Dive Down The Rabbit Hole With ORSO

ORSO invites guests to follow them down the rabbit hole

To coincide with The Royal Opera House’s production of Alice in Wonderland (running until 16 January 2015), venture downstairs past the ‘enchanted’ olive tree and into ORSO’s subterranean space, for their take on a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Unique surprises and the intriguing Hatter’s Tipple, made with vodka, raspberry liqueur, lime and sugar will be on offer.

Hosting a party? Impress friends at home and concoct the recipe yourself.

As a treat for pre-theatre diners, ORSO will treat guests to ‘Eat Me’ | ‘Drink Me’ vouchers on Alice in Wonderland show nights, including lots of excellent offers, which will ensure customers leave grinning like Cheshire Cats. T&C’s apply

Authentic Italian restaurant, ORSO, lies just a stone’s throw away from Theatreland in the heart of Covent Garden. Since 1985 ORSO has been a firm West End favourite, with performers and theatre goers alike. With an entrance marked solely by a discreet olive tree, it is one of the last remaining independent Italian restaurants in the area, thanks to its unique offering and outstanding service.

Mad Hatter's Tipple Recipe[1]

Peach Perfection With Re’al

Re'al Peach

Peach Perfection – Peach will be flavour of the month this Valentine’s day

This Valentine’s Day there’s more than one reason to celebrate, with the launch of Reál Cocktail Ingredients’ new Peach Infused Syrup. Now you can create beautiful peach-flavoured cocktails in the blink of an eye instead of wrestling with either too hard or over-ripe fresh fruit.

Made from deliciously juicy Elegant, Summer and Rich Lady peach varieties, Peach Real makes a perfect Bellini. The combination of peach juice and fizz is wonderful served at any time for day – even breakfast, what better to serve your customers this Valentine’s Day to help couples celebrate.

Georgi Radev, Bar Manager at Mahiki comments: “Peach Reál is an absolutely genius product, it makes the most blinding Bellini I have ever tasted. The Real products allow us to create unforgettable fruit flavoured cocktails with a consistent serve and great taste quickly and easily – they are invaluable when time is of the essence behind a packed bar!”

Isolde Aubuchon, Technical Director for ABM adds: “There’s simply no substitute for the delicious flavours that come from squeezing fresh fruit. From Bellinis to alcohol-free drinks and a whole host of frozen and shaken cocktails, Peach Reál showcases exceptional mixability and high-levels of fresh fruit. We are really proud of this product.”

The new Re’al line boasts favourites such as Blueberry, Mango, Strawberry and Raspberry, as well as more unusual flavours including Pumpkin, Ginger and Agave Nectar. The product benefits for Re’al Cocktail Ingredients are simple but compelling:

· Flavourful: premium fruit purée sweetened with 100% cane sugar delivers impactful flavour with a clean finish
· Mixable: dissolves easily in hundreds of beverage applications
· Squeezable: proprietary wide-mouth bottle/closure combination features a built-in oxygen barrier and a unique volcano-shaped spout to ensure no wastage
· Long-lasting: lasts for four weeks in the fridge once opened

Azizi

Azizi

It’s not all about alcohol on my site. Yes, the world is dominated by spirits, wine and beer, but there are a fair share of alcohol alternatives today, especially as we find more innovative ways to enjoy a drink if we are not lucky enough to leave the car behind. With this in mind, may I present to you Azizi.

Coming to you via its creators Liz and Debbie, they set out to search for an alcohol alternative after, quite rightly, not wanting to drink every evening. Deeming their search unsuccessful to hit their taste buds, they opted to create their own, setting up Azizi Drinks back in February of last year. They also utilised the term ‘Total Mouth Feel’, essentially creating a tipple that engages with the different receptors of your palate, leaving a length of flavour on the tongue once the drink has finished.

Azizi
Azizi

Two expressions will be sampled for this feature, with the Classic Ruby featuring pomegranate, lime and elderflower flavoured with a special blend of herbs, whilst the Classic Gold contains lime and mint flavoured with a blend of herbs. But how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Azizi Classic Ruby – 0%

Rich pomegranate on the nose with fresh slithers of lime coming through. The elderflower is present, but is masked by a heavy layer of sweetness. Tart on the palate, with sharp citrus bites. A nice blend of the pomegranate and elderflower to begin with too, although the elderflower dominates slightly more upon the finish. Blocks of herbal flavours come through occasionally. A slightly dry and bitter finish.

Azizi Classic Gold - 0%

Plenty of mint on the nose, subdued slightly with the lime for a pleasant start. Bold beginning on the palate with sharp citrus and mint delivering. Light, with a thick texture creating a delicate and rather aromatic finish. Dry.

Not one to enjoy from the bottle being a concentrated cordial, but definitely one to experience, or what Azizi call a ‘Social Experience’, aka enjoy one of these with friends!

Azizi and Soda
Azizi and Soda

Azizi and Soda

Glass – 

Wine or Champagne Flute

Ingredients -

15 ml of Azizi Classic Ruby or Gold
Soda

Method – 

Fill a wine glass with ice and pour in the Azizi Classic. Top with chilled soda and stir. Garnish with a lime wedge.

In the future, Debbie and Liz are looking to bring out carbonated ready-to-drink versions of Azizi, which I believe could work as the public look for refreshing alternatives. Keep an eye out for these during the spring and summer months, I think the 2015 drink could be here as the adult alternative to alcohol!

© 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.

Stellacello

Stellacello

in·spi·ra·tion noun \ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən, -(ˌ)spi-\
: something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone

: a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something

: a good idea

Defined by Merriam-Webster, inspiration gives birth to many of the brands that we love and enjoy today. An idea is the originator, with inspiration defining such an answer to the point of mass enjoyment, whether on a local, national or international scale. Usually, the inspired creator has had history and lineage within the family, or sees a chance to fulfil where no one else has succeeded. Lately though, a lot of traditional expressions are tipping the hat at a time or place, with the founder essentially inspired by the story. One of the latest brands to go down this particular route is Stellacello liqueurs, who are said to have been ‘inspired by traditional family recipes that originated in Italy over three generations ago’. 

Lets dive a little deeper and see how Stellacello fits into the vast word of liqueurs.

Stellacello is a British based artisan company, located in Bethnal Green, East London, and headed up by Joe Stella. Starting back in 2012, Joe combines a variety of ingredients of unique spices, herbs and fruits, initially creating a ‘Pompelmo’ liqueur. Essentially a grapefruit liqueur, it garnered praise when the Stella Spritz (essentially Pompelmo topped with Prosecco and soda) featured on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch back in May of last year.

Recently though, Joe has worked on what he has called ‘Amaro London’, a bitter liqueur, again gaining inspiration by combining unique herbs, spices and fruits, garnered from those family recipes. It’s this expression that I’ll be tasting, so without delay, here’s my notes –

Stellacello Amaro London – 23%

A rich nose with sweet notes, slowly turning the aromas of red fruits and honey to a rather delicate and aromatic experience. On the palate it’s rather light, with soft flavours of walnut, honey and citrus. A deep kick near the finish of bitter lavender, Long, with a refreshing end complimenting.

An interesting liqueur indeed, and very different to many similar Amaro’s I’ve come across on my travels. Lighter, more delicate, and I can see why it is perfect for the following serve –

Stella Spritz

Glass -

Wine glass

Ingredients – 

25 ml Stellacello ‘Pompelmo’ liqueur
75 ml Prosecco

Method – 

Combine and serve over ice. Add a dash of soda and garnish with a slice of orange and a green Sicilian olive.

or for the ‘Amaro London’,

The Stellaroni
The Stellaroni

The Stellaroni

Glass – 

Tumbler

Ingredients – 

35 ml Stellacello ‘Amaro London’ liqueur
35 ml Sweet Vermouth
35 ml Gin

Method – 

Combine all three ingredients within an ice filled tumbler and stir. Garnish with zest of orange peel.

To be fair, these are seen as classic Italian expressions, so the original way of enjoying neat as a digestif is not seen as a crime. I think Joe has done a grand job here, creating expressions that can be enjoyed by experts, whilst introducing novices to the world of liqueurs and digestif’s. Grab yourself a bottle and enjoy something a little different this year.

© 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.

Glen Grant

Glen GrantTo be classed as one of the best-selling single malt distilleries in Scotland, you need to be able expand, re-invent and keep up with demand. May I please welcome then Glen Grant, a brand considered of such a title. But how did this all come about?

Glen Grants established itself back in 1840 by two brothers, John and James Grant, close to the port of Garmouth and the River Spey to the south. They were pioneers in the whisky trade and became the first to install electric lighting just over twenty years after opening. In 1872, James Grant unfortunately passed away and the distillery was passed down to his son, Major James Grant. James built a second distillery across the road, joined by a whisky pipe which transported the new make spirit across. Glen Grant No. 2, as it was first known, was completed in 1897, but just five years later it was closed. Soon after in 1931, Major Grant, the last Glen Grant, died, handing the reigns to Douglas MacKessack, his grandson.

Once 1965 rolled around, the previously closed Glen Grant No. 2 re-opened under the name Caperdonich, followed by Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd merging with Hill, Thomson and Co. Ltd, and Longmorn Distilleries Ltd to form Glenlivet Distillers Ltd in 1972. From here, the Glenlivet Distillers Ltd was under the umbrella of Chivas Brothers via Pernod Ricard, until 2006 when the Campari Group acquired Glen Grant whisky distillery for the sum of €115m.

Regarding production, Glen Grant are the only distillery in Scotland to use purifiers in both of their two distillations. This was an invention of James “The Major” Grant and ensures that only the purest vapour is allowed to pass from the still to the condenser, creating hopefully a fresh and light whisky. All bourbon and sherry casks used in the maturation period are individually hand-picked by Dennis Malcolm, one of 8 Glen Grant Distillery Managers since 1890, with natural spring water used from the Scottish Highlands during all stages of production.

So how do the Glen Grant expressions fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences so far –

Glen Grant 10yr - 40%

Matured in bourbon casks for 10 years. Light with a good hit of fresh, ripe fruit on the nose. Slight sweet sherry notes come through too. Plenty of fresh, flesh fruits on the palate, with a thick texture of vanilla and oak near the finish. A rich, bold finish with a slight hazelnut aroma.

Glen Grant The Major’s Reserve – 40%

No age statement malt aged in bourbon casks. Incredibly soft with green apple and pear notes on the nose. Sweet flavours of oak, vanilla and fudge on the palate, followed by a spice kick that develops a slight treacle note. Spicy, lingering finish.

Not a bed selection there at all, with The Major’s Reserve a recommendation for anyone trying to get into the Scottish whisky world. There is also a 16yr variation available  from within the core range, as well as some more exclusive bottling’s including 25yr, 50yr and a Distillery Edition, amongst many independent bottling’s from the likes of Gordon and MacPhail.

Worthy of a space in your drinks cabinet, and offers a good tipple at the end of the day.

© 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.

Bold London Spirit

Bold London Spirit

Britain’s answer to the aperitif is said to originate from this 2014 release of Bold London Spirit. A bold statement perhaps (and yes, pun fully intended)? Well this Notting Hill born spirit has made a bang as its unique flavour collaboration has drawn praise from many bartenders.

But what exactly is it?

Well Bold London Spirit has been created by infusing tart cherries, cassia bark, anise, lavender, hibiscus, clove, raspberry leaves and a selection of other botanicals into a distilled neutral grain spirit.

And how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Bold London Spirit – 36%

Soft clove and cinnamon on the nose, with herbal aromas of anise and fresh pine coming through near the finish. A rich palate of flavours including cherry, raspberry and cracked black pepper combine well, The cassia bark comes through slowly, with fresh lavender scents present on the lingering, dry finish.

Something very different to your usual aperitifs found from France or Italy especially. Recommended serving suggestions include lemonade or Champagne too, which would give this a refreshing beverage choice on any menu. Something new to add to your drinks cabinet at home, or perhaps ask for it in your favourite bar, you may be pleasantly surprised.

© 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.

Nardini

Nardini

This year I’ve dabbled a little into the low ABV scale of the drinks world, due mainly in part to Mal Spence, owner of the Kelvingrove Cafe in Glasgow. He partnered with Emporia Brands, a UK distribution company, to promote their range of Italian products, primarily from the Nardini family, to bartenders and have them take a deeper look into the use of these classic liquids within drink recipes. Going off this, I wanted to feature the Nardini range and take a look at both the grappa and aperitivo expressions they have available.So lets dive in!

