Glenfiddich Adds To Its Experimental Series With Winter Storm

Glenfiddich_Winter_Storm_Icewine_packagingGlenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch, today launches Glenfiddich Winter Storm, a limited edition whisky finished in Ice wine casks. The result is a short, crisp premium liquid imbued with a unique layer of sweetness and complexity.

Glenfiddich’s Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, is always pursuing ingenious innovations in Scotch whisky. This latest expression comes as a result of a trip to Canada in January 2016, during which he visited Peller Estate – a renowned winery in Niagara. Enduring freezing weather, Brian toured the beautiful vineyards, where he learned how the grapes had to be picked by moonlight at -10˚C when they were as hard as pebbles.

Inspired by his experience, Brian returned to The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, where he started experimenting with several French oak Ice wine casks from the Canadian winery – filling them with various Glenfiddich aged malts for up to six months. Brian commented, “Only the rarer whiskies, those aged for 21 years, could cope with the extra Ice wine intensity. Having more tannins, extracted from years in oak, these malts brought out a uniquely fresh lychee note instead of being swamped by sweetness.” What resulted, was a perfect Glenfiddich 21 year old. The combination of pioneering liquids, the heightened candied sweets and oakiness of Glenfiddich are complemented by mouth-watering tropical fruit notes and underlying wine notes.

Peller Estates VP of Winemaking, Craig McDonald added: “It was a privilege to work with Brian on this experiment. We go to extreme lengths to produce our intensely sweet Ice wine and are always looking for ways to push the boundaries of taste, so I was intrigued to see how it could be used to create a new unexpected whisky. The resulting liquid is a unique combination of the warming soul of whisky and the frozen cold of Ice wine”.

Gwilym Cooke, Senior Brand Manager Glenfiddich UK commented: “Following the successful launch of Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series last year, we’re delighted to introduce the eagerly anticipated Winter Storm, an expression that challenges traditional Scotch whisky boundaries with a radically different taste and look.”

Glenfiddich Winter Storm is the newest expression in the Glenfiddich Experimential Series line up, joining Glenfiddich IPA Experiment and Glenfiddich Project XX which both launched in 2016. Designed to inspire unusual and unexpected variants, Glenfiddich Experimental Series combines the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries and collaborating with trailblazers beyond the world of whisky. Created from partnerships and collaborations with like-minded experimenters from a wide range of different industries, Glenfiddich Experimental Series unlocks new whisky possibilities in the true spirit of experimentation.

Glenfiddich Winter Storm is available from early October, priced at a RRP of £199, at specialist whisky outlets and prestige retailers including: Harrods, Hedonism, Berry Bros & Rudd, and select on-trade outlets. With a striking white ceramic bottle and beautifully embossed presentation box, Winter Storm is a limited edition expression, and so when it’s gone it’s gone, just like the winter snow.

Read more at http://www.glenfiddich.com/uk/

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Final Five Named In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Campaign

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Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum of St Lucia Distillers, are proud to announce the final five venues who will be participating in the UK final of the current Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai campaign.

The evening, to be held at The Magic Roundabout, one of the cities iconic pop-up sites in London, will feature five venues from across the UK who have been tasked during July and August to promote their twist on the classic Mai Tai cocktail using two expressions of Chairman’s Reserve. Once gaining a spot in the final, the winning venue are rewarded with a training visit for two to St Lucia as part of the prestige Chairman’s XI programme.

Earning their way to the final on Tuesday 26th September will be last year’s winners Alvino’s of Newcastle upon Tyne, Colonel Porter’s, also of Newcastle upon Tyne, Milk from, Ten Mill Lane from Cardiff and our wild card entry of Panda & Sons from Edinburgh.
The respective bars will now be invited down to Magic Roundabout next Tuesday to re-create their Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai cocktail to the public at the biggest Mai Tai party of the year!

With a secret panel of judges on hand to test out each cocktail too, the winning bar will find out on the evening whether they have earnt their place on the plane to St Lucia later in the year.

