GSN Review: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo

Reserva de la Familia, Jose Cuervo’s collection of artisanal small-batch tequilas recently announced its 2023 collector’s box, designed by artists Rolando Flores and Gabriel Cázares of the Mexico-based Tercerunquinto Collective. The piece of custom art, titled “Structuring a Landscape”, features a geometric abstraction of the landscape of Tequila, Mexico and will adorn the 2023 limited-release collector’s box of Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo.

Since 1995, Jose Cuervo has worked with internationally recognized artists with roots in Mexico to design the box artwork for Reserva de la Familia Extra Añejo. Each box is an authentic collector’s item, with a limited quantity produced annually before a new artist is chosen. Previous artists include Gonzalo Lebrija, Pedro Friedeberg, Carlos Aguirre, Ricardo Pinto and many others. Each artist is selected by a team of art curators including 11th generation Cuervo family member and CEO of Jose Cuervo, Juan Domingo Beckmann, Executive Director of El Museo del Barrio in New York City, Patrick Charpenel and founder of Zona Maco, Mexico’s number one art fair, Zélika García.

The Tercerunquinto Collective were selected as this year’s artist collaborators due to their meticulous art process that involves heavy field research. To create this year’s box, the Collective first visited Tequila, Mexico – the birthplace of the iconic spirit and home to Jose Cuervo – to understand the most recognizable parts of the agave landscape. The artists then abstracted the landscape using geometric patterns, creating a loose interpretation of the colors and shapes that make up the agave fields. The design invokes the brightness of volcanic obsidian and roughness of rock from Tequila’s volcano and the gentle texture the agave plant skin in three distinct layers.

The artisanal qualities are also present in the tequila’s unique bottle and packaging, all done by hand. The tequila is bottled in hand-blown glass, with each label individually adhered to the bottle before being dipped in wax and embellished with the Cuervo family crest. Every bottle is then hand-signed, numbered and dated – further demonstrating that every bottle produced as part of this limited release is one of a kind.

The 2023 artist-designed box is now available for purchase at specialty retailers throughout the United States or online at Reserve Bar at an SRP of $185. 

GSN’s Remarks: A rich caramel and toffee forward nose. Dark, somewhat smokey flavor entry, with a sweet dessert-like flavor reminiscent of caramel flan. A medium body with a gentle warmth and a peppery effect on the back of the palate. A long finish ending on a lingering spice note. It tastes of history and continuity. The artist’s box is special as well, crafted of wood and painted by a reknowned artist. Along with the bottle inside, there is also a booklet signed by the artist detailing the inspiration and process behind the artwork. The whole package makes for a beautiful statement on your bar. Highly recommended. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Cuervo

#JoseCuervo #JoseCuervoReservadelaFamiliaExtraAñejo

GSN Review: Patrón El Alto

Patrón Tequila is taking its first step into the prestige category with the release of its latest expression, Patrón El Alto. Primarily crafted with Extra Añejo and blended with Añejo and Reposado tequilas each aged to their maximum potential, Patrón El Alto demonstrates over four years of craftsmanship, ingenuity and artistry. Legendary Master Distiller David Rodriguez and his talented team of distilling artisans didn’t limit themselves in how to cultivate the best flavors but rather, as a result of over 300 tastings, masterfully combined an exceptional selection of the best Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo tequilas.

Patrón is one of the few brands that still makes tequila the hard way – by hand, a painstaking process that’s been used since the brand’s inception. Innovative and impressively rare to the industry, the majority of Patrón El Alto Tequila is created using the traditional Tahona production process. A method that requires meticulous precision and time, a two-ton volcanic stone is used to crush the baked agave which creates a tequila with natural sweetness and flavors of the earth. Patrón is the leading producer of Tahona-based tequila in the world, demonstrating its commitment to a time-honored process, further exemplified by Patrón El Alto.

Using 100% naturally perfect ingredients — agave, water and yeast — and crafted in small batches to ensure consistency and quality, Patrón El Alto is aged in 11 types of barrels, mostly hybrid barrels of American oak body and French oak heads.

