Grey Goose Introduces VX: Vodka Exceptionelle

Grey Goose VX

GREY GOOSE®, The World’s Best Tasting vodka, announces the launch of an extraordinary new, ultra-premium expression of GREY GOOSE – GREY GOOSE VX. A spirit like no other, the liquid combines GREY GOOSE vodka with precious drops of cognac.

François Thibault, the creator of GREY GOOSE whose passion for crafting extraordinary spirits was fostered as a Maître De Chai (cellar master) in the Cognac region, has once again defied convention with the introduction of this spirit that draws on exceptional French craftsmanship and heritage, yet is truly innovative. GREY GOOSE VX, which stands for GREY GOOSE Vodka Exceptionelle, is masterfully created from drops of cognac grapes drawn exclusively from the Grande Champagne cru, regarded by many connoisseurs as the very finest of the six cru within the region.

“From its inception, GREY GOOSE has always pioneered new and exciting territories,” said Thibault. “In creating GREY GOOSE VX, I wanted to capture the aromatic notes of a precious cognac, bringing its delicate essence of orchard fruits, plum, apricot and the mild flavours of wild honey to the remarkable character of GREY GOOSE vodka.”

The rich, subtle taste of GREY GOOSE VX conveys a harmonious balance of white fruit blossom, honeysuckle and violet with hints of apricot and a long, lingering finish. The balance is subtle, harmonious and rich, yet delicate with a long, full finish. The recommended serve is on the rocks in a balloon glass.

GREY GOOSE VX is presented in an exquisite decanter made from ‘extra flint’ glass, which is known for its exceptional quality. The bottle shape and fine detailing are inspired by historical French decanters, with rounded shoulders and a pronounced heavy-set stopper, while still retaining contemporary design cues from the original GREY GOOSE bottle.

“This really is a significant change for the white spirits category,” commented Nick Marshall, GREY GOOSE Brand Director. “It expands the vodka experience for luxury spirits connoisseurs across both white and dark categories. It is a serious demonstration of how GREY GOOSE can shape the future as part of our continuing commitment to drive innovation and category growth.”

70cl GREY GOOSE VX will be available in leading partner bars in London from Spring 2015 and for purchase in select premium airport locations in London, New York and Paris from September 2014.

For tasting notes on the VX as well as the rest of the range, please see my feature on the brand here.

 

Flavour Hunters Invited To Track Down Pop-Up Glorious 12 Whisky & Game Bar In London

 

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The British game season is off with a bang and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society has teamed up with The Wild Game Co. to pair seasonal wild game with its rare single cask whiskies at the Glorious 12 pop-up at Studio 2, New Inn Yard in Shoreditch, London in from 11-13 September.

For 3 evenings only, flavour hunters are invited to feast on a menu of Scottish game tapas, which features 12 different types of wild game, including woodcock, hare, partridge and wild boar, expertly paired with the exceptionally varied flavours of 12 of the Society’s rare single cask whiskies.

The Scottish tapas dishes on offer include:

 

Grouse, toasted brioche, roasted and pureed fig paired with a 34 year old juicy oak and vanilla single grain dram.

Roe deer striploin with frites, béarnaise and rowan jelly paired with a 22 year old peated dram.

Partridge, butterbean and chorizo matched with a 20 year old spicy and sweet dram

Glorious 12 will offer a ticketed hosting dining experience with two sittings each night at 6.45pm and 8.45pm. Ticket buyers will delve further into the world of flavours with expert talks each evening:

Wednesday 10th September – Media launch night

SMWS Brand Ambassador Annabel Meikle and Wild Game Co. founder Andy Waugh co-host media for supper and provide an insight into whisky and game pairings

Thursday 11th September – Foraging flavours with Thom Hunt

The founder of wild adventure company, 7th Rise, Thom Hunt, will guide guests through foraging in the wild, showing how to find the best of the countryside’s hidden treasures

Friday 12th September – Game butchery with Thom Hunt

Learn the basics of butchering game, including small birds and rabbits. Thom Hunt will detail the basics of skinning and butchering small game with a live demonstration, highlighting the best cuts and describing some of his favourite recipes

Saturday 13th September – DIY meat smoking with Ru Emslie

Game specialist Ru Emslie talks guests through how to smoke meat and fish at home. The talk includes how to make your own meat smoker as well as the best ways to create delicious wood-smoked game at home

The bar will also be open to walk-ins to sample some of the drams and tapas dishes on offer.

