GSN Spirited News: September 15th 2020 Edition

Evanston, Illinois-based Few Spirits has launched Immortal rye, a new whiskey proofed down to bottling strength with tea. The 46.5% abv whiskey is made by blending cask strength Few rye with 8 Immortals tea from Denver’s the Tea Spot. The whiskey does not contain added sugar or other additives. The whiskey’s label art showcases a dragon print that was shown at the 1893 World’s Fair. The initial release is limited—only 6,000 bottles—and is rolling out now across the U.S. for around $45 a 750-ml.

Japanese whisky maker Nikka is releasing a pair of new whiskies finished in apple brandy barrels in an homage to the company’s origins producing apple juice and other apple products before launching the first Nikka whisky in 1940. The first release is Yoichi Single Malt Whisky Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels, produced at Nikka’s founding distillery on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The second is Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels, produced in Sendai, Japan. Both are at 40% abv and retail for $250 a 750-ml. Imported by San Francisco-based Hotaling & Co., they will be distributed in California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, Washington, and Tennessee.

Benriach single malt Scotch whisky, part of the Brown-Forman portfolio, has revamped its core lineup and unveiled two new expressions. The newcomers include Smoky Ten and Smoky Twelve whiskies, retailing at $60 and $65 a 750-ml., respectively. Those offerings join the Original Ten ($54) and Original Twelve ($60) in the range, which has been repackaged and will be hitting the market in its new incarnation next month. Benriach will follow with Twenty-One, Twenty-Five, and Thirty-Year-Old single malts in the U.S. next year.

Heaven Hill has announced the 2020 iteration of Parker’s Heritage. This year’s whiskey is a 10-year-old Bourbon matured in heavily charred barrels. The spirit was distilled from a mash of 72% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye, and aged in level 5 char barrels, as opposed to Heaven Hill’s typical level 3 char barrels. The whiskey is bottled at 60% abv and is rolling out now in limited quantities across the U.S. for around $120 a 750-ml. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle goes to fund research and patient care for those diagnosed with ALS.

Tequila Partida has debuted Roble Fino, a line of luxury sipping Tequilas. The new range includes a Reposado ($100 a 750-ml.), aged for a minimum of 6 months in ex-Bourbon barrels and then aged for two more months in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks; a Reposado Cristalino ($115), finished in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks; and an Añejo ($125), aged for 18 months in ex-Bourbon barrels, then finished for five more months in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks. All three Tequilas are now rolling out in New York, California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas, with additional markets to follow.

Beam Suntory has launched this year’s version of Basil Hayden’s 10-Year-Old Bourbon. The 40% abv whiskey is made from the company’s high-rye mashbill. It serves as the higher-end limited release for the brand and sits alongside the flagship Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, and other limited releases like 10-year-old rye, and Caribbean Reserve Rye. Basil Hayden’s 10-year-old is now available across the U.S. for around $70 a 750-ml.

Diageo has released Captain Morgan Sliced Apple, the latest flavored offshoot for the spiced rum brand. The 35% abv rum is made from the original spiced rum with added ginger and apple flavoring. Captain Morgan Sliced Apple is now available across the U.S. for around $16 a 750-ml.

San Francisco, California-based Gold Bar Spirits Co. has launched Rickhouse Cask Strength Straight BourbonThe whiskey is distilled from a mash of 80% corn and 20% rye and is bottled at 51.5% abv. With this new release, Gold Bar continues its partnership with the San Francisco 49ers, with Rickhouse named the official whiskey of the team’s Faithful to the Bay campaign. Rickhouse is now available in major retailers across the U.S. and on the company’s website for around $35 a 750-ml.

Minnetonka, Minnesota’s Dashfire has announced a new line of hard coffees, set to launch throughout the state at the end of the month. The 14% abv RTDs will come in three flavors—Rum Café Mocha, Rum Golden Latte, and Bourbon Cold Brew—and all will be available in individual 200-ml. cans. Southern Glazer’s will distribute Dashfire’s hard coffees in Minnesota and the company is planning for a wider release through Vision Wine & Spirits in the future.

