Alacran-Reposado-Tequila-High-Res-690x805Alacran Tequila has augmented its lineup with a new Reposado entry. Made with 100% Weber Blue agave, Alacran Reposado is aged for four months in ex-Bourbon oak barrels and packaged in a hand-labeled and numbered bottle. The new extension marks the fourth offering in Alacran’s stable, joining Tequila Blanco, Mezcal Joven and Cristal Añejo. Launched in the U.S. in 2011, Alacran’s key markets include New York, Miami and Texas.

ExtraKinky_Lineup_Pink-Gold-Blue_highresPrestige Beverage Group is extending its Kinky brand of RTD cocktails with two new flavors and a higher-alcohol Extra Kinky range. Kinky Cocktails, packaged in 12-ounce-bottle six-packs and carrying an abv of 5%, currently include Pink, Blue and Gold expressions. New to the line this spring are Red—a mix of watermelon and strawberry—and a limited edition Summer variant mingling coconut, lime and pineapple. Also joining the brand is 8%-abv Extra Kinky, which includes three flavors and is offered in 16- and 23.5-ounce cans. Kinky Cocktails are expanding their territory this year to include metro New York and Florida.

mobile-sangria-1Florida’s Miami Cocktail Co. has added two new ready-to-drink craft cocktails to its Small Batch Organics series. Miami Cocktail’s Tropical Sangria is made with premium red wine and infused with pineapple, mango, orange and lime juices, while the brand’s Blood Orange Mimosa blends blood oranges, tangerines and grapefruit with sparkling wine. Both 9%-abv expressions are crafted with all-natural ingredients and tout 100 calories per serving. The Small Batch Organics range is currently available online and at Whole Foods Market stores throughout Florida, retailing at $14.99 a 750-ml.

Rebel-YellSt. Louis-based spirits marketer Luxco has extended its Rebel Yell Bourbon brand with the launch of two new flavors—Ginger Whiskey and Root Beer Whiskey. The newest 70-proof offerings (both about $17-$20) will be available nationwide beginning this month and join Honey, Cherry, Bourbon, Small Batch Reserve, Small Batch Rye and American Whiskey expressions in the brand’s portfolio.

19835_cd3a5b9a03858bb795b6ba883a86f3dfDiageo has partnered with Hollywood director Brett Ratner for the launch of a new whiskey brand, The Hilhaven Lodge. The new whiskey is a blend three different whiskey styles that span three decades—Bourbon from the 2000s, Tennessee whiskey from the 1990s and rye whiskey from the 1980s. The packaging is inspired by the famed Hilhaven Lodge located in Beverly Hills and features a wood cork cap. The Hilhaven Lodge (40% abv) is hand-bottled at Louisville’s Stitzel-Weller distillery and will initially be available in limited quantities on- and off-premise in California and Florida for a suggested retail price of $50 a bottle.

356917Pernod Ricard’s Olmeca Tequila has extended its 100%-agave Altos range with a new Añejo expression. Aged for 18 months in oak barrels, Olmeca Altos Añejo ($34.99 a 750-ml.) is initially rolling out on-premise in select markets, including California, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, New York and Texas. Añejo marks the third entry in Olmeca Altos’ lineup, joining the brand’s existing Plata and Reposado offerings.

358089Proximo Spirits will launch a new American whiskey offering from DeLeon Tequila founder Brent Hocking on May 1. The new product, on which Hocking has collaborated with rapper Drake, is called Virginia Black Decadent American Whiskey, and will retail around $35 a bottle.

download (1)Chicago-based Rhine Hall Distillery, known for its fruit brandies, is introducing a fortified apple cider called La Normande, a French pommeau-style cordial due to launch on May 1. The cider, aged for nine months in Bourbon barrels from Heaven Hill, is bottled at 18% abv and priced at $33 per 750-ml. bottle. The company, owned by the father and daughter team of Charlie and Jenny Solberg, distributes only in Illinois, Indiana and Utah. Its lineup includes peach, plum, cherry, pear and mango brandies as well as grappa.

smirnoff-ice-electric-mandarin-10-HRDiageo’s Smirnoff Ice has extended its RTD lineup with a new range of non-carbonated malt beverages. Currently rolling out nationwide, Smirnoff Ice’s new Electric Flavors series features two expressions, including Electric Mandarin and Electric Berry. Both 5%-abv offerings are made with natural flavors and sweeteners, as well as coconut water, and are available in four-packs of 16-ounce re-sealable plastic bottles ($8.99).

set_shot_100cl_SCIL US Wine & Spirits, the U.S. subsidiary of Cognac producer Camus Wine & Spirits, has partnered with Denmark’s Danzka Vodka for the U.S. release of its namesake offering. The Scandinavian-style vodka is made with 100% whole-wheat grain through six-column distillation and triple filtered. The lineup—which includes Danzka, Danzka Apple, Citrus and Cranraz (all 40% abv) will launch in 750-ml. and 1-liter bottles in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida and Illinois this year, with a wider rollout planned for 2017.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

downloadDowningtown, Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Co. has released Cage Radler, a new lemon-infused lager. Made with Tettnang Mittelfrueh hops and Pilsner malts, the 3%-abv brew is made with natural ingredients and features notes of lemonade and citrus. Cage Radler will be sold across Victory’s 37-state footprint, available in six-packs of 12-ounce cans ($9.99) and on draft. Additionally, Cage Radler will be one of two new entries included in this year’s iteration of Victory’s Summer Selections variety 12-Screen-Shot-2016-04-05-at-1.06.50-PMpack.

San Clemente, California-based Left Coast Brewing Company is rolling out its limited edition spring seasonal, Red Tide. The newest American Belgian-style red ale joins the company’s year-round beers Trestle IPA and Del Mar St. Lager. Red Tide (7.1% abv) is brewed with Simcoe, Zythos and Amarillo hops. It’s available in 22-ounce bottles and kegs through June. Left Coast says it produces 11,000 barrels of beer and is available in 17 states.

Devils-Backbone-Adventure-PackLexington, Virginia’s Devils Backbone Brewing Company is rolling out its newest Adventure Pack Sampler. The mixed 12-pack will be available through June and features the Belgian-inspired farmhouse ale Five Apostles Saison (6.9% abv), as well as Pear Lager (4.8% abv), Golden Stag (5.5% abv) and Black Rock Milk Stout (5.4% abv). The offerings were previously available only at the company’s Basecamp Brewpub. The Adventure Pack Sampler will be available throughout Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina and West Virginia. Earlier this month, Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to purchase Devils Backbone for an undisclosed sum in a deal expected to close in the second quarter.

Stone-6th-AnniversaryEscondido, California’s Stone Brewing Company is bringing back its 6th Anniversary Porter, first introduced in 2002, as part of the 20th Anniversary Encore Series. The 8%-abv imperial smoked porter, which was conditioned with American and French oak chips, is brewed with Tomahawk hops. It’s available across Stone’s distribution footprint in limited 22-ounce bottles and on draft. In addition to its California brewery, Stone is also building a facility in Europe and production brewery in Richmond, Virginia.

Oskar-Blues-The-Wolf-and-the-LambColorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery has collaborated with New Orleans-based NOLA Brewing to launch The Wolf And The Lamb, a new limited release. A Double Pilsner-style lager, the 7%-abv brew is made with Pilsner malt and Czech Agnes and Styrian Wolf hops, and is packaged in cans featuring Jazz Fest-inspired artwork by New Orleans native J. Pierre. The Wolf And The Lamb is currently available for a limited time throughout Colorado and Louisiana.

image_thumbProvidence, Rhode Island’s Narragansett Beer is releasing Summertime Citra Ale, a new version of its traditional Summer Ale that debuted in 2011. This year’s summer offering is a blonde ale brewed with an increased amount of Citra hops and pale malt, which the company says impart more citrus and passion fruit notes. Summertime Citra Ale (4.2% abv) is available in six-packs of 16-ounce cans ($8.99-$9.99) and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans ($13.99-$15.99). The summer release will also be available in Narragansett’s latest Clam Shack Summer Variety 12-pack of 12-ounce cans ($13.99-$15.99), which also includes Del’s Shandy and Narragansett Lager. The company recently announced plans to return brewing operations to its home state for the first time since 1983.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

Amaretto_Bottles_4 Today is National Amaretto Day.  I’ll bet you had no idea.  Well, break out that dusty bottle from where it’s languishing in your closet and fix yourself an Amaretto Sour while I tell you a little background behind this unusual liqueur.

