Tag Archives: gin

International Gin Show Junipalooza Is Back With A Bang At Tobacco Dock

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Calling all gin lovers! Junipalooza, THE international gin event is back and better than ever at Tobacco Dock for World Gin Day. What’s Junipalooza you ask? Let’s break it down, Juni: an abbreviation of Gin’s signature botanical, juniper, and Palooza: a party, celebration or festival. It is the only gin show where gin fans can meet makers and sample unique gins from all over the world is back for 2017, and it’s better than ever before.

Junipalooza returns to London’s Tobacco Dock on the 10th & 11th June, along with 50 distillers flying in from 14 countries including Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and beyond. Now in its fourth year, the fun and inclusive event shines a light on the huge variety of gins in the category, many of which are debuted in the UK at the show.

Unlike other gin events, Junipalooza promises gin stands hosted by the distillers themselves, category-wide masterclasses, music, food, a cocktail bar hosted by the team at Beefeater Gin and of course, hundreds of tasty gins to sample in what promises to be a fun-fuelled experience for 3,000 gin-thirsty fans.

Junipalooza is proud to coincide with World Gin Day on Saturday 10th. With a ticket that includes a FREE sample of gin, there is no better way to celebrate World Gin Day than with distillers from all over the world. New to the show this year is the dedicated masterclass area, a space where ticket holders can sample over 100 gins during one of three sessions held over the weekend.

Sessions run from 11:00-15:00 and 16:00-20:00 on Saturday, and 11:00-16:00 on Sunday. The Gin Kiosk shop will also stock all the exhibiting gins in one convenient spot for ticket holders to purchase. Sessions cost £30 and can be purchased online at junipalooza.com or Eventbrite.

Commenting on the festival, Gin Foundry’s Editor Olivier Ward says: “Junipalooza is a rare opportunity to meet the actual gin-makers, who fly in for the occasion from all over the world just to be there to share their passion. Having them all there in person always creates a very inclusive and fun atmosphere – it’s a true celebration and one that’s a must-do for any gin fan.”

Windspiel

Windspiel
German efficiency is world-renowned within the engineering world, but the last few years has seen it up its game when dabbling into the wider world of spirits, including that of gin. Monkey 47 set the benchmark for the German style of gin, and Windspiel have decided to come across and raise it further, dabbling itself into the potato side of the spirit.

Friends Sandra Wimmeler, Denis Lönnendonker and Tobias Schwoll bought in 2008 the Weilerhof farm in Berlingen, itself within the Volcanic Eifel region of western Germany, where Tobias, with a background in agriculture and a desire to become a farmer, immediately took to tending to the land. The team initially grew Elephant Grass before moving onto potatoes and it was while feasting over the latter one evening, gin in hand, that they apparently hit upon the idea of making a spirit out of their growing supply.

With the likes of Chase Distillery proving that potatoes are a great base for a spirit, the resulting two years had the team craft and develop alongside master distiller Holger Bolchers, who creates the raw alcohol in his home town in Northern Germany.

But how is it all created?

The first step taken is the harvested potatoes by Tobias, which are then sent to Holger, who grinds them up and mixes them with drinking water. The mash (the alcohol producing mash, not the food) is then gently heated to trigger the conversion to sugar, then cooled and mixed with yeast to stimulate the conversion to alcohol. The resulting liquid is distilled twice in a large continuous still to raise the ABV and to purify the spirit. The neutral spirit is further finished in a small 150lt still to add a final dose of smoothness.

To create the gin itself, each botanical element (including juniper, lemon zest, coriander, lavender blossom, ginger and cinnamon) is added to the spirit separately and then distilled as individual components. After a few weeks of resting, the team blend these distillates together, before adding further spirit and cutting to bottling strength, producing around 800 bottles per run.

And the name itself? Here’s an extract from the Windspiel website to explain;

“. . . . . the four friends remembered a visit to a woman in the neighbouring village. At that time, they were new to the village and everyone wanted to know who these four newcomers were. Sandra, Denis, Rebecca and Tobias did not want to be impolite and were happy to take up her invitation. She told them plenty about the surrounding area, about old Mr Weiler who used to own the farm, and the later it got, the further back she went in German history. Eventually, when it was getting quite late, the lady began talking about King Frederick the Great of Prussia. According to her, he was supposed to have met Leopold Joseph Graf von Daun in 1757 and talked about the Eifel „Tartoffel“ or potato. Frederick the Great was very impressed. So impressed that he had the idea of conjuring up something special from this fine tuber – creating an exquisite liquor would have been the crowning achievement of his life‘s work. Unfortunately, it didn‘t turn out that way. As they thought about this story, the four friends simply had to laugh. But still, what if it were true? They wanted to establish the facts and researched everything they could find on Frederick the Great. The dog lover, Sandra, was particularly enthusiastic about his passion for greyhounds. He even wanted to be buried with them. Her enthusiasm was contagious and quickly spread to the others and this is how they linked one passion with another. They called their exquisite liquor: Windspiel Premium Dry Gin. Dedicated to Frederick the Great, who discovered the potato in Germany and his second great passion: the greyhound, or in German „Windspiel”.

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

Windspiel – 47%

Fresh, subtle notes of lemon, lavender and coriander upon the nose, following onto the palate nicely as it coasts alongside the smooth potato spirit. A slight earth note, with waxy lemon peel, juniper and bark, finishing with a lingering spice freshness.

A stunning gin to drink neat or over ice, and at 47% abv, can stand up to a simple gin and tonic;

Windspiel

Highly recommended for your drinks cabinet at home, both as a talking point amongst the gin category, and the base within its own branded gin and tonic!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

 

BrewDog’s Spirits Brand LoneWolf Launches With Category Challenging Design By B&B studio

Lone Wolf
Maverick brewer BrewDog has unveiled its spirits brand LoneWolf, with design by B&B studio.

Pared back and minimalist, the design flies in the face of convention and reflects the brand’s aim to operate as an outsider within the sprits category. A simple stripped-back label features across the gin and vodka bottles in defiance of category codes with the wolf’s head identity its sole adornment.

Code breaker

B&B studio worked to communicate LoneWolf’s rebellious approach to the spirits category in the design, as the brand seeks to challenge perceptions of what gin and vodka can be.
The production process at LoneWolf takes place on one site, from grain to bottle, as opposed to spirit and botanicals being bought in, then mixed together. Every part of the brand is created from scratch -including the bespoke bottle and a specially formulated silicone band.

LoneWolf seeks to hero the spirit before the brand, in a stance that goes against the grain in the craft industry. This anti-marketing approach, a clear strategy formed for the design, is reflective of both product purity and the brand’s deliberately defiant stance. Shaun Bowen, Creative Partner at B&B studio, says: “LoneWolf goes against the pack and ignores the codes of the category, allowing us to tell their brand story in an eye catching and compelling way.”

Revolutionary spirit

The unassuming label, which is held onto the bottle with a silicone band, features a modest typewriter font, imperfect and intimate, inspired by the notes made by a distiller in the creation of spirits. It also features the brand’s LoneWolf identity, a wolf distilled down to its purest geometric elements.

The back of the bottle sports embossed LoneWolf type. And twelve stories about LoneWolf, on themes such as the taste and process, written by the brand, appear on the inside of the label.

Bowen adds: “The packaging has a raw simplicity to reflect the purity of what LoneWolf is doing in the spirits sector. It feels legitimate and authentic, with a scientific quality to it. “Each category has its own design codes but this just turns that all on its head. The vodka and gin look the same – only LoneWolf could do something as revolutionary as this.”

Boodles

Boodles Mulberry

Standing out in the ever-growing gin world can be hard work. Staying in can be an even harder task as the consumer trends can waiver at the drop of a hat. It’s with this that I take a look at a gin that I’ve worked with on the odd occasion over the last few years, but never really sat down to take an in-depth look.

So, here goes.

Despite only hitting the shelves since June 2013, Boodles Gin is associated with the likes of Ian Fleming and Winston Churchill due to its history stretching back to 1845. Named after the Pall Mall Gentleman’s Club called Boodles, over time it became increasingly hard to find here in the UK. Resurrected by G&J Distillers, it continues to be different in not including any citrus botanicals on the assumption that it will always be served with lemon or lime.

The gin itself? British wheat spirit base with non-citrus led botanicals including nutmeg, sage and rosemary. But it’s not the original I want to focus on today, it’s their Mulberry expression.
Paying homage to the mulberry tree, a familiar site in the English countryside, they’ve taken the opportunity to feed a fresh interpretation of the more traditional sloe gin. Made with mulberries, the Boodles gin itself and a blend of natural ingredients, Boodles Mulberry became the first ever Mulberry expression to hit America.

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

Boodles Mulberry – 30%

Thin notes of fresh raspberry and soft currents upon the nose, with a silky texture offering upon the palate. Slightly dry, the fresh kicks of soft berry create a sweet, warm finish that lasts long on the finish.

A tasty tipple on its own, a fizz concoction should not go unnoticed;

Boodles - Mulberry Fizz
Mulberry Fizz

Glass – 

Coupe / Collins

Ingredients – 

60 ml Boodles Mulberry
30 ml Lemon Juice
2 Mint Leaves
Soda Water

Method – 

Combine Mulberry gin, lemon juice and mint in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice and top with soda water.

A great variation on the berry styled gin liqueurs on the market, and one that seems to offer flexibility in how it can be consumed! One to offer a space to in your drinks cabinet. 

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

 

Finalists Announced at Northern Restaurant & Bar Cocktail Competition with Whitley Neill Dry Gin

Whitley Neill - Gin and Tonic

Finalists announced for the Northern Restaurant & Bar’s annual cocktail competition, sponsored by Whitley Neill Dry Gin, with the chance to win a once in a lifetime VIP visit to South Africa.

Competitors have been asked to submit one unique drink, containing a minimum of 35 ml of any Whitley Neill Dry Gin expression, and adding inspiration of the gin’s South Africa influence.

Four finalists, chosen by a blind judging panel of gin experts including founder Johnny Neill, have been chosen, and they include;

Thomas Gedney-Higham, Bibi’s Italianissimo, Leeds
Bettina Kovacs, Dishoom, Edinburgh
Jenny Griffiths, Ten Mill Lane, Cardiff
Lükas Alberti, Three Six Six (Battersea), London

Each finalist will be invited to the final of the competition at Northern Restaurant & Bar in Manchester on Wednesday 22nd March 2016 at 3:15pm. The competition is hosted by Dave Marsland aka Drinks Enthusiast and Halewood Wines & Spirits, the distributors for Whitley Neill Dry Gin, and compared by spirit writer Joel Harrison.

The winner will visit South Africa in late 2017 as the guest of Whitley Neill Dry Gin, which has previously beaten off the challenge from the World’s finest gin brands by winning gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014. The visit will also include a 1 day safari.

Northern Restaurant & Bar is the biggest hospitality show in the North. The show’s Spirit Room is the largest curated selection of spirit brands on show outside London. As well as the Casco Viejo cocktail competition, the Drinks Live theatre features a line-up of tutored tastings and masterclasses from some of the best names in the business. Tickets are free to anyone actively working in the hospitality industry, register now at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk/webtickets

Beefeater 24 To Launch A Stylish New Look

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Beefeater, the world’s most awarded gin*, has unveiled a sophisticated new bottle design for Beefeater 24. The new red glass bottle reflects the product’s super-premium quality and will increase its visibility on shelf.

The super premium gin category has seen a continued period of growth and the new bottle has been developed in response to evolving consumer demand. The sleek design will make the product stand out against competitors while reinforcing the differences between Beefeater 24 and Beefeater Dry. It will also help Beefeater to attract new consumers looking to explore the super premium gin category. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of the 20th Century, the decoration mirrors the super premium gin’s 12 botanicals, which were carefully selected by Master Distiller Desmond Payne following two years of experimentation. The filigree on the bottle is unique to the Royal Dalton factory that was located next to the original Beefeater distillery.

The bottle’s eye-catching red colour pays homage to one of the UK’s oldest crown jewels, the 170-carat Black Prince’s Ruby centrepiece in the Imperial State Crown. Similarly to Beefeater, the history of the precious stone is intertwined with the Tower of London and the Yeoman Warders who guard it. The figure of a Beefeater has been introduced alongside the authentic signature from Beefeater founder, James Burrough. The Tower of London raven, which is historically said to protect the crown, is clearly visible on both the front and reverse of the bottle.

Global Brand Director for Beefeater, Eric Sampers, comments: “Our new Beefeater 24 design will capture the consumer’s attention, with a striking red colour which makes it clearly stand out from its competitors. Beefeater 24 is a very special gin – created by the world’s most experienced Gin Master Distiller, Desmond Payne – and we want people to know just from looking at the bottle that there is a high-quality liquid inside. The updated look will appeal to consumers who are keen to explore the growing super-premium gin category as well as existing Beefeater 24 fans.”

The new bottle design for Beefeater 24 has been available in Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Sweden, Netherlands and France since October, with a revised RRP at 39USD. It was then rolled out to Andorra, Portugal, Germany, Thailand and USA in November and Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, UK and South Africa in time for Christmas in December.

North East Distillery Launch First Gin of Limited Edition Range

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Poetic License Independent Small Batch Distillery kick off range of one-off spirit products ‘The Rarities’ with an Orange Blossom Gin.

As you would expect from the name, this gin offers a strong aroma of orange and is zesty, refreshing yet floral on the palate. It’s slightly sweeter than a typical gin with its hints of vanilla and a lingering citrus finish.

The Rarities are set to be a one batch distillation of whatever the creative chaps at Poetic License fancy making. There will only be a few hundred bottles of each and when they’re gone, they really are gone!

“We like to indulge in our creative side and wanted drinkers to be able to enjoy more of our experimental concoctions with us. Hence, The Rarities was born” explains Luke Smith, Poetic License’s distiller.

“Orange Blossom is a beautiful flavour that we knew we wanted to use. We experimented with it in vodka but actually felt the flavour sat very well in with the juniper of gin. It’s an uplifting drink that stirs up the vibes of the lighter, warmer months. It drinks really well with Mediterranean tonic and an orange peel and rosemary garnish.”

Located in the North East, Poetic License Independent Small Batch Distillery launched in 2015. They make their award-winning spirits on 500L still, Gracie, which is based in a bar of the same name. They have 3 core products (Northern Dry Gin at 43.2%, Old Tom Gin at 41.6% and Graceful Vodka at 40.4%) and well as always having a seasonal offering available; at the moment, this is their Fireside Gin with flavours of mulled winter fruits.

Future products for The Rarities are still under-wraps but Luke did say “We have lots of ideas, so keep your eyes on our social media for more information and, if you see them, make sure you grab them while you can!”

Orange Blossom Gin Rarity will be available to from the start of February with pre-orders now being taken.

Buy online now at http://www.poeticlicensedistillery.co.uk or for trade sales enquiries please contact Beth Race on 0191 5103564 or beth@poeticlicensedistillery.co.uk

Poetic License

poetic-license
One of the main brands to cause a stir over the last 12 months originates from the North East of England, Sunderland to be exact, the home of Poetic License Distillery.

Started up by Mark Hird, a figurehead of the leisure trade for 20 years, the seeds were sown back in 2012 when Mark saw the opportunity in growing a business that could reach both the local and national community, opening a microbrewery in 2012 and naming it Sonnet 43, after the famous poem of Elizabeth Barrett Browning who was born a stone’s throw from the brewery site.

Knowing the rise of micro distilling after visiting distilleries in South Africa, he looked to Luke Smith, a man who had started his career at Sonnet 43 brewery, to help him plan and operate a new distillery. After several experiments and distilling courses, on January 4th 2015 the project became official and Luke moved to begin working within the Roker Hotel (now known as Poetic License Distillery Bar and Soul Food), one of Mark’s venues, as a full time gin distiller and using a 5 litre still to produce trial recipes.

It took 7 months to create a London Dry Gin as well as a rough Old Tom Gin within Gracie, the fist copper still to be sourced from China. The 500 litre hybrid allows the use of her as both a pot still and a column still. For their gin, hand-crushed botanicals are macerated for 24 hours and then boiled to gently and gradually release their flavours, whilst the vodka, using British wheat as the spirit base, is distilled 7 times.

This feature though won’t be focusing on their Northern Dry, Old Tom or Graceful Vodka, but their new Fireside Gin, the distillery’s limited edition gin available for autumn/ winter that focuses on ‘Mulled Winter Fruit and Juniper’. It is their second seasonal and comes following the success of their first – Picnic Gin, a strawberries and cream flavoured gin which was available throughout the summer of 2016.

poetic-license-fireside-gin-and-tonic
Poetic License Fireside
– 40.1%

Subtle saffron and orris come through on the nose, followed by clove and nutmeg scents. Mulled flavours of clementine, stemmed cherry and cranberry are present on the palate, with soft cinnamon and orange peel bringing a warm finish to the table.

A great gin to serve straight over ice in front of the fire, but one of these will still work well for a refreshing mulled long drink, with the team suggesting “to be enjoyed while cosying up around glowing amber warmth of the fireplace. Pour over large chunks of ice with premium tonic and garnish with cranberries.”

Be rude not to add this to your drinks cabinet now, and these cold nights don’t seem to be easing up anytime soon!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

Foxhole

foxhole-gin
Normally, grapes would be closely associated with wine, Champagne and brandy if used to create alcohol, but the steady need to explore ahead of the usual limits, gin and its floral complexities creates an ideal category to invoke the use of a variety of grape styles.

G’Vine and Ciroc are your two commonly seen brands that use grapes for their base ingredient, but the UK has entered the fray with their first gin to be made from English-grown grapes, created by Sam Linter and James Oag-Cooper.

The South East of England offers a climate suitable for both still and sparkling wines, with English wine producer Bolney Wine Estate a leading name. Due to their shared focus on quality and sustainability, Foxhole Spirits have partnered with the team at Bolney Wine Estate to create Foxhole Gin.

But how do we create such a product?

The end of summer see’s the grapes picked and ready to head to the winery for pressing. Not all the grape material is used for wine production though, with by-products and unused grape juice being left behind, becoming the inspiration for the gin. Once the grapes are bought to the winery, they are placed in the press and would normally go through one cycle which would extract the juice for wine production, leaving between 30-40% of the juice in the grapes. The remaining grape material would be thrown away, but now, the process has changed and it see’s a second pressing occur after the first press has been collected. This extracts more of the grape juice, which is collected in a stainless steel tank.

Within the tank, yeast is added and the juice ferments into an English Wine. Once complete, the wine is drawn from the tank and delivered to the distillery in Albury, Surrey where it is added in small batches to a 350 litre copper pot still. Then, the first of two stages occur.

To create an English grape spirit, the wine is heated using steam from a wood fired boiler, resulting in a high percentage spirit being distilled. The second stage involves the process of adding the botanicals (Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Seed, Orris Root, Liquorice Root, Bitter Orange, Fresh Lemon Zest, Fresh Grapefruit Zest) to the distilled wine spirit for 48 hours maceration. The spirit is then added back into the still for a second time and distilled with the botanicals present.

Once distilled, the gin has natural on-site spring water added to it, before being bottled and labelled. Named after the Foxhole Vineyards and Foxhole Lane, the location where Foxhole Spirits is based, lets see what the finished result is like –

Foxhole – 40%

Very light on the nose, with subtle aromas of peach, zest of grapefruit and fresh juniper coming through. Smooth as it hits the palate, becoming slightly intense as the grapefruit and lemon zest come together. Rich grape flavours follow, with the coriander bringing a warm, lingering finish.

A delicate offering that is one to be enjoyed over ice, crystal cut glass, and a healthy measure. One for the drinks cabinet as we head into Spring.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

 

 

Ditch Your Resolutions In Style At Slug And Lettuce

slug-and-lettuce
With New Year’s Resolutions beginning to be a thing of the past, a leading bar chain, the Slug and Lettuce are offering guests the opportunity to ditch them in sophistication with fantastic offers this January*.

Available at Slug and Lettuces throughout the country, the chain of bars will be providing customers the opportunity for a guilt-free celebration with a selection of 10 drinks available, all below 100 calories. What’s more, they are all available at the minimal cost of £3.50. Whether it be a refreshing Gordons Gin and Tonic or a delicious Absolut Vanilla and Diet Coke, there will be something for all.

For those looking for more than a drink, there are also an array of food options available, set to whet anyone’s appetite. The signature ‘Fast & Fresh’ section of the menu will be on hand for all with a complimentary 20% discount on top. The selection of dishes take inspiration from around the globe, with the likes of a Superfood Salad, BBQ Pulled Pork Burrito or Noodle Boxes set to ignite the taste buds.
Full list of Slug and Lettuce January deals*:

· £3.50: Whitley Neill Gin and Bottle Green Light Tonic, Gordons Gin and Bottle Green Light Tonic, Havana Club 3yr and Diet Coke, Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum and Diet Coke, Midori and Bottle Green Light Tonic, Disaronno and Diet Coke, Tia Maria and Diet Coke, Smirnoff and Bottle Green Light Tonic and Absolut Vanilla and Diet Coke.

· £4.50: Beck’s Blue non-alcoholic beer and 125ml Prosecco

· Dishes for £5: Chicken Salad, Classic Burger, Chicken & Bacon Club, Butternut Squash Lasagne and Bacon, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich at the following sites: Reading, Brentwood, Nottingham Cornerhouse, St Albans, Fetter Lane and Epsom.

· Dishes for £5: Cottage Pie, Chilli Con Carne, Butternut Squash Lasagne, Steak Sandwich and Southern Fried Chicken Wrap at the following sites: Huddersfield, Beckenham, Derby, Chelmsford, Hove and Southampton.

Deal runs from Tuesday 3rd January to 31st January 2017.

*£20% off Fast & Fresh menu at 67 Slug & Lettuce’s throughout the country. Not including the following sites: Wilmslow, Marlow, South Woodford, Weybridge, Salisbury, Clapham, Fareham, Southend, Derby and Southampton. Not to be used in conjunction with any other promotion or offer.