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Cocktail Making with a World Class Liqueur

by Michael Orson     5. August 2010 13:54
A green cocktail

A unique discovery was made some time ago in the world of booze; it was found that by mixing alcohol, sugar, and various flavourings of innumerable origin, a delicious concoction would be yours for the partaking. Safe in this knowledge, Edmond Briottet was founded in 1836 and the firm garnered a happy reputation thanks to its great success with Cassis and a variety of liqueurs. In fact, Briottet boasts a tremendous catalogue of liqueurs made with an extraordinary selection of fruits, nuts and even seeds!

 

We were naturally keen to stock as many as we could, so the other day a shipment arrived at the MoM underground lair. We watched it trundling along the mineshaft from the super-secret helipad and there, before us, was a veritable rainbow of créme de this, and liqueur de le bloomin’ that. More...

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Categories : Liqueurs


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A Decade of Ardbeg Whisky

by Michael Orson     23. July 2010 18:08
Ardbeg at The Worx

It’s been a decade since the inception of the Ardbeg Committee (officially founded on the 1st January 2000). It’s also been ten years since the release of Ardbeg 10 Year Old, so 2010’s a pretty momentous year for the distillery - we’re sure you’ll agree.

True to form, Ardbeg have been putting on some fantastic celebrations to mark their reaching double figures. We were lucky enough to be invited to one such shindig at The Worx last Wednesday, and we wanted to recount what turned out to be a cracking evening... More...

Cattier Champagne

by Michael Orson     20. July 2010 13:47
Cattier Champagne

One day we went on an expedition into our warehouse, looking to see what wonders and secrets it might hold. It’s a dark, ominous place, with towering piles of boxes, creaking noises all around, and a creature known only as “the thing” – it lives on malt and the occasional placement student…

Kitted out in leather jackets and fedora hats, we’d reached the farthest corner of the building (we’d only been this far once – when scaling the north face of Mount Talisker, a leaning tower of Island malt). Pushing a curtain of cobwebs aside with a bullwhip, our jaws dropped. Before us there stood a good-sized pile of our house champagne, Cattier Brut, covered in dust.More...

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Categories : News | Wine


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Jefferson's Bourbon

by Michael Orson     19. July 2010 12:57
Jefferson’s Bourbon

With some great new products in, we decided to a do a quick tasting. We now stock a couple of Jefferson's bourbons, and this morning we put the eponymous whiskies through their paces.

Both were Gold Medal winners at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and both are produced by small batch distiller McLain & Kyne (notable as one of few Americans distilleries to spell whisky in the Scottish style - sans the 'E').

Both are also available as 3cl samples too...More...

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Categories : Drinks by the Dram | News | Whisky


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Buy a sample of the Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Scottish Classic

by Michael Orson     14. July 2010 14:10
Glenfarclas 40 Year Old Scottish Classic

Glenfarclas added a 40 year old to their core range this year. A bold move like this is testament to Glenfarclas’ incredible stocks, and most distilleries would struggle to maintain production of a core range 40 year old bottling.

It was set apart from the year’s other high end releases by two factors. One was quality; we’ve sung its praises before so we won’t go into too much detail, but suffice to say it’s a stunner! The second factor was price; most whiskies in this age range (particularly from stalwart premium distilleries like Glenfarclas) retail at a minimum of a grand. Amazingly, you can find Glenfarclas 40 at just £289 (from us of course!). More...

Bourbon and American Whiskey

by Michael Orson     1. July 2010 09:45

 Small Batch Bourbon

The American whiskey fraternity is enjoying the burgeoning success and ever-increasing popularity of a thing called craft-distilling. There’s always been something intrinsically exciting that surrounds artisan food and drink, and whiskey is no exception. In fact, the spirits industry is abuzz with new releases of wonderfully packaged and gloriously quaint bourbons and other American whiskeys and we thought we’d throw in our two cents. You see, whiskey really is a spirit of provenance and it requires great attention to detail. You simply can’t go about mass-producing the stuff without due care and diligence, and that’s exactly what the new breed of craft distillers are tapping into, and they’re creating some of America’s best exports. More...

Renegade Rum

by Michael Orson     21. June 2010 14:06

 Renegade Rum Tasting

Cask finishing is rather trendy these days, and it’s becoming a case of the more exotic and unusual the better. Murray McDavid took this to a whole new level with their Renegade Rum range. You see, it’s independently bottled rum with a difference; all of the casks are taken to Islay for maturation at the Bruichladdich distillery, and (this has got ‘laddie’s prints all over it) the rums are “enhanced” in some pretty extraordinary wine casks. They also earn the packaging prize for their handsomely sand-blasted bottles, replete with metal dog tags! More...

Maker’s Mark 46

by Michael Orson     25. May 2010 17:39

 Maker's Mark 46

The Maker’s Mark party line is a stoic stubbornness when it comes to quality and, in more or less every production process, Maker’s use slower and often out-dated techniques to maintain theirs as an incredibly smooth and supple bourbon.

Aside from production, the grain selection is a big factor in the overall flavour. Maker’s Mark is what’s called a “wheated bourbon” - distilled from a mashbill with no rye, and a higher content of wheat in its place. Rye is a spicy, heavy grain – like the Iron Maiden of the grain world, and wheat is mellower – like a cereal version of Lionel Richie. The omission of rye makes for a smooth and supple spirit that’s easy like Sunday morning. 

At every step it’s all about reducing harshness and retaining the distinctive character. More...

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Categories : News | Whisky


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Ardbeg Whisky

by Michael Orson     14. May 2010 15:58

 Ardbeg Supernova

After one of the greatest montages in motion picture history (the training sequence in Rocky IV), came the epic fight between Rocky Balboa and Ivan Drago (a fight that ended with a victorious Stallone and also what looked like the beginning of the end of the Cold War).

A similar title fight took place in the whisky world last year, when Bruichladdich flexed its peaty muscles with Octomore, and Ardbeg came back with a well-placed right hook in the form of Supernova – the peatiest Ardbeg yet - weighing in with peating levels of over 100ppm!

The interesting thing was Bruichladdich’s riposte – Octomore 02.1, a monstrously phenolic whisky at 140ppm. The odd thing is, it just doesn’t knock your socks off like Supernova does. The ‘Laddie just doesn’t seem as punchy, and perhaps this is because Bruichladdich’s style is much lighter and fruitier than Ardbeg.

When we first tasted Supernova we were beguiled by the medium weight nose of toffee and tequila. It leads you into a false sense of security. What comes next is a palate entry of mescal, smoked paprika and iodine, and then it develops into the biggest chili hit you’ll ever experience in the world of spirits. It’s just mind-blowing! More...

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Alchemist Whisky

by Michael Orson     12. May 2010 09:13

 Signatory Whisky

Alchemy is one of Science’s earliest precursors; it is the tool the ancients used in the search of the three most desirable treasures known to mankind: gold, eternal life, and infinite knowledge.

 

The early Arab chemists - more conjurers and cooks than scientists - were obsessed with Alchemy’s elusive rewards, but they remained unattainable. They did, however, make one great discovery: alcohol – without which there’d be no whisky!More...

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