Moët Hennessy-owned Belvedere has long looked to differentiate itself by bringing the concept of terroir to the vodka category. Now the brand is introducing its new Heritage 176 expression and a “Made With Nature” platform, highlighting its Polish origins and craftsmanship. Heritage 176 is rolling out across 20 U.S. markets, retailing at $35 a 750-ml. The new offering nods to the 19th century practice of malting rye by kiln-heating—which Belvedere says unlocks distinctive flavors in the resulting liquid—with its distillers applying fire to malt the rye before distillation. It’s intended to be served over ice with a lemon twist.

William Grant & SonsHudson Whiskey has rebranded with more mature offerings and a new, more accessible price point. The distillery’s Baby Bourbon is now Bright Lights, Big Bourbon, a 46% abv whiskey retailing at $40 a 750-ml. Manhattan Rye has relaunched as Do the Rye Thing, also bottled at 46% abv and retailing for $40. The company’s Maple Cask Rye, a whiskey finished in maple syrup barrels, has rebranded as Short Stack and will retail at around $55. The company also has launched Back Room Deal, a new rye whiskey finished in barrels used to age peated Scotch, which will retail at around $55 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: September 15th 2020 Edition

Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing has announced Jai Low IPA, a new sessionable brew from the maker of Jai Alai IPA. The 4% abv ale is inspired by English ordinary bitters and is made with Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade, Motueka, Centennial, and CTZ hops. Jai Low comes in at 120 calories per 12-ounce serving. Jai Low IPA will roll out this fall in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans across the brewery’s national distribution footprint. Cigar City Brewing is part of the Canarchy Collective of brewers alongside Oskar Blues, and Perrin, among others.

Detroit, Michigan-based Atwater Brewery is adding its fruit-forward Pog-O-Licious IPA to its year-round lineup. Initially released as a summer seasonal containing passion fruit, orange, and guava, the brew exceeded sales projections earning a place in the brewery’s core collection. At 6.5% abv, Pog-O-Licious is available in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans throughout Michigan as well as in Atwater’s Staycation variety 12-pack, where it joins flagship Dirty Blonde and Better Life Choices IPA, among others.

Austin, Texas’ Lone Star Brewing is launching Das Bier Y’all, a seasonal German-style kolsch with peach flavoring. It follows Lone Star’s first seasonal, Rio Jade Mexican-style lager, and likewise honors a tradition that has shaped Texas—in this case its German heritage. It is at 4.8% abv and is now available for purchase in select locations throughout Texas through early spring 2021, retailing for $8 a 6-pack of 12-ounce cans. Lone Star Brewing is owned by Pabst Brewing Co.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Prairie Sustainable Seasons Vodka

Prairie Organic Spirits recently expanded its portfolio of farm-crafted spirits with the launch of its first-ever vodka botanicals collection, Prairie Organic Sustainable Seasons. Crafted with sustainably sourced ingredients that are USDA certified organic, allowing for unique flavor profiles within each expression. From tart grapefruit to crisp apple and even sweet watermelon, the inspiration for each flavor combination was carefully selected based on the sustainable ingredients available. Each 60 proof bottle is naturally-flavored and free of chemicals, pesticides and gluten, contains zero sugar, carbs or fat and has only 75 calories per every 1.5 fluid ounce serving.

“As we looked to grow our Prairie Organic Spirits portfolio and add a botanicals expression line, we wanted to ensure that it stayed true to our roots and mission of using only sustainably sourced ingredients grown on organic farms, and the Sustainable Seasons line does just that,” said Meghan Murray, VP of Marketing at Phillips Distilling Company. “By infusing our award-winning organic vodka with the perfect balance of fresh fruit and herbal flavors, our new botanicals line is the perfect accompaniment to any cocktail – and a true farm-to-bottle experience that tastes just as delicious as it sounds.”

