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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Monastic Beverages   Sat 29 Nov 2014, 11:46

With Temps now  eyeing the monastic life, it wasn't all bad for them. Many, doubtless after much trial and error taste testing trials came up with  liqueurs that now rarely appear  on the shelves. I  could not get any form of Chartreuse here last year nor Benedictine or Grand Marnier (is that monastical). Perhaps little is made now - and were there others - or even new ones of any character? Mark you, I live in Essex so demand may be less.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 29 Nov 2014, 12:23

I could offer you that cheeky little aperitif, Buckfast, best consumed direct from the bottle in a derelict playpark somewhere in the wilds North Lanarkshire.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 29 Nov 2014, 12:45




He'll cast his Elgin Marbles vote when he's finished the bottle.

Bucky, as I believe the beverage is sometimes called, is made down the road here at Buckfast Abbey in glorious Devon. You often see tankers of the stuff on the A30 heading for the M5 at Exeter - and so onwards and upwards north.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-25236076

The abbey first started producing Buckfast Tonic Wine in the 1920s, selling it direct to the public with the message: "Three small glasses a day for good health and lively blood."

What on earth is "lively blood"?
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 29 Nov 2014, 13:41

A cheerful Benedictine cellarer samples the Bucky:

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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 29 Nov 2014, 14:15

Just as the teenagers of Scotland and Northern Ireland seem to be the main customers of the product of Buckfast Abbey - similarly England itself imports large amounts of trappist beer from Belgium and the Netherlands. These became particularly fashionable in the 1990s although aimed at a more upmarket clientele rather that teens on sink estates.

One of the most famous is Chimay:



I'm surprised to discover that it's not that ancient and they only began the brewery in the 1860s.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 29 Nov 2014, 15:55

Benedictine only claims to be 'based on' a liqueur developed centuries ago by the Benedictine Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy - the recipe was actually entirely invented by Alexandre Le Grand in the nineteenth century, as was the tenuous monastic link which he thought would boost sales.

Chartreuse, however, is still distilled by Cathusian monks  ... (the English words Carthusian and Charterhouse are both derived from Chartreuse, that is the mountain range, the Chartreuse Massif, just to the north of Grenoble). These days production has moved from the picturesque abbey hidden away in its remote forested valley, to the nearby market town of Voiron, but production is still run directly by the monks. I used to go caving in the Chartreuse mountains and each time we always aimed to get in at least one distillery visit ... especially as the tour always ended in a generous tasting session! 



The Grande Chartreuse Abbey was founded in 1084 and today is almost entirely supported by sales of Chartreuse. It looks a nice spot to go for a religious retreat, and it's dead handy for the Trou du Glaz/Guiers-Mort cave system, if potholing's your thing. 



I suppose those little 'chalets' along the left-hand wall - like a row of beach huts along Brighton seafront - must be the monks' cells,  no? They look quite cosy. My dad once made a similar comparison after he was billetted at a convent in Belgium (in 1945), and whilst the RAF crews were accommodated in big communal dormitories, the nuns, who were all still in residence, each had small individual cells/huts built in a row, which he described as looking like, "a row of Edwardian bathing machines".


Last edited by Meles meles on Sun 30 Nov 2014, 07:54; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 29 Nov 2014, 18:54

Thanks for the info, MM - how historically romantic it all looks reminding me of that old Unstead history book for J3. .... both terms relegated to history now. This monastery probably has no problem in getting novices. I cannot imagine making beer in silence. I suppose they have to mime things like, "S*d it, the cat's fallen in the tank and at least we ought get the rat out." I've had a bad  day chasing off nextdoor's black cat after my garden birds.It and I are both now nerve-shattered. A nice quiet set apart cell sounds inviting.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 29 Nov 2014, 18:54

Repeat post deleted - cat-shattered nerves syndrome.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sun 30 Nov 2014, 14:25

Beers, wines and spirits .... but no-one has yet mentioned mead.

Mead, made from fermented honey, must have been produced at many monasteries. Bees, besides producing the only common medieval sweetening agent, honey, were also essential for producing beeswax for church candles. And bees themselves were also favoured as they were thought to be virginal and so accordingly were symbolically associated with the Virgin Mary. They were also believed to able to whisper directly into God's ear.

The only monastic mead I know of is from Lindisfarne or Holy Island, situated off the Northumbrian coast. The abbey is now in ruins and hasn't been inhabited since it was suppressed by Henry VIII, but the original medieval recipe is supposedly still used to produce the current 'Lindisfarne Mead' at St Aidan's Winery which is still located on the island.

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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sun 30 Nov 2014, 15:13

Being Lindisfarne the recipe with some probability was introduced by Irish monks, reflecting the great reputation Irish monastic communities had at the time for producing top quality brews, whether it was mead, beer or those of the distilled variety.

An Irish archaeologist called Declan Moore, together with colleague Billy Quinn, has recently published in Irish Archaeology a rather well researched paper tracing many brewing traditions in continental monasteries back to Irish missionary roots, but even more impressively he has traced the tradition locally back to the middle Bronze Age and beyond.

The key is a technique called hot-rock brewing - heated stones providing a much more manageable method of maintaining liquids at near boiling point over lengthy periods, a crucial aspect to the manufacture of the best quality brews. This, Declan and Billy maintain, may in fact be a huge clue to the function of the previously enigmatic "fulachta fia", by far the most common late neolithic and Bronze Age structures to be found in Ireland (over 6,000 discovered so far) and in the United Kingdom where they are known as "burnt mounds". These structures are amazingly consistent in design and location, consisting of horseshoe-shaped mounds of stones almost invariably imported from elsewhere, surrounding an artificial trough lined with the same material, and situated in marshy ground or close to small water sources - indicating they were not sited within communities but were intentionally placed in areas not otherwise suitable to habitation or agricultural use.

Moore and Quinn's theory is that previous theories ("fulacht fiadh" literally means "boiling wild deer") reflect relatively recent guesses based on medieval interpretations of pre-Gaelic culture and terrain which owed more to contemporary experience than knowledge of history. Instead, they argue and indeed have demonstrated through recreating a working fulacht fiadh, the structures served admirably as what we now would call micro-breweries with the added advantage that the by-products of the process (a smelly one) included excellent cereal fodder for cattle and the like.

The fulachta fia existed as working sites well into the advent of Christianity and the most recently dated examples were indeed to be found within monastic sites, though again not within the compounds themselves but rather in peripheral areas, especially marshland. Their contention is that the monks in Ireland took advantage of an existing expertise, eventually refined it and then exported it as their influence abroad widened and intensified.

What is especially striking therefore is how it is in fact Ireland's monasteries which in all of Europe have presently the least association with producing alcohol. For reasons as yet not understood fully the incentive to continue the tradition died out in Ireland even prior to medieval reform, though not before its previously high standing abroad had facilitated its export. Hot-rock brewing is still practised in Northern Scotland, Belgium and Germany, and is especially associated even now with monastic settlements that can trace their origins to Dark Ages Irish monastic expansion.

Someone by the way did try to refute the lads' theory by using the same process to cook mutton in bulk - in support of the standard theory that the sites were communal kitchens of sorts (though oddly situated ones). The mutton did cook though it took four hours before anything reasonably edible came out of it and in fact a lot of the meat was spoiled in the process. However Moore and Quinn have graciously conceded that in fact the sites might well have had several functions, though the micro-brewery theory (admittedly one that originally presented itself in a hangover-inspired flash of inspiration to Billy Quinn) is still their favourite.


Last edited by nordmann on Sun 30 Nov 2014, 15:55; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sun 30 Nov 2014, 15:53

I've tasted a recreated B.A. beer and very delicious it was too - if a shade cloudy. Meadowsweet flavoured beers and ales are still produced I believe and that definitely goes back to the neolithic. I'd be prepared to hazard a guess that burnt mounds are the remnants of a really swinging party.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sun 30 Nov 2014, 18:08

Ferval, when I was in my teens (and I'm in my 60s now) my Mum tried the Buckfastleigh tonic wine (was it called Merrymonk?) on me.  I had a year when I had every sore throat imaginable - laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis etc - in short succession and I think she was hoping it would improve my resistance.  Don't know if it was successful.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Mon 01 Dec 2014, 16:39

Here's some background music to go with the Bucky.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZhwhd4yJW8

or more appropriate IMHO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7DMcG3UCY0
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Tue 02 Dec 2014, 10:30

Have nuns ever concocted a brew, or would that not have been considered seemly?

That Blue Nun wine is nothing to do with a religious order is it? Awful stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Tue 02 Dec 2014, 11:23

Nuns? You bet!

Between the 7th and approximately the 14th century (the rise of city states and the advent of the burgher class) German beer (all ale by the way - blonde lagers have only been around for about 200 years there) was brewed in the main by "gebräunonnen", literally "brew-nuns". These had inherited the role quite naturally from the domestic hausfrauen who traditionally had fulfilled the role earlier. Brew-monks also played an increasing role throughout this period and it was their institutions, normally much richer and with more widespread business networks than the convents, that were better placed to compete with the industrial brews in the end, the nuns from that point relying ever more on exclusive contracts with hospitals connected to their convents.

In English hospitals also it was often nuns who did the in-house brewing (beer was an essential element of the patients' - and indeed the staffs' - diet). After the reformation many ex-nuns simply reclassified themselves as brewers and continued as before, operating as subcontracted and semi-independent businesses within the hospital system so therefore free to service the local community too. Guys Hospital, I read, eventually sacked their entire all-female brewing staff in the 1700s when the administrators found they were making far more money than the hospital was with their off-licence sales.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Tue 02 Dec 2014, 11:39

In 1471 the Count of Flandres and Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, decreed that nuns in the Low Countries could brew beer for their hospices free from tax - monasteries were not so excused.

One such convent brew was that of the convent of Mechelen - a community of Beguines who started brewing at about this time. The nuns left the original convent in 1865 but the buildings, including the still functioning brewery, were bought by a local entrepreneur Louis van Breedham and he carried on the brewery business under the name Het Anker Brouereije (brewery), named after Jan In Den Anker, who is recorded as starting the town's first brewery in 1369. Het Anker is still in business producing beer in the old convent buildings:



There are quite a few other Belgian beers that also started out as convent brews, again probably encouraged by the favourable 15th century tax regime.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Tue 02 Dec 2014, 13:12

How interesting Thank you, nordmann and MM.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Tue 02 Dec 2014, 15:19

Interestingly, considering its ecclesiastical origin, the Het Anker Brouereije, produce a beer called 'Lucifer' ...



... though a quick google will show many other beers worldwide named, in some form, after Old Nick, the Prince of Darkness.

Another very popular Belgian beer, readily available throughout Europe, is 'Duvel' , which again is just Flemish (Brabantian) dialect for 'Devil'. The Duvel brewery however has no religious origins that I am aware of, being a family firm (Moorgat) created in 1871. To commemorate the end of WW1, the Moortgats named their main beer "Victory Ale", but during the 1920s an avid drinker described the beer as "nen echten duvel" ("a real devil" in dialect, referring to its high alcohol content) and the name of the beer was thereafter changed to Duvel.



But just to return to the OP ... in 1963 the Moorgats firm also began brewing the Maredsous line of beers under licence from the Maredsous Abbey near Namur. The abbey, whilst relinquishing direct production of its beer, still produces its own distinctive and very yummy - though admittedly rather pungent - Maredsous cheese.


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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Tue 02 Dec 2014, 15:46

What is a monastic brew without a small collection of European Medieval drinking songs?

http://www.medievalists.net/2014/11/30/medieval-drinking-song/
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 03 Dec 2014, 16:05

The Abbey of St Pierre in Hautvillers, home of the Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon;




Dom Pérignon (1638–1715) was a monk and cellar master at the Benedictine abbey in Hautvillers. He pioneered a number of winemaking techniques: being the first to blend grapes in such a way as to improve the quality of wines, balance one element with another in order to make a better whole, and deal with a number of their imperfections, in 1670; perfecting the art of producing clear white wines from black grapes by clever manipulation of the presses; enhancing the tendency of Champagne wines to retain their natural sugar in order to naturally induce secondary fermentation in the Spring; being a master at deciding when to bottle these wines in order to capture the bubble. He also introduced corks (instead of wood), which were fastened to bottles with hemp string soaked in oil in order to keep the wines fresh and sparkling, and used thicker glass in order to strengthen the bottles (which were prone to explode at that time). The development of sparkling wines as the main style of production in Champagne occurred progressively in the 19th century, over one century after Dom Pérignon's death.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 03 Dec 2014, 17:00

Dom Pérignon was not the first to produce and bottle sparkling wines ... the oldest recorded, routinely bottled, French sparkling wine is 'Blanquette de Limoux', which was created in 1531 by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey de Saint-Hilare at Limoux (about 100km south-west of Toulouse). Blanquette de Limoux is still commercially produced (although no longer by monks) and remains very popular in southern France almost in preference to Champagne. Given its long pedigree the current producers do feel somewhat aggrieved that the name "Champagne" gets all the kudos and always commands the premium price. A bottle of Limoux typically costs a fraction of a bottle of Champagne ... but they are both essentially the same, being just bottled sparkling French white wines.

