Cholmondeley thanks James Chase.

Wednesday night was a special evening here at Cholmondeleyas James Chase, son of founder William Chase, came to speak about their famous Apple Gin distilled in Herefordshire at the Chase Distillery along with the now world famous Chase Vodka. Winner of the best Vodka at the San Francisco Drinks Competition a few years back.

James, who is the marketing director of ‘William Chase’ talked passionately about gin, its history and how it is core to the future distilling at Chase. Attendees at the talk all learnt a little more about gin and sampled a superb Chase Gin and Fever tree tonic garnished with apple and served with ice of course. A miniature version of this fantastic gin was also presented to each and every one who attended so they could savour more gin at home or indeed hang on to as a reminder of the evening.

On the night our Stru “Gin-troduced” the new ‘Gin-troduction’ tray (pictured) which is for two or three persons to share to introduce them to the varying tastes of different gins with different tonic and garnishes too. This will sell for £15.00 (so a ‘fiver’ each really) and gives you three gins to sample….. Berkeley Square Gin, Brockmans Gin and of course William Chase Gin. All are very different and I don’t want to reveal too much as we look forward to you trying them and telling us what you think.

Also launched on the night was Struan’s Cholmondeley Martini. Stirred not shaken, this Martini (Pictured below) is a classic using the Spanish ‘Gin Mare’ whose ‘botanicals’ include fresh basil, Olives, Thyme and Rosemary. It is finished with a smidgen of Noilly Prat then ice chilled and garnished with an olive and sprig of thyme!!

Thanks to Struan for making the Martini ‘live’ in front of the gin audience!!!

What a ‘pro’ he is!!

Also a massive thanks to James Chase, who I have to say is so enthusiastic about his Gin it made for a refreshing evening in more ways than one!!!

He did confess that he used to come to Cholmondeley as a boy and could not believe how much the pub had changed since our recent restoration work.

Thanks too to everyone who attended.

Gins number 79 and 80 arrive from Scotland

Old Raj gin has arrived at the ‘Chum’ all the way from bonny Scotland and the William Cadenhead distillery. The gins have just picked up a silver award at the San Francisco Spirits Competition. Cadenhead’s Old Raj Gin is distinctive in that it contains a measure of saffron, the rare and costly spice derived from the crocus flower. In addition to a slightly spicy flavour, this also imparts a pale yellow colour to Old Raj. The addition of saffron is undertaken personally by the Company Chairman in order to ensure a consistency in flavour and colour each time Old Raj is bottled.

The difference between the colours is simply strength with the Blue sitting at 55% abv!! So to now hit the 80 gin mark after being open six months is a great effort from Stru and Steve our ‘Gin champions’ and our suppliers too for supporting our Cholmondeley Gin Palace.

Steve’s latest ‘Shipped in’ wine

A dose of La Clape, Chateau L’Hospitalet

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!!

Gin number 77 and number 78 arrive!!!!

After being open just 5 months the Chum has almost doubled its Gin collection on the back bar!!! Struan our Gin Champion at the Chum welcomed gin number 77 and number 78 today as you can see from the photo.

Oxley is a revolutionary English Gin with a fresh, bright, smooth classic gin taste. Oxley is made from an innovative cold distillation process. Cold distillation occurs at -5c capturing the natural flavours of the botanicals and preserving them in the final spirit.

Finsbury is distilled with juniper berries, exotic fruits, herbs and spices according to an elaborate method from the 18th century. The recipe is a well-kept secret and unchanged to this day. Finsbury is a particularly fine and mild representative of the flavour “London Dry Gin’, preferred both internationally and in Great Britain. Finsbury Gin has a rich aroma with a fine and elegant bouquet and is ideal for many popular long drinks and cocktails, including the great world classics; Gin and Tonic, Singapore Sling and Dry Martini. The 47 comes from its strength 47% abv!!

G&T anybody!!!??

Circa £3000 raised for charity as the Annual Cholmondeley Clay Pigeon shoot goes with a bang!!!

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!!

The Quest for the Headmasters Ale is complete!!!

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

 

Burns night is celebrated in style!!!

Christian cooked the haggis, Justin our Kiwi Piper of Scottish decent played the pipes like a dream and Steve and the team welcomed many of you to a cracking night of great food and wee drams. I think the Chum lends itself to this sort of evening judging by the packed house. Thank you to all who attended and here’s to a new legendary evening at the ‘Chum’ for many years to come.

A great night was had by all on Robbie Burns night at the Chum

 

THE HAGGIS IS CHOPPED IN CELEBRATION OF A GREAT NIGHT AHEAD
THE HAGGIS IS DELIVERED TO THE SOUND OF THE PIPES OF JUSTIN
THE WHISKY IS DRUNK, THE HAGGIS IS CHOPPED AND THE PIPER ROCKS ON!!

 

The Chum leads the way with ‘Gin at the Inn’

I now see how ahead of things we were by dedicating our back bar here at the Cholmondeley Arms to the great English favourite Gin (and Tonic).

Everywhere I look there is coverage of a gin revival. We opened with 40 different gins and presented to the customer a ‘Gin Bible’ to help educate and influence experimentation by giving choice. We held our Amateur annual gin making competition in Sloe and Damson Gins in December and we now have a gin evening arranged during our forthcoming Cheshire Game week on 15th February 2012 where “William Chase Gin” distiller James Chase will be talking through the ‘farm based’ distillery that followed the success of Tyrells Crisps brought about by James’s father William.

Naturally gin will be tasted and discussions will ensue at what promises to be one of many gin nights to happen here at the ‘Chum’

We have grown to 80 gins on the back bar and are now the biggest purveyor of Gin outside London!!!

Also on the 15th Steve and Stru will be launching (finally) the ‘Stirred not Shaken’ Cholmondeley Gin Martini and also their “Gintroduction” board!!!

Coupled on the night with Christians Cheshire Game stew cooked with junipers and William Chase Gin cured Salmon on a savoury apple scone and fennel coleslaw it promises to be a great evening!!

Please ring Steve for further details. Below is an article written by Mike Wendling of BBC Radio Four which gives an insight into the growth of the ‘micro-distiller’. Interesting stuff indeed!!

To download the article “Gin is the tonic for a creative boom in the drinks business” click here.

Oh what a night…….. late December back in 2011!!!

Oysters, Champagne, a singer on the ‘Minstrels Gallery’, our team, (who were ‘dressed to impress’) and of course a lot of special guests made our first New Year’s Eve Party a terrific success.

Having started the day early preparing for the Cheshire Hunt the team, led by Steve, carried on in to the early hours of 2012 as everyone enjoyed fun and chatter in a real pub atmosphere. No tickets required just a great night out to see in the New Year.

Thank you to the team for working so hard all day and night and to all the loyal customers who ‘rocked’ up to the Chum!!

Here’s to the next time!!

 

 



A Hot dog or two???

New Year’s Eve began with a bang at 11am yes A.M. with the ‘Cheshire Hunt Meet’. Our landlord Steve and the team did a great job pouring port and feeding the odd hot sausage or two to the many people (and the odd hound or two!!) who turned up to see the really splendid horses as well as the colourful riders!!!

Thanks to the team for all their help and thank you to the hunt for choosing ‘the Chum’ as the starting point for such a great event. Thanks too to our locals who helped share the odd glass of port with visitors and riders alike and to Johnny who made the best use of all the manure left over!!! It can be a crappy job you know!!!

Happy New Year!!! Click on an image below to view full size gallery