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The words “happy” and “hour” have appeared together for centuries when describing pleasant times. In act I, scene 2 of William Shakespeare’s King Henry V (said to have been written in about 1599), for example, King Henry says, “Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour That may give furtherance to our expedition . . . .” The use of the phrase, “Happy Hour,” to refer to a scheduled period of entertainment, however, is of much more recent vintage.

One possible origin of the term “Happy Hour,” in the sense of a scheduled period of entertainment, is from the United States Navy. In early 1913, a group of “home makers” called the “Happy Hour Social” organized “semi-weekly smokers” on board USS Arkansas. The name “Happy Hour Club,” “Happy Hour Social Club,” and similar variants, had been in use as the names of social clubs, primarily by women’s social clubs, since at least the early 1880’s. By June 1913, the crew of Arkansas had started referring to their regularly scheduled smokers as “Happy Hours.” The “Happy Hours” included a variety of entertainment, including boxing and wrestling matches, music, dancing and movies. By the end of World War I, the practice of holding “Happy Hours” had spread throughout the entire Navy.

The Random House Dictionary of American Slang dates “Happy hour,” as a term for afternoon drinks in a bar, to a Saturday Evening Post article on military life in 1959. That article detailed the lives of government contractors and military personnel who worked at missile-tracking facilities in the Caribbean and the Atlantic. “Except for those who spend too much during ‘happy hour’ at the bar – and there are few of these – the money mounts up fast.” Barry Popick’s online etymology dictionary, The Big Apple, lists several pre-1959 citations to “Happy Hour” in print, mostly from places near Naval bases in California, from as early 1951. – wikipedia

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Savannah Spirits Group has announced that it will open a new distillery in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic District in March 2018.  The 12,000 square foot building, built in the late 1800’s, will also house an upscale chop-house with multiple dining rooms, a full bar and private event space with a terrace on the upper floors all surrounded by the original brick that has been uncovered during the renovations.

In the meantime, Savannah Spirits is currently producing its first two products off-site, Silver and Amber Rums.  The Amber Rum, made with the guidance of expert distillers from Imperial Sugar, fuses the caramel notes of Savannah Spirits Silver Rum with Imperial Sugar-made dark cane syrup. The rums are the first in a line that will include vodka, gin and whiskey.

“This has been a long time in the making and to introduce Savannah Spirits to the Lowcountry starting with our rum, we feel, is the most apropos way to honor the bustling spirit of the region and its people, and to celebrate Savannah’s fanciful history,” says co-founder Dean Bell.

Heavily inspired by Savannah’s colorful history and often pit stop location for history’s most notorious rum-runners, both Savannah Spirits rums reflect the distinctive character and provenance of the city. The town was founded in 1734 where the only laws were ‘No Slaves, No Lawyers, No Liquor,’ particularly rum.  Soon tunnels had been dug beneath the town for smuggling rum.  When Georgia went dry in 1908, Savannahians pushed to secede to form their own state, and during Prohibition, Savannah was known as the “Bootleg Spigot of the South.”

“It’s all about the history. Our concept is, taste the history. A lot of people don’t really know how associated Savannah is with rum running and the craziness that went on, so we’re taking advantage of that,” says Bell.

Savannah Spirits Silver Rum (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Rich cane funk. Grassy, sweet and rustic.
Taste: Akin to an agricole style rhum, with a full-bodied depth of character that highlights the cane juice. The barrel aging keeps sweetness tempered down with a dry and slightly spicy ending.
Finish: Medium long with a tapered and vegetal finish.
Overall: Very interesting and loaded with possibilities for use in cocktails. There’s a cachaca sensibility that begs for lime juice.
GSN Rating: B+

Savannah Spirits Amber Rum (80 proof)
Visual: Pale gold.
Nose: Similar to the silver rum, but headily dosed with a molasses-like penumbra. The kind of rum that seems like it stepped out of the 1700’s.
Taste: The cane syrup works wonders here by toning down the herbal character of the rum, sweetening up the whole package and at the same time adding a dark caramel essence.
Finish: Long, with a slight cocoa finish.
Overall: In a way, this is almost a bottled Old-Fashioned. Just pour a few ounces in a rocks glass, add a splash of aromatic bitters, and stir with a few cubes of ice. Using cane syrup in this rum is a brilliant move and adds a new dimension to this New World spirit.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Savannah Spirits

New York State has a rich and long history with spirits & cocktails. The very first bartender’s guide was written by Jerry Thomas who was born in Sackett’s Harbor, NY and worked in New York City during the 1800’s. Today, New York is home to the second highest number of distilleries in the nation.

Local writer and author Don Cazentre recently released his second book, this one detailing the stories behind the Empire State’s affinity for libations. I took the opportunity to ask Don some questions about his research and experiences while writing the book.

GSN: You’re originally from New Orleans, Louisiana which itself has a deep and rich drinking heritage. Did any of your experiences there directly influence your interest in writing about cocktails and spirits in Upstate New York?

DC: I certainly grew up in a cocktail town. And there always seemed to be a bottle of Peychaud’s bitters around in everybody’s home when I was a kid (though I believe some people used it in cooking). Plus, my great-grandfather ran bars in and around the French Quarter (pre-Prohibition). But none of that really influenced this. I started writing about beer in 1995, in a column for the Post-Standard and then as a free-lancer for Ale Street News. I eventually expanded my writing into wine and spirits, and now work full-time as beer, wine and spirits writer for NYup.com. This book came about when the publisher (The History Press), sent me a query asking if I thought there was enough material on spirits and cocktail in Upstate NY to support a book. It only took me a weekend of research to conclude the answer was ‘yes’.

Pictured on the left is Catherine Hustler (aka Kathryn Serianni) of the Lewiston Council on the Arts.

GSN: What is the most interesting story that you uncovered while working on this book?

DC: There were plenty. From a true historical perspective, I think the story  of rum distilling in the Albany area was the most interesting — partly because it was surprising to me. I had heard of New England (Medford) Rum, but had no idea Albany was such a major player in the 1700’s. But I really love the (almost) entirely fictional account of the tavern keeper in Lewiston — Katherine Hustler. Though much of the story is complete bunk, I love the way they keep it alive, from historic markers to live re-enactments — in this small corner of Upstate NY.

GSN: Despite prohibition, alcohol was always available for someone who wanted it. Did you uncover any stories of speakeasies or bootleggers in the area?

Rum Runners salvaging whiskey from a boat stuck on a sandbar, one mile east of Leamington, Ontario on Lake Erie.

DC: Yes, I have several tales of bold “rum runners” crossing the river (and ice) in the Thousand Islands region (accompanied by hails of gunfire). It’s also pretty obvious from some of the stories in places like Syracuse, Albany and Buffalo that speakeasies were “hiding in plain sight.”

GSN: You devote a chapter to the history of rum making in Upstate New York. Today, relatively few distilleries in the area are producing rum. Why do you think this is?

DC: Many of the distilleries have ‘farm,’ licenses, so they’re required to use New York ingredients. I don’t know of many sugar plantations in New York! On the other hand, a distillery like Albany Distilling Co. is makings rum under a standard license. I think for now, using local ingredients, whether required by law or not, is going to be a driving force for distillers.

Cocktail menu from Good Luck

GSN: Let’s talk a bit about bar culture. Do you see a shift in the use of local spirits on menus?  How are local bartenders using these products to bring in cocktail enthusiasts who want something or than the usual “fruit-tini”?

DC: I think the “buy local” idea has filtered to many bars, especially the high-end ones. The current thinking seems to be embodied in this quote in the book from Chuck Cerankosky, owner of Rochester’s Good Luck and Cure and founder of the Rochester Cocktail Revival: “At first we used them (local products) to be polite. Now, we use them because they’re good.”

GSN: The resurgence of distilling in Upstate New York has grown exponentially in the last ten years. What in your opinion are the benefits of this relatively young craft in an industry dominated by major players like Diageo, Pernod-Ricard, Suntory-Beam and William Grant & Sons?

DC: There are almost 100 distilleries in New York, and, as far as  I know, just one, Tuthilltown in Gardiner, has been acquired by a “major” player (Wm Grant). So I think what’s cool now is that distilleries are where craft beer has been for the last decade — small, local, trying new things and aiming to build a loyal audience.  It came too late to make my book, but I’m intrigued by the new effort to make Empire Rye a signature New York spirit. (See GSN’s review of Finger Lakes Distilling’s Empire Rye here)

GSN: If you were to nominate one iconic libation that should be the official cocktail of Upstate New York, which one would you choose and why?

DC: I’ll give you two — one historical and one modern.

Historical: The Mamie Taylor is one that has a strong provenance to Upstate NY: It’s pretty clear it was invented at Ontario Beach near Rochester in 1900 at the request of then Broadway diva, Mamie Taylor. It was hugely popular in its day. It’s also interesting in cocktail history: It’s a sort of precursor to the modern rage over Moscow Mules — a highball with ginger beer. In that sense, it could be one of the most influential cocktails ever.

Mamie Taylor
From Ted Haigh in Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails

2 ounces scotch
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Spicy ginger ale or ginger beer (Haigh recommends Blenheim’s no. 3 ginger ale)

Pour the scotch and lime juice into an ice-filled 8-ounce highball glass and fill with ginger ale. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.

Modern: I had head bartender Jeremy Hammill at the Scotch ‘n Sirloin in DeWitt concoct a few “Erie Canal-themed cocktails” using ingredients sourced from along the old canal path. Here’s one:

Scotch ‘n Sirloin’s bar

Low Bridge
From Jeremy Hammill of the Scotch ’n Sirloin, DeWitt

1 ounce Albany Distilling Death Wish coffee vodka (Albany)
1 ounce Black Button 4 Grain Bourbon (Rochester)
1 ounce cinnamon/clove infused simple syrup (see note below)
1 dropper of Mad Fellows Mulled Spice bitters (Syracuse)
½ ounce heavy cream Freshly grated cinnamon

Chill a martini glass or coupe. Fill a shaker glass with ice and then add all ingredients except the cinnamon. Shake well and strain into martini glass or coupe. Sprinkle on cinnamon for garnish.

Note: To make the simple syrup, boil 2 cups water with 1 broken up cinnamon stick and 4 whole cloves to extract the flavor. When it smells right, add 2 cups sugar and boil to dissolve. Let cool and strain into a clean bottle. Will hold for a month in the refrigerator. (It can be reduced, but always use equal parts water and sugar.)

GSN: To what do you attribute the lasting influence the cocktail still has today even after prohibition and two world wars?

DC: That’s  a good question. Writing the book certainly reaffirmed for me the notion that cocktails have always had their cycles — classic, over-the-top, fruity and sweet, back to classic, etc. I think their popularity now is a bit of the DIY mentality — if you buy a beer or wine you’re stuck with what you bought. But with cocktails, you can mix and match and put your own creative spin on what you’re drinking.

GSN: Last question: You discuss several of the theories about the origin of the word “cocktail”. Most of them seem to indicate an origin within New York State. What do you think the true story is?

DC: I really think the cocktail is simply the drink (the name) that survived from the whole era of juleps and shrubs, punches and toddies, slings and sangarees, cobblers and nogs. I don’t know if it originated in New York, but it certainly seems to be the place where the word first took hold. That may be because of economic and social factors — access to education, media outlets etc. (But in loyalty to my hometown, I still also like the story of Antoine Peychaud and the “coquetier,” even if it is mostly bunk).

Don Cazentre writes about the beer, wine and spirits industry for Syracuse.com and NYup.com

Interview by Blair Frodelius, Good Spirits News

tumblr_inline_moeit2yoeL1qz4rgpProbably most of us have had at least a few Harvey Wallbangers over the years.  My first was served out of a huge plastic trash can at a frat party in Geneva, NY back in the early 1980’s.  My most recent was at 2014’s Tales of the Cocktail® in New Orleans where it was served at one of the many parties.  But, few of us know the true story behind this variation on a Screwdriver.  Fellow writer Robert Simonson penned the following article a few years ago and uncovered the fascinating man behind the myth.  So, make yourself a H.W. and spend a few minutes with a legend.

Searching for Harvey Wallbanger by Robert Simonson 

The Harvey Wallbanger has one of the most memorable names in cocktail history. And one of the worst reputations.

A mix of vodka, orange juice and Galliano, it was one of the preeminent drinks of the 1970s, a decade recognized by drink historians as the Death Valley of cocktail eras—a time of sloppy, foolish drinks made with sour mix and other risible shortcuts to flavor, and christened with foolish monikers like Mudslide and Freddie Fudpucker.

Not that Harvey Wallbanger is one of those. It’s actually got one of the best—and most unforgettable—handles in the annals of mixed drinks. This may be why it’s survived long enough to be reappraised. Shortly after Galliano reconfigured its recipe a couple of years ago, returning the Italian liqueur to its original formula, mixologists began to sneak the drink back on respectable lists.

This is all good news for Donato “Duke” Antone, the largely forgotten bartender who, according to longstanding legend, is the creator of the Wallbanger, as well as a number other two-ingredient wonders of the time, like the Rusty Nail and White Russian. Antone, the oft-repeated story goes, ran Duke’s “Blackwatch” Bar on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood in the 1950s. The few biographical facts that pop up again and again tell us that he was the brother-in-law of one-term New York State Senator Carlo Lanzillotti, and that he managed featherweight boxer Willie Pep, a childhood friend. He died In 1992 at the age of 75, according to an obit in the Hartford Courant. At the time he was the retired headmaster of the Bartending School of Mixology in Hartford. The Courant notice repeated the claims that he invented the Wallbanger, Rusty Nail, as well as the Flaming Caesar and many other drinks.

So, did he? As much as we hate to doubt a WWII vet and “the recipient of two silver stars, two bronze stars, two Purple Hearts and a Croix de Guerre” (the Courant), the bartending profession has a long history of credit-grabbing. The provenance of almost every famous cocktail is clouded by the claims and counterclaims of various barmen. Even Jerry Thomas, the father of modern mixology, wasn’t above a fib or two.

Certainly, all the drinks associated with Donato display the same, ham-fisted modus operandi. Take a potent, straightforward base spirit (vodka, whiskey), throw in a taste-profile-dominating liqueur (Galliano, Drambuie, Amaretto, Kahlua), maybe some juice or cream, and presto: new drink! But few figures in bartending history can lay their hand to so many famous drinks, so one doubts Donato invented all of them. So this article will concentrate on clearing away as much fog as possible from the most frequent cited of his children.

According to folklore, Donato invented the Harvey Wallbanger in 1952. It is said he named it after a Manhattan Beach surfer and regular named Tom Harvey—a man about whom we can find nothing. But the cocktail didn’t become popular until the early 1970s. This sudden reversal of fortunes coincides with the arrival of George Bednar, who in 1966 became marketing director of McKesson Imports Co., an importing company that handled Galliano. Previously, the liqueur had a staid ad campaign that featured the line “Fond of things Italiano? Try a sip of Galliano.” Bednar somehow found the Wallbanger and hoisted it up the barroom flagpole. The original ads pushed the drink as a replacement at brunch for the Bloody Mary. Round about late 1969, a rather pained-looking, sandal-wearing mascot named Harvey Wallbanger appeared. His line: “Harvey Wallbanger is the name and I can be made!”

And, boy, did the world make him! Soon, reports were cropping up of bowls of Wallbangers being consumed at Hamptons parties and on Amtrak trains. Harvey Wallbanger cakes were sold. A Puli named after the drink won dog shows. By 1976, Holland House was putting out a Wallbanger dry mix and pre-blended bottles of the cocktail were sold. Riding this wave, Galliano became the number one most imported liqueur during Me Decade, exporting 500,000 cases a year to the U.S. (You’d think the Galliano people—the liqueur is now owned by Lucas Bols—would be interested in the origins of their most famous drink. But the company, while curious, had little or no information to offer about the Wallbanger or Donato.)

Antone, however, is difficult to find during this heyday. He’s not quoted or mentioned in articles or advertisements. The California ABC office can find no listing for a bar called Duke’s “Blackwatch” Bar on Sunset. (To be fair, their computer records are not complete.) Neither do L.A. guides or newspapers from the time mention it. Given that the drink rose to fame with the arrival of Bednar, one can’t help but suspect that good old Harvey was the invention of the Galliano marketing department, and that Antone had nothing to do with it.

The flaw in that theory lies in the Courant obit, which indicates that Antone himself never denied creating the drink. So what came first, the Blackwatch or the Bednar?

I dug up a number of answers in the back pages of the Hartford Courant, which printed a few stories on Antone over the years. It even ran a photo or two, provided pictorial evidence that a short, balding man with thick, black-framed glasses named Donato “Duke” Antone did indeed breathe air. A 1966 Courant article about Antone’s bartending school, located on Farmington Avenue, tells us that he was born in Brooklyn in a Italian-Jewish neighborhood, ran liquor for bootleggers as a youngster, had his first legal bartending job at a place called Diamond Jim Brady’s, and was he was “a likable, fast-talking Runyoneseque character.”

Turns out, there’s a good reason you can’t find evidence of Antone and the Blackwatch Bar in Los Angeles during the 1950s and ’60s. It’s because the man was living in Hartford that entire time. The 1966 Courant piece says he founded his school in 1949 “after he found, when working in Las Vegas, that it was difficult to find good bartenders,” and that it “took him 14 years to perfect the school’s curriculum.” Those would be the years when he was supposed mixing up Harvey Wallbangers for beach bums.

The 1966 story identifies Antone as the author of some new drinks—including the Italian Fascination, which “has won prizes” and “contains Galliano, Kahlua, triple sec and sweet cream”—but the Wallbanger is not mentioned as one of them. However, in a subsequent 1970 Courant story (about how Antone taught his trade to his 12-year-old son!), Antone gets full credit for the Wallbanger. Of course, by that time, the drink was gaining fame and popularity. So what happened between those two date lines?

This sentence in a 1977 Courant piece, in which Antone is “retired,” might hold the key: “Antone…has not limited himself to mixing drinks. Rather, he has been active in all aspects of the liquor industry ranging from restaurant design to marketing.”

“Marketing”! OK, theory time. Could it be that George Bednar, newly hired at McKesson in 1966 and looking for a way to boost Galliano sales, read about Antone’s Galliano-heavy Italian Fascination cocktail, and then traveled up to Hartford to see if the bartender, for a fee, could come up a few more cocktails featuring the liqueur? (Around this time, Antone also invented Freddie Fudpucker, basically a Harvey Wallbanger with tequila.) The tale of the Blackwatch Bar, phantom surfer Tom Harvey, and the sudden appearance of the Wallbanger cartoon figure—that could all well be examples of Bednar and Antone’s marketing acumen. One can see how the two men might have bonded. Antone was a boxing man, and Bednar played football for Notre Dame and the St. Louis Cardinals in the mid-’60s. Booze and sports. They were made for each other.

Noted cocktail historian David Wondrich—who, as it turns out, has been doing his own digging in the Wallbanger—pointed out the Harvey surfer character had been designed by commercial artist name Bill Young, at Galliano and McKesson’s behest. The cartoon figure hit the U.S. like a lava flow in late 1969, “pop art posters, bumper stickers, buttons, crew shirts, mugs and the whole bit,” according to an Oct. 30, 1969, San Antonio Light article uncovered by Wondrich.

“I wonder what the execs at McKesson thought in 1969,” mused Wondrich, “when Bill Young showed them the dopey little cartoon surfer he had come up with, complete with a dopey name, ‘Harvey Wallbanger,’ and an equally dopey slogan, ‘I can be made.’ I doubt they realized what they were in for. With Young’s Harvey to blaze the way, Antone’s simple—even dopey—drink would go on to be the first drink created by a consultant to actually take the nation by storm.”

By 1981, Duke had opened a new academy, Antone’s School of Mixology, and was full-on boasting that he was the genesis of “the Harvey Wallbanger, the Rusty Nail, the White Russian and the Kamakazi, as well as the Freddie Fudpucker.” The reporter of that account, sticking in the word “claims” a couple of times, seemed disinclined to believe him.

Do I believe him? Well, I never had much faith in the story of the Harvey Wallbanger’s creation. (A surfer at Manhattan beach going all the way to Sunset Boulevard for a drink? A Italian-American who gives his bar a Scottish name?) But I do believe Antone had something to do with creating the cocktail. To paraphrase the cartoon Harvey, “cocktail history is the game, and I can be made up.”

Robert Simonson writes about spirits, cocktails and wine for such publications as The New York Times, Imbibe, Edible Brooklyn and Manhattan, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and GQ. He holds an advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and another from the Beverage Alcohol Resource. He was nominated for 2012 Spirited Award for Best Cocktail Writing. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertOSimonson

In 2015, six leading New York State distilleries banded together to create a consortium dedicated to establishing a whiskey style for the Empire State. This whiskey was to be as distinctive, precisely crafted and held to as high a standard as any of the illustrious whiskey styles in the world.

And so, Empire Rye was born–an homage to New York State’s pre-Prohibition rye whiskey-making heritage and a testament to the ingenuity and industriousness of its contemporary distillers. Each distiller’s bottling of Empire Rye is crafted in accordance with the same exacting specifications and yet each is given ample space to express their creativity. Finger Lakes Distilling recently released their McKenzie Single Barrel Rye Whiskey to celebrate. In time, the hope is that more New York distillers will choose to produce a rye whiskey in accordance with these standards and make the category of Empire Rye known throughout the world.

What are the requirements to make Empire Rye?

-It must conform to the New York Farm Distiller (Class D) requirement that 75% of the mash bill be New York grain; in this instance that 75% MUST be New York State-grown rye grain, which may be raw, malted or a combination.

