Curious about a spirit? Try before you buy with Master of Malt.
The effects of economic uncertainty as of late have had a serious impact on the high-end brands of pretty much everything. Therefore, it would seem idiotic to buy a nice bottle of something expensive before you knew what to expect.
Naturally, everything you buy these days can be helped along by customer reviews and product descriptions. But let’s face it, your palate can only dream so far beyond what you read on the internet from people you don’t know.
Luckily however, the good guys and gals at Master of Malt have the perfect solution.
Their concept has been around for a while now, but it never hit me as to how convenient it was before I started writing these blogs for you.
Master of Malt offer 30ml samples of many of the spirits they supply and produce themselves, and, going on the amount of samples they offer, it seems to be a popular route for new discoveries.
They come in small, very cute, stumpy-shaped bottles that are dipped in wax and hand-labelled. From a business perspective, this has to be worth the effort; so long as their ‘enquiries’ are converted into final sales of the sampled spirit. However, when I met some of the guys at Imbibe Live last year, I got the impression that they would offer this for free if it were financially possible, as they are so involved and passionate about what they do and definitely want others to benefit from what is currently on the market.
They currently offer around 780 samples of various spirits, ranging from £1.90 to £309.81 (Glenfarclas 1953, selling for £5995), but their range in general is truly staggering; Speyside single malts stand at 1,549 bottles (many have now been discontinued), which would easily take you in to the middle of 2030 to get through, and your neighbourhood’s life savings to fund it.
Having acknowledged price and the cost of making sure you know what you are buying, I do feel this service can be seen as more of an experiment than a sales enquiry.
They seem to think so as well, as they offer ‘tasting sets’ of various categories, including premium rums and Japanese whiskies. This means you can develop a spirit style that you always turn to when the fire is toasty, the rain is howling and the TV is below average.
I live for experiencing the new, the old, and the ‘try before you die’ spirits, and I am also one for building a collection—the presentation of which means a lot to me. That is why I fear that if I devour many of the samples offered by Master of Malt, I would be in lifelong debt. So on that note, I am just about finished purchasing my sample of Bunnahabhain’s ‘The Octave’ 33 year; if anyone from Natwest is reading, expect an overdraft request in the morning.