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Bibendum Bar Newsletter: February 2023

Bibendum Bar Newsletter: February 2023

Old Kempton Distillery Gins

Come for the Whisky; stay for the Gin. Old Kempton Distillery is, first and foremost, a Whisky distillery—and a fine one at that. But alongside its Whisky program, Distiller Rob Tyson, in concert with Lyn Lark, also crafts a trio of deliciously unique Gins, which Bibendum Bar is proud to present.
 
Following extensive trials, Old Kempton settled on a very pure cane spirit—sourced from northern Queensland—as its base, preferring the clean neutrality to the creamier mouthfeel derived from grain spirit, or the fruity undertones a grape base contributes. Further, cane spirit also provides a slightly higher perception of sweetness for a starting point that fits the unique aromatic footprint of Old Kempton’s eclectic yet impeccably balanced botanical bill.

The resulting Gins are the brightest and most delicate Gins in our portfolio. The Embezzler Gin (Category winner: World Gin Awards 2021 and Gold in the Dry Gin category of the SIP Awards 2021) uses a diverse selection of more classic ingredients to make a dainty, yet juniper-driven Gin, with layered florals and spices and a refreshing lemon/lime top-note.

With a botanical bill that includes a medley of tropical fruits, citrus and Tasmanian native pepperberry, the Six Shillings Gin (Gold in the Old Tom Gin category, SIP Awards 2021) is Old Kempton's contemporary riff on an Old Tom style. It’s textural and mouth-filling with an array of sweet fruits and complex botanicals making for an irresistibly tropical and summery Gin.

Finally, the Barrel Aged Gin rests in seasoned barrels from one of the most prestigious estates in Saint-Émilion, bringing sweet and lifted oak characters with honey, pear and granny smith apple elements—making it perfect for sipping.

These Gins bring a unique brightness and delicacy to the Bibendum Bar portfolio (and Australia’s Gin armoury in general) and offer great value considering the small batch production. You can read more about each spirit by clicking the links above. The team will be showing these around over the coming month, so please get in touch and taste them for yourself. 
Japanese Whisky Update
Yuza Distillery Joins Bibendum Bar
And then there were four. Established in 2017, Yuza Distillery is the first Whisky producer in Yamagata prefecture, the heart of Japan’s snow country on the northern coast of Honshu. Based near Mount Chōkai, the distillery enjoys an abundant source of pure meltwater, crucial in crafting the distillery’s Whiskies. Unlike many of their contemporaries, this small operation has passed up the opportunity to release any ‘newborn’ expressions, instead diving straight in with a Single Malt (and a cask-strength Single Malt at that). There’s a fascinating story about how and why Yuza came into being, which we will cover in our upcoming Japanese Whisky offer (see below). In short, Yuza is the real deal, and it bodes well that the first release has already picked up gold at the prestigious San Francisco International Spirit Challenge 2022.

The new offer will also include the two latest 24 Sekki bottlings from Akkeshi: Taisetsu and Taisho. Please email us if you are not on our Japanese Whisky list and would like first dibs on all the new releases. We’re also excited to report that Ichiro Akuto’s Chichibu Malt and Grain is now core ranging (700ml, $114.28) for Bibendum Bar. We’ve been negotiating hard to secure a steady supply and it looks like we are now there. We currently have good stocks and there's more on the water—dive in!
La Gritona: Back for Good

Newsflash: We’ve managed to secure an uninterrupted supply of La Gritona Reposado. Now you can have your Tequila and sip it too! If you are new to the story, this bright and flavoursome Reposado is the brainchild of Andy Coronado and renowned tequilera Melly Cárdenas. Working in an L.A. bar and playing a bit of guitar on the side, Coronado had become disillusioned with the procession of tiring, ‘whiskyfied’ Reposado that had taken hold of the category. With a bit of encouragement, through a friend he came into contact with Cárdenas. It took a bit of convincing by Coronado that he would find a market for a refreshing, old-school Reposado, yet she was intrigued enough to join the crazy project. The rest is history. 

Key to the style and quality is Cárdenas’ selection of ripe nine to 10-year-old, mature Blue Weber agave, grown in the iron-rich red soil of the Jalisco highlands: agaves that yield more sugar and tend to be sweeter and more aromatic. Every step of production after that takes place under Cárdenas’ own roof and with an attention to detail that the big boys, or those outsourcing distillation, cannot hope to replicate. Then there is the use of low-impact, second or third-fill barrels, only lightly charred to allow the refreshing, sappy notes of the agave to shine through. In other words, it’s Reposado that tastes like agave. Don’t just take our word for it—ask your rep for a taste. 

“This reposado is incredible: so many exploding flavors such as cooked tropical fruit, honey, spice, hints of clove, and aniseed deliver a wonderful reposado style tequila from start to finish.” Forbes Magazine 

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