Chris has already launched a ‘sell out’ ‘Car-Fest’ in the south of England and needed a venue for the northern version. For details of the event go to www.carfest.org where they will be appearing shortly. The event features cars galore, live music and lots more.
Yes it is true while cleaning the bar shelves holding our whisky collection, Steve our landlord studied the label of the Bunnahabhain which was believed to be a 12 year old priced at £3.60 a shot. On closer examination the label declared “Family Silver 1968” .
Believing this to be a brand name Steve decided to ‘Google’ the said whisky and discovered that it cost in the region of £350 a bottle or £700.00 a bottle at retail value!!!!! Yep and we have been selling it at £3.60 a shot!!!
The bottle has been returned to the shelf and if you want a wee dram it will cost you £25 a shot from today. To those whisky lovers that have enjoyed a few shots at our expense then good luck to you!! Amazing what you find on the shelves of the bar!!
Need to clean more often Steve!!
Bunnahabhain (Scottish Gaelic: Bun na h-Abhainn) is a village on the northeast coast of the isle of Islay, which is in the Argyll and Bute area of Scotland, in the Inner Hebrides group of islands. It is also the name of a Scotch whisky distillery located there. The village was established in 1881 to house the distillery’s workers, and the distillery still employs the majority of the village’s workers.
The surrounding area is also steeped in local history. The ruined village of Margadale, nestled between Margadale Hill and Scarbh Bhreac, was once the busiest marketplace on Islay, with people coming from all over the island for cattle sales.
The name of the village comes from the Scottish Gaelic name Bun na h-Abhainn, meaning Foot of the River.
The distillery in the village produces The Bunnahabhain (Boon-a-havn) which is one of the milder Islay whiskies available and its taste varies greatly from other spirits to be found on the island of Islay, off the west coast of Scotland. The distillery was built in 1881 and sits below the northeast tip of the island just north of Port Askaig. It overlooks a narrow belt of water (the Sound of Islay) with a view of the neighbouring island of Jura (which also has a working distillery) and its famous hills, the “Paps of Jura”.
It may sound like a smutty seaside postcard, but in fact La Clape is a wonderful, seaside wine region very close to Narbonne in the South of France. A ‘defined terroir’ within the Coteaux du Languedoc AOC, La Clape is dominated by a modest mountain overlooking the Mediterranean, a mere 10km or so away. It is classic garrigue territory: dusty, hot earth populated by wild thyme, rosemary and vines – and is one of the sunniest vine growing areas in France. The wines are among the most exciting in the Languedoc:
spicy, powerful and robust but blessed with a cooler, maritime-influenced climate and vine-loving limestone soils.
Nestled in a bowl in the hills is Chateau L’Hospitalet, the HQ of Gerard Bertrand. Gerard is something of a phenomenon in the south of France. A local boy made good, he first hit the headlines as a professional rugby player for Stade Francais and the French national team. Whilst still playing, he inherited the family’s wine business and has gradually built it up, acquiring vineyards and estates across the Languedoc. The jewel in the crown is L’Hospitalet, which he bought in 2002.
The estate is surrounded by 52ha of vines but in addition to a fully functioning winery it also comprises a hotel, restaurant, conference centre and public cellar door. Incredibly, it is the third most visited tourist attraction in the region. The top two are the old city in Carcasonne and an African themed safari park.
What is even more incredible is that despite the size of the business and the obvious commercial nous, the wines are outstanding. Not many wineries manage to combine quality and quantity, balancing the volume demands of the market with the desire to make brilliant wines that genuinely reflect their terroir. Bertrand and his team deserve a lot of praise for doing just that. Don’t take my word for it either, doing some background googling for this update, I discovered an old article on Jamie Goode’s website that made the same point, noting that “if France had more wine companies like this, they
wouldn’t have too much to fear from new world competition.”
Chateau L’Hospitalet Rouge La Clape 2010 – this wine is sourced from the vineyards surrounding the chateau. Herby, warming and spicy with dark black olive fruit rounded out by the oak. Smooth and well-balanced but full of character with some classic cool La Clape minerality.
Come and enjoy a bottle with Steve and the Team!!
Well done to the famous five (you know who you are!!) for organising such a terrific event!!! This shoot which Steve our landlord is aiming to make an annual event was attended by 17 teams of five and 70 individuals. The event was sponsored by HJ Lea Oakes. Over £3000 was raised for Charity. Please see some photos of the day the winning Team were the Checkley Wanderers, Nick Beavis, Tim Vaughan and Martin Waring…..captained by Ivor Beavis. Well done and here’s to next year!!
At last the brewer has been found for our Headmasters Ale!!
A couple of weeks ago The ‘Ale team’ went out in search of a brewer and attended the ‘2012 National Winter Ale Festival’ on the Oldham Road. This was, in itself, an eye opener for the team!! As you can see from the photos the line of pumps was something else!! The team decided on arrival that food might be the best approach prior to indulging in the exceptional choice of ales.
The choice of food was amusing to the Chum team you could choose from an Asian set menu or an English set menu for a buffet style service. Tim and Steve went English (as you might expect from true custodians of good quality British food in pubs) and then our choices were revealed….lasagne, Roast Tandoori Chicken or the veggie cheese Pie!!! We went for the lasagne and we knew it was English as it didn’t have any pasta in it!!! Anyway with Chips and peas it filled the gap prior to the tasting!!!
200 beers were on show including foreign beers and ciders and it was good to see Redwillow and other Northwestern ‘micros’ at the festival. For me the beers I enjoyed most came from Liverpool Organic Beers and Ilkley Brewery and the German draught pilsners hit the mark before we returned for a second lasagne!!! Did we find a brewer though?
Now back at the Chum the bar was set up with three ‘ Headmaster Ale’ badges obviously taking over three of our ‘famous five’ pumps and the brewers put their beers in to our cellar. Their ‘brief’ was to supply a classic malty traditional bitter with an ABV of 4.5%. Visitors to the Chum last weekend tried and tested the offering and we came out with a winner in 24 hours.
The tasting was ‘blind’ completely, no descriptions, no mention of breweries, simply taste the ales and decide the best!!! Congratulations to local brewery Weetwood who won by seven votes pushing Salopian in to second place. The launch of The Headmasters Ale will take place next week. Come in and try a pint.
Finally a massive thanks to the ‘Ale Team’ for arranging such a great trip. We enjoyed it thoroughly!!! Also thank you to Struan for arranging the ‘taste off’ and all the ale fans at the Chum for voting!!!
Click on the first image below to view the gallery