Castle St Townhouse Set To Open Its Doors This Summer

Castle St Townhouse
Liverpool’s bustling commercial district is set to welcome its newest arrival Castle St Townhouse this summer.

The Grade II listed building, formerly occupied by GT Law, will be transformed into a multi-level eatery and bar courtesy of Warrington based interior design and architecture firm, DV8 Designs.

Set to showcase a grand opulent bar and raised seating areas, the new venue owned by Circo director Jason McNeill, will pay homage to its historic surrounding while ‘adding character and urban charm’.

Jason said: “Over the past decade the city’s landscape has changed dramatically, whereby areas such as the business district have evolved to become more than just a corporate workplace, which is why we decided to open in the heart of Castle Street.

“We hope that the new venue will receive a great response from Liverpool locals and those traveling from further afield due to our novel brunch and lunch offerings, extensive drinks list and chic design.”

Managing Director of DV8 Designs Lee Birchall added: “In order to preserve the rich heritage and history of the Castle Street building, it is important that the venue remains true to its roots. With this in mind we will keep many of the building’s original columns, while rearranging the entrance area to create a central focal point that showcases the full length of the space.

“By combining a series of modern decors and a playful design throughout the building, the overall object is to carry out a restoration that suits the originality of the building and its setting, in addition to incorporating a grandeur feel.”

Castle St Townhouse is set to open to the public summer 2016.

Four Pillars

Four Pillars
There seems to be a wave of new world gins coming over to the UK in the past 12-18 months, with Australia taking the ground of offering innovative brands and expressions. Oceania as a whole seem to offer a good selection, with Lighthouse gin from New Zealand already making its mark on the UK mainland with their original and navy strength formula, but experiencing a full range can be tricky, especially here in Manchester. With the growing bar scene and their willingness to experience the full potential of each brand, the city have been inviting Australia over to show off their look, with West Winds starting the trend, followed closely by Four Pillars.

Four Pillars is the showcased brand here as Stuart Gregor, one of the co-founders of the brand, visited last week as part of his UK tour (hitting also Liverpool, Leeds, London amongst others). Created back in 2013, Stuart and fellow marketing and wine maker Cameron Mackenzie and brand guru Matt Jones used Pozible (the Australian version of Kickstarter) to fund their dream of a craft distillery within the Yarra Valley, close to Melbourne. Using a CARL copper pot still (originating from the CARL workshop in Stuttgart, Germany, also the first of her kind commissioned in Australia) named Wilma which holds 450 litres and comes equipped with a botanical basket (for the whole oranges used within the recipe).

There’s enough capacity to create 460 bottles per seven hour distillation, but recent expansion now means that Wilma is joined by Jude (600 litres) and Eileen (50 litres and predominantly for experimental runs).

 

The water used to cut the gin down to the desired strength comes from the Yarra Valley, itself seen as some of the best water available due to the area’s protected water catchment area. The 157,000 hectares of mountain forests mean the rain water falls and filters naturally through eucalyptus foliage, ferns and dense forest floor, resulting in an alkaline water base with a crystal clear finish and a crisp, fresh sweet taste. This is filtered three times before being added to Four Pillars.

The botanicals within Four Pillars took 18 months of trials to get to the finished recipe, resulting in 10 botanicals featured. Included are two native botanicals in Tasmanian pepperberry and lemon myrtle (both in dry leaf form), plus cassia, star anise, cardamom and coriander seeds, juniper, lavender, whole oranges and angelica root.
For the Navy Strength expression, fresh finger limes are added to offer a more South East Asian feel to the gin.

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

Four Pillars Rare Dry – 41.8%

Subtle coriander and cardaman come through on the nose, with both flavours expressed more vibrantly upon the palate. Orange comes through with a bold statement, with the lemon offering a fresh, long, slight earthy finish.

Four Pillars Navy Strength – 58.8%

A savoury nose, with lavender and coriander coming through well. Sharp on the palate to begin, with dry citrus, slight salt too with a long, bold, sweet liquorice finish.