Venue: The Magic Roundabout, Old Street Tube Station, London, EC1Y 1BE
Timings: 7pm – late. Open to general public and trade.

St Lucia Itinerary for the winning venue:

Day 1: Arrival in Saint Lucia
Day 2: Visit of Saint Lucia Distillers, local art makers & the Castries market
Day 3: Training session for local bartenders & Friday night in Gros Islet with the SLD Team
Day 4: Local Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Competition judged by European winners and guest shift in the evening at Chairman’s Reserve event
Day 5: Day out on catamaran with local bartenders & SLD team
Day 6: Flights back home

Limited Edition Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold Honouring 125 Years

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To celebrate 125 years of its fine product, Mandarine Napoléon has crafted an extraordinary version of its delectable liqueur: The Limited Edition Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold. The special edition is a distillate of Sicilian mandarins blended with nothing less than a 125-year-old Grande Fine Champagne Cognac – resulting in a delightfully fresh and soft mandarin flavour with a delicious balanced cognac finish. Every bottle of the mandarin-infused liqueur in its robe d’or contains a harmonious touch of cognac from 1892: the year Mandarine Napoléon was first available to the public – covered by hand with 24-carat gold, combining craftsmanship, heritage and exquisite quality in and on a glorious bottle. Moreover, a special anniversary box, the walnut wood was exclusively designed to hold the product, so without a doubt, the XO Gold Limited Edition is a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.

The fact that people have been savouring Mandarine Napoléon for as long as 125 years now was the impulse that spawned the idea of creating an anniversary edition. Admittedly, it was not an easy task finding a suitable cognac well over a century old. However, a Grande Fine Champagne Cognac from 1892 was ultimately found, which truly adds colour and harmony to the Mandarine Napoléon Gold. As icing on the cake, a goldsmith from a small hamlet in the south of the Netherlands has then manually covered the bottle with 24-carat gold – so the bottle shimmers and shines from within the tailor-made walnut wood box.

Many people enjoy Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold as a royal twist in the Napoléon Margarita, but since the Limited Edition Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold is made with the exclusive Grande Fine Champagne Cognac, it is probably best savoured neat or on the rocks to experience the delicate subtleties and unique finish.

If you wish to order Mandarine Napoléon XO Gold Limited Edition, simply send an email to: limitededition@125ymandarinenapoleon.com. A symbolic price of €1892.00 has been set for this extraordinary liqueur and since this is a limited edition, there is a maximum of only 125 bottles available.

Havana Club Celebrates Successful 2017 Awards Season

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Havana Club, the global leading rum in the super-premium and above category[1], has been awarded five Double Gold or Gold medals at the world’s most influential spirits competitions this year, including top medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Beverage Tasting Institute and International Spirits Challenge.

Havana Club 7 Years Old was awarded a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – one of the most respected and influential competitions in the world. The judges were impressed with the rich, smooth and complex flavours of this exceptional rum – honouring the continuous ageing process that makes Havana Club 7 Years Old one of the finest, premium Cuban sipping rums. “The Foundational rum” – as it is widely known for laying the foundations for quality dark aged rum – also scored 92 points at the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago.

In addition, Havana Club 3 Years Old claimed its second Gold medal in a row at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and its fifth consecutive Gold medal at the Beverage Testing Institute.

Havana Club Selección de Maestros, first expression of the Icónica Collection, also received high p raise at the International Spirits Challenge, where it was honoured with a Gold medal, adding to the already extensive list of trophies earned by this triple barrel aged rum, which is crafted through an extraordinary collaboration between the eight members of the Guild of Masters of Cuban Rum.

Nick Blacknell, International Marketing Director at Havana Club International, commented on the continued success of the Havana Club portfolio: “The broad recognition we have received from the world’s leading spirits tasting competitions demonstrates the quality crafting skills of our Maestros del Ron Cubano[2]. We are incredibly proud of the production team in Cuba, as they are the ones who know the “añejamiento” (ageing) technique – a distinctive ageing process that is exclusive to Cuban rum. We dedicate our five leading medals to the whole team of Maestros and look forward to the 2018 awards season”.

