Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship’s (UBC) UK winner has been crowned, with Chelsie Bailey from Red Light bar in Bristol taking this year’s title. Bartenders up and down the country had their skills put to the test – with the 2017 competition seeing entrants quizzed on everything from pouring and nosing, to stock take and tray service.
Chelsie fought off tough competition from over 100 entrants who battled their way through heats in six cities – with the last heat taking place in London on Sunday 14th May. Despite the outstanding efforts of entrants from all areas of the country over three months, it was Chelsie that proved she indeed has the “skills to pay the bills”.
The Ultimate Bartender Championship will now bring together all the global winners at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail – the world’s premiere cocktail festival. Chelsie, along with other winners from around the world will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans, where they will have the opportunity to network with the industry’s most influential personalities and other UBC winners from across the world.
“There is no doubt that it was a hard-fought battle – but it is amazing to see Chelsie win for the UK and head off to Tales of the Cocktail this Summer – it’s going to be epic! UBC is intended to challenge the best bartenders across the UK, and the stiff competition this year proves that it is doing just that” commented Grant Neave, Monkey Shoulder brand amBADASSador.
Following the inaugural launch of Glenfiddich’s search to find the World’s Most Experimental Bartender, Glenfiddich is looking for the next maverick to take the crown. The global search aims to recognise and reward individuals who collaborate with artists outside of the traditional drinks world in order to create a more surprising, inventive drinking experience. The winner will earn a reputation as The World’s Most Experimental Bartender, with their creativity being showcased globally.
Last year, Nathan O’Neill of New York’s NoMad Hotel took the title for his collaboration with Chef John Taube. The pair co-created a new generation of cooked Glenfiddich cocktails, inspired by the sous-vide cooking technique. Sous-vide is a method of cooking under vacuum, locking in moisture and flavour while ensuring an even result. Other collaboration finalists included; ceramics, videography, edible art, cheese making, sound engineering, game creation, cuisine and furniture design.
Following on from the success of last year, the competition requires bartenders to collaborate with a master of another field to co-create something unique, inspired by Glenfiddich. Finalists from countries around the globe, including the UK, will then be invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy in Scotland, where they will compete to win the priceless opportunity of bringing their idea to life, supported by Glenfiddich.
The academy is an intense and immersive three-day experience where the UK’s favourite co-creators will learn how to make whisky from scratch. They will have the exclusive opportunity to absorb knowledge from Glenfiddich’s distillery experts; from the mash man to the cooper, the still man to the malt master; and these extraordinary craftsmen will share the techniques that have made Glenfiddich the most awarded single malt Scotch whisky today; including an opportunity to meet with our malt master, Brian Kinsman.
Armed with fresh knowledge and tools, the collaborative pairs will then refine their innovation ideas in order to pitch to a panel of judges which will include; Director of Prestige UK – Kirsten Grant Meikle, Glenfiddich Global Brand Ambassador – Struan Grant Ralph, Glenfiddich Malt Master – Brian Kinsman and High Snobiety.
2016’s World’s Most Experimental Bartender winner, Nathan O’Neill, comments, “Collaboration has always been my greatest source of inspiration; particularly watching, learning, and developing skills from other crafts – so this competition was an ideal opportunity for me. We re-imagined the food pairings of the Glenfiddich ancestors, and created a dish that transported guests back to the Scottish Highlands of previous generations. This is a hugely exciting opportunity!”
Glenfiddich Global Brand Ambassador, Struan Grant Ralph, comments, “Our award-winning whiskies are sold in the world’s finest bars, existing in a space where the demand for co-creation has never been higher. This competition is an opportunity for maverick bartenders to extend the boundaries of the whisky industry – collaborating with masters outside of their trade to create an entry that meets both of their passions, while meeting the hunger for a serve that challenges the industry norm.”
The search for the next World’s Most Experimental bartender starts now, with the closing date for entries in the UK being the 12th June 2017. The UK finalists will be announced on 19th June 2017 and will be selected by the Glenfiddich UK Brand Team and UK Ambassador Mark Thomson, before competing in the UK Final on the 12th July.
Global Finalists will be announced in September 2017, and will take part in the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy in Scotland in November.
For more details on how to enter and for the full terms and conditions of the competition, please visit http://www.glenfiddich.com/uk/explore/experimental-whisky. All entrants must be over 25 years old and have the flexibility to attend a week-long trip to Scotland in November 2017. There is no cash exchange and the place on the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy is not transferable.
120 years of single malt whisky making history at the Glen Moray distillery, at the heart of Scotland’s Speyside region, is celebrated throughout 2017.
The first drops of spirit ran from the copper pot stills at Glen Moray on the 13th September 1897. Over the last 120 years, just five men have had the honour of being “Master Distiller”. The men who have made Glen Moray great.
The current Glen Moray distillery was originally developed as the Elgin West Brewery in 1830 and produced several local ales before redevelopment into a fully functional single malt distillery sixty-seven years later when The Glen Moray Glenlivet Distillery Company Limited was formed on the 27th January, 1897. Handwritten ledgers show the first spirit run being made on the 13th September, 1897 using all local barley.
The early 1900’s were turbulent times for malt whisky across Scotland, followed by the onset of World War One, enforced constriction of the production of malt whisky by the Pot Still Malt Distillery Association of Scotland in the early 1930’s and World War Two.
Expansion continued during the 1950’s and Glen Moray Single Malt Distillery has recently undertaken expansion works so that the production capacity has grown to 6.5mla. Additional maturation warehouses have been built increasing the storage capacity from 90,000 barrels to 250,000 barrels.
Graham Coull, current Glen Moray Master Distiller, took over the helm in 2005 and continues the tenacious, innovative stewardship, which has remained very much at the heart of the distillery since spirit first flowed from its stills.
To celebrate the 120th Anniversary, Glen Moray are introducing “Mastery” special release crafted by the fifth Master Distiller, Graham Coull, using whisky from five distinctive vintages, matured in a variety of fortified wine casks across the different decades.
Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt whisky, officially launches the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment in the UK on-trade starting with 85 Young’s pubs across London.
The Glenfiddich IPA Experiment is the world’s first single malt Scotch whisky finished in IPA craft beer casks. A collaboration between Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, and Speyside craft brewer, Seb Jones, they worked together to pioneer a new single malt Scotch whisky imbued with zesty citrus and tangy hops from the oak casks that had previously held a bold Speyside IPA.
According to Glenfiddich Senior Brand Manager, Sarah Harding, “Since the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment launched in September 2016 in the off-trade, we have been overwhelmed by the interest from consumers and whisky connoisseurs nationwide due to the unique qualities of this experimental liquid. We are so pleased to be officially launching the Glenfiddich IPA in the UK on-trade with Young’s so more consumers can experience this collaboration between brewer, Seb Jones, and Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman.”
Gillian McLaren, Director of Marketing said “At Young’s we aim to go above and beyond when offering our consumers a range of unique drinks and experiences. We are seeing a growing demand for whisky and as Glenfiddich is one of the most innovative whisky brands in the world, we’re thrilled to be the first managed outlet to stock Glenfiddich IPA across 85 of our pubs. We hope it will appeal to our current whisky drinkers and look forward to educating more consumers on the wonderful world of whisky through our variety of consumer tasting events.”
Young’s will be hosting a number of Glenfiddich IPA Experiment whisky tasting events for customers which will run from 17th January until 17th March 2017. These include:
– January 18th (7pm-9pm): GLENFIDDICH IPA MASTERCLASS @ WHITE BEAR, KENNINGTON
– February 23rd (7pm-9pm): GLENFIDDICH DECONSTRUCTED @ DOG & FOX, WIMBLEDON
Glenfiddich IPA is part of Glenfiddich’s innovative Experimental Series, a new range that combines the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries and its collaborations with trailblazers from the whisky world and beyond.
For Burns Night, multi award-winning Scotch Whisky, Glen Grant, has partnered with The Bon Vivant bar in Edinburgh to create the ‘The Chieftain’, a haggis-infused cocktail named after Robert Burns’ famous description of Scotland’s national dish, the “great chieftain o’ the pudding race”.
Created by Will Cox of The Bon Vivant, The Chieftain’s recipe is inspired by a traditional Burns Supper menu and includes the ingredients found in the occasion’s centerpiece.
Haggis is traditionally made from sheep’s offal (heart, liver and lungs) minced with onion, oatmeal, salt and spices. The Chieftain comprises of an oat-washed Glen Grant 10 Year Old combined with an offal stock syrup to replicate the unique meaty haggis flavour. It is served with a pickled red onion, representing the ‘heart’, a salt and pepper air, representing the ‘lungs’, a turnip cordial, a nod to the famous ‘neeps’ accompaniment, and a haggis rim.
Will Cox said: “The opportunity to team up with one of Scotland’s most iconic whiskies, Glen Grant, to make a Burns Night cocktail was too good to miss. It was very challenging, but we had a lot of fun coming up with The Chieftain and are looking forward to serving it to customers with a haggis bon bon or two on Burns nicht.”
Nick Williamson, Marketing Director Campari UK, said: “With the bard’s birthday being such a well-loved celebration, we want to mark the occasion with the same creativity the man himself approached his work. The bar team at the Bon Vivant has done a remarkable job with The Chieftain and we look forward to raising a glass or two in celebration come the 25th January.”
Glen Grant’s new range of aged single malt Scotch whiskies has continued to turn heads as it secured some of the whisky industry’s most prestigious awards in 2016, including the Glen Grant 10 Year Old winning Best Single Malt Scotch (10 Years and Younger) for the fifth year in a row in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.
THE CHIEFTAIN RECIPE:
Glen Grant 10 year old, oat washed Offal stock glaze Salt and pepper air Pickled red onion Turnip cordial Haggis butter crumb
The Chieftain will be available to buy in The Bon Vivant Bar, 55 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1DY for one night only on 25th January 2016 priced at £9.
Independent family distillers, William Grant & Sons UK has today confirmed that whisky specialist, Alwynne Gwilt will take on the role of UK ambassador for The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch whisky, as of January 2017.
Joining William Grant & Sons UK in January 2016 as Whisky Specialist for the Ancient Reserves portfolio, Alwynne’s new role as The Balvenie UK ambassador will see her focus on generating brand advocacy and bridging communication between the brand and whisky drinkers, bars & restaurants, retailers, distributors and press.
Jonathan Cornthwaite, Head of Whisky at William Grant & Sons UK said: “Alwynne has a deep passion for whisky and the way it is made, which is why she is the perfect person to take on the UK ambassador role for The Balvenie, the most handcrafted single malt. With her wealth of unique experience, Alwynne will play a crucial role as the face of one of William Grant & Sons UK’s core brands. Alwynne will lead from the front to develop key relationships and initiatives to further enhance The Balvenie’s excellent reputation with whisky novices, enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike, as well as with on-trade partners.”
Alwynne Gwilt said: “Many years ago, when I was just beginning my journey in whisky, The Balvenie distillery was one of the very first ones I visited. And because all of the processes are done on-site, it was the first time I really, truly ‘got’ whisky, the first time I understood its underlying heartbeat. I was utterly hooked! As such, I’m thrilled to be coming back to these early roots, to be able to speak about and share my love of this beautifully hand-crafted product with whisky lovers far and wide.”
Alwynne will take over from James Buntin who held the role since 2014.
Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has launched its search for the 2017 Global Chivas Master. Now in its fourth year, the Chivas Masters cocktail competition is built on Chivas’ belief that great bartending is measured not only by the achievements of an individual, but by the ability to work together as a team. This year’s competition is set to celebrate the impact of Asia’s innovative and booming cocktail scene on the world, by holding the Global Final in Tokyo for the first time ever.
National stages of the competition will challenge entrants to celebrate the versatility and international appeal of Chivas Regal, through the creation of three new cocktails showcasing its smooth, rich and generous house style. Bartenders will be invited to take inspiration from the classic cocktails of New York, where Chivas was first launched in 1909; local flavours from their individual countries; and the celebrated traditions of Tokyo’s bartending scene, which is renowned for its extraordinary craftsmanship, kind service and precision.
The move to hold the Global Final in Tokyo – whose unique cocktail customs fascinate bartenders from across the world – continues Chivas Regal’s exploration of Asia’s cocktail capitals, following last year’s final in Shanghai. The most talented competitor from each market will be invited to spend an immersive week in Tokyo at the Chivas Masters Global Final, where the internationally-acclaimed panel of judges will share some of their insights and expertise through inspirational masterclasses.
The ultimate winner will not only impress with their individual bartending skills, but – crucially – will also prove their ability to work with an international bartending team, and collaborate and share success with international peers, through the Chivas Masters Collective team challenge. The 2017 Global Chivas Master will win the opportunity to travel to an iconic bar in the city of their choice, to work alongside some of the world’s most influential bartenders.
Max Warner, International Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, comments: “2016 was a year of firsts for the Chivas Masters: the first time the final of a global cocktail competition had been held in Shanghai, and the first time the concept of the Chivas Masters Collective was realised. The 2017 Chivas Masters competition is set to build on these innovations, cementing Chivas Regal’s commitment to hospitality and collaboration – traits central to the bartending industry – and set against the backdrop of Tokyo, one of the world’s great cocktail capitals. We welcome entry from bartenders from across the world, who believe they epitomise our values of brotherhood and generosity.”
Do you think you have what it takes to be the next Chivas Master? Visit chivas.com/chivasmasters to find out more about the competition, or get in touch with your local Pernod Ricard representative.
Tis the season for giving and sharing…opinions. Get into the spirit with a limited edition Laphroaig ® festive jumper. Whether it’s a gift for a loved one or a treat for yourself, this fun jumper is the ideal way to spark conversation around the dinner table this holiday season. Available from the Laphroaig ® online shop, wear it with pride and express your opinion on this divisive single malt, however wild or wonderful.
A SPECIAL SEASONAL RELEASE
Last year’s Laphroaig® festive jumpers sold out in just 24 hours and with only 1,000 limited edition jumpers available this winter, get your hands on one now before its too late! Embroidered with a seasonal Fair Isle pattern and the Laphroaig® #OpinionsWelcome™ slogan, this festive jumper is ideal for whisky enthusiasts who have an opinion and are not afraid to wear it.
LOVE IT OR HATE IT
Whether you love the medicinal flavours of Laphroaig® or hate its smoky scent, it cannot be denied that Laphroaig® divides opinion. #OpinionsWelcome™ celebrates the hugely varied descriptions of Laphroaig® and this unique festive jumper champions them, urging lovers (and haters) to profess their feelings for the whisky this winter.
The unisex Laphroaig® festive jumper is available in size S, M, L and XL. To get yours now, visit http://www.laphroaig.com/shop. £30.00, AVAILABLE NOW FROM WWW.LAPHROAIG.COM/SHOP FOR DECEMBER DELIVERY
Bowmore® Islay Single Malt Whisky, the first distillery on Scotland’s isle of Islay, has announced the release of the fifth and final edition of the exclusive Black Bowmore® 1964 distillation. Available from 1 November 2016, the last cask to be discovered of Black Bowmore® has spent an astonishing 50 years maturing in Bowmore’s legendary No.1 Vaults, the world’s oldest Scotch maturation warehouse, making this captivating whisky the most aged expression of the Black Bowmore® series.
UNLOCK HIDDEN DEPTHS™ The unique environment of Bowmore’s No. 1 Vaults has ensured that this sequestered last cask of Black Bowmore® to be rediscovered has developed a rich and intense yet perfectly balanced flavour of exceptional depth and quality. After 50 years of meticulous maturation in the vaults, Black Bowmore® offers a sublime elegance with flavours of tropical fruit and honeyed black truffle complemented by the signature peat smoke notes of Bowmore®. With its exquisite deep black pearl colour imparted from the Oloroso sherry casks that it was matured in, Black Bowmore® 50 Year Old is beautifully rounded and complex and should be served and savoured neat.
HIGHLY COLLECTABLE Black Bowmore® was first distilled on 5 November 1964 at the Bowmore distillery on Islay, and over the years, has become one of the most rare and sought-after single malt whiskies ever created. With 4 acclaimed releases, the first in 1993 and the fourth in 2007, one last cask was rediscovered in the darkest corner of the No.1 Vaults. Having been carefully nurtured by Bowmore’s master craftsmen and with only 159 bottles available internationally, the last cask of Black Bowmore® to be rediscovered has all the hallmarks of a collector’s whisky.
A refined dram with its remarkable concentration of flavour and depth superbly defines the Black Bowmore® collection’s half-century history. Filled and sealed by hand, the last edition in the series will be presented in a stunning handmade cabinet revealing the beguiling history of Black Bowmore® with each silver contour marking the passing of time since the historic first distillation. Launching just in time for the festive gifting period, this rare whisky makes the ideal gift for whisky lovers and luxury collectors alike.
Only 10 bottles will be available in the UK from 1 November 2016 at selected whisky specialists including The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason RRP £16,000 | 40.9% | 700ml
On Monday 19 September, seven of the UK’s most creative talent from behind top city bars went head-to-head to prove they have what it takes to become a founding member of Auchentoshan’s new global bartender club; New Malt Order.
This is no ordinary bartender competition; it’s so much more. The prize? To create the very first of its kind, a new limited edition Auchentoshan® expression for distribution in the on-trade in 2017. Created by bartenders, for bartenders.
Seven went behind the industrial chic bar of London’s experimental Peg + Patriot, two were left standing.
Jack Wareing from the capital’s award-winning Dandelyan and Georgia Billing from Plateau in the heart of the city’s business district proved victorious.
Welcome to your UK bartenders. Welcome to the New Malt Order.
Shortlisted bartenders from across the UK unleashed their fearless ingenuity to create the refreshingly different Auchentoshan & Ale, using their own bespoke bitters created to give a new spin to the single malt’s signature serve.
Mike Aikman; Owner of Bramble, Last Word Saloon and Lucky Liquor Co, John Cashman; International Brand Ambassador for Beam Suntory, and Amanda Humphrey; Mixxit Brand Ambassador scored each serve against three criteria; Artisanal, Alternative and Approachable.
The bartenders went on to let their individuality run riot to create a bespoke cocktail that enhances the smooth and versatile single malt – triple-distilled to every last drop.
Jack Wareing and Georgia Billing demonstrated their flair for shaking up the world of single malts with inventive bitters recipes and whisky cocktails that saw them triumph in the first annual New Malt Order competition.
This year, they will join 10 exceptional bartenders from around the world to form the Auchentoshan® New Malt Order 2016.
Georgia Billing said of her win; “I entered Auchentoshan’s New Malt Order competition to meet other bartenders who experiment with the chemistry involved in making bitters. It’s inspiring to see what drives like-minded people. Not all botanicals react in the same way to spirits, infusion techniques, ABV and other variables; any discussion can only aid progression. This competition is a fantastic opportunity to learn about manufacturing techniques like blending and distillation. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and meeting the other New Malt Order bartenders. I hope I can give back as much as I can learn!”
Mike Aikman commented; “To involve bartenders in the creation of a new whisky is an innovative idea and one which I will follow with interest. It’s an incredible honour for the New Malt Order winners to get to spend time with the Auchentoshan Master Blender, Rachel Barrie, and have their own product on back bars in the future.
“Jack’s presentation was very well thought out and he used interesting ingredients. His was the only ‘savoury’ drink we saw, which was an excellent showcase for the tasting profile of Auchentoshan Three Wood. Georgia’s scientific approach was unique. Her bitters were excellent and her second drink was proof that sometimes keeping drinks simple is the best tactic.”
John Cashman added; “As Auchentoshan is the only single malt triple-distilled to every last drop, we are looking for bartenders who also like to do things differently, are not afraid to challenge the status quo and use our whisky to make exceptional drinks. Jack brings a classic modern bartending skill, while Georgia brings a scientific approach to her bartending.
“I was impressed with Jack’s foraging approach for his bitters and this theme continued with his cocktail, which was influenced by druids and mythical times. Georgia’s style was more matter-of-fact but her innate understanding of flavour summarised in her own words, ‘what grows together, goes together’, took her drinks to a higher level. I’m excited by the prospect of Jack and Georgia joining our other 10 finalists from around the world to helping us create a brand new Auchentoshan expression; by bartenders, for bartenders.”
The Winning Entrants;
Georgia Billing, Plateau
“I entered Auchentoshan’s New Malt Order competition to meet other bartenders who experiment with the chemistry involved in making bitters. It’s inspiring to see what drives like-minded people. Not all botanicals react in the same way to spirits, infusion techniques, ABV and other variables; any discussion can only aid progression. This competition is a fantastic opportunity to learn about manufacturing techniques like blending and distillation. I’m looking forward to being a part of it and meeting the other New Malt Order bartenders. I hope I can give back as much as I can learn!”
Butter Scotch 1800
45ml Auchentoshan American Oak
5ml Demerara Salt and Pepper rich syrup (Georgia’s own recipe)
2 dashes citrus spice bitters (Georgia’s own recipe)
Add all ingredients in to a cocktail shaker, shake well and serve over an ice block in to a rocks glass. Add a drop of bitters on to the ice block for aroma and colour. Serve with a lemon peel (oil is optional) and butterscotch candy on the side to be sucked alongside the drink for added buttery taste
Jack Wareing, Dandelyan
“New Malt Order is my first real competition and I entered because I love whisky and wanted to push myself to create something special, on a different scale than I had ever worked before. It’s the chanceto make friends with some of the most engaging and passionate people on the planet, as well as tapping into a knowledge base I otherwise would not have been able to get close to. It’s great to see brands as prestigious as Auchentoshan making whisky fun and accessible again.”
50ml Auchentoshan Three Wood
4 dashes of Nine Herbs Bitters (Jack’s own recipe)
25ml pineapple cordial ( 3:4 pineapple shrub to pineapple juice)
Half a melon baller of Jack’s homemade raspberry and Campari sorbet (made with fresh raspberries and Campari with Xanthan gum)
Add all ingredients in to a cocktail shaker. Shake well and serve over ice in an old-fashioned glass.
UK Shortlist: Andrei Marian, Four Sisters Ernest Reid, Smith and Wollensky Georgia Billing, Plateau Harrison Knox, Archer Street Jack Wareing, Dandelyan Michele Raina, Skylon Sam Mathieson, Dine