Kingsbarn Distillery Releases Two Years Old Spirit

Bottle (2 years)

Kingsbarns Distillery is proud to reveal that a 2 Year Old Spirit Drink has been bottled and is available to purchase exclusively at the Kingsbarns Distillery and Visitor Centre.

Kingsbarns 2 Year Old Spirit Drink is the first release from Kingsbarns to be matured in oak casks however it cannot be called Scotch whisky as it has not been matured for over 3 years. The release, available in a 200ml bottling is a combination of 2 casks that have matured single malt spirit, for over 2 years, in 1st fill ex-bourbon barrels. It has been bottled non chill-filtered and at the natural cask strength of 62.8%abv.

Having previously released in August 2015 Kingsbarns Spirit Drink in a 200ml bottle at the ‘filling strength’ of 63.5% the aim remains to bottle the very first Kingsbarns single malt Scotch whisky as a ‘Founders’ Reserve’ exclusively for the Founders’ Club in 2018. Kingsbarns Founders’ Club membership is still available and can be bought at the Visitor Centre or online at http://www.kingsbarnsdistillery.com

Distillery Manager Peter Holroyd gave his first impressions of the new bottling at a Kingsbarns Founders’ Club members tour and tasting on Friday July 23rd “We are delighted to announce the limited release of our 2yr old spirit which can be purchased exclusively here at the distillery. It has a sweet, floral nose and on the palate I get ginger biscuits with a slightly dry finish. Its very exciting to see how our spirit is progressing so far, and with only one more year to go until we can call what we produce Scotch whisky, the team here at Kingsbarns are all looking forward to releasing our first malt in 2018”

William Wemyss on behalf of the family stated “When establishing Kingsbarns distillery great effort was dedicated to acquiring the finest casks for maturing our precious spirit and it is fantastic to see how in just 2 years, the spirit had developed and transformed. Expectation and demand for this exclusive one off bottling will be intense given the continuing popularity of the Kingsbarns new make spirit and the whisky enthusiast’s ever thirsty curiosity regarding the progress of this new Lowland malt.”

The release is limited to just 1,800 200ml bottles and is available for purchase, 1 bottle per person, exclusively at the Kingsbarns Visitor Centre although telephone order will be available to Founders’ Club members in the UK and Europe.

Beefeater Launches New Global Marketing Strategy

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Beefeater, the world’s most awarded gin brand, has unveiled a new global marketing strategy to appeal to a new generation of gin drinkers and capture the true essence of London today.

With a long-standing heritage spanning 150 years, Beefeater is from London and is of London, and is still made in the capital today. Under the brand’s new marketing strategy, it will continue to celebrate this legacy, but with a modern twist, capturing the energy and diversity of London city life in the 21st century.

The British gin category has experienced exponential global growth in recent years, with the latest figures showing that exports of British gin grew by 12% in 2016[1]. The strategy will enable Beefeater to continue to tap into this trend, whilst continuing to cement its London roots and distinguishing itself from the rest of the category.

The new direction will be reflected across the brand’s entire marketing programme, both above and below the line – from its advertising campaigns to bottle and merchandise design.

Eric Sampers, Beefeater’s Global Brand Director, comments: “With the global popularity of gin continuing to soar, we want to continue to stand out from the crowd and truly embody the lifestyles and values of our consumers.

“London is the heart and soul of Beefeater and our new marketing strategy takes this to the next level, offering a contemporary twist which we believe will really resonate with the latest generation of gin drinkers. London is one of the greatest cities on earth and we want to bring a little bit of the capital to consumers every time they enjoy our gin – whether that’s here in London, Lisbon or Lima. Our ultimate ambition is to be an icon of London today, and the undisputed number one in premium gin worldwide.”

Chivas Regal Announces The 15 National Winners Who Will Compete In Global Final

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Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has revealed the 15 national winners who will compete to be crowned the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion, at the Chivas Masters Global Final taking place next month in Tokyo.

Now in its fourth year, the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Final (1st – 5th July) will focus for the first time on the celebrated traditions of Tokyo’s bartending scene – whose unique cocktail customs continue to fascinate and inspire bartenders across the world. Throughout the week, the contestants will take part in a number of individual and team challenges, and will need to showcase both exemplary bartending skills and team spirit to impress the judges.

