The Dalmore Distillery

29 May 2017 15:50:27

The Dalmore Highland Single Malt Whisky is created using a variety of stills varying in size and shape. It is with these stills that the distillery has been creating its award-winning whisky for over 150 years.

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 Nestled on the banks of the Cromarty Firth near Inverness, The Dalmore distillery is exposed to the bracing elements of the North Sea. Established by Alexander Matheson in 1839, The Dalmore remained under Matheson’s command for 28 years.


When Andrew and Charles Mackenzie took over, they brought with them a legacy of the Clan Mackenzie and the 12-pointed stag that has appeared on The Dalmore bottles ever since. The stag is a Royal seal granted to their ancestor Colin of Kintail as a gesture of thanks by King Alexander III for saving his life against a charging stag while out on a hunt.


Their maturation process is unique, many using two or more wooden casks over time; American white oak ex-bourbon and aged sherry casks are the primaries. Master Distiller Richard Paterson hand-picks every sherry cask for its exceptional character.


At Drinks21 we’ve selected five of the best the distillery has to offer:

dalmore cigar malt



Discontinued in 2009, this NAS is one for the collection sitting somewhere between 12 and 15 year old. 





A rich, fruity and spicy flavour profile perfect for the colder months. It is aged 14 years in American oak before being transferred to sherry butts for a further 4 years.


dalmore king alexander



Matured in an impressive 6 different casks (madeira, sherry, marsala, Kentucky bourbon and port), this truly is a whisky fit for a king.





This delicate and approachable vintage is initially matured for 12 years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks.



dalmore 12 year old



Deep and golden, this whisky has scents of orange marmalade and aromatic spices and hints of vanilla. The classic The Dalmore bottling.




Find out more about the distillery here.

Available at Drinks21.

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Celebrations & Champagnes

22 May 2017 11:06:34

Opening a bottle of bubbly is about making a statement. Whether you’re launching a ship, saying ‘I do’, getting the keys to a new home, landing that new job or seeing in the New Year. It just has to be Champagne.

Fine Champagne 

“Pleasure without Champagne is purely artificial.” – Oscar Wilde

Champagne is the drink of toasts, special moments and achievements. From the ritual involved in opening the bottle, to the popping of the cork and the delicate glasses – every step is an indication that something good is happening, a way of marking that occasion. 

A bottle of Champagne carries with it an air of expectation. But which do you choose? We’ve created the perfect selection of champagnes for all occasions, here’s our top 5:

Krug Grand Cuvee Brut Vintage 2000 Champagne


1. The specialist of special occasions: 


For marking that standout moment this could be the bottle for you. The Grand Cuvée 2000 is one of the most intense, dramatic and romantic Krug vintages ever made. 



 2. Celebrating with a crowd:  


A magnum from the world's leading champagne brand is a sure fire way to start a celebration.  Gather your friends, pop the cork and let the celebrations commence with this intense and rich bottle of bubbly.



3. For a splash of romance:


Nothing says romance like a glass of pink champagne.  Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé is lauded for its fresh raspberry, red current flavours and dusty pink hue.




4. The Champagne Classic:


This is an iconic champagne and its trademark yellow colour was registered in 1877 as the first Pantone to be defined.  It is immediately identifiable and carries with it the unmistakable air of sophistication and celebration.




5. The party starter:


This is by far the company’s bestselling cuvée and one that works for any occasion, thanks to its clean, refreshing mouthfeel and potential for ageing. This is ideal for serving at parties or for sharing on a Friday night when you just want to celebrate the fact that it’s the weekend.

While Champagne is for those key moments in life there is also a very strong argument for not waiting for a special occasion, in fact many say that if you do ‘pop’ open a bottle the celebration will come to you! Enjoy.

Available online at Drinks21.


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Meet the Millennials

22 May 2017 09:54:47

How changing drinking habits are helping to re-shape the industry, as a new age of consumers push drinks companies to create brands with more depth and better stories.

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There is a new, fast-growing consumer group on the block: the millennials. They are helping to reinvigorate the market, as companies are having to adjust to a whole new type of customer, one that is quickly becoming the leading consumer profile.


In 2016-17 domestic consumption of alcohol dropped to its lowest level in 50 years, with most categories reporting drop in sales - there are, however, a few notable exceptions, including craft beer, gin and whisky.


