Lagunitas Beer Circus Comes To The UK

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California based Lagunitas Brewing Co is bringing its magical selection of brews paired with a whirling frenzy of freaktacular entertainment to the UK for the first time… That’s right – we’re talking about the legendary Lagunitas Beer Circus!

The Lagunitas Beer Circus is the ultimate celebration of beer and the freedom to just be whoever you want! A place to suspend reality, embrace being alive and be part of a community without worrying about what anyone else thinks.

Lagunitas’ menu is simple… Plenty of beer. Check! Mind blowing acts, from marching bands, to freak shows and even bearded ladies. Check! It sounds appetising to us, so if it’s your cup of tea too, then your dream pop-up is set to arrive in London, fresh from an extensive US tour of Petaluma, Seattle, Chicago, on Saturday 18th August.

If you’re still sat on the fence, but sort of intrigued by Lagunitas’ philosophy of ‘see things you can’t un-see’, then maybe the range of new beers, bizarre burlesque performers and line-up of the strangest and quirkiest bands ever might twist your arm – you can’t miss this one.

We can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t commit to a few hours of washing down a couple of beers while letting go of their inhibitions and living out their childhood dream of joining the circus. But if you do know anyone like that, you should tell ‘em that Lagunitas is dedicated to providing grants for non-for-profit community projects, supporting projects across music education, arts and animal welfare, so the IPA will be donating ALL THE profits to Wild At Heart Foundation…

Meaning that while you’re drinking, you’re helping to rehome dogs around the world. It doesn’t get much better than that!

When:
Saturday 18th August
Afternoon Session 12.30 – 17.00 or evening Session 18.30 – 23.00

Where:
Flat Iron Square (53a, Southwark Street, London, SE1 1RU

Tickets available:
Tickets for a session are available for £15. This includes one welcome beer and one beer token. To purchase a ticket for a session, please visit this site: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-lagunitas-beer-circus-london-tickets-45528660449

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Kraken Rum Unleashes The Beast In The East

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The Kraken® Black Spiced Rum is wrapping its tentacles around London’s East End for its latest Kraken Crawl. Capturing the spirit of the East, The Kraken has clouded the region with its iconic, dark spirit and a twist on four classic cocktails.

The cocktails have been crafted to perfectly pair with the area’s most famous hangouts, so followers of the sea creature can enjoy the darker side of life as they crawl through its streets and taste London like never before.

For one night only, rum fans can indulge their taste buds with East London inspired cocktails and be hit with trending taste notes ranging from turmeric through to black tea and cockney influenced ‘apple and pears’ cider.

Starting and finishing in E1, the Kraken Crawl will celebrate the unveiling of The Kraken Mural on Great Eastern Bear. From 16th July to 12th August, prepare to be awestruck by a giant piece of photorealistic artwork. This unique piece will incorporate 3D elements to bring the mystical beast to life and is set to turn a few heads. Providing a perfect Insta-backdrop for East Londoners and passers-by, those tagging themselves with the beast will also be in with a chance of winning a range of amazing prizes, from diving courses to mural masterclasses, as well as free cocktails to redeem at the below participating Kraken Crawl bars.

The limited-edition cocktails that have been paired specially with local Shoreditch bars include:

The Brick Lane – The Cocktail Trading Company, E1 6GQ

Pay homage to the home of British curry, The Brick Lane blends dark rum with a range of Indian spices including terrifyingly trendy turmeric, cinnamon and cardamom.

The Great Eastern Street – Road Trip and Workshop, EC1V 9EY

Another hot cocktail trend to tickle your fancy taking cold black tea from the East and swirling it around in a hurricane glass with orange liqueur, lemon juice and rum.

The Perfect Storm – Old Blue Last, EC2A 3ES

A classic for a classic. Head to the iconic Old Blue Last for the Kraken fan favourite consisting of rum, ginger ale and a wedge of lime.

The Poison Apple & Pears – Apples & Pears, E1 6TD

It doesn’t get much more East End than Cockney rhyming slang. Mixing pears with apple cider, fiery ginger, lemon and rum – catch this at Apple & Pears, where else?

Shoreditch dwellers can view the Kraken Mural being created live by the capital’s hottest artists at Great Eastern Bear. The mural will be painted from 16th July through to 19th July with the finished artwork on display until 12th August.
For more information on joining The Kraken Crawl, please visit: https://www.theleagueofdarkness.co.uk/home

London Mezcal Week Returns To Celebrate The Spirit And Mexican Culture

london mezcal week

In honour of the agave spirit mezcal, the second annual London Mezcal Week will give the capital a very Mexican flavour between 10th – 16th September 2018. Celebrating many lesser-known, traditionally made mezcal brands, the week-long mezcal fiesta will take the form of a series of events across London, including tastings, dinners, talks and parties, plus a host of bars serving special mezcal cocktails. There will also be several pop-up mezcalerias appearing throughout the week to give you a taste of Mexico, whether you’re new to the spirit or a mezcal aficionado. ¡Salud!

Mezcal is the lesser-known cousin of tequila and is made in Mexico from the agave plant, the heart (or piña) of which is roasted underground before being distilled. This roasting process provides a unique, striking flavour with the fresh, vegetal nature of an agave spirit but with more depth. It’s this complexity that has led to its rise in popularity amongst the bartending community and leading cocktail bars.

London Mezcal Week, which is organized by two of London’s most dedicated mezcal enthusiasts, Thea Cumming and Melanie Symonds, aims to celebrate the mezcal category and bring it to a wider audience. The week-long programme of events will showcase the diverse and numerous ways it can be enjoyed – whether on its own, in cocktails or with food. Working solely with traditional mezcal producers – some of which date back generations within the same family – the week will see many of the brands flying to the UK for the first time. In order to support the community that produces mezcal, London Mezcal Week will also be working with the charity Rebuild Oaxaca, an organization that focuses on improving the quality of life of Mexico’s poorest families by rebuilding communities through construction projects.

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

The headline event of the week will be the Mezcal Festival, which will take place from Friday 14th – Saturday 15th September. Providing a full-scale agave takeover in London Bridge, festival-goers will be able to sip on some extra-special cocktails by Ojo Rojo at an al fresco bar, whilst Mexico’s trending chef Santiago Lastra will be taking care of the food offering. From 7pm on the Friday and Saturday night DJs will be providing the soundtrack and transitioning the atmosphere from day-time drinking to evening fiesta. Within the Mezcal Festival will be the Tasting Room with one of the UK’s largest selections of mezcals to date, and some producers which have never been available in the UK before. For £25 per person, festival-goers can book a 2-hour session in the Tasting Room for a unique opportunity to sample the range on offer and meet the makers.

44 Southwark Street, London, SE1 9HW
Friday 14th – Saturday 15th September, Midday – Midnight: free entry to the Mezcal Festival, £25pp to access the Tasting Room (a 2 hour session can then be booked from 1-3pm, 3-5pm, 5-7pm both days)
Tickets available from http://www.londonmezcalweek.com

Those who are after a more foodie experience will be able to attend a one-off dinner with renowned Mexican chef Santiago Lastra on Tuesday 11th September at 44 Southwark Street. Working with local producers in the UK to create Mexican-style food, guests can enjoy a four course feast paired with mezcal cocktails. With a background working at renowned venues including NOMA Mexico with René Redzepi, texture, colour and soul are at the heart of Santiago’s cooking.

44 Southwark Street, London, SE1 9HW
Tuesday 11th September, 7pm-late
£37pp, option to have mezcal pairing throughout or order drinks as you go
Tickets available from http://www.londonmezcalweek.com

Rounding off the week will be the London Mezcal Week Closing Party, sponsored by skillfully crafted mixers London Essence Co, on Sunday 16th September – complete with Micheladas and Margaritas to work off the Sunday hangover.

44 Southwark Street, London, SE1 9HW
Sunday 16th September, 1pm – Midnight
Free entry

There will be London Mezcal Week maps available throughout the week, detailing the additional events, parties, tastings and dinners, as well as a range of bars serving special mezcal cocktails for one week only. Renowned mezcal forward venues taking part include Temper Soho, Café Pacifico, and Sin Gusano whilst some of London’s best-loved Mexican eateries Santo Remedio, Breddos Tacos and Bodega Negra will be
hosting events. Leading cocktail bars Callooh Callay, Super Lyan and Cocktail Trading Co. are also amongst those flying the mezcal flag.

For a full schedule of events and venues taking part visit http://www.londonmezcalweek.com

New Caribbean Inspired Bar and Café to Open in South Manchester

Marigot Bay Bar & Cafe Logo#BeInspired

A new Caribbean inspired venue is to open within King’s Court of Altrincham, South Manchester on July 20th, 2018.

Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast Ltd has chosen the attractive leisure and office complex of King’s Court and its secluded courtyard off one of the main streets of the Cheshire town as the home of his first bar and café. Marigot Bay Bar & Café, named after Marigot Bay of St Lucia in the Caribbean, is the creation of several years of inspiration and experiences, finally coming together to offer South Manchester a bar and café that takes you through the many tropical islands via chilled island beers, tropical cocktails and some of the finest Caribbean coffee and cocoa available.

With the walls adorned with memorabilia picked up from Dave’s travels to the Caribbean, including Marigot Bay itself, Marigot Bay Bar & Café re-creates the tranquil, relaxing experience of the bay, located on the western coast of Saint Lucia and surrounded on three sides by steep, forested hills with the inland portion of the bay forming a hurricane hole used to shelter boats from hurricanes. It’s here that it’s famous for its calming waters and palm tree lined beaches that offer a quiet escape from the hustle of city life. It’s this that Dave has re-created, meaning low ambient and traditional Caribbean radio, a focus on traditional drink serves and attentive table service.

Marigot Bay Bar & Café has a capacity of 30 seating, with a first-come-first-serve policy during its hours of operation. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, Marigot Bay Bar & Café focuses on Caribbean origins, including a selection of beers such as Banks of Barbados and Carib of Trinidad and Tobago, coffee sourced from the famous Blue Mountain region of Jamaica and a selection of rum and rhums from across the Caribbean islands, including Chairman’s Reserve of St Lucia, Foursquare of Barbados, Appleton Estate of Jamaica, Havana Club of Cuba and Rhum Clément of Martinique.

Chairman's Reserve

There’s also a focus on the traditional rum serves found on the islands themselves, including the Pusser’s Painkiller, known as the “Official Cocktail of the British Virgin Islands”, Havana Club’s original Cuban Mojito and Gosling’s Black Seal, the tempest in Bermuda’s favourite cocktail the Dark ‘n Stormy. The menu is coupled with a selection of non-rum favourites that can be found on the bars across the Caribbean too, as well as mixers such as fresh coconut water and Ting, the sparkling Jamaican grapefruit juice.

Marigot Bay itself is a historic landmark, having been the site of several battles between the French and British navies, meaning a great opportunity to focus on some of the islands favourite rums that honour the naval history of St Lucia. Expressions from the recent released Admiral Rodney range will be available to experience in special guided tutorials that focus on the aromas and flavour perception of each.

With tribute to Meimi Sanchez, Global Brand Ambassador for Havana Club and her sensory masterclass technique, Marigot Bay Bar & Café has ruled out the usual live music element seen in most venues, instead opting for low-level background music from traditional Caribbean radio stations, producing a calmer experience for all customers and releasing optimum emotions when enjoying a tipple of choice.

Dave himself has over a decade of experience within the drinks industry, creating brand agency Drinks Enthusiast in 2011, Manchester Rum Festival in 2017, Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress in 2017, co-owner of spirits retail business Riddles Emporium in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.

Opening Hours;
Wednesday-Friday from 5pm to late and from 12noon to late on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Address;
Marigot Bay Bar & Café, 6 King’s Court, Railway Street, Altrincham, WA14 2RD

Website;
www.marigotbaybarandcafe.com

Michel Roux Jr And The Balvenie Whisky Launch Final Series Of The Craftsmen’s Dinner

the balvenie

The Balvenie launches its final installment of The Craftsmen’s Dinner. This year, the series of short films, hosted by renowned Michelin starred chef, Michel Roux Jr., takes place at The Balvenie Distillery in Scotland, where Michel gets sparks of inspiration from the craftspeople behind the whisky.

Spending a week at the distillery, Michel aims to understand the elements of craft which go into The Balvenie, and meets three expert craftspeople who shape the whisky as we know it. Firstly, John Evans, Maltman, whose team is in charge of taking care of the barley, turning it by hand and operating a working floor maltings, one of only a handful left in Scotland. Secondly, George Singer, a coppersmith who maintains the copper stills where the essential process of distillation happens. Finally, Kelsey McKechnie, Whisky Technologist, who monitors the maturation, flavour and blend of the whisky until it’s ready to be bottled.

Throughout his experience, Michel is inspired by the pursuit of excellence by each craftsperson and realises the similarity with his own ethos in the kitchen. Michel doesn’t believe in “cooking by numbers”, he uses his senses, skills and experience to perfect the taste in his dishes, the same way the craftspeople use their classic techniques to create The Balvenie. From tending to the barley, to blending and maturing the whisky, the series highlights that each stage in the process is integral to the taste. Michel’s key take out is that true craft needs a human touch.

Michel Roux Jr. commented: “I have been involved with The Balvenie whisky over the past few years as I want to seek out craftsmanship in new places and bring people’s attention to it. As craftspeople we feed off each other’s passions and by immersing myself in George, Kelsey and John’s crafts I have truly been inspired. We live in an increasingly fast paced world, technology is thriving and amazing innovations result from this, but craft is one thing I believe will never be replaced by machines. A human touch and staying true to your roots is important and once you understand the level of commitment that goes into making The Balvenie, you will begin to understand what makes it so great.”

The series concludes with the three-course ‘Craftsmen’s Dinner’ hosted at The Balvenie House and curated by Michel Roux Jr., with the menu inspired by The Balvenie craftspeople. The delicious dishes show the magic of bringing different crafts together and includes fermented barley miso, roasted venison smoked with woodchips from the casks in the cooperage and passion fruit soufflé with white chocolate ice cream, served in beautiful copper pots lovingly handcrafted by George Singer.

Alwynne Gwilt, The Balvenie UK Brand Ambassador, added: “It’s been a pleasure working with a true craftsman like Michel these past few years. His dedication to cuisine mirrors our dedication to perfection in whisky making. This final series, set at our spiritual home during the beauty of winter, really brings to life the commitment, hard work and dedication of our skilled craftspeople who make The Balvenie the best it can be all the year round. It has been a pleasure to share the different crafts behind the whisky with Michel and now with viewers worldwide.”

The final series of The Craftsmen’s Dinner will be released week commencing 2nd July at https://www.youtube.com/TheCraftsmensDinner and will feature the following episodes:

· Michel Roux Jr. meets John Evans, Maltman at The Balvenie

· Michel Roux Jr. meets George Singer, Coppersmith at The Balvenie

· Michel Roux Jr. meets Kelsey McKechnie, Whisky Technologist at The Balvenie

· The Craftsmen’s Dinner at The Balvenie House

#TheBalvenieCraft

Website: https://uk.thebalvenie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBalvenie

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalvenieUK

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebalvenie/

Grant’s Brings In An Exciting New Era With Triple Wood

Grants Triple Wood OOH Landscape

Grant’s, the world’s number three Scotch whisky, today announces a global brand refresh, which includes striking new packaging with a renaming of its signature blend, a refined core range and a new direction for its communications campaign. Launching from July 2018 Grant’s Triple Wood is a new way of communicating the superiority of the liquid through its whisky making process for a smooth, rich and mellow taste.

“While other blended whiskies are declining, Grant’s continues to go from strength to strength, leapfrogging others to become the world’s number three Scotch whisky. As the whisky that holds the family name, we have big ambitions to be the most distinctive player in Scotch whisky and are proud to celebrate our Triple Wood maturation, the key to our exceptional taste, with a new global brand refresh.” – Philip Gladman, Grant’s Chief Marketing Officer

About Grant’s Triple Wood and Triple Wood Smoky

The use of wood plays an important role in the creation of Grant’s. Using the same formula for the last 130 years, 60% of its flavour is drawn from cask influence, rather than being aged in just one type of cask. Grant’s Triple Wood liquid is rested in three types of cask – Virgin Oak which provides spicy robustness, American Oak lending subtle vanilla smoothness and Refill Bourbon bringing brown sugar sweetness – for a truly rich, smooth and mellow taste.

Also using the Triple Wood process, new expressions, Grant’s Triple Wood Smoky, is matured in three types of casks. Master Blender, Brian Kinsman increases the addition of peated whiskies within the blend, resulting in a smooth, rich and subtly smoky taste.

A Simplified Range: Rum Cask and 8 year old Sherry Cask Editions

Grant’s Master Blender, Brian Kinsman and his team have spent decades experimenting by pairing Grant’s traditional whisky blends with unusual flavour profiles. The result was Grant’s Cask Editions –blended Scotch whiskies finished in a carefully selected final cask for greater depth of flavour. Combining the traditional whisky blend with exotic flavours from the Caribbean, Grant’s Rum Cask Edition is matured in oak barrels before ageing further in barrels that previously held rum. Vibrant and sweet with tropical fruits and a hint of banana reveal rich vanilla oak and a touch of sweet spice. Grant’s 8 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish spends eight years ageing in oak barrels before it matures further in Oloroso Sherry casks handpicked from Spain by Brian Kinsman. An immediate oaky vanilla sweetness is counterbalanced with rich malty notes. A few drops of water bring out deep, dried fruits and subtle woody spices.

“The Triple Wood process is at the very heart of what we create here at Grant’s. As a result of ageing our whiskies in three different casks our Triple Wood is distinctive to taste, with a balance of qualities drawn from the character of the wood. I love the complexity of spice, smooth vanilla and the sweet edge gathered from that combination of three casks.” – Brian Kinsman, Master Blender

Grant’s believes that great things happen when working together and it is through this power of collaboration and shared passion that Triple Wood is made. It takes 198 pairs of hands to make Grant’s whisky from grain to glass, with a totally shared commitment to the process. With five generations of the Grant family making whisky since 1887, Grant’s remains the only blended whisky producer to have its own Stillman (‘The Maker’), Cooper (‘The Muscle’) and Master Blender (‘The Master’) working together in one place, which is celebrated in a new global communications campaign. Having craftsmen’s expertise under one roof means the collaborative process is seamless. Specialist expertise is passed from one generation to the next, meaning that the whisky created is of a consistently high quality with the same Grant’s taste and aroma.

Grant’s Triple Wood 70cl and 1L will be available from August onwards in all major retailers, replacing Grant’s Family Reserve. RSP £15.00 and £19.50

Old Fashioned Cocktail Week Is All The Fashion Worldwide

Old Fashioned Week-065-28, Lo1

Always a classic but never old fashioned – that is what Old Fashioned Week is all about. For 2018, innovation is the flavour, and sporting some positive controversy too: Anyone for a Cognac Old Fashioned perhaps? All set to celebrate the father of all cocktails, the Old Fashioned, bartenders around the world will reach for their mixing spoons and show off their old fashioned and new fashioned creativity for ten days in November. Old Fashioned Week (OFW) is the annual global celebration of cocktailing. It boldly increases its impact from its third year in 2017, and for 2018, it now launches with ambassadors in 13 international zones, to embrace many of the highest profile cocktail cities in the world. This embassy of top spirits experts and writers will help inspire bars to serve up
the most classic, innovative, original, premium or daringly different Old Fashioned cocktails. They aim to extend the legend that makes it the most enduring and popular cocktail in quality bars (in the World’s 50 Best Bars). Bars are invited to participate by registering on the OFW website by 20 October; all set for Old Fashioned Week
1-10 November 2018. So expect to hear that bar call ‘Mix me an Old Fashioned’, from discerning cocktail drinkers in their favourite bars. http://www.old-fashioned-week.com [New website will be live from 3 September.]

Old Fashioned Week will target over 1,000 bars in 2018 (increasing from 800 participating bars in 2018). It has flourished from its modest concept to a worldwide diary date – thanks to its creators Michael Landart of popular neighbourhood bar Maria Loca in Paris, and rum enthusiast Cyrille Hugon who founded Paris Rum Fest and
Rumporter Magazine. It partners internationally with six renowned brands: Angostura Bitters, Havana Club rum, Rhum J.M from Martinique, Monkey Shoulder blended Scotch malt whisky, and new for 2018 – Cognac Pierre Ferrand and Woodford Reserve bourbon. Participating bars will serve Old Fashioneds using at least two of these brands. Beyond that, they can freely use their other regular listed spirits. Consumers can enjoy individually conceived events, promotions, and generally good old fashioned drinking fun. Bars, and also shops, can announce their activities on the Old Fashioned Week website and show off their creations via OFW social media.

Cyrille Hugon, co-founder and director of Old Fashioned Week, comments: “The world adores a properly made Old Fashioned cocktail. This year we are expanding our network of enthusiastic ambassadors and keen to involve even more high quality bars, bartenders, and even shops and off licences. Old Fashioned Week is a celebration of
cocktail heritage and bartenders’ skills, and also encourages innovation, and great cocktail banter amongst drinkers. “Our desire is also to support the bars to attract customers and increase their cocktail sales. Every major city has bars offering quality rum and whisky at the top of their menus. Sophisticated drinkers will remain loyal to their Old Fashioneds, and a new generation of drinkers seeking to immerse themselves in stylish classics, will head to these destination bars.”

The King of Soho Is In The Pink With New Gin launch

The King of Soho Variorium and OriginalThe King of Soho is adding a new addition to its colourful line-up with the introduction of the King of Soho Variorum Gin, a berry edition of the original London Dry.

The King of Soho Variorum Gin adds a hint of pink and notes of strawberry to complement the essential juniper and citrus flavours of the classic recipe, making it ideal to be enjoyed over ice, in cocktails and mixed drinks; served with a strawberry garnish. The creativity and literary works of Soho are the inspiration behind the name – in literature, a variorum edition is an original work with notes.

With the original King of Soho London Dry celebrating its fifth anniversary in October 2018, the King of Soho Variorum is a new twist on the classic, with a lower ABV of 37.5%. It has been created to appeal to a broader audience and reflects the brand’s modernity. In its vivid red bottle, Variorum Gin is a vivacious and fun companion to the King of Soho London Dry; the perfect pair to stand out on the shelf or bar – day and night

Like the original, Variorum is distributed in the UK & Ireland on-trade and off-trade by Hi-Spirits. The King of Soho brand is the creation of West End Drinks, owned by entrepreneurs Alex Robson and Howard Raymond, and styled after Howard’s father, the legendary Soho theatre impresario and businessman Paul Raymond.

Alex Robson, managing director of West End Drinks, said: “The King of Soho Variorum Gin is a celebration of the colour and style of Soho; a pink berry spirit inspired by the creativity and literature of London’s iconic district, to join our smooth and premium drinks line-up.

“We launched the original King of Soho classic London Dry almost five years ago, and the King of Soho Variorum Gin builds on that success with an appeal to a gin consumer who is looking for a slightly lower ABV and berry notes in their drinks and cocktails. Crafted in London , it reflects the modernity and innovation of our brand and the ever-changing spirit that is Soho.”

The signature serve for The King of Soho Variorum is the Variorum Cooler:

50ml King of Soho Variorum Gin
120ml Cranberry Juice
120ml Pink Grapefruit Juice
Build in a tall glass filled with cubed ice, and garnish with a grapefruit twist and a strawberry.

The King of Soho Variorum launches in late July, with a RSP of £33.50.

Fernet-Branca Challenges Bar Trade’s Bravest At The Barback Games

Photos by © Menbar Photos

Britain’s bravest and boldest bar workers will be put through their paces when the Fernet-Branca Barback Games come to London this September, with a trip to San Francisco up for grabs for the winner.

The games will test the skills and endurance of competitors with a series of physical challenges, as well as their knowledge and passion for classic Italian digestif Fernet-Branca.

Originally held in San Francisco in 2007, the Barback Games are now one of the biggest touring bar industry events. With the games being held in the UK for the first time this year, Fernet-Branca and UK distributor Hi-Spirits are offering the winner a trip to San Francisco as their prize.

Bars can enter a team made up of one competitor and one coach, with anyone who works in a pub, bar, restaurant or club whose role has included barback duties eligible to compete. The final will see four knockout rounds put competitors through their paces, with the final battle between two teams deciding the winner of the San Francisco trip.

The teams won’t find out what’s involved until the day of the Games, but competitors are being warned that they need to be fit and able to compete in some very physical challenges.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing the Fernet-Branca Barback Games to the UK this year. Barbacks are all too often the unsung heroes of great bars and the Games are an opportunity for them to step into the spotlight – if they’re up for the challenge!”

The Fernet-Branca Barback Games will be held at Village Underground, London on Sunday 9 September, with an invited audience from the bar trade cheering on the teams and a global judging panel of bar professionals overseeing the proceedings.

Entries are now open at http://www.fernet-branca.co.uk/barbackgames and close on 10 August. Entrants need to explain why they should be selected, with the finalists announced on 17 August, 2018. Full terms and conditions are also online.

The Irishman’s Bounty from Saint Lucia – Founder’s Reserve with a Hint of Rum!

launch of the Irishman Founders Reserve Caribbean Cask Finish

Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released the second expression in The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Cask Series, a limited edition finished in rum casks from the tiny tropical Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Caribbean Cask Finish, a super-premium whiskey, is a rare vatting of Single Pot Still and Single Malt whiskeys finished for 6 months in Chairman’s Reserve Rum casks.

In recent years, as part of his research into new cask finishes for his portfolio of whiskeys, Walsh Whiskey founder, Bernard Walsh, has sourced casks from a range of countries including Spain, France, China, Kentucky and Italy. This limited edition, of just 12 casks, began in 2014 when he made the trip to the island of Saint Lucia in the West Indies in search of rare casks to give a special expression to his original whiskey.

The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, is distilled entirely in copper pot stills and Bernard’s journey took him to visit the famous St. Lucia Distillers (established 1932) where they also use copper pot stills to distil their rum. While there, Bernard handpicked 12 oak casks and he chose to age them in St. Lucia Distillers’ iconic Chairman’s Reserve Rum for a minimum of 2 years from 2015. The casks were subsequently brought to Ireland in the autumn of 2017 and used to finish a batch of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve for 6 months.

John Kelly, Commercial Director, Walsh Whiskey Distillery, said: “St. Lucia Distillers, who produce Chairman’s Reserve Rum, are renowned as a prestigious operation first established and run by the Barnard family for almost 90 years. Bernard was confident that he would be able to select from a high quality stock of well cared for casks imbued with a classical rum flavour. This Caribbean Cask Finish release will complement our highly successful ‘The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Marsala Cask’ finishes of 2017. We hope the lucky few who secure bottles will enjoy this unique whiskey which is characterised by tropical fruits and spices.”

The release is limited to just 12 casks with 380 bottles per cask. Each bottle is individually numbered and signed by Bernard Walsh. This premium whiskey is now for sale across just 7 selected international markets namely; Ireland (including Dublin Airport), the USA, Canada, Russia, Germany, France and Holland. Of course bottles can also be purchased by visitors to Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak in Ireland.

The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Caribbean Cask Finish is triple distilled entirely in copper pot stills, natural non-chill filtered, aged in American oak bourbon barrels before being finished for 6 months in the Chairman’s Reserve Rum Casks and, finally, bottled at 46% ABV.