Palate: Zest, cherry blossom, brioche and ginger.
Finish: Edgy and expanding with a long lasting warmth.

This sounds interesting and will be a collectable. You can get it on line form the UK.

Here’s to the men of all classes, Who through lasses and glasses Will make themselves

To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure
Of drinking at somebody else’s expense.
—Henry Sambrooke Leigh

Slainte Mhor Agad,

Your Scotch Spirit Master

A wee Ainsley Brae pairing with barbeque chicken

Halo Single Malt Mates,

Ainsley Brae is a bottler that takes casks from distillers and bottles them. Like Gordon and MacPhail, Signatory and Alexander Murray and Company. Here in Sin City you can buy their Sherry Finish Highland expression at one of our fine retailers.

Here is the whisky:

Ainsley Brae
Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Finished in Sherry Casks

Highland single malt scotch whisky finished in sherry casks.

Rich . Sherry . Spice . Complex

Highlands, Scotland – A great highland expression aged in ex bourbon barrels then finsihed in sherry casks for 6-8 months giving this whisky a rich body with spice and vanilla notes that give way to fruit and wood notes at the back. Silver Medal SF Spirits Competition

Steeped in history and folklore, the Highland region of Scotland is at the very heart of malt whisky distillation. This whisky has been carefully selected and represents all the very best qualities of the region.

A zesty citrus nose, softened by lush malt and honey nut. On the palate, more citrus notes take the form of a Seville orange. Light peat, toffee, delicate spice with a stunning sweet honey and toffee finish.

Today I paired this whisky with BBQ Chicken and baked beans… As usual the finish and palate was enhanced by the BBQ. Sherried whisky always goes well with spicy foods, oriental and occidental..

Here’s to the men of all classes, Who through lasses and glasses Will make themselves

To the rapturous, wild, and ineffable pleasure
Of drinking at somebody else’s expense.
—Henry Sambrooke Leigh

Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh.

Great health and every good blessing to you.

Your Scotch Spirit Master

My Scottish CHihuahua

A wee bit of whisky fact

Halo Single Malt Mates,

Like I have briefly mentioned before, everyone is getting in on the act. Here is a whskey, using malted Scottish Barley and double Distilled in Goa India, For God’s sake!

Now the only reason I am mentioning this is because of the Scottish Barley, Alba Gu Brath Scotland Forever!!

You can buy it if you want. I however, as a single malt Scotch snob, will stick to the Scotch. More for me.

Being a Scot I won’t turn down a free dram of this. Free is free! No whisky is bad if it is free. Unless it is corrupted with motor oil or some such.

Here is the whiskey!
Paul John

Edited 46% 70cl

£37.95 icnluding vat very cheap!

Producer John Distilleries
Bottle Size 70cl
Alc. Volume 46%
Bottler Official

Double distilled in copper pot stills in Goa, before being matured in bourbon casks. Their angel’s share is around 8%, giving lots of cask interaction. This is a great introductory dram for anyone you wants to poke a tentative toe into the world of smoky whisky, while also befuddling them by telling them its Indian whisky made with Scottish peat.

Staff Tasting Notes
Nose: A gentle whiff of smoke on the nose with bright sweet vanilla oak underlying, subtle maritime notes and a faint trace of sea salt.
Palate: Chocolaty nutty/woody notes leading to a more richly developed full palate of stewed sweet smoky fruit.

If this was Champagne the French would say Dans la méthode Champagnoise. They would call this En fait la méthode écossaise. It is distilled and matured just like Scotch. Since it is in made in India it is not Scotch..
Freedom and whisky gang the gither-Tak aff your dram!

OF all our gifts, or great or small,True friendship is the best of all!

Slainte mhath

Your Scotch Spirit Master
Here is the Glenfarclas Spirit Safe at the Distillery