As National Mead Day is approaching on Saturday 6th August, we’re taking a look at the oldest alcoholic drink in human history. We’ll be trying some of the different styles that are causing its current resurgence in popularity with beer, wine and liqueur fans alike.
After many conversations with Tempest Brewing Co, and their astounding beers taking all three of the top spots for our beer section at the Drinkmonger Christmas Fair, we made good on our promise to head over and visit the brewery. We’ve said before that words like ‘craft’ can be hard to define, but the guys at Tempest are working on something that is more akin to ‘art’ (far more than what covers their walls).
Rye is one of the most grown grains in Finland, and rye bread is the most popular type of bread in Finland. In fact, bread is a big part of Finnish food culture, so it would make sense with a plentiful supply of rye, that you would consider making rye based spirit. 5 guys came up with this idea in a sauna in 2012, and after producing their first test batch in 2013, they were ready to move into their newly fitted distillery in 2014 (an old cheese factory).
Pumpkin harvest is from the end of September. Pumpkins are one of the most popular crops in the United States, so since beer has been made in the US, there have been pumpkin beers.
The 7th, 8th and 9th of August was the 14th annual Whisky Fringe, which is a brilliant three day tasting event held every year at Mansfield Traquair showcasing some of the finest drinks our company has to offer. Whisky Fringe has around 1500 attendees over the 3 days and generally sells out in 2 minutes. This is our 4th year with a Drinkmonger stand, and this year we had rum, tequila, mezcal, liqueurs, gin, vodka, brandy, pastis, aromatised wine and cold brew coffee.
Scotch whisky is in a rather good position really. It is the highest value spirits category in the world, and the two market leaders, Glenfiddich in the single malt category & Johnnie Walker in blended whisky category, are highly regarded by retailers, bloggers, and are consistently awarded prizes at competitions. You would think that this would be the case for other categories, but Scotch whisky is one of the few really where the top seller happens to have mass market appeal and approval from the critics.
The Natural Selection project is a partnership between Stewart Brewing and the Heriot Watt International Centre for Brewing & Distilling. The Natural Selection Project is in its 5th year. Each year students are invited to apply to take part in this project. A team is chosen who then brew a beer at Stewart’s brewery, bottle it, develop a brand, market the beer, organise a launch party, sell and distribute the beer. It is great experience for the career these students want to go into, and each year we love attending the launch event and stocking the final product.
We were really quite excited and intrigued when this new Glendronach 8 Year Old came in. It’s an interesting move from Glendronach, as many people could perceive 8 year old whisky as being too young. It is currently the only below 10 year old, standard range bottling we can think of. That and it isn’t an NAS whisky.
We are going to taste two smoked beers that have been made in the traditional German way; both being smoked over beech wood. One is the classic Schlenkerla Marzen Rauchbier, the other is a new exciting version; Anspach & Hobday Smoked Brown. We were interested to try them, compare them, and see how they differ from peat smoked ales.
As summer time fast approaches and the weather gets hotter, fruit infused hoppy beers seem like the perfect idea. This is wildly optimistic, particularly when you consider that some of the Drinkmonger and Royal Mile Whiskies team were in snowy Speyside doing whisky research last week, but we live in hope.