William Grant & Sons Launches Aerstone, A New Single Malt Range That Aims To Decode The Category

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Independent family distiller, William Grant & Sons, announces the launch of a new 10 year old single malt Scotch whisky, Aerstone. The brand focusses on the impact of maturation and malting on flavour and is available in two expressions – Sea Cask 10 Year Old and Land Cask 10 Year Old.

This new range aims to simplify the taste messaging in the single malt category and help new single malt drinkers navigate the flavours of the category easily through clear taste descriptors on pack. The range showcases two different styles of whisky under the same brand, allowing consumers to easily understand the spectrum of flavours and demystify the traditional – and often complex – language associated with the category.

Sea Cask, described as ‘smooth and easy’ on the pack, is a classic Speyside-style single malt with nutty vanilla notes. This whisky develops its character from the time spent aging in warehouses located close to the sea on the Ayrshire coast, giving the whisky a subtle salty note on the finish.

Land Cask, on the other hand, is described as ‘rich and smoky’ and is a peated single malt heroing the use of highland peat in the malting. This whisky’s flavours are developed in warehouses located further inland, allowing the smoky notes to shine through.

Sean Wiemann, Global Innovation Brand Manager at William Grant & Sons comments on the launch:

“We wanted to create a brand that would allow consumers to make a confident choice and offer a great everyday single malt to complement the rest of our premium portfolio. We recognise that for some consumers, the category is complex and can be intimidating. With Aerstone we want to break down some of those barriers and help simplify single malts, inviting existing malt drinkers and new entrants to learn about all the different flavours and styles of single malt Scotch.”

Brian Kinsman, Master Blender at William Grant & Sons continues:

“We have developed two very different and evocative flavour profiles under the one brand, both inspired by the Scottish environment and raw elements where we age our whisky. With a 10 year age statement, people can expect a well-rounded single malt whisky with depth of flavours that will intrigue not only new drinkers, but also more experienced single malt enthusiasts.”

The packaging, developed in conjunction with Here Design in London, aims to help consumers clearly understand what each whisky might taste like without focussing on the more typical – and often ambiguous – whisky analogies for flavour.

Neil Barker, Managing Director at William Grant & Sons UK adds: “Our consumer research has shown that an accessible single malt is set to be a great addition to both the category and our portfolio. With two great expressions available, solidly rooted in our proud Scottish heritage and its landscape, Aerstone perfectly complements people’s increasing interest in hyper-localism, identified in our 2018 Market Report.”

Aerstone will be introduced to the UK market from mid-September and will initially launch in Tesco. The launch will be supported by a marketing campaign centred on ‘Single Malt. Two Choices.’ in the coming months.

David Stewart Crafts Limited-Edition The Balvenie Doublewood Aged 25 Years

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The Balvenie, the world’s most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky, announces the release of The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 25 Years – a limited-edition expression specially crafted by Malt Master David Stewart MBE to mark the 25th anniversary of DoubleWood. The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 25 Years contains liquid laid down at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland in 1993, the same year as the original DoubleWood Aged 12 Years was released on general sale.

The DoubleWood story started in 1982, when David began experimenting with cask finishing (also known as ‘double-cask maturation’) by transferring mature Balvenie into Oloroso sherry casks to finish it for a number of months – a process which adds a layer of flavour, depth and complexity that cannot be achieved using any other method. The success of this pioneering work led the distillery to release the much sought-after Balvenie Classic in 1983, which was subsequently rebranded as DoubleWood in 1993.

Development of this technique, along with years of dedicated service to the Scotch whisky industry, earned David his MBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2016.

Commenting on the release, David Stewart MBE says: “When we launched the first DoubleWood in 1993, I would have never thought we would eventually be bottling a 25-year-old variant as we are today. It’s testament to the success and admiration of DoubleWood, that we are releasing this more mature expression.

“The final liquid has a lovely combination of sweetness and spice, with candied orange, some honey syrup on the nose, followed by a velvety mouth-coating taste, with layers of brown sugar and sweet dried fruits. The extra time spent in American oak, and finally sherry casks has imparted a finish full of oak and sherried sweetness.”

The expression was matured in two distinct cask types – firstly traditional whisky casks for 25 years, before being finished in Spanish oak ex-Oloroso sherry casks.

Differing from its younger variant, The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 25 Years is finished in sherry casks for just three months – compared to nine for the 12-year-old. David decided on a shorter finishing time because after 25 years maturing in traditional whisky casks, the more mature whisky had already taken on a greater level of spice and complexity.

Alwynne Gwilt, UK Brand Ambassador adds: “The DoubleWood 12 is such an iconic whisky, with so many people I’ve spoken to over the years saying it was one of the whiskies that really got them interested in drinking Scotch. As such, it’s a thrill to see this limited edition released to celebrate the 25 years that this whisky has been on the market. It’s a wonderful tribute to David’s expertise and time with the company; lovers of The Balvenie will no doubt find this as something to treasure.”

The launch of this new expression is part of a year of celebrations, as The Balvenie honours the distillery craftsmen and women who helped bring DoubleWood into being, and specifically the pioneering work of David Stewart MBE himself. As a new chapter in the story, the release of The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 25 Years is a fitting tribute to David’s vision and skill.

The Balvenie DoubleWood Aged 25 Years is bottled at 43%ABV and will be available at Global Shop Window and independent specialist retailers at a RRP of £400.

This Mexican Independence Day, Discover The Country’s National Drink In Its True Colours

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Mexican foods and flavours are increasingly popping up on restaurant menus and street food stalls all around the world, enticing consumers to explore a more sophisticated side to the country’s cuisine. A celebration of the country that gave us tamales and tostadas is not complete without a sip of Mexico’s national drink.

Master Tequilera Sonia Espinola, Director of Heritage for the Jose Cuervo Foundation, has dedicated her life to spreading the authentic art of tequila drinking with the world, as one of the first females to be officially recognised by the Mexican government as a Tequilera. She shares her three tips for drinking tequila, the Mexican way:

1. Know the difference

Not all tequilas are created equal. First of all, for a drink to be called tequila, it needs to have the denomination of origin. There are only five areas in Mexico where tequila is produced. If an agave-based spirit is produced outside of these regions, it is not tequila.
But most importantly, depending on how they’ve been aged, tequilas fall into three categories:
· Silver tequila such as Jose Cuervo Especial and Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver have not been aged, which means their colouring is clear and the agave flavour comes through more strongly.
· For tequilas to be called ‘reposados’ (rested), they need to have spent at least two months but not more than a year in oak barrels. For instance, Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado is 100% blue agave tequila, rested in white oak barrels for at least two months.
· Finally, tequilas that have been aged in barrels for over a year are called ‘añejos’ (aged), whilst ‘extra-añejo’ (extra-aged) tequilas have spent at least three years in the barrels. Reserva de la Familia is such an extra-añejo, with strong oaky flavours and more complexity coming through every sip.

2. Sip, don’t shot

You can, of course, enjoy tequila as a shot. Our Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver is carefully bottled to conserve its flavour and finish at freezing temperatures and there’s nothing quite like a cool shot of Tradicional when you’re at a party. But if you truly want to appreciate tequila the Mexican way, you have to sip it from a glass like you would sip whiskey or rum. This is especially true for the aged tequilas (reposado, añejo and extra-añejo).
Use a tasting glass or wine glass to really open the flavours up. Nose it gently with small sips. An agave plant, the foundation of all tequila, requires a minimum of six years to reach maturity; most are harvested after ten years or longer. A decade of work takes a lot of patience; by sipping the tequila and taking in all its complex flavour notes, we show our appreciation for this journey of the agave, from field to glass. When I host dinners for friends, we like sipping a glass of Jose Cuervo Tradicional Reposado, which has been rested in oak barrels for up to six months. I love the flavour of roasted agave and the subtle hint of oak, pineapple and white pepper.

3. Toast to Independence Day the Mexican way

A Mexican Independence Day celebration is not a real fiesta without the Banderita, a combination of three drinks in the colours of the Mexican flag: a green lime juice represents the independence movement, Jose Cuervo Tradicional or Jose Cuervo Especial Silver stands for the centre of the Mexican flag and a red tomato-based chaser called Sangrita represents the blood of the national heroes. Line the glasses from left to right and you’ll have the Mexican flag in a drink, ready to be sipped: Salud!

