GSN Brews News: May 11th 2021 Edition

Rochester, New York-based Black Button Distilling has introduced CanBee Cocktails. The inaugural release is a canned cocktail called Bee’s Knees, lightly carbonated and made with lemon, honey, and a small-batch gin base. CanBee was founded with a mission to support bee conservation and a portion of all sales will go to the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program. Bee’s Knees is at 8% abv and is available now at select retailers and online, where a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans retails for $15.

Jim Beam has debuted a new line of canned Highballs. The releases come in at 5% abv and are made with Bourbon and either seltzer or ginger ale. The RTDs come in individual 355-ml. cans for around $2.50 or in 4-packs for around $10. Both Jim Beam Original and Ginger Highballs are now available across the U.S.

Stowe, Vermont-based Von Trapp Brewing is releasing Radler Trail Bier, a grapefruit-infused lager. It’s a 3.9% abv session beer that’s low on calories but high on carbs, intended to accompany vigorous outdoor activity. It’s available now across Von Trapp’s 12-market distribution area, which includes Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Von Trapp Brewing is part of Trapp Family Lodge, a 2,600-acre resort founded in 2010 by the family that inspired The Sound of Music.

Dallas, Texas-based Deep Ellum Brewing is releasing Blind Pickle Hard Seltzer. The seltzer, crafted for pickle lovers, is part of a rotating seltzer series of limited release flavors that spun off from the brewery’s year-round Blind Lemon Hard Seltzer. Like other Deep Ellum products, Blind Pickle was brewed with cane sugar taking the place of malted barley in the mash. It’s at 5% abv and is available now throughout Texas for a limited time. 

Sapporo U.S.A. is launching Sapporo Pure, a new light beer. Targeting health-conscious consumers, the release is at 4% abv and contains 90 calories and 2.4g of carbs per 12-ounce slim can. Sapporo Pure will be rolling out to 17 states this month including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Taylor Fladgate has entered the RTD market with Chip Dry & Tonic, a white Port-based drink packaged in 250-ml. cans. The 5.5% abv cocktail will launch this summer in the U.S., the U.K., and Portugal in 4-packs that will retail for around $18. The cocktail, according to the company, features not only Fladgate’s white Port, but tonic water that’s specifically made for the Port house. 

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Backbar Review: June 30-July 4, 2014

indexBeam Suntory is planning the launch of a host of new whiskies under its Jim Beam Signature Craft brand. In September, the Signature Craft line will add a “Harvest Bourbon Collection,” including Soft Red Wheat and Brown Rice Bourbons, both at 45% abv and retailing around $50 a 375-ml. bottle. The Harvest Bourbon Collection will continue to be expanded through next year with upcoming Rolled Oat, Triticale, High Rye and Six Row Barley whiskies. The Jim Beam stable is also set to gain a Signature Craft Quarter Cask limited edition in September, which is at 43% abv and retails at $40 a 750-ml.

indexOle Smoky Tennessee Moonshine has unveiled a new trio of 80-proof flavored moonshines. Rolling out this month, the Ole Smoky Lightnin’ Line will launch with higher-proof versions of Ole Smoky’s original 40-proof Strawberry, Lemon Drop and Hunch Punch moonshines—Strawberry Lightnin’, Lemon Drop Lightnin’ and Hunch Punch Lightnin’. All three will be available across 49 states and Canada, priced at around $24.95 a 750-ml.

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indexNashville, Tennessee’s American Born Moonshine has expanded distribution to California, marking the brand’s first market on the West Coast. The company is eyeing further expansion in the region after successful launches throughout southeastern states. The unaged corn whiskey is available in Original, Apple Pie and Dixie flavors and is made from corn, sugar and water at a suggested retail price of about $24.99 a 750-ml. jar. The Original is 103 proof, while Apple Pie and Dixie, a sweet-tea flavored moonshine, are both 83 proof.

indexSeattle’s Westland Distillery has partnered with Anchor Distilling to introduce its flagship Westland American single malt whiskey nationwide. Produced using Scotch-style methods, Westland American single malt is made with Pacific Northwest barley and matured in new American oak casks. The 46%-abv entry, which has a production of 1,500 casks annually, is priced at around $79.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Booker’s Bourbon

1281Along with the Jim Beam family, Booker Noe II is responsible for bringing some of the world’s greatest Bourbons to light.  Booker served as master distiller for over four decades at the Beam Distillery in Kentucky.  Many may not know that Booker was the great-great-great grandson of the founder Jacob Beam.  Over the years he began to bottle some special Bourbons for his friends and family.  It was uncut, non-chill filtered, aged six-eight years in the center of the aging racks.  In 1992, he debuted it to the general public, and it has since taken its place amongst the countries best spirits.  Booker’s Bourbon continues the traditions and memory of this great man.

Booker’s Bourbon (121-127 proof)
Visual: Medium dark brown.
Nose: Light, yet hinting at some depth and heat.  The distillate remains in the forefront, with the typical vanilla and caramel elements reaming in the background.
Taste: Elegant and quite refined.  Surprisingly understated, yet very much a cask strength bourbon in terms of flavor profile.  This speaks well of the master distillers ability to know when a cask is ready for bottling.
Finish: The heat is in the back of the throat with all of the pleasantries delivered up front.  Quite a pleasure and a superb sipping whiskey.
Overall: Again, despite the high-proof, this is eminently mixable and absolutely a winner as a slow sipper.  If I didn’t know better, I’d say that this was aged at least 12 years, instead of 7.5.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: SmallBatch.com

GSN Review: Baker’s Bourbon

bakersThe Beam family has a long and storied history.  Originally immigrants from Germany named Böhm, they settled in Kentucky in the late 1700’s.  Johannes “Reginald” Beam successfully made corn whiskey in 1795, then passed the business on to his son David Beam.  He in turn passed it to David M. Beam who moved the business to Nelson County.  James Beauregard Beam (from whom the Jim Beam name comes from) ran it until prohibition, and then amazingly enough started it up again in 1933 in Clermont, Kentucky.  It continues to this day to be managed by the Beam family along with the family of former Master Distiller Booker Noe.  The company was recently sold to Suntory Distilling of Japan for an astounding 16 billion US dollars.  I’d say the family did quite well over the past 225 years.

Baker’s is named after Baker Beam, the grand-nephew of Jim Beam.  It uses a yeast culture that has been in the Beam family recipe for more than 60 years.

Baker’s Bourbon (107 proof)
Visual: Medium golden brown.
Nose: Powerful charred oak with caramel sugar. Rich and heady.
Taste: For such a high-proof whiskey, this is amazingly smooth and mellow.  There is some heat, but it’s intertwined so beautifully with the flavors of sugar and spice that you don’t really notice it.
Finish: Peppery spice edges out the initial sweetness and leaves your mouth feeling deeply satisfied.  I keep coming back to a sense of raw maple here.
Overall: This is like pure bourbon candy.  I’ve been sipping it for a few weeks every now and then, and I am still impressed.  A bit of water will open it up and mellow it out even further, but it’s not crucial by any means.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: SmallBatch.com

GSN: Backbar Review – October 21-25, 2013

indexDiageo North America is extending Johnnie Walker with a new upscale offering, Gold Label Reserve. A limited edition whisky based on the Clynelish single malt, Gold Label Reserve will retail at $87 a 750-ml.—positioned between Johnnie Walker Double Black at $42 and the recently unveiled Johnnie Walker Platinum at $110. Packaged in a reflective gold bottle, Gold Label Reserve is billed as a whisky to be served over ice or in a tall drink with soda water and fruits like grapefruit or lemon. “Gold Label Reserve provides a unique flavor for high-energy celebrations that may not have been traditionally seen as Scotch whisky occasions,” said Brian Radics, Diageo’s director of Scotch whisky, in a statement announcing the launch.

indexMountain Laurel Spirits has expanded its Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey range with a new Port Finish expression. A small-batch, limited edition offering, Dad’s Hat Port Finish Rye Whiskey is aged a minimum of six months in oak casks, then matured for an additional three months in American Port wine barrels. The 94-proof entry is currently available in select markets—including California, New Jersey and Massachusetts, as well as in Pennsylvania on special order—priced at around $47 a 750-ml. Port Finish Rye Whiskey joins Vermouth Finish Rye, Pennsylvania White Rye and the core Pennsylvania Rye expression in the Dad’s Hat portfolio.

indexIllinois-based A. Hardy USA is introducing a new upscale Tequila brand, Tequila 1519. The 100%-agave label includes Blanco ($44.99 a 750-ml.), Reposado ($53.99) and Añejo expressions ($59.99), and is named for the year in which Andalusian steed horses—which became the seed stock for the Mexico’s symbolic Azteca Stallions—were first introduced to the country. The 1519 brand is produced in Jalisco by Agave Conquista.

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indexAfter a two-year absence, Michter’s Distillery LLC is returning its US*1 Unblended American Whiskey to the market. First shipments are scheduled to hit distributor warehouses within a week, with a suggested retail price of $45 a 750-ml. bottle. The product follows the release earlier this year of US*1 Sour Mash whiskey ($45) from Michter’s. The Unblended American carries no age statement. Its US*1 designation refers to the company’s reputed status as the first American distillery, dating to 1752 in Pennsylvania.

indexThe Cooper Spirits Co. has debuted Lock Stock & Barrel—a new, limited edition straight rye whiskey—in the U.S. Made with 100% rye, Lock Stock & Barrel is double distilled in copper pot stills and then aged for 13 years in American oak. The 101.3-proof whiskey, which is produced by Canada’s Alberta Distilleries Ltd., is priced at $115-$119 a 750-ml. Headquartered in New York and Philadelphia, Cooper Spirits is best known for launching the St-Germain liqueur brand.

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indexJim Beam’s latest offering, its “Signature Craft” series, marks an attempt to connect with whiskey aficionados.  The first products in the line are Jim Beam Signature Craft 12-Year Bourbon and Jim Beam Signature Craft Rare Spanish Brandy, both 43%-abv and priced at $40 a 750-ml., more than double the average retail price of Jim Beam’s core White Label. The 12-Year Bourbon is a permanent addition to the Jim Beam family, while Rare Spanish Brandy is an “extra-aged” offering that will be replaced by a new limited Signature Craft edition next year.

indexBrown-Forman’s Tequila Herradura has introduced the latest entry in its small-batch Coleccion de la Casa range, Reserva 2013 Cognac Cask Finish Reposado. The limited edition offering is initially aged in American oak for 11 months, then transferred to French oak casks from the Cognac region for an additional three months. Rolling out next month, Coleccion de la Casa, Reserva 2013 Cognac Cask Finish Reposado will be available at select retail outlets, priced at $89.99 a 750-ml. The entry follows the April launch of Herradura’s first Coleccion de la Casa expression, Reserva 2012 Port Cask Finish.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily