Bruichladdich Distillery


Recently, Joanne Brown of Bruichladdich sat with the Manchester Whisky Club and guided us through the range from Islay. It got me thinking though at my surprise of never featuring the brand on this site. I’d come across Bruichladdich and Joanne at the Fishermans Retreat a few years back, and even worked alongside the brand with tastings across the UK last year, but never had I dived in a really got to know the name and liquids they produce.

So lets rectify this.

Bruichladdich was built back in 1881 by the Harvey brothers, William, John and Robert. Located on the shore of Loch Indaal, on the Rinns of Islay (the westernmost part of the island) they utilised their family history as the Harvey name had owned two Glasgow distilleries since 1770 (Yoker and Dundashill). Creating the distillery from scratch instead of the usual method of converting from old buildings, the, at the time, state-of the art design of using stone from the sea-shore and building around a spacious courtyard on a slope had its advantages and set them up for the future (the slope for example leads to gravity-fed distillation, becoming more efficient).

They commissioned two unique tall and narrow-necked pot stills, going against the usual wider stills favoured at the time. Only 5 years later, William was left to run the distillery after a disagreement with his brothers. Although he ran the company until his death in 1936, this was to be the last involvement the family had as in 1938, Joseph Hobbs, Hatim Attari and Alexander Tolmie purchased the distillery for £23 000 through the company Train & McIntyre. They themselves then sold it onto Ross & Coulter from Glasgow in 1952, who incidentally sold to A. B. Grant in 1960, then Invergordon Distillers took over eight years later. Despite the many owners, in 1975 the number of stills increased to four to keep up with the demand. This did not last long though as in 1983 it temporarily closed and soon after, Whyte & Mackay bought out Invergordon Distillers, seeing Bruichladdich distillery surplus to requirements in the January of 1995.

The brands fortunes turned around though in the new Millennium as Mark Reynier of the group Murray McDavid bought the distillery from Whyte & Mackay (then named as JBB Greater Europe) for £6.5 millon on 19th December, making sure the stock dating back to 1964 came with him. Hiring Jim McEwan of Bowmore fame, he became their Master Distiller and started Bruichladdich’s first distillation on 29th May 2001 after 5 months of dismantling the whole distillery, then reassembled with the original Victorian equipment. In September, the first bottlings from the old casks were released (10, 15 and 20 yrs) followed by the first in the Octomore range in 2002. In 2003, Bruichladdich became the only distillery on Islay to have its bottling on-site. On 23rd July 2012, Rémy Cointreau reached an agreement with Bruichladdich to buy the distillery for a sum of £58 million.

So although it started well, changed hands several times, closed, then re-opened to the point of becoming one of the main names in Scottish whisky, how does it all fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Joanne Brown, Ambassador of Bruichladdich
Joanne Brown, Ambassador of Bruichladdich

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie – 46%

Made with 100% Scottish barley and matured in American white oak barrels. Peat notes on the nose with hints of vanilla, citrus and citrus fruit. A softer peat flavour on the palate, with the vanilla still present alongside apples and citrus fruits. The peat smooths the dram out with a lingering finish.

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2007 – 50%

Harvested in 2006 and distilled in 2007, the grain for this was grown for Bruichladdich in the Minister’s Field at Rockside Farm by Mark and Rohaise French.
Heather mixed with ripe fruits of pears and pineapples on the nose, with a palate full of the fruits and floral notes blending well.

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006 – 50%

Produced from crops planted in the Achaba and Achfad fields on Kynagarry farm, Islay. The fields hadn’t been used for agriculture in over a century and no chemicals were used either.
Bold citrus aromas on the nose with an oily butter note that follows to the palate. Rather thin and sharp, creating a dry spice in time for a big barley finish.

Bruichladdich Black Art 4 1990 – 49.2%
Matured using French and American oak. Fresh fruit on the nose with soft sherry and glazed cherry mixed with green apple. Rich, bold sherry with a developing sharpness upon the palate, with deep port flavours creating a very long finish with plenty of port and a natural sweetness.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Scottish Barley – 50%

Peated to 40ppm. Iodine, black pepper and heavy smoke dominate the nose, with a sweet, smooth and slightly warming palate of toffee and vanilla create a long-lasting finish.