We Salute You, Scotland: Glenfiddich Festival Experiment Returns To Say Thank You To Scottish Hospitality Industry

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This weekend, The Glenfiddich Festival Experiment returned for round two, welcoming 700 bartenders to the brand’s spiritual home of Dufftown.

The private two-day festival launched in 2017 as a thank you to the Scottish hospitality industry for its continued support of Glenfiddich, and to celebrate the brand’s Experimental Series.

This year’s festival was bigger, better, and more experimental than ever – filled with non-stop entertainment, from music, to comedy, whisky tastings, and distillery tours. Music legends Razorlight and Scotland’s own Twin Atlantic stormed the main stage with their headline performances, supported by up and coming home grown talent Kashmir Crows, Chasing Abbey, The Rising Souls, Tom Hamilton, Atlas Run, Van Ives and many more. Glenfiddich’s own DJ Paradice flew in from the US especially for his late-night appearance on the Forest Stage.

The Whisky Lounge, a new addition to this year’s festival, boasted a breath-taking view over the Glenfiddich distillery. The lounge hosted live comedy from Gary Little and Leo Kearse and served up drams from across the Glenfiddich portfolio. This year’s lucky festival goers were treated to an exclusive tasting of Fire & Cane, the fourth concept in Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series – a smoky whisky finished in sweet rum casks.

The Glenfiddich bar mixed things up with a host of whisky cocktails including: Don’t Be Fooled with Glenfiddich IPA Experiment, Bucks Highball with Glenfiddich 12YO, Glenfiddich 15 YO Old Fashioned and Glenfiddich IPA Experiment with kaffir and coconut.

Jody Buchan, owner of KIN in Edinburgh, commented: “It felt great to have a brand as historic and well-respected as Glenfiddich throw a party and to be given an invitation. To me it shows that the brand may be steeped in history but it can still be forward thinking and care about the people who help sell the product.”

Mark Thomson, Glenfiddich’s Ambassador to Scotland, commented: “Experimentation is at the heart of all we do, and bartenders play a key role in bringing that to life for customers. They show up to work every day and put their heart and soul into an often thankless job – with many pushing the boundaries and experimenting every day, just as we do. It’s brilliant to be able to say thank you to them with another year of festivities at our home in Dufftown.”

Corazón Tequila Launching in the UK

Corazon tequilas

With premium tequila in strong growth in the UK, Corazón Tequila is being launched by distributor Hi-Spirits. A four-strong range will be available to the on-trade and off-trade from September.

Figures from Nielsen show that tequila sales grew by 3.9% in value in the UK in the year to June 2018, with premium brands performing even more strongly as consumers continue to seek out spirits with craft and artisan credentials.

The Corazón brand is owned by Sazerac, whose portfolio also spans brands including Southern Comfort, Buffalo Trace, Fireball and Paddy Whiskey.

Corazón is produced for Sazerac by the award-winning Casa San Matias Distillery, one of the few family-owned agave estates & distilleries in Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico. Corazón Tequila is single estate-cultivated, distilled and hand-bottled. The entire Corazón Tequila process comes straight from the heart of its producers. It is made from 100% blue Weber agave sourced from the Highlands of Jalisco with only the highest quality plants selected and used in the traditional production process including cooking in stone ovens. During its unique distillation process, oxygen is infused into the tequila after the second distillation to produce a spirit that is softer and more approachable with enhanced aromas and distinct flavors.

For more than 130 years, Casa San Matias has been committed to producing the best quality tequila in Mexico, making it one of the oldest tequila distilleries in the country. Casa San Matias is an environmentally and socially responsible company. It is one of only four tequila distilleries equipped with a biodigester and has one of the smallest carbon footprints in the tequila industry. It was the first tequila company to be certified as a “Great Place to Work,” was recognised as part of “TOP Companies” in Mexico, and has been certified and recognised for gender equality in the workplace.

The four-strong line-up of Corazón Single Estate Tequilas coming to the UK, all at 40% ABV in a bespoke bottle with a distinctive cork cap, includes Corazón Blanco RSP £32, Corazón Reposado RSP £35, Corazón Añejo RSP £40, and Corazón Extra Añejo RSP £50.

The Casa San Matias Distillery and the Corazon line are both very highly decorated. At the 2018 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, the Añejo and Extra Añejo were awarded Gold, with Blanco and Reposado winning Silver. The competition saw Casa San Matias win 11 medals in total, including nine for Corazón Tequilas. Corazón de Agave Extra Añejo also won a Double Gold Medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

At the 2017 International Sprits Challenge, Casa San Matias was named Producer of the Year. At the 2016 World Tequila Awards, Corazón was awarded World’s Best Tequila. Corazón Reposado was also awarded 95 points and Extraordinary, Double Recommendation status at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2017.

Hi-Spirits is targeting a core demographic of 25-35-year-old cocktail drinkers and spirits explorers with the Corazón range. Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Quite simply, Casa San Matias is currently distilling the finest tequilas in the world, and we’re delighted to be adding Corazón to our portfolio of brands.

“Tequila is a huge opportunity for the UK spirits market, and with serves generally weighted towards shots in the on-trade in particular, we see a strong opportunity with the launch of the Corazón range to shift that perception.

“We want to engage the growing number of knowledgeable consumers who enjoy cocktails both when they’re out to eat and drink, and at home, and who appreciate spirits with authenticity and provenance, as we’ve seen with the craft gin boom.

“Along with premium cocktail serve ideas, we’re offering information about the heritage of premium tequila and the terroir of agave, tapping into that artisan spirits trend. While consumers appreciate classic cocktails such as the Paloma and Margarita, there is so much more to enjoy. We’re making the Verdita our signature serve for Corazón, positioning it as the ‘unknown classic’ cocktail that consumers will come to love!”

The Verdita (to accompany a 50ml measure of Corazón)

Ingredients:

Half bunch of mint
1 bunch of fresh coriander
3 green Jalapenos (can be scaled back if too spicy)
1.3 litres of pure pasteurised pineapple juice
Quarter cucumber with skin
8-10 inch cubes of fresh watermelon
Pinch black pepper

Method: Blend the mix, strain it and chill before serving

The Benevolent Partners With Hospitality Ulster And The BEN

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The UK drinks industry comes together to help colleagues within the industry with mental health difficulties and to tackle the stigma around mental health.

With the common aim of safeguarding the wellbeing of members of the national drinks industry, The Benevolent, Hospitality Ulster and The Ben decided to join forces to provide the same support system to colleagues from the industry that are suffering from mental health difficulties.

The three organisations came to the agreement that from Wednesday 29th August colleagues from the Scottish and Northern Irish drinks industry will have access to The Benevolent’s counselling helpline available at 0800 9154610. The helpline was launched in 2017 by The Benevolent with the aim of providing immediate help to those in the industry seeking support with their mental health issues. This gives them access to the helpline which is 100% confidential, free of charge and manned by professional counsellors.

Chris Porter, CEO of The Benevolent explained: “The helpline is now a cornerstone of our welfare operations, providing immediate relief for those colleagues who need to talk to a trained counsellor, whether it’s just for the duration of one phone call or if it leads to a cycle of counselling sessions entirely funded by The Benevolent.”

As the stigma revolving around mental health is recognised to prevent and discourage members of the trade to disclose their difficulties, The Ben Scotland and Hospitality Ulster will also disseminate the award- winning campaign #NotAlone in their respective regions, with the aim of creating a stigma free environment for the national drinks industry. The campaign’s main objective is to encourage members of the trade to talk about mental health difficulties, reminding both employers and employees of the industry that help is available through a centralised support system provided by The Benevolent.

Chris Porter, CEO of The Benevolent said: “I’m very pleased and proud that this vital campaign is now truly nationwide with our friends and colleagues at the BEN and Hospitality Ulster. It’s the first time we have worked together on a project but if there is ever a cause and campaign that complements all our strategic goals then it is #NotAlone. Everyone working in the UK drinks industry now has access to professionally trained counsellors for an open a conversation that will help deliver support anywhere it is needed in the drinks industry community across the country”

Chris Gardner, CEO of The BEN Scotland commented: “This is a great opportunity for us to work with The Benevolent and Hospitality Ulster to benefit everyone, young and old, with a connection to the licensed trade, by giving immediate access to help with mental health issues, which are becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Together we can make a difference”.