In addition, Prairie Organic Spirits is giving back to the community that harvests the corn to produce these spirits – the organic farmers. In partnership with the Rodale Institute, Prairie Organic Spirits created the Spirit of Change Fund that champions the next generation of organic farmers by helping more farmers go organic. By donating one percent of all sales, Prairie Organic Spirits is advancing its mission to help make a better future for our land and farmers.

The new Prairie Organic Sustainable Seasons are available in three flavor combinations:

  • Grapefruit, Hibiscus & Chamomile 
  • Watermelon, Cucumber & Lime
  • Apple, Pear & Ginger

GSN’s Thoughts: The apple-pear-ginger vodka has a nice apple character that is light and fruity. The pear is more subtle, while the ginger adds a gently warming heat that gradually grows over a minute and then fades. The grapefruit-hibiscus-chamomile vodka is even more subtle, with the grapefruit being the most noticeable flavor. Again, it is light and fruity, but the fade is quick and slightly dry. Of the three, the watermelon-cucumber-lime is our favorite. All three flavors stand out in equal intensity with a very flavor forward blend that will stand up to a mixer ranging from club soda to tonic water. Overall, these are a welcome addition to the flavored vodka world, being subtle, naturally flavored and unsweetened.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Prairie Organic Spirits

GSN Alert: September 15th – National Crème de Menthe Day

Qtimthumb.phpuick!  How many classic crème de menthe based cocktails can you name? Go!

That’s what I thought.  Highlight the area to the right to see if you got them all -> Grasshopper, Stinger

Crème de menthe is one of those liqueurs that once you try, you will never forget.  For obvious reasons it is used in a fair amount of obscure Irish cocktails, but personally I avoid those.

Crème de menthe is not a cream based liqueur, but rather a category of spirits known as crèmes, which are more syrupy and sugar laden than standard liquors.  It is made from Corsican mint or peppermint and is either colorless (white) or vibrantly green.  Most products today use food coloring to achieve the effect.  The flavors are exactly the same however.

If you want to try making your own at home, here’s a recipe courtesy of Marcia Simmons, co-author of DIY Cocktails which I have previously reviewed here.

DIY Creme de Menthe
1 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (divided)
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water

  • Measure out 1 cup of mint leaves and tear them in quarters Place mint leaves in a sealable glass jar and pour vodka on top. Shake and let steep for 12 hours.
  • After steeping is complete, strain mint leaves from infused vodka. Return infused vodka to the jar.
  • Bring the water and sugar to a boil, and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then add syrup to mint-infused vodka.
  • Take the additional 1/2 cup of mint leaves, tear them, and add them to the jar. Shake and let steep for 10 hours.
  • Strain twice to remove all mint leaves, keep in resealable bottle. Keeps for two months.

GSN Review: Abelha Organic Cachaca

The Abelha story begins in Rio De Contas, Brazil – a small town set amongst the hills and valleys on the edge of the majestic Chapada Diamantina – where the Abelha team met Marcos Vaccaro, a visionary and an expert in all things organic. Marcos’s organic fazenda (farm) produces exceptional sugar cane, alongside fruit trees, a coffee plantation and has tree-house accommodation for all visitors. The travelers knew they had found both a perfect partner and an ideal location for their distillery. Together, they created Abelha Cachaça, born out of shared principles, values, and vision.

The distillery is a single estate family operation. Marcos coordinates all production, from cane field to pot still, and he is constantly seeking out ways to improve organic farming and distillation methods. At 1,200 metres altitude, the estate is ideal for Cachaça production, as the temperature differential between day and night produces sugar cane that retains its natural sugars.

Abelha is committed to supporting the Rio De Contas community. By building partnerships and improving organic farming technologies & techniques, they are boosting the local economy significantly and sustainably. They teach local farmers organic practices, helping them get certified by the Instituto BioDynamico (Brazil’s Official Organic Association). Once certified, the farmers can supply the distillery with organic sugar cane at a fair price.