The pop-up will be staged at Studio 2, 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, with the contemporary gallery space being transformed into a Scottish tapas and whisky bar, with elements of the Scottish countryside transporting guests away from city life.

Helen Stewart, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s UK Brand Manager, said: ”The single casks that we bottle give us a wide, ever-changing variety of flavours to play with. Experimenting with these rare whiskies alongside the wild game sourced by The Wild Game Co. has resulted in some fascinating flavour pairings.”

Andy Waugh, founder of The Wild Game Co., said “When it comes to game, our aim is to take people on journey of discovery so they can explore these seasonal meats, which are so often overlooked yet soavailable on our doorsteps. There’s not a better time than now to eat game, as it’s just come into season and pairing wild game with different types of whisky offers a whole new flavour experience.”

The Glorious 12 Whisky & Game Bar, Studio 2, 31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3EY – Thursday 11th September – Saturday 13th September

Tickets/more information:

http://www.smws.co.uk/glorious12 

£29 – ticket price includes hosted dining experience, 4 pairings of game and whisky and a guest talk. Only ticket buyers have access to the full menu of 12 whisky and game pairings. The bar is also open to walk-ins who can order a limited selection of Society drams and game tapas from the bar.

 

National Final Of Wild Turkey Bourbon’s UK Cocktail Competition Comes To Manchester

WTEDIN 8

Gruppo Campari’s Wild Turkey® Bourbon has searched the length of the country for its annual UK Cocktail Competition; seeking out the best whiskey bartender to be judged at the final on the 27th of August at the recently opened bar, Cane and Grain in Manchester.  The finalists will be competing not only for the 2014 Title but for a transatlantic trip to the home of Bourbon – Kentucky.

The iconic American brand began its search in July at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms, followed by Jenny’s Bar in Liverpool, then headed south to Boilermaker in Nottingham, took to Hawksmoor in the Capital and finished up in Bristol at the Red Light.

The judges, which included Wild Turkey’s UK Brand Ambassador Martin Taylor, as well as the likes of Tiger White from the Edinburgh Whisky Blog, Greg Dillon from GreatDrams.com, Leon Dallaway from Shake Rattle and Stir and Lynette Pinchess from the Nottingham Post chose the best 12 bartenders from a list of more than 200 entries. 

The 12 finalists will be judged by Martin Taylor and with him; leading trade publication Imbibe’s spirits expert Clint Cawood and last years winner, Henry Yates of Boilermaker in Nottingham.

The winner, plus 2 runners up, will win an exclusive trip to Kentucky to discover the recently opened Wild Turkey Visitor Centre, indulge in a VIP tour and special tasting, before wrapping up with a night in New York City checking out all the best bourbon bars.

Last years winner Henry Yates won the competition unanimously with his cocktail named ‘The Right to Freeze Peach’ which was voted for by judges Simon Difford of Diffordsguide.com, Martin Taylor of Wild Turkey, and Hugo Mills, previously of Gruppo Campari.

Speaking about his creation, Henry said, “My inspiration for the peach, ice tea and mint cocktail originated from Wild Turkey country.  I wanted to create a cocktail with ingredients which are readily available, as an introduction to Bourbon.”

To make last years winning Wild Turkey cocktail ‘The Right to Freeze Peach’ by Henry Yates, you will need;

50ml Wild Turkey 81
10ml Crème de peche
20ml Peach syrup (canned)
10ml Lemon juice
100ml Iced black tea (Chinese)
6 drops of Grapefruit bitters

Shake over ice, strain and serve in an empty peach tin can with a sprig of mint and garnish with a Wild Turkey 101 atomised peach slice.

Details of this years finalists who will be competing for Henry’s title are as below:

Scotland –                      Will Cox of The Bon Vivant , Michael Braun of Panda & Sons and Michael Cameron of Guy’s Restaurant & Bar
North England –           Tim Laferla of Mr Coopers House & Garden and Paul Murphy of Whiskey Business
Midlands -                     Andy Moran of Boilermaker and Joe Macbeth of The Lacehouse
South West -                 Richard Tring of Red Light and Michael Sharpe of Hyde & Co
London -                       Joshua Cynar Reynolds and Alistair Reynolds of Hawksmoor Spitalfields and Sam Kershaw of Hawksmoor Guildhall

 