Colin Neill, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster added: “With the combined reach of our three organisations, we can now provide support to every part of our industry and in every city, town and village in the UK. Mental health has long been a taboo subject, but not anymore and our message is very clear; you are #NotAlone. If you work or have previously worked in our industry, The Benevolent is here to help with free and confidential support.”

Emily Says . . . . ‘Flat White’

Flat White

In her ninth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at ABC for breakfast;

I’m experiencing a small beer hype at the moment, and I simply can’t get enough of certain numbers that I have recently discovered. Therefore, I introduce my next feature which is about one of my newly discovered favourites. Alphabet Brewing Company have unveiled this quirky little number: Flat White Breakfast Stout. But firstly, what even is a stout? Never mind a breakfast one!

A stout is a dark beer that contains roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Irish dry stout Guinness has become the face of stouts, and has generally become the go-to out of all stouts.

Manchester based Alphabet Brewing have pushed the boat out with its 7.4% Flat White as it doesn’t fit the criteria of your usual stout. Despite being described as a ‘white breakfast stout’, the colour is this beer is in fact a reddish brown. Paler than the standard stout, yes, but not white! It is the combination of oats, milk and coffee that have allowed Flat White to achieve this unique colour, and most importantly, it’s unique taste.

A dark and spicy tasting experience overall, Flat White delivers the perfect coffee kick to start off anyone’s day… or night! It has been slightly sweetened, which is the only issue to arise in the sense that not everyone has their coffee sweet. But it worked beautifully for myself, as it has seemed to do also with everyone else I know who have given it a try.
From my first sip of this stout, I was instantly reminded of the aromas that an Espresso Martini delivers. Of course, neither are the same at all, it doesn’t take an expert to know that; but the strong kick of coffee alongside the punchy flavour of the alcohol made me reminisce on my last Espresso Martini… which wasn’t that long ago!

The delicate roasting of this beer is made apparent in not only the main body, but the after taste also. The hops and oat aromas are left tantalising the taste buds, with that undeniable punchy taste of coffee lingering on the back of your tongue.

It is a hipster’s dream breakfast, as it is mine! Flat White is the perfect start to them few beers in the day, or a little ‘pick me up’ at the end of a long day in the office. Bravo, Alphabet Brewing Company!

Emily Says . . . . ‘Big Shed’

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In her eighth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at her visit to Australia;

For those who haven’t noticed my absence in the last month, I spent eleven days in Adelaide, South Australia fulfilling my duties as a bridesmaid for my childhood best friend. As amazing and as honourable this role and trip was, it was an exhausting journey back to Manchester and jet lag truly took advantage of me. Not to mention being thrown back into the late bartending shifts the minute I stepped foot off the plane from that twenty-three hour flight.

But I’m back! As is my body clock. And it would have felt rude to not bring some of the Australian sunshine back with me, even if I didn’t bring back a tan to prove it…

Being a bridesmaid is no walk in the park, and myself and my twin sister Charlotte found our days packed out with wedding rehearsals, bridal showers and overall preparations for the big day; which, by the way, payed off just beautifully. Luckily, we managed to squeeze in a day off consisting of brunch, beaches and, most importantly, beer!

South Australia homes many breweries, and we payed a visit to one of the most popular: Big Shed Brewing Co. Founded and directed by Craig Basford and Jason Harris, the pair started brewing in Jason’s shed in Barossa of Adelaide back in 2002. The shed was big enough to fit in all the necessary brewing equipment, and so began the love affair of Big Shed Brewing. Experimenting using unique ingredients from the pure curiosity of ‘what happens if…’, Craig and Jason began discussing making their passion into a business.

Finally in September of 2014, Big Shed Brewing Co launched their own tasting bar and kitchen to display and sell their products. Consisting of six taps and food that is specially paired with the different beers, this brewery is perfect for sampling, learning and even taking away their unique beers. I took away three different bottles, and here is a little summary of each of the three.

