GSN Spirited News: September 15th 2020 Edition

Evanston, Illinois-based Few Spirits has launched Immortal rye, a new whiskey proofed down to bottling strength with tea. The 46.5% abv whiskey is made by blending cask strength Few rye with 8 Immortals tea from Denver’s the Tea Spot. The whiskey does not contain added sugar or other additives. The whiskey’s label art showcases a dragon print that was shown at the 1893 World’s Fair. The initial release is limited—only 6,000 bottles—and is rolling out now across the U.S. for around $45 a 750-ml.

Japanese whisky maker Nikka is releasing a pair of new whiskies finished in apple brandy barrels in an homage to the company’s origins producing apple juice and other apple products before launching the first Nikka whisky in 1940. The first release is Yoichi Single Malt Whisky Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels, produced at Nikka’s founding distillery on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The second is Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels, produced in Sendai, Japan. Both are at 40% abv and retail for $250 a 750-ml. Imported by San Francisco-based Hotaling & Co., they will be distributed in California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, Washington, and Tennessee.

Benriach single malt Scotch whisky, part of the Brown-Forman portfolio, has revamped its core lineup and unveiled two new expressions. The newcomers include Smoky Ten and Smoky Twelve whiskies, retailing at $60 and $65 a 750-ml., respectively. Those offerings join the Original Ten ($54) and Original Twelve ($60) in the range, which has been repackaged and will be hitting the market in its new incarnation next month. Benriach will follow with Twenty-One, Twenty-Five, and Thirty-Year-Old single malts in the U.S. next year.

Heaven Hill has announced the 2020 iteration of Parker’s Heritage. This year’s whiskey is a 10-year-old Bourbon matured in heavily charred barrels. The spirit was distilled from a mash of 72% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye, and aged in level 5 char barrels, as opposed to Heaven Hill’s typical level 3 char barrels. The whiskey is bottled at 60% abv and is rolling out now in limited quantities across the U.S. for around $120 a 750-ml. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle goes to fund research and patient care for those diagnosed with ALS.

Tequila Partida has debuted Roble Fino, a line of luxury sipping Tequilas. The new range includes a Reposado ($100 a 750-ml.), aged for a minimum of 6 months in ex-Bourbon barrels and then aged for two more months in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks; a Reposado Cristalino ($115), finished in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks; and an Añejo ($125), aged for 18 months in ex-Bourbon barrels, then finished for five more months in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks. All three Tequilas are now rolling out in New York, California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas, with additional markets to follow.

Beam Suntory has launched this year’s version of Basil Hayden’s 10-Year-Old Bourbon. The 40% abv whiskey is made from the company’s high-rye mashbill. It serves as the higher-end limited release for the brand and sits alongside the flagship Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, and other limited releases like 10-year-old rye, and Caribbean Reserve Rye. Basil Hayden’s 10-year-old is now available across the U.S. for around $70 a 750-ml.

Diageo has released Captain Morgan Sliced Apple, the latest flavored offshoot for the spiced rum brand. The 35% abv rum is made from the original spiced rum with added ginger and apple flavoring. Captain Morgan Sliced Apple is now available across the U.S. for around $16 a 750-ml.

San Francisco, California-based Gold Bar Spirits Co. has launched Rickhouse Cask Strength Straight BourbonThe whiskey is distilled from a mash of 80% corn and 20% rye and is bottled at 51.5% abv. With this new release, Gold Bar continues its partnership with the San Francisco 49ers, with Rickhouse named the official whiskey of the team’s Faithful to the Bay campaign. Rickhouse is now available in major retailers across the U.S. and on the company’s website for around $35 a 750-ml.

Minnetonka, Minnesota’s Dashfire has announced a new line of hard coffees, set to launch throughout the state at the end of the month. The 14% abv RTDs will come in three flavors—Rum Café Mocha, Rum Golden Latte, and Bourbon Cold Brew—and all will be available in individual 200-ml. cans. Southern Glazer’s will distribute Dashfire’s hard coffees in Minnesota and the company is planning for a wider release through Vision Wine & Spirits in the future.

Moët Hennessy-owned Belvedere has long looked to differentiate itself by bringing the concept of terroir to the vodka category. Now the brand is introducing its new Heritage 176 expression and a “Made With Nature” platform, highlighting its Polish origins and craftsmanship. Heritage 176 is rolling out across 20 U.S. markets, retailing at $35 a 750-ml. The new offering nods to the 19th century practice of malting rye by kiln-heating—which Belvedere says unlocks distinctive flavors in the resulting liquid—with its distillers applying fire to malt the rye before distillation. It’s intended to be served over ice with a lemon twist.

William Grant & SonsHudson Whiskey has rebranded with more mature offerings and a new, more accessible price point. The distillery’s Baby Bourbon is now Bright Lights, Big Bourbon, a 46% abv whiskey retailing at $40 a 750-ml. Manhattan Rye has relaunched as Do the Rye Thing, also bottled at 46% abv and retailing for $40. The company’s Maple Cask Rye, a whiskey finished in maple syrup barrels, has rebranded as Short Stack and will retail at around $55. The company also has launched Back Room Deal, a new rye whiskey finished in barrels used to age peated Scotch, which will retail at around $55 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: July 14th 2020 Edition

Sweden-based Purity Distillery is launching Purity Spritz, a flavored spirit intended for use in Spritz cocktails. Purity Spritz uses the distillery’s Signature 34 Edition Organic Vodka as its base and augments it with natural flavors of bergamot, grapefruit, and orange. Consumers may combine it with their choice of sparkling wine to make a full Spritz cocktail. Signature 34 takes its name from distilling the heart of the vodka 34 times during production. Now in distribution, Purity Spritz is at 30% abv and retails for $25 a 750-ml.

Nikka, the Hotaling & Co.-imported Japanese whisky brand, has launched its most accessible whisky yet in the U.S. Nikka Days is a new 40% abv blend made from Coffey Grain Whisky, non-peated Miyagikyo malts, plus smaller amounts of Coffey Malt Whisky and Yoichi malts. Nikka Days is rolling out now in California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, and Tennessee for a suggested price of $50 a 750-ml.

Wild Turkey has launched Rare Breed Rye, the newest barrel proof whiskey to join the company’s permanent portfolio. The whiskey is a blend of 4-, 6-, and 8-year old non-chill-filtered rye whiskies and the first bottling comes in at 56.1% abv. Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye is rolling out to select retailers across the U.S. at around $60 a 750-ml.

Spokane, Washington’s Dry Fly Distilling has released Huckleberry Lemonade, the newest canned cocktail from the craft distillery. The 5.4% abv cocktail is made with Dry Fly’s vodka, sugar, carbonated lemonade, and huckleberry syrup. Dry Fly Huckleberry Lemonade is now available in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans for around $13 throughout the Northwest. It joins Moscow Mule, Spicy Lemonade, and Gin and Tonic in Dry Fly’s portfolio of canned cocktails. Dry Fly’s spirits are all made using grains sourced from family-owned farms within 30 miles of the distillery.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

NikkaCoffe-Grain_750mlNikka can lay claim to being the first Japanese whiskey distillery.  Founded in 1934 by Masataka Taketsuru, the Yoichi distillery produced some of the world’s finest spirits.  With this initial success, the company now has four separate distilleries in Japan and another in Scotland, along with several bottling and aging facilities.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky is made at the Miyagikyo plant in Sendai, using a still imported from Scotland in 1963.  The base grain is corn, which adds a bourbon-like sensibility the flavor profile.  If you were thinking that it is flavored with coffee beans, you’d be wrong.  The Coffey in the name refers to the type of column still created by Irishman Aeneas Coffey, who ironically could not get the Irish to embrace his revolutionary product back in 1830.  So, he took his invention elsewhere and now it is employed in virtually every distillery in the world (including pot still holdout Ireland).

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky (90 proof)
Visual: Pale yellow gold.
Nose: Warm, elegant, and slightly fruity.
Taste: Quite smooth and restrained, yet delivers a rich and perfectly aged flavor.  Notes of vanilla, honey, cinnamon, raspberries and black tea.
Finish: Spicy and masculine, yet there’s an underlying sense of spun sugar and sweet corn.
Overall: Somehow they’ve captured summer in a bottle.  Very well done and a testament to the Nikka company’s devotion to creating high quality products.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Anchor Distilling