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.1 5yr Scottish Barley – 57%

Peated to 167ppm. Notes of the crisp sea mixed with iodine aromas, with a little pepper and heather following. Lots of flavours on the palate – barley, oak, vanilla, pear and citrus dancing nicely. A warm finish.

Bruichladdich Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley 2009 - 64%

Peated to 258ppm. Soft dry smoke on the nose with soft peat and damp oak combining. Oily on the palate, lots of malt, with a very sharp kick of heavy peat, backed by an underlining sweetness that creates a lingering, dry finish.

Bruichladdich Cuvee 407 PX - 46%

21-year-old whisky aged in American oak and finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. Deep notes of port and sherry on the nose, with a very smooth offering of vanilla. Rich sherry on the palate, with citrus notes drying out the experience to create thin yet very long finish.

Going from unpeated, to heavily peated to super heavily peated offers a cracking change in flavour profiles, and offers the world surely something for everybody. If you’re still struggling, perhaps The Botanist gin would help?

Created and produced by Bruichladdich since 2010, The Botanist is slow distilled in ‘Ugly Betty’, a Lomond Still and one of the last in existence. The distillation takes seventeen hours and involves nine classical gin aromatics with a further 22 locally picked wild Islay botanicals, including;

Bruichladdich(*) = Non Islay Botanical

Angelica root *
Apple Mint 
Birch leaves
Bog Myrtle leaves
Cassia bark *
Chamomile (sweet)
Cinnamon bark *
Coriander seed *
Creeping Thistle flowers
Elder flowers
Gorse flowers
Heather flowers
Hawthorn flowers
Juniper (prostrate) berries
Juniper berries *
Lady’s Bedstraw flowers
Lemon Balm
Lemon peel *
Liquorice root *
Meadow Sweet
Orange peel *
Orris root *
Peppermint leaves
Mugwort leaves
Red Clover flowers
Sweet Cicely leaves
Thyme leaves
Water Mint leaves
White Clover
Wood Sage leaves

In the 17 hours of distillation, the gin is distilled after an overnight maceration of the nine base botanicals – the seed, berry, bark, root and peel categories – in spirit and Islay spring water. This alcohol vapour infusion from the distillation then passes through the botanical basket containing the 22 more delicate Islay aromatic leaves and petals, effectively creating a double infusion.

The Botanist - 46%

Bold apple and mint aromas on the nose, with orange, lemon and natural honey following nicely. Soft and very smooth texture on the palate, with a warming of citrus and floral orange. Slight spice on the tip of the tongue, but a great blend of subtle flavours, with a mint finish.
So perhaps Islay’s first and only gin could be a treat for you? Whether it’s Bruichladdich using 100% barley from Islay or Scotland, or The Botanist with its fray into a variety of botanicals, I think you’ll be covered for any time of the day! Grab some bottles, crack them open and enjoy.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



A third brand that I came across on my French travels a few weeks back is Lecompte, a rather small yet equally stunning range of Calvados. It’s in 1923 that Alexandre Lecompte created the Lecompte House in Lisieux, and built the brand until its sale to Yves Pellerin. Seen as the premium end of the Calvados category and essentially created for the connoisseurs, Lecompte’s distillery ‘La Morinière’ within Notre-Dame-de-Courson, offers a substantial amount of old stock, created by two traditional stills for double distillation.

But how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Lecompte 12yr – 40%

Very soft upon the nose with clotted fudge and vanilla notes coming through. Light on the palate, with hints of nuts and liquorice, followed by a slight fudge flavour that smooths out a dry finish.

Lecompte Secret
Lecompte Secret

Lecompte 18yr – 40%

Light fudge with a slight vanilla essence on the nose. Tropical fruit flavours on the palate, honey and apple, with memories of rum. Dry banana on the long finish.

Lecompte Multi-Vintage – 40%

Aged from stock laid in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Banana and soft fudge combine on the nose, with a light, soft offering of tropical spices and banana leaf that leaves a sweet finish.

Lecompte Secret – 40%

Using blends as old as 1923, with a minimum of 42 years. Rich on the nose with plenty of apple and oak blending perfectly. Both flavours carry onto the palate, with dark cocoa, raisin and a developing spice creating a very long and dry finish.

The Lecompte Secret has a rather interesting back story to it, with the following taken from the Lecompte website;

Eighty-five years after Maison Lecompte was first established, the new owners entrusted Richard Prével, a third-generation
Cellar Master, with the task of crafting the most extraordinary, the most perfect and the most complete Calvados ever made. Richard Prével spent five years blending, and composing hundreds of combinations of Lecompte’s precious eaux-de-vie. During the course of this tireless quest for perfection, he made an incredible discovery: several barrels laid down
by the founder of Maison Lecompte, undisturbed since 1923. This timeless treasure, crafted from over 100 individual eaux-de-vie, provided the finishing touch to a blend which was already exceptional.

I’m very lucky to have tried this, especially with its price tag, and it truly is one of the best Calvados expressions I have had. If the price puts you off though, the younger ages can offer some great recipes instead –

Le Bandista
Le Bandista

Le Bandista

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

50 ml Lecompte 12yr Calvados
10 ml Cherry Brandy Morand
160 ml Fresh apple juice
2 slices Fresh ginger
½ stem Fresh lemongrass
3-4 drops Fresh lime juice

Method – 

In a shaker, put the Calvados with fresh ginger and lemongrass and muddle all. Add the cherry brandy, fresh apple juice and a few drops of lime juice. Shake, strain and pour over ice.

or perhaps 

Lecompte Old School
Lecompte Old School

Lecompte Old School

Glass -


Ingredients – 

60 ml Calvados Lecompte 12yr
20 ml Saint Germain
3 dashes Chartreuse Elixir

Method – 

Pour the ingredients into a shaker and shake. Pour into a highball filled with ice and garnish with a range of apple encrusted with currant.

Although probably one of the more exclusive ranges of Calvados available, if you love the category, you need at least one of the expressions in your life. And the Secret? Wow.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel over to France and check out a criminally underrated category of spirit here in the UK; Calvados. Originally attending to see one of the main distilleries of Calvados, I was to find out that Boulard was to be not far down the road. Having the chance to experience another distillery and their creations is always a fantastic honour, and I duly share with you what I came across. But first, a bit on the Boulard brand itself –

Boulard Extra Calvados Pays d'Auge
Boulard Extra Calvados Pays d’Auge

Boulard, or Calvados Boulard as it is written correctly, started out back in 1825 by Pierre-Auguste Boulard, and are now into their 5th generation with Vincent Boulard the current manager. With a varied range, and some of the most striking of bottle and label designs, Calvados Boulard has been one of the leading Calvados brands in the world. With not much on the way of significant history, it’s the liquid that kick-starts the talking, so below, I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences so far –

Boulard XO Auguste Calvados Pays d’Auge - 40%

A blend of 6 to 15 years and named in homage to Pierre Auguste. Fresh apple with flavours of sweet fudge on the nose. Plenty of fruits on the palate, with a sharp citrus cutting through drawing out a long, bitter finish.

Boulard Extra Calvados Pays d’Auge - 40%

Soft upon the nose with a slight cocoa, vanilla and almond mix. The cocoa returns on the palate, with a candied orange and lingering tobacco leaf on the palate for a long, aromatic finish.

Also under the Boulard banner are expressions including Hors d’Age 12yr, and XO, VSOP and Grand Solage, all of which have won awards over the years. It’s these expressions that are perfect for expanding your palate towards cocktails –

Calvados Sidecar
Calvados Sidecar

Calvados Sidecar

Glass – 


Ingredients -

45 ml Calvados Boulard V.S.O.P.
25 ml Orange Liquor
25 ml Lemon Juice

Method – 

Pour the orange liqueur with lemon juice and Calvados in a shaker. Shake with ice and strain into a glass. Garnish with orange zest.

or perhaps 

Apple Fashioned

Apple Fashioned
Apple Fashioned

Glass -

Old Fashioned

Ingredients – 

60 ml Calvados Boulard Grand Solage
1 barspoon Sugar
1 dash Orange Bitter
1 dash Old Fashioned Bitters

Method – 

In an old-fashioned glass, pour the sugar and add bitters and ice. Mix for 20 seconds, add the Calvados and stir again during 15 seconds. Garnish with a slice of apple.

Worthy of inclusion within your drinks cabinet, even if theirs not much to talk about in regards to history. As mentioned though, it’s the liquid that does the talking, and just look at them bottles!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Don – The UK’s First Drinkable Art Cocktail Serve

The_Don__M_125 [TIF 14621017002]

To celebrate The Year Of Mexico in 2015 Tequila Don Julio has created an innovative new fusion between art and drink called The Don, which will launch at M Restaurants in February 2015. This pioneering cocktail serve is an interactive drinkable art piece, which holds approximately 100 cocktail serves and is the first of its kind in the UK. As guests fill their cocktail glasses from different cocktail chambers within, the artwork transforms from a Mexican sugar skull to reveal a portrait of the iconic Don Julio González.

“Don Julio González was the founder of Don Julio and the man who introduced luxury tequila to the world. In the same way that Don Julio González pushed the boundaries of tequila, I am keen to come up with new and innovative ways for people to experience tequila. The Drinkable Art is the first in a series of limited edition serves and was co-created by Accept & Proceed who specialise in physical design and incorporation of technology into art pieces.” Deano Moncrieffe, Western European Don Julio Brand Ambassador.

This pioneering cocktail serve comes in at two metres tall and a metre wide, and is called The Don to honour a man who is widely respected as being the father of luxury tequila. The Don sits on top of a specifically designed stand, which allows seasonal cocktails to be served from the three cocktail chambers with ease. As guests interact with the art and fill their cocktail glass from one of three bespoke taps, the picture transforms in front of them. Changing from a sugar skull image, which is a representation of the famous Day of the Dead Festival in Mexico, to a portrait of the iconic Don Julio González, the founder of Don Julio.

The Don will launch at M Restaurants, 60 Threadneedle St, London EC2R 8HP on Thursday 12th February

Organic Viticulture In The Côtes du Rhône


The Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages AOCs are among the largest organic wine-producing areas in France with 12% of the region’s wines grown organically. Côtes du Rhône red is also the top-selling organic AOC red wine in the large-scale retail sector in France with 18.3% (+1.5%) of market share. (Source IRI)

A serious, long-term commitment:

The number of organic certified wines grown in Côtes du Rhône’s vineyards has increased steadily over the past six years, making it one of the largest appellation areas in France to produce organic wine.

A pioneer in the organic movement, the Côtes du Rhône wine region has a long-standing commitment to sustainable practice and a strong awareness of the local initiatives designed to move towards greater environmental responsibility. These factors resulted in a conversion far quicker and more naturally than many other regions.

A further advantage is that the region’s vines enjoy very favourable conditions in terms of both agriculture and climate. The hot, dry conditions of the Côtes du Rhône are complemented by the Mistral, making the region perfect for organic wine production.

A growing number of producers:

In 2014, organic vineyards in the Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages region covered 5,346ha (+2%), with a production volume of 232,660hl (+43%) (source: Syndicat des Côtes du Rhône) representing around 12% of the global volumes.

Additionally, a total area of 182ha was under conversion, adding a potential 7,042hl to the harvest.

  • Number of CDR/CDR Villages organic certified producers – 2014 figures (Source: Syndicat des Côtes du Rhône): 217
  • Breakdown of CDR/CDR Villages organic certified producers – 2013 figures:
    • o 180 independent cellars (83%)
    • o 35 cooperative cellars (17%)
  • Around 50% of wine merchants in the UMVR (Union des Maisons de Vins du Rhône) now offer an organic range.

