Jessica Aldersley-Hey, Author at Richmond & Towers
26th April | Jessica Aldersley-Hey back

A Whole New World?

As the world opens up again once more, and we try not to mention the dreaded C word, we’ve been getting back into the swing of things and hosting events IRL – much to journalists’ (and our!) delight. From sipping rum in Cuba to launching new whiskeys in Dublin and hosting mind-bending experiments with Champagne in London, spring has marked a busy few months for team R&T.

Havana, ooh na na

Flying to far-flung tropical islands has probably been on the top of everyone’s list over the last couple of years. And this March, we took five journalists – from trade publications The Spirits Business and Drinks International, Gen Z digital titles Hypebeat and GRM, and a travel writer for The Times and The Telegraph – to Cuba to immerse them in the wonderful world of Havana Club and help solidify the brand as the original and best Cuban rum. From a distillery tour and rum tasting with the Cuban rum Masters, to cocktail making masterclasses with Havana Club brand ambassadors, there was plenty of opportunity for our media to get to know the range of rums on offer. Interspersed with activities including a cultural tour of Havana and a traditional Cuban boxing class, the trip brought the spirit of Cuba alive. Our final night on the island culminated with the ‘Party Makers’ final, where the world’s best up-and-coming party maker was crowned by Havana Club and a panel of judges including the founder of iconic lifestyle brand Places+Faces and the founder of festival Wilderness & Art Director at El Row events.

Jameson Anthology

Jameson Anthology is a curated collection of unique limited-edition Irish whiskeys, which draw inspiration from the past as well as imagining new possibilities. To celebrate the launch in Dublin, we took 16 journalists, from Forbes, Whisky Magazine, Decanter and Wallpaper to name a few, alongside big names within the drinks industry such as Dave Broom and Millie Milliken, to join the festivities. The event began with a private tasting at the renowned Jameson Distillery Bow Street, led by Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman and Blender Deirdre O’Connell. This provided guests with an exclusive taste of the brand-new Jameson 15 Year Old Single Pot Still – a reinvention of a much-loved classic which was last produced in 2000 as a limited edition offering. This was followed by an exclusive evening event featuring a DJ who remastered and remixed classic music, to bring to life the story behind the launch, and dance the night away. The trip allowed us to leverage the heritage and craft credentials of The Jameson Anthology, build equity with whiskey gatekeepers and dial up Jameson’s history and heritage for the first Single Pot Still from the brand in over two decades. And the results? So far, R&T has secured 21 pieces of coverage, reaching over nine million people, providing the new launch with exposure on a global stage.

Mumm Taste Encounters

Back on home turf, we hosted ten wine and Champagne writers for the first Taste Encounters event with Mumm Champagne in the UK, at the impressive Ned Hotel in London. Created by Mumm’s Cellar Master Laurent Fresnet, the Taste Encounters experience was developed in collaboration with Gabriel Lepousez, a neuroscientist who has devoted 15 years to the study of how wine is tasted. Together with designer Octave de Gaulle, they created a trio of glassware which impact the way we perceive the liquid held within. Designed to showcase the multi-faceted qualities of the Pinot Noir grape, which is the House’s signature variety, the three glasses highlight different characteristics from every wine. Guided by Laurent and Gabriel, the palates of even the most experienced wine tasters were challenged during the experiment. Our journalists, from the likes of Decanter, Club Oenologique, The Drinks Business and City AM, along with two Masters of Wine, were rewarded for their efforts with a delightful lunch paired with iconic wines from Maison Mumm, concluding with a Champagne from 1961. Our key take-out from our trio of recent events? Nothing beats hosting events in person and this new, post-Covid world feels rather similar to the old one…s.

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