Brandy is a catchall term for an aged spirit derived from grapes, the most famous of which come from the French regions of Cognac and Armagnac. Read on for more information about Brandy.

Spotlight on… Armagnac!

Armagnac is a fantastic spirit that many savvy drinkers, including many whisky fans, have begun exploring with enthusiasm in recent years. The good news is that there’s never been a better time to dip a toe in the Armagnac ‘eau’, as we’re offering Free UK Shipping on your *entire* order (or £5 off elsewhere) when you buy any bottle of Comte de Lauvia until the end of July. That includes their Fine, Réserve and Hors d’Age expressions, newly launched in the UK!

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Categories : Armagnac, News, Tasting Notes
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World Whiskies Awards and World Drinks Awards Winners

World Drinks Awards World Whiskies Awards 2016

Yesterday saw the World’s Best whiskies and spirits crowned at the World Drinks Awards, including the World Whiskies Awards.

Before we get into the results though, some good news! Drinks by the Dram have once again teamed up with the World Drinks Awards to create an easy way to taste a whole bunch of these award winners! Head over to our World Drinks Awards 2016 page to browse their selection of 8 different World Whiskies Awards and World Drinks Awards Winners Tasting Sets.

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Categories : Armagnac, Cognac, Gin, Irish Whiskey, Japanese Whisky, Liqueurs, News, Rum, Scotch Whisky, Vodka, Whisky
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Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 12 – Van Ryn’s Distillery

Van Ryn Distillery

Our worldwide magical mystery tour continues! OK, it’s neither magical (I am no wizard) nor is it a mystery (I’ve got it all planned out. Sorta.), but we will be exploring the world of spirits and it does indeed continue this week with our second dram of South African deliciousness! I mentioned at the end of the last blog that we wouldn’t be going far from the James Sedgwick Distillery, and we’re certainly not. We’d only have to travel about 25 miles vaguely in the direction of Cape Town to Van Ryn’s Distillery near Stellenbosch!

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Categories : Tasting Notes
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Around The World In 80 Drams – Week 7 – Courvoisier

Courvoisier

Hello again and welcome to another edition of Around the World in 80 Drams, the blog series where I travel the world heading east tasting 80 different tasty treats. Well, sort of. This week we’re actually just a touch more west than when we started! It’s a windy route we’re taking for sure, but we’re tasting excellent spirits all around the world, which more than makes up for it.

I left you with a hint last week, mentioning Emperors of the French with distinctive headgear, so of course I’m talking about Napoleon Bonaparte and Courvoisier Cognac! I also said it would take about 5 hours to travel the 240 miles south from Domaine Dupont to Château Courvoisier via a flock of seagulls (not the band – though their haircuts did look quite aerodynamic back in the day).

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Categories : Cognac, Tasting Notes
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Master of Cocktails – The-Candy-Apple-Jack-Hammer

Master of Cocktails Candy Apple Jack Hammer

It’s the return of #MasterofCocktails! And there are a few changes to the format… We’re going to be making this a much less step-by-step affair – in return though, you’ll be getting more advanced, exciting cocktail recipes, with more focus on presentation and garnish. We’re also moving to once a fortnight, although still at the usual time of 6pm Sunday on twitter and on the blog the very next day.

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Categories : Cocktails
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Gascony Calling: A Single Cask Series Armagnac!

Château de Castex Armagnac Master of Malt

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!

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Categories : Armagnac, News, Tasting Notes
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Master of Cocktails – The Widow’s Kiss

Master of Cocktails The Widow's Kiss

Well hello there cocktail fan. I nearly didn’t see you there. Fancy a drink? Then you’re in luck, as you’re just in time for another #MasterofCocktails.

This week we’re going to make a ‘Widow’s Kiss’ recipe from the excellent PDT Cocktail Book by Jim Meehan. If you haven’t got this tome in your library, I heartily suggest you amend that oversight. Look, I even gave you the Amazon link and everything. Get to it. Chop chop.

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Categories : Cocktails, Liqueurs
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Master of Cocktails – Spiced Pear Whiskey Sour

Master of Cocktails Spiced Pear Whiskey Sour

Right then ladies and gents. Trust everyone’s recovered sufficiently after NYE? Time for this week’s #MasterofCocktails. This week we’re making a super-delicious Whiskey-Sour Variant recipe, which I have simply dubbed the Spiced Pear Whiskey Sour. We’ll be using the St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur for this one. It really is god’s own stuff, made using Pear Brandy, Pear Juice, and spices. Top, top marks St George Spirits.

I’m pairing (pearing? Sorry. Sorry) it with Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon for its perfume. I think this works well with the spice.

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Categories : Cocktails, Liqueurs, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – The Brandy Crusta

Master of Cocktails Brandy Crusta

Right then ladies and gentlemen. Time for week’s #MasterofCocktails, featuring a Brandy Crusta recipe – a real life classic. This is a smashing drink, first brought to my attention by the superb @AdamsBitters.

Before we get started, here are 2 tips on the Brandy Crusta:

1) Drink more of them.

2) Don’t order one in a bar where it’s not on the menu.

Got it? Good. The key to this drink is the garnish, which we will be preparing a couple of hours in advance before actually putting the drink together.

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Categories : Cocktails, Cognac
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Vintage Armagnac

Domaine Boingnères

Today we were greeted with a very exciting little parcel, containing a selection of samples of vintage Armagnacs from Domaine Boingnères.

Before we begin the tasting, here’s some brief history…

Founded by Jean Boingnères in 1807, the company is now run by the family’s sixth generation. In 1953, the house style changed when Léon Lafitte took the helm. Mr Lafitte enlarged the vineyards, and he began to sell the company’s Armagnac to some of France’s top restaurants, a move which increased Boingnères’ popularity massively. More…

Categories : Armagnac, Tasting Notes
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