If you recall my previous post on this subject I was invited by the inimitable Dan Woolley to be part of a tasting panel to determine a private blend for for The Star's new(ish) Rock Lily bar and live music venue. Whilst Woolley has moved on to The Standard the Woodford Reserve Rock Lily Private Selection can still be found behind the bar. And boy howdy is it a doosey.
Here's what I reckon: The nose offers a decadent and heady aroma of cacao, drunken apricots, maple and marzipan with just a wee hint of oiled leather. Sweet breakfast cereal grains quickly give way to complex and chewy, bitter chocolate and almond flavours with the profile also featuring popcorn and beurre noisette. This palate staining drop finishes feisty and spirity - the lingering warmth providing evidence of this drop's 90.4° proof kick. Go buy yourself a dram at Rock Lily now. It's that good!
She's such a beauty that there wasn't simply no option except to make a Mint Julep post haste - especially considering the fact that I've been staring at the mint going crazy in my garden whilst I've been typing and tasting away. And yes it is before midday.
McGoram's Cordial Mint Julep
3 oz Woodford Reserve Rocklily Private Selection
(it's important that you use a bottle hand signed by Chris Morris the master distiller with 'Simon McGoram' engraved into it)
1 heaped teaspoon castor sugar
1/2 oz water
8 freshly plucked mint leaves (common mint not spearmint)
1 or more large sprigs of mint
1 teaspoon of Inner Circle Green Dot or Holey Dollar Gold Coin
For the preparation of McGoram's Cordial Mint Julep it is proper that a gentleman wield a rolling pin or wooden mallet to pound a canvas bag full of cracked ice with reckless abandon. Upon creating your crushed ice as fine as snow measure one teaspoon (rounded) of castor sugar into a pewter (or if you can afford the extravagance silver) tankard or julep cup. Add your freshly plucked mint leaves still glistening from the morning's dew and add to this one half ounce of pure water draw from an ancestral spring. With skilful manipulation of a spoon dissolve the sugar whilst lightly pressing the mint to the sides of your chosen vessel. Add your private selection whiskey and fill two thirds full with crushed ice. Again employ the spoon to combine the ingredients. Cap with further crushed ice crown with a teaspoon of high ester rum and garnish extravagantly with a pristine mint sprig.