So it may be gorgeous,
So it may not be famous,
Armagnac, twenty-one years old.
There's a new release in the Master of Malt Single Cask Series charts, and the artist isn't even Scottish! In fact, it's not even whisky. (We do have some more Single Cask whiskies on the way shortly though... and not necessarily all from Scotland...) Extending the range into different spirit types entirely, we're delighted to present our very first independent bottling of Armagnac!
The first George Berry was born in 1787 and, at the impressionable age of 16, made the two-day journey from Exeter to London, in which city he remained. He would become an extremely successful merchant, maintaining a clear focus on wine and spirits – a tradition continued by his sons George Jr. and Henry – the original “Berry Brothers” who took the helm in 1845.
Berry’s young life was not without event. In 1838, he signed up as a special constable during the Chartist riots, alongside his friend, the future Napoleon III. Years later, whilst in exile in London, Napoleon used the very cellars at No. 3 to hold secret meetings. Two storeys below terra, the marvellous stone-walled chamber bears his name, and is home to a collection of ancient bottles from centuries ago, back when a member of the gentry would have his own glass bottle stamped with his seal. The sealed bottles would be taken to No.3 to be filled with wine or spirit, and returned when they were empty. Napoleon’s own bottle still stands in one corner.
Back at the end of May, just before all the busyness and rushing about, Ben and I attended a very special event, which I was no doubt supposed to write about back then. Drawing attention to the fact that I didn’t is probably a terrible decision, but the people must still know, damn it!
The time has come for you to learn all about this: Glenfarclas & Hine 1953 – Auld Alliance.
So – we’ve been doing our Drinks by the Dram whisky sample service for almost a year now, and in that time have decanted ‘loads’ of 700ml bottles into 30ml samples.
700 divided by 30 is 690, so even if one is slightly generous with the 30ml measure, there’s still going to be a little drop or two left over.
My original plan (and I thought it was a darned good one) was to save all of this up, and make some awesome cocktails at the staff Christmas party, or maybe do something at the directors’ joint birthday party, but it turns out that “a little drop or two” multiplied by “loads” is about 37 full-sized bottles-worth.
Even we aren’t that thirsty. More...
For the first time ever, one of France’s big Cognac houses has started putting age statements on its products. Courvoisier have begun labelling Cognacs just like we do in the whisky industry, where the number reflects the age of the youngest spirit in the bottle.
The new age statement releases give a real insight into Cognac, and it’s particularly interesting that Courvoisier should take this route, as the previous designations were very vague indeed. In fact, if you were to ask the average spirits drinker what the difference between a More...