GSN Review: FUJI Japanese Whisky

The award-winning Japanese whisky brand, FUJI Whisky, announces the release of its FUJI Japanese Whisky, a single site blended, 100% Japanese whisky inspired by the terroir of the Mt. Fuji area. This unique expression, aged for an average of eight years in 100% American White Oak, is the embodiment of what sets Mt. Fuji Distillery apart, as the world’s only distillery to craft, nurture, age, and bottle three styles of grain whiskies – heavy American Bourbon style, medium Canadian style, light Scottish style, and malt whisky under one roof – a single estate approach.

In 1973, Mt. Fuji Distillery began combining Japanese craftsmanship with the distillation technology for American, Canadian, and Scotch whisky production, making it one of the only distilleries capable of producing both malt and grain whiskies on a single site, just 7.5 miles from the peak of Mt. Fuji.  The only whisky in Japan to use the mountain’s snowmelt in its production, that 50-year journey from Mt. Fuji’s peak to the depths of the aquifer 330-feet underneath the distillery is the foundation for FUJI’s distinctive whisky expressions.

The FUJI Japanese Whisky is bottled at 86 proof and is available at an SRP of $70 / 700ml bottle.

GSN’s Remarks: Light and sensuous malt nose, with a delicate hint of buttered toast. On the palate, things are round, smooth and almost creamy. Lots of sweet malt and mild wood, with no smoke. Akin more to a Canadian whisky than American or Scottish, this is something entirely unlike other FUJI whiskies we’ve reviewed. Very drinkable, but at the same time, no one flavor aspect stands out. A fine spirit that is perfect for a Japanese Highball. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: FUJI Whisky


GSN Review: New Riff Distilling Yellow Leaming & Blue Clarage Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys

New Riff Distilling has announced the dual release of two new heirloom grain bourbon whiskeys, Yellow Leaming and Blue Clarage Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys. The Ohio Valley heirloom varietal whiskeys will be available later this spring in limited quantities at the distillery’s Aquifer Tasting Bar, through Kentucky retailers and New Riff’s Whiskey Club. 

Both bottled in bond without chill filtration at 100 proof, the Yellow Leaming and Blue Clarage Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys were distilled from rare, regional heirloom corn crops, introducing unprecedented flavors and connecting the distillery to its agricultural origins of whiskey making from centuries passed.  

“The wider whiskey industry is waking up to the possibilities and flavors inherent of old grains, old ingredients from a century ago,” said co-founder Jay Erisman. “Heirloom grains are a direct ticket to different flavors, yet of great authenticity and reality. We are proud to do our part to preserve the past while continuing to highlight our brand’s commitment to industry-leading innovation.” 

Originally a derivative of a Native American corn dating back to 1824, the Yellow Leaming heirloom varietal used in this latest exploration was entirely sourced and grown for New Riff by a local farming partner, Charles Fogg, of Greensburg, Indiana.  

“Yellow Leaming, one of the greatest corns in American agricultural history would eventually go on to form the basis for the standard of modern American yellow dent corn, and it came from right here in Hamilton County, Greater Cincinnati, Ohio,” Erisman said. 

The Ohio Valley Blue Clarage varietal, developed in the 1920s by farmer Edmund Clarridge in Clinton County, Ohio, birthed the second heirloom grain release from a more circuitous route to the distillery, lending a marked difference to the whiskey compared to New Riff’s standard recipe, replete with fruited, spicy tones.  

“We were given 150 pounds of the blue corn as seed stock from farmer Tony West at Appalachian Heirloom Plant Farm,” Erisman said. “Charles Fogg took this seed stock and grew it into a crop that sustained our singular production of this whiskey for years. Often associated with the Southwest United States region and Mexico, blue corn comes from right here in our homeland in the Ohio Valley, too.” 

The Yellow Leaming Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made with 65% heirloom Yellow Leaming corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley. The Blue Clarage Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made with 65% heirloom Blue Clarage corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley. Both whiskeys are aged five years with a suggested retail price of $55.99. All sales will be limited to two bottles per purchase, a maximum of one product each per purchase, and must be picked up in person at the distillery within 60 days of purchase. 

Yellow Leaming Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – GSN’s Remarks: Perky corn notes punctuated by a hearty dose of oak char. Strong and vibrant nose. Sweet on the tongue with some rye spice kicking it up a notch. A full flavor with a rich texture leaning heavily on the cask to add depth. Fairly long finish, ending with wood. Very tasty and well done. GSN Rating: A-

Blue Clarage Straight Bourbon Whiskey – GSN’s Remarks: Sweet high notes of corn, with a lighter engagement of barrel influence. Fresh, clean and everything you’d want in a bourbon. The flavor is quite different from the Yellow Leaming, instead having honeyed sweetness, and surprisingly, orange blossom on the tongue. The finish is medium long, ending on a mildly spice driven note. Almost delicate, but self-assured, this is a fine sipping whiskey. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: New Riff Distilling


GSN Alert: Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Announces the Top 10 Nominees for the 2023 Spirited Awards

NEW ORLEANS, LA (June 1, 2023) — Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is honored to announce the Top 10 Nominees for the 17th annual Spirited Awards®. Since its founding in 2007, the Spirited Awards® have become one of the industry’s most sought-after awards, recognizing beverage professionals, products, and establishments across every facet of the spirits and cocktail community on a global scale. In partnership with Forbes, the Spirited Awards® official media partner, TOTCF will honor recipients during the Tales of the Cocktail® (TOTC) conference, which is celebrating its 21st-year in New Orleans, July 23-28, 2023.

The Spirited Awards are comprised of industry accolades, both domestic and international, writing and media awards, and overall awards that transcend regionality, including World’s Best Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu. 

“The Tales Spirited Awards shortlist shows that in spite of ongoing challenges, our industry is in incredible health, with bars and bartenders continuing to create extraordinary guest experiences and elevate their craft in so many ways,” said International Chair Jacob Briars. “I think it is also heartening to see the wide range of nominees from so many different towns and cities across the US and around the world. Great cocktails can now be found anywhere, and that is a wonderful opportunity for cocktail lovers across the globe.”

In that spirit, the Foundation is proud to announce the Top 10 Nominees, broken into U.S., International, Media & Writing, and Global categories.

2023 Spirited Awards® Top 10 Nominees (in alphabetical order):


International Bartender of the Year presented by The Busker

  • Gina Barbachano — Hanky Panky, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Giorgio Bargiani — The Connaught Bar, London, UK
  • Aaron Diaz — Carnaval, Lima, Peru
  • Kate Boushel — Atwater Cocktail Club / Milky Way Cocktail Bar, Montréal, QC, Canada
  • Giacomo Giannotti — Paradiso, Barcelona, Spain
  • Martin Hudak — Maybe Sammy, Sydney, Australia
  • Uno Jang — Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel, Singapore
  • Alessandro Palazzi — DUKES at Dukes Hotel, London, UK
  • Daniel Schofield — SCHOFIELD’S BAR, Manchester, UK
  • Luke Whearty — BYRDI, Melbourne, Australia

Best International Bar Mentor* presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Lorenzo Antinori
  • Simone Caporale
  • Evelyn Chick
  • Shingo Gokan
  • Trevor Kallies
  • Jose Luis Leon
  • Dre Masso
  • Iain McPherson
  • Danil Nevsky
  • Agostino Perrone
  • Christina Veira

*denotes 11 nominees due to a tie

Best International Brand Ambassador* presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Jenna Ba — Diageo
  • Jordan Bushell — Hennessy Cognac
  • Dickie Cullimore — Bacardi Rum
  • Caitlin Hill — Rémy Cointreau
  • Daniyel Jones — House of Angostura®
  • Ally Martin — Hendrick’s Gin
  • Dave Mitton — Lot 40 / J.P. Wiser’s
  • Léa Messier — Dandurand Spirits
  • Tim Philips-Johansson — Johnnie Walker
  • Nicola Riske — The Macallan
  • Claudia Cabrera Rodriguez — Fernet Branca
  • Charmaine Thio — Hendrick’s Gin

*denotes 12 nominees due to a tie

Best International Bar Team presented by Angostura Caribbean Rum

  • ALQUÍMICO — Cartagena, Colombia
  • Atwater Cocktail Club — Montreal, QC, Canada
  • COA — Hong Kong, China
  • Handshake Speakeasy — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Hanky Panky — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel — Singapore
  • La Factoria — San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain
  • Tayēr + Elementary — London, UK
  • The Clumsies — Athens, Greece

Best International Cocktail Bar presented by Patr​​ón Tequila

  • 🔶🟥🔵 — London, UK
  • ALQUÍMICO — Cartagena, Colombia
  • Atwater Cocktail Club — Montreal, QC, Canada
  • BYRDI — Melbourne, Australia
  • COA — Hong Kong, China
  • MAYBE SAMMY — Sydney, Australia
  • Panda & Sons — Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain
  • Satan’s Whiskers — London, UK
  • SIPS — Barcelona, Spain

Best International Hotel Bar presented by Perrier

  • ARGO at the Four Seasons — Hong Kong, China
  • BKK Social Club at Four Seasons Bangkok — Bangkok, Thailand
  • Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel — Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Bulgari Bar at the The Bvlgari Resort — Dubai, UAE
  • Charles H. at the Four Seasons Hotel — Seoul, South Korea
  • Dean & Nancy on 22 at the A by Adina hotel — Sydney, Australia
  • Fifty Mils at the Four Seasons Hotel — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel — Singapore
  • Side Hustle at The NoMad Hotel London — London, UK
  • The Donovan Bar at the Brown’s Hotel — London, UK

Best International Restaurant Bar presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Analogue Initiative — Singapore
  • ARCA Restaurant & Bar — Tulum, Mexico
  • Bar Kismet — Halifax, NS, Canada
  • COCHINCHINA — Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Continental Deli Bar Bistro — Sydney, Australia
  • COYA Dubai — Dubai, UAE
  • Danico — Paris, France
  • Le Mary Celeste — Paris, France
  • No Sleep Club — Singapore
  • Zuma Dubai — Dubai, UAE

Best New International Cocktail Bar presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Bar Planet — Sydney, Australia
  • Caretaker’s Cottage — Melbourne, Australia
  • CATA Agave Bar – Tamarindo, Costa Rica
  • Ergo Cocktail Bar & Restaurant — Dubai, UAE
  • Gucci Giardino 25 — Florence, Italy
  • Last Word — Singapore
  • Line Athens — Athens, Greece
  • Mahaniyom Cocktail Bar — Bangkok, Thailand
  • Night Hawk — Singapore
  • Seed Library at One Hundred Shoreditch hotel — London, UK


U.S. Bartender of the Year presented by Pernod Ricard USA

  • Chris Elford — Navy Strength / Here Today Brewery & Kitchen, Seattle, WA
  • Abigail Gullo — loa at the International House hotel, New Orleans, LA
  • Caer Maiko Ferguson — DrinkWell / Daijoubu, Austin, TX
  • Shauna O’Neil — Sweet Liberty, Miami, FL
  • Jessi Pollak — Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis, MN
  • Kapri Robinson — Allegory at the Eaton Hotel, Washington, DC
  • Christian Suzuki-Orellana — Wildhawk, San Francisco, CA
  • Masahiro Urushido — Katanna Kitten, New York, NY
  • Takuma Watanabe — Martiny’s, New York, NY
  • Christine Wiseman — Marygold’s Brasserie / Broken Shaker, Miami, FL

Best U.S. Bar Mentor* presented BarSmarts

  • Bridget Albert
  • Anu Apte
  • Colin Asare-Appiah
  • Jason Asher
  • Julio Cabrera
  • Alex Day
  • Touré Folkes
  • Kate Gerwin
  • Anne Louise Marquis
  • Nectaly Mendoza
  • Jeffrey Morgenthaler
  • Chris Patino

*denotes 12 nominees due to a tie

Best U.S. Brand Ambassador presented Libbey

  • Kiowa Bryan — Spiribam
  • Chris Cabrera — Bacardi USA
  • Tad Carducci — Gruppo Montenegro
  • Cameron George — Ardbeg Single Malts
  • A-K Hada — Bacardi Rum
  • Vance Henderson — Hendrick’s Gin
  • Benny Hurwitz — Wild Turkey
  • Anna Mains — Monkey Shoulder
  • Jenna Murray — The Glenlivet
  • Mary Palac — Campari Mexican Spirits

Best U.S. Bar Team presented by William Grant & Sons

  • Allegory at the Eaton Hotel — Washington, DC
  • Attaboy Nashville — Nashville, TN
  • Century Grand — Phoenix, AZ
  • Happy Accidents — Albuquerque, NM
  • Nickel City — Austin, TX
  • Overstory — New York, NY
  • Pacific Cocktail Haven — San Francisco, CA
  • Service Bar — Washington, DC
  • The Roosevelt Room — Austin, TX
  • Yacht Club — Denver, CO

Best U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Absolut Vodka

  • Bar Goto — New York, NY
  • Bitter & Twisted — Phoenix, AZ
  • Century Grand — Phoenix, AZ
  • Double Chicken Please — New York, NY
  • Manolito — New Orleans, LA
  • Nickel City — Austin, TX
  • Overstory — New York, NY
  • Service Bar — Washington, DC
  • Thunderbolt — Los Angeles, CA
  • Yacht Club — Denver, CO

Best U.S. Hotel Bar presented by Grey Goose

  • Allegory at the Eaton Hotel — Washington, DC
  • Bar Marilou at the Maison de la Luz — New Orleans, LA
  • Champagne Bar at The Surf Club Miami — Miami, FL
  • Dear Irving on Hudson at the Aliz Hotel — New York, NY
  • Hey Love at The Jupiter — Portland, OR
  • Libertine Social at the Mandalay Bay — Las Vegas, NV
  • Little Rituals at the Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott — Phoenix, AZ
  • Midnight Rambler at The Joule — Dallas, TX
  • Raines Law Room at the William — New York, NY
  • White Limozeen at The Graduate — Nashville, TN

Best U.S. Restaurant Bar presented by Amaro Montenegro and Select Aperitivo

  • Arnaud’s French 75 Bar — New Orleans, LA
  • Bicyclette Bistro — Los Angeles, CA
  • Bresca — Washington, DC
  • Café La Trova — Miami, FL
  • Cleaver – Butchered Meats, Seafood & Classic Cocktails — Las Vegas, NV
  • Crown Shy — New York, NY
  • Jaguar Sun — Miami, FL
  • Kumiko — Chicago, IL
  • Manhatta — New York, NY
  • Palomar — Portland, OR

Best New U.S. Cocktail Bar presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Amazonia — Washington DC
  • Chez Zou — New York, NY
  • Khla — Phoenix, AZ
  • Martiny’s — New York, NY
  • Marygold’s Brasserie at the Arlo Wynwood — Miami, FL
  • Milady’s — New York, NY
  • Pacific Standard at the KEX Portland — Portland, OR
  • Refuge — Houston, TX
  • The Butterscotch Den — Sacramento, CA
  • UnderTow — Gilbert, AZ


Best Cocktail & Spirits Publication presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Boothby
  • CLASS Magazine
  • Difford’s Guide
  • Drinks International
  • Guest Check by SPILL
  • Punch
  • The Cocktail Lovers Magazine
  • The Mix With Robert Simonson
  • The Spirits Business

Best Broadcast, Podcast, or Online Video Series presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Agave Road Trip
  • Black and Brown Podcast
  • Freepour
  • Japan Distilled Podcast
  • Perspectives by Campari Academy
  • Radio Imbibe
  • Shōshin Art Club 
  • The Modern Bar Cart Podcast
  • The Sipping Point 
  • The Speakeasy Podcast

Best Cocktail & Spirits Writing presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • “A Rum Deal” by Dave Broom for Club Oenologique
  • “How Americans ruined tequila — and the true believers saving it” by Lilah Raptopoulos, for Financial Times
  • “How the Four Seasons Became an Incubator for Asia’s Best Bars” by Jake Emen, for VinePair
  • “The Drinks Industry Has an Ageism Problem” by Betsy Andrews, for SevenFifty Daily
  • “The Good, the Bad & the Artificial: How Big Data & Tech Are Infiltrating the Alcohol Industry” by Jake Emen, for VinePair
  • “The Great Mezcal Heist” by Emma Janzen, for Eater
  • “The Secrets to the Best Dry Martini You’ll Ever Have” by David Wondrich, for The Daily Beast
  • “This Is What Decolonizing a Spirit Looks Like” by Adaorah Oduah, for Punch
  • “Untold Story” by Yolanda Evans, for Imbibe
  • “What is a Bar Without a Backbar?” by Danny Chau, for Punch

Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • A Bartender’s Guide to the World by Lauren Mote & James O. Fraioli
  • Black Mixcellence: A Comprehensive Guide to Black Mixology by Tamika Hall with Colin Asare-Appiah
  • Drink Lightly by Natasha David
  • Mindful Mixology: A Comprehensive Guide to No- and Low-Alcohol Cocktails with 60 Recipes by Derek Brown
  • Modern Classic Cocktails by Robert Simonson
  • Mueble Bar by François Monti
  • The Bartender’s Manifesto by Toby Maloney with Emma Janzen
  • THE COCKTAIL CABINET: The art, science and pleasure of mixing the perfect drink by Zoe Burgess
  • The Cocktail Edit: Everything You Need to Know About How to Make All the Drinks that Matter by Alice Lascelles
  • The New York Times Essential Book of Cocktails – Elevated and Expanded, edited by Steven Reddicliffe

Best New Book on Drinks Culture, History, or Spirits presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • A SENSE OF PLACE: A journey around Scotland’s whisky by Dave Broom
  • Brand Mysticism: Cultivate Creativity & Intoxicate Your Audience by Aaron Goldfarb and Steven Grasse
  • Dicktales (or Thankyou and Sluggings) by Dick Bradsell
  • Doctors and Distillers: The Remarkable Medicinal History of Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Cocktails by Camper English
  • Drink Like a Local New York: A Field Guide to New York’s Best Bars by Amanda Schuster
  • Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake by Nancy Matsumoto and Michael Tremblay
  • Gurú. Manual (multisensorial) de Coctelería by Diego Cabrera
  • Modern Caribbean Rum: A Contemporary Reference to the Region’s Essential Spirit by Matt Pietrek and Carrie Smith
  • The Art of Whisky by Ernie Button
  • Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara


Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient presented by Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic

  • Contraluz Cristalino Mezcal
  • Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin California Orange Citrus
  • Hendrick’s Neptunia
  • Martini & Rossi Floreale Non Alcoholic Aperitivo
  • Martini & Rossi Vibrante Non Alcoholic Aperitivo
  • Mijenta Añejo Gran Reserva
  • Nocheluna Sotol
  • PATRÓN El Alto Tequila
  • Saint Benevolence Aged Rum Clairin
  • The Fords Gin Co. Sloe Gin

World’s Best Cocktail Menu presented by Diageo Bar Academy

  • Allegory at the Eaton Hotel — Washington, DC
  • ALQUÍMICO — Cartagena, Colombia
  • Bitter and Twisted — Phoenix, AZ
  • Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel — Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Double Chicken Please — New York, NY
  • Handshake Speakeasy — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Jigger & Pony at the Amara Hotel — Singapore
  • Licorería Limantour — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Panda & Sons — Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Paradiso — Barcelona, Spain

World’s Best Spirits Selection presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