New Peated Single Malt Showcases The Balvenie In Entirely Different Way

The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years
The Balvenie, the most handcrafted single malt Scotch whisky, reimagines a classic Speyside style whisky with the release of an exceptional peated expression – The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years (2002 Vintage), available initially in a select number of markets.

The Balvenie Peat Week is the product of trials undertaken by The Balvenie’s Malt Master David Stewart MBE and Ian Millar, former distillery manager and current Prestige Whiskies Specialist at William Grant & Sons.

At a time when very few Speyside distilleries were using peat in production, The Balvenie distilled a batch of heavily peated malt, which was laid down to mature at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland under the watchful eye of the industry’s longest-serving Malt Master. Since this pioneering moment, the distillery has dedicated one week each year, named Peat Week, to using only peated barley in its production, in order to craft a different style of The Balvenie liquid with enhanced smoky notes.

The result of the initial experiment is a classic honeyed whisky enriched with a delicate, sweet and lingering peat smoke that unlocks flavours unexpected from a Speyside distillery and showcases The Balvenie’s truly innovative and forward-thinking nature.

The Balvenie Peat Week (2002 Vintage), released in September 2017, is a single vintage bottling, limited and rare by nature. This non-chill filtered expression, bottled at 48.3% ABV, will launch exclusively to the USA, UK, Denmark and Sweden in September. The liquid was matured solely in American Oak casks, giving the final spirit a velvety and round taste with the peat smoke balancing oaky vanilla and honey.

Commenting on the release, David Stewart MBE says: “Being able to experiment with different elements of whisky making and stock management is one of the most exciting and important parts of my job. The new Peated Week bottling is a result of our continued efforts to innovate and trial flavours not typically associated with The Balvenie. The expression is testament to the freedom we enjoy as a family company, and shows The Balvenie in an unexpected way, yet still remaining true to the distillery style our drinkers enjoy.”

The new release pays special homage to a time when peated whiskies were commonly produced by distilleries across Speyside, including The Balvenie, who utilised locally sourced peat throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s to dry barley processed at the distillery’s traditional malt floor, which is still in use today.

Ian Millar, says: “When we first started the experiments it was an incredibly exciting time as very few Speyside distilleries were using peated malt in production. Along with cask type, there’s nothing quite like peat to change the flavour profile of a whisky, so it was great to have the chance to undertake these experiments and lay the foundations for future peated malts.”

Alwynne Gwilt, The Balvenie UK Brand Ambassador added: “For anyone who thinks that Scotch is a staid category, this new release from The Balvenie will make them reconsider. Behind the scenes at whisky distilleries like ours, experiments are always going on and almost 15 years ago, we started exploring what it would be like to peat the malt that goes into our gorgeous honeyed liquid for one week each year. The result is something wonderful and will give The Balvenie lovers a chance to see this delicious whisky in a different light.”

The release follows the June release of The Balvenie Peated Triple Cask Aged 14 Years, exclusive to travel retail. Both bottlings will be permanent additions to The Balvenie’s existing range.

The Balvenie Peat Week will retail for £60 RRP and is available from September.

St-Germain Is Bringing A French Touch To The Oxo Tower Bar’s Terrace

Oxo Tower
St-Germain is bringing a splash of joyful decadence to the OXO Tower Bar’s Terrace this September.

In celebration of the thousands of elderflowers harvested to create the unique elderflower liqueur, St-Germain has partnered with Harvey Nichols in a terrace takeover welcoming guests through its doors until Tuesday 31 October.

The takeover will capture the spirit of Les Années Folles with delicious St-Germain cocktails artfully crafted in collaboration with Paulius Patumsis from the OXO Tower Bar team and Camille Ralph Vidal, Global Brand Ambassador. The Terrace will be brought to life with a foliage wall, created by Emily Baylis, floral designer and founder of ‘June in March,’ making the space the perfect spot to enjoy St-Germain cocktails this autumn, surrounded by stunning views of London’s skyline. A St-Germain camera will be on hand to help guests capture the evening, providing each customer with a Polaroid picture to take home.

St-Germain® Elderflower Liqueur is the world’s first French liqueur made from delicate elderflower blossoms, handpicked at the height of their beauty during a maddeningly ephemeral growing season once a year.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/StGermainUK/

St-Germain take over the OXO Tower Bar’s terrace Oxo Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie, Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, South Bank, London SE1 9PH from Friday 1 September – Tuesday 31 October

Our/London Vodka Launches Our/Infusions Range

Our Infusions range
Our/Vodka is continuing its mission to shake up the vodka industry with the launch of four DIY Our/Infusion kits.

The kits allow anyone to play bartender and transform their bottle of Our/Vodka into a bespoke serve, by using a botanical infusion bag.

To mark the launch, the kits will feature in an exclusive Our/Infusions window installation at The Conran Shop Marylebone, coinciding with the launch of London Design Festival on 16 September.

London based set designers Isabel + Helen and Hackney resident photographer William Bunce will bring each infusion to life. Delving into the smells and textures of each infusion blend, the sculptures will show what a glass bottle of clear liquid can really look like.

The four Our/Infusions kits have been created using ingredients sourced from all over the world. They include:

Our/Oak Infusion – An oak flavoured botanical blend with a taste of warm toasted oak, sweet vanilla and a hint of smoke. 8-15 hours infusion time.

Our/Juniper Infusion – A juniper flavoured botanical blend. 8-15 hours infusion time.

Our/Citrus Infusion – A citrus flavoured botanical blend with notes of lemon and grapefruit. 10 minutes infusion time.

Our/Tea Infusion – Classic Earl, a refreshing bergamot flavoured tea blend from Paper & Tea with hint of leather and caramel. 10 minutes infusion time.

Kalle Söderquist, co-founder & creative director of Our/Vodka says: “Within the bartender community we’ve seen endless creativity the last couple of years. Everyone adds their own personal touch to their cocktail ingredients.

“Combined with an urban DIY trend when it comes to everything food and drink, we believe that the range of Our/Infusion kits are changing the spirits industry by helping the end consumer to create something entirely new from a bottle of Our/Vodka.”

Our/Vodka has built a family of urban distilleries, and was the first to bring a small vodka bottle with a crown cap to the market. The Our/Infusions range has an RRP of £24 and will be available from October at selected retailers.

When The Irishman Met The Sicilian

Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie
Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released two, new, very limited edition, super-premium expressions from The Irishman range. Both were finished in handpicked Marsala wine ‘hogshead’ casks from the Florio winery in Sicily which is owned by Walsh Whiskey Distillery’s strategic partner Illva Saronno.

Hogshead casks are larger than standard whiskey casks, however with evaporation accounting for the ‘Angel’s Share’, just 2,970 bottles of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Florio Marsala Cask Finish were filled in mid-August after a minimum of 12 months finishing in the hogshead casks. The nine casks will be spread across seven markets: Ireland, Italy, France, Holland, Switzerland, Travel Retail and Germany. This triple-distilled, non chill filtered whiskey has an ABV of 46%, which is 6% ABV stronger than The Irishman Founder’s Reserve.

Just a single hogshead cask was filled with The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt resulting in 320 bottles of this expression which will be exclusively available at the Walsh Whiskey Distillery in Royal Oak, Carlow, Ireland. Also triple-distilled and non chill filtered, The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt – Florio Marsala Cask Finish is a Cask Strength whiskey with an ABV of 56%.

The creation of these whiskeys began in 2015 when Bernard Walsh went to the Florio winery in the town of Marsala in Sicily as part of his international research into new cask finishes for his portfolio of whiskeys which has also seen him visit Spain, France, Portugal, St. Lucia, China, Kentucky and other parts of Italy. During a tasting of the famously sweet Marsala wines in the Florio cellars, he became convinced of the potential for an exciting expression to result from finishing his signature whiskey, The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, in Marsala wine casks.

Following the tasting, Bernard personally selected the 10 hogshead casks for return to Ireland for filling with The Irishman Founder’s Reserve. He made a last minute decision to add one more twist to the innovation by assigning one of the hogshead casks to be filled with The Irishman 12 Year Old Single Malt for a minimum 12 months’ finish.

Commenting on the successful outcome of the project, Bernard Walsh said: “I have always loved sweet tasting wines, so I was drawn to the Marsala from the outset, but I didn’t want it to overpower The Irishman expressions either. I am delighted that we have achieved two beautifully balanced whiskeys which we are proud to make the ninth and tenth expressions in our portfolio.”

William Grant & Sons Appoints Stephen Rutherford As Glenfiddich UK Brand Ambassador

Glenfiddich UK brand ambassador_Stephen Rutherford
Independent family distillers, William Grant & Sons UK has today confirmed that Stephen Rutherford will take on the role of UK brand ambassador for Glenfiddich, with immediate effect.

Stephen’s new role will see him focus on generating brand awareness, building brand advocacy and bridging communication between the brand and consumers, bars & restaurants, retailers, distributors and press.

Stephen will take over from Mark Thomson who is moving north to focus on Glenfiddich’s home territory as the new Scottish brand ambassador.

Mark said: “I couldn’t be happier about Stephen taking on the national role as I move north to concentrate on Scotland. His joining of an already strong global team of ambassadors puts us in an enviable position within the industry but also offers a modern point of view for the whisky consumer. Plus, he has a great sense of humour- so I know he’ll fit in just fine!”

Stephen said: “I am extremely proud and honoured to be appointed as UK brand ambassador for Glenfiddich. It is a truly exciting time to be getting involved, with some fantastic projects coming up, and the opportunity to work with the amazingly talented team. I can’t wait to get out and about and start spreading the Glenfiddich love.”

Hard Rock Cafe Want To Spritz Up Your Summer!

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Hard Rock Cafe have brought out their latest cocktail creations for the Summer season, focusing on the ever-popular Spritz, twisting them with familiar names such as Bombay Sapphire, Jack Daniel’s, Grey Goose and Chambord.

Kick-start with my personal favourite of the ‘Jack and Diane’ that see’s Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 combined with Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and topped with lemonade for a bold hit of whiskey and orange. A close second for me is the ‘Chambord Supernova’ that see’s Chambord blended with St Germaine elderflower and topped with Prosecco, soda and a lemon twist. Rich, refreshing and offers a long finish!

A fantastic Grey Goose offering in ‘Good Limes, Bad Limes’ is available, showing the flavours of St Germaine elderflower, fresh limes, Prosecco and soda, whilst the ‘Thyme Warp’ offers a highlight of the Bombay Sapphire experience with fresh lemon juice and tonic, with a sprig of thyme to bring out the fresh aromas.

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The two other Bombay Sapphire creations include ‘Gin Ginie’ that see’s the bolder profiles of Chambord mixed with the British gin and bitter lemon, topped with a sprig of mint, whilst the ‘My Gineration’ focuses on the gin with orange juice, tonic and plenty of orange peel for garnish.

Six refreshing serves, priced between £9.45 and £9.95, served up, if you wish, within a Hard Rock souvenir mason jar (for £11.80) whilst rocking out in the sunshine (or what’s left of it) on their terrace. And if you’ve ever read my previous features on Hard Rock Cafe’s food offerings, you’ll know you can make an afternoon of it!

Jack & Diane with a Guinness Bacon Cheeseburger for me. I’ll see you at the bar.

© 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.