GSN: Backbar Review – February 25-March 1, 2013

imagesCamus Cognac has unveiled a limited edition offering commemorating its 150th anniversary. Camus Cuvée 5.150 is a blend of Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Fins Bois, Bon Bois and Borderies Cognacs, of which 1,492 individually numbered decanters were produced, priced at $13,500 each.



imagesSt. Helena, California-based Charbay Distillers is adding Añejo and Reposado variants of Tapatio Tequila, for which it became the exclusive U.S. importer last June. Tapatio Reposado is aged for eight months in oak barrels and retails for $38 a 1-liter bottle. The Añejo ($44 a 1-liter) is aged 18 months in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks, and the Blanco, which was previously available, retails at $38 a 1-liter and is aged for six months in stainless steel. All three are produced by master distiller Carlos Camarena at the Altena Distillery.

imagesChivas Regal is debuting three new limited edition offerings of its 18-year-old variant in the U.S. market. Entitled “The Drop,” the collection was created in partnership with Italian design firm Pininfarina. 1,500 bottles of the first expression are available in the U.S. at $140 each, featuring a blue metallic-finish outer case and a wood veneer. The second, of which 120 individually numbered bottles are available in the U.S. at $495 each, takes the same aerodynamic design cues a step further. It features a solid wood inlay and includes two Pininfarina-designed glasses. The third, Chivas 18 Mascherone by Pininfarina, is a seven-foot, four-inch piece—made of an oak internal structure clad in aluminum—that will be made to order by Pininfarina on request at $100,000 each.

imagesCampari’s Wild Turkey distillery has extended its Russell’s Reserve small-batch Bourbon brand with a new single barrel offering. Created by Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell and his son, Eddie, Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel (55% abv) is Wild Turkey’s first unfiltered Bourbon. The new, high-proof offering will be available starting next month, priced at around $49.99 a bottle.



imagesBrown-Forman is set to release this year’s special edition Woodford Reserve Bourbon bottle for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. The packaging features art by Oregon-based painter Eric Bowman, which includes a close-up of a racing scene, as well as a sky blue neckband at the top displaying Bowman’s signature and a tag hanging around the bottle with information about the product and the artist. The bottle will be available in 46 markets across the country for a suggested retail price of $43.99 a 1-liter bottle. Woodford Reserve has been a sponsor of the Kentucky Derby for the past 15 years.

imagesColorado’s Woody Creek Distillers is set to make its debut with six ultra-premium spirits offerings. In addition to its core vodka brands, Woody Creek Potato Vodka and Reserve Stobrawa Potato Vodka, the company’s products include Baby Bourbon, Gin, Apple Brandy and Pear Eau de Vie, all sourced locally from the Aspen Valley. Another label, Olathe Corn Whiskey, is in production and scheduled for release in 2015, after a stint of aging in American white oak barrels.

imagesHeaven Hill Distilleries is rolling out two new flavors—Cherry Cola and Strawberry Banana for the Burnett’s vodka line.  They are line priced at $10.99 a 750-ml. The Burnett’s portfolio now includes 31 different flavors.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Tapatio Tequila

imagesTequilas are a tricky breed.  The differences often are so subtle as to be imperceptible.  Especially among silver or blanco tequilas.  Tapatio stands out from the competition by utilizing techniques that are unique amongst Jalisco distilleries.  Firstly, they use the age-old Tahona method by crushing the agave pinas with a stone wheel, and then mix the juice and fibers by stamping on them with bare feet. But the most bespoke aspect is that instead of distilling the spirit to almost pure alcohol and then bringing it down to proof with water, they simply double distill it to 80 proof and leave it at that.  This in essence leaves more of the inherent flavors of the roasted agave in the final product.

Created by the La Alteña Distillery (who recently celebrated their 75th anniversary) this unique spirit has finally made its way to the USA through the efforts of Charbay Wine & Spirits.

Tapatio Tequila (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Agave notes are intermixed with an almost oregano and sage-like scent.  Unique among tequilas.
Taste: Light and with more spice overtones than agave.  Hearty, and with a cool refreshing mint finish.
Finish: Almost fruity and at the same time with a peppermint overtone.  Wow!
Overall: More terroir than most silver tequilas, but the agave plays a supporting role to all of the other things going on.  Very different, and a sipping tequila that you will never forget.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Tapatio