The 15 finalists, who have each excelled in their national competitions running across four continents, will be hosted in Tokyo by Masahiro Urushido, the first ever Chivas Masters Global Champion. They will be mentored by a distinguished panel of internationally-acclaimed judges, who will share their expertise through a series of inspirational masterclasses. The panel comprises:

– Iain Griffiths, hospitality industry pioneer and co-founder of Mr Lyan Ltd;
– Micah Melton, beverage director at the Alinea Group (Aviary Chicago & NY) and renowned ‘ice chef’;
– Chris Lowder, spirits evangelist and ‘New York’s Rising Star Bartender 2015’ (StarChefs);
– Dré Masso, ex-director of bars for the Potato Head Group in Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong; worldwide Cocktail Mentor and spirit creator
– Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, owner of Tokyo’s Tram & Trench, celebrating the modern interpretation of Japanese bartending

Max Warner, Global Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, comments: “Our 15 national winners have already hugely impressed us with both their skill and character, but there’s still much more to do if they want to be crowned our 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion. The values of community, collaboration and generosity lie at the very heart of this competition, and successful participants must not only impress a world-renowned panel of judges, but demonstrate that they embody these values every step of the way.”

The Chivas Masters cocktail competition is built on Chivas’ belief that great bartending is measured not only by the achievements of an individual, but by the ability to work in harmony with others. The ultimate winner will not only impress with their individual bartending skills, but – crucially – will also prove their ability to work collaboratively with an international bartending team, and inspire others to achieve shared success, through the Chivas Masters Collective team challenge.

Max Warner continues: “I cannot wait to put our contestants through their paces in Tokyo, and see who will walk away with the 2017 title – and beyond that, watch as they, together with their Chivas Masters Collective, take what they have learned to further develop and inspire their bartending communities back home.”

The 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion will be decided on the evening of Wednesday 5th July, and will win an all-access, all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of The Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans. The winning Chivas Masters Collective team will walk away with the pinnacle of the range, Chivas Regal The Icon, presented in a bespoke decanter with customised Japanese glassware.

Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto

Italicus

Italian drinks are a big focus for me at the moment, with the opening of my ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress‘ in Manchester a great example of utilising a variety of Italian styles. The rosolio aperitivo category escapes me though, until the arrival of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto!

I’d imagine the rosolio category isn’t one that strikes too many bells to many, so a little rundown before heading to Italicus.

Rosolio is an ancient type of Italian liqueur, deriving its name from ‘Drosera rotundifolia’, itself a species of sundew. It used to be flavoured exclusive with the herb, but now it’s known for more homemade low alcohol content spirits. The liqueur is common in Piedmont and in Southern Italy. It enjoys a special popularity in Sicily, where it has been prepared since the sixteenth century and was given to house guests as a sign of good luck.
Local ingredients are typically used depending on the region (for example Sicily with Cedro citrus fruit and fennel) and aromatized with herbs and spices.

Giuseppe Gallo has brought the category from the 1850’s of Rosolio back to the new-age with the launch of Italicus back in September 2016. Using peels from bergamots grown from Italy’s UNESCO-protected area Calabrian region and Cidros from Sicily, they are infused into cold water to release the essential oils (a process named sfumatura) prior to being blended with Italian neutral grain spirit, all within a family-owned distillery in Moncalieri, Torino.

The resulting bergamot and cedro flavoured spirit is then blended for several days with a separate maturation that contains Roman chamomile from Lazio, lavender, gentian, yellow roses and lemon balm from Northern Italy.

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

Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto – 20%

Very fresh lemon balm, bergamot, citrus peel and gentian coming through on the nose, followed by a naturally sweet chamomile flavour upon the palate. Notes of subtle lavender, honey, rose petal and lemon balm ride a lingering fresh finish.

italicus
A fantastic liquid on its own, but one recommended to be enjoyed in the following way;

“50/50 with Prosecco, over ice and garnished with three green olives”

Better get a bottle for the drinks cabinet, there are friends and family to impress.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

 

Balblair

Balblair
It’s fascinating to experience a brand of whisky that offers a whole host of expressions that are not to the norm. Vintages can be seen as an exclusive way to release something special, whether it corresponds with a certain milestone year, or a particular one-off style that’s never to be seen again. Indeed these sort of expressions become highly sought-after, and are rarely seen on a shelf within your favourite whisky haunt.

Balblair have seemed to buck the trend on this.

