Tag: bourbon

213 Cocktail Series: Featuring The Seven Grand Old Fashioned!

June 19th, 2013 — 1:03pm

Seven Grand’s very own Dustin Newsome presents to you the world famous Old Fashioned. This delightful concoction consisting of Bourbon, bitters, sugar and citrus has been a Seven Grand staple since our opening in 2007. Traditionally, the first use of the name “Old Fashioned” for a Bourbon whiskey cocktail was said to have been, anachronistically, at the Pendennis Club, a gentlemen’s club founded in 1881 in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipe was said to have been invented by a bartender at that club in honor of Colonel James E. Pepper, a prominent bourbon distiller, who brought it to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City. Now, a staple cocktail in any establishment based around traditional classic cocktails. Check out how Dustin and the Seven Grand mix it up. We have it batched up on tap too!

Seven Grand DTLA Whiskey Society: Lost Spirits w/ Bryan Davis, Monday, 6/17, 7pm

June 14th, 2013 — 12:05pm


Our efforts to help champion the American Craft Distiller’s movement continue: This coming Monday, June 17th, at 7pm, we will be hosting Bryan Davis from Lost Spirits Distillery in Salinas, CA.

Bryan will be tasting and educating us on some of the Lost Spirits creations, including the Leviathan 2, a Heavily-Peated American Whiskey, and the Ouroboros, launching here at Seven Grand.

The Ouroboros is made with California barley and peated with moss from the San Francisco wetlands. A bio-regional whiskey for us! Be excited.

Attendance will be capped at 35 people, with preference given to paid-up members. First-timers can pay a 15$ fee to check it out, so feel free to forward this invite to friends.

A Welcome Punch will be served at 6:30, come early for a good seat and to get cozy with your neighbors.

RSVP now on the link below to be the first to taste the Ouroboros!

Register Here!

For more information on the Seven Grand Whiskey Society, hit the link beneath my signature.

Memberships are $120 a year, allow you to bring a guest to any event, and can be purchased at the bar.

We also offer Private tastings for groups and parties, check it out:

http://213nightlife.com/seven-grand-flight-menu

Latecomers will not be seated, but can wait at the bar to meet with Bryan after the tasting.

We hope to see you Monday.

Pedro, currently sipping Old Scout 7yr. Bourbon. Thank you John & Mollie.

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

Get