From a geographical point of view, Vaucluse is the undisputed leader both in Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages having 2,383ha, compared with 1,184ha in the Drome and 1,035ha in the Gard.

Meeting growing market demand:

Distributors are restructuring to meet the increasing demand for organic wine from both consumers (direct sales) and trade (large and medium-scale retail outlets).

Larger businesses, such as cooperative cellars and merchant houses currently produce organic wines in volumes large enough to respond to the more sizeable invitations to tender, particularly those issued by Northern European monopolies. (An example being a request to tender issued by the Norwegian government at the beginning of December).

Fever Tree – The Ultimate Gin and Tonic Tour

Fever Tree

The world’s best tonic water Fever-Tree take tonic on tour for 10th Birthday in a nationwide series of Gin & Tonic pop-ups and events.

Now celebrating 10 years of top-class tonic, Fever-Tree will bring the spirit of the season to G&T lovers across the UK this Spring with a travelling tonic tour. From botanical bicycles and Gin and Tonic Trailer Bars to secret summer pop-up spaces, Fever-Tree will descend on 3 UK cities to bring the world’s largest travelling gin collection to discerning drinkers across the land.

From March, Fever-Tree will pop-up in Manchester, Bristol, and Glasgow at some of the most exciting festival and events of the season, along with guerrilla city-centre sampling from travelling Fever-Tree bars. Guests will also have the opportunity to embark on Gin & Tonic safaris in each city, hosted by the experts at Fever-Tree.

Topping the springtime billing will be Fever-Tree’s Ultimate Gin and Tonic Bar, a pop-up space entirely dedicated to the Great British G&T. Showcasing an exceptional collection of over 160 fine and rare gins sourced from far flung corners of the globe, ‘The Bar with one Drink’ will celebrate this simple but exceptional drink. To hail the spirit’s extraordinary rejuvenation and 10 years since Fever-Tree revolutionised the tonic world, the bar will travel from city to city, transforming city-centre spaces for an unrivalled gin and tonic experience.

At a time when gin has never been so popular, the specialist G&T bars will host masterclasses with gin distillers and cocktail gurus, and raise money for Malaria No More UK with unique G&Tree tasting flights.

Most importantly there will be plenty of opportunity for visitors to create their ideal G&T combination from the 160 bottle-strong gin library and Fever-Tree’s range of superb tonics. The collection combines iconic London Dry Gins with the new wave from local craft distilleries and international newcomers from Russia, Germany and Mexico, all matched with natural tonics and garnished to perfection.

Fever-Tree is dedicated to hand sourcing the finest ingredients from around the world and the tour will showcase the diversity and versatility of the all natural tonics and mixers. From the delicately floral Elderflower Tonic using handpicked Gloucestershire elderflowers, to the herbaceous Mediterranean Tonic with lemon thyme and rosemary, Fever-Tree strongly believes there is a tonic for all tastes and for all gins.

From the depths of The Congo for quinine, to the slopes of Mount Etna for Sicilian lemons, Fever-Tree has gone to the ends of the earth in its mission to create the perfect gin & tonic. Fever-Tree’s Tonic Tour will celebrate cultural identities of iconic British cities, and make effervescent additions to the UK bar scene.

Grab your tickets here!

Re’al Cocktail Ingredients Gains A Listing In Fortnum And Mason

re al

The Re’al Cocktail Ingredients range of products has been listed by distinguished fine foods retailer, Fortnum and Mason.   Capitalising on the growing trend of cocktail consumption at home, Re’al Cocktail Ingredients has seen an increase in demand for high end cocktail ingredients with consumers looking to recreate their favourite on-trade serves.

Attitudes towards cocktail drinking in the UK have undergone a major change.  Rather than being consumed at the start of the evening, the 2014 CGA Strategy Report into cocktail consumption shows that cocktails are now a sessionable drink rather than a one-off treat.  Almost half of the survey sample questioned, 46%, stated they would drink cocktails anytime throughout the night, on average enjoying 2.5 serves per session. One third, 35%, of women questioned said they would choose to drink cocktails during a quiet night with friends, showing that both perception and occasion consumption have changed.

