GSN Backbar Review: November 10-14, 2014

indexEquality Vodka, a new brand aimed at the LGBT community, is launching in Texas this month through Glazer’s. An 80-proof entry retailing at $30 a bottle, Equality is distilled and bottled in New York, and plans to expand beyond the Texas market looking ahead. For its first two years, Equality has pledged to donate a portion of sales to the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, focused on LGBT causes.

indexDurham, North Carolina-based Mystic Bourbon Liqueur is entering Virginia, and will be available at 100 Virginia ABC stores by late next month. Southern Wine & Spirits’ mid-Atlantic division will represent the brand in the Virginia market. The small-batch spirit, made from Bourbon, wildflower honey and spices, was launched last October and has enjoyed a strong start, selling 10,000 bottles across its core North and South Carolina markets to date.

indexRémy Martin has unveiled a limited edition Louis XIII Cognac in celebration of the brand’s 140th anniversary, Louis XIII Black Pearl Anniversary Edition. The blend of more than 1,200 eaux-de-vie ranging from 40 to 100 years in age is from a single 572-liter tiercon taken from the Heriard Dubreuil family’s private cellars, the third of its kind released by the family in the past century. It is packaged in a metallic decanter from the House of Baccarat, with 775 decanters released worldwide at a suggested retail priced of $16,000 each.

imagesGatlinburg, Tennessee’s Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is expanding distribution of its holiday offering, Shine Nog, to all 50 states beginning this month. The 35-proof, cream-based moonshine liqueur had previously only been available at the company’s distillery. The limited-release holiday offering is available in 750-ml. mason jars for about $20-$25.

indexRochester, New York craft producer Black Button Distilling is launching its first Bourbon offering, Little Barrel Bourbon. Debuting in a limited release of 1,400 375-ml. bottles that will retail at $40 each, Little Barrel will be hitting retail shelves on December 1. The company, which also produces Citrus Forward gin, Apple Pie moonshine and Wheat vodka, recently extended availability to New York City (through Blue Print Brands) and says it’s negotiating distribution deals in 10 additional states. Black Button is also planning a “Big Barrel” Bourbon for next year.

imagesCharleston, South Carolina’s Striped Pig Distillery has released three new small-batch craft spirits in its home state. Striped Spiced Rum ($24.99) is a spiced version of the company’s original Striped Rum, while its Striped Whiskey is made with locally grown corn and matured with charred barrel staves. Striped Gin ($26.99), meanwhile, is billed as a less juniper-forward gin, designed to appeal to those who don’t normally consider themselves gin drinkers. These three latest offerings join Striped Shine, Striped Rum and Striped Vodka in the micro-distiller’s portfolio.

Indio-HopkaPortland, Oregon-based Indio Spirits has launched Indio Hopka, a new “hop liqueur” intended to appeal to both craft beer and spirits consumers. Made with a grain distillate and a blend of Citra and Cascade hops, Indio Hopka ($26.99) is packaged in a hinge-top 750-ml. bottle and features a beer-inspired label. The 40%-abv hybrid offering, which can be consumed in a mixed drink, as a shot or over ice, is currently available across Oregon and Washington. Established in 2004, Indio Spirits’ portfolio also includes Indio Silver, Marionberry, Lemongrass-Lime and Blood Orange vodkas; Snake River Stampede Canadian whiskey; James Oliver Rye and American whiskey; Cricket Club gin; Barrel Room rum and Curaçao; and Red Island Finger Lime rum and Spiced rum.

indexThe newest release to Diageo’s Orphan Barrel whiskey project, highlighting rare whiskies from the company’s warehouses, will be an offering called Lost Prophet. Lost Prophet is a 22-year-old whiskey distilled in 1991 from what was then the George T. Stagg distillery (now Buffalo Trace) in Frankfort, Kentucky. Similar to Diageo’s previous Orphan Barrel releases—Rhetoric, Barterhouse and Old Blowhard—this whiskey spent time maturing in the old Stitzel-Weller warehouses in Louisville (since 2006 for Lost Prophet), and was bottled in Tullahoma, Tennessee, at the George Dickel distillery. The mashbill for Lost Prophet is 75%-78% corn, 7%-10% barley, and 15% rye. It’s bottled at 90.1 proof (45.05% abv) and will list for about $120. Similar to Old Blowhard, this will be a one-time release.

indexDiageo has officially launched Piehole, a new range of flavored Canadian whisky-based liqueurs. Debuting with a trio of Apple Pie, Cherry Pie and Pecan Pie expressions, Piehole is made with a blend of flavored whiskies aged between four and eight years and is bottled in Canada. The 35%-abv entries, which are targeted toward the shot occasion, will retail for around $14.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily