What a blast!
A massive thank you to our great friends at Exotic Booze Club in Chester Market for a fabulous press event this weekend.
Exotic Booze Club is no ordinary bar, and their Tasting Events are totally unique to Chester and are hugely entertaining! The team at EBC are very experienced and certainly know how to entertain their guests. We had such a riot with them yesterday and came away having learned lots of new facts about booze! And in the current climate – this was a very welcome distraction from the crisis.
Please note we were clearly encouraged to drink responsibly.
So – first up on our World Tour of Booze was Vodka. Kate taught us how to taste spirits properly and we were all given a half shot of neat Russian Standard vodka to try as we were given the history about why Russian Standard exists and what it actually stands for.
The story goes “In 1894, Dmitri Mendeleev, the greatest scientist in all Russia, received the decree to set the Imperial quality standard for Russian vodka and the ‘Russian Standard’ was born”, or that the vodka is “compliant with the highest quality of Russian vodka approved by the royal government commission headed by Mendeleev in 1894.
This, however, is based on a popular myth that Mendeleev’s 1865 doctoral dissertation “A Discourse on the combination of alcohol and water” contained a statement that 38% is the ideal strength of vodka, and that this number was later rounded to 40% to simplify the calculation of alcohol tax. However, Mendeleev’s dissertation was about alcohol concentrations over 70% and he never wrote anything about vodka. Furthermore, the 40% standard strength was introduced by the Russian government already in 1843, when Mendeleev was nine years old!
Next up was Gin – and we were given a small sample of One Gin to taste, which the EBC team has actually produced in collaboration with Sarah Thompson of multi-award-winning Master Distiller at Blackdown Distillery in Sussex. This very special gin (made with a delicious combination of English sage, juniper and citrus) helps fund the fantastic One Water campaign which has been selling bottles of water through World Duty-Free for over 10 years, raising a staggering £1.7 million for water projects in the worlds poorest communities.
Next time you visit Exotic Booze Club ask Kate about the very special teenager helped by this project, you’ll be moved to tears – and it won’t just be the gin making you cry!
Now it was the turn of Rum – which is definitely my favourite spirit at the moment (probably due to my Pina Colada obsession). The tasting rum was from The Salford Rum Company and Jamie Stephenson explained how this rum is produced in small batches thanks to the same change in law which sparked the gin explosion in recent times.
The Salford Rum Company is a celebration of the history, heritage and people of Salford Docks throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.During this era, Salford Docks grew to be the third largest port in the UK, and amongst the industrial imports of the time, were rums, fruits and spices from the Caribbean.
The Salford Rum Company spiced rum is inspired by these imports and delivers a blend of warm spices, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, combined with sweet vanilla notes, a hint of maple and topped with orange and steeped fruits. And we loved it!
Now the fun really began with Mezcal … the National Spirit of Mexico. Mezcal is made from any type of agave, and the word ‘mezcal’ comes from the word ‘mexcalli’ which means ‘oven-cooked agave’. Today, mezcal is still made from the heart of the agave plant, called the piña, in much the same way as it was 200 years ago. It is Mezcal and not Tequila which often has a worm added – but this is purely a marketing ploy created by the Mezcal producers to increase sales over Tequila … and yes – we ate the worm! We tasted Tier Mezcal which – according to Forbes is one of the top 17 Mezcal’s in production.
The final destination on our journey took us to America, and specifically to the hugely famous Jim Beam distillery in Kentucky. Jim Beam is one of the best selling brands of bourbon in the world, and it was the Devils Cut that had been selected for us by the EBC team which is aged for six years, uses bourbon extracted from the cask’s wood after emptying and 90 proof.
This whole experience was as educational and interesting as it was entertaining. Massive thank you to the Exotic Booze Club team for delivering such a great experience. You can book individual tickets for a number of their different Tasting Experiences – or you can take over the entire bar for a group booking, perfect for company socials and team building events.
And the really good news is that you get 20% discount on tickets with your GT Club app. Register and download here for free.