GSN Spirited News: October 26th 2021 Edition

Código 1530, known for Tequila, is entering the mezcal category. Its newcomers include an Ancestral Mezcal (43.1% abv) and an Artesanal Mezcal (42.2% abv), retailing at $180 and $65 respectively. The Ancestral expression is notable for the fact that no machines or automation are involved in its production, with the agave mashed by hand using a wooden stick, fermentation done in a leather vat, and the distillation taking place in clay pots, according to the company. The Artesanal offering includes wild tobalá agave and is rested in Sauvignon Blanc wine barrels. Both are available at retail and on Código 1530’s website.

Shoreham, Vermont’s WhistlePig has announced the eighth edition of the Boss Hog: LapuLapu’s Pacific. This edition is a 17-year-old rye whiskey aged in American oak before finishing twice in heavily toasted Philippine rum casks, with the first finishing cask previously holding 7-year-old rum and the second 10-year-old rum. The whiskey is bottled at barrel proof with bottles ranging from 52.4% to 53.3% abv. The Boss Hog VIII: LapuLapu’s Pacific is rolling out now in limited quantities to select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $500 a 750-ml.

Beam Suntory has released Bardstown Batch, the third bottling of Booker’s Bourbon for 2021. The release, named for the home of distiller Booker Noe, among other Beam family members, aged for six years and five months before bottling and comes in at 62.75% abv. Booker’s Bardstown Batch is now available in limited quantities across the U.S. for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml. 

Beam Suntory’s Tres Generaciones has kicked of the Legacy series, a new collection of limited-edition Tequilas, with Cenobio’s Batch PlataThe 45% abv Tequila celebrates the first generation of the Sauza family and is named for Don Cenobio, who purchased the Sauza distillery in 1873. Cenobio’s Batch Plata is now available across the U.S. for $70 a 750-ml. In addition to launching the Legacy series, Tres Generaciones has updated the packaging for its entire portfolio, with the new bottles featuring three lines gradually increasing from rough to smooth to represent the distillation process. 

Wyoming Whiskey has released another batch of its Single Barrel Bourbon, the first since November 2020. The 48% abv wheated Bourbon is aged for at least five years and made from locally sourced grains from the Bighorn Basin. The limited release is now available in Wyoming, Illinois, California, Colorado, New York, Georgia, Arizona, New Mexico, Maine, Idaho, Florida, and South Carolina, as well online via the brand’s website and other e-commerce channels, for a suggested price of $99 a 750-ml.

Graton, California’s Redwood Empire Whiskey, part of Purple Brands, has launched its first two bonded whiskies: Rocket Top Straight Rye and Grizzly Beast Straight Bourbon. The 50% abv whiskies were distilled in spring 2016 by distiller Jeff Duckhorn. The rye is made from a mash of 87% rye, 7% malted barley, and 6% wheat; and the Bourbon from 69% corn, 22% rye, 5% malted barley, and 4% wheat. Only 500 cases of each expression are available and both carry a suggested retail price of $80 a 750-ml.

Canada’s Alberta Distillers has announced the 2021 edition of Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye. This year’s whisky, which ranges in abv from 63% to 67%, is the second edition of Alberta’s barrel proof whisky to reach American shelves. The whisky is distilled from 100% Canadian rye and made with Rocky Mountain water. The Beam Suntory release will be available in select markets across the U.S. for a suggested price of $75 a 750-ml.

Hotaling & Co. has expanded Hirsch Selected Whiskeys with a new single barrel Bourbon. The first single barrel release from the brand, the initial bottling consists of 57 barrels bottled at 62% abv. The barrels aged for at least six years and the Bourbon was made from a mash bill of 72% corn, 13% rye, and 15% malted barley. Hirsch Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon is now available in select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml. Beginning November 1, a limited number of bottles will also be available through ReserveBar.

Scotch producer Compass Box Whisky has announced another installment in its limited edition series No Name. The final release of the series, No Name, No. 3, is a blended malt whisky based on liquid from the Laphroaig Distillery aged in recharred hogsheads, augmented with additions from Bowmore Distillery and the Compass Box Highland Malt Blend. Compass Box will market 10,794 bottles worldwide. No Name, No. 3 is at 48.9% abv and will be available from spirits retailers beginning November 1 for $130 a 750-ml.

