On several evenings per week, the Fabrik in Hamburg/Altona lends its spacious stage to renowned bands and artists like Chuck Ragan, Fish or Magnum. However, before the curtains open and the decibels rise at the end of the day, the location often hosts food events and other get-togethers as well. The last happening of such nature, which I attended, was the Good Spirits Craft Drink Festival. Congenial to its telling name, the two-day event focused on small distilleries and artisan manufactures specializing in rum, gin, korn, vodka, mezcal and, of course, whisk(e)y!
The first dram I had was the Flaming Pig from Ireland, a blend from a 4-year-old grain and a twice-as-old malt that were married for 6 months in heavily charred oak casks. I found it to be pretty tasty with an inviting nose and a smooth palate. A good opener, for sure. From the Flaming Pig booth I went on to the stand of Sierra Madre, a company best-known for being the German distributor of Don Papa Rum and Elephant Gin. But their whisk(e)y portfolio is not bar of big names either. Among others, they work with Tomatin from Scotland, Adnams from England and 1776 Bourbon from the United Stated. At the Good Spirits Craft Drink Festival, however, they introduced a brand from yet another country, namely Enso from Japan. This blended whisky from the Land of the Rising Sun has just debuted on the German market two weeks ago. With its stylish design and mellow taste, I have no doubts that it will find its niche in the bar circuit with ease. While I only sipped it neat, I was told that it also makes a great cocktail ingredient.
Although whisk(e)y is usually the first thing I look out for at such an event, I am also always happy to try other spirits and broaden my horizon. Consequently, the two drams mentioned above were not the only sips I took that day. In addition, I also had a premium korn from Nork, a dry rum from Ron Elba and a mezcal from San Cosme. And when we visited the booth of Hamburg-based rum importer ATF Gmbh, me and my friends not only got free pours of various 10- to 22-year-old Ron Aldea expressions, but also an invitation to a guided tasting held by one of the company’s founders. Together with a handful of other spirit afficionados, we entered the Fabrik’s time-honored stage to savour five exquisite drinks from the ATF line-up: We started with the fruity Duality Gin (which is made from sugar cane), continued with three super-sweet Ron Jaguar bottlings with differing ABVs and ended with a glass of the spicy 1914 Ron de Panama (which is blended from 15- to 22-year-old rums). Along the way, our host filled us in on the history of rum in general and told us more about the degusted products in particular. The tasting lasted for a full hour and marked one of the highlights of the day!
As the event was organized by the wonderful people of Marktzeit – a local food and craft iniative that is absolutely worthy of our support – there was a lot of other stuff to check out, too. Besides brews and distillates of all kinds, you could also buy fresh vegetables and fruits, purchase home-made marmelades and chudneys or lay hands on some insanely good cheese! With so many possibilities to choose from, it should come as no surprise to you that I did not only bring home a bottle of 1914 Ron de Panama, but also a couple of yummy snacks and bites. All in all, I had a great time at the first iteration of the Good Spirits Craft Drink Festival and I hope that another one will follow better soon then late.
Martkzeit @ Web: http://www.marktzeit.com/
Sierra Madre @ Web: https://www.sierra-madre.de/
ATF Gmbh @ Web: http://atf.hamburg/
Flaming Pig @ Web: https://www.flamingpigwhiskey.com/
Good Spirits Fest @ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/273306563455448/