Iconic ‘Rue Bourbon’ Street In New Orleans Temporarily Transformed Into ‘Rue Londres Sec’

Beefeater Gin at Tales of the Cocktail 2017

The iconic ‘Rue Bourbon’ street in the heart of New Orleans was temporarily transformed into ‘Rue Londres Sec’ (London Dry Street). The takeover was carried out by iconic London Dry Gin brand, Beefeater, to launch its global MIXLDN 7 cocktail competition to the world’s best bartenders who have gathered in the city for the Tales of the Cocktail festival. Beefeater’s Master Distiller Desmond Payne, the most experienced gin distiller in the world, and Global Brand Ambassador, Sumaiyah Connolly, pictured in the shot, are asking bartenders around the globe to enter the world’s biggest gin competition via http://www.beefeatermixldn.com.

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Beefeater MIXLDN 2017 Bartending Competition Open for Entries!

Beefeater
The seventh annual Beefeater MIXLDN Bartending competition is now open for entries! Beefeater Gin is from London and is of London, and is still made in the capital today. Bartenders love it because of its unparalleled quality and versatility in cocktails. For this year’s MIXLDN, bartenders are being asked to create a new cocktail that best encapsulates the spirit of the city they live in, using Beefeater Dry or Beefeater 24.

With the popularity of gin at an all-time high, the world’s biggest gin cocktail competition is set to be the most hotly contested yet, with entries expected from over 30 countries around the world. The winner will be crowned Beefeater MIXLDN 7 Global Champion and will receive the opportunity to create their very own Beefeater Gin at the distillery in Kennington, London, under the guidance of Master Distiller Desmond Payne.

Sumaiyah Connolly, Beefeater Global Brand Ambassador, comments: “As my first year as Global Brand Ambassador, I’m incredibly excited to announce the return of MIXLDN. It’s a competition in which I’ve been involved in the past when I was working with bartenders in Cape Town, South Africa. Bartenders love it because MIXLDN goes against the grain and has always done things a little differently whilst maintaining its credibility since its beginning. A roll call of the six brilliant, previous champions alone, shows you the calibre of talent involved from around the world. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store from the world of bartending.”

Entrants should submit a cocktail recipe concept and its inspiration to the Beefeater MIXLDN website (www.beefeatermixldn.com) before 31st August, 2017. A selection of bartenders will then be invited to the national final to demonstrate their concept to both local and international gin experts – including Beefeater Global Brand Ambassadors Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge and Sumaiyah Connolly.

Beefeater Launches New Global Marketing Strategy

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Beefeater, the world’s most awarded gin brand, has unveiled a new global marketing strategy to appeal to a new generation of gin drinkers and capture the true essence of London today.

With a long-standing heritage spanning 150 years, Beefeater is from London and is of London, and is still made in the capital today. Under the brand’s new marketing strategy, it will continue to celebrate this legacy, but with a modern twist, capturing the energy and diversity of London city life in the 21st century.

The British gin category has experienced exponential global growth in recent years, with the latest figures showing that exports of British gin grew by 12% in 2016[1]. The strategy will enable Beefeater to continue to tap into this trend, whilst continuing to cement its London roots and distinguishing itself from the rest of the category.

The new direction will be reflected across the brand’s entire marketing programme, both above and below the line – from its advertising campaigns to bottle and merchandise design.

Eric Sampers, Beefeater’s Global Brand Director, comments: “With the global popularity of gin continuing to soar, we want to continue to stand out from the crowd and truly embody the lifestyles and values of our consumers.

“London is the heart and soul of Beefeater and our new marketing strategy takes this to the next level, offering a contemporary twist which we believe will really resonate with the latest generation of gin drinkers. London is one of the greatest cities on earth and we want to bring a little bit of the capital to consumers every time they enjoy our gin – whether that’s here in London, Lisbon or Lima. Our ultimate ambition is to be an icon of London today, and the undisputed number one in premium gin worldwide.”

Artisan – Does It Change In A Year?

Artisan

“There always seems to be something new popping up in the Manchester restaurant scene. New concepts, new ideas, re-vamping tired menus or giving a new lease of life into forgotten venues. These are what seem to define many a city’s food culture. To be fair, nothing against that. It’s what keeps us on our toes – the buzz through social media, word of mouth or a quick e-mail and text after you see the erection of a ‘coming soon’ sign. In Manchester, there is one company that seems to get the most buzz no matter what the concept or idea, and to count their venues to the mid-twenties is an astounding achievement. Living Ventures have proven once again that they can transform even the most quirky of locations into a masterpiece in the form of Artisan.”

You could possibly recognise the above statement. For avid readers of my website, this is taken from my previous visit to Artisan last September, and it’s a statement I still stand by. Why? Artisan is evolving, Living Ventures is evolving. Manchester is evolving.

Bold words perhaps? A visit to Artisan this week could very well prove my point in the coming weeks as the venue opens a second bar within its establishment, following on from the success of opening its original floor plan to accommodate the tipple crowd. That’s not all though. One word could be the buzz of Manchester very soon – Cinema. I will say no more, yet.

The Broken Rose
The Broken Rose

My reason for coming back this time around was a simple one though. I enjoyed the food on my first visit, and it is still spoken about today between me and my partner, and anyone who will listen to me, but my only criticism was to be the cocktails. Good, but not what I would call great. I took on board a recommendation I gave previously, ordering the aptly named The Artisan (£6.95) which involves Green Mark vodka, Aperol, pomegranate, mint and apple juice.
No tin cup in sight, instead a hurricane glass to show off the mint and apple pieces. The Aperol dominates, creating a drink that had a slight sweetness to it, but fresh, red fruit flavours burst, resulting in a slightly dry finish. Perfect for what was a humid evening. My partner (once again, to be called Miss J from here onwards) chose The Broken Rose (£6.50), bringing together Beefeater, rose liqueur, almond syrup, pineapple and lemon juice smashed with rose petals. It looked stunning, yet simple, with the dry nose of the rose petals being a great invitation to sip. The almond and rose create a rich flavour blend, although it was to be a rather short offering. Slightly sweet, but ultimately a good choice.

Skillet of smoked salmon, poached eggs, green vegetables, hollandaise and crushed potatoes
Skillet of smoked salmon, poached eggs, green vegetables, hollandaise and crushed potatoes

The food menu seemed a little sparse compared to our last visit, but by no means did that mean a lack of choice. If you know me well, I do love a menu that offers you more than one dish to salivate over. Artisan gave me several, and it has me itching to come back to try the one’s that I had to cut from my chosen order, the St Louis cut salt and pepper pork ribs with kimchee and coleslaw (£14.95). To back up a little though, Miss J opted for a starter the Braised meatballs in tomato sauce (£5.95), a dish that, she proclaimed in a simple phrase, came with “awesome meat”. She was right too, being enjoyed with a light sauce, steaming hot, fresh and plenty of heavy meat. No light and airy meatballs here.
I went for a simple dish too, the Prawn salad with guacamole (£7.50). Good presentation, but the prawns didn’t taste fresh, and the pairing with guacamole seemed a little pointless, it just didn’t seem to compliment. For the price, I’m afraid it just wasn’t worth it.

To the mains now, and as mentioned, the St Louis cut with pork ribs was to be my chosen champion from within the multiple choices I could have enjoyed, whilst Miss J went for the Skillet of smoked salmon, poached eggs, green vegetables, hollandaise and crushed potatoes (£10.95). Again, both came with some good presentation, with the smoked salmon looking alive with colour, dripping soft poached eggs and creamy hollandaise, giving off rich, warm flavours. The kimchee and home-made coleslaw complimented my St Louis cut in both look and flavour, with the meat being well-seasoned and cooked, giving a dry pepper and herb edge to it all.

Hot chocolate fondant with coconut ice-cream
Hot chocolate fondant with coconut ice-cream

With us both leaving a little room for dessert, the stand-out Hot chocolate fondant with coconut ice-cream (£5.95) came for us each, one with gingerbread ice-cream and the other with salted caramel. Hot, rich and incredibly moorish. A great way to finish the evening.

The food was brilliant, although I do wish I chose another starter. Trial and error though Is what I’ll be putting that down to. The drinks? Well, now I have something to talk about for both sides of the menu. Refreshing, well presented, and above all, tasty. Much better than our last visit, and even though I missed out on the likes of the TwoTone Daiquiri and Cinnaberry, plus classics such as the Negroni and Quick Old Fashioned, I can only imagine that I’ll be impressed upon my next visit, which incidentally will focus on these delights.

