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Around The World In 80 Drams - Week 2 - Adnams

by Sam Smith     28. August 2015 15:30

Southwold

Welcome back to my Around The World In 80 Drams journey, which kicked off last week from the East London Liquor Co., unsurprisingly in East London. I left you with something of a riddle at the end of the last post, leaving hints as to where I’m off to next: sun, sea, superb beer and how it would take me 23 hours to travel there by pug (pugs run at an average of 3-5 miles per hour). Of course, I’m off to Adnams in Southwold!

Now, when I said I’m bad at geography and that this series will help me learn things, I meant it. If you had asked me where Southwold was before I looked at a map, I’d have said it was somewhere near Southampton. “It’s got ‘South’ in the name and those two kind of sound similar, they’re probably right next to each other,” I believe were the words that went through my head. Well, it’s safe to say I’m learning already, as Southwold is a little bit more northerly than I thought.

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Around The World In 80 Drams - Week 1 - East London Liquor Company

by Sam Smith     21. August 2015 16:30

London

I’m bad at geography. I’m not a proud man, I’ll own own up to my faults and I definitely suck at geography. Recently I told a good friend that there couldn’t be more than around 70 countries and even bought a map to prove it. Boy was my face red. So now I own a map for the first time in my life, and I figure I should use it to rectify my lack of geographical expertise. How, you ask? Drinks, obviously.

I plan to travel the world, like the great (fictional) Phileas Fogg before me. However, I will be doing so via the medium of delicious spirits and probably Wikipedia to find out a bit more about where said spirits come from. Join me as I set sail on my Around The World In 80 Drams voyage and marvel at how little I know about the planet I’ve called home for my entire life (I’m smart in other ways, honest!).

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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 8: William McHenry and The Small Concern)

by Michael Orson     20. February 2015 17:03

William McHenry distillery

This is the final instalment in my series on Tasmanian Whisky and we begin with William McHenry and Sons; a distillery located about as remotely as you could imagine, on the southeastern tip of Tasmania.

The distillery has its connections with the Gaelic whisky world; the owner, William McHenry, being a descendant of an Isle of Skye whisky smuggler. By trade, McHenry was in the pharmaceutical industry, and lived in Sydney, and one balmy Australian day at a barbecue, a friend made a passing comment about William’s Scottish roots, and the idea of making a whisky in honour of them. A few years later, McHenry moved with his family to Tasmania, settling on a beautiful 100-acre estate close to Port Arthur, an historic penal colony.

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Tasmanian Whisky - Everything You Need to Know! (Part 6: Nant Distillery)

by Michael Orson     5. February 2015 11:30

Nant distillery

This week we’ll be looking at Nant – one of the most critically acclaimed distilleries on Tasmania, with high profile fans including legendary whisky commentator Jim Murray.

It began in 2004, when Brisbane-based property developer Keith Batt purchased the Nant Estate, just an hour from Hobart. This ancient estate was built in around 1821, and since the 2004 purchase, it has been lovingly and carefully restored with an investment of some $5 million. The result is arrestingly beautiful; a stunning estate surrounded by breathtakingly scenic countryside.

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WINNER of the Exclusive Overeem Bourbon Cask Release Competition

by Master of Malt     19. September 2014 17:00

Old Hobart Overeem casks

For the last month we've been running a cracking little competition offering the chance for one lucky winner to join a select panel of whisky experts later this month that will decide which bourbon cask will be bottled as the first ever bourbon matured Overeem Tasmanian whisky! The selected whisky will be a UK exclusive, a release of just 50 bottles at 60% abv, with the winner also bagging themselves a bottle - a personalised one at that!

How would this lucky winner be chosen? Well, not by luck at all actually, but by writing the best tasting note for Overeem Sherry Cask 43% (with two runners up winning bottles of this popular expression).

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Reference Series – The First Batch of Extensions

by Ben Ellefsen     17. September 2014 09:10

Reference Series First Extension

This range was born almost 6 months ago with the release of the initial ‘Reference’ Blended Malt Whiskies I, II, and III, and have received some lovely reviews from all over the web – not least of which from Serge of Whiskyfun who rated the initial batch from 83-88 points.

The theory is initially simple – we took 4 components (2 blended malt and 2 single malt), and as the range progressed from I to III, the proportion of older whisky went up. This was designed to give us all an insight into the way that age affects whisky.

Today, however, is where it all really starts to get fun.

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part III

by Michael Orson     3. July 2014 10:47

Berry Brothers and Rudd

In 1920, Berry’s was joined by Hugh Rudd, a lover of Bordeaux and German wines. Such an essential part of the business, Hugh Rudd’s name was officially added to the door when the firm became a limited company in the 1940s.

The Second World War raged on, and tragedy struck when two of the partners lost their sons: Francis Berry’s son George Gilbert died leading a charge against in the enemy in North Africa; and Hugh Rudd’s son Brian was killed in action in Italy at just 20 years of age.

No. 3 was never hit directly during the London bombings, though the top floors were badly burnt. The shop itself escaped too much damage thanks to the old wooden shutters which protected the shopfront. Years later, during the 2011 London Riots, these shutters were put to use for a second time (though, in my opinion, Pomerol probably wasn’t on the agenda).

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part II

by Michael Orson     2. July 2014 15:17

Berry Brothers and Rudd

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.

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part I

by Michael Orson     1. July 2014 11:03

Berry Brothers and Rudd

Earlier this year, I became rather enamoured with what is arguably the drinks world’s most prestigious address – No. 3 St James’s – home to the wine and spirits merchant, Berry Brothers and Rudd (known henceforth variously as BBR or Berry’s).

This springtime love affair all started with a ‘three martini lunch’ on a surprisingly balmy day in February. I arrived fashionably late at No. 3 and climbed a steep wooden staircase through a locked door at the back of the shop to meet a group of familiar faces from spirits retail. The event’s hosts were BBR’s charming spirits man, Doug McIvor, and Glenrothes’ brand ambassador and gifted raconteur, Ronnie Cox.

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Limited Edition Joey Dunlop Charity Whisky from the Isle of Man TT

by Jake Mountain     20. June 2014 17:01

Joey Dunlop Foundation Whisky

After Fèis Ìle 2014 I travelled straight down to Liverpool - do not pass go, do not collect any clean underwear - and jumped on the Steam Packet over to the Isle of Man for the famous TT motorcycle races!

These legendary road races date back 107 years and the lap record now stands at 17 minutes 6.682 seconds for 37.733 miles, set by Bruce Anstey this year. That's an average speed of 132.298 mph! On narrow roads with over 120 corners!!! What's any of this got to do with whisky though? Well, last year the Joey Dunlop Foundation released a special limited edition blended malt Scotch whisky, which they sourced with a little help from Ralfy off of ralfystuff, with all profits going to the charity.

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