Well, it’s been a while since I hoofed a vermouth review in your direction, so let’s change that. Like Asterley Bros, it’s another English vermouth, but this time white not red: Blackdown Silver Birch Vermouth.
As it happens, Blackdown’s vermouth (£20.25, The Whisky Exchange) is made not so very far from me, nestling in neighbouring Sussex’s portion of the South Downs. The titular reference to silver birch? It’s because the base wine is made from the sap of the birch trees growing around the distillery. Apparently, getting that sap is a pain in the arse, with each tree yielding a very small amount. According to Blackdown’s website: ‘In 2017 we tapped over 300 trees, with an average tree providing 5 gallons a day collecting over 1,500 gallons producing 15 gallons of pure syrup’.
So I shalln’t be setting out to make silver birch wine any time soon.
Continue reading “Blackdown Silver Birch Vermouth Review”
You’ll have observed, no doubt, my proclivity for starting new ‘series’ on this blog which fail to extend beyond their first post. And I’m sorry if you mistook the expression on my face for that of somebody who gives a shit about THAT. It is with an arrogant, Dominic Cummings-esque defiance bordering on sociopathy, indeed, that I double-down and inaugurate another. This one I shall call ‘Commuter Belters’: chronicling a journey both literal (Waterloo to Petersfield, many many times) and metaphorical (the search for BELTINGLY good alcoholic beverages with which to aneasthetise oneself against the tedium of the aforementioned).
Let’s have at it.
Waterloo. It’s Friday, 6.15. Amongst the thronged congregation on the concourse, eyes raised reverently to the departure boards, waiting for the hallowed platform number to blink into existence; ‘on time’ to flip to ‘boarding’.
Continue reading “Commuter Belters 1: G&T-in-a-Can”
I mean, when a gin’s called Boxer, how am I meant to avoid the most bloody obvious metaphor? Christ. Give me something to work with. Fortunately, Boxer Gin does exactly that, in abundance, as soon as you get it into your gob. Here’s how it measures up.
I bought Boxer Gin because it was the gin of choice at Poco Tapas Bar, the excellent Bristolian tapas restaurant at which I first discovered the Negroni Manzanilla. And given my predilection for punchy gins and stooping to lowest-common-denominator wordplay, what could be more auspicious than a gin that is literally punchy?
Continue reading “Boxer Gin Review. Punchy or Paunchy?”
Today’s Bargain Booze is a Bordeaux from Waitrose. 1/3 off at the moment. It may not set your meticulously curated world alight, but it’s pretty good. A proper everyday Bordeaux.
Consider this a weary, ambiguous gesture in the direction of topicality. Another occasional series of posts wherein I’ll highlight alcoholic offers and deals that you might find interesting.
Continue reading “Bargain Booze: Esprit de Puisseguin Saint-Émilion from Waitrose”
This is wonderful gin. It’s not trying to be anything else. It’s juniper and citrus and booze. And it’s smoother than you could ever hope to be, mate.
Christ, yes. A martini with the Wine Society’s High Strength Gin.
I know it’s been a while, and I know this is going to look cursory. Like I’m fobbing you off.
Fob fob fob.
Continue reading “The Society’s High Strength Gin Martini”
Now, a fort is supposed to protect you against danger, right? I’m not convinced. Fort Gin, y’see, is pretty damn dangerous in itself. Take a gulp and you’ll understand why…
Portsmouth! Following last week’s account of our adventures at Portsmouth Fish Market, we’re back to Pompey today — but this time we’re swapping fish for fortifications. Specifically, Fort Gin (£31.95, Master of Malt), which is made by the Portsmouth Distillery.
Continue reading “Fort Gin Review: Mighty Fortress or Crumbling Ruin?”
Startled from its decades-long slumber, the leviathan Schweppes has cooked up a new range of premium tonics, called 1783. How do they fare against the upstart Fever Tree? Let’s find out, shall we?
So, today — as the rather prosaic title might imply — we’re comparing Fever Tree’s tonic water (both Naturally Light and Regular versions) against Schweppes’ fancy-pants newish 1783 sub-brand (again, Light and Regular variants). And while we’re at it, let’s chuck in a comparison against classic bog-standard Schweppes tonic water for good measure.
Continue reading “Schweppes 1783 vs Fever Tree Tonic Water”
This is an extremely nice, supple, elegant pinot noir from Alsace. I gulped it down alongside some Burgundian escalopes a la Keith Floyd.
An essential is all very well. But is it more than an essential? Is it, you may ask, the kind of wine to engender obsessive, bewildering, blind devotion bordering on cultism? Is it, you ask me, paraphrasing to ensure I understand your query, the kind of wine about which one might full-throatedly bellow a simplistic refrain based upon its name?
Nordesia Red Vermouth may initially get you a few weird looks at a party. But those looks will quickly turn worshipful when the buggers actually try the stuff, I’ll warrant.
I blame the Asterley Brothers.
Ever since I snagged that bottle of their English Red Vermouth, I’ve been mildly obsessed with seeking out new (to me) vermouths.
Continue reading “Nordesia Red Vermouth Review”
The confluence of aesthetic principles and undergraduate pretension? Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, apparently. God knows why; I suppose you’ll have to read my Booze of the Week to find out.
I don’t think we should underestimate the role nostalgia plays in our alcoholic predilections. We’re all just walking bags of meat and memories, after all.
Continue reading “Booze of the Week: Jameson’s Whiskey”
A vain quest, you might say, to find the best gin for gin and tonic. I might agree. But it’s an enjoyable quest nevertheless. And not all gins are equal. Read on for a taste test of 10 common gins and a ranking of their G&T prowess…
You have cash in your pocket, and you have a thirst. Specifically, a thirst for that most noble of drinks, the gin and tonic. But you don’t just want any gin and tonic. No. You’re better than that. You, my friend, want the best. And that means you need to know what is the best gin for gin and tonic.
Continue reading “The Best Gin for Gin and Tonic — 2019 edition”
Lone Wolf is the kind of gin of which the captain of secret police in a repressive, totalitarian regime would heartily approve. Question is, does Old Parn feel similarly…?
Come in! Come in! Fortunate favourite of Old Parn — or else not so fortunate.
Continue reading “Lone Wolf Gin Review”
Many things are nicer than a bout of labyrinthitis-induced vertigo. Asterley Bros English Vermouth is one such thing. You possibly shouldn’t drink this until your room spins, but far be it from me to dissuade you… It’s bloody good.
What’s worse than a hangover? I’ll tell you: the symptoms of a hangover (the absolute worst kind), lasting for days, without the benefit of actually having been drunk beforehand.
Reader, welcome to the world of labyrinthitis.
Continue reading “Asterley Bros Estate English Vermouth Review”
The finest car interiors you ever smelt. Thwack a few bottles of this bloody decent Cahors into your wine rack, if you please. Then go off and read the next chapter of Melmoth the Wanderer.
‘This is a good one, isn’t it?’
That’s Amy, just based on an initial snoutful of Clos la Coutale. She’s not wrong. Continue reading “Parn Essentials: Clos la Coutale, Cahors”
Shameless. Fucking shameless.
Wowch, hello, Lunate Fiano.
This is a properly powerful character. Lots of Fianos are the kind of middling, inoffensive cack that’s practically crying out for a Tesco’s Finest label. This one isn’t.
It’s bloody full, for a start. Sort of like Earl’s Court station has been, lately. But it smells a fair bit better.
(Jesus God, imagine if Earl’s Court smelt like this…)
I like white wines that give your gob something to grab onto, rather than dancing lithely away like smoke. That savoury, stony, dominant quality. (Oh, why do you always wilfully misinterpret me when I say dominant? Yes, you.)
It’s not a fabulously intellectual wine. It’s not, ultimately, going to make a load of irritating winos crumple up their little faces in appallingly pseudo-orgasmic delight. Thank Christ for that. But it’s interesting, it’s got a character, and it costs less than a tenner. It’s the kind of wine I want to crack open when I’ve crawled past the middle of the work-week’s seesaw and am starting to feel the bastard tip downward.
Especially when I had to change trains at Earl’s Court in the middle of a fucking Tube strike.
This bottle was received as a free sample from Fine Wines Direct UK, where it costs £7.99. And I reckon I’ll give it 4 stars in a spirit of post-commute largesse. If you have a problem with that, do piss off.