GSN Spirited News: October 13th 2020 Edition

Lansdale, Pennsylvania-based Boardroom Spirits is introducing a new Vanilla vodka ($27 a 750-ml.), along with two vodka-based ready-to-drink bottled cocktails, the Blueberry Blush and the Spiced Vanilla Peartini (both $38 a 750-ml.). The Vanilla vodka is made with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans and bottled at 32% abv, while the cocktails are at 21% abv. In addition to both bottled and canned cocktails, Boardroom’s range includes gin, Bourbon, rum, vodka, liqueurs, and flavored spirits.

William Grant & Sons has announced the latest release in the Balvenie Tun 1509 series, Batch 7. The 52.4% abv whisky is assembled from 21 casks—10 refill Sherry butts, 4 refill barrels, and 7 Sherry hogsheads—that were blended and left to marry for three months before bottling. Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 7 is now rolling out across the U.S. for around $410 a 750-ml.

Brooklyn-based Kings County Distillery is launching a 7-Year Single Barrel BourbonDistilled in July 2013 and bottled at 107 proof, this barrel was reduced by a 34% angel’s share and was matured in the “greenhouse-like upstairs aging room” in the company’s Brooklyn Navy Yard distillery. This release will be sold only at the distillery, but future offerings from Kings County’s Single Barrel series will be distributed to key accounts in New York and beyond.

Rumson, New Jersey-based Penelope Bourbon has launched Rosé Cask Finish, a new limited edition. The 47% abv whiskey is blended from three different mashbills using four grains before finishing in barrels previously used to mature French rosé made from Grenache grapes. Penelope Rosé Cask Finish joins a Straight Bourbon whiskey and a barrel proof offering in the brand’s portfolio. Penelope sources its whiskies from Lawrenceburg, Indiana’s MGP Ingredients. Only 2,400 bottles of the new whiskey will be released and it will retail for around $65 a 750-ml.

Diageo is launching a new line of limited whiskies from its Tullahoma, Tennessee-based Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. Cascade Moon Edition No. 1 is an 11-year-old whisky at 42% abv, which is being promoted via the tagline “Mellow as Moonlight.” It’s rolling out in Tennessee, California, and Texas, retailing at $90. Cascade Hollow general manager and distiller Nicole Austin blended the whisky to feature similar tasting notes to those found in a gose-style beer. A second release from the Cascade Moon series will follow later this fall.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Barrell Craft Spirits has introduced Barrell Armida, a blend of three straight Bourbon whiskies finished separately in Pear Brandy, Jamaican Rum, and Sicilian Amaro casks. Armida was bottled at 56.06% abv and is available at select retailers within the brand’s current 45 U.S. markets and online via the BCS website. A limited run of 3,700 750-ml. bottles is rolling out, retailing at $90. An independent blender and bottler of aged, cask-strength sourced whiskey and rum, Barrell Craft was founded by former marketing and tech entrepreneur Joe Beatrice in in 2013.

Portland, Oregon’s Freeland Spirits has introduced a new canned French 75 cocktail. The 15.5% abv cocktail is made with Freeland gin, lemon juice, and Inox Unoaked Chardonnay from Chehalem Winery. The combination is carbonated and packaged in 8.4-ounce cans. Four-packs are now available at Freeland’s tasting room and in retailers in Oregon, Washington, California, Florida, Illinois, and New York for around $17. Freeland’s French 75 joins American gin, Bourbon, Genever-inspired spirit Geneva, and a canned Gin and Tonic in the distillery’s portfolio.

Chopin Imports has launched a selection of spirits from Ireland’s Hinch Distillery in the U.S. For the initial rollout, Chopin has released Hinch Small Batch whiskey (matured in Bourbon casks and retailing for $30), Hinch 5 Year Old Double Wood (ex-Bourbon and new American oak, $40), Hinch 10 Year Old Sherry Cask ($55), and Ninth Wave gin ($30.) These spirits are now available in 11 states with national distribution (and an expanded lineup including Single Malt and Pot Still whiskies) to follow in February 2021.

Nashville, Tennessee’s Brown Water Spirits has launched O.H. Ingram River Aged Straight whiskeyThe 46% abv whiskey matured in a floating rickhouse in the Mississippi River in Ballard County, Kentucky. This is the first release from Brown Water Spirits, and the company says the next offering in its River Aged series, a straight rye, will follow in November. O.H. Ingram River Aged Straight whiskey is now available in Tennessee with expansion into other markets coming as more of the whiskey becomes available.

