Inventory for January 29th, 2017
Welcome back gang! This week the founders of the P(our) symposium discussed if our industry is in need of a Michelin Guide like system, Absolut is in search of a new tastemaker and ‘billion dollar nose’, a Nat Geo reporters digs deep on how long we’ve been enjoying alcohol, and the first Japanese gin is launched internationally. Cheers!
Taking a Drynuary? Same (kinda). If you’re losing stamina, worry not – February 1st is a mere three days away! To tide you over during these hard times, consider reading the New York Times’ take on not drinking with their “drynuary expert” here.
‘Michelin Star’ System a ‘Shot in the Foot’ for Bars
Last week the the P(our) Collective held an event in East London. The Spirit Business reports that in it, Ryan Chetiyawardana voiced his concern on the implementation of a equivalent to the ‘Michelin Star’ system for bars. Chetiyawardana says “Frankly, what’s nice is that we have a range of bars and people are attracted to this industry from lots of different backgrounds because it is not the boring same old thing. If we then develop a guide, are we then just not going to make a load of bars that none of us actually want to go and drink in? I worry that if we had a guide that was like Michelin we’d shoot ourselves in the foot.” Chetiyawardana was joined on the panel by Proof & Company’s Zdenek Kastanek, the discussion was part of a larger debate on the emphasis placed on awards, the involvement of spirits brands in competitions, and whether bars would benefit from the introduction of objective criteria – such as the Michelin Guide. Co-founder of 86 Company and chairman of The Spirited Awards Simon Ford offered a different side to this argument: “Just like Michelin does, you could start with one city and [expand] one at a time. I would love to see it, and if I wasn’t trying to build a small business, I would love to do it. One day I hope to get to it if no one has done it first.” An interesting discussion, one definitely worth tracking.
Absolut in search of ‘Billion Dollar Nose’
Not a gimmick, “Pernod Ricard-owned Absolut Vodka is looking to hire a new “billion dollar nose”, as sensory design director Per Hermansson prepares to retire”. Hermansson worked with Pernod Ricard for over twenty years, he’s got more than 35 years of industry experience under his belt, and he’s worked his way through the Absolut portfolio. His retirement date is set for June 2017. Absolut obviously needs someone to fill that rolle and, according to The Spirit Business, is now looking for a ‘tastemaker and trend-spotter’.
Applicants must have “documented blending skills”, an “understanding for aroma and taste and comprehension of texture in spirits”, and be a “leader and entrepreneur” with commercial and market understanding.”
We’ve Been Boozing it up for over 9,000 Years
National Geographic’s Andrew Curry recently tried tackling the history of humankind and booze. He covers Germany’s love of beer and veers over to Chinese wine made from rice, honey, and fruit. His research shows that humankind has been making, and subsequently drinking, alcohol in various forms for around 9,000 years. He even found that our ape ancestors used to eat fermented fruit that they found on the forest floor.
In the article he quotes Nathaniel Dominy, a biological anthropologist at Dartmouth College, he says “We’re preadapted for consuming alcohol. “We’re preadapted for consuming alcohol.” Well ain’t that good news! Its in our biology to drink! Head over to Nat Geo’s website to read the complete history, it’s truly fascinating and will give you all the more reason to lean back and enjoy a nice whisky tonight.
Japan’s first Gin Distillery Goes Global
“Japan’s Kyoto Distillery, believed to be Japan’s first dedicated gin distillery, is launching its first gin internationally in key markets and selected travel retail”. Ki No Bi launched on the Japanese market last year. It uses Japanese botanicals that are found in the Kyoto prefecture to create its dry style and was originally planning its international launch for 2016. However, the company released a statement saying that the domestic domand had out-stripped its supply. This delayed the international launch. The drinks business now reports that Ki No Bi has launched in the UK, Austria, France, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and other selected travel retail markets. Founded in November 2015 by Marcin Miller and David Croll, former Chase and Cotswold distiller Alex Davies is the company’s head distiller. On why the market needs another gin Croll said “We wanted to draw inspiration as well as ingredients from Kyoto to establish authentic, local root”.
The gin’s botanicals include juniper berry, orrit root, Hinoki (Japanese cypress) chips, yuzu peel, lemon peel, Japanese peppercorn, kinome, ginger, bamboo leaf, red shiso leaf, and Gyokuro green tea. The Spirits Business named it the most innovative spirits launch in 2016. Considering how well Japanese whisky is doing, we can’t wait to get our hands on some Ki No Bi.
Foto: Photo via Shutterstock.