William Hinkebein, VP of Marketing for American Beverage Makers, comments: “We are delighted that our range of fresh fruit infused syrups has been chosen by such an iconic retailer as Fortnum and Mason, which is renowned for stocking the finest food from all over the world.  The Re’al range offers an excellent choice of flavours such as Pumpkin, Ginger, Peach, Raspberry and Blueberry so consumers can now experiment with their mixology skills at home.  We regard this listing as a real feather in our cap and a great indication of the quality of our products.”

Drinks Buyer Jamie Waugh of Fortnum and Mason adds: “Increasingly, our discerning customers want to make more inventive cocktails at home, so we are responding by expanding our drinks portfolio.  The Re’al products are used in the top cocktail bars in London, and are a firm favourite of respected bar tenders, so we can be confident we’re offering our customers the very best in terms of flavour and quality.”

Disaronno Raises The Bar With 2015 Mixing Star


Italian liqueur, Disaronno has launched the search for the UK’s next Mixing Star and introduced an exciting new prize to attract more bartenders than ever to the UK leg of its global cocktail competition.

Talented bartenders who create inspired recipes using Disaronno will compete to win an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans for the world’s premier cocktail festival and legendary industry event, Tales of the Cocktail. The runner up will win a night at The Langham hotel, London, including dinner and cocktails for two at ‘The World’s Best Bar’, the Artesian.

To enter, bartenders will need to submit an original Disaronno cocktail recipe via The Mixing Star website. An esteemed panel of judges, including Gary Sharpen of The Cocktail Lovers magazine and Disaronno’s UK brand ambassador, Rod Eslamieh will then select the best recipes and the successful contestants will compete at the live challenges in Manchester and London this June.

The bartender who receives the highest score from both the judging panel and the guests who attend the live challenges will win the coveted prize and fly to the USA to join the Mixing Star winners from across the globe.

Disaronno’s Mixing Star will be supported via the new website, a digital media campaign, PR and targeted advertising. The competition is open now and bartenders can enter here –



The vermouth category is often overlooked, with many customers not realising perhaps how much vermouth impacts a wide variety of serves, with the Martini and Manhattan cocktails probably the two most commonly known. I’ve featured a good range of vermouth brands on this site so far, from the well-known to the newly formed, but a common theme for these is the country of origin. Italy and France are the two stalwarts when it comes to production, and are seen around the country in nearly all bars, restaurants and cafés. It’s these experiences that we bring back to the UK and enjoy with perhaps soda or bitter lemon. But have you ever thought outside the box a little? Perhaps going for Belsazar, a German based vermouth?

Belsazar vermouth can trace itself to 2013 with its two creators, Sebastian Brack and Maximillian Wagner. They saw the lack of German vermouths in the market and looked into the fact that Germany is home to a wide variety of plants, herbs and spices. Wine is also a great export from the country, and the two founders teamed with Philipp Schladerer of The Schladerer Distillery, south of Braden, to combine these elements and produce what we see today.

For the base of each of the four expressions, wines from the South Baden region of Germany are sourced, in particular from award-winning wine makers at Kaiserstuhl and in Markgräflerland. They also keep it local for the acquisition of grape must, a natural sweetener used instead of normal sugar, and utilise the family run company Schladerer in the Black Forest for the fruit brandy that gives a twist to the finished liquids. Ultimately, with a blend of the 6 wines, they are flavoured with up to 20 different spices, herbs, peels and blossoms with the addition of the brandy and must.

Once each expression has been created, the liquid is aged within stone casks, believed that the temperature will be consistent compared to wooden oak barrels.

But how do each fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

BelsazarBelsazar Dry – 19%

Fresh, strudel aromas of grape and apple on the nose. Light, slightly sweet and with notes of orange, bark on the palate. Slightly dry and bitter on the finish, with aromatic apricot lingering.

Belsazar White – 18%

Rich, sweet aromas of dried oranges and fresh peach on the nose. Thin and sweet upon the palate, with a slight explosion of herbal root and dry spice combining to a long, slightly bitter finish.

