What’s been rattling the cupboards at TTG HQ this month? This lot, that’s what…
Chouffe Belgian Beers
We were CHOUFFED TO BITS when this splendid selection of Belgian Boozes came marching down our garden path. Whilst familiar with the flagship La Chouffe, (a tasty golden beer with hints of coriander) we were less familiar with its stumpy brethren. It seems we’ve been missing out – Mc Chouffe (8.5% abv) is a full-bodied, spicy number with liquorice and and aniseed flavours; Chouffe Soleil (6% abv) is a summery symbiosis of lemon, elderflower and chamomile whilst the Houblon Chouffe is a punchy, fruity fellow with subtle hints of grapefruit.
Also props to the PR who included the bright red, bell-bedecked gnome hat in our delivery, despite it causing a minor incident at the Hampton Court Flower Show whilst we were on book promo duties. Rich accidentally pulled it out of his pocket in the Flower Marquee believing it to be his COVID mask, and the over zealous RHS security staff (who are notoriously gnome-ophobic) didn’t really see the funny side.
Oxford Rye Whisky, Batch 2
Earlier this year we were invited on a Zoom event to learn more about the Oxford Artisan Distillery and, in particular, its venture into the world of rye whisky. Rye is becoming a bit of a drinks phenomenon at the moment and we’ve been discovering lots of new whiskies featuring the spicy grain; but few are as outstandingly delicious as those crafted in Oxford.
Besides being distilling aces (they’ve also nailed gin) one of the things that makes the Oxford team’s whisky so good is the quality of rye used to make it. They don’t simply ship any old rye in to fill their warehouses, they grow their own. And they don’t even grow the same varieties that fill most of the world’s rye fields – their rye is grown from carefully selected heritage grains. Those Oxford rye fields also contain wheat, oats and even a few thistles – sound practices for growing and the environment, but also by adding the lot to their whisky mash (yes, including the thistle seeds) they manage to get even more complex flavours to their whisky than most distillers can only dream of.
The latest release, Batch 2, is testament to this growing and distilling dedication, with a whole host of flavours including nuts, herbs, fruits, oak and spice to enjoy. If you want to carry your taste buds onto the rye bandwagon then give this a go and they won’t need to hitch a ride anywhere else.
Andrew Peace Wines
Got barbie, need booze? Fear not! For Aussie winemakers Andrew Peace have created an easy drinking trio of tasty wines for BBQ fun-times. Admittedly the Australian vision of a BBQ is far removed from our own pathetic efforts*, but we were glad to get stuck into these all the same.
Andrew Peace Signature Chardonnay 2020 (13% abv)
A soft, gluggable wine with subtle hints of citrus. Our paring notes recommended charred chicken but we paired it with an empty stomach. STREWTH!
The Unexpected Red 2020 (14% abv)
A smooth, rich red, made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo with Sagrantino. Doing a shimmery silhouette dance before pouring is of course compulsory. BEAUT!
Andrew Peace Signature Shiraz 2020 (13.5% abv)
A tasty, full-bodied red wine with ripe black fruits and a whiff of cherry. VERY drinkable, and a bit of a bargain we reckon. FAIR DINKUM!
Andrew Peace wines are available at selected Co-op stores nationwide.
* Wet matches. A spot of swearing. Stale buns. Undercooked burgers. Bin. Takeaway.
Who couldn’t resist a bottle of booze that depicts a MAN RACING AN OSTRICH on the label? Not us, that’s for sure. Shanky’s Whip* is a black, whiskey-based liqueur that hails from County Cavan, consisting of a combination of Irish spirits and aged pot still whiskey, blended with vanilla and infused with caramel. We’ve diligently worked through all the recipe suggestions and can reliably report that the best of the bunch is ‘The Long And Short Of It’, a cocktail comprising 1 part Shanky’s Whip, 4 parts Cola and a slice of lime. Oooh, whip it! Whip it good!
Get yer Shanky’s Whip HERE
*TTG would like to point out that in no way do they endorse the whipping of ostriches for racing purposes or otherwise.