Abelha Cachaça is produced by local craftspeople and workers at the Abelha distillery, including bottling and quality control, and they offer high wages to all of the workers at the Fazenda. They also support the local Rio De Contas Foundation, and the upkeep of the Chapada Diamantina, so tourists can appreciate the region’s natural beauty for years to come. They believe in being 100% sustainable. The Fazenda (farm) is a 100% sustainable, self-sufficient, clean running farm – all waste is re-used in future farming. The cars and tractors on the farm are powered on the by-products from the distillate. They always look to improve organic technologies and infrastructure where possible.

Abelha Prata (80 proof)
Appearance: Clear.
Aroma: Clean, vegetal and fresh.
Taste: Round, creamy, with vanilla overtones. Medium body with a warming and lightly grassy flavor.
Finish: Medium long, with a touch of mint on the finish.
Overall: A very nice cachaça that makes for a beautiful sipping spirit. This will make a stellar Caipirinha.
GSN Rating: A

Abelha Ouro: Aged 3 years in Garapeira wood (80 proof)
Appearance: Yellow.
Aroma: Clean and woody, but not in the way you might think. This has a dried tree fruit aroma which is quite enticing.
Taste: Somewhat tannic and slightly bitter, but more expressive than the Prata. The wood aging paints a darker patina on the spirit, giving it a more brandy-like character.
Finish: Long and subtle, with some of the wood notes adding a dry leathery flavor. Quite unique.
Overall: We’ve had several cachaças aged in exotic woods. This one is intense and very compact in its flavor profile. Definitely a spirit to savor on its own.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Abelha Cachaca

 

GSN Spirited News: September 8th 2020 Edition

Disaronno International is launching a nitro cold brew coffee cocktail under its Tia Maria brand. Officially dubbed Iced Coffee Frappé, it will be the first ready-to-drink offshoot for the coffee liqueur. It is at 4% abv and is made with Arabica coffee and cream, using nitro technology that deploys upon opening to create frappé foam. The company brought in Dutch street artist Karski to collaborate on the packaging. Tia Maria Iced Coffee Frappé will be available nationwide beginning in mid-September, retailing for $11 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Heaven Hill has announced the latest release in its Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond series, a 14-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The whiskey was distilled in the fall of 2005 and, like all bonded whiskies, is bottled at 50% abv. The fall 2020 edition of Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond is the first 14-year-old whiskey from the series to be sold outside of Kentucky and follows the spring 2020 launch of a 9-year-old whiskey. This is the sixth release in the biannual series. It’s available across the U.S. in limited quantities for a suggested price of $140 a 750-ml.

Austin Cocktails has launched a selection of its bottled spirits-based RTDs in cans. The canned releases bring three of the company’s most popular bottled offerings—Cucumber Vodka Sparkling Mojito, Fred’s Ruby Red Sparkling Grapefruit Cocktail, and Bergamot Orange Sparkling Margarita—to a more portable format. The 12.5% abv drinks come in two-serving 8.4-ounce cans. According to Austin Cocktails, the company is doubling production capacity after selling through its entire initial run. Austin Cocktails are now available in 4-packs for around $15 in 14 states across the U.S.

Bozal mezcal has introduced Madrecuishe, a new single maguey expression. The new mezcal is sourced from San Luis Amatlán in Oaxaca, and is bottled at 46% abv. Billed as a sipping mezcal, Madrecuishe is retail priced at $80 a 750-ml. and is currently rolling out nationwide. The Bozal mezcal lineup is part of the portfolio of Sonoma-based négociant 3 Badge Beverage Corp. and includes a variety of expressions, among them Espadín, Barril, and Tobalá.

Ron Colón Salvadoreño has aligned with Preiss Imports for U.S. distribution. The high-proof rum from El Salvador was launched early this year by industry veterans Pepijn Janssens and Thurman Wise. Preiss plans to roll the brand out across 30 states. Ron Colón’s range includes a 111-proof Dark Aged Rum retailing at $42 a 750-ml. and a 111-proof Cold Coffee Infused Rum retailing at $44. An 81-proof Cold Coffee Infused Rum ($32) will follow in November.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, has announced the first release in a new Founder’s Collection, dedicated to special bottlings from the distillery. In October, Rabbit Hole will launch Boxergrail Founder’s Collection Kentucky Straight rye, a cask strength, limited release pulled from some of the first whiskies distilled by Rabbit Hole. The 57.3% abv rye aged for six years and was assembled from seven barrels. The limited release of only 1,315 bottles will be available across the U.S. in select stores for around $195 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: September 8th 2020 Edition

Ventura, California-based Flying Embers hard kombucha is releasing three new offerings as part of its limited Flight Series. The newcomers include an unflavored Original Essence kombucha, which is at 7% abv and billed as drinking like a white wine, as well as Strawberry Lemongrass (7% abv) and Prickly Pear Heather (4.5% abv) expressions. Distributed to 40 states, Flying Embers also recently extended its range with a line of probiotic-infused hard seltzers.

Portland, Oregon-based Cascade Brewing has introduced Framboise Northwest, a new sour ale made with locally sourced raspberries. The 7.9% abv ale begins life as a blonde ale before aging for up to two years in wine barrels with added raspberries. The beer is now available for local pickup at Cascade’s Barrel House and The Lodge, as well as online. Beginning September 14, Framboise Northwest will be available in 500-ml. bottles and on draft throughout the brewery’s distribution footprint.

Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery has launched its latest IPA variety pack, the Pack-o-Bliss. The 12-pack contains three 12-ounce cans each of Oskar Blues’ Can-o-Bliss Citra Double IPA, Can-o-Bliss Resinous IPA, Can-o-Bliss’ rotating seasonal IPA, and Pinner Session IPA. This releases marks Pinner’s return to the brewery’s portfolio after fans on social media requested the brew’s return. The new variety pack is now available in retailers across the U.S. In addition, Oskar Blues’ latest seasonal Can-o-Bliss IPA is also available on draft.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Still Austin Straight Bourbon

Still Austin Whiskey Co., a straight bourbon whiskey featuring grains that are 100% grown by Texas farmers. The bourbon is handmade from grain-to-glass at the distillery, aged for at least two years in new charred American Oak barrels, and bottled at 98.4 proof (49.2% ABV). It’s comprised of a mash bill of 70% Non-GMO white corn (the same found in Austin’s tortillas), 25% Elbon rye (which imparts a natural spice) and 5% wildfire malted barley.

“We started Still Austin Whiskey Co. because we saw an opportunity to create our own kind of distillery where we do everything intentionally. This bourbon is an expression of true Texas terroir, but also the distillation of all we are, and of all that has created us. We’ve managed to bottle the inclusive spirit of our home city; a complex bourbon with substance, flair, and finesse”, said Chris Seals, CEO.

The Still Austin distillery includes a 42-foot custom-made column, “Nancy,” (and her sister copper-pot still, “The Queen”) which give the distillers serious creative license to create unique new flavors and spirits. The team also uses Texas weather to its advantage. The region’s high heat, humidity and rapidly shifting temperatures encourage spirits to move rapidly in and out of the oak barrels and mature relatively quickly—but, if this process is left unchecked, it can also cause the bourbon to have heavy oak flavor or harsh tannic qualities. To prevent this, Still Austin uses a meticulous six-month slow water reduction technique focused on flavor and balance, which gives the alcohol a softness on the palate and brings more “mature” notes, like vanilla and caramel, to the forefront.

For the label, Still Austin commissioned internationally acclaimed artist and native Texan Marc Burckhardt to paint a series of portraits of “archetypical” Austinites. Each provides a sense of the people who have influenced and inspired the team, while paying homage to the Texas terroir. The figure on the new label dubbed “the Musician,” is the first in the series, which will grace the labels of future spirits. These are visual representations of archetypes, a way of conceiving a “new Austin mythology” by celebrating the innovative people who make the city what it is. The Musician was a natural place to start since Austin is “The Live Music Capital of the World.” The Musician—along with future archetypes like the Naturalist, the Writer, the Visionary, and the Artist—illustrates the fearlessness needed to become truly unique.

Still Austin Straight Bourbon (98.4 proof)
Appearance: Medium-dark copper.
Aroma: Sweet, spicy, woody. These are all what you would hope for a bourbon nose. But, there is also a sense of walking into a pâtisserie. Delicious, dessert-like aromas greet you, drawing you in for a delightful excursion into the world of straight whiskey.
Taste: Incredibly, for a whiskey that has only aged for two years, this tastes like an 8-10 year old. Lots of body, a well proportioned balance of sweet corn, spicy rye and the connecting essence of barley. The whole spirit is a flavor bomb that just keeps getting better.
Finish: One of the longest fades we’ve ever tasted. It’s as if you just had a ginger cake with a cinnamon bourbon sauce.
Overall: We are really impressed with this spirit and would not be surprised to see it garner dozens of awards over the -years.
GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Still Austin

GSN Review: Skeptic Gin

Chicagoland’s Skeptic Distillery is creating a stir in both the spirit industry and in craft cocktail culture. In fact, they’ve completely changed the way that spirits are processed. As far as they know, they are one of only a handful of distilleries in the world producing spirits using cold vacuum distillation technology, and quite certainly the only one doing it in the utterly unique way they do. They began with a healthy skepticism about the traditional copper still system. While based on time-tested methods, the ancient system is relatively expensive, inefficient and space-gobbling. They explored new methods and came up with a curious invention that melds science with craft. The result? A unique, custom-built, continuous-column vacuum distillation system that operates at below room temperature. Their equipment incorporates computer-engineered copper distillation column packing to maximize the copper contact with the distilled spirit, vastly improving purification.

Cold vacuum distillation brings out flavors that are unattainable using the traditional copper still method. In vacuum distillation, the alcohols and aromas are concentrated in the liquid, while the sourness and bitterness are removed. The cold-temperature evaporation process ensures that the uniquely fresh fruity and flowery aromas of the individual botanicals are neither destroyed nor altered by heat. When you taste their spirits, you’ll experience flavors and notes that traditional processing systems have been unable to attain.

Skeptic Gin (90 proof)
Appearance: Clear.
Aroma: Very much a juniper forward gin, with lighter essences of more subtle herbs and citrus. Clean, crisp and well appointed.
Taste: More citrus on the palate than is apparent on the nose. This leads into lightly floral and slightly sweet canvas which has a roundness in character. Some peppery and piney notes stay far on the back of the palate.
Finish: Medium-long with a lasting note of juniper.
Overall: It has the character of a navy strength gin, without the fire. One of the few gins that we enjoyed sipping neat. But, this will make for excellent cocktails and punches.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Skeptic Distillery

GSN Review: La Adelita Tequila

La Adelita’s history began in 1885, when the descendants of Don Antonio Faustino de Aceves y Casillas built Hacienda La Capillla. Don Antonio Aceves, better known as “Amo Aceves” was the founder of Capilla de Guadalupe, a town that got its name from the town chapel, built in honor of the “Virgin of Guadalupe”. The town rests under the shade of the Cerro Gordo, in the heart of Jalisco, providing excellent conditions for the growing of agave, such as moderate climate and volcanic ground. Don Antonio’s descendants took advantage of the local agave farming and formally started the company Hacienda la Capilla S.A. de C.V. in 1993. Since then, the growing of agave has been its core business. La Adelita is a partnership bringing a renowned award winning vintner together with a generational family and visionaries in Mexico to create a 100% estate grown agave farming program.

