GSN Review: Bearcat Infused Bourbon

Bearcat Infused Bourbon was created in honor of female distillers, bootleggers and industry innovators. The ‘Bearcat’ name refers to fiery-spirited, independent Prohibition-era female bootleggers, who had a little known yet substantial role in the production of whiskey. Bearcat Infused Bourbon recognizes the hard work and presence of women in the spirits industry and celebrates the women of today with a bourbon that is inclusive to all.

Both bourbons offer a new contemporary, flavorful and accessible brown whiskey, with two infused options: Orange Peel with Spice and Espresso with Aromatic Bitters. The two distinct offerings are infused with 100% natural ingredients to let the bourbon shine through. Both were designed to be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, or as an extra and flavorful punch to classic and innovative cocktails.

Bearcat Infused Bourbon is distilled in Owensboro, Kentucky and bottled in Missouri. However, all operations will be moved to Kentucky later this year.

Bearcat Orange Peel with Spice (80 proof)
Visual: Golden yellow.
Nose: A huge hit of orange spice on the nose. Instantly reminded me of the winter holidays. After the initial nosing, more of the bourbon comes through with a lively and bright agility.
Taste: There is a slight bitter edge coming from the orange peel that keeps things from leaning too much in the sweet direction. Well rounded and the Bourbon itself is a good canvas for the additional flavorings.
Finish: Long with more of the orange peel hanging around for a few minutes.
Overall: An old-fashioned cocktail just waiting to be poured over ice with a dash of simple syrup.
GSN Rating: B+

Bearcat Espresso with Aromatic Bitters (80 proof)
Visual: Golden yellow.
Nose: Light coffee bean nose with some mild bitter herb at the top. The bourbon itself is mild and is reticent.
Taste: Somewhat more viscous on the palate than its sibling, the interplay of espresso, bitters and whiskey is extremely well balanced. The flavors really make for a united front and seem quite natural. The coffee lingers somewhat longer with chocolate notes.
Finish: Quite long. Everything has a pleasant fade.
Overall: Very likable and unusual. This is a great sipping bourbon that will appeal to just about anyone.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Bearcat Infused Bourbon

GSN Review: Don Q Double Cask Sherry Finished Rum

Destilería Serrallés Inc., producer of Puerto Rico’s premium rum Don Q, recently launched the new Double Aged Sherry Cask Finish Rum for the Puerto Rico market. Destilería Serrallés’ sixth-generation rum maker, Roberto Serrallés and Master Blender, Jaiker Soto, debuted the new rum as part of the distillery’s continued focus on unique barrel-aged expressions. The product will also be available soon in the U.S. mainland and international markets as well, they announced.

To create the rum, Soto hand selects and blends rums that were aged for five to eight years in American white oak barrels. This blend of rums is then aged for an additional year in sherry casks that were previously used in the aging of Spanish Oloroso Sherry.

Don Q Double Cask Finish Rum (82 proof)
Visual: Orange-copper.
Nose: Soft and inviting sherry top notes overlaid on a rich and almost candy-like rum base. A lot of vanilla, medium wood and sweet caramel.
Taste: Surprisingly, for all of the sweetness on the nose, this is quite dry and oaky. The sherry lightens things up, but it still remains a very wood-forward rum. There is a lot of mid-range in the flavor profile, making this a strong contender for tiki style cocktails.
Finish: Medium long, with more of the caramel playing out at the tail end of the fade.
Overall: An excellent rum that tastes like an anjeo. Recommended for rum old-fashioneds and the like.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Don Q

GSN Review: The Glenmorangie Extra Matured Range (Lasanta, Quinta Ruban, Nectar D’Or)

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky, recently announced a refresh to its Extra Matured Range which includes evolved packaging, as well as a new recipe for its Port Cask Finished whisky.

Glenmorangie’s 12-year-old Port Cask Finish, known as The Quinta Ruban, will now be aged for an additional two years. “The Quinta Ruban will be aged for at least 14 years – spending at least ten years in bourbon casks before being finished in port casks”, explains Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation, Distilling & Whisky Stocks. The cask selection and the finishing process remain the same.

Simultaneously, Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or will transition from a 12-year-old whisky to a non-age stated expression. Glenmorangie’s 12-year-old Sherry Cask Finish, The Lasanta, remains unchanged.

Glenmorangie Lasanta (86 proof)
Visual: Medium dark gold.
Nose: Heavy sherry nose with elements of dried cherries and some oak.
Taste: Initially sweet on the entry with a lot of the sherry flavor coming through. Towards the end there is a bit of honey, but this all cools down into a semi-dry and pleasant familiar Highland whisky character.
Finish: Medium long with a pleasant and easygoing drinkability.
Overall: A very nice sherry aged Scotch that tends towards a dessert-like spirit.
GSN Rating: A-

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban (92 proof)
Visual: Reddish copper.
Nose: A spicy and fruity blend, similar to a chutney. Some berries and cinnamon.
Taste: Very light and quite sweet. Caramel and a dark port-like character that adds a deeper presence. As the flavor goes on, the baking spice notes come out to play.
Finish: Medium long with a lot of the high notes percolating on top of the darker port character.
Overall: Quite interesting, and a nice foil for the Lasanta. They are bookends to the wine finish spectrum.
GSN Rating: A-

Glenmorangie Nectar D’or (92 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Honey, wine and a soft florality greet the nose. A 92 proof nectar of the gods, as it were. Very enticing.
Taste: Ginger heat with a light baked apple gentility. Warming and with touches of vanilla cream and cinnamon stick.
Finish: Medium long. A spiciness continues to tantalize the tongue, with a curiously light grape essence.
Overall: The tastiest of the the trio. This whisky is the bass note of the Extra Matured Range chord. Resolve to let this one be your tonic. (Some musical puns there). In all seriousness, this whisky is a real winner.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Glenmorangie


GSN Alert: August 16th – National Rum Day

lots-of-rumIn honor of National rum day, here are a few of the original rum based cocktails that I’ve created over the years!


Blair Frodelius – editor

Captain Grey
4 oz piping hot organic Earl Grey tea
1.5 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
0.25 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp organic honey

Pre-warm a cognac glass with warm to hot water.  Steep Earl Grey tea for 3-5 minutes in a mug with water just off the boil.  Empty cognac glass, then add tea, rum, lemon juice and honey.  Gently stir and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Cook’s Redemption
2.5 oz El Dorado Special Reserve 15-year-old rum
0.5 oz Bacardi vanilla rum
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz fresh orange juice
0.5 oz cinnamon syrup
1 dash of Fee’s black walnut bitters
1 dash of Fee’s barrel-aged aromatic bitters

Add all ingredients to a goblet filled with crushed ice.  Stir and add more ice to top off and serve with a straw.  Optional: garnish with grated nutmeg.

2 oz. Appleton Special Jamaica Rum
1 oz. Barenjager Honey liqueur
0.5oz Lustau Dry Amontillado Los Arcos Sherry
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 dash Dale Degroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake well and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Flying Monkey
1.5oz Deadhead rum
0.75oz Dekuyper creme de banana liqueur
0.25oz Hiram Walker Original Cinn liqueur
0.25oz Don Q Limon rum
0.25oz Fee brothers vanilla syrup
scant tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Fill tiki mug with crushed ice and add all ingredients.  Swizzle and then garnish with baby banana, edible flower and straw.

Kaddū Raj
2 tablespoons of organic pumpkin puree
1.5 oz Malibu rum
0.75 oz Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
2 dashes of The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters

Stir briskly with cracked ice for ten seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a light dusting of mild yellow curry powder.

Peri Banu
2 oz Appleton gold rum
1 oz Absolut vanilla vodka
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz fresh orange juice
0.5 oz Hiram Walker Original Cinn schnapps
0.5 oz simple syrup
2 dashes of Fee’s old-fashioned bitters

Add all ingredients to a goblet filled with crushed ice.  Stir and add more ice to top off and serve with a straw.  Optional: garnish with an edible flower.

1.5 oz Barenjager
1.5 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1 oz Absolut Peppar
1 tsp St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

Add all ingredients to mixing glass with ice and stir until well chilled.  Strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with a mix of grated nutmeg and superfine sugar.

1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
0.75 oz Goya passionfruit cocktail
1 oz Orangina
0.75 oz Fee Brothers rock candy syrup
0.25 oz Campari
2 oz Montanya platino rum
1.25 oz Montanya oro rum
0.75 oz Cruzan black strap rum
2 dashes Fee Brothers whiskey-barrel aged aromatic bitters

Add all to mixing glass with ice.  Shake powerfully, pray to your favorite tiki god, and pour into a barrel-shaped mug.  Garnish with sparkling long, thin black candle (made to look like a fuse).

Punch the Monkey
1 750ml bottle gosling’s dark rum
8 oz Chartreuse Green
4 oz Benedictine
8 oz pineapple juice
8 oz lime juice
7 oz orgeat
35 dashes Angostura bitters

Add all to punchbowl with block of ice. Ladle individual servings in half of a Milton Bradley “Barrel of Monkeys” container over crushed ice.

GSN Review: Maker’s Mark 101 Whiskey

As of July, 2019, Maker’s Mark 101 is available for purchase at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY, and select retailers throughout the state. A red winter wheat bourbon batched for a higher proof, Maker’s Mark 101 is bottled in 1L bottles at 50.5% abv (as the name suggests).

Maker’s Mark 101 was introduced in October 2018 as a Global Travel Retail exclusive, available only in airport duty-free stores. Building on the travel retail success of Maker’s Mark original, the brand’s key expression, Maker’s Mark 101 represents Maker’s Mark’s signature bourbon bottled at a higher proof for a bolder taste. Bill Jr., son of founder Bill Samuels, Sr., describes proof as an avenue for flavor, and Maker’s Mark 101 boasts the strong flavors of a cask strength while retaining the smoothness of signature Maker’s Mark.

Maker’s Mark 101 Whiskey (101 proof)
Visual: Copper.
Nose: Deep, rich oak char overlaying a bed of sweet corn and lightly wheated bourbon.
Taste: Intensely compact, yet balanced and flavorful. The barrel terpines come through loud and clear, coating the distillate in a southern country charm. Sweetness and and a friendly conviviality enliven the palate.
Finish: Long and with a toasty, baked good finish.
Overall: Everything I love about whisky summed up in one neat package. The perfect whisky for a Mint Julep, or a generous pour over a large rock in your favorite old-fashioned glass. The higher proof adds an extra dimension of flavor.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Maker’s Mark

GSN Review: Parker’s Heritage Heavy Char Rye Whiskey

The 13th edition in the Parker’s Heritage Collection will launch in September throughout the US, with a portion of the proceeds from each bottle sold donated to the ALS Association. Parker’s Heritage Collection was created in memory of late Heaven Hill master distiller Parker Beam, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. The past six whiskeys in the series have raised more than US$1 million for ALS research.

Susan Wahl, group product director at Heaven Hill Distillery, said: “Parker was involved in the development of this bottling over eight years ago and will continue to leave his mark on many future bottlings. It is in tribute to Parker and his legacy that we continue to support ALS research and patient care with this series.”

Bottled at 52.5% abv, the whiskey has been aged in level five charred barrels for eight years and for a further nine months on the seventh floor of Rickhouse Y.

Heaven Hill normally matures its whiskey in level three charred barrels. Level five charred barrels differ in that they are charred for 50 seconds longer than level three.

Parker’s Heritage Heavy Char Rye Whiskey (105 proof)
Visual: Medium copper.
Nose: Exactly what you’re expecting. A spicy, char driven nose with a rye forward braggadocio. Very inviting.
Taste: The extra char adds a dusky smokiness to the already sharp rye flavor bomb. Everything is wrapped up in a compact package that becomes even more apparent when a decent splash of water tones it down to a more manageable proof. Hearty rye and a chewy cask blend together to make for a powerhouse of a whiskey.
Finish: Longer than many rye whiskies, with a woody dryness that leaves you thirsty for more.
Overall: One of the best ryes on the market. Well worth seeking out even at $150 a bottle. Reserve a bottle or two now before they sell out.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Heaven Hill Distillery

GSN Review: Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition

Nearly two years after Dave Quinn, Head of Whiskey Science at Jameson, and Shane Long, head brewer at a local Irish brewery, created the idea and taste behind Jameson Caskmates, the brand expanded its Caskmates offering with a new and distinct expression featuring notes of citrus and hops from whiskey aged in IPA beer barrels.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition is created using the same process established with Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition, the original whiskey and beer collaboration. Starting with barrels from the Midleton distillery, the local Irish brewery receives the propriety oak whiskey barrels to be filled with their local craft IPA. Once the IPA has imparted its crisp citrus notes, the barrels are sent back to Jameson to be reused to finish Jameson Original, creating Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition (80 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Tangy with high notes of hops embracing the soft malt. Somewhat herbal.
Taste: The IPA barrel aging enlivens the whiskey with a slightly bitter and grassy edge. There is no mistaking that this is a Jameson spirit however. The familiar malt and caramel come through loud and clear.
Finish: Long and with both the IPA and the whiskey flavors running neck and neck until the finish line.
Overall: This is a slow sipper that would wasted as a shot. I prefer to drink it on a single large rock which brings out the hops character even more.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Jameson Whiskey