In the past, consumers have tended to stick with one or two brands and be very loyal to those - but new, younger drinkers are changing this. They are more willing to try new products and experience new drinks - when asked, 51% of under-35s are happy to try a new drink. New venues are opening up with ever-changing stock to keep up with this revitalisation of alcohol brands.


As this younger, more experimental audience grows, it’s opening doors for smaller companies and artisanal products; where once audiences were loyal and hard-to-win, they are now actively looking for new products and better experiences. On top of this, Millennials like to be ‘unique’, and use requesting a more obscure brand as an opportunity to show their knowledge of the little-known and up-and-coming.


Look for Beauty Everywhere

A classic example is Blue Bottle Gin - the brainchild of Head Distiller and Founder, Matt Polli, who many years ago spent a summer studying flies as part of a research project which he was undertaking at Cambridge University. As he peered down the microscope he noticed the exceptional beauty, intricate detail and distinctive colouring of his subject, and was struck that such beauty could be easily overlooked here and, for that matter, everywhere. This is the ethos of Blue Bottle Gin. Look for Beauty Everywhere.







Consumers today also want more from their products. They want deeper meaning to their purchases, with in-depth stories about the history and making of their chosen products. Purchasing has become about the narrative behind the product. Millennials support brands that support the causes they care about; they want to feel socially aware and conscious when making their purchases. Consumers seem to be able to quickly spot “phony” or “me-too” brands; millenials are knowledgeable and quick to research. This higher level of involvement creates greater influence in brand advocacy, magnified by the potential reach of social media footprint.


In short: millennials drink less, but are more discerning about what they drink - they are willing to pay a bit extra for more interesting, better quality drinks.


Here are a few examples of spirits with the backstory and history to appeal this new age of drinkers:


BLUE BOTTLE GIN - Created by a University student when studying the Blue Bottle fly

LA HORA AZUL TEQUILA - Translated from the Mexican phrase “From the Centre of the Moon”

VANA TALLINN - Vana Tallinn embodies the true sense of adventure from 1960’s Estonia 

VILLA MASSA LIMONCELLO - Developed in the 1990’s and grown in Sorrento from organic citrus groves




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Limoncello of Sorrento

12 May 2017 12:20:26

Limoncello, meaning ‘lemon liquor’ is a sweet liqueur made using lemon peels steeped in neutral alcohol until the essential oils are released. This gives the liquid it's trademark yellow colour. It is then blended with a simple sugar syrup.

Villa Massa Limoncello is created from a traditional family recipe passed down through generations, solely using lemons grown in the Sorrento peninsula known for their thick and fragrant peel and powerful essential oils. The Massa family take great pride in their dedication to keep the production of ‘Limoncello of Sorrento’ alive.

Did you know? Limoncello was originally trademarked in Capri in the 1900s but there is evidence showing production of Limoncello much earlier than that.


Homemade in most Italian households originally, Villa Massa has been creating a sympathetic interpretation to these humble beginnings for over twenty years. Respecting tradition and care for the precious materials (the lemons of Sorrento are now recognised by the European Union as a product with ‘Protected Geographical Indication (PGI)’) to create a truly refreshing drink.



An all-natural lemon liqueur, Villa Massa has an intense joyful colour of yellow and white hues. The aroma evokes each nuances of the lemon, the tree, the freshly squeezed juice and the scent of fresh zest and citrus flower. A natural pure taste, smooth and delicate with clean harmony of lemon. Best served cold as a digestive, or with tonic, fresh basil and plenty of ice.


Available online at Drinks21.

Find out more about Villa Massa.


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Taste Wine In Four Easy Steps

24 Apr 2017 11:27:25

Do you dread that moment in a restaurant when the server asks you if you want to taste the wine?  In your head you’re screaming no, but you dutifully pick up the glass give it a sniff and a swirl without really knowing what you’re doing. 


Wine tasting doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to go on an expensive course (unless you really want to). It’s also hugely subjective but if you can get to grips with the basics and know what to look out for, you’ll be well on your way to knowing what you like and what you don’t like. Every palate is different.


So what do you need to get started?

