Morrison Bowmore Whisky Tasting at Kro Bar

Last night was the return of the monthly whisky tastings held at Manchester’s Kro Bar. This time Morrison Bowmore Distilleries were the guests, bringing with them Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch.

Again for those of you who don’t know what Kro Bar is, they’re a Danish family business who specialise in Danish food and beer. A popular idea in the Manchester area, they’ve expanded from 1 outlet to 5 in the space of 10 years.

Our host for the evening was Paul, with help from Tim who represented their UK distributor Cellar Trends.

Now many regulars who follow me might well recognise the word Auchentoshan, having visited their distillery back in January. However, the great thing about these whisky tastings is that you get the chance to try the rest of the range, which in my case, was to add the Auchentoshan Classic to my repertoire. I have sold the Bowmore range from my work at Casa Tapas Bar & Grill, and Glen Garioch is a whisky that I’ve never come across in my travels. So armed with Paul’s exciting enthusiasm, myself and Dalia of The Circle 360  got stuck into our first offering – Auchentoshan Classic.

Our range for the evening

Auchentoshan Classic – 40%

Matured in first filled American bourbon barrels, it gave off a light, delicate vanilla scent on the nose, with white fruit coming through near the end. The palate enjoys a sweet vanilla, with a fresh citrus flavour that creates a lingering aftertaste.

Auchentoshan Three Wood – 43%

Matured in three different cask types, American bourbon to Spanish Oloroso sherry and finishing in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, a nose of sweet orange and raisin with blackcurrant. The palate has some dry fruitness with fresh lemon and butterscotch resulting in a long oak finish.

Bowmore 12yr – 40%

A pre dinner whisky from the oldest Isle distillery in Scotland, a heavy nose of burnt peat blended with chocolate follows on the palate with a deep, smokyness balanced out with flavours of lemon and honey.

Bowmore 15yr – 43%

Finished for three years in a Oloroso sherry butt, it creates a light, fruity nose with raisin aromas and a slight smoke note. Treacle flavours on the palate, again with a slight smokyness with a short finish.

Glen Garioch OB Founder’s Reserve – 48%

A light, corn led aroma on the nose, with sweet vanilla, fresh green fruit and citrus on the palate that creates a fresh finish.

Glen Garioch 12yr – 48%

A mix of fudge and pear blend well on the nose to create a sweet offering. The palate is rather sharp to begin with but mellows quickly. Ripe banana moves to a slight smoke and salt flavour with the pear notes coming through at the end.

Delicious Kro Bar burger

To compliment the whisky selection, the Head Chef at Kro Bar created us all a traditional beef burger with chips. Simple, but effective!

So another thoroughly enjoyable event in which we were able to sample a good range of Scotland, visiting the Lowlands, Highlands and Isla.  Personal highlights were the Auchentoshan Three Wood and Glen Garioch OB Founder’s Reserve.

Hopefully I’ll be at next months whisky tasting, where 6 more whiskies will be on offer to a crowd that is steadily rising as the months go by. Care to join me?

Check out the previous Kro whisky tastings 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.

Elbow’s ‘build a rocket boys!’ Tasting Notes

Last month, the Manchester band Elbow launched a brand new ale, ‘build a rocket boys!’. Working with Stockport based Robinson’s Brewery and named after their recent album, the band created a media buzz at the recent Manchester Food and Drink Festival as they themselves pulled the first few pints in the Robinson’s beer tent. I myself have been enjoying Elbow’s new ale in the various Kro bars dotted around Manchester, but I wanted to wait until the bottle version arrived on my doorstep until I reviewed this golden bitter.

‘build a rocket boys!’  has been created to Elbow’s own specifications. The band enjoyed a series of beer tastings at the brewery where they sampled a range of Robinsons’ ales to shortlist their preferred style of beer, taste and colour. Elbow’s finished product was decided on a golden ale with a rich rounded body, smooth bitterness, with a subtle tang of malt and fruity aroma. It created a golden premium session bitter with a strength of 4.0% ABV.  The nose enjoys a slight bitterness with fresh hops mellowing their way down your sinuses. The palate gets a slow burst of sweet fruit with only a hint of bitterness on the tongue. A fresh, slight citrus note, lasts long on the after-taste with malt flavour staying on your lips. A lack of dryness means you can enjoy two or three of these during a night, and it’s not too heavy to stomach.

Robinson’s recently sent out a press release stating that “Robinsons report brisk trade of the beer with several supermarkets across the North West ordering extra stock of ‘build a rocket boys’, to keep up with demand. Elbow and Robinsons officially launched the beer at the recent Manchester Food and Drink Festival and the ale has gone on to be a big hit with music and beer fans alike. Two of Manchester’s most iconic drinking establishments, Kro Bar and The Castle, have already requested a second helping of the beer after pumps quickly ran dry.”

And to be fair, I can see why. I’ve met numerous people, both ale and non ale drinkers, who have enjoyed the new sensation, and with it rolling out into supermarkets, it can only get bigger.

Robinsons Brewery will also donate a significant percentage of all profits raised by the sale of ‘build a rocket boys!’ beer to Oxfam’s Famine Appeal.

This is an ale you really need to try.

To purchase ‘build a rocket boys!’, click here

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2011. 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.

Manchester Food & Drink Festival

Friday the 7th was the start of the annual Manchester Food & Drink Festival which was centred around the town halls Albert Square as well as a variety of bars and restaurants in the city centre. To start the festival off, the Greater Manchester Real Ale and Veltins Oktoberfest had their tents ready to promote a good range of local and international ales, cider and even a hog roast on a rainy morning! So with all this in mind, myself and a friend of mine made our way there to experience the best the North West has to offer!

First up for me was the Stockport based Robinsons and their Double Hop (5%) which was rich, with a good balance of hops bitterness and flavour. A citric yet malty finish lingered around with a slight dryness. This was a great starter ale and an easy drinker!
My friend enjoyed a Ginger and Cinnamon Warm Cider which went down very well. Not too sure what the recipe was but I imagine it was the simplicity of mixing ginger, cinnamon and apple cider together! Crazy I know but it works well on a rainy Friday!

Next up for me was Prospect Breweries ‘Nutty Slack’ (3.9%). A dark and very malty mild ale that had subtle hints of liquorice. A slight bitterness ended this rather smooth brew. Robinson’s Ginger Ale was the next port of call for my friend after I’ve raved about it ever since I first tried it! You can check out the tasting notes for the ginger variety here – https://drinksenthusiast.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/old-tom-range-of-strong-ales-tasting-notes/

Whilst she was finishing off the ginger ale, I tried Chorlton’s Marble Brewery ‘Manchester Bitter’ (4.2%). A very light ale with fruity aromas with a slight sweetness on the palate. Great for my sweet-tooth!

We decided to have a walk around what else the festival had to offer and made our way to the main marquee called the ‘Gastro Room’ which held the Chilli Lovers fair. Local producers mixed with Manchester restaurants to showcase exciting dishes as well as samples of various chilli sauces. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of chilli so I’m unable to tell you how this part of the day went, but I can tell you that Kro bar (a Danish venture based in Manchester) had themselves a stall and were creating cocktails involving chilli! Ever one to try something new, we both bought two chilli based drinks – La Vida Loca and Absolut Redhead.

La Vida Loca

The La Vida Loca had pineapple juice shaken with Sailor Jerry and chopped chillies whilst the Absolut Redhead had Absolut Pepper, freshly squeezed lime topped with lemonade and grenadine. Both two very fiery cocktails, especially the Absolut Redhead with its good dose of pepper vodka!

Absolut Redhead

With fire in our mouths we wandered down to St Anne’s Square where there were pop-up stalls selling everything from pastries, fudge, curry and chocolate. One stall that caught my eye was hosted by the Snowdonia Cheese Company, with a rather interesting product named Amber Mist. Why was it interesting? Its whisky cheese! I’m yet to fully try this, but expect a review as soon as I do!

This capped off a great day at the festival, with thumbs up from both myself and my friend!

I’ll be writing up reviews on two trails organised by The Liquorists that were conducted as part of the Food and Drink Festival so stay tuned!
Check out the following sites for more information on the brands mentioned –

Manchester Food & Drink Festival – http://foodanddrinkfestival.com/

Robinson’s Brewery – http://www.frederic-robinson.co.uk/

Prospect Brewery – http://prospectbrewery.org.uk/

Marble Brewery – http://www.marblebeers.co.uk/

Kro Bar – http://www.kro.co.uk/

Snowdonia Cheese Company – http://www.snowdoniacheese.co.uk/

The Liquorists – http://www.wearetheliquorists.com/

 

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and/or 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.