GSN Spirited News: April 27th 2021 Edition

Pasote Tequila has debuted new packaging across its whole line of agave spirits. The new bottles feature the brand’s name on colored labels with Aztec gods and warriors—a black label for Blanco, red for Reposado, and orange for Añejo—as well as a new white band across the bottles’ stoppers. While the bottles and labels have changed the liquid inside remains the same and is still produced from 100% estate grown blue agave. Pasote’s Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo offerings retail for $49-$69, and its Extra-Añejo sells for around $190.

Austin, Texas-based Garrison Brothers Distillery will release Laguna Madre on May 8. The new, limited-edition Texas straight Bourbon is the most ambitious expression Garrison Brothers has produced, the result of four years of aging in white oak barrels followed by four years in French-imported Limousin oak barrels. Only 2,000 bottles will be available nationwide. Each bottle is housed in a display case framed by a photo of its namesake Gulf Coast waters and hand-signed and numbered by master distiller Donnis Todd. Laguna Madre is at 50.5% abv and will retail for $300 a bottle at the distillery and in select outlets nationwide.

Austin, Texas-based Ballotin Whiskey’s latest release is Ballotin Chocolate Peanut Butter Whiskey Cream. Blending the brand’s barrel-aged whiskey with dairy cream, the release elaborates on Ballotin’s previous Chocolate Whiskey Cream and is a permanent addition to the lineup, which also includes Chocolate Mint, Caramel Turtle, and Bourbon Ball, among others. It’s at 17% abv and retails for a suggested $22 a 750-ml. Ballotin Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream is available now across Ballotin’s more than 30 state distribution area.

Jura Whisky has added a new 12-year-old expression to its U.S. portfolio of single malt Scotch expressions. The new offering first matures in ex-Bourbon casks before finishing in Oloroso Sherry casks. It joins Jura’s 12-year-old, Seven Wood, and 18-year-old expressions, and retails for around $50 a 750-ml.

Honkaku Spirits is debuting Takamine Whiskey in the U.S. market. Made at Japan’s Shinozaki Distillery, Takamine is an 8 year-old, 80-proof, 100% barley, koji-fermented whiskey. Koji (aspergillus oryzae) is a mold that grows on grains, breaking the starches into sugars which yeast can then convert into alcohol through fermentation. Koji has been used in Japan for more than 1,200 years to make sake as well as soy sauce, miso, shochu, and other familiar umami-laden Japanese products, according to the company. Aged in virgin American oak and ex-Bourbon casks, Takamine is rolling out now across 15 states, distributed by Winebow and retailing at $99 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Kah Tequila

tumblr_lwqutdtcPQ1qiedjoMexico has a long tradition of acknowledging that one’s death is inevitable.  Instead of fearing death, they celebrate it each year with a festival called Día de los Muertos.  One of the highlights is being given candy made out of sugar in the shape of a human skull.  Sounds weird, right?  But, not really.  Think about Halloween.  Skulls and candy are a matter of course.

Kah has taken this idea and made it even better.  Each style of their tequila comes in an eye-catching and artistic bottle. All of this reminds me of the proverbial maxim, “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”  Good enough reason to enjoy some tequila!

Kah Blanco (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Spicy and sweet agave nose with rock candy.
Taste: Very smooth, with light grassy notes and some caramel.  Salty sweet potato flavor is intriguing and tasty.  Creamy mouthfeel.
Finish: There is a lingering salinity and crisp aspect that feels rich and well-rounded.
Overall: Exceptionally creamy and perfect for pairing with traditional Mexican cuisine.
GSN Rating: B+

Kah Reposado (110 proof)
Visual: Very pale gold.
Nose: A lot of alcohol on the nose.  High woody notes with a distinct cinnamon air, tone down the agave.
Taste: Surprisingly woody, with a semi-rye spice-like character.  Fairly intense, but toned down by a sweet, almost milk chocolate flavor towards the end.
Finish: Rich and powerful mouth feel with a lot of chewiness.  This is the Angus beef of tequila.
Overall: Intense and aggressive.  Still, as with the other Kah tequilas, it has a softness to it.  A great tequila for sipping or shots.
GSN Rating: B

Kah Anjeo (80 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Fresh agave with tropical fruit accents.
Taste: Super smooth with a lot a rich creamy vanilla and caramel in the forefront.  Definitely an elegant sipper.  Akin to an XO cognac.
Finish: Sweet, fruity and smooth.  Luscious and enveloping.
Overall: Really, really nice.  The kind of tequila to bring out for special friends and occasions.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Kah Tequila

GSN Review: Avión Reposado & Anejo

I had the opportunity to review Avión Silver a few months back, which recently won “Best in Show – Unaged White Spirit” and “Best Silver Tequila” at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  Read on to find out my thoughts about Avión Silver’s two elder siblings.

Avión Reposado (80 proof)
Visual: Ultra pale silvery-gold.
Nose: Citrus and agave with hints of black cherry, peach and fresh herbs.
Taste: Sweet, creamy and full of fruit flavor.  An almost strawberry and melon-like character.  The initial juicy burst soon turns dry and somewhat saline mid-palate.
Finish: Spicy, crisp and with lingering notes of caramel and baked apple.
Overall: A tequila with an intriguing amount of non-traditional flavors.  This will excel when used in an extra classy margarita.
GSN Rating: B+

Avión Anejo (80 proof)
Visual: Pale crystal gold.
Nose: Rich agave with touches of vanilla and caramel.
Taste:  Creamy, creme brulee, baked root vegetable and a hint of salt and spice.
Finish: Some citrus peel and lingering high notes, but very much in the background.
Overall: A fine tequila that seems somewhat less intriguing than the Reposado.  This is a fine sipper, but seems more narrow in its character; as if the terroir has been removed.
GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Avion