Give a place another chance, and you may surprise yourself. I look forward to crawling through the delights within their open planned bar area. Well the chairs and sofas do look like a comfy place to while away an evening. Won’t you join me?

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Shake, Rattle and Stir on the London Gin Journey

The Curious

Being based in Manchester, I’m well versed with the bar scene of both the city centre and the surrounding area. Whether it’s promoting a specific bar to the wider world, launching a product in an established venue, or hosting a master class within a newcomer, I’m always in and around, getting to know the trends that ultimately the consumers are asking for. The nature of my work though, means that I get to hear a lot about the rest of the UK. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and tour the likes of Edinburgh, Leeds and Liverpool, checking out bars and restaurants that I hear so much about, and experiencing how the rest of the UK works. London can also count on the list, but over the years I’ve had many more meetings within, than sitting down, with a crafted drink in my hand and actually taking in the surroundings. My delight in hearing that I had an invite to do such a thing, meant I jumped on the train, and headed to my first London Gin Journey.

Why gin? Well gin is undoubtedly a category I work a lot with. Bartenders love the varieties and styles available to them, whilst consumers, both men and women, enjoy many a Gin and Tonic, Martini or Negroni. Gin also has much of its history within London itself. Becoming widely known once the Dutch born William of Orange came to the English throne during the Glorious Revolution (Holland being the birth place of gin), gin has ultimately had its fair share of ups and downs. Etchings from William Hogarth and his ‘Beer Street and Gin Lane’ piece were common to see, deriding the spirit of gin and blaming the so-called ‘gin craze’ on Britain’s social problems. The force behind this? The government. Unable to control the production, they introduced the Gin Act of 1751, forcing distillers to sell to licensed retailers. But it’s not all downhill, with the introduction of column stills to create what we know call London Dry. This process made it more practical and popular, and over the years, inventive ways to drink your favourite brand came into practice, giving rise to the cocktail renaissance that we still see today.

Such history can be found just about anywhere, but to be introduced by a man with such passion and devotion to his trade, is ultimately what the Gin Journey is all about. Leon Dalloway has adapted a method of introducing not only gin to London, but also a variety of drinking dens, and recipes to embrace. Leon himself is a former bartender, tending many a venue in Manchester before jumping at the chance at representing the relatively new gin brand of Martin Miller’s. From his travels of promoting, he moved to London in March last year and worked for the City of London Distillery, learning about the craft of gin and to hone his skills and knowledge. It is here that he thought about sharing his passion, and ultimately decided to go it alone, creating his business named Shake, Rattle and Stir. Its ideology is to bring fun, interesting booze knowledge to the people through events, with the Gin Journey concept being its first.

IMG_20140311_204444To me, this is perfect. The chance to see five of London’s best bars, try five different gin brands, and see them as the base for a crafted recipe, all whilst being hosted by someone who can rival the likes of gin maestro Alan Winchester, Jared Brown or Jamie Baxter.

Mr Fogg’s in Mayfair was to be the first port of call. Nestled within the back streets, it ultimately looks like the gin palaces of yesteryear. Taking inspiration from the hero of Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’, its decor of artefacts (including entomology displays, helmets, hunting trophies, palm trees, birdcages and even a hot-air balloon) surround the bar area, itself nestled with small stools and low tables. I suppose in a way, it would be fitting to the venue that you start with a gin that has had to travel to be a part of the evening. Elephant Gin hails from Germany and uses 14 botanicals within, including African ingredients Baobab, the Buchu plant, Devil’s Claw and African Wormwood. At 45%, it gives off a light floral nose, with citrus tones following a lavender aroma. A sharp start on the palate, with the citrus flavours becoming oily, yet also quite warming. From these aromas and flavours, it would make perfect sense to enjoy the ‘The Cape of Good Hope’; a combination of Elephant gin, fresh pressed pear juice, lemon juice, rosemary and buchu syrup, lavender tincture and whites.

Leon’s previous place of work came next on the gin journey, taking place at the City of London Distillery in the City of London. Boasting 270 different gin brands on its bar, and the working distillery that produces our next gin in full view, it’s an experience that can rarely be summed up in such an evening. Modern, sleek and very cool are some that spring to mind though, and with a City of London gin and Fever Tree tonic in hand, the grapefruit garnish really brings out the notes of the gin. The brand on its own gives off lots of flavours on the nose, with citrus, dry herbs and liquorice most noticeable. The palate enjoys a spicy start, with a sharp, bold, rich flavour of liquorice and grapefruit zest. Develops a long, warm finish, that’s slightly dry.

Riding within a gin carriage to our next venue, coming to a halt as we overlook the Thames on the historic Tower Wharf at the Tower of London. The Perkin Reveller welcomed us with a table ready for a feat, as the most appropriate brand for the restaurant came in the form of Beefeater. Sparse glass and white walls are evident, although the name not so much (apparently named after the cook’s apprentice in ‘Canterbury Tales’), but with a glass of Beefeater 24, and Leon diving into one of the world’s best known gin brands, you take it all in with open arms. The gin itself is soft on the nose with plenty of grapefruit coming through. Incredibly soft on the palate, with small bursts of liquorice, grapefruit, orange and the heat from coriander. Creates a long, lingering finish with a little tingle to remind you. Once again, matched with a rather delectable recipe named ‘Spring Revival’; Pineapple, Black Pepper and Sage infused Beefeater, freshly pressed pineapple juice, house grenadine, accent of house anise tincture garnished with house a pineapple chutney and Lancashire Bomber cheese topped cracker.
Being invited to a restaurant ultimately means the food portion of the gin journey, tucking in to a menu that included smoked mackerel, blue cheese soufflé, pork belly or roast chicken breast amongst other British and European dishes.

IMG_20140311_220534Shoreditch would be the area of London for our last two venues, the first being Worship Street Whistling Shop. This cellar bar mixes the Victorian era with the American speakeasy, complete with bath tub for gin and shelves with botanicals, herbs and spices. Dodd’s gin, from the London Distillery Company that first came out last year, was to be showcased, alongside what the bar call the ‘Ultimate Gin and Tonic’; Dodd’s Gin and house tonic flavoured with black cardamom, bay leaf, lavender, raspberry, cassia and chinchona served in a medicinal style bottle, complete with a bespoke label. The gin itself has subtle juniper on the nose with fresh raspberry lingering around near the end. Warm on the start of the palate, developing a slight spice with honey thick texture. The juniper is more dominant alongside dashes of lime zest. Short, sharp bursts on the long finish. Perfect for the home-made tonic. Sitting in the back room of the bar, it’s hard not to walk around and check out the nooks and crannies that the guys from Fluid Movement have inserted. Its idea and concept really do transport you back to Victorian era, and a shame to most to leave. But leave me must, and ventured to our last outing of the gin journey.

Callooh Callay, with its extensive back bar, complete with cubby-hole’s of bottles nestled into the walls, is a venue that I’ve always wanted to visit, and didn’t disappoint. When you are served one of Leon’s signature brands, Martin Miller’s, and hear of the thought and legacy that the now unfortunately, recently passed away Martin Miller had, it makes you truly appreciate the effort that producers put in to impress both sides of the bar. For example, once Martin Miller’s has been distilled with the likes of Tuscan juniper, cassia bark, angelica, Florentine orris, coriander, Seville citrus peel, nutmeg, cinnamon and liquorice root, it is then shipped to Iceland, where it is mixed with Icelandic spring water. The gin, the London Dry variety, has a dominating citrus notes on the nose, but subtle floral aromas follow slowly. Rather mellow on the palate, with a slight dryness. It gives off some interesting citrus flavours with juniper overtones with a hint of peppercorn on the odd occasion. A slow-fading after-taste of floral and citrus. To cap the evening off, and a first for me, we were presented with a Converse shoe, which within had crushed ice holding our final drink, ‘The Curious Gincident about the Grog and the High-Top’; Martin Miller’s Gin, rosehip cordial, fresh grapefruit juice, topped with prosecco.

Elephant GinIt only took a few hours, but I had experienced five bars, two of which I had never heard of before, five gins, one of which I’d never had the chance to sample, and five unique cocktails which I still talk about to Mancunians to this day. The settings were superb, and from a Northern point of view, we have nothing that rivals this. No distilleries within bars, no Victorian themed venues that house bath tubs of gin, no hidden drinking dens featuring artefacts from around the world. I suppose that what makes London stand a part from the rest of the UK, but to be fair, I would tip my hat any day towards them. Each venue was relatively busy, on a Tuesday of all days, yet the service was spot on, and our host in Leon made sure than nothing was too much trouble. And  you know he’s having as much fun as you are when he’s handing out prizes in his pop-quiz in between venues.

Shake Rattle and Stir’s Gin Journey is a fascinating evening, whether you work in the trade or not. And at £50 per person, you know you will be getting a lot more for your money than if you decided to venture out unguided.

Hats off to you Leon.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Beefeater Tasting Notes

Beefeater 24

The Chelsea Distillery is a name that many of you have probably never heard of, but back in the 1820’s, it was big business, and started one of the world’s most famous gin brands – Beefeater.

I’m surprised I’ve never covered Beefeater fully before, and with a presence in most bars, it makes perfect sense to start 2014 off with a look into nearly 200 years of history.

The Chelsea Distillery, located on Cale Street, London, opens under the control of the Taylor family in 1820, but it wouldn’t be until 1862 when the trained pharmacist and tea merchant James Burrough bought the distillery from John Taylor for the sum of £400. The distillery was renowned for its production of liqueurs, and James carried this on to further establish its reputation and customer base (which included Fortnum and Mason). With this, a year later in 1863 saw James Burrough create some of his own distinctive styles of gin.

By 1876, the company stock lists showed an increasing portfolio of gins with brand names such as Ye Old Chelsea and James Burrough London Dry, as well as Old Tom styles. By spending time experimenting, inventing and using new processes, he discovered that blending a particular recipe of botanicals produced a bold, full-flavoured gin, which he ultimately named Beefeater Gin, named after the Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London, also known as ‘Beefeaters’, who have guarded the historic landmark for more than 500 years.
After the almost instant success of the gin, it was soon made the James Burrough Company’s flagship product.

The original Beefeater recipe book dated 1895, specified that nine botanicals are essential (juniper, angelica root, angelica seeds, coriander seeds, liquorice, almonds, orris root, Seville oranges and lemon peel), and used his unique method of steeping the blend of botanicals in the grain alcohol for 24 hours prior to distillation.

In 1908, Beefeater production moved to Hutton Road in Lambeth. The distillery is named after its forerunner, Cale Street to retain its heritage, while production is increased due to the purchase of the latest distilling equipment and demand for the brand. With production increasing even further, Beefeater moved to its present home in Kennington back in 1958 and enlisted English still manufacture John Dore to create a new larger set of copper stills mimicking those of the former Chelsea Distillery.

Five years later, Beefeater accounted for three out of every four bottles of gin imported into the USA and became the only gin on board the maiden voyage of the QE11 to New York. Beefeater remained in the Burrough’s family control until 1987 when it was sold to Whitbread. Another part of the family tree of James Burrough, Christopher Hayman (James was his great-grandfather) joined James Burrough Limited in 1969 and was responsible for the distillation and production of Beefeater until its sale. He retained part of the business and now carries on with Hayman Distillers.

The appointment of current Master Distiller Desmond Payne happened back in 1995 to replace Brian Martin, and 10 years later in 2005, Pernod Ricard acquired Beefeater Gin which resulted in a massive programme of reinvestment to the brand. Today, it is said to be the only globally recognized gin to still be made in London.

2009 saw Desmond Payne, the world’s most experienced gin distiller, create a new expression from Beefeater, the now award-winning super-premium gin Beefeater 24. Desmond stumbled upon a fragment of an old price-list from James Burrough and saw listed products from his days as a tea merchant. With this inspiration, Mr. Payne decided to steep together ten botanicals (grapefruit peel, Seville orange peel, lemon peel, juniper, coriander seed, liquorice, angelica root, angelica seed, almond and orris root) with rare Japanese Sencha tea and aromatic Chinese Green tea for 24 hours. The spirit is then distilled in traditional pot stills for 7 hours.

So, with a stellar history, how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Beefeater London Dry – 40%

A light citrus creates a soft hit on the nose, with juniper following slowly after with a very light hint of spice. A long aftertaste after a more dominant hit of lemon citrus on the palate.

Beefeater 24 – 45%

Soft on the nose with plenty of grapefruit coming through. Incredibly soft on the palate, with small bursts of liquorice, grapefruit, orange and the heat from coriander. Creates a long, lingering finish with a little tingle to remind you.

Both stunning on their own, but equally you could ask your bartender for one of these –

Blushing Tease
Blushing Tease

Blushing Tease

Glass –

Punch Bowl and Cups

Ingredients –

60 ml Beefeater London Dry
30 ml Lemon juice (fresh)
30 ml Sugar syrup
15 ml Lemon sherbet
120 ml Green tea
8 Fresh raspberries
Dash orange bitters
Dash Maraschino liqueur

Method – 

Put all the ingredients in a shaker and muddle gently. Then shake with rock ice and pour over ice in a glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint, fresh raspberries and a wedge of lemon.
These quantities serve 2 but can be easily increased for larger groups.

or

24 Fruit Tea Cup
24 Fruit Tea Cup

24 Fruit Tea Cup

Glass – 

Large Wine Glass

Ingredients –

60 ml Beefeater 24
20 ml Lillet Blanc
15 ml Lemon juice
75 ml Earl Grey tea (chilled and sweetened)

Method – 

Build all ingredients over ice in the glass and garnish with seasonal fruit and a mint sprig.

There’s also another new expression, which was released in 2013, named Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve where they age there specially distilled small batch spirit in casks previously used for Jean de Lillet. A great portfolio, and one that although you may see a lot of in bars, there’s a simple reason why – they’re actually pretty good. One for your cabinet at home for sure.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Chivas Brothers Challenges Convention With Launch of Beefeater’s Burrough’s Reserve

Burrough's Reserve

“The gin for free thinkers”

 

Beefeater, the world’s best-selling and most awarded premium gin*, is expanding the boundaries of the gin category with the launch of Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve; a hand-crafted, ultra premium gin unlike any other. Distilled in a small historic copper still from the 19th Century, the spirit is then uniquely rested in Jean de Lillet oak barrels. With its complex character, Burrough’s Reserve should then be sipped neat, presenting a new experience for those seeking to explore the world of premium quality gin.

Produced by Master Distiller Desmond Payne using the original Beefeater recipe refined by Beefeater’s founder James Burrough in the 1860s, Burrough’s Reserve is distilled by hand using Burrough’s original copper “Still Number 12”, combining Beefeater’s distilling heritage with modern innovation to create this category-first expression.

With a capacity of only 268L, Still Number 12 produces small batches of sophisticated spirit with its own intriguing character.  The batches are so limited that each bottle of Burrough’s Reserve displays its batch and bottle number on the label.

Burrough’s Reserve is the only gin to have ever been rested in Jean de Lillet oak barrels, each of which has been hand-selected by Desmond Payne. The result of the resting period is a remarkable transformation, imbuing the gin with the subtle characteristics of the oak and residual Jean de Lillet, with a look of liquid gold. With similarities to a fine single malt or barrel-aged rum, Burrough’s Reserve is recommended to be served neat, with its long and complex finish encouraging the drinker to linger over the liquid, allowing the subtle citrus flavours to develop, which lead on to juniper before finishing on gentle spice.

The first permanent addition to the Beefeater range since the launch of Beefeater 24 in 2008, only a limited amount of Burrough’s Reserve will be released annually, presented in a distinctive and eye-catching glass bottle, embossed with botanical shapes.

Beefeater Master Distiller, Desmond Payne, comments: “After 45 years in the drinks industry, I wanted to create something truly unique that celebrated the distilling heritage of Beefeater. I had been interested in resting gin for a while and knew that if the cask was right, we could make a really exciting new gin that changed people’s perceptions of the spirit. I felt that the use of Jean de Lillet casks and Still Number 12 would introduce a new character to the gin, elevating it to a place that had not been explored before. I expect Burrough’s Reserve to appeal to free thinking individuals who enjoy challenging convention and exploring new sensory experiences with gin.”

Paco Recuero, Global Brand Director for Beefeater Gin, says: “Beefeater is known for its consistent, excellent quality and, with the launch of Burrough’s Reserve, we’re excited to be continuing to establish ourselves as the leader of innovation within the gin category. Burrough’s Reserve is going to redefine how we drink and enjoy gin, and we are confident that gin enthusiasts – and those who enjoy new drinking experiences – will embrace this unique drink and help to make it a worldwide success.”

 Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve is bottled at 43% ABV and will be available in Spain from June 2013, before rolling out into other key markets such as the UK and US. The launch will be supported in local markets through a range of marketing initiatives, including a consumer mentoring programme that will highlight the association between Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve and free-thinking.

The Bombay Spirits Company Flavour Experience

 

Some of you may have heard of a category named ‘gin‘. If you’ve ever decided to research into this category a bit more, you will probably learn the art of distillation, and the various forms around that can produce this versatile product. But have you ever though about categorising gin by aroma? When was the last time you had a gin over ice and took the opportunity to waft those botanicals through the nostrils? That’s the question that the Bombay Spirits Company has been asking as they’ve made their way around the UK with their Flavour Experience.

Sean Ware talking about production methods

Sam Carter and Sean Ware, the Bombay Sapphire brand ambassadors, rolled into Epernay, Manchester today to teach us the understanding of the botanicals you can find not only in Bombay Sapphire, but in other gin brands as well. We would also explore the history of Bombay itself, as well as its production methods and iconic blue-bottle. So with no hesitation needed, and to wet the whistle of the rather sizeable group of bartenders and industry figures, a round of Aviation’s were created whilst we made our way from the bar to Epernay’s rather grand setting of floor to ceiling windows, draped lighting and empty champagne bottles neatly dotted around for decoration. Each table was set out to include an aroma kit, a book on Bombay Sapphire and 10 champagne flutes with samples of both clear and coloured liquids. The kits and samples would have to wait though as Sean and Sam talked about the gin category in general, the trends that bartenders have seen in the last few years and what consumers seem to look for when ordering both gin and a gin based cocktail. Names of classic gin cocktails were shouted out, including Negroni, Tom Collins, Gin and Tonic and the Martini, whilst only the Bramble could be thought of as a more recent addition to the list, something Sean and Sam said that ultimately gave gin cocktails the perfect example of drinks that stand the test of time.

The aroma kit was then introduced. The creator of this unique idea was by a gentleman named Dr. George Dodd of the Aroma Academy, an aroma scientist and bio-chemist as well as a Master Perfumer, and he selected 24 different vials, each with a unique aroma, that gives the clearest indication to both bartenders and consumers what actually makes each gin so unique. Each vial is numbered 1-24 with a label displaying the botanical inside. We started with the first four vials, each containing a different style of juniper. Using scent sticks, we dipped the ends into each and discussed the dominant aroma that hit the nose first. We were also asked to describe any trigger memory scents, for example, the second vial housed green juniper, yet it reminded me of fresh leather. With the nosing of the four juniper scents, we then worked out which of the two spirit samples from our tasting mat was created using juniper vapour, and which was created using juniper that was steeped and distilled. Vials of violet, orange, forest floor and pepper were then nosed so we could get a better understanding of citrus, dry root, spice and floral, again trying to see if the aromas found triggered any memory scents (rather odd to find the scent of forest floor reminding me of a garden centre!). We then nosed and tasted two more samples from our tasting mat, this time a blend of coriander, juniper, angelica and liquorice. Again we had to differentiate between a spirit that had been steeped and distilled or mixed after a vapour process. The results found that after being created using vapour, it had a clean, more bold flavour hit to the nose, compared to a smooth, buttery, creamy texture given from the steeped and distilled method.

The range of spirit samples

Our tasting mat also housed 4 different gin’s, where using our senses and new-found understanding of aromas, we had to pick out the flavours from each. Below you can find my tasting notes on each of the four –

1 – Beefeater – 40%

A light citrus creates a soft hit on the nose, with juniper following slowly after with a very light hint of spice. A long aftertaste after a more dominant hit of lemon citrus on the palate.

2. Bombay Original Dry – 40%

A slow nose of nutmeg and forest floor blend well whilst on the palate you get a slight hit of citrus that creates a very short soft, yet dry and subtle spice end.

3. Bombay Sapphire – 40%

A slight pepper, yet very light and floral mix on the nose, with a hint of harshness on the palate that evolves into a bold mix of juniper and citrus. Very smooth on the aftertaste though.

4. Hendrick’s – 41.4%

Small mixes of cucumber, rose and juniper on the nose whilst a clean and crisp hit of citrus and cucumber on the after-taste.

Our last aromas of the day were two samples, one was a juniper macerated (steeped) in alcohol for 6 hours, whilst the second was the same process, yet for 24 hours. Despite only 18 hours between them, the first sample had a nose of elderberries and a strong sweetness to it, yet the second was a lot more heavy with an intense elderberry aroma.

After a short break, we reconvened to hear from Sean and Sam the history of Bombay itself.

The Bombay Sapphire aroma kit

In 1761, Thomas Dakin of Warrington was born, where at the age of 24, purchased a site on Bridge Street with the passion to creating gin. With an ideal location between Liverpool and Manchester, the ease of transportation with the newly dug canals, as well as the A1 of London to Edinburgh, Thomas Dakin released what was then known as ‘Warrington Gin’. Over the years, new technology was sought regularly, including in 1831 where a new copper pot still was purchased, resulting in one of the earliest Carterhead stills. A perforated basket created the process called Vapour Infused which was used to create a smooth and more refined spirit to rival the French imports of the time. The Dakin family distilled for nearly 100 years until 1860, where they passed on their expertise to two local brewers John and Gilbert Greenall.

Two hundred years after Thomas Dakin first created his gin, an American entrepreneur going by the name of Allan Subin saw the opportunity to develop an English gin into the growing American clientele. During his search of England, he discovered the 1761 recipe of Thomas Dakin and re-created using his method of Vapour Infusion and 8 botanicals. Inspired by his English wife, he chose the image of Queen Victoria to grace each bottle (despite it being illegal to have royal figures on products, because it was exported, Allan Subin was able to get around the law), as well as the name Bombay to signify poise and elegance during the days of the British Raj. 1959 was the year The Bombay Spirits Company was created with the release of Bombay Original.

Gins popularity was waning by the end of the 1970’s, with the new interest of vodka taking over. Michel Roux, an American importer at the time, collaborated with The Bombay Spirits Company to try to re-invent Bombay and catapult it back into the hearts of drinkers.Working with Ian Hamilton (Master Distiller at the time) and using the same distillation method as Bombay Original, they added exotic spice notes which totalled the number of botanicals to 10. Michel Roux also created the iconic blue-bottle that now houses the 1987 launched Bombay Sapphire. Continuing the use of Queen Victoria, he also added the striking picture of the 182 carat sapphire ‘Star of Bombay’ as well as a list of the botanicals used.

In case you’re wondering, the botanicals in Bombay Sapphire are – juniper, coriander, angelica, almonds, cubeb berries, lemon peel, orris, liquorice, cassia bark and grains of paradise.

So with our new-found noses and a history of Bombay itself, the bar beckoned where both Sam and Sean created some fantastic gin based cocktails to say thank you. Below I give you the cocktails created. Enjoy!

Aviation cocktail

Tom Collins

Glass

Collins

Ingredients

25ml lemon juice
50ml Bombay Sapphire
2 tea spoons of caster sugar
Topped with soda

Method

Stir lemon and sugar together in a Collins glass to dissolve, add ice, gin and soda, stir to mix, garnish with a lemon slice.

West Side

Glass

Rocks

Ingredients

40ml Bombay Dry
15ml Martini Dry
20ml lemon
15ml simple syrup
4-6 mint leaves

Method

Shake and strain over cubed ice, garnish with a sprig of mint

Army and Navy

Glass

Gimlet

Ingredients –

40ml Bombay Sapphire
20ml lemon
10ml orgeat

Method –

Shake and double strain, garnish with ‘light shower’ of lemon twist

Aviation

Glass

Martini

Ingredients

50ml Bombay Sapphire
10m Maraschino
2.5ml Creme Violette
15ml lemon juice

Method

Shake quickly and double strain into a Martini glass, garnish with a cherry

Check out the rest of the photos taken at the event here!

© 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.