Four Pillars Barrel Aged – 43.8%

Soft, subtle oak on the nose, with subtle vanilla notes, slight Sauterne that offers onto the palate a sweet and very long bold, fresh finish.

Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz – 37.8%

Dried stoned fruits upon the nose, moving to a bold, naturally sweet profile on the palate. Plenty of dried prune and ripe grape coming through for a balanced, light finish.

An amazing array of Australian gins that are perfect to enjoy over ice, but these recipes do look intriguing –

Four Pillars - The Drop Bear
The Drop Bear

The Drop Bear

Glass –

Coupette

Ingredients –

50 ml Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin
10 ml elderflower liqueur
30 ml eucalyptus syrup
30 ml fresh lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters
10 ml egg white

Method –

Add ingredients to a shaker without ice and shake for 10 seconds (this will get that egg white nice and frothy). Add ice to the shaker and shake again. Strain into a chilled coupette.

Or perhaps,

Four Pillars - Bloody Jasmine
Bloody Jasmine

Bloody Jasmine

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients – 

20 ml Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
20 ml Campari
20 ml Dry Curacao (or any other orange liqueur, such as Cointreau)
20 ml fresh lemon juice
1 dash of Regan’s Orange Bitters
Lemon twist for garnish

Method – 

Add ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled coupette glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

A range to entice you for sure, and should be a part of anyone gin collection. The Bloody Shiraz offers something different to the flavoured gin category, and the Barrel Aged is one of the better one’s, I believe, on the market today.

Shame we don’t get the sunshine enough to enjoy it the proper Australian way!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. 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.

 

Beyond Bourbon: The Global Thirst for American Whiskey

American Whiskey
-American-whiskey.com on the category’s staggering growth and the reasons behind it-

The facts:

On the rocks, in the mix, classic and complex – the multifaceted American whiskey category has enjoyed continuous global market growth over the last five years, increasing by 12% a year since 2009.
*Distilled Spirits Council of the US, 2015

Exports to overseas markets such as the U.K., Canada, and Germany have more than doubled in the past decade, from $743 million in 2005 to a projected $1.56 billion last year.
*The Drinks Business 2015

The US whiskey market has seen rocketing sales in the past decade with bourbon production alone growing by more than 150%.
*Distilled Spirits Council of the US, 2015

And while bourbon is the most popular and well-known variant of American whiskey, it most certainly isn’t the only option when considering a foray into the world of American whiskey; with three additional main taste profiles available to the consumer including Tennessee, Rye and Corn.

American-whiskey.com, which brings Brown Forman’s portfolio within the category to life by educating spirit drinkers on the heritage and versatility of the liquid; largely attributes American Whiskey’s continuous success to ‘being in the right place at the right time.’

Wider international trends around innovation and craft, premiumisation, and revivalism, along with a wider understanding as to ‘how to enjoy American whiskey’, have naturally come to the category – which has supported a cultural shift in perceptions and attitudes.

The reasons:

The mixology trend: The growth of the premium cocktail market, along with influential bartenders championing bourbon and rye as mixers, have played a large part in inspiring consumers to understand where and how they can enjoy their whiskey, their way.

American-inspired cuisine: The increased popularity in American whiskey coincides with the rising appeal of American-inspired cuisine. The proliferation of upscale, authentic burger and rib eateries, along with the growing premium casual dining scene – think street food markets, trucks and pop-ups; offers the consumer a more accessible and credible opportunity to enjoy American whiskey.

Pop culture and television: The popularity of television shows such as Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire has been beneficial to American whiskey; both of which introduced classic American serves and golden age cocktails to new audiences, while giving whisky brands the ability to contemporize and modernize with credibility.

This trend has been further echoed in the UK with the opening of nostalgic, ‘speak easy’ style bars across London including Night Jar, The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town and The Vault, hidden behind a bookshelf in London’s oldest whisky shop.

Craft, heritage and authenticity: Platforms such as American-whiskey.com provide the wider story behind the craft of America’s four whiskey taste profiles, offering intrigue and reason for consumers to learn about, and grow with, what they are drinking.