  • Your brain
  • A glass of wine
  • And if you’re feeling very professional, perhaps a notebook 





Here’s our guide to looking like an expert:

1. Look at the wine in your glass


Take a moment to observe your wine – this is when you can give it a swirl. Clue – most of the answers you’re looking for will be on the bottle.  People might tell you to look at the ‘legs’ of the wine, this simply means the tears that drip down the side of the glass when you swirl it.  What do they tell you? Not much, they are just a representation of how much alcohol is in a wine and the alcohol percentage is already printed on the wine label.



2. Smell your wine to identify aromas

In the beginning it pays to think big and obvious.  You’re not going to catch a whiff of freshly cut grass or rose petals when you’re just starting out. Can you pick out citrus, tropical fruits or apple flavours when tasting white wine? If tasting red wine think about different types of berries and spices.

When smelling wine a good technique is to alternate between small, short sniffs and slow, long sniffs.  It sounds a bit mad but it helps get past the ‘wine’ smell.



3. Taste  - now it’s time to sip and savor


You taste wine for three key reasons (other than pure enjoyment of course).  Our tongues can detect salty, sour, sweet, or bitter.  Take a sip and see if you detect any of the following (depending on whether it’s red or white) acidic overtones, citrus, berry, or herbal overtones.  You can’t smell sweetness, so this is something you will only be able to detect when tasting.

Texture and length are also important.  Texture is mostly derived from the alcohol content. A dry and heavy red wine will have a different texture than a sweet and light white wine. Length is how long the taste lasts from the moment it touches your palate to after it has been swallowed.



4. Think and take note



Now you need to reflect on what you’ve discovered!  Ask yourself – did you like it? If yes…why? If you didn’t like it…why not?  If you find a wine you really like it’s well worth writing it down so you don’t forget it.


They say practice makes perfect.  So to get more comfortable tasting wines and picking out the different elements why not organise some informal wine tasting sessions with friends. Get together a different selection of wines and taste them side-by-side.  Go forth and enjoy.




Shop wine at Drinks21 including Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Villa Maria and more.


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Say it with Clicquot

13 Apr 2017 21:51:48

It’s not enough these days to say it with JUST a bottle of something special. You have to think outside the box, or inside it, as it were. Introducing the newest addition to the Veuve Clicquot army of must haves in their Rosé collection – Clicq’Call.


Got something to say?

Whatever the occasion, we think we can help! The newest addition to the Veuve Clicquot Rosé collection arrives in a box with a built-in speaker that you can use to record your own personal message, which your loved ones can then play back over and over. Plus, have fun with the letters supplied to personalise your gift even further.



The Gift

The box contains a bottle of Veuve Clicquot NV Brut Rosé champagne, created in 1818 by adding red wine to Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label champagne. The result was Veuve Clicquot Rosé, a fruity and full-bodied expression of the Veuve Clicquot style. A delicious blend, and a firm favourite already among our customers. 

"This is the new go-to gift, so say goodbye to the greeting card forever!" - Veuve Cliquot



Available online at Drinks21 or Find out more about the release. 


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The Warner Edwards Collection

6 Apr 2017 14:00:00

Enviously located in the picturesque village of Harrington, Northamptonshire, Warner Edwards are innovative craft distillers and creators of award winning, hand-made artisan gins.



Produced on Falls Farm in Northamptonshire in a 200-year-old barn, Warner Edwards distil a range of small batch gins using their farm’s natural spring water, grain spirit and home-grown ingredients. Every single bottle is handcrafted by the small team at Falls Farm, from the filling to the wax seal and label finishing.


Local to the core

The dream at Warner Edwards had always been to create a product that was farm-made, hand-finished and steeped in provenance. So they had the idea of distilling spirits and creating bespoke flavours using the farm and its hedgerow botanicals. In 2012 their craft distillery was born.

Now five years on Warner Edwards are, in their own words, still “passionate about quality, flavour and authenticity with a core goal to save the world from mediocre gin!”


Our Collection




HARRINGTON DRY GIN is based on barley spirit flavoured with eleven botanicals sourced from farms across Wales and England; including juniper, elderflower and coriander. 







 VICTORIA'S RHUBARB GIN uses a variety of rhubarb originally grown in Queen Victoria's garden, hence the name, as well as their Harrington Dry Gin. 






 HARRINGTON SLOE GIN combines their Dry Gin with the main three botanicals of juniper, coriander and cardamom, and handpicked sloes from England and Wales.







 BOTANICAL GARDEN MELISSA LEMON BALM GIN is the first within the botanical garden range, made with Lemon Balm (a member of the mint family) also known by its name “Melissa Officinalis”. She produces an herbaceous explosion on the palate that is fresh and distinctive with a beautiful citrus and minty finish.




Find out more about the collection.

You can view the full collection and purchase online at Drinks21.


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The Heart of Edinburgh Gin

30 Mar 2017 12:37:01

It isn’t often a spirit maker can say they reside in the very heart of a city, but nestled in the West End of Edinburgh you’ll find just that, a hidden wonderland of small batch gin distillation.

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Down The Rabbit Hole

Edinburgh Gin distillery, hidden beneath Lothian Road, is a destination quite unlike any other. The distillery, which houses a 200-year-old copper pot still, produces small batches of gin using only the finest juniper berries to create a premium gin with a Scottish twist.

The Twist

The distillery takes advantage of a bounty of Scottish botanicals available. According to the company, 100% Scottish Grain is distilled and combined with a range of botanicals. The classic botanicals, - juniper, coriander, angelica – are all used but it’s the carefully selected Scottish botanicals that give Edinburgh Gin its unique flavour.”

Two Stills

Edinburgh Gin talk fondly of their stills, almost as though they were individuals. Caledonia is tall and elegant, Flora is rotund. Of course, it is the magic these two stills weave that produce such spectacularly memorable gins.


Shop the full range of Edinburgh Gins at Drinks21:

EDINBURGH GIN is the original small batch gin from the distillery and it uses only the finest juniper berries to create a premium gin with a Scottish twist.  

PLUM AND VANILLA LIQUEUR uses the juiciest plums, macerated with delicate Madagascan vanilla and infused with the award-winning Edinburgh Gin.

EDINBURGH SEASIDE GIN is a special bottling of Edinburgh Gin which has been infused with British coastal botanicals.

EDINBURGH RHUBARB & GINGER GIN is distilled in small batches in the heart of Scotland combining crystal clear Edinburgh Gin and tangy spring crop rhubarb, macerated with warming oriental ginger.

EDINBURGH CANNONBALL GIN is inspired by Edinburgh's naval heritage, the Navy Strength Cannonball Gin really packs a punch.


Destination Edinburgh

If you find yourself in Edinburgh, you can take in the distillery’s impressive collection of exquisite gins or take part in one of their tours ranging from ‘Basic’ through to ‘Connoisseur’ or even end a tour by making your very own gin.


For a taste of Edinburgh bottled, purchase here.




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A Case for Red Wine this Easter

22 Mar 2017 12:51:10

Few holidays evoke the pure indulgence of the humble Easter Sunday. A day where you can eat as much chocolate as you want with no judgement, and the cheaper the better. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade. With this, we propose the case for red wine. Not that you’ll need much convincing. After all, red wine and chocolate practically go hand in hand. But let’s make it a tradition we say.

douglas laing whisky drinks21


Nothing quite says grown-up happiness like a large glass of red and here at Drinks21 we have a good the selection:

ERRAZURIZ PINOT NOIR An attractive cherry-red colour, on the nose this Pinot Noir displays a nice aromatic intensity that evokes cherries, floral notes, and an earthy, minty tone. Crisp and refined on the palate, with a fruity character intermingled with smoky notes from the barrel aging. A well-rounded wine with good persistence and an enjoyable finish.

TRIVENTO RESERVE MALBEC This Malbec features a plum and raspberry jam aromas blended with vanilla notes which come from the French Oak Barrels where the wine has been aged. To taste this wine has an intense violet hue flavours and a velvety finish.

CONO SUR BICICLETA PINOT NOIR A fresh, voluptuous Pinot with rich notes of cherry, blackberries and plum together with a balanced, ripe palate.

D'ARENBERG THE CADENZIA Intense red cherry appearance when poured suggests a full bodied complex dry red. Intense red cherry, cranberry, kirsch notes appear with a subtle background of pepper, stone fruit kernels and nutty spiced oak. The palate is full and lush dominated with red fruits intertwined with meaty potpourri characters, savoury dry herb notes and rounded soft tannins balanced with silky acidity.


So, cheers to you this Easter with a chunk of chocolate egg in one hand and a glass of Pinot Noir in the other. If you’re still not convinced, why not check out the rest of our wine selection, all available for super-fast delivery.

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