Chapel Down launches Discovery Series
Kent-based winery Chapel Down has launched a series of ‘limited edition’ still wines entitled the Discovery Series. Part of a five year innovation project from Chapel Down’s head winemaker Josh Donaghay-Spire, the selection aims to highlight the versatility of grape varieties and winemaking practises in England. The selection includes the winery’s first 100% Pinot Noir rosé still wine and the latest vintage of England’s first Albariño-based wine (a trial of Galicia’s key grape began several years ago and has been successful thanks to England’s comparable maritime climate). It also includes Chapel Down’s latest Orange Bacchus vintage. Vinified in 2018 by fermenting Bacchus juice in contact with its skins before maturation in old oak barrels, the result is billed as intense with herbal aromas of black tea and citrus pith on the nose and a dry palate of cape gooseberry and woodsmoke on the finish. Chapel Down says the wine - which is available in very limited quantities - shows the diversity and character of England’s signature grape.
St-Rémy add to its Cask Finish Collection
St-Rémy has added two new brandys to its limited-edition Cask Finish Collection. The first is made with brandy finished in oak casks that previously held Sauternes. The 7,880-bottle run is being billed as the Loire Valley-based brandy maker’s mellowest offering yet, with ‘elegant’ notes of honey, candied fruits, citrus peel and roasted notes of coffee and cocoa. St-Rémy has also released the second batch of its Barbados Dark Rum Casks, which follows its original release in 2019. The collection is limited to only 4,600 numbered bottles, and is amber in colour, with reflections of sepia red. The nose has notes of coca, vanilla and coffee, with a palate that is soft and round with lots of length and balance, and the aromas of chocolate and vanilla pod. Other Cask Finish Collection editions have been made using casks including Chardonnay, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Islay Scotch Whisky and Oloroso Sherry.
Highland Park’s Viking spirit
Highland Park has released a new, permanent 15 year old single malt Scotch whisky called Viking Heart. The 44% abv whisky contains a high percentage of first-fill European oak sherry seasoned casks which the distiller says delivers a warm, dry spicy note whilst first-fill American oak sherry seasoned casks add notes of vanilla and crème brûlée. It also contains a small proportion of refill casks that allow Highland park’s heather peat and lightly fruity character to come through.
Quarter G/N brings a lighter touch to spirits
Newly-created drinks brand Quarter has launched a product into the ‘light spirits’ category that occupies the space between full-strength distilled spirits and no and low alcohol offerings. Quarter G/N has been created by co-founders and school friends Fabian Clark and Rohan Radhakrishnan working with ex-Diageo head distiller, Anthony Wilson, to create a 12% abv drink. The drink is created in the traditional London dry-style via copper-pot distillation and infused with predominantly juniper as well as other botanicals including grapefruit and orange. The company suggests using it to make a lower alcohol ‘gin and tonic’ or using it as a base for any cocktail that would traditionally use gin, such as a lower-alcohol dry Martini.
Ron Santiago de Cuba’s new eight-year old
Rum brand Ron Santiago de Cuba has released an eight-year old expression for the UK market. Ron Santiago de Cuba Añejo eight-year-old aims to diversify the company’s range of rums, joining its Añejo 11-Year-Old, Añejo 12-Year-Old and Carta Blanca expressions. Aged for a minimum of eight years in white oak barrels the rum has a smooth flavour profile of honey, vanilla, cacao and tropical fruit. All Ron Santiago de Cuba rums are distilled from molasses made from sugarcane grown in the south-east of the island.
Camden Brewery launches Marmite-flavoured beer
Camden Brewery has launched a beer that some will love and some will hate. The north London brewery has teamed up with Marmite to launch a limited edition brew that’s made with the famously divisive breakfast staple. Marmite is made with spent brewer’s yeast so the collab makes sense, with Perle hops and toasted Pilsner and Munich malt used to balance out the salty spread creating a smokey 4.8% beer that’s eerily reminiscent of Marmite on toast. Camden Brewery has also found time to add a duo of more straight forward beers to its rapidly growing permanent portfolio: Unfussy Unfiltered Lager (a hazy beer brewed with torrified wheat, Callista hops and dry hopped with Spalt Select); and Canapé Session IPA (Sabro and Enigma hops paired with pilsner malt for a ‘No Coast’ IPA style).
Château Quintus acquires Château Grand-Pontet
Saint-Emilion’s Château Quintus is acquiring its neighbour Château Grand-Pontet. A Grand Cru Classé, Grand-Pontet is located in an ‘exceptional’ position just a few metres from the village of Saint-Emilion and 1 km to the north of Quintus’ existing parcels. Grand-Pontet property is surrounded by three Premiers Grands Crus Classés: Châteaux Canon, Clos Fourtet and Beauséjour Bécot, on the Western plateau of Saint-Emilion. With the addition of these parcels, Quintus becomes one of the Right Bank AOC’s largest properties, representing 45 hectares (111 acres), 42 (104 acres) of which are planted in vines.
New aperitivo adds complexity to cocktails
An aperitivo that sits between a between bitters liquor and red vermouth has been created to enable bartenders to bring a new dimension to classic cocktails. Savoia Americano is described as a first of its kind in the UK and is made using oak-aged marsala wine, which its maker says gives it a ‘unique and complex flavour profile’. It is suggested to be used to bring new complexity to the ever-increasing popularity of classic cocktails like the Americano, Negroni and spritz.
The Macallan doubles down
Scotch whisky brand The Macallan has unveiled the latest in its Double Cask range. Double Cask 30 Years Old has been matured for 30 years in sherry seasoned American and European oak casks to create a sweeter, warmer taste and character, according to the company. The sherry seasoned American oak imparts sweet flavours, while the European oak delivers the subtle and classic style of The Macallan, with the whisky having tasting notes of cinnamon, Madagascan vanilla, dried fruits and toffee. The whisky has a price tag of £3,000.
Silly Goose’s sensible coffee launch
Silly Goose Coffee Co has launched its range of organic coffee timed to coincide with International Coffee Day on 1 October. The coffee company, which specialises in biodegradable pods, whole bean and ground coffee, has launched a range comprising lungo, espresso and decaf blends, as well as bags of whole beans and ground, including a Dark Roast made from 70% Brazilian arabica beans and 30% Ugandan robusta; an Italian Dark Roast Blend made from 60% arabica beans from Tanzania and Columbia and 40% robusta from Uganda; and a Brazilian Single Origin made from 100% arabica beans. All of Silly Gooses coffee is made from organic coffee beans grown in Africa and Central America and sourced from ethical coffee trading houses and are available with CBD infusion.
Tidal Rum launches crowdfund
Rum brand Tidal Rum is looking to raise £150,000 to expand its distribution in pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK. The brand, which launched in 2019, is crowdfunding on the Seedrs platform to help fund the expansion. Tidal Rum is a blend of four cask-aged rums from Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados and the Dominican Republic that is infused with lightly oak smoked pepper dulse, a rare botanical known as ‘the truffle of the sea’ found only at the lowest tides in Jersey and prized for its intense marine truffle flavour.
New ‘festbier’ takes off
Signature Brew has launched a new autumnal beer in honour of Germany’s famed Oktoberfest. Luftballon is a golden ‘festbier’ that has a refreshing bitterness and an aroma of lightly toasted bread. The malty character of Luftballon is produced using the traditional ‘decoction’ mashing method a process which darkens the grains and adds toasted and caramelised flavours, resulting in the lightly ‘toasty’ malt character in this beer. The beer is named after the biggest German language single, Nena’s 99 Luftballons, in case you were wondering.