GSN Spirited News: January 19th 2021 Edition

Coalition Whiskey, a new series of rye whiskies finished in Bordeaux barrels, has launched in seven states across the U.S. The brand, created by former Russian Standard USA CEO Leonid Yangarber, was distilled at Kentucky Artisan Distillery and enters the market with three expressions—one finished in Margaux barrels and bottled at 45.4% abv, another finished in Pauillac barrels and bottled at 46.3% abv, and one finished in Sauternes barrels bottled at 47.1% abv—all retailing for $90 a 750-ml. In addition, the brand’s unfinished rye is available at barrel strength (54.4% abv) for $130. The whiskies are rolling out now in New York, New Jersey, California, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, and Colorado.

Double Cross Vodka has launched a new ad campaign and redesigned bottle. The campaign, Dare to Differ, will debut online and on social media channels throughout the first quarter. The new bottle abandons the brand’s original rectangular shape for one with sloped shoulders and an easy-to-handle neck while retaining Double Cross’ etched and metallic branding. The new bottles are rolling out now in 750-ml. and 1-liter bottles ($35 and $40, respectively), with 50-ml. and 1.75-liter bottles to follow in the third quarter. Double Cross vodka is produced from estate grown Slovakian wheat and is imported by Old Nassau Imports.

MGP Ingredients has announced the 2021 iteration of Rossville Union Rye’s single barrel release. This year, the company is offering rye whiskies distilled from three mashbills (up from two for the 2020 edition) and bottled at cask strength. The release is available to pre-order until March 15 and will be delivered to retailers and other accounts by August. MPG is hosting virtual tastings so that interested customers can choose their preferred mashbill and will also allow buyers to customize the whiskey’s label.

Lansdale, Pennsylvania’s Boardroom Spirits has released three new bottled cocktails. First up is Winter Citrus Crush ($38), a 20% abv cocktail made with vodka and orange liqueur along with lime, grapefruit, and blood orange juices. The second release, Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Martini ($42), comes in at 18% abv and blends vodka, orange liqueur, and hazelnut liqueur with amaro and locally made cold brew coffee. The last cocktail is Boardroom’s Hot Toddy, made with Bourbon, rye, and cinnamon whiskies, vermouth, lemon, demerara sugar, and blanc vermouth. It’s bottled at 22% abv and sells for $38.

Tanteo Tequila has launched a new Espero expression. Retailing at $30 a 1-liter, Espero is a 100%-agave blanco bottling aimed at the premium well Tequila segment. It’s rolling out nationwide both on- and off-premise. Tanteo is known for its higher proof Blanco offering as well as three spicy expressions infused with hand-cut peppers: Jalapeño, Chipotle, and Habanero.

MGP Ingredients has announced its George Remus Bourbon single barrel releases for 2021. Now available for pre-order (through March 15), they were distilled from two different mashbills. This year’s George Remus single barrels will be bottled at cask strength and buyers can attend virtual tastings with MGP to choose between the available barrels. The 2021 single barrel release of George Remus Bourbon allows retailers to customize the whiskey’s label and orders will be fulfilled by September.

Glen Rock, New Jersey’s Opici Wines has entered the non-alcoholic beverage space with MeMento, a new sugar-, gluten-, and alcohol-free spirit. The Italian import is also vegan and is described as a distilled aromatic water, made from rosemary, rose, and bay laurel, among other botanicals. MeMento is now available across the U.S. for around $37 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Double Cross Vodka

First impressions are important. When you’re interviewing for a position as a bartender, you want to look your best.  Double Cross Vodka immediately puts itself in a class above other vodkas through its presentation.  The bottle is rectangular, made of steel and glass and individually numbered.  It would be fun to stack these and build a house of vodka.  But, the container is not what’s important, ultimately it’s the vodka within.

Legally, vodka is supposed to be colorless (yes), but also have no odor or flavor.  Out of the many vodkas I’ve had over the years, they have all failed on these two counts.  Of course vodka has flavor, and usually at least some alcohol nose.  Double Cross Vodka does an excellent job with both of these.  There is a sweet, citrusy and fresh quality to the nose.  Very appealing and unusually mouth-watering.  The flavor is exceptionally smooth and almost creamy with very little alcohol burn.  Normally, my first impressions of a vodka include a heavy rainwater or mineral quality.  There is some of that here, but it is superseded by an almost vanilla-like sweetness that is both refreshing and dessert-like.  This could be due to the distillation process which includes both distilling and filtering the vodka seven times before bottling.

I tried this vodka straight at room temperature, straight out of the freezer and in a 3-1 vodka/dry vermouth martini.  All three expressions were top-notch and each had a light, elegant quality that showed off the superb distillation.

Of special note is a product specifically designed to go with a Double Cross martini; French black truffle and feta cheese olives made by The Santa Barbara Olive Co. for Double Cross.  These are large Spanish olives in brine with a rich flavor that really does bring out the best in the vodka.  Several bars across the U.S. are serving these special olives in their Double Cross martinis.  Do your bar a favor and order these olives.  Your guests will keep coming back for more.

GSN Rating: Double Cross Vodka – A

GSN Rating: Black Truffle Olives – A

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