Mount Gay Rum, part of the Rémy Cointreau portfolio, has unveiled the newest expression in its limited edition Master Blender Collection: Andean Oak Cask. The fourth offering in the series, Andean Cask is available nationwide, retailing at $195 a 750-ml. Made by master blender Trudiann Branker, the new rum was double distilled in a traditional copper pot still, aged for 14 years in ex-Bourbon barrels, and then finished in Virgin Andean Oak, an evergreen tree that grows across the mountains of the Colombian Andes.

Tanteo Tequila is launching a limited edition seasonal expression. Tanteo Navidad is an ultra-premium Añejo Tequila rested for 18 months in American oak barrels, then hand-infused with pequin chilis, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and cocoa beans. Retailing at $60 a bottle, it will be available exclusively on Tanteo’s website. 10% of profits will go towards Un Salto Con Destino, a charity providing essential medical services to underprivileged members of Tanteo’s Mexican community.

Georgetown, Kentucky’s Blue Run Spirits has launched a new high-rye Bourbon, the first release overseen by former Four Roses distiller Jim Rutledge. The 55.5% abv whiskey is made from a mash of 65% yellow corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley, and was distilled at Castle & Key. The new bottling was assembled from 100 barrels and carries a suggested retail price of $90 a 750-ml. Blue Run Kentucky Straight High Rye Bourbon Whiskey is now available in select retailers in Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Colorado, California, Florida, and New Jersey.

Princeton, Minnesota’s Phillips Distilling Company has reintroduced its Revel Stoke line of flavored whiskies, with new flavors and a new design philosophy. The whiskies, which come in 12 flavors, now feature irreverent names like SonofaPeach and Lei’d Roasted Pineapple, for example, and matching artwork. The brand, aimed at men aged 21-34, will also be supported by a marketing campaign centered around the tagline “Stoke Your Wild.” The redesigned Revel Stoke is now available across the U.S.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: October 6th 2021 Edition

Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Tröegs Independent Brewery is launching fall seasonal Master of Pumpkins across its footprint. The 7.5% abv brew is made with pumpkins as well as spices including cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg, and is available on draft and in 16-ounce cans everywhere Tröegs beer is sold. Tröegs uses 3,000 pounds of Pennsylvania longneck pumpkins each year, roasting and pureeing them in-house, to produce Master of Pumpkins.

WhistlePig has introduced a ready-to-drink craft rye expression, PiggyBack Rye Smash. Made with 100% estate rye from WhistlePig’s 500-acre Vermont farm, the new entry comes in three flavors—Blackberry Lemon Fizz, Session Citrus Mint, and Fresh Ginger Lime—and initially is rolling out in Georgia, Missouri, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, ahead of next year’s national launch. The 8% abv cocktails retail at $18 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Nashville, Tennessee’s Pennington Distilling Company has launched Whisper Creek Spiked Coffee, a new offshoot from its Whisper Creek Tennessee Sipping Cream. The canned RTDs come in at 12.5% abv and blend Whisper Creek’s cream liqueur with cold brew coffee. The Spiked Coffees come in two varieties—Mocha and an unflavored blend of coffee and cream—and are available in 4-packs of 200-ml. cans for between $12 and $15.

Michigan’s Perrin Brewing has debuted Rewired Hard Seltzer, a new foray into the category following consumer feedback on its earlier Clear Coast label. Rewired (5% abv) includes Lemon Raspberry, Yuzu Elderflower, and Pineapple Tangerine flavors. The gluten-free offering has 100 calories and one gram of carbs per 12-ounce can. It’s launching across Michigan now in variety 12-packs.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: July 20th 2021 Edition

Limestone Branch Distillery is releasing its 2021 Yellowstone Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The 50.5% abv whiskey is a blend of 7-year-old and 15-year-old Bourbons, with select barrels of 7-year-old finished in Amarone wine casks. It’s debuting this month, retailing at $100 a bottle. Kentucky-based Limestone Branch was founded by master distiller Stephen Beam and his brother Paul in 2011.

Vermont-based WhistlePig has unveiled a new RoadStock Rye whiskey in collaboration with Jordan Winery and Firestone Walker Brewery. The 43% abv rye retails at $73 a 750-ml. and is launching at select liquor stores. Half of the whiskey was finished in Bordeaux blend casks from Jordan Winery in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. The balance was finished in Firestone Walker’s Imperial Stout, Imperial Blonde Ale, and Experimental Ale barrels. The whiskies were finished in a specially commissioned 18-wheeler “Rolling Rickhouse” commissioned by WhistlePig, which traveled 6,000 miles across the country from the distiller’s Vermont farm and back to complete the finishing process.

Smooth Ambler, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, is launching a new Contradiction Rye whiskey as well as new packaging on the Contradiction brand. Contradiction’s new offering features four rye whiskies in its blend: two from Tennessee (51% rye and 70% rye), one from MGP (95% rye), and one (88% rye) from the Smooth Ambler distillery in West Virginia. The 52.5% abv bottling retails at $40 a 750-ml. Concurrently, Contradiction is shifting to a new bottle and label on both the rye and its existing Bourbon. Both are non-chill-filtered and produced in small, numbered batches.

Finlandia vodka is introducing a new Botanical range of 30% abv bottlings in Cucumber & Mint and Wildberry & Rose flavors. Retailing at $16 a 750-ml., the newcomers have no artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or added sugars, and are gluten-free, with 73 calories a serving. Recommended with sparkling water, tonic, or lemonade, they’re currently available now in Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, ahead of a larger rollout.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: December 15th 2020 Edition

Frederick, Maryland-based Flying Dog Brewery and Gaithersburg, Maryland-based Waredaca Brewing Co. are releasing a collaboration called Watch Me Neigh Neigh Spiced Red Ale. Brewed in celebration of Waredaca’s fifth anniversary, the name is a reference to the equestrian history of Waredaca’s farm. It was brewed with cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, and orange peels to capture the holiday season. The release is available now, for sale at Waredaca’s tasting room.

Baltimore, Maryland-based DuClaw Brewing Company is releasing Hoppy Together, a sour ale, as the first in its quarterly release series for 2021. It was made with Mosaic, Azacca, and Simcoe hops as well as lactose. It is at 7.1% abv and will be released in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans beginning in January. Founded in 1996, DuClaw distributes to 19 states and Washington, D.C.

San Clemente, California’s Left Coast Brewing is releasing the fifth edition of its annual South County IPA. The beer is a collaboration between Left Coast and nearby Artifex Brewing and Pizza Port Brewing. It is a limited-edition West Coast-style IPA brewed with Simcoe, Cascade, Centennial, Mosaic, Nelson, and Amarillo hops with forward notes of blueberry and gooseberry. It is available in 4-packs and on tap at Left Coast’s locations in San Clemente and Irvine and on tap in select restaurants in the area.

Elk Rapids, Michigan-based Short’s Brewing has added its Lil’ Huma session IPA to its year-round lineup. Named in comparison to Short’s Huma Lupa Licious IPA, it debuted last summer in the brewery’s Refreshin’ Session variety pack at 4.5% abv and 95 calories. It will be the brewery’s first low-abv year-round offering. Lil’ Huma is currently available on draft and in 12-ounce cans, with 12-packs in market and 6-packs shipping now. It will replace Juicy Brut in the Short’s flagship line up.

Traverse City, Michigan-based North Peak Brewing Company is relaunching Berserker Imperial Stout after a multi-year hiatus. The 10.1% abv behemoth returns with a tweaked recipe and a Bourbon barrel aged variant. Its flavor profile includes cocoa, dark fruit, currants, and cinnamon. Berserker is available now in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans for a limited time throughout Michigan. Bourbon Barrel Berserker will be available on tap at select locations this winter. North Peak Brewing is part of Northern United Brewing Company and distributes throughout the state, with limited distribution elsewhere.

Boston, Massachusetts’ Harpoon Brewery and Vermont’s WhistlePig have teamed up to create the Bock Hog, a new barrel-finished beer. The lager comes in at 9% abv, and is finished in the Spanish oak and South American Teakwood barrels used to mature WhistlePig’s the Boss Hog VII: Magellan’s Atlantic. The limited release is now available in individual 22-ounce bottles and on draft at Harpoon’s breweries in Boston and Vermont.

Newport, Oregon’s Rogue Ales & Spirits announced its first release of 2021. January 1 will be the debut of Colossal Claude, a new year-round Imperial IPA featuring a sea monster on the can. Brewed with Cascade, Chinook, Citra, and Strata hops, it’s at 8.2% abv and will join Batsquatch Hazy IPA in the brewer’s monster-themed lineup. It will be available nationwide in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans, 19.2-ounce cans, and on draft. Colossal Claude and Batsquatch will face off in Rogue’s Monsters of IPA campaign this spring, with more details forthcoming next year.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: WhistlePig The Boss Hog V: The Spirit of Mauve

WhistlePig Rye Whiskey recently announced the release of The Boss Hog V: The Spirit of Mauve, the fifth edition of their limited edition unique whiskies. The Boss Hog is only produced when the brand feels they can create something superior to anything they have previously made. This marque fulfills the five promises WhistlePig makes to each edition of The Boss Hog: single barrel, bottled at barrel proof, powerfully complex, distinctly unique from anything they have done before, and stupendous.

