Rolling on with our recent trend of bringing new brands to the UK market (and beyond), we are pleased to introduce you to the Spirits of Hven. A Swedish whisky distillery which produces gin and vodka in a most nontraditional way (most gin does not take 2 years to produce), Hven is located on a tiny island that was home to astronomer Tycho Brahe in the 16th Century.
When I imagined the journey to an island off the coast of Sweden in early March, I pictured snow, ice, and travelling in a boat exactly like like the one below.
The London Distillery Company, founded in 2011, that’s 2011, have recently released their first full product, created at their rather nifty Battersea distillery. Their plan, ultimately, is to produce whisky in London for the first time in over a century, but in the meantime we have an exciting new gin brand: Dodd’s Gin.
TLDC’s Darren Rook has often pointed to London’s whisky distilling heritage, with as many as six distilleries operating back in the 1800s. Other cities, such as Liverpool, can make similar claims, and whilst English whisky may still be an unusual concept for some, the revival is already well underway. Indeed, we could soon have 5 English whisky distilleries. London’s gin heritage meanwhile, is “too well known to require a dissertation”, to steal a Dodd phrase.
As Ian McCulloch certainly didn’t say:
We've been up to Filliers terrace,
To see what's a-happening...
They’re mixing up the medici-i-i-ine (Note – not medicine #drinkaware)
And we did like the taste!
The Filliers family have been making jenever near Deinze, not far from Ghent, for more than five generations dating back to the 19th century. More recently, they became the producers of the first double still Belgian whisky, and even more recently, Master of Malt made their fine products available in the UK retail market for the first time ever!
Zonder dank. (That’s Flemish for you’re welcome.)
This week, through thick snow and in the picturesque undulations of Northamptonshire, the Warner Edwards team has been busily bottling up their brand new Harrington Dry Gin – a debut spirit from old Uni pals Sion Edwards and Tom Warner. We’re going to give the gin a road-test shortly, but first some history and background…
Sion and Tom met at university and became good friends from the very beginning, bonding over a love of rugby and the fact they both came from family farms. After graduating, they took on steady jobs and a few years later, feeling slightly bored, decided it was time to embark on a project together, utilising their farming backgrounds.
Whether it's gifts for your gran or a last minute pressie for your bestie, we've got you covered! The holiday season is just about upon us (duck and cover, y'all), and we know you want to avoid the mad rush. So mix yourself a hot toddy, throw an extra log on the fire, put on some Bing Crosby tunes, and let your fingers do the work by perusing our Christmas whisky and spirits gift selection. We're sure you'll find something to suit everyone in your life this Christmas, and maybe—just maybe—you'll find a way to treat yourself, too!
We've taken all the people in your life and put them into neat little categories to save you time and brain power. After all those mince pies and champers and mulled wine, how can you be expected to create a spreadsheet of potential gifts for all your friends and family? Really? Especially when the Downton Abbey Christmas Special is about to come on...More...
All November, we at MoM Towers will be giving away (that’s right, giving!) free Gin! We know you love Gin…everything from the Professor’s Bathtub Gin, to Sipsmith Gin, to Tanqueray Gin, to Hendrick’s Gin… I could go on.
We’ve teamed up with those crafty chaps at The Gin Blog to celebrate their brand-spanking new (and portable!) version of The Ginvent Calendar! Loaded from top to tail with a stable of delicious gins to keep each day in December merry and bright—the first 24 days, that is!
That’s right, Gin Lovers, it’s a Gin Advent Calendar (get it? Ginvent??) and we’re giving away a full-sized bottle version of each of the precious drams inside the 24 doors of the calendar. To win, all you have to do is enter!
Published today – an open letter from Tunbridge-Wells-Based manufacturer, The Handmade Cocktail Company to Commander Bond.
The letter reads:
Dear Commander Bond,
I write to you today in the gravest of circumstances.
It has been brought to my attention that you have been seen - in public no less - consuming that most un-gentlemanly of concoctions. Lager-beer.
The exact circumstances of this sighting I have been unable to ascertain - the employee in question ran into my office quite incoherent before crouching in the corner, and having to be chemically ‘calmed’ by our nurse. Contained within his ramblings however, there was definitely something about a train, a bar, and some arms made of ice?
If there was ever a word so god damn awful it’s guaranteed to send a shudder down your spine it is the dreaded p-word – prohibition *a wolf howls in the background and you get the feeling you are being followed by a man with an axe*.
This was the boozeless condition that afflicted the United States of America for thirteen parched years thanks to the tireless campaigning of the American Temperance Movement.
The Movement advocated the ‘Noble Experiment’ to save society from the horrors of alcohol abuse throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and they succeeded in 1920 with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and the Volstead Act which completely banned the sale of alcohol in the U.S.A.
This led to a decade and three years of corruption and violence across America as mobsters and moonshiners sought to bring alcohol illicitly to the understandably thirsty public before the Amendment was finally repealed in 1933.
So – Summer’s here. Sort of. From time-to-time. When it’s not flooding or what-have-you.
With this in mind, Professor Cornelius Ampleforth has turned his attention to perhaps the most quintessentially British drink that there is – the Summer Fruit Cup.
Now – it’s worth noting that there are several other cups on the market, from the Ubiquitous Pimm’s, through several distillers’ own recipes (Chase is rather good – coming soon – watch this space) to the really rather excellent Sipsmith. There was one thing that the Professor had deemed to be missing from all of these concoctions though – pure, distilled Madness*. More...
Well, he’s been at it again.
We try to rein him in from time to time, but the man just won’t listen. After his last couple of excursions into the world of gin - a Sloe Gin made with half a pound of sloes per bottle, and an Old Tom which I’m reasonably sure he made just because he likes drinking Martinezzes (Martinez? Martinezs? Martiniz?), he’s been at it again with this, a cask-aged offering made using the superb Bathtub Gin as the base.
The Professor has acquired a stock of Octave casks (only 50 litres capacity as opposed to the more usual 250 litre hogshead) which have been previously used to store whisky (and prior to that, either Sherry, or Bourbon) for his newest creation. This means that in comparison to other cask-aged gins, there is a significantly higher surface area to volume ratio (roughly double as I’m sure you’ve all worked out by now). This, in turn, means that the gin will interact with the cask faster, making the 6-months-ish that the gin spends in cask lends a fantastic amount of flavour to the gin.
The casks used to store and mature the Gin are used a maximum of twice, before being retired and used as garden furniture / plant pots / props in a massive game of real-life Donkey Kong I’m planning for the warehouse staff in a couple of weeks. Not the last one. Definitely not that.