GSN Review: Ohza Mimosa

Ohza Mimosas, the ready-to-drink, reinvented mimosa in a can has officially launched online ordering and shipping to 29 US states. Ohza was founded by 25-year-old Ryan Ayotte after attempting to mix mimosas with his friends on a tippy boat off of Cape Cod, MA. From making a mess on the high seas, to lugging bottles, cartons, and cups to the beach – he knew there had to be an easier way.

Redefining the ready-to-drink beverage, Ohza’s gluten free mimosas have the calorie count of a hard seltzer, but the flavor of a classic cocktail – all while containing real juice, no added sugar, no artificial flavors, a low ABV for all day sip-ability, and a clean nutrition label. Crafted with Brut sparkling wine from the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York and real orange juice, one 6-pack of Ohzas is equal to nine mimosa flutes, or two bottles of bubbly and half a juice carton.

Ohza Mimosa (5% ABV) Mimosas are a great way to start your Sunday morning brunch, but sometimes you can’t finish that 750ml bottle of sparkling wine before it goes flat. A can of Ohza Mimosa is a perfect way for two people to share a glass each and celebrate. We were definitely surprised by both the balance between the wine and the orange juice, plus the relatively light sweetness of what is typically pretty heavy on the fructose. A first taste is very wine forward with a dry edge, and the juice just bringing a hint of sweetness. After the second sip, it becomes apparent that this is the perfect ratio to keep things elegant and perfect for pairing with a classic French breakfast. You could easily have two glasses and not feel as though you’d just imbibed boozy orange soda. All in all, these are great to bring to a party, or keep in your fridge for that last celebratory morning before Monday arrives. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Ohza Mimosas

GSN Review: Rock Rose Gins

Rock Rose Gin is a Scottish family-owned gin from Dunnet Bay in the Scottish Highlands created from an infusion of traditional and local botanicals, five of which are hand foraged from local cliffs and forests. The Rock Rose (Rhodiola rosea), which grows on the local seawalls, was consumed by Vikings for stamina and vitality. It is now used by many as an herbal supplement to combat fatigue and anxiety. Juniper is the predominant botanical, selected from two different countries. Both junipers are subjected to a vapor infusion process. Bulgarian juniper gives lemon sherbet notes, while the Italian juniper gives a real warmth and depth to the flavor of the gin.

Rock Rose Gin Navy Strength was created to showcase the heritage and provenance of Caithness and the Pentland Firth which was a busy passage way for mariners during the two world wars when the base for the Royal Navy’s Home Fleet was in Scapa. The higher ABV means that the unique flavors remain prominent when served with other ingredients.

Rock Rose Gin (83 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: A heady blend of juniper, citrus, rosemary and several low tones of funkier herbs and spices.
Taste: It must be the rock rose. There is a slightly soap-like character that impresses itself on the palate before the familiarity of piney juniper kicks in. The citrus is subdued amidst the infused herbs. No pun intended, this tastes quite clean.
Finish: Medium long, with a quite dry finish.
Overall: Unusual and at the same time engaging. This is the kind of gin that begs for creative new cocktails or punches.
GSN Rating: A-

Rock Rose Gin Navy Strength (114 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: A more compact and intense package of juniper and various spices and herbs. The citrus is slightly less prevalent here as opposed to the 83 proof expression.
Taste: As expected, everything is ramped up here to 11. The peculiar rock rose flavor still prevails, but somehow blends more into the whole rather than standing out by itself. Even at this high proof, the heat is not too bad.
Finish: Long and with a slight sweet finish laid upon the tannic brightness.
Overall: Perfect for punches and gin forward cocktails. Really all that the standard issue has to offer, but with a lot more body.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Dunnet Bay Distillers

What’s Brewing: Hacker Pschorr Weissbier

Hacker-Pschorr, the Munich based brewery with more than 600 years of brewing experience, has announced that for the first time their Weissbier is now available in the U.S. in 16.9oz cans. The new lightweight cans now come in a 4-Pack and feature an updated new look celebrating the brands unique heritage, tradition and superior taste.

“We are thrilled to introduce our Weissbier in cans just in time for the New Year,” says Steve Hauser, CEO of Paulaner USA, the U.S. importer of Hacker-Pschorr.” The lightweight design of the cans makes it portable and easy to travel with and allows our consumers to enjoy this refreshing brew at all of their favorite outdoor venues and biergartens.”

Hauser adds, “Our Hacker Pschorr Weissebier has long been a favorite of German families that settled here in the U.S. and have helped shape our country. Our cans will not only give these traditional consumers greater opportunities to enjoy a bit of their heritage, these cans will open a whole new set of occasions for younger, craft beer loving consumers.”

Hacker Pschorr Weissbier (5.5% ABV) This is an easy-going pleasant beer to drink with a slightly sweet character. The carbonation is tight and adds a creaminess to the mouthfeel. Weissbiers are very much akin to session style brews and are a perfect foil for a traditional German meal. Now that Hacker Pschorr has packaged these in easy to tote 4-packs, they make for the perfect addition to your backyard BBQ, tailgate party or camping trip. We would love to see more of their portfolio made available in cans.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Hacker Pschorr

GSN Alert: January 25th – National Irish Coffee Day with Egan’s & Fire Dept. Coffee

Coffee’s best friend isn’t creamer, it’s whiskey, and on National Irish Coffee Day (January 25) hot and cold brew aficionados alike can tip their mugs to Fire Dept. Coffee’s spirit-infused blend made with Egan’s Irish Whiskey.
The meticulously crafted specialty coffee is made with Egan’s Vintage Grain, aged in bourbon casks giving way to vanilla undertones and hints of caramel. The coffee is made using a proprietary method that infuses all the flavor of the spirit, leaving no trace of alcohol behind. Smooth and pleasing to the palate, it’s the ideal brew for an Irish Coffee.
The partnership is a natural synergy between the two brands, as family is synonymous with the Egan’s legacy and deeply rooted in the culture and lifestyle of being a firefighter. To ensure each sip stays true to those ideals, the Illinois-based Fire Dept. Coffee donates 10% of proceeds from every order to support ill or injured firefighters and first responders, and their families.
Egan’s Irish Whiskey-Infused Fire Dept. Coffee is available online at Firedeptcoffee.com and comes in 14 oz ground and whole bean bags. Egan’s Vintage Grain is sold at select spirits retailers nationwide, and is available in 750mL bottles (46% ABV).
Vintage Irish Coffee
3 parts cold brew (or hot) coffee made from Fire Dept. Coffee Egan’s Irish Whiskey-infused beans
2 parts Egan’s Vintage Grain
1 part Demerara Syrup
Heavy cream and nutmeg.
Mix first three ingredients in glass. Vigorously shake heavy cream in a tin with spherical whisk (such as is used in a protein shaker). Pour whipped cream over coffee mix and top with freshly grated nutmeg.

What’s Brewing: Harpoon Dry January Triple IPA

Harpoon Brewery is redefining “dry” January with its newest monthly release available for the month of January. Harpoon Brewery’s appropriately named Dry January is a limited-edition Triple IPA beer celebrating the joy that is drinking in the New Year.

Coming in at 11% ABV, this Triple IPA is designed for those who prefer to imbibe on a cold winter’s night, no matter the month. The beer contains a blend of Calypso, Zythos and Mandarina Bavaria hops.

Harpoon Dry January Triple IPA (11% ABV) Amber color with a thin head when poured. A cornucopia of hop notes greet the nose, with a bright wintery tang. In spite of Dry January being a 3XIPA, the alcohol burn is tempered by the rich toasted malt character. A session-style body with a light carbonation. The hops goes on for miles on the finish, and with this being a 16oz. serving, you won’t need more than one at a time. Thus, the four-pack will last you a month, if you treat yourself to one at the end of each workweek.

GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Harpoon Brewery

 

GSN Review: The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993

The GlenDronach recently announced the release of The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993. The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993 is a taste of a highly revered vintage and an example of the finest sherry cask aging. To create this masterpiece, Master Blender Barrie hand-selected Pedro Xime´nez and Oloroso sherry casks laid down in the Highland distillery in 1993.

“With a quarter of a century slowly maturing in our renowned Andaluci´an casks, The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993, aged for 25 years, has developed profound layers of depth and complexity, leading to an exceedingly long, voluptuous and memorable finish,” Barrie said.

As is the case for all The GlenDronach expressions, the whisky is non-chill filtered and absorbs color naturally over time from aging in Spanish oak.

The GlenDronach Master Vintage 1993 (96.4 proof)
Visual: Bronze.
Nose: This smells like a bakery. Lots of sweet, buttery, fruity and toasty things wrapped up in one dessert-forward whisky.
Taste: Very smooth and mellow with more of that pecan and spiced hazelnut flavor at the front of the palate. There aren’t a lot of high or low notes here, rather a large middle ground of warmth.
Finish: Medium long, with a slightly sweet finish.
Overall: An affable whisky that has lost some complexity, but has a friendly approachability that is instantly recognizable. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: GlenDronach Distillery

GSN Review: The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8

The GlenDronach recently announced the release of The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8. The eighth release of the Cask Strength Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the Cask Strength Batch 8 offers insight into the distillery’s signature style. Matured for ten years in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks, it is bottled at 61% ABV.

“The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8 is incredibly rich and full-bodied, the result of years of slow maturation in Pedro Ximénez puncheons, quarter casks and Oloroso sherry butts,” Barrie explains. “Casks were individually selected, combined and bottled at natural cask strength to deliver maximum character and depth.”

As is the case for all The GlenDronach expressions, the whisky is non-chill filtered and absorbs color naturally over time from aging in Spanish oak.

The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8 (122 proof)
Visual: Medium dark gold.
Nose: Cocoa, molasses, oak char, currants, brown bread and baking spices.
Taste: An intense package of peppercorn, pfeffernusse, dark bittersweet chocolate, tobacco leaf and coffee bean.
Finish: Heavily tannic with oak char, saddle leather and Cavendish pipe leaf.
Overall: A higher spice profile than I was expecting, as the sherry plays a secondary note. Still, with a splash of water or served on a large rock, this is a very tempting whisky.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: GlenDronach Distillery