Mix This: Delicious Thanksgiving Season Pairings with Seven Grand DTLA’s own Andrew Abrahamson

November 7th, 2013 — 12:49pm

Hot Buttered Rumskey
With the recent time change, and Fall officially upon us, there is a need to re access the bar around you and the spirits atop it and prepare for the pies and flavors ahead. We have a couple favorites here at Seven Grand that we love to recommend, and think will fit perfectly with most dishes and moods you are going to be indulging in this season.

Not the cheapest, but one that has to be mentioned, Angel’s Envy Rye is the final release from Lincoln Henderson. He took a well known Rye made in Indiana and made it completely his own by finishing it off in Oak Barrels that were first filled with Cognac in France, and then finished off with Rum in the Caribbean. There is an amazing and unique Graham Cracker and warm Cinnamon profile that jumps out right away, with a huge Chocolate and Caramel finish that keeps going and creates a fullness to this Whiskey that is really not to be found anywhere else. At least not one with the depth and richness that this Rye packs. It’ll pair perfectly with any dessert or fire you’ll come across this Fall.

A little bit less of a hit on the wallet, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is as smooth as a saxophone, and fits perfectly on a shelf this time of year. To add an additional layer to the normally Woody and Spicy Woodford Reserve, Master Distiller Chris Morris re barrels the Whiskey before bottling in a Barrel with a long toast, but not any char, resulting in much sweeter flavors than normal. This Bourbon explodes with Butterscotch, Toffee and rich Molasses but is balanced out by a beautiful Clove spiciness and mellow Vanilla finish. A real sipper that is great just the way it is in your favorite glass.

For a real bargain around this time of year (you can buy two, and give someone an early gift, right?) an easy suggestion is Heaven Hill’s secret gem, Old Fitzgerald 12 Years Old. In a category dominated by Maker’s Mark, Wheated Bourbons are in the midst of a huge surge in popularity compared to the few types you will find on shelves. No chance you are going to get your hand’s on Pappy van Winkle this year? No worries, Old Fitz is made by a true Master with a similar recipe. The 12 Year Old is the star of Heaven Hill’s line, and not to be missed. All the Butter, Toffee and Caramel notes of Wheated Bourbon are here, with a mellow and sweet Vanilla Custard finish. Enjoy it and then enjoy it again.

But if you’d prefer to throw caution to the wind, go ahead and buy yourself a bottle Bowmore The Devil’s Casks, because you deserve it right? It may only be a 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, but it’s extremely limited, and as good as it gets. Aged 100% in 1st Fill Sherry Casks, the over use of that wood seems to somehow pull the best from the normally perfectly balanced Isla. Huge Dark Fruit and Spicy Hot Chocolate are at odds with the Oily Smoke and Tobacco, and together lead to a finish that lasts long into the next sip. We were lucky enough to try some during a trip to Scotland recently, and it stood out among the many great Whisky’s we drank during the two weeks as one of the best we had. It just came to us here in California, and is worth every dollar for a bottle.

Should you decide to mix a drink instead, try this recipe from our Winter menu here at Seven Grand:

Hot Buttered RumSkey
- 1oz Rich Bourbon (Woodford Reserve)
- 1oz Dark Rum (Zaya)
- 1 Small Spoon Butter
- 1 Large Spoon Brown Sugar (You can’t use too much, add until it’s to your liking)
- Piping Hot Water

And all the ingredients into a mug and stir slowly to melt the sugar and butter. Top with grated cinnamon and enjoy.

This cocktail is a play on the very rich and classic Hot Buttered Rum, with the heat opening up the Whiskey and releasing the savory qualities of the spirit. It is as warming a cocktail as you can have. Make sure the water is boiling when added.

Cheers and Sláinte from Seven Grand!

Spirit Guide: Mezcal Vago Now At Las Perlas!

November 6th, 2013 — 12:20pm

Mezcal Vago
Mezcal Vago is finally here!! We are starting to get an influx of mezcal here in California, the varietals knocking on the door are outstanding. This is a first of many in the coming months.

Aquilino Garcia Lopez
Aquilino’s family has been making mezcal for more generations then they can remember. He cultivates his Espadin in the hills above his palenque in the small village of Candeleria Yegole, located on the border of the Central Valley and Sierra Sur regions of Oaxaca. Yegole is an arid region of Oaxaca, yet sits on the confluence of two rivers. The dry environment, coupled with ample fresh water make it the ideal location for making mezcal.

Mezcal Vago – Espadin has a light aroma of sweet potatoes, citrus and flint. Its palate has hints of anise and plantains with a long pine and caramel finish.

Aquilino Garcia Lopez
Aquilino carefully selects only the ripest Cuixe for use in this unique mezcal. Cuixe is a wild growing sub variety of Agave Kawinskii that is indigenous to only a small area of Oaxaca and must be brought down the mountain one piña at a time by burro. We mix in about 10% Espadin to bring out the sweetness but not change the flavor.

The Mezcal Vago Cuixe has a roasted banana and acetone aroma. It has a mineral and pine needle body with a dry smoky finish.

Aquilino Garcia Lopez
Aquilino’s family has been making mezcal for more generations than they can remember. His palenque is located in the small village of Candeleria Yegole, on the border of the Central Valley and Sierra Sur regions of Oaxaca. Yegole is a relatively arid region of Oaxaca, yet sits on the confluence of two major rivers. Agave Mexicano is a wild, naturally growing agave. Aquilino hand selects each piña for its maturity and quality.

Mezcal Vago – Mexicano has a nose of peaches and cinnamon, a silky body, a well-balanced palate of ocean breeze and hot desert rocks with a finish of toasted vanilla and caramel.

Raul Yrastorza, Las Perlas, GM

Seven Grand DTLA Whiskey Society: Hakushu Heavily Peated w/ Mike Miyamoto, Fri. Nov. 8th, 7pm

November 4th, 2013 — 4:45pm

Hakushu Vert
This coming Friday, Nov. 8th at 7pm, Mike Miyamoto from Suntory will be in with Brand Ambassador Neyah White. Mike is the General Manager at Suntory, and he will taste and educate us on the new Hakushu Heavily Peated, a very limited edition release. Neyah will a have a couple more treats in his bag for us that night, so don’t miss this chance to meet Mike.

Tasting will start at 7pm sharp, with a Welcome Highball offered at 6:30pm. Come early and get cozy with your neighbor. Late-comers will not be seated, but can wait at the bar to meet Mike after the event, and enjoy a discounted drink with their paid-up membership card. First-timers can pay a $15 admission fee at the bar.

Register here!

November is Movember here at Seven Grand, so don’t be surprised if you see some mustaches growing in behind the bar, to raise awareness for Men’s Health issues. Check out our action:

Seven Grand Movember Team Page!

Also, this coming Sunday, Nov. 10th at noon, we will be hosting a fundraiser for ALS, after hearing that Heaven Hill Whiskey Legend Parker Beam has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Check out the flyer below and help us come together for one of our own. We will have live music, a raffle with some great prizes, a wandering magician, and more! Proceeds will benefit Promise of Hope ALS Foundation. This event is open to the public, so grab some friends, and come have some good times for a good cause. You can RSVP here:

Parker Beam’s Promise of Hope ALS Fundraiser 10/10/13, Noon-4pm

For more information on the Seven Grand Whiskey Society L.A., hit the link beneath my signature. Memberships can be purchased at the bar, dues are $120 per year, and allow you to bring a guest to any event.

We look forward to seeing you!

Pedro, currently sipping Elijah Craig 12yr, Seven Grand Single Barrel Selection. You must come try this.

Pedro Shanahan,
Spirit Guide, Seven Grand Whiskey Bar
Co-curator, Whiskey Society

For more info. on the 7G Whiskey Society L.A.:

For more info. on Private Tastings:

Our recent adventures in Ireland:
White-Knuckle Driving: Seven Grand crew tours Ireland

What We’re Reading: Pernod Plans Cheaper Drinks in China, Tainted Liquor Kills 42 in Northern India, Jack Daniel’s Sues Popcorn Sutton’s Whiskey for Infringement, The World’s Strongest Beer is 67.5 Percent Alcohol, A Bourbon-Rye Blend, You Say?, Coffee and Beer are a Match Made in Heaven at Uppers and Downers, Beyond Bourbon: Woodford Reserve Releases Kentucky Malt Whiskies

November 1st, 2013 — 1:20pm

Pernod Plans Cheaper Drinks in China,  10.24.2013 – Wall Street Journal
Foreign and Chinese spirits makers have said demand in China has slowed after the government scaled back government-sponsored banquets and gift giving—which for years had propelled sales of high-end spirits—in the face of a public outcry over corruption and conspicuous displays of wealth among state officials. Pernod Ricard said sales in the three months ended Sept. 30 fell 9% to €2.01 billion, dragged down by unfavorable currency swings. The result was short of analysts’ consensus forecasts. Excluding acquisitions and currency moves, sales fell 1%, hit notably by a slowdown in China, where sales of high-end drinks have tumbled. While the world’s second-largest drinks maker is waiting for demand of its top notch products to pick up next year, Pernod Ricard recently launched two new products in China—Ballentines Finest, a blended Scotch whisky, and a new line of cognac called Martell Distinction, aimed at boosting sales with younger consumers, who tend to consume such drinks with meals or in popular Karaoke clubs. Read the rest here! 

Toxic Liquor
Tainted Liquor Kills 42 in Northern India,  10.20.2013 – Wall Street Journal
Police arrested 32 people for illegally brewing and selling the toxic drink to the villagers, who were celebrating the Hindu “Dussehra” festival in Azamgarh district last week, Ms. Sharma said Sunday. The region is 300 kilometers (185 miles) southeast of Lucknow, the state capital. Deaths from drinking illegally brewed alcohol are common in India because the poor cannot afford licensed liquor. Illicit liquor is often spiked with chemicals such as pesticides to increase potency. Read the rest here!

Jack Daniel’s Sues Popcorn Sutton’s Whiskey for Infringement,  10.25.2013 – Grub Street
The owner of the Jack Daniel’s trademark is suing small distillery Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey for marketing its moonshine “in a trade dress that is confusingly similar to the iconic trade dress” of the more famous Lynchburg whiskey. Essentially, this means a square-shaped bottle and black-and-white lettering; see the bottles side-by-side here. Company namesake Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton himself famously committed suicide in 2009 to avoid jail time for making hooch illegally. Meanwhile, over in Kentucky, the case of the missing Pappy Van Winkle cases has yet to be solved, despite a promising lead. These are dismal days indeed for American whiskey. Read the rest here!

Snakes Venom
The World’s Strongest Beer Is 67.5 Percent Alcohol,  10.25.2013 – Grub Street
Scottish brewery Brewmeister has made the strongest beer in the world, clocking in at 67.5 percent ABV. The subtly named Snake Venom is brewed with a one-two punch provided by doses of beer and Champagne yeasts. It’s also got chocolate malts and peat-smoked malt, and is freeze-concentrated several times during brewing, which has the effect of jacking up the alcohol content. This is the latest play in an ongoing battle of the booziest beer with the most intense name (Tactical Nuclear Penguin, 32 percent; Schorschbock, 40 percent; Sink the Bismarck, 41 percent), and is a one-up on Brewmeister’s own previous record holder, Armageddon, which drew customer complaints for being “too weak.” Read the rest here!

A Bourbon-Rye Blend, You Say?,  10.22.2013 – The New York Times
In 2009, when he released Bourye, his oddball blend of bourbon and rye whiskeys, David Perkins, the founder of High West Distillery in Utah, decided to protect his ownership of the term even though, he says, he thought the name kind of dumb. It also now enjoys the status of forerunner. After years of being a quirky loner, Bourye has been joined this fall in liquor stores by two other bourbon-rye blends: Forgiven, made by the Kentucky distilling giant Wild Turkey, and Jefferson’s Chef’s Collaboration, the work of Jefferson’s Bourbon, a well-respected Kentucky producer that buys whiskey from other producers to bottle under its own name. Chuck Cowdery, a journalist and authority on American whiskey, sees some promise in these novel combinations. “All-whiskey blends are a nod to the Scotch tradition and can produce some interesting drinks,” he said. But, he added, “Over all, I think the producers are driven to make news and get attention.” Read the rest here!

upers and downers
Coffee and beer are a match made in heaven at Uppers and Downers,  10.25.2013 – The Los Angeles Times
Coffee finds its way into a lot of beer, and the natural affinity was explored at Uppers and Downers, a weekend event that brought together brewers and coffee roasters at Intelligentsia Coffee’s Pasadena outpost, and which culminated in coffee and beer coming together in novel and delicious ways. Fans of both brewed beverages filled the Colorado Boulevard coffee shop, which also serves beer and wine, to sample a bevy of coffee beers, snack on luscious charcuterie from Lindy & Grundy, and learn the stories behind the beer from the brewers and roasters themselves. The featured guests, including Stone Brewing Co. brewmaster Mitch Steele, David Walker of Firestone Walker Brewing, and local L.A. brewers Dieter Foerstner and Jeremy Raub from Angel City Brewing and Eagle Rock Brewery, respectively. Each discussed their roast and beer selection methods and techniques for infusing beer with coffee as their beers were served at the bar. Read the rest here!

Beyond Bourbon: Woodford Reserve Releases Kentucky Malt Whiskies, 10.18.2013 – Forbes
On November 1, whiskey fans will have an exciting new product to try. That’s the day respected small-batch bourbon maker Woodford Reserve releases its Double Malt Selections – which it claims are the first fully matured malt whiskies made in Kentucky since Prohibition (bourbon is made primarily from corn, while Scotch is made from malt). The two bottle lineup includes Straight Malt Whiskey and Classic Malt, both triple distilled in traditional copper pot stills. The big difference is that the Straight is aged in new oak barrels, traditional in New World whiskies and required by law for bourbon, while the Classic is aged in re-used barrels, more typical of Old World production, for two different side by side takes on the spirit. Read the rest here!