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Spirits sampling service launched

Online retailer and independent bottler, Master of Malt, has launched a whisky sample service called Drinks by the Dram.

The idea is to allow whisky lovers and drinks connoisseurs to purchase inexpensive 3cl (30ml) samples of Scotch whisky and other spirits so they can ‘try before they buy’.

Master of Malt’s sales director, Ben Ellefsen, explains that the idea originally grew out of an informal sample service for friends and staff: “We found the friends we gave samples to often came back and bought the bottle.

“When we showed the idea to the distilleries and brand owners, the reaction was so unequivocally positive we decided make the service available to our customers as well.”

A wide range of spirits and whiskies are available – from 10 year old Bourbon, to 40 year old single malt Scotch whisky with prices starting from only £1.95.

The drams are labelled with handmade paper, and each bottle individually wax dipped to seal it.

The initial range includes samples from brands including Glenfarclas, Bruichladdich and Edradour whiskies, plus independent bottlers, including Murray McDavid, Renegade Rum, Alchemist, Signatory and The Vintage Malt Whisky Company.

The range is expanding rapidly, Ellesfen says: "There will be several hundred more samples available by the end of May, with over a thousand expected by Christmas."

A full list of samples is available at:

1 May 2010 - Felicity Murray