GSN Spirited News: April 20th 2021 Edition

St. Paul, Minnesota-based Prestige Beverage Group has added two new whiskies—Tullibardine and Highland Queen—to its portfolio. Tullibardine adds a new single malt to Prestige’s range, including a variety of cask-finished whiskies as well as luxury-priced vintage offerings which can date back decades. Highland Queen is a new contender in blended Scotch for Prestige, which will market the brand’s lineup from its entry level to its luxury-priced blends.

Longmont, Colorado-based Left Hand Brewing Company is releasing Sinister Malt Whiskey in partnership with Foundry Distilling Co. The first release of the collaboration, Sinister Whiskey was inspired by Left Hand Brewing’s Milk Stout Nitro and was distilled from a similar mashbill. The liquid dates from 2019, when Left Hand stopped short of adding lactose or beginning fermentation and instead shipped the liquid to West Des Moines, Iowa, where Foundry Distilling is located. Aged two years in charred oak barrels, the whiskey is at 47.5% abv. Sinister will be available starting in May in Colorado, Iowa, and other select markets, priced at $60 a 750-ml. The two partners are planning three additional whiskey collaborations.

Denver, Colorado-based Stranahan’s has updated its flagship original release with new packaging and older liquid. The 47% abv single malt whiskey is now a blend of 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old spirits aged in charred American oak barrels. The whiskey’s updated packaging features a new label on the lower half of the bottle as well as a reimagining of Stranahan’s offset yellow label on the top half.

Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky is introducing Scorch, a new limited edition. Matured in heavily charred American ex-Bourbon casks, Ardbeg Scorch is aimed firmly at devotees of smoky Islay malts. It’s bottled at 46% abv and will roll out June 1, retailing at $120 a bottle. 

Casa Noble Tequila has revamped its ultra-premium range, unveiling refined liquid and overhauled packaging for its Single Estate Organic Blanco ($44), Reposado ($50), and Añejo ($55) expressions. The brand’s new packaging features taller, sleeker bottles with a crest featuring Tequila cues like agave, coa harvesting blades, and a barrel. The redesigned brand, part of the Constellation portfolio, is launching nationwide. 

Our/New York, Manhattan’s first legal distillery since Prohibition, backed by Pernod Ricard, has partnered with Rethink Food to create a limited-edition basil-flavored vodka. The 35% abv spirit is distilled from corn and blended with a basil extract made using locally sourced basil by Brooklyn-based urban farm Square Roots. The new vodka is limited to 1,800 bottles that will be available to bars, restaurants, and retailers across New York City by April 22, just in time for Earth Day.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Alert: February 22nd – National Margarita Day

69d0d254b7bc1eb5dc9af1b0782ea373The middle of February is a perfect time to be drinking Margaritas.  Why?  Because the flavor instantly conjures up the feeling of warmth, sunshine, and good times.  So, why not make some tacos, burritos or enchiladas and a mess of Margaritas this Sunday for dinner?

The Margarita has been around for about 85 years and although there are several legends as to its creation, I’m of the opinion that it is what was previously known as a Tequila Daisy.  The word “daisy” translates into “Margarita” in Spanish.  Why a daisy?  It was yet another of those old-school terms for cocktails along the lines of fizzes, eye-openers, flips, crustas, etc…

Anyway, the great folks at Casa Noble Tequila asked me to come up with an original take on the venerable Margarita using their Crystal Tequila.  So, in keeping with the summer weather theme, I decided to break out the grill and see what I could come up with.  This recipe makes enough for a party, so make sure to invite over some friends when putting this together.

Pina Margarita (makes six cocktails)
Ingredients
1 medium pineapple (about 3 pounds)
6 oz Crystal Casa Noble
3 oz Cointreau
3 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
House-made saline solution*

First, peel the pineapple and cut it in half lengthwise.  Then cut the halves into 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Put them on a grill that’s been heated to about 400°F.  Grill uncovered about four minutes per side.  Then remove and let cool for 15 minutes.

Take three pieces of pineapple and muddle in a mixing tin.  Add 1 ounce of tequila, 1/2 ounce Cointreau and 1/2 ounce lime juice.  Fill with ice and shake until well chilled.  Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Add a dash (3-4 drops) of saline solution.  Garnish with a chunk of grilled pineapple and a lime wheel and serve.

Saline solution
Mix 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tbl mineral water until dissolved.  Either use an eye-dropper to dispense or store in an empty bitters bottle.

GSN Review: Casa Noble Tequila

casa_noble_crystal_2009_r2As a general rule of thumb, tequilas are double distilled and aged in ex-bourbon casks.  Casa Noble breaks both of these standards by triple distilling and aging in new French oak.  The Cofradia distillery also uses 100% organically grown Blue Weber agave grown in the Uzeta region of Nayarit, near Jalisco for their product.  All of these variables create a tequila that is instantly recognizable and unique.

Not only this, but Casa Noble is certified as “green”.  Green tequila?  Well, not in color, but Casa Noble is USDA certified and is one of the few products in Mexico that has received the highest official government green certification by the Mexican Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection.  So, if the environment is important to you, feel free to drink up!

Casa Noble also craft a reposado, añejo, five-year añejo and a Joven in their portfolio, but the GSN desk only received the blanco for review.

Casa  Noble Blanco Tequila (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Very agave heavy with a slighty smokey and fresh crushed pina overtone.
Taste: Sweet with a kind of lime presence.  At first it seems quite sweet, but then a lot of peppery ginger hits towards the back of the palate, leaving a mild chili pepper impression.  The body is impressive as well with a rich substantial mouthfeel.
Finish: Quite long with tingling spice notes popping all over your mouth.  It also ends dry and with some oak tannin.
Overall: A tequila that works well on its own, especially in the traditional way of a lick of salt, a bite of lime and a shot of tequila.  But, it is also quite mixable with anything you throw at it.  This holds its own in a cocktail and supports the rest of the players.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Casa Noble