Eminente Rum

We have received our shipment of Eminente Reserva Rum, which is new to the UK shores! A beautiful Cuban rum is from the Central province of Villa Clara. Created by César Martí, one of the island’s ten Maestros Roneros.

Eminente pays tribute to Cuba’s untainted nature, down to its bottle and logo. Its textured glass and crocodile-shaped island on the label are reminiscent of the native animal.

César Martí grew up in working in sugar cane fields, learning his craft from his grandparents. From there he dedicated his career in the pursuit of discovering the highest quality of rum. After studying physics and engineering, Martí found himself being mentored by Cuba’s first Maestro Ronero. César Martí eventually became the island’s youngest Maestro Ronero, in an unmatched 9 years!

I HAVE BEEN WANTING TO CONVEY CULTURE AND TRADITION AND MAGNIFY THE ART OF CUBAN RUM THROUGH EMINENTE.

– César Martí

Eminente combines occidente (western-style rum) from one end of the island and oriente (eastern-style rum) from the other end. This style is a perfect balancing act of refreshing and robust, smooth yet complex. Making it so versatile in however you want to enjoy it!

Aged for a minimum of 7 years in white oak ex-whisky barrels, Eminente is inspired by 19 century traditions in the way it brings forward a depth of a very old rum!

Eminente Reserva is at once intense and delicate on the nose.

The initial aroma of freshly roasted coffee gives way to softer notes of dulce de leche, toasted almond and cocoa.

Full-bodied and incredibly deep, the palate is rich with vanilla and smoky notes, coffee and raspadura, which is the taste of unrefined cane sugar.

Spicy notes of ginger and Sichuan pepper with a slight taste of prune in the background. Unsurprisingly, this is a long finish, fresh and creamy with notes of chocolate and a hint of smoke.”

Eminente will be available online soon! We will let you know!

Til next time,

Andrew

American Whiskey Cocktails

With the weather getting better, the thought of sitting outside with a nice cocktail just sounds glorious. So I had chat with everyone around here and decided to put together a list of some of our favourite American whiskey cocktails!

Kentucky Buck – w/ Maker’s Mark

Credit Maker’s Mark

A harvest of sweetness and spice with fresh strawberry, citrus, bourbon and ginger beer. Just right for right now, this buck gets its perfect kick from deliciously bold Maker’s Mark.

Ingredients

  • 2 parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • 1/2 part fresh lemon juice
  • 2–3 whole strawberries, hulled
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Ginger beer
  • Fresh strawberry for garnish

FORBIDDEN SOUR – w/ Elijah Craig

Credit Elijah Craig

Take your whiskey sour to new heights with this Bourbon & Pomegranate cocktail.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 oz. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Pomegranate Flavored Liqueur
  • .5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • .5 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

MINT JULEP – w/ Knob Creek

credit Knob Creek

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 PARTS Knob Creek
  • 2 BUNCHES mint
  • 1 PART simple syrup
  • 1 SPLASH soda

DIRECTIONS

  • In a julep cup, mix the mint sprigs with simple syrup and a splash of soda.
  • Add fine crushed ice and pour in the bourbon.
  • Lift out two mint leaves for garnish.
  • Add powdered sugar over mint to add an optional frosted appearance.

Handsome Devil – w/ Smooth Ambler

Credit Smooth Ambler

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Old Scout American Whiskey
  • .75 oz Lillet Blanc
  • .75 oz Simple syrup (1 to 1)
  • .50 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Dashes of Peach Bitters
  • 3 Mint Leaves

Preparation

Combine all of the ingredients in an ice filled Boston Shaker. Shake thoroughly then double strain into a chilled rocks glass that is filled with ice. Garnish with a twist of Orange.

Sugar Shack – w/ WhistlePig

Ingredients

  • 2 oz WhistlePig Rye Whiskey Aged 10 Years
  • ¼ oz Maple Syrup
  • ¾ oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Blackberry Simple Syrup
  • ¼ oz Pimento Dram or Allspice Dram
  • 2 dashes Maple Bitters
  • Star Anise for garnish

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a shaker.
  • Add ice to the shaker.
  • Shake.
  • Fill your favorite tiki mug with pearl ice.
  • Strain into mug.
  • Garnish with star anise and your favorite tropical adornments.
  • Enjoy!

Macallan Distill Your World: London Edition

Now this is definitely not going to be for the majority of whisky drinkers, but it will find a home with a collector. You can always count on Macallan to create and release very elaborate bottlings. This Distill Your World release is one of those.

Essentially Macallan came together with the Roca brothers to distill the essence of London. They pulled together everything that makes London the city it is, and used them as inspiration to make this unique whisky.

The Roca brothers have over three decades, after creating El Celler de Can Roca, of finding the spirit and adventure in the culinary world. They don’t just create quality food, they are experts in creating an amazing gastronomic experiences! A work of art on a plate. So it is not a surprise that Macallan came to them with the idea of this whisky.

United by an insatiable curiosity, quest for knowledge and dedication to mastery, The Macallan and the Roca brothers, owners of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain, twice named Best Restaurant in the World, explore different cultures and source inspiration for their own worlds of whisky-making and gastronomy.

Distil Your World: The London Edition is a character led whisky with encapsulating nuances of orange caramel, curry spice and Earl Grey tea, rare to find in The Macallan single malts, this expression takes the taste buds and imagination on a journey of discovery, bringing London’s soul and unique character to life.

In addition to the time and effort put into the whisky, in true Macallan fashion, the packaging was not left behind.

The packaging reflects the exploration of London and the essence captured within. The outer pack design features a true scale map of the city comprising the iconic Macallan triangle.

Inside the box, the whisky bottle represents the essence of London and is surrounded by a unique three dimensional curved map of London. The red represents the iconic bricks of historical London houses. Inside, a photographic book documenting the journey is held within a drawer in the interior of the box.

So maybe you’re looking for a new investment or maybe a pricey work of art, Distill Your World might be for you!

Till next time

-Andrew

Exciting Addition to Our FEW Range

We are soon receiving some of this fantastic rye from FEW Spirits!

The Immortal Rye takes rye whiskey to a new and enticing level. This release is taking their already fantastic grain-to-glass, award winning straight rye whiskey, then bringing it to proof with cold extracted 8 Immortals Oolong Tea. This brings out special layers of flavours and complexity that will elevate any cocktail!

8 Immortals tea is a favourite tea amongst a lot of Dancong oolong lovers. It is easily one of the finest teas in it’s category. It is soothingly smooth and very calming. The name coming from 8 legendary heroes in Chinese mythology. Shouldn’t be surprising that they chose a tea of this caliber to create this whiskey, considering their own high quality! Even the label brings a nice homage to Chinese artwork showcased in the 1893 World’s Fair.

THE SPICE OF THE LEGENDARY FEW STRAIGHT RYE FOLDS INTO THE FABLED 8 IMMORTALS TEA TO BRING AN OVERLAY OF PEACH, HONEY AND EXOTIC DRAGON FRUIT THAT IS OTHER-WORLDLY.

All of us here a big fans of FEW Spirits and their dedication to creating amazing spirits. So it’s needless to say that we are excited to crack one of these open and try a few different cocktails.

Now available HERE on Whisky Merchant!

Happy and responsible drinking,

Andrew

World Gin Award Winners

It’s that time of year again! Gin awards time!

I really enjoy going through the winners, seeing what ones I have tried and making notes of winners I have yet to try. There are so many categories that my list at the end is always big enough to keep me busy for a while! So many good looking gins this year. Sweden sweeping the London Dry category was very cool to see.

I thought I’d make a list of 2021 winners we currently have in stock. Maybe you can grab one that you have not had!

Edinburgh Gin coming in hot and taking multiple awards!

Edinburgh Gin – Rhubarb & Ginger

SILVER – Flavoured Gin

Bottled at 40%, this perfectly balanced juniper-forward gin is full of natural flavour. Aromas of rhubarb are complemented by a lift of spice, leading to a smooth, full finish.

Edinburgh Gin – Gooseberry & Elderflower

SILVER – Flavoured Gin

A deliciously refreshing and aromatic gin that harmonises tangy Gooseberry with sweet Elderflower creating a refreshing and balanced gin.

Edinburgh Gin – Raspberry

BRONZE – Flavoured Gin

It is distilled with five traditional gin botanicals and a combination of fresh Scottish raspberries and raspberry leaves to a create a perfectly balanced gin with an incredible depth of flavour.

Rock Rose Gin – Navy Strength

BEST IN SCOTLAND – Navy Strength

The higher ABV version of Rock Rose gives a strong warm pine release at the front of the drink with notes of lemon sherbet. The heart of the drink is very bold berries from the blaeberries, rowan and hawthorn. These give way to the deeper earthier notes that are hidden in the original Rock Rose, such as angelica and orris.

Hernö Gin – London Dry

GOLD – London Dry

Crafted from natural and carefully selected organic botanicals, Hernö Dry Gin is a round and smooth London dry gin diluted to 40,5% ABV. Hernö Dry Gin is awarded with IWSC World’s best London Dry Gin and World’s best Gin & Tonic but is also very enjoyable on its own.

Edinburgh Gin – Classic

SILVER – London Dry

Our classic London Dry style gin. A clean, zesty, juniper-forward gin which balances softness with bright citrus. Launched in 2010, this is our modern London Dry gin, with a nod to Scotland in its recipe including native plants and botanicals.

Nikka – Coffey Gin

SILVER – Contemporary Style Gin

Coffey Gin’s complexity is achieved through the perfect balance between 11 selected botanicals and the silky texture of Coffey distillates. The bright and zesty aroma originating from four kinds of Japanese citruses, Yuzu, Kabosu, Amanatsu and Shequasar, compliments the traditional gin botanicals of juniper berries, angelica, coriander seeds, lemon and orange peels.

Foragers – Yellow Label

BRONZE – Contemporary Style Gin

Starting with soft juniper tones, Foragers gently takes you to fresh, semi-sweetness of apple and elderberry, before giving way to incredible, subtle, unmistakable floral notes from gorse and heather flowers. This truly is an authentic expression of Britain and the terrior of North Wales.

Grab one of these or any other one of our many gins! Find your new G&T gin!

Til next time.

Andrew

Black Tot 50th Anniversary

I am always a fan when a brand has a good story behind it, but also can back that up with with an equally good liquid! This Black Tot rum is one of those bottlings. Thought I would grab a bottle to try.

This bottle is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Black Tot Day. Which was the day that the Royal Navy officially brought an end to the 239 year old tradition that was the daily rum ration. At the time it was seen as a “barbaric act by government” to take away sailor’s rum an end to a great tradition. Today Black Tot day is seen as a day for friend to get together to share their rum rations and stories. Seeing as the Royal Navy were some of the first rum blenders as they picked up casks from every different port from all over the world!

This 50th anniversary bottling was created in a very limited 5000 bottle run. It is a wonderful nod to the original Navy blends, marrying rums from the four cornerstones of the original blend. Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana, and Barbados. Pulling from ancient stills and distilleries no longer in operation. A tasty tribute and balanced blend of rums. Because they believe in transparency with their rums. They published the full breakdown recipe.

Guyana:

Barbados:

Trinidad:

Jamaica:

World Blend:

This is a really well balanced blend that just has an array of flavours that just coats your whole mouth! Any different way you prepare it you are going to open up different flavours. Whether it’s neat, with ice, with some water, or in a host of different cocktails, the possibilities are endless. Lots of dark chocolate, mint, liquorice, stewed apples, and vanilla are just some of the notes I come across. Wonderfully rich and making you want more!

Till next time,

Andrew

Random Spirits To Enjoy On That Random Holiday

We’re nearing that 14th of February Hallmark holiday again where it’s like Cupid threw up red and pink things everywhere! We are always up for making a list of spirits we are currently enjoying, so that’s what we did. Whether you enjoy celebrating this holiday or not, that doesn’t matter here. These fabulous drinks are sure to tickle your tastebuds and bring upon that warming feeling deep inside. So hopefully this completely random list can inspire you to try something new!

Weller Antique 107 Bourbon – 53.5% 75cl

I swear, it’s not because it is red! This is an absolutely incredible wheated bourbon that has been accompanying my evenings by the fire more often these days. A wonderfully crafted bourbon that is bold and complex, but offers delicious fruity and floral notes. This higher proof offering works well sipped or in cocktails.

Foragers Black Label Gin – 46% 70cl

This gin has been my go to for G&Ts and martinis since we got Foragers in stock. I don’t know how I’ve without this gin for so long! Praised by chef James Martin on his Great British Adventure. Intense and smooth juniper notes, with richness from the sea buckthorn. Wonderfully crisp and elegant.

Brugal 1888 Gran Reserva Doblemente Anejado Rum – 70cl 40%

The rum for whisky lovers! This bottling from Brugal range is a beautifully distinct rum that crisp and dry, but not overly sweet. Double-wood aged for 6-8 years in White American Oak Casks, followed by 2-4 years in first-filled Spanish Sherry Oak Casks. The cask aging is where it makes it more reminiscent of a single malt.

Suntory Chita Japanese Single Grain Whisky – 70cl 43%

This is the first single grain whisky from the house of Suntory. Originally Chita grain whiskies have been used to enhance the flavours and harmony of Suntory blends. Now, it has gained a level of complexity and sophistication that allows it to walk on it’s own! Clean and mild, with wonderful rich honey & spiced oak flavours.

Stalla Dhu Single Cask Glen Elgin Port Wood – 48% 70cl

Can’t finish this list without our newest release from the Stalla Dhu range of independent bottlings. This Glen Elgin port wood finish is perfectly aged and bottled at the best ABV, hitting the sweet spot. Aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in first fill Port cask. Flavours of toasted almonds, fresh plums, and nougat. Intensely creamy!

Happy Sipping,

Andrew

Whisky to Enjoy on Burns Night

As Robert Burns’ birthday is approaching, we get our favourite haggis and our bottle or 2 of whisky to enjoy! This year is definitely going to look a lot different, but doesn’t have to be less enjoyable. We can embrace the suck and press forward with some delicious food and great whisky! It’s definitely going to be smaller, just your small pod of people, or a video gathering of all your favourite people. It’s up to you. Do something a bit more special or unique this year to compensate for the lack of gatherings.

We have put a small list of whiskies to help give you ideas for that wonderful Burns night tipple.

Stalla Dhu Caol Ila 11 y/o – 60.4%

This beautiful Islay is the newest edition to our Stalla Dhu range of independent bottlings. Bottled at cask strength and aged 11 years in a hogshead cask. You get a lightly salted sweetness, toasted almonds, slight pepper with smoldering embers. This is rich and peaty, sure to satisfy those Islay lovers out there. Limited to 287 bottles!

Singleton of Dufftown 17 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2020 – 55.1%

Part of last year’s Special Releases from Diageo, these are chosen to be a unique offering from some of our favourite distilleries. This is an unusual first-ever refill cask release of Singleton, being matured 17 years in refill American oak hogshead. This release lives up to the distillery’s smooth and balanced nature! Wonderfully creamy, fruity, a touch of fresh cut grass, and perfectly balanced.

Glendronach 12 y/o Original – 43%

A tried and true Highland whisky that brings the wonderful sherry flavours from Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks. A great after dinner dram to wash down your lovely haggis, neeps & tatties! This GlenDronach is just a fantastically smooth dram with creamy vanilla, dried fruits, and of course the heavy dose of sherry!

Arran Port Cask Finish – 70cl 50%

Another one for those that love the wine cask finished whiskies. This Port cask finish from Arran is a perfect pairing with a lovely cheese board, maybe bought from the Isle of Arran Cheese Shop! Charming and rich, with splashes of citrus, vanilla fudge, and ripe cherries.

Highland Park Triskelion – 45.1%

A special edition Highland Park, that for the first time was created buy 3 of the distillery’s legendary whisky makers! Three principal cask types were hand chosen by each of the distillers, then combined to showcase the influence of wood and cask seasoning. First-fill sherry seasoned Spanish oak butts, first-fill sherry seasoned American oak casks and first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads casks. A complex, full-flavoured Highland Park that boasts vibrant orchard fruit notes, with heather honey, and just the right amount of peat smoke!

Louis Roederer Brut Premier

It’s coming up on that evening where a lot of champagne is consumed! Although it will definitely look different this year, New Year’s Eve is an evening people wished came sooner! Champagne will probably still play a big roll, even if it’s on your own or with a loved one. Toasting to what will hopefully be a much brighter year next year! I had to grab myself one of these Louis Roederer gift sets to ring in the new year.

Brut Premier is made up of 40% Pinot noir, 40% Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Meunier. All matured in oak tuns produced from three Champagne grape varieties. This is an absolutely fantastic non-vintage cuvée, that just dominates this category. Louis Roederer boasts uncompromising quality when it comes to what they put out. Not to mention they are one of the only French Champagne producers to own nearly 75% of the grapes in the most sought after vineyards in the Champagne. The Brut Premier is the Champagne that sets the house style for Louis Roederer.

The freshness, finesse, and brightness of Brut Premier make it the perfect wine for festive occasions. Its structured texture, richness, and length are distinctly winey. It is a full, complex wine that is both rich and powerful, whilst remaining a great classic.

-Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master

Perfect for any kind of celebration or romantic rendezvous! Very elegant and fresh.

Arran 25 Year Old Release

Photo Credit: Arran Whisky

Arran has always been one of my favourite places to visit, and the fact they have a distillery there just makes it that much better! A mixture of good scenery and good whisky is always a recipe for a lovely experience! I will be happy when I’m able to go spend some more time there.

Lochranza Distillery is in their 25th year of production and to mark that momentous occasion, they have released their first 25 year old single malt! The 25 will be added to their core range and will only have limited quantities put out each year. This is definitely a big milestone for them to put out this single malt from the 1995 casks. As this has been an especially challenging year for everyone, they are hoping this will be something special that everyone can enjoy together!

Here is a little rundown from the distillery:

Original 1995 Stock Lifespan Breakdown
35% ex-Sherry
65% ex-Bourbon

Re-casking
All stock re-casked into 1st Fill and Refill Sherry Hogsheads for 12 months prior to bottling.

Arran 25 Tasting Notes

Nose – Rich oak with a gentle nutmeg note. Sweeter aromas of baked ripe figs, sultanas and black cherries.

Palate – Fruit cake with toasted almonds and cinnamon. The juicy zestiness of oranges and mandarins mellows perfectly with manuka honey, muscovado sugar, baked apricots and an interesting white pepper note that provides even more complexity.

Finish – Creamy and spicy with dark chocolate, walnuts and dark fruits compote.