Taking this to the next level is the rise of ‘Bourbon Tourism,’ with increasing visitors from all 50 states and 50 countries across the world flocking to Kentucky to follow the Bourbon Trail and learn about its heritage.

Innovation and flavor variants: Making it easier for a younger generation to join the category, American whisky producers have been willing to add flavoured whiskeys to their collections, which has in the past been avoided by the whisky industry.

This trend is part of the broader growth in popularity of flavoured spirits, producing milder tastes, more accessible to younger drinkers and increasing their prominence in cocktails.

Prime examples of this are Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Tennessee Fire.

Entry level and broad appeal: The whisky category is set-up with a consumer journey of clear stepping-stones. A drinker can enter with a familiar brand and a mixer and evolve through a range of brands’ age-statement products over time, to more premium and occasion led serves.

Furthermore, American whisky offers broad appeal and broad usage. In stark contrast to the likes of vodka and gin, American whisky offers drinkers a substantial spectrum of price range and taste profiles. These spectrums are populated with brands that range from the artisan to the supermarket staple; all of which are great for gifting, seen as luxury, personalized and with a level of connoisseur; all playing on wider popular, social trends.

Social Media: The proliferation of social media has also helped push American whiskey into the mainstream.

From big brand players to craft innovators, American whiskey’s international popularity shows no sign of slowing.

Gabriele Manfredi Plants His Roots In The UK

Gabriele Manfredi

Spirit Cartel welcomes renowned bartender and cocktail master Gabriele Manfredi into the growing fold as new UK Brand Ambassador for Greek spirit brand Roots.

Originating from Milan in Italy, Gabriele made waves in the drinks industry six years ago when he joined the bar team at the Artesian at The Langham, London. He has since demonstrated his talent behind the bar at the iconic Nightjar, leading to his current role as Head Bartender at sister bar Oriole.

As the face of one of the UK’s most traditional but innovative brands, Gabriele will use his extensive experience and boundless energy to assist in spreading the gospel according to Roots by driving trade and consumer engagement.

Commenting on his new position, Gabriele says: “It’s an absolute privilege to step into the shoes of UK brand ambassador for Roots. I’m looking forward to meeting and engaging with the trade as well as consumers to help them better understand the brand and cement Roots status as premium liqueurs in the UK. My parents met and fell in love in Greece many years ago so I believe it’s destiny that I have been offered this opportunity with such an exciting and original brand such as Roots.”

Nikolas Smyrlakis, Roots’ Brand Owner, adds: “Roots is a brand with plenty of potential for innovation so we want to familiarise the UK with the product and the process in which it is produced. The UK is a very important market for brand building with the trends scrutinised & reproduced throughout the world; Gabriele has the right passion and vision to help further establish Roots in the UK.

Charles Marshall, Spirit Cartel Consiglieri, says: “We’re delighted to welcome Gabriele to the Spirit Cartel gang. Gabriele has an impressive understanding of the on-trade, as well as a compelling enthusiasm and passion for the brand, which we believe will help communicate Roots unique character and drive its presence in the trade.

Gabriele joins us following the appointments of David Hood, Capo di Capi of the sales team Adam Peters-Ennis, Head of Multiples and Benji Purslow, our new Four Roses Brand Ambassador, which is a reflection on the exciting growth of the company.”

For more information about the Spirit Cartel portfolio, please visit http://spiritcartel.com/

All Aboard The Appleton Estate Rum Bus For An Authentic Taste Of Jamaica

appleton-estate-rum-bus-3 low res
WHAT:
The Appleton Estate Rum Bus is inviting you aboard as it visits Foodies Festival, the UK’s biggest food festival, at Circus Field Blackheath on the 8th -10th July. Serving up the very best in Jamaican rum cocktails made with Appleton Estate aged golden rum, and sips of the luxury Appleton Estate 21 Year Old, the Appleton Estate Rum Bus will be the place to relax and ‘lime’, as they say in Jamaica. Visitors will also be able to try out a sugar cane press whilst enjoying an authentic Jamaican BBQ.

