GSN Spirited News: March 30th 2021 Edition

Kentucky’s Bardstown Bourbon Co. has announced its second collaboration with California wine brand The Prisoner, set to hit shelves on April 1. The whiskey—the latest in Bardstown’s Collaboration Series—is a 10-year-old Tennessee bourbon, bottled at 50%, and finished for 18 months in barrels used to mature The Prisoner’s flagship red blend. Bardstown Bourbon Company & The Prisoner Wine Company Collaboration will retail for around $124 a 750-ml. and will be available in limited quantities in Bardstown’s distribution footprint.

Luxury Tequila player Clase Azul is introducing a new offering, Mezcal Guerrero, nationwide on April 1. The newcomer is made from 100% Agave Papalote, also known as Agave Cupreata, which is specific to Mexico’s Guerrero region and can take up to 15 years to mature. Recommended to be sipped neat, Clase Azul’s Mezcal Guerrero is packaged in a tall green decanter stylized with a number of elements evocative of Guerrero culture. The 42% abv mezcal will retail at $249 a 750-ml.

Highland Park, part of the Edrington portfolio, has unveiled a new ultra-luxury single malt. The new Highland Park 50-year-old was selected from nine refill casks originally laid down in 1968, married together in 2008, then re-racked into a handful of first-fill Sherry seasoned oak casks. Then, after a further 12 years of maturation, one of these limited casks was selected and married with a small quantity of the whisky from the last 50-year-old released by the Orkney-based distillery. Bottled at 43.8% abv and retailing at $30,000 a bottle, Highland Park 50-year-old is an extremely limited release of 274 bottles each signed by master whisky maker Gordon Motion.

Oakland, California’s Absinthia Bottled Spirits has launched Absinthia Verte, the brand’s second release following Absinthia Blanche. The absinthe is made from California grapes and distilled with wormwood, star anise, fennel seed, and coriander seed, plus Roman wormwood, anise hyssop, and lemon balm to give the Verte its green color. The spirit is bottled at 55% abv and retails for $45 a 375-ml. Absinthia Verte (and its sibling, Blanche) are available on the brand’s website and in key markets across the U.S.

Sombra mezcal, part of the Davos Brands portfolio recently acquired by Diageo, is launching Reposé, billed as a first-of-its-kind reposado made with Sombra’s Espadin mezcal, aged in Bordeaux wine barrels. Sourced from Château Léoville Poyferré, a second growth wine estate in Saint-Julien, the barrels are filled with Sombra’s Espadin mezcal and aged for up to six months. Château Léoville Poyferré is owned by the family of Davos founder Guillaume Cuvelier. Sombra Reposé is launching nationally, retailing at $50 a bottle.

Beam Suntory has released the first bottling of Booker’s Bourbon for 2021: Donohoe’s Batch. This iteration of the barrel-proof Bourbon is bottled after 6 years and comes in at 63.65% abv. Donohoe’s Batch is named for Mike Donohoe, a friend of Booker Noe and longtime top executive at Jim Beam. Booker’s Bourbon Donohoe’s Batch is now available in limited quantities across the U.S. for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml.

Dallas, Texas-based Oak & Eden has re-released Bourbon & Brew, the company’s popular collaboration with West Oak Coffee. The 45% abv Bourbon is finished in bottle with a 5-inch piece of French oak that is soaked in West Oak cold brew coffee sourced from Colombia. Bourbon & Brew is now available on Oak & Eden’s website for $60 a 750-ml. and in retailers in most of the company’s 22-state distribution footprint.

Pernod Ricard has announced new watermelon flavors for both Absolut vodka and Malibu rum. Absolut Watermelon comes in at 38% abv and will be available nationwide beginning on April 12. Malibu Watermelon is now available across the U.S. and comes at 21% abv; 750-ml. bottles retail for around $20 and 1.75-liter bottles go for a suggested price of $26.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Barrell Craft Spirits has launched a new brand, Stellum, with a pair of barrel strength whiskies. Initially, the brand is hitting shelves with a Bourbon and a rye; each is a blend of straight whiskies sourced from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Stellum Bourbon comes in at 57.49% abv and the brand’s rye is at 58.12% abv. Both retail for a suggested price of $55 a 750-ml. and are available in select locations across 45 states. In addition to Stellum’s blended releases, the company will also offer single barrel bottlings under the brand name.

Bozal mezcal, part of the 3 Badge Beverage portfolio, is introducing Guías de Calabaza, a vegetarian Sacrificio-style mezcal from Río de Ejutla in Oaxaca. A single maguey expression made from 100% Agave Angustifolia (Espadín), Bozal Guías de Calabaza retails at $99 and carries an abv of 47%. Sacrificio mezcals are made in small batches for personal consumption as well as for fiestas with locals and neighbors. Their distillation often involves meat proteins like pork, chicken, or lamb. 3 Badge says Guías de Calabaza follows traditional sacrificio methods while eschewing the protein addition.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: August 25th 2020 Edition

The Dalmore single malt Scotch has unveiled a new ultra-luxury rare whisky collection in the U.S. The Dalmore Rare & Aged Collection includes 35-, 40-, and 45-year-old expressions retailing at $6,000, $8,800, and $14,600 respectively. Made from exceptional casks selected by Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson, the Rare & Aged series is packaged in bespoke Baccarat crystal decanters featuring a solid silver stag created by silversmiths Hamilton & Inches, holder of The Royal Warrant. The luxury whiskies will be available at select U.S. retailers.

St. Louis, Missouri-based Luxco has announced a new limited edition of its El Mayor Tequila. The new release is an extra añejo expression aged for at least three and a half years before finishing in rum casks. The 40% abv spirit will retail for around $130, with 6,000 bottles available across the U.S. beginning in September.

Wolf Spirit Distillery is launching a new Bourbon label, Puncher’s Chance. A marriage of 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbons, Puncher’s Chance is at 45% abv and retails at $35 a 750-ml. The brand has initially rolled out in nine states—counting Southern Glazer’s, Badger, Atlantic Beverage, and Empire Distributors among its distribution partners—with further expansion on the way.

Angel’s Envy has announced a new Bourbon finished in Mizunara oak casks. Launching in celebration of the brand’s 10-year anniversary, the 48.9% abv whiskey is a 50/50 blend of 4-year-old and 9-year-old Bourbon that married in the Japanese oak for an additional two years. Members of the company’s 500 Main club can now preorder the whiskey online and, following the presale, the remaining bottles (out of a total of 1,200) will be available at the Angel’s Envy distillery and in select Kentucky retailers for $350 a 750-ml.

Tanqueray is entering the booming canned cocktail segment. The Diageo-owned brand’s new Crafted Gin Cocktails include a Gin & Tonic, Rangpur Lime Gin & Soda, and Sevilla Orange Gin & Soda, all at 6% abv and retailing at $15 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans. The new range is debuting next month in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, and Washington.

Beam Suntory has released the latest batch of Little Book Bourbon, Chapter Four: Lessons Honored. The whiskey is bottled at 61.4% abv and is a blend of three whiskies aged for at least four years: a 4-year-old Bourbon with brown rice in the mash bill, an 8-year-old high rye Bourbon, and a 7-year-old Bourbon made from a more traditional mash bill. Little Book Chapter Four: Lessons Honored is now available across the U.S. in limited quantities for around $125 a 750-ml.

San Diego-based Cutwater Spirits has added a Long Island Iced Tea to its canned cocktail portfolio. The 13.2% abv cocktail includes Cutwater’s Vodka, Rum, Gin, and Tequila, as well as citrus flavors and a splash of cola. It’s now available nationwide, retailing at $13 a four-pack.

Donegal, Ireland’s Sliabh Liag Distillers has launched the Silkie line of Irish whiskies in the U.S. Through a partnership with Preiss Imports, the Legendary Silkie and the Legendary Dark Silkie are now available in 21 states across the U.S. The Legendary Silkie is a 46% abv blended whiskey made with double and triple distilled malt whiskies, grain whiskies, and a small amount of peated malt whiskey. The Dark Silkie is a made with a high proportion of peated malt whiskey matured in Sherry casks and is also bottled at 46% abv. The whiskies are now available for around $40 and $43, respectively.

Brown-Forman-owned single malt Scotch whisky The GlenDronach has announced its latest rare, luxury release, the Kingsman Edition 1989 VintageThe whisky commemorates the upcoming release of the King’s Man movie by 20th Century Pictures and Marv Films. The 29-year-old single malt was matured in Oloroso casks and finished in Pedro Ximénez casks before being bottled at 51% abv. The Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage will be available in limited quantities across the U.S. market for around $1,300 a 750-ml. This is the second collaboration between The GlenDronach and the Kingsman series.

A new upscale Tequila brand, YaVe, is rolling out in New York this month, distributed by Empire Merchants. YaVe launched in New Jersey in July via Allied Beverage, and a Connecticut debut is in the works as well, expanding on the brand’s existing footprint, which also includes California and Colorado. YaVe includes an unflavored Blanco at 40% abv, as well as Mango- and Jalapeno-infused flavored Tequilas bottled at 35% abv. All three expressions retail at $40 a 750-ml.

Kentucky’s Bardstown Bourbon Co. (BBC) and Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. have teamed up for another entry in Bardstown’s Collaborative series. The new release, a 9-year-old Tennessee Bourbon finished for 18 months in Copper & Kings’ Destillaré orange curaçao barrels, is bottled at 50% abv and is rolling out across BBC’s 13-state distribution footprint in limited quantities. The sixth collaboration between these two distilleries, Bardstown Bourbon Company/Copper & Kings Destillaré Orange Curaçao retails for around $125 a 750-ml.

Baileys has introduced a limited edition Apple Pie Irish Cream Liqueur. To back the launch, the brand has partnered with home delivery service Cocktail Courier and celebrity pastry chef/TV personality Zac Young to curate a Baileys Apple Pie “Friendsgiving Kit,” with which consumers can create the label’s signature “Apple of My Chai” cocktail. Baileys Apple Pie retails at $25 a 750ml.

Ketel One vodka, part of the Diageo portfolio, has entered the premixed cocktail market with a new line of Botanical Vodka SpritzesThe new low-abv drinks come in the same three flavors as the brand’s original Botanicals offshoot—Peach & Orange Blossom, Cucumber & Mint, and Grapefruit & Rose—and all are at 3.6% abv per serving. They have 73 calories per can and contain no carbs, sweeteners, nor added sugars. The Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritzes are launching in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, and Illinois on September 1, retailing at $15 a 4-pack and $4 per individual can.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Collabor&tion Bourbon Whiskies

Collabor&tion is the culmination of nearly two years of work between the Bardstown Bourbon Co. & Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. Two deluxe expressions of 10-year-old straight Bourbon whiskey finished for 18 months: one in C&K American Brandy barrels and the other in Muscat Mistelle barrels.

Steve Nally, Bourbon Hall of Fame Master Distiller for BBCo, and Brandon O’Daniel, Head Distiller for C&K, hand-selected the bourbon for the project, blended it, and chose the barrels for the finishing process. The bourbon used to produce Collabor&tion was distilled in Indiana in 2006 by Lawrenceburg Distillers and is made from a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley.

“Exceptional bourbon will always carry beautiful dark fruit notes (figs, raisins, dates) as well as apple and pear to complement the classic honey, spice and butterscotch. Aging in brandy barrels not only accentuates these notes – it layers more on top of that foundation to create an incredibly rich, smooth and complex whiskey” says Nally.

O’Daniel adds, “A Mistelle barrel is a unique vessel. Mistelle is unfermented grape juice (in this case Muscat) fortified with un-aged brandy (Muscat eau-de-vie) and then aged in bourbon barrels for 18 months. The empty barrels are deeply and highly caramelized with the grape sugars and fruit essences. The whiskey exiting these barrels is pure joy.”

Collabor&tion Brandy Barrel Finish (113 proof)
Visual: Dark copper.
Nose: Rich, wood forward nose with a sheen of high notes. Soft caramel, light grapeiness, lush dried date and fig. Very enticing, open and evocative.
Taste: The brandy essence comes forward, but quickly turns into a shower of fig and light clover honey. Dessert-like, but not overly sweet, just a compact bomb of flavor. Really smooth and balanced despite the firepower behind the high-proof.
Finish: Long with a lot of the dried fruit keeping pace with the fade.
Overall: An exceptional spirit that hits all the marks. Well done and highly recommended.
GSN Rating: A+

Collabor&tion Mistelle Barrel Finish (94 proof)
Visual: Dark copper.
Nose: Even more vine fruit on the nose, with a sharp edge of oak wood. This would be the sister of the Brandy finished whiskey. Lighter, more ethereal and vivacious. The wood and fruit nose work in tandem to deliver a solid unifying scent.
Taste: Quite sweet and grape forward, but entirely unlike a sherry cask aged spirit. The fruit character plays the leading role, but also allows the bourbon itself to shine.
Finish: Long and with a lot of the sweetness playing out over the minutes.
Overall: A truly fine “dessert” whiskey that will pair well with crème brûlée or pipe tobacco. A brilliant match of spirit and cask. Highly recommended!
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Bardstown Bourbon