Luxury Tequila brand PaQui has debuted across six U.S. states, including New York, California, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The new brand includes 100%-blue agave Silvera ($50 a 750-ml.), Reposado ($60), and Añejo ($70) expressions and is made by master Tequilero Gilberto Jasso in Jalisco, Mexico. PaQui means “to be happy” in the Aztec language, and its bottle design is inspired by an Aztec pyramid. Founder John Chappell is a veteran of Banfi, Boston Beer, and Labatt USA.

Edrington’s The Glenrothes has announced its oldest whisky so far, a 50-year-old single malt distilled in November 1968. The whisky matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks before bottling at 48% abv. Each bottle is sold in a lacquered black case and the whisky comes in a numbered crystal decanter. Only 50 bottles will be available globally, retailing at $35,000. Buyers will be invited to the Glenrothes estate (typically closed to the public) and enrolled in a 50-member club with the other buyers, offering the chance to purchase exclusive malts in the future.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Life of Reilley Vodkas & Disco Lemonade

1972374_1549933071899560_27244082_nI first met Ben and Shiobhan Reilley last year when they were just getting started with their new distilling company located in Nelson, NY, about 30 minutes from the GSN offices.  Down to earth, family oriented and enthusiastic about their products, both husband and wife regularly set up at local farmer’s markets on the weekend handing out samples of their vodkas and cocktail in a can, Disco Lemonade.  This year, they took their products to the New York State Fair.  Ben recently tweeted that he thinks they just might sell out of their Disco Lemonade over the 12 day event.

The name is memorable and the drink fits the casual Central New York lifestyle.  Packaged in an aluminum can, it’s ready-to-go and goes down easy.  Blended from their raspberry vodka and lemon flavoring, it is already making its way onto local grocery store shelves.

Life of Reilley uses New York State corn for their vodkas, and the distillery is a part of what is called the Cazenovia Beverage Trail. You can easily spend a day driving around and visiting all of the facilities that are located within a few minutes of each other. Other stops include Critz Farms’ Harvest Moon Cidery, Empire Farmstead Brewery, Heidelberg Brewing Co. and Owera Vineyards.  As Ben Reilly said, “It’s an exciting time to be in this business.”

Premium Vodka (80 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Fresh, lively, and clean.  Some minerality, with a tight and defined nose.
Taste: Remarkably smooth and creamy.  Slightly powdered sugar sweet, but with a lot of peppery body.  Rich, full and self-assured.
Finish: Medium long with more slate and chalk notes lending a dry finish.
Overall: If you gave me a glass of this and I didn’t know better, I’d say this is a winter wheat vodka.  An amazing transformation and a top-notch vodka right out of the gate.
GSN Rating: A-

Raspberry Vodka (70 proof)
Visual: Clear.
Nose: Sprightly raspberry and again a decent amount of minerality.  Quite fresh.
Taste: Light and semi-dry fruit flavor with no overtly sugary character.  The vodka itself shines through the raspberry flavor and this adds to its appeal.
Finish: Medium short with lingering berry essence.
Overall: A really good raspberry vodka, especially when compared to many others on the market.  This is fantastic in a punch or with ginger ale.
GSN Rating: A-

Vanilla Vodka (70 proof)
Visual: Ultra pale gold.
Nose: Reminiscent of vanilla tobacco.  Sweet, inviting and redolent with vanilla bean.
Taste: Subtle, not obtrusive or artificial tasting.  In fact, the vanilla here acts as more of a patina to the vodka.  You definitely notice it, but it doesn’t smack you in the face.
Finish: Short and with a slight lingering vanillin note.
Overall: Again, a fine vodka that doesn’t seek to overwhelm with the flavoring.  This is nice with cola, or sipped neat with a berry dessert pairing.
GSN Rating: B+

Disco Lemonade (6.5% abv) – This is a ready-made cocktail-in-a-can made with LOR’s raspberry vodka and natural flavors.  On the nose, it’s slightly herbal and funky like a traditional vinegar-based shrub.  But, the flavor is more akin to a traditional lemonade with raspberry flavoring added. It’s sweet, but not overly so.  Straight out of the can, it is a little intensely flavored.  I’d suggest pouring this over ice and enjoying.  Definitely a summer beverage for the party goer! GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Life of Reilley