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Eclectic casks

Posted by John Shearlock on

When we think of whisky maturation we typically think of two main cask types - ex-bourbon and ex-sherry… and there’s good reason for this. By law, bourbon has to be aged in new charred American oak barrels prior to becoming bourbon and so the world is awash with these casks; they get one shot at doing the bourbon thing and then have to be sold on. As for sherry, until the mid 80s it was shipped abroad from Jerez in shipping casks and so these casks were also an abundant source of oak for maturation. These factors may well explain...

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Taste of Portugal - on special for June

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

Taste of Portugal - on special for June

Victor Kattenbelt is our on the ground Portuguese wine devotee. His Wellington based wine company is devoted entirely to importing wines from one of the most far flung wine producing countries in Europe, Portugal.  This reason for this blog is that Portugal is our wine region of the month for June specials will begin next week from Wednesday 1 June.    Why buy Portugal? Style, quality, price... and a noticeably distinctive point of difference because the wines are made from indigenous Portuguese grapes, often blended with better know French grapes, such as Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, but also frequently bottled as stand alone varietal...

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A taste of the Scottish Islands

Posted by John Shearlock on

Smuggler's coves and shipwrecked bounty washing up on windswept golden sand beaches - welcome to the Scottish Islands - a whisky region more evocative than most.The Islands are home to some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery and some of this country’s most dramatic whiskies to boot and we often think of peat when we think of this region. From the big burly medicinals of Islay and the pepper and spice of Talisker to the heather scented peat of Highland Park - the notion of coastal has almost become synonymous with peat. But a journey from the south to the northern outpost of...

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Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA and innovation in beer

Posted by John Shearlock on

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA and innovation in beer

In last week’s blog we talked about innovation in beer some 200 years ago with the infamous Kwak glass. Today I thought we should look to more recent times and a canny piece of kit developed in 2009 at Sierra Nevada called the Hop Torpedo.Ken Grossman, owner of Sierra Nevada, really is one of the pioneers of the US craft scene with a brewing history that begins way back in the 1960s. The first few Sierra Nevada releases back in the early 80s were a hop-forward pale ale, a fresh hop IPA and a malt and hop heavy barley wine...

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When cider and wine combine

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

A tasting with cider maker Mark McGill and winemaker James Healy this month led to interesting comparisons between cider and wine, two drinks that normally wouldn't be talked about in the same breath, let alone compared. And yet there are likenesses in each, if they are made from authentic raw material rather than being doctored with sugar and water. Which used to be the case with wine prior to the rise of Vitis vinifera grapes (the wine family of grapes) in countries new to winemaking, and which often remains the case with products labelled 'cider'. We at Regional love stocking and selling products...

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