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A Note From The Editor reetings from Saloon.

I hope you’re all well and enjoying a cheeky wee G ‘n’ T in the sunshine. I know I certainly am – that’s when I’m not slaving away, delegating and doing editor…business.

Speaking of gin, why not check out our feature on ‘the best gin in the world’ on page 20. Our feature on Hendrick’s really got us excited, partly due to the company’s creativity in how best they utilise their tipple. Have a gander at our video content for some divine inspiration.

We’ve also headed out on a few jollies in the making of this first issue. Showcasing the real jewels in the Scotch whisky crown, Gavin headed up to Glengoyne, and Sian headed all the way up to Abhainn Dearg. Our roving reporters share their escapades on pages 6 and 14. Just reading them made me want to grab myself a nice measure of Scotch, paint my face blue and scream, “FREEEEDOM” at the top of my lungs.

Sara’s asking the big questions abut the booze industry in her insightful look at the practices of wine warehouses; it’s sure to give you some food for thought and may make you think twice before going overboard on buying one too many bottles of prossecco (NOT cava). Alison gets creative with her array of renaissance cocktails, that are making comebacks in bars all across the country.

I’m gong to teach you all how to speak the language of craft beer in my look at some of BrewDog’s greatest hits; that’s just a hop (gosh, I’m hilarious), skip and jump away.

And finally, Martin weighs up the relationships certain geographical areas have with their beloved booze. I challenge you to read this magazine and not feel passionate about where your favourite tipple came from. Dont forget to follow us on twitter! @saloonmag


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umgoyne Hill stands at 427 meters high, towering above the highlands and the lowlands. For one to climb to the top of the picturesque peak it would require a lot of time and care. However, the essence of time and care is not unique to just the hill but instead trickles down the waterfall to the distillery that lies at the bottom. The distillery of white stone and black wood, which has stood in the same spot for over 180 years, right on the highland line. Glengoyne. In the start of the 1800’s many whisky producers were forced to operate illegally, due to an act of parliament which placed such a lofty tax on the production of whisky that it became too expensive to make. The Illicit stills of Dumgoyne were covered by the forests and hills that were so prominent at that time and provided the perfect environment for those who wished to delve into the dark art of producing whisky after the tax was implemented. The area that Glengoyne stands on has a rich history of whisky production. It is believed that as many as 20 illegal distilleries were in operation at the foot of the great hill. Finally, in the 1820’s the tax was lowered for a licence to distil and in 1823 the first of the estimated 20 distilleries was born a new and became a distillery that operated within the bounds of the law. Fast forward to 1833 and we have what was known then as The Burnfoot Distillery, later to be christened Glengoyne. George Connell was the man who built the warehouse, which is still in use today, and he became one of the few people in Scotland to own a legal distillery.

‘The flavours change depending on what kind of cask we put them in to it gives us richer sweeter flavours the longer they are in whether it is first, second or third fill of the cask.’ It’s quite clear then that the passage of time means a great deal to the area of Dumgoyne and indeed the famous distillery that lies there. Be it the 10, 12 or the 25 year old bottle the secret ingredient to each one of them is time. The process of production that Glengoyne use is the slowest method of single malt whisky production in the world. From extracting the water from the beautiful Glengoyne Burn, which runs from the waterfall, right up until the cork in put on to the bottle time is everything. The whisky is distilled three times before it is put in to the cask. The first time the wash is heated till it boils and produces a vapour, that vapour is collected and runs through to distil another two times before it is ready to be placed in to a cask. David, a tour guide from the Glengoyne distillery knows a great deal about the ritual of triple distillation and the process that the different ingredients are put through before they can be called Glengoyne Single Malt Whisky. ‘The slow process allows us to gather more fruity flavours, because the fruity flavours are coming from the production in the stills the reaction between the copper and the alcohol vapour. The longer we take to do that the more chance it gives us to gather these fruity esters, that’s the flavours of apples bananas and pears. The flavours change depending on what kind of cask we put them in to it gives us richer sweeter flavours the longer they are in whether it is first, second or third fill of the cask.’ ‘We don’t actually malt our own barley here because here at glengoyne we require 60 tonnes of barley every single week. The whole process of malting barley which basically is saturating it in water getting it to begin to germinate, barley has got a very tough shell but inside the shell is starch and enzymes, we want them to germinate, when they germinate it produces sugar, the sugar we take on, add warm water to it. The sugary water, or wart, as we call it is what we convert to alcohol.’

The result of the glacial effort to produce the whisky is then put into Spanish sherry casks where it matures for anything up to 35 years. But not before the angels take their fill, 2%, and float off with a dram or two of heavenly liquid. The different casks also allow some distinct flavours to be identified, whether you like the hint of apple in the 10, the caramel in the 18 or the warm glow of the spice emanating from the 23, much like a Christmas pudding the cask is the ultimate decider in which flavour you will experience when you take that first sip. Peat. Peat is used in a number of processes for distilling whisky, but not for Glengoyne. Peat smoke is used in some distilleries to dry the barley which would result in an intense smoky flavour mixed with the different flavours of the malt in question. However, Glengoyne is one of the few single malt distilleries that uses warm air to dry out the barley which gives it a distinct clear look and flavour unlike the whisky that has used peat smoke

This makes Glengoyne that little bit more special when it comes to tasting the rich flavours left over from the cask. According to Davd, Glengoyne prides iself on not using the peat smoke in the process; ‘What makes whisky special here is we do not use peat anywhere in the process so we have very light fruity flavours. 10 years is relatively young for a malt whiskey its not they youngest, relatively young but because we don’t use peat to dry the barley we don’t have that intense Smokey flavour which is a very dominant flavour. Our whisky is bursting with fruity flavours, apples bananas and pears.’ What would be best for you then? Would you like the intense smoky flavour? Or would you like a fruitier, sweeter bottle? When Saloon asked David he had an interesting insight into, not only Glengoyne but other whiskies too. ‘Its individual preference, people come into the distillery and they ask “whats the best whisky you have” we can certainly tell you what is the most expensive, we cant tell you what will be the best for your particular pallet. All we can do is allow you to sample the different whiskeys, you may decide the 10 year old is your favourite, you may decide the 21 year old is your favourite but a friend, a partner, a relative might think the 21 is their favourite. Its individual preference.’ So as the sands fall through the glass Glengoyne remains a rich whisky. Rich in flavour, care and most of all in history. The Glengoyne name has resonated throughout the last 180 years as being one of the best single malt whiskies in the world. But as we’ve been told, that’s for you to decide.

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Island Folklore

Scotland is renowned for its love of folklore, colourful tales of mysterious creatures (see Nessie and Selkies) and its unashamed love of superstition. Our islands play a special role in keeping these stories and traditions alive by passing them on from generation to generation in the original gaelic and through songs and plays and dance. Culture and heritage is integrated into every aspect of island life and these beliefs are so common place that it isn't at all surprising for a friend to tell you of the haunted thatched house way down the road or of the creatures that live within the loch beside their house. This love of superstition and tradition carries through to the Abhainn Dearg distillery in Uig on the Isle of Lewis. Abhainn Dearg, gaelic for 'red river', opened in 2009 and the single malt whisky that left the island in 2010 was the first to do so in 170 years. It is described as the only legal distillery in the Western Isles and it is the most Westerly distillery in Scotland. But these aren't the only things that make Abhainn Dearg particularly noteworthy. This distillery believes in remaining true to its roots and traditions, they believe in creating a whisky that their ancestors would be proud to try and their children will be proud to continue making in the years to come. It is the first distillery to make whisky in the Western Isles since the Shoeburn Distillery in Stornoway closed down around 1840 and they believe the recipe they use today has origins as far back as the 1600s. Great lengths are gone to to make sure the whisky that is made at Abhainn Dearg is the best it could possibly be. The water they use comes from the hills of the island and travels down to Traigh Uuige, or 'Uig sands' as it's more commonly known, where it arrives clean and soft and completely free of any chemicals. They plant and grow their own barley and heat the malt using peat that came from Uig ground. They are very conscious of their farming techniques and oppose the use of fertilisers and chemicals – they want to keep the land as it was originally. In fact, conservation as a whole is very important to founder Mark Tayburn and all the other members of staff as well. They have a philosophy of 'replacing like with like' and of keeping damage to the environment to an absolute minimum. The distillery itself is housed in an old converted fish farm, the barrels that the whisky is stored in are made of American oak and previously housed bourbon before being reused for Scotch. They even keep their own herd or 'fold' of cattle. Highland cows to be exact. Highland cows thrive on poor grazing and as such are prefect for keeping on machair lands and other areas that have been farmed extensively and another plus is that they fertilise as they go! Abhainn Dearg hopes to increase the size of their herd and set them to grazing on the land they grow their barley on to keep it healthy and fertilised without the need for chemicals. The river that the distillery gets its name, and its water, from is officially titled Abhainn Caslabhat but the locals have passed on stories for years about the mysterious nature of the river and the stories are old. Very old. These stories include tales of the spirits of the Norse who once occupied the land and spilled a lot of blood into the river, of the Brahn Seer with the gift of second sight, fairy rings and mounds and Pagan Gods. There are many other things that are special about this particular island including the Callanish standing stones which you may or may not have heard of and the discovery of the Lewis Chessmen.