Patrón El Alto is packaged in an elegant and distinctive bottle, matching the azure hues of the agave fields in the Jalisco Highlands and is only available in four major U.S. markets: New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, at SRP $179.

GSN’s Remarks: Richly appointed, with a well aged oak forward and vegetal nose. Some light vanilla and fresh cut wood is also apparent. Exceptional entry on the palate with nectar-like agave sweetness, warm vanilla bean flavors, and an almost creamy mouthfeel. The body is quite round with a smoothness unlike any other tequila we’ve reviewed. This all comes from the craftsmanship behind the brilliant blending and use of an unusually large variety of barrels. Of all of the Patron expressions, this release excedes them all. One of the loveliest tequilas we’ve ever enjoyed. GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Patron Tequila

#Patron #PatronElAlto

GSN Alert: Grain to Glass: The American Whiskey Experience

Grain to Glass: The American Whiskey Experience, is a hands-on exploration of Brown-Forman’s American whiskey portfolio. Through our historic distilleries and story-rich locations, you have the opportunity to experience the history and craftsmanship of American whiskey like few before.

  • The Brown-Forman Cooperage -Tour the historic facility that showcases the art of barrel-raising.
  • The Old Forester Distillery – Visit the downtown Lousiville distillery known for creating the First Bottled Bourbon.
  • The Woodford Reserve Distillery – Take a peek inside one of Kentucky’s most historic distilling sites.
  • The Jack Daniel Distillery – See America’s oldest registered distillery and the historic Cave Spring where every drop of Jack begins.

Along the way you will get a taste of Kentucky and Tennessee culture as the Lush Life team hosts you at one-of-a-kind drinking and dining experiences.

Round trip airfare is provided and will be booked by Lush Life productions. Lodging is provided for the dates of the sessions. Any desired lodging before or after the program dates will need to be covered by the individual.  All meals are provided for the duration of the session dates. Transportation starting with airport pickups through the entire program and ending with airport drop offs will be provided. There will be 27 participants per session.


GSN Alert: Bartender’s Weekend in San Diego

Bartender’s Weekend was created in an effort to promote the “SPIRIT OF HOSPITALITY” that defines our industry.

By building a platform that focuses on community, it is our ultimate goal to bring all aspects of the drinks industry together and place them on an equal footing, while encouraging participants to interact in a positive and professional manner.

Join us in Celebrating the Bar Industry and Supporting its Professionals. And help us to spread the word by following us on social media!

**Please note that Bartender’s Weekend is open only to members of the service and hospitality industry, and/or a directly affiliated business entity, such as a brand, distributor, consultant or agency that works within the drinks industry.**



GSN Review: Old Elk Cask Finish Series

Old Elk Distillery recently announced a new release within its Cask Finish Series, launching its first Rye Whiskey finished in Barbados Rum Casks. Initiated in 2021, the Cask Finish Series will also bring back their Port and Cognac Cask Finish Straight Bourbon Whiskeys. The Cask Finish Series is based on Old Elk’s core products, including their High-Malt Bourbon and Rye Whiskey, offering creative and innovative flavor profiles for whiskey enthusiasts.

The base spirit of each product is aged five to six years, then rested in secondary finishes for six months, and bottled at barrel proof.

“We selected freshly harvested barrels from some of the most exclusive Caribbean producers and are looking forward to adding a new and exciting character to our Old Elk family of whiskies,” says Old Elk’s Master Distiller Greg Metze.

Old Elk Straight Rye Whiskey Rum Cask Finish (101 Proof) is finished in 14-year-old Barbados rum barrels with a mash bill contains 95% rye and 5% malted barley. GSN’s Remarks: Loads of rum notes on the nose. The entry is soft, sweet and very round. In spite of the high ABV, this goes down like an 80 proof. The whiskey itself has a smooth flavor with accented notes of vanilla, oak and caramel. The short rest in ex-rum casks really does a remarkable transformation on the high rye content. If you like experimental whiskies that tend toward the sweeter side of the spectrum, this will hit the spot. Very nice. GSN Rating: A

Old Elk Straight Bourbon Whiskey Port Cask Finish (108.1 Proof) is aged in casks from Portugal with a high-malt mash bill of 51% Corn, 34% Barley, and 15% Rye. GSN’s Remarks: With a medium-light body, the usual suspects are here: sweet corn, fairly spicy rye and a solid barley mid-range. The port itself is quite subtle, adding just a touch of sweetness to a fairly spicy bourbon. A slight grape note comes out towards the tail end of the finish, but overall, the lasting impression is of a well aged whiskey. GSN Rating: B+

Old Elk Straight Bourbon Whiskey Cognac Cask Finish (109.7 Proof) is matured in world-class cognac casks with a high-malt mash bill of 51% Corn, 34% Barley, and 15% Rye. GSN’s Remarks: The ex-cognac cask imparts a lovely high note of fine vine fruit, whilst the whiskey distillate remains an evocative canvas full of character on its own. A medium-light body with rye spice coming through towards the fnish, gives this a punchiness and strength. At the very end is a curious smokiness which is perhaps due to a heavier char on the American oak barrels. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Old Elk

#OldElk #OldElkCaskFinishSeries

GSN Alert: Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Brings Famed Singapore Bar ATLAS to the U.S. // Feb 6th!

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is pleased to announce a special event hosted in New York City to celebrate the 2023 Spirited Awards nomination period opening: Spirited Awards Presents ATLAS.

This event will bring ATLAS’ renowned bar program to life, as well as be the first in a series of pop-ups in partnership with Singapore Tourism Board in 2023. 

The celebration centers ATLAS as a Spirited Award-winning bar and will be helmed by Lidiyanah ‘Yana’ K, Head Bartender at ATLAS and distinguished gin expert. Overseeing a collection of 1,300 gins, one of the largest gin collections in the world, Yana has made it her mission to catalog the flavor profile and recommended recipes for every gin she comes across. 

The TOTCF and STB teams will be recreating ATLAS’ bespoke gin tower by transforming a smaller lounge into a VIP gin experience, complete with guided tastings by Yana and special releases from event sponsors, including Ford’s Sloe gin. Yana will be using her exceptional skills to mix the ATLAS Martini for guests, among other elegant offerings from their award-winning menu that embody the spirit and grandeur of the 1920s. As though guests have stepped right into ATLAS, the team’s top bartenders will be preparing cocktails tableside for the duration of the evening. 

Partnering with Urban Hawker, Singaporean food stalls will be mimicked ‘outside’ of the ATLAS bar space, adding to the ambience and bringing a taste of Singapore to New York City with traditional snacks and specialties. Armed with event programs designed as passports provided upon arrival, guests are able to peruse the full drink menu and scan the QR code found inside to place their nominations for the 2023 Spirited Awards. 

Please find the topline event details copied below, and let me know of any questions. 

What: Spirited Awards Presents ATLAS

When: Monday, February 6 

Media Preview –  6:00pm – 6:30pm  | RSVP

General Seating – 6:30pm-10pm | RSVP

Where: Forbes on Fifth (24 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011)

Entrance is limited for this event. All guests must register and select an arrival window in Eventbrite to attend. Please arrive within your selected time as entrance cannot be guaranteed outside of your ticketed arrival window.

Please see HERE for more information on the partnership between TOTCF and STB.

GSN Review: Eterno Verano Tequila

Inspired by Bruce Brown’s classic 1966 surf film “The Endless Summer,” Eterno Verano is for anyone who’s ever wanted to strap a surfboard to a van and head south. Eterno Verano represents an escape – whether you’re sitting at a desk or have been surfing the same break on repeat – transporting you to the places you dream of. In the film, you embark on a journey with Robert August and Mike Hynson to undiscovered locales like Cape St. Francis, a small village in South Africa, Senegal, Australia, and Hawaii. The search for something unattainable like a perfect wave becomes the journey. This tequila was made for those types of adventurers, in search of perfect waves or smooth tequila.

Eterno Verano pays homage to The Endless Summer film by utilizing a close interpretation of the now iconic movie poster with surfer silhouettes, bright colors, and bold font. “We worked closely with Bruce Brown Films to ensure the casual and fun-loving surf lifestyle from the film showed up in the brand. In fact, the brand name ‘Eterno Verano’ comes from the movie poster used during the original film launch in Mexico – another connection between the brand and tequila,” said Matti Anttila, founder of Grain and Barrel Spirits, which owns the brand.

