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

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

GSN Review: Disaronno Velvet Cream Liqueur

Born in Saronno, Italy in 1525, Disaronno is one of the oldest Italian spirits brands and known for their distinctive bottle design made of a special faceted glass crafted in Murano, topped with the inimitable square cap. Disaronno Velvet features the same design and cap in a sleek white for an ultra-premium look.

Building on the equity of the iconic amaretto Disaronno Originale, Ray Stoughton, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Disaronno International shares, “Disaronno Velvet opens up an opportunity for us to attract new consumers to the Disaronno brand,” says . “Disaronno represents quality and authenticity in the cordial category as well as great profitability all year long.”

Disaronno Velvet is available nationally for $29.99 SRP, is 17% ABV and gluten free.

GSN’s Remarks: Familiar apricot/almond nose blending into a fresh, milky cream perfume. Medium sweet entry laden with a thick cream viscosity and smooth mouthfeel. The fruit and nut flavors carry themselves well and are not diminished in the least by the flavor of the cream. Overall, this is a wonderful alternative to the plethora of Irish Cream and Bourbon liqueurs on the market. A fun, celebratory liqueur that will appeal to just about everyone. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Disaronno International


GSN Review: Yoichi Single Malt 10-Year-Old

Nikka Whisky marks the return of traditional age statements to its U.S. portfolio with the debut of Yoichi Single Malt 10-Year-Old. The first age statement to come from the brand in several years, the release of Nikka Yoichi Single Malt 10-Year-Old commemorates 10 buildings located within the Yoichi Distillery site that received special designation as Japan’s “Important Cultural Properties” in February 2022, a historical nod to Nikka Whisky’s remarkable contribution to Japanese whisky.

The Yoichi Single Malt 10-Year-Old highlights the distinctive characteristics of the Yoichi Distillery, Nikka Whisky’s first distillery built in 1934 on the coast of Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. The proximity to the sea is one of the most distinctive features of Yoichi, providing cold climate, crisp clean air and a briny hint to the whisky during maturation. Crafted using traditional methods that Nikka Whisky’s founder, Masataka Taketsuru, learned in Scotland, such as direct coal-fired distillation, this Yoichi age statement captures the authentic character of its historical location.

“As Nikka Whisky looks to celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2024, this release is a testament to their historical significance in the world of whisky and a preview of what’s to come as they continue to build and enrich their traditional range,” explains Hotaling & Co. CEO and President Dan Leese. 

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Single Malt 10-Year-Old (45% ABV) will be available ongoing with limited quantities released annually. The 2023 expression is available for an SRP of $175 at select retailers. 

GSN’s Remarks: Light, yet evocative malt driven nose, with a touch of peat. Lovely entry on the palate, with a fruity, sweet and crisp character. Quite smooth and round on the tongue. As the journey progresses, more shy notes of sandalwood, whole wheat toast, pastry crust and mild pepper arrive. A semi-long finish, ending on a dry, piquant note. Overall, this is an excellent beginning to a new annual series for Nikka. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Nikka

#NikkaWhisky #NikkaWhiskyYoichiSingleMalt

GSN Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B523

For the 11th year in a row, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof has a new release in the series. The second 2023 expression is aged for 11 years 5 months and bottled at 124.2 proof. The expression is made from the distillery’s standard bourbon mashbill of 78% corn, 12% malted barley and 10% rye. 

The “B” in the name of each whiskey stands for the second release in the series of 2023, while the “523” stands for May (the fifth month) 2023. The third batch of these barrel-proof bourbons will be available in September.

GSN’s Remarks: Fruity, nutty and slightly spicy nose. Black cherry, walnut bread, blackberry preserves lead the tasting, with the well known backbone of the EC mashbill. This release has all the hallmarks of prior releases, with perhaps some additional richness. Remarkably smooth and easy going in spite of the over 62% ABV. Feel free to add more than a splash of branch water to open this one up. It won’t lose any of its character. These regular releases are a real treat, as you can see the effects of aging, weather and barrel on the distillate across the years. GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Elijah Craig


GSN Review: Smokehead Tequila Cask Terminado

Smokehead, an Islay single malt scotch whisky brand within the Ian Macleod Distillers portfolio, continues to push the boundaries within scotch whisky by announcing the U.S. launch of Tequila Cask Terminado produced by maturing Smokehead in ex-Bourbon barrels with a finish in Mexican Tequila oak casks.

Michael Sim, Chief Smokehead Ambassador commented: “Smokehead takes the best of Islay single malt and constantly pushes the boundaries of what classic whisky is and how it’s perceived. Tequila Terminado very much comes out of the “why not” category, taking flavours in Islay single malt to different corners just as our other whiskies already have, Sherry Blast, Rum Cask Rebel and Twisted Stout.

Smokehead has always ripped up the rule book, therefore finishing a peated single malt in a tequila cask is nothing ground-breaking for us. It was a natural step now that Tequila casks can be used in single malt maturation, allowing us to combine our heavily peated Smokehead and fabulous Tequila casks. The result is a whisky that is hard to put your finger on in terms of taste and style, just the way we like it!”

Smokehead Tequila Cask Terminado will be available in 700ml sized bottles at 43% ABV. Consumers can purchase the whisky starting now in select retail shops in the U.S. for an SRP of $79.99.

GSN’s Remarks: A lovely smoky nose, married with a sweet and slightly vegetal sweetness. On the palate, things are even more interesting, with a malty richness that carries with it the ghost of agave. Quite friendly and agreeable, the tequila barrel aging adds a sweet, near fruity quality. A medium-long finish which ends on a lightly wood-smoked note. This is a remarkable sipper, and one which is firing on all cylinders. Grab a bottle or two while you can. GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Smokehead

#Smokehead #SmokeheadTequilaCaskTerminado

GSN Alert: New Spirits Releases 5.12.23

Following an initial launch in Mexico, Bacardí Mango Chile has launched in the US. This flavored rum expression features a blend of mango extracts, chile spice, and Bacardí white rum. Enjoy as a chilled shot or in cocktails. US availability begins May 2023. (SRP $12.99 for 750ml)

Released just in time for the 2023 Fèis Ìle (Islay Fest), Douglas Laing has released this limited edition bottling they’ve called The Smokehouse Edition. The bottling is made from a blend of single malts sourced from distilleries located on the Isle of Islay and it was finished predominantly in red wine casks. this is the first ever time Big Peat has been finished in wine casks. It will be available in May 2023 at select whisky specialists in the UK, Europe, and Asia as well as online retailers. (£65.00/€74.00)

This is the second batch released in 2023 for Elijah Craig’s Barrel Proof Bourbon series which features its flagship bourbon recipe uncut and unfiltered. Importantly, this release departs from a consistent 12 Year age statement. Going forward in an effort to maintain the quality of the product, the age will vary for each batch. Furthermore, the age statement will feature on the front label rather than the side label like previous editions. Each batch will be selected by the master tasting team which includes Master Distiller Conor O’Driscoll. B523 is aged for 11 years and 5 months and is bottled at 124.2 proof (62.1% ABV). Available beginning May 2023. (SRP $69.99)

This is the fourth release in Highland Park’s Cask Strength range which was first launched in 2020 and is a permanent part of the distillery’s core range. Crafted by Master Whisky Maker Gordon Motion, this fourth batch was matured predominantly in first-fill sherry seasoned European oak casks, along with first-fill ex-bourbon casks, first-fill sherry seasoned American oak casks, first-fill ex-port hogsheads and a small quantity of refill casks. Notably, this is the first time that port casks have been used in the cask strength line-up. This fourth batch launched globally in May 2023. Bottled at 64.3% ABV without chill-filtration. (SRP $100)

HIRSCH The Single Barrel Double Oak is a limited edition Kentucky straight bourbon which has been finished in used American oak after an initial maturation in new American oak. Only 30 barrels will be released for this bottling. Importantly, there are three styles of single barrels, each with two different mash bill recipes blended at different ratios. Those two mash bills are: 72% corn, 13% rye, 15% malted barley which was aged for 8 years and 7 months and 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley aged for 3 years and 7 months. As is the nature of such releases, expect the flavor profile and ABV to vary by barrel. Available nationwide at select retailers beginning May 2023. (SRP $99)

This rum is made using the brand’s Dark Rum (blend of aged rums from Barbados, Panama, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Florida) as its base. Then it’s finished in heavily-charred once used rye whiskey barrels before bottling at 86 proof. This marks the fourth permanent addition to the brand’s portfolio which includes a Dark Rum, Blonde Rum, and a Sherry-finished Rum. Availability begins nationwide as of May 2023. (SRP $49.99)

This is the second cask strength release of Redwood Empire’s Emerald Giant, one of three core whiskeys in the brand’s portfolio. Emerald Giant is a blended straight rye offering and here three different grains make up its recipe — 94% rye, 5% malted barley and 1% wheat. The ryes featured here were aged in 53-gallon, char #3 barrels for a minimum of four years and up to 7 years. Since they were aged in the California fog belt, the cask strength proof of 116.4 is lower than many other such offerings of similar makeup. Cask Strength Emerald Giant is available at select retailers nationwide as of May 2023. (SRP $70)

