Whisky Tasting Evening
A select group were invited to the Bulls Head on Thursday 3rdMay 2012 where Ed McAvoy the Brand Ambassador of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey was over from Ireland via London to present our first ‘Whiskey Tasting Evening’. Ed focused on such premium Whiskeys as Redbreast, Midletons and launched Jameson’s Select Reserve as well as looking at other Irish Whiskies from within the Jameson ‘family’. He did some comparisons between Scotch, American Bourbon whiskey and the Irish styles…really interesting. A big thanks to Philippa and Ed for hosting the evening.
Lloyd our head chef put on some little tasters of food that fitted the mood and his Irish Stew was inspired but the real winners were his little chocolate pieces with orange and Jameson’s Select Reserve (in fact they were that good everyone insisted they went on to the new menu) and the cheese selection with the Redbreast 12 year old was fantastic.
The evening was a way of saying thanks for loyal custom as we approached our second ‘birthday’ of the new Bulls Head!! It is our 200th Anniversary year too…. 1812-2012 so we will be planning different events through the year.
Anyone interested in our next whiskey evening let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
A brief history of Whisky
The Gaelic ‘usquebaugh’, meaning ‘Water of Life’, phonetically became ‘usky’ and then ‘whisky’ in English. Scotland has internationally protected the term ‘Scotch’. For a whisky to be labelled Scotch it has to be produced in Scotland.
‘Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae’. The entry above appeared in the Exchequer Rolls as long ago as 1494 and appears to be the earliest documented record of distilling in Scotland. This was sufficient to produce almost 1500 bottles.
Legend would have it that St Patrick introduced distilling to Ireland in the fifth century AD and that the secrets traveled with the Dalriadic Scots when they arrived in Kintyre around AD500.
The spirit was universally termed aqua vitae (‘water of life’) and was
commonly made in monasteries, and chiefly used for medicinal purposes, being prescribed for the preservation of health, the prolongation of life, and for the relief of colic, palsy and even smallpox.
Scotland’s great Renaissance king, James IV (1488-1513) was fond of ‘ardent spirits’. When the king visited Dundee in 1506, the treasury accounts record a payment to the local barber for a supply of aqua vitae for the king’s pleasure. The reference to the barber is not surprising. In 1505, the Guild of Surgeon Barbers in Edinburgh was granted a monopoly over the
manufacture of aqua vitae – a fact that reflects the spirits perceived medicinal properties as well as the medicinal talents of the barbers.
The Scottish parliament introduced the first taxes on malt in the latter part of the 17th century, and consequently smuggling became standard practice for some 150 years. There was no moral stigma attached to it: Ministers of the Kirk often made storage space available under the pulpit, and the illicit spirit was, on occasion, transported by coffin – any effective means was used to escape the watchful eyes of the Excise men.
We have been talking about what we now know as Malt Whisky. But, in 1831 Aeneas Coffey invented the Coffey or Patent Still, which enabled a continuous process of distillation to take place. This led to the production of Grain Whisky, a different, less intense spirit than the Malt Whisky produced in the distinctive copper pot stills. The lighter flavored Grain Whisky, when blended with the more fiery malts, extended the appeal of Scotch Whisky to a considerably wider market.
For a full version of our Whisky Bible click here.
Get ‘board’ at the Bulls Head!!
As winter approaches Ben our landlord and the team have given great thought to drinks for winter. We are asking you to pop down and get board!!! Ben has launched his new whisky boards giving a variety of taste for two to share as a winter warmer by the fire!!
Different regions of Scotland have been carefully chosen as well as Ireland, the U.S and an international board too. It is a great way to sample whiskies and understand the differences in aroma and taste. A true winter warmer!!
During Cask Ale Week we launched our C.A.T.S (Cask Ale Tasters Society) boards where three beers can be sampled in third of a pint glasses. This is another great way to sample the varieties on offer.
We are today launching our famous winter drinks including our very own ‘Woolly Bully’ which has become famous over the last three winters since we opened. It has even been featured in IN/OUT Magazine this Autumn!!
You can read about our winter drinks from the board outside the pub!!
So three great reasons to get board this winter!!!
The fires are lit so what are you waiting for?
THE UNITED COLOURS OF CASK
‘Tim travels Ireland for new whiskeys for the Bulls Head this Autumn’
Owner Tim is travelling Ireland searching for Whiskey that is unique to the Emerald Isle that he can bring back for this Autumns whiskey tasting evening and of course for guests of the Bulls Head to enjoy next to the fire with our Cheese Board!!
The Whiskeys will be on the bar this Sunday!!
The pictures show the worlds oldest Distillery… Kilbeggan in the county of West Meath the home of Lockes Whiskey as well as of course Kilbeggan itself!!
Two special whiskeys were acquired here!!
Midleton was next on the tour and what a lovely town this was just to the east of Cork and the home of some of the best whiskeys in the world let alone Ireland. Midleton Whiskey and Jamesons whiskey dominate here but we manged to bring back a rather nice bottle of Yellow Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey! Inspired by the original Yellow Spot and last bottled in the 1950s, Yellow Spot is the rare taste of a bonder’s style Single Pot Still Irish whiskey. Rather than being simply a finished whiskey, Yellow Spot is special in that it contains single pot still whiskey that has been matured for a full 12 year period in three oak cask types: American bourbon barrels, Spanish sherry butts and uniquely, Spanish Malaga casks. Bottled at 46% ABV, the influence of the Malaga cask brings an exotic sweet note to the whiskey making it a truly delightful taste experience.
Just to let you know we also brought back to the bar at the Bulls Head are Greenore 8 Year Old an Irish Single Grain Whiskey which is a gold medal-winner at the International Wine & Spirits Competition, this unique concoction is a 100% Single Grain Irish whiskey, from the multi-award-winning Cooley distillery in Dundalk and The Kilbeggan Distillery Reserve Malt, the latest addition to the Kilbeggan family of fine whiskeys, is produced from the oldest pot still in the world which dates back to 1830. After 53 years this is the first ‘official’ Kilbeggan to be released. Amazing. Historic. And plain good whiskey.