Binner de Fles: Kom op Meisje

There’s a translation as to what the title says. But as I often say “I’m not Google…” I also think this might also be the hardest goodbye. Gulp.

This post has been in my draft folder for months… oh Mum, I miss you….

The last year has been a bit of a blur. Work has kept me busy, maybe too busy on occasion, especially since the end of October, yet despite that, the thoughts are there.

Thoughts & feelings that left me numb. Missing life, missing what truly makes my heart happy. Grieving for Mum. Missing friends… travel. It all. And I want it all back now. Right now.

And so, August. I’m sat here, it’s 1:30am and sleep is escaping me once more. These things happen.. and the worst thing to do if you’re restless is to stay in bed. So I’m sat in the dark on my sofa. I really wish I had a dram in my hand, but I want to go grab a sunrise at 05:53 so a clear head is needed, what else is needed is one of the gorgeous Ibiza sunrises I saw 3 years ago… they were special. And I miss them.

Thankfully I have a day off tomorrow, so I don’t have to concern myself with being asleep for that. I guess I have been preoccupied with the heartbreaking task of clearing the remnants of Mum’s life from what was the family home.

Sadly a lot of things were taken without consent (how some people can live with themselves is beyond me – but Karma will look after that for me.) So Saturday was an early start. Two rooms have been dealt with so far, and another few weekends will see it complete I’m sure.

I know I won’t miss the house itself. Too many ghosts and exhausting memories that rattle round the rooms.

What I will miss is Mum. I guess I was always her little helper. And this is the last time I will clean her house for her. That really broke my flipping heart on Saturday… thankfully I was able to stop at the side of a road on my way home.

Missing the physical contact (hugs) and comfort of loved ones is unimaginably hard… this reminded me again how I crave that contact.

Well it’s Monday evening. It was a lousy start to the day weather wise, so no sunrise today, and after finally getting to sleep till after 3am, sleep was the friend that needed my attention today.

Saturday’s conversations were mixed, some childhood memories, some chat about the here and now… hopes & dreams and my passions (some of them.)

I found photos of Mum I’ve never seen, photos of family I’ve never met. Daft photos that will never see the light of day, and photos that remind me to keep going and never ever give up.

It’s Tuesday now, and despite the mist I decided to “grab me a sunrise”… it was more than worth it as I was rewarded with a view that blurred things out. The normal view a memory. A clean slate. That thought…

It’s Wednesday once again. A couple of weeks have passed It’s early. It’s 6:17 am or thereabouts. Another day of house clearing has passed (last Saturday)…heavy lifting (while those that could lift more easily did sweet FA.)

Memories falling from the pages of photo albums. A shell is starting to emerge from the remnants of 90 years of life. Compassion in every task, yet, a duty to get the job completed. Tick tock. This is the last part of the long goodbye. It started in 2015, early in the year. I tried Mum. I begged and pled, and well… I tried.

I’ve gotta say, that those that truly know me… I’m sure they’ll agree, I’m not one to give up the fight. I’m still waiting !!

I may go quiet. I might walk away, sometimes that’s for my benefit. Not yours. Self protection. Yep, it’s a thing.

Anyway that was Wednesday night’s thought. I eventually fell into a sweet dream that I was ripped from at 6:15am Thursday. Bloody hell, let a woman sleep.

So, it’s Saturday evening once again. I was sat writing this in my thoughts, so grabbed my phone to continue. I know which whisky I’m pouring to finish this off. That’s one thing solved. Just one more Saturday and I can say goodbye to the house one last time. The terrors (touched on in a previous blog) can be boxed up and dumped from my mind as I drive away. No looking back. The other’s can decorate the house and tend the garden…me doing it again would break me. I left the house immaculate time and time again. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Time to look after me, and my heart. Let the thoughts that soothe and thrill me be my guide… start again. Maybe.

Hit the pause button. Let life begin playing again… the songs, the scents, the tastes. ALL OF IT. The moments & memories I protect so fiercely will touch my soul. Draw me out… one thing I need to do is breathe again. Hopefully, and believe me I’ve asked people to keep EVERYTHING crossed, next week might just help with that. I’ve been so touched by thanks and gratitude recently. Words of praise have made me realise my worth once more. Smoggy camaraderie…never mind the bollocks, ha ha. A boost I needed and didn’t think I’d get.

Sunday. Dram still Inside the Bottle. One job that needs doing will be done this day. My garage is nearly back to as it should be…Might as well use the space efficiently eh?

Another weekend has passed, we should have been there doing what’s needed. My mind firmly elsewhere. The distraction would’ve soothed me. Alas… alas. So next Saturday will be the final push.

I went for a walk at the beach. Met a mate. I wish it had been a secluded beach, alone. Just me and the sand, the breeze encouraging the waves to froth and twist… nothing but sea between me and the horizon. The beautiful nothingness of it. No effort. No obstacles.

I’ve fought to escape the weight of the sadness that’s followed and pulled at me for so long…I don’t want it. I never have. Who would want it? Who would cause that sadness too? Add to it? …the way to escape is to walk away. Simple. Ah that everything in life was so simple…though, I do firmly believe life & it’s myriad decisions can be easy. It’s blocking out the bad stuff.

That’s the me that trying to be heard. To be seen. To be accepted.

It’s October 15th now… a cool morning disrupted by being awake from 2-4am. Sleep, please be my friend once more. All those years being on alert listening for Mum have ingrained themselves into my pattern. A pattern that needs breaking.

Another day helping carry out your wishes Mum, at least two of us realise that. A dreadful day. A day of disbelief… a day of silent sorrow.

The car pulled away…

Like a bottle of whisky you’ve opened, enjoyed, savoured and yes, loved. The contents depleting each time you pour a little more. You see the bottom of the bottle coming, then before your eyes, it’s gone. A one off. It’s irreplaceable…

30th November… I cried for you again today, my one time partner in crime. It’s coming up on a year since you slipped away, since Covid-19 stole you from us. I’ll remember the fun times with a smile, I’ll remember your strength. I’ll remember the good and all that you taught me.

I’ll make damn sure 2022 fills me with happiness and laughter, and most importantly more smiles.

So, come on girl. You got this… (note to self.)

The first ever selfie with Mum x

#WhiskySanta returns to Master of Malt with over £500k-worth of Prizes to give away this Christmas – the Biggest Year Yet!

#WhiskySanta returns to Master of Malt with over £500k-worth of prizes to give away this Christmas – the biggest year yet!

Everyone’s favourite multi-award-winning Christmas campaign is back – #WhiskySanta is returning to Master of Malt stronger than ever with more than £500,000-worth of delicious drinks to give away!

#WhiskySanta has returned to Master of Malt for another year of gift-giving, and it’s the most impressive year yet! For 2021 the multi-award-winning online campaign has launched earlier than ever, with the biggest haul in its eight-year history – this year, #WhiskySanta has got over £500,000 of incredible whiskies, gins, rums, and more to give away. Customers can even win their Christmas shop for free!

Throughout the next two months until Christmas Eve, Master of Malt customers can get their hands on a whole load of festive treats in a number of ways, all thanks to #WhiskySanta.

Christmas wishes come true

Across Master of Malt’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook channels, bottles will be given away to people using the hashtag every single day. Customers can ‘wish’ for anything listed on the Master of Malt website that catches their eye – from a spread of over 10,000 products – and if they’re lucky, #WhiskySantawill grant their wish!

‘Wish’ buttons can be found next to every product on the Master of Malt website. Users can simply press the button, and a pre-populated Twitter or Facebook post will appear ready to be published, and added to #WhiskySanta’s digital wishlist.

Users can also ‘wish’ specifically on Instagram too, by screenshotting their favourite bottle on Master of Malt’s daily Story, and posting it to their feed with the hashtag #WhiskySanta.

Delicious freebies for MoM shoppers

The treats don’t end there, as #WhiskySanta has some gifts lined up to give away with orders on the Master of Malt website, too! In his boozy Santa sack, he’s got over 50,000 30ml drams and 50ml bottles to delight with, as well as Master of Malt Gift Vouchers (up to £50), and even the chance for shoppers to get their whole order for free!

Watch out for a message on the order confirmation page, and accept #WhiskySanta’s offer of a free festive treat if it takes your fancy – but with brands like Bathtub Gin, Benriach, and Talisker among the mouthwatering selection, why wouldn’t it? It truly is the season.

Super Wishes are back!

That’s right, Super Wishes are back and they’re bigger and better than ever. Super Wishes give customers the chance to ask #WhiskySanta for extra-special, incredibly rare bottles from top producers each week. These will be revealed throughout the next two months on the Master of Malt site, social and blog, along with all the details on how to enter.

In a bumper year, #WhiskySanta has eight super-exclusive Super Wishes up his sleeve, kicking off with a bottle of Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition worth £1,500! There are spectacular offerings from Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, and more still in store – and even a jaw-dropping 50-year-old whisky to be given away – but we don’t want to spill all of #WhiskySanta’s secrets just yet…

WORLD WHISKY DAY: Celebrate with These Four Whiskies from Around the Globe

Press Release:

Don’t forget to celebrate World Whisky Day on the 15th May with these four delicious whiskies and start your tasting journey around the world.

England – Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky

English whiskies are growing in popularity and a great whisky to sample is the award-winning Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky. Launched in 2017 it is the first whisky ever distilled in the Cotswolds. Rich and fruity, Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky is sippable with notes of honey, Seville orange marmalade and dark red fruits. The perfect gift for a whisky lover.

RRP: £39 for 700 ml. ABV 46%. Available from: selected Sainsbury’s stores,, Harrods, Laithwaites and

India – Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Malt Whisky

Rampur Double Cask Single Malt is a hand-crafted single malt whisky matured in hand-selected American Bourbon barrels as well as European Oak Sherry casks chosen by Master Distiller, Anup Barik.

Distilled in traditional copper pot stills, the malt matures for two-thirds of its life in handpicked American Bourbon Barrels and a third in European Oak Sherry Casks at India’s largest distillery and is then non-chill-filtered and bottled at 45%. The combination of Rampur’s unique distilling and the double cask maturation process, sees this luxury Single Malt taking traditional Indian heritage and rooting it in contemporary culture.

Delicate balsamic vanilla notes from the American white oak compliment the full-bodied aroma of tropical fruits, smooth malty tones and oaky notes whilst rich caramel, dried dark fruits and spiced tonality from the European oak add to the depth of flavour.

RRP: £60 for a 70cl bottle ABV:  45%. Available from: and

Ireland – Shanky’s Whip

A brand-new Irish whiskey-based liqueur, Shanky’s Whip was launched in the UK last month. It is based on a combination of Irish spirits and aged pot still whiskey, blended in with the natural flavour of vanilla infused with caramel.

If you are looking for something a bit different to celebrate the ‘water of life’, Shanky’s Whip won’t disappoint. A smooth, black spirit with a rich and whippy flavour dominated by spicy Irish notes and can be enjoyed in a variety of cocktails such as an Irish Old Fashioned, Cold Whip or The Long and the Short of It or just On the Rocks.

RRP £24.  ABV: 33%. Instagram: @shankyswhip

Available from Amazon and Master of Malt

Scotland – J&B Rare

One of Europe’s favourite blended whiskies J&B Rare.  This approachable and accessible Scotch appeals to whisky connoisseurs and ‘new world’ drinkers alike. The consistent high quality of the blend, which is light in colour with a smooth and elegant taste, makes it the perfect whisky to be enjoyed as a dram or for an at home cocktail this World Whisky Day.

J&B Rare Whisky is distilled, blended and bottled in Scotland. A blend of 42 malt and grain whiskies, the heart of J&B Rare is formed from the finest Speyside single malts: Knockando, Auchroisk, Strathmill and Glen Spey and is expertly blended to create an approachable, rich and complex flavour. The round, fruity, unique and distinctive taste of the fine malt whiskies is delicately balanced by carefully chosen grain whiskies which gives J&B Rare its distinctive character.
RRP: £22.50, ABV: 40%J&B Rare is available from: Waitrose stores, and Justerini & Brooks

Mexico – Storywood Speyside 14 Añejo Tequila

If you are looking to try something totally different this World Whisky Day Storywood Speyside 14 Añejo Tequila would be a great alternative.

Storywood, a tequila with the heart of Mexico and the soul of Scotland, was created by founder Michael Ballantyne who was born in Scotland and raised in Texas.  After an unexpected meeting with Master Distiller Luis Trejo at La Cofradia Distillery in Mexico, Michael began the journey of this delicious tequila by expertly ageing 100% agave liquid in single malt whisky casks from Speyside and creating the world’s first sipping tequilas.

The whisky-like characteristics drawn from the wood mean that Storywood Tequilas can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. Award-winning Storywood Tequila Speyside 14 Añejo is smooth and hiding in every deep amber sip are notes of toasted oak, roasted nuts and treacle toffee.

Storywood Speyside 14 Añejo Tequila: RRP £47.45 for 700ml. ABV: 40%

Available from: and With this excellent selection of whiskies celebrating World Whisky Day will be a great way to travel around the world!

Pour and Sip Club: Women in Whisky

I was sent this lovely set from Master of Malt’s Pour and Sip Club to review for International Women’s Day. Although that was on the 8 March this year, I have now had a chance to sit and enjoy them…after all it’s women’s day every day, no?

If you haven’t seen these lovely sets before, then I can say, if you get the chance to buy one and explore the contents, you won’t be disappointed.

Inside the pack, there are five 3cl samples, and two Glencairn glasses safely tucked away below them. So, whether you are a whisky drinker of old, or someone new, there is bound to be something to pique your interest. It’s a lovely set to perhaps start someone’s journey, and we all started somewhere didn’t we?

This particular set celebrates the women in the whisky industry…

The samples in this set are:

Compass Box – Juveniles Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 46%

Roe & Co. – Blended Irish Whiskey 45%

Deanston 18 year old – Single Malt Scotch Whisky 46.3%

Scallywag – Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 46%

Bulleit – Frontier Whiskey 10 year old 45.6%

Compass Box – Juveniles Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 46%

Pleasantly sweet with honey and vanilla on the nose, it is delightfully fresh and inviting. The palate delivers on the vanilla front, with a lovely apple kick, not necessarily sweet, a little tart if I’m honest. There’s a slight pepperiness too. This blend is marriage of whisky from Strathmill, Balmenach, Clynelish and Glendullan from refill hogsheads, re-charred hogsheads and both first-fill and refill sherry butts.

Roe & Co. – Blended Irish Whiskey 45%

A soft delicate nose, loads of honey bringing a lovely sweetness. A hint of oak too… There’s a hint of pepper, mingling with vanilla. A kick of heat on the palate, wakes the senses a little. And the woody spice is there on the palate. This sits well with the vanilla.

Quite a short finish on this for me.

Deanston 18 year old – Single Malt Scotch Whisky 46.3%

Lovely delicious scent of a warm Danish pastries, lovely juicy fruit scents. A little hint of buttery notes, with vanilla. A lovely smooth palate, a little waxy, there’s bitter orange/ citrusy-ness and some ginger heat that then wakes your senses. A warming finish with oak spiciness.

Scallywag – Blended Malt Scotch Whisky 46%

Soft scents of caramel and vanilla on the nose, it gives an almost creamy hint. Cinnamon? Maybe a little ginger… the palate is warming with ginger, and it’s a little drying on the palate. The vanilla is there along with bitter dark chocolate.

A nice subtle finish.

Bulleit – Frontier Whiskey 10 year old 45.6%

Loads of dried fruit on the nose and a little orange. Hints of wood too. The palate is rich with vanilla and the dried fruit again, there’s a lovely spice too, its got the faintest hint of cherry. The finish is sweet.

These whiskies have made mention of the following women within the whisky industry, namely Jill Boyd who joined Compass Box in 2018. Roe & Co. who have an all-female team with Lora Hemy as head distiller and Caroline Martin, master blender.

Deanston have Julieann Fernandez as their master blender. Cara Laing, the director of whisky at Douglas Laing, is grand-daughter of Fred. Finally Eboni Major from Bulleit, who joined Diageo in 2015.

Many thanks to Master of Malt and the Pour and Sip Club for the opportunity to try these.


1st October 2020  Tomatin, the award-winning Highland distillery, has today announced the release of a limited-edition 2006 Fino expression, launching exclusively to the UK market.

The 2006 Fino expression was initially matured for 13 years at Tomatin Distillery on the 10thNovember 2006, and moved to the finest Spanish Fino Sherry butts on 12th November 2015. 

Fino’s bright flor and nutty flavours, along with Tomatin’s malty backbone and fresh fruits are in perfect harmony. The whisky has notes of baked apple and almond cake, toffee sauce and lemon, followed by the more savoury flavours of freshly baked sourdough, olive oil and baking spice, which results in a silky yet fresh finish. Non-chill filtered and natural colour, the limited run has produced just 1,691 70cl bottles (46% abv) of this 13-year-old whisky, and will be available online and from specialist retailers across the UK from today.

Graham Eunson, Master Distiller at Tomatin, said: “We strive to produce remarkable expressions that appeal to not only our existing customers, but to a wider audience too. The 2006 Fino is a great example of our dedication to craft and excellence. The combination of both sweet and savoury notes gives a finish like no other, and we hope it will entice both whisky enthusiasts and novices to try this new edition.”

Tomatin’s ability to experiment with creatively finished expressions comes from the distillery’s exceptional wood policy, which ensures there is a wide range of casks sourced from prestigious partners within the industry.

To align with the 2006 Fino launch and to celebrate Graham Eunson’s 30th year in the industry, Tomatin Single Malt will be hosting a live tasting session on Friday 16th October at 7:30pm, on the TomatinYouTube channel. A competition will also be running on the Tomatin social channels for viewers to be in for a chance of winning a tasting kit so that they can join in with the tasting event.

The limited edition 2006 Fino expression is available to purchase from select specialist retailers across the UK from 1st October, for further information please visit: