In my constant quest to learn All Things About All Things David from Summer Fruit Cup is my gin saviour. Along with pinging me details of some of the more random gins we have at work he has also run occasional tastings at Graphic and invited me along. The American Gin tasting back on World Gin Day was a bit of an eye opener and I jumped at the chance of attending his most recent one – a walk through a range of navy strength gins.
The tasting procedure was the same as last time – all blind, with David revealing all of the gins at the end after we’d submitted our top three of the night. In addition we’d be asked whether we thought each was from the USA or UK, an attempt to see if there are specific general stylistic differences between the two countries.
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My second beer from the stack that Sjoerd brought me at Maltstock is one that I felt the need to work up to. It may have a simple label but as a 10% barley wine it’s a bit stronger than most of the beers I’ve been drinking over summer. However, with the first properly cooler weekend of the year came my excuse for cracking the bottle – it’s cheaper than turning on the radiators. I present Emelisse White Label Barley Wine 2011.
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Christmas and New Year are approaching. I know this because I’ve received the ‘prepare for the PAIN’ email at work, warning us of the propensity of people to purchase boozes towards the end of the year and the commensurate increase in the amount of work that us booze slinging retailers will see as it approaches. However, we’ve also noticed this at Whisky Squad and to help in the selection of some more thrifty purchases for the festive season we brought in m’colleague Tim Forbes of TWE to go through a range of more affordable, ‘bang for your buck’ purchases.
Rumours that the session was once going to be called “Timmy Wimmy’s Nifty Thrifty Whisky for Chrissy” are entirely true. It was vetoed quite early on by Mr Forbes, as he has a modicum of pride left in his body. I will, however, be referring to my younger brother as Timmy Wimmy for the rest of the year to ensure balance.
Continue reading “Whisky Squad #44 – Bang for your buck”
One of the things I’m still getting used to now that I’ve met a bunch of boozey people from outside of the UK is that international post is a real thing that actually works. I’m allergic to post offices and am generally rubbish at sending letters and parcels, so Maltstock was a very useful thing for me as it meant I could not only meet up with some of my non-local acquaintances but also handover some goodies. I mentioned on Twitter that it would nice to have the transation be bi-directional and next thing I knew Sjoerd from Malt Fascination was pressing a bag of beer into my hands. Annoyingly I managed to leave his (rather good) coffee IPA homebrew in The Netherlands (something which should be remedied soon as he is much more of a master of the postal system than I) but I still managed to stock my beer shelf with a selection of Dutch beers as chosen by him.
First up to be tried was the Amsterdamse India Pale Ale from Brouwerij ‘t IJ.
Continue reading “Brouwerij ‘t IJ Amsterdamse IPA”
I am yet again behind on writing up Whisky Squad sessions. I blame the fact that #43 happened the day before I went to Maltstock, and that it’s taken me several weeks to recover from that weekend of drinking in Nijmegen and it’s follow up day of working at Whisky Live Paris. You know you are tired when you have to wedge yourself between three tables in the Eurostar bar car so that you can have a hand free to hold your beer and still not fall over as the train transitions from smooth French rails to bumpy British ones. Anyways, Whisky Squad #43, as led by Karen Stewart from Wemyss Malts.
Continue reading “Whisky Squad #43 – Whisky by Flavour with Wemyss Malts”