GSN Brews News: May 19th 2020 Edition

San Diego, California-based JuneShine is launching a spinoff to its line of hard kombuchas. Called JuneShine100, the new drinks offer the benefit of containing only 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar per 12-ounce can. While JuneShine’s original lineup is at 6% abv, JuneShine100’s two launch flavors, Pineapple Orange and Hibiscus Lime, both are at 4.2% abv. The new offerings retail for a suggested $15 a 6-pack and are available in select retailers nationwide, with next-day delivery available now in California, Nevada, and New York, with Oregon and Virginia to be added in the near future.

Pabst has relaunched Pearl xXx, a San Antonio, Texas-based heritage beer brand tracing its history back to the late 19th century. The 3.8% abv lager is brewed with Pilsen malt, caramel malt, and wheat, with its package design inspired by the beer’s original packaging. Pearl xXx is rolling out now in Texas, with wider distribution to follow in June.

San Diego, California’s Coronado Brewing has brought back Peach Cruiser for the summer season. The 6.8% abv IPA is brewed with Mosaic, Citra, and Azacca hops, with fresh peach, apricot, and lactose added. The beer is the second release in Coronado’s Knoxville series of limited releases, which first launched in 2018. Peach Cruiser is now available at Coronado’s tasting room, brewpub, and restaurant, and will enter wider distribution by the end of the month. The brew will be available in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans.

Portland, Oregon-based Cascade Brewing is launching Citrus Noyaux 2019. The new release is a sour blond ale aged in oak barrels for up to two years with fresh orange, grapefruit, and lemon peels, as well as apricot noyaux (kernels extracted by hand from the fruit pits). It’s available on draft in Cascade’s two tasting rooms and in 500-ml. bottles throughout its distribution network. Due to Covid-19, the brewery now offers home delivery and curbside pickup ordering options that can be placed through the company’s website, where Citrus Noyaux 2019 is priced at $12 a 500-ml.

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Asheville, North Carolina-based Hi-Wire Brewing has a new release called “Donate To Service Industry Workers By Drinking This Beer.” It’s a hoppy session IPA at 5% abv. A portion of the proceeds from every 6-pack sold will be donated to the USBG National Charity Foundation and the North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. It’s currently available on Hi-Wire’s website for $11 a 6-pack and in select retailers in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio. Additionally, Hi-Wire recently released Citrus Wit (4.8% abv), Citra Gose (4.2% abv), and Pink Lemonade Sour Session Ale (4.2% abv), all now available at Hi-Wire taprooms and throughout its distribution area.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Shots Box

Take a trip to your local liquor store and you’ll quickly realize that buying the ingredients for a cocktail is a pricey and sometimes disappointing adventure. Why pay for a whole bottle only to realize that it isn’t something that you really like?

Enter Shots Box, a monthly subscription service that brings a variety of interesting spirits and liqueurs from around the world to your doorstep. Their goal is to connect you to new brands, have you enjoy new cocktails that are more interesting than “the usual,” and provide an easy way for you to share and read opinions on different products written by people just like you.

Once you sign up, you receive a box of 10 mini bottles along with several recipe cards to create a single cocktail. Each card has clear and easy instructions along with a color photo of what the finished drink should look like.

GSN was sent the following minis to sample:
3 different gins
2 cream liqueurs
1 honey/bourbon liqueur
1 vodka
1 tequila
1 coconut rum
1 sambuca

The variety is interesting and will appeal to just about anyone interested in spirits. I would have liked to have had two less gins and instead an american whiskey along with a scotch.  But, perhaps these will be forthcoming in upcoming shipments.

In any case, it is a great way to try new products, saves a trip to the liquor store and all for the cost of one typical top shelf spirit. Plus, if you really like one of the spirits, you can order full-size bottles directly from the Shots Box website. They also have a selection of glassware, barware and cocktail-centric decor available for purchase.

GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Shots Box

GSN Review: Pierre Ferrand Ancienne Methode Dry Curaçao

Developed by Pierre Ferrand owner and President Alexandre Gabriel in collaboration with Professor David Wondrich, this new Curaçao is based on recipes dating back to the 1700’s-1800’s.  The liqueur includes primarily bitter Curaçao orange peels, but also vanilla, prunes, lemon peel and sweet oranges along with over a dozen other ingredients.  They are all macerated in unaged brandy, which is in turn re-distilled and finally blended together with aged brandy and Cognac in oak casks.  To achieve the final touch, the Ferrand company adds some more dried Curaçao peels during the aging process.  All of this makes for a very nice addition to your arsenal of Triple Secs. The best part?  It retails for under $30 a bottle.

Pierre Ferrand Ancienne Methode Dry Curaçao  (80 proof)
Visual: Golden Honey color.
Nose: Fresh and natural orange peel bouquet with slight vanilla overtones.
Taste: Bright orange, crisp herb notes with some heat.  Less rich than Grand Marnier, but still quite viscous.  There’s almost a sense of carbonation on the tongue.  Not overly sweet, but tempered by a slight bitterness that comes through midway.
Finish: An almost baked fruit flavor gives way to a touch of bitter orange and candy floss.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to their Facebook page

GSN Review: IZO Mezcal Joven

It began as a dream for Gaston Martinez. Slowly, the dream turned into a vision as Gaston spent years searching his native Durango for just the right recipe to craft a mezcal. Enter Master Mescalero, José Gonzalez. Using the knowledge and experience cultivated through three generations of Mezcalero’s, José brought his passion and art to create IZO Mezcal Joven. José now spends his time overseeing the distillery.

Always fascinated with the culture of Mexico, Gaston’s friends, Linda Belzberg and her son Torrey were attracted to his story, and so it came to be that with their help, IZO was born. Torrey dwells in the trenches of the company’s production and marketing operations, while Gaston is IZO’s ambassador.

Each member of the IZO team is considered family, from the Jimadores who harvest the wild agave, to the burros who lug it to the trucks, which carry it to the fire pits, to the team members that cook the agave hearts in the volcanic ovens and extract the juice to fill the fermentation tanks, to the plant workers who watch over the distillation process and then fill, cork and label each bottle and finally to Jose’, the Master Mescalero whose job it is to oversee each step of the process.

The distillery incorporates solar paneled water treatment, a nursery to grow agave seedlings, a bee colony with numerous bee hives to promote the pollination of plants and enhance the natural fermentation process and an area to properly maintain the health and welfare of three sturdy burros, “Cenizo, Mezcal and Agave”!

Sustainability is one of IZO’s most important goals, as they recognize that it takes 8-10 years for the Cenizo agave plant to grow to maturity. Today it may seem like there is an abundance of wild agave for harvesting, but only through participating in a robust renewal program, can they be certain that there will always be enough agave for future generations.

Lastly, even the bottle has been designed to reflect quality using black smoke ombre in the glass, a real onyx cap and the letterpress label.

IZO Mezcal Joven (94 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Medium smoke with a fresh and bright agave nose. Some tropical fruit and saline add to the high notes.
Taste: A sweet agave entry, which quickly opens into a smokey body. A fairly hefty mouthfeel, but still quite light and easily approachable. The flavors are friendly and welcoming.
Finish: Medium long with a tinge of creosote at the fade out. This is a young Mezcal, which makes it ideal for enjoying with a meal.
Overall: An excellent Mezcal for those looking to try the field. We especially enjoyed the lightness and smooth flavor, which many rustic Mezcals do not offer.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: IZO Mezcal

GSN Review: Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B520

Each batch of Larceny Barrel Proof is an uncut Small Batch of 6-8 year-old Bourbon bottled straight from the barrel. The variance in proof from batch to batch presents a unique opportunity to explore the impact of the angel’s share and the resulting proof in a small batch of barrels.

The first letter of the batch number indicates which of that year’s releases the bottle was a part of, starting with “A,” while the second digit is a number that determines the month of the year the bottle was released. The third and fourth digits indicate the year. This latest expression is the second release this year, bottled in May of 2020.

Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B520 (122.2 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Dark brown sugar with an intensely rich nose. Some raisin and current notes along with bitter orange peel come into play, but the oak cask tonality is surprisingly slight.
Taste: Cinnamon toast, with some slight nuttiness. Think sweetened breakfast cereal. Very smooth, no doubt due to the high wheat grin bill. As the flavor goes on, more of the sweetness lingers, leaving a buttery, caramel and vanilla impression on the palate.
Finish: Medium long, with an abundance of sweetness.
Overall: A friendly and quite approachable bourbon, even for such a high proof. Bring this out at a bourbon tasting and folks will be pleased.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Heaven Hill Distillery

GSN Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B520

Each batch of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is an uncut Small Batch of 12-year-old Bourbon bottled straight from the barrel. The variance in proof from batch to batch presents a unique opportunity to explore the impact of the angel’s share and the resulting proof in a small batch of barrels.

The first letter of the batch number indicates which of that year’s releases the bottle was a part of, starting with “A,” while the second digit is a number that determines the month of the year the bottle was released. The third and fourth digits indicate the year. This latest expression is the second release this year, bottled in May of 2020.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch B520 (127.2 proof)
Visual: Dark copper.
Nose: Dessert-like sweet sugary caramel nose with plenty of oakiness. Some baking spice and raisin notes top things off well.
Taste: In spite of the burn, this is a sugar bomb with a heavy vanilla and brown sugar character. Adding some depth of character to this palette is a patina of orange citrus, hazelnut, cinnamon and spicy rye grain.
Finish: Long and lingering with a fruitcake finish. Really a perfect after dinner bourbon.
Overall: Another stellar effort in the Barrel Proof series. This one is especially tasty.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Elijah Craig

GSN Alert: May 16, 2020 – World Whiskey Day


World Whisky Day invites everyone to try a dram and celebrate the water of life. Events are taking place all over the globe. If you can’t find an event happening near you why not host your own World Whisky day event? All you need is a bottle of whisky to share with your friends. World Whisky day celebrates all types of whisky/whiskey and encourages everyone to enjoy whisky responsibly.

World Whisky Day is all about making whisky fun and enjoyable. It’s not about being exclusive or prescriptive. You can drink it however you enjoy it (ice, water, mixer – whatever works for you). We want to be all inclusive and that means any kind of whisky/whiskey from anywhere in the world.

For more info go to: World Whisky Day