SCOTCH Pop up 2016 @ Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair

Burns Night is almost here! To celebrate, we thought of the perfect place to celebrate this Monday, and hey, if you’d rather have a cosy night in, we’ve thrown in a couple of whisky cocktails to make at home at the end of the article!

Type of Bar: Whisky, Hotel, Pop up
Damage: ££££
Ideal for: Scotch, Date, Small Groups, Education

London Pop Up Scotch whisky Glenmorangie Milsean Browns Hotel Burns Night

Running till the 29th of January 2016, the Brown’s Hotel is hosting the SCOTCH pop up in their Library room, exhibiting 40 different Scottish whiskies and couple of scotch cocktails – A tribute to their sister hotel, the Balmoral’s, SCOTCH Bar.

Whisky Ambassador, Fraser Robson, has whiskies from all over the traditional regions at his disposal: Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, the Islands, the Highlands and Lowlands in a variety of blends, malts and vintages dating back to 1940, and what a brilliant collection it is. Running from 15 pounds a dram, up to 400 (the Glenmorangie Pride 1978), the choice of whiskies is intimidating at first, but easier to traverse through with the brilliant Mr. Robson guiding you.

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Sponsored by Glenmorangie, best to start their event with the Glenmorangie Original: a demanding golden yellow, a classic whisky. Intensely citrus on the nose, the initial flavours are more flowery, with a dark citrus length.

However, more discussion revolved around the launch of this year’s Glenmorangie Private Edition: the Milsean.

Glenmorangie Director of Distilling & Whisky Creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden, gushed over the whisky, and upon tasting it, we got an idea why. The Milsean is painfully nostalgic – inspired by Dolly’s Mixtures, the whisky is even named ‘sweet things‘ in Gaelic. It’s matured in ex-bourbon casks and then extra-matured in former wine casks that once housed red wines for Portugal’s Doura Valley, re-toasted for the purpose.

What we get is a sweet whisky, rich with moreish candied fruits, with a bright nose of fruit, sugary – like sherbet, and sugar cane. The palate begins with a blast of candy, then the tartness of candied orange peel, cherries and plum – followed by a long spicy finish of borwn sugar, winter spice, and maybe a bit of fudge?

The Milsean, for the Hoodooist, is definitely a unique whisky, with a very specific purpose. Much like it’s packaging of cherry and white vertical stripes – it’s a dessert whisky – a dram or two after dinner is all you need if you aren’t sweet of tooth and don’t mind bit of a burn.
London Pop Up Scotch whisky Glenmorangie Milsean Browns Hotel Burns Night

For cocktails, the first simple Orange Zest brought out the complexity of the citrus of the Glenmorangie Original with ginger ale and Angostura bitters, a simple enough drink, but a refreshing and effective one.

The second, the Spey Trip, is a fascinating drink, inherited by the SCOTCH pop up from the hotel’s resident Donovan Bar. Inspired by the Balvenie scotch it uses, and the Speyside region it hails from, the Spey Trip is constructed entirely from the scotch and its containers. The tumbler is the laser-cut bottom half of the Balvenie bottle, the platform it is served on also made from the Balvenie casks. An Old Fashioned using figs instead of sugar syrup, a spectacular drink that brings out the spicy sweetness of the Balvenie with the fig, which also appear as dried garnish (which dipped in the Old Fashioned taste incredible).

I was left torn about this drink by the end of it, since the first half was wonderfully layered and complex, but the last half became overwhelmingly sweet with the figs. And a whisky like Balvenie is a shame to lose.

The Spey Trip

The SCOTCH bar’s atmosphere is perfect for the venue, relaxed, subdued, with the occasional tartan – the Brown’s Hotel itself is a stunning building (from 1837), the interior sprawling, and couches numerous. And service is impeccable. A fantastic addition to the London whisky scene, and one I wish was permanent.

Slainte!

Drinks: **** – *****
Atmosphere: ****
Service: *****

Brown’s Hotel

33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair
London, W1S 4BP

https://twitter.com/browns_hotel

HEY. YES. THERE IS MORE.

I mean, it *is* Burns Night tonight, and if you’re gonna stay in, might as well do it with a couple of easy to concoct cocktail at home, devised by Alexander & James.

The Haig Clubman

Haig Clubman
A refreshing tasting whisky cocktail which combines gentle spice and fruitiness perfectly.

Ingredients:
50ml Haig Club
35ml Sparkling apple soda
6 dashes ginger bitters

Method:
Built over hand-cracked ice in either a highball or tumbler, garnished with a long slice of root ginger (ideally cut with a mandolin).

But hey, say you’re more of a bourbon person (what the hell are you doing here?) but say you are, we haven’t forgotten you!

The Apple Mint Julep

Apple Mint Julep
A light cocktail with a fruitful flavour and a hint of mint is perfect for a refreshing serve this
Burns Night.

Ingredients:
60ml Bulleit Bourbon
90ml apple juice
A dash or two of bitters
3-4 mint sprigs

Method:
Muddle the mint and apple juice together in a cocktail shaker. Add the Bulleit bourbon, a couple dashes of bitters and ice to the shaker. Shake well for 20 seconds and then strain into a tumbler glass filled with cubes of ice. Garnish with a mint leaf if desired

That’s all, folks! Make sure to enjoy your Burns Night with your favourite scotch – we know we will!

SCOTCH Pop up 2015 @ Brown’s Hotel, Mayfair

Happy Burns Night all! To celebrate, we thought of the perfect place to celebrate this Sunday, and hey, if you’d rather have a cosy night in, we’ve thrown in a couple of whiskey cocktails to make at home at the end of the article!

Type of Bar: Whisky, Hotel, Pop up
Damage££££
Ideal for: Scotch, Date, Small Groups, Education

Scotch dram

Running till the 8th of February 2015, the Brown’s Hotel is hosting the SCOTCH pop up in their Library room, exhibiting 40 different Scottish whiskies and couple of scotch cocktails – A tribute to their sister hotel, the Balmoral’s, SCOTCH Bar.

Whisky Ambassador, Fraser Robson, has whiskies from all over the traditional regions at his disposal: Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, the Islands, the Highlands and Lowlands in a variety of blends, malts and vintages dating back to 1940, and what a brilliant collection it is. Running from 15 pounds a dram, up to 400 (the Glenmorangie Pride 1978), the choice of whiskies is intimidating at first, but easier to traverse through with the brilliant Mr. Robson guiding you.

For reference: Glenmorangie stills are as tall as giraffes.

For reference: Glenmorangie stills are as tall as giraffes.

Sponsored by Glenmorangie, best to start their event with the Glenmorangie Original: a demanding golden yellow, a classic whisky. Intensely citrus on the nose, the initial flavours are more flowery, with a dark citrus length.

However, more discussion revolved around the launch of this year’s Glenmorangie Private Edition: the Tùsail. Attempting to keep the same mash and method of the Original, the Tùsail differs from the Original by using Maris Otter barley – used only by a select few considering the difficulty and cost of production compared to commercial barley. But boy, is it worth it. A spectacular amber harvest gold; the nose is much sweeter, almost toffee, maltier and earthier. A deeper flavour, the toffee and barley come through rather prominently, something spicy and nostalgic (I may have gotten some dark chocolate too), an intensely winter scotch. Absolutely beautiful, the Hoodooist is in awe of the Tùsail.

Featuring Oswald the Otter!

Featuring Oswald the Otter!

For cocktails, the first simple Orange Zest brought out the complexity of the citrus of the Glenmorangie Original with ginger ale and Angostura bitters, a simple enough drink, but a refreshing and effective one.

The second, the Spey Trip, is a fascinating drink, inherited by the SCOTCH pop up from the hotel’s resident Donovan Bar. Inspired by the Balvenie scotch it uses, and the Speyside region it hails from, the Spey Trip is constructed entirely from the scotch and its containers. The tumbler is the laser-cut bottom half of the Balvenie bottle, the platform it is served on also made from the Balvenie casks. An Old Fashioned using figs instead of sugar syrup, a spectacular drink that brings out the spicy sweetness of the Balvenie with the fig, which also appear as dried garnish (which dipped in the Old Fashioned taste incredible).

I was left torn about this drink by the end of it, since the first half was wonderfully layered and complex, but the last half became overwhelmingly sweet with the figs. And a whisky like Balvenie is a shame to lose.

The Spey Trip

The Spey Trip

The SCOTCH bar’s atmosphere is perfect for the venue, relaxed, subdued, with the occasional tartan – the Brown’s Hotel itself is a stunning building (from 1837), the interior sprawling, and couches numerous. And service is impeccable. A fantastic addition to the London whisky scene, and one I wish was permanent.

Drinks: **** – *****
Atmosphere: ****
Service: *****

Brown’s Hotel

33 Albemarle Street, Mayfair
London, W1S 4BP

https://twitter.com/browns_hotel

HEY. YES. THERE IS MORE.

I mean, it *is* Burns Night tonight, and if you’re gonna stay in, might as well do it with a couple of easy to concoct cocktail at home, devised by Alexander & James.

The Haig Clubman

The Haig Clubman

Haig Clubman
A refreshing tasting whisky cocktail which combines gentle spice and fruitiness perfectly.

Ingredients:
50ml Haig Club
35ml Sparkling apple soda
6 dashes ginger bitters

Method:
Built over hand-cracked ice in either a highball or tumbler, garnished with a long slice of root ginger (ideally cut with a mandolin).

But hey, say you’re more of a bourbon person (what the hell are you doing here?) but say you are, we haven’t forgotten you!

The Apple Mint Julep

The Apple Mint Julep

Apple Mint Julep
A light cocktail with a fruitful flavour and a hint of mint is perfect for a refreshing serve this
Burns Night.

Ingredients:
60ml Bulleit Bourbon
90ml apple juice
A dash or two of bitters
3-4 mint sprigs

Method:
Muddle the mint and apple juice together in a cocktail shaker. Add the Bulleit bourbon, a couple dashes of bitters and ice to the shaker. Shake well for 20 seconds and then strain into a tumbler glass filled with cubes of ice. Garnish with a mint leaf if desired

That’s all, folks! Make sure to enjoy your Burns Night with your favourite scotch – we know we will!

City of London Distillery, Blackfriars

Type of Bar: Basement, Ginstitute
Damage££
Ideal for: Gin, Date, Small Groups, Large Groups, After Work, Education

COLD is a rare gem in the City of London, opened in 2012, it finally brought back the distilling of gin to the City after 200 years – and boy do they take it seriously. Climbing down the stairs on unassuming Bride Lane, you’ll walk past their enormous copper stills, Clarissa and Jennifer, on display, which play part of the many Gin Experiences they provide: from tours, flights and tastings, to ginstitutes and making your own gin.

The atmosphere at COLD certainly is one of a late night bar. Dark green walls with an impressively stocked bar and vintage paraphernalia bask in the glow of the stills’ lighting. Further back the sense of being underground heightens, as the Hoodooist hunted down the winged leather Chesterfield armchair in the corner (as one does).

 

COLD's 'Distiller's Martini'

COLD’s ‘Distiller’s Martini’

They are known for their gins made in situ, including the award winning City of London Dry Gin that is also for sale – a well-balanced gin, with tendency to citrus, the distinct flavours of the liquorice, pink grapefruit and orange come through in this spirit, making it a very interesting choice for a:

COLD Distiller’s Martini: City of London Dry gin, Mancino Bianco with a pink grapefruit twist. As aforementioned, the gin is already fairly grapefruit-heavy, so pairing it with the garnish, and a more bitter vermouth that is distinctly flavoured with grapefruit and orange was a bold choice. The gin gives a slight pepperiness to the Martini, but one must acknowledge the overwhelming grapefruit of the drink – moreso than any of the other cocktails here serving up CoL Dry gin. It provides a decidedly smooth Martini that only isn’t to my taste because of the overdone grapefruit, although I did take to it more after getting the garnish out.

A winning drink coming up was a White Martinez, Cocchi Americano, City of London Dry Gin, Luxardo Maraschino, dash of Regans Orange Bitters, maraschino cherry garnish dropped in. This is excellent, but also very sweet, even in comparison to most Martinez’. The orange bitters really does come through with the grapefruit of the CoL gin; combatting with the thick sweetness of the Cocchi Americano and Luxardo Maraschino. Further down the drink, the cherry gets a chance to release its sugars into the drink for further sweetness. Somehow still a wonderful drink regardless of its intense sugariness – but one that takes time to drink.

COLD's 'Cristal Clear Martinez'

COLD’s ‘Cristal Clear Martinez’

Chatting with our absolutely wonderful server, a bespoke Gin Old Fashioned was concocted, and was exactly that – an Old Fashioned with Beefeater Borrough’s Reserve Oak Rested Gin – sugar, bitters, grapefruit rind. A sophisticated cocktail often avoided by most bars, using a gin avoided by many gin purists, handled well and confidently, here at COLD. Probably more suitable to a drink like this, Beefeater Borrough’s is rested in French Oak barrels that used to contain Lillet Vermouth, that adds to the gin’s juniper and citrus notes of oaky vanilla, and winter spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. This gin certainly isn’t a Martini gin, but a wonderful idea to use it as a Gin Old Fashioned. Inspired.

After those 3 successful drinks, though, there was one hiccup – the OMG & Tea was a warning with the name, really. CoL Old Tom Gin, Bitter Truth Golden Falernum, Merlet Crème de Peche, Breakfast tea, lemon juice, soda water, garnished with mint and lemon. It ended up being a confused muddle of citrus soda at the end of it.  Honestly though, this is a drink that is a warning from the outset, so it was silly to try it.

What COLD does best, is present sophisticated, alcohol heavy drinks – the menu’s occasional attempts into more ‘fun’ cocktail regions come with risk upon reading the ingredients.

The highlight of the night though, was the incredibly knowledgeable and convivial service. Conversing with our servers was a delight, and a highly educational experience. Polite, attentive, the staff are stars.

COLD

In summary, COLD is a unique gem in the heart of London’s business sector, and has won awards with good reason. Providing an incredible list of experiences and events, besides their unique gins, makes it a destination in itself. It’s strength lies in its simpler, more sophisticated drinks that demand skill and finesse to construct, and in its wonderful service. A hit in our books.

Drinks: ****
Atmosphere: ***
Service: *****

 

City of London Distillery

24 Bride Lane,
London, EC4Y 8DT

http://cityoflondondistillery.com/