Archive for January, 2016

David Beckham Promotes Haig Club Scotch Whiskey

Haig Club Whiskey

After retiring from football, he becomes an entrepreneur. David Beckham promoted one of his latest business ventures, the Haig Club Scotch Whiskey, as distillers hosted a dinner party in Shanghai, China last Thursday evening.

The 40-year-old famous star that sported a simple, yet elegant tuxedo went to the upscale party where guests — including big Chinese stars Karen Mok and Chang Chen — are enjoying the sumptuous alcoholic drink.

The Look of David Beckham

The former star of Manchester United looked beyond save as he posed for pictures at the exclusive event in a black suit paired with a crisp white shirt and a black tie. David Beckham looked polished as he completed his look with black brogues, and donned a white pocket square for added finesse. Wearing designer clothes, he scoped his hair up in a retro-style quaff which was put into place using a wet-look gel.

Looking all cool and confident, he promoted his venture without his beautiful wife, Victoria, or any of their children, who stayed home in the UK.

A Family Man, Beckham

On Tuesday, Victoria Beckham, popular in both music and fashion industry, praised their 4-year-old daughter, Harper, on social media after receiving a merit at school. “Excellent reading Harper!!X Good Day at school! #proudmummy X,” she said in the adorable photo which showed Harper’s hand having a fun red sticker.

Diageo and Haig Club

David was joined by his manager and close friend Simon Fuller.

Haig Club Whiskey

Two’s company! David was joined by manager Simon Fuller – who teamed up with consumer goods company Diageo and David to launch the alcoholic beverage – at the bash. Image(c): Imaginechina/REX/Shutterstock

In April 2014, it was announced that Diageo, Beckham, and Fuller teamed up to create and launch Haig Club, a single grain with no-age-statement Scotch whisky. The product is said to be produced from liquid that they’ve sourced from Cameronbridge distillery. The whisky consists of a wide variety of aged whisky from three different casks: first-fill, rejuvenated, and refill Bourbon barrels.

It hasn’t been smooth-sailing for this product, however. Early 2015, the drink’s TV ads, directed by Guy Ritchie, was scrutinized for encouraging underage drinking. People behind Alcohol Concern argued that Beckham appealed to many youngsters, which encourages them to drink alcohol.

Beckham’s camp pointed out that the star has been involved in many campaigns for Kids such as the Sainsbury’s Active Kids campaign that aims to encourage participation in sports. Consequently, the complainants argued that Beckham’s association with drinks brand sent a wring message to the young generation.

But, the big men from the advertising industry rejected the complaint after they came to a consensus that Beckham could no longer be viewed as a role model for the children.

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The Award Winning Products of Lake Distillery Available in Morrisons and Served at Virgin Trains

Award Winning Products of Lake Distillery

Lake Distillery’s award-winning whisky, The ONE, is currently on sale in 43 Morrisons stores in the north west and North Yorkshire, and is available for first-class passengers of Virgin’s west coast services in London, north west, and Scotland. While Morrisons is stocking up on The Lakes Gin, Virgin Trains serve The Lakes Vodka.

It has been more than a year since The Lake Distillery at Setmurthy welcomed visitors. But their first product, The ONE, was introduced to the market in 2013. The ONE is a blend malt and grain whisky produced by other British distilleries. Meanwhile, The Lakes Gin and The Lakes Vodka were produced by the end of 2014, along with their Lakes Malt Whisky.

“We consistently seek to work with local producers such as The Lakes Distillery, which makes The ONE and The Lakes Gin perfect additions to our spirit range,” says Stefan Kaczmarczyk, CORR fortified wine buyer from Morrisons.

Stefan added that their involvement in the supply chain gave them control over the freshness, provenance, and quality. “We’re certainly impressed by the team at The Lakes Distillery,” he added.

On the other hand, CORR head of catering at Virgin Trains, Amanda Smit says they are committed to providing their customers with premium products while supporting local businesses within their routes.

“We’re delighted that we’re able to do with these superb spirits,” Amanda added.

The Lakes Distillery, England’s largest distillery, was set up by Paul Currie who has previously founded and ran the Isle of Arran Distillery. He said that they are taking advantage of the growing popularity of malt whiskies around the world. And he is delighted to have secured new varieties.

“Having such well-known respected brands eager to serve our products to their customers is a real compliment and testament to the thought and rigour that has gone into producing quality spirits. We try and source everything locally, whether it’s the ingredients that go into the spirits, the crafts we sell in our luxury gift shop or the food on the tables in the bistro.” Currie said during an interview.

Award Winning Products of Lake Distillery

Cumbrian spirits snapped up by Virgin Trains and major supermarket (From The Westmorland Gazette). Image: www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk

The ONE, The Lakes Gin, and The Lakes Vodka have won medals in last year’s International Wine and Spirit Competition. They’ve also won a “tourism and hospitality” prize during the CN Group Business Awards which was held last October.

Lake Distillery’s bistro, on the other hand, was included in the Michelin Good Food Guide 2016 and recognized in the Open Table Diner’s Choice Awards for several consecutive months.

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The Victoria Whisky Festival: What’s in Store for You?

Victoria Whisky Festival

The taste of the present and the past comes to town as the annual Victoria Whisky Festival will be held from January 14 (Thursday) to January 16 (Saturday).

In its 11th annual celebration, the festival aims to attract whisky enthusiasts worldwide. Aside from the tasting of newly released drams and classic favorites, attendees have the chance to learn about the distiller’s process and what makes a huge difference among the types of whiskies.

According to Dave McMillan, this educational aspect is the key feature of the festival. The 19-year old veteran police of Oak Bay had just retired last year and made one of his post-retirement vacations a working holiday for those who are at the Springbank Whiskey Academy. Here, he joined whisky aficionados from Denmark, France, Italy and other countries to work and learn more about distillery.

Dave McMillan has been involved with the festival for 8 years already. He has appreciations for the amber nectar which began after he received a whisky as a gift. He started to learn more, and that led him to the Victoria Whisky Festival.

“I got more involved, and started tasting more and learning more about it. I also enjoy learning and getting educated,” McMillan said, noting that he has appreciation for the Scottish culture. “Each distillery has its own story and its own kind of whisky.”

Today’s festival features 8 consumer tastings, Canadian Whisky Awards dinner, and 36 master classes. The festival is held at the Hotel Grand Pacific, which will end with the Grand Tasting on Thursday evening. Proceeds from the festival will be given to charitable organizations.

Victoria Whisky Festival

Victoria Whisky Festival held each January. Photo(c): www.whiskyintelligence.com

“It’s not about the drinking, it’s about the flavours. My motto is you don’t drink whisky, you taste it,” he added, advising festival goers to taste the whisky rather than drink it.

According to Lawrence Graham, the president of the Victoria Whisky Festival, with a lot of new whiskies, people are interested at learning more about them.

“Rather than buying their same favourite whiskies, they are becoming more adventurous, armed with a knowledge of the process and the results that creates. People are more and more curious about whiskies from Canada, the United States, Japan, India, as well as from Scotland,” he said.

The festival this year will be showcasing over 250 whiskies that were made in 50 distilleries from Canada, England, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Scotland, Taiwan, and the United States.

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Whisky Winner Gave a Toast for Inverclyde MSP’s Health

Inverclyde’s MSP

At New Year, Donald Mitchell gave a toast for Inverclyde’s MSP a good start after he made it to the victory in the Tele final festive competition.

Mitchell of Darroch Drive was named winner of the Tele final festive competition which features Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil.

During the awarding at the Tele office, Duncan McNeil MSP had handed Mitchell a bottle of Scottish Parliament whisky to the Whisky winner.

Inverclyde’s MSP

Duncan McNeil MSP, left, hands over the bottle of Scottish Parliament whisky to winner Donald Mitchell at the Tele office. Picture by George Munro.

Donald Mitchell had it all for a decade, and recently he had given away a Scottish Parliament whisky in a Tele festive contest. In May, he would be retiring at the Scottish Parliament elections. This would be his last to make an autographed bottle of the Scottish Parliament Speyside single malt.

Mitchell said that he started in the competition as a bit of festive fun and then become an annual event. He has 6 children and 13 grandchildren. He added that he had tried the whisky contest several times, however this was the first he had made a victory.

Furthermore, he said, that he was taken aback when the Tele office called him and said that he won the bottle. Mitchell said, “I enjoy a wee half, so this is a great prize, especially at this time of year. It will come in handy to greet visitors – and I’ll certainly be toasting Duncan’s health!”

This year, the competition would be this coming May, and that is according to the readers who were asked about when would be the next Scottish Parliament elections.

Mr. McNeil added that he was delighted that many people have joined the competition for over the years.

According to Tele office, the competition had been enjoyed by many and through the years there has been a great and healthy competition.

A toast for everybody!

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Take a Peek at the Grant Clan

Glenfiddich Distillery

During the Jacobite rebellion, the chief of the Grant Clan supported the government; however, the Grants from Glenmoriston were at the opposing end as they joined the Jacobites.

Patrick Grant joined the rebellion last 1745. When George IV went to Edinburgh in 1822, he met with the King and introduced as “His Majesty’s oldest enemy”. At age 109, he was painted in tartan trews wearing a Grant tartan plaid and Tam o’Shanter; you can see this painting in Edinburgh’s National Galleries.

William Grant

Being the great grandson of a Jacobite Soldier, William Grant and his two brothers herded cattle when he was 7 years old. They then apprenticed to a shoemaker before getting employed as a bookkeeper at a local whisky distillery for 2 decades.

On Christmas Day of 1887, the Glenfiddich Distillery started their production. The only employees were the owner himself, William Grant, and his 9 children. They were the ones who pioneered single malt whisky. Up until the Glenfiddich Distillery opened, proprietary whisky was blended.

Glenfiddich Distillery

Clan Grant is the name behind the iconic whisky and Glenfiddich Distillery. Photo credits to www.scotlandnow.dailyrecord.co.uk

James Augustus Grant

Born in Nairn in 1827, James Augustus Grant joined the Indian Army when he was 19 years old. He served during the Slkh Wars and Indian Mutiny. He got wounded while serving at the relief of Lucknow.

In 1860, he became part of John Hanning Speke’s expedition to look for the source of the Nile River. His illness, however, prevented him from becoming the first white man to ever see that the White Nile actually drains from Lake Victoria.

In 1864, they published a book called “A Walk across Africa” where he wrote about the lives of the natives in Africa. He also wrote a paper on Botany of Speke and Grant Expedition, which received a gold medal from the gold medal by the Royal Geographical Society in 1864. The following year, he married and settled at Nairn, before dying in 1892. He was buried in the crypt of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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Something New from Moylan’s Whisky of Northern California

Moylan's whisky

Stillwater Spirits is a premiere craft distillery located in Petaluma, Ca. It is one of those small players in the industry of distillery that is not much heard on a national level, yet very popular among the locals of this part of North California. Stillwater Spirit has been known for being the maker of high quality whisky.

Stillwater Spirits markets its whiskey under the Moylan’s Whisky brand. As addition to their craft, they have launched two new expressions of their whisky with new label look to be more interesting.

According to the distillery, they’re already out with their third release of “American whisky” bottling with the new Moylan 117.4 proof Double-Barrel Cask Strength Single-Malt Whisky and 86 proofs American Single – Malt Whisky. These new spirits are described by its founder Brendan Moylan in a statement as “true single-malt ‘whiskies made in American single malt method, and not with a Scotch style.

As to what the bottles contain, Stillwater described it as:

“Simply works of art”. The Double Barrel Cask Strength Single-Malt Whisky  was aged for a minimum of four years in a mix of new and first-fill or used American white oak barrels, and then finished in a mix of French oak and ex-orange brandy barrels which helps to give out the best spirit of this amazing whisky. The American Single-Malt Whisky is the same blend of their 5 different barrels of whisky casks.

Moylan's whisky

Making a long awaited come back is the Moylan’s line of whiskies. Photo by healthyspiritsbourbonblog.blogspot.com

Again, Moylan’s is an American Single Malt Whisky, not to be confused with single-malt Scotch. The difference had been described by Stillwater Spirits founder Brendan Moylan as   “All sweet, no peat.”

To come up with these extraordinary whiskies, Moylan’s Distilling Co. starts with the fermentation of 100% two-row barley, and then condenses the whisky wash into their Kentucky origin Vendome Copper Pot Still to produced the best quality handcraft whiskies.

For being a micro-distillery, Stillwater Spirits really make certain of their product quality and commitment to flavor; that is why these whiskies come through small batch sizes. As a result, these will only be available in limited release in a few select markets in Northern California.

So if these whiskies run out of stock in selected markets, you can check with the online liquor dealer in the nearby area to see if they have some bottles. You may also personally check the prices of these whiskies in the market or through websites of online retailers as there is no immediate pricing information was given yet.

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Vodka from the Deep Ocean?

vodka

The Hawaiian Sea Spirits Distillery and Organic Farm, situated along the slopes of Maui’s Haleakala volcano in Kula, are doing something out of the ordinary: they are taking deep ocean water and turning it into a premium drink!

The Smiths started to experiment with the ocean water in an effort to make an eco-friendly ingredient for vodka that has an exquisite taste. In 2005, they decided to use one of the largest life forces of Maui (the ocean around it) to create a vodka that is unique to their island. They combined organic sugar cane with mineral-rich ocean water that is taken from 3,000 feet below the coast of Kona near the Big Island.

Why they decided to use Ocean Water?

According to Bill Scott, it was the idea of their founder, Shay Smith, to combine the essence of Hawaii and Maui to their products. Being situated in little islands in a large body of water, Hawaii is naturally bound to the ocean. Bill said that they respect how the ocean gives life to the people, which is why they branded their product as “Ocean” as it is the very DNA of their company. They think it was the best way of really showing their love for the ocean.

Desalinizing Water

Their company partnered with Koyo USA, located in Kona. Koyo USA have license and rights for utilizing water that is drawn from over 3,000 feet below the surface of the ocean. The pipe gets water that started as a snowmelt from the North Atlantic arctic region. It would take approximately 2,000 years to reach Kona via the Global Conveyor Belt, a current in the very deep ocean.

vodka

Photo by Jessica Pearl, courtesy of Hawaiian Sea Spirits Distillery.

According to Koyo, they draw this fresh ocean water at a chilly 42 degrees Fahrenheit and utilize reverse osmosis to remove majority of the salts. This process have the ability to take in adequate amount of essential minerals (calcium, magnesium, and potassium), making their water a deep-ocean mineral water.

How does Ocean Water Affect the Quality of the Vodka?

Ocean vodka is comprised of 60% water; therefore, water as an ingredient is very essential. When manufacturing distilled spirits, it is vital to be consistent. Minor variations in the quality of water may be devastating to the products.

Incorporating Sugar Cane

The juice from the sugar cane is collected and filtered than placed on a fermentation process for 3 to 4 days. After fermentation, juice will become a beer which will be heated in a pot until the alcohol is vaporized. The alcohol vapors, in turn, are collected and converted back to liquid form, resulting in a 40% alcohol solution called the “low wines spirit”. This will then be re-distilled resulting in over 193 proof. Finished spirits will then be blended with deep-ocean mineral water to create Ocean vodka.

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Where to Go for a Drink Outside I-285?

cocktails

Cocktails have been one of the beloved drinks in the last decade. We’re now in the time of barrel-aged cocktails, house-made drinks, tincture and tonics, small-batch spirits, and fancy ice as well.

Empire State South, H. Harper Station, and Kimball House have been popular among Atlantans for serving a fine mixed drink. But there’s a whole world of drinks out there and we need to go beyond I-285 to discover new places. Here are six other places outside The Perimeter that you can check out.

Common Quarter

The Common Quarter is located in Johnson Ferry Road, Marrietta. The bar’s theme revolves around the South’s culinary heritage, with a “come as you are” vibe. Whether you go there with friends after gym or bringing your family after a baseball game, you’ll surely find comfort because of the familiar food and drinks served there.

Lindsay Ferdinand, the beverage director of the bar, offered seasonal, familiar foods on the menu; but also offers some unique, approachable cocktail choices.

Seed

Seed is also located along Jonshon Ferry Road, Marietta. It opened last 2010 in East Cobb and there wasn’t anything like it in the area. It joined the trend of committing to serve patrons a local, seasonal ingredients.

Chris McNeill, the beverage director, took the commitment of Seed very seriously. He built the bar around fresh ingredients, small-batch spirits, and local bitters. Seed’s cocktail drinkers are constantly introduced to the latest bar trends from all around the US.

Stem Wine Bar

Stem Wine Bar is again located along the Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta. Just beyond the door at Seed, the bar has been East Cobb’s version of a European wine bar. The dimly-lit place is spacious, with a question mark-shaped bar in dark wood and marble. Although wine is Stem’s specialty, it didn’t leave out the cocktail scene. They also serve the classic before- and after- dinner drinks.

cocktails

Creative cocktails in Atlanta. By www.accessatlanta.com

Foundation Social Eatery

Finally outside Marietta, Foundation Social eatery is located at Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell. The restaurant takes on a fresh approach of seasonal and local ingredients. Jamie McDonough, the manager of the bar, created a list of bright cocktails. They have honest cocktail choices for light sippers and playful riffs for classic drinkers.

Colletta

Colletta, located at the Third Street, Alpharetta, is a sophisticated restaurant. So if you seek to impress your clients or just simply relax after a stressful day’s work, you might as well dine in here. Their bar offer  premium list of ingredients with house-made shrubs, bitters and syrups that just shows Italy’s cocktail traditions.

El Felix

El Felix, located at Avalon Boulevard, Alpharetta, is similar to Superica (the darling of the Tex-Mex followers) in terms of design and food and drinks menu. The bar serves young regulars, workers, and shoppers as well. Davis Pidgeon, their beverage director, says he has developed a bar menu that simply features classic margaritas and mojito cocktails. Aside from that, they have few zingers that include rye whiskey, horchata,as well as the very famous bloody mary.

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Luxco Launches Irish Whiskey Varieties

irish whisky

Luxco, a company based in St. Louise, is recently looking to capitalize on the gaining popularity of whiskeys nowadays. They’ve already started their mission through the revival of their bourbon brands, the Yellowstone and Rebel Yell. They’ve also added a new variety to their line, the Blood Oath. However, they aren’t only keen on making American whiskies today. They’ve unveiled their first-ever Irish whiskey called The Quiet Man.

According to Luxco, The Quite Man is made by Ciaran Mulgrew in honor of his father, John Mulgrew, who worked as a bartender. “In more than 50 years behind the bar, my father saw and heard it all, but like all good bartenders, John Mulgrew was true to the code and told no tales. He was ‘The Quiet Man’, or as they say in the pubs of Ireland, ‘An Fear Ciuin’,” says Ciaran in one of his interviews.

The Quiet Man will be distilled in a traditional Irish manner; inside whiskey pot stills that are matured in oak barrels and re-casked in the first-fill bourbon casks. The whiskey will be made available in two varieties: The Quiet Man Traditional Blended Whiskey, aged for 4 years with high malt percentage, sold for $40; and The Quiet Man 8-Year Single Malt Irish whiskey, which will be sold for about $50.

irish whisky

Quiet Man Irish Whiskey were provided by Luxco. Image from www.bourbonbanter.com

“The difference between a good whiskey and a great whiskey lies not just in picking the best ingredients and having the most skilled distiller. It lies in selecting the finest barrels to let the whiskey mature in. Our unique process of finishing the aging barrels that previously held bourbon but never whiskey allows The Quiet Man to soak up those wonderfully sweet yet spicy oak flavors, and the result is two great Irish Whiskies,” says Mulgrew.

Both of these whiskies will be made available in the US this month. They’ve already been available in various markets overseas last year.

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Grannies Try Fireball Whiskey

fireball whiskey

There’s a new buzz in the world of liquor today: FIREBALL WHISKEY! This cinnamon-flavored whiskey has been a “thing” by 2010; thanks to the clever marketing strategies involving Twitter, Nashville bartenders, and a lot of free shots at various colleges throughout he US!

Although the youth of America made Fireball the “official shot” for getting yourself black out drunk and sending messages that you’ll regret, it isn’t actually loved by most of the younger generations. As a matter of fact, Minnesota Vikings’ Kevin McDermott tweeted about how his 100-year old grandmother loves to party with this spicy booze!

So why not let the women who are in their golden years drink a sample of this amber elixir? This is exactly what Obsev, an online magazine, did for the 4 lucky grannies! Their responses are surely as magical as shooting fireballs from your palms.

Although they were all well-versed in the world of liquor, none of them have ever drank the Fireball cinnamon whiskey in their entire life. At first, they seemed a little bit timid and unsure of what to expect. Each of them had a unique reaction to the drink, and they were a bit surprised from the heat the fiery drink gave their throat after sipping it.

fireball whiskey

Grandmas try fireball whiskey for the first time. Photo by www.globetoday.com

“Tastes like heaven, burns like hell! ‘What happens next is up to you.’ I like cinnamon, but I don’t know about the ‘burn like hell’ part”, says one of the women who  read the label of the bottle.

“Very fiery. That’ll warm your belly, for sure! It actually tastes very nice,” says another woman.

Although some of the reactions of the women were a bit more extreme compared to others, all of them actually represent the reaction that most of us had after our first try with this drink.

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