Miller Genuine Draught Tasting Notes

Miller Genuine Draft

If you’re ever with me for a drink, it’s a rarity I go for lager these days, nothing against them, I just seem to have a bigger heart towards ales. But what I do love is the time where you can just crack open a bottle at home on a hot summers day. Millers is my preferred tipple when on the hunt, so with this in mind, lets see how the brand came about.

The Miller Brewing Company was founded back in 1855 by Frederick Miller. It was at this time that he purchased the small Plank-Road Brewery in the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee and utilised the easy access to raw materials produced on nearby farms. Over a hundred years later, the family were no longer a part of the company, with W. R. Grace and Company agreeing to buy 53% of Miller from Mrs. Lorraine John Mulberger (Frederick Miller’s granddaughter, who objected to alcohol) and her family on September 19th 1966. Three years later on 12 June 1969, Philip Morris  bought Miller from W.R. Grace for $130 million, before being bought by the South African Breweries in 2002, to become a merged company named SABMiller. On October 10th 2007, SABMiller and Molson Coors agreed to combine their U.S. operations in a joint venture called MillerCoors.

Miller High Life is the companies oldest brand, having been first introduced back in 1903 and marketed as a pilsner. The more widely found brand, especially here in the UK, is the Miller Genuine Draft. First introduced in 1985, it is the original cold filtered packaged draft beer, which means that the beer is not pasteurized. The concept for the brand was developed by product consultant Calle & Company. Martin Calle evolved the concept from Miller’s New Ventures effort to launch a new dry beer at a time Miller Brewing was in danger of becoming a much-cloned light beer manufacturer. Originally introduced as ‘Miller High Life Genuine Draft’, the ‘High Life’ part of the name was soon dropped. Miller Genuine Draft is actually made from the same recipe as Miller High Life but with a different treatment. It was developed to give High Life drinkers the same taste in a can or bottle as they found in non-pasteurized kegs. *

So, how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Miller Genuine Draft – 4.7%

A light body with a slight grain malt aroma and a sweet yet sharp flavour. On the palate, it gives off a smooth and lightly hopped finish.

Miller Genuine Draft received the gold medal in the American-style Premium Lager category at the 1999 World Beer Cup, as well as the silver medal at the 2003 Great American Beer Festival. Perfect with BBQ or flame grilled meats, or just on those days where you need something good yet chilled.

* For a more detailed explanation, please see this short video.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. 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.

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Jack Daniels & Coke / Ginger Pre-mix

I found myself purchasing another pre-mixed drink in the form of Jack Daniels and they’ve released two versions – Coke and Ginger, both £2.12 from Sainsburys.

Jack Daniels & Coke

Jack Daniels & Coke

Now the nearest competitor around is Jim Beam & Coke and having already tried the latter I was expecting high hopes, however, I was disappointed at not smelling a stronger smell of the Jack Daniels (at 6% you expect to sense something). It was there don’t get me wrong, but compared to the Jim Beam, you had to hunt for it. Now that aside, the drink itself isn’t too bad. A low-carbonated cola is used so you can drink it quickly, but it won’t make you too bloated, and you do get that refreshing taste afterwards. The down side? You feel like your not drinking a JD & Coke. It’s not got that freshness about it like the Jim Beam did, and it sometimes put me off finishing the can. But finish it i did, which can I only be a plus as im sure, like most of you, you wouldn’t finish something if you didn’t like it.

 

 

Jack Daniels & Ginger

Jack Daniels & Ginger

I followed the Jack Daniels & Coke with its other variety – ginger. After looking over the can, it doesn’t mention if it’s ginger beer or ginger ale (not being a lover of ginger ale, I was hoping for the former) but then I thought that Jack Daniels could have used ‘actual’ ginger, and I was right. I’ve personally rarely come across a drink as simple as Jack Daniels and mixer to have the sole ingredient as ginger, yet could see it working rather well.

Upon opening, there’s an immediate aroma of ginger, and hardly a scent of Jack Daniels. Give it a few seconds though and you do slowly get that unmistakable JD wafting through your nostrils. The taste is rather the same as the smell, with the whiskey taking a back-seat to the raw ginger, yet creating a pleasant slow mix of the two flavours in your mouth. It leaves a slight sweet taste in the back of your mouth as it makes its way through which resulted in me drinking this can quicker than the JD & Coke (the sweet tooth in me took over!). Again at 6%, you do expect to see more of the Jack Daniels coming through as you drink but it just doesn’t seem to happen.

Out of the two I would recommend the Jack Daniels & Ginger for 2 reasons –

1. It’s unique. When was the last time you had a whiskey with just ginger? And I can guarantee it would taste even better fresh.

2. On a summer’s day, a Jack Daniels & Ginger sounds like a hell of a drink to have, a chilled one at that.

A Jack Daniels & Coke? You can have that any day of the week at any place that sells alcohol. JD & Ginger? Your high-end expensive bars would charge you 4x as much as the £2.12 you could get it for.

Kraken Spiced Rum Tasting Notes

I’ve been looking forward to trying this again! I think i first sampled Kraken at The Boutique Bar Show 2011 in Manchester, but i had a taste at Imbibe 2011 a few weeks ago. I will always remember the way they sold it to me – a man dressed in a old-fashioned diving suit handing out leaflets, and a ‘sailor’ explaining the myth behind the Kraken Rum in a tale you expect to see in Pirates of the Caribbean!

However you look at it, it works and it’s stuck in my mind ever since. I have to admit, i wasn’t expecting to purchase a bottle so quickly, but on the shopping trip last week (where i also bought a bottle of Chase Vodka), the eye-catching bottle was begging to be bought. And at £21.99 its not a bad price, especially to the likes of Sailor Jerry and Morgans Spiced.

Kraken Spiced Rum

Upon tasting this spiced rum from the USA, the expectation of wild spices doesn’t hit you. Instead, it gently arrives with its vanilla and toffee trails and its lack of a fire edge like Sailor Jerry gives you makes this even more enjoyable. It gives your mouth a slight tingle sensation and gives a rather vivid after-taste that still lingers long after you finish. It’s almost as if this should be categorised under ‘dark’, but personally, it should be at the top of the spiced column.

This is better than Morgans Spiced and better than Sailor Jerry. To me, you must have Morgans with a mixer, it’s just too raw sometimes, and Sailor Jerry is still considered better with a companion in its glass. Kraken? Kraken you can sip on its own, you could have it as the top layer of a Mai Tai, possibly mixed with a Mojito or a Kraken Old Fashioned, which just sounds like heaven in a glass. You need to try this!

Gosling’s Tasting Notes

Gosling's

On a recent rum master class I hosted here in Manchester, I showcased Gosling’s Black Seal as an example of Bermuda. It was only then that I realised that despite knowing of the brand since my early days as a bartender, I have never covered it here on my site. So without further hesitation, lets take a look at why I don’t seem to be the only man giving such high praise to Bermuda.

The year is 1806 and James Gosling set out on a voyage to America from England, carrying £10,000 worth of merchandise. After 91 days at sea, his ship’s charter had expired, forcing him to set into the nearest port – St George’s in the north of Bermuda. Instead of finding alternative travel routes to America, he decided to stay in Bermuda, establishing a shop in December on King’s Parade in St George’s. 18 years later in 1824, James Gosling returned to England whilst his brother Ambrose rented a shop on Front Street in the new Capitol of Hamilton for £25 a year, a location for the next 127 years.
In 1857, the firm was renamed Gosling Brothers by Ambrose’s sons, and three years later the first oak barrels of rum distillate arrived in Bermuda. 1863 saw the now distinctive Bermuda black rum formulated and offered for sale from the barrel by customers bringing their own bottles to ‘fill up’. This carried on until the First World War where the name Black Seal came into practice. The black rum was sold in champagne bottles, reclaimed from the British Officer’s Mess, and the corks sealed with black sealing wax. The icon is born.

The name ‘Black Seal’ became the rum of choice between many, with the popularity probably explaining the idea of the little barrel juggling ‘Black Seal’ which adorns every bottle.

The production of Gosling’s is a family recipe (made after many trials and errors) from over two centuries ago, consisting of independently aged distillates aged for at least three years in once-used, charred, American oak bourbon casks, resulting in a blend of aged pot and continuous still distillates.

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

Gosling’s Black Seal – 40%

Sweet on the nose with hints of herbal aromas and spice coming through very slowly. Rather well-balanced on the palate, with sweet notes of molasses combined with dry liquorice and cinnamon. Stewed apple and dry wood flavours makes a presence near the long, lingering and slightly dry finish.

Gosling’s Family Reserve – 40%

Dried fruit and oak notes on the nose with a rich flavour of prunes and dark fruits on the palate with a hint of smokiness that creates a mellow finish.

Both great tot’s on their own, but it did contribute to two signature cocktails, with the Dark ‘n Stormy® name owned by Gosling’s –

Dark ‘n Stormy
Dark ‘n Stormy

Dark ‘n Stormy®

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
75 ml Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer

Method – 

Build in the glass over cubed ice and serve with a lime wedge.

or

Bermuda Rum Swizzle

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients – 

(Makes 6)
120 ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
120 ml Gosling’s Gold Rum
150 ml Pineapple Juice
150 ml Orange Juice
25 ml Grenadine or 60 ml Bermuda Falernum
6 Dashes of Angostura Bitters

Method – 

Into a pitcher, fill ⅓ of crushed ice and add Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Gosling’s Gold Rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, Grenadine or Bermuda Falernum and Angostura bitters. Churn vigorously until a frothing appears or mix in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a Martini glass.

Two incredible classics that everyone should have at least once in their lives. Gosling’s also goes well with food, from appetisers to desserts including Bermuda fish chowder and Bermuda onion soup.

Today, Gosling’s is the only company that blends and bottles in Bermuda, and is the largest exporter of a Bermuda made product. In the UK, their range include the two above and also the 151 proof Black Seal Rum, the Gold Bermuda Rum, Stormy Ginger Beer and the ready-to-drink Dark ‘n Stormy®. A collection worthy of any rum lover, and indeed even to novices.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. 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.

Las Corazes Tempranillo Tasting Notes

I thought i’d finish off a bottle of red tonight as i cooked myself a rump steak – the Spanish Las Corazas Tempranillo. A 3yr old red from the Castilla-La Mancha region

Las Corazas Tempranillo

A dark ruby colour awaits you and on the nose it gave off a significant blackcurrant and a slight hint of vanilla, followed with a taste that emphasised both flavours just right. It gives a soft, smooth and an almost velvety texture which gently brushes open your taste buds to leave you wanting to finish the bottle! It gave a slight dry after-taste and an almost non-existent harshness to the overall experience.

The rump steak fitted well with the wine, not a lot of change in taste, and i would recommend something similar if you dine out and after something fairly inexpensive.

Round-up

Just a brief round-up –

Got back from Corks Out in Timperley today on the hunt for my flat-mates payday spirit buying – bottle of Goslings Black Seal rum. As always we had to sample some of the other dark rums on offer including Chairman’s Reserve and Ron Barcelo Gran Anejo! I also sampled an Amaretto, slightly more expensive than Disaranno, named Saliza. I myself bought 3 bottles of ale from Robinsons Brewery, Old Tom – original strength, chocolate and ginger. Personally, some of the best ales around.

Also recently tried the new Eristoff Gold, toffee and vanilla flavoured. I’ll be posting a full review of it A.S.A.P.

I also hope to be tasting in more detail the Goslings Black Seal, Chairman’s Reserve, the Polish beer Leche, the 3 Old Tom Ale’s, and the pre-mixed Jack Daniel & Coke and Jack Daniel & Ginger Ale.

Keep up-to-date with my escapades on Twitter at http://twitter.com/flowgomanic

The Circle 360 – again!

This bar is growing and growing on me! I’ve been twice today and both times have been excellent. Excellent service, excellent atmosphere and most importantly excellent drinks!

Pornstar Martini

1st time around was to try there Pornstar Martini. I asked for mine to be in a hi-ball glass which was duly served with the classic shot of champagne to its side. Their version included 42 Below passion fruit, Licor 43 and pineapple juice. Now i have 1 word to sum this up – exquisite. A smooth almost velvety tropical fruit taste with the taste of vanilla lingering in the back of your throat, made the drink disappear as quick as it was made! The best Pornstar Martini i previously had been in Amba Lounge in Hale but this beat it by a mile. Now understandably i didn’t have it in a Martini glass because i wished for an ice cold drink and you should never have a Martini drink with ice, but a drink is the same no matter what you serve it in, and that was served well!

Licor 43 Sours

2nd time around my friend joined me and i purchased a Licor 43 sours while a Signature 360 was also ordered. As mentioned in my tasting notes on Licor 43, this is one of my favourites. I had Licor 43 sours on the cocktail menu (or 43 Sours as i called it) so i was intrigued to see if it could be made as good as mine. The bartender on duty made my Licor 43 whilst the Bar Manager Dalia made The Circle Bar’s Signature 360 (previously recommended by The Circle Bar on their Twitter feed last week). It’s good to see that Bar Managers actually get themselves involved, especially when it comes to creating cocktails, and not just sat crunching numbers and barking orders.

Signature 360

Once the cocktails were created, they were gone within minutes. The Licor 43 sours was truly irresistably (almost on par with mine!) whilst the Signature 360 was given a huge thumbs up as the Hendricks Gin cocktail was slowly disappearing.

After now being properly introduced to the Bar Manager, and herself starting to recognise me and my friend, i’m going to have to start making this my new place to drink!

A few mentions

Pint of Adnams Gunhill

I thought i’d mention to you all that i swung by my local JD Wetherspoons The JP Joules today and purchased myself a pint of Adnams Gunhill (4%) by Adnams Brewery, one of their many guest ales. for £1.60! If any of you are member of CAMRA – Campaign for Real Ale, then you too will know that you receive vouchers for 50p off any of the ales that your nearest JD Wetherspoons offers. 50p may not sound a lot but i can say that my last 4 or 5 visits have resulted in me buying more pints of ale than any other drink! The one i tried today was as mentioned the Adnams Gunhill. A dark ruby malt brown colour with a smooth n slightly fruity flavour with a sweet after-taste meant this pint went down very well! At the weekend i had myself a Morland Old Speckled Hen and in the past i remember having a pint of Cotswold Spring Codrington Codger and a fruity Arundel Summer Daze.

I’ve started getting myself into ales again – there’s a lot more variety than lager and goes well with food more if you’re having a meal. I sold the award-winning Old Tom by the Robinsons brewery in my last place of work and have been hooked on it ever since! They do an original (8.5%), chocolate (6%) and ginger (6%), with all three a popular seller with the Knutsford people! This year i have also supported CAMRA by attending the Real Ale Festival at Manchester Museum of Science and Industry as well as the fancyabeermate.com Sale Ale Festival and Le Trappiste Royal Ale Festival. These festivals are great to try a variety of local and micro breweries that you wouldn’t necessarily see in your local pub. I’ve a fond memory of ale stew at Le Trappiste too which was very tasty!

If you fancy supporting CAMRA in their effort to introduce ale to a wider audience – join them on there website – http://www.camra.org.uk/

Le Trappiste Belgian Cafe Bar – http://www.letrappiste.com/ also have there 3rd annual Altrincham Beer & Cask Beer Festival in August bank holiday which i will hopefully be attending and reviewing!

Fancy a Beer Mate – http://www.fancyabeermate.com/

Konyagi and Ouza Fire Water taste notes

Konyagi

Konyagi - Tanzanian 'Fire Water'

On a recent trip to Tanzania, my friend bought back with her a bottle of Konyagi, or ‘fire water’. Intrigued by this i googled what i could find on Konyagi (the back of the bottle was of no help due to what i presume was written in an African language) and came up with the following –

INGREDIANT: Molasses, Spices and flavorings
PROOF:  (35%) 
AGE: Not Applicable
TYPE: Flavored

http://www.spiritsreview.com/reviews-rum-konyagi.html

It mentions how its rum flavoured and also described as a liquor so i presume it could be classed with spirits like Drambuie.

Anyway once opened a medicinal yet a slightly more gin smelling aroma hit me with some floral hints edging in there too. Its taste went down rather surprisingly quite smooth with only a hint of a ‘fire edge’ and gave your mouth and throat a slow tingle as it makes its way. This was definitely not what i expected ‘fire water’ to be like and i agree with what the link (posted above) recommends to have this spirit apart of (Mojito or Caipirinha) – it wouldn’t over power any of the other ingredients. I can see it being rather mellow, almost like your average white rum in a way with just that distinctive hint of fire to let you know your drinking something different.

Ouzo
Ouzo - Cypriot 'Fire Water'

Again a friend of mine came back from the island of Cyprus with a bottle of Cypriot ‘fire water’ or Ouzo. Attached to it a nifty 25ml shot glass with Cyprus emblazoned on it adds to the collection nicely! With no back label i once again had a quick search to see what came up, with a more varied result compared to the Konyagi. Ouzo is apparently a popular aperitif in both Cyprus and Greece and is consumed neat or with water and is served ice-cold. Now i have to admit, i didn’t taste mine ice-cold after only reading about this after i had tasted it, but i will freeze it over night, try it again and let you all know if there is any difference.

Its aromas of aniseed had the thoughts of Sambuca running through my head and indeed the taste does bode similar to that of the Italian aperitif. A slight mouth-watering effect hits you as it travels through your mouth, which you don’t really get with the Konyagi. However, Ouza feels a lot more raw and stripped down with a bigger kick of fire as its after-taste.

Now if i had to choose between the two, Konyagi would be my choice. Yes Ouzo backs up its ‘fire water’ tag better than Konyagi does but there is a lot more choice with what you can do with the Tanzanian spirit. Its easy drinking and you could get through a 200ml bottle with a lot more ease than you would Ouzo.

 

Licor 43 Tasting notes

The ‘Spanish Smooth Sensation’ has made a comeback recently, with Licor 43 being ever-present on many new and existing back bars. This Spanish liqueur is made from citrus and fruit juices, flavoured with 43 different vanilla and aromatic herbs and spices (hence the name). Its origin though starts in the early 20th century at a small factory in the Mediterranean city of Cartagena.

Three brothers (Diego, Angel and Josefina Zamora Conesa) and Mrs Conesa’s husband Emilio Restoy Godoy started the company and became the most sold liqueur in the South East of Spain. Since the beginning, the Diego Zamora company (still family owned to this day) has been a pioneer in Spain for its use of advertising on radio, TV, press and cinema, with the 60’s paying off as Licor 43 went global to 55 markets to become the most international Spanish liqueur ever. Licor 43 are rather proud of their history and recipe, and the 43 herbs and spices are a guarded secret, however this doesn’t stop you from enjoying the moment as you try to work it out for yourselves –

Licor 43 – 31%

Subtle vanilla aromas blend their way through on the nose accompanied by sweet fruit and spices. A smooth, instant mouth-watering vanilla taste hits the palate first with subtle citrus hints following. Creates a long, sweet after taste.

Licor 43 makes an ideal ingredient to use to balance out a Daiquiri, or even used in a dark Mojito to add a slight extra vanilla flavour to the rum used. Or try one of these –

Cosmo 43

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients –

50 ml Licor 43
50 ml Vodka
75 ml Cranberry juice
50 ml Lemon juice

Method –

Shake all ingredients together and serve in a chilled Martini glass

Spanish Temptation

Spanish Temptation

Glass –

Hurricane

Ingredients –

125 ml Licor 43
50 ml Vanilla Syrup
75 ml Cream
175 ml Passion Fruit Nectar
125 ml Orange juice
25 ml Cherry juice

Method –

Mix all ingredients without the cherry juice with ice in a shaker. Add the cherry juice once poured into a hurricane glass.

This versatile liqueur really shows what it’s made of, and has even caught the judges eyes, winning gold in the 19th Cocktail Challenge Edition at Shaker & Company in 2012 and silver at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2011.

Expect to see a lot more of Licor 43 of the coming years, not only in cocktails, but offered as part of your after-dinner range as well as over desserts such as ice cream, fruit salads and strawberries. Or better still, have one in your drinks cabinet.

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.