It was great to get to the London Wine Fair last week, meeting some fantastic distillers and tasting their masterpieces, as well as enjoying the odd glass of red wine (I know it says wine, but the are also great to find a few hidden gems of spirits).
I rocked up after lunch and had a plan to speak to two or three distillers, looking to find a beauty to be considered for our Bottle of the Month to be shared with members. I started in the British section and had the pleasure to chat to Julian Temperley about all things apple and taste his lovely range Somerset Cider Brandy, as well as his fantastic Somerset Ice Cider, which is made by freezing the freshly pressed apple juice, removing the ice and fermenting the naturally concentrated juice. The result is a unique expression of the traditional vintage apple, combining its bittersweet and sharp properties.
I must admit I did take a little detour through Spain, reminiscing about last Summer's road trip through Basque-country and Rioja, with Laguardia, Haro and Itxaspe the particular vintry highlights. I took a little time to revisit does flavours, before heading back out, with the aim of chatting to a couple of small Armagnac and Cognac producers whose beautiful nectar is not available in the UK.
On the way I was distracted by a fantastic Mediterranean brandy producer, who I will definitely be talking to further, their make spirit was divine and I can't wait to try some examples of how it ages. The Armagnac and Cognac did not disappoint either, let's see if one will be a future Bottle of the Month :)
On the way out, I got the chance to try a fantastic Organic Calvados, that I will be stopping in on when I do my next road trip that will focus on Calvados.
It was a great day at the show, importantly I got to meet a few amazing master distillers, whose application of their craft has created some fantastic examples of what is possible with spirits. Apart from those made in the UK, none of these masterpieces is available here and they are divine, perfect to be shared with our members. If you want to try these wondrous delights too, join us at The Summerton Club to get a premium bottle of perfectly-aged spirit delivered to your door monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly, all for less than if you bought it yourself.