Many islanders take great pride in telling visitors that the Callanish standing stones are older than those at Stonehenge and there are many different stories in folklore of how they came to be, including a story of giants being turned to stone for refusing to convert to Christianity. The Lewis Chessmen were discovered in Uig in 1831. The collection is a set of 78 chess pieces made from walrus ivory and whales teeth that are believed to have originated from Norway in the 12th century when the islands were under Norwegian control. The pieces have inspired novels and many other stories (and debates) by people across the country. The stories from Abhainn Dearg are sure to enter the realms of popular folklore very soon. Scotch Whisky is itself an important part of Scottish culture and tradition but so much more and cultural importance surrounds the drink than you would at first think. Whisky has always been popular with people all over the world but every year it grows into something more and more important to the people of our small country culturally and economically and it is becoming ever more special to those in such rural areas as Uig. During this time of the year the Western Isles are very popular with tourists and most holiday accommodation gets fully booked very fast. Abhainn Dearg is very keen to encourage holidaymakers to visit their distillery – if they can make it all the way there. The challenge of getting there is well rewarded, however. The scenery is beautiful, the air is fresh and the beaches are golden. Abhainn Dearg is also taking part in this years National Whisky Month by opening their doors to tourists and whisky enthusiasts alike and offering tastings and tours from the 26 – 31 May. MSP Alasdair Allan announced the event when he made a special visit to the distillery and expressed his happiness about the involvement of the islands in the celebrations of the national drink. It's an exciting time for all rural businesses as the focus of the year is on the culinary delights that Scotland has to offer alongside it's most important export. The Western Isles are also looking forward to next year when they can continue to take part in events during the Year of Food and Drink and show off their ability to provide delicious fresh seafood and tender Highland beef, veal, lamb and many other foods that are sure to keep you salivating until then.

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istilled in Girvan by William Grant & Sons, Hendrick’s gin is a home grown treasure of the Scottish drinks industry. Launched in 1999, Hendrick’s has earned its high profile status, winning multiple awards and was even voted the ‘Best Gin In The World’ in 2003 by the Wall Street Journal. Let’s take a step back in time and delve into the peculiar past of this tremendous tipple. It’s 1860, the year the Bennett Still was born in London by a team of expert coppersmiths. The Bennett gives the spirits it yields a robust flavour, which would, over a century later, play an integral role in our beloved Hendrick’s. Sadly, use of the still declined, becoming a forgotten relic of ages gone by. 26 years later, William Grant & Sons came about. This would be the start of a long and iconic distilling dynasty, and the brand who would bring about many iconic whiskies, vodkas and gins. The family business would set up their distillery in Girvan, South Ayrshire, and would stay there until the present day. In 1948, the Carter Head Still came into existence, this, along with the Bennett Still would also be used in the making of Hendrick’s. Hendrick’s fresh and delicate element comes from the use of the Carter Head Still. However, this too, became a rarity in the world of distilling. It’s the swinging sixties and Charles Gordon, the great grandson of William Grant, stumbles upon two bizarre contraptions at an auction. These contraptions are the Bennett Still and the Carter Head Still. At the time, Gordon had no idea how to utilise the stills, however, that would come, some 40 years later. In the meantime, Gordon formed a close bond with botanist, Lesley Gracie in 1988. For the next decade, the pair would sample different blends of botanicals and ingredients in their crusade to find the one.

In 1999, the eureka moment happened and Hendrick’s was born. Utilising both the Bennett and Carter Head Stills, Gracie and Gordon combined yarrow, elderflower, juniper, angelica root, orange peel, caraway, coriander, chamomile, cubeb berry, oris root and lemon, with infusions of Bulgarian rose, and cucumber, to form the beautifully crisp and delicate blend that is the Hendrick’s we know, love and treasure today. The Hendrick’s brand suggest serving their gin a little differently to the usual ‘tonic, ice and a slice’, you’d expect with conventional gins. They suggest that you serve Hendrick’s in a teacup, with tonic water and a wedge of cucumber. This makes for a deliciously refreshing beverage. However, if you’re feeling particularly creative and adventurous, you can try to recreate these bespoke cocktails, fresh from Hendrick’s own

‘Treasury of Tipples’.

Bramble Difficulty: Novice 50ml Hendrick’s 25ml lemon juice 12.5ml sugar syrup 12.5ml crème de mure Combine all of your ingredients in a cocktail shaker apart from your measure of crème de mure. Shake and strain your mixture over crushed ice. Drizzle with crème de mure, and garnish with a wedge of lemon. Corpse Reviver Difficulty: Novice 20ml Hendrick’s 20ml cointrineau 20ml lillet 20ml lemon juice Dash of absinthe Combine all of your ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously with cubed ice. Double strain your tipple into a cocktail glass. Chelsea Rose Difficulty: Novice 50ml Hendrick’s 150ml cloudy apple juice 5 fresh raspberries

Dash of lemon juice Combine all of your ingredients into a teapot and stir briskly. Leave to brew for a few moments and then serve in an ice filled teacup. If you are feeling confident in your mixology technique, then you can try these slightly more difficult Hendrick’s cocktails. Celery Sour Difficulty: Intermediate 50ml Hendrick’s 25ml fresh lemon juice 12.5ml pineapple juice 12.5ml sugar syrup Barspoon of celery bitters Dash of pasteurised egg whites Place all ingredients into a shaker and dry shake, then add cubed ice and shake once again. Double strain into a martini glass or a coupette. Raspberry Rose Royale Difficulty: Intermediate 25ml Hendrick’s 5ml sugar syrup One fresh raspberry Topped champagne Combine your raspberry, sugar syrup and Hendrick’s in a shaker. Shake strongly, only three times and pour into the base of a flute. Top up with champagne and garnish.

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The official definition of a cocktail is an iced drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavouring ingredients. That is a pretty broad definition, but exercises the modern practice of referring to almost any mixed drink as a cocktail. Although it seems that cocktails are a modern item on a bar or club’s drinks menu, people have been mixing drinks for centuries, but it wasn't until the 17th and 18th centuries that the pioneers of the cocktails became popular enough to be recorded in the history books.

It is unclear where, who, and what went into the creation of the original cocktail, but it seems to be a specific drink rather than a category of mixed drinks during that time. Apparently, the first published reference to the cocktail appears in the Farmer's Cabinet - that was published in 1803. This just shows how long that the term “cocktail” has been around for. There are as many stories behind the origin of the name cocktail as there are behind the creation of the first Margarita or the Martini. As always, some seem to be too silly to even comprehend, some believable and who knows? One may be the truth. Nevertheless, the stories are always interesting to read. Even although we cannot tell what stories are true and what is not, there will always be bartenders to continue making cocktails and to also, create new ones. 20 year old, Claire Louise has been a bartender for the past two years and has a few tricks up her sleeve to make customers come back for more.

“I currently work in Weatherspoon’s in Lanark as a bartender and waitress. I started off making basic cocktails in the house when I was 17/18 with ‘Woo Woos’ and ‘Cheeky Vimtos’. Then when I became a bartender I learned a lot more as I became more experienced in the job”.

These are basic and popular cocktails that are very common for the type of place Claire works in due to the fact that Weatherspoon’s are known for their pitcher deals on cocktails. “It didn't take me that long to learn how to make all the drinks on the menu; the hard bit was remembering all the ingredients for each cocktail because when it becomes within the pub it is a nightmare. It is all hands on deck and there is no time to waste looking at a cocktail menu to find out what goes where. In a place like Weatherspoon’s it can be difficult to keep track of how much customers drink. We get a lot of students and young people so we always know what to expect. Especially me as I am a young student myself who likes to go out and have fun. We all know what it is like once you have too many drinks but that does not mean you cannot go out, have a wee cocktail and enjoy yourself as a student. Chilled out nights are the best nights”. I love my job, I love working with the types of people that come in. We do get some hassle of customers who might have had too much to drink like I said but on the other hand it's a good laugh and you meet a lot of interesting and new people. The older men are the best, their stories crack me up but at the same time they are great to listen too. It takes you away from the madness of the pub”.

It is clear to see that working within a pub is not always fun and games but certain people make up for the carryon of students and those who have just one too many. In Weatherspoon’s they are well known for cheap cocktails, but that does not mean they are all popular. In these types of pubs they are well known for specific ones.

“The tequila sunrise is my favourite to make because it's a fruity cocktail that tends to get bought when the suns out. Which is great for summer because we all know everyone enjoys a day off and to sit outside in our beer gardens. But the strawberry daiquiri is the most popular cocktail that we sell.

It's the taste of the drink that people are drawn too which makes it such a popular cocktail. It is also sweet but light at the same time and it is just perfect to have on a summery day. Even having one with your dinner makes it perfect. There is just something about the daiquiri which people love to have. It generates the majority of our sales for cocktails”.

Although cocktails are popular to students, it is also seen

as a classy and sophisticated way of drinking for a ‘mother’s day out’ or even a ‘girly day’.

Once seen as a classy drink of the 19th century has been turned into a fruit concoction to get younger people drunk beyond compare. Is this true or are cocktails still seen as high class?

“I would definitely say it’s a female drink, we very rarely ever get a male buying a cocktail.

It is normally a younger crowd that buy cocktails during the week but as soon as the weekend comes we get groups of girls come in for a pub lunch that sit with cocktails or wine and have their ‘girl time’. We also get older females around 30-50 come in with their girlfriends or mothers and sit with one and relax.

It most definitely differs depending on which time of day, which day or even which month it is.

In the summer we get a lot of students as they are off University and college but at the weekends, the majority are elder females who are off work and on a day out to relax and shop”.

Long shifts, seeing customers out into taxis after an evening of partying and tending a busy bar proves that this job is not for everyone, but Claire Louise thrives on it. “I love my job, obviously there is down falls like I said, people can get out of hand with too much drink and customers can ruin your day depending on their mood or yours and I'd rather someone else was making me the cocktails but I really enjoy what I do. It's the laugh that comes with it all, because everyone is having a good time and the customers brighten up your shift and give us all a good laugh even when times are hard within the pub, we are a family and we stick together.

I would recommend this job to certain people with an outgoing personality who doesn't mind dealing with the public or working late hours or even working a bank holiday because we all know what that’s like. We see the office workers, the teachers and even the bankers out enjoying themselves. But this job has its perks, great people, great atmosphere and we always get a cheeky half at the end of the night”.

Overall, it would seem that working as a bartender can be a hassle, making cocktails, dealing with customers and having to work long and late hours. But there is always a bright side to that 12 hour shift; the customers, the banter and the colleagues. They all make up for that hard day’s work.

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What A Won Alcohol and its production has and still does play an important role in modern society and can be categorically linked to the history and culture of almost every nation on earth. The types of alcohol produced around the world can be broadly categorised by the staple crops used to create it. For example, in the west, grain and corn have long been the staples for the production of beers and spirits, whereas in places like Asia alcoholic drinks tend to be made up with rice. Let’s be frank, we all on some level know a little about alcohol and where it comes from. Whether it is tequila from Mexico, Vodka from Russia or even Whisky from Scotland. But what is less apparent is what alcohol means to different cultures and people around the world and how it is drank, and to a certain extent to what degree drinking is considered socially acceptable in these different countries and cultures. In Europe, the consumption of alcohol plays a big part in everyday life and for the most part, European nations have relaxed views regarding alcohol. For example, in countries like France and Italy it is almost unheard of for a family to sit down to an evening meal without a bottle of wine. Even at lunchtime there will more often than not be some sort of alcoholic beverage on offer. France is currently the biggest producer in the world of fine wines and champagnes, producing well over 6.5 million tonnes followed closely by Spain and Italy. In Holland, supermarkets are not allowed to sell liquor, offering only beer, a selection of wines and distilled alcoholic beverages with an alcohol percentage of less than 15 percent. Alcohol cannot be bought by minors under the age of 18; however , with parental consent, it me be consumed at home, something that is common across the Netherlands. It is not

just in Western European countries that alcohol plays a prominent role in daily life. In many Eastern European nations such as Russia, a meal might be proceeded by a series of toasts with strong spirits such as Vodka. Here in Britain public houses provide alcohol and can often be the focal point of communities. It is common for pubs to be the location of family events, to meet friends and for business meetings. Britain is indeed unique as it has a variety of pubs that cab be found nowhere else in the world. These range from family pubs to pub-clubs and working-mens pubs. It would seem that we have a pub for every occasion. There is a darker side however to Britain’s drinking culture. The UK has been dubbed as the drinking capital of Europe, with 12 per cent of the population admitting they have up to ten drinks in a single night out. In the more deprived areas across Britain alcohol is usually the catalyst for anti-social behaviour and violence. What’s more is that Britain’s binge drinking epidemic seems to be spreading to the middle classes and is becoming almost like a way of life. Stories about drunk persons on nights out and the trouble that often ensues are widespread and feature prominently in the British media. It has been suggested by some experts that Britain has lost its way in terms of controlling the levels of alcohol consumed. This has been an issue that has generated great debate at the top levels of British politics regarding the minimum pricing for alcohol. The UK has a tradition for producing some of the top alcoholic brands such

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nderful World as Scotch Whisky and traditional British beer. But now cheap alternatives can be purchased for as little as 50p in many British supermarkets, in particular canned cider and certain types of spirits.

In different parts of the world different attitudes exsist regarding alcohol in comparison with the views that we hold in this country and in Europe. So much so that different countries around the world are grouped in terms of how much alcohol they consume. This is known as the wet and dry culture. In wet cultures, alcohol is integrated into daily life and is widely available. In these cultures abstinence rates are low and wine is primarily the beverage of choice. European countries, in particular those that border the mediterainen are prime examples of ‘wet cultures’. Dry cultures are the polar opposite where alcohol consumption is not as common during everyday activities, access is more restricted and abstinence is more common. However, it has been theorized that drinking in dry cultures is more likely to lead to intoxication. Examples of countries with dry cultures include the USA, Canada and Scandinavian countries.

been dubbed as the apital of Europe

In the USA, a country that has a long association with alcohol and its production as far back to the time of Christopher Columbus when it was discovered that native American

tribes used to harvest crops for the production and drinking of beer, to the times of prohibition and the creation of drinks like Moonshine, there is evidence to suggest that much like here in the UK, the attitude towards alcohol has changed and now many Americans use it to escape the hardships of daily life. It has been estimated that 18.5 million Americans exhibit signs of alcoholism while another 7.2 million show signs of irrational drinking behaviour. This is a far cry from countries like for instance Japan. The Japanese have done very well in recent years in the production and marketing of their own alcoholic brands, in particular Japanese wine and whisky which is now extremely popular in the west, while at the same time keeping the levels of consumption at an acceptable standard. Countries like Japan have a great deal of respect towards alcohol and recent figures suggest that people in these countries enjoy a better standard of living as a result. Alcohol plays a significant roles in life and we all get some sort of pleasure when drinking it. But it’s the age old adage, everything in moderation. This is perhaps best summed up by medical expert Dean Edell ‘ When you look at the levels of alcohol consumed around the world it is easy to see that countries at the lower end of the scale, the people in these countries have a better quality of life. The benefits of drinking moderately begin early in life and they apply to beer, vodka, tequila and rum- all alcohol. Drinking any of these substances heavily or abusively is associated with poor health and reduced longevity.


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A brand expansion or another creative venture? Whatever you see it as, bands brewing alcohol is very much a thing. A big thing. Bands like Iron Maiden and Mastodon have gone and planted their arses slap bang in the middle of the industry.

Way away back in 2009, burly metallers, Mastodon first gained a footing in beer production after one avid German fan, Stephan Michel, a brewer at Mahr’s Bräu, created a super limited edition premium lager in the band’s honour.

Aside from this unofficial brew, the band themselves have taken to cultivating their very own Black Tongue Double Black IPA which went on sale to the public in 2013. The band described it like this:

“Rumbling smoky notes are offset by the elixir of misbehaving punchy hops. Mosaic and Magnum hops to the front, with Carafa Special 3 Malt and Pale on the baseline, this is our biggest and most powerful creation to date. The band wanted to create a 'pallet crusher' and that's certainly what has been delivered. A beer for enjoying slowly, letting the bombardment of flavour and intensity hit your tongue and explode with every sip.”

If beers and heavy IPAs aren’t your thing, then perhaps you’d rather guzzle some of Megadeth frontman, Dave Mustaine’s plonk.

Announced earlier this year, the wine, entitled, “Symphony Interrupted”, was the first offering from Mustaine Vineyards.

“This very special wine was made in limited quantities to commemorate Dave Mustaine‘s sold-out performance with the San Diego Symphony at Copley Symphony Hall on April 12, 2014.”

Or perhaps you’re a whiskey sinker? Slayer's Kerry King is the kind of guy you wouldn't want to cross when he's hungover. Luckily, Kerry's devised a formula to beat the dreaded

morning after headaches with his punchy Coldcock whiskey:

"Coldcock American Herbal Flavored Whiskey is a blend of aged whiskey, herbs and spices from around the world. Unlike comparable flavored brands on the market, Coldcock includes ingredients that take the burn out of drinking whiskey and won’t give you a sugar hangover the morning after. Coldcock is nearly half the sugar of competing shot brands and 70 proof."

However, there is one band who have all the bases covered. You name the poison, their iconic logo is plastered on a bottle, ready for your consumption. Yes, it’s those old school rockers in Motorhead. Probably their best known creation is their 40% Swedish vodka. Phil from the band had this to say about the spirit: “Drink it, enjoy it, but don’t blame ME tomorrow”.

The band have also produced a 13.5% 2009 Australian shiraz, which you can purchase as part of the ‘Sacrifice’ boxed wine set. I reckon we should all heed frontman, Lemmy’s advice:

“My advice is — approach it with caution. I mean, wine is deceptive, anything can happen.”

As mentioned, Motorhead have also produced an incredible quality rose, and speciality a Swedish beer – Bastard’s Lager.

But probably the most notable of all band brand beers, is Iron Maiden’s iconic Trooper brew. Brewed by Robinson’s,

Hard! Trooper is a 7% premium British beer, one which the band have taken a hands on approach in brewing.

In an interview with CNN, frontman, Bruce Dickinson, had this to say about Maiden’s signature brew:

"I wanted a beer that post above its weight in terms of flavor, but which didn't knock you on your a-s in terms of alcohol content. Real beer is not an industrial process, it's more than that because it is genuinely an art. The bitterness content of the hop changes every season, so how do you make a beer that tastes the same when the ingredients change every year?"

The beer has surpassed a mammoth milestone this year, in getting 3.5million people wasted. Granted, most of that sum probably came from its success with Download Festival punters during Iron Maiden’s headline set last summer. I pretty much had to swim through a sea of empty Trooper bottles to get back to my tent. If you don’t fancy getting trekking to a festival to sample Maiden’s first venture into the alcohol world, you can easily buy it in any major supermarket.

Once you’ve stocked up on your favourite heavy metal beverages, why not store them in true rock and roll style?

Marshall Amps unveiled their very own bar fridge carrying Marshall’s unmistakable amp design. It even features dials that go all the way up to eleven. You can buy this bad boy for a cool £399.99. Marshall had this to say about the fridge:

ÂWÜ|Ç~ |à? xÇ}Éç |à? uâà wÉÇËà uÄtÅx `X àÉÅÉÜÜÉã


“It’s a must-have piece of rock and roll history and one that music aficionados will be proud to showcase in their homes, caves, dens, garages or wherever else they like to relax with a cold drink.”

Every rock star loves to party, and this is a must for housing your poisons.

So, grab yourself an ice cold bottle of Trooper or Bastard’s Lager, and heed the advice of Andrew W.K,

“Party Hard”

g{ ^|Ç

{x Çz

Majestic Wine

In Britain today, alcohol is more than 45% affordable than it was in 1980, could this be because of the deals which we are faced with in local supermarkets? Or even the hot deals we see in pubs? ‘Get two pitchers of beer for £10’ or even ‘2 shots for £1’. The drunken student are the worst for alcoholic consumption and crazed deals which make pubs and clubs absolutely jam packed on a Thursday night. Free entry and cheap booze all night until the only thing you have is the ever trusting toilet which you hug for dear life while you try to remember your own name and if this is your house. But unlike supermarkets and clubs, there are also other places to collect your alcohol on the cheap. This is called ‘warehouses’ which to be fair, there are not many around but there is enough. Places like Costco and Wine warehouses were you can only collect certain amount of alcohol as a minimum. In Costco they sell singles for only specific types of alcohol where the rest are in bulk but in places like Majestic Wine Warehouse, there is a minimum limit to the amount of wine you can buy. Majestic Vintners opened its first Wine Warehouse in Wood Green, North London, in 1980. The manager of this first store was Tony Mason. This store was followed in May 1981 by another in Battersea, and by the end of 1985 there were 13 stores in the Majestic estate. In January 1986 Tony Mason left Majestic to set up Wizard Wine which was bought in 1987 by frozen food retailer Bejam. When Bejam was purchased by rival Iceland a year later, Chairman John Apthorp, Managing Director Tim How and Trading Director Tony Mason purchased Wizard.

In 1991 Wizard purchased Majestic, and the two operations were merged under the Majestic Wine Warehouses banner in 1992. Since then Majestic has expanded continuously, floating on the Alternative Investment Market in 1996 before opening its hundredth store in 2002. But nowadays, there are at least one warehouse in each city and town around the UK where it is based. It is the only place nowadays due to the licensing laws where you can get deals and discounts on your wine, whereas in Supermarkets like Tesco and Asda, it is illegal to promote deals like the ones you see in these warehouses. So why is it they can do it but others cannot? Kathy explains the ins and outs of what makes the Majestic Wine warehouse different from the rest.

The main thing which singles out the Majestic Brand from all other is “Customer Service” states Kathy. “We are here to help people choose wines that suit their tastes and needs. All Majestic staff must pass the Wine and Spirit Education Trust exams so they are able to give expert advice on choosing wine. We carry your purchases to the car or deliver them for free and provide you with tasting notes for the wines if you wish. We have a tasting counter, with an ever changing array, of wine which allows customers to 'try before you buy'. We can open specific wines at the customer's request, particularly useful for party orders. Also - having wine available to try all day, every day means staff members get to sample what they're selling - so they can appropriately advise customers. We have a Massive range of alcoholic beverages, around 800 wines, all available both in-store and online. As mentioned, we offer free delivery on any 6 bottles of wine/fizz/spirits which helps us provide an amazing service for our customers”. Although they believe they thrive off their customer service and that is what makes them different. The main fact is that they provide discounted orders on all wines they sell; they offer seasonal promotions which bring in the customers. But do they believe they can offer promotions and others cannot? “There are restrictions on certain promotional activity but not all promotional activity. Like other responsible retailers, we stay strictly within legal boundaries. We do not look to 'get round' the law, we look to offer our customers the best prices we can”. Although there are laws, does this mean that customers respect them or would rather save their money on their alcohol for other things? “All shoppers want a bargain and we try to provide that”. In the Majestic Wine warehouse they have certain rules of their own. One being their minimum spend rule which means that a customer cannot buy singles, they must buy six bottles of their chosen beverage. This used to be 12 but soon after was halved. “Our minimum purchase policy decreased to six so more people would be encouraged to use our services, which helps with sales”. Now getting onto the point of sales, when asked about what their most important time of the year was and what was the busiest, the answer was simple as they are

a wine warehouse. “Christmas is our most important and busiest time of the year due to the high level of parties, celebrations and also due to our minimal spends and offers, customers get their alcohol a lot cheaper once it all adds up from us. Our offers change on a monthly basis and we have a few new wines arriving to stores every month. This helps keep the ideas for Christmas fresh and keeps our customers coming back”. Over the years, the country has seen a lot of businesses shut down due to lack of sales, the recession hitting the UK hard and the fact that people were out of jobs and things are just too expensive to afford these days. The Majestic Wine Warehouse is something in which could have been faced with difficulty due to the recession due to the fact not a lot of people could afford fine wines and champagnes at Christmas or even coming in to afford buying six bottles at a time. But this does not always mean companies like the wine warehouse are at a loss within their business. “I think it's safe to say the recession has hit almost every business. However, Majestic is in the midst of a 10 year expansion program. Opening around 10 new branches every year, we pay healthy dividends on our shares, essentially carry no debt and are confident of future growth. We plan to never give up on our customers and keep the promotions coming to help them along the way and in the long run, we plan on selling wine. Lots and lots of great value wine. So there is no need to worry about our future. We have many plans”. Overall, the Majestic Wine Warehouse is a company full of cheap booze and surprises. It is where people can get great value for their money and fine wine to go along with it. It is a place where they offer you great service, tasters of their new and old products, or even just a cheeky taste of something that has caught your eye. Just because Britain is full of drunken students wanting to get cheap shots and pitchers, does not mean there are companies out there which will make you pay through the roof for a vintage wine or six. The Majestic Wine Warehouse sure does great deals and although it may seem that they are still promoting illegal promotions. It can be assured that they are playing by the book.

Th Cra

he aft

A Biz arre Cr aft T

actical Nuclear Penguins, serving their beers from taxidermy rodents and brewing at the bottom of the deep blue sea. BrewDog have done some pretty crazy things in their seven years. However, you’d be lying to yourself if you didn’t say with us, ‘I wish I worked for them!’ Yes, BrewDog are the young whippersnappers who made craft beer cool. Launched in 2007 by James West and Martin Dickie (and their dog), the pair were only 24 at the time. They were bored of the industrially brewed beers that had dominated the UK market for years so they did something that any beer lover would give their right arm to do: they brewed their own, taking a fresh, DIY approach to selling their premier brews. “We brewed tiny batches, filled bottles by hand and sold our beers at local markets and out of the back of our beat up old van.” In 2008, BrewDog were burdened with controversy, as they brewed the 18.2%, aged stout juggernaut, Tokyo*. The media believed that this heralded the downfall of Western civilisation, while BrewDog firmly believed that this one beer would bring about the end of binge drinking in Britain. Heck, if you can only manage a couple of bottles of this bittersweet, jasmine infused, dry hopped baby, then that’s not exactly a binge, right? Tokyo* is brewed with a diverse range of malts including Marris Otter, Dark Crystal, Caramalt, Chocolate Malt and Roast Barley. Aged on French toasted oak chips, with a gorgeous cranberry and jasmine twist, this stout waves goodbye to its stodgy, heavy counterparts. Tokyo* boasts an undeniably earthy, but sweet flavour you’re bound to love. All in moderation, though. 2009 saw BrewDog’s Punk IPA become Britain’s fastest growing alternative beer. It also became successful in the most unlikely of places… Scandinavia. This IPA is hopped to hell and back with four of the BrewDog brewers’ favourite hops: Chinook, Simcoe, Ahtanum and Nelson Sauvin. The company’s unorthodox approach to brewing even feeds through into their descriptions of their creations: “God save the Queen and all who sail in her. Raising a Stiff Little Finger to IPAs that have come before and those it is yet to meet.” Not only that but the team at Brewdog managed to brew an ale at the bottom of the sea. Extreme brewing, anyone? Following on from the retail success of their Punk IPA, the company kept pushing boundaries and ripping up the rule book, kind of like the way a muscle man would tear the Yellow Pages in half. Yes, the somewhat amusing enigma that is Tactical Nuclear Penguin was born. This 32% firecracker of an ale not only trashed the widespread perception of what a beer should be, but also earned the accolade of being the strongest beer in the world at the time. But their biggest challenge to adversity was the fact that in 2009, James and Martin grew their self-made business by a whopping 200%, in the middle of the deepest recession in history. Not bad, eh? In 2010, BrewDog continued to spread the gospel, bringing craft beer to the masses in the form of their first ever bar in Aberdeen. And remember our good friend, Tactical Nuclear Penguin? Well he got tossed overboard. The guys at BrewDog brewed an even stronger beer, 55% to be exact, and served it from taxidermy rodents. It was also deemed the world’s most expensive beer, given that it was fused with, er…art? Told you these dudes were batshit crazy. But there is method in their beer fuelled madness because before long, their success escalated to even higher levels. The company stormed through Camden in their very own BrewDog tank for their assault on London – they opened their flagship bar in Camden, to put it concisely. They also opened two other bars; one in Scotland’s capital, and the other, right here in Glasgow, in the Kelvinhall area. Remember how much those Scandinavians loved Punk IPA? Well, guess what? They took their business to Stockholm in 2013 and opened the very first international BrewDog bar over there, after holding a mammoth funeral procession in the city centre for less worthy beers. How rock and roll. Now you know how badass this company is, let’s take a look at some of their greatest hits, shall we?

5am Saint

Brewed with five lots of hops, 5am Saint is a rich, complex, amber ale. Initially brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops, then dry hopped with Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial, Ahtanum and Nelson Sauvin, the ale carries a bitter, but almost caramel hit. This one isn’t for the faint hearted. “Start the car. The lights are about to turn amber.”

Libertine Black Ale

Libertine combines the hop overdose of an IPA with the dark, bitter black gold of a classic stout. This is a single hop black ale, brewed with Simcoe, and Maris Otter, Caramalt, Munich Malt, Dark Crystal Malt and Carafa malts. The outrageously drinkable ale packs a swift, sharp punch that’ll leave you craving more. “Ride toward anarchy and caramel craziness. Let the sharp bitter finish rip you straight to the tits. Swallow hard – this beer bites.”


Decadent and indulgent, Dogma is a heather infused honey scotch ale, brewed with 10 different types of malt, and Saaz and First Gold hops. This ale is incredibly sweet, owing to BrewDog’s use of dark chocolate malts. Moderation is key with this one. “This beer is not cool. You may think it is, but that is just a beautiful lie fabricated by clowns and gypsies.”

Dead Pony Club

Dead Pony Club is a light Californian pale ale. At 3.8%, BrewDog claim that this ale is, “Perfect for drinking by the bottle, case or even keg.” Brewed with Simcoe, Citra and HBC hops, this light beer has a delicate taste and texture, however carries a rich aftertaste. This one is something you could sink all night long, and wake up as fresh as a daisy the day after. Not that we’d know about that, or even advocate you doing so!

Hardcore IPA

Hardcore IPA is pretty much what BrewDog are all about. This brew is a balls to the wall fiesta of hops, then dry hops to hell and back. This is no typical IPA; Hardcore IPA is deeper, and much more bitter than other IPAs. This is IPA on acid. “It’s just a helluva shock. Something that gets the adrenalin pumping like a 400 volt shot in a copper bathtub has to be good for the soul.” You can buy a limited selection of BrewDog at all major supermarkets, however, if you fancy sampling the full range, including the elusive Tactical Nuclear Penguin, you can order from their website, or pop into one of their bars across the country. You’d be barking mad not to give BrewDog a shot.

The Comeback C

ocktails are becoming increasingly more popular. New concoctions are popping up everywhere and older, traditional ones are making a comeback. But why is that? Is it because of the fruity taste? Or is it something more personal than that? For some people, the taste of certain cocktails might remind them of a time they enjoyed, like a holiday. Or a favourite fruity drink. In some cases, it may remind them of times they spent with their families and it could bring up happy memories of that. There are a number of classic cocktails that are reappearing in pubs and clubs like the White Russian, Daiquiri, Appletini's and Martini's. They may be on the side of more traditional drinks, but who doesn't love something that's a bit mature?

The Blue Dog cocktail bar in Glasgow has seen the return of one of the most popular, well known cocktails, the Pina Colada. Matthew Ronald, a worker at the Blue Dog says: “I think that it's because, if it's done right, it's a nice drink and takes people back to happy times when they were on holiday.” That must be true for a lot of people as the Pina Colada is normally associated with holiday makers in the sun and parties at night. “As old fashioned as the drink is, the reason why its popularity grows is that once people have a good one; they just can't help having more and more of them.” This just goes to show that the oldies are as good as the newbies. Pina Colada's are generally pretty fruity in taste and that will draw a lot of people in even if it's someone looking for more or a first time drinker, this cocktail is quite a good starting point. Reece Anderson, a former worker at the commercial bar in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire said: “The most classic cocktail we've ever served is the French Martini. In my opinion, I think people drink this specific cocktail because it tastes good and they can get you tipsy really quick.” People that order this drink must be big fans of James Bond films. Remember to ask for it shaken, not stirred.

Woo woo's, yoo hoo's, whiskey sours and many more new cocktails are appearing everywhere from the cubs in Glasgow all the way to the bright lights of New York City. The world loves a good cocktail. And who can blame them? From the presentation to the morning hangover, they're great and worth the headache. While not all people prefer the morning after aches and pains, some think that it's all part of the experience and would definitely do it again. Matthew from Blue Dog says: “The most popular cocktails are the long, vodka based fruity drinks and it's all down to the female drinker and her love of vodka. These are our own creations and the most popular.” It seems that it's fruit all round for cocktail drinkers. Most of the drinks contain some form of fruity goodness. But alas this does not count as one of your five a day. Sorry people, I'm just as disappointed as you are. Even though some of them are not fruity, they are an experience of their own. You get to learn what you like and what you don't like. It's an experiment that many are willing to go back and get a second opinion on. It seems that the comeback cocktails are becoming just as popular as the new ones. This could be due to the fact that people like a mixture of drinks rather than sticking to the one type of cocktail. Becky Adam from Motherwell regularly enjoys a cocktail or two and says: “My favourite cocktails are woo woo's because they are fruity. I like them because they are refreshing and tasty. They remind me of summer because they are so fruity and light. I do like that there is a wide variety as I like to try different types. I like to mix it up a bit.” Becky is only one in hundreds that love the taste of said drinks. Another person that likes a cocktail is the former worker of the Commercial, Reece: “I generally prefer more refreshing cocktails, because I like that I'm still drinking but I don't feel bloated the way beer can make me feel. They don't remind me of anything specific, I just like the taste of them. Whenever I drink cocktails I'm always drinking different things. I love that there are so many cocktails to choose from. I never stick to the same thing all night, it's too boring!” The good thing about cocktails having a wide range of flavours is that, no matter how fussy you are with your drink, you are more than likely to find a cocktail you like and suits you just fine.

You would normally associate cocktails with clubs but a range of people love being able to enjoy a cocktail with friends in the comfort of their own home as it allows them to drink tasty drinks and get comfortable. They can kick their feet up on the coffee table and take their shoes off. Reece says “I would love to be able to make cocktails at home because you can have friends over and have a laugh and drink nice drinks instead of just vodka and coke.” Although this may not be for everyone. Becky is one of those people, “I normally go to a bar for them as they are usually cheaper and you get more in them. But I would rather a professional made them so I know they're done right.”

What can we take from this? Well, cocktails look like they’re here to stay in their many forms we all know and love. But are they at the height of their popularity? Or will they continue to climb the ladder all the way to the top? Only time will tell. But I think they're here to stay and will continue to offer us many hours of enjoyment, even if we can't remember most it the next day.

Th Ital Jo

he lian ob

When In Rome... A

s we continue to take a look at all things alcoholic, I recently just arrived back from a country with a rich and ranging alcoholic culture. As well as being famous for the variety and quality of its food, Italy is a country with a wide selection of alcoholic beverages. An admitted addict on all things Italian, I feel that Italian alcoholic products are still underrated and to a degree unknown. So, having spent a lot of time exploring almost the entirety of the country I am now in a position to offer the lowdown on all things Italian‌ and alcoholic. Let’s start with the basics! Aside from all the wine and typical Italian beers and spirits, you’re more than likely to come across digestivi. These are the spirits that are consumed at the end of a meal and can even be mixed into beverages like coffee to give it that added kick. These are popular throughout Italy but you are more likely to find them in big cities like Rome, Milan and Florence. Perhaps the most renowned Italian aperitif is the product Grappa. This is made from pomace (the grape skins and seeds that have been left over from the winemaking process). Grappa is one of the spirits that will be offered after a meal with an espresso and can even just be served alone straight from the freezer. Grappa is big business in Italy with, in the region of forty million bottles produced every year. Moreover it is also a very Italian drink and has become synonymous with the country. Under EU law its name is protected meaning that the drink can only be called Grappa if it is sourced and produced in Italy. There are even Grappa museums, the most famous of which is the Poli Grappa witch features information on the history of the product and the distillation process. Another highly popular aperitif is amaro. This is a bitter spirit that ranges in colours from gold to dark brown and some shades of green. These are likely to appear on a table after a heavy meal. There are several different recipes but amaro is essentially made up of an infusion of various herbs and vegetables in alcohol with a variety of different flavours ranging from earthy and bitter to sickly sweet. The most popular brands tend to be Amaro del Capo, Ramazzotti and Ferret Branca.


This brings us nicely on to the last aperitif that I’ve chosen to look at and perhaps the most extreme, Ferret Branca. This beverage has been described as the alcoholic equivalent to Marmite, in that you either love it or hate it. Similar to Amaro, it’s known for its digestive qualities and its very bitter taste. Be warned however, this is not a drink for the faint hearted, so consume at your own risk! The Italian aperitif is the mainstay of the Italian drinking culture and is thoroughly enjoyable when rounding off a meal or indeed as a simple refreshment. In terms of more ‘traditional’ Italian alcohol, Italian beers come highly recommended. Italy is situated slap bang in the middle of the wine belt of Europe and when you take into consideration the quality of Italian wine, it is easy to forget that beer also is a major Italian export. Italian beers have a strong following, both at home and abroad. Brewing itself has been around for a long time in Italy, with lagers often most preferred. This is exemplified by the fact that two of Italy’s best known brands (Moretti and Peroni) both fall into this category. The main reason for this is because cold lager is traditionally thought of as the perfect accompaniment to Pizza. Peroni is one of the oldest breweries in Italy and has long been regarded as the best beer in the country. In reality, there hasn’t been a great deal of competition in the Italian beer industry until recently. Over the last decade in particular, craft beers and micro-brewing have enjoyed a surge in popularity and have offered welcome variety for the mass produced lagers that Italy is well known for. Craft brewing success has truly been phenomenal, considering that in the 1990s it was virtually unheard of. These beers enjoy a huge following thanks in part to the overall quality of the final product, which has been produced using local materials and expertise, which combine to create products that are truly exceptional in taste making the Italian beer scene a force to be reckoned with.

In the south of the country in places like Naples and Sorrento the food is grand but the alcohol is grander. Chilled white wines come from the vineyards on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, something which dates back many thousands of years to the time of the Romans. Here, in the surrounding countryside you will often find grape clusters along long vines which ripen in the pleasant Mediterranean climate. Some are for eating but most are used for local wine production. These wines are enjoyed not just in the Naples area but across most of the south of Italy. Vines which are found high up in the mountainous terrain produce fine red wines from heavy bunches of grapes swollen from the volcanic soil they thrive in. The best known varieties of these are Falerno but also produced are white wines including the Mount Epomeo reds and whites. On the island of Capri both red and white wines are produced and can be sampled at local inns. It has been suggested that the wines of the Campania region benefit from a tinge of the Volcanic sulphur that they are cultivated in. It is well known that Italy is a country of variety, with great passion shown towards food and drink. And although alcohol is readily available across all parts of the country, it never seems to be abused in the wrong way. In Italy public drunkenness is not acceptable and people are expected to know their limits. In Italy young people are made aware of alcohol and how it should be treated. This is in stark contrast to places like the UK and USA where alcohol is almost forbidden. Kyle Phillips, an expert on Italian cuisine shared some thoughts on the culture of Italian drinking. ‘In Italy the ways of thinking are different when it comes to alcohol. There is no ‘go out and drink to get drunk’ mentality. This is evident in the bars across the country which serve as social centres and make more money from selling coffee and ice cream than they do anything else. They do also sell alcohol but it is very rare to see anyone sit and drink. At night most Italian bars and cafes sell more coffee than they do wine’. The Italian drinking culture is truly fascinating and, just like Italian food, is something that has to be experienced. Don’t take my word for it. Get out there and enjoy it. The relaxed attitude towards alcohol in general and the quality of Italian produce, as well as the new products emerging really blend to create a fantastic experience.

Th Dan

he nger

Easy Does It

There are a number of dangers surrounding the consumption of alcohol. Most of them result in some serious injuries but most just bruise our pride and dignity. Although it's not always a laughing matter.

Studies have shown that it is mostly college students that consume copious amounts of alcohol to celebrate the end of the pressure of exams and deadlines. Who can blame them? Exams are pretty stressful and many deserve to let go and loosen up. Health experts are saying that if you have a heavy drinking session (i.e. you get hammered) you should avoid drinking any kind of alcohol for up to 48 hours afterwards. Evidently they have never heard of the expression “hair of the dog that bit you”.

However, it's not always the college students that like a drink. There is nothing to stop older people from exceeding their limits regarding alcohol. Suzanne Ballentyne, a nurse at Wishaw General Hospital says: “I would say all age ranges and types of people can have a drink problem or drink excessively. It's not narrowed down to a specific range of people.”

Another thing that puts people off drinking is the violence that the public associate with alcohol. It seems that a lot of aggression comes out when people drink. It's not entirely their fault, they loose their inhibitions. Just going through Glasgow on a Saturday night is enough to tell you the state of the drinking culture in Scotland. I was heading home last Saturday night/Sunday morning and at least four ambulances passed, two of which had their sirens blaring. The amount of physical damage that is a direct result of alcohol abuse is astronomical. Suzanne told us that a young man was brought into the hospital and had to be put on a ventilator for life support. “Most of the injuries we see are mostly cuts or broken bones. But that was the must extreme thing I've ever seen.”

A craze that practically took over social media site, Facebook, early this year was the Neck Nominations. Neck Nominate is an online drinking game where someone films themselves drinking a full pint of alcohol in one go and put the video on the internet. The person then has to nominate two or three other people to do it and it has to be done within 24 hours. Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well it's all fun and games, until someone gets hurt, which happens more often than you think. The risk has escalated alarmingly fast. People are drinking stronger drinks like Vodka or taking part in dangerous activities while consuming the pint of alcohol or after doing it.

Jordan Wright from Lesmahagow, Scotland took part in the Neck Nominations and says “I done it because I thought it was a good laugh and I didn't want to let the person who nominated me down.” This raises the question if people are being peer pressured into competing in this challenge. “I gained absolutely nothing from this apart from a video on Facebook and feeling really sick.” Since February 2014, the number of deaths related to Neck Nominations, according to the tabloid newspaper, Metro is five. This number is expected to rise rather than decrease as more people continue to endanger their lives by playing this game. So if you do decide to do the Neck Nominations or are nominated by someone to do it, please be responsible about it. Maybe drink a pint of tea instead. You can never go wrong with tea.

A number of people tend to mix their drinks so they can get buzzed faster. And it always seems to be some form of energy drink that is being thrown in with the alcohol. Jagerbombs are one of the most popular drinks on the market at the moment. It consists of dropping a shot of Jagermeister into a glass of Red Bull. However, this comes with its own health risks. The energy drink and the alcohol counteract each other and are meant for different purposes. The energy drink increases your heart rate due to the large amount of caffeine in it, whereas alcohol slows it down. If it is mixed then it can be really bad for your heart. These drinks have often lead to people having heart attacks and in some cases, even death. Jordan says that if he is on a night out with his friends then he is more likely to mix his drinks because “sticking to the same drink gets boring.” This appears to be the case for most. Drinking one thing does get boring sometimes and you might want to mix it up, but please to it responsibly and don't down 10 Jagerbombs in a row. You will regret it the next morning.

A lot of people are blaming the excessive alcohol consumption on the cheap price of some alcohol. However, Suzanne says “I think cheap alcohol has something to do with it but that's not the only cause. People just don't know their limits or know when to stop once they've already had a few. But cheap alcohol is definitely part of the equation. It wont go away completely but it can decrease if people become more responsible.” Jordan seems to agree. “I don't think it's because it's cheap and I don't think people will stop or slow down because you raise the price. But maybe if we had a stricter system, like America, where you have to be 21 as it gives you more time to grow up and realise how bad drinking excessively can be and how addictive it can become.”

The reason people drink might not necessarily be because of all the cheap alcohol that is currently on the market. The hot weather could be factored into it. Picture this; it's warm outside, you're at a barbecue with your friends having a laugh. You start drinking and you're having so much fun that you don't notice that you've picked up a second or third beer. This is just one other example as to how drinking can get out of hand. Suzanne says “It can happen on any day but it seems to happen on weekends or during hot weather as they tend to relax more more drink more when they're with their friends.”

I know we all like to forget our responsibilities or relieve some stress by drinking with our friends but please take care and drink responsibly. Know your limits.

Th Lega

he acy


The end of the American Revolution. Freedom from British control and the start of a new era in North America. This revolution started with the refusal to pay tax to the British government and in the end a different kind of tax was introduced by the new United States government. That tax was placed on liquor and spirits. Naturally the people of this new country were none too pleased with what their new government had done and so, naturally, they continued to make alcohol and spirits without paying for what they had made. The production of moonshine started as a means to support farmers and their families. If by some stroke of bad luck they had a bad year they could use whatever resources they had, namely corn, and turn that into whisky. By not paying tax on the resulting fluids they were able to sell on the alcohol and turn a profit should the farm fail to produce. Ask not why your country has placed tax but how you can worm your way around it.


Throughout the 1800’s moonshiners were faced with an endless amount of pressure from the government, who wanted the tax money, the public, who would give away the location of stills and even other moonshiners who would want to expand their market reach, so to speak. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that moonshiners were presented with the single biggest opportunity they could have.


The prohibition was put into place in 1920 and green spelled go for the producers of moonshine to start making and selling the magic that is moonshine to the whole of the US. So much so that the demand was too great and you would find watered down moonshine or sugar based moonshine cropping up all over the country so that the moonshines could turn more profit. It was the golden age for alcohol and the Dark Age for public intoxication. It wasn’t until 1933, when the prohibition had run its course, that the demand for moonshine wavered and dropped as people could now go back to other forms of alcohol, Beer, Wine and the likes.

g{x YtÅ|Äç Throughout these times one family has stayed true to the recipe of making moonshine and it’s still available today thanks to Junior Jonson and Piedmont Distillery. The Johnsons have been making moonshine for centuries, father, mother and brother all pitched in to run the family business and despite a jail sentence two. Juniors father served 5 separate terms in jail, his brothers also served jail time. All of the family except one. Junior’s mother never did any jail time for being involved in the production of the ‘shine. If you don’t want to do the time but you want to do the crime then don’t get caught. Although, that’s not to say there wasn’t a lack of interest from the ‘Feds’ to catch her. They even went so far as to get a man in undercover to catch her, but she was always one step ahead. One day Juniors brother showed up to the house with a man interested in acquiring some precious clear liquid (not water) and Juniors mother refused to sell him any because she didn’t know him well enough. In the end Junior’s brother sold him some and ended up doing time for it but Mrs Johnson was still untouchable. Junior himself was caught on May 2nd, 1956. Junior was asked by his father to go and light the fire for the still before the break of day, however, unbeknownst to Junior and his family the revenuers has staked out at the family still and caught him as he walked up to it. Although he was sentenced to two years in prison he only server 11 months and later, in 1986, received a pardon from The President of The United States Ronald Regan. The pardon restored Junior’s right to vote, he said; ‘I could not have imagined anything better’.

aÉã Today you can buy a jar of the Jonson’s famous ‘shine. The original, 100 proof, Apple Pie, Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cranberry and strawberry. The same recipe that the Jonsons have been using for years. Through jail sentences and government pressure it’s still here. A little taste of corn, fruit, alcohol and history.

The Reviews Citrus Non-Alcoholic

In an ideal world, the beer lovers amongst us would love to be able to drink as many bottles, cans or jugs as we like without feeling any ill effect. A product named Soft Brew Citrus Non Alcoholic, which has been on the market for a little over two years now offers drinkers all the qualities of regular beer but with one major difference- it contains no alcohol!

Sound a little too much like science fiction? Well, think again. This product is becoming increasingly popular across Europe and America and is being adopted by drinkers across all age groups. In essence, Citrus Non Alcoholic goes through the exact same making up process as normal beer but yeast is never added. Thus, it has no alcoholic value and has been described by experts as the best non alcoholic alternative to beer on the market.

Having sampled some of Citrus Non Alcoholic for myself, I have concluded that it is indeed a very worthy alternative to a standard beer. As no yeast is contained you might expect more sweetness but it has good balance and the inclusion of citrus adds sufficient depth so that the taste is not too weak. This is a beverage that would work well with food as it is not too gassy. It is also a very natural drink, with no added preservatives and contains less than 100 calories.

Candy Overkill I am usually a cider girl who will have a (rather large) glass of rose on occasion and if I ever dare to venture into spirits I will most likely stick to my beloved G&T. I'm not the type to order a cocktail and if I do it is usually nothing more complicated than a Martini but I have tried some interesting concoctions in my time (I class the famed Margarita under this category because how on earth could something quite that disgusting become so popular? I will never understand). The one cocktail that sticks out in my mind was consumed by me far too quickly in The Riding Room. It was called Candy Overkill and my what an appropriate name for that drink. According to their menu it is made with Absolut Raspberri Vodka, Chambord, Butterscotch Schnapps, lime, cranberry and (the killer part) candyfloss. That's what the menu says but the man who shook all these ingredients together and pushed the glass across the counter made this complicated drink with such ease and swiftness that I was paying no attention to what was going into the shaker. Until he grabbed a handful of candyfloss and I watched it melt into the drink in awe. I didn't take a sip for at least a minute while I admired the bright colour of the drink and contemplated just how sweet it was going to be. I was proved very right when I took my first sip and my face screwed up and my whole body shook just like when you are suddenly hit by the sour taste of a lemon. But in a good way. A very good way. It wasn't long at all before I was back at the bar with my empty glass asking for some more, please. Candy Overkill is just the right combination of boozy and delicious to make for a fun beginning-of-the-night drink and is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.


On a Wednesday evening I took a member of my family to a popular Italian restaurant in Carluke. The place is small but pleasant and their wine selection has great variety. We began our tasting with a bottle of red wine as I was always told that you should start your wines off very bodied and then ease off and go down to a dry or crisp taste. We ordered a Chianti which is from Tuscany, this was produced and bottled in 2012, which makes it a fairly fresh bottled wine, so the taste should quite oaky from the barrel. The look of the bottle was very appealing and simple. It was Tall and dark with a white label with a short description of where and when it was bottled. I was poured a glass from the waiter which from the bottle it did not change colour, it stayed very dark which gave me the impression it would be full bodied. I took a smell from my glass and the first aroma which hit my nostril was of spices which were different for me as I have never had a spicy wine. I proceeded to take a taste of the wine and it was so smooth, spicy and fruity all in one. My taste buds were on cloud nine with this wine as there is so much to take in at once it. I was wrong in one thing with this wine, it did not taste oaky at all but I think that was due to the spices within the bottle but over all this wine would be great for around summer time, it is not to full and the mix with the spice and fruit make it quite refreshing. Lastly we then moved onto something a little lighter, we chose a Pinot Grigio white as this is very popular from what the manager told us. It was a Pinot from Veneto and was bottled in 2013. This wine on first sight was almost transparent; it had a faint green colour to it but nothing visible. Once poured, I had a smell of it and I was surprised to smell citrus and pear but it was very nice. The taste was different though; it did not please my palette as much as the red as it was very dry and drew my cheeks in. Never the less, the texture was smooth, it is great when it was chilled because your initial thought was it would be refreshing but after that I felt like it was drying my mouth up. The after taste was different though as this left a citrus taste in your mouth so it was a little better than the initial taste of the wine but I am not a big fan of the Pinot Grigio. In the end, the two wines were very different but I think next time I shall stick to what I know and keep to red or rose wines.

Waxy O’Connors

Waxy O'Connor's, sometimes known simply as “Waxy's� is an Irish pub in the heart of Glasgow. Right in the middle of Queen Street. It's kind of hard to miss with the flame torch entrance. Even though the main entrance is flamboyant and fancy looking, there is another way in on a little alley not far from the doors of Queen Street Station. When you walk into the pub, you are immediately overwhelmed by the character that the place has. You are hit with the sense of friendliness and comfortability. And for those Irish folk in the big city, it can be a welcome piece of home, which we all need. Now, I know that it sounds just like any other ordinary pub, but what makes this one particularly special is the way the interior has been designed. It's over three levels, but it actually only takes up two. When you come in the main entrance, there is a little staircase just off of the bar. This leads to a platform with only a couple of tables which gives it a cosy feeling. Then you go up some more stairs and you're on the top level. Also, because it's another entrance, there is a bar up there too. Brilliant, right? The whole pub looks like it has been carved within a tree and you forget that you are in Glasgow during your visit. There is so much culture in the place, with Irish football and rugby shirts framed and dotted about here and there on the walls. Not long ago, I was in there with a friend and three young men with a guitar, violin and a set of drumsticks. Before you could bat an eyelash, they started playing a jaunty Irish folk song. The best part about it? People didn't even seem fazed by it and acted like it happened all the time. Which it probably did. When people aren't randomly bursting into song, the music that's playing in the background isn't Top 40's but Irish folk songs. Waxy O'connor's is a fantastic pub with a homely vibe that everyone should feel. I strongly urge you to go, get a pint, relax and enjoy yourself.

Booze News National Whisky Month This month is a very important one to Scotland. Why? Well, because it's National Whisky Month.

Many events are taking place all over the country to mark the occasion, from distillery tours to tastings to theatre productions of Compton MacKenzie's Whisky Galore. Scotch Whisky remains a very important part of Scottish culture, tourism and economy and it seems right to celebrate the 'Water of Life' during the Year of Homecoming. You can take part in the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival where you can learn what Master Distillers do to make their whisky so special, you can attend a Whisky Pairing and Piping Evening where the whisky choices will be matched with the music during a three course, specially selected, meal and you can enjoy Marrying Malts and Molecules where you will be taken on a 'Multi-sensory journey' courtesy of Scotch whisky and Scottish food. National Whisky Month is not only for those who know their stuff, it's also for those who enjoy the occasional dram or even those who do not drink at all but enjoy the atmosphere that only a group of Scots can provide.

Spirit of Speyside Festival – 1st – 5th May Whisky Pairing and Piping Evenings – 1st – 22nd May National Piping Centre Glasgow The Angel's Craft – 1st – 10th May Eden Brewery St Andrew Fife SMWS – May 1st, 2nd, 10th, 17th, 21st, 23rd, 29th, 30th Across various venues Jazz and Dram Isle of Bute Festival – 2nd – 5th May Whisky Galore – 7th – 31st May Various venues Home of Whisky Festival – 3rd May Salutation Hotel Perth Whisky Words and Wisdom – 2nd – 25th May Various Venues, Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway Culture and Cocktails – 2rd – 9th May Various Venues Aberdeen Spirit of Stirling – 10th May – Stirling Highland Hotel Create:Eat:Whisky – 14th – 20th May – Nestle Condensed Milk Factory, Edinburgh Glasgow's Homecoming Whisky Festival – 17th May – The Arches, Glasgow World Whisky Day – 17th May Various Venues Loch Fyne Food Fair – 17th and 18th May Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, Clachan, Cairndow, Argyll Islay Malt and Music Festival – 23rd – 1st June Gordon Castle Highland Games and Country Fair – 18th May Gordon Castle, Fochabers, Morayshire Highland Perthshire Whisky Festival/Tummel and Tay – 23rd – 25th May Marrying Malts and Molecules – 24th May - Merchants House, 7 West George Street, Glasgow Edinburgh's Whisky Stramash – 24th and 25th May - Surgeons Hall Museum, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh The Famous Feastival – 25th May - Glenturret Distillery Crieff, The Hosh, Crieff, Perthshire

P-Diddy Takes On Tequilla

At the beginning of January, spirits giant Diageo announced it was partnering with Sean “Diddy” Combs to acquire DeLeon, a super-pricey tequila out of Guanajato, Mexico. The juice aged in wine barrels and elaborately packaged with a large sterling silver cap is already known among A-listers. Now Combs wants it everywhere: "There is no tequila on the market like DeLeon," says Combs. "And we are going to make it the No. 1 brand in the world for this category." It is the second time Diageo, the maker of Johnnie Walker scotch and Smirnoff vodka, has worked with Mr. Combs. In 2007 they formed an alliance to develop the up market vodka brand, Cîroc. Diageo and Combs Wine & Spirits have formed a 50-50 joint venture to acquire DeLeón - which can sell for more than $1,000 a bottle - for an undisclosed sum. The brand currently sells just under 10,000 nine-litre cases a year. Diageo said “DeLeón will help boost its share of the “ultra premium” tequila market, which includes brands that sell for more than $40 a bottle”. Diageo also has another up market tequila, Don Julio. Both DeLeón and Don Julio sit at the higher end of the price scale compared to Jose Cuervo, which Diageo stopped distributing in the US in July. DeLeón has five variants, varying in price from $120 to more than $1,000, and is popular among US musicians and in Hollywood, the drinks company said.

Beckham linked with Haig Club Whisky

Retired soccer star David Beckham has been reproached by a charity for becoming the new face of a Scottish whisky. Shortly after spirits and drinks company Diageo announced this week that they'd tapped Beckham to front their new Haig Club whisky. British Deputy Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, Emily Robertson stated: “Its incredibly disappointing that David Beckham, a global icon who has wide appeal to children has chosen to use his sports star image to promote spirits” Alcohol Concern is a charity that works to reduce alcohol abuse. Beckham will work with British entrepreneur Simon Fuller in promoting the brand. For his part, Beckham said in a statement: "The House of Haig as a rich history and I'm proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years." The Haig Club is described as having a clean style, with notes of butterscotch and toffee. The new brand will be launched later this year.

Limited Edition Ballantine’s

Ballantine’s Blended Scotch Whisky has released four limited edition blends to showcase the role that different malts play in the creation of their signature 17-year-old scotch. Glentauchers was released today and is the fourth and final malt to be included in the Signature Distillery Editions following Scapa, Miltonduff and Glenburgie Editions. The packaging is also limited edition and is reflective of the taste notes – light and fruity – and uses a specially selected font for the label. Sandy Hyslop, Ballantine’s Master Blender, comments: “We are proud to provide whisky enthusiasts with another opportunity to experience the single malts that shape the taste profile of Ballantine’s 17 Year Old, and to showcase the high quality of the single malt produced at the Glentauchers distillery. The special edition has smells of sweet citrus fruits tangerine and sweet clementine, hazelnut and hints of delicate floral heather. The taste coats the mouth with smooth flavours of soft raspberry and blackberry and combines with a tantalizing taste of barley sugar sweets. The finish is incredibly long and luscious. Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Glentauchers Edition is launching within a number of Ballantine’s key markets including Asia Travel Retail, China and Japan, from May, with a retail price of $78 (USD). Ballantine’s is the No. 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the world’s No. 2 Scotch whisky by volume, and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 120 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance.

Saloon Issue 1  
Saloon Issue 1  

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