Friday the 13th might be unlucky for some, but not if you follow the world of booze! It’s been an action-packed week, and we have the glorious highlights right here, right now. It’s The Nightcap!
Happy Friday, folks! The weekend is here and it’s time to celebrate with something tasty. Perhaps a delish and straightforward dram. Or, as Beam Suntory was highlighting when we stopped by this week, a Highball in all its glory. Or a G&T, Daiquiri, Margarita… the possibilities are endless. And now we’re distracted.
So. The tumultuous week that was. England tumbled out of the World Cup (at the semi-final stage so we’re still pretty proud here at MoM Towers), Brexit was back in the headlines (did it ever leave?!), and the astonishing Thai Cave rescue came to a successful close (huge respect to the rescue team, and of course we remember Saman Kunan, the brave diver who tragically died while saving others).
Categories : American Whiskey
, Scotch Whisky
, World Whisky
Happy Friday, team! Summer is ON (at least here in the UK) and there’s a certain football match on the agenda tomorrow… But before that comes around, it’s time to get an update from the world of booze. Bring on The Nightcap!
This week brought with it a new month as well as a whole new cohort of booze goings on – and of course a new Dram Club box for our subscribers, too! We took a sneak peek inside those packs of tastiness on Sunday.
On Monday we looked back to Fèis Ìle 2018 when Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills shared his plans for the distillery expansion project, and got part three of Annie’s Bourbon Series – this time it was Rob Samuels from Maker’s Mark in the spotlight.
The Glencairn glass has become synonymous with spirits (whisky in particular), and on Tuesday we met the family behind the business. Sales are soaring – it seems we can’t get enough fancy glassware to hold our boozes!
Potential gin droughts and whiskey made with beavers. It’s all kicking off, isn’t it? The Nightcap is here to fill you in on this week’s booze news.
Look at a calendar. Or your phone. Or the bottom right/top right corner of your computer screen (dependent on what operating system you’re using). Notice that today is Friday. Revel in the joy of Friday, for it ushers in a new edition of The Nightcap, with all its booze news goodness. Revel in it. Go on. We’ll wait.
That’s another week in the books, folks. Now’s the time to crack out a tasty beverage and kick back with our round-up of this week’s booze news – The Nightcap!
You might not have noticed, but a portion of the team has been over on Islay getting involved in all things Fèis Ìle 2018. This has included coopering at Lagavulin, Hawaiian shirts at Bruichladdich, being stranded at Caol Ila, bung curling at Laphroaig, pizza ovens at Bowmore, hoopla at Kilchoman, and many dogs. The festivities continue over the weekend, so keep your eyes peeled for more from the team.
This week, tens of thousands will descend upon the RHS Chelsea Flower Show to marvel at some of Britain’s most brilliant blooms. Indulge your inner Alan Titchmarsh with these fragrant drams – no green fingers necessary.
Chelsea Flower Show has graced the grounds of London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea every year since 1913 (except for during the two World Wars, naturally), in a room large enough to comfortably fit 500 London buses. This five-day floral spectacle is a British institution. It’s Crufts for flower fanatics.
If you’ve got hayfever just thinking about it, why not pay homage to horticulture from the comfort of your very own garden with a dram in-hand? After all, floral doesn’t necessarily have to mean ‘perfumed’.
Last week, East London Liquor Company steamrollered its original crowdfunding target of £750,000 in a mere 24 hours. Here, founder Alex Wolpert reflects on four transformative years, details the distillery’s next steps, and anticipates the future of English whisky with his hyper-local London Rye.
“It’s been quite a week,” a humble Wolpert tells me over the phone, and I don’t doubt him for a second. The gin, vodka and whisky distillery – east London’s first for more than a century – exceeded the £1 million marker of its Crowdcube campaign within four days, with investments ranging from £10 to £175,000. At the time of writing, ELLC is making clear headway on its amended target of £1.5m.
Earlier this year we headed up to Cumbria to check out The Lakes Distillery, the National Park’s first legal spirits producer. It would have been rude not to catch up with Dhavall Gandhi, whisky-maker-in-chief, to find out more about his plans for the (shortly to come of age!) whisky, the distillery’s wood programme, and how the former-Macallan man got into whisky full stop…
Dhavall Gandhi is a busy chap. We were planning to chat in person when Team MoM travelled to The Lakes Distillery earlier this year. We were on a mission to check out the production area, the award-winning Bistro (it’s gooooood) and even meet the on-site alpacas (top tip: they’re fluffsome but not the friendliest. But head up on certain days and you’ll be able to encounter them up close). Gandhi was called away to the US just before the visit – there were casks to check out. His trip sums up the intense focus on wood – more on that later – and meant that when we caught up on the phone shortly afterwards, there was a lot of ground to cover.
Categories : World Whisky
We catch up with Distell’s head of whisky intrinsic excellence, Andy Watts, to chart his intriguing back story, how he created Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky, the World’s Best Grain Whisky, and what the future holds for South African distilling.
What does it take to make a world’s best whisky? The team behind Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky should know. The recent winner of the World’s Best Grain Whisky award was named after Andrew Geddes Bain, an innovative and pioneering Scot who came to South Africa in the mid-1800s and built the famous Bain’s Kloof Pass. Nearly two centuries later, another Brit has made his name in the scenic Western Cape.
Andy Watts, a former English cricketer who played first-class cricket for Derbyshire and Boland in South Africa, now works for Distell as head of whisky intrinsic excellence and is a man who had a lot to celebrate at the World Whisky Awards 2018. Not only did his creation Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky win in a category it had previous success in 2013, but Watts himself was awarded the prestigious Master Distiller/Blender of the Year. We sat down with him to talk all things whisky and much more besides…
Categories : World Whisky
The concept of terroir in whisky has become a real talking point over the last few years – and no brand demonstrates sense of place more eloquently than Brenne. Professional ballerina-turned-whisky entrepreneur Allison Parc delves into the intricacies of her seed-to-spirit whisky, which is harvested, distilled and bottled in Cognac by a third-generation Cognac distiller…
As modern brand backstories go, French single malt whisky Brenne is particularly enthralling. If the prospect of organic estate-grown heirloom barley, fermented with a Cognac yeast strain, distilled in traditional Cognac stills, aged in new French Limousin oak and finished in ex-Cognac barrels isn’t compelling enough, the career path of founder Allison Parc certainly is. The New York native retired as a professional ballerina in the early 2000s, the beginning of a long journey that led her to swap Grande Jetés for Grande Champagne (well, almost).
Categories : World Whisky
Gone are the days where the word whisk(e)y solely referred to liquid produced in Scotland, Ireland, or America. Today, a fresh wave of whisky-makers across the globe, with their unique climates and natural resources, are offering malt fans a taste of regionality. David Vitale, founder of Australian whisky brand Starward, delves into the inner-workings of his distillery down-under…
When he founded Starward back in 2007, David Vitale penned the concept “a distinctly Australian whisky” in his notebook, and set out to define what that meant. Ultimately, he wanted a whisky that was “as distinctive as peat is to Islay whisky, in an approachable fashion”.
“We could have gone down the wattle or eucalypt path, but it wouldn’t have tasted all that great,” muses Vitale, who earned his whisky stripes working for Bill Lark at Tasmania’s Lark Distillery. “It had to be something that you could share with friends that wasn’t going to be an acquired taste or something you cross off your bucket list and then move on.
“With hindsight it’s bloody obvious that we should be using wine barrels to do that, but at the time it was a big leap of faith. If we could crack that nut, we’d have a whisky that’s more Australian than Scotch is Scottish.”
Categories : World Whisky