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 – Minus 33

Minus 33 was originally crafted by scientist at the Locabev Laboratory in Rosyth.  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 makes it the perfect drink for those on a diet as it comes in at 46 calories per serve. The decision to have a gin at 33% came after blind taste tests and those doing the tests came back and said they preferred the 33% version.  Which is fantastic news when you have just started a Gin company and it turns out you don’t have an EU category Gin.

Although Minus 33 was conceived in the lab, it’s now crafted by Cory the genius behind Silent Pool, to Sams recipe. 

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

We have worked with Minus33 loads in the past and every time he does a tasting (assuming he hasn’t broken his leg), you are in for a treat, expect lab coats and cocktails.

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/

Juniper Festival – Take Two

I like how the greatest debate I have in writing most things is weather or not to type like a teenager texting or try and be exact, knowing full well that the dyslexia will creep in at some point.   In this blog it was whether to use the word two or 2.  First word problems (the other problem being my incapable ability at proof reading).

So Juniper Festival has been and gone.  A massive well done to all the organisers and the brands for standing up for hours on end pouring and repeating the same words over and over.

We (me Graeme) went along in a working capacity and dragged my lovely wife along for good measure (still strange saying that).  I should point out that my wife Rachel gets drunk on one drink and hasn’t had a proper drink in three months.

I always forget how long the walk is to the SWG is from the bus route road.  Should have ditched the car tbh.  We arrived, got signed in and heading straight for the first faces we knew.  Edinburgh Gin.  Where we lined our stomachs with all the Gin liqueurs.  And no this was not abuse of power or stealing.  We were furthering our knowledge.  Always great to see the EG folks.  They do have the products down to a tee, luring your in with sugary Gin crack (the liqueurs) then building you up to the Cannonball.


Then we seen the smiling enthused face of Sam from Minus33.  Another one of our regular favs.  We got to catch the end of Sam telling some nice people about how it’s low calorie.  Then he made us two cocktails of the pink variety.  Btw I seem to pick all the effeminate drinks.  We also need to get that recipe off Sam.


Shouldn’t really list all the people we spoke too.  Next was Makar, where we stuck our hands deep in juniper berries.  Then to catch up with Claire from Summerhouse Drinks who deals in the wonderful Walter Gregors Tonic (Walter Macgregor if your a teuchter).


After visiting lots of other gins, like Darnleys, Strathearn, Daffys, No3 London and Sipsmiths.  It was time for our first talk which incidentally was Sipsmiths.  Where we learned some new facts, the swam in Sipsmiths signifies the still and the “Swans neck” at the top.  Straight back out to the floor together more booze.  First stop Pickerings (no Paul), but the main man himself.  The wife is a big fan of Pickerings, me too.  The old recipe (the orange top).


We then met (again) Alfonso from Valentia Gin, we can safely say that he is one of the locusts Gin Reps we’ve ever met.  Going to try sort that Gin for Gin Club as it tastes amazing.

Last talk of the night, hosted by David from Makar.  Good patter from David as always, good to learn about the relationship between Makar and Loch Fyne, also good to taste the cocktail topped with Loch Fyne Salmon.

It’s fair to say that it was a good night with lots of Gin drunk.  There were a few gins we didn’t even get to which we wish we had.

Long walk home where we we’re nearly tempted into the Park bar by some lovely ladies from Ireland and Harris.  We resisted, taxis for Macdonald’s then beans on toast.  In from a Saturday night by 11pm.  Amazing.

Juniper Festival – Glasgow

Its been over a year since we at Gin Club along with Gin Superfan Ger (And Gers mate, who ever he was), attended Juniper Festival in Edinburgh and now it has come around again but this time Solid Liquids have brought the event to Glasgow, our home turf (unless you count Blairgowrie).

Btw I like the awkward photo of Stuart at Juniper Festival

Our first experience of Juniper festival was their first year and ours, even though it only involved Kate and Stuart, I think I was uninvited by the cousins so they can chum out and get drunk without me.  Thankfully though as it was our first year it was where we met 90% of the Gins we would go on and feature that year (lots of those Gins are still in the shed too).