F Yeah - American Pale Ale
F Yeah – American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.5%
An overall easily drinkable and fantastic beer. Beautifully hopped with a biscuit and aromatic malt, F Yeah provides a full bodied and wonderfully hopped experience. Alongside a citrus-like aroma, there is also a firm bitterness that truly balances this beer; which is what makes APAs so wonderful! A full strength beer that can be enjoyed during any occasion thanks to its steadily balanced ABV.

Californicator – West Cost IPA
Californicator – West Cost IPA

ABV: 7.5%
With the West Coast USA being all about their hops, this number has naturally replicated that. The bitterness from the strong hops in this beer are backed up perfectly by citrus aromas, and even a hint of apricot. The bold flavour of this beer makes it incredibly moreish; a risky game to play with its heavy ABV of 7.5%! Perhaps not the ideal beer for a quiet get together with the family… but overall, a cracking no-nonsense IPA.

Golden Stout Time – Dessert Stout
Golden Stout Time – Dessert Stout

ABV: 5.4%
Something for the sweet tooth! Taking a step back from the hops and focusing on the strong infusions of toffee and honeycomb, this dessert stout is perfect for a post-meal treat. The sweet infusions give this beer a hearty and rich tasting experience, ticking all the boxes for the perfect dessert beer; with an easy going ABV too! For sipping and enjoying, this number is one to be savoured.

Sadly, Big Shed Brewing Co hasn’t appeared its face over here in the UK yet. But if anyone is planning a trip to the South of Australia, a visit to the brewery or even grabbing a bottle of two from the local liquor store shelves is an absolute must! A true taste of the South Australian sunshine, Big Shed is one not to be missed out.

Rum-Bar

Rum Bar Gold

To most, Jamaica is seen as one of more recognisable islands of the Caribbean. Whether it’s through your own visits or becoming inspired by the images and videos on social media, the country is rich in culture with the expected tipple of choice being a driving force for many to enjoy when visiting.

A distillery tour is a must when visiting any Caribbean island, especially if originating from Europe or America. The styles of the equipment used to the liquid it produces, it’s a stark contrast of finished product to the selection of home, and it adds to intrigue and buzz when a tour operator has a distillery option to their many packages available.

Saying that, you do only get to enjoy a handful.

A handful in that not all distilleries are open to the public, or indeed able to function with a tour opportunity. You will see and experience perhaps some of the biggest names on the island, Jamaica included with Appleton Estate and Hampden Estate, but you do miss out on many expressions that the islands can offer. It’s understandable that if you visit a distillery and walk away with new-found knowledge and a love for a new bottle, you’ll seek it out in your hotel, the areas local bar or indeed your favourite rum bar once back home. But with the UK especially, there’s so much rum to experience these days that you can easily overlook those ‘other’ distilleries when visiting its home country.

It’s with this that my focus here is on a fellow Jamaican distillery that can be easily overlooked due to its lack of a tour opportunity. Lets take a look at Rum-Bar from Worthy Park Estate.

Worthy-park

Worthy Park Estate itself can be found within St. Catherine, itself a part of the Vale of Lluidas (or more commonly known as Lluidas Vale), 1,200 feet above sea level and with approximately 10,000 acres of vibrant foliage just 40 miles north-west of Kingston and 28 miles south from the tourist centre of Ocho Rios. The Estate has been a part of the landscape since 1670 when it was gifted to Lt. Francis Price for his services to Oliver Cromwell during the English capture of the island from the Spanish in 1655. Ever since it has slowly expanded to how you see it today.

The production of cane and sugar began in 1720, continuing to this day under the Clarke family, who themselves took over in 1918 from the previous family and becoming one of only 3 families to ever own the Estate. Despite having 10,000 acres of land, approximately 40% of it is currently used for sugar cultivation (where around 20 cane varieties are grown), with the rest for a handful of livestock and other crop production.

