Imbibe Live 2012 is here! Here are 5 things not to miss
For those of you who like your spirits and are going to Imbibe, here are my picks of the show.
Once seen as a poor cousin to Tequila, Mescal is now gaining momentum with bartenders and drinkers alike in the London.
In the Mexican Area, visit Del Maguey to try their triple-distilled, fruit-and-nut-macerated, chicken-hung-in-the-still “Perchuga”. Grab your chance to try this unusual bottle for two reasons. Firstly, it’s very unusual, it has a creaminess not present in the double-distilled (no-chicken) version. Secondly, it’s normally about £120 a bottle!
However, don’t miss the other producers. Especially, Spirit Bear Mezcals, with their selection of Jovens (unaged mescals). I highly recommend the Sombra which doesn’t have much of a nose, but has a great characteristic smoky taste with a long finish and some citrus notes. This independent distributor has just got his product in the country last week so please show him some love!
I was fortunate enough to attend Colin Dunn’s awesome tasting session pairing Talisker whisky and food. Colin is The Whisky Ambassador for Diageo and is incredibly knowledgeable. If you have questions about whisky you can find him at the Diagio stand.
Visit Master of Malt to sample the Origin Gins. They are gins which have been made solely with Juniper berries, nothing else. There are four expressions using Juniper from Italy, the Netherlands, Albania and Bulgaria respectively. Try them all, they are surprisingly distinct. Interestingly, if you want a more traditional gin, they all come supplied with mini bottles of distilled botanicals to turn each of them into a more familiar gin.
Ted Breuaux is at the Sip or Mixx stand, he was the man who re-introduced Absinthe into both the US and France. Anything that you need to know about the green fairy he will know. If you can’t find him, Jenny Gardener, the owner of Sip or Mixx knows almost as much.
Find Vestal to try their two potato vodkas. The ‘Podlasie’ and the ‘Kaszebe’. They are very different expressions, one is very creamy with hints of fruit, the other is more ‘manly’ with earth and root notes. I didn’t have time to see them this year, but I understand they also have some experimental 15 year old barrel aged vodkas and a new fig liqueur to sample.
As expected, all the usual suspects were at Imbibe. So get down there and have a look. There is plenty to see and try.