Snippets

Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership 2020 AUCTION! ~ Lots of Whisky Lots!

Mass Mentoring Partnership is a statewide organization that works with over 370 mentoring and youth-serving organizations across Massachusetts, and we are hosting an online auction to raise money for mentoring.  The majority of the items in our auction are high-end whiskeys and other liquors, many of which are available well below market value. Please check it out at MMP.givesmart.com. The auction will run through the end of the year. Thank you very much!

The Glen Marnoch Single Malt Whisky at Aldi UK – Scotch Whisky News

Aldi has revealed its 2020 Christmas drinks line up featuring a number of Scotland’s most loved distillers and brewers, and includes award-winning whiskies. Whether you are looking to top up your own drinks cabinet ahead of the festive season, or that special gift for friends and family, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for at your local Aldi.   

The Glen Marnoch Single Malt Whisky range starts at just £16.49 (70cl; 40%ABV) with customers able to select from the Highland, Islay or Speyside Single Malts. Alternatively, for a special treat that won’t blow the budget, why not try the recently crowned Scotch Whisky ‘Master’ award-winning Glen Marnoch 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt (£20.99, 70cl, 40%ABV).  

The full festive drinks range will be on sale at all 95 Aldi stores across Scotland from 26th November. 

About Aldi in Scotland 

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of Aldi opening its first store in Scotland and 10 years since the creation of its dedicated Scottish Buying department. Now firmly established as the fourth largest volume retailer in Scotland (Kantar data taken within the 52 weeks prior to 29th December 2019), Aldi has opened 92 Scottish stores and stocks some of the finest and best value locally sourced food and drink.

In May 2019, Aldi was crowned Scottish Sourcing Business of the Year at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, demonstrating the supermarket’s commitment to its Scottish suppliers and to offering the finest quality, locally sourced produce at everyday low prices.

The four most recent NFU Scotland ‘shelf watch’ surveys revealed Aldi stocks 100% Scotch Lamb PGI, 96% Scotch Beef PGI, 88% Scottish Chicken and 100% Specially Selected Pork in its everyday ranges, more than any other supermarket in Scotland. This means customers are guaranteed to find the highest quality, locally sourced meat at Aldi stores in Scotland.

Established in 2009, the Scottish Buying Department has enabled Aldi to tap into Scotland’s vibrant agricultural and manufacturing base and build strong and long-standing relationships. Proud to work with over 90 local suppliers and stock more than 450 Scottish products, Aldi stores in Scotland boast a range that is at least 30% Scottish. The Buying team has grown from four to 25 members of staff, all of whom are committed to increasing the number of Scottish products available in stores to over 500 over the next two years and bring the best of Scotland’s larder to its customers.

As part of this, Aldi has invested over £22 million in new chill facilities for its Scottish Buying Department to help support the growth of its Scottish product range, including constructing a 4,000sq m freezer and a 13,000sq m chiller which opened in April.

This year, Aldi will open a further four new stores across the Scotland taking the total number of staff employed in Scotland to 3000 by the end of 2020. The new stores scheduled to open before the end of the year will be Commercial Street in Edinburgh, Houstoun Park in Livingston, Rigg Street in Stewarton and Gallowgate in Parkhead.

About Aldi UK 

Aldi is Britain’s fifth largest supermarket with 900 stores and more than 36,000 employees.

Aldi is attracting hundreds of thousands of new customers every year with its range of exclusive brands, passing low operating costs on to customers in the form of low prices.

The supermarket believes in making every day amazing and that’s why every single day Aldi delivers on the best possible value for millions of families throughout the UK and Ireland across everything from award-winning fresh produce to world class gin.

Aldi won’t be beaten on price; consistently racks up award after award for quality; treats its suppliers with fairness and respect and recognises the responsibility of supporting valued institutions such as Team GB to demonstrate the importance of health and wellness. That’s Aldi. That’s everyday amazing. The reason they do this? Because Aldi believes that everyone should have access to fresh, healthy, affordable food…it’s a right, not a privilege.

The company’s current achievements and initiatives include:

  • Aldi is the UK’s lowest priced supermarket. Research released by Which? in November showed doing a full shop at Aldi was 24% cheaper than the same shop at Tesco and 24% cheaper than the same shop at The Big Four. It tracked the price of 32 essential items at the UK’s eight biggest supermarkets throughout October 2020.
  • According to The Grocer magazine, a basket of 33 everyday items at Aldi is on average 14% cheaper than the Big 4 supermarkets.
  • Aldi has been crowned Christmas Retailer of the Year at the industry-renowned Quality Food Awards.
  • Aldi has a ten-year partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust – Aldi recently achieved its fundraising milestone of £5m ahead of its five-year target, which will go towards helping the trust to reach out to every young person with cancer in the UK. Aldi has also now committed to extending the TCT partnership for a further five years with a commitment to donate an additional £5m over this period.
  • Aldi’s rates of pay are significantly higher than the Government’s National Living Wage and also above the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended national rates. Store Assistants receive a minimum hourly rate of £9.40 nationally and £10.90 in London.
  • Aldi is the official supermarket partner of Team GB and ensures every member of the team has access to fresh healthy Aldi food via monthly shopping vouchers, and that 1.2 million 5-14-year-olds will learn about the benefits of cooking fresh, healthy food via its Get Set to Eat Fresh education initiative. Aldi has been a partner since 2015 and has extended its commitment to the 2024 Olympic games in Paris.
  • In May 2020, for the seventh consecutive year, Aldi was ranked the best-performing supermarket for compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice, underlining its commitment to maintaining fair, predictable and sustainable prices within its supply chain.

