October 3rd, 2012
Apologies for the recent lack of posts, a brief technical issue and I’m back.
You may have seen my new position writing about Cocktails and drinks at home over at The Huffington Post (well, if you haven’t here it is:??http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ryan-cheti/artisan-drinks_b_1893654.html), but my on-trade musings will be focussed here.
On Thursday 11th, I’ll be doing a talk with one of my many bar mentors- Mr Ian McLaren and the Bacardi Training Team on ‘Salt and Microwaves’. Unexpected items in the world of bartending, but some of the things I have passed on to my bartenders, and wonderful additions to a repertoire I feel.
Before that though, please join me this weekend for the launch of London Cocktail Week for the Whisky Exchange Whisky Show. Lots of wonderful whiskies, and exclusive whisk(e)y cocktails from Mr Lyan
see more at www.facebook.com/MrLyan
April 29th, 2012
Please join me at??http://www.savvyfriends.com/cocktails where I will be exploring cocktails that you can make in your home.
An incredible and exciting concept I’m very proud and honoured to be part of.
(ultra) independent bottlings
April 29th, 2012
There are a great many independent bottlings of favourite distilleries about. They offer a great insight into the output of a distillery that may not be available through the official bottlings.
I remember when I first discovered that even Single Malts are essentially blends- albeit from one distillery. What was great about exploring single casks was that they provided individual snapshots- true elucidations of the magic of the ageing process. However, the commercial pressures of a brand dictated that certain expressions never really saw the light of day- they would give too much of a contrast to the mainline bottlings. This is where independent bottlings came to the rescue (although they actually existed long before the brand itself developed!). The independents give a chance to see another side that may be different to the expressions you’d usually find.
As a next stage to this, I was very pleased when we got to explore the maturation idea further at The Whistling Shop. Now, to me, oak (or wood flavours) were an ingredient- something to use carefully as part of a blend of flavours. This is how I used wood when I developed our barrel creations (cocktails or spirit recreations I suppose). One part I found particularly interesting though was the idea of ageing new make spirit outside of its usual setting. Of course, in the case of Scotch New Make, this couldn’t be called ‘Scotch’, but the different climatic conditions would create an interesting play on the spirit. I would love to do the same with Tequila, Bourbon or rum- or other ‘tropically aged’ spirits to contrast how they would taste aged in the UK. I suppose this is the difference with Early Landed Cognac which offers a great contrast to the Cognac ageing conditions.
So back to our ‘independent bottlings’, well as a different contrast to the distillery matured stocks, and the bottles they release, we have our own independently matured stock. It still retains the character at the heart, but develops in a different manner. For example, we have some Penderyn Welsh Spirit maturing in the bar, but as a nice display, we serve this alongside the distillery bottling of Penderyn so the contrast, and how the spirit has differently matured can be seen.
Reserva de Ryan?
Well, this is a blend of New Makes that I am ageing in a barrel. A blend starting from day one- something I tried 4 years back in Scotland having inherited a host of new make from different distilleries from my very good friend Nick Ravenhall. It tasted delicious as it went in, it’ll be a fantastic journey to see how it develops out as it matures.
April 15th, 2012
Sometimes, you stumble across something so special that it???s hard to separate its uniqueness from an object view of it. This has always been a difficulty with old booze- both well aged and old bottlings.
Firstly, there???s the uniqueness itself. Each and every old bottle is different; they???ve been stored differently, they???ve lived different lives, they???ve been through so much that they want to tell you that it???s hard to separate the intrigue from the genuine focus.
They???re also individual beasts in a different way. They???re brothers from another mother. They were products of different upbringing. They wanted different things. Ok, they???re not people. But the folks behind them were:
Scotch was different in the (pre)60s, vodka was another monster altogether in the time before it???s rise in the 50s, gin, well gin was a cultural phenomenon privy to insights into human nature few have had the opportunity to see. Ditto rum. Sampling these things, you are literally transporting yourself into another world. Another timeframe, another snapshot of civilisation.
So what the hell is 1840s absinthe?! It is a rare chance to experience an altogether different heritage. Just imagine this world. Once you figure the happenings of this period, you realise what a specimen this is. And my god, does this showcase another world???.
To be frank, this tasted like nothing else I???ve ever tasted before
Muted, golden-green, warmed. Like oxidised sherry/vermouth. Honeyed, clear, but not translucent/brilliant.
Like nothing else
Mint, chocolate. Soft anise. Coffee, thyme, the best sauternes. Roasted fennel, patchouli, roasted brown rice. It???s rich yet vibrant. Like old chartreuse amplified. But it???s balanced, it???s not heavily anise led. The spices flow and ebb
Tongue tingling holy christ
It???s almost overwhelming. How can it retain that alcohol? Is it alcohol? It numbs, but the roof of the mouth. Not the tongue.
Water moves it from mother earth to the indian spice store.
Fenugreek, cardamom, curry leaf, fresh haldi but overlain with mint, rosemary, citrus, ginger??? a real east meets west
This doesn???t go away. A complete monster. Almost assault, and definitely like nothing else I???ve ever tasted.
God knows what sazeracs tasted like back in the day. Excusing bottle effect, this was world???s apart from the modern guise. Please someone recreate this.
Mad joke skillzzzz
April 15th, 2012
There are many different creative avenues that I always wanted to explore.
Thankfully, my chosen profession allows me a lot of creative output, and crucially, a bridge between my creative and scientific interests.
Music took next precedence, then drawing and associated visual arts, film a distant cousin.
Comedy, I always considered an inaccessible artform. Sure, I always admired wit, but it was never what I considered my forte. Well, who???da thunk it
Many thanks to mr furse, a very old and witty friend (not thusly exemplified), and also the wonderful folk at master of malt, for now I can tick comedy off my list of creative accomplishments. I should???ve really shared this with alex, but 15ml is really a tiny volume to share???
Nonetheless, a wonderful sample to behold. Great packaging for a sample, and a wonderful snapshot of history.
Surprisingly light. Alluring gold, but not begetting its age.
Tantalising mix of old and new. It???s big, but it???s also restrained. An amazing contradiction. Not huge extraction, but a perfect elucidation of an alternative ageing; Not all about wood. This has breathed so much more than I can imagine.
Peaches, caramelised ginger, jasmine, chinese spices- a bit char sui. Tarte tatin, something slightly metallic. A bit of burnt toast.
Fruit explosion, then spice, a massive outro. Gentle spice, not heavy on oak. Very gentle and a great rollercoaster. Fruits and spices battling for centre position.
Becomes chewy, but not heavily tannic or dry. The fruit interplays wonderfully.
Very interesting to try, but wow, that???s a pricey dram!