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  • Introducing: Feb Beer Box

    jap beer box

    We are taking the guesswork out of the never ending array of beers in the market!

    We kicked off 2015 with 2 beer boxes for January, and found the reception to be awesome so we're back! We have put together a great offer for 22% off the usual price but to do so, we are working this slightly different!

    1. We will be taking orders via email ( with cash collection.

    2. Deliveries will be FOC only on weekends this February!

    Japanese Beer Box

    3 (jap beer)

     Fiery Eclecticism4 (fiery)


    February 3, 2015 Islay Adventure


    In our special Islay Whisky Series, we have introduced you to the magical location of Islay in Scotland, the Islay whiskies, recommended your first Islay drink and suggested some culinary delights to go with Islay whiskies. Now it's time for some fun as we uncover 11 curious facts about Islay!

    1. Islay is known as the ‘Queen of the Hebrides’.
    2. It's population is over 3000, with about a quarter speaking Gaelic. Its main industries are agriculture, whisky production and tourism.
    3. Islay is only 25 miles long, yet it features many world renowned whisky distilleries!
    4. In 1847, the founder of Laphroaig distillery (a distillery in Islay) died when he fell into a vat of boiling whisky by-products.
    5. Islay is known for the Singing Sands on the Oa Peninsula – the sand is said to sing when you rub the sole of your shoe across its surface. However, there are a few prerequisites: the grains have to be silica, rounded, between 0.1 and 0.5 mm in diameter and of just the right humidity!
    6. Ancient civilisation settled in Islay early, real early – some of the earliest prehistoric remains in Scotland have been found in Islay, including a flint arrowhead from around 10,800 BC (Skara Brae Neolithic village on Orkney dates from 3000 – 2000 BC). Several more recent crannogs and roundhouses have also been found on Islay, plus an iron age fort nearly 400 sq metres in size, near Bridgend.
    7. Islay hosts around 37,000 Barnacle geese in winter (70% of Greenland’s population), together with 13,000 Greenland White Fronted geese (40% of Greenland’s population). The White Fronted geese got their name from the white ring around their bill. Some are satellite tagged and have ID collars around their necks to find out where they migrate to.
    8. Over the last few years, Scottish Natural Heritage, which is funded by the Scottish Government, have paid £400,000 annually in compensation to the farmers for the damage to their crops by the migrating geese.
    9. Islay’s smoky style comes from malting barley over burning peat, giving flavours known as phenols – these are measured in parts per million.
    10. Some historians believe that distillation reached Scotland from Ireland via Islay in the 13th century, when the lord of the isles married the daughter of an ulster baron.
    11. Prince Charles’ love of Laphroaig has come at a cost: after awarding the distillery his royal warrant in 1994, he crash-landed his plane on Islay’s tiny airstrip when arriving to visit. Nobody was hurt, but the damage was estimated to be £1m.
  • Islay Adventure: Whisky and Food Pairings

    January 27, 2015 News, Whisky Wisdom


    In the past, many people used to be skeptical about the idea of enjoying whisky with a meal. This is in stark contrast with other alcoholic beverages such as wines, ales, and beers that have a long history of being consumed with meals.

    Today, there is a growing number of connoisseurs who pair whiskies with specific food items to enhance the flavours of both – this is reflected in the increasing number of books and websites specifically dedicated to whisky and food pairings.

    A photo posted by natalie phay (@butterfruit) on


    Food, Glorious Food

    Not all Islay whiskies are the same. Thus, some naturally pair better with certain food items. In general, though, Islay whiskies pair perfectly with smoked and cured meats and fish. If you don’t care for meats and fish but have a sweet tooth, fret not – Islay whiskies pair very well with dark chocolates and fruit cakes.

    A less intuitive pairing is with raw oysters. Raw oysters, seriously?! Don’t raw oysters go with champagne? Wait till you try pairing raw oysters with Islay whiskies. In fact, raw oysters pair so exceptionally well with Bowmore 18-Year-Old that the manufacturer of Bowmore 18-Year-Old specifically suggests raw oysters as a pairing idea – try some raw oysters with finely grated lemon zest or camembert cheese to enhance the creamy caramel smokiness of Bowmore’s celebrated 18-Year-Old.


