Tonic Wine Cask Finish Single Malt 10 Year Old and Tonic Wine Cask Finish Blended Malt 21 Year Old are the result of months of research into drinks history, the role of religious practice in wine production, and a deep-dive into unchartered flavour territory.
What started as a conversation over drams turned into a whisky sourcing, cask seasoning, and sampling adventure, with Felipe Schrieberg, Paul Archibald, and the Master of Malt team searching across the UK for flavour inspiration.
The well-known tonic wine used for the bespoke cask seasoning was chosen because of its unique cough mixture character, energetic profile, and its berry-like taste.
Due consideration was also given to its cultural and historical significance to the drinks industry.
A process of assessing the efficacy of tonic wine as a beverage for cask seasoning was carried out by Felipe and Paul using one litre oak vessels, the results of which were promising.
The whiskies for each expression were selected to pair with the unique finish.
The 10 Year Old Single Malt was sourced from the same distillery as Master of Malt’s Limitless release, while the 21 Year Old Blended Malt marries Highland richness with Island complexity.
The team said: "The Tonic Wine Cask Finish Single Malt 10 Year Old offers an accessibly priced glimpse into this fresh and revolutionary whisky style. It’s rich, fruit-forward, and shows complexity beyond its years.
"It’s believed the tonic wine finish has rapidly accelerated the development of these flavour compounds, and further organoleptic studies into its effects are still ongoing."
A limited release, each 700ml bottle is priced at £44.95.
Tonic Wine Cask Finish Blended Malt 21 Year Old offers a more complex look into the effects of a tonic wine finish on well-matured whisky.
A nose reminiscent of stone fruit and church incense gives way to a rich, opulently viscous palate, and a lingering, aniseed-like finish.
With just 21 bottles released, each priced at £199.95, it’s a rare and one-off release.
"Here at Master of Malt, we’re passionate about whisky innovation and enabling our customers to experience the newest, most exciting developments in drinks production," said Guy Hodcroft, Master of Malt head buyer.
"When we first collaborated with our friends Felipe and Paul, we thought, why not get hands-on and start creating?
"It’s been quite the journey, but we’re delighted to bring the results of the partnership to life in all its prune note-influenced glory.
Felipe added: "We had a meeting where we all tried some of the early tests with the Master of Malt team, and were pleasantly surprised that this actually didn’t taste bad at all, so everyone was happy to move forward with what started as a joke.
"However, Paul drank all the oak-aged tonic wine that came out of the seasoned test casks which meant that we didn’t get to try any at the meeting. That was pretty upsetting.”
Tonic Wine Cask Finish Single Malt 10 Year Old Tonic Wine Cask Finish - Master of Malt x The Rhythm
and Booze Project and Blended Malt 21 Year Old - Master of Malt x The Rhythm and Booze Project
are available exclusively from Master of Malt from 1 April 2021.