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.


TOTC2016 - Spirited Awards wo Tickets- 1000x350.jpg.1000x0_q85_crop-smartCongratulations to all of this year’s winners!  Looks like a trip to London is in the works!

International Categories

Best International Bar Team
American Bar at the Savoy, London

Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar
Callooh Callay, London

Best International Restaurant Bar
Hawksmoor Spitalfields, London

International Bartender of the Year
Hidetsugu Ueno, Bar High Five, Tokyo

Best International Cocktail Bar
Happiness Forgets, London

Best International Hotel Bar
The Connaught Bar, London

Best New International Cocktail Bar
Oriole, London

Best International Brand Ambassador
Max Warner, Chivas Regal

Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication
Cocktail Lovers, London

Best New Cocktail & Bartending Book
The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writer
Jeffery Morgenthaler

Best New Spirits Book
Divided Spirits

Best Bar Mentor
Angus Winchester

World’s Best Cocktail Menu
Dandelyan, London

Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient
Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy

World’s Best Spirits Selection
Tommy’s, San Francisco

World’s Best Cocktail Bar
The Connaught Bar, London

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sasha Petraske

American Categories

Best American Bar Team
ABV, San Francisco

Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar
Herbs & Rye, Las Vegas

Best American Restaurant Bar
Saxon & Parole, New York

American Bartender of the Year
Jeffery Morgenthaler, Portland

Best American Cocktail Bar
Smuggler’s Cove, San Francisco

Best American Hotel Bar
The Elephant Bar, New York

Best American Cocktail Bar
Sweet Liberty, Miami

Best International Brand Ambassador
Colin Asare-Appiah, Bacardi

Avery-Brewing-El-Gose-6pkBoulder, Colorado-based Avery Brewing Company has added a new expression to its year-round lineup. A blend between a Mexican-style lager and German ale, Avery Brewing’s El Gose is billed as a sour beer, made with lime and sea salt. The 4.5%-abv entry is set to launch in canned six-packs later this month, available across Avery’s 35-state footprint. El Gose marks the eighth offering in the brewer’s year-round lineup, joining White Rascal, India Pale Ale, Joe’s Pils, Ellie’s Brown Ale, Out Of Bounds Stout, Liliko’i Kepolo and Raja Double IPA.

stingraycan2San Diego, California’s Coronado Brewing Company is introducing its Stingray IPA in canned format. The release marks the fourth Coronado year-round offering to launch in cans, following Islander IPA, Orange Avenue Wit and Easy Up Pale Ale. Stingray (7.9% abv) is an Imperial IPA made with Citra, Mosaic, Southern Cross and Simcoe hops. It’s hitting the market in six-packs of 12-ounce cans—as well as its previously launched 12-ounce bottles and draft—across Coronado’s 18-state distribution footprint.

Pale_joe_bottle-421x1000Michigan’s Founders Brewing Co. is set to launch Pale Joe, a new pale ale. Rolling out this September, Pale Joe is brewed with Ethiopian coffee roasted by Grand Rapids-based Ferris Coffee and Nut. The 5.4%-abv entry will be offered on draft and in six-pack bottles throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, New York City and Boston, with limited draft availability extended to additional markets. Pale Joe marks the fourth brew in Founders’ ArtPrize series, created to benefit the ArtPrize international art competition in Grand Rapids.

i-samuelsmith-stingoSpecialty beer importer Merchant du Vin is preparing to release Samuel Smith’s Yorkshire Stingo 2016, a barrel-aged, bottle-conditioned strong ale. Debuting in limited quantities on August 1, Yorkshire Stingo is at 8% abv and was aged in oak barrels that previously held cask-conditioned ale. Stingo is a traditional strong ale style that originated in the north of England.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily


1242647xUntil recently, the only method of making aged spirits was to mature them in barrels for years, but new technology is dramatically shortening the process. Start-up player Lost Spirits Distillery has developed a reactor that can replicate up to 20 years of maturation in just six to eight days. This week, the company is unveiling four new spirits brands—two rums and two whiskies—that were made with this new technology. The 46-percent abv Santeria rum ($35 a 750-ml. bottle) is made with molasses-based distillate using classic Jamaican-style “dunder” techniques and virgin American oak in the reactor. The 70.5-percent abv Cuban Inspired rum ($42) is distilled from molasses and uses virgin American oak, aiming to emulate the heavy pot-still rums of pre-Revolution Cuba. The 61.2-percent abv Rattleback rye whiskey ($43) is distilled from rye and barley and uses Sherry-seasoned American oak. The 57-percent abv Abomination ($47) is a heavily peated malt whisky made in Scotland and aged in the reactor with new American oak that’s been seasoned with late-harvest Riesling.

