What We’re Reading: Four Great Brews for Barrel-Aged Beer Day, Introducing Monsieur, a Robotic Bartender Mixing 300 Cocktails in Your Home, 10 Distilleries to Visit Before You Die, 5 Trends: Scotch, One for the Road: Distillery Bars
Four great brews for Barrel-Aged Beer Day, 10/3/2013 – LA Times
IPA Day was a couple of months ago, and International Stout Day is coming up, but on Friday you can celebrated craft beer’s newest holiday: Barrel-Aged Beer Day. Launched this year to increase awareness of the variety of different wood-aged styles, and all the flavors that wood can impart on beer, Barrel-Aged Beer Day is the perfect excuse to try out one of the wood-aged offerings from any of L.A’s many craft breweries. Here are a few suggestions from (mostly) local brewers that range from decadent stouts to rustic farmhouse ales: Firestone Walker – Velvet Merkin, Hangar 24 – Slow Roll, Eagle Rock Brewery – Yearling, The Bruery – Saison Tonnellerie. Read the rest here!
Introducing Monsieur, a robotic bartender mixing 300 cocktails in your home, 10/2/2013 – LA Times
Meet Monsieur. It’s an artificially intelligent robotic bartending machine that can make 300 different cocktails. It even has a memory that remembers your drinking preferences and makes suggestions. A Kickstarter campaign was launched Tuesday to fund development of the machine. And in a little under 48 hours it has already received more than half of the $100,000 needed to reach its funding goal. According to the Monsieur website, the robot bartender has 12 unique profiles (you can have themes such as Tiki, Irish pub, etc.), can make 25 cocktails in each profile and can make 150 drinks before needing a refill. When ordering a drink you can move a strength slider to choose “lightweight,” “normal” or “boss” for how strong you’d like your cocktail. Two Monsieur models start at $1,499 and can hold either four or eight 30-ounce containers full of spirits, mixers, juices, liqueurs or wine. They are being marketed to businesses and homeowners. Read the rest here!
10 Distilleries to Visit Before You Die, October 2013 – Liquor.com
There are few things more exciting for us than getting to see our favorite spirits being produced—and meeting the people responsible for making them. It doesn’t hurt that these visits, of course, generally end with a delicious tasting. But some distilleries go above and beyond the standard tour and gift shop, and offer experiences that all liquor lovers need to enjoy at least once during their lifetimes. From a two-century-old presidential whiskey brand brought back to life to a facility in one of the remotest parts of Scotland, these ten distilleries deserve a spot on your bucket list. Naturally, we’d suggest you try to get to as many of them as you possibly can: Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, Plymouth Gin, Bowmore, George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, Talisker, New York Distilling Co, Habitation Clément, Highland Park, High West Distillery and Saloon. Read the rest here!
5 Trends: Scotch, 10/2/2013 – Liquor.com
Goodbye, 18-year-olds: Success brings its own problems for distillers, who are facing a shortage of mature whiskies as well as trying to increase product diversity. As a result, the industry is moving away from defining whiskies by age. Outside the US, The Macallan has released the 1824 Series, which calls its bottlings by their color—Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby. The idea is to encourage consumers to judge a whisky solely by its flavor, and it allows the producer to extend its older stocks by mixing them with younger malts.
Prices are going up: It’s not your imagination: Scotch is getting more expensive. Shortages of aged whiskies combined with ever-increasing global demand leads to ever-increasing prices. This is occurring not only for highly collectable malts but also for everyday drams. Expect prices to be even higher in the new year.
Scotch is getting stronger: One way of justifying the higher price of a whisky—especially when there is no age statement—is to raise the proof. While there are some advantages of a higher-proof spirit, like potentially more flavor and better mixability in cocktails, it also likely means the malts are younger, since Scotch loses potency as it ages in the barrel.
More wood finishes: It used to be that a brand’s product range was solely based on whiskies of different ages. But increasingly, portfolios are filled with a variety of malts that have been aged in different casks (often former wine or port barrels) for the last year or so of their maturation. Glenmorangie is the leader in this game, but you’ll see even more of these interesting malts on store shelves soon.
The ultra, ultra high-end: Super-premium bottlings…at super-premium prices! Distillers are digging through their warehouses to find very rare and very old malts, which are aimed at investors, collectors and oligarchs. Some of the recent limited editions include The Dalmore Aurora 45-Year-Old at $4,000; Bowmore 1964 at $13,500; and Glenfiddich 50 Year Old at $25,000! Read the rest here!
One for the Road: Distillery Bars, 9/27/2013 – Liquor.com
Our favorite part of visiting a distillery generally comes at the end, when we get to try the spirits we’ve just seen being made. And fortunately, many brands now offer well-appointed tasting rooms. But there are a few distilleries across the country that go way beyond that, boasting full- service bars where you can order a cocktail made with liquor produced just a few feet away. You’ll definitely want to check out these truly special watering holes. Read the rest here!