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 :


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.


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-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.


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.


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.


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-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-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.



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Glengoyne 17 Years Old “Very Special” Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

January 24, 2012 11:43 am | Posted by Del

Glengoyne 17 Year Old “Very Special” Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Glengoyne is distilled slower than any other single malt Scotch whisky. Using air-dried malted barley, rather than using pungent peat smoke, they nurse the spirit through the stills at around one-third of the normal rate. This creates a more subtle, complex whisky in which all of the delicate flavours are freely allowed to express themselves -

The Real Taste of Malt.

Glengoyne has won a host of prestigious awards from all around the world including Whisky Magazine ‘Best of the Best’ and Golds and Double Golds at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and the International Spirits Challenge.

glengoyne-17yrsGlengoyne’s distinctive style carries on improving with age. The same elements are present at 17 years old as they were at 10, only now the balance has artfully changed. A more concentrated, palate of flavours has emerged, though it still retains the same clean, delicate taste as the 10 Years Old. Probably the dram for which they are most famed.

“Remarkably smooth… creamy finish with a very delicate touch of sherry. A lovely, complex, sophisticated malt” by Michael Jackson (Whisky Expert), Whisky Magazine



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Pere Magloire Calvados

October 29, 2011 1:14 pm | Posted by Del

Pere Magloire Calvados:- In the early 19th century Gervais Magloire became an Innkeeper in Cagny, a village located on the main road between Paris and Normandy. Besides the excellent food and the comfort of the Inn, he also aged his own Calvados. The high quality of his “eau-de-vie” became famous and soon became know as “le Calvados du pere Magloire”. During the 50 years he operated the Inn, the reputation and renown of the Calvados Pere Magloire grew beyond the borders of Normandy and spread all over France.

Pere Magloire use both methods of distillation to create a distinctive range of styles, both aoc calvados and the more specific calvados pays d’auge. Softer single distillation preserves the essence of apple flavours and aromas, giving the calvados the intense and strong taste of its origin. Double distillation of ciders, on the other hand, leads to the selection of the lightest aromatic esters, and produces spirits with floral notes and delicate aromas.

The unrivalled collection of medals awarded to the range in recent years is a testament to the skill with which the distiller and blender use those two styles to create the sublime calvados.

calvados-pere-magloire-vsop-sml2Pere Magloire Calvados Pays D’Auge VSOP

Double distilled in traditional stills, lengthy ageing in oak casks give a unique aromatic richness


Pere Magloire Pays D’Auge XO

An exceptional blend distilled twice and aged in oak casks with a subtle bouquet of apples and long lasting palate

Gold Medal and Best in Class, International Wine and Spirit Competion (VSOP)

Gold Medal and Best in Class, International Wine and Spirit Competion (XO)

Double Gold Medal and Best Brandy, San Fransisco World Spirit Competion (XO)

Silver Medal and Best in Class, International Wine and Spirit Competion (12yo)

Silver Medal and Best in Class, International Wine and Spirit Competion (20yo)

A great way to taste apples !

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Pasta Dishes

October 3, 2011 12:43 pm | Posted by Graham D

Food and Wine Pairings: Pasta dishes (Continued from Blog “Food and Wine Pairing”)

Introduction:- This Blog and the many more following will examine the pleasurable and often complex relationship between good food and wine, with the utlimate aim to assist our many discerning customers evolve the convivial bonding of good food and wine.

Food Being Featured:- Pasta dishes a a big favourite of so many around the world. A favourable feature dishes contain tastey sauces and these sauces create great flexibility regarding the choice of wine.

Challenges:- The challenge of pairing pasta dishes with wine can be exciting and enjoyable because of the accomodating nature of pasta. Many dishes will equally match a red, white, rose or sparkling wine. Where people have preferences, then you may wish to alter choices of different wine when serving you pasta dishes.

Recommendations:- Pasta is synonymos with Italy and convention often suggests serving Italian wines with Italian pasta dishes.Staying with tradition why not select a full bodied Chianti with a rich meat based dish such as lasagne or pasta with meatballs. Staying with the red wines and being a little experimental, why not pair a lite fruity Valpolicella or Brouilly with a seafood pasta dish flavoursome cheese sauce, the match can be perfect. For white wine lovers, try Pinot Grigio with Fellucine, Alfredo or Macaroni Cheese. For Rose wine lovers, try Le Pas de la Rhone, it’s the perfect match.

Main Directory :- Click on The Marriage of Food and Wine to access our quick search facility to locate hundreds of other food/wine/food pairing options, including hors-d’oeurves, starters, soups, main courses and deserts. Also view Great Friends-Cheese and Wine for cheese and wine pairing.

Next Article :- Vegetarian Dishes

Happy Pasta Dishes and Wine Pairing Days

Graham D

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November 24, 2010 3:44 pm | Posted by Del

Cooley Distillery is the only independently Irish-owned whiskey distillery in Ireland. It was founded in 1987 when John Teeling bought the former state-owned alcohol plant on the Cooley Peninsula and converted it into two distilleries – a pot still and a patent still operation. The company takes it name from the location of the distillery at the foothills of the Cooley Mountains in County Louth. Acquisitions included the assets of the old A.A. Watt Distillery in Co.Derry (established in 1762) and John Locke and Co.of Kilbeggan (established in 1757); the latter is the oldest licensed distillery in the world.
The company now produces three styles of single malt whiskey, several blends and a small batch single grain. Distillation continues to take place at the Cooley Distillery with the cooperage and ageing cellars in the John Locke’s Distillery in Kilbeggan.
Connemara is a wild, mountainous region on the west coast of Ireland with majestic mountains, lakes, streams, glens and rain-soaked peat bogs creating a landscape of unique natural beauty. The bogs are major fuel sources to the region and have played an important role throughout Irish history, cottage distillers used the bog peat to dry the cereal.

 img_1401_edited-1Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a tribute to this region and to its grassroots culture. Its complex characters and peaty taste revive a tradition that in recent years has been forgotten by Irish distillers throughout the country.
Connemara’s strength is the balance of peat with sweet malt and oak. Double distillation retains the flavours which are in perfect balance with the phenol levels of 15 parts per million – far less than the 50 parts per million for most heavily peated whiskies.

Connemara is also available in img_1406_edited-1

12 Years Old,

 img_1400_edited-1Single Cask

connemara-caskand Cask Strength.

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December 6, 2009 6:40 pm | Posted by Graham D

The Nikka Whisky Company was founded by Masataka Taketsura, who is widely acknowledged as the father of Japanese whisky. The company has two large distilleries and several blending and bottling plants and is now part of the Asahi Group.

Masataka Taketsuru’s family owned a sake brewery that dated back to 1733. Taught early that sake-making is a painstakingly fine art, Masataka studied diligently and trained as a chemist, preparing to carry on the family trade. However, Scotch Whisky captured the young man’s imagination and he decided to dedicate his life to it.

In 1918, Masataka Taketsuru travelled to Scotland, where he learnt the secrets of whisky-making and met the woman who would become his bride, Jessie Roberta (Rita).

In 1920 Masataka returned to Japan with his new bride and worked with a company to produce Japan’s first whisky. It soon became apparent that to produce whisky the way he felt it should be made, Masataka would have to become independent. In 1934 Masataka established Nikka Whisky and built its first distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido, which he had always considered to be the ideal whisky-making site in Japan. In the decades since Nikka has become a fixture in Japan, Known for its passion for fine quality and flavour.

 Of Nikka’s two malt whisky distilleries, Yoichi produces rich, peaty and masculine malts.

              img_4941                   ”Yoichi 10 Years Old”  gets its distinct aroma and body from direct heating distillation, in which the pot stills are heated with finely powdered natural coal-the traditional method that is rarely used today, not even in Scotland.

In Yoichi, Masataka Taketsura saw numerous reminders of Scotland, and this convinced him that this should be the home of Japanese whisky. Yoichi was selected because of its clean air, perfect humidity for storage and abundant underground water supply filtered through a layer of peat. Additionally, its location only a kilometre from the sea gives its whiskies a light salty note.


Our range of fine whiskies from Nikka include their top quality blends as well as the many world renoun single malts as follows:

img_1307_edited-1 Nikka Single Malt “Miyagikyou” 10 Yrs Old

  img_6384Nikka Single Malt “Yoichi” 15 Yrs Old

  img_1314_edited-1Nikka Single Malt “Taketsuru” 17 Yrs Old







 img_1306_edited-1Nikka All Malt

  img_6386Nikka from the Barrel

  img_63881Nikka Pure Malt, Black Label

  img_1312_edited-11Nikka Pure Malt, Red Label

 img_7659Nikka Pure Malt,White Label




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Fine Whiskies from Bruichladdich

June 15, 2009 2:45 pm | Posted by James M

There are a huge range of malt whiskies on the market these days, and one of the notable aspects of this, is the diverse range of styles of whisky, dependent upon location and production. Within this, many distilleries develop, along with their traditional styles many experimental casks and bottlings, thus consistently challenging our taste buds, and perceptions of whisky as a whole. One of the distilleries at the forefront of such experimentation is Bruichladdich, who produce an excellent standard range alongside many limited bottlings of very differing whiskies.

The Bruichladdich distillery began in 1881 and produced traditional Islay style whiskies until 1994 when, due to various buy outs, the distillery was closed. This remained the case until 2000, when a group of investors purchased the distillery, renovated and updated the place and reopened in 2001. The new owners pride themselves on Bruichladdich being Scotland’s ‘purest malt,’ free from chill filtration, colouring and homogenisation. Due to the nature of Bruichladdich’s production and experimentation some of the whiskies in this blog are very limited, but were all available at the time of writing.

