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August 29 2016

Europe’s Biggest Harley-Davidson Rally Toasts Drams Created by Speyside Distillery

Here’s some news from the Speyside Distillery


Europe’s biggest Harley-Davidson rally toasts drams created by Speyside Distillery in honour of its 20th anniversary year

It may be Scotland’s secret distillery – but its hidden location off the beaten track didn’t stop dozens of leather-clad bikers from discovering drams produced in their honour the other day (August 28).

Harley-Davidson enthusiasts who gathered in the Highlands for the annual Thunder in the Glens motorbike rally this weekend descended on Speyside Distillery to be presented with commemorative bottlings produced to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the event.

The quiet countryside roads around the distillery – located in the shadow of the Cairngorm mountain range – echoed to the sounds of roaring engines as a group of riders staged a ride out from their base in Aviemore.

Beinn Dubh’s fallen angel Klaudia Zrobek joins bikers from Thunder In The Glens during a ride out to Speyside Distillery which launched commemorative bottlings for this year’s 20th anniversary rally.

Beinn Dubh’s fallen angel Klaudia Zrobek joins bikers from Thunder In The Glens during a ride out to Speyside Distillery which launched commemorative bottlings for this year’s 20th anniversary rally.


Speyside Distillery is the home of Beinn Dubh – an unusual ruby-black coloured whisky – which was launched at Thunder in the Glens last year. It won rave reviews from thousands of bikers at the event, which is the biggest Harley-Davidson rally in Europe.

Two limited edition releases have been created for the anniversary. The first is a rare 20 year-old single malt from the archives of Speyside Distillery and just 200 bottles have been produced. In addition, the distillery has produced a second 20th anniversary single malt with commemorative label which is available in greater quantities.

One of the commemorative bottles of Beinn Dubh has been sent across the Atlantic to Milwaukee in the United States – the home of the Harley-Davidson and the patriarch of the world renowned company, Willie G. Davidson.
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June 28 2016

iGulu – Craft Beer Home Brewery

I just found this on indigogo, iGulu – Smart, Automated Craft Beer Home Brewery, a fully automated home brewing kit.

iGulu Craft Beer Home Brewery

iGulu Craft Beer Home Brewery



It appears you just get your materials together, select the beer you want on the machines screen, add the ingredients, sit back and wait 1~3 weeks.

And it’s connected to an app on your iphone (my guess is that’s why they’ve called it the very odd, and uncatchy iGulu – previously it was Artbrew , a much cooler name), so you get alerts when it’s ready so you can rush home and try it out.

It’s all fully funded apparently, but fairly pricey ($549 for the basic package), so well done to them.

All they need to do is fix the terrible name 🙂

The campaign can be found here.

June 1 2016

Second Hand Booze Shops

In Japan there’s a big chain of shops called “Book OFF” which sells second hand books (and games, cds, dvds, etc). I use them a lot, books are around ¥108 upwards and you can get some great bargains in there. They will also “buy” from you (I put quotes as in a lot of cases they tell you it’s not worth any money but they’ll take it off your hands for free if you want…which is nice).
There’s another called “Hard OFF” which is a hardware (computers, tvs, etc) speciality second-hand shop.
I’ve just discovered there’s a shop in Kobe called “Bottle OFF” which, you guessed it, sells second-hand booze!
(Sealed bottles, cans and cartons only I assume).

Bottle OFF in Kobe

Bottle OFF in Kobe

I haven’t visited yet so not sure what kind of bargains you can get. The prices on the flyer seem to be how much they will buy the bottles off you for (for example a bottle of Beefeater gin is ¥300 – tax on alcohol is cheap in Japan, compared to the UK for example, so a bottle of gin is less than ¥1000 usually anyway – I wonder what kind of markup they put on it?).

Bottle OFF

Bottle OFF

April 6 2016

Vacuum Packer

I received some information from First Food Machinery the other day, about a Vacuum Packer for food products that might be of interest to my readers who are in the Food Production industry (and I know there are some of you out there).


Vacuum Packer

Food Machinery is one of the UK’s premium suppliers of vacuum packers to the food industry and even further afield. Food Machinery knows that vacuum packing extends the shelf life of food products such as raw meat, fish, cheese and even cooked food. A vacuum pack machine can ensure that food is kept in a safe condition and any potentially harmful effect to people’s health is extinguished.

Vacuum Packer

Vacuum Packer


A vacuum packer seals products in an airtight bag, and this function of extracting the remaining air has been extended to many additional areas of food preparation. For example, the sous-vide method of cooking, in which food is sealed then placed in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times to cook the item evenly, demonstrates the versatility of a vacuum food sealer.

Food Machinery’s table-top packer is ideally suited for this, ensuring that the inside of the food is properly cooked without overcooking the outside whilst retaining the product’s moisture.
When a vacuum packer extracts the air from around the product which has been placed in a suitable package (such as a vacuum bag or barrier pouch), oxygen is naturally extracted too. Aerobic micro-organisms in food that would usually spoil the product are therefore deprived of oxygen and so their effect is significantly reduced.

The principle of a vacuum packer itself is fairly straightforward – the vacuum bag that contains the product is positioned in the vacuum chamber, the open side of the bag lies over the sealing bar. Once the lid is closed, the vacuum pack machine automatically carries out the four phase vacuum process: extracting the air, injecting gas (optional), sealing and aerating with soft air. All of Food Machinery’s vacuum packers carry out their tasks with consummate ease, which is considered to be a sign of the quality of the machines they supply.

March 22 2016

Whiskey Around the World

Was sent this interesting infographic the other day.

Whiskey Around the World on Retale.com

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