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Vinopolis

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Vinopolis

Postby les taylor » Wed Jun 20, 2007 1:51 pm

This coming Saturday Mrs Les is treating us to a Winetasting with Matt Skinner. Plus the original Vinopolis experience. One of Matt's hats is that he is the Sommelier for Jamie Oliver at Fifteen.

Has anyone else done this? What should we look out for? Also of course there is a branch of Whisky Exchange there. What should I be looking out for as we have not been to Whisky Exchange before except from online.

We are looking forward to going around Borough Market as well.

We would appreciate your comments.


Les.


:)
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Postby Leither » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:08 pm

Hi Les, I did the Vinopolis tour last year on a business trip down to London - I work in tourism, so benchmarking and all that!

Very good indeed - leave plenty of time and a great range of premium beer, wines and ports (the find for me was white port!) to try before you end up in the Diageo bar. This is where all the other visitors seemed to give me their unused vouchers when they heard my Scottish accent. I remember they were plugging Caol Ila and Talisker at that particular time, so you know.... IWBRNT.

Anyway I would look out for TWEs cask offerings as discussed on another thread recently (by Martin I think):

http://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/Vinopolis.aspx

Enjoy!
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Postby r900p » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:58 pm

Cask offering, don't forget Vintage House. RM will have more details.

Rob
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Postby martin grant » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:48 pm

Sounds like a great day out Les.
While at The Whisky Exchange you got to try the Ardbeg Quite Young

Thumbs up from me!
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Postby les taylor » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:00 pm

martin grant wrote:Sounds like a great day out Les.
While at The Whisky Exchange you got to try the Ardbeg Quite Young

Thumbs up from me!


Martin Quite Young?

I thought it was Very Young, Still Young, and Almost There. Plus the original committee release.


:)
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Postby les taylor » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:08 pm

les taylor wrote:
martin grant wrote:Sounds like a great day out Les.
While at The Whisky Exchange you got to try the Ardbeg Quite Young

Thumbs up from me!


Martin Quite Young?

I thought it was Very Young, Still Young, and Almost There. Plus the original committee release.


:)



Sorry got it now. It's the Cask Offering at TWE.


:thumbsup:
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Postby recordmeister » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:43 pm

The Whisky Exchange is brilliant. It is like the High Fidelity of whisky shops. Last Friday I spent 2 hours in there! I love it.

Oh, take out a new mortgage before you go. Ask for Matt there, tell him what you like and he'll sort you out! Les- I have also PM'ed you.
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:31 pm

Great day out Les, Vinopolis is on our list of 'things to do", but as yet we have not got there. One day . . .
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Postby les taylor » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:36 pm

Paul A Jellis wrote:Great day out Les, Vinopolis is on our list of 'things to do", but as yet we have not got there. One day . . .


Paul I will take some photos and do a little write up.

:)
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Jun 20, 2007 9:53 pm

Have a great night Les .... Mrs Les is a very good woman to be treating you.

Look forward to your report .... and hopefully you won't get too buckled :wink:
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Postby goldenprimrose » Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:07 pm

Les - was actually in TWE yesterday. Ask Matt or Colin to give you a tasting of the new young Ardbeg out of the barrel.
They have some new IB 30y.o. Glenlivets & 40y.o. BalBlairs in stock - CS. I treated myself to the BalBlair. 47.7%abv. The Glenlivet is good value at £65.00. The IB is the The Single Malts of Scotland Anniversary Selection. Believe they are specifically bottled for TWE.
Also has a couple of remaining OB Tamnavulins - some of their first bottlings from 1966. £95.00 and job's a good 'un. Something different for the collection as this distillery doesn't really feature on most folks radar. Believe TWE got the only batch. Got your name on it.
The guys are really passionate and friendly - you'll come away with a light wallet for sure! Plenty of samples available as well.

Around Borough Market you should ckeck out Monmouth for a coffee - best in London. Also good tapas bar on corner of Borough High Street - get there early though as it's always rammed.
Live fairly local to the area - SouthBank Riverside is probably one of the best experiences in London these days - always plenty of things going on. You and the missus should certainly have an enjoyable day out.
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Postby les taylor » Thu Jun 21, 2007 8:37 am

Thanks for all your comments guys that really helps. It should be a nice day.



:)
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Postby bond » Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:05 am

You will need a few hours at TWE especially if you get Matt chatted up. I had gone there with my wife too. Midway she excused herself and left to have a few mugs of coffee by herself while Matt was explaining the nuances of PC5 to me.

Great store. Though frankly, while they stock a wide range of whiskies, this store could have more depth within distilleries.

Cheers
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Re: Vinopolis

Postby corbuso » Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:29 am

les taylor wrote:

:)


I don't know if they still have some bottle left, but last month, they managed to get some Macduff 1966 and Glen Grant 1967 from Douglas Laing in the OMC serie bottled in 2001 at an attractive price...
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Postby Steve Rush » Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:17 pm

Your in for a treat. Usually at least once a month myself and my better half. Get down to Borough Market nice and early to get a parking space. Follow this by having a strole around the market, which I would also advise getting there early for as on a Saturday it gets particularly packed. Also if your cheese inclined, check out Neals Yard Dairy it's simply amazing.

Once we've shopped and put everything we've bought in the car it's Vinopolis time. Always worth a look around and there's always something going on. The addition of the Whisky Exchange always results in a few purchases. You can even fill your own bottle from a selected choice. A great day out and there's a plentyfull array of places to go and eat after.

If the weather is good, also nice to take a walk along the thames and if the weather is taking a turn for the worse, always worth checking out what's on at the Tate.
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Postby recordmeister » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:56 am

How was it, Les??
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Postby les taylor » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:02 am

recordmeister wrote:How was it, Les??


Superb I'll do a report at lunchtime.


:thumbsup:
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Postby recordmeister » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:26 pm

looking forward to it, Les. I nipped down to the market and Exchange on Sat, and my girlfriend took me for lunch in the market, so it was all good!
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Postby lagavulin1967 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:41 pm

Hi guys,

Thanks for taking the time to leave comments on this forum (it really does help us to 'fine-tune' things). In reply to a couple of the comments on this thread:-

We try to represent all of the existing or recently lost distilleries, but we're severely constrained by shelf space. However if you're looking for something a little more 'left-field', we can arrange for any of the bottlings on our website to be collected from the shop (given a few days notice). In addition to this, we assess as many bottlings as we can, so that customers are not confronted by 35 different independent expressions from the same distillery. In our experience many of them are nearly identical in style (so we try to pick the best) or, worse still, bear little resemblance to the distillery bottlings and the general flavour spectrum that you're expecting.
In short, our aim is to give both novices and whiskyphiles a chance to get the things that they can't get elsewhere, rather than simply ramming shelves with bottles for the sake of completeness, which I all too regularly witness elsewhere. After all, do you want to pay £60+ to discover that your 'RARE SINGLE CASK' Ardbeg 23yo on Mongolian Banyan Oak (finished in Vietnamese Chardonnay), actually tastes like Marmite wrapped in burnt bacon with pineapple and banana sauce, topped off with anchovies?

If you're in London, drop in and see us for a chat and a dram. (Aforementioned Ardbeg is NOT available for tasting. YET!)
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Postby martin grant » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:03 pm

lagavulin1967 wrote:Hi guys, do you want to pay £60+ to discover that your 'RARE SINGLE CASK' Ardbeg 23yo on Mongolian Banyan Oak (finished in Vietnamese Chardonnay), actually tastes like Marmite wrapped in burnt bacon with pineapple and banana sauce, topped off with anchovies


Wow! Where do I get one of these? Sounds intriguing.

With apologies for the editing
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Postby recordmeister » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:28 pm

lagavulin1967 wrote:Ardbeg 23yo on Mongolian Banyan Oak (finished in Vietnamese Chardonnay), actually tastes like Marmite wrapped in burnt bacon with pineapple and banana sauce, topped off with anchovies?