Last year in Edinburgh was my first taster of Juniper festival, but before I delve into it let me go through what Juniper Festival is, in their own words:

“The Glasgow Juniper Festival will be the first outside of Edinburgh and we will have over 30 vareties of Gin from 18 different producers as well as some lovely tonics to try. Our Festivals are set up where once inside you can taste any of the gins on show which are all served up by the people who know them best – the people behind them! If that wasn’t enough we are also taking over the Poetry Club at SWG in which to host talks on Gin related subjects presented by some of our exhibitors.”

What that means you get to wander around the SWG, where 18 lovely Gin Distillers will have a station of their products, you get to wander up learn about the gin, the brand and history then the samples, the glorious tastings of Gin.  Not only that but you can sign up for special masterclasses and tastings.

Event link:

https://www.facebook.com/JuniperEvents/

We only know of a handful of the Gins which are going to be there such as: Caroun, Minus 33 (Sam will be making cocktails no doubt), Strathearn, Daffys, Pickerings, Shetland Reel, Makar, Porters and Sipmsith to name a few.

Gin Club will be heading along on Saturday evening to wander chat and drink Gin.

Tickets available from:

http://www.solid-liquids.co.uk/juniper

 

Thanks

 

Gin Club

 

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.

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.

 

Glen Wyvis Gin

So again this should have been part of a blog which I half finished from my trip to Inverness where we at Gin Club (I say “wee” I mean me, Caldow was moving into his new flat, like that’s a worthwhile excuse), were helping with the NIP festival.  There we met the lovely folks from Glen Wyvis which is our second Gin for this Fridays Sold out Gin Club at the Hidden Lane Tea Room.

Not much is known about this distillery.  Essentially its the creation of the local “Flying Farmer” (I need to check what this is, it sounds too exotic for Scotland and more like something you hear about in Australia). The gin launched in summer 2015 and is the first from Dingwall. The distillery (which is in construction still) 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.

So like I say when I was with the guys from the Gin I got a bit too drunk and appear to have forgotten everything useful, like the distillation process.  I do know that there are nine botanicals (As I emailed Craig from Glen Wyvis shamefully). These botanicals are locally picked hawthorn as already mentioned, 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.

Definitely the best thing off my top of my head to come from Dingwall, I hear they have some football team too 😉

We will be serving Glen Wyvis with Fever Tree tonic, Orange Peel and Coriander.

July’s Gin Club

Firstly, can I just start by apologising for typing this later than expected, we at Gin Club like the blog posts going out at 3pm on a Wednesday, which according to the Google Machine is the best time to post anything to Social Media.  I general find that it isn’t the timing that causes a difference but more the content.  Cake and Gin seem to do better than anything else so we are winning this race already.

Last week we had a double bill of Gin Club, in that we ran two events.  The first was our July dedicated Brand event and was all about No.3 London Dry Gin.  Anyone reading this regularly (this is where I question you all for reading these ramblings) will know that we have worked with No.3 London and several occasions.  It was featured at our first Gin Club then again at our 1st Birthday Party and it was also the first time we did a dedicated Gin free event.

This time round though we teamed up with a new Eyewear store (store is very American I apologise) called IOLLA Eyewear, which is in deepest darkest Finnieston.  At first I had no Idea what an Eyewear store was, I kept calling it an opticians and saying “look at these glasses” where I was corrected and then eventually started saying eyewear.  I am now a convert to this shop though; they even found glasses for my football shaped head and Macdonald cheeks.

Amanda Baxter from Berry Brothers & Rudd came up from London to give the 30 odd guests a brand masterclass on No.3 London.  Going through the history of Gin, Gin in London, the Berry Bros & Rudd Brand then specialising in on what makes up what we regard as one of the best Cocktail Gins on the market No.3 London Dry Gin.

In between all these talks, Stuart and I were handing out classic G&T’s, then neat tastes (cracking jokes back glasses for drinks and putting glasses next to reading glasses – classic dad humour), an alternative G&T which was Lemon Grass and Coriander, then to break up the Gin madness we served old fashioned Gin Fizz cocktails.

I really want to say thanks to Amanda, Claire, the folks at IOLLA Eyewear, the guests, Stella the dog and Betty and Bee for making it a great night with us. #IOLLAxNo.3

Then on Friday the 31st July (yes summer has officially ended – not that it began) we hosted our regular end of the month Gin Club event in the Hidden Lane Tea Room.

So July has been a wet month and something we have notice has really affected Gin Club goers, it seems not many people want to do much when it’s miserable outside and you never know if it’s going to rain.  But we did get a fair few of you out to drink the best spirit on the planet.

We decided to shake things up a bit this month and move the bar to front room in the Tea Room which I can safely say is the smartest thing we have done.  It even meant people sneaky neat tastes for those waiting for the loo.

Our first Gin for the evening (remember these come in no form of order you can bring the GinMe to the bar and chose anyone) was Shetland Reel.  I can safely say I was thrilled to be featuring this Gin and have Stuart the master distiller there to chat about it.  I have been trying to get Shetland Reel at Gin Club all year and finally it arrived.

Shetland Reel comes from Unst, which is part of the Shetland Islands. The Shetland Distillery Company was created by four people sharing a passion for producing top quality products in local communities. Frank / Debbie Strang and Stuart / Wilma Nickerson.  The gin uses 8 botanicals including locally grown apple mint.  On the nose there is a strong hit of Juniper and coriander, with fresh floral notes. To try it neat it is dry with a juniper spine and a clean dry bite.  This then becomes smoother and sweeter.

The more you drink the fruitiness builds making it a wonderful Gin, a truly loved product with of course a decent solid Juniper taste (it is a Gin)

Along with neat serves (on the sly) we intended on doing G&T’s with Fever Tree and Raspberry, but Stuart convinced us to try Kiwi fruit.  No surprises he was right.

Our second Gin for the night (which technically isn’t a Gin) was Minus 33.  Minus 33 is crafted by scientist at the Locabev Laboratory in Rosyth and started out in the labs at Edinburgh Uni.  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. For the serve we were going to be using lemon and coriander but again the distiller Sam convinced us otherwise and we used dried Hibiscus.  Sam even used our old bar space to create a small lab which he served Minus 33 cocktails in beakers.

Then we had Diplôme.  Diplôme is created in Dijon and has been created roughly the same way since 1945; however the recipe was perfected during WW2.  After the end of the war, Diplôme Dry Gin became the official gin for the American Army stationed throughout Europe.

Using botanicals sourced from Europe and Morocco, Diplôme Dry Gin is made up of; Juniper (it is a Gin), coriander, whole lemons, orange peel, angelica, saffron, orris root and fennel seed.

On the nose of Diplôme gives a slight smell of cherry trees and cloves, you also get the Juniper and Coriander.

To taste you get the natural hit of Juniper (it is a Gin) but it also has zesty citrus fruit, slightly nutty and possibly lavender.  I have heard people say it almost feels oily.  I haven’t got that however I stress that we at Gin Club tend not to be wearing Tweed waist coats, while doing tastings and try to thing how the Gin will work and how it will be enjoyed. Which we served as a classic G&T with Fever Tree, garnished with Grapefruit

Our last Gin for the month was Sipsmith.  Sipsmiths is an old fav of ours which we would rave about all day if we could.  Sipsmith’s was launched by Sam Galsworthy, Fairfax Hall and Jared Brown to pursue their passion for handmade spirits.

Sipsmith is made using ten botanicals: Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Seville orange peel and Spanish lemon peel.

Each botanical plays its part however a few liquorice, coriander and angelica play distinctive roles.  To taste Sipsmith has strong notes of juniper but there are also definite citrus notes and a depth to the liquid that lingers.

Thanks to all of you for braving the weather and coming along.

The next one is the 28th August.  Get your tickets from Ticketweb.

Thanks

Graeme

French Gin (Diplome) and German Stills (Sipsmiths)

Our last two Gins, which we have the pleasure of announcing for tomorrow night, are Diplôme and Sipsmiths London Dry (I know we have had it before but it was a dedicated Sipsmiths night so technically it doesn’t count).

So Diplôme is created in Dijon (famous for mustard) France and have been created roughly the same way since 1945, however the recipe was perfected during WW2.  Along with other cuisine and mustard Diplôme is very famous in France for its unique recipe and long standing stature.

After the end of the war, Diplôme Dry Gin became the official gin for the American Army stationed throughout Europe.

Using botanicals sourced from Europe and Morocco, Diplôme Dry Gin is made up of;  Juniper (it is a Gin), coriander, whole lemons, orange peel, angelica, saffron, orris root and fennel seed.

On the nose of Diplôme gives a slight smell of cherry trees and cloves, you also get the Juniper and Coriander.

To taste you get the natural hit of Juniper (it is a Gin) but it also has zesty citrus fruit, slightly nutty and possibly lavender.  I have heard people say it almost feels oily.  I haven’t got that however I stress that we at Gin Club tend not to be wearing Tweed waist coats, while doing tastings and try to thing how the Gin will work and how it will be enjoyed.

I would say that Diplôme tastes old.  Old class, it is very French but I can’t describe why.  Its French in the way you know Daft Punk are French just by listening but in no shape or form did the French invet Funk music they just seem to excel at creating their own unique identifiable funk based genre.  It is a very smooth Dry Gin which works well in many drinks.

So Sipsmiths, well lets begin by saying we love Sipsmiths, their whole range we also have in the Gin Shed.

Anyway…

In 2009, Sipsmith was launched by Sam Galsworthy, Fairfax Hall and Jared Brown to pursue their passion for handmade spirits.

Sipsmith became the first copper-pot based distillery to start up in London in over 150 years, a fact that made the process of being granted a license a long and tiresome affair.

Sipsmith is made using ten botanicals: Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seed, French angelica root, Spanish liquorice root, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Chinese cassia bark, Madagascan cinnamon, Seville orange peel and Spanish lemon peel.

Each botanical plays its part however a few liquorice, coriander and angelica play distinctive roles.

To taste Sipsmith has strong notes of juniper but there are also definite citrus notes and a depth to the liquid that lingers.

The gin is distilled in a beautiful still affectionately named Prudence where she lives alongside Patience her sister at the Hammersmith HQ.

Tickets can be purchased here:

http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/glasgow-gin-club-tickets/178989

Mr Neill I Persume

Whitley-Neill-Gin-Logo

Whitley Neill is distilled near Birmingham, in an antique copper pot still called ‘Constance’ who is over 100 years old. Using exceptionally pure water along with nine botanicals are which are carefully selected to ensure that they are of the highest quality. Whitley Neill’s tagline is “Made in London and Inspired by Africa” which is not only an insight to its creator Johnny Neill who is married to an African woman but also describes some of the botanical choices. In this line up are cape gooseberries and baobab fruit along with more traditional ones such as juniper, coriander, lemon & orange peel, angelica root, cassia bark and orris root.

Johnny established the company 2004 with the aim of offering consumers a new and different gin to those already in existence in the market. Despite the brand being 10 years old and this being Johnny’s first foray into gin he has family experience to back this up (Johnny Neill is from the fourth generation of the Greenall Whitley distilling family).

It’s also a Gin with morality as 5p from the sale of each bottle goes to Tree Aid in Africa to help with reforestation.  One of the few Gin brands along with Elephant Gin giving 15% of its earnings to two Elephants.

To taste you get juniper and citrus notes first followed by a subtle spice and complex finish. It really does not disappoint on the “different” quote as you do get more than you normally get from a London Dry.

We should be serving Whitley Neill with Fever Tree, garnished with a Cape Gooseberry (they have another name which sounds like an STD but no one can pronounce it), in a classic G&T.

Thanks

Graeme