Winner Announced At 1800 Visionaries Cocktail Competition

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Callum Baines from Treacle Bar & Kitchen, Edinburgh has been crowned the winner of 1800 Tequila’s Visionaries Competition. Bartenders across the UK were tasked with creating a cocktail that demonstrates what we will be drinking in 20 years’ time. The five other finalists included; Amy Swanton from The Aviator Hotel, Farnborough, Jonathan Shaw from One Goose Entry, Belfast, Peter Konkoly from Coya Mayfair, London, Radslaw Rozycki from The Cocktail Trading Co., London, Sofiane Barthelemy – from the Library Bar at The Lanesborough, London.

Callum Baines impressed judges with his cocktail, “Make Tequila Great Again”, which combined 1800 Reposado, oak wood smoke, cactus and aloe syrup, lemon juice and Boston Bittahs served in a mug. Baines’s inspiration came from the notion of global warming, impacting resources of natural water and fresh ingredients causing sustainability to become the main focus of cocktails of the future. Winner, Callum Baines will receive a once in a lifetime trip to Mexico and trip to 1800 distillery.

 

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Distinguished Father’s Day Whisky For A Dignified Dad

Father's Day For a Dignfied Dad

If your dad is a dignified chap, then The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has the perfect gift for him this Father’s Day (Sunday 17th June 2018), with a special offer of membership to the SMWS including a limited edition single malt ‘For a dignified dad’ for only £130.

This 20-year-old Speyside whisky has matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel to produce a single cask whisky that has been described as “characteristically waxy, oily, herbal and delicately tropical.”

Like the father in your life, ‘For a dignified dad’ carries an air of authority and experience that coveys that with “age brings distinction and the opportunity to wax lyrical, and deserves a respectful audience.”

With a stimulating nose and aroma of “hours spent in the garden or in the shed, emerging with the smell of soil from potting plants”, this whisky was bottled from a single cask that produced only 190 bottles, making it a limited edition single malt.

FATHER’S DAY OFFER

‘For a dignified dad’ and a membership to the Society costs only £130 which is a saving of £25. The whisky is from the Old & Dignified flavour category, which is one of the SMWS 12 flavour profiles.

Membership unlocks the doors to the Society’s unparalleled single cask whiskies, tasting events, the award-winning ‘Unfiltered’ magazine and Members Rooms and partners bars around the world.

New whiskies are released each month, providing an ever-changing choice of malts to discover.

Included in the offer:

· Full SMWS Membership (costing £65)

· 70cl bottle of: 36.142 ‘For a dignified dad’ (£90)

For more information, visit https://goo.gl/o2N2HV

Two World-First ‘Method And Madness’ Expressions Added To The Experimental Irish Spirits Range

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Irish Distillers, makers of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, has added two new and experimental, limited edition Irish whiskeys to its METHOD AND MADNESS range; Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak and a 28-year-old Ruby Port Pipe Single Cask Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. First launched in 2017, METHOD AND MADNESS aims to push the boundaries of Irish whiskey through innovative releases, harnessing the creativity and fresh thinking of the masters and apprentices in Midleton Distillery.

In a world first for Irish whiskey, METHOD AND MADNESS Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak has been finished in virgin oak felled in the Carpathian Mountain range in the North East of Hungary, where volcanic soils are best suited to the growing of Quercus Petraea. Harvested in winter and air-dried for two years at theKádár Kádár sawmills in Tokaj, the tight grain of this exceptional wood slowly imparts complex compounds and subtle flavours into the whiskey during the finishing process. The whiskey, a single pot still distillate, was first matured in a combination of first-fill and re-fill American oak barrels, before finishing in the virgin Hungarian oak for 11 months.

Kevin O’Gorman, Master of Maturation at Midleton Distillery, commented: “Our quest for uncommon casks has led us all over the world. We were especially intrigued by the Quercus Petraea from North East Hungary and the unique properties that it could add to our flavour repertoire as whiskey makers. At Midleton Distillery over the past few years, we have been experimenting with Hungarian virgin oak casks – a trial and error process that we are incredibly proud to have finally mastered. The result is a new first for Irish whiskey that continues to challenge perceptions of what the category can be.”

The second aged release in the METHOD AND MADNESS series is a 28 year old Ruby Port Pipe, which is a single pot still Irish whiskey matured initially for six years in American oak barrels, before being re-casked into a Ruby Port pipe for a further 22 years. The cask was carefully seasoned with a selection of wines to remove some of the heavy tannins and further seasoned with Ruby Port, infusing rich fruit flavours. The whiskey is alive with notes of ripe stone fruit on the nose and generous with vanilla and cinnamon on the palate, while the light pot still spices shine through on the long, satisfying finish.

Dave McCabe, Apprentice Blender at Midleton Distillery, added: “METHOD AND MADNESS 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe marks the realisation of a 22-year-old prediction from the Midleton Masters, which stated that the marriage of flavours between a single pot still Irish whiskey and a Port pipe will one day achieve balance. Billy Leighton, our Master Blender, and I have been carefully monitoring the slowly evolving flavours of this rare and exceptional cask as part of my training as Apprentice Blender. It gives us great pleasure to be able to present it as the perfect harmony between whiskey, Port and wood.”

METHOD AND MADNESS Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Virgin Hungarian Oak is bottled without chill-filtration at 46% ABV and is available in Ireland, the UK, Travel Retail Ireland and France, RRP €89. METHOD AND MADNESS Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 28 Year Old Ruby Port Pipe Single Cask is bottled at 56.1% ABV and available in Ireland, UK, Travel Retail Ireland and France, priced at RRP €1,900.

Chivas Regal Unveils Fresh New Look For Chivas 18

New Chivas 18 Bottle + Box ImageChivas Regal, one of the world’s most iconic blended Scotch whiskies, has announced a new global campaign in celebration of the dedication, skill and time it takes to craft its award-winning Chivas 18.

Still expertly blended to the original recipe developed by Colin Scott, Custodian Master Blender at Chivas Regal, and one of the world’s most experienced Master Blenders, Chivas 18 is a distinctively rich and multi-layered blend, representing complexity at its very best. In an age that revolves around instant gratification, the new campaign encourages consumers to appreciate the more intricate things in life, which, like Chivas 18, take time and skill to create.

The campaign coincides with a new label and box design, featuring rich vibrant colours and luxurious textures, befitting of one of the world’s most loved blended Scotch whiskies. Refreshing the iconic Chivas 18 blue with a sophisticated new tone, used on both the pack and the label, will help it stand out on shelf and the back bar, while also better reflecting the brand’s ultra-premium credentials. Whisky fans need not worry though; the award-winning taste that consumers have come to know and love remains the same.

Richard Black, Global Marketing Director at Chivas Regal, commented: “Taking no less than 18 years in the making and with 85 flavour notes packed into every drop, Chivas 18 is the epitome of complexity. In celebration of this unrivalled spirit, our new campaign highlights its rich, multi-layered flavour whilst also honouring the expert blending process which leads to its creation. Through it, we want to remind consumers that some things in life can’t – and shouldn’t – be simplified.”

The ‘King of Whisky’ Unveils Exclusive Commemorative Blend

Royal Salute Royal Wedding Edition ImageRoyal Salute, the exceptionally crafted and aged Scotch whisky, has launched its exquisite Royal Wedding Edition – a true collector’s item in tribute to the upcoming nuptials of HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle.

Continuing Royal Salute’s long legacy of celebrating British royal milestones, just 70 bottles of this outstanding and extremely rare whisky have been created, with each housed in an elegant Dartington Crystal decanter.

This whisky has been carefully crafted by Royal Salute Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, who has brought together some of the oldest and rarest whiskies from the Royal Salute collection to create an exclusive expression like no other. In honour of the bride’s heritage, this unique blend has been fully matured in 100% American oak casks – a first for Royal Salute – resulting in a long and creamy finish.

This exceptional unveiling is not only a tribute to the royal couple, but also a celebration of Royal Salute’s long-standing tradition of commemorating momentous British royal occasions. With an impressive portfolio that includes The Diamond Tribute and 32 Year Old Union of the Crowns, the Royal Wedding Edition is in esteemed company.

Royal Salute Brand Ambassador, His Grace The Duke of Argyll, explained: “The marriage of HRH, Prince Henry of Wales, to Ms Meghan Markle, will be one of the most exciting events this century. Since its creation in 1953 in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, Royal Salute has enjoyed a long and proud heritage of celebrating historic British royal events – and we believe this remarkable new blend is a perfect tribute to such a special moment in history.”

The Royal Wedding Edition is fittingly housed within a striking Dartington Crystal decanter engraved with a unique number and displayed in a hand-crafted American Oak box. The decanter is further enhanced with delicate images of roses, thistles and barley, while the inside of the box is adorned with flowers and foliage in a subtle nod to Harry and Meghan’s spring nuptials. Images of vivid daffodils celebrate Harry’s title as Prince Henry of Wales and California poppies feature in tribute to Meghan’s birth place of Los Angeles.

The Royal Salute Royal Wedding Edition presents an incredibly sweet nose with notes of luxurious vanilla ice cream and soft chocolate fudge, followed by mandarin orange and a dusting of spicy cinnamon. Whisky aficionados fortunate enough to sample this stunning blend will discover a rich, fruity, and incredibly well-balanced taste, with flavours of ripe tropical banana and juicy charred pineapple. The luscious syrupy texture rolls into a hint of almonds and indulgent dark chocolate ginger sweets. Its distinctive flavour is complemented by an incredibly long and sweet finish with creamy vanilla in abundance.

Royal Salute Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, said: “It was a pleasure to create such a special whisky for HRH Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle. By marrying together some of the oldest and rarest whiskies in our portfolio, and aging them in American Oak casks, I have created a harmonious blend to match the coming together of such an iconic couple.”

The Royal Salute Royal Wedding Edition is available at selected retailers and through special enquiry at an RRP of $10,000 (US) per flagon. For more information, whisky connoisseurs can contact Royal Salute at contact@royalsalute.com.

The Glenlivet Explores New Frontiers With Launch Of Cognac Cask Finish Expression

TGL Captain's Reserve ImageThe Glenlivet is set to re-assert its credentials as the definitive Single Malt Scotch whisky with the release of a contemporary new expression; Captain’s Reserve, a Single Malt selectively finished in high-quality Cognac casks. The launch is set to push the boundaries of modern Scotch through its distinctive cask combination.

Captain’s Reserve is the result of flavour and cask experimentation. This combination of the raisin-rich intense taste of Cognac with the signature citrus notes and creamy smoothness of The Glenlivet offers consumers the opportunity to broaden their Single Malt Scotch repertoire. The new flavour and taste experience also encourages new consumers to explore the thriving Single Malt Scotch category, which is one of the fastest growing spirits categories globally, and is expected to continue its growth at +6%[1].

This new expression, which will sit as part of The Glenlivet range, is a tribute to Captain William Smith Grant, great-grandson of George Smith, founder of The Glenlivet, the definitive Speyside Single Malt. The Captain not only fought in the First World War in France, but later went on to fight for The Glenlivet, guiding the brand through the difficult Prohibition years and leading the Single Malt Scotch whisky revival in the UK and US. This unique story is brought to life through Captain’s Reserve by uniting the definitive Speyside Single Malt and the opulent rich flavours of Cognac.

Alan Winchester, The Glenlivet Master Distiller, comments: “We know that Single Malt consumers are becoming increasingly adventurous and are seeking to explore new flavour profiles and finishes in the category. Research shows that the global consumption of Cognac is expected to increase by some 2m cases by 2021[2]. By introducing the Cognac casks into our maturation process, we are able to capitalise on the popularity of this flavour and add another dimension to our world-renowned portfolio. The Cognac casks’ influence will bring a real richness to the smooth and fruity style of The Glenlivet, which we’re confident new and existing Single Malt Scotch enthusiasts will enjoy.”

Captain’s Reserve is available globally, with an RRP ranging from £45-48 (or local equivalent).

Redbreast Makes The Redbreast Dream Cask A Part Of The Family

Redbreast Dream Cask

Redbreast Irish whiskey, which is produced by Irish Distillers in Midleton Distillery, has launched the Redbreast Dream Cask, which will be available to buy through its online members’ club, The Birdhouse, from World Whisky Day (Saturday 19th May). The release follows requests from consumers and whiskey experts over the past 12 months, and becomes the first in a new series planned for the coming years.

Redbreast Dream Cask is a limited edition, 32 Year Old single pot still Irish whiskey – a single cask that was hand-selected last year by Master Blender, Billy Leighton, as his favourite Redbreast whiskey. The cask was chosen for having the perfect balance of pot still, Spanish oak and sherry flavours, which can usually only be achieved through blending – bringing to life Redbreast’s signature sherry style.

The whiskey was originally unveiled during a Facebook LIVE tasting to mark Redbreast’s World Whisky Day 2017 celebrations. Participants and viewers praised the quality and rarity of what is now the oldest Redbreast Irish whiskey ever to go on sale, with many requesting that the whiskey be made available to buy.

Redbreast Master Blender, Billy Leighton, commented: “In almost 40 years as a blender, Redbreast Dream Cask is a real highlight as I am able to select my own, personal dream Irish whiskey and share it with the world. Our inaugural tasting in 2017 was by far the largest whiskey tasting I have ever held, and the feedback we have received from the whiskey community on the liquid has been phenomenal, so it’s an honour to see it bottled to mark World Whisky Day 2018 – and watch this space for our 2019 plans.”

Billy Leighton, Master Blender

The Redbreast Dream Cask represents the perfect contribution of flavours through a careful maturation journey rounded out by a particularly sublime sherry butt. The original date of bonding goes back to 31st October 1985, with single pot still Irish whiskey filled into re-fill American Oak ex-Bourbon barrels. Then, on 8th March 2011, the whiskey was re-casked into a first-fill Oloroso Sherry-seasoned butt. The resulting whiskey is luxuriously smooth with wood resin notes reminiscent of well-polished antique furniture, lots of ripe fresh fruit flavours and an extremely balanced finish that slowly fades.

Redbreast Dream Cask is bottled without the use of chill-filtration at 46.5% ABV and is available in very limited quantities through Redbreast’s online private members’ club, The Birdhouse, for €500 per 50cl bottle. Click here to visit The Birdhouse.

Brendan Buckley, Strategy, Insight, Innovation & Prestige Whiskeys Director at Irish Distillers, added: “What started out as a celebration of Redbreast on World Whisky Day has developed into the release of a limited edition directly requested by Redbreast fans. We didn’t know it then, but World Whisky Day 2017 was just the beginning for Redbreast Dream Cask and we look forward to what Billy Leighton, and his apprentice Dave McCabe, will find in our Midleton warehouses in the years to come.”

City-wide Wine Flights and Royal Wedding Fizz-filled Celebrations For London Wine Week

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The capital is set to be awash with wine-filled delights once again as London Wine Week returns from 14th – 20th May. Back with a brand-new Hub and over 500 wines to try throughout the week, Londoners will be able to enjoy a seven-day adventure exploring and celebrating the city’s diverse wine scene.

Over 125 of the very best wine bars and restaurants will be serving wine tasting flights of wines and delicious ‘Sip & Snack’ food pairings created especially for the festival, which will be available exclusively to festival pass holders. The biggest celebrations of wine of its kind in the UK, it’s the capital’s largest self-guided wine tasting.

The week will also see a full programme of bespoke events taking place across London, including wine tastings, masterclasses, dinners, pop-ups and parties.

FOR A RIGHT ROYAL KNEES UP…
ROYAL WEDDING SCREENING AT LONDON WINE WEEK HUB | SATURDAY 19TH MAY

To top off the wine-filled celebrations, the London Wine Week Hub at Flat Iron Square will play host to a Royal Wedding garden party on Saturday 19th May, complete with bunting, confetti and of course, plenty of fizz. With a live screening of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day and dedicated menu of Champagne and cake, guests will enjoy a good old-fashioned knees-up throughout the day.

The wedding will be screened throughout the afternoon; starting with the ceremony at Windsor Castle at noon, followed by the carriage procession around Windsor Town. Free to attend, it’s the ultimate fizz-lovers’ celebration of the royal nuptials.

The Details
Address: 68 Union Street, London SE1 1TD
The Royal Wedding screening and celebration is free to attend and open to all (including non-Festival Pass holders) however Festival Pass holders will benefit from a discounted price point for glasses of wine.

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‘A Royal Match’ Wine Tasting Flight at Percy & Founders

Celebrating the pending nuptials of everyone’s favourite royal rogue, Prince Harry, and his beautiful American princess, get in the spirit with a flight fit for the occasion featuring wines from Wales, London and the US of A:

Chardonnay, Ancre Hill, Wales, UK
Chardonnay “Dierberg Vineyard”, Tyler, Santa Barbara, USA
Cabernet Sauvignon, “Cabot Square”, London Cru, London, UK

This royal flight will be available throughout London Wine Week for festival pass holders, which are available to buy on the DRINKUP.LONDON app.

The Details
Address: 1 Pearson Square, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7EY

FESTIVAL PASSES AND TICKETS FOR ALL LONDON WINE WEEK EVENTS ARE AVAILABLE TO BUY NOW AT DRINKUP.LONDON or FROM THE DRINKUP.LONDON APP
@DrinkUpLDN LWW18

Scottish Gin Caorunn Partner with International Fashion Designer

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The premium Scottish gin Caorunn (pronounced “ka-roon”) is proud to announce a collaboration with multiple award-winning creator of cutting-edge kilts, Siobhan Mackenzie. Siobhan has created a bespoke kilt, the iconic handcrafted Scottish garment, celebrating Caorunn’s contemporary tartan which is officially registered by The Scottish Tartan Authority.

The collaboration will champion Scottish craftsmanship in which designer Siobhan Mackenzie has taken inspiration from the Scottish handcrafted gin Caorunn to create a bespoke kilt.

While the traditional kilt dates to the 1720s, Mackenzie’s extremely eye-catching, contemporary stance, sees her contrast multiple fabrics and colours, leading to unexpected style features. Chiming with her ethos, Mackenzie describes Caorunn as a particularly current brand underpinned by a strong sense of Scottish craft.

Siobhan Mackenzie says: ‘I was filled with inspiration on how to take the Caorunn tartan forward in a way which emulates the beauty aesthetic form of the Caorunn bottle. Master Distiller, Simon Buley’s attention to detail, his commitment to using the highest quality ingredients and the exquisite level of craftsmanship is what makes Caorunn.’

Proudly small batch, handcrafted premium gin distilled in the heart of the Scottish Highlands harnessing pure, natural Scottish water, and is infused with five locally foraged botanicals, being: dandelion, heather, coul bush apple, bog myrtle and rowan berries working in harmony with six traditional gin botanicals.

Caorunn is created personally, in a unique way by Gin Master, Simon Buley. Simon forages local Celtic botanicals on the hills around Balmenach Distillery and expertly oversees the infusion of Caorunn in the world’s only working Copper Berry Chamber. The slow infusion of this chamber sets Caorunn apart.

Simon Buley, Caorunn master distiller, says; “The terroir, the process and the people ensure passion, innovation and tradition are poured into every bottle of Caorunn Gin. We are proud others are able to take inspiration in what we do. I strongly believe in championing Scottish craftsmanship and Siobhan is the perfect example of what makes it so special.”

The unisex Caorunn kilt is formed of a staple black skirt replete with a swoosh of grey Caorunn tartan running through back pleats, finished with a touch of tartan on the waistband and fringe. ‘It can be taken from day to night in a heartbeat,’ says Mackenzie. ‘The daytime look may be teamed with a cashmere sweater, long riding boots and tights; for the evening, it can be paired with black heels and blouse.’ The menswear kilt, meanwhile, may be worn formally with black or grey Argyll kilt jacket and waistcoat, with black kilt socks and shoes, or casually with boots and a polo shirt or sweater.

Shop the brand at http://www.siobhanmackenzie.com/.

Opland Aquavit Challenges Whisky and Cognac

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Salmon, cheese and the culinary arts put the Nordic kitchen on the map, and aquavit has made an entrance into some of the world’s best bars in cities such as Paris, Berlin and New York. Now is the time to strengthen our international presence, and the re-launch of Opland aquavit marks the start of these efforts.

“The ambition of the re-launch is to establish Opland aquavit abroad as a premium brand and compete directly with exclusive single malts or cognac,” says Arcus CEO, Kenneth Hamnes.

A homegrown favourite for international markets.

Arcus is the world’s largest producer of aquavit and owns many of the traditional brands. Opland aquavit has long been the most popular of the aquavits among Norwegians, topping the sales charts at Vinmonopolet year after year. Kenneth Hamnes is confident that Opland’s round, complex flavour will also be appreciated abroad.

– In addition to its renaissance in Norway, we are also seeing a growing interest in aquavit abroad. The German and the US markets in particular have discovered this Nordic drink, he explains.

The 24-month maturing process in sherry casks gives Opland a round flavour and complexity that is different from other aquavits. The man who has put his signature on the bottle, master blender Ivan Abrahamsen, thinks Opland is an aquavit that should be enjoyed year-round.

– The long maturing process gives Opland a complex composition. Many people connect aquavit and Opland with Christmas, but Opland aquavit is the perfect alternative to cognac or whiskey any time of the year. And, of course, it’s delicious with traditional dishes, particularly lutefisk, he adds.

Opland

New design

To prepare Opland for the international market, London-based Stranger & Stranger, a design agency with an excellent reputation, was given the assignment to redesign the traditional bottle. The agency had previously worked with well-known spirit brands such as Martini and Jack Daniels, but this was the first time it had taken on an aquavit bottle.

– We’ve really enjoyed partnering with the Opland team at Arcus to repackage this definitive aquavit. The team were very open minded from the start, giving us total creative freedom to do what we do best, design! The refreshed packs are designed to give a greater competitive edge, creating a strong recognisable stand-out on shelf and back bar while increasing the quality premium craft cues of the brand, says Ivan Bell, Managing Director at Stranger & Stranger.

The entire Opland aquavit portfolio, including Edel and Single Cask, was given a new look. The bottles now have a more modern appearance that will appeal to Norwegians as well as old and new aquavit enthusiasts all over the world, but many of the brands’ characteristic features have been kept as well. Everyone who loves Opland aquavit will still recognise their beloved brand.