Drinks by the Dram

Broadening your whisky horizons is an enriching experience. To develop your palate, learn to discover the subtleties of flavor based on ingredients, aging, regions, and so on – that’s a noble effort. But also an expensive one.

The folks at Master of Malt contacted me about their Drinks by the Dram program, which aims to help lower the cost of broadening those horizons. They offered to send me a sample shipment, and I’ve never been known to turn down an offer of whisky, especially when it’s free (and even when it’s not).

I received 3 – 30ml bottles of 3 different whiskies: Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon, Bowmore 26 Year Single Cask, and Yoichi 10 Year Japanese Whisky.

These are all nice whiskies – rich in flavor, deep in character; a nice addition to any bar. Full bottles retail, on average, for $60, $110, and $75 respectively. But the samples from Drinks by the Dram will run you about 10% of that. It should be pointed out, you’re only getting about 4% of a bottle in volume, but that might be worth it when you’re unsure if you really want to spend $110 for 26 year old scotch.

So if you’re exploring new arenas of whisky (as I am, with Japanese whisky which in the past, I haven’t known much about), this may be a great way to narrow down the field a bit. Which whisky is worth buying in full, and for which whisky is one taste enough?

Master of Malt also offers some nice sample packs, like the Highland Region set, which includes 30ml bottles of Brora 30, Clynelish 13 Cask Strength, Dalmore 19 Cask Strength, Edradour 2003 Port Cask Matured, and Glenturret 18. Certainly, again, a nice way to broaden one’s horizons quickly.

A few disclaimers: Master of Malt is based in the UK, so prices are in Pounds and shipping may take some time. Also, it’s been suggested to me that Drinks by a Dram might be a good holiday gift, and indeed it might. But while the bottling of the samples is cute (nice labels, wax tops), the packaging is nothing special at all, so be prepared to re-pack the bottles yourself in some interesting way if you intend to give them as a gift.

If you decide to give this program a try, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to share them in the comments of this post, or find me on Twitter at @cocktailspirit.

Until then, happy tasting!


Tags: Drinks by the Dram, samples, whisky

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