WHY: Climb aboard for the opportunity to sample Appleton Estate’s full-bodied, award winning rums. 100% Jamaican from cane to cup, Appleton Estate Rum have been distilled on the Appleton Estate in the heart of Jamaica since 1749.

WHO: Global Rum Ambassador, Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards finalist and all round rum expert Ian Burrell will be at the bus on Saturday 8 July. He will be sharing his expertise through a special rum masterclass in the drinks theatre at 3.30pm where he will lead the audience through a tasting of four rums. Meanwhile, on board the Rum Bus, Appleton Estate’s bartenders will be serving cocktails such as the traditional Appleton Estate Mai Tai, the Jamaican Mule, Jamaican Rum Punch as well as sips of Appleton Estate 21 Year Old.

WHERE: Foodies Festival, Circus Field, Shooters Hills Rd, Blackheath, SE3 7AS

WHEN: 8-10 July, 11am-7pm (11am-6pm Sunday)

City Centre Nightclub Fills The ‘Void’ For Cosmopolitan Party-Goers

Void-owners-Dan-Joe-and-Adam
Liverpool’s Stanley Street is set to see the opening of an exclusive new nightclub following an impressive six-figure sum investment.

Void will open its doors in late August and is the brainchild of owners Joe McMahon, Adam Ramsey and Dan Friend, whose ever-expanding hospitality portfolio also contains Graffiti and Wall of Fame, which are both located on Victoria Street.

Set in the former Wonderland site, the over-21 nightclub will fill the gap in the market to offer an exclusive experience comprising high-end table service and a premium drinks selection.

Joe said: “Our previous ventures have seen us cater to such a wide demographic, including the younger generation who like to party at Graffiti and an eclectic mix at Wall of Fame, ranging from families, corporates and tourists. The idea for Void was conceived when we noticed a huge gap in the nightlife market for those who want to enjoy a cosmopolitan atmosphere in the heart of the city centre with a bit of extra opulence.”

Adam added: “The inspiration for the concept came from our travels across the globe, particularly locations such as London, Marbella and Las Vegas, whereby a premium standard of drinks and high level of customer service is expected. We want to replicate this approach here in Liverpool so that our guests will never have to worry about their glasses being empty. By providing the ultimate table service experience, Void is set to become the ideal venue for those seeking a unique and prestigious night out.”

The 175 sq. metre site has been completely transformed to feature lowered ceilings to offer a more intimate atmosphere, a raised DJ booth and a mirrored wrap around video wall. Located at 10 Stanley Street, the venue will be split into two separate sites, with the ground floor bar offering a different concept under the same ownership set to open in July.

In addition to supporting the on-going development of the local area, Void will create around 30 jobs ranging from security to bar and hosting staff.

Dan said: “We’re glad to be a part of the resurgence of the business district of Liverpool City Centre. In recent months, we’ve noticed a number of exciting new happenings in the form of both exciting independents and exclusive chain bars and restaurants set up shop – it’s great to see this side of our city thriving.”

Outerspace Vodka Makes Landfall In Australia

outer-space-vodka
Award winning, meteorite filtered vodka touches down! Think Spirits has proudly been appointed as the exclusive Importer & Distributor of Outerspace Vodka for the Australien market.

Enjoying tremendous success in the USA, Outerspace Vodka is now available in over 30 states across America and is now set to hit stores and bars across Australia from July 1st.

Five-times distilled from corn in Iowa, USA, the vodka boasts 100% gluten-free credentials and is filtered through meteorites for ultimate purity and uniqueness.

Picking up a Gold Medal at the prestigious 2016 SIP Awards, it seems that the experts agree. “It wasn’t just about creating radical packaging” says Jim Denoon, co-founder of the brand, “we had to develop an exceptional liquid too”.

Clearly the bottle deserves a mention. Truly from outer space, the bottle represents the widely understood notion of an alien. “It’s ironic”, says Denoon, “no one knows what an alien looks like, but then at the same time, everyone sort of does and is fascinated by the notion that we’re not alone.”

