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For Day 18 of the GSN Advent Gift Guide, we present some stunning cocktail trays featuring iconic skylines from a dozen cities around the globe!

Design company Teroforma collaborated with London-based designer Yoni Alter to create a collection of cocktail trays that bring his celebrated City Shapes artwork off the gallery wall and into the hands of stylish globe-trotters who call the world home.

Alter’s minimalist sensibility combines with a sophisticated color palette and a unique graphical perspective which proposes a new interpretation of the cityscapes that surround us. The reverse is natural wood grain.

Handcrafted from Swedish birchwood and laminated with a food-safe varnish, these durable trays are as functional as they are beautiful.

Dishwasher safe, the trays come in two sizes which nestle together for easy storage: the large tray is 17” x 13” (43x33cm) and the small tray is 13” x 8¼” (33x21cm).

  • Gently crowned rim makes picking up and holding these trays one fluid motion.
  • Made from FSC-certified laminated birchwood in Sweden – no melamine.
  • Dishwasher safe but best cared for by hand.

To order go to: Teroforma

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Day 17 means only two weeks until New Year’s Eve! So, today we’re suggesting some inexpensive sparklers for your party. The list includes everything from a $6 bottle from Allini to a $20 bottle from Santa Margherita.

Vivino has compiled the top 20 most popular proseccos, as voted for by its community of 27 million wine lovers around the world. Vivino is the largest online wine community that has millions of wine lovers around the world, scanning, reviewing and rating wine every day. Users are shown wines that match their previous scanning behavior to ensure they never have to drink a bad bottle again.

You can now also buy wines through Vivino Market so you can get your fave bottles delivered direct to your door!  Click here to order.

There are plenty of “blank-of-the-month” clubs out there, but this is the most unique one yet!  If you join Rochester, NY’s Black Button Distilling “WHOLE DAMN BARREL CLUB”, you will get:

  • Your name on your barrel and a commemorative picture of you with your barrel!
  • You say when it is done aging – taste it after 30 months and go from there!
  • Choose what proof you want it bottled at (our usual is 84 proof)
  • Every last drop from your barrel is yours when we bottle – Great for corporate gifting/client or employee appreciation gifts! (1 barrel ≈ 180 bottles at 84 proof!)
  • Add the finishing touch with a personalized label, making the bottles exclusively yours (i.e. your name, company name, event name or a company logo)
  • You keep the empty 30 Gallon Barrel too!

You’ll also get all of the following!

Welcome Gifts:

•  20 Person Tour & Tasting to be used one time during your membership year – makes a great birthday outing! (Rochester location)
•  FREE Black Button T-Shirt of your choice

Any Time You Visit:

•  $1 off every cocktail for you + 1 guest
•  Buy One, Get One FREE birthday cocktail
•  $5 off every 750ml bottle of our spirits purchased for you + 1 guest
•  FREE Tour for you + 4 friends any time during regular tour hours (Rochester)

Additional Exclusive Benefits:

•  Advance access to Black Button event tickets (St. Patrick’s Parade, Spirits Classes, etc.)
•  Advance access to new and specialty spirit releases (Lilac Gin anyone?)
•  Room fee waived on any Bar Takeover Event you book (Great for corporate events!)
•  Members only appreciation party (1 event planned annually)
•  ”Sip & Savor” member exclusive barrel release parties hosted by none other than owner Jason Barrett (2 events planned annually)
•  Members only coasters for you and a guest to use each time you visit

PLUS special monthly benefits just for being a member:
(redeemable in either Tasting Room during that month only)

