Monday, 28 September 2009

An updated interface - Hacklab's automated tweeting toilet.

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The crazy fellows at hacklab have produced a toilet which tweets every time it is flushed.

If you follow @hacklabtoilet, and I cannot imagine why you would not want to, then you'll get to see every time the flush is activated (or at least as often as it works).

The full tech spec is available here, should you wish to set up a similar device, or if you want to follow someone more interesting then you could do a lot better than My Lordship. Really, you could do better.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Oxley Cold Distilled Gin

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I am a big gin drinker. Let's face it, I am a big everything, but I do like a nice gin. Bombay Sapphire, my home made sloe gin, Plymouth, Larios, Tesco Dry London, Tanqueray or Hendricks (especially Hendricks), I'll drink it. The way I see it, short of novelty flavours, you are going to have to go a long way to pique my interest with something new on the gin front.

with their cold distilled gin, Oxley have done so.

The Oxley twist is that their ‘super premium’ gin is produced using a "cold distilling" process. 14 different botanicals are macerated in grain spirits, then the macerated grain is hand spooned into the kettle. Rather than heating the micture, in the traditional manner, a vacuum is then created, which causes the alcohol to vaporize at just -5°C.

The vapour then condenses in a secondary probe at -100°C, from where the liquid gin is hand collected in one of the 120 bottles a day which is produced. That is just 480 bottles a week - when you make gin this good you can afford a day off.

Obviously this all sound a little gimicky, so I had to taste it. I was pleasantly surprised. Apparantly "Oxley has a mild juniper bouquet that gives rise to intense, almost sweet, herbals on the tongue only to surprise with a return of juniper vapor. The mouth feel is very smooth and the martini it makes is excellent". All I know is that it was the cleanest tasting gin I have experienced.

Oxley also employ continuous distillation. Where batch distillation can mean that an amount of flavour is lost in the heads and the tails of each batch, where continuous distillation continually extracts the pure gin.

The Oxley bottle, with its sartorially worn galvanized tin bucket around the bottom a leather cord 'fashionably twisted around the neck' is quirky but tasteful, but it is not cheap at around $100/litre.

Indeed, it is too expensive for me, but . . . because of the low output, Oxley bottles are individually numbered. Whilst looking around I came across #00063 and my interest was aroused. Some time later we discovered #00073 and #00075 (which Dug purchased, it being the year of our birth). I was considering #00063, but had decided to leave it (it is very expensive gin) when #00069 was discovered.

I now own bottle number 69 of Oxley cold distilled gin. I just need to convince myself to open it.