Posts Tagged ‘whisky’

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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Alcohol that Saves Water? Ecofriendly Elixir

Diageo brands

“Save water, drink alcohol!” … That’s like cutting off sugars and eating more pasta and bread. However, you can  help decrease water consumption by buying alcohol from brands that use environment-friendly processes. In turn, you are helping support manufacturing methods that benefits everybody.

How is Alcohol Produced?

You might not know it, but alcohol production was once a water-intensive process. To make it worse, the production waste is deemed unusable. With increasing water demands, these manufacturing methods aren’t sustainable anymore. Alcohol producers are beginning to identify ways in lessening the environmental impact. Fortunately, their efforts are starting to pay forward.

An Eco-Friendly Alcohol

Diageo, a leader in the beverage industry around the world, has over 50 brands under its wings. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, and Captain Morgan drinks. They produce their beverages in more than 30 countries worldwide, many of which are said to be water-stressed. In order to make sure that their local and global production is eco-friendly and sustainable, Diageo has started to make an effort in lessening water consumption, waste water production, and water draw by 50 percent — they aim to achieve this by 2020.

Diageo brands

Diageo Reserve Collection. Photo credits to

For the last two years, the company has reduced its water usage by about 2.5%. On average, they use 6.9 liters of water for every alcohol they produce and they aim to reduce this even further. Moreover, Diageo has reduced their waste water output by 12% at water-stressed areas. Their water drawing has also decreased by 9% on average.

In addition, they also plan to reduce packaging by 15%, use 45% recycled materials, produce 100% recyclable packaging, and give back to water-stressed areas.

How Feasible is Diageo’s Plan?

Diageo’s plan is attainable primarily because other producers succeeded. Spirits and wines aren’t only the ones that require huge amounts of water, beer production does too. Last 2008, SAB Miller, among the largest beverage companies worldwide, set goals to reduce water consumption by 25% in a span of 7 years. Astonishingly, they didn’t only achieve their goals, they did it in less than 7 years!

Today, approximately 59% of SAB Miller brewers utilize less than 3.5 hectoliters of water to produce 1 hectoliter of beer; only 5 percent of the SAB Miller brewers met this goal last 2008. With this level of water conservation, the company has saved about 28 billion liters of water every year. Needless to say, this is quite a large amount already.

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Jughandle Brewery in Tinton Falls


Craft breweries and distilleries are trending. Just this year, the Beach House Brewery opened in Belmar; meanwhile, Asbury Park approved a distillery for whisky and gin at Emory Street. And now, it’s Tinton Falls’ turn.

Last September, the planning board of Tinton Falls has approved a 3,000 square foot brewery in the Tinton Falls Centre. Jughandle Brwery Co. will be producing 4,000 barrels (31 gallons per barrel) of craft beer each year, and it will be open to the public for tastings and tours.

Pete Artherholt and Mike Skudera of Tinton Falls, and Chris Hanigan of Red Bank are the owners of the brewery. Skudera, former Mayor of Tinton Falls, said that he just met Artherhold and Hanigan at a party in 2014.


jughandle brewing Local Residents Opening Tinton Falls’ First Brewery. Image from

“I finally got to try their beer. … Every (beer) I tried I liked a lot; their beer is one of the best that I’ve tasted. I was very impressed, so I jokingly asked them, ‘Hey, have you ever thought about going pro?’,” says Skudera.

As it turns out, they had and they soon contacted Skudera and asked assistance on the business aspect of things.  According to Skudera, Arterholt (a former chemist) and his wife (a microbiologist) is a rare asset in their brewery.

“That helps immensely because when breweries start they can’t afford to hire a microbiologist… when you start creating more and more quantities of beer you want to have microbiologist do a lot of quality control; we’re starting off on a great foot having that,” Skudera said.

Hanigan, on the other hand, works as an art director and he has experience in marketing and designs. Skudera said that the entire team is “fantastic” as they all have the skills and talents that would make their business successful.

To start off, Jughandle will be offering 6 craft beers. They are also planning to expand to 14.

As far as marketing goes, they’ve already posted photos of the Russian Imperial Stout on their Facebook account. It was said to have a rich and complex maltiness with a hint of coffee and dark chocolate flavor. It was aged for 10 months with an ABV of 11 percent.

The tours will be every Friday and Saturday, but they are planning to have additional days in the future, according to Skudera. The group also hopes for their products to be served at local restaurants and bars.

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What’s your Holiday Poison?

Rye whiskies

One recent afternoon, there were 3 men representing 3 generations of Kentucky clan, who has been in the distillery industry for over half the century, sitting at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. There was Jimmy Russel, a legendary distiller; Eddie Russell, his son and a veteran distiller himself; and Bruce Russell, the 26-year-old son of Eddie and a new addition to their firm.

When their drinks arrived at their table, Eddie Russell introduced each of their poison. “Bourbon! Bourbon!” he said as he pointed to his and his father’s glass. Finally, when he gave his son’s poison, he said, “Rye!”

What was his point? What once was an old man’s drink, Rye Whiskey is now a young person’s drink!

“I’ve always preferred rye. I don’t really have a big sweet tooth. It’s dry and spicy. In my opinion, it’s a lot more complex,” said Bruce Russell during an interview. “Unlike Dad and Jimmy, I really enjoy cocktails. Not just bourbon on the rocks.”

As families reunite this month, they may feel a little disconnected. Thus, if they opt for rye during the holiday gatherings, the benefit is greater. First and foremost, the whiskey drink is a versatile choice for various kinds of drinks, classic, and modern. Second, if what you’re after is an old-fashioned American holidays, you can’t go wrong rye.

The comeback of rye isn’t new to the scene anymore. Whisky — by definition, it is distilled from a minimum of 52% rye — has long been recovering for about a decade already. But what is amazing is that rye has continued to become more popular over the years. This interesting trend may become a long-term adjustment in the drinking habits among Americans.

“There’s a cultural shift that’s happening. The American palate is moving from sweet to savory. That means a move from bourbon to rye. And there’s also a movement toward taste being important. And that means a shift from vodka to rye,” says Dave Pickerell, a distiller who has been influential in many popular new rye brands, such as WhistlePig and Hillrock.

A trade group, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, released a study last August showing that the sales of rye had significantly increased from 2009 to 2014, rising to over 561,000 9-liter cases from more than 88,000.

Rye whiskies

Rye Whiskies this Festive Cheer. Image:

When American Whiskey bar opened in Manhattan last 2013, they predicted that healthy rye sales would  help them succeed in the industry. They weren’t exactly sure how much though.

“There’s the change we anticipated, and the change that has actually happened. We thought people would drink rye — mainly overproof rye and in cocktails. What I’m seeing more of is people ordering expressions neat, with one rock at the most,” says Kevin Hooshangi, a part-owner of the bar.

Today, we can now see a lot of brands available in the market. Some of the famous ryes were produced by micro-distilleries that responded to the purist bartenders’ desire to create classic cocktails, such as the manhattan and old-fashioned drinks with rye.

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