This is the second cask strength release for Redwood Empire’s Lost Monarch whiskey. Lost Monarch is the brand’s “ryebon” offering — a blend of straight rye and straight bourbon whiskeys. The rye whiskeys have a recipe of 94% rye, 5% malted barley, 1% wheat and the bourbon is 74% corn, 20% rye, 4.5% malted barley, 1.5% wheat. The whiskeys featured here were aged in 53-gallon, char #3 barrels for a minimum of three years and up to 14 years. Since they were aged in the California fog belt, the cask strength proof of 117.2 is lower than many other such offerings of similar makeup. Cask Strength Lost Monarch is available at select retailers nationwide beginning May 2023. (SRP $70)

This is the second cask strength release of Redwood Empire’s Pipe Dream, one of three whiskeys of the brand’s core portfolio. Pipe Dream is its blended bourbon offering and here four different grains make up its recipe — 74% corn, 20% raw rye, 4.5% malt barley and 1.5% wheat. The bourbons featured here were aged in 53-gallon, char #3 barrels for a minimum of four years and up to 14 years. Since they were aged in the California fog belt, the cask strength proof of 116.8 is lower than many other such offerings of similar makeup. Cask Strength Pipe Dream is available at select retailers nationwide as of May 2023. (SRP $70)

Aperitif Alternative joins the other non-alcoholic spirit products in Ritual Zero Proof’s portfolio which include Gin, Whiskey, Tequila and Rum Alternatives. This Aperitif Alternative features a red hue and is made with all-natural ingredients. Availability begins May 15, 2023 at retailers nationwide as well as the brand’s website and online retailers like Amazon. (SRP $34.99)

Storywood Tequila is made using 100% blue Weber agave harvested from the Lowlands of Jalisco. The brand was founded Michael Ballantyne who was born in Scotland and raised in Texas. Notably, this reposado tequila was aged in Speyside single malt Scotch whisky barrels for 7 months, hence the name. Available beginning May 2023 at select retailers in Texas and California as well as direct sales from the brand’s website for shipping to 42 states in the US. (SRP $50.77)

Storywood Tequila is made using 100% blue Weber agave harvested from the Lowlands of Jalisco. The brand was founded Michael Ballantyne who was born in Scotland and raised in Texas. Notably, this añejo tequila was aged in Speyside single malt Scotch whisky barrels for 14 months, hence the name. Available beginning May 2023 at select retailers in Texas and California as well as direct sales from the brand’s website for shipping to 42 states in the US. (SRP $85)

Information courtesy of

GSN Review: Papa’s Pilar Rye-Finished Rum

Papa’s Pilar Rum, the rum brand inspired by legendary novelist Ernest Hemingway, announced that it has added a Rye-Finished Rum to its national portfolio, marking this as the fourth expression added to the flagship fleet.

Papa’s Pilar Rye-Finished Rum marries Master Distiller Ron Call’s passion for innovative rum with his roots in the whiskey industry. As a 7th generation master distiller, Ron, alongside members of his family, has created several whiskey brands along the legendary bourbon trail. With 49 years of Master Distilling behind him, the majority of which includes whiskey, this release allows Ron to return to his roots while producing a perfectly crafted premium spirit that both rum and whiskey aficionados will enjoy.

“I was eager to infuse the practices and nuances I garnered from my work in the whiskey industry into a finished rum that I’m proud to put my name on,” said Ron Call. “Our new Rye-Finished Rum is an ode to Papa Hemingway who has inspired our dedication to innovation with his desire to constantly explore uncharted territories. We are looking forward to getting this into the hands of our fans as they embark on their own adventures.”

Now officially available for purchase, Papa’s Pilar Rye-Finished Rum is made using the brand’s Dark Rum, which is solera blended with rums sourced from Barbados, Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela and Florida. The rum is further finished in once-used straight rye whiskey barrels made from heavily charred white oak, a rare process that resulted in a complexity and depth not often seen in the premium rum category. Papa’s Pilar Rye-Finished Rum offers an oak-forward taste with subtle hints of coffee, baking spices and dark chocolate. Bottled at 43% alcohol by volume, the rum has a nose of oak, burnt sugar, dates and baking spices, with a long and warm lingering finish of cacao and caramel.

GSN’s Remarks: Rich, dark, evocative nose percolated with high, keening rye spice. On the palate the dessert-like rum character is livelier with a gingery warmth. The rye flavor comes through loud and clear with a complex and introspective mix of darkened toast, bittersweet cocoa, full city coffee bean, and roasted hazelnut. A smooth, pervasive mouthfeel, leaving a long finish which fades to a slight woody note. Another fantastic member to Papa’s ever growing family. GSN Rating: A+


For more information go to: Papa’s Pilar

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