Belsazar Rosé – 17.5%

Slightly bitter notes of raspberry, grapefruit and orange on the nose. Light, floral and aromatic flavours of currants, peach and quinine on the palate create a dry, more herbal finish.

Belsazar Red – 18%

Rich aromas of vanilla, fudge and cocoa on the nose. Incredibly smooth, velvet almost, with a developing bitter cinnamon flavour around the cherry and spice base. Very dry on the lingering finish.

An interesting range, and definitely offers a different flavour profile to the Italian and French styles. I can see them working very well within the likes of these recipes –

El Presidente
El Presidente

El Presidente

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

60 ml full-bodied Cuban rum
30 ml Belsazar Vermouth Dry
1 teaspoon of Orange Curacao
3 dashes of Grenadine

Method – 

Pour all ingredients into a mixing tumbler, fill with ice cubes and stir until cool. Pour into a pre-chilled Martini glass and serve with orange zest.

or perhaps,

Roasted Scallops

With Beurre Blanc Belsazar, fennel greens and balm, for 4 persons:

4 common scallops in shells · 100ml fish stock · 50ml Belsazar dry · 2 shallots · 120g butter · 50g French bread · 5g fennel greens · 1 sprigs balm · sea salt, pepper, cane sugar, oil

Cut French bread into slices and dry in the oven at 140 degrees for about 10 minutes. Carefully open the scallops with a knife, separate scallop meat from roe and offal, and clean the shell under running water. Lay the shell aside. Peel the shallots and cut into very small cubes.

Put 50g butter in a pan and let it melt, add breadcrumbs and fry lightly by stirring constantly. Now add 50 g of cold butter to the cooled base sauce and stir slowly with a whisk until the butter has completely dissolved. Scallops in 3 tbsp oil Sear on both sides in a skillet over high heat, add 20 g of butter and remove from heat. Leave the scallops in brown butter to infuse. Fill each bellied scallop shell with buttered breadcrumbs, lay each roasted mussel and sprinkle with Beurre Blanc “Belsazar”.

Garnish with fennel greens and balm. Cover again with a little of buttered breadcrumbs and serve immediately.

I do love a versatile brand! Some great recipes there, and one’s you should definitely try out sooner rather than later. Now launched in the UK after initially hitting Germany, expect to see plenty of these expressions hitting your favourite the near future.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Robinsons Launch Free Hospitality Training Courses

Robinsons deliver free hospitality training

As part of their continual investment into skills training for pubs across the North West, Stockport brewer Robinsons are launching a series of free training courses to local publicans, existing hospitality staff or anyone looking to enter the hospitality industry. The only expense is an examination fee of £25 saving over £115 per person, per course (ex. Vat).*

“It is now about 18 months since we first launched our Apprenticeship Plus Programme in conjunction with other North West pub operators such as Living Ventures and we now have over 120 on programme,” explained Director of Retail Operations Dave Harrison. “That was about raising the bar for service and standards in our area and these training courses is a continuation of that. There aren’t any catches and we’ll even throw in a brewery tour and buy lunch! We have a £3m training facility which opened 2 years ago and this gives us a great chance to make the most of it.”

“We’re going to run 13 free courses to start,” Dave continued, “and of course they are available to our licensees too, but we hope to see lots of new faces and should they prove popular then we will continue to run them. We’ve been investing in pubs in the North West for over 175 years – this is about opening the doors to the wider pub community. We don’t mind if you have a pub already that is managed, leased or free of tie – or are simply interested in building your skills with the prospect of perhaps one day running your own pub business…. if you are interested in training and want to make the most of this opportunity then you are the sort of people we’d like to invite to the brewery.”

The Cellar Training (ABCQ) and Personal License Holder (APLH) start on March 3rd and are run in conjunction with CPL Training. Places are available on a first come, first served basis. For further information or to book onto a course simply call 0845 833 1835 or email

Hospitality Training courses & dates

Freelance Events Curator/Collaborator, Brand Development, Drink Journalist, Taster & Guide to the World of Drinks

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