Posts by admin

Wine vs. Beer Round 2

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015

As I sit here destroying my taste buds with some ridiculously hot salsa, it seems a perfect time, really, to do a little writing on flavour matches. Last month I was called back to Appellation in order to make a case and defend a title gained back in 2013 in a Wine vs. Beer food pairing which Ash and I led with the Scottish Funding Council. For the past year this has been a constant point of discussion within the shop, the reminiscences nearly always culminating in my hands being raised in a variety of celebratory exposés, while Ash would always shake his head, assuring me that the next time would be different. The run-up to this year’s event proved to be even more of...

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Why’s the Rum Gone?

Posted by on May 7, 2014

The great thing about knowing words like ‘esterify’ and ‘polyphenols’ is that as soon as you start throwing them around people seem to think you know what your talking about. The joke’s on them, though: I know nothing! In all seriousness, when I was nominated to run a once-in-a-blue-moon rum tasting I did feel like my fancy vocabulary had turned around and bitten me right in the rear. I like to think I can speak fairly intelligently about most spirits, particularly whisky, but my knowledge of rum was (and probably still is) somewhat lacking and so I drove myself to buckle down and conduct some extensive research before standing up in front...

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Beer and Cheese Round 2

Posted by on Apr 29, 2014

The leadup to an exam is never much fun. For me it generally consists of nervous pacing and mumbling intermingled with sporadic dives to my binder to find that equation that will surely come up (but never does). I then make my way to uni, clearing my head with a bit of music before realizing that I left far too early and am forced to sit and wait outside the exam hall for 20 minutes while my course mates and I make each other even more anxious by bringing up one thing or another that one of us had completely forgotten to cover. And I pay for this crap. The good news is that as soon as I sit down all the stress and anxiety floats away and I reach a point of transcendental...

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Scents and Sensibility

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014

Back in February, a regular at Comely Bank proposed that I conduct a blind beer tasting.* I was very excited about the idea but then faced the problem of formatting. What exactly should be the challenge here: Should I be presenting six similar styles and let them judge their favourite without the influence of brand and brewer? Should I only feature one brewer and have them pick out which beer is which? Should I present two different brewers and set it up as a blind contest between the two? The number of possibilities was daunting! But even though I wasn’t sure how I’d do it, I knew that I would have a lot of fun at this tasting — primarily because I...

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That’s the Spirit

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014

Yesterday morning, my flatmate and I were eating breakfast while watching Top Gear. During an advert break I happened to look down at one of the many whisky books that I had strewn across the coffee table in preparation for that afternoon’s tasting; prompting me to ask: ‘Chris, name the first whisky that pops into your head!’ ‘Bunnahabhain!’ he replied with gusto. His answer was unsurprising. I had bought a bottle of their 12 year expression blind and absolutely loved it. Consequentially, when I brought him and some other friends along to a whisky festival a few months later I told them that they had to taste this whisky and it managed to...

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