It’s clearly a brand that’s centered around fun. The alien even writes his own social media feeds reporting on all he finds curious about his new home on planet earth: @outerspacevodka #madeforaustraliens

“We’re super excited to introduce Outerspace Vodka to our portfolio”, says Patrick Borg, Managing Director of Think Spirits, Australia. “We expect our little green friend to thrive in the Australien market! He has already enjoyed high profile acceptance nationwide, which is out-of-this-world!”

Keep a keen eye out in your local liquor store or bar for Outerspace Vodka or ask for it by name. At least we now know that we’re not alone!

Available in 700ml & 50ml bottles at 40%ABV.

1800 Tequila Transforms Brunchtime With The ‘1800 Brunch Carousel’

1800 Brunch Carousel
1800 Tequila has created a premium interactive on-trade offering to encourage customers to build their own Bloody Marias at brunchtimes in bars – the ‘1800 Brunch Carousel’.

Under the campaign ‘Brunching 1800 Ways’ (it takes just 11 ingredients to create more than 1800 Bloody Maria variations), the ‘1800 Ways Brunch Carousel’ is a three-tier slate stand holding 27 on-trend ingredients that can be ground, pinched, crushed or mixed to taste, including umami paste, wasabi, seaweed and porcini powder.

Savoury cocktails are set to dominate in 2016 and the Bloody Maria is predicted to be one of the most talked about cocktail trends of the year. A modern and adventurous rendition of the Bloody Mary, the 1800 Bloody Maria is made with expertly aged and consistently smooth 1800 Tequila which shoulders the punch of a spiced-up tomato juice, adding a complex vegetal earthy depth of flavour.

The carousel will be presented with a 20cl bottle of 1800 Silver Tequila, alongside a recipe booklet listing ideas for six savoury drinks, including meaty, vegetable and umami influences. The booklet discusses the popular brunch phenomenon, the Bloody Maria and how the flavour profile of tequila transforms the taste of the traditional Bloody Mary.

There are a number of ways the carousel can be used in bar: It can be placed on the customer’s table for them to create their own concoctions or alternatively, the bartender can make and serve the drinks at the table. It can also be placed on the bar, where the bartender can make the drink and the customer can customize their Bloody Maria using the carousel.

Tequila is not just for shooting or for the darker recesses of the weekend – it’s one of the most versatile white spirits out there and it is perfect in a Bloody Maria at brunchtime. The ‘1800 Brunch Carousel’ creates a sense of occasion for the drinker and also gives the vendor a valuable offering, creating word of mouth for the bar and the serve.

The ‘1800 Brunch Carousel’ will be available in Bourne & Hollingsworth and other high-end brunch venues across London from July 2016. The initiative will be supported with the ‘1800 Brunch Saloons’, lively gatherings and discussions over brunch, hosted by the comedy duo The Thinking Drinkers, which are being rolled out in brunch venues and festivals over the summer.

New Iron Maiden Beer – Red N’ Black – Now Available To Pre-Order Online

Iron Maiden

Contain your excitement! TROOPER Red n’ Black – a new collaborative brew between IRON MAIDEN and ROBINSONS BREWERY – is now available to PRE-ORDER direct from Robinsons’ online shop.

Red ‘N’ Black Porter is the third beer in the TROOPER range following on from the stunning success of TROOPER and last year’s limited edition TROOPER 666.

The beer, designed once again by IRON MAIDEN vocalist and ale aficionado Bruce Dickinson together with Robinsons’ Head Brewer Martyn Weeks, is a modern take on a recipe that dates back to the 1850’s; a time when porter style beer was becoming increasingly popular in Britain.

At 6.8% in bottle or 5.8% ABV in cask, TROOPER Red ‘N’ Black Porter is the first dark beer in the TROOPER ranks and the strongest beer in the range to date.

Named after a track from the latest Iron Maiden album ‘The Book Of Souls’, the red and black colour comes from the blend of chocolate and crystal malts which gives this full bodied beer a roasted malt and caramel backbone. The special Robinsons’ yeast provides hints of both liquorice and honey character to create a delicious warming brew.

All real ale fans need to do to be the first to get their hands on this new beer is follow this link, click the buy now button and we’ll have Red n’ Black on your doorstep from the 1st September or as soon as possible afterwards.

We get asked all the time about when TROOPER Red n’ Black will be available to buy in pubs and shops – we are of course working on this as well!  Don’t worry, we’ll soon be letting you know via the website and social media exactly where and when you can get your hands on Red n’ Black in pubs and supermarkets… for now you can guarantee your beer delivery for 1st September by pre-ordering your beer order online.

Fans looking to buy the beer from USA can pre-order the beer via the following links:

http://www.wlvliquors.com/product/robinsons-trooper-red-n-black

https://www.france44.com/pre-order-robinsons-trooper-red-n-black-porter

Keep an eye on the website www.ironmaidenbeer.com, or follow @IronMaidenBeer on Facebook and Twitter Facebook, because things are really starting to brew as September approaches!

Jim Beam

Jim Beam

Jim Beam has been a staple of many a bar for many a year now, so much so that they themselves have the tag ‘The World’s No. 1 Bourbon’ stamped on every bottle. But how does a brand come to call itself that? A brand that, from my knowledge, not many people know much about? Well lets dive into the history of this supposed number one and see what comes out the other end.

Our journey starts in 1740 and the migration of the Boehm family from Germany. Translate the surname and you get the worlds ‘hell’, so a change to ‘Beam’ started the etching into bourbon history books. In 1788, Jacob Beam settled in Kentucky and set about experimenting with the corn and grains that grew on his farm. This blend of ingredients were run through a still, aged in barrels and eventually became bourbon, possibly named after Bourbon County, Kentucky. 1795 saw the year of the first ‘Jim Beam’. David Beam took over his father’s responsibilities in 1820 at the age of 18 and during his reign, America was undergoing an industrial revolution. With the country expanding itself and finding new and innovative ways to not only communicate and travel, but transporting of goods, technology such as the telegraph, steam-powered ships and the opening of waterways and railroads aided the expansion and distribution of the Beam’s family bourbon.

David M. Beam was handed the reins to the family business in 1850 and four years later, in order to be near Kentucky’s first railroad, David M. Beam moved the distillery to Nelson County. Three years after civil war broke out, David’s son James B. Beam came into the world and the family, with a real dislike for his name. Apparently a man who liked to keep things simple, he introduced himself as Jim Beam. After taking over the business from his father, the business thrived.  Once the end of Prohibition in the US in 1933, Jim Beam wanted to carry on the tradition of the original recipe from the days of Jacob Beam, so he built and moved to a new distillery in Clermont, Kentucky taking 120 days. From this point forward, the bourbon was called ‘Jim Beam Bourbon’. Son Jeremiah Beam joined the company at the same time as the opening of the new distillery and earned the title of master distiller. With his passion, he travelled the world to share his knowledge of bourbon and the Beam family legacy. After the death of his father, Jeremiah continued to grow the business, opening a second distillery in 1954 near Boston, Kentucky, which is still in use today.

Jim Beam’s grandson Booker Noe maintained the Beam family’s commitment to quality. As the Master Distiller Emeritus at the Jim Beam Distillery for more than 40 years, Booker introduced his own namesake bourbon in 1988 – Booker’s. Booker’s was the world’s first uncut, straight-from-the-barrel bourbon, and the first of the legendary Small Batch Collection. Upon the death of Booker Noe, his son Frederick Noe took over the reigns of the Master Distiller and is still in the position today.

Since the birth of Jacob Beam, the Beam family legacy has influenced 60 different bourbon brands in three countries.

Not bad. And it’s great to see after all these years, the brand is still within the family. But with longevity comes consistency, and consistency means a rigorous check of the production method. The following is taken directly from the Jim Beam website as I found that the process would be better understood as they have written it.

Start With Sweet, Sweet Water

Much has been said about Central Kentucky’s water. It’s famous for making fast horses, pretty women and good bourbon. (We’ve also heard it as:, pretty horses… but the good bourbon never changes.) Because we’re sitting on top of a limestone shelf, our water has a natural filter. This creates an iron-free, calcium-rich water that’s perfect for making bourbon. Perhaps that’s why 98% of all bourbon distilleries are located here.

Jim Beam MapleThe Secret Is Yeast

Our jug yeast is a closely guarded family secret. It’s the same strain of yeast we’ve used in our bourbon-making process since prohibition ended. It’s more than 75 years old—and it ensures the same Jim Beam® bourbon consistency in every bottle. So the bottle of Beam® in your granddad’s hand in that picture from his fishing trip in 1953? Same DNA as the bottle you can buy right now just about anywhere in the world. Our yeast is so important to us that Jim Beam used to take some of it home with him on the weekends, a tradition that continues today with Jim Beam’s great-grandson and seventh generation Beam family distiller, Fred Noe. We put the jug yeast in a tank and feed it a hearty diet of ground up grains to create “dona yeast.” We use this yeast in the fermentation process once we’ve cooked our mash.

Mix, Mash & Cook

Hammer mills grind our “mash spill”—our top-secret mix of corn, rye and barley malt. Milling breaks it down for easier cooking. The mash spill feeds into a 10,000-gallon mash cooker. Here we add some of that pure limestone-filtered Kentucky water, along with some “set back”—25% of the old mash from the last distillation. This is the “sour mash” part of our bourbon-making process—ensuring the same Jim Beam® Bourbon from batch to batch.

Fermenting Cooked Mash

From the cooker, the mash heads to the fermenter. We cool the mash down to 60-70°F and add our 75-year-old yeast strain to the mix. And the yeast eats. And eats and eats and eats, feeding on sugars in the mash, heating the fermenter as it eats and multiplying as it goes. The upshot of all this activity? Carbon dioxide and more importantly for us, alcohol. This transforms the mash into “distiller’s beer.” Because it looks, smells and tastes like a rich, light beer.

Distilled Twice. So Nice.

The beer travels into our 35-foot-tall column still. We heat it to about 205°F, which is hot enough that the alcohol turns into a vapor that rises up the still, but not so hot that the beer boils. As the vapor cools and falls, it turns back into a liquid. This “low wine” is 125 proof (62.5% alcohol) of strong-willed goodness. From the column still, the low wine flows into the doubler for a second distillation in our pot still. It gets heated and condenses into “high wine”—at a paint-peeling 135 proof (67.5% alcohol).

Barreling And Aging

After distilling the bourbon, we tap the high wine into brand new charred American oak barrels. We like our barrels to have what we call “alligator char”—that is, they’re fired enough that the insides take on the scaly, bumpy look of a gator’s skin. Each barrel holds about 53 gallons (more than 500 pounds) of what will be the the world’s finest bourbon. The loaded barrels are rolled to rest in one of our airy hilltop rackhouses. As the seasons change, Kentucky’s climate expands and contracts the barrel wood, allowing bourbon to seep into the barrel. And the caramelized sugars from the gator-charred oak flavor and color the bourbon. Throughout the bourbon making process, a fair portion of the 53 gallons of bourbon escapes the barrel through evaporation or stays trapped in the wood of the barrel. We call this the “angel’s share” or “Booker’s share.”

Jim Beam bourbon ages for at least four years—twice as long as the U.S. government requires. 

So there we have it. A fascinating history, one that I myself have only realised has influenced so many bourbon distilleries and brands to this day, and a production method that creates such a varied range. I’ve been lucky enough to try a couple of the range lately, therefore below I give to you my tasting notes –

Jim Beam Original – 40%

Aged for 4 years. Light vanilla notes on the nose with a sweetness slowly appearing. Vanilla carries onto the palate, mixed with a little spice that leads to a lengthy finish. Slight touch of oak lingers.

