If your dad has moved beyond the classic cremated sausage (black on the outside, raw in the middle) and supermarket lager combo, this is the blog post for you. And…
If your dad has moved beyond the classic cremated sausage (black on the outside, raw in the middle) and supermarket lager combo, this is the blog post for you. And him. So here are our tips on putting together BBQ and booze this Father’s Day.
Beer and a burger are about as perfect a match as Kylie and Jason. But the world of the barbecue offers a range of ingredients and flavours, opening up a whole load of drinks opportunities. From marinating meats with a splash of whisk(e)y to pepping up tomato sides with a slug of vodka, barbecues and booze are brilliant bedfellows.
Cooking with alcohol
Let’s take a closer look at how to put the booze on or in the food:
“We love adding a small quantity of alcohol into a barbecue marinade or glaze,” say Aaron & Susannah Rickard, authors of the newly published book Cooking with Alcohol. “The volatile alcohol molecules will gradually evaporate from the warm food as you eat, and this evaporation carries the vibrant, fresh aromas to your nose – fragrance is a big part of how our brains perceive flavour, so the addition of alcohol can literally make it seem more delicious.”
Well, there’s the science. The Rickards tend to use dark spirits when barbecuing with alcohol – they look for booze that can stand up to the strong, smoky flavours without adding too much liquid. “Dark rum, bourbon and even Jägermeister are all great options,” they recommend.
Cornish sustainability expert and development chef James Strawbridge from Strawbridge Kitchen agrees. He recently worked with online farm shop 44 Foods to create National BBQ Week ideas and he says using whisky in marinades helps to build a robust depth of flavour.
“It works wonderfully with the following spices and herbs: clove, mustard, rosemary, allspice, smoked sea salt, soy sauces, cinnamon and orange zest,” he explains. “Bourbon with its vanilla, spiced caramel notes is excellent with maple syrup for a smoky glaze brushed onto sticky ribs or with pulled pork.”
Jonny Farrell demonstrates the thrill of the grill
BBQ and bourbon
Speaking of bourbon, Buffalo Trace has gone big on Father’s Day this year, with a competition for people to nominate a strong father figure for a chance to win a bourbon and barbecue experience. The brand has teamed up with renowned butcher Jonny Farrell, who has given MoM a top tip for the grill.
“If you’re outside and have a decent space around you – no covers and walls nearby – you can always use a little Buffalo Trace to flambé your steaks,” he says. “Just as they’re about to finish, carefully pour a shot over the coals and watch the flames lick the meat!”
Farrell explains that not only does this look “seriously cool”, but it also adds a little extra flavour.
Peat smoke and fire
Away from bourbon and back on this side of the pond, Strawbridge is a fan of peaty Scotch, which he says works “wonderfully well with BBQ beef short ribs or smoked beetroot to enhance the woody notes”.
The folks at Ardbeg are also unsurprisingly big on smoke – and smoking meat. They have once again joined forces with DJ BBQ to bring “big, smoky flavours to backyard barbecues”. The DJ’s big hit has to be 18-hour whisky smoked pulled pork, a recipe that features half a bottle of Ardbeg.
If that’s not enough Ardbeg, you could also make the Hot or Cold Apple Cider drinks pairing – a heady mix of Ardbeg Wee Beastie, cider and ginger (recipe below).
Ardbeg Wee Beastie, smokin’!
But if red meat or big peat are not your bag, Cornish chef Strawbridge has a dish for that, too. “Irish whiskey is the drink to use with a little orange zest on lobster tails or to flambé wood roasted scallops in their shells,” he explains. “It’s lighter, complex and can be paired with seafood or poultry.”
Cooking with Alcohol authors the Rickards also have some tips beyond the meaty main. To pep up side dishes, they reckon stirring in a little alcohol can add a bright, fresh flavour.
“The zesty, herbal notes of gin will enhance a coleslaw beautifully, while just a teaspoon of vodka in a spicy tomato sauce adds a lovely zing,” they say. “And to finish your meal, marinade large pieces of pineapple or peach together with a little brown sugar, lime juice and spiced rum, before tossing them on the barbecue. The sugars in the fruit will caramelise over the heat to create a deliciously sticky sauce with incredible depth of flavour.”
Whatever you’re barbecuing this Father’s Day, there’s a drink for that.
Hot or Cold Apple Cider
50ml Ardbeg Wee Beastie 50ml apple cider 50ml ginger beer 25ml freshly squeezed lime juice Demerara vanilla sugar to taste
Decide whether you would like to make cocktails individually or as part of a batch. Add the ingredients together and stir well. Heat the mixture on a BBQ (depending on your preference) and serve with a ladle or use a hot poker to heat individual serves (careful now!) Garnish with a cinnamon quill, a star anise and a mini toffee apple.
We’ve picked out some beauties from across the pond that are so cheap you’ll think we forgot to convert the price from dollars to pounds! The United States tends to…
We’ve picked out some beauties from across the pond that are so cheap you’ll think we forgot to convert the price from dollars to pounds!
The United States tends to do everything bigger so it’s no surprise that, when it comes to American whiskey, we’re pretty spoilt for choice. But with so many options it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to picking up the finest bottle of bourbon or rye whiskey. That’s why we’d like to help out. This selection is full of some of our favourite expressions and the best part is, they all cost less than £50. Perfect, really, if you’re still on the lookout for presents…
As it’s Christmas time we thought we’d kick things off with a terrific little gift set from Jim Beam! It not only includes a bottle of the delicious Double Oak bourbon, which was initially matured in freshly charred American oak barrels before being moved over to a fresh set of freshly charred American oak barrels, but also two very swanky looking branded tumblers. Perfect for enjoying with a pal (potentially virtually). Isn’t that what this season is all about?
What does it taste like?
Full-bodied vanilla, milk chocolate, a kick of cardamom, fruity malt and charred oak toastiness.
A classic example of what a Kentucky straight bourbon should be, this is the kind of bourbon you need to have in your home bar. The award-winning core Buffalo Trace expression is a personal favourite of mine thanks to its incredible value, delicious taste and versatility, which has also made it a go-to for many bourbon lovers over the years. It’s also a great one for beginners if you’re new to the category.
What does it taste like?
Spicy and sweet with caramel, creamy toffee eclairs, hints of cinnamon, rum spice, cereal sweetness, brown sugar, toffee apple, sweet oak, custard, oily espresso beans, a touch of chocolate-covered raisins and toasty wood.
The official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby and the only bourbon which is triple-distilled in copper pot stills, Woodford Reserve is a firm favourite of American whiskey fans for good reason. It’s also notable for being made with a mash bill that features a high percentage of rye (72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt) and for having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel, which creates a creamy, refined and full-bodied whiskey that’s delicious neat and in an Old Fashioned.
What does it taste like?
There are notes of honey, leather, a touch of cocoa, a little smoke, toasty oak, vanilla cream, butterscotch, espresso beans, winter spice, cereal sweetness, plenty of rye, ground ginger, almond oi and a little rum.
You can’t have a round-up of American whiskey without a great rye bottling and this is one truly tasty rye whiskey. It’s a category that’s synonymous with the cocktail and, while you might have enjoyed some of these serves with bourbon, the likes of the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned and the Sazerac were all created with rye whiskey. It seems fitting, then, to recommend an expression that was named for the Sazerac Coffee House in New Orleans, the birthplace of the famous cocktail.
What does it taste like?
Sweet with spices and stem ginger in syrup, orange zest, freshly ground black pepper, Seville orange marmalade, allspice, peanut butter, toffee and barrel char develop later on.
Bourbon with an age statement is not something you see much of, neither is bourbon from Tennessee for that matter. But Black & Gold is no ordinary bourbon. This showstopper was distilled from a corn-forward mash bill, (84-8-8, corn-rye-barley) and aged in slowly-charred barrels to create a rich, complex and slightly savoury profile, with enough of that classic American oak sweetness to keep it honest. As the bottle says, “Fire made it good”.
What does it taste like?
Dense vanilla, toasted brown sugar atop apple pie, gingersnaps, cinnamon sticks, caramelised nuts, cask char, earthy cigar box, a touch of maple syrup, forest floor richness and chocolate sweetness.
The classic Maker’s Mark is an all-time favourite for any sound-of-mind bourbon lover, but today we thought we’d draw your attention to the brand’s first line extension since the ’50s. Maker’s 46 is essentially the original bumped up a notch, with a bolder, spicier profile that was attained by inserting seared French oak staves into the barrels (with the stave profile “number 46” – thus the name). We can confirm it worked a treat.
What does it taste like?
Dense vanilla, toasted brown sugar atop apple pie, gingersnaps, cinnamon sticks, caramelised nuts, cask char, earthy cigar box, a touch of maple syrup, forest floor richness and chocolate sweetness.
Corn Whiskeys are one of the oldest styles of American whiskey and for a good while, they took a backseat and had to watch as their cousin bourbon stole the show (the difference between the two is that the mash bill for corn whiskey must be at least 80% corn, whereas for bourbon it’s 51% , if you were wondering). Recently, however, their production has enjoyed a renaissance and one of the finest examples is this beauty, which is not only the first Texan whiskey, but the first whiskey to be distilled from blue corn! If you want to understand this historical style and what all the fuss is about, then this is a great place to start.
What does it taste like?
Soft vanilla, candied peel, caramelised bananas, toasted oak, dark caramel, baked apple, salted apple, baking spices and a little creamy cereal sweetness.
We love a bit of Rebel Yell, almost as much as Billy Idol, and it was hard to pick out a favourite from its range. But, given you don’t often see bourbon finished in toasted French oak barrels which previously held wine for six months, we thought this made for an interesting inclusion. Expect dark fruits, spice and chocolate galore.
What does it taste like?
Cherry jam, cinnamon swirls, mocha, treacle toffee, vanilla sponge, caramelised nuts, very dark chocolate, cooked plum, grated nutmeg, golden syrup and toasty oak spices, with a touch of espresso and forest fruits.
Another one for fans of intriguing cask finishes, this is a rye whiskey that spent some time in barrels that used to hold delicious ale. Distilled by the fabulous James E. Pepper and bottled by our good friends at That Boutique-y Whisky Company, this is the perfect dram for those who want to explore the spirit beyond bourbon.
What does it taste like?
Fudge, toasted barley. floral honey, malty vanilla notes, dense brown sugar, buttery corn, sawdust, oak spice, orange zest and black peppercorn.
From one of the finest old school bourbon distilleries around comes a collaboration between master distiller Eddie Russell and Matthew McConaughey. You might know him from such films as Dallas Buyer Club and Magic Mike. This bottling has more than star power though, thanks to its production process, which entailed filtering eight-year-old Wild Turkey whiskey through charcoal made of both Kentucky white oak and Texas mesquite. Which is where Russell and McConaughey are from, respectively. Pretty neat, huh?
What does it taste like?
A sweet blend of buttery caramel, creamy vanilla, orchard fruits, lemon zest, smooth toffee and honey lifted by spicy notes of nutmeg, black pepper and drying oak.
We’ve got important causes, distillery expansions, trade tariff news and a Scotch whisky distillery asking fans to pick its new whisky from the cask. This week’s Nightcap is a corker….
We’ve got important causes, distillery expansions, trade tariff news and a Scotch whisky distillery asking fans to pick its new whisky from the cask. This week’s Nightcap is a corker.
Seeing as the UK enjoyed a week of Caribbean-esque weather I’d say that’s the perfect excuse to make some classic summer cocktails this weekend. Particularly given that it’s International Rum Day on Sunday (16 August). The only problem is narrowing down which serve to choose. Maybe the tropical delights of a Piña Colada? Or perhaps the zesty refreshment of a Mojito? All I know for sure is, if it’s got tasty rum and can be sipped while reading The Nightcap then it’s the right choice.
Want to help pick the latest Glengoyne single cask bottling? Then take part in the interactive tasting!
Glengoyne invites fans to pick latest single cask
Glengoyne announced this week that it wants you to decide what whisky will become a part of the distillery’s latest ‘Cask of the Moment’ single cask bottling. As long as you tune in to its live stream event at 8pm on Friday 28 August. ‘Casks Unlocked’ features a panel of industry figures join distillery manager Robbie Hughes and global brand ambassador Gordon Dundas tasting and discussing four single casks samples that were chosen from Glengoyne’s Warehouse #8 – including a Port pipe, hogshead, bourbon barrel, and Madeira cask. The truly exciting part is that you can join in at home by purchasing a tasting kit filled with each sample. At the end of the event the panel, viewers, and Glengoyne community will cast a vote for their preferred cask and the winner and the eventual whisky will be available to purchase at the newly reopened distillery shop and online via the Glengoyne website. “At Glengoyne, we’re incredibly fortunate to have some of the most loyal fans in the whisky world. That’s why, to show our appreciation for their ongoing support, we decided to host ‘Casks Unlocked’ – a special opportunity for our community to select Glengoyne’s latest single cask whisky,” says Hughes. “Some of the liquid in the sample kits may have never been released for sale, so this truly is a one-of-a-kind experience that we’re excited to offer our community.” Click here to purchase your Glengoyne ‘Casks Unlocked’ tasting kits.
Buffalo Trace should meet the high demand for its bourbon soon thanks to the $1.2 billion expansion.
Buffalo Trace Distillery Continues $1.2 Bil Expansion
Despite the pandemic, Buffalo Trace Distillery has made great strides in its $1.2 billion infrastructure investment over the past year. Four new 22-foot-tall cookers with 80,000 gallons of cooking capacity were installed, as were four new fermenters with 93,000-gallon capacity and a new cooling tower. A new $50 million, 110,000-square-feet high-speed bottling hall opened just in time to package essential hand sanitizer, while three more barrel warehouses each with the capacity to hold 58,800 barrels were recently built and three more are on the way. Also in the works at the 247-year-old distillery are eight more fermenters, a new dry house (the area where spent mash is dried and shipped out), a water treatment facility, a second stillhouse, more barrel warehouses, and in the future, another craft bottling hall. Another craft bottling hall will allow Buffalo Trace to produce more single barrel and small-batch bourbons. Since tours resumed on July 1, guests have also been able to see the expanded visitor centre which includes additional tasting rooms and more retail space. The work will be welcome news to fans of the brand, as demand for much of the whisky Buffalo Trace creates exceeds its supply. “We promise we are doing everything we can to make more, as evidenced by our progress we’ve made in the past year with our expansion,” said master distiller Harlen Wheatley. “But great bourbon does take time to age, and we won’t compromise age, taste, or proof just to fill more bottles. We’re just asking our fans to remain patient as we wait for our stocks to mature.” To see a video of the progress Buffalo Trace has made on its $1.2 billion expansion in the past year, click here.
A rum can now only be labelled as ‘Dominican’ if it meets certain production criteria
‘Dominican rum’ registered as denomination of origin
Some really intriguing news this week that landed at the doorstep of MoM Towers was that the application for the ‘Dominican rum’ denomination of origin has finally been granted. While you may associate the beautiful island with golden beaches, fine cigars and Merengue music, the Caribbean island is also home to a number of delightful rum brands such as Ron Barceló, Brugal and Atlantico and thanks to its geographical location, the island has a vast fauna and flora and the most varied climate of the Antilles. The World Trademark Review revealed that it’s these particular characteristics – “quality, reputation and geographical, including natural and human factors” – that are the foundation of the denomination of origin. A rum can now only be labelled as ‘Dominican’, if producers harvest the sugarcane locally and ferment, distil and age the alcohol in oak barrels for a minimum of one year, all within the borders of the Dominican Republic territory. It’s been a long road for the Dominican Association of Producers of Rum to achieve this milestone as it applied for the denomination of origin way back in July 2014. Third parties had opposed the application on the ground that it contained technical deficiencies but all the oppositions filed were eventually rejected. However, this resolution is not final and an appeal has been lodged by certain parties. For now, Dominican rum has its denomination of origin. The Distinctive Signs Department of ONAPI, in Resolution No 00204 dated 29 May 2020, stated that: “the application for the ‘Dominican Rum’ denomination of origin fulfils all the technical requirements, as it clearly describes the human and environmental conditions required in the cultivation area, as well as the type of sugarcane from the Dominican Republic that must be used and the ageing process required”. And just in time for International Rum Day as well.
Great drinks, friends and raising funds for a worthy cause. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon
Cocktails in the City returns with Community Spirit Edition
Cocktails in the City is back! On Friday 11 and Saturday 12 September 2020 an alfresco summer garden party at the Bedford Square Gardens will celebrate the city’s best bars that are now reopening, raising money and awareness for the industry. In total, 30 of the city’s most innovative bars will gather at the socially distanced event, including Callooh Callay, 68 & Boston, Nightjar, Trailer Happiness and more. Brands including Moët & Chandon, Belvedere Vodka, The London Essence Company, Campari, Hennessy, Glenmorangie and more will also be making an appearance and guests will be treated to live music from Nightjar and The Piano Works. There will be tasting sessions hosted by The Mixing Class, and complimentary interactive demonstrations throughout the weekend including the Art of the Aperitivo and cocktail making sessions hosted by TT Liquor. This year’s event partners are the wonderful folks at The Drinks Trust and all profits from tickets will be donated to further their outstanding work. Cocktails in the City is the brainchild of Sophie Bratt and Sly Augustin, who created the initiative in the wake of the Grenfell Towers fire in 2017 to raise funds for worthy causes and bring the hospitality industry together. “Boasting nearly two acres of wide-open space, Bedford Square Gardens is the perfect place to bring people together in a safe and socially distanced environment,” says Andrew Scutts, the organiser. “It is a unique opportunity to rediscover the venues that have been forced to close for so long, take part in a series of interactive experiences and enjoy great drinks with friends whilst raising money for a worthy cause”.
The stunning Glenmorangie House is back open and ready for Highland whisky lovers to enjoy
Glenmorangie House reopens to the public
Highland whisky fans, you can visit Glenmorangie House once more! The 17th-century country house is back open for business as of today, so long as you’re a group of between six and 10 people. Groups of six will have to shell out £1,500 per night, though this gets you a private chef, waiting staff and concierge, and of course, the run of an absolutely breathtaking house. “Prior to our reopening we have introduced additional, rigorous health and safety procedures to ensure social distancing can be adhered to,” said Glenmorangie brand home manager Stuart Smith. “Our team are fully ready to host guests and deliver the very best luxury retreat, accompanied by the finest Highland hospitality all with the aim of restoring our guests’ tranquillity.” If lockdown all got a bit much and you fancy a Highland escape, then this could do the trick. The rest of us will just have to settle for a delicious dram instead.
The Bekaa valley, home of Lebanon’s wonderful wines
Wine auction to raise money for Lebanon
Following what Anglo-Lebanese writer Michael Karam described as: “a perfect storm of revolution, financial crash, Covid-19 and now this terrible blast,” Lebanon faces a worrying future of food shortages, poverty and political turmoil. Many of us are asking what we can do to help. Madeleine Waters, who knows the country well from organising the award-winning Wines of Lebanon publicity campaign, is organising a charity auction to raise money. She commented: “Wine is pretty much Lebanon’s only export, and one which is bringing much-needed export dollars into a country in the midst of a financial crisis. I would love this to all be about Lebanese wine, but that will limit what we can achieve – so I want it to be a celebration of all wine-producing countries, acting in solidarity with Lebanon.” Expect rare vintages of Chateau Musar and Ksara as well all manner of boozy goodies. Proceeds will go to the re-building Kamal Mouzawak’s Souk el Tayeb & Tawlet, a farmers market and restaurant in Beirut where Lebanese of all religious denominations sell food side-by-side, and Impact Lebanon, which distributes funds to vetted NGOs. The online auction will take place over four days from 28-31August. Click here if you want to get involved. Or just buy some of Lebanon’s wonderful wine or arak. You won’t regret it.
It’s a relief that British gin has been excluded from the ongoing US trade tariff saga says Miles Beale
US trade tariffs will not extend to British gin
There’s a new development in the seemingly ongoing US/EU trade war saga! No, don’t scroll down, this time it’s good news: the US will not be extending the tariffs which apply to Scotch whisky, among other things, to British gin. With exports of £672 million, gin is a big money-spinner for the British economy. As you might expect, Miles Beale from drinks industry body WSTA had something to say: “The news that the US has decided not to escalate tariffs is encouraging. This will come as a huge relief to the growing UK British gin sector which has seen distilleries more than double in number in the last five years. Our innovative British distillers, particularly those working in the SME distilleries that the WSTA represents, can breathe easy and raise a glass to America. This is the first important step in what should prove to be a closer trading relationship, and should provide the necessary space for constructive discussions between the US and UK Governments, and for both administrations to work to remove the remaining tariffs against liqueurs, bourbon and Scotch products – and all wine products affected as well. Industry’s voice on both sides of the Atlantic for a free and fair trade agenda is being listened to and that is good for business and good for consumers.” See, we told you it was good news.
How rebellious is Smokehead’s latest release? Imagine Billy Idol singing Rebel Yell x Bowie’s Rebel Rebel.
And finally… Drink whisky on International Rum Day?
As we are sure you are aware, it’s International Rum Day on the 16 August, so you have to admire the sheer chutzpah of the team at Smokehead who are using the day as an excuse to push their latest Islay single malt; almost as bold as the English whisky distillery who tried to muscle in on Burns Night earlier this year. A Sassenach whisky on the Bard’s own night? Is nothing sacred? At least there is a proper hook as this latest Smokehead is aged in an actual rum cask. Iain Weir, brand director, explained: “We are overwhelmed by the boldness of flavour in our new bottling and can’t wait to see our Smokeheads’ reaction. When our rich, smoky, salty Islay Smokehead collides with spicy, sweet Caribbean rum casks, carnage is inevitable.” We can confirm that not only is Rum Rebel delicious, the sweetness and smoke combining into an exquisite hell broth, but also that it’s coming soon to MoM. Furthermore, on International Rum Day itself, this coming Sunday, top bartender Mikey Sim will be showing you how to make a special Smokito on Facebook and Instagram, go to @smokeheadwhisky. So rebellious.
It’s Friday and that means it’s time to pour yourself a dram, ignore any incoming emails and relax. Might we recommend some delightfully boozy news to accompany your drink? It’s…
It’s Friday and that means it’s time to pour yourself a dram, ignore any incoming emails and relax. Might we recommend some delightfully boozy news to accompany your drink? It’s the Nightcap!
Did you know that the “Here’s looking at you, kid” quote from Casablanca (1942) was improvised by Humphrey Bogart? So was “Heeeere’s Johnny!” from The Shining (1980), “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” from Jaws (1975) and “Like tears in rain…” from Blade Runner (1982). All made up on the spot. When you realise that it puts a lot of pressure on you to come up with a good intro to the Nightcap. How profound or witty can you be introducing a round-up of boozy news? Maybe you lovely folk don’t need anything that grandiose. Maybe I could just say, “Here’s The Nightcap” and you’d all be fine with that. Well, here’s hoping. Because it’s all I’ve got. Here is. . . The Nightcap!
A huge thank you again to all who entered last week’s virtual pub quiz and kudos to Jonathan Stoller, who we can confirm is our glorious victor! You can check out the answers to last Friday’s quiz below and this week’s edition of MoM pub quiz will be on our blog from 5pm as always.
Five lucky dads will be sent the fully-stocked bar
Win a barful of Buffalo Trace for Father’s Day
What do you think your old man would like this Father’s Day? Some socks? A card? Or how about a whole bar stacked full of bourbon? Yes, please! Well, for five lucky fathers, their wildest whiskey dreams will come true this Sunday courtesy of Buffalo Trace. The prize is a wooden bar filled with delicious whiskeys from one of the world’s greatest distilleries. This includes Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Benchmark Bourbon, Eagle Rare Bourbon and Sazerac Rye Whiskey. For your dad to be in with a shout, all you have to do is nominate him on Instagram or Facebook, tag who you wish to nominate and make sure you both follow @buffalotraceuk. Pretty simple. But hurry as the competition ends tonight, Friday 19 June at 23:59. Kris Comstock, senior marketing director, commented: “We’ve found that in these uncertain times the need to maintain a connection to family and friends has become more important than ever. Here at Buffalo Trace, fellowship and sharing a drink with loved ones is at the heart of our core beliefs. Providing a bar for people to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes is our way of ensuring that despite social distancing, the tradition and meaning of Father’s Day is not lost.” The five lucky dads (sounds like an 80s comedy with Ted Danson) will be sent the fully-stocked bar along with someone to put it together so there will be no DIY sense of humour failures this Father’s Day.
Du Nord Craft Spirits owner, Chris Montana
Du Nord Craft Spirits organises riot recovery fund
Earlier this month, Minneapolis’ Du Nord Craft Spirits suffered some pretty terrible damage as a result of riots in the city. The warehouse was engulfed in flames and 26,000 gallons of water was needed to put out the fires over four-and-a-half hours, along with much more damage to the surrounding area and businesses. But all is not lost, and luckily, there is something we can do to help! The Du Nord Riot Recovery Fund was set up by founders Chris and Shanelle Montana. However, this isn’t to raise money for the distillery itself. As it states on the Go Fund Me page, the distillery is “establishing this fund to support black and brown companies affected by the riots” and dedicated “to rebuilding Minneapolis in a way that ensures our cultural beacons are restored.” Initially, the target was set at $50,000 but the support has been immense, and at the time of writing just over half of the new $1,000,000 target has been achieved. It’s always wonderful to see the community come together in times of adversity, so please help if you can!
Half price super fancy whiskies at Boisdale. Buy now, drink later.
Boisdale ‘war bonds’ the ‘best whisky deals of all time!’
It’s an incredibly rough time for the restaurant and bar industry but we’ve been impressed with some of the schemes that embattled businesses have come up with in order to survive. Boisdale, a small chain of restaurants in London specialising in steak, whisky and cigars, has come up with something particularly clever, ‘war bonds.’ They are the brainchild of owner Ranald MacDonald. The way they work is that you buy certain drinks or experiences now at a discount and cash them in when things reopen (we hear rumours that might be as soon as the 4 July). For example, a flight of whiskies from mothballed distilleries, Rosebank 1981, St. Magdalene 1964, Brora 30 year old, Port Ellen 1978, and Glenury Royal 36 year old, would normally set you back £230 but as a war bond, it’s only £115. MacDonald described them as “the best whisky deals of all time.” It’s not just whiskies, however, there are deals on Champagne, First Growth claret and music events that Boisdale is famous for. Find a full list here. But you’ll have to hurry because as soon as the restaurants reopen, then the bonds will come off the market. MacDonald commented: “To garner spirits during these testing times we thought that having a special treat to look forward to when our wonderful customers return to Boisdale would be a very good thing. The Boisdale War Bonds have been amazingly successful and we look forward to a non-stop victory celebration at Boisdale when we reopen!”
Your cocktail must include no more than four ingredients, one being either Eight Lands Gin or Vodka.
Eight Lands launches mixology competition
Eight Lands is celebrating its first anniversary with an experimental cocktail competition through social media. The prize? An Eight Lands cocktail masterclass for two with Harry Nikolaou, director of mixology at Four Season Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, and a meal for two at the hotel’s restaurant, La Dame de Pic (it’s got two Michelin stars, folks). All entrants to the competition will receive a 10% discount code to purchase their own bottles of Eight Lands from the brand’s website and two runners-up will each receive a bottle of Eight Lands Organic Speyside gin and vodka. For all you amateur mixologists out, here’s what you need to do: create a unique cocktail, which must include no more than four ingredients, one being either gin or vodka. Bear in mind that you’ll have to impress Nikolaou and award-winning drinks writers and broadcasters Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison, who will front the competition as well as judging the entries. The winning cocktail will be announced during the first week of July online. “It’s been an incredible year for us and we would have loved to celebrate with a big party for our friends and partners. However, in the circumstances we thought it would be fun to find a way to engage with our nation of locked-down amateur mixologists,” said Alex Christou, founder of the award-winning organic spirits brand from Speyside. “I am also really pleased to be working with Harry and our friends at Ten Trinity Square, as well as Neil and Joel in creating this competition. They all have a great passion for great drinks and will be fantastic judges.” The competition closes this Sunday 21st June, so get those entries in! For more info, head to www.eight-lands.com/competition.
When life gives you pineapples, make Piña Coladas!
And finally… Duppy Share Rum drops 1,000 pineapples to Londoners
On Saturday 27 June premium rum brand The Duppy Share will be embracing all things tropical and tasty by dropping off 1,000 pineapples to homes across London? Why? Because the 27th is National Pineapple Day, of course! Each household to receive a regular pineapple will also receive a code to redeem one free 5cl bottle of The Duppy Share Spiced Rum, which will be delivered directly to a chosen London address and you can share a snap of your pineapple on Instagram (be sure to hashtag #PineappleExpress and tag @theduppyshare) to potentially win an entire case of The Duppy Share Spiced. Be on the lookout for the special 50 golden pineapples, as anyone lucky enough to get their hands on one will receive a Home Piña Colada kit containing a 70cl bottle of The Duppy Share Spiced, two gold metal ‘Duppy’ Cups, a can of Coco Lopez and one Frobisher’s Pineapple Juice (250ml). So basically everything you need to make delicious Spiced Pineapple Coladas (you can purchase via The Duppy Share website if you miss out on the limited edition fruit).
Pub Quiz Answers
1) Which alcoholic drink is essential in making zabaglione?
2) Which of these is not a Speyside distillery?
3) What is Snoop Dogg’s favourite gin brand?
4) What did Vladimir Putin give to David Cameron when they met 2012?
Answer: Armenian brandy
5) Which beer has Britain’s oldest trademark?
6) Which American whiskey brand was created in collaboration with Canadian rapper and actor Drake?
Answer: Virginia Black
7) Which aperitif do you need to make a Vesper according to Ian Fleming’s original recipe?
Answer: Kina Lillet
8) In ‘The Lord of the Rings’, which of these do hobbits not drink?
9) Which Japanese whisky does Beyoncé reference on Lemonade track 6 Inch?
10) Last month, Sarah Jessica Parker (off of Sex and the City) added a new wine to her Invivo X range. But what style of wine is it?
Need a break from practising your Burns Night speech? Tune into The Nightcap, your weekly source of bite-sized booze news! We sell whisky here at Master of Malt. That shouldn’t…
Need a break from practising your Burns Night speech? Tune into The Nightcap, your weekly source of bite-sized booze news!
We sell whisky here at Master of Malt. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. As such, it also should not be a surprise that we quite enjoy said spirit. A third thing that shouldn’t be a surprise is that Burns Night is happening this weekend – that one shouldn’t be a surprise because we’ve been nattering about it for a little while now, along with everyone else that has an affinity for whisky. If you’re in the same boat and heading to a Burns Night celebration, pack that brain full of booze news in case small talk situations arise between bursts of poetry and toasts.
On the blog this week we turned our attention to all things Burns Night, unsurprisingly, rounding-up some sensational Scotch to enjoy on the night, enjoying a Bobby Burns and reminiscing about the worst Burns Night celebrations ever, all while enjoying your poetic entries to our Burns Night competition… Thank you to all who entered, the competition is now closed and the winner will be announced on Monday!
So, what are you waiting for? There’s boozy news to enjoy!
Hidden haggis, bingo, London’s first whisky wall and more. It’s must be Burns Night!
Burns Night celebrations in full flow this week
With Burns Night tomorrow, there has been a raft of events this week in celebration, as you can imagine. But plenty are forgoing the tradition to mark the day in all kinds of wacky ways, such as The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), who are planning to hide 18 mini haggises around Glasgow city centre in celebration of their new Members’ Room opening on Bath Street in March 2020. The lucky folk who find them have a chance to win an annual membership to the Society, SMWS bottles or tasting glasses. DrinkUp London, meanwhile, is offering all kinds of deals for its Scotch Whisky Weekend, while still finding time to host BenRiach’s ‘painting by tasting notes’ workshop with landscape artist Ellis O’Connor and master blender Rachel Barrie, in which you can create your own artwork inspired by tasting notes. A night full of bingo shenanigans from Bobby’s Burns Bingo awaits those who go to New York bodega-inspired bar Liquorette, which is celebrating Burns Night with an American twist with Chivas global brand ambassador Rhys Wilson. He will be calling the numbers and handing out the prizes ranging from Chivas 12 and 18 year old bottles, home whisky blending kits, nights out at Liquorette and tickets to Chivas Blend experience. London’s oldest whisky specialist Milroy’s is doing its own more traditional Burns Night in Spitalfields tonight with complimentary drinks thanks to Crabbie Whisky alongside haggis, poetry and music. One event we know for sure was a success was Mac & Wild’s Burns Warm Up Party with Copper Dog last night, which featured live entertainment, masterclasses, London’s first whisky wall, Bone Marrow Whisky Luge experiences and all kinds of tasty Scottish street food. Oh, and Paul Young has been making signature Burns Night chocolate in collaboration withGlen Moray(we can vouch for its deliciousness), proving that chocolate belongs at every occasion. It’s great to see so many so keen to toast Scotland’s national bard. Slange var!
This could be yours. For free. No, really.
Silk Road Distillers is giving away free rum
This is not a drill. It’s not a scam. There are no pirates involved in this rum, folks. No, free samples of rum (excluding post and package) can truly be yours thanks to the marketing initiative of a startup rum brand in London. Silk Road Distillers is backing 2020 to be the year of rum (it’s not alone) and the spirit producers are so keen to show off their new creation that they are charging absolutely nothing (excluding post and package) for the pleasure. This isn’t any ordinary rum, no. The sample you’ll receive is full of white spiced rum. A white rum that was infused with six botanicals. It truly is a brave new world. “2020 is going to be all about rum, and we can’t wait to be a part of it”, says George Agate, founder of Silk Road Distillers, “We’re hoping to get loads of samples out for Try-January, and we know once someone tries it, it will be their go-to drink for the year”. Silk Road Distillers also wants you to ditch Rum and Coke for this one and instead try out a Rum and Tonic, which admittedly is an often overlooked serve. Each 50ml is only available until the end of the month, 31st January 2020 from here. Now get ordering!
A section of bookcase opens to reveal this secret bar, James Bond villain-style.
‘Secret’ bar opens in Great Scotland Yard Hotel
When we turned up, rather late, it has to be said, for the launch of a new bar at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, we were a little confused as there was nobody to be seen. Maybe, we’d got the wrong day. All became clear, however, when the bartender from the hotel’s other bar, 40 Elephants, pressed discreet button and, James Bond villain-style, a section of bookcase opened to reveal a secret bar. It’s called Sibín, as in an Irish drinking den (sometimes spelt shebeen). The drinks menu takes a turn for the unexpected too with old classics given a tune-up. The Rusty Nail is made with two types of Talisker and Drambuie is left to oxidise for two days to mellow. Bars manager Michal Mariarz adds a little PX to his Smokey Cokey, Lagavulin 16 year old and Coke. Most innovative of all was bartender Alex Williams’ concoction, the Clear Conscience. Based on that old classic the Grasshopper, it’s made with poitin, Branca Menta and all kinds of scientific stuff to make something that smells just like a Matchmaker mint. For the more classically-inclined there are unusual whiskies like a 2005 Caol Ila part-matured in Hermitage red wine casks. The hotel located just off Trafalgar Square and housed in the former HQ of the Metropolitan Police, opened last year and already feels like a classic venue.
Record number of ‘visitations’ at Buffalo Trace
Whiskey tourism in Kentucky is now a big thing: Buffalo Trace has just released figures that show that 294,996 people visited the distillery last year, 35% up on last year and a massive 466% up on 2010. The press release describes it as a “record-breaking visitation streak” which makes it sound like Kentucky has had an unusual number of divine interventions. All these visitors (divine or otherwise) have come during a $1.2 billion investment scheme. Yes, you read the right. 1.2 billion dollars. This includes a new visitor (or should that be visitation) centre, 22 foot (6.7 metres) cookers that required raising the roof of the mash house, four 92,000 gallon (420,000 litre) fermenters, a new cooling tower and six new warehouses which each hold 58,800 barrels. That’s a lot of bourbon. There’s even a special ‘hard hat’ tour so that you can see the work being done. “The growth we are seeing in all aspects of the distillery is really exciting,” Meredith Moody, director of homeplace development said. “We are eager to show all of our distilling upgrades to new and returning guests on our updated Hard Hat Tour. It’s a whole new experience, whether you are a first time visitor or have toured many times.” Oh, and talking of Buffalo Trace, it’s almost time for our annual parcel of Antique Collection rare bourbons from the distillery to arrive. Watch this space.
The fantastic Passport menu takes you to all corners of the world
We taste St James Bar new Passport cocktail menu
It’s around about that point in January that we all start getting a bit of wanderlust around MoM Towers. It’s rainy, it’s cold, and suddenly I’m having to resist the urge to book a holiday somewhere. Our wanderlust dreams were answered when we heard about the new Passport menu at St James Bar, Sofitel St James, so we headed over to try it out. The idea is to take you on a journey, and the menu looks like an actual British passport (for now…) boasting 12 cocktails from 12 different countries. We started, appropriately with a 5 to 7, a beautifully balanced bitter aperitif straight from Italy made with Campari-infused coffee, presented in a cafetière. Where would you like to go next, bar manager Kostas Bardas asked us. America! The Maker’s Mark and sherry-based cocktail, 1st Step, comes in a smoking rocketship. How could we not?! Then, to Thailand, where we tried Megong, a blend of Mekhong Thai Spirit, rum and Earl Grey presented alongside a mini gong. Heaven Howler was a tribute to Iceland’s Prohibition period from 1915 to 1989, a unique marriage of Himbrimi Old Tom, Martin Miller’s Westbourne Strength, homemade rhubarb and thyme liqueur, pale ale and beer soda. We certainly wouldn’t mind sipping this refreshing serve in a geothermal spring… Then, on recommendation from quite literally everyone behind the bar, we tried the Victory Martini, inspired by Winston Churchill. Well, we are in London after all. A sophisticated blend of Plymouth Gin, Cognac and a brilliant homemade pine honey and wine leaf cordial made this little number outrageously easy to drink. The brilliantly conceived and engaging Passport menu took us to all corners of the world, though all from the luxurious blue plush interior of the bar. Bon voyage!
I’ve never been so proud of the Brits before. Well in, guys.
British drinking more beer despite Dry January claims Wowcher
You may have noticed that it has become popular in the last few years to give up alcohol in January, a bit like a Lenten fast but without the Christianity. With all the noise in the media about Dry January, you might think that alcohol sales would be seriously affected but, according to figures just released by Wowcher, the discount voucher people, this is not the case. In fact, there has been a 71% increase in beer sales compared with January 2019. It has to be said, that this is based only on data from Wowcher’s website and app so could hardly be described as definitive. Nevertheless, it does seem to suggest that even with all the newspaper articles, TV segments, advertising and general media hubbub, Dry January is still very much a minority pursuit. Britons, never change.
It’s a fine donation to a good cause.
Diageo rolls out the barrel for Scottish Rugby charity
Diageo has announced that it donated a cask of Scotch whisky to raise money for Doddie Weir’s My Name’5 Doddie Foundation to find a cure for MND. The rugby legend and inspirational Motor Neuron Disease campaigner Doddie Weir visited the brand’s new Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh on Monday 20 January to accept the donation. This is also marked the official opening of the offices and reaffirmed Diageo’s support for Scottish Rugby ahead of the forthcoming Six Nations, which will be the first to feature Johnnie Walker as Scottish Rugby’s official whisky partner. “Doddie Weir is an inspiration to people everywhere with the remarkable bravery of his campaign. It was a privilege to welcome him to our new offices and to share his incredible campaign with our people,” said Ewan Andrew, president of global supply & procurement at Diageo. “We have a powerful connection with rugby through our Guinness Title Partnership of the Six Nations Championship and our Johnnie Walker partnership with Scottish Rugby. What better way to celebrate these partnerships and to mark our move to our new office than by supporting Doddie and his campaign.” Doddie Weir added: “I am delighted to accept the donation of this cask of Glenkinchie single malt whisky for my foundation. The momentum behind the campaign keeps growing and it’s terrific to see companies like Diageo and brands like Johnnie Walker stepping up to show their support and to raise funds.” Diageo will now work with the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation team to select a cask of Glenkinchie single malt and to have it bottled for the charity. We wish all involved the best luck in fighting for this fantastic cause.
The Big Drop Brewing founders are hoping to raise a pretty penny
Big Drop Brewing Co. launches crowdfunding for major expansion
Launched in London in 2016, Big Drop Brewing Co. is shaking up the alcohol-free beer game as one of the very few totally dedicated alcohol-free brewers. In its portfolio, you’ll find stout, pale ale, IPA, lager and other brews, along with a range of gluten free and vegan beers too. For its brews, Big Drop uses a method which removes the need to extract alcohol after fermentation, which is often what affects the taste and mouthfeel of alcohol-free beer. It’s launching a crowdfunding campaign in February, and investors will become a part of the company as well as receiving a few perks alongside, from brand merch to a day with the master brewer. The perks get better depending on how much more you’re willing to invest, of course. The point of the crowdfund is to help it expand into markets outside the UK, as well as within its home country. “We knew there were a lot of people who felt exactly the same way as we did,” says co-founder Rob Fink. “We realised we could create not just the beer we wanted, but a community of like-minded people too. What if we could do for alcohol-free beer what the craft beer revolution had done for, well, beer?” Well, if you want to find out and want a piece of the action, then head over to the site!
The 2020 Tap Takeovers at the Tate will feature the likes of Cloudwater Brew Co., Tiny Rebel and more.
Tap Takeovers at the Tate
Lovers of contemporary art, good beer and alliteration are in for a treat as the latest Tap Takeovers at the Tate have just been announced. These consist of an evening at the Tate Modern in London devoted to a particular brewery. The first event on 30 January features Manchester’s very own Cloudwater Brew Co. with its delicious range of beers including a mighty 8.5% ABV Double IPA. And don’t worry if you don’t like beer or alcohol, as the brewery produces a range of zero ABV sodas. Be warned, though, you can’t just turn up and have access to delicious brews, that would be too easy, you need to book in advance here. Tap Takeovers will be running monthly throughout the year with breweries such as Tiny Rebel, Verdant Brewing and Northern Monk Brew, so there’s sure to be something that tickles your fancy.
Yep. That’s a haggis lasagne alright.
And finally. . . It’s getting Scot in here! Aldi makes Burns Night lasagne with haggis.
Burns Night is, of course, founded on tradition. And tradition is fun, you know what you’re going to get. But this year, Burns Night 2020 will be known as the year that Aldi, everyone’s favourite discount supermarket, really shook things up because it has given Scotland’s national dish, the haggis, an Italian twist with a recipe for haggis lasagne. Yes, really! Literally lasagne with haggis, it’s the greatest Scots-Italian mash-up since Peter Capaldi. Imagine serving that at a traditional Burns Night. If this kind of culture collision isn’t your thing, then you can just buy the haggis from Aldi and enjoy it in its pure form. But if we could time travel, the only place we’d be going is back to the late 1700s to ask Robert Burns himself what he thinks of this. Salute! No, wait. Slange var!
Cheesemongers, distillery expansions and cucumbers – all this and more in the latest edition of The Nightcap! Right, before we get to the usual incredibly tangential reference that somehow links…
Cheesemongers, distillery expansions and cucumbers – all this and more in the latest edition of The Nightcap!
Right, before we get to the usual incredibly tangential reference that somehow links our weekly round-up of booze news stories to something like aliens being late for a dentist appointment or whatever, we figured we’d just remind you yet again that Father’s Day is this weekend. You haven’t forgotten to get that father figure of yours a present like some of us, have you? (Don’t ask how we did that while continuing to shout about Father’s Day, we have no idea). If you’re in the UK, check our weekend delivery options for your address in the checkout if you have forgotten and send some superb spirits to your dad! Anyway, you ever meet an alien who’s late for a dentist appointment? Me neither. Aliens don’t have teeth. You know what they do have, though? An appreciation for the latest stories from the world of drinks!
Buffalo Trace ‘marches ahead’ with huge distillery expansion
Did you know Buffalo Trace Distillery was investing an enormous US$1.2 billion in its distillery? Yep, to counter stock issues, the producer has been on it. The whopping project started back in 2016 and has already seen the construction of four new barrel warehouses and a $50 million bottling hall that’s almost finished. Next up? Three more warehouses (insulated and heated during winter months for prime maturation conditions); a new cooling tower to manage the temperature of the mash; four new 92,000 fermenters, and new handling equipment in the dry house. The visitor centre is also primed for expansion after a record 231,523 passed through the distillery gates in 2018. Phew. “We’ve been increasing production for many years now. We’ll fill more barrels this year than ever before in our 246-year history,” said senior marketing director, Kris Comstock. “Many of our bourbons are aged for eight years or more, so although we have far more than a decade ago, demand continues to outpace our supply of mature bourbon. There will be more available every year, but it will be a while before bottles are readily available on liquor store shelves. While we’re flattered these brands have become so popular, we do understand the frustration our fans are experiencing when they see empty store shelves. We promise we are doing everything we can, but we can’t speed up the ageing process, so we just ask for continued patience.” We reckon it’ll be worth waiting for.
Fords Gin joins impressive range of spirits at Brown-Foreman
Brown-Forman to acquire Fords Gin
The Brown-Forman Corporation announced this week that it has reached a definitive agreement to purchase The 86 Company which will add Fords Gin to a growing portfolio that includes brands like Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve and GlenDronach. The 86 Company’s Simon Ford and 8th generation master distiller Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillers created Fords Gin together using a blend of nine botanicals including juniper, coriander seeds, lemon, bitter orange, grapefruit, cassia, angelica, jasmine and orris root. Pleasingly, Ford and The 86 Company team will remain in key roles building and crafting of Fords Gin. “Brown-Forman is a great partner to bring Fords Gin to more bartenders and consumers in the U.S. and around the world while keeping our commitment to producing a unique, high quality, mixable gin,” said Simon Ford, “We’re extremely thankful to all our supporters who have been championing the brand since the beginning and look forward to seeing what the future holds with our new collaborators.” Lawson Whiting, president and CEO of Brown-Forman, added: “Fords Gin is a unique brand with terrific momentum in one of the fastest growing categories in spirits. We look forward to building Fords Gin into another iconic brand in our portfolio.” The purchase is subject to ‘customary closing conditions’ (if they don’t ask for a replica of Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin from DuckTales it’s a wasted opportunity) and is expected to be completed within 30 days.
Edrington-Beam Suntory’s Bowmore Distillery is one of many who will enjoy this news
Raise a dram! Whisky is set to grow by 6% by 2022
The Edrington-Beam Suntory UK soothsayers have been hard at work: the company has just published its Whisky Yearbook, and the numbers make compelling reading. According to those running the sums, the UK whisky category will be worth a whopping £2.44 billion by 2022, up by more than 6% on 2018 levels. More specifically, an increase in “accessibly priced” expressions will propel Scotch single malt growth by more than 11%, while American whiskey is expected to climb by almost 8%. But it’s “emergent” sub-categories that are primed to soar. The value of Irish whiskey as a whole is projected to advance by almost 21% to 2022, with single grain predicted to explode by a whopping 96%. Japanese whisky can expect a 44% boom, while Canadian whisky, from the smallest base of the four, is set to see a 36% increase. “Irish and single grain whiskies have been real success stories over the past twelve months – sharing rapid growth on an already strong base of both volume and value in the market,” said Mark Riley, Edrington-Beam Suntory UK MD. “We expect both to play a greater role in shaping the wider market in the coming years. The supply challenges that have arguably held back growth in Japanese and Canadian whiskies have eased. While there remains a challenge securing enough liquid from leading brands from both nations to satisfy UK demand, there is far greater supply forecast and we predict we will see growth as a result.” More whisky to go around? Tip top news indeed! Let’s hope the number of consumers continues to grow too.
Eight Lands organic Speyside Gin and Vodka launches
The newly-built Glenrinnes Distillery has announced the launch of its first products: Eight Lands Organic Speyside Gin and Eight Lands Organic Speyside Vodka, both made from 100% organic ingredients and Speyside spring water. Eight Lands, set at the foot of the Ben Rinnes mountain in Speyside and named after the eight different counties that are visible from its top on a clear day, is a family-owned and run business developed by the father and stepson team of Alasdair Locke and Alex Christou. The purpose-built 5,400 sq/ft distillery contains a bespoke 1,000-litre pot still and a two ten-plate rectifying columns built by local specialists, but there are currently no plans to make whisky as the team wants to focus on making quality white spirits. Speaking of which, Eight Lands’ first gin will be a London Dry with a juniper-forward profile which is complemented by locally-foraged botanicals, while its vodka was made using organic barley and wheat, a combination of pot and column stills and an unusual two-stage fermentation process. Both are available directly from the distillery and its website (www.eight-lands.com). “I genuinely believe that we have created something special with our organic vodka and gin, and I’m really proud of the team at the distillery for the hard work and passion that they have put into this,” Christou commented. “We have ambitious plans to build the Eight Lands brand globally in the months ahead and I know that my family and our production team are incredibly excited about sharing our spirits with both the UK and other markets.” Glenrinnes Distillery is open for tours and tastings with the distillery team, so go check it out for yourselves, folks! We’ll be doing the same thing very, very soon…
Only ten bottles of this stuff are available outside Mexico,
World’s most expensive Tequila (probably) goes on sale in London hotels
Only ten bottles of Maestro Dobel 50 1•9•6•7 Extra Añejo Tequila are available outside Mexico, and Master of Malt got to try one. It might be the world’s swankiest Tequila, it is certainly extremely expensive. Just a measure will set you back around £200. The other nine bottles (sorry, we finished the tenth with help from assembled bartenders and journalists) will go to some of London’s choicest hotels: the Lanesborough, the Rosewood, the Mandarin Oriental and the Connaught where they will sit “the shelf just above the top shelf”, as brand ambassador Oliver Pergl put it. So why is it so expensive? Well, it is extremely rare but it’s not 50 years old. It was created for the 50th birthday of Juan Domingo Beckmann (born in 1967), from the family who own Jose Cuervo, who started the Maestro Dobel brand. It’s a blend of five to seven-year-old spirits aged in a mixture of new American and French oak, blended and finished in sherry casks, though heavy hints were dropped that it contains some much older spirits from Beckman’s private cellar. It certainly tasted extremely mature and opulent, very creamy and smooth with dried fruit sherry cask notes. At times it was like a Cognac, sometimes like an old Latin American rum, but always with that vegetal agave note as the spine. The Maestro Dobel 50 demonstrates a mastery of wood that would impress a Scotch whisky blender. We were lucky enough to drink it alongside a feast especially designed to go with Tequila by Brazilian chef Rafael Cagali from Da Terra in Bethnal Green. So, if you’ve just sold your screenplay to Steven Soderbergh, we’d recommend you give it a go. But if you haven’t, which is most of us, the Maestro Dobel Diamante is pretty delicious too.
There are few sites more beautiful than this
St-Rémy Brandy launches collaboration with cheesemonger Rodolphe Le Meunier
We all know the joys of a classic cheese and wine pairing (if you don’t, remedy this situation immediately), but how many of us realise how well cheese goes with brandy? Well, we certainly do here at MoM Towers, thanks to the French brandy experts St-Remy, who kindly invited us to enjoy them both at Le Pont de la Tour in London last night in the company of Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison, St-Rémy’s master blender Cécile Roudaut and international cheesemonger (amazing job title) Rodolphe Le Meunier. He’s a big cheese in the world of, err… cheese, having received awards such as Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman of France) and Meilleur Fromager International (Best International Cheese Maker) in 2005 and 2007 for his milk-curdling work and recently setting a Guinness World Record for the largest ever cheeseboard (imagine the party that night). The gastronomic collaboration was brought to life by Roudaut and Le Meunier, who worked closely to distinguish the perfect pairings, developing delights such as St-Rémy XO paired with Old Mimolette (superb), St-Rémy XO with wood-smoked goat cheese (inspired) and St-Rémy VSOP with Swiss Gruyere (I would happily murder a human person for more of it). “France is well-known for its diversity of cheeses, but up until now, nobody has thought to associate them with brandy. It’s truly an entirely new tasting experience,” Roudaut said. “Working with a ‘World’s Best Cheesemonger’ as well as ‘One of the Best Craftsmen of France’ has been a fantastic experience. Rodolphe isn’t any ordinary cheesemonger. I’ve discovered in him someone extremely creative, and so full of ideas. It was really exciting to work on associating cheese with St-Rémy brandies.”
It would have been rude not to have a sample, or two…
We had a little nose around London’s Bimber Distillery this week in the name of brand new whisky, with a tour from brand ambassador Lukasz. The distillery was founded in 2015 by Dariusz Plazewski, a third-generation Polish moonshiner; Bimber is actually the Polish word for moonshine. We arrived just in time to catch spirit coming straight off the two direct-fired copper pot stills, Doris and Astraea. We started off by trying both peated and non-peated new make spirit, both of which weighed in at around 60% ABV! Hardcore. Although it was surprisingly easy to drink, little surprise that Jim Murray scored it 96.5 in his bible. Then, very excitingly, we previewed three of the single malt whiskies which are expected to be released in September this year. There was the sweet, vanilla and toffee heavy Re-Charred Cask, super Christmassy Sherry Cask and tropical fruit-filled Bourbon Cask. Each expression was somebody’s favourite, and they were all delicious. We even got a sneaky taste of Fortunella liqueur and Da Hong Pao Tea Gin, just for good measure, and life is all about balance, right? This truly is a craft distillery with everything done by hand, including the labelling and bottling. Not an automated machine in sight. It’s an incredibly exciting time for this relatively small distillery, having recently launched its Founder’s Club and just months away from its first London single malt. Watch this space!
Movies & Malts: a perfect combination
Laphroaig launches partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas
Picture this: Laphroaig has launched a collaboration with cinema network Picturehouse Cinemas. The partnership plans to push the Islay distillery’s profile to a host of new consumers as part of the brand’s ‘Opinions Welcome’ campaign, which invites people to discuss and share their opinions of the distinctive whisky. A very brave thing to do in this time of internet comment sections (everyone who writes on ours is lovely, of course). Previous opinions include “the perfect gift for someone you love or hate… or haven’t made your mind up about” and “smells like medicine. Tastes like soil. My whisky of choice”. The collaboration will entail #OpinionsWelcome content and advertisements shown on-screen. But the really cool part? Laphroaig will be available to be sampled by cinema-goers who visit the 25 Picturehouse venues across the UK and bar staff will receive training in all things Laphroaig so they can create cocktails like the Popcorn Old Fashioned or a Laphroaig & Ginger. A peaty dram/cocktail while watching a film? The people’s voice (or maybe just mine) has finally been heard. “Partnering with Picturehouse Cinemas is a fantastic opportunity for Laphroaig as it gives us the chance to put our much-loved but divisive whisky into the glasses of new consumers, encouraging them to share their unique thoughts,” Nick Ganich, head of Beam Suntory Brands at Edrington-Beam Suntory UK said. “Cinema always stokes healthy debate, so it felt the ideal match to include Laphroaig, which instils similarly strong but divided opinion. Luckily, we welcome them all and we can’t wait to hear what people think.” The partnership between Laphroaig and Picturehouse Cinemas will start in June 2019 and continue throughout the year.
The flagship bottling is a 1994 vintage Springbank, aged in an antique ex-sherry hogshead
Douglas Laing unveils Super-Premium XOP ‘The Black Series’
Douglas Laing has been busy, as this week it revealed a brand spanking new extension to the Xtra Old Particular range. Behold, XOP The Black Series. The flagship cask in the series is a 1994 vintage Springbank, aged in an antique ex-sherry hogshead and bottled at cask strength, 47.7% ABV over 24 years later. According to Douglas Laing, the bottles house “dark fruited, subtly smoked, leathery and chocolatey spirit within”. It sports quite the decadent packaging too, with a monochrome scheme alongside gold foil detail. Each bottle is hand-filled with an embossed metallised label, glass stopper and even the signatures of Fred and Cara Laing, and, naturally, comes in a luxurious black moleskin case with a certificate of authenticity. Regarding the new series, Cara Laing, director of whisky, noted: “The maiden release in this new Single Cask Series certainly sets an exceptionally high benchmark for future bottlings, and we are poised to rise to that challenge!” Considering that, we eagerly await future bottlings. The 1994 Springbank is expected to retail for £800 throughout Europe and Asia, so definitely keep a lookout on your favourite online retailer. Mind you, there are only 148 bottles, so you’d better be snappy.
You’ll have to get down there yourselves to see the brand ambassadors dressed in ‘cucumber collectors’ outfits
And finally… Hendrick’s goes bananas for World Cucumber Day
Whereas most gin brands get behind World Gin Day (8 June) or National Martini Day (19 June), for Hendrick’s it’s all about World Cucumber Day on 14 June, that’s today! At airports around the world including Changi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Schiphol, Frankfurt, Munich, Barcelona, Madrid, Dubai, Dublin, Istanbul, Vienna, Brussels, São Paulo, JFK, Bogota, Rio and IGL Canada, Hendricks will be putting on eccentric displays to celebrate its signature botanical and garnish. There will be cucumbers specimens displayed in special jars, as well as gifts when you buy a bottle of Hendricks and interactive experiences. Oooh modern! The thing that really caught our eye, however, was the promise of Hendrick’s brand ambassadors dressed up in special ‘cucumber collectors’ safari outfits complete with ‘cucumber collector catchers’ ie. nets. Sounds completely bananas, sorry, cucumbers.
Looking for bite-sized bits of booze news? That’s exactly what The Nightcap is all about! This week we’ve got stories about distillery facelifts, trees and 47 year old whisky… It’s…
Looking for bite-sized bits of booze news? That’s exactly what The Nightcap is all about! This week we’ve got stories about distillery facelifts, trees and 47 year old whisky…
It’s time once again for the MoM editorial team to remove the selection of stylish toppers from our heads and don our snazzy newsy caps with the little bit of paper saying “PRESS” or “NEWS” sticking out of them. The Nightcap is back for another round of news stories from the booze world. You can wear whatever variety of hat you want as you read it. Perhaps a pillbox hat? A Stetson? A whoopee cap?! All headwear is allowed.
That’s all well and good, but what about the rest of the news? Read on…
Clynelish, the Highland ‘home’ of Johnnie Walker, is set for a radical revamp
Clynelish and Cardhu set for fancy facelifts
Diageo has revealed the latest recipients as part of its £150 million investment in Scotch whisky tourism – Highland distillery Clynelish, and Speyside’sCardhu! Local residents have been invited to check out yet-to-be-submitted plans for both sites, which will become outposts for blended Scotch brand Johnnie Walker. Clynelish, situated about an hour north of Inverness, will get a visitor centre on the upper floor, along with a new bar and tasting area, boasting stunning views of the Sutherland coast. As the Highland ‘home’ of Johnnie Walker, the distillery will share design cues with the major new visitor attraction in Edinburgh. Clynelish shares its site with Brora, a long-closed distillery that’s being brought back into production in a separate project. Meanwhile, over in Speyside, Cardhu is also set for a refurb. The distillery, just north of the River Spey near Knockando, will become Johnnie Walker’s Speyside home. It’s association with the brand dates back to 1893 when it became John Walker & Sons’ first distillery. The investment will see a visitor experience dedicated to Helen and Elizabeth Cumming, the two women who set up and ran the distillery in the 19th century, plus a new orchard space for people to enjoy. “Tourism is an increasingly important part of the Speyside economy, alongside distilling,” said Laura Sharp, Cardhu Distillery brand home manager. “The investment we are making here at Cardhu will add another jewel to Speyside’s whisky tourism crown and we look forward to working with the local community and stakeholders as we progress our plans.” Jacqueline James-Bow, her Clynelish counterpart, added: “Scotch whisky tourism is one of the major attractions driving economic growth in rural communities such as Brora. With the work we are already doing at Brora Distillery, and that we plan to do at Clynelish, we are bringing major investment and creating exciting new economic opportunities for the community.” Subject to planning permission, work is expected to get underway at both sites later this year.
Feast your eyes on the new Tres Agaves Distillery!
Tres Agaves opens new Tequila distillery
We’ve heard a lot about new distilleries across Scotland and Ireland recently, but this week we bring you news of a pristine Tequila distillery! San Francisco-based Tres Agaves has opened its first production site in Amatitán, Mexico, with Iliana Partida at the helm as its founding master distiller. Tequilera TAP has been custom-built and will continue to make Tres Agaves’ Blanco, Reposado and Añejo 100% agave range, only now with full organic certification. The set-up includes a 20-ton autoclave, a four-stage roller mill, shallow stainless-steel fermentation tanks, and copper coiled alembic distillation stills. As well as the shiny new kit, there’s also a traditional brick horno, a tahona wheel and shallow pine fermentation tanks, to provide time-honoured production options, too. Capacity will reach more than 600,000 litres of spirit per year. Visitors are welcome, and can take advantage of tours and private tastings, including single-barrel releases. The Tres Agaves team seem delighted with the developments. “Tres Agaves has always been about family, the local community and producing the finest quality authentic Tequila,” said Barry Augus, founder and CEO of Tres Agaves Tequila. “I’ve known Iliana’s family for twenty years and even purchased the land for the new distillery from her father, David. The opening of our state-of-the-art distillery with Iliana, whose family I have known since my start in the Tequila industry, marks a major milestone for us.” Congrats to all!
It seems appropriate to celebrate Cotswolds Dry Gin victory with a quick tipple…
ADI names Best of Class craft spirits
Remember when we headed out to San Francisco for the American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits? Well, the winners have been announced! And they are a diverse bunch indeed. Those named Best in Class were deemed outstanding by the individual panels, and then re-tasted by the entire judging contingent – so you know they’re good. And leading the gin charge was England’s very own Cotswolds Distillery, which won the International Gin category with its Dry Gin! Other top tipples were NAUD’s VS Cognac, which won International Brandy; and Casa D’Aristi, which scooped International Liqueur with its Kalani Coconut offering. Kudos also goes to The Heart Distillery which won in the US gin category, Solar Spirits, which snapped up US vodka for its Eclipse Vodka, and Cutwater Spirits, which triumphed in the US Whiskey section with Devil’s Share American Whiskey. Overall, there were hundreds of medals awarded to all kinds of spirits across the category spectrum. Congratulations to all the winners!
Just look at this beauty. Wow
Mortlach releases 47 year old ‘Singing Still’ bottling
We love the meaty taste of Mortlach. It’s not known as the beast of Dufftown for nothing. So, we were particularly excited to learn about a new 47 year old expression from the single malt Scotch distillery. 47 years! Imagine the beastiness. This is the oldest expression ever released by the distillery. It’s the first to hit the market in a new series of single cask whiskies called The Singing Stills Series (can now picture Disney-esque stills actually singing) after Mortlach’s famously vocal distillation equipment. This one is from a refill American oak hogshead that was filled in 1971. “This bottling is exquisite for its age and is unmistakably Mortlach, with its intensely complex character and well-balanced flavour profile,” said master blender Dr. Craig Wilson. Global Scotch ambassador Ewan Gunn added: “The sound of the stills is as distinctive to the distillery as the taste of the whisky. Mortlach’s exceptionally bold and complex flavours effortlessly bridge the gap between mellow and smoky.” Mmmmmm, mellow and smoky. On 25 March one bottle will be auctioned by Bonhams of Singapore with the money going to Daughters of Tomorrow, a charity that supports underprivileged women. A further 94 will go on sale on 9 April for £10,000 apiece. Master of Malt will be given a wee taste soon; we will let you know ASAP whether it’s worth dipping into your wallet.
You can enjoy bourbon and the Kentucky sunshine with Barreled And Bold
Kentucky distillers team up for free tours!
Great news if you’re Kentucky-bound – Buffalo Trace, Copper & Kings and Barton 1792 have partnered to offer complimentary (yes – free!) distillery tours! Known as Barreled And Bold, the experience takes in each of the three distilleries, based in Frankfort, Louisville and Bardstown respectively. To take part, visitors need to register at BarreledAndBold.com, and then collect their B&B pass at the first stop. The pass gives bearers access to a free tour at each site, and progressive discounts along the journey (10% at the first distillery, 15% at the second, 20% at the third). Visit all three, and get a commemorative gift! “This is not just serendipity, this is allowing for a partnership that can provide an exciting, adventurous window to the past, present and future of distilling in America, well beyond the borders of Kentucky,” said Mark Brown, Buffalo Trace Distillery and Barton 1792 Distillery president and chief executive officer. Copper & Kings founder Joe Heron added: “What a proposition! Bourbon Pompeii to Rock & Roll Brandy, Warehouse X, maybe not SpaceX, but it does feel like a rocket about to take off. Three completely unique perspectives of adventurous Kentucky spirits, Bourbon, American Brandy, Gins and Absinthe. From the barrel for the bold, bold from the barrel. It’s Kentucky hospitality distilled.” We’ve got it on the travel bucket list.
Cooper King Distillery, doing its bit for the environment
Cooper King marks International Day of Forests by planting hundreds of trees
Over in North Yorkshire, Cooper King Distillery has donated over £1,000 to the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) to mark International Day of Forests on 21 March. The donation will enable it to plant 115 trees! It comes as part of a wider distillery vision to plant 400 trees in its first year of operation. 335 are already in the ground, offsetting 167.5 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of 50kg of carbon dioxide for every bottle of Cooper King gin sold. Imagine if every distillery did that! It’s one of just a handful of distilleries in the UK to run on 100% green energy, and instead of relying on fresh water to supply the cooling system, the team uses a nifty closed loop system, saving an eye-watering 13 tonnes of fresh water every year. Cooper King is also the first distillery in England to launch a scheme encouraging people to bring their empty gin bottles back to be refilled. You’ll get 15% off if you do! Think of it as a much more rewarding supermarket plastic bag scheme. If a small distillery that’s been up and running for less than a year can do this, why aren’t others stepping up? As Michael Delvin, development manager at YDMT, commented: “Big businesses can learn a lot from passionate start-ups such as Cooper King Distillery.” Hopefully it will inspire many more to follow suit.
Near & Far comes to Camden!
Get a taste of California in Camden at the latest Near & Far
The Near & Far family of bars is growing once again! With locations already in Peckham and Angel, another bar has just opened in Camden. The third instalment spans four floors of Californian-inspired decor, with room for 180 happy guests. Prepare yourself for palm trees, pastel hues and a copious number of cacti. There’s even a roof terrace which, being in England and all that, is sure to get its fair share of use all year round. With a cocktail menu inspired global tastes and Mexican street food from Elote, there’s literally something for everyone. A few of the cocktails are old favourites from other bar locations, as well as some new blood on the scene (not literally). We’re sure a favourite is going to be The Benedict Cucumberbatch – though isn’t that just his regular name..? There’s also a fabulous range of non-alcoholic cocktails and beers. In even more good news, it’s open seven days a week! Now, near or far, you’ve no excuse not to go…
P(our) Symposium will come to the English capital for the first time
P(our) Symposium heads to London
Listen up, bartenders and other booze folk: thought-provoking non-profit convention P(our) is coming to London for the first time! As well as revealing the location for the proceedings (Village Underground, 24 June), the team has also unveiled this year’s topic: Understanding. Speakers unpacking the theme through a variety of talks and collaborations include Isabella Dalla Ragione, and agronomist and expert on biodiversity; Brigitte Sossou Perenyi, a documentary producer and author; and bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. More names will be announced in due course. “We’re excited to bring to the fore this year’s theme of ‘Understanding’, looking at it from different perspectives – where it comes from, why it’s important, where more is needed and how it can be built,” said co-founder Monica Berg. Other P(our) founding members include Alex Kratena, Simone Caporale, Ryan Chetiyawardana, Jim Meehan, Joerg Meyer and Xavier Padovani, who united to bring and embrace change in drinks through discovering new ideas, sharing information, and exchanging inspiration. Tickets for P(our) are free, will be released in April through an application process. Fancy going along? keep your eyes peeled.
Fancy Glen Ord? It will offer visitors a chance to operate the distillery themselves
Highland Whisky Festival reveals programme, complete with Game of Thrones tasting
The Highland Whisky Festival, Scotland’s newest whisky event, is really taking shape! Set to run from 10-17 May, the celebration takes in distilleries across one of Scotland’s most beautiful and varied, though often overlooked, regions. Programme highlights include a special Game of Thrones tasting at Clynelish on 12 May, and a peek inside the soon-to-be reborn Brora distillery. Balblair will screen Ken Loach’s film The Angel’s Share among the casks of Dunnage no. 3, while on 14 May Glenmorangie will host a special single cask dinner. Meanwhile, the brave team at Glen Ord will offer visitors a chance to operate the distillery themselves on 16 May (sounds potentially dangerous.) To round things off on 17 May, Tomatin will roll out the barrel with live coopering demonstrations and a dinner, just in case you need more feasting after a week of festivities. It all sounds brilliant!
Look at its little face. This is vitally important work
And Finally… Bacardi backs the bats in Puerto Rico
We are a bunch of animal lovers here at MoM Towers. From cat pictures to office dogs, we are fans of all things fluffy. And the not so fluffy too, it turns out. News reached us this week that Bacardi Limited, owner of Bacardi rum (makes sense), has been rewarded for its efforts to protect bats at its rum distillery in Cataño, Puerto Rico, and our hearts soared. Like a bat in flight. Bacardi picked up WHC Conservation Certification, becoming the first site on the island to do so. What’s all the fuss about? Well, the bat programme offers education to employees and locals alike, stressing the creature’s importance to the island’s ecosystem. The company is also working to restore the natural forest area near its campus, creating a better habitat for the local bats. “Bacardi is an environmental leader, voluntarily managing its lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them,” said Margaret O’Gorman, president, Wildlife Habitat Council. “Achieving certification at the Bacardi Corporation facility in Puerto Rico demonstrates the company’s commitment to the environment, employee engagement and community relations.” Hurrah for Bacardi! And actually, looking at that little dude above, we reckon bats fall into the fluffy animal category, after all…
That’s it for The Nightcap for this week, folks. Have a marvellous weekend!
The enormously popular Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is back for 2017! Once again we’ll be splitting our allocation between a 30ml dram lottery, a bottle lottery, and a charity auction…
The enormously popular Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is back for 2017! Once again we’ll be splitting our allocation between a 30ml dram lottery, a bottle lottery, and a charity auction (with profits over RRP donated to Malaria No More UK). After all, we want as many people as possible to taste the good stuff, while doing some good!
As some of you may recall, our ‘first-come-first-serve’ method caused some, erm, drama back in 2015, so last year we decided to implement a brand new system – splitting our entire Buffalo Trace Antique Collection allocation between 30ml drams, bottle lotteries, and charity auctions. That meant hundreds of you had the chance to taste the goods. Because, after all, it exists to be enjoyed!
Did you know that eating Kentucky Fried Chicken has become a Christmas tradition in Japan? It’s estimated 3.6 million Japanese families turn to fried chicken instead of turkey every year (don’t get any ideas – you’re having turkey dammit!).
Truly this is the season where almost anything can become a new tradition – surely a whisky-based Advent calendar is as good idea as any – right?
In this spirit, what would be really fitting is a dram from Kentucky. Now if only there was one behind window #2 of #WhiskyAdvent…
Buffalo Trace Distillery has outdone itself again. Its National Historic Landmark Distillery doors are open once more, meaning whiskey fans can look back in time in truly spectacular fashion. Do…
Buffalo Trace Distillery has outdone itself again. Its National Historic Landmark Distillery doors are open once more, meaning whiskey fans can look back in time in truly spectacular fashion.
Do distillery tours rich with whiskey history get you in a giddy, geeky state? Then Buffalo Trace has some good news for you. The bourbon giants are reopening its doors for tours. And this time there’s even more sights to see.
The American family-owned operation based out of Franklin County, Kentucky claims it can trace its roots back to 1786. Which would make it almost as old as the United States itself. It would also mean it’s the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the country. That fact alone makes every drop of bourbon, rye whiskey and vodka it makes intriguing.
If that isn’t enough for you, the site of these tours is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Buffalo Trace Distillery has taken things up a notch, however, by inviting visitors to feast their senses on three new sites. Two of which had never been open to the public for touring before. How much are flights to Kentucky?
Dram in a beaker anyone? The Old Taylor House welcomes whiskey lovers.
See the unique heritage for yourself!
The first stop of the tour will take visitors to the charming Old Taylor House. Built in the 1790s by Commodore Richard Taylor, E. H. Taylor’s great-grandfather, it’s classed as the oldest house in Franklin County. But it’s been far more than just a residence. At one time it was a small hospital and even a laboratory.
Buffalo Trace restored it a short while ago after it had sat vacant for a number of years. It’s been an internal meeting space for some time. Now, it’s finally open to the general public for viewing. The rustic treat is the perfect way to begin the eventful ramble through whiskey history this tour delightfully provides.
If you liked that, you might want to steady yourself this next one. The second stop on the E. H. Taylor Tour will be the O.F.C Building, which Buffalo Trace had planned to renovate in 2016 and turn into a meeting and event space. That was until a truly incredible discovery.
The ‘Bourbon Pompeii’ – where the smokiness was intentional.
The ‘Bourbon Pompeii’
The team at Buffalo Trace happened upon a part of its distillery that dates back to the 19th century. The preserved nature of this rare archaeological treasure meant that it has come to be known colloquially as the ‘Bourbon Pompei’. Is your mind blown? Your mind should be blown.
Research has concluded that the original foundation wall was built by Taylor in 1869. But it was with the second foundation erected in 1873 that Taylor enacted his plan to construct the industry’s first ‘modern’ distillery. This quite unbelievable feature of the tour allows visitors to gaze upon fermenting vats found intact that date back to 1883.
Those lucky enough to see this incredible treat should note that one of those fermenters will be re-lined with copper as Taylor had originally intended and will be put to use in the near future. Sure to thrill anyone with whiskey close to their heart, some claim it to be the oldest, most intact distillery in existence in the United States.
The light is calling you, the whiskey awaits in Warehouse C…
The wonders of Warehouse ‘C’
Last, but by no means least, is the third stop on the E. H. Taylor Tour. Which will take guests inside Warehouse ‘C.’ This stunning brick and limestone structure was built by Taylor in 1884 and holds around 25,000 barrels. Much like the previous attractions, Warehouse ‘C’ demonstrates the unique perspective of E. H. Taylor, whose injection of steam heat in the warehouses for the winter months still influences how Buffalo Trace operates. In fact, the distillery is one of only a handful to still use this process.
The logic of this fine detail is that the bourbons can receive the full cycle of ageing all year round. This avoids the inconvenience of them lying dormant in the barrel when the temperature dips to around 4-5°C (40°F), as it can do in Kentucky winters. Warehouse ‘C’ is also the current maturation site of all of the E. H. Taylor, Jr. line of whiskeys.
If glorious stacks of proud whiskey casks bursting with stories and personality don’t interest you then get out of my blog post!
Taste the history!
To round it all off, those lovely folks at Buffalo Trace have thrown in a complimentary tasting session at the tour’s conclusion – as if we needed any extra reasons to go! But wait, there’s even more! Despite the new E. H. Taylor Tour lasting an hour, those tasting samples aren’t the only thing that’s free – the whole tour itself is complimentary!
But don’t fear or despair if you don’t happen to be in Kentucky anytime soon. You can still sample some of the delights from the distillery that has received more awards than any other North American producer since 1990. Luckily for you, it just so happens that I know the perfect places: Check out Buffalo Trace, Colonel E. H. Taylor and Eagle Rare Whiskey pages for lots of tasty treats.
The EH Taylor tours at the Buffalo Trace Distillery run Monday to Friday at 2:30pm. Reservations are required, and can be made online.