GSN Review: Black Button Bespoke Coffee Liqueur

Black Button’s Bespoke Coffee Liqueur is made with locally roasted beans from Central New York’s CDGA Coffee Co. and steeped in Black Button’s 20-Plate vodka along with vanilla beans and finished with cane sugar.

10% of all coffee bean revenue from CDGA is given to a local charity. Black Button and CDGA continue this tradition by donating 10% of revenue from sales of Bespoke Coffee Liqueur to Habitat of Humanity of Wayne County.

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.

Black Button Bespoke Coffee Liqueur is available starting November 29, 2019 at their Rochester and Buffalo, NY tasting rooms.

Black Button Bespoke Coffee Liqueur (48 proof)
Visual: Nearly opaque brown.
Nose: Fresh ground dark roast coffee bean overlaid on a less present vodka base.
Taste: Somewhat viscous mouthfeel, bitter espresso flavor, very little sweetness, only enough to keep it from being too intense. I don’t pick up the vanilla until the very end.
Finish: Long and somewhat burnt with a real coffee finish.
Overall: This reminds me more of espresso with a kick than a liqueur. I’d have a shot of this for breakfast. What would make for a remarkable holiday cocktail would be a blend of the Bespoke Coffee Liqueur and the Black Barrel Bespoke Bourbon Cream over ice to bring up the sweetness.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Black Button

GSN Review: Dirty Sue Whiskey Cherries

Dirty Sue is known for their excellent olive juice Martini mixes. Now, bartender and Dirty Sue founder Eric “ET” Tecosky has debuted a cocktail garnish perfect for your Manhattan or Old-Fashioned. Made with Stardust cherries from the Pacific Northwest, they are “noticeably larger than other cherries in the category and have a skin that pops with the first bite revealing a flavor that’s been compared to a ‘fresh cherry’,” Tecosky says. The cherries are bathed in cherry juice formulated with Tennessee and Kentucky whiskeys, and mellowed with notes of vanilla, star anise and currant.

Dirty Sue Whiskey Cherries are quite large with a thicker skin. Very dark in color, they initially greet you with a lot of vanilla at first bite. These are sweet with no discernible tartness. The whiskey is more subtle, but distinctly noticeable. The liquid they rest in is juice not a thick glucose laden syrup. There approximately 50 cherries in each jar.

GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Dirty Sue

GSN Review: Tequila Chamucos Reposado

Chamucos are believed to be dark, shadowy creatures who appear in dreams and only visit briefly at night. Chamucos have a playful but secretive nature and they thrive on frightening with clever but mostly harmless pranks. Some have been startled when awakened by the presence of the dark creature sitting at the edge of their bed watching as they slept. When spotted, the Chamuco will always vanish into the darkest places. The tequila’s slogan “Si amanece nos vamos” means, “If dawn comes, we will leave.” What is commonly referred to as the “Angel’s Share,” where mysterious losses from barrel aging occurs, is thought to be consumption by “Chamucos,” thus the origin of the brand name.
Chamucos Tequila was originally conceived in 1992 by two friends; Oscar nominated Mexican film director, Antonio Urrutia, and his close friend Cesar Hernandez, a hand-blown glass bottle artist. US Importer Mark Howard was interested in creating his own tequila brand and saw a bottle while visiting Cesar’s glass factory. The recipe was the collaboration of the group (Cesar, Antonio and Mark) lead by renowned Master Distiller, Ing. Hector Davalos.
A “Highland” tequila using only organic, Los Altos agave, Chamucos is distilled in specially designed Stainless Steel Alambique stills and aged in medium toasted virgin American white oak barrels & virgin French oak barrels for six months.

Tequila Chamucos Reposado (80 proof)
Visual: Pale citrine.
Nose: Medium agave nose with some mild oak. Light caramel and toasted coconut float above it all.
Taste: Very mild flavor, but the cask flavor is apparent. Quite fresh and clean with more of the caramel coming through along with some cocoa.
Finish: A fairly quick fade that ends on a slight herbal note.
Overall: I’d like to have this aged a bit longer to become more expressive, but as it is, is has a shy character that is easy to work with. Perfect for Margaritas and Bloody Marias.
GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Tequila Chamucos

GSN Review: Hard20 Spirited Water

Hard20 Spirited Water (5% ABV) Comes in four flavors: Berry, a mix of all-natural strawberry, raspberry and blueberry flavor; Mango; Citrus, a combination of all-natural lemon and lime flavor; and Dragonfruit Pear.