The Spirit of Mauve is a celebration of one of the brand’s founding celebrity pigs. Mauve’s lover, Mortimer, was tragically killed defending her honor in 2014, and was memorialized in The Boss Hog, second edition, The Spirit of Mortimer. Mauve persevered for the sake of their son, Mortimer Jr., but she sadly passed away this Valentine’s Day, presumably of a broken heart. The Spirit of Mauve is a 13 Year Straight Rye Whiskey finished in Calvados Casks in honor of Mauve’s undying love of apples. Each bottle features a handcrafted Danforth pewter stopper in the shape of Mauve ascending to heaven and a casket-inspired gift box.

“The Spirit of Mauve is my favorite Boss Hog release so far. It is full flavored yet subtle, with lots of warm spice and apple notes. It’s like drinking Grandma’s apple pie.” explains Dave Pickerell, Master Distiller for WhistlePig.

The former editions of the line include The Boss Hog IV: The Black Prince (2017), The Boss Hog III: The Independent (2015), Boss Hog II: The Spirit of Mortimer (2014) and The Boss Hog (2013). This newest edition is bottled at barrel proof at a suggested retail price is $499.99.

The Boss Hog V: The Spirit of Mauve (119 proof)
Visual: Medium gold.
Nose: Fine spiced rye nose which leads into more subtle apple notes. Mouth-watering, engaging and very much like a fresh-baked cinnamon apple pie.
Taste: The Calvados hits right off the bat with bright high, fruity notes. But, this is quickly followed by a powerful rye flavor which has an intensity that dissipates anything else going on. A quite dry and heavy (at 119 proof) whiskey that retains its true character, but is lightly patinaed by the addition of the Calvados finish.
Finish: Interestingly, the apple again comes through after the intensity of the rye cools down, making for an autumnal-like finish.
Overall: Let’s be honest. All WhistlePig whiskies are killer. This one is no exception.  You should get a bottle for investment purposes if nothing else. But, if you have a truly special occasion, this is an excellent whiskey to crack open and savor.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Whistlepig

GSN Review: Whistlepig Farmstock Rye Whiskey

WhistlePig recently announced the launch of FarmStock, the company’s much-anticipated estate release featuring whiskey distilled, aged, and bottled on its farm in Vermont. It is the culmination of the company’s founding vision to create a truly farm-to-bottle distillery, housing nearly every aspect of the whiskey-making process in one location.

FarmStock is “Crop One” of what will be future triple-terroir releases. It’s composed of 20% 1.5 to 2-year aged whiskey made entirely on the WhistlePig farm, 49% 5-year aged whiskey from Alberta Distillers finished in WhistlePig’s Vermont oak, and 31% 12-year aged whiskey from MGP’s Lawrenceburg distillery.

“Finally, we are ready,” said Dave Pickerell, Master Distiller of WhistlePig. “I keep getting asked, ‘When are we going to see the distillate from YOUR still?’ I didn’t want to just release a white whiskey. We worked tirelessly to create a product that showcases our young estate whiskey in context with the elegance of our premier aged rye. FarmStock provides a unique opportunity to tell the story of our transition to a triple-terroir product using our water, our grain, and our wood to age the product. It is truly the best of all worlds.”

“FarmStock is our story,” said Raj Peter Bhakta, Founder of WhistlePig. “It’s the realization of years of hard work to redefine how we understand craft and quality. As our first triple-terroir release, this is a historic whiskey deserving of two bottles: one to enjoy with good company and one to be collected for years to come.”

Whistlepig Farmstock Rye Whiskey (86 proof)
Visual: Medium-gold.
Nose: Mouth-wateringly rich woody rye spice. A lot of depth with a young leather, toffee and wild strawberry peculiarity.
Taste: Surprisingly, my first impression was of oyster brine. There is a sea salt aspect which is faintly reminiscent of an Islay whisky. And again, a fruity strawberry impression creeps in after a few seconds, but quickly dissipates into a hearty and more familiar rye spice. There is a lot to be discovered in this whiskey.
Finish: Fairly long with a soft bread-like finish. The rye goes on for several minutes however.
Overall: Highly unusual, amazingly broad in aspect and a spirit that creates a contemplative experience. Recommended!
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Whistlepig Whiskey

GSN Backbar Review: November 3-7, 2014

indexThis month, Brown-Forman will debut a new “Whiskey Row” series from Old Forester with an inaugural release called 1870 Original Batch, according to the Courier-Journal. The series, which commemorates Old Forester’s history on Louisville’s Main Street Whiskey Row district, will include four expressions of whiskey that are based on actual products and oral history. 1870 Original Batch, which will be available in select markets at $44.99 a 750-ml., celebrates the year Old Forester became the first batched Bourbon. Bourbons from barrels in three different warehouses were blended for a 90-proof product meant to reflect inconsistencies in the original’s formulation. The series, which will eventually be produced at Old Forester’s planned Whiskey Row distillery, will feature three more expressions based on whiskies produced through 1923, when the brand left Whiskey Row. Currently, 1870 Original Batch is produced at Brown-Forman’s Shively facility.

indexPark City, Utah-based High West Distillery has reintroduced one of its limited edition whiskies for the winter season. First launched earlier this year on Valentine’s Day, A Midwinter Night’s Dram is a limited release version of High West’s Rendezvous Rye, finished for several months in both Port and French oak barrels. The 98.6-proof expression—which features notes of vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and dried fruit—is now available at select retail outlets, priced at $79.99 a bottle. High West Distillery’s portfolio has a current U.S. footprint of 40 states.

imagesWaconia, Minnesota micro-distillery J. Carver Distilling has sent its first shipment of craft gin and vodka to Minneapolis-St. Paul liquor stores, the local CBS affiliate reports. Last spring, owner Bill Miller purchased a 17,000-square-foot former Pontiac dealership and has turned it into a distillery able to produce 600 cases a month. The company focuses on craft recipes made from locally sourced ingredients, such as wheat grown 20 miles away from Waconia. Miller says he plans to open a tasting room within the next year and will look into making different whiskey and barrel-aged products. J. Carver Premium Gin and Vodka retail at about $20-$24 a bottle.

indexNovato, California’s Square One Organic Spirits is launching new citrus-based vodka Square One Bergamot to select markets ahead of a national rollout next February. Grown predominantly in southern Italy and along the Mediterranean Sea, the bergamot is a sour orange with a peel that is floral and tangy, the company says. The unfiltered vodka is created by layering the citrus with essential oils of pressed mandarin, navel and tangerine oranges and the essences of ginger, coriander and juniper botanicals. Square One Bergamot is currently available in California, Illinois and Missouri at $35 a 750-ml. bottle and $4.99 a 50-ml. bottle.

indexVermont-based craft whiskey distiller WhistlePig has debuted The Boss Hog: Spirit of Mortimer, a new limited edition expression. Created to honor the memory of WhistlePig’s deceased mascot, a pig named Mortimer, The Boss Hog: Spirit of Mortimer is a 100% rye whiskey aged for nearly 14 years and bottled at full barrel strength. The 117- to 124-proof entry is currently available nationwide, priced at $189 a 750-ml. The Boss Hog: Spirit of Mortimer follows last year’s launch of WhistlePig’s original The Boss Hog label, a 100% rye whiskey aged 12.5 years.

indexStoli USA’s Stolichnaya has released the third and final entry in its ultra-premium Elit Pristine Water Series vodka collection. Available this month, Elit Pristine Water Series: Andean edition is crafted with natural spring water sourced from the Andes Mountains, as well as distilled spirit made with grain harvested from SPI Group’s Tambov, Russia-based farm. The limited edition, 40%-abv expression, which is packaged in a Glencairn Crystal bottle, retails for around €3,000 ($3,729). The Andean edition joins the Elit Pristine Water Series’ previous Himalaya and New Zealand editions, launched in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

Adco-master675William Grant & Sons, is hearkening back to the earliest days of the category, launching a “replica” of the first single malt marketed by its Glenfiddich distillery. To create the 1963 replica whisky, Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman pulled from various casks to match the archived liquid and ledger notes from the original. The finished product is 80 proof, with packaging styled to echo its ancestor, and retails at a suggested $100 a bottle. The limited edition is now hitting the U.S. market on allocation with a supply of 2,000 cases. The launch is being indexbacked by print and digital executions—including full-page spreads in major newspapers—recreated from the original whisky’s advertising materials.

Diageo has officially unveiled a new flavored extension to its Crown Royal Canadian whisky brand, Regal Apple. The new offering is a blend of Crown Royal whiskies infused with natural apple flavors from Regal Gala apples and retails at $24.99 a 750-ml. Regal Apple joins 2012 entry Maple Finished in the Crown Royal flavor portfolio.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily