Piping Live – Brockmans

Last on our list for Piping Live and by no means least we have Brockmans. Now I have been waiting to get this on the list for a long time. At the Juniper festival in Edinburgh I was pairing up Brockmans with the new Pink Grapefruit tonic from Fentimans and I can honestly say it wasn’t like drinking Gin and Tonic, it was its own class. So much so I kept handing people tasters of Pink Grapefruit tonic and sending them over to the Brockmans stand.

Brockmans is the creation of one man Bob Fowkes who for years worked for the big companies such as Diageo. Bobs vision to create a gin Like No Other coupled with his knowledge of the market and marketing abilities gave birth to Brockmans which is indeed a Gin like no other, as no other Gin delivers the flavour Brockmans does.

Brockmans comprises of Blackberries, Cassia bark, Liquorice, Lemon Peel, Coriander, Angelica, Orange Peel, Almonds, Orris and Juniper (it is a Gin). The botanicals are steeped in pure grain spirit for hours to release their oils. Then, Brockmans is distilled in a 100 year old traditional copper still.

To smell you get straight of the bat that blackberry, which makes you think you could be about to taste a flavored vodka (which isn’t all Gins at heart) right and floral on the nose, its bloody excellent on the nose to be honest. To taste the Juniper is there but it’s sweeter, as the wintery fruit taste along with the citrus are dominate. There is also a wee bit of heat which is ginger bread like (you won’t get this with tonic though). Neat on the finish it is dry, which is a great balance from the sweetness on the nose.
Its honestly a wonderful Gin, well done Bob.
Remember we will be running two tasting events at Piping Live on Wednesday 9th August (from 5pm) and Friday 11th at the Piping Centre, Glasgow.

Tickets are available for Friday only now as Wednesday is sold out and can be found following the below link:

Wednesday 9th:
https://pipinglive.co.uk/events/2017-piping-live-presents-glasgow-gin-club-wed/

Friday 11th:
https://pipinglive.co.uk/events/2017-piping-live-presents-glasgow-gin-club-fri/

Thanks

Graeme

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Piping Live – Glen Wyvis & Arbikie

Right as I took Monday as a bank holiday for everything I didnt do a post about more Gins for Wednesday and Friday.

First off, we have added a fifth Gin to bill! Arnt we good to you. Mainly because I have been trying to get Glen Wyvis Gin back to one of our events for over a year.

So.. Glen Wyvis I discovered when running the Inverness Gin Tour as part of the NIP festival which runs out of Bog Bain Farm at the start of the year (i recommend that all booze lovers get out to one of their events). At this event I decided to slice the top of my finger off while cutting a orange then cracked a blood orange joke.

The distillery is still in development so stay tunned for updates on that. The Gin itself launched in summer 2015 and is the first from Dingwall. The takes it name from Glenskiach and Ben Wyvis, two old now defunct distilleries from the area. Incidentally a skiach is Gaelic for Hawthorn which is one of the botanicals in Glen Wyvis.

Glen Wyvis consists of nine botanicals, which are: locally picked hawthorn, Juniper (it is a Gin), Orange & Lemon Peel, Coriander Seeds, Angelica Root, Cinnamon, Orris Root, Almond Powder.

To taste there is a straight hit of Juniper, which lingers just enough for the Citrus Peel to come through. A very pleasant fresh tasting Gin which tastes like its made with love and attention.

Next on our list is something we haven’t had back in a while and is now my local distillery.

Arbikie is the a relatively new distillery from Angus (my local), well its actually an old one as apparently there was a distillery on the Arbikie estate over a hundred years It is ran by the Stirling family who decided to make the jump into distilling a few years back and who employed distiller Kirsty Black to craft their visions of Whisky, Gin and Potato Vodka.

Incidentally Arbikie are one of the few Gin companies in Scotland who make their own base alcohol. The Potato Vodka their produce (from locally farmed tatties on the Arbikie Farm) forms the base of their main Gin: Kirsty’s Gin.

Kirsty’s Gin, fuses a combination of traditional botanicals (juniper, angelica, coriander, liquorice and orris) with three more unusual ingredients, each plucked from sea, rock or land, such as; kelp, Carline thistle root and blueberries.

To turn Vodka to Gin, the spirit is added back into one of Arbikie’s copper stills alongside all of the botanicals and left to soak for a day. The still is heated very slowly, taking a full day to run. Taking off the highs and lows from the still what’s left is rested for a day then diluted down to its bottling strength of 43%.

Kirsty’s Gin has vanilla softness and fruit sweetness, no doubt led by the blaeberries. Its creamier than most spirits and something else we at Gin Club cant grasp but we put that down to the Potato Vodka.
Arbikie do a host of various products now alongside the Potato Vodka and Kirsty’s Gin, they have launched the spicy Chili Vodka and the AK Gin.

Remember we will be running two tasting events at Piping Live on Wednesday 9th August (from 5pm) and Friday 11th at the Piping Centre, Glasgow.

Tickets are available for both nights and can be found following the below links, Wednesday is nearly sold out though.
Wednesday 9th:
https://pipinglive.co.uk/events/2017-piping-live-presents-glasgow-gin-club-wed/

Friday 11th:

https://pipinglive.co.uk/events/2017-piping-live-presents-glasgow-gin-club-fri/

Piping Live – Valentia Gin

So our first Gin to be featured at our two events for Piping Live is Valentia.

Valentia Gin comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Granada, Spain where (I read) the water is known for its exceptional purity. The Gin is double distilled in small batches in a traditional cooper pot still. Valentia is made using “Mediterranean botanicals” which are; Juniper (it is a Gin), Angelica, Cardamom, Thyme, Coriander, Rosemary and Valencia citrus fruits.

When we have discussed Valentia in the past we described it as the perfect Gin for that feeling that you are on holiday as itsfresh, fruity and definitely citrusy.

To taste there is the initial juniper hit but it is like a punch, it’s a level hit, this fades quickly to leave the citrus fruit. To make it had an orange sherbet flavour.

One of the added bonuses of having Valentia along is you get to meet Alfonso. For the ladies reading, Alfonso is Spanish, well dressed and owns a Gin company. You can’t really go wrong there and his chat is on point.

I’m pretty sure he is due me a pint from juniper festival too.

Remember we will be running two tasting events at Piping Live on Wednesday 9th August (from 5pm) and Friday 11th at the Piping Centre, Glasgow.

Tickets are available for both nights and can be found following the below links, Wednesday is nearly sold out though.

Wednesday 9th:
https://pipinglive.co.uk/events/2017-piping-live-presents-glasgow-gin-club-wed/

Friday 11th:
https://pipinglive.co.uk/events/2017-piping-live-presents-glasgow-gin-club-fri/

October Gin Club Tasting Guide

Was supposes to do this yesterday, but here is the tasting guide for tonight.

Colonel Fox Cremorne 1859:

Cremorne 1859 was launched in 2012 and is a collaboration between CASK Liquid Marketing, PR guru Antoni Heatley and the artist Charlotte Cory. They wanted to produce a classic London Dry Gin when they came across an intriguing recipe by Colonel Fox.

Using only six core botanicals: juniper, coriander, angelica root, cassia, liquorice and bitter orange peel, they produce classic gins that hark back to Victorian England. The balance between the botanicals in Colonel Fox’s gin is perfect. The juniper is prominent on the palate, closely followed by a zesty, fruity flavour. There is a very traditional kind of sweetness, presumably from the liquorice, that gives it a pleasantly creamy mouthfeel, ending with a focused and peppery finish.

We are serving this as a G&T with Cherries.

Bulldog Gin:

Generally overlooked by gin enthusiasts but it’s worth seeking out and our “star in a reasonable priced car”. The name could be from the year of release 2006 which was the year of the dog, or as their website says it’s a reference to Winston Churchill.

This gin is quadruple-distilled and bottled at 40% ABV.  Bulldog is made up of 12 botanicals, juniper the most noticeable one (it is a gin), lotus leaves, lavender, cinnamon, cardamom, citrus fruits, liquorice, poppy and Dragons eye (I can’t remember them all).

To taste its slightly spicy with the cinnamon, cardamom and citrus leaving you with a warm finish that lingers.

We will be serving this with Pink Grapefruit and a lemon twist

Valentia:

Valentia Gin comes from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Granada, Spain where (I read) the water is known for its exceptional purity.  The Gin is double distilled in small batches in a traditional cooper pot still.  Valentia is made using “Mediterranean botanicals” which are; Juniper (it is a Gin), Angelica, Cardamom, Thyme, Coriander, Rosemary and Valencia citrus fruits.

To taste there is the initial juniper hit but it is like a punch, it’s a level hit, this fades quickly to leave the citrus fruit.  To make it had an orange sherbet flavour.

We are serving Valentia as a G&T, Pink Grapefruit and Rosemary

Minus 33:

Minus 33 is crafted by scientist at the Locabev Laboratory in Rosyth.  Yes this Gin is really made in a lab.  Minus 33 comes in at 33% so technically does not qualify as a London Dry Gin but  It is a Juniper distilled spirit (which is also one of their taglines).

After 3 years and 539 test tubes of experimentation Locabev decided that the optimum strength for a really smooth spirit was 33%.  This also makes it the perfect drink for those on a diet as that makes it just 46 calories per serve.

To taste Minus 33 it is fresh and floral with hints of juniper, citrus, lavender, elderflower and angelica.

Sam is making Halloween themed cocktails.  And G&T’s with Raspberries, Blairgowrie boys need to have Rasps somewhere.

Piping Live & Gin Club

Right, so, ok, right (as my mother in law says constantly to herself).  Two blogs in one week!  How creative of us, or we have just plagiarised from the website we are about to promote.

As hopefully most of you are aware we are teaming up to host two special events for Piping Live.  What is Piping Live I hear you ask to yourself (assuming you are not a Teuchter or a member of the traditional music fraternity), well dear reader as I send in my work emails, “see below”:

“The spectacular evening is part of this year’s Piping Live! Festival, the world’s biggest week of piping which sees over 50,000 people flock to Glasgow to enjoy over 200 events throughout the city”.
Piping Live! is a week-long celebration of bagpipes and traditional music, taking place between 8 – 14 August.  It brings over 50,000 music fans to Glasgow and sees over 200 events, with over 8,000 performers, take place in various venues across the city.  Each event will showcase the world’s most talented musicians in modern trad music, with this year’s festival being headlined by the globally-famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers (Saturday 13th, O2 ABC).

 

We your Gin facilitating friends will be working with this fine festival on their Summer Sessions. Where we will be hosting two events on Wednesday 10th August at the Piping Centre and the 11th August in the George Square Marquee.  At these events four of the finest Scottish Gins will be there for you to taste  which are; Eden Mill, Pickerings, Shetland Reel and Minus 33.  You also get a mini masterclass, get a full Gin and Tonic but not only that  eat a selection of delicious canapes which will be provided from a variety of specially selected Glasgow restaurants, courtesy of the Glasgow Restaurant Association.

The night will be rounded off with toe-tapping musical performances from some of the best celtic artists from the Piping Live! bill, as well as the opportunity to pipe up and give the bagpipes a go with exclusive come-and-try sessions.

Tickets for Piping Live!’s Summer Session with Glasgow Gin Club are £20 and available now at www.pipinglive.co.uk

Some words of finery about us too:
Roddy MacLeod, festival director of Piping Live!, said: “Piping Live! is famous for bringing the very best talent to Glasgow and this collaboration is no different. The Glasgow Gin Club are renowned for their great events, knowledge and love of gin and I’m excited to have them join us to add a refreshing twist to this year’s festival line up.”

There are load of things happening all over the city for Piping Live, try and get involved.  Most of it, drink, food and of course music related.  If you get the chance head over to the Piping Centre for the tents outside, whiskey galore btw. There is also the Pipers’ Market which includes food trucks by Fire Dog and Bowl Food, supplied by Good Food Glasgow as well as a range of stalls filled by a variety of independent traders. The market will be open from 11am-6pm from Monday 8th to Friday 12th August.

Ungava, Harris, Stirling & New Strathearn

Honestly its been weeks!  Why do we wait so long to update you on the last event.  Well in truth its down the fact that Stuart and I still haven’t adapted ourselves to the adult world.  I still think it’s acceptable to sleep until 12 and play Xbox until 2am.  So when our day time adult lives (Word 2010 assures me that “lives” is right and not “lifes”), become busy we flap and have no idea what to do.  Stuart will also use the excuse that he is “snowed under” with work all because of some music festival he was at working in the portacabin putting wrist bands on people 🙂

I didn’t get that nonsense from Kate – Actually she just went AWOL

So we had our last main Gin Club event in June and it was yet again another great night. This was heightened as for once I didn’t have to give up my house to my in laws.  No sacrificing my bed for the living room floor, no getting woken up at 8am with “right”, “ok” and the inevitable conversation through walls my new family do.

Also randomly at the June event we had a late night visit from a bearded Policeman who was escaping down the lane so he go have smoke of his over-sized vapor pipe.  I did get a bit nervous thinking the local constabulary were here to shut us down in some thought that we were a speakeasy serving drink to cake loving citizens.

Anyway, lets focus on the gins.  And in no particular order but lets jump on Gin number 1.  Ungava (the yellow one).

Ungava is a Canadian Gin which takes its name form Ungava Bay, along the Hudson strait. Ungava uses “Nordic Botanicals.” Calling them Nordic Botanicals is a good description as most of the contents of this Gin will be uncommon to the London Dry fans here in the UK

So in Ungava there is; Cloudberry, Wild Rose Hips, Crowberry, Artic Blend (which is quite like Rhododendron), Labrador tea (which is also like Rhododendron) and Juniper (it is a Gin), in this case it’s Nordic Juniper.

Ungava is yellow.  Remember how we discussed the cold infused method used in Bathtub gins where Botanicals go into a large tea bag and steep in the alcohol until infused, well a similar process is employed here.  There is not steam or boiled distillation so the hew of the botanicals remains in the final product.

On the nose its sweet, a hint of lemon zest but a good deal of juniper (it is a gin), same on the taste. We served it as a G&T with Fever Tree, garnished with Grapefruit.  All round Ungava is a great Gin to have in the cabinet (or the shed) its more on the Junipery side so will be for the Gin Lovers but a really unique gin to offer people which are new to the game.  Its Yellow so it stands out.

Next up came from one of our  favorite small distilleries, Strathearn.

I know we bark on and on about them loads, but honestly Tony and the crew really make some of the best Gin’s Scotland has to offer, I don’t think I’ve ever not had a bottle of Heather Rose in the house.

This time thought Strathearn were featuring their new one, Strathearn Juniper.

As its name suggests, our latest gin is strongly juniper-led. A smooth, sweet start switches to a light peppery mouth-feel which is followed by a gentle sherbet finish as the citrus develops towards the end. The balance is achieved by a double distillation, ideal for the ultimate G&T.

A proper Gin for the real Gin lovers, if you don’t like strong gins because of the overwhelming Juniper taste then this might not be the Gin for you.  But if you are like us and love the taste then get buying.

We served it as a Classic G&T with Fever Tree, garnished with Orange Peel.

Harris Gin

As you might of thought this is distilled on the isle of Harris in a wee copper still, known affectionately as ‘The Dottach’.  The spirit is made up of nine specially chosen botanicals which capture the elemental nature of Harris, particularly the maritime influences of the seas.

Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root, Orris Root, Cubebs, Bitter Orange Peel, Liquorice and Cassia Bark, but it is Sugar kelp which provides Harris with its key seaside flavour. Hand-harvested by a local diver from the deep underwater forests of the Outer Hebrides.

To smell it has a well-defined juniper note with pine needles, to taste it has a good balance between the bitter juniper and pine with the sweet fruit flavours.

It’s fair to say this Gin is selling like mental at the moment, so much so that the distillery is struggling to keep up with demand.  So much so we had to do a trip to the Park bar to steal theirs for the event.  Its a fine product though, really lovely.  And marketed so well.  I think we actually gave away all the empty bottles of the gin.  Hopefully the good spirit company have plenty of stock

We served it as a classic G&T with a lime wedge.  You can buy the seaweed essence to add to the flavour too.

The last Gin on the night (again no order) was Striling.

Before the event I hadn’t tried or read up on Stirling Gin, Stuart was the champion of this one and I soon worked out why.

Stuart and I differ loads, he is tall, with loads of hair, skinny and people like him.  I’m shorter, losing my hair, my once amazing hair is leaving me and people like me less.  Our Gin tastes are different, I like fresh and citrus and he likes the savory herby side of things (which might explain a few things tbh).

Stirling is the only gin to come from Stirling.  It is distilled in Glasgow, as stills are large, expensive and pricey to run.

So whats in it:  Juniper, basil, nettles, angelica root, orange and lemon peel.

To taste there is a firm hit of Juniper, and then a slight peppery to spicy taste, its a very interesting Gin.  If you are in the Good Spirit or other decent place we strongly suggest you give it a try.

Right so whats next.  The August Gin Club is sold out on 12/08.

However we are doing two events on the 10/08 and 11/08 with Piping Live in Glasgow.

Piping Live is the festival for the World Pipe Band Championships where people from all over the world descend on Glasgow.

Throughout the city there will be a whole host of events.

We are holding two Gin events, one on the 10/08 in the Piping Centre

And a larger event on the 11/08 in George Square.

Both will have music and food.

Gins to be feature are:  Pickerings, Eden Mill, Minus 33 and Shetland Reel.

Piping Live! Presents Glasgow Gin Club

Piping Live! 2016 Presents A Summer Session with Glasgow Gin Club

 

Thanks

 

Graeme

 

 

 

Pickerings

So this one I have planned ahead.  Yes go me.

For our third Gin we have the amazing Pickerings back.

Pickerings was launch in 2013 and founded by Marcus Pickering and Matthew Gammell, at the Summerhall Distillery which was the former School of Veterinary Studies.

Pickering’s is based on an old Bombay recipe which was kept as a family secret for over 66 years,and resurfaced in 2013. The gin is a recreation of this original recipe where Pickerings have increased the amount of juniper compared to the original.

The Gin itself consists of nine botanicals – juniper, coriander, cardamom, angelica, fennel, anise, lemon, lime and cloves.

The process involves macerating the botanicals for 24 hours with neutral grain spirit in a copper still, nicknamed Gert. The still is heated in a unique way almost like a custom-built water bath allowing the heat to be altered and applied directly.

To me Pickerings is a smooth bu almost earthy Gin.  Its fresh with an initial hit of Juniper (it is a Gin) with a piney taste.  There is an after taste of fennel and cardamom, leaving you with the overall spice.

We have no idea how we are serving this yet.

I may have time to fix the blog before tomorrows pre alert.

We do love this Gin though.

 

Eden Mill – Hop Gin

Oh god I am properly late with this one.

See what happens when the day job takes over.  Who said that 3pm on a Wednesday was the best time for social media engagement???

So Gin numero quarto, Eden Mill Hopped Gin.

It’s safe to say we have been trying to get the folks at Eden Mill along to Gin Club for a long time.  They have a huge product range and the Gin is very different to the other London Drys out there, so we have to have them feature at least once.

The Eden Mill story is quite a different one, historically there hasn’t been any spirit production on the site in over 150 years, between 1810 and 1860 where the Haig family produced Whiskey.  The brewing element has been long established, then in 2014 they decided to start producing Whiskey and Gin again.

There are no other distillers / brewers in Scotland like this.  It is a unique combination which only serves to produce unique, highly crafted spirits.  Bringing their own brand of distilling, which definitely comes from the craft beer world, gave birth to the Hop Gin.  The first of its kind in the UK! This is a fairly decent achievement to be honest, I haven’t ever done anything (nothing savoury at least) which was the first in the country.

The Gin contains botanicals: Juniper (it is a Gin), Australian Galaxy Hops, Sea Buckthorn, Oak, Hibiscus, Hickory and I think others are in there Citrus peel, Coriander and Liquorice (Sorry Eden Mill I couldn’t find a full botanical list, but I was sure I could taste coriander and maybe the Hops were giving me the citrus flavour).

To taste this, it really does confuse you, again in a good way.  It already has that beer-esq hue about it when you pour it, you half expect when you smell it that it might froth on the top (thankfully it doesn’t, I don’t know if frothy Gin would sell).  Yeah so the taste confuses you (in a good way) as the Juniper slides away to this hop like citrus taste, which lines the mouth (I believe that’s called oily but I’ve never liked that expression).

It’s a lovely drink, Gin lovers you will love the difference this drink does to your impression of what a Gin should be.  Make sure you try their other range.  Not a clue how we are serving this yet.

Botanical Eater (Botanivore) – St George

St. George – Botanivore

Rolling on for the October Event, and no we haven’t made it a Halloween them, Stuart will look just as scary though.  Our first Gin to announce comes from those special distillers from across the Atlantic, St. George Botanivore.  Those of you who have been reading this or coming to our “tasting” events will know we featured Stuarts Favorite Gin the Terroir.  A Gin which both Stuart and I always keep stocked up.  I think collectively we sell out the Good Spirit’s company stock of this fine product over few months or so.  I also bought Stuart a bottle to say “thanks for being my best man”.  Although he doesn’t deserve any thanks because he didn’t actually complete his “tying the knot” duties, and thus my marriage is probably null and void.

St. George Spirits was established by Jörg Rupf in 1982 after arriving in America from the Black Forest, Germany. It has taken them up to 30 years to grow into the distillery they are today from a one man to an ex Naval hangar, producing three gins along with other spirits.

Botanivore

Botanivore, or as St George call it “botanical eater,” is made up of 19 different botanicals working in “concert”, which is a lot, that’s getting up there with fellow namesake The Botanist.

St George say “Think of a meadow in bloom—herbaceous, fresh, and elegant”.

The botanicals are angelica root, bay laurel, bergamot peel, black peppercorn, caraway, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, citra hops, coriander, dill seed, fennel seed, ginger, juniper berries, lemon peel, lime peel, orris root, Seville orange peel, star anise!

Botanivore is very floral, there is that steady hit of Juniper (it is a gin) but it is hidden, you taste it first then it plays hide and seak. What starts to come forward on the nose is  the cardamom, fennel and anise.

Tasting it you know straight away like the Terroir that this is a herbaceous Gin, with pine and citrus up front, and a peppery herbal complexity which hangs around until its finished.  It really is a marvellous product.

St George just seem to nail this fresh mountain garden taste.  It’s hard to describe it. But I imagine drink Botanivore while summiting a munro on a stunning day. I might try it actually.

We will be serving this beauty of a Gin as a G&T with Fever tree Tonic and Lemon peel.  The citrus fruits can easily be masked behind the herbs so it will work perfectly. The Fever Tree won’t kill the subtle juniper flavour.  Oh I think I will have one later.

If you still need tickets follow the below link:

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/artist/glasgow-gin-club-tickets/944334

Thanks

Graeme