Gosling’s Rum, Bermuda

July 23, 2012 1:38 pm | Posted by Del

GOSLING’S RUM, BERMUDA

In the spring of 1806, London wine & spirits merchant James Gosling set out from England aboard the chartered clipper Mercury with 10,000 dollars of merchandise bound f0r the Virginias.The voyage was a difficult one. Ninety-one consecutive days of calm left the crew and passengers in dire straits and the charter of Mercury was fast running out.

The ship eventually made port in St.Georges, Bermuda, where Gosling and his family decided to set up shop rather than press on to America.

James Gosling opened a shop on King’s Parade,St.George’s in December 1806. In 1824 James returned to England and his brother Ambrose moved the business to Front Street in the new capital, Hamilton. In 1857 the firm was renamed Gosling Brothers by Ambrose’s sons. Three years later the first oak barrels of rum distillate arrived in Bermuda and three years after that (after much trial and error) the distinctive Bermuda black rum destined to be Black Seal was formulated and offfered for sale.

They didn’t call it Black Seal at first. In fact, up until the First World War it was sold straight from the barrel, and most folks brought in their own bottles for a “fill up”. Eventually the black rum was sold in champagne bottles, reclaimed from the British Officer’s Mess, and the corks sealed with black sealing wax. Pretty soon people began to ask for the bottle with the “Black Seal”. Many years later the idea of the iconic barrel juggling “Black Seal” was born.

The original Dark’N Stormy, Bermuda’s National Drink, is made with Gosling’s Black seal Rum, ginger beer and a squeeze of lime. The irresistable Dark’N Stormy, called the “perfect” cocktail by many, has been a tradition in Bermuda for over a century.

To this day Gosling Brothers Limited remains the oldest surviving business in Bermuda and is still a family concern.

img_1077_edited-1Goslings Black Seal Rum
Black seal has a rich, intricate flavour, well balanced and nuanced with butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. Or, as expressed by the Beverage Tasting Institute when they awarded it their highest honour, the Platinum Medal : “Deep, assertive and highly flavoured ; very fragrant with herbal sharpness. At the finish there is softness and elegance, a most complex, unusual spirit.”
A Cocktail to remember: Dark “N” Stormy

img_1079_edited-1Goslings Gold Bermuda Rum For generations, the Gosling name has stood for smooth, complex, decidedly dark rums. But times, and tastes, change. So, to satisfy the increasing vociferous requests for an amber rum, in 2006 Gosling’s unveiled their Golden Bermuda Rum ; their first new product in over 100 years.
This is a well – balanced blend of pot still distillates and continuous still distillates. This unique, proprietary blend is what sets Gosling’s Gold apart from others. You’ll find it has a rich, golden amber colour, a nose of vanilla, apricot, mango and a lightly smoked oak character. The taste is smooth and light with hints of citrus and tropical flavours and nutty undertones. Unusually versatile, it can be enjoyed straight, on-the-rocks, with ginger ale or as a mixer to enhance any rum recipe.

img_5925Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum
155 years seems long enough. So the deep, dark secret rum that Gosling’s has enjoyed for generations is now       going public. Appropriately called Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum, it is crafted from the same incomparable Bermuda blend that they use for their renowned Black seal Rum. But, they leave it resting in oak barrels even longer, aging it until it has acquired an extra luscious, nuanced complexity much like a rare Scotch or Cognac. Consider it the ultimate sipping rum. This unusual spirit deserves more than the usual bottle and label. So they lovingly take each bottle, hand label it, dip it in wax, number it, encircle it with a metal band and then place it in a straw-filled wooden box reminiscent of days past.  

HAPPY GOSLING’S RUM DAYS

Graham D

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Hayman’s London Dry Gin

July 8, 2012 2:50 pm | Posted by Del

HAYMAN’S LONDON DRY GIN

haymans-london-dry-ginThe original company of Haymans Distillers was founded in the 1800s by James Burrough, the great grandfather of the current Chairman, Christopher Hayman. James Burrough created the world renowned Beefeater Gin. Although Beefeater Gin and James Burrough Limited were sold to Whitbread in 1987, the Hayman family retained part of the business and continued the tradition of distilling and blending Gin and other white spirits.

BOTANICALS that make this fine gin – Christopher Hayman believes it is the careful and consistent balance of Juniper, Coriander, Orange and Lemon Peel which is vital in crafting a classic style of London Dry Gin. The Hayman’s Gin recipe consists of ten natural botanicals handpicked from around the world which creates a fresh crisp and fragrant flavour.

* The best Juniper provides the predominate flavour of Gin and is therefore the most essential ingredient.
* The finest Angelica Roots are harvested in France and give Gin its dry character.
* CorianderSeeds are imported from France which together with Liquorice gives Gin its complexity.
* Orris Root, sourced from Italy, has a scented flavour and is an essential part of the blend as it holds the other flavours together.
* Orange and Lemon Peel is sourced from Spain where the fruit is usually hand-peeled and left to dry in the Spanish sunshine to capture the oils and give Haymans London Dry Gin its crisp,balanced and unique flavour.

The important process of STEEPING and DISTILLATION

- Prior to the distillation process, the botanicals are steeped in the pot still for 24 hours which is the first part of the infusion process. After steeping, the gin undergoes the distillation process. During the distillation process, the still is heated at a gentle temperature so each botanical releases its flavour at a different stage of the process. The result is a premium London Dry Gin of consistently exceptional quality. Christopher believes Premium Gin should be created in a traditional Pot still to enable the flavours of the carefully selected botanicals to develop to their full potential and allow the Master Distiller to handcraft a uniquely flavoured premium gin with care and attention.

GIMLET- a highly recommended cocktail

* 2 shots of Hayman’s London Dry Gin
* 2 shots Roses Lime Cordial
* 1/2 shot water
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass.

HAPPY HAYMAN’S LONDON DRY GIN DAYS

Graham D


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Sloe Gin

May 20, 2012 4:32 pm | Posted by Del

Sloe Gin is a fine gin spirit or liqueur flavoured with sloe (blackthorn) berries, which are a small fruit relative of the plum. Sloe gin has an alcohol content between 15 and 30 percent by volume and is produced by many small boutique wineries and distillers. The traditional way of making sloe gin is to infuse gin with the berries, sugar is required to ensure the sloe juices are extracted from the fruit. Almond or cinnamon flavouring is sometimes also added. Many commercial sloe gins today are made by flavouring less expensive neutral grain spirits, and produce a fruit cordial effect, although a number of long-established, reputable manufacturers still use the traditional method.

To make Sloe Gin, the sloe berries must be ripe. In the Northern Hemisphere, they were traditionally picked in late October or early November after the first frost of the winter. Each berry is pricked and a vat or barrel is part filled with the pricked berries, then the vat or barrel is filled with gin and sugar, adding a few cloves and a small stick of cinnamon. The vat or barrel is sealed and mixed several times by turning, then stored in a cool, dark place. It is usually mixed by turning every day for the first two weeks, then each week, until at least three months have passed. The gin will now be a deep ruby red. The liqueur is poured off and the berries and spices discarded.

Some great examples of Sloe Gins and Liqueurs

sloegin-foxSloe Gin Liqueur, Foxdenton Estate, Buckinghamshiresloe-gin-bg

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Bramble & Gage, Gloucestershire

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Sloemotion, North Yorkshiresloegin

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Moniack Castle, Highland Wineries

sloeginslcSloe Gin Liqueur, Scottish Liqueur Centre

Sloe Gin Reserve Liqueur, Lyme Bay Winery, Devon sloe-reserve2

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Gordons, London

sipsmith-sloeSloe Gin Liqueur, Sipsmith, London

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Plymouth, Devon

 Sloe Gin Liqueur, Condessa, Isle of Anglesey

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Bodegas Williams & Humbert Sherries

March 14, 2012 1:09 pm | Posted by Del

Bodegas Williams & Humbert

The history of Bodegas Williams & Humbert goes back nearly 130 years. They participated in the creation of the Jerez-Xeres-Brandy Quality Demarcation and are now considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious wine producers.

The winery was founded in 1877 by Sir Alexander Williams, a great admirer and connoisseur of sherry products and Arthur Humbert, a specialist in international relations. Since then they have preserved part of the original wines and brandies (soleras) in high quality oak casks. These soleras are the base of the development and ageing of every sherry and brandy produced at Bodegas Williams & Humbert.

The following are summaries and tasting notes of many of the Sherries that Williams & Humbert are world famous for :

DRY SAC FINO SHERRY

img_7439This is a very dry Fino Sherry produced from Palomino grapes. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still fermentation at 22C. Then they go through early filtering and classification by quality. The best wine distillations are fortified at 15c to be racked in clean casks. They are then put into the traditional system of dynamic ageing employed in Jerez – Criaderas y Soleras- in the 6th criadera cask, where the biological ageing under a layer of yeast takes place in the traditional oak casks, preferably of American oak. The ageing is minimum five years while the wine passes from one criadera to another until it reaches the solera, from which it is drawn out for consumption.