January to the end of June is the traditional sugar season, although due to the nature of the 24 hour operation, July to December is perfect to service the equipment within the sugar factory so consistency over the years can be maintained. The sugar cane itself is predominantly harvested by hand for efficiency and to maximise yield, although 20 years ago it was decided to also use cane harvesters to assist in the daily supply needed, resulting in Worthy Park Estate being rated number one on the island since 1968.

Each year, approximately 210,000 tonnes of cane is milled, with 90,000 tonnes of that coming from the Worthy Park Estate itself. The rest is supplemented by purchases from local farmers. It makes sense then that Worthy Park Estate produces all the molasses needed for its rum production, with between 7,000 – 8,000 tonnes per year produced.

Worthy Park Estate’s rum history has been sporadic since the 1740’s, with production in halted by the Spirits Pool Association of Jamaica in 1962 due to an over-supply of Jamaican rum following World War 2. With no rum activity for decades, and with times and attitude to rum changing, 2004 saw the Clarke family deciding to relaunch and in 2005 their new distillery opened, with 2007 seeing the flagship brand Rum-Bar Rum launched.

There’s currently four Rum-Bar expressions available to the market; the traditional Jamaican styled Rum-Bar Rum, a white overproof rum that is a blend of three un-aged rums, all distilled within their copper pot still, Rum-Bar Silver which is a a white, un-aged 40% abv rum, and their Rum-Bar Gold which is barrel aged (Jack Daniel’s) for a minimum of 4 years. Rum-Bar Rum Cream came to be the 3rd expression released, combining Rum-Bar Rum with real cream.

So with this, below I give to you my tasting notes on my Worthy Park Estate journey so far –

Rum-Bar Gold – 40%

Ripe green apple notes come through on the nose, with honey, vanilla and fudge infused molasses ever-present. Plenty of banana flavours come through on the palate, with hints of cedar from the oak, toffee and lingering treacle finish.

A cracking Jamaican tipple here, one that can easily be sipped over ice. Saying that, it wouldn’t go a miss in one of these –

Cane Planter’s Punch

Ingredients – 

90ml Rum-Bar Gold
30ml Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
30ml Simple Syrup
3 dash Angostura Bitters
Fill with Coconut Water

Method – 

Combine all ingredients in a tall glass and fill with crushed ice. Swizzle and garnish.

A very tasty look at the ‘other’ Jamaican rums that you can come across both on the island itself, as well as within many venues across the UK. I’m looking forward to heading over myself this year, and although there’s no distillery tour, that doesn’t mean I’ll be ignoring it in the local bars! One for your drinks cabinet for sure.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. 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.

London, Get Ready To Rumble!

Margarita Rumble

Jose Cuervo®, the world’s number one selling tequila, has announced the sponsoring of the grand ole fiesta the ‘Margarita Rumble’ for the second year. Margarita Rumble, which is taking over The Yard in Shoreditch on April 28th, is a major competition that sees expert mixologists from top bars across the city compete for the prestigious title of Best Margarita in London.

Margarita lovers will be pleased to know that the bottomless margaritas on offer will all be made with the award-winning Jose Cuervo Tradicional 100% agave tequila, crafted using methods originated by the Cuervo family over 200 years ago.

Guests can choose to join one of three sessions, with each reveller given a token on arrival to vote for their favourite margarita. Entertainment will consist of a traditional Mariachi band, Mexican dancers and DJs. For those curious to learn more about the cocktail of the moment, the festival favourite Cuervo Tequila Truck will be welcoming guests with a tequila tasting and hosting a salt pairing masterclass, where attendees will be shown how to pair the best salts found in the UK to different flavours of Cuervo margaritas.

The first wave of top talent confirmed to compete are Trapeze, Barrio Bars, Cabana Brixton, Whistling Shop, Benitos Hat, Little Bat, Eaton Square Bar, Zebrano, Simmons, and The BootLegger. Reigning champions Café Pacifico will be returning to defend their 2017 title, awarded to the passionfruit margarita that wowed the crowds at last year’s event, and has also claimed a permanent ‘Margarita Rumble’ cocktail feature at the Covent Garden restaurant.

Tickets and more information are available here for anyone wanting to get involved, with prices starting from £35 – https://www.londonmargaritarumble.com/buytickets/