For an excellent introduction to this distillery’s offerings, the Bruichladdich Waves 7 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, is bursting with cranberry, vanilla, raisin and peat smoke and is an exquisite round Islay style but with a soft mouthfeel.

 Bruichladdich Second Edition 12 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured in bourbon casks which give this malt a strong creamy vanilla tang. This is a light style of Islay though and as such works well as an aperitif.

A couple of further aged bottlings which are excellent include the Bruichladdich Second Edition 15 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which has a delicate coastal nose, with hints of apricots, followed up on the palate by marmalade and pepper. This is a restrained Islay, and an elegant offering from the range. The Bruichladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky 20 Years Old, likewise has an elegance and youthfulness which defies its age, but has a more buttery palate and a concentrated yet distant hint of smoke, a most luxurious and succulent malt.

For those who prefer a richer, rounder style of malt, try the Bruichladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky 18 Years Old.  This fantastic dram is aged in bourbon casks for 18 years before further ageing in auslese and pinot noir casks, resulting in a remarkably fruity and complex whisky with a hint of sweetness balancing the gentle smoke.

Bruichladdich Infinity Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a crisp yet fruity style with smooth pear notes intermingled with smoke and vanilla. This is a blended malt from the distillery and perhaps has a more typical Islay style due to the pronounced peat.

Of very limited quantities, the Bruichladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky 16 Years Old Cuvee  Margaux  is a bourbon aged malt which is then introduced to further ageing in Chateau Margaux casks. Part of the ‘Bordeaux first growth’ series this is lightly peated with vanilla tones and a wine fruit character.

The highest echelon in the Bruichladdich range is the ‘legacy series,’ highly limited  malts which date from the pre 2000 purchase of the distillery. These are of course no longer in production and most of them are now sold out. The whiskies are presented in beautiful tins depicting paintings by the artist Frances Mcdonald. Two special examples of these are the Bruichladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky 32 Years Old Legacy Series Four, which is sublimely soft sweet and fruity with an integration of honey and almonds, and a pleasing oak backbone. There were just 900 bottles of this made.

 Bruichladdich Single Malt Scotch Whisky , Legacy Series Six 34 Years Old is a marriage of casks dating from 1965, 1970 and 1970, and is an incredibly mellow dram with hints of cinnamon spice, vanilla and mint, and is a collectors dream. This is the last of the legacy series and there were 1700 bottles made.

Other limited Bruichladdich bottlings include the impressive Bruichladdich Redder Still Single Malt Scotch Whisky. This is a 22 year old malt aged in bourbon casks before enhancement in Chateau Lafleur Pomerol casks. Smooth and silky with hints of red fruit and vanilla, with a lovely malted barley finish, this malt is recommended with a drop of spring water (it is cask strength at 50.5%), to really expose the layers of nuanced character.

For those who would like to sample a real pile driver from the distillery, try to get your hands on the powerful Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC6 Single Malt Scotch Whisky, which is packed with smouldering peat, bonfire smoke and sweet citrus.  This is simply an awesome expression of what Islay malt is all about, but retains the innovative character that this brilliant distillery prides itself on.

Any of these malts will give whisky connoisseurs great pleasure, and due to the continual developments of the distillery, and the diversity of the products on offer, I would strongly recommend regular visits to the Alexander Hadleigh website, to ensure one does not miss out on new and limited bottlings when they are released.











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Glenfarclas – Whiskies of Distinction

April 28, 2009 12:07 pm | Posted by James M

Still a family owned, independent concern Glenfarclas produces, what I believe to be some of the most consistent and value for money malts currently on the market. The distillery ( has been owned by the Grant family since 1865, and has always maintained a traditional Speyside style with a pronounced sherry influence. Glenfarclas twice distils its whisky in the largest copper-pot stills on Speyside, and each of the different malts in the range all express subtle variations in style and taste.

Two of my favourite whiskies from the Glenfarclas stable are:

Glenfarclas 10 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (£26.16)

glenfarclas-10yrs3The ten year old Glenfarclas is a deceptively smooth malt, suggestive of a much older whisky. It has a lightly malty palate with hints of cloves and cinnamon, smoke and sugar rich barley. On the finish there is a big sweet sherry influence, balanced by an explosion of dry spices. For me this is one of the best value, well rounded malts on the market and is a great introduction to the distillery style.

 Glenfarclas 105 Single Malt Scotch Whisky (£37.50)

glenfarclas-105Robust with a substantial sherry influence, this has a palate of dried fruits and plenty of spice, with a sweet nutty finish. Throughout there are some lingering smoky textures, which give this an impeccable balance and subtlety. Although a bold cask strength at 60%, the sweetness of the sherry means that this is still an excellent dram with or without water.


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