Diageo Still Popping Up At The Edinburgh Fringe

Get yourself to Edinburgh and check out a whole host of pop-up bars from Diageo -

tanqerayTanqueray Secret Garden

56 North, Tanqueray Gin and Diageo World Class are delighted to present the “Secret Garden”. Located behind the home of Scottish Gin at 56 North this previously unused space is being transformed into a summer garden for the Fringe Festival 2014. Be sure to try the Tanqueray No.TEN Grapefruit & Chamomile Fizz.

don julioDon Julio at Festival Square

Make sure you visit the Don Julio hut in the heart of the festival, Festival Square and grab a Don Julio frozen margarita before you shoot off to see a show.

zacapaThe Zacapa Experience at Chaophraya

Situated at exactly 23 metres above street level is ‘The Zacapa Experience’ at Chaophraya with unparalleled views over Edinburgh’s famous George Street. The must have drink here is the Zacapa 23 vanilla and banana smoked pina colada, best enjoyed with sunshine.

johnnie walkerJohnnie Walker at Harvey Nichols

The Harvey Nichols rooftop terrace has had a makeover and transformed into a Johnnie Walker experience complete with a World Class cocktail menu. If you get time you can even warm up for the Ryder Cup by practicing your putting skills whilst sipping on a Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Sibling Triple Distilled Gin Joins Harvey Nichols Prestigious Drinks Cabinet

Sibling

Sibling Distillery was launched by four siblings on June 4th 2014, with Gin and Tonic party attended by well over 200 people in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Since then it has been a busy couple of months for the Elliott-Berry family, selling into cocktail bars and independent retailers in Cheltenham, Bristol, Bath and London. The Triple Distilled Gin has been amazingly well received, already making it onto the cocktail lists of several very successful cocktail bars and becoming the fastest selling spirit in renowned specialist retailers.

However ‘the next step’ has come sooner than they imagined. Within two months of trading Sibling Distillery will be launching into Harvey Nichols, nationwide including stores in Manchester, Knightsbridge, Edinburgh and Dublin. Wine and spirits buyer Ivan Dixon says “Sibling is an exciting addition to the gin scene that boasts a refreshing point of difference and massive appeal. Representing an excellent example of contemporary craft gin, Sibling combines a unique background story with beautiful packaging and an exceptional liquid.” Sibling Triple Distilled Gin will be in stores from Friday 22nd August, and over the following few months Sibling Distillery will be conducting tastings in stores across the UK and Ireland.

Drambuie Says Cheers To 100 Years With The Mackinnon Punch

Drambuie - The Mackinnon Punch

Drambuie, the extraordinary blend of the finest aged Scotch whisky, spices and heather honey has created the perfect cocktail, The Mackinnon Punch, to mark the centenary of the Drambuie Liqueur Company.

This ultimate seasonal cocktail combines Drambuie, a topping of soda water, Angostura Bitters and a squeeze of fresh lemon, to create a deliciously refined cocktail with an effervescent finish.

The Mackinnon Punch

35ml Drambuie
Top Soda
2 Dash Angostura Bitters

Method: Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in the Drambuie. Top with soda water and add the bitters. Gently stir. Squeeze in a lemon wedge for a touch of citrus.

Drambuie Presents: The Unique Drambuie Summer Hut At Underbelly

Drambuie Underbelly

Throughout August, Drambuie will open the ’Drambuie Summer Hut’ in the heart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Guests will be able to enjoy a range of Drambuie cocktails including the deliciously refined Mackinnon Punch, the extraordinary Scottish Sangria, the novel Dram-brew-ie, and of course the refreshing (and ever popular) Drambuie & Ginger Beer.

The bar is designed in a style inspired by the surreal optical illusionary art of Salvador Dali. An incredible metallic hand with a Dali inspired eye welcomes you in to this extraordinary world, and upon entering, you are invited to experience the depth and complexity of Drambuie.

Visitors are encouraged to step into our surreal photo wall – prizes will available to those who encounter out our cast of Drambuie Players as they bring a taste of the extraordinary to visitors throughout the Fringe.

The bar will be open from 12pm till late each day and is located under the Pasture area at Underbelly, Bristo Square.

Underbelly
Bristo Square
Edinburgh
EH8 9AL

For the latest information, find Drambuie on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/UKDrambuie and Twitter @Drambuie #drambelly

Dictador

Dictador

It’s a good day when you head to a tasting, knowing that you have never tried any of the expressions that will be put in front of you. It happened to me recently as Dictador launched itself in Manchester in collaboration with wholesaler Hammond’s of Knutsford. Nine to be tried, two of those gins and the rest rum, with brand manager Cesar Triana Botero on hand to explain the ins and outs. So without further a do -

It is said that in 1751, Severo Arango y Ferro arrived in Cartagena de Indias, northern Columbia looking to control and increase the commerce between American Spanish colonies and Spain. During this time he fell in love with the local spirit of rum, and decided to produce and trade within. With his supposed strength and power, he was given the name ‘Dictador’. In 1913, one of his descendants, Don Julio Arango y Parra, established the Destileria Colombiana. Now in its third generation, lets see the range and how they compare to one-another. First, the gin -

The gin is based on a unique Colombian fruit called Limon Mandarino (Tangerine-Lemon). The base spirit of the gin is made from a neutral spirit distilled up to five times from sugar cane. 12 botanicals including ginger, black pepper, angelica, rosemary and the Limon Mandarino are added during the ageing process. This happens within oak barrels previously used for the Dictador rums for a period of 35 weeks.

Dictador
Columbian Aged Gin

Columbian Aged Gin, Treasure – 43%

Subtle aromas of oak on the nose, with a citrus and soft herb mix coming through. Soft oak on the palate, with orange and a slight cocoa flavour hitting before a fresh citrus a slight spice finish that leaves it warm and lingering.

Columbian Aged Gin, Ortodoxy – 43%

Created and based on the formula of Dario Parra, former president of the company, and lover of gin who originally had this for his own personal consumption.
A spicy pepper, rosemary and smooth, rich fruit aromas on the nose. Plenty of pepper on the palate, with a citrus and herbal combination on the finish which is long, soft and dry.

Newly released, the Dictador 100 range are each aged for 100 months.

Dictador Claro - 40%

Filtered to produce a clear liquid. Dry honey on the nose, with vanilla and rich white chocolate. Light vanilla on the palate, dry chocolate flavours offering a sweet finish.

Dictador 100 Series
Dictador 100 Series

Dictador Amber – 40%

Fresh vanilla with fudge and cigar notes on the nose. Light oak, with a smoky cigar flavour on the palate creating a lingering dry finish.

Dictador Orange - 40%

A slightly dry orange nose, with subtle sweetness following. Again a subtle flavour of orange on the palate, producing a light, dry finish.

Dictador Cafe – 40%

Rich coffee nose, plenty of sweetness with fresh vanilla blending with malt and biscuit aromas. Light on the palate of dry cocoa, creating a lingering and rather dry finish.

The main expressions of the Dictador rum range are more commonly found at the moment though, with the 12 and 20yr’s made from the fermentation of virgin sugar cane honey, then distilled partly in copper alembic and partly in steel continuous column, before being aged in ex oak barrels using the solera method.

Dictador 12yr – 40%

A sharp vanilla nose, with plenty of clotted fudge creating a smooth, subtle sweetness. Slight notes of fresh oak on the palate, with charcoal, vanilla and roasted coffee creating a short yet very dry finish.

Cesar Triana Botero
Cesar Triana Botero

Dictador 20yr - 40%

Light on the nose with subtle notes of honey, dry coffee and caramel. Light on the palate too, although a thick layer of oak, butterscotch and honey offers a strong, lingering finish.

Dictador XO Perpetual – 40%

Created using the fermentation of virgin sugar cane honey, but only distilled in an antique alembic copper still, before aged in ex bourbon barrels within the solera method.
Liquorice, coffee and crème brulee dominate the nose, with hints of oak and sweetness coming through. Fresh wood on the palate, offering a smooth, slightly dry and light experience, with plenty of vanilla, butter and dark chocolate. Stunning.

A lot to take in, and such a different style offered in both the gin and rum expressions. The gin is hitting a new trend of barrel-ageing the liquids, although I’m personally not a huge fan. It offers something different, and you can get the style of Dictador rum coming through, which is hugely different to any of the Caribbean palates we are accustomed to. Like its other South American rivals, It’s great that it showing individuality, and the XO Perpetual offers a fantastic premium rum to the market. Look out for it, and if you’re a rum or gin lover, seek them out for sure. If you like to experience a different style of these two categories, Dictador is your brand to head to.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Disaronno Terrace Comes To Manchester

Disaronno Terrace

The month of August has seen the Spinningfield area of Manchester taken over by the brand of Disaronno. The Oast House venue boasts one of the largest outdoor terraces in the city, meaning the perfect place for the Italian liqueur to host its seasonal Disaronno Terrace events. A showcase of all things Disaronno, each residency offers the chance to enjoy classic and crafted serves, alongside live music artist and illustrators. 

Godfather
Godfather

From a drinks perspective, this was a great occasion to experience again the likes of a Disaronno Sour, a classics that is available from the Disaronno Sours cart, main bar, or indeed the chance to create the Disaronno Sour yourself. A rarity for an event to have such interaction on the main drink of the evening, yet it worked as guests are able to release the inner bartender within and shake up a classic.
The main bar itself has the likes of the Godfather, a mix of Disaronno and Monkey Shoulder, as well as two unique recipes for the tour, a Terrace Cooler which mixes Disaronno, cranberry juice, orange juice and strawberry puree, and the Terrace Sour, combining Disaronno, Monkey Shoulder, lemon juice and sugar with egg white. 

With a good atmosphere being created from Teleman and The Cribs, Disaronno have gone for something a little different in the way of re-introducing the brand to its customers. Although it is well-known, and a staple for most bars, the chance to experience within cocktails is sometimes limited, especially at home. The brand have done well in offering a unique environment, and one that they have taken to the likes of New York, Milan, Rome and Los Angeles over the last four years. I’ve been to many events sponsored and supported by brands over the years, but the chance to create a cocktail myself, enjoy music, and not be within a crowded area, all while al fresco style, is a cracking idea. 

Disaronno Terrace
Disaronno Terrace

There’s only one more event to go in Manchester before it hits residencies in Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam, Milan and Rome. If you get the chance, it’s definitely worth while to go down, if not, get yourself a bottle today and shake up a sours!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Raise A Glass To Elmer With Buffalo Trace’s Limited Edition Elmer T. Lee Commemorative Edition

Elmer T. LeeCelebrate the spirit of Elmer T. Lee with a new limited edition from Buffalo Trace. One year after the bastion of bourbon passed away at the age of 93, Buffalo Trace has created the Elmer T. Lee Commemorative Edition as a tribute to their iconic Master Distiller who devoted his life to
developing and safeguarding their unparalleled bourbon. With only 36 bottles available in the UK and featuring Elmer’s inimitable single barrel recipe, the Elmer T. Lee Commemorative Edition is set to become as legendary as it’s namesake.

After serving in the United States Air Force and graduating with a degree in engineering, Elmer joined Buffalo Trace’s Kentucky Distillery in 1949. It was his passion for engineering that enabled Elmer to develop the first ever single barrel bourbon in 1984, revitalising the industry and placing Buffalo Trace at the forefront of the bourbon trend. It was this revolutionary trait that was to stay with Elmer throughout his career, first as master distiller and then as Buffalo Trace’s global bourbon ambassador – travelling the world to impart his knowledge to bourbon fans and regale them with stories from his past.
It was only after almost 4 decades of service that he was honoured with his eponymous bourbon, visiting the distillery every week in his retirement to carefully select the barrels for his namesake spirit.

Sadly, Elmer died in 2013, just weeks before what would have been his 94th birthday and it is now, 1 year on, that Buffalo Trace honours Elmer again. Commemorating and honouring Elmer’s distinguished life, this velvet-smooth bourbon is the jewel in the crown for Buffalo Trace – a befitting celebration of Elmer’s many years of service. The release signifies Elmer’s boundless commitment to Buffalo Trace as well as his love of bourbon and it is for that reason that the Elmer T. Lee Commemorative Edition is bottled at 93 proof (46.5% ABV) – 3 proof
higher than the other editions (90 proof, 45% ABV), denoting Elmer’s age and quality as a Master Distiller.

Selected from the same warehouse floors, which Elmer liked to find his “honey” barrels for his
namesake bourbon, the Commemorative Edition features Elmer’s characteristic signature and wears the profile of the legendary Master Distiller, as well as details about his life, on the back label. Its smooth and balanced sweetness and classically spiced flavour, make this limited edition bourbon a must-have for enthusiasts and aficionados alike and features the classic Elmer T. Lee taste that bourbon fans have come to know and love.

In a final salute to Elmer, profits from the sale of this limited edition Elmer T. Lee Commemorative Edition bourbon will go to local Veterans of Foreign Wars charities.

Priced from £79.99 and available from 15 August 2014 from Gerry’s, Hedonism, Whiskey Shop and Amathus

Freelance Bar Advisor/Consultant, Events Organisation/Collaboration & Reviewer, Taster & Guide to the World of Drinks

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