And don't forget that it was the British invention of the "wire basket" to secure champagne corks, in place of the original waxed string, that allowed Champagne-type wines to really take off into the international market. Before it was rescued by British technology 'Champagne' was essentially just another regional French product, made mostly for a very local market and generally unknown wider afield, even in the rest of France.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Thu 04 Dec 2014, 09:58

@Meles meles wrote:

And don't forget that it was the British invention of the "wire basket" to secure champagne corks, in place of the original waxed string, that allowed Champagne-type wines to really take off into the international market. Before it was rescued by British technology 'Champagne' was essentially just another regional French product, made mostly for a very local market and generally unknown wider afield, even in the rest of France.



What sort of timescale are we talking here Meles? I only ask because, in the film The Charge of the Light Brigade, there is a scene where Lord Cardigan insists on Champagne only in the officers mess.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Thu 04 Dec 2014, 11:58

The Frenchman Adolphe Jaquesson is credited with introducing the wire muselet to champagne corks in 1844 after seeing a similar device used in England (to secure corks of fizzy beer bottles - I believe). Champagne had acquired the image of a very chic and expensive wine well before the French revolution ... Marie-Antoinette (or the Marquise de Pompadour - the stories vary) famously had a set of coupe-style champagne glasses specially designed using a mould of her left breast which she presented to Louis XVI as a birthday present. Following the lead from the French aristocracy, champagne (in bottles with corks still secured by string) started to become more widely drunk by the wealthy throughout Europe ... a move that was encouraged by the champagne makers themselves who after 1789 were desperate to find foreign markets when all the home-grown aristos had lost their wealth and heads. The trouble with string-tied champagne bottles was that they all too often popped open in transit, and so it tended to be a drink of the wealthy who could afford to buy an entire case to drink just a few bottles of the stuff, until the wire muselet was adopted in 1844.

According to Wiki:  The 19th century saw an explosive growth in Champagne production, going from a regional production of 300,000 bottles a year in 1800 to 20 million bottles in 1850.

Champagne seems to have become the drink associated with cavalry regiments during the Napoleonic wars. Napoleon himself was partial to the stuff and Madame Cliquot (of the Cliquot champagne house) encouraged hussars to show off by opening the bottles with a sweep of the sabre. And I seem to recall that at a celebratory ball held in Moscow after the defeat of Napoleon, one Russian general lost his eye to a flying cork released by a young cavalry officer sweeping open a bottle with his sword.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Thu 04 Dec 2014, 13:57

One of the drinking vessels associated with Cardigan, cavalry, and champagne is described here :-
http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/forces_focus/9535718.The_Emperor_returns/r/?ref=rss
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Thu 04 Dec 2014, 14:44

Meles and Gil, thanks for those posts.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Fri 05 Dec 2014, 14:10

When did champagne become the drink usually associated with special occasions/wedding celebrations and the like? Was it when it became cheap enough for the middle classes to buy, but was still expensive enough to be seen as "dead posh"? And who started the ridiculous habit of spraying everyone with champagne to celebrate a victory - usually a sporting triumph?

I've been reading "The Forsyte Saga" again recently: champagne was definitely a favourite tipple with Galsworthy's famous upper-middle-class family, and not just at celebrations. Uncle Swithin serves it with the saddle of mutton when he hosts a dinner party: and, when alone and feeling a bit under the weather, he drinks his favourite fizz, Heidsieck, by the pint:


"He could take nothing for dinner but a partridge, with an imperial pint of champagne..."

Jilly Goolden has done her usual Christmas blindfold test of the champagnes on offer at the moment here in the UK: Tesco's flogging one for £8 a bottle. Goolden's winner is Asda's Extra Special Louis Bernard at £25, but the Best-Poured-Down-the-Sink Award goes to Sainsbury's Henry Dunmanois' offering at £12, reduced - obviously in sheer desperation - from £16.

I wonder who Louis Bernard was? He doesn't sound like a monk. Or Henry Dunmanois for that matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Fri 05 Dec 2014, 14:15

The company is in the Rhone Valley, Temp; founded 1976;

http://www.louis-bernard.com/en/our-history/our-origins
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Fri 05 Dec 2014, 14:38

1976! Tres nouveau!

Trike, may I ask a favour of you? (Nothing to do with this thread, so apologies to the Boss and everyone else - would send a PM, but perhaps somebody else could help too.) I am doing a fair bit of research/work on the novelist Jean Rhys at the moment and I believe there is a recording of Rhys plaintively singing a song from the West Indies - from Dominica, the island where she was born, and which she used as "Jamaica", home of Antoinetta Mason Rochester, the heroine of her Wide Sargasso Sea. I have been told this recording is in the archives of the University of Tulsa. I've tried their website, but cannot track it down. I know you are brilliant at digging out obscure stuff on the internet: if you could find this recording for me anywhere I should be forever in your debt. If you are far too busy, please ignore!

Again apologies for diversion - back to Holy Plonk now.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Fri 05 Dec 2014, 15:27

I've had ago at it Temp, frankly things don't look too promising. As far as I can see it is a tape cassette of an original reel to reel recording. It is in the archives of the University of Tulsa as you said, but I cannot find it being available for internet access.

From the University of Tulsa site;

Audio cassette recording duplicated from the original reel to reel recording of Jean Rhys singing Patois songs she remembered from her West Indies childhood, Side B of 1 cassette. (Located in Series 2: Writings: Good Morning Midnight: Audio cassette recording) Original reel to reel recording is housed in Literary Vault, Drawer 1.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Fri 05 Dec 2014, 16:01

Thank you so much for trying, Trike. Seems everything in the world is available on the internet except the one thing I want!

Will have to go to Tulsa. I'd love to ferret about in those archives!
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 06 Dec 2014, 02:59

Well, just remember that twenty-four hours is the limit there before everything goes haywire!

I haven't read The Wild Sargasso Sea (or anything else by Rhys); whenever she is mentioned I recall a post on a book message board that said "I suspect Jean Rhys could drink you under the table," by which I took her to be a fairly wild woman. 

I read The Forsyte Saga when I was at school (for recreation, I think).  I was still sitting in my hostel room reading it at 5.30am.  (Probably just The Man of Property, I suppose).  I have it here and fully intend to read it again soon.  As well as The Luminaries that my son has just read. And then Great Expectations appeals. And wouldn't Middlemarch be worth another read?  And...

Sorry, totally off topic. I can't add much to monastic breweries, except to say that the first grapes for wine in New Zealand were planted by missionary Samuel Marsden (much more highly thought of in NZ than he is in Australia), and giver of the first Christian sermon on Aotearoa soil. And in 1851 the French Marist Brothers set up Mission Estate Winery which is. still producing wine. I can't quite see who now owns it, but did see this on one site:  It is New Zealand’s oldest producer of wines still under the same management and its sizeable winery and vineyards, under the control of The Greenmeadows Mission Trust Board, help fund the work of The Society of Mary throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The official site, a perfectly respectable looking site, giving the history, timeline, management etc of the winery was only available to me once I wrote in my birthdate, apparently proving I was over 18.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Sat 06 Dec 2014, 16:45

@Caro wrote:


The official site, a perfectly respectable looking site, giving the history, timeline, management etc of the winery was only available to me once I wrote in my birthdate, apparently proving I was over 18.
Wow. I'm sure no under age surfer would be able to defeat that particular massive security hurdle.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 17 Dec 2014, 11:40

Just found this marvellous photograph from the Picture Post



Brother Laurent, a Carthusian monk mixes the famous Chartreuse liqueur in a factory in Dauphine, south-eastern France, 1953
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 17 Dec 2014, 11:50

"People may say what they like about the decay of Christianity; the religious system that produced green Chartreuse can never really die."
-- Saki
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 17 Dec 2014, 15:41

No one stocking it in this part of Essex this year - plenty of green sheer drawers jokes, of course. Heavy sigh.
I do    believe there is a yellow one also, thinking back to family salvers with the little glasses. I also recall outrage when a family member introduce an apricot brandy to the selection. Such are the  telling memories of childhood indoctrination
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 17 Dec 2014, 15:42

@Priscilla wrote:
Grand Marnier (is that monastical).

Afraid not, Priscilla, Grand Marnier is purely secular;

http://www.diffordsguide.com/en/bartenders-lounge/grand-marnier/elaboration/8/history


Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire have a wide selection;

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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 31 Dec 2014, 18:26

@Meles meles wrote:
the oldest recorded, routinely bottled, French sparkling wine is 'Blanquette de Limoux', which was created in 1531 by the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey de Saint-Hilare at Limoux (about 100km south-west of Toulouse).

We've got some of this in for later tonite. Looking forward to it.



