23 Wine & Whiskey on Granby Street offers a unique shopping experience in the centre of Leicester. With their huge range of whiskies, fine wines and other premium spirits it’s the only place you need to discover some new favourite tipples.
Being at the top of their game, they also run a number of events through the year, from masterclasses to pairing events and we caught up with the team to find out more.
23 Wine & Whiskey has been leading the scene for spirits in Leicester for a few years now, what do you think really sets it apart?
Since 2008, Nilesh’s passion for wines, spirits and cigars has seen the store steadily increasing its range of products and it began to get a reputation of having an exclusive range of spirits. On the back of the success the store was having in 2016, Nilesh decided to go all out on his dream, which has seen him solely focus on being an independent specialist to accommodate the ever increasing demand & product range.
We like to think our product range & knowledge, along with the customer experience sets us apart from your normal off licence or supermarket. Over the last 10 years we have been constantly learning and developing our knowledge on our products so with confidence, we can suggest products based on our customers preferences and budget. Recently we have had Jon, who has 30 years of experience in the wine industry, join our team to help grow our wine offering.
I’d say our customers also really love that we can offer free samples on many of our products so they can try before they buy. We also believe in promoting responsible drinking and always try and source products that are not be widely available or mass produced.
What are some of the standout products available to buy? The store has over 2000 products to choose from with many of our standout products being aged products such as vintage Ports, Champagnes and Whiskies that can go up to 41 years in age. We have Tomatin 1972 Whisky (£2000), 1977 Sandemans Port (£170), Dom Perignon 1996 Rose Champagne (£499) and Cohiba Behike Cigar (£800 a case).
23 Wine & Whiskey also hosts some brilliant events including tasting events, food and drink pairing and masterclasses, what have you got coming up?
Yes, we have a host of events coming up!
13th June – Kokoro Gin & Sushi
20th June – Cognac & Cigars
10th July – Caribbean Rum Night*
3rd August – Mackmyra Swedish Whisky Masterclass
14th August – Tequila, Mezcal & Tapas Night*
31st August – Benriach & Glendronach Masterclass
Date TBC – Kilchoman Masterclass*
16th November – Leicester Dram Fest.
*Tickets soon to be on sale
Tickets for all events can be purchased online or in store.
We’re always adding more events and there are many more this year still to be announced. Keep an eye out on our social media pages to find out more.
Tell us a little bit more about what customers can expect from Leicester Dram Fest?
Leicester Dram Fest is about celebrating Water of Life also know as whisky and this year it will be held at the Mercure Grand Hotel on Saturday 16 November.
There will be variety of whiskies available for attendees to try but there is a lot more to it then just tasting. The festival is for everyone, from those who are just getting into whisky to the hardcore whisky enthusiasts. Its actually an immersive experience for the attendees who can explore and appreciate whisky & whiskey. Its a chance to meet people behind the brands, ask questions and get enthused with all the knowledge and passion. Its a chance to find your favourite whisk(e)y. Its a place to mingle, chat, try something new and compare with the fellow attendees. There will be range of masterclass experiences taking place as well to make it more exciting.
Tickets can be purchased at www.dramfest.co.uk and everyone who buys before the end of August will also be in with a chance to win a free nights stay at the Grand Hotel & a 3 course meal for two at Marco’s Leicester.
With such a large and high end range available, what are some of the most popular items you sell in the shop? Its a question that gets asked a lot but it’s not something that you can answer easily as it all depends on what people of looking for. However our customers love the selection of wines we have to offer. We have something to celebrate every occasion and lets be honest, everyone needs a glass of wine with their dinner or just to wind down after a day’s work.
Having said that we have over 800 whiskies in our collection if not more, consisting of bourbons from America and single malts, blended, grain and blended malt from all over the world.
Last month some of our customer favorites were flavoured Gins & Vodkas from Chase Distillery, Warner’s Distillery, Brockmans and Pravda.
Our best selling whiskies came from Dalmore, Nikka, Ardbeg, Kilchoman, Glengoyne and Amrut. Cognac from Camus is always popular and Rum is very popular, especially the spiced rums.
The UK has seen a huge gin craze over recent years, do you think this will continue or do you think other spirits, such as whisky will come to the forefront? Yes, gin has seen a phenomenal popularity in recent years compared to any other spirits. There is so much variety out there now and everyone is so educated about gin. Gin is such a versatile spirit making it welcomed in so many cocktails by talented bartenders. The production process is relatively shorter than other spirits, which made it a relatively attractive business to invest in and with possibility of endless combination of botanicals and post distillation fruit infusion, hence we now have over 5000 gins worldwide (Ginventory).
Our gin range in store is around 200 and constantly changing keeping it fresh so that our customers can try something new.
With whisky it’s different, as its an aged spirit and highly regulated. The ingredients are water, yeast and barley (corn for American whiskeys) yet it’s such a complex spirit. It’s a love affair between the wood, weather, water, and more importantly time. there are various distillation methods and time consuming processes before it’s put into cask. Most of its flavours comes from the type of wood it’s matured in. For a whisky to be called a single malt it must be aged for a minimum of 3 years in oak barrels and even after that the whisky might not be ready. We have seen a steady increase in demand for more of international whiskies from Japan, India, Sweden, Taiwan, Australia etc and the whisky craze has always been there, but it’s now growing even more though it may not seem like that. There are specialist retailers like us and whisky bars across the country serving this fine spirit prepared by fine talented bartenders. We certainly have some those in our city to name a few like Haycock & Tailbar, Manhattan 34, 45 West and 33 Cankstreet.
Rum is another category that is fast gaining popularity especially the flavoured and spiced rum and pair it with ginger ale makes a heavenly drink.
With big plans for the next couple of years things are certainly looking exciting for 23 Wine & Whiskey. If you’re looking for any premium drinks or want to attend any of the events, you’ll find them at 64-66 Granby Street in Leicester city centre. You can also keep up to date with all of their latest news on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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