Have you been wondering why some of the whisky fraternity are looking a little shabby lately? Are they just lazy? Is designer stubble and the 5 o'clock shadow coming back in to fashion? Are they paying some sort of strange homage to Freddie Mercury or George Michael? The answer may be 'yes' to some of these but the majority be a 'no'. The answer is called Whisky 4 Movember.
Whisky 4 Movember is an official UK charity that is raising money during the course of November by growing moustaches (or a 'mo' - get it?) for the whole month. The group is made up of people from across the whisky industry - writers, bloggers, drinkers and general moustache afficianados! If the progress that some are making is anything to go by, then some of the final results will be hilarious. Ultimately, it is a fun way to raise money for charity and more details (and progress photos of those taking part) and the chance to donate can be found at www.whisky4movember.com. You can also follow progress on Twitter @whisky4movember.
Whisky 4 Movember is part of the larger Movember charity group. Movember's aim is to raise awareness and money for a series of male health issues, with the primary cause being The Prostate Cancer Charity. The idea for Movember originated in Australia and the charity was set up in 2004. Only 30 people took part and grew moustaches in November 2004 but its popularity has grown massively since.
Last year 173,000 men across the world joined in and grew their facial hair, raising a staggering £14 million for Movember's mens health partner charities. To date Movember has helped raise over £30 million and going forward they hope to continue growing (no pun intended!) and raising money to help men with the early detection of health issues such as depression and prostate cancer, diagnosis, effective treatment and emotional backup. For further details or to donate to Movember then check out www.movember.com.
To commemorate the event, Whisky 4 Movember have released an 11 years old vatted whisky called the M'Orkney. We were lucky enough to try a sample of this whisky and our review can be found below. The M'Orkney is released with five different labels, each named after a classic style of moustache - The Handlebar, The Dali, The Chevron (modelled on whisky writer Dave Broom's mo apparently!), The Walrus (modelled on Serge Valentin of WhiskyFun's mo) and The Pencil. There are only 984 bottles in total and they are available at the bargain price of £29.95 plus £6.95 for postage within the UK. They can be ordered from www.masterofmalt.com with all proceeds going directly to Movember UK.
The M'Orkney 11 years old
This whisky is made up from the two distilleries on the Orkney islands, that are located of the north Highland coast of Scotland - Highland Park and Scapa. The minimum age of whisky within it is 11 years of age, although much of the whisky is older than that.
This whisky is a caramel amber colour and the nose is enticing. There is a lovely mix of dried fruits (think of raisins and candied orange peel especially), malty cereal grains, sweet honey and nuts (imagine a creamy type of nut like an almond or hazelnut). Through this comes some soft, delicate smokiness that has the signature floral edge of Highland Park (this is achieved as they put heather from the surrounding moorland in with the peat when they are burning it to dry the barley). On the palate, this is viscous, creamy and slightly oily, yet it feels fresh, vibrant and juicy. There is lots of sweet malted barley and this is joined by the other elements from the nose – dried fruits, honey, nuts (although this is slightly more praline-like here) and that floral smokiness. Also, a touch of spiciness comes through that is reminiscent of cinnamon or nutmeg. The finish is long and rich, starting off sweet, malty and fruity before slightly dry, smoky and woody at the end.
This is a lovely whisky and offers exceptional value for money for £29.95 a bottle. It certainly tastes older than the stated 11 years of age and offers a complex, balanced and very enjoyable dram. As stated previously, it can only be ordered from www.masterofmalts.com with all the money going to the Movember charity and the mens health groups that they support.