Eterno Verano is handmade in Tequila, Mexico, by Master Tequilero Arturo Fuentes – also known as The Godfather of Tequila – from 100% Blue Weber Agave grown in both the highlands and lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico. The tequila offers three varieties, Blanco, Reposado and Añejo, all of which are bottled in environmentally-friendly recycled glass and contribute to 1% For The Planet.

Blanco – GSN’s Remarks: First of all, we have to applaud the film tie-in. For any tiki-philes or mid-century modern lovers, the bottles alone are worth the price of admission. But, on to the review… A light agave/vanilla bean nose with a fresh and clean aroma. The flavor is mild, but with more of the vanilla presenting and a decent amount of wood on the palate. Easy going, and refreshing, with a nice mouthfeel. A perfect tequila for Margaritas, Palomas or an authentic Ranch Water. GSN Rating: A-

Reposado – GSN’s Remarks: Fresh and clear caramel/agave nose. The body seems slightly heavier with a lot of warm, buttery caramel tones. The agave is more subdued here, but still lets you know that this is a tequila. We’re left with impressions of creme brulee, caramel flan and fresh baked cake batter. If you’re looking for a sweeter tequila, this will please. Try this in a Reposado Manhattan, Oaxaca Manhattan or switch out the Blended Scotch in a Penicillin cocktail for an interesting twist. GSN Rating: A-

Añejo – GSN’s Remarks: Light agave and wood nose. The few extra years in the cask really smooths this expression out. Remarkably well balanced, the agave intertwines with the oak creating a cohesive whole with plenty of body. Some light spiciness, toffee and char, but the vegetal characteristics really shine here, somehow lifted up by the few extra years in the barrel. We really enjoyed this tequila and highly recommend it as a quality sipper. Very well done. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Eterno Verano


GSN Review: High Goal Gin

High Goal was brought to life through the iconic face and voice of American Polo Player and High Goal Co-Founder Nic Roldan, who discovered firsthand a love for gin whilst playing tournaments in the United Kingdom, including the prestigious Queen’s Cup. Developing an admiration for the classic spirit, he began to seek out partners with the same entrepreneurial drive to create something stateside; something that would resonate with both longtime gin drinkers and those who were new to the spirit. It was at a casual polo match amongst friends in Wellington, Florida, where Co-Founder Diego Urrutia introduced Roldan to Matti Christian Anttila, Co-Founder and CEO of Grain and Barrel Spirits. 

Produced in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, the gin starts as regionally sourced corn distilled six times, along with Meyer lemons from Florida for their juice and rinds and fresh Kentucky mint to make a liquid tincture. Post distillation, both products are steeped along with juniper berries, cardamom, and coriander. After roughly 10 days, the mixture is filtered and brought down to bottling proof, then poured in signature, recycled light blue glass from Milan, Italy and capped.

GSN’s Remarks: The nose is lemon zest forward, and the flavor continues in this direction. The juniper hits the palate after several seconds with a dry and slightly spicy edge. The mint comes into play towards the finish and adds a cooling sensation on the tongue that is slight, but noticable. Overall, the blend is in the new American style, but for those who enjoy a twist of lemon in their Martinis, this will appeal to London Dry lovers. We like the clean, fresh and simple presentation of botanicals, as well as the elegant bottle design. A well crafted and designed gin expression. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: High Goal Gin


GSN Review: Chicken Cock Whiskey

Established in 1856 in Paris, Kentucky (10 years before Jack Daniels), Chicken Cock rose to fame as the house whiskey at the Cotton Clubone of Prohibition’s most legendary speakeasies. Known as “The Famous Old Brand” and “The Whiskey in a Tin Can,” Chicken Cock was smuggled into the Club in sealed tin cans, then ceremoniously opened table-side. After Prohibition, the brand enjoyed a resurgence before a distillery fire just after World War II put it out of business.

In 2012, Matti Anttila, founder of Grain & Barrel Spirits, rediscovered the Chicken Cock Whiskey brand and set out to resurrect it. Master Distiller Gregg Snyder was brought on board to provide the knowledge and experience needed. Snyder’s impressive résumé includes distilling, cooperage, and executive positions with Brown-Forman, Austin Nichols, and others, as well as board positions with the Associated Cooperage Industries of America, Kentucky Distillers’ Association, and others. Chicken Cock Whiskey is proud to be associated with the Bardstown Bourbon Company’s collaborative distiller’s program.

Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Bourbon – GSN’s Remarks: A rock solid bourbon with every piston firing. Lovely sweet corn forward nose, with light oak. The flavor is well balanced with the 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley mashbill. Just enough rye spice to keep things interesting. The aging is young, yet has imparted enough wood to infuse the spirit with a vivacious oakiness. We really enjoy this and would defintiely recommend as one of your “go-to” bottles for cocktails and shots. Speaking of the bottle, we appreciate the honeycomb effect of the glass. GSN Rating: A-

Chicken Cock Kentucky Straight Rye – GSN’s Remarks: We love a great rye, and this is no exception. Boasting 95% rye and 5% malted barley, the spiciness makes you straighten up and take notice from the get go. A darker feeling than the bourbon, the rye has more body, and a plethora of interesting high notes like clove, anise, nutmeg and cinnamon. But, these are all fleeting notions. The main character here is the rye. A young spirit (aged a minimum of 2 years), but you’d be forgiven if you thought this was a 4-year-old. Really a tremendous rye that will be the star of your next Sazerac, Algonquin or Vieux Carre. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Chicken Cock Whiskey


GSN Review: Rampur Select Whisky

Rampur Select, the flagship expression of the Rampur Single Malt line, was first released in 2016. Immediately winning many loyal fans as well as a bevy of international awards, the initial distillate offering sold out almost immediately. Beginning this month, the hotly anticipated restock of Rampur Indian Single Malt Select will take place in key cities across the U.S. The current run of this new, limited 2022 edition is fully committed solely to the U.S. market. 

“This incarnation of Rampur Select embodies everything we loved about the original release, while succeeding in pushing the whisky beyond even our expectations,” “We at Radico Khaitan refer to this U.S.-only edition of Rampur Select as the Kohinoor of Single Malts.” 

Rampur Select does not bear an age statement, but the location of maturation, in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, sees extreme shifts in temperature throughout the year, allowing the whisky a much deeper level of interaction with the wood than what one might see in more temperate climes. This provides an incredibly unique resting environment, essentially accelerating both the aging process and the rate of atmospheric loss, to almost three times what would be experienced in some more traditional whisky-producing regions of the world. 

Rampur Indian Single Malt Select is made from 100% Indian barley and finished exclusively in first fill bourbon barrels. It comes in 750ml bottles, carries an ABV of 43% (86 proof), and has an SRP of $140. This U.S.-only release is limited in quantity and is expected to sell quickly. 

GSN’s Remarks: Is it possible to describe a single malt as creamy? This is certainly the case with Rampur Select. An amazingly smooth and round mouthfeel greets the palate with a light woody tonality and a touch of sweetness gifted by the ex-bourbon barrels. Elegant, exceptional and reminiscent of the finest Japanese whiskies, the body is medium-full with a breadth of baking spices coming out on the finish. Truly a world class spirit, and finally for US whisky lovers, your chance to sample this exquisite release. GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Rampur Single Malt

#RampurSingleMalt #RampurSelect

GSN Review: Dooley’s Belated Porter

Switchback Brewing Co., home to Switchback Ale has released their cult favorite, Dooley’s Belated Porter, in 16oz cans for the first time. The move marks the first of many Switchback Specials that will transition their way from 12oz bottles to cans throughout 2023.   

Dooley’s Belated Porter (named after the brewery’s first employee) was first brewed in 2009 and quickly became an annual favorite for die-hard Switchback fans. It features a blend of roasted and caramelized malts giving it a luscious malt signature that has an earthiness derived from the non-traditional use of flaked barley. The use of Simcoe hops for both bittering and aroma highlights this hop varietal and balances the malt to create a robust, yet smooth finishing American porter. The newly designed label embodies the dark, snowy nights of Vermont’s coldest season – the perfect time to enjoy a Dooley’s. 

Find 16oz cans of Dooley’s Belated Porter in limited quantities at the brewery and at select stores throughout Switchback’s distribution footprint. 

GSN’s Remarks: Smokey, hoppy and delicious. In some ways this reminds me of a hopped Russian stout. The nose is enticing and the pour gives a nice tuft of foam. In the glass it is dark, mysterious and substantial. We like this one with a hearty beef stew, shepherd’s pie; or with red meats, wild boar and game birds. Seek this one out while you can. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Switchback VT


GSN Review: Edinburgh Gin

Born in 2010, Edinburgh Gin is distilled in the heart of Scotland’s capital city. They take inspiration from the captivating city of contrasts and harmony that blends historic tradition with contemporary creativity, city pride with world citizenship, nature and the urban environment.

They began with their Classic, a London Dry, which became the foundation for a series of expressions that led the flavored gin revolution, pushing boundaries and breaking down conventions. They have over a dozen flavored gins in their portfolio as well as a range of liqueurs and RTD’s, as well as limited experimental releases.

Every bottle of Edinburgh Gin is produced at our West End, and Leith Distilleries.

Note: GSN was sent samples of Classic and Rhubarb & Ginger for review.

Edinburgh Classic – GSN’s Remarks: A tad sweeter than a typical London Dry, but brisk enough with plenty of juniper. A medium body with a lot of high notes, and a peppery finish. Perfect for cocktails. GSN Rating: B+

Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger – GSN’s Remarks: More akin to a flavored vodka due to less juniper, and a lot more sweetness. The rhubarb gives it a lovely pink color, and just a hint of fruit towards the back of the palate. The ginger comes through nicely with a solid warming heat that lasts for a few minutes. This is near a cocktail in a bottle. You could easily stir this with ice, strain into a glass and be off to the races. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Edinburgh Gin


GSN Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof A123

For the 11th year in a row, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof has a new release in the series. The first 2023 expression is aged for 12 years and bottled at 125.6 proof. The expression is made from the distillery’s standard bourbon mashbill of 78% corn, 12% malted barley and 10% rye. 

The “A” in the name of each whiskey stands for the first release in the series of 2023, while the “123” stands for January (the first month) 2023. The second and third batches of each of these barrel-proof bourbons will be available in May and September.

GSN’s Remarks: And here is the 2023 debut release from the ECBP series. Nicely sweet with the high corn percentage in the grain bill, there is just enough of a touch of rye so as to give it a mischievous character. Everything is in perfect balance: sweetness, spice, wood, char and body. All of the expected flavors celebrate together. Toffee, caramel, vanilla, tobacco, leather, toasted whole grain bread, some pepper and a hint of clove. The folks at Heaven Hill keep hitting it out of the park with these affordable and very agreeable whiskies. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Elijah Craig


GSN Review: Larceny Barrel Proof A123

Heaven Hill’s Larceny Larceny continues its Barrel Proof program with release A123. The “A” in the name is the first in a three-part A, B, C release series. The “1” represents the month released, January, while the “23” at the end stands for the year. This naming conventions is standard across all the brand’s releases in this popular, annual series.

Each release in this program is aged six to eight years, and bottled straight from the barrel. The proof varies by release, but the mash bill remains the same: 68% corn, 20% wheat and 12% malted barley. Larceny Barrel Proof A123 is 125.8 proof.

The B and C bottles in the 2023 Larceny Barrel Proof series are expected this coming May and September.

GSN’s Remarks: The proof makes it appear that there is rye in the grain bill, but it’s just a trick of the tongue. Of the most recent releases from Heaven Hill’s Larceny line, this year’s inaugural bottling has more wood and less caramel.  Full of esters and just a touch of oiliness, this is very much a powerhouse of a bourbon. Although you could sip it neat, we recommend adding a splash of water to really smooth out the edges. Cohesive, self assured and another succesful release in the series. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Heaven Hill Distillery