They only create vintages that are ‘timed to perfection’, and have done since 1790. No 12-year-old in sight. No 18-year-old to speak of. But a 1999 vintage? No problem.

But why this way? Lets take a look.

The Balblair Distillery was established back in 1790 in Dornoch Firthby by a local man, John Ross (although the first known records date from 1749) and was soon joined by his son Andrew. Eventually, the sons and grandsons of John Ross operated the Balblair farm and distillery until the last years of the 19th century until the sale of Balblair Distillery to Alexander Cowan in 1894. Cowan brings Balblair into the 20th Century by building the present offices, still house, mash house, kiln and barns.

After the launch of the Highland Railway Company rail line between Inverness and Ardgay in 1862, Balblair started to take advantage of its use and moved the distillery half a mile north to its current location in 1895. Unfortunately, due to the tough economic times, Balblair Distillery shut in 1911, with the last drop of whisky leaving the warehouse in 1932.

Despite a brief use of the building by the army, 1948 saw Robert James “Bertie” Cumming, a solicitor from Banff, purchase the distillery for £48,000, with production resuming just a year later and expanding with extra warehouses and the first steam boiler in 1964. In 1970 though, Cummings sold the Balblair Distillery to Hiram Walker, the company that later becomes Allied Distillers. This era saw the renovation of the distillery throughout the 1980’s until its sale to Inver House Distillers in 1996.

It was in 2007 that Balblair opted for the bold move to only release Balblair as a Vintage Whisky, with the first vintages released being 1997, 1989 and 1979 in March 2007. It’s said that “Each Balblair Vintage captures the essence of its year in a bottle. They’re only ever selected at the absolute peak of perfection. Handpicked, to represent the very best our Distillery has to offer”.

I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy some of the Balblair Vintages, so below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Balbair 1975 – 46%

Fresh citrus and coconut notes on the nose. Sweet and spicy on the palate with honey and fruits on the finish. Warming.

Balbair 1989 – 46%

Apple and raisin notes on the nose and then combines with spice flavours on the palate. A long, rich offering with raisin dominating throughout.

Balblair 1991 – 43%

Bold and fresh notes of honey and butter, with subtle cherry finding its way through. Soft green fruits on the palate creating a very dry, almost ash driven finish.

Balblair 1997 – 46%

Tropical fruits on the nose with apples, honey and vanilla coming through.  A hit of sweetness on the palate, but spice soon follows that creates a long, long finish.

Balblair 1999 – 46%

The second release of the 1999 that replaces the award-winning second release of the 1997 Vintage.
Honey and leather notes on the nose, with subtle hints of lavender coming through. Sharp lemon skin upon the palate, staying at the front of the mouth whilst the rest enjoys smooth vanilla and honey mixed with waves of bold spice. Long finish.

Balbair 2002 – 46%

Floral fruits on the nose with hints of vanilla and toffee following, A good mix of spice and sweetness on the palate with orange and lemons dominating.

 

 

Balblair 2004 – 46%

Bourbon matured. Light nose with no distinctive aromas coming through. Slight malt honey on the odd occasion. Dry orange with light, sweet hints available. A short and very dry finish.

Some fantastic whisky expressions here, and as you’d imagine, not the range that you would start to mix up a cocktail with. The odd drop of water would open up a few of the above, but personal rule is to enjoy it as it comes, and the Balblair range, currently, do not disappoint. A couple for the drinks cabinet won’t go amiss.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

 

Peroni Ambra Brings A Taste Of Italy To Manchester This Summer

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To celebrate the launch of Peroni Ambra, the Italian brewer has partnered with The Oast House in the heart of Manchester to open ‘The Apertivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra,’ this summer.

Peroni Ambra extends the brand into a new territory, for the first time since its creation in 1963. Inspired by the classic Italian aperitivo, Peroni Ambra combines crisp and refreshing Peroni Nastro Azzurro and the sharpness of Italian Chinotto – a rare Italian citrus fruit, grown and harvested in the region of Liguria, North West Italy.

The new product is inspired by the Italian ritual of the bitter ‘aperitivo’, a pre-dinner drink designed to open the palate and stimulate the appetite. Distinctively, Peroni Ambra is served from its 250ml bottle into a bespoke tumbler glass, over ice, and garnished with orange peel, opening the senses in anticipation of the first sip. It has a bittersweet yet balanced flavour, which leaves the palate cleansed and refreshed. With the attention to detail synonymous with Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Italian designer, Andrea Morgante, was commissioned to design the bespoke glass – each one handmade, crafted by a small artisan Italian glass production house.