It all begins with Bortolo Nardini, founder of what is now Italy’s oldest distillery way back in 1779. It is here at the entrance to the Bassano bridge on the river Brenta that he opened his distillery and grapperia. Nardini was already skilled in the art of distillation, but his new venture was a far cry from his home town of Segonzano in the Cembra Valley near Trento. Here at the Bassano bridge, it was, like it still is now, a meeting place for Bassano natives and everyone who crossed what is described as the ‘most famous patriotic bridge in Italy’.

Looking ahead, Bortolo Nardini, grandson of Bortolo, introduced steam distillation in 1860, replacing the direct flame technique used from the beginning. Between 1915 and 1918, the First World War was taking effect on the area, becoming a battleground for soldiers. However the grappa distillery of Nardini saw its popularity rise as the soldiers took to the liquid to warm them on the cold evenings in the trenches. Once the war ended, the ritual of a sip of grappa carried on. The Second World War would be different however, as the frequent requisitioning of grappa by the armed forces and the complete destruction of the Bassano bridge by the Germans as they retreated affected the distillery and its production. After the war, the Alpini soldiers rebuilt the bridge financed entirely by private funds and re-opened on October 3rd 1948, by Alcide De Gasperi, and christened with a bottle of Nardini for good luck.

With the war over, the 1950’s saw a change in attitude towards spirits. Gone were the sweet liquids, to be replaced by drier tipples such as grappa. Nardini took full advantage and created new markets within Italy and abroad. Nardini also introduced ageing of grappa in oak barrels, to positive acclaim within the market. In 1964, vacuum distillation was installed within the distillery and in 1981 a new bottling centre was built. In 1991, Nardini purchased and refurbished the distillery of Monastier, near Treviso, where a substantial part of the distillation now takes place to satisfy the growing demand.

So with two distilleries, both located in the Veneto region, they both offer a different side to the Nardini family. Both sites use fresh grape pomace (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Bianco and Tokay) that is carefully selected and sourced from the foothills of north Veneto and Friuli. After a resting period in silos, the fermentation process begins. From here, it is transported to both distilleries.

The original Bassano distillery use the traditional vacuum distillation method in a discontinuous cycle. Here, within cauldrons, steam flows through the fermented grape pomace and up through the distillation column. Once the ‘heart’ of the spirit is selected, it passes through rectification and condensation phases.
The Monastier distillery on the other hand is a little different. The distillation method is a continuous steam cycle where the pomace is placed in a dealcolizer through which vapor passes for the extraction of the alcoholic content. This then flows to the distillation column where the ‘heart’ of the liquid is chosen, then passes on to the rectification and condensation phases.

It’s not just grappa that the Nardini family are famous for though, a selection of aperitivo’s are also wildly acclaimed. So without further waiting, below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Nardini Acqua di Cedro – 29%

Traditional citron based liqueur. Fragrant, sweet citrus notes on the nose. Thick, creamy texture on the palate, with plenty of fresh, ripe, zesty lemon flavours coming through. A sweet, long finish with a slight raw citrus feel.

Nardini alla Mandorla – 50%

Natural infusion of bitter almond with Aquavite di Vinaccia combined with a cherry distillate. A good blend of dry almond and stalked cherry on the nose. Developing warmth on the palate, with the almond flavours dominating. The cherry comes through on the slightly sweet finish, but ultimately both main flavours contribute to a dry, lingering finish.

Nardini Tagliatella – 35%

“La Tagliatella” is a registered trademark by Nardini, creating a fruity liqueur with an Aquavite di vinaccia grappa base. Lots of cherry and red berry aromas on the nose. Slightly herbal, but a well-balanced approach. Thin, with a constant switch between sweet and dry from the dominating stewed cherry flavour on the palate. A growing dry spice on the long finish.

Nardini Bitter – 24%

Obtained by a mix of herbs and citrus, effectively grain alcohol and natural aroma of bitter Milano. Incredibly rich on the nose with plenty of forest floor mixed with vegetal and citrus aromas. Surprisingly mellow on the palate, with sweeter notes coming through, followed by bitter lemon and a clean finish of herbs.

Nardini Rosso – 24%

A combination of grain alcohol, natural aroma of bitter Milano and vermouth. Light with lots of subtle fresh lemon aromas, with a slight herbal note near the finish. Very light on the palate, with a thin sweetness. Herbal notes come through again on the lingering finish.

Nardini Rabarbaro - 19%

Grain alcohol with essence of rhubarb rhizome. Incredibly bold, rich notes of vegetal and rhubarb on the nose. Thin, with slight vegetal flavours coming through on the palate. Sweeter as it grows, with rhubarb bitterness making it an aromatic finish.

Nardini Amaro – 31%

Grain alcohol with bitter orange aroma, peppermint and gentian. Well balanced upon the nose with mint, liquorice and orange aromas coming through. Fresh, sweet flavours of peppermint and orange are present on the palate. A lingering bitterness on the finish.

A great selection here, with suggested serves including the Rabarbaro mixed with soda water and a lemon peel, or the Acqua di Cedro over ice cream, fresh fruit or as a sorbet. Or perhaps this from Mal Spence’s archives –

Inverso No.2

Glass -

Rocks

Ingredients – 

40 ml Nardini Amaro
20 ml Rum
Dash Bitters
Dash Sugar Syrup

Method – 

Combine all the ingredients over an ice filled rocks glass and stir.

There’s some other variations available, including the original bianca and riserva expressions of grappa, which I am yet to try, but if you ever would like to go for something a little different, or indeed enjoy the tipples on the lower end of the ABV scale, grab yourselves some bottles for your drinks cabinet and imagine you’re in Italy.

© 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.

Arbikie

Arbikie

Think of Scotland and you’ll think of whisky. Nothing wrong with that at all of course, but have you ever wondered about the likes of gin or vodka perhaps coming from Scotland? The most famous you may recognise would be Hendrick’s, developed within the family of William Grants & Sons, but lately there’s been a resurgence of tipples to add to the ever-expanding gin and vodka category. The likes of Rock Rose for gin, or Valt for vodka have become sought-after as customers venture away from the traditional country of origins. Arbikie can count itself as one such brand, priding itself with production from farm to bottle. So lets dive into how this Scottish vodka came about –

Arbikie has been launched by Iain, John and David Stirling and have utilised a part of the Arbikie Highland Estate which they own. The land has been used for farming for four generations and continues to grow all the raw ingredients used for production of the vodka, as well as future production of gin and whisky.Overlooking the Lunan Bay on the Angus coast, the distillery itself is created from an ancient barn that’s been a part of the family since the 1920’s.

Being inspired by the founding of distilling records that date back to 1794, and the plan of utilising ingredients that are planted, sown, grown and harvested within an arm’s-length of the distillery, they have decided to be the first single-estate distillery to distil all their spirits in the same copper pot stills. The vodka and gin continue their journey to a 40 plate distillation column, but ultimately the distillation process captures “the traditional Scotch whisky method” they are after.

So to Arbikie. The vodka is created using potatoes (Maris Piper, King Edward and Cultra to be exact) grown from their farm. and is triple distilled before hitting the 40 plate distillation column mentioned above. The water used within the production is sourced from an underground lagoon, which itself contains mountain-filtered water from the Angus hills, which once all completed, is bottled, labelled and sealed on their estate.

With Master Distiller Kirsty Black overseeing all this, lets see how it fares. Below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Arbikie – 43%

Rich aromas of potato with sweet scents of butter and earthy notes on the nose. Rather smooth on the first sip, but with a growing warmth and a good spicy and incredibly fresh kick on the palate. Thick, plenty of potato for body and a sweet, long, creamy finish.

Now that’s a vodka! Very different to what you’d expect, and you can truly taste the craftsmanship, the effort put in to produce it. Very farm based experience here. Now they say to enjoy this over ice, but I’ve found a cracking recipe which would be perfect to try out –

South Side
South Side

South Side

Glass -

Coupette

Ingredients -

60 ml Arbikie
30 ml Fresh lemon Juice
2 tsp Sugar
4/5 Fresh mint leave
Soda (optional)

Method – 

Shake all the ingredients together, barring the soda, with ice within a cocktail shaker. Pour into a coupette glass, top with soda if you wish, and garnish with a mint sprig.

As you can imagine, being new there’s only a select few places to purchase the vodka, but I do believe it’s well worth a try. I’m looking forward to experiencing their gin and whisky once available, but in the meantime, buy, open and enjoy Scotland in a different way.

© 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.

Trivento

Trivento

I don’t feature wine often on this site. No particular reason other than the lack of opportunities I’d say. I do drink wine, and I’ve even worked in an independent wine shop for several months to gain the experience from within the grapes. I think that may be it though; the lack of experience, the doubt to dive in and explore the flavours, the aromas, the history and back-bone of a good tipple. Then again, I was in the same boat with spirits, beers and mixers, and I grew to appreciate them a lot more once I took the initiative and dove in glass first.
So it’s with my head held high that I can say that this is my second wine feature of the week. I know, doesn’t sound much, but the ratio is slipping dangerously when compared to the spirit features available for your viewing pleasure. So without delay, I intend to take a view on what to me is a well-known Argentinian brand, and who incidentally come to the front of the queue due to their release of the UK’s 1st mini Argentinian Malbec.

Before I look more closely (pun fully intended) at the miniature release, I think it’s best to see what Trivento is all about.

Trivento Bodegas y Viñedos was founded back in 1996, with a vision of producing brand-name wines distinguished for preserving the character of the winds. ‘Trivento’ itself means ‘Three Winds’ and is tribute to the Polar winds from the South, the Zonda winds from the Andes mountain range and the Sudestada winds from the South East. These winds travel over the 1,289 hectares, wherein lies eight vineyards (Los Zorros, Los Vientos, Cruz del Alto, Los Ponchos, Los Sauces, Tres Porteñas, Los Portones and Los Indios) which are equipped with drip irrigation systems and situated in the winegrowing areas of Mendoza. Winemakers Germán Di Césare and Victoria Prandina oversee the range of white and reds produced, including the 4000 French and American oak barrels that are used to age their wines.

So to the Trivento Malbec, the expression that put the brand on the New World map so-to-speak. Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Trivento Malbec Reserve, 2013 – 14%

Aged in French oak barrels for 6 months. Lots of sweet spice on the nose with vanilla and fresh oak coming through. Incredibly soft on the palate, with the vanilla and caramel flavours combining well with juicy red fruits, dry spice and sweet crème brûlée. A little dry on the finish, but remains fresh,

I can see why it’s award-winning. A robust kick of Argentinian red wine here, and the miniature now makes it perfect for that one glass of wine at dinner. Don’t stop there though, with the miniature now available to buy, they are perfect for travelling or attending an outdoor event, or even as an adult stocking filler for something a little bit different at Christmas.

I do like South American wines, and with liquids like this being produced, I think I need to venture a little further.

© 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.

Glen Moray

Glen Moray

I’ve recently been introduced to a new expression of whisky from the Glen Moray brand. Now this is a name that has never graced these pages before, so it only makes sense to dive into the back-story a little and see why the new port cask finish should be given the time of day.

Glen Moray started life as West Brewery in Elgin on the banks of the River Lossie, run by a family company named Robert Thorne & Sons. In 1897, the brewery site was converted to a distillery and bought themselves two stills. Following a fire and extensive rebuilding program at their Aberlour Distillery, the company focused on production of Aberlour whisky, allowing the Glen Moray distillery to run down. The site closed in 1910, then reopened a few years later, only to once again close before 1920 hit and Macdonald and Muir took over the distillery.

During the 1970’s, the two original stills were replaced and two further stills were added. In 1996 however, Macdonald and Muir Ltd renamed itself Glenmorangie Plc and in 2004 the group was acquired by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, for the sum of £300 million. Most of the whisky from Glen Moray has long since been used in blended Scotch. More recently, the Glenmorangie Co decided to cease producing whisky for blending and subsequently, in 2008, the distillery was put up for sale.

In its lifetime, the distillery has known only five distillery managers, but how does the new expression from current Master Distiller Graham Coull fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Glen Moray Classic Port Cask Finish – 40%

A small batch release single malt, matured in American Oak barrels and finished for eight months in Port pipes sourced from Gran Cruz in the Douro Valley in Portugal.
Light oak with rich, ripe red fruits dominating on the nose. Bold flavours of lively spice, citrus and juicy plums on the palate, creating a rich port soaked wood finish that dominates an incredibly long finish.

A very interesting dram there, with plenty of punch that you would expect from the port pipes used. A treat to be enjoyed for Christmas, or a Winter evening with friends. Plenty going on for an experience of one of Speyside’s hidden gems. Other expressions we should be looking out for in the range include Glen Moray 10yr Chardonnay Cask Matured, 12yr and a 25yr Port Wood Finish.

© 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.

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

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