Full details of Aldi’s awards and achievements are detailed at www.aldi.co.uk/awards

Whisky Intelligence Server Upgrade Nov 20th & 21st

Whisky Intelligence Server Upgrade Nov 20th & 21st

Ardbeg & Glenmorangie Back in Stock at K&L California – Scotch Whisky News

Ardbeg “Corryvreckan” Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (Elsewhere $82) $74.99 View

Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky (750ml) $99.99 View

Introducing Edition No.6 – Tales of The Macallan River – Scotch Whisky News

The sixth and final release in The Macallan Edition series, Edition No.6 is a celebration of the River Spey, the iconic river that flows through the heart of The Macallan Estate. This distinct single malt delivers a multifaceted experience; from the appealing rich brass natural colour, to the layers of aroma, followed by the deep and rewarding flavour. A day on the River Spey, with its pure water, stunning wild landscape and calmness, is a once in a lifetime experience. The Macallan Edition No.6 brings together The Macallan Ghillie, Robert Mitchell; Hardy, the world’s most renowned fly fishing brand; and The Atlantic Salmon Trust, which has over 50 years’ experience in salmon conservation.

SHOP

 

Whisky Diaries: Our local barley and Cotswolds terroir – English Whisky News

Harvest-time is fast approaching (weather permitting!), and the local barley we use to make our single malt whiskies is nearly ripe and ready. Read all about why we are committed to using 100% locally-grown barley and the importance of Cotswolds terroir on our latest blog.

READ MORE…

Heavenly Intervention by Paul Mclean of MCLEAN SCOTLAND TOURS

Heavenly Intervention

St Margaret’s, in Aberlour, will unveil the St Margaret of Scotland bottling at this May’s Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. Just 260 bottles of the cask strength single malt from Auchroisk will be available, each signed and numbered. The whisky, chosen unanimously at a blind tasting by a panel of experts, celebrates the life of St Margaret and also honours the Speyside church, which was once the chapel for Aberlour Orphanage. All profits will go to St Margaret’s, which continues to be a lively place of worship. Born in about 1043, Margaret married King Malcolm III of Scotland and had considerable religious influence.

A Patron Saint of Scotland, she is also the Patron Saint of the homeless, orphans, insane, midwives, penitents, single mothers, reformed prostitutes, step children and tramps. The church itself was built between 1875 and 1879 to the design of Alexander Ross thanks to benefactor Margaret Macpherson Grant (local well to do family), who also funded the orphanage. She sadly died before the project was completed, but Charles Jupp, her personal chaplain, became the first rector of the church and warden of the orphanage. The orphanage, which was home to some 5000-6000 children, closed in 1967 and all the buildings were pulled down, except the church and clock tower.

Member Angus Findlay said: “With the departure of the children, the church lost most of its congregation. Many old boys and old girls, their relations and descendants visit St Margaret’s, the only part of their childhood home that survives. The small congregation believe that they owe it to them to keep this beautiful building in good order.” Just 260 bottles of St Margaret’s whisky will be up for grabs.

The tasting notes show luscious fruits on the nose. Hearty oak spice emerges to balance the initial sweetness, presenting a slowly drying, fruity finish with a hint of dried fruit and nut. Distilled in 2010 and matured in a bourbon cask, it was re racked in a port cask. The launch will take place at Craigellachie Village Hall on May 1. A bottle will then be auctioned at the whisky auction, also at the Craigellachie Hall, on Sunday, May 3.

My own thoughts, Paul; this seems to me to be a heavenly dram one which I would love to own. I do like the label design, methinks as this is a charity type release, Aberlour may have had something to do with helping? look at the bottle for a start. Then again, the dram is a Diageo. Am thinking here, my good friend Vic Cameron should be the one to hold the auction.  Who gets the angels share on this one? Dad! are you listening?  ~ PAUL MCLEAN

Auchroisk Distillery  The character is produced by rapid mashing, quick fermentation and, rapid boiling regime (thanks Ingvar). This character shared with Blair Athol, another Diageo, is most obvious at new make but falls away with maturation, being replaced by a honeyed cereal sweetness (flora and forna).  Auchroisk the building, stands out a white boring building set in the moorland. Now here’s a new one to me; Auchroisk was first bottled as single malt in 1986 and was the first to carry the prefix ‘Singleton’, a name now attached to single malts from Glen Ord, Glendullan and Dufftown. The brand was dropped in 2001 and has slithered back into the shadows. Auchroisk is an industrial malt distillery that produces mostly for the J&B Blended Scotch whisky. Current owner Diageo 1997 – present. Previous owner Justerini & Brooks  1974 – 1997.

One of my goals in life – get Liz to like a peaty dram! By Paul McLean of MCLEAN SCOTLAND Whisky Tours

One of my goals in life – get Liz to like a peaty dram!

Ask Liz if she would like a dram, of say Laphroaig, she will make a strange noise and pull a face. She cannee stand the smell of a peaty whisky, never mind taste. This is a goal in life – by hook or by crook I will get her drinking/liking peaty drams. The key maybe to start her off with a cocktail. The flavour of peated whisky can be hard going, peated Scotch is floated on top of a drink, where a small amount has maximum aromatic impact, the Penicillin being the best-known example. Another is to pair peated whisky (from Scotland of course), with another spirit, which helps moderate the smoky influence without burying it altogether. The best combination I can think of is peated Scotch plus a mellow, unpeated whiskey, which means an Irish whiskey. Peated Scotch also holds its’ own nicely against rich or sweet ingredients, such as egg whites, syrups or liqueurs. The Wind-Up, showcases both peated and unpeated whisky alongside amaretto, or geat and egg white.

With this in mind; Peat Beast Old Fashioned  60ml Peat Beast/Bid Peat, 5ml Dry White Port, 1/2 Cane sugar cube, 6-7 dashes of hop and grapefruit bitters. Served with a burnt orange peel.  Or we can move on to a famous Scot; The Rob Roy Whisky Cocktail: 2 ounces of Islay Whisky, 3 quarter ounces of sweet vermouth and 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters and serve over ice. Finish the cocktail with a cherry garnish or alternatively, a lemon twist. In fact, this cocktail, unlike its’ name suggests, was actually created at the Waldolf Astoria in Manhattan. The barman decided to mark the celebration of the opening premiere of the Rob Roy operetta in 1984 with his creation, and as such the cocktail grew in popularity very quickly. Today the Rob Roy continues to thrive as a popular choice of drink. Then of course is the Famous ‘Hot Toddy’: but come on, it’s only these past 4 years or so I have got Liz away from toddy’s! 3/4 Cloves, 2 Star Anise, half snap of a cinnamon stick, 2 teaspoons of honey, half a thumb of ginger, orange zest, grapefruit zest, 500mls boiling water, 50mls of Ardbeg Islay whisky per glass.

So where do we go? Maybe a real sneaky way into peat, have our usual tasting session (research & development) and wait until she appears silly (guaranteed), then slip a weak peat into her glass, start low and work up – maybe with a dram of Allt-a-Bhainne ? A Speyside single malt – normally used as an ingredient in blends, this single malt puts a peaty twist on the traditional Speyside profile to achieve a sweet, spicy and accessible malt with, as   Allt-a-Bhainne themselves put it, ‘just enough peat to start a fire’.

PAUL MCLEAN her pal, business partner and friend of over 20 years!

Liz – “I can’t help it, I WANT to like them but they turn my stomach, I once said the worst ones remind me of a funeral parlour!!  That’s fun ‘eh?

“A tasting on tour – the Blind Swiss” by Paul Mclean of MCLEANSCOTLAND WHISKY TOURS

A tasting on tour – the Blind Swiss

Being biased doesn’t exclude our taste in whisky. Some people say they dislike a certain brand or style, based on a previous experience. Tasting “blind” refers to tasting without knowledge of a whisky’s identity and is a great way to become a better ‘taster’, develop your senses, and learn more about your own whisky preferences. Simply put, if I told you one whisky is £500 and another is £50, would you expect the expensive whisky to be of higher quality? When tasting blind, it’s best to reserve discussion until everyone is finished at least the first dram. Members of the group can be easily influenced by positive or negative reactions of fellow tasters, especially if there are various levels of knowledge and experience in the room. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research involving 60 to 150 undergraduate students in various experiments determined that when tasting orange juice, the colour had a greater impact on taste than its actual sweetness. Since whiskies like scotch permit caramel colouring, consider using dark glasses – blue, green etc – to hide the colour.

This wee group on tour with us from Switzerland where up for most things, all had their own favourites and we did too, conversation before the tasting revealed a lot – who liked blends, sherry or peaty finishes. Paul selected the whiskies, we had no coloured glasses at this point, so tried to select drams of a similar colour. The only thing we said; these are all Diageo drams. We aren’t experts but it was fascinating to hear all the different ideas, suggestions as to what each dram was. In this blind tasting we limited drams to three, interesting results; out of three drams we had at least twenty possibles. When the actual drams were outlined, ooh’s and ahh’s followed and “I thought so”.

So to be honest, it a very hard to find expert who can say which each dram is on a blind tasting, Charlie Maclean is a close candidate for the champion I know, but at this time, it is very educational, enlightening, fun and satisfying to see what fellow drammers think and if anyone got any dram correct!  Have a go yourself, we will continue to do this on our tours. PAUL MCLEAN


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