Category Archives: Spirits

Don’t be snobbish about blended whisky

January 25 is Burns Night, Scotland’s annual feast to celebrate its greatest poet, Robert Burns. Whisky is an integral part of the evening, and Burns, a famous whisky lover, has for years proved a useful ambassador for his national drink. … Continue reading

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How to sell Armagnac

WHILE I WAS IN THE Armagnac region in March, a producer (who shall remain nameless) told me: “You British, you used to buy our armagnac, but now not so much.” He shrugged his shoulders as if it was one of … Continue reading

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Is vodka’s highest calling to be tasteless?

This appeared in Harper’s Wine and Spirits magazine earlier this year. It seems like not a day goes by without the launch of a new gin. I thought we’d reached peak gin two years ago but it shows no signs … Continue reading

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The mysteries of distillation

The image above is on the distillery door at Delord in Armagnac. It shows the working of an alambic,  a continuous still used to make the spirit. Continuous in that the wine is constantly pumped in (where it says vin) and … Continue reading

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Armagnac trip

My wife and I have just come back from a trip to Armagnac which was organised by Amanda Garnham (most of these photos are courtesy of her) from the Armagnac marketing board (BNIA). I arrived knowing next to nothing about … Continue reading

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Introducing . . . . the Martoni

I’m not bragging so don’t put me down but I’ve just invented a game-changing new cocktail. All you mixologists out there better give up and go home. Basically it’s a martini crossed with a negroni. I call it the Martoni. Imagine … Continue reading

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House blends – booze purists avert your eyes now

I get sent a lot of miniature samples of whisky. This is much better than being sent a whole bottle because I hate to see waste so I end up drinking more. But what to do with all those miniatures once … Continue reading

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