Tasting Notes : A wine of brilliant, pale gold colours. Intense, complex aromas reminiscent of the yeast layer with a hint of almond. Delicate yet full-bodied, with character and elegance. A long aftertaste and nose.

Suggestions with Food : Ideal for aperitifs accompanied by a high quality cheese, ham and seafood dishes. Also excellent with almonds.

DRY SAC MEDIUM SHERRY

img_7437This a blended Oloroso or Medium Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. Bud musts undergo controlled fermentation at 28c and fortified with alcohol distilled from wine up to 19.5 degrees. Palomino and Pedro Ximenez are racked into clean casks while waiting to enter the Criaderas y Soleras system. Physical-chemical ageing through oxidation for at least six years, obtaining a slightly sweetened oloroso or medium sherry.

Tasting Notes: An amber-coloured wine of intense aromas suggesting dried nuts. Full bodied and balanced, with little acid and slightly sweet .

Suggestions with Food: It can be drunk neat or with ice. It is recommended as an aperitif or to accompany pasta and rice dishes.

CANASTA SHERRY

canasta-cream_edited-1A sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. The bud musts undergo controlled fermentation and fortified at 19.5 degrees. An elegant blend of Palomino and Pedro Ximenez before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least six years. A unique sweet Oloroso or “Cream” Sherry.

Tasting Notes: Sweet Oloroso. Mahogany colour and aromas of dried nuts with a hint of raisins and brown sugar. Smooth, velvety palate with warm alcohol flavours and a persistent aftertaste.

Suggestions for Food : It can be consumed very cold by itself and with desserts, or on ice as a refreshing early evening drink.

WALNUT BROWN SHERRY

img_7441This is a very Sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry produced from Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel grapes. Bud musts undergo controlled fermentation and fortified at 19.5 degrees. Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel are blended and racked into clean casks before entering the Criaderas y Solera system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least four years.

Tasting Notes: Very sweet oloroso.Dark mahogany, almost ebony. On the nose, dried nuts and faint aroma of raisins, muscatel and toasted sugar. Smooth and velvety with a warm palate owing to its alcohol content. A long finish.

Suggestions for Food: It can be consumed very cold by itself and with desserts, or on ice as a refreshing long drink.

WINTER’S TALE SHERRY

img_7443This a slightly sweetened Amontillado or “Medium Sweet” Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. The bud must undergoes controlled fermentation and fortified with alcohol distilled from wine at 28 degrees. Palomino and Pedro Ximenez are racked before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least six years. A slightly sweetened oloroso, or “medium sweet” sherry.

Tasting Notes: Brillant amber. Intense aroma of dried nuts. Full bodied and balanced, with low acidity. Sweet and persistent.

Suggestions for Food: To be drunk neat or on ice. Ideal as an aperitif or with pasta and rice dishes.

JALIFA AMONTILLADO 30 YEARS SHERRY

dos-cortados-30yrs_edited-2This a dry Amontillado Sherry produced from Palomino grapes. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still decanting and fermentation at 22c. Early filtering, classification by quality and fortified at 15 degrees with the best distilled wines to obtain the traditional racks. Put into the classical Jerez Criaderas y Soleras system of dynamic ageing at the 15th criadera, where the biological ageing takes place under a layer of yeast. Aged in traditional oak casks , preferably American for at least 8 years, after which it is transferred to the 6th criadera for an additional 22 years of natural ageing by oxidation until it reaches the solera. It is then removed for consumption.

Tasting Notes: Bright hues of very old gold and amber. Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of  fino sherry and a hint of dried nuts and filbert. Dry with excellent acidity, a long, full bodied and elegant palate. A delightfully expressive and unforgettable finish.

Suggestions with Food: An excellent aperitif served with a fine cheese, ham or seafood dishes.

DOS CORTADOS 20 YEARS SHERRY

dos-cortados-20yrs_edited-1A fortified wine, this rare and peculiar dry Pale Cortado Sherry produced from Palomino grapes is halfway between an Amontillado and an Oloroso. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still decanting and fermentation at 22c. Early filtration, classification by quality and then the must is fortified at 15degrees with the best distilled wines to obtain the traditional racks. Put into the Criaderas y Soleras system in fino sherry casks for biological ageing. Sporadically, circumstances cause the contents of some casks to behave differently than it is expected – they will not become fino sherry. These casks are “cut” (hence the term “cortado”) with one or two jugs of alcohol to form the base of the palo cortado solera system. The wine is then aged for 20 years until it reaches the solera.

Tasting Notes : Bright hues of very old gold and amber . Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of filberts and dried fruits. Dry with excellent acidity, a long, full-bodied and elegant palate. An incredibly expressive and unforgettable finish. Sherry with an amontillado nose and an oloroso palate.

Suggestions with Food: Excellent as an aperitif for those long evenings or in short drinks with tapas.

DRY OLOROSO 12 YEARS

dry-oloroso12yrs_edited-1This is a dry Oloroso produced from Palomino grapes. The bud musts undergo controlled fermentation at 28c, then fortified with distilled wine alcohol at up to 19.5degrees. The Palomino enters the racks before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. It is aged for at least 12 years. This is a unique dry Oloroso.

Tasting Notes: Bright amber. Intense aromas characteristic of this type of wine and a hint of dried nuts and fruits. Dry, rich, with smooth tannins, it is luscious and balanced with a long finish.

Suggestions for Food: As an aperitif with mature cheese, at meals with red meats and even as an after-dinner drink.

HAPPY WILLIAMS & HUMBERT SHERRY DAYS

DEL

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Chairman’s Reserve Rum, St Lucia

August 21, 2011 5:49 pm | Posted by Del

Caribbean Rum at its very best

In 1922 , the Barnard family purchased the large sugar estate of Dennery. Ten years after that purchase, the young Denis Barnard founded a distillery at Dennery. The grandson of the original owners of Dennery is still the current Managing Director of St Lucia Distillers, now based at Roseau. The family run factory has been modernised over the years and new technologies and improvements constantly incorporated. A Pot Still was installed in 1998 and has meant that especially high quality flavourful rums which are still being aged , are now being produce. Two more Pot Stills have been introduced, adding to the variety of rums being produced.

chairmans-resChairman’s Reserve is a blend of doubled distilled pot still and column still rums, aged for up to five years in bourbon barrels. The pot still richness comes through on the nose along with juicy fruits and a hint of honey. A medium bodied palate with a soft feel, a hint of vanilla and spices. Delicious on its own, but works well in a Mojito and many other great drinks.

img_9394Chairman’s Reserve Spice is the latest addition to the St Lucia Distillers range. Based on the same high quality spirit, it has been infused with authentic Caribbean spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and vanilla and richeria grandis which is known locally as “bois bande” to create a genuine St Lucia experience.

Try it over ice with ginger beer or cranberry juice for a refreshing long drink,

Winner of Gold Medal “Best in Class ” International Wine and Spirit Competition, Winner of Double Gold Medal, San Francisco Spirits Competition

Rums of a very special nature

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Tequila Patron

May 23, 2009 1:07 pm | Posted by James M

Fine tequila still remains one of the great underrated spirits, and this despite the introduction of a number of ‘ultra premium’ brands. It is also still commonly perceived as a beverage to be drunk in shots, and to be a rough spirit that is guaranteed to give one a severe hangover. This is due essentially to the fact that many of the big branded tequilas are blended and use only up to 49% of the agave spirit from which tequila evolves. The rest is made up from various other sugar canes, and as such the quality of these tequilas tends to be low, along with the price, and as such the drink has somewhat of a mixed reputation.

However, if one is prepared to spend a little more, the wonderful world of real tequila and the variety of flavours and characters becomes apparent. When looking for decent tequila, the first and most crucial thing to look for is that it is made from 100% agave (It will state this on the label). This means that the spirit is not blended with sugar cane, and as such one will find an altogether smoother, purer and more complex drink, containing a multitude of extraordinary flavours. These are further developed through the oak ageing process- Silver is unoaked, resposado slightly oaked, and anejo where the tequila can rest in oak barrels for a number of years.

Tequilas that are 100% agave tend to be more expensive as the agave cactus is at a premium, essentially due to the huge amount of low quality tequila produced to serve the world market. The agave plant takes around eight years to grow until the cabeza is ready for fermentation, and so they tend to be in short supply, hence the increased price for the higher quality product.

There are many premium brand tequilas on the market, all of which are worth a try due to the variety of flavours. A great starting point would be to try the Patron range of tequilas, which are all simply stunning, and are perfect examples of exactly what this spirit can offer. Beautifully packaged in hand crafted bottles and with an exquisite attention to detail, I really cannot recommend these tequilas highly enough.

There is one thing that I need to make clear though- to really enjoy these tequilas, do not shoot them. Sip them either neat or with ice, as one would a fine brandy or whisky, and then you will get the most out of them. After that don’t forget to get the shaker out and make some fine margaritas!

The Patron Tequilas: 

Patron Silver Tequila is a simply stunning clean and pure tequila, and many experts mark this as their favourite due to its soft and light character, as opposed to the richer oakier versions. This is the perfect tequila to create a really refreshing Margarita as it has an excellent balance of citrus, acidity, and smoothness. The refinement of this tequila means it is also highly recommended sipped on the rocks.

Patron Reposado Tequila contains the same qualities as the silver, but is oak aged for six months. This imparts a slight oaky tang to the finish on the palate and therefore has a less clean yet more complex palate. This can be used for those who prefer a slightly richer Margarita, and is also excellent neat.

Patron Anejo Tequila is blended from a selection of tequilas which have all been aged in small white oak barrels for a minimum of twelve months. It is a very subtle and complex tequila and is distinctive in that each batch has a blend variation to produce perfectly balanced tequila. This is soft and refreshing, yet highly complex due to the wood ageing, and along with the subtle citrus notes, it has nuances of gingerbread. Patron Anejo Tequila should be sipped neat or on the rocks.

Gran Patron Platinum Tequila is billed as the “world’s finest platinum tequila”- big words, but this may just be true. Triple distilled, this is incredibly smooth and elegant, with soft notes of citrus and pepper. For those extravagant cocktail drinkers out there, Gran Patron Platinum Tequila will make you a simply sublime margarita that will be a once in a lifetime experience. This wonderful tequila comes in a handmade crystal bottle, which is hand signed and individually numbered, and is further packaged in a deluxe maple wood box.

Patron Gran Burdeos Tequila is an extraordinary tequila which is aged in a mixture of American oak and French oak for twelve months. It is then re-distilled, and then racked in Bordeaux barrels from some of the top Chateau. This gives this tequila a fruity aroma reminiscent of fine Bordeaux, and an unbelievable complexity and depth of character. This really does need to be sipped as one would a fine Cognac, to fully appreciate the quality. Patron Gran Burdeos comes beautifully packaged in a hand crafted wooden box made from black walnut, along with a custom corkscrew and a crystal stopper.

Tequila Patron XO Cafe Liqueur is a blend of ultra premium tequila and the natural essence of fine coffee. Unlike most coffee liqueurs, this is dry, but has a concentrated richness from the slightly higher alcohol volume. This is beautiful sipped over ice, smooth and velvety with an elegant tequila balance, and can even be used as a dessert topping. Mixologists are currently using this wonderful liqueur in a variety of cocktails at the moment, and highly recommended are the Café Royal, the Garter Belt, the XO Nightcap, and the Ladies Night.

 

HAPPY  TEQUILA  DAYS

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St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

May 8, 2009 11:45 am | Posted by Del

st-germainA wonderful refreshing Spring and Summer drink, St-Germain is made from freshly handpicked wild elderflower blossoms which produce an unique stylish creation which is so delicious to drink. It is hard to imagine with all todays technology that only 40-50 men will pick the wild blossoms in early Spring, bundle them into sacks and then bicycle down the hillside to the local market. Within a week or so  they would have picked the entirety of St Germain   blossoms for the year which  means very limited quantities .This product of nature produces a  wonderful sweet nectar which has a curious and tantalising melange of flavours with hints of citrus and tropical fruits, try it and see.story_011

This liqueur is excellent just on its own, poured over ice, its flavour is subtle, delicate and very captivating. Savour on a warm evening just after a fine meal.

There are many other ways to enjoy this artisanal work of art, such as the exciting combination which shows off its complex fruity flavours and  almost honeyed sweetness, is to simply mix with chilled very dry white wine, such as Signature Sauvignon Blanc, its so refreshing and also just as good with sparkling Cinzano Prosecco.

St- Germain has excellent mixibility qualities and I have tried St Germain as a base to a number of cocktails especially with  sauvignon blanc,  gin,  tequila  and  champagne. Please check and see what you think.

Click on https://www.ahadleigh-wine.com/cocktail-categories/ which will take you to our specialist cocktail page where you may  select many other cocktail recipes.

 

Happy St-Germain Days

 

 

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