Will report back on it either tomorrow or next year ...
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 31 Dec 2014, 19:19

Alas, we are off to the pub shortly.
No booze for the Big G.
Now, the girl Siduri CAN drive, doesn't drink - but won't drive.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Thu 01 Jan 2015, 07:39

I'm  sure Siduri and yourself  cut a fine swathe  traversing  South  Staffs in your chariot  whoever drove, Gilgamesh.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Thu 01 Jan 2015, 17:36

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
I'm  sure Siduri and yourself  cut a fine swathe  traversing  South  Staffs in your chariot  whoever drove, Gilgamesh.
Far be it from me to ruin your illusions LiR.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Thu 01 Jan 2015, 18:36

Is this you Gil, trying to persuade Siduri that her chosen parking space outside the Dog & Duck might be a tad too narrow, what with those axel knives?


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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Thu 01 Jan 2015, 20:40

Unlikely to be her - the calm demeanour and good road manners evident there are entirely lacking when the girl Siduri  drives - it's not so much that I COULD drink if she drove, more that I wouldn't dare be fully sober if she did.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 07 Jan 2015, 06:09

I have been up for a couple of hours now, trying to cure my insomnia by reading Rev. Richard Coles' (ex-Bronski Beat and Communards) autobiography. He mentions a visit to Buckfast Abbey which has been mentioned earlier as home of the infamous Bucky Tonic Wine. Rev. Richard tells us:

I was completely captivated by Buckfast. The monastery stands on the edge of Dartmoor, not far from the A38, where the Little Chef is reputed to belong to the Abbey*, famous for its enterprise. It produces Buckfast Tonic Wine, drunk in Glasgow by people who are looking for a higher percentage of alcohol than a structured bouquet, and so successful was Buckfast in paying its way that the other Benedictine monasteries nicknamed it Fastbuck Abbey.

Very Happy

* Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 07 Jan 2015, 08:29

That Coles man's voice and general demeanour annoy me - weird thing about him is that his accent actually changed when he got ordained and has now gone all plummy. The present incarnation is a far cry from his "Revenge of the Teenage Perverts" days. I did enjoy his "Lives of the Improbable Saints" book, though. And I learnt a new word from him too - "cephalophore" (one who walks around carrying their head - a very useful phrase indeed).
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 07 Jan 2015, 10:42



Specially for his fans here (well, his fan here) Smile
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 07 Jan 2015, 11:38

I like the one about the saint who came out of the womb saying, "I'm a Christian! I'm a Christian!"

He lives up the road from me.

You can mock, nordmann, but the music was great.



Coles says in his book that it really p*ssed him off that no one took much notice of him in the videos. I think there are only about three shots of him in above. It's all Somerville, the girls and the handsome gay blokes. I know he is/was nerdy, but I like him. He's clever and funny. So there.



I learnt a new word from him too, but I've forgotten what it was.

EDIT: oneiromancy.


Last edited by Temperance on Wed 07 Jan 2015, 12:47; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 07 Jan 2015, 12:43

Temp wrote:
I like the one about the saint who came out of the womb saying, "I'm a Christian! I'm a Christian!"

He lives up the road from me.

Who, Saint Rumwold of Buckingham? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 07 Jan 2015, 15:54

I blame the Rev for the poor quality of much of Saturday Live. I suppose it was too much to hope that Auntie would find a really good replacement for the late Mr Ravenscroft, but the current crew, though better IMO than Ms Glover, don't cut the mustard for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 07 Jan 2015, 22:10

@nordmann wrote:
Specially for his fans here (well, his fan here) Smile

I can't claim to know much about Richard Coles but I'd be with Temp in appreciating the thought of someone who has found a career after pop and rock. Professor Brian Cox being another obvious example.

Meles was right that the Saint-Hilaire was just as good as any Dom or Krug or Ruinart I've tasted. Why Champagne has such status when (as well as Saint-Hilaire) there are excellent sparkling wines from neighbouring Burgundy, is a real mystery. And that's not to mention German sekt, Italian prosecco, Spanish cava and English bubbly etc. The lazy mass media doesn't help when they insist on referring to all sparkling wine as being 'Champagne'. Gil - the Beeb might be poor quality by they're still not as bad as Sky News. The latter was reporting from Rio de Janeiro on New Year's Day and (true to form) their reporter on the first day of 2015 said that the people there were 'dancing and drinking Champagne'.
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PostSubject: Re: Monastic Beverages   Wed 07 Jan 2015, 22:16

Vizzer, you may well be correct about Sky News, but it's not a channel I watch, but most "authorities" can't tell the difference between rum and cachaça. Even Wetherspoon's "Brazilizan" offering was made, of all things, with Bacardi.

Some alternatives for the Cariocas can be found at http://www.gobrazilwines.com/category/wine/sparkling-wines
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