    Pairing with Islay whiskies is of course not limited to food. For cigar connoisseurs out there, there is nothing that pairs better with a heavyweight cigar than an Islay whisky. The reason why an Islay whisky pairs with a heavyweight cigar better than whiskies from other regions is that the smoky characteristic of an Islay whisky complements the strong taste of a heavyweight cigar very well. In this way, neither the cigar nor the whisky overwhelms the other. Such heavyweight cigars include the Punches and the Bolivars.


  • Islay Adventure: What should your first Islay whisky be?

    January 20, 2015 Islay Adventure, Whisky Wisdom

    bowmore 12After our first post on Islay, a number of our readers expressed that they have never tried an Islay whisky, and asked us to recommend a good first Islay whisky to try.

    What we found interesting is that such readers include folks who are fairly new to the world of whisky and also folks who are very acquainted with usual bar offerings such as Johnnie Walker, the Macallan, Glenfiddich and Glenlivet.

    Regardless of which category you fall into, we would strongly recommend the Laphroaig 10-Year-Old or the Bowmore 12-Year-Old as your first Islay whisky. They are very affordable and do represent the key essence of a smoky Islay whisky without being too overwhelming for a beginner’s taste buds.

    Laphroaig 10-Year-Old

    Apparently the favourite of Prince Charles (heir to the British throne), the Laphroaig 10-Year-Old is the original Laphroaig. It is distilled the same way today as when Ian Hunter invented it over 75 years ago. In making Laphroaig, malted barley is dried over a peat fire. The smoke from this peat, found only on Islay, gives Laphroaig its particularly peaty flavour.

    The Laphroaig 10-Year-Old has an illustrious awards list. It was awarded the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2006, 2010 & 2011, the Gold Medal (Best in Class) at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2006 & 2007, and the Gold Medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2007. It has a rating of 90 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2012.

    Click here for a detailed description of how it tastes!

    Bowmore 12-Year-Old

    Complex yet perfectly balanced, the Bowmore 12-Year-Old reflects the raw essence of Bowmore - thrashing waves, windswept landscapes and generations of tradition. As its maturation is predominantly in American bourbon casks, it has some sweet vanilla notes. The juxtaposition of these sweet vanilla notes with Bowmore’s trademark peaty smokiness creates a fantastically well balanced drinking experience.

    Try some smoked salmon, langoustines, scallops or oysters with a little fresh lemon and a generous measure of Bowmore 12-Year-Old to see for yourself just how perfectly they complement each other.

    The Bowmore 12-Year-Old has received much critical acclaim. The late, great whisky writer Michael Jackson proclaimed it "remarkably long and complex". It was awarded the Gold Medal in the “Scotch Single Malt–Islay” category at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2013, and the Gold Medal in the “Single Malt Scotch –to 12 Yrs” category at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2013.

    Click here for a detailed description of how it tastes!


  • Islay Adventure: Introduction

    January 13, 2015 Islay Adventure, Whisky Wisdom

    Islay Adventure FBTo whisky connoisseurs, the word “Islay” evokes deep and sometimes polarising emotions. To those new to whiskies, “Islay” is certainly a word you must become familiar with. So what’s the big deal and what is it all about?

    For a start, Islay is a place in Scotland, and for some whisky connoisseurs, a very sacred place. Known as the “Queen of the Hebrides”, it is the southernmost of the Inner Hebridean Islands, located off the west coast of Scotland.

    The picturesque Isle of Islay (pronounced as “eye-la”) is arguably home to the world’s most distinctly flavoured single malt scotch whiskies. These full-flavoured, complex beasts are renowned for their smokey characters and notes of the Atlantic Ocean which laps at the shores of Islay. Such whiskies include Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bunnahabhain, Bowmore, Caol Ila and Talisker.

    The Islay whiskies

    Islay single malt whiskies have incredible depth and complexity, but are best known for their intense peaty, smokey characters.

    The Isle of Islay has a vast coverage of peat, which is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter. This peat infuses its flavour and colour into the water sources on Islay – the water from these water sources is used to produce Islay whiskies. Before distillation, the malted barley is dried over peat fires, the barley enveloped in smoke.

    Islay whiskies are often said to have "notes of the sea". Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, sea breezes wash across Islay’s abundant peat and permeate the aging barrels of whisky.

    Islay whiskies are most frequently described as being “smokey”. Other common terms used to describe Islay whiskies include “medicinal”, “iodine”, “seaweed” and “salty”.

    The most famous Islay whisky

    Lagavulin, in particular the Lagavulin 16-Year-Old, is probably the most famous Islay whisky. Aeneas MacDonald writes of a man who "was kept awake for hours in the night by the prolonged rhapsodies of two Highlanders, men who had nothing else in common in the world but their affection for and praise of Lagavulin". It has, he says, "an almost legendary fame". That was in 1930 and, if anything, its fame has grown. Today, it inspires fanatical devotion in its many followers.

    The Lagavulin 16-Year-Old is a single malt with the massive peat-smoke that is typical of southern Islay. However, it also offers a unique blend of richness and dryness that turns it into a truly interesting dram. As it is probably the most pungent of all Islay malts, it is not for the faint-hearted.

    Not convinced? Check out it's relative position in the whisky tasting map!

    The Lagavulin 16-Year-Old was awarded the Gold Outstanding Medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2012, the Non-Plus-Ultra Award (Daily Drams) at the Malt Maniacs Awards 2010 & 2011, the Best Islay (13 to 20 years) Award at the World Whiskies Awards 2012, and the Double Gold Medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2013. The Lagavulin 16-Year-Old has a rating of 95 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2012.

    Hope this starts you on an amazing time exploring the whiskies from Islay!


  • AWFE: 5 Scotch cocktails recipes


    Here we bring you a couple of recipes for scotch cocktails! Others might scream SACRILEGE but you like what you like and who is to say which way of consumption is best.

    We chose the simpler recipes so that the cocktail doesn't overwhelm the base liquor. For the scotch cocktail maniacs, you can refer to this crazy list of 100+ recipes where you can create all sorts of concoctions. Try out the recipes below and let us know which is your favorite!

    1. Rusty Nail 


    The Rusty Nail requires 4 parts of Scotch to 1 part of Drambuie. We like this proportion because it doesn't end up overly sweet but there are others that put in equal amounts of both. Squeeze in a touch of lemon if you wish for some zest. Recipe is taken from here.

    Watch out as the alcohol content is high! Drambuie is essentially whisky liqueur with some honey, herbs and spices so it makes a pretty potent drink. For this cocktail, we like the Deanston 12 as the flavour doesn't deviate too far from the Drambuie.

    2. Presbyterian

    The Presbyterian is a combination of Scotch, ginger ale and club soda. Take a part of Scotch, add ice and equal parts of club soda and ginger ale. So, it's kind of similar to the whisky-soda or the whisky highball but with additional sweetener with the ginger ale.

    We think the Glenfiddich 12 would be a great match for this particular cocktail.

    3. The Godfather

    The almond liqueur will add another dimension to the scotch and for this cocktail we recommend the Glenmorangie The Original.

    The recipe consists of 1.5 oz of scotch + 0.75 oz of amaretto almond liqueur. Add ice and give it a stir and you're done!

    4. Highland Bramble

    A fruity wonderland! The egg whites remind me of concoctions that people feed to athletes but it really doesn't have any weird uncooked taste. We took the picture and recipe from here.

    45ml/1.5oz blended Scotch whisky
    30ml/1oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 barspoon honey
    dash egg white (optional, I just like the look and the texture)
    15ml/0.5oz Crème de Mure
    Shake the first four ingredients with ice. Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass and drizzle the Crème de Mure over the top. Garnish with a handful of blackberries and/or raspberries.

    The recommended scotch for this cocktail is the Black Bottle which has some underlying smoke that isn't overwhelming.

    5. Sea & Scotch 

    The picture looks super epic. Recipe & image from here. The Bowmore 15 Darkest was used in the recipe but we think the

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