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tanstaafl2

Travels with Charlie...

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Or in this case Travels with Tanstaafl. Will be hitting the road again very soon and am always interested in getting ideas for things to look for to pick up on my way back home. This trip includes Iceland and London with a day trip to Brussels thrown in for fun.

Will also be passing through the airport in Oslo but will likely have very little time (unless I miss a somewhat tight connection then all bets are off...)

Most of my shopping will occur in London. I have some ideas of what I am looking for but folks here always seem to have creative suggestions so I thought I would throw this out there and see what ideas folks may have.

I am generally looking for spirits and liqueurs that are a little unusual and/or aren't readily available in the U.S.

Not really looking for Scotch though as there are too many options and I need to do a bit more exploring on my side of the pond.

An example of something I am looking for would be Perique which has popped up in some threads on occasion. I plan to look for that in London at the Whisky Exchange. Green Spot Irish whiskey (and Yellow Spot if it is available) is also on my short list.

Dreiling Aqua Vitae was another I was looking for but so far nobody in London seems to have it. There is a website for a German Bier Warehouse located outside of London that claims to have it but i haven't had much luck contacting them by email which makes me wonder if it still exists.

Any thoughts/suggestions are welcome!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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In London all I heard (over and over) was that I had to go to Gerry's...I happened to be traveling with a bartender friend on that leg of my trip, and we ran into several others who were on a junket with Plymouth. They all had heard the same. Well, one drink led to another and I never made it over there, but I spoke to a few who did and got conflicting answers as to the wonderfulness of Gerry's. It seems like it's certainly worth your effort if you're in the area (they carry Perique, for example), but their claim to sell "almost any drink under the sun" may be more than just a bit of bluster (no Dreiling, for example).

Gerry's Wine & Spirits

74 Old Compton Street

Soho, London, W1D 4UW

P.S. Avoid the Chocolate Genever for sale in all the tourist/chocolate shops in Brussels...it's dreck. If you must give in to curiosity, limit yourself to a mini...and don't say I didn't warn you.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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In London all I heard (over and over) was that I had to go to Gerry's...I happened to be traveling with a bartender friend on that leg of my trip, and we ran into several others who were on a junket with Plymouth. They all had heard the same. Well, one drink led to another and I never made it over there, but I spoke to a few who did and got conflicting answers as to the wonderfulness of Gerry's. It seems like it's certainly worth your effort if you're in the area (they carry Perique, for example), but their claim to sell "almost any drink under the sun" may be more than just a bit of bluster (no Dreiling, for example).

Gerry's Wine & Spirits

74 Old Compton Street

Soho, London, W1D 4UW

P.S. Avoid the Chocolate Genever for sale in all the tourist/chocolate shops in Brussels...it's dreck. If you must give in to curiosity, limit yourself to a mini...and don't say I didn't warn you.

Thanks. I shall do as you instruct and avoid chocolate genever at all costs! Brussels is more about beer for me anyway. Unless I happen to stumble upon an interesting liquor store! Do they even have liquor stores? Seems many spirits are carried in the grocery stores.

I have heard the recommendation about Gerry's before and I hope to make time to check it out as well. I do have to balance my liquor shopping with my companions tourist desires. She is not all that enamored with the whole liquor shopping concept. I have mentioned my remarkable patience with her seemingly unending basket shopping activities in Africa as an example of why she should be "flexible" but it did not seem to have the desired effect...


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Anyone have any experience with Ceylon Arrack? Not something I have seen here in the US but I note it is available in London.

Apparently entirely different from Batavia Arrack. It is not sugar cane based but rather made from the sap of the coconut flower. Sounds like the type of spirit that I am looking for, unusual and not locally available and potentially interesting to experiment with.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Darcy had a post up on Art of Drink about it a while back, apparently under the misconception that Ceylon Arrack and Batavia Arrack were the same thing.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Darcy had a post up on Art of Drink about it a while back, apparently under the misconception that Ceylon Arrack and Batavia Arrack were the same thing.

Definitely different it would seem. More like Lambanog from the Philippines I think. Had a friend there just recently and tried to get them to bring me a bottle of Lambanog but alas they failed in their mission. Some things you just have to do yourself if you want it to get done!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Pick yourself up some Westvleteren.

Yes, definitely on the short list whilst in Brussels. But only there for the day so no time to go out to the monastery. Will have to hope I can find it in town somewhere. Plan to tour (and buy from!) Cantillon while there so maybe they can give me a few viable leads.


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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Anyone have any experience with Ceylon Arrack? Not something I have seen here in the US but I note it is available in London.

White Lion VSOA is available in the US, imported from Sri Lanka's largest distiller and a competitor to the mfg of Ceylon Arrack. Both VSOA and CA are true coconut arracks, but with different flavor profiles. Ceylon Arrack is only available in Europe at the moment. VSOA has been (favorably) reviewed by multiple sources including Drink Spirits

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