Last night saw the official launch party of The 86 Company at Hixter, we’ve got news on the range and some bottles to give away.
For those of you not familiar with the 86 Co. let us see if we can fill you in.
The company was launched a couple of years ago in the States by some of the countries heavy hitters – Employees Only owners Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas, Ex-Pernod Ricard US big dog Simon Ford, Malte Barnekow and Kris Roth.
For a lot of you those names will mean very little, but needless to say they know their booze related stuff.
It was their industry experience that led them to the, worryingly, unusual step of asking the bartenders what they wanted from their spirits. The answer that came back was a little of a surprise, what they wanted was not some new super premium, top shelf, virgin distilled, triple bottled, midget batch, moon aged, exclusive spirit, but some new, affordable products that work as a pouring range.
As such the spirits were designed with that in mind. The gin, for example, was made specifically to work in a variety of the classic cocktails, not to just sound sexy on a press release.
With this in mind they set about the next mission of designing a bottle, again their experience took them down an interesting path. The bottles were not designed to appeal to 18-24 year old professional males, 30-50 year old unprofessional women or any marketing cliche you care to mention. The bottles were designed with you, the bartender, in mind.
The design nuances include a long neck which can be held with a whole hand whilst pouring and fits a speed pour nice a snuggly, a label with information pertinent to bartenders which are easy to remove should you want to re-use the bottle in your bar, and a scale down the side to help with stock-taking, batching and house made products.
Enough about all that, what about the liquid? The range comes into the UK with following brands:
Caña Brava Rum (ABV 43%, Made in Panama)
This 3-year-old aged and filtered “Cuban-style” rum is continuously distilled in a classic 1922 copper and brass still at the Las Cabres Distillery by Master Distiller and former Minister of Cuban Rum Francisco ‘Don Pancho’ J. Fernandez.
Fords Gin (ABV 45%, Distilled at Thames Distillers in London)
Distilled in London at Thames Distillers, Fords Gin is a collaboration between 8th generation Master Distiller Charles Maxwell and Simon Ford of The 86 Co. This gin was designed specifically for cocktails, with strong fresh and floral notes.
Tequila Cabeza (ABV 43%, Distilled in Arandez, Mexico)
The Vivanco family has been cultivating agave in the Los Altos region of Jalisco for 5 generations – they handle everything from Hijuelo sprout to bottling Tequila Cabeza.
Aylesbury Duck Vodka (40% ABV, Product of Canada)
A clean vodka with a spicy and grainy character made from white winter wheat grown in the Western Rockies of Canada.
If you weren’t lucky enough to get to the launch last night and weren’t knocking back Daiquiris, Palomas, Punches and Martinis (which were rather tasty, thanks not only to the booze but also to the skills of the Hixter bar team), fear not there are plenty of ways to get yourself a try.
If you are heading down to Imbibe this week then 86 will be on Stand E54 where the UK face of the brands Dan Warner will be on hand to dole out the samples. If you can’t make it down then Dan and the rest of the CASK Liquid Marketing team (the UK distributors) will be travelling around the country over the coming months.
However if you don’t have that much patience then we have you covered. Dan has very kindly donated a set of the full range so you can get your hands on them. If you wanna go in the hat for a bottle or two simply fill in the form below.