Sounds like something I had in Borough Market, but it was ORGANIC so that makes it all okay!!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:32 pm

I want one too.... Actually, this points up one of the interesting things about IBs that you may not have taken into account--that they often differ from the standard profile, giving the consumer a different look at the distillery's output. Of course, it's good to know that in advance--I'm sure that, from a shopkeeper's viewpoint, getting feedback along the lines of "This tastes nothing like Ardbeg" is a drag, and probably not really good for business.

My tuppence...thanks for checking in here, it's always nice to know that retailers and industry folk are actually paying attention!
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Postby les taylor » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:38 pm

recordmeister wrote:
lagavulin1967 wrote:Ardbeg 23yo on Mongolian Banyan Oak (finished in Vietnamese Chardonnay), actually tastes like Marmite wrapped in burnt bacon with pineapple and banana sauce, topped off with anchovies?


Sounds like something I had in Borough Market, but it was ORGANIC so that makes it all okay!!



RM that was the Veggie sausages. Did you see them. ? :yuk:
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Postby RufusA » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:45 pm

martin grant wrote:
lagavulin1967 wrote:Ardbeg 23yo on Mongolian Banyan Oak (finished in Vietnamese Chardonnay)


Wow! Where do I get one of these? Sounds intriguing.


If it's Ardbeg it must be excellent ;-)

R.
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Postby RufusA » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:58 pm

Good to see lagavulin1967 on the list - I presume you work for tWE. Do you have a name, or will you be covered in marmite and woodbine in you reveal it?

Are the masterclasses at Vinopolis also run by tWE. If so what sort of things should you expect for your £39, as the description on the Vinopolis site:

"..let our whisky ambassador guide you through single malts and blends, its heritage and production methods "

isn't exactly capturing my imagination. The "b***ds" word is particularly worrying - as that's a lot of money to pay for a powerpoint on how whisky is made, and a couple of glasses of bells / Diageo classic malts!

Rufus.
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Postby lagavulin1967 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:43 am

Hi Rufus,
I do work for TWE in Vinopolis, but anything that I put on here is personal opinion NOT the views of TWE (that's the disclaimer out the way!). The whisky experience that you're enquiring about is an entirely Vinopolis venture, and your assessment is pretty close to the mark.
We hold our own sessions here with guys like Jim McEwan, Bill Lumsden, John Glaser (Compass Box) and a raft of others. Our nights tend to be between £25-£30/ticket and you'll certainly end up with at least 6 malts. As an example, a couple of months ago LVMH launched Almost There with us, and the line up was Still Young, Almost There, 10yo, Uigeadail, Airigh Nam Beist, Lord of the Isles AND a single cask 1975. The evening was presented by Michael Heads (first time he's done a public tasting in his new role as Ardbeg manager). That was just one of our evenings, but you can get the mailshots about what's coming up next by logging on to the usual website and following the link to our Central London store details. Apologies if this reads like an advert for us, but I'm trying to be as impartial as I can.

Happy drinking guys

M
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Postby RufusA » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:36 pm

Thanks for the candid response, I personally don't see your response as an advert, just answering the questions I asked. IMHO the forum is richer for people on the inside of the industry!

I think I'll give the Vinopolis Masterclass a miss then. But have added my name to tWE mailing list as it's always useful to find somewhere else in London to have tastings other than the SMWS.

Hope you've got something planned for July / early August!

Rufus.
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Postby les taylor » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:44 pm

Well on saturday we had a great day out. Got the train in from Harpenden. We arrived at Borough Market about 11.30.am. The market was fantastic the nearest thing I have experienced to a french market. Lots of samples from the stall holders. The atmosphere was really nice and everybody alike fellow shoppers and traders all seemed laid back and in a good mood. We bought some Comte cheese, as below:-


Image


There was so much produce I would loved to bought some fish or even an ostrich egg. But as we were in town all day it was not really possible. We visited Neal's Yard Dairy, what a fantastic place there was a lady cheese maker there selling her unpastureised Stilton which cannot be called stilton but is called Stichelton. We bought some of that. We had a bite of lunch down by the river overlooking St Paul's which was very pleasant.

Before the wine tasting we had to nip into TWE for a little look. Colin very kindly let us have a sample of the Ardbeg quite young. Which is a 6.5 year old at 62.2 Vol. Colin put a bottle of Compass Box Flaming heart behind the counter for me.

Our MasterClass was at 3pm with Matt Skinner. There was about 70 people in the class. Matt was very interesting and spoke about many things to do with wine and winemaking. Ifound interesting this point. That you judge a wine not by the size of the dimple in the bottle or the weight of the glass, but by the reputation of the wine maker. We tried six different wines. 2 whites 1 rose 2 reds and a desert wine. We enjoyed this more than the Vinoplis experience which followed.

The Vinopolis experience was good but on a saturday afternoon was a bit of a bun fight. I would have preferred it if the there was less people there. That would have allowed for a more relaxed atmosphere and time to talk to vinopolis people about the wines. I have to say though that the variety was good with wines from China and Israel as well as the normal producing areas of the world that we see in the high street.

We finished off in the Bombay Sapphire Bar which was pretty cool. After that experience I think I will explore Gin Cocktails I think they do have their place. Very enjoyable.

Image


Our last port of call was back to TWE. As you guy's have said you could spend hours in there. Matt and Colin are very hospitable and spend time with you which is great.

I made my purchases, in the meantime Mrs Les got speaking to Matt about Calvados and Coqnac. Matt very kindly gave us some Calvados to try then out came the big guns. 30 Year old Brilet Hor's D'age Coqnac which was just magnificent. Matt followed that up with a 50 year old Heritage. What can I say. I was going to buy the Hor's D' age. Mrs Les is more cautious than me. So that's on the shopping list for next month.

All in all what a great day. With an off peak travel Card and only £1 to park at the station on a saturday. Borough Market and TWE are definetly going to become regular visiting spots.

Also a big thankyou to all you guy's for the tips before we went. It really helped and pointed us in the right direction as to what to do and look out for.

:thumbsup:
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Postby martin grant » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:55 pm

Sounds like you had a great day Les, thanks for the report.

The Matt Skinner session sounds like it was really worth it. He was recently voted as one of the most influential people in the wine industry by Harpers Wine magazine
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Postby recordmeister » Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:00 pm

Les- sounds excellent. I'm very luck in that i live 3 tubes stops from Borough Market so it is always nice to have someone else tell you how good the market it is, as sometimes yuo can't see the wood for the trees!

tWE is, as always, bloody brilliant. I'm glad you had a top time.

RM
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Postby lagavulin1967 » Tue Jun 26, 2007 3:09 pm

Hi guys,
Just to clarify a point I mentioned earlier. If you want to get the tasting notification e-mails that we send out from time to time, please register on the Central London Shop site (not the main/home page), by clicking the 'tastings' link, and drop us a
quick e-mail asking to go on the list. If you register on our main site it won't come to our inbox, and you won't get the tastings notifications.


Cheers M
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Postby Paul A Jellis » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:07 pm

Thanks for the report Les, as I said Vinopolis is on our list of 'things to do', but I think it has leapt towards the top!

The whole day looked fantastic. We may well copy your itinerary!
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:24 pm

les taylor wrote:....... We bought some Comte cheese, as below:-


Image


:thumbsup:



Jaysus Les that lot will keep you going for the rest of the year ... :lol: :lol: :wink:
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Postby les taylor » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:27 pm

irishwhiskeychaser wrote:
les taylor wrote:....... We bought some Comte cheese, as below:-


Image


:thumbsup:



Jaysus Les that lot will keep you going for the rest of the year ... :lol: :lol: :wink:



That's all I could fit into my rucksack. :wink:
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:28 pm

les taylor wrote:
That's all I could fit into my rucksack. :wink:


They don't make Rucksacks like they used any more :(

:wink: :lol:
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