GSN Spirited News: August 18th 2020 Edition

Seattle, Washington’s Westland Distillery has announced the Outpost Range, a new series of whiskies to be released beginning in November and continuing through 2023. First up will be Garryana American Single Malt Whiskey, the fifth edition of the distillery’s Garryana-aged malt. The November release comes in at 50% abv and is made with peated spirit. The second release, Colere, will be released in spring 2021. It’s bottled at 50% abv and is made with Alba barley. Future Colere releases will be dedicated to distilling different varieties of barley. The final release, Solum, will use locally sourced peat.

Bacardi is mounting a renewed push into spiced rum, reintroducing its former Oakheart label in a new incarnation as Bacardi SpicedNoting that spiced rum is the only segment of the rum category to show volume growth over the past decade, Bacardi is launching Spiced ($13) nationwide this month, targeting at-home occasions and both new and existing spiced rum consumers.

Ireland’s West Cork Distillers has launched a new, limited release IPA Cask Finished Irish Whiskey in the U.S. The 40% abv whiskey is a blend of 75% grain whiskey, distilled from wheat, and 25% malt whiskey that matured for four years before blending and finishing for six months in casks that held Blacks of Kinsale’s IPA. Through M.S. Walker, West Cork Distillers IPA Cask Finished Irish Whiskey will be available across the U.S. for around $33 a 750-ml.

Kansas City, Missouri-based Boulevard Brewing has partnered with West Des Moines, Iowa-based Foundry Distilling Co. to turn Boulevard’s Unfiltered Wheat Beer into a whiskey. The result is called Midnight Ritual, a 44.5% abv malt whiskey that’s aged more than two years in charred oak barrels. The release promises to be the first in a series of partnerships between the two producers, turning more brews into limited edition whiskies. Beginning next month, Midnight Ritual will be available in very limited quantities in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Phillips Distilling Company has launched Prairie Organic Sustainable Seasons, a new line of botanical and fruit flavored spirits. The 30% abv flavored vodka comes in three varieties: Grapefruit, Hibiscus, and Chamomile; Watermelon, Cucumber, and Lime; and Apple, Pear, and Ginger. Each contains 75 calories per serving and all are made with organic ingredients and without added sugar. The trio is rolling out nationwide for a suggested price of $22 a 750-ml.

Proximo has expanded 1800 Tequila with a new, luxury-priced extension, 1800 Cristalino. The 40% abv spirit is made from 100% blue agave and aged for 16 months in American and French oak before finishing for six months in Port barrels. The añejo Tequila is then filtered to remove the color imparted by the barrel. 1800 Cristalino is now rolling out in select markets across the U.S. for $65 a 750-ml.

375 Park Avenue Spirits has added Ming River Baijiu to its import portfolio, effective October 1. The importer, a division of Sazerac, will handle the brand’s sales and will also support Ming River’s marketing efforts in the U.S. Ming River is a young brand—created in 2018—from China’s oldest continuously operating distillery. The spirit is distilled from red sorghum and bottled at 45% abv. 375 Park Avenue will offer Ming River in 750-ml. and 50-ml. bottles.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Fruitations Drink Mixers

fruitattionsreviewI met Allison Goldberg, the creator of Fruitations, while I was in New Orleans this past July for the annual Tales of the Cocktail festival.  Even after only a few minutes of chatting with her over the thumping music playing at Harrah’s Casino, I could tell she was whole-hearted about her enterprise.  Her vision started in her home kitchen while making syrups for soda.  Why not try them with spirits?  She did and discovered that the all-natural, three ingredient fruit syrups she was making worked beautifully in cocktails.

Each is crafted using only whole fruit, water and cane sugar.

Cranberry: Nice and tart with a natural cranberry flavor.  Reminds me of Thanksgiving.  The sugar is held back to allow the cranberry to really shine here.  Definitely a nice change from the usual cranberry cocktail which always is much too sweet and diluted.  Try this in a Cape Codder, or mix  an ounce with an ounce of water and add three ounces of 80 proof bourbon on the rocks.  GSN Rating: A

Grapefruit: Grapefruit is one of those flavors that gets short shrift in the cocktail world, and especially red grapefruit.  Yet, it definitely has its place in mixology.  I like it in tiki drinks and with vodka, tequila and light rums.  Here, the flavor of the red grapefruit is very good, but the cane sugar seems a little heavy.  I would have liked a more bitter edge with a bit more fruit flavor.  Try this in a Paloma or a Greyhound. GSN Rating: B

Tangerine: Why not try tangerine instead of orange when making a cocktail?  There is a brighter and more vibrant flavor in tangerines which boosts the citrus edge.  Fruitations tangerine has a great flavor which has quite a long finish.  Again, there seems to be a bit more sugar here than I was expecting, but the fruit holds it own.  There’s even a slightly tart tang which is a welcome change from the usual orange juice based mixer.  Try this in a Mimosa or Harvey Wallbanger for a brighter and more intriguing experience. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Just Add Fruitations

GSN Review: Bittered Sling Bitters

imagesSome of you may already be wondering what a “bittered sling” is.  Actually it’s something that virtually every bartender passes over the bar.  The definition dates back to the early 1800’s and means a drink composed of spirits, sugar, water and bitters; in other words, the cocktail.  So, by definition, the bitters part is pretty important.  In my own bartending experience, I use bitters a lot of the time.  It makes a huge difference in the overall flavor and character of a great cocktail.

Kale & Nori is a Vancouver based company that specializes in the art of food and beverage.  They’ve created their own line of over a dozen bitters, including a few which are only available seasonally.  Not only are their bitters designed for use in cocktails, but also they are created with your health in mind.  The combination of herbs and spices, citrus and vegetables used in each extract is designed to improve everything from circulation and digestion to curing insomnia and poor heart health.  So, next time you toast with a cocktail made with Kale & Nori Bittered Sling Extract, you can truly say, “To your health!”

Moondog Bittered Sling Extract
Visual: Medium Brown
Nose: Dark and earthy with an almost herbal remedy (think Ricola) scent.
Taste: Quite spicy with peppery heat.  There is less of the typical aromatic bitters flavor going on, and more of an intense blast of ginger and woodgrain.
Overall: Very potent, you’ll only need a drop to get the effect.  Works well with dark spirits, especially aged rums and adds spice notes to sweeter bourbons.
GSN Rating: B+

Grapefruit Bittered Sling Extract
Visual: Medium golden-yellow.
Nose: Subtle, with a bright grapefruit highlight.  Makes me think of breakfast.
Taste: Pretty mellow, but with obvious grapefruit oil and pith.  Tasty and balanced with a bit of sweetness.
Overall: The fruit character is carried well here, and in a fresh and balanced way.  Try this instead of orange bitters in your next Martini or Satan’s Whiskers and see what you think.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Kale & Nori