Sloane’s Gin Tasting Notes

Sloane’s Gin have just come off the success of their first ever world cocktail competition held at the The Blacksmith & The Toffeemaker in London, so i thought it would be a good time to take a look back at this Dutch gin that first graced the shelves back in October last year.

So what is Sloane’s?

Sloane’s Gin

Well Sloane’s is named in honour of Sir Hans Sloane (Royal Physician and Botanist, 1660-1753) whose botanical collection (which formed the foundation of the British and Natural History Museum collections) most likely introduced to the UK the exotic botanicals of juniper, orange & lemon peel, oris root, angelica, cardamom, coriander, cassia bark, liquorice & vanilla which undoubtedly influenced and inspired the early English gin distillers and have formed the basis for flavouring gins ever since.

As an aside, Sir Hans Sloane also gave his name to the prestigious upmarket areas of Kensington and Chelsea, namely Hans Crescent, Sloane Square and Sloane Street. He was a life-long benefactor and landlord of the Physic Garden Chelsea one of the UK’s foremost institutions for growing and experimenting in the use of plants and plant extracts for medicinal purposes – one of the first uses for juniper distillates – the forerunner of modern gin.

So with a rather unique history, it’s not surprising that the production of Sloane’s also follows the path.

Sloane’s distills each of its 9 botanicals individually before each distillate is blended together. Each botanical (juniper berries, coriander seeds, vanilla, cardamom, liquorice, lemon, orange, angelica and iris root) is distilled fresh, so discards the traditional gin distillation of using dried fruits, so that the natural flavours can be captured.

Sloane’s – 40%

The aromas of vanilla, coriander, orange and citrus fruits blend well in your nose to create a well-balanced mix, with the palate enjoying a sweet kick of juniper with the fresh citrus hints coming through soon after. A rather short after-taste doesn’t disappoint the overall experience.

With it amassing some prestigious awards already – double gold medal and 2 awards of ‘World’s Best White Spirit’ and ‘World’s Best Gin’ at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2011 as well as a silver medal and ‘Best in Class’ at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2010, expect something rather special if you order this at a bar. Or maybe ask your bartender for this –

Sloan Ranger

Sloane Ranger – created by Robin Webb, winner of the Sloane’s Twisted Traditions Cocktail Competition

Glass-

Rocks

Ingredients –

50ml Sloane’s Gin
25ml Lemon juice
20ml King’s Ginger
3 Dashes of rhubarb bitters
1 Barspoon of Ginger & Rhubarb jam

Method –

Shaken and fine strain over cubed ice.

Take a look at the rest of the photos taken at The Circle 360 via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. 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.

Please note that the Sloane’s history has been taken from the Toorank Distillery website

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G’Vine Tasting Notes

G’Vine, handcrafted in France, seems to have redefined the frontiers of the gin category, erasing traditional ideas and changing the perception of this centuries-old spirit. While most of the world’s gin is made from grain spirit, G’Vine Gin is crafted from grape spirit which creates a silky, luxurious feel. France’s Cognac region is the birthplace of G’Vine, using Ugni Blanc grapes which in every September, are harvested and immediately pressed and converted to wine. The result is then distilled in a column still producing a neutral grape spirit over 96.4 % abv. Unlike traditional grain spirit associated with Gin production, the neutral grape spirit is significantly smoother with a heady body.

Once a year, in mid-June, the rare green grape flower blossoms but only exists for just a few days before maturing into a grape berry. This delicate flower is immediately hand picked and carefully macerated in the neutral grape spirit over a period of several days to obtain the best floral essence. The infusion is then distilled in a small Florentine pot still.

As the neutral grape spirit and the green grape flower infusion are nurtured, nine fresh whole-fruit botanicals of juniper berries, ginger root, liquorice, cassia bark, green cardamom, coriander, cubeb berries, nutmeg and lime are macerated over a two to five day process. Small bespoken liquor stills are used to insure the best quality.

In the final step, the green grape flowers infusion, the botanicals distillates and more neutral grape spirit are blended together and undergo a final distillation in a copper pot still affectionately nicknamed “Lily Fleur.”

G’Vine embodies the vine’s life cycle, resulting in G’Vine Floraison and G’Vine Nouaison. The two products represent the evolution of the grape through its various stages, from the blossoming period right through to the harvest. G’Vine Floraison captures the essence of the exhilarating fragrance of the vineyard when the vine flower blooms to life, and the warmth of the arrival of summer. whilst G’Vine Nouaison captures the emotion around the birth of the berry.

So with a unique process of creation compared to your traditional gin brands, lets see what they represent when each G’Vine is sipped –

 

G’Vine Floraison – 40%

G'Vine Floraison

Winning gold at the International Review of Spirits in 2007 and 2008 and a silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. On the nose there’s a clean, crisp scent with a slight sweetness lingering with ginger making an easy appearance as it enters your palate. A fresh floral hit to begin with but mellows out rather quickly with the flavours of juniper and ginger leaving a lasting, slightly dry finish.

G’Vine Nouaison – 43.9%

Winning gold at the Drinks International Gin Challenge in 2008. A cleaner, more forest aroma on the nose which turns into a richer, sweeter, and fruitier flavour on the palate. Hints of citrus and cinnamon create small bursts in your mouth that leaves a rather silky feel that evolves into a fruity after-taste.

If I was to pick between the two, the Nouaison would be my preferred choice, with its richer sweetness on the palate (perfect for sweet tooth drinkers!).

Both G’Vine products are considered premium gins and you can expect to pay around £25-30 retail.

G’Vine has also created its very own Gin Connoisseur Program, and now in its third year, it searches for the most gifted gin-loving bartender in the world. In addition to challenging bartenders with the basics of hands-on cocktail creation, the contest also includes some seriously academic elements that set this competition a world apart from the typical shake-off. Winners of this years programme will receive the title of G’Vine Gin Connoisseur 2012, $3,000, a platinum pin worth 800 €, a trophy, a trip to Tales of the Cocktail 2012 and a trip to Bar Convent Berlin 2012 as well as a year’s supply of G’Vine gin for his or her bar. So no pressure. Enter here.

If your not in the bar trade, or just fancy creating some cocktails, try out some of the recipes below, or better still, ask your local bartender to create. Enjoy!

G’Vine Ruby

G'Vine Ruby

Glass –

Champagne Flute

Ingredients –

45ml G’Vine Nouaison
15ml Cherry cream
15ml Blackcurrant cream
7.5ml Simple syrup
15ml Lemon juice
15ml Pomegranate juice
45ml Brut Champagne

Method –

Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass, except the champagne, then add ice, shake and strain into a flute and top off with Champagne. Garnish with a kumquat floret and orange zest.

G’Literring Fruits

G'literring Fruits

Glass –

Champagne Flute

Ingredients –

60ml G’Vine Floraison
3 Kumquats
2/6 Lime’s
15ml Ginger-elderflower syrup or simple syrup
30ml Brut Champagne

Method –

Muddle the kumquats, lime and syrup then pour G’Vine Floraison. Add ice, shake and double strain into a cocktail glass containing the Champagne. Garnish with a kumquat flower and raspberry in the middle.

To check out some more photos of G’Vine gin, head over to my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. 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.

10 Cane Rum Tasting Notes

Hailing from Trinidad & Tobago, 10 Cane Rum is produced by Moët Hennessy (also the producers of Veuve Clicquot, Belvedere and Moët & Chandon) and is a relatively young product, being available to the public from 2005 and considered the first in-house developed brand by Moët Hennessy (instead of being traditionally aquired). Although not steeped in history like other rums, 10 Cane has been creating quite a stir, winning a range of awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition including one double gold, two gold, and two silver medals and faring well in international spirit ratings.

10 Cane Rum

The real question though that is on most consumers minds is why is it called 10 Cane?

Well traditionally, sugar cane stalks are harvested in bundles of 10. Additionally, it takes 10 sugar cane stalks to make one bottle of 10 Cane Rum. Simple! 10 Cane also uses first press cane juice which is the purest, most flavorful juice extracted from hand-harvested Trinidadian sugar cane. After the cane is hand-harvested, it is taken to the nearby distillery where it is gently pressed. The sugar cane juice is then fermented for 5 days in stainless steel tanks to allow for slow development of the aromas. The fermented sugar cane juice is then distilled twice in small batches in French pot stills ensuring optimal yet gentle extraction of the sugar cane aromas. Aged for one year in vintage French oak barrels, the sugar distillate is blended with a touch of extra old Trinidadian rum, which is to add complexity and versatility.

10 Cane – 40%

On the nose, 10 Cane releases hints of fresh floral aromas with a small hint of pear. The palate emphasises the presence of the pear and mixes well with vanilla and spice. It’s smooth as it makes its way around your mouth and gives off a soft kick in the after-taste of citrus flavours.

Theres also a fair few cocktails out their which utilises this light rum –

Flamingo

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients –

50ml 10 Cane
35ml Pineapple juice
10ml fresh lime juice
10ml Grenadine

Method –

Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a chilled Martini glass.

10 Cane – Tropical Storm

Tropical Storm

Glass –

Margarita

Ingredients –

25ml 10 Cane
25ml Banana liqueur
50ml Orange juice
Splash of Pineapple juice
Splash of Grenadine
1/2 Banana

Method –

Blend and serve in a margarita glass. Garnish with a slice of orange.

Two great ideas to ask your bartender for, or even create at home!

Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Circle 360, via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. 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.

Bacardi Oakheart Reviews

Unfortunately due to work commitments, I was unable to participate in the launch of Bacardi’s new spiced rum – Bacardi Oakheart. The event was hosted by the Manchester based ‘The Liquorists’ in the setting of the BlackDog Ballroom in Northern Quarter. My two friends, who I was to be attending with, went along and below are their reviews on how the night went on –

Free Spiced Rum Masterclass and Introduction to all things Rummy!!!

This event was based at the BlackDog Ballroom in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. The Drinks Enthusiast representatives were warmly greeted at the entrance of the bar by a member of The Liquorists who directed us to a private room where the rum tasting was to take place.
First impressions were very impressive as The Liquorists had obviously put a lot of effort into the atmosphere by providing candle-lit lighting, mellow music and lots of Bacardi Oakheart rum advertisements around premises.
Straight away we were greeted by a cheerful bartender who instantly provided us with a Bacardi Oakheart rum, coke and lime which for want of a better word was awesome. The fact it was served in a Bacardi glass was a nice touch as well.
Because we hadn’t attended an event by The Liquorists team before we really didn’t know what to expect and was happy to find out that we would be trying a variety of spiced rums whilst being given a thorough overview of the rum-making process, its origins and how it has developed into the modern world.
The information was very interesting and was well presented by such an enthusiastic host and worked well in tandem with the dispensing of beverages.
After a short break, our host then involved the participants with a fun exercise where we blindly tasted four rums and evaluated their attributes based on distinct categories including: its “woodyness”; “citrisity”, “fruityness”, “spice” and “nuttiness”.
This process was conducted by a group vote on a scale of 1-5 (but in some cases up to eight)8) 1 being low and 5 high. After all votes were in for each category the host was able to complete a radar chart/spider diagram for each individual rum to see how well-balanced the flavours are.
This was an extremely fun exercise and in some cases acted as a deterrent for sub-standard spiced rums and in addition save on unwanted purchases.
It was highly evident that the Bacardi Oakheart rum was the most successful as it had an overall balanced flavour range and was favourable to all participants (which made the night’s objectives successful). Lambs Navy Spiced Rum and Sailor Jerry’s were also appreciated, but Morgan’s Spiced was reviewed very badly with its dominant vanilla flavour, and as our host described it: “like drinking death”.
The session ended after three hours with a final round of Bacardi Oakheart rum, coke and limes which we drank whilst listening to the host promoting the next drinking courses available (http://foodanddrinkfestival.com/event/mfdf-and-the-liquorists-present-manchester-spirit-trails/).
Overall the event was a very exciting and enjoyable experience and has encouraged us to attend scheduled future events, especially with people who appreciate rum to the level that we do!

Review by Gary Clough

Rum Tasting Review

 

I should probably start by saying I have never been to any kind of alcohol tasting event before and so had no idea what to expect – but I jumped at the chance for the rum tasting session.  I know BlackDog Ballroom quite well as a drinking venue, the bar was made even friendlier by the welcome from Tom and Jody who both work for the company The Liquorists.
 The event kicked off with a bit of a chat and a couple of Bacardi Oakheart Cuba Libres – large shot of rum, topped up with coke and two good twists of lime – the result was refreshing and very tasty, and already knew that the Bacardi was going to live up to expectations. Not too sickly with vanilla like some spiced rums, but carried a lot of flavour.
As the evening went on, Tom explained the history of rum and Bacardi – a very interesting story.  With the explanations of course came the rum tasting – Bacardi Superior White, Bacardi Gold and Bacardi 8 Year Old – each had a story behind it, with the differences between them explained.
After the break, we were given a blind taste test, with flavour wheels to fill in. It was amazing to see the difference between the 4 rums – 2 of which I drink on a regular basis – comparing them made me realise they are not as good as I thought.  The all-round favourite was of course Bacardi – and when compared with Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, Morgan’s Spiced Rum and Lamb’s Spiced Rum, it was easy to see why. The flavour is very rounded, making it an easy sipping rum as well as a good cocktail rum, there isn’t the synthetic sickly taste you get with SJ’s and Morgan’s.
All in all, it was a great night, and something I would definitely try out again.  I would recommend going to one of these evenings, as they are really interesting and is a chance to try a range of different drinks on an evening out.
Lastly – I would say that Bacardi Oakheart will be my spiced rum of choice when on a night out!!
 
Review by Victoria Armstrong
 
Click here to check out The Liquorists website – http://www.wearetheliquorists.com/
 
Check out the venue BlackDog Ballroom – http://www.blackdogballroom.co.uk/

Whisky Tasting at Kro 2

 

Coming soon is the second whisky tasting event to be held at Kro 2 on Manchester’s Oxford Road.

Following last month’s successful visit from the award-winning Cooley Distillery (https://drinksenthusiast.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/irish-whiskey-tasting-at-kro-2/) they now welcome the Scottish independent Compass Box to the table to present their portfolio of Scotch whisky delights.

Their range will include –

Great King Street
Spice Tree
Hedonism
The Peat Monster
Orangerie

Kro 2 will also have their head chef create a dish to compliment the whiskies on offer!

This must-go-to event will take place Wednesday 5th October from 7.30pm and will cost £20 per head.

For further details and to purchase tickets, you can either swing by Kro 2, give them a call on 0161 236 1048 or visit their website at http://www.kro.co.uk/kro-two

See you there!

Ron Barceló Imperial & XM Royal Rum Tasting Notes

I swung by Corks Out in Timperley today to have a chat with their new General Manager Karim about all things wine and spirits. After pondering whether Chase should have kept their Marmalade vodka packaging clear or in their current orange bottle, Karim moved our attention to some open bottles of rum that he had available and out came Ron Barceló Imperial, XM Royal Rum and XM Guyano Rum VXO!

Unfortunately due to me driving and always being one to abide the laws of the road, I could only sample a few. For the ones I did, below are my tasting notes –

 

Ron Barceló Imperial Rum

Ron Barceló Imperial – 38% abv – Dominican Republic

It released heavy hints of toffee on the nose, with some intermittent hits of spice to compliment whilst on the palate, it was rather smooth with a slight sweetness of vanilla and caramel. The flavours of dry fruits is also detected, although the caramel and vanilla are the dominant forces. It finishes well with a lingering after-taste of caramel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XM Royal Rum

XM Royal Rum – 40% – Guyana

The smells and aromas of orange mix with the tropical fruits of carambola and grapefruit to give you a rather mouth-watering scent. Upon taste, a very sweet mix of vanilla and toffee which gave a rather creamy texture on the palate. Hints of citrus came through but my sweet-tooth was enjoying the long after-taste.

Both these rums are available on the Corks Out website –

http://www.corksout.com/products/Barcel%C3%B3-Imperial.html

&

http://www.corksout.com/products/XM-Royal-Rum.html

I also sampled Expre Espresso Liqueur, which unfortunately I can’t put into words how much I didn’t like it. I try to write the positives of everything I try but not being a coffee fan anyway, it was a little too intense and over-powering on taste. I would stick with Kahlua or Tia Maria, because I don’t think you will be seeing Expre Espresso Liqueur around for too long.

Estampilla de Genio Sauvignon Blanc Tasting Notes

Estampilla de Genio Sauvignon Blanc

I’m rather lucky at the moment because my selection of wine on my wine rack is rather varied. An Italian Amarone lies next to a Tapiz Torrentes from Argentina and a favourite of mine, Chablis Premier Cru. But recently I cracked open a bottle of Estampilla de Genio Sauvignon Blanc (12.5%) from Chile, a wine that made the  list at Casa Tapas Bar & Grill.

It gives a pale citrus green colour once poured and aromas of citrus and lime dominate the senses. A slight floral scent lingers behind that gives a rather ‘clean’ smell. On taste, the palate enjoys a short, crisp citrus flavour that mellows out with hints of herbs being pushed through upon after-taste. The finish is a rather well-balanced white wine which would go well with a range of sea food dishes like Calamari or King Prawns.

I’m a sucker for Chilean and Argentinian wines at the moment, with the Estampilla de Genio range (a Merlot is also available) being a contributing factor when I was first offered the chance to sample. This is a great wine to have on both your wine list and your wine rack at home, although unfortunately it’s not widely available to the public. 

If you would like to stock the Estampilla de Genio range, please e-mail me at flowgomanic@yahoo.co.uk 

 

The Frozen Mop, Mobberley Review

The Frozen Mop, Mobberley

On Monday night, a small family reunion was being taken place in the quiet rural village of Mobberley in Cheshire. The place? The Frozen Mop pub and restaurant which I have heard some very good reviews about, so naturally I was excited to experience! A Vintage Inn owned place, on the outside its strikingly white stoned walls mean you can’t miss the place from a mile away, and with an ample outside area, decking leading to the front door and hanging baskets to give it a true rural feeling, you could feel like you were in a traditional country pub just sat outside! Upon entering, we were sat in a large open planned room with simple wooden square tables dotted around. The room had the use of wooden panels on the walls, tastefully decorated with patterns and hanging canvases that didn’t look out-of-place in a country restaurant.

The bar area

A drinks order was taken (I ordered a pint of Thwaites own Wainwright, a golden ale that had a sweet finish with a citrus aroma on the palate) whilst I looked at their rather good range of food available. On offer were dishes including Lancashire Hotpot, Fish and Chips, Scampi, Vegetable Risotto and Chicken Caesar Salad as well as a grill, sea food, meat and poultry and a sharers section, something to cater for all the family there! I went for the Piri Piri Chargrilled Chicken (£7.95) which came as a butterflied chicken breast with a rather fiery red chilli, tomato, lemon and sweet paprika sauce, grilled tomato, peas and steak cut chips. This was a lovely set out dish with a rather interesting sauce that went well with the chicken. With my meal, I enjoyed a glass of Jake’s Point Zinfandel from Italy (12.5%), with the soft tones of wild berry on the nose and the palate enjoying a soft finish of plums with a slight spice kick at both the start and end (£3.40 175ml). With enough room for desert, I went for the Chocolate Brownie which came hot with drizzled chocolate sauce and a scoop of ice cream placed on top (£4.25). A perfect end to the meal with my sweet tooth making the most of a gorgeous chocolate brownie! Other desserts on offer include Eton Mess, Profiteroles, Treacle Tart and the traditional cheese board.

This was an excellent meal in a truly exceptional setting. The service was friendly and both the food and drinks came out in adequate time. A great selection on the food menu and the range of drinks was ample, and after walking trough the rest of the building, there are plenty of places to enjoy all of this! Roaring fires, comfy sofas and chairs mingle in and around the bar area and slowly mix into the restaurants smooth wooden feel.

Kids are welcome, with their own menu to keep them occupied, and with The Frozen Mop being open from 12-11pm, there’s plenty of time to come along!

You need to give this place a try because I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed.

Check out The Frozen Mop website here – http://www.vintageinn.co.uk/thefrozenmopmobberley/

Thwaites website – http://www.thwaites.co.uk

 

Bell’s Original Blended Scotch Tasting Notes

Bell’s, a blended Scotch whisky that has been around from as early as 1825, is a well-known brand that is found in most pubs, bars and restaurants. After finding a bottle on my recent move, it would be unprofessional of me to let it sit there and not be sampled! So here goes – on the nose there’s a light nutty aroma with fresh fruit coming through as well. On the palate, a rather smooth oak taste lingers with a slight nut and spice coming through. A warm tingle after-taste follows which leaves a long flavour (which will be making you want to finish your dram rather quickly!) and at 40 % it’s not too strong and overpowering as some blended whiskies can be.

 

Bell's Blended Whisky

Something I never knew was that Bell’s is the only major blended whisky to be aged for 8 years, so you’ll be drinking something a little bit special! Its steeped in history that includes Arthur J Bell and his two sons Arthur Kimmond Bell and Robert Duff Bell. His sons are responsible for expanding the product overseas and to trademark the now familiar ‘Arthur Bell & Sons’ and their motto ‘Afore ye go’.  

Its rrp is around £15-17 so a bottle can be easily picked up in most places, and as mentioned, can be found in nearly all pubs, bars and restaurants. Other brands in that price range include Teachers, Famous Grouse and Grants.

I would recommend Bell’s Original to the whisky novices as it’s a good introduction to blended whisky. Give it a try!

You can purchase Bell’s here – http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=281

Check out Bell’s website – http://www.bellswhisky.co.za

Frangelico Tasting Notes

Frangelico is one of those liqueurs you see all the time on the back bars of trendy cocktails places or sophisticated restaurants, yet you never seem to know what it is. Well I’ll tell you, it’s a hazelnut liqueur that can go well with a wide range of drinks including coffee, orange juice, on its own with fresh lime and can be drizzled on top of desserts too. A wide range of uses for a bottle that is usually seen languishing on the side of back bars. I use to have my own bottle of Frangelico at Casa Tapas Bar & Grill and used it as part of my range of liqueur coffee’s, and with its oddly shaped bottle and friar like rope wrapped around it, it was a great talking point for promotion.

Frangelico

Frangelico is produced in Italy and has a ABV of 24% and as you can see by the bottle, has a history of produce by the Italian monks nearly 300 years ago.

The nose of Frangelico gives an instant hit of hazelnut, a reminder of digestive biscuits also crossed my mind, although on taste, the hazelnut becomes very subtle. It’s a light, almost creamy liqueur that leaves only a hint of nut in your mouth. It’s a short, sharp drink that I think will surprise you. Great for a sweet tooth like myself!

Its rrp is around the £20 bracket, but it’s a worthy price for a liqueur that has many surprising uses.

You can purchase a bottle here –  http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=336

Check out Frangelico’s website – http://www.frangelico.com