Hacienda La Capilla Distillery is located in the highlands of Los Altos. Their single-estate agave plantation, sits at an altitude of 7,290 feet, and the deep red soil type is rich in iron, potassium, nitrogen and calcium. The plantations are located in the golden triangle area of the Los Altos region, SE of Guadalajara, in the heart of Los Altos. The area is known for growing some of the best agave in the world. The region is delimited by the cities of Arandas, Tepatitlan and Atotonilco in Jalisco state.

La Adelita Blanco Tequila (80 proof)
Appearance: Clear.
Aroma: Fresh agave with a peppery, vegetal nose. Quite rich and leaning heavily towards vanilla.
Taste: Quite light and smooth with that vanilla coming through almost at once. A round, near creamy mouthfeel with a warming and somewhat reticent agave flavor.
Finish: Medium long, and sweet with mild cinnamon notes.
Overall: A great blanco tequila that will work beautifully in cocktails. Clean, mild and yet full of flavor. A winner.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: La Adelita Tequila

GSN Review: Equiano Rum

Often we hear stories of plight, treachery and overcoming adversity, but through turmoil it can shape a person, it can create beliefs, spread love and ultimately help others. None is more true than the defining journey of a man who stood for what he believed in – equality.

In 1745, Olaudah Equiano was born. His life began in Africa, but before reaching his teens, he was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Growing as a boy into a man, his experiences shaped him. During his early years he voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean where he worked for many years. Eventually he crossed the seas once more and landed in the United Kingdom. Tenacious and determined, he traded in rum on the side, selling a puncheon of rum at a time. In just a matter of years he managed to save forty pounds, paving his way to liberation. Equiano was a free man.

Through trouble and strife, rose a brave man, an entrepreneur who overcame the odds. Not done with his achievements yet, he set out across the seas and penned his autobiography – The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African . His work and teachings meant he become one of the first published African writers in the UK and US. His descriptions of extreme hardships and desperate conditions are punctuated by his astonishment at new sights and experiences. Experiences that drove him to fight for others.

Equiano was a visionary, a freedom fighter, whose work changed history. As a writer and speaker, his powerful memoirs went on to inform the transatlantic slave trade act and impact the freedom of people all over the world. Freedom that many of us enjoy, but that many more are still fighting for, making his story as relevant to global conversation today as he was in the 1700’s.

That is why the Equiano Rum Co. is giving 5% of company profits to ground-level freedom and equality projects annually through the Equiano foundation. They are also pledging £2 / $2 of all bottles brought through the Equiano website to go directly to the foundation.

Equiano Rum (86 proof)
Appearance: Gold.
Aroma: Fruity, with a lot of high notes of wood and caramel. Inviting and friendly on the nose.
Taste: A rich and somewhat woody entrance, leads to a lot of dark notes. Chocolate, coffee bean, burnt caramel, rum cake and toasted bread.
Finish: Dry, somewhat short and with a touch of tannic sharpness on the back palate.
Overall: A fine rum that deserves contemplative sipping.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Equiano Rum

GSN Alert: September 7th – National Beer Lover’s Day

Beer and the process of brewing beer may predate known history.  As varied as the methods, grains, and flavors, beer continues to change and evolve over time.
Virginia colonists brewed beer. William Penn included a place for brewing beer within the colony of Pennsylvania which can still be visited at Pennsbury Manor today. The first President of the United States recorded a recipe for brewing beer in his notes. Samuel Adams holds a place in both beer and tea history in this country.  There were a few beer lovers and patriots among the nation’s founders.
The United States also derives its rich brewing history from beer-loving German immigrants during the mid-1800s. Some of those immigrants families’ names are as familiar today as they were a hundred years ago.
While some names have faded into the past, smaller batch brewers continue to experiment with old and new recipes.  The crafting of beer carries rich traditions, often requiring years of training and experience in the trade. Depending on the brewery, the path to brewmaster may take years to develop the skill and expertise necessary to produce a quality beer every time.  One certain requirement is a love of beer and the craft. Toast to this iconic beverage on September 7th with a pint of your favorite!

