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