  • Baba Au Rum — Athens, Greece
  • Barro Negro — Athens, Greece
  • In Situ Mezcalería — Oaxaca, Mexico
  • KOL Mezcaleria — London, UK
  • Origin Bar at the Shangri-La Hotel — Singapore
  • Raised by Wolves — San Diego, CA
  • Salón de Agave at Casa Prunes — Mexico City, Mexico
  • Sexy Fish London — London, UK
  • Swift Soho — London, UK
  • The Office — Chicago, IL

Spirited Awards® 2023

Spirited Awards Top 4 Finalists and the recipients for the Helen David Lifetime Achievement, Visionary & International/U.S. Timeless Awards will be named on June 21, 2023. All winners will be celebrated on July 27, 2023 at the 17th Annual Spirited Awards Ceremony at the Fillmore New Orleans. Spirited Awards Ceremony tickets will be available via the TOTCF website on June 8, 2023

Spirited Awards® Judges

Below is a list of Spirited Awards® Chairs, responsible for overseeing the judging process this year:

  • Spirited Awards Overall Chair
    • Charlotte Voisey
  • Spirited Awards International Chair
    • Jacob Briars
  • Asia Pacific Co-Chairs
    • Lorenzo Antinori
    • Sam Bygrave
    • Pankaj Balachandran
    • Charmaine Thio
  • Canada Co-Chairs
    • Kate Boushel
    • Sabrine Dhaliwal
  • Europe Co-Chairs
    • Roberta Mariani
    • Nicola Riske
  • Latin America & Caribbean Co-Chairs
    • Carlos Aguinsky
    • Jean Trinh
  • Middle East & Africa Co-Chairs
    • Stephen “Kojo” Aidoo
    • Cassandra Eichhoff
    • Caitlin Hill
  • U.S. Central Co-Chairs
    • Steva Casey
    • Lynn M. House
  • U.S. East Co-Chairs
    • Jackson Cannon
    • Laura Cullen
  • U.S. West Co-Chairs
    • Jason Asher
    • Mary Palac
  • Writing & Media Co-Chairs
    • François Monti
    • Matthew Rowley
    • Sandrae Lawrence
  • Timeless Co-Chair
    • Jared Brown
    • Anistatia Miller

Spirited Awards® judges are a collection of respected bartenders, bar owners, educators, and writers from across the globe entrusted with this critical calling. Drawing on their years of experience and their knowledge of the current work being done locally, nationally, and internationally, together the judges can evaluate nominees from far and wide to ensure that the Spirited Awards® represents the breadth and diversity of the global drinks industry. 

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Spirited Awards® Committee is dedicated to valuing the inclusion of the communities we serve by ensuring that our judging panel reflects their incredible diversity in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. Recognizing that inclusion is key to a well-represented committee, TOTCF strives to ensure that we have an equitable representation of gender across the judging panel. The Spirited Awards® are not based on popular vote and all nominations are evaluated by their respective judging committees. 

GSN Alert: New Spirits Releases 6.2.23

The tenth release in BBCo.’s Discovery Series is a blend of five straight bourbon whiskeys made from five different recipes. The bottling is primarily (86%) made up of Kentucky sourced bourbons with ages ranging from 6-13 years. The remainder consists of 10 year-old bourbons from Georgia and Tennessee. It’s bottled at 57.12% ABV. There are approximately 3,500 9L-cases available at the distillery’s gift shop and in 24 states nationally beginning June 2, 2023. (SRP $139.99)

Bib & Tucker Double Char Bourbon is a twice-aged Tennessee bourbon whiskey. This Tennessee bourbon follows the Lincoln County process so after distillation and before it was filled into the barrels for aging it was filtered through sugar maple charcoal. Then it was aged for 6 years in new white American oak barrels followed by a secondary aging for five months in a heavily-charred & sugar maple smoked new barrel. Available nationally beginning August 2023. (SRP $54.99)

The House of CAMUS has launched a new XO blend for this Prestige Decanter release. It was crafted using the brand’s “Instensity” distillation method and uses unfiltered wines (on the lees) from various crus including the Borderies. It’s aged for a minimum of ten years in toasted fine grain small oak barrels with a portion of the blend finishing in re-toasted barrels. The decanter is intended to be re-used — honoring the tradition of “Arts de la Table” — as the brand’s discreet side label is easily removed. Available beginning June 2023. (SRP $349)

Crown Royal Golden Apple is a limited edition blend of Canadian whisky aged at least 23 years along with the taste of Golden Delicious apples. With this release, Crown Royal has announced a creative partnership with multidisciplinary artist Solange Knowles for Saint Heron. Golden Apple is packaged in a bespoke golden bottle in a suede-finished Crown Royal bag and collector’s box. Bottled at 40% ABV, it’s available beginning June 1, 2023. (SRP $249.99)

Following the June 2020 release of the brand’s rainbow-colored bottle made in honor of Pride month, Crystal Head has launched a limited edition “Paint Your Pride” bottling. This paint-splattered skull shaped bottle contains Crystal Head’s original Canadian-corn based vodka. Available in select markets for a limited time beginning June 2023.

Hardin’s Creek is a series of rare and unique whiskeys from James B. Beam Distilling Co. For the brand’s Kentucky Series — a three-part bourbon series — the aim is to explore “Kentucky terroir” within the Beam Family distilling campuses of Clermont, Frankfort, and Boston. Each of the three Kentucky bourbons are 17 years-old and were distilled with the same mash bill. However, they were each aged in a different location. This Clermont expression is the first release to be available beginning June 1st 2023. The other bottlings will be released on August 1st and September 1st 2023, respectively. (SRP $169.99)

Jacob’s Pardon is an American whiskey brand founded by Marc D. Taub & his son Jake who also own Palm Bay International, a wine & spirits import business. The Taubs’ together with the brand’s Master Blender F. Paul Pacult crafted the brand’s third small batch American whiskey release. It’s an American light whiskey (distilled in Indiana by MGP) made with 99% corn, and 1% malted barley. Aged for 18 years, this small batch whiskey was made from 211 uncharred new barrels. Bottled at a cask strength of 71.25% ABV, it’s available at select retailers nationwide beginning June 2023. (SRP $ 195)

This first batch of Milam & Greene Very Small Batch Bourbon was blended by Master Blender Heather Greene who combined 75 barrels of bourbon from Tennessee and Kentucky (80:20). Incidentally, the Kentucky bourbon was distilled by Master Distiller Marlene Holmes in Kentucky using the brand’s signature mash bill (70% corn, 22% malted rye, 8% malted barley). The two aged bourbons were married into a 1,000 gallon vat and then finished with charred French oak staves that had been used to age both tawny port and Milam & Greene rye whiskey. The staves were first allowed to “bake” in the Texas summer heat for two weeks before being charred. Then they were tied into bundles and allowed to steep in the marrying vat for two weeks. Bottled at 54% ABV, there are 1,500 9L cases available at select retailers in the US and Alberta, Canada beginning June 2023. (SRP $69.99)

This Sherry Cask Expression marks the 6th edition of Mount Gay’s Master Blender Collection and the 5th release overseen by Master Blender Trudiann Branker. This exclusive blend features some of the oldest rum stocks for the brand and is made from a blend of pot and column still rums aged a minimum of 20 years in ex-American whiskey barrels in Barbados. The rums were then finished for an additional year in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. It’s bottled without chill-filtration at 45% ABV. Only 4,200 bottles are available with the release offered at select retailers around the world beginning June 2023. (SRP $270)

This release marks the third annual edition of Russell’s Reserve 13 Year Kentucky Bourbon. Like the previous two releases, this is bottled at barrel proof without chill-filtration at 57.4% ABV. It is also the oldest offering for the brand’s core range. This release is crafted under the leadership of Master Distiller Eddie Russell who this year is celebrating his 42nd anniversary with Wild Turkey. Available nationally beginning mid-June 2023. (SRP $150)

Teeling Wonders of Wood is a series of innovative limited edition bottlings using unique styles of wood for its maturation. This second edition Virgin Portuguese Oak bottling features a single pot still whiskey made with 50% malted barley and 50% unmalted barely, triple distilled at their Dublin-based distillery. Maturation is done entirely in virgin Portuguese oak casks. Like previous WoW editions, this bottling will facilitate work with the Tree Council of Ireland in the reforestation of designated woodlands with native Irish trees. Available June 2023. (SRP $99.99)

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Batch Proof highlights the brand’s proprietary batch process and is a bottling of the bourbon’s actual proof, straight from the barrel. It’s released annually with a different batch and proof (around 121-126). This 2023 batch is bottled at 124.7 proof, far from the 90.4 proof which is traditional for Woodford Reserve. This limited edition is available in select US and global markets as of June 2023 and at the distillery. (SRP $129.99)

Information courtesy of

GSN Review: LALO Tequila

LALO Spirits, a Mexican-owned tequila brand, recently announced the launch of LALO Blanco Tequila in New YorkThe Mexican-owned tequila is named in honor of Eduardo “Lalo” González, the son of Don Julio González and the father of LALO’s co-founder and maestro tequilero, also named Lalo. Lalo Jr. continues as the third generation of his tequilero family working alongside co-founder David R. Carballido and LALO’s CEO, Jim McDermott.

“We are thrilled to expand into New York, making this the 20th state we are available in the U.S.,” said LALO co-founder, Eduardo “Lalo” González. “This continued expansion allows us to tell our story to a wider audience, while continuing to educate tequila drinkers on the benefits of an additive-free, three-ingredient tequila made authentically in my home country of Mexico.”

LALO began as a small, private batch tequila for friends and family and has quickly become a high-demand tequila for its taste and purity. The brand focuses on creating an authentic blanco tequila by handpicking the finest agave from the Jalisco highlands and using a traditional cooking process, distilling only twice in order to maintain the integrity of the agave.

LALO is now available in New York with a suggested retail price of $49.99 for a 750mL bottle. It can also be ordered online and shipped in 43 states. 

GSN’s Remarks: Clean, fresh agave nose with just a hint of oak. Ultra-smooth entry with a light sweetness, mild vegetal flavor, and notes of marshmallow, vanilla cream and white pepper. The overall expression is refreshing, modern and flavorful. A wonderful sipping tequila, that will also elevate your Margarita, Tequila Sour or Ranch Water. A welcome addition to the agave shelf. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Lalo Spirits

#LALO #LALOtequila

GSN Review: Glengoyne 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Glengoyne Distillery, a Highland single malt scotch whisky producer within the Ian Macleod Distillers portfolio, has announced the U.S. launch of their 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The new dram will become a staple of the Highland distiller’s award-winning core collection.

As Scotland’s slowest distilled single malt whisky, Glengoyne’s new make has a light and fruity signature spirit style. To complement this, the new 15 Year Old marries together whiskies matured in bourbon and sherry casks to deliver sweet dark orchard fruits from the former and oaky spice and vanilla from the latter. The result is a complex dram that embodies Glengoyne – but seen from a different perspective. 

Glengoyne 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky will be available in 750ml sized bottles at 43% ABV for an SRP of $129.99.

GSN’s Remarks: A whole lot of cocoa on the nose, which is singularly surprising. Just under this, there are dark stone fruits like black cherry, as well as blackberry and even a hint of strawberry. On the tongue, the fruitiness continues, with a warming sweetness and an almost dessert-like spectre. The body is medium, with a lot going on in the middle of the palate, along with incredibly high notes at the back of the tongue. The wood comes through after a minute and seems slightly bitter, but offsets the sweetness originally noted. The finish is shorter than expected, and ends on a woody, dry note. Definitely a unique expression. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Glengoyne


GSN Review: Orphan Barrel Whiskey Co. Scarlet Shade 14-Year-Old

Since its inception, the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Co. has set out to find and share barrels of rare whiskey, nearly forgotten before being bottled for the world to try. Today, they are introducing their first ever Rye release, Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade, distilled in Indiana, aged in Kentucky and bottled in Tennessee.

For Scarlet Shade’s Master Blender, Samantha Johnson, blending the rare 14-year-old Rye whiskey stocks was the perfect opportunity to share the brand’s first Rye offering with the world. Scarlet Shade crossed state lines from Indiana into Kentucky to age in new barrels of white oak for 14 years, ruminating on its forebears’ pre-Prohibition glory days. 

The vibrant label design pays homage to the history of Scarlet Shade. In the center, the cardinal – state bird of Indiana and Kentucky – is surrounded by Indiana’s state flower, the peony, and perched on a skull to honor lost loved ones. With its flash tattoo-style label, Scarlet Shade serves as a reminder that memories last forever. 

Orphan Barrel Scarlet Shade is a limited release, and as past variants have been highly sought after, whiskey aficionados and collectors will want to get a hold of this rare offering soon with a suggested retail price of $199.99. Scarlet Shade can be purchased on ReserveBar, or the Drizly app where shipping and delivery are available. 