Amaretto Sour
2 oz Amaretto liqueur
1 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
½  fresh organic Egg white
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters

Dry shake (without ice) all ingredients. Add ice, shake again and strain into ice-filled glass.

Amaretto literally means “a little bitter”.  The original recipe contained bitter almond, but today’s liqueurs tend to be quite sweet.  We’ve all tasted a brand at least once.  Usually our first experience was sneaking a swig from our parents liquor cabinet.  Memorable and probably not our finest drinking moment.  “It has essence of tree nut, with elements of cane sugar”.

Yet, Amaretto has a long and distinguished heritage.  And it’s not necessarily almonds that you’re tasting.

Interestingly, the world’s best-selling brand DiSaronno contains no almonds, but rather uses a blend of seventeen herbs, fruits and most importantly apricot pits.  In fact, this recipe has been around since 1525, so who’s to say whether the product is supposed to be almond or apricot pit flavored?

Lastly, Portland bartender extraordinaire Jeffery Morganthaler claims to have perfected the world’s best Amaretto Sour.  You can check out his version here.

1Colorado’s Breckenridge Brewery has unveiled King’s Dish, the latest beer in its Small Batch series. Billed as a Burton ale-style brew, King’s Dish is made with English malts and will be available for a limited time in select markets, sold in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles and on draft. The 7.8%-abv entry joins previous launches 471 Small Batch IPA and 72 Imperial in Breckenridge’s Small Batch lineup, which showcases full-flavored beers with relatively high alcohol-by-volume.

saint_arnold_5oclock_pils_12oz_can-168x300Houston’s Saint Arnold Brewing Co. has added 5 O’Clock Pils to its year-round lineup. First created in 2013 as part of Saint Arnold’s limited edition Icon Series, 5 O’Clock is a Bohemian Pils-style lager brewed with Saaz hops, a varietal traditionally grown in the Czech Republic. The 5.2%-abv entry is currently available in 12-ounce cans and on draft throughout Texas, Louisiana and Florida. 5 O’Clock Pils marks Saint Arnold’s first year-round lager, joining Amber Ale, Ale Wagger Brown, Weedwacker and Fancy Lawnmower, among others, in the brewer’s core portfolio.

Bear-Republic-Pace-Car-RacerCalifornia’s Bear Republic Brewing Co. has added Pace Car Racer session IPA to its year-round lineup. Formerly a draft-only brew, Pace Car (4% abv) is now rolling out nationally in six packs of 12-ounce bottles as well as in kegs. Bear Republic, based in Sonoma County, is known for its core Racer 5 IPA, which has helped establish the company as the 44th-largest craft brewer nationwide, according to the Brewers Association.

image_thumb[1]Asheville, North Carolina-based Green Man Brewery is launching Sunseeker Pils this May. Made with 100% Pilsner malt and German hops, Sunseeker is billed as a light-bodied beer targeted toward the summer season. The brew—which marks Green Man’s first packaged lager—will be available in 12-ounce bottled six-packs throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

1Napa winery Ca’ Momi has forayed into spirits with the launch of a new Ca’ Momi vodka. Made from premium Napa wine grapes, Ca’ Momi vodka is triple distilled and minimally filtered. The small-batch offering is priced at $50 a 750-ml. The upscale vodka will be distributed nationally alongside its wines.

Barrel-Strength-Bulleit-Bulleit-Bourbon-bottleHigh-flying Bulleit Bourbon is being extended with a Barrel Strength edition. The first 3,000 cases of the new offering, which retails at around $50 a bottle, are debuting in Kentucky this week, according to the Lexington Herald Leader. Bulleit Barrel Strength joins the original Bourbon, as well as Rye and 10-year-old variants in the brand line.

t6800440be_1Newport, Oregon-based Rogue Ales & Spirits has unveiled its first straight whiskey. Made with Rogue Farms-sourced malt, Rogue Spirits’ Oregon Single Malt Whiskey is aged for at least two years in American oak. The 40%-abv expression is available at select retail accounts throughout the U.S. Oregon Single Malt Whiskey joins Chipotle Whiskey, Oregon Rye Whiskey and Dead Guy Whiskey in Rogue’s craft spirits portfolio.

