That’s the Spirit…..for Beer Drinkers

by | Aug 2, 2016 | Article

So I had the challenge of trying to educate the rest of the BBB team on the subtleties and complexities of premium spirits. Most of the team have come from a solely beer background so it was an interesting prospect for myself to introduce them to the higher end of the market and combat some of the misconceptions of certain categories that the mass market brands have created.

We started off on the white spirits with a 5 times distilled Vodka called AKA which has then been pot stilled. Being the first spirit we tried the first nose and sip of the liquid generated a few interesting facial reactions. But they soon started rolling it around their pallets (like you would a fine wine) a few times and adapting their “nosing” technique. By this I mean going to and from the glass to acclimatise your nostrils to the alcohol and sniffing gently. Not the large inhale you would do to try and detect the notes from a beer.

Anyway on to the spirit itself, the guys were pretty good when it came to the flavour combinations they detected. Notes of Vanilla, lemon and a rich body that rolled over the tongue rather than attacked the back of your throat like some entry level brands. The overall reaction was positive and a group consensus was that the pot stilling finish really helped round the liquid nicely, 4 stars

Moving swiftly on to a couple of Gin’s. The first being Ish a London dry gin actually from London (believe it or not this is more unusual than it sounds, as ‘London Dry Gin’ is a style not an appellation d’origine contrôlée) Ish is a heavily Juniper led Gin with notes of Grapefruit, pepper on the tongue. Again the smoothness of the Gin was appreciated by the team, with the Gin Martini being the cocktail of choice. Murmurs around the table of ‘that was quite tasty for straight Gin, quite smooth wasn’t it’.

“Right Tequila is up next”, as the groans rang out I poured a Herencia Mexican Blanco. “7 year old Agave is harvested” “What’s Agave?” One of the team asked. Well it’s a flowering green plant (Succulent) that is from the same classification as cactus and the type used for Tequila is Blue Agave. This for me was probably the category I had expected the biggest reaction in, mainly due to the terrible way a lot of Tequilas on the market are usually consumed (salt, throw the cheapest Tequila you can find down your throat and then suck on lemon). Funnily enough when you have good tequila, of which there are many out there it’s a totally difference proposition. Sweet aroma’s of strawberry and pineapple. A little bit of caramel (not from any additives, but due to the altitude and soil type) plus a peppery tingle on the tongue. Delightful and that opinion was shared around the table.  “Do you have any more we can have?”

Next, Rum. A White Rum from Atlantico Platino first. After a bit of background on the production process which for this rum involves both Molasses and sugar cane aged separately for two years and then married together for another 2. Charcoal filtering brings the colour back to clear and you’ve got an incredible White Rum great with Tonic Water (Nothing too citrus or overpowering, So 1724 would be my first choice but Fever Tree does a nice job too and is more accessible).  The team picked out the vanilla richness, notes of citrus but the overwhelming flavour was Cream Soda of all things. Their tiny little minds had been blown by a white rum that tasted incredible, rather than the usual garbage you get in generic rum and coke. It’s the same as the beer world I explained ‘there are thousands of Rums out there with different flavour combinations, by only tasting the lower end of the market you miss out on the whole category. It’s like saying I’ve tried Carling and therefore don’t like lager/beer’

The jewel in the Atlantico Crown is the Private cask. Up to 25 year old Rum aged in a solera process. If you are not familiar with the process (as the team weren’t) it involves the stacking of barrels of all different ages of rum to allow them to combine to create a well-balanced Rum) The rich smooth syrup like older rums with that balance of green apple like sharpness flavours and strong body from the younger rums creates a beautiful product. The aging process with rum happens a lot quicker than with spirits such as Whisky (circa 3 times faster, due to the climate differences between the UK and Rum producing areas such as the Caribbean, Central America etc.)

It’s nice to be able to teach the rest of the BBB team something for once rather than them teaching me the nuances of different styles of beer’s and brands. Particularly with a two Beer Sommeliers amongst the team I am usually playing the role of pupil.

We now have two extremely high quality spirits brands in our portfolio;

 

FREYA

The first pure wild spirit. Distilled from Nordic wild birch sap. A new clean, pure white spirit. Unique taste, full flavour. Wild origins. Unique taste. Craft production. Premium quality. 40% ABV

AVUA

Avuá Cachaça is a single-sourced and pot distilled spirit from a 3rd generation distillery farm 4 hours from Rio de Janeiro, and comes in both 42% silver Prata and the unique South American indigenous  40% Amburana wood aged expressions.

Contact if you would like to find out more – info@boutiquebarbrands.com

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