Brew and Booze News

TGIF Times for January 24, 2014


Below are a few of the more interesting press releases that landed in our inbox this week…

Glenmorangie Companta

Glenmorangie’s New “Friendship” Whisky

— The fifth annual offering from its award-winning Private Edition range —

Glenmorangie has released its eagerly-awaited fifth annual limited edition single malt whisky: Companta.

Its predecessor, Ealanta, was recently named the world’s best dram by Jim Murray, one of the world’s leading whisky experts. Created by wood management pioneer and three-time winner of Malt Advocate’s coveted Industry Leader of the Year award Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie Companta is the latest in the Private Edition range – a group of rare and intriguing single malts. Glenmorangie Companta is Scots Gaelic for friendship and celebrates Glenmorangie and distinguished French vineyards’ shared pursuit of perfection.

Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, said:

Having spent over 20 years travelling to some of France’s most renowned vineyards, I’ve had the opportunity to sample many rare and intriguing wines in search of the finest casks to complement the extra-maturation of our whisky. Some of my most memorable visits have been to Burgundy, where the dedication and attention to detail that goes into their craft never ceases to amaze me. The smaller vineyards of the region don’t seem to worry about yields, costs, or timings. They work tirelessly, simply to produce the very best wine. In the same spirit as Glenmorangie, they stop at nothing in the pursuit of perfection. This shared philosophy inspired me to create the ultimate tribute to my longstanding love for French vineyards and the friends that I’ve had the pleasure to make throughout my travels.

On the nose, Companta exudes rich, “autumnal” scents of red berries and damp forest floors, with a hint of fragrant woodsmoke complementing notes of aromatic, nutty oak. Upon tasting, a spicy palate redolent of cherries and stewed fruits is slowly revealed, as notes of sugared plums, blood orange and rose-hip syrup emerge alongside milk chocolate and brown sugar, leading into a mouth-coating finish.

Bottled at a strength of 46 per cent, and non chill-filtered for extra body and texture, Glenmorangie Companta is available from independent specialist retailers and department stores including Royal Mile Whiskies and the Whiski Rooms with an RSP of £69.99.

A refined balance between bold spice and rich, smooth sweetness, Companta is the result of a careful assemblage of Glenmorangie extra-matured in both renowned Burgundy Grand Cru Clos de Tart casks and sweet fortified wine casks from Côtes du Rhône.

Lumsden explained:

Selecting parcels of Glenmorangie which had been matured in traditional American white oak ex-bourbon barrels, I transferred the spirit into casks having previously contained one of my personal favourites – the full-bodied Grand Cru wine from Clos de Tart, one of the most celebrated vineyards in Burgundy. After a period of extra-maturation, the casks imparted additional body and deep berry-like flavours to the trademark elegant, floral character of the Glenmorangie. To complement the bold, spicy character imparted from the Grand Cru casks, I selected a parcel of Glenmorangie which had been extra-maturing in casks having previously contained a lusciously sweet fortified wine from Côtes du Rhône. It took some time, but with careful fine tuning we reached a harmonious assemblage which proved the perfect balance; neither too bold nor too tame!

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Two stories from Philly’s Devil’s Den…

Devil's Den

#1 – Late Winter Menu Released at Devil’s Den

–Rustic & Refined Dishes Complement Exceptional Beer–

Philadelphia, PA — Devil’s Den announces a late winter menu that combines rustic and refined with flavors imported from around the globe—all while maintaining the comfortable palate of elevated American pub fare.

Devil’s Den’s wood-burning fireplace and carefully selected craft beer list create a uniquely comfortable urban tavern oasis in Philadelphia’s brutal winter. The new menu items add to the enticement with diverse Small Plate selections, a variety of House Sausages, and hearty Entrees perfect for cold nights.

Small Plates include Pulpo, braised and seared Spanish rock octopus, crème fraiche, frisee, pomegranate; Sweet Potato Fritters, maple marscarpone, chile oil; Patatas Bravas, roasted potato tossed in spicy tomato sauce; Crab Tots with a cheddar beer sauce; and simply Mushrooms, seared trumpet, crimini and oyster mushrooms, pearl onion, sunny-side up quail egg.

House Sausages are inspired by Chef de Cuisine Matthew Daggett’s family in Germany and extensive study of sausage making in Europe (see additional release for more information). This season’s sausage offerings include Lamb Sausage with cannelli beans and honey-thyme mustard; Pork Belly Sausage with sweet potato and hot mustard; Boudin Blanc with roast potato, pickled cabbage and sweet mustard; and Chorizo with creamy polenta, manchego and whole grain mustard crème.

Entrees are decidedly hearty and rich, seasonally appropriate. Lamb Chops are served with celeriac puree, swiss chard, raspberry gastrique; Short Rib Ravioli is served with caramelized cioppollinni and pearl onion consommé, watercress, crème de Dijon; Duck Ragout is served confit-style with house-made duck prosciutto and creamy corn polenta cakes; Seared Scallops are accompanied by parsnip apple puree, warm truffle mushroom salad; Fresh Semolina Gnocchi comes with mushroom and butternut squash ragu. Also new to the menu is the new and popular Farmhouse Burger—dry rubbed patty, lettuce, roasted tomato, caramelized onion, house sauce, pulled pork, fried egg.

The new dishes at Devil’s Den complement mainstay dishes that remain staples like their selection of Mussels, Shrimp & Chorizo, the popular Duck Fries, and several sandwich favorites.

Devil’s Den also offers brunch every Saturday and Sunday with unexpected favorites such as Scallop Benedict with seared scallops, bacon, brioche, apple hollandaise; Short Rib Hash with sweet potatoes, leeks, squash,, poached eggs, au jus; and Shrimp and Grits with a spicy tomato creole sauce. Brunch is served from 10:30am-3:00pm every weekend.

#2 – Devils’ Den Toasts National Peanut Butter Day with Nutty Draft List and Specials

Philadelphia, PADevil’s Den, Philadelphia’s premier beer destination, gets a little nutty this Friday, January 24 with the annual celebration of National Peanut Butter Day featuring peanut-butter food specials from the kitchen and accompanying nutty drafts.

Among the extensive draft options, on National Peanut Butter Day, Devil’s Den will tap and pour DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus— a chocolate peanut butter porter with a rich peanut butter aroma and intense chocolate taste— Twisted Pine Rhesus Stout—a chocolate peanut butter stout with a mocha head and earthy nuttiness— and Spring House Big Gruesome— an American double peanut butter chocolate stout brewed with two types of chocolate malt, raw cocoa nibs, and real peanut butter.

“We love any excuse to celebrate the relationship between quality food ingredients and craft beer,” says owner Erin Wallace. “Peanut Butter Day was a huge hit last year, so we expanded the offerings this year with different breweries and additional menu options.”

Back in the kitchen, Chef de Cuisine Matthew Daggett celebrates National Peanut Butter Day with a variety of peanut butter-infused specials that go beyond the average PB&J.

Menu for the evening will include Pork Satay, a marinated skewer of pork with creamy peanut sauce; Tod Mun, a Thai fish cake with a spicy cucumber sauce; Grilled Flank Steak with Peanut Sauce served over bok choy; and for dessert a decadent Peanut Butter Pie, loaded with peanuts mixed with cream cheese and covered in chocolate ganache.

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