GSN’s Remarks: Remarkable depth on the nose, with bright and crisp high rye notes imbued with a rock solid woody goodness. Excellent mouthfeel and exemplary flavor profile. Round, smooth, spicy, char forward and intensely flavor-packed. As the taste settles in, more rye notes become apparent, leaving no doubt as to what the mash bill contained. A long, long finish with prickly spice leaving a final warming adieu. For rye fans, look no further. This is the one for 2023. GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Orphan Barrel

#OrphanBarrelWhiskey #ScarletShade

PDXCW 2023 Student Applications Are Live!

Apply to be a student at PDXCW! As a student, you will participate in educational tracks, attend classes and field trips, and go to all of the fantastic sponsored events (like those fun nighttime parties). Tickets, as always, are completely free to bartenders.

Would you like to go to learn the science behind smoky flavors? Maybe you’d love to learn how to shuck oysters and pair them with whiskey! Perhaps an in-depth tasting with a Master Distiller excites you! Experience five days of incredible food, drink, learning, and connection as a student at PDXCW 2023.

What is PDXCW?

Portland Cocktail Week is an educational program designed to help bartenders take the next step in their careers. Over 300 students will be accepted into the program, and of those, a small percentage will be given a scholarship that covers their accommodation at the host hotel. Portland Cocktail Week 2023: October 1-5.

Who can attend PDXCW?

Portland Cocktail Week is open to all people working in the hospitality industry, but Student spots are reserved for working bartenders.

How do I attend PDXCW?

You came to the right place! This application is the determining factor in selecting Portland Cocktail Week Students. Please CAREFULLY fill out this ENTIRE form to be considered.

By applying as a Student for PDXCW, you are automatically signed up for a Bartender Pass, which gets you into all of the events and the ability to audit classes on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications open through July 10, 2023.

Apply here.


GSN Alert: Q Mixers to the ResQ

This summer, Q Mixers is challenging people to not let the fear of the dreaded hosting hangover stop them from throwing their epic summer party. @QMixers is here to the “ResQ” by hooking lucky winners up with home cleaning services from Handy (total value of ~$429) and re-stocking their home bar with Q’s very best selection of summer mixers. All you have to do is post your party pic tagging #HostingResQ or simply enter at:! (Sweepstakes runs between 5/30 at 7am CST and 7/10 at 11:59 CST. Some terms and conditions apply, public profile, must be 21 and over, legal resident of the US)

Summer Cocktail Recipes from QMixers


Summer Hibiscus Cooler


1 ½ oz Rum, Passionfruit Rum, or Coconut Rum

½ oz Lime Juice

½ oz Simple Syrup (1 part sugar, 1 part water)


1 Lime Wheel


Shake all ingredients, except the Q HIBISCUS GINGER BEERand strain into a highball glass filled with ice then top with the Q HIBISCUS GINGER BEER and garnish with a lime wheel.

Dark and Stormy


1½ oz Goslings Dark Rum


½ oz Lime Juice


Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the Q GINGER BEER and squeeze in the lime. Top with the rum so it floats on the top, looking like a dark storm cloud that will force you to stay at the bar all afternoon. For a lighter but still delicious version, try our Q LIGHT GINGER BEER


Spectacular Bloody Mary


1 ½ oz Premium Vodka


Garnish of your choice – we love it with a wedge of lemon & a crisp celery stalk


Fill a glass with ice and add your favorite vodka. Pour in the Q SPECTACULAR BLOODY MARY MIX, gently stir and add your choice of garnish.

Q-Cumber Mule


1½ oz Vodka

½ oz Lime Juice

4 Basil Leaves

4 ¼ inch Cucumber Slices



Shake all ingredients except the Q GINGER BEER and strain into a mule mug filled with ice. Top with Q GINGER BEER and garnish with a cucumber slice.

For a lighter but still delicious version, try our Q LIGHT GINGER BEER

Sparkling Greyhound


1½ oz your favorite vodka


1 Lime Wedge

Grapefruit Peel


Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in the vodka and squeeze in the lime, leaving the lime wedge in the glass. Then pour in the Q SPARKLING GRAPEFRUIT, garnish with the grapefruit peel and gently stir.


Summer Night Sipper


1 ½ oz Rye Whiskey

0.5 oz Aperol


1 Lemon Wheel


Build in highball glass filled with ice and top with Q SPARKLING GRAPEFRUIT. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

Blackberry Fizz


1 ½ oz Rye Whiskey

1 oz Lemon Juice

4 tsp Honey

4 Blackberries



Muddle blackberries in the bottom of mixing glass. Add all other ingredients and shake. Strain into a large champagne coupe or martini glass. Top with Q ELDERFLOWER TONIC.

Triple B Mary


2 oz Bourbon

2 tsp BBQ Sauce

½ oz Lemon Juice


1 Bacon Slice Garnish


Mix all ingredients in a highball glass and stir until the ingredients are incorporated. Garnish and serve.


Easy Beesy


1 ½ oz Gin

0.5 oz Lemon Juice

0.5 oz Honey


1 Lavender or Thyme Sprig Garnish


Dissolve the honey in the lemon juice, add the gin and shake. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and top with Q GINGER BEER.

Over Thyme


1½ oz Gin

1 oz Fresh Red Grapefruit Juice

½ oz Honey


Thyme Sprig


Dissolve honey in grapefruit add gin and shake. Strain into a highball glass and top with Q SPECTACULAR TONIC WATER, garnish with thyme sprig.

Southside Royale


1 ½ oz Premium Gin

¾ oz Lime Juice

¾ oz Simple Syrup

8 Mint Leaves



Lightly muddle mint, lime juice and sugar syrup in bottom of a large highball glass. Add gin and ice then stir vigorously with long handled spoon. Top with Q GINGER ALE and garnish with a fresh mint sprig. 


Smoke and Spice Margarita


2 oz Mezcal

½ oz Ancho Reyes Liqueur


¼ Lime Juice

1 Fresh Jalapeno Slice


Pour ingredients in the above order into an ice filled glass. Stir gently.

5 O’Clock Fizz


1½ oz Blanco Tequila

¾ oz Campari

¾ oz Lime Juice



Shake all ingredients except the ginger beer and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with Q HIBISCUS GINGER BEER and garnish with an orange peel.

Ranch Water


1 oz Your favorite tequila


1 Lime Wedge


Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour in tequila and squeeze in a lime. Top with Q CLUB SODA and gently stir.

GSN Review: Top Note Tonics

In 2014, co-founder Mary Pellettieri discovered the historic origin of bitter and botanical tinctures that have evolved into the carbonated mixers we know and love today. Starting with their Bitter Orange Syrup sold in a local farmer’s market, they quickly expanded their business and flavor portfolio in 2017. Soon after, they received the SoFi award for their Indian Tonic Water which put them on the map as a successful business in the cocktail world. 

Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, founders Mary Pellettieri and Noah Swanson set out to start a company that changed the way people think about – and enjoy – drink mixers. […] Today, Top Note continues to look forward to adding to the world of mixers with more innovative and high-quality products. With their craft brewer’s mentality, Mary and Noah put a twist on tradition for mixers set to wow the world.”

We at GSN were able to sample each of their offerings: Grapefruit Soda, Club No. 1, Ginger Beer, Indian Tonic Water, Classic Tonic Water, and Bitter Lemon. Each product had a familiar yet distinct flavor profile which allowed them to be enjoyed independently or mixed into a classic cocktail. The standout flavor for us is their award winning Indian Tonic Water. It’s no wonder why this business boomed and expanded as quickly as they have. 

Grapefruit Sparkling Mixer: Mild citrus, light, sweet, and no bitter notes from grapefruit pith. An easy grapefruit flavored soda to enjoy chilled in the summer, or mixed into a Paloma. A-

Indian Tonic Water: Very well balanced between floral, citrus and the aromatics. This is one of my favorite Indian tonic waters that I have reviewed: enjoyable with or without my favorite gin. A+

Classic Tonic Water: High notes of both citrus and lime. The aftertaste left a slightly bitter taste which made this tonic water a better mixer than soda. B

Club No. 1: A lovely light and refreshing option for a club soda with a quite distinctive mineral flavor. A good option for a carbonated beverage, alcoholic or not. A-

Bitter Lemon: A quite bitter and almost salty lemon soda. Although it’s refreshing, it does have a rather unique flavor profile that lends well to a mixed drink rather than a soda. B+

Ginger Beer: The ginger has a nice bite, but the date sugar is what sets this soda apart. The combination of ginger, cane sugar and date sugar really is award-winning. This is a great option for those who prefer a sweeter ginger beer rather than a spicy or bitter one. A

For more information go to: Top Note Tonics

#TopNote #TopNoteTonic

GSN Alert: New Spirits Releases 5.26.23

Brother’s Bond, a whiskey brand founded by American actors Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, has introduced their first rye expression with this release. Distilled and aged at Indiana, this whiskey is made from a blend of bourbon and rye whiskeys which used four grains in its production — 77% rye, 16% corn, along with wheat and malted barley. Bottled at 47.5% ABV, it’s available as of May 2023 nationwide online and at selected retailers. (SRP $59.99)

This is the second cask strength bourbon batch for Brother’s Bond, a whiskey brand founded by American actors Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. Distilled and aged in Indiana, this bourbon whiskey was made from three different mash bill recipes resulting in four-grain bourbon. This batch was bottled without chill-filtration at 115.1 proof. Available beginning May 2023 online and at select retailers nationwide. (SRP $84.99)

This bottling marks the fifth Bottled in Bond Vintage Series. It was distilled at their Riverfront Distillery in Chattanooga, Tennessee from a variety of bourbon mash bills, including 25% specialty malted grains. Additionally, 40% of the entire blend was aged in custom-toasted and charred barrels, Chattanooga Whiskey BIB Spring 2019 Vintage will be available at the Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery and across TN, GA, FL, TX, IL, IN, and SC beginning May 2023. (SRP $52.99)

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yamazaki Distillery in 1923, The House of Suntory has released this limited edition bottling of their classic peated single malt Hakushu 12 Year. Incidentally, 2023 also marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Hakushu, the brand’s mountain forest distillery. Hakushu 12 Year 100th Anniversary is available in select global markets within the US, UK, Europe and Asia beginning May 2023. (SRP $185)

In 2023, the House of Suntory is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yamazaki Distillery, the first and oldest malt whisky distillery in Japan. But the brand is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hakushu Distillery which was founded in 1973. To celebrate 100 years of whisky making the brand has released two new limited edition whiskies in spring 2023. This Hakushu Peated Malt bottling was aged a minimum of 18 years in a selection of casks. Bottled at 48% ABV (700ml), it’s available in select global markets within the US, UK, Europe and Asia beginning May 2023. (SRP $1,200)

Made in partnership with NBA Champion Stephen Curry and John Schwartz, owner of Amuse Bouche Winery in Napa Valley, Gentleman’s Cut is a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distilled at Boone County Distilling Co. It was distilled in a 500-gallon copper pot still with a mash bill recipe of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley. The bourbon was aged between 5-7 years in charred, new white oak barrels. Available as of May 2023. (SRP $79.99)

Loch Gorm is the name of the series from Kilchoman featuring single malts matured exclusively in sherry casks. This 2023 Edition includes single malts from 22 selected casks which were distilled in 2013, 2014, and 2015. All were matured fully in ex-oloroso sherry butts. Only 18,000 bottles are available globally. Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2023 Edition is bottled at 46% ABV without chill-filtration. Available beginning May 2023. (SRP $125)

Created to celebrate the distillery’s 10th anniversary, Tenniel is a Double Barrel Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Whiskey. Founder Kaveh Zamanian blended two of the brand’s straight bourbons together — Heigold, a high-rye bourbon and Cavehill, a four-grain, triple malt bourbon. Then he finished the blend in a #1 char toasted barrel. Bottled at a cask strength of 108.8 proof, there are just 939 bottles produced. Tenniel is also a tribute to artist John Tenniel who illustrated the original scenes in the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Available at the distillery and online in limited markets beginning mid-May 2023. (SRP $650)

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yamazaki Distillery in 1923, The House of Suntory has released this limited edition bottling of its classic Yamazaki 12 Year. The packaging is designed as an homage to “Monozukuri” craftsmanship— a Japanese principle which embodies elevated artisanship. This bottling is one of a collection of whiskies to be released in 2023 to celebrate the occasion. Bottled at 43% ABV, Yamazaki 12 Year 100th Anniversary is available in select global markets within the US, UK, Europe and Asia beginning May 2023. (SRP $185)

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yamazaki Distillery, The House of Suntory has released two new limited edition whiskies in spring 2023. Founded in 1923, Yamazaki is the first and oldest malt whisky distillery in Japan. This Yamazaki expression was aged for at least 18 years exclusively in Japanese Mizunara oak casks, a wood the brand first started experimenting with in the 1940s. This bottling is one of a collection of whiskies to be released in 2023. Available in select global markets within the US, UK, Europe and Asia beginning May 2023. (SRP $1,500)

Information courtesy of

GSN Review: METAXA 12 Stars

Spyros Metaxa built his first distillery in 1888 in Piraeus, the port of Athens, and the amber spirit was soon being exported around the Mediterranean. The House of METAXA does not have a Master Distiller, nor a Master Blender. Constantinos Raptis is the fifth METAXA Master since 1888. He first makes his selection of the Muscat wines from Samos, chosen for their aromatic concentration and intensity. He then chooses the fine wine distillates for their character and elegance.

The wine distillates and Muscat wines are aged separately until Raptis decides they are ready to be emulsified in Limousin oak casks. A multitude of Mediterranean botanicals adds the finishing floral touch and freshness.

GSN’s Remarks: A quite floral, winey nose, with a grape-forward perfume. Light in body, but rich in flavor, this is a liqueur unlike any other. The brandy character plays a supporting role, but the headliners are the botanicals which have a flowery sensibility. The wine comes into play about halfway through the tasting, adding a solid grape flavor to the affair. Finish is long with lingering flower garden notes leaving a curious ending. Unique and well worth using in a variety of cocktails. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: METAXA


GSN Review: Hedonistas de la Fe Mezcal

Hedonistas de la Fe recently announced the launch of its own online sales platform for all four of their hand-crafted, premium mezcals direct from its website and available for delivery across the USA. Having only launched in autumn 2022 to wide acclaim, it is the first time this mezcal has been available outside of Mexico. 

Hedonistas de la Fe is produced in Matalan, Oaxaca, sacred ground zero for mezcal. Unlike other spirits, these unique mezcals are hand-made according to a 500-year-old tradition. From harvest to distillation, the process is non-mechanized and created in one distillery by the Santiago family, a rarity in modern mezcal. The flavor profiles vary from the cultivated ESPADIN (Agave Angustifolia) to the wild agave, which include the powerhouse TOBALA (Agave Potatorum), the elegant CUISHE (Agave Karwinskii), and the complex TEPEZTATE (Agave Marmorata). 

Hedonistas’ ESPADIN – GSN’s Remarks: Lightly smokey nose with hints of sweet vegetation. Nicely sweet and judiciously touched with smoke. Round mouthfeel and short finish ending on a cantalope melon note. Tasty. GSN Rating: A

Hedonistas’ TOBALA  – GSN’s Remarks: Dark, briny, wood smoke nose. Quite smoke forward to the taste, akin to the depth you would find in an Islay Scotch. The agave kicks through, bringing a friendly sweetness to the palate. A chewy mezcal that has a fairly long finish with the creosote lingering for several minutes. GSN Rating: A-

Hedonistas’ CUISHE – GSN’s Remarks: Mild woody nose with a mild patina of char. Light entry with a soft and gentle caress on the tongue. There is a vegetal, peppery quality to this which brings some heat at the back of the palate. Very much in line with the traditional mezcals that are regional, and hard to find outside of their hometowns. Exemplary release in the portfolio. GSN Rating: A+

Hedonistas’ TEPEZTATE – GSN’s Remarks: Heavily vegetal nose, with a goodly amount of mid-range woodsmoke. On the palate, this is exceptional. Sweet, almost floral and fragrant with mild herbs. Clean, lovely balance of agave and char with a creamy roundness that is memorable. The finish is semi-long, with a soft fade into a dry finish. A gem of a mezcal. GSN Rating: A++

Hedonistas de la Fe is produced in partnership with Mezcal Santa Maria and the Santiago family, which is headed by Gerardo “Kaín” Santiago Hernandez, a fourth-generation  Maestro Mezcalero raised in Matatlan, Oaxaca. The online price range is $64.99 to $199.99 per bottle and the company offers free shipping for orders of $150 or more.

For more information go to: Hedonistas de la Fe


GSN Alert: New Spirits Releases 5.19.23

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE PREMIER CRU MURCIAN LEMON – Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru Murcian Lemon is a celebration of the region of Murcia, Spain and its citrus fruits. Here sustainably sourced Murcian Fino lemons, mandarins, and sweet navel oranges are the focal point. Suggested serves include a Martini or a French 75, each garnished with a lemon twist, of course. Available in select markets as of February 2023 with a nationwide launch to follow in spring 2023. (SRP $34.99)

DEL MAGUEY VIDA PUEBLA – VIDA Puebla is a new addition to the Del Maguey portfolio. While the classic VIDA bottling is made in San Luis del Rio, Oaxaca, this mezcal is made at a new palenque located in Axocopan, Puebla. VIDA Puebla was made in collaboration with co-founder Steve Olson who wanted to bring to market a sustainably produced, easy drinking mezcal with a competitive price point. The mezcal is bottled at 80 proof and is available in select US markets including CA, FL, IL, NY, OH, & TX beginning March 2023. A nationwide release is expected to begin July 2023. (SRP $37.99)

KINGSBARNS DOOCOT – Kingsbarns Doocot is the brand’s flagship whisky, replacing the former Dream to Dram which has been retired. It is made with barley sourced just 6 miles from the distillery in Fife. Using a long fermentation and slow distillation, the single malt is distilled and aged in two barrel types: ex-bourbon which accounts for 90% of the whisky and ex-Portuguese red wine casks which have been shaved, toasted and recharred making up the balance. Incidentally, Doocot — pronounced “doo-ket” — is the Scots word for dovecot, a freestanding nesting shelter for doves and one of the architectural features of the Lowlands distillery. Doocot is available globally beginning March 2023. (SRP $59.99)

MAKER’S MARK WOOD FINISHING SERIES 2023 BEP – This limited edition release from Maker’s Mark is the fifth and final release for its Wood Finishing Series which first began in 2019. BEP highlights the brand’s Barrel Entry Proof, which at 110 proof is low for industry standards (the maximum is 125 proof). Here the finishing staves used are 10 virgin toasted American oak. This bourbon is released at cask strength which will range from 108-114 proof. Available nationwide starting April 2023. (SRP $69.99)

WESTLAND SOLUM EDITION 1 – Solum is the third and final release in Westland’s Outpost series which focuses on the Pacific Northwest and its sense of place. While Garryana highlighted oak and Colere featured barley, Solum puts the spotlight on peat — and the peat used here was harvested approx. 2 hours south of Seattle. The peat was harvested in a sustainable manner to ensure the health of the bog for future harvests. Using 100% Skagit Valley Malting peated malted barley, the American single malt whiskey was distilled and aged in the following cask types: Cooper’s Reserve new American oak, Cooper’s Select new American oak, and first-fill ex-bourbon barrels. Just 4,044 bottles are available globally with a launch in March 2023. (SRP $149.99)

Information courtesy of