WOW12 – Master of Malt 10yr Old Speyside Whisky Liqueur

COMING WEDNESDAY 23rd Nov 2011 – A Tasting of the Full Master of Malt liqueur Range

DBS introduced me to Master of Malt’s website after he started investigating their bottled vintage cocktails (more details coming soon!) and thereafter presented me with one of their wonderful 3cl whisky sample bottles of their 10 year old Speyside Whisky Liqueur, kindly sent by one of the ladies at Master of Malt. Coincidentally, if you are a fan of whisky, visit their website: they sell a marvellous selection of whiskies in these sample bottles, allowing you to explore the world of whisky a little bit at a time.

Amongst their broader selection, they offer a range of Master of Malt branded whiskies and five of these form the basis for whisky liqueurs, each Speyside malt whiskies aged for 10, 15, 21, 30 and 40 years. The liqueur that I’m writing notes on today is based upon a 10 year old whisky that has been matured in sherry casks, and the liqueur was created using cinnamon, cloves and two different kinds of orange peel.

The first line of my notes on the nose read, “Refreshingly of whisky”. Rich notes of wood and dried fruit neatly blended into a light, toffee-like sweetness at the end. I want to emphasise again, however, that this smelt more like a Scotch than most of the liqueurs that I have tried, where the sweetness is a lot more prominent; here, it just seems to take the edge off of the alcohol.

The flavours leave you in no doubt that this is definitely a “grown up” whisky liqueur: there’s a lovely warmth from the start, followed with a very light peatiness. There’s a light sweetness there, but – as with the nose – it seemed to just take away any harshness; there’s no question about it being used to mask any other flavours, as it’s quite subtle.

Nonetheless, there was still a lot of flavours there; I caught hints of warm spices, like cinnamon, and vanilla, which work well with the sweetness, whilst the more woody notes keep it balanced. The aftertaste is actually surprisingly savoury, which made it very easy to drink. This, combined with the complexity and subtleties of the flavours, meant that I found myself at the bottom of my sample bottle before I’d realised it.

This really was a refreshingly different whisky liqueur, prioritising the whisky flavours and using the sweetness to its advantage without letting it dominate. I didn’t get the sense that this was for replacing a dessert or dribbling over ice-cream, as with some of the other liqueurs, but instead for drinking on its own and slowly unwinding at the end of a long day, and would highly recommend it to Scotch fans who want to try something a little different.

– Mrs. B.

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