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indexMissouri’s St. Louis Distillery has extended its Cardinal Sin vodka brand with the launch of Cardinal Sin Starka. A traditional Eastern European spirit, starka is an aged vodka style native to Poland, Russia and Lithuania. Cardinal Sin Starka is made with two-row malted barley and corn and matured in new Missouri white oak barrels for six months. According to St. Louis Distillery, the new entry, which will be available in early September, marks the first starka available at retail in the U.S. St. Louis Distillery’s flagship Cardinal Sin vodka, launched in 2012, is currently available across Missouri, Illinois and Georgia.

indexMaui’s Hawaii Sea Spirits will add a new rum to its portfolio next month, Deep Island Hawaiian Rum “Wave”, produced at its organic farm and distillery in Kula. The ultra-premium clear organic rum will be available for distribution throughout Hawaii beginning in October, with full release in U.S. mainland markets planned for next year. Made from organic sugar cane and ocean mineral water, Deep Island is sweet with hints of florals and molasses, the company says. Sea Spirits’ core offering is organic Ocean vodka ($32). Last year the company announced plans to expand its craft spirits portfolio with rums, a line of American whiskies and Hawaii-inspired liqueurs.

imagesHeaven Hill Distilleries has introduced Elijah Craig 23-Year-Old Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a new limited edition offering. Rolling out into select markets nationwide this month, the 45%-abv entry, which features a prominent 23-year age statement on its label, is priced at $199.99 a 750-ml. Elijah Craig 23-Year-Old’s launch comes on the heels of 2012 release Elijah Craig 20-Year-Old, which has since sold out, and last year’s debut of Elijah Craig 21-Year-Old. In addition to the brand’s limited edition extra-aged offerings, the Elijah Craig stable includes the Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old and Elijah Craig Barrel Proof labels.

indexLouisville-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. has launched its flagship brandy range into four new markets. The craft brewer’s Copper & Kings Immature Brandy ($29.99 a 750-ml.) and Copper & Kings Craft Distilled Brandy ($34.99) will both be available across select Tennessee markets, via a new partnership with Lipman Brothers; Illinois, via Heritage Wine Cellars; Indiana, via Glazers; and Minnesota, via Johnson Brothers. Previously, Copper & King Brandy had only been available in its home market of Kentucky via River City Distributing. Established in April, Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. specializes in non-chill filtered, copper pot-distilled American brandy aged in Bourbon barrels.

indexPremixed shot brand Liqs is moving into new markets after a successful test run in its home state of Florida. The Miami-based Liqs Cocktail Shots, which retail in three-packs of 50-ml. plastic shot glasses for $7.99, entered Texas (via Glazer’s) and Massachusetts (via United Liquors) this month. In Florida, Liqs is distributed by Southern Wine & Spirits. Additionally, Liqs has aligned with its first major chain account, Winn-Dixie. The RTD label currently includes four flavors—Tequila Cinnamon Orange, Vodka Cucumber Lime, Vodka Lychee Grapefruit and Vodka Kamikaze—with two new offerings slated to launch later this year.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

 

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whiskey_sourOne of the venerable cocktails from Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks, or the Bon Vivant’s Companion (1862) that seems to have been largely ignored in the cocktail renaissance.  Here’s the original recipe.

Whiskey Sour
(Use small bar-glass.)
Take 1 large tea-spoonful of powdered white sugar,
dissolved in a little Seltzer or Apollinaris water.
The juice of half a small lemon.
1 wine-glass of Bourbon or rye whiskey.

Fill the glass full of shaved ice, shake up and strain into a claret glass. Ornament with berries.

It does seem a bit intimidating when written this way.  Instead try either of these versions.  The first more simple, yet authentic take courtesy of David Wondrich; and the second a 21st century creation via Jeffrey Morgenthaler.

Whiskey Sour
2 ounces bourbon
2/3 ounce lemon juice
1 teaspoon superfine sugar

Shake the bourbon, juice, and sugar well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass (unless you happen to have a Sour glass). Resist, if you can, the impulse to decorate lavishly with fruit, although a maraschino cherry will raise no eyebrows.

Whiskey Sour with Marmalade
2 oz. 100-proof bourbon
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
1 tsp. orange marmalade
1 egg white
3 drops Angostura bitters

Combine bourbon, juice, syrup, marmalade, and egg white in a shaker filled with ice; shake. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Add bitters, and using a toothpick, swirl into whites.

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indexWilliam Grant & Sons’ Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky brand is doubling down on innovation activity in the U.S. ahead of the upcoming holiday season, with a pair of new products heading to market. The first is a permanent addition to the core range, Glenfiddich Excellence 26-year-old. Rolling out this fall, the 26-year-old is the distillery’s first malt matured entirely in American oak casks, resulting in a lighter, sweeter profile. The 26-year-old, which is 43.1% abv and will retail at $500 a bottle, will sit between Glenfiddich’s 21-year-old and 40-year-old in the core portfolio. William Grant & Sons USA has an initial allocation of 2,000 cases, which will run through the end of this year into 2015. Meanwhile, Glenfiddich is planning a November-December launch for a second newcomer, 1963, which will be a non-age-stated “replica” of the first single malt marketed by the distillery. Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman has been pulling from various casks to match the archived liquid and ledger notes from that historic offering in the finished product of 1963, which will retail around $100.
indexWhyte & Mackay’s Jura Scotch has released Jura Brooklyn—its recently-launched Brooklyn-inspired single malt—nationwide. Previously, the limited edition entry had only been available in the metro New York area. To create Jura Brooklyn, Jura master distiller Willie Tait collaborated with a dozen Brooklyn artisans and professionals, holding a series of blending sessions and food pairings in the borough to create what the distillery calls a “whisky by Brooklyn, for Brooklyn.” The resulting Scotch has been aged up to 16 years in American white oak Bourbon, Amoroso Sherry and Pinot Noir casks. Jura Brooklyn is currently available at select retailers and online, priced at $79.99 a 750-ml. It joins the Origin, Superstition, Diurachs’ Own and Prophecy labels, among others, in Jura’s existing portfolio.
indexHeaven Hill Distilleries has extended its liqueur stable with a new holiday seasonal offering, Hpnotiq Sparkle. A multifaceted marketing campaign featuring reality TV star Khloe Karhashian will support the new release, which like Hpnotiq Liqueur is a blend of fruit juices, white wine, vodka and Cognac, but with Champagne-like bubbles. Sparkle, which is 12.5% abv and targeted at multicultural females, is available in 750-ml. bottles at a price point of $19.99, in line with the core brand, which is 17% abv.
indexConstellation is adding a new Peach flavor to the Svedka vodka line. Beginning this month, Svedka Peach will be available nationwide in multiple size formats, including 50-ml. ($1.99), 375-ml. ($6.99), 750-ml. ($12.99), 1-liter ($16.99) and 1.75-liter ($21.99). The newest offering joins the Swedish vodka’s existing flavor range, including Colada, Strawberry Colada, Orange Cream Pop, Cherry, Citron, Strawberry Lemonade and Mango Pineapple, the last two of which debuted in January.blahindex
San Francisco’s Anchor Distilling Company is releasing a second batch of Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Penny Blue XO single estate Mauritian rum to the U.S. market. Produced on a single estate at Medine, Penny Blue XO’s Batch #002 was selected from 22 casks previously used for Cognac, whisky or Bourbon and blended batches of rum aged between five and 11 years. At 43.2% abv, Batch #002 ($60) features tropical fruits with hints of oriental spices for a balanced, creamy oak taste, the company says. Anchor Distilling will release 7,000 bottles of individually numbered Penny Blue XO Batch #002 to the U.S., with 3,000 bottles going to Europe.indexHong Kong-based Branded Spirits has extended distribution of its line of small-batch artisanal liquors to the Chicago market. Already distributed in Texas, Nevada, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky, the company is looking to have a dozen states covered by the end of the year. The portfolio includes Ice Fox vodka ($19.99), Hana gin ($19.99), Motu rum ($19.99), HM The King blended Scotch whisky ($24.99), Majesté XO Cognac ($109.99) and Majesté VSOP ($47.99).

imagesZeiler Spirits’ Coldcock American Herbal Whiskey ($19.99 a 750-ml.) has extended into Kentucky, New Mexico, Florida, Hawaii and Wisconsin this month, bringing its footprint to 22 states. The brand, which launched last September, has exceeded expectations so far and will finish its first 12 months on the market at around 13,000 six-pack cases.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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indexFrederick Wildman & Sons’ specialty spirits division is expanding its presence in blended Scotch with two new products slated for release by October. One is The Feathery, a blended malt aged entirely in sherry casks and priced for retail at $58 a 750-ml bottle. The other is Sheep Dip Islay Blended Malt, a blend of casks obtained from all eight distilleries in Islay and featuring the island’s distinctive peat flavors. It will retail at $56. Wildman also hopes to release an Edinburgh branded gin in an elderflower flavor by year-end. Produced by its U.K. partner Spencerfield Spirit Co., the gin will be at approximately 30% abv and will retail at around $35.

indexSan Luis Spirits, based in the Texas town of Dripping Springs, is set to launch its first artisanal gin. Rolling out next month, Dripping Springs gin is billed as a “reinvention” of the traditional London dry style, featuring floral, spice and citrus notes. The 42.5%-abv entry, which is distilled in small 40-gallon batches, will be available at retail and the distillery. The new gin joins San Luis Spirits’ existing stable of craft brands, which include the Dripping Springs, Dripping Springs Texas Orange and 1876 vodkas.

indexThe Edrington Group has revealed that a new Highland Park single malt Scotch expression, Dark Origins, will roll out in September, retailing at $80 a bottle. Dark Origins, at 46.8% abv, is a no-age statement, non-chill filtered malt that sees about twice as many first-fill Sherry casks as does Highland Park 12-year-old, resulting in a darker, richer flavor. Also in September, a new Macallan expression called Rare Cask, retailing at $300, will debut in limited distribution.

indexItalian fine wine importer Vias Imports is debuting a new line of artisanal spirits from Sibona Antica Distilleria in the U.S. market. Located in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy, family-owned Sibona Antica is working with Vias to bring its line of grappas and liqueurs to the U.S. The initial introduction will include 1-liter offerings of aperitif Amaro Sibona ($29.99, 28%-abv), Chamomile Grappa-Infused Liqueur ($35.99, 32%-abv), Tennessee Wood Aged Grappa Riserva ($69.99, 44%-abv) and Uve di Langa Grappa Brandy ($62.99, 40%-abv). Plans are in place to extend the line in 2015. New York-based Vias Imports has a portfolio with more than 60 products, including Produttori del Barbaresco and Damilano.

indexBacardi USA will extend Grey Goose with the launch of a new Cognac-laced vodka called VX beginning September 1. Meant to be enjoyed chilled on the rocks in a Cognac glass, the 40%-abv VX will roll out to “an exclusive, select group of high-end bars and nightclubs,” Bacardi says. The new label will be produced in limited supply each year, carrying a retail price of $74.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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indexBrazil’s Avuá Cachaça has released a new offering in its line of single-sourced, artisanal cachaça to the U.S. market, Avuá Cachaça Oak. Beginning in October, the pale yellow cachaça, aged for up to two years in French oak casks, will be available for about $49.99. Avuá Cachaça Oak, at 40%-abv, features vanilla and banana notes with floral flavors, the company says. Avuá Cachaça’s other products include the unaged Avuá Cachaça Prata and Avuá Cachaça Amburana, aged in Amburana wood. Avuá Cachaça launched in the U.S. in 2013 and is self-imported by Avuá Imports based in New York.

indexFlorida-based importer and marketer Imperial Brands has partnered with the Irish Dairy Board’s Kerrygold brand to launch a new Irish cream liqueur. Featuring a blend of Irish cream, aged Irish whiskey and chocolate, Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur will initially be available in Illinois and Florida, priced at $19.99 a 750-ml.

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indexHeaven Hill Distilleries’ Christian Brothers Brandy has unveiled a new peach-flavored expression. A 35%-abv blend of Christian Brothers VS Brandy and peach flavors, CB Peach is currently available in 50-ml., 375-ml. and 750-ml. formats, priced at around $10.99 a 750-ml. The entry marks Christian Brothers’ second flavored offering, following the brand’s launch of CB Honey in 2011.

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indexConsumer products company ROK Stars and its ROK Drinks division have partnered with the Humphrey Bogart Estate to launch Bogart’s Real English Gin. Produced in Cambridgeshire, England in copper pot stills, the new super-premium entry is billed as a small-batch, hand-crafted gin, and will feature a quote from the film icon on every bottle.

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indexBeam Suntory’s Pinnacle vodka brand has extended its 40-plus flavor lineup with the launch of a new Amaretto expression. Featuring notes of almond, cherry and cocoa, Pinnacle Amaretto is currently available nationwide, priced at around $12.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

 

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indexHeaven Hill Distilleries will release a third bottling of Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old Barrel Proof Bourbon this year and three more bottlings next year. Debuting last year as a limited release version of Elijah Craig Small Batch 12-Year-Old, the series is drawn from the company’s inventory of aging barrels and each release reflects the proof of the batch, made of 100 or fewer barrels. A batch of 134.2 proof was released in March 2014 and a 137-proof was released in May, with the third 133.2-proof batch expected in September. In January next year, Heaven Hill will debut the first edition of the 2015 installment of the series. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is available nationwide in 750-ml. bottles retailing at $44.99.

indexAnchor Distilling Company has been named the importer for Tempus Fugit Spirits’ portfolio of small-batch absinthes, vintage-style liqueurs and bitters. Tempus Fugit was founded in 2006 and specializes in historic spirits and liqueurs popular in pre-Prohibition cocktails. The range includes a 28%-abv Gran Classico Bitter (retailing at $32.99), 44%-abv Fernet del Frate Angelico ($59.99), 24%-abv Crème de Cacao ($32.99), 18%-abv Kina L’Aéro d’Or ($27.99), 22%-abv Liqueur de Violettes ($29.99) and 65%-abv Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe Français Supérieure ($64.99), among others.

indexWest Park, New York-based Coppersea Distilling has partnered with New York State’s U.S. Barrel Company to create what the company calls the first 100% New York-made Bourbon and rye whiskey made since Prohibition. Both whiskies, which are produced with Hudson Valley-sourced grains and traditional distilling methods, will be aged in New York State-grown white oak from U.S. Barrel Co. The two inaugural barrels of Coppersea’s New York Bourbon and rye have been filled, with the pair expected to hit the market by late 2015.

indexDiageo is extending Smirnoff Sorbet Light with two new offerings, Summer Strawberry and White Peach. Both have 78 calories per 1.5-ounce serving, which Diageo asserts is 25% less than leading dessert-flavored vodkas. Other flavors in the Smirnoff Sorbet Light line, which retails at $16 a 750-ml., include Pineapple Coconut, Raspberry Pomegranate, Lemon and Mango Passion Fruit.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

 

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756Scotch is a whisky that has a wide variety of styles and flavors, which I unfortunately don’t have the time to get into here.  But, this is what you need to know.  There are five regions in Scotland which produce whiskies: Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside; and there are five styles of Scotch: blended grain, blended malt, blended Scotch, single grain and single malt.

GSN has reviewed several Scotches over the years including: Aberlour, AuchentoshanBenRiach, BowmoreCutty SarkGlendronachGlenrothes, Glen Garioch, LaphroaigMonkey Shoulder, Pig’s Nose and Sheep Dip.

If you’re looking to try a Scotch cocktail, GSN recommends the classic, Blood and Sand.

Sláinte!

 

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