Coopers-CraftBrown-Forman is launching a new whiskey brand, Coopers’ Craft, its first new Bourbon label in two decades. Coopers’ Craft, whose name is a nod to the barrel-making process and its importance to Bourbon production, is an 82.2 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon. It will debut this summer across eight southeastern markets—Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee—retailing at around $29 a 750-ml.

2016 TLD 50YO Double Matured bottle & miniU.K.–based luxury independent bottler The Last Drop Distillers has released its sixth offering. With only 898 bottles available, the 50-year-old Double Matured blended Scotch whisky ($4,500) was originally created in 1995 as a 30-year-old premium blend and then matured for an additional 20 years in ex-Sherry casks. Like all The Last Drop spirits, the 51.8% abv whisky is packaged with a 750-ml. bottle and 50-ml. miniature bottle for the U.S. market.

Porton-Acholado-PiscoPisco Portón LLC is extending its namesake brand with a new variant, Portón Acholado. An acholado pisco is an expression of the Peruvian spirit made with a blend of two or more of the eight allowed grape varietals. Portón’s acholado is a mix of estate-grown Quebranta, Italia and Torontel grapes. The newcomer is hitting key U.S. markets this month, retailing at around $35 a 750-ml.

565c927cef8a99b2f077c0824cc39b15Kicking off a new “Noble Collection” of limited-edition whiskies under its Crown Royal brand, Diageo has introduced Crown Royal Cornerstone Blend. The new luxury Crown Royal edition is a 40.3%-abv blend of three whiskies: a Bourbon-style Canadian whisky, a spicy Canadian rye and Crown Royal’s Coffey Rye whisky. Retailing at $59.99 a 750-ml., Cornerstone is rolling out nationwide, limited to around 10,000 cases. Diageo plans to release a new specialty Canadian whisky under Crown Royal’s Noble Collection annually.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily


Cara Sposa is an aria from the opera Rinaldo composed by George Frideric Handel in E minor in 1731. Though light, the piano accompaniment provides an underlying pulse, lending the song a sense of propulsion; at the same time, the vocal line is appropriately dreamy and languid. While the vocal range is not especially demanding, the accompaniment provides little pitch support for the voice’s sometimes unusual intervals. When well performed, this richly expressive song is one of the most impressive and moving in the entire repertoire.

As for the cocktail itself, it tastes like one of those Terry’s Chocolate Oranges that you can find in the candy department.  Likewise, a little goes a long way in this cocktail.  In other words, ultra sweet.

Cara Sposa
1oz coffee-flavored brandy
0.75oz triple sec
0.5oz half-and-half

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

nomadbottleNomad Outland Whisky (the Sophisticated Traveler) is born in the Highlands of Scotland, principally from Speyside and aged in Jerez, Spain. There, it is left to soak up the natural aspects of this special micro-climate giving Nomad its quintessential Scottish character and a soul that is truly Jerezano. Scotch Whiskies, specially selected by master blender Richard Paterson have been shipped to this historic Andalucian city, where under the watchful eye of González Byass master blender Antonio Flores, they are left to age in Pedro Ximénez barrels in the unique micro-climate of Jerez.

Nomad Outland Whisky is crafted for consumers looking to be inspired by a unique marriage of global flavors.

Nomad Outland (82.6 proof)
Visual: Medium light gold.
Nose: A ton of lovely sherry on the nose.  Elegant, stately and invigorating.  Below that lies a solid, not-too-malty whisky that has just the right amount of wood.
Taste: The slightly higher proof, cause the whisky to come through as the leader, while the sherry plays a more subtle role.  The flavors run from salted caramel to toasted hazelnut.
Finish: Medium long with a sherry sweetness adding an engagingly 19th century appeal.
Overall: Very nice and a solid whisky.  The concept works well to bring what would be a traditional Scottish technique further afield to age under quite different conditions.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Gonzalez Byass

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