Capturing the essence of Italy, guests will be transported to the rural Chinotto grovesof North West Italy during the special four-day residency, from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th June. The Oast House has been beautifully transformed into an immersive Italian setting, where consumers will discover the authentic tastes and rare ingredients of Italy.

‘The Apertivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra,’ will also play host to a contemporary orchestra and DJ collective, allowing guests to enjoy a snapshot of authentic modern Italian culture. The Urban Soul Orchestra, comprising a talented all girl string quartet and DJ from music curators, Euphonica, will be playing laidback Italian grooves between 6pm and 8pm on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June.

As with all Peroni products, this innovative new drink offering is brewed and bottled in Italy. Reaffirming Peroni’s passion for craftsmanship and authentic Italian heritage, their master brewers have worked closely with the farmers of Besio, where the Chinotto is sourced, to perfect the recipe.

Pronounced Kee-not-toe, the Chinotto fruit is extremely rare, grown in small areas of rural Italy based on the climate. The Chinotto fruit is an ingredient used in aperitivos, as the bittersweet taste stimulates the appetite. Carefully blended with the crisp and refreshing taste of Peroni Nastro Azzurro, it creates the perfect balance, making Peroni Ambra the perfect drink to start the evening.

‘The Aperitivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra’ takes residence at The Oast House:
The Avenue Courtyard, Spinningfields, Crown Square, Manchester M3 3AY
From Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th June

For more information visit: http://www.thehouseofperoni.com

Hudson Launches 70cl To The UK Market

Hudson
William Grant & Sons UK brand, Hudson whiskey, is launching a 70cl format across its Baby Bourbon and Manhattan Rye expressions in the UK.

After ten years at the forefront of craft distilling, Hudson, the first American whiskey distillery in New York since prohibition, is introducing the bigger bottle size in response to demand for a larger format from the UK on-trade.

“We are changing to a bigger bottle, but we haven’t changed our process. We still make whiskey grain-to-glass at the Tuthilltown Distillery in the Hudson Valley. Everything was, and still is, done by hand. It’s been quite a journey, from regular folks making whiskey to award winning distillers.” commented Ralph Erenzo, one of the two founders at Hudson whiskey.

Staying true to its craft and entrepreneurial nature, the brand will leverage the existing US 75cl bottle, under filled to 70cl to meet EU standards. The underfill method reflects how the brand previously bottled Hudson Baby Bourbon in a 35cl format using the US 37.5cl bottle when it first launched in the UK four years ago.

“We have certainly made remarkable progress in the recent past, hiring more people, laying down more whiskey and improving our efficiency, but we are still far from affording a bespoke 70cl bottle for the UK” Ralph Erenzo continued.

Due to the exclusivity of the liquid, Hudson is only available in a small selection of top whisky bars, hotels and restaurants, and premium whisky specialists in the UK. Hudson Four Grain will remain in a 35cl format for the foreseeable future.

Martell Launches Martell VS Single Distillery With Packaging Design By Nude Brand Creation

Martell pack

Iconic cognac house Martell unveiled Martell VS Single Distillery, a cognac from a single distillation source, with design by Nude Brand Creation.

The packaging design highlights elements of the product story to provide differentiation within the category and help consumers to better understand what makes it special.

Pioneering spirit

A pioneer amongst cognac houses, Martell has a unique history spanning more than 300 years. It has always been dedicated to craft and innovation, and now it is planning to disrupt the VS category by launching a single distillation expression.

Disruptive

The iconic shape of the traditional ‘montre’ cognac bottle is the inspiration for the new bottle shape. Revived for the Martell VS Single Distillery Spirit, it is simple but elegant, which provides a point of difference versus the traditional VS category bottle shape.

A restructured cap is sealed with a beige paper ribbon, revealing a cork, while a single label runs down the neck.

An offset VS disrupts the usual Martell label arrangement and two lines of copy explain the story behind the single distillation source, to draw consumer’s attention. Warmth injected into the label reflects the liquid colour and fruity notes of the cognac.

Mike Parsonson, Partner at Nude Brand Creation, says: “Within the cognac category, there were very few brands talking about their product story.

“Today’s consumers are interested in brands with a compelling back story so we knew dialling up this aspect of the story would resonate with them.

“We took some inspiration from the craft drinks sector, but gave it a modern twist by adding drama and vibrancy into the design. At the same time we communicated the single distillation process in an easy to understand way.”

Consistent but crafted

An embossed swift in the glass dramatises the brand’s strong iconography and reinforces the brand’s origins in the 18th century when Jean Martell first set off from Jersey on a journey to find the best brandy production methods in France.

Craft elements introduced to the bottle will disrupt the traditional sector, but the new design still maintains consistency with the Martell portfolio.

Martell VS Single Distillery will launch into the UK market this month.

Nude Brand Creation has worked with Martell on its portfolio since 2012.

The Bassano Bar and PizzaExpress To Partner Up in Manchester This Summer

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The nation’s favourite restaurant chain PizzaExpress and pop-up innovators Bassano Events have joined together to bring ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress’ to Manchester. Opening June 21st at PizzaExpress’s First Street restaurant, the modern Italian cocktail bar concept will be a first for the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Augmenting the much-loved and increasingly broad PizzaExpress menu, The Bassano Bar is keen to promote a range of traditional Italian drinks, including grappa, Italy’s much under-rated national spirit. Originating from Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region, Nardini is Italy’s most prestigious grappa brand, with the distiller’s home town providing the inspiration for the name of the bar.

Working alongside PizzaExpress, owners of Bassano Events Dave Marsland and Nick Hopewell-Smith have taken the opportunity to bring a flavour of Italian serves to the terrace of First Street, Pizza Express’ newest restaurant in the city, located in one of Manchester’s most dynamic leisure areas.

Dave is a well-known drinks expert and trainer, creating brand agency ‘Drinks Enthusiast’ in 2011, with his own spirits retail business in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.  A marketing professional with over 35 years experience, Nick is the initiator and creative driver behind The Bassano Bar in London and a specialist importer of Italian spirits and liqueurs from The Nardini Distillery.

With an al-fresco feel to the venue, making use of its natural light and, hopeful, Summer months, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress will be a welcome addition to the Manchester bar scene.

Opening Hours;

Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. 

Address;

The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

Image by Georgie Glass / www.georgieglass.co.uk / @georgieglass_

Four Pillars Welcome Joe Worthington To The Team

Joe Worthingon[1]

One from the desk of Four Pillars gin;

Four Pillars is delighted to welcome Joe Worthington to our gin distilling family as our first Trade Relations Manager – UK and Europe.

Joe will be based in London and joins us from his most recent role as General Manager of the Portobello Road Distillery in Notting Hill.

Joe is well known to us at Four Pillars from his five years in Australia where he was Group Bars Manager for the Applejack Hospitality Group – owners of great Sydney bars including Della Hyde, So-Cal, Bondi Hardware and The Butler.

While at Applejack, Joe was a great supporter of Four Pillars and we became good mates – in fact he helped us run one of our first ever cocktail competitions. When Joe, originally from Leeds, decided to return to the UK in early 2016 we stayed in touch and drank together regularly on our trips to London.

When we decided to appoint our first Trade Relations Manager in the UK we hoped he might be interested and here we are with him in place.

Joe’s remit will be to work on all facets of our business in the UK – training retail and bar staff, working with our UK distributor Love Drinks on commercial arrangements, spreading the love of Australian gin and helping us develop markets inside mainland Europe. Joe will be the face of Four Pillars at consumer and trade events alike and we expect he will become a well-known figure in the UK drinks scene.

Four Pillars burst onto the global gin scene in early 2014 when our Rare Dry Gin collected the first of two Double Gold medals at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. We have since gone on to become one of the most awarded craft gins in Australia and maybe even the world.  

Four Pillars has been available in the UK and Europe since 2015. In late 2016 we appointed Love Drinks to be our UK-based distributor. We are also available in Denmark, Sweden and Holland, with limited availability in several other nations. Four Pillars hopes to sell around 2000, 6-packs of gin across Europe in 2017.  All the main Four Pillars variants are available in the UK and Europe including Rare Dry, Navy Strength, Spiced Negroni and Bloody Shiraz Gin.

Freelance Bar and Brand Advisor/Consultant, Events Curator/Collaborator & Journalist to the World of Drinks.

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