Red Stag Black Cherry – 40%

Through a slow infusion process, four-year-old Jim Beam Bourbon infused with natural flavours. Sweet, ripe dark cherries on the nose with a sugar ladened palate of cherry on the palate with a cinnamon spice to finish. Amazingly long, and a little dry at the very end.

Jim Beam Maple – 35%

Created using 4yr Jim Beam, slowly infused with maple and aged in oak barrels.
Subtle nose of maple syrup, following onto the palate nicely with plenty of bourbon, oak and a rich, sweet maple finish that lingers.

Jim Beam Black Label – 43%

Aged for 6 years. Soft vanilla on the nose with hints of orange lingering. Smooth on the palate with a hint of spice, honey and toffee creating a long finish.

Jim Beam Signature Craft – 43%

Aged for 12 years. Plenty of red fruit, smooth on the nose with hints of cherry near the finish. Rich on the palate though, with a slight spice but a long, bold finish with a little dryness. A couple of sips makes this a cracking dram.

Jim Beam Double Oak – 43%

Launched in April 2016, this expression is first matured in new charred American white oak barrels before being transferred into a second freshly charred oak barrel for a further period of ageing.
A nose of vanilla and caramel blended with freshly cut wood. Rich notes of oak, followed by scorched wood, vanilla and intense red fruits that leads to a long, slightly dry finish.

Jim Beam isn’t just for a great sip, it can also be housed within a cocktail –

Jim Beam - Double Oaked Fashioned
Jim Beam Double Oak Fashioned

Jim Beam Double Oak Fashioned

Glass –

Old Fashioned

Ingredients – 

50 ml Jim Beam Double Oak
4 dashes bitters
2 sugar cubes
1 orange
1 lemon

Method –

In an Old Fashioned glass, add the sugar cubes and bitters along with a little bourbon and ice. With a bar spoon, muddle and stir the liquid so the sugar starts to dissolve – repeat until complete. Then, cut a thin slice of peel from the orange. Pinch the orange peel and rub around the rim of the glass to coat with citrus oils. Repeat with the lemon. Garnish with the orange and lemon twists

or maybe this,

Man O' War
Man O’ War

Man O’ War

Glass –

Rocks

Ingredients – 

20 ml Jim Beam Bourbon
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
12.5 ml water
10-15 large fresh mint leaves

Method – 

Combine all ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

But sometimes the best way to involve Jim Beam is within food –

Jim Beam Bourbon Whisky Cake

Ingredients – 

1 pound candied cherries
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 pound golden raisins, halved
6 eggs, separate yolks
2 cups Jim Beam Bourbon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 ounces butter
1 pound pecans
2 cups sugar

Preparation – 

Soak cherries and raisins in Jim Beam Bourbon overnight. Grease a 10-inch tube pan and line with brown paper or parchment. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Sift flour and reserve 1/2 cup. Cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add soaked fruit and the remaining liquid, 4 1/2 cups flour, nutmeg, and baking power to butter mixture. Stir to combine. Beat egg whites by hand or with an electric mixer until they just barely hold stiff peaks. Fold into batter. Toss nuts with 1/2 cup reserved flour and fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 3 to 4 hours or until cake tests done. Remove from oven, cool slightly and turn onto rack to cool completely. To store when thoroughly cool, place in tightly covered container. Stuff centre hole with cheesecloth soaked in Jim Beam Bourbon. Drink any extra Jim Beam®. Wrap in heavy wax paper. It isn’t necessary to soak the cake in Jim Beam® Bourbon as it will be moist and flavourful. Keep very cool, in refrigerator if necessary. Makes 15 servings.

So not only is Jim Beam rich in history, it also shows off with its range as well as its versatility within both cocktails and food. What more can you ask for? It really does prove some valuable points for Jim Beam’s statement of being ‘The World’s No1. Bourbon’. See for yourself.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. 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 Events Curator/Collaborator, Brand Development, Drink Journalist, Taster & Guide to the World of Drinks

%d bloggers like this: