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.
Drinkmonger Stand: Some of the favourites over the weekend
Starward Australian Whiskey
Produced by the New World Distillery in Melbourne, this was Starward’s UK debut. Made using Australian Barley, aged in Apera casks (Australian fortified wine) and bottled at just under 3 years old. Quite fruity, with big sherry notes. Most folks really liked it, and thought it tasted around 5 or 6 years old. Oh and people couldn’t help but mention the cricket.
This is the 2nd year we’ve had Magnum Cream Liqueur on our stand, so we decided to have a bit of fun with it, and mix it with Brewlab’s excellent Cold Brew Coffee. It was an experiment that worked. Magnum is a single malt whisky cream liqueur and the Cold Brew is a cold water steeped coffee. A brilliant match.
A Nicaraguan molasses based rum, distilled in column still and aged in American oak casks for 7 years. No sugar or other additives are added to this rum. It performed really well against the 12 and 18 year old which were also on our stand. Great value in terms of price versus quality.
Scotland’s first rum! It is super spiced, and people either loved it, or it was too much for them. Made with high grade molasses, peppercorn and ginger, it is really spicy but without all the big vanilla notes you get off other spiced rums.
Armagnac and Cognac are fascinating. Armagnac is the less successful sibling, producing tiny amounts every year. Distilled in single column stills to 52% (or sometimes slightly higher), it is full flavoured and rich. This Armagnac will be aged in new French oak for 2 years, before being transferred to seasoned French oak for at least 21 years. Armagnac is a heavy spirit, that mellows with age.
Cognac is more successful due to being better situated for trade. Double distilled in copper pot stills, it will mostly be aged in local oak. Cognac tends to be a lighter fruitier spirit, which gets richer with age. Chateau de Triac Reserve de la Famille is between 40 and 60 years old, which made it one of the oldest spirits at whisky fringe.
One of the newest products at whisky fringe, Kirsty’s gin is produced by the fine folks at Arbikie Distillery, who released Scotland’s first potato vodka not that long ago. Named after the distiller Kirsty Black, Kirsty’s gin is created using Arbikie potato vodka, infused with local botanicals including kelp, carline thistle and blaeberry.
It was a brilliant weekend, handing out fantastic drinks and talking to all the brilliant folks who made it to the event. Roll on Whisky Fringe 2016.