  • January – 50% OFF all Black Button Glassware
  • February – 50% OFF a Box of Bourbon or Bourbon Cream filled gourmet chocolates
  • March – 50% OFF awesome Black Button apparel
  • April – FREE Hand-Made Spirit Infused Lip Balm
  • May – FREE Ticket to our very popular annual Moonshine Margarita Fun Run
  • June – 50% OFF Bourbon Barrel Smoker Wood Chips
  • July – 50% OFF Apple Pie Moonshine BBQ Sauce
  • August – 50% OFF Bourbon Bacon Ketchup
  • September – 50% OFF Bold Bloody Mary Mix
  • October – 25% OFF Fee Bros. Bitters
  • November – FREE Spirits Tasting for you & up to 4 friends
  • December – FREE Bourbon Cream ‘Better Than Candy’ Cane

To find out how you can join, go to: Black Button Distilling

Uncut, straight from the barrel without chill filtering, the nose, taste, and finish created by twelve years of aging are preserved in their simplest form with Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. Each Barrel Proof release is a unique proof, because it is made from an authentic and unaltered batch of 200 barrels or less. All releases have a unique identifying four-digit code, found on the label beginning in January of 2017. The digits indicate the bottle’s release order and date, so you can easily track the Barrel Proof you’re enjoying.

This release C917 is the third and last released in 2017.  With the success of this program, I’m sure we can look forward to many more Barrel Proof Batches in the years to come.

Check out our previous reviews of No. A117 here and No. B517 here.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No. C917 (131 proof)
Visual: Golden brown.
Nose: Rich malt entwined with heavy oak/char. Intense and evocative of a rickhouse.
Taste: With some water to soften the blow of the barrel proof, the flavors open into a melange of sweet wood, sea salt caramel, roasted ears of corn and young saddle leather. A lovely taste of a late autumn day in Louisville, KY.
Finish: Medium-long, with a warm sweet elegance that relaxes the palate and eases the soul.
Overall: Another sure-fire winner from the Elijah Craig Barrel Proof project.  Gotta collect them all now!
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Elijah Craig

Chocolate has captivated humanity with its exotic flavor and sensuous mouth feel. It has been in Mexican culture since the Mayans and is something that’s deeply embedded in the people and the history of Mexico. Its scientific name (Theobroma Cacao) translates to the Food of the Gods and is one of Mexico’s many culinary gifts to the world. Deadhead Dark Chocolate Rum was inspired by ancient recipes used by Mayan and Aztec Emperors. It is a small batch, hand crafted spirit made at an old family owned distillery in Chiapas. Rich, full-bodied, five-year-old rum is infused with locally sourced, decadently dark, slow roasted Cacao. The delicate infusion process enhances the natural qualities of the aged rum, allowing the chocolate and rum to exist in perfect balance. Deadhead Dark Chocolate Rum with the essence of coffee and butterscotch on the nose, the echo of dark chocolate is restrained but solidly present in the bouquet. This flavored namesake comes to the forefront on the first sip, layered with a back note of Bing cherry and cream soda.

Deadhead Dark Chocolate Rum was developed by founder, Kim Brandi, in her quest to bring the finest aged rum infused with the most decadent dark chocolate to the United States. To hold this world-class rum a shrunken head monkey vessel was developed to compliment Deadhead Rum’s flagship brand.

Kim Brandi explains the idea of the new bottle. “The shrunken head monkey vessel housing our dark chocolate rum pays homage to the ancient spiritual beliefs of the Maya and Aztec cultures. Monkeys, as depicted in pre-Colombian legends and art, are often juxtaposed with Cacao. A shrunken head monkey is a vessel befitting rum infused with Cacao.”

The most challenging aspect of developing the new bottle was to retain the integrity of the brand while changing it completely. “We turned to artist and sculptor Rodney McLellan, known as Odd Rodney, Arizona who, recognizing the significance of branding, diligently worked to help us bring the shrunken head monkey to life,” said Kim. “With his help, our new bottle began its journey from concepts to become a complimenting line expansion of the Deadhead Rum brand; true to form with its eyes and mouth sewn shut with natural hemp lacings and a scar, from ear to ear on the back of its head.”

Deadhead Dark Chocolate Rum (70 proof)
Visual: Clear peach.
Nose: Cocoa and spice. Very much a dessert nose, but not cloying in the least.
Taste: Well balanced flavor between the aged rum and the chocolate characters. Slightly grainy mouthfeel, with a dry and pointed finish.
Finish: Long, with the cocoa flavor going on and on. Very little sweetness here.
Overall: This has to be the best chocolate flavored rum I’ve ever had. Not candy-like. but natural and very much a rum.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Deadhead Rum

 

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the legendary La Alteña distillery in the highlands of Jalisco, El Tesoro has released one of its most aged tequilas yet – the El Tesoro™ 80th Anniversary Limited Edition. Aged for eight years and with only eight casks of this celebratory liquid in existence, the U.S. will be the only market to receive this bottling.

“In truth, my grandfather created a very inefficient process for making tequila,” says Carlos Camarena, Don Felipe’s grandson and Master Distiller for El Tesoro. “Yet it is these unique and stubborn production methods that make our tequila so special, and perhaps the most authentic. Eighty years later, we don’t care that there are faster ways to make tequila now. We care about the flavor, and the fact of the matter is that our method tastes better and is the best way to honor the agave.”

The process begins with the 100% estate-grown blue agave which grows for up to eight years in La Alteña’s mineral-rich soils and highlands climate, giving them a spiciness that is not often found in Jalisco. Once the agave reaches peak maturity, it is harvested by hand, removing the waxy stem for a smoother flavor. To note – it can take El Tesoro’s jimadores up to three years to completely harvest a field.

After harvest, the hearts of the blue agave – called the piñas – are cooked in an old-fashioned hornos oven for three straight days. The cooked pinas are then slowly crushed to release all their juice under a massive, two-ton volcanic tahona wheel. For this 80th Anniversary Edition, the liquid extracted is then distilled to 85 proof* at a low temperature in copper stills, that were made to Don Felipe’s specifications. El Tesoro is believed to be the only tequila to distill to proof, with no sugar or water added.

*Traditionally, El Tesoro is distilled to 80 proof. Since the liquid for the 80th Anniversary LTO would be aged for eight years, this liquid was instead distilled to 85 proof. The final result is 83 proof due to evaporation or “the angel’s share.”

“The 80th Anniversary Edition is the perfect tribute not only to our precious agave, but also to my grandfather,” says Camarena. “With it, we continue to push the boundaries of what it means to make excellent tequila, without sacrificing our traditional methods and beliefs. It is a spirit that I know Don Felipe would be proud to put his name on.”

El Tesoro 80th Anniversary Edition (83 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Almost grassy and herbal, with a slight smokey mint character. The agave has a soft and buttery roundness, offset by strident oak.
Taste: Exceptionally smooth and light, with more of that curious mintiness. The agave tastes fresh and wholesome, and not entirely tamed by the barrel.
Finish: Medium long, with some of the oak notes making for a very dry fade.
Overall: An exceptional sipping tequila that is a testament to the master distiller’s skills in aging.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: El Tesoro Tequila

Today’s holiday gift suggestion is perfect for gnome lovers, vodka drinkers, and collectors of unusual barware. Meet Felix!

Gnomes or “Tomtar” have a long tradition in Swedish folklore, featured in whimsical tales and traditionally connected to the winter holidays. “Tomtar” were often associated with being the secret protectors or guardians of an estate or farm in Scandinavian literature.

Felix isn’t just a lucky gnome he’s also a good gnome. Like us, although he enjoys the delicious vodka cocktails made with Absolut Elyx (Click here for Elyx cocktail recipes), he knows that the most important drink in the world is water.

Through the partnership between Absolut Elyx and Water For People, every Copper Gnome Gift Set sold will provide access to one week of safe water (140 liters) to someone in need.

The Gift Box includes a Copper Gnome Drinking Vessel, a Copper Straw and an Absolut Elyx Recipe Booklet.

To order a gnome, go to: Elyx Boutique

 

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