-The remaining 25% of the mash bill may be composed of any raw or malted grain, New York-grown or otherwise, or any combination thereof.

-Distilled to no more than 160 proof.

-Aged for a minimum of two years in charred, new oak barrels at not more than 115 proof at time of entry.

-Must be mashed, fermented, distilled, barreled and aged at a single New York State distillery in a single distilling season (The period from January 1 through June 30, is the spring season and the period from July 1 through December 31 is the fall season).

-A blended whisky containing no less than 100% qualifying Empire Rye whiskies from multiple distilleries may be called Blended Empire Rye.

McKenzie Single Barrel Rye Whiskey (101.1 proof)
Visual: Dark gold.
Nose: Heady rye spice balanced with fresh-cut oak stave. Some slight hints of young caramel and vanilla. Late autumn in a glass.
Taste: Very tight mash bill which opens up slightly with a cube of ice. Intensely rich and flavorful spice, sweetness and warmth all at once. There is a sherry-like sweetness which keeps things from being a spice bomb.
Finish: Long with dried plum, golden raisin, soft rye bread and baking spice.
Overall: It gets better with every sip.  Try this in a Sazerac, Vieux Carre or Boulevardier for an amazing expression. A phenomenal craft spirit from one of the first of New York State’s 21st century distilleries.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Empire Rye and Finger Lakes Distilling

Old Potrero recently introduced Hotaling’s 11 Year Old Whiskey, a single-barrel, pot-distilled 100% malted rye whiskey aged in once-used charred fine-grain American oak barrels that previously held Old Potrero Straight Rye Whiskey. Hotaling’s Whiskey, which varies from other Old Potrero whiskies in the barrel-aging, commemorates the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, celebrates San Francisco’s remarkable rebirth, and the A.P. Hotaling & Co. whiskey warehouse on Jackson Street that miraculously survived the disaster.

“If as they say, God spanked the town
For being over frisky,
Why did He burn the churches down
And save Hotaling’s whiskey?”- Charles K. Field

Read on to find out the answer…

Old Potrero Hotaling’s 11 Year Old Single Malt Rye Whiskey (100 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: High, fine, keening notes of rye spice embedded in a rounded oak-laden distillate.
Taste: Amazingly smooth and well-balanced for a 100% rye. Easily one of the most temperate rye whiskies I enjoyed. The length of aging has done wonders to even out any possible roughness or fire, bringing an equity between the grain of the field and grain of the barrel. Lovely.
Finish: Long with hints of dark cherry, rye cracker, apricot and surprisingly, kiwifruit.
Overall: A winner in the rye whisky field.  As always, the fine folks at Old Potrero have produced a stellar spirit. Highly Recommended.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Anchor Distilling

Jura Whisky recently announced the launch of Jura 10, an Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky and the first release in Jura’s new core line for the U.S.  Hailing from one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, this whisky marries peated and unpeated malt with a Sherry cask finish.

Jura 10 is handcrafted on the Isle of Jura, a rugged, elemental island nestled a few miles off the West Coast of Scotland.  Home to around 200 Islanders, one road, one pub and one distillery, Jura was once described by author George Orwell as the ‘most un-get-at-able’ place due to its remote location. Established in 1810, Jura whisky has been crafted on its island home for over two centuries.

“The launch of the new Jura 10 celebrates our heritage of whisky-making,” said Graham Logan, Jura Distillery Manager. The craft of producing great whisky has been at the heart of Jura’s close-knit community for hundreds of years and we look forward to sharing the long-standing traditions and unmistakable flavors of Jura 10’s island home with the world.”

While many distilleries create either peated or unpeated whiskies, Jura 10 marries together the best of both for a truly unique Island Single Malt that is subtly smoky with a sweet Sherry cask finish. It is matured for ten years in American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels with an aged Oloroso Sherry cask finish.

 

Jura 10-Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (80 proof)
Visual: Deep gold.
Nose: Warm and softly smokey with a rich malt base. A hint of sea salt and dried leaves. Enticing.
Taste: Elegant and well-appointed. The oak has softened and bedded itself well with the peated malt, while the unpeated malt softens the intensity. Some small hints of burnt sugar, dark caramel and hazelnut. Just what it needs to be.
Finish: Long with more of the dry, nuttiness coming through. The sherry comes through at the very end with a sweet pop.
Overall: A grand whisky that can be enjoyed by any whisky enthusiast without breaking the bank. Recommended!
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Jura Whisky

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