GSN Spirited News: September 1st 2020 Edition

Dripping Springs, Texas-based Treaty Oak Distilling is set to launch Day Drinker Bourbon, its latest grain-to-glass Texas whiskey, in September. The 40% abv Bourbon is made from Texas-grown corn and wheat and is aimed at offering consumers a more casual entry into the distillery’s portfolio. The whiskey will be available at Treaty Oak Distilling beginning on September 1 and will enter wider distribution in Texas, Florida, and California beginning September 15.

Diageo has announced the latest limited edition for Blade & Bow, a 22-year-old Bourbon whiskey commemorating the 85th anniversary of Stitzel-Weller Distillery. The 46% abv whiskey will launch on September 1 in 12 states and at the Stitzel-Weller facility and includes a portion of the last whiskies distilled before the original distillery closed in 1992. Blade & Bow 22-Year-Old will be available in limited quantities in California, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, New York, South Carolina, Illinois, Kentucky, Washington, D.C., Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia for a suggested price of $450 a 750-ml.

Lawrenceburg, Indiana-based MGP has launched a new single barrel program for Rossville Union Straight Rye Whiskey. MGP worked with its retail and distribution partners to choose individual barrels of rye—distilled from one of its two rye mash bills—to be bottled-in-bond in personalized packaging. Going forward, MGP will offer Rossville Union single barrels once a year. The 50% abv whiskey is rolling out now to select retails across the U.S., with the whiskies retailing at around $50 a 750-ml.

Vamonos Riendo, a new Mezcal brand, has made its U.S. debut. The 42% abv spirit is distilled from a blend of 8-year-old Espadín and 14-year-old Tobalá agaves harvested from high elevations in the Sierra Madre mountains. According to the company, Vamonos Riendo offers a less smoky flavor profile than many other mezcals and delivers citrus and herbal flavors. Vamonos Riendo is imported to the U.S. by Good Spirits Ventures and is now available in Southern California for around $60 a 750-ml. with expansion planned for the near future.

Frankfort, Kentucky-based Pinhook has launched Bohemian Bourbon, the brand’s flagship release for 2020. The 47.5% abv Straight Bourbon whiskey is made from a mash of 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% malted barley. Bohemian Bourbon’s standard release follows the limited edition High Proof variant; the two offerings are the first Bourbons to come from Castle & Key Distillery since 1972 (when it was known as the Old Taylor Distillery). Pinhook Bohemian Bourbon is now available in 25 states, retailing at around $38 a 750-ml.

Snoop Dogg, Prestige Beverage Group, and Trusted Spirits have teamed up to create Indoggo, a new strawberry-flavored gin. Indoggo will launch in California in September through Gallo Sales Company. Indoggo will retail for around $30 a 750-ml. The 40% abv flavored gin is made with a blend of seven botanicals, including juniper, orange, coriander, cassia, and strawberry, and is certified gluten-free. Indoggo elevates fruit flavors like citrus and strawberry over the juniper that leads in traditional London Dry gins.

Former Bacardi CEO Mike Dolan is launching a new super-premium Tequila label. Mijenta, whose name is derived from the Spanish for “my people,” is made by Maestra Tequilera Ana Maria Romero—a 25-year industry veteran—using fully mature Blue Weber agave grown in red clay soil. Mijenta debuts with a Blanco ($50 a 750-ml.), while a Reposado—aged for six months in oak casks—is scheduled for later this year. Two additional expressions are also planned. Mijenta’s initial target markets include the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: September 1st 2020 Edition

Lewes, Delaware’s Crooked Hammock Brewery has revamped its year-round lineup, creating five new sessionable brews. Four of the beers—Beach Escape Session IPA (5.5% abv); Four Tires, Two Friends, and a Radio American lager (5.5% abv); South to Somewhere Coconut Golden ale (4.5% abv); and Hammock Easy Blonde ale (4% abv)—will be available throughout the year. The fifth release, Brand New Day, is the brewery’s rotating fruited sour ale, with fruits changing throughout the year to reflect the different seasons.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily