GSN Backbar Review: August 24-28, 2015

326761Denver’s Mile High Spirits has unveiled Punching Mule, a ready-to-drink Moscow Mule cocktail. Packaged in a copper-colored 12-ounce can, Punching Mule features a blend of Mile High’s Elevate vodka, natural ginger root flavors, lime and sugar. The 7%-abv offering is currently available in Colorado, Wisconsin, Connecticut and Rhode Island. In addition to Elevate, Mile High’s craft spirits lineup includes Fireside Bourbon, Fireside Peach, Cuidado Tequila, Denver Dry gin and Peg Leg rum.

plantation-pineapple-stiggins-fancy-rumFrench spirits producer Maison Ferrand has extended its Plantation rum range with Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum, a new annual limited edition. A joint project between Maison Ferrand proprietor Alexandre Gabriel and spirits historian and Whisky Advocate contributor David Wondrich, the rum is crafted with Queen Victoria pineapples from Reunion Island. Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum is currently launching nationwide, priced at $34.99 a 750-ml.

download375 Park Avenue Spirits, a division of Sazerac, is launching Arranta Cask, a new offering under the Speyburn single malt Scotch brand. Exclusive to the U.S. market, Arranta Cask ($40) was created using first-fill American oak ex-Bourbon casks that were air-dried rather than kiln-dried, resulting in more residual moisture and flavor, the company says. The 92-proof whisky joins a Speyburn range that includes Bradan Orach, 10-year-old and 25-year-old expressions.

download (1)William Grant & Sons is releasing a new batch of Balvenie Tun 1509 single malt Scotch whisky in the U.S. market next month. Retailing at $350 a 750-ml. bottle, the new whisky was drawn from 23 traditional American oak casks and nine European Sherry oak casks whose contents were transferred to Balvenie’s Tun 1509 for several months before bottling. The resulting single malt is non-chill-filtered and 50.3% abv.

SelvaRey Rum, co-owned by musician Bruno Mars, is expanding its distribution reach to several new states. Originally launched in California and Nevada, the Panamanian rum line will now be available in New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Georgia, Washington D.C., Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii, with expansion to Ontario planned for this fall. SelvaRey features two rums created by master blender Don Francisco “Pancho” Fernandez—SelvaRey White (40% abv, $25) and Cacao (35% abv, $30).

download (3)Bacardi Ltd.’s John Dewar & Sons unit has unveiled a new single malt Scotch range produced at its Royal Brackla distillery in Nairn, Scotland. The new offerings include 12-year-old, 16-year-old and 21-year-old Royal Brackla expressions, each of which are 40% abv. The lineup is currently rolling out across 10 key global markets, including the U.S.

beach1A group of entrepreneurs led by industry veteran J. Smoke Wallin has partnered on Beach Whiskey ($28 a 750-ml.), a new super-premium American whiskey brand. Launching this fall, the new entry will include Original, Bonfire Cinnamon and Island Coconut expressions.

download (4)Brown-Forman is rolling out the latest edition of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, commemorating the birthday of the company’s founder George Garvin Brown. The annual limited edition, introduced each year on September 2, is in its 14th incarnation, with this year’s 12-year-old product offered at 100 proof. Master distiller Chris Morris says this year’s barrels—which are vintage-dated from June 13, 2003—were matured in the same warehouse instead of multiple sites and were exposed to high temperatures that result in a more wood-driven characteristic. The 2015 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has a suggested retail price of $69.99-$79.99, with 2,200 cases available nationwide.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Selvarey Rum

Panama will be forever famous for the engineering feat completed exactly 100 years ago.  The canal which connected the Atlantic and Pacific oceans allowing ships to bypass the lengthy and treacherous Cape Horn route which had been in existence for hundreds of years.  But, Panama is also home to one of the world’s finest rums.

Selvarey (which means “king of the jungle”) is made in the Herrera province which happens to be one of the largest producers of sugar cane in Central America.  The rums are distilled in copper column stills, which is quite unusual, but lends a lot of character and flavor to the final product.  They are then aged in American Oak ex-bourbon casks.  The white rum is a blend of three and five-year old expressions, while the cacao is a five-year old which is infused with locally grown chocolate.

Selvarey Rum (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Tangy, almost fruity notes greet your olfactory senses with a rich, and welcoming depth.  Quite evocative.
Taste: Warm, round and tropical notes, with a hint of coconut.  Very friendly and laid back.  A lot of personality comes through.  This is a rum you want to make life-long friends with.
Finish: Medium long, with lingering notes of barley sugar and fresh cane juice.
Overall: A high quality rum that just gets better with each sip.  Impressive!
GSN Rating: A+

Selvarey Cacao (70 proof)
Visual: Light brown.
Nose: Cocoa powder.
Taste: This is what all other chocolate rums hope to be, but fall short.  Just the right balance of rum flavor and natural and unsweetened cocoa.  Not overly sweet, but more refined and elegant.  A masterful blend of distillation and infusion.
Finish: Long lingering notes of cocoa and sweet rum.
Overall: Many flavored rums tend to extremes.  This one in no way can be improved upon.  A true artisanal rum that everyone should try at least once in their life.
GSN Rating: A++

For more information go to: Selvarey