Basically think of these as fruit infused water with a kick. These are great for a hot day and come in plastic bottles for use near the water. The flavors are not overwhelming and there is no sugar added. so, they make for a carb and gluten free libation.

GSN Rating: B-

For more information go to: Hard2O


GSN Holiday Gift Suggestion: The Bourbon Advent Calendar

The Bourbon Advent Calendar is back and hidden inside are some of Bourbon’s best kept secrets. Whether you are looking for rare small batch whiskies, classics of the category, or highly sought after age statement expressions, your Bourbon needs are sure to be met.

Every day you’ll discover a different 30ml wax-sealed dram from a selection of America’s finest distillers, set to appeal to experienced bourbon lovers and new-found fans alike! Happy Advent!

– 24 different, handmade 30ml wax-sealed drams

– Explore bourbons from across America

– From boutique producers to world-renowned brands

– From light and creamy to rich and complex

– Award-winning bourbons from famous distilleries

GSN received one for review and we can tell you that this is one classy item! Well designed, unique and beautifully packaged. You will please any bourbon lover with a wide variety of American whiskies in glass, wax sealed bottles. Each day is a new gift of one ounce of a craft spirit.

Order yours here

GSN Review: Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt

Woodford Reserve recently announced the re-release of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt, a whiskey based on historical recipes and influenced by Woodford Reserve Bourbon. The grain-forward whiskey sold out within two months after originally hitting shelves in June 2018.

The Malt is a permanent extension to the Woodford Reserve portfolio, which includes the original Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, Woodford Reserve Rye and Woodford Reserve Wheat, which released earlier this summer.

Created by Master Distiller Chris Morris, the grain bill is 51 percent malt, resulting in a whiskey that complements the characteristics found in the original Woodford Reserve. “We are pleased to announce Woodford Reserve Malt is once again available to our consumers,” Morris said. “The demand for this special liquid was remarkable, and we are excited to have the product available once again.”

Coming out of Prohibition, the Federal Government approved four straight whiskey standards: Bourbon, Rye, Wheat, and Malt. These reflected the types of whiskeys produced in the United States prior to Prohibition. While most people associate malt whiskey with Scotland, Kentucky has a pre-Prohibition history of malt whiskey production.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt (90.4 proof)
Visual: Medium dark brown.
Nose: Sweet, oakey, with brown bread, light baking spice, slight char and a touch of dried apricot.
Taste: A lot of mid-range notes come through with a soft and easy entry. The bread-like characteristics come through quickly with a slight toasty char enveloping the body of the whiskey.
Finish: Medium long. The initial flavors all fade evenly, with no one particular aspect standing out.
Overall: A great whiskey that easily holds its own against the bourbon with the iconic red wax seal. A welcome addition to the always excellent and approachable Woodford Reserve line.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Woodford Reserve

GSN Review: Singani63 Brandy

Millenia ago, Spanish missionaries planted the Muscat of Alexandria grape a mile high in the Bolivian Andes. When the grapes matured at a high altitude, their skins thickened, creating a unique flavor during the distillation process. Bolivians called the spirit Singani and embraced it as a national spirit, but kept it from the rest of the world until filmmaker Steven Soderbergh discovered it while filming the movie Che. He quickly fell in love with the brandy and made it a personal goal to bring it to a wider audience.

Grown at high altitude (above 5200 ft) in the Bolivian Andes of Tarija and distilled by the 4th generation distillers of Casa Real, Singani63 is unique among spirits to be given both a DO (Designation  of Origin) and a GI (Geographical Indication).

Singani63 (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Musky grape distillate. Fruit forward and slightly grassy.
Taste: Very smooth entry, followed by a heavy grape flavor that slowly dissolves into a rather tannic closing. The body is light and yet rich with character.
Finish: Medium-long with a grape skin and seed finale.
Overall: If you’e had Cachaça  and Pisco, you’ll make quick friends with Singani. A versatile and friendly spirit that will work as an intriguing substitute in classic white spirit cocktails.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Singani63