craigellachie17yearoldlrgBacardi Ltd.’s John Dewar & Sons unit will release two new single malt expressions, Aberfeldy 16-year-old and Craigellachie 17-year-old, this fall. Retail pricing hasn’t been determined, the company said. Previous releases for those brands include Craigellachie 13-year-old ($55) and 23-year-old ($280), and Aberfeldy 12-year-old ($45) and 21-year-old ($195). According to Impact Databank, Aberfeldy sold about 7,000 cases in the U.S. last year, while Craigellachie was at 2,000 cases.

CHEERSvcsPRAsset_3116385_62791_2b333365-e458-4762-a888-e0a865579411_0-copyPrestige Beverage Group’s Kinky brand has extended its RTD cocktail range with the launch of Extra Kinky Red. The new 8%-abv addition features a blend of watermelon and strawberry flavors and is available in 16- and 23.5-ounce cans. Slated to roll out by Labor Day, Extra Kinky Red joins Kinky’s existing cocktail range, which includes the core Pink, Blue, Red and Gold expressions, as well as the higher-alcohol Extra Kinky Pink, Blue and Gold labels.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

tequila-bottlesTequila has gotten itself a bad reputation over the years, being associated with hangovers, wild shot parties, and a myriad of fruity blenderized “margaritas”.  But, tequila is actually a fine spirit with a long heritage of high quality distillation.  Some might even say that it is the epitome of the craft as it takes 12 years for the Blue Weber agave plant to mature, and many small distilleries do much of the work by hand.  The best (and in my opinion) only tequilas worth drinking are made from 100% Blue Weber agave.  If you don’t see this on the bottle’s label, give it a pass.  Otherwise, you just may end up with a hangover.

Good Spirits News has reviewed many tequilas over the years.  Here are some for you to consider today, along with a few tequila related liqueurs.

1800 Milenio

1921 Tequila Cream

ArteNOM Seleccion


Casa Noble



Don Julio

Dulce Vida


Mariposa Agave Nectar

Milagro Unico

Olmeca Altos

Piedra Azul




Tequila Ocho

Tres Agaves

Daiquiri by Dave Stolte

Daiquiri by Dave Stolte

Ah, the Daiquiri!  One of the simplest, yet most delicious cocktails for summer imbibing.  Daiquiri is a Taino word for a beach and oddly enough, an iron mine near Santiago, Cuba.  (I think of beaches, not mines when I’m drinking one).  The drink itself on the other hand was created roughly around the turn of the century (20th, not 21st) at a bar named Venus in Santiago.  As with most cocktails, no one knows for sure who came up with the drink, but it most likely was an American named Jennings Cox.  It quickly made the move from Cuba to the U.S. and became a standard drink within a decade, first in Washington DC and then New York.

Surprisingly, it was not a shaken cocktail at first, but rather a long drink prepared similarly to a julep.  A tall glass was filled with cracked ice, sugar was added along with a hefty dose of lime juice.  White rum topped it off, and then it was all stirred until the glass became frosted.

Other drinks which are similar to the Daiquiri are the Navy Grog, the Bacardi Cocktail, The Floridita, and the Papa Doble, named after Ernest Hemingway who created his own frozen drink several decades ahead of the blender daiquiri craze of the 1970’s.

Here’s are a few versions for you to try today:

2 ounces light rum
3/4 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Garnish: Slice of lime.
Gently shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Bacardi Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces light rum (must use Bacardi)
3/4 ounce lime juice
2 dashes grenadine
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

1 1/2 ounces light rum
1/2 ounce lime juice
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1/8 ounce white crème de cacao
1/8 ounce grenadine
Garnish: Lime twist
Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Papa Doble
3 ounces Bacardi or Havana Club light rum
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 1/2 grapefruit
6 drops of maraschino liqueur (Luxardo is my favorite)

Fill a blender one-quarter full of ice, preferably shaved or cracked. Add the rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice and maraschino. Blend on high until the mixture turns cloudy and light-colored. ( See Hemingway’s book, Islands in the Stream, page 281.) Serve immediately in large, conical goblets.

JWray-Key-Visual-2-PackCampari America has rebranded its Appleton Special Jamaica and Appleton White rums, relaunching them under the group’s J. Wray Jamaica Rums brand as J. Wray Jamaica Rum Gold and Silver, respectively. While both 40%-abv rums will retain their original recipes and pricing ($17 a 750-ml.), Gold and Silver have been repackaged, with the new iterations currently rolling out across select U.S. markets

fourpillars-raredry-gin580-580x696Australian craft gin brand Four Pillars has launched in the U.S., making its debut in New York and California. Four Pillars’ flagship entries—including Rare Dry (41.8% abv) and Navy Strength (58.8% abv) gins—are currently available in limited quantities on- and off-premise in both markets, retailing at $38-$48 a 750-ml. Established in 2013 in the Yarra Valley, Four Pillars specializes in handcrafted gins made with botanicals indigenous to Australia, including Lemon Myrtle and Tasmanian Pepperberry leaf, among others. The brand is imported in the U.S. by The Craft Spirits Cooperative.

Hennessy-Scott-Campbell-special-editionHennessy is introducing the newest edition in its VS artist bottle series, featuring a partnership with Brooklyn tattoo artist Scott Campbell. The release is the sixth in the ongoing limited series between the brand and international artists such as Ryan McGinness, Shepard Fairey, Os Gemêos, Futura and KAWS. The Campbell-designed graphic label features a silver and black motif with imagery like a pair of wings and Hennessy VS’s three stars. The latest Hennessy VS artist bottle retails at $35 a 750-ml., with a limited number of deluxe sets in commemorative wooden boxes retailing at $150.

pussers-british-navy-rum-black-label-gunpowder-proof-1116222-s168Shaw-Ross International is debuting Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof, an aged overproof rum. The 54.5%-abv expression is rolling out July 31 in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and California, as well as mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets, with others to follow. Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof, a blend of rums from Guyana and Trinidad, is said to be the last rum issued by Britain’s Royal Navy to its enlistees in 1970. The new entry will retail at $33-$35 a bottle.

thunderstruck-tequila-brandpicLos Angeles-based Worldwide Beverage Imports has partnered with rock band AC/DC to launch the new Thunderstruck Tequila brand. Made with 100% Blue Weber agave, Thunderstruck includes Silver ($30), Reposado ($35) and Añejo ($40) Tequilas and will be available beginning this month in Las Vegas through Good Spirits Distributing, New Mexico through Southwest Wine and Spirits, and Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota through Southern Glazer’s. More key markets are expected to come online in the coming months.

Untitled-e1468522234148A. Hardy USA is launching single malt Scotch brand Inchmurrin in the U.S. Produced by Loch Lomond Distilleries, Inchmurrin will debut with its “Island Collection” of whiskies, comprised of Inchmurrin 12-year-old ($85), 18-year-old ($160) and Madeira Wood Finish ($95). The 46%-abv trio is currently rolling out nationwide. In addition to Inchmurrin, A. Hardy handles Loch Lomond Distilleries’ namesake Scotch brand, as well as its Littlemill, Glen Scotia and High Commissioner labels.

westland-garryana-e1468521218811Westland Distillery, marketed by Anchor Distilling, has unveiled the inaugural whiskey in its new limited-edition Native Oak Series. Rolling out nationwide this month, Westland’s Garryana American single malt whiskey is matured in Quercus garryana wood, a rare species of white oak found in the Pacific Northwest. The 56.2%-abv entry is limited to 2,500 bottles, retailing at $125 each. Westland, which specializes in American single malts, expects to release more whiskies to its Native Oak series next year.

IMG_5532_largeDeutsch Family Wine & Spirits is set to roll out a trio of new barrel-proof whiskies under its Redemption brand. Redemption’s new limited Aged Barrel Proof Collection includes an eight-year-old Straight Rye Whiskey at 122.2 proof, a nine-year-old High Rye Bourbon at 109.2 proof, and a nine-year-old Bourbon at 110.6 proof. All three Indiana-distilled whiskies will hit top U.S. markets, retailing at $100 a bottle.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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