GSN Spirited News: September 14th 2021 Edition

Kentucky’s Covered Bridge Whiskey Company has expanded its offerings, adding a new rye whiskey to its Ruddell’s Mill label. The 47.2% abv whiskey is distilled from a high-rye mash bill that also includes malted barley. The brand is named for the founder of a gristmill that operated in Bourbon country during the early years of Kentucky whiskey production. Ruddell’s Mill rye is now available in select markets across the U.S. through Worldwide Libations for around $50 a 750-ml.

E.& J. Gallo has launched a new 19-year-old expression in the Germain-Robin family of brandies. The 41.4% abv single barrel brandy is distilled from Pinot Noir grapes from the Anderson Valley in Mendocino county and matured in Limousin oak barrels. Germain-Robin Pinot Noir Single Barrel is now available at the company’s California Brandy House in Napa for $250. It will soon be available in other select locations across the U.S.

Rothes, Scotland’s the Glen Grant Distillery is celebrating the 60th anniversary of distiller Dennis Malcolm with a new 60-year-old single malt whisky. The Dennis Malcolm 60th Anniversary Edition is bottled at 52.8% abv and is drawn from a single ex-Oloroso Sherry cask filled in October, 1960. Only 360 Glencairn decanters are available in select global retailers with each bottle selling for €25,000 (roughly $30,000).

Peoria, Illinois-based JK Williams Distilling is adding two new products to its lineup. Distilled six times, Blueprint Vodka (40% abv) is the first clear spirit from the company, featuring the Peoria skyline and a local bridge on the bottle. The distillery is also launching its new Bridge Series with American Wheat Whiskey, made from 95% wheat and bottled at 47% abv. It will retail for $50 a bottle at select Illinois retailers as the third release from JK Williams since it launched its initial offerings in the fall of 2020. Named for a storied bootlegger, JK Williams’ previously released Gold Zephyr Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Stormy River High Rye Whiskey.

Actress Eva Longoria has introduced a new luxury Tequila brand, Casa del SolThe new franchise includes 100% Blue Weber agave Blanco ($60 a 750-ml.), Reposado ($70) and Añejo ($100) expressions, the latter two of which are aged in Martell Cognac barrels. Alejandra Pelayo, Casa Del Sol’s head of production, is a protege and goddaughter of the late Patrón master distiller Francisco Alcaraz. Casa del Sol is launching now in California, Colorado, and Florida ahead of a national rollout slated for early next year.

Lux Row Distillers is releasing a new Bourbon in partnership with conservation organization Ducks Unlimited. The new release is called Daviess County Double Barrel Bourbon and is a variation on Lux Row’s existing Daviess County Bourbon. Created by Lux Row master distiller and Ducks Unlimited member John Rempe, it’s finished in Missouri white oak barrels with toasted heads and bottled at 48% abv. The label features an inset of the Ducks Unlimited duck head logo. The Double Barrel Bourbon is available in mid-September, with limited supplies retailing for a suggested $50 a 750-ml. 

YaVe Tequila has extended its range with a Reposado expression. Aged eight months in American oak barrels, the brand’s new Reposado is bottled at 40% abv and retails at $60 a 750-ml. It joins the existing Blanco Tequila in the YaVe range, which is distributed across eight markets (and ships to 33 states nationwide).

Compass Box has introduced a new blended malt Scotch whisky called Orchard House. Compass Box says the majority of the recipe is made from stocks of spirit purchased from distilleries known for their fruit-forward flavor. These spirits were then aged in a variety of casks including first fill ex-Bourbon barrels, Oloroso Sherry-seasoned butts, and French oak custom barrels. Retailing at $50 a 750-ml. and bottled at 46% abv, Compass Box Orchard House will be part of the brand’s core collection and will debut widely in October.

Beam Suntory has released 100 bottles of the Yamazaki 55 Japanese whisky in select global markets. The 46% abv offering is a blend of whiskies distilled in 1960 and 1964, with the older whisky maturing in Mizunara oak and the younger whisky in white oak, before bottling in 2020. The whisky is available in the U.S., U.K., mainland China, and Taiwan, among other nations, for a suggested price of $60,000 a bottle. For each bottle released, Beam Suntory will donate $5,000 to the White Oak Initiative, a group focused on sustaining America’s white oak forests.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: April 27th 2021 Edition

Pasote Tequila has debuted new packaging across its whole line of agave spirits. The new bottles feature the brand’s name on colored labels with Aztec gods and warriors—a black label for Blanco, red for Reposado, and orange for Añejo—as well as a new white band across the bottles’ stoppers. While the bottles and labels have changed the liquid inside remains the same and is still produced from 100% estate grown blue agave. Pasote’s Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo offerings retail for $49-$69, and its Extra-Añejo sells for around $190.

Austin, Texas-based Garrison Brothers Distillery will release Laguna Madre on May 8. The new, limited-edition Texas straight Bourbon is the most ambitious expression Garrison Brothers has produced, the result of four years of aging in white oak barrels followed by four years in French-imported Limousin oak barrels. Only 2,000 bottles will be available nationwide. Each bottle is housed in a display case framed by a photo of its namesake Gulf Coast waters and hand-signed and numbered by master distiller Donnis Todd. Laguna Madre is at 50.5% abv and will retail for $300 a bottle at the distillery and in select outlets nationwide.

Austin, Texas-based Ballotin Whiskey’s latest release is Ballotin Chocolate Peanut Butter Whiskey Cream. Blending the brand’s barrel-aged whiskey with dairy cream, the release elaborates on Ballotin’s previous Chocolate Whiskey Cream and is a permanent addition to the lineup, which also includes Chocolate Mint, Caramel Turtle, and Bourbon Ball, among others. It’s at 17% abv and retails for a suggested $22 a 750-ml. Ballotin Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream is available now across Ballotin’s more than 30 state distribution area.

Jura Whisky has added a new 12-year-old expression to its U.S. portfolio of single malt Scotch expressions. The new offering first matures in ex-Bourbon casks before finishing in Oloroso Sherry casks. It joins Jura’s 12-year-old, Seven Wood, and 18-year-old expressions, and retails for around $50 a 750-ml.

Honkaku Spirits is debuting Takamine Whiskey in the U.S. market. Made at Japan’s Shinozaki Distillery, Takamine is an 8 year-old, 80-proof, 100% barley, koji-fermented whiskey. Koji (aspergillus oryzae) is a mold that grows on grains, breaking the starches into sugars which yeast can then convert into alcohol through fermentation. Koji has been used in Japan for more than 1,200 years to make sake as well as soy sauce, miso, shochu, and other familiar umami-laden Japanese products, according to the company. Aged in virgin American oak and ex-Bourbon casks, Takamine is rolling out now across 15 states, distributed by Winebow and retailing at $99 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: CRUZ Tequila

cruz_delsol_tequila_reposado__69657.1366656704.1280.1280CRUZ is a 100% blue weber agave tequila made in the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico.  Slow cooked in traditional brick ovens for days, and naturally fermented, it is then double distilled in a stainless steel pot still.  What is particularly nice about the packaging is that both the glass and the steel cap and cross are made from recycled materials.  CRUZ is distributed by the Trinchero Family Estates  in Helena, California.  They also have a silver (blanco) tequila which GSN was not sent for review.

CRUZ Reposado (80 proof)
Visual: Very pale gold.
Nose: Slightly grassy and agave forward.
Taste: Light with a lot of sweetness.  There is some caramel and faint smoke, but overall, very mild.  Much of the deep funk of a rustic tequila is not found here.
Finish: A sweet almost buttered corn on the cob taste works surprisingly well.
Overall: This grew on me.  I like the way it starts off simply, but has an almost buttery character after a minute or two.  For a reposado, this is a bit on the thin side, but the flavor is quite good.  This is great in a Margarita or as a shot.  I would drink this with a traditional Mexican meal and it would add to the overall experience.
GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Cruz Tequila

GSN Review: Kah Tequila

tumblr_lwqutdtcPQ1qiedjoMexico has a long tradition of acknowledging that one’s death is inevitable.  Instead of fearing death, they celebrate it each year with a festival called Día de los Muertos.  One of the highlights is being given candy made out of sugar in the shape of a human skull.  Sounds weird, right?  But, not really.  Think about Halloween.  Skulls and candy are a matter of course.

Kah has taken this idea and made it even better.  Each style of their tequila comes in an eye-catching and artistic bottle. All of this reminds me of the proverbial maxim, “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”  Good enough reason to enjoy some tequila!

Kah Blanco (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Spicy and sweet agave nose with rock candy.
Taste: Very smooth, with light grassy notes and some caramel.  Salty sweet potato flavor is intriguing and tasty.  Creamy mouthfeel.
Finish: There is a lingering salinity and crisp aspect that feels rich and well-rounded.
Overall: Exceptionally creamy and perfect for pairing with traditional Mexican cuisine.
GSN Rating: B+

Kah Reposado (110 proof)
Visual: Very pale gold.
Nose: A lot of alcohol on the nose.  High woody notes with a distinct cinnamon air, tone down the agave.
Taste: Surprisingly woody, with a semi-rye spice-like character.  Fairly intense, but toned down by a sweet, almost milk chocolate flavor towards the end.
Finish: Rich and powerful mouth feel with a lot of chewiness.  This is the Angus beef of tequila.
Overall: Intense and aggressive.  Still, as with the other Kah tequilas, it has a softness to it.  A great tequila for sipping or shots.
GSN Rating: B

Kah Anjeo (80 proof)
Visual: Light gold.
Nose: Fresh agave with tropical fruit accents.
Taste: Super smooth with a lot a rich creamy vanilla and caramel in the forefront.  Definitely an elegant sipper.  Akin to an XO cognac.
Finish: Sweet, fruity and smooth.  Luscious and enveloping.
Overall: Really, really nice.  The kind of tequila to bring out for special friends and occasions.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Kah Tequila