Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Adnams Spirit Of Broadside: A Great Christmas Gift & Drink

Haven't you heard? It's now cool to distill every liquid you've ever put in your mouth. Whether its freeze-distilled beer by Brewdog or one of the discombobulating concoctions from the guys at Batshit Mental Ideas, the race has been on to come up with new and exciting spirit categories, and products that defy gravi..., sorry, products that defy categorisation. Stuff that's bloody mental, has loads of science-ey stuff behind it, but nonetheless tastes wonderful.

My favourite 'new spirit' is from the wonderful people over at Adnams, and, in particular, those who work in their distillery, which has been open since November 2010. Arguably better than their beers, their range of small-batch artisan spirits have won troves of awards and industry recognition in their own right. Technically speaking, Spirit Of Broadside is an Eau de vie de biere, which means it's a distilled beverage made from fruit other than grapes... In Germany it's called a 'bierbrand', in Holland a 'hopquila', so I guess it doesn't matter what you call it. To be honest, it's more like a Whisky than anything.

Most of Adnam's spirits use a 7% beer wash - an unhopped, clean beer brewed for the sole intense and purpose of being distilled to draw out and concentrate the flavours and the alcohol. The Spirit of Broadside, however, uses... yep, you guessed it, my favourite Adnams beer; Adnams Broadside (you can check out a brilliant recipe I did using Broadside in a Chilli Con Carne here).

Adnam's take their 6.3% (bottle-strength) Broadside, and distill it in a similar way to whisky, and then age it in heavily-toasted Russian oak casks for 12 months. Here's what I thought:

Well, basically its brilliant. The first time I tried this was at a trade show, the second time at a trade show, and the third, well, now. It has an incredible aroma of vanilla and subtle hop character, followed by that very blatant Broadside toffee maltiness (a bit like fruitcake). The taste is crisp, with marshmallow, oak, and it's very biscuity. It's warming, as you'd expect, and the finish is clean and crisp, much like it's original beer form.

So, yes, its pretty darn good. But wait, you don't have to drink it neat. Oh no my lovely little readers. Bartenders across the country can rejoice knowing that this 'Eau de vie de biere' is actually AMAZING in cocktails, and incredibly versatile. Generally speaking, I treat it like a Bourbon because of the flavour profiles, AND I've done some of the hard work and mixed a recipe for you to try at home. It tastes UNREAL!

Broadside Gingerbread Manhattan

3 shots Adnam's Spirit Of Broadside
1 shot Monin Gingerbread Syrup
1 shot Dry Vermouth

Shake the alcohols with the syrup and ice and strain into a martini glass or tumbler. Garnish with a toasted marshmallow and a skewered maraschino cherry.

Adnam's Spirit Of Broadside is equally as good in an Old Fashioned, or as substitute for a malty scotch or bourbon in many cocktails. Let me here your ideas or creations via Twitter - @VinspireUK @adamjr88

Adnam's Spirit of Broadside is available on the Adnam's website (50cl), or via The Whiskey Exchange for £33.95 (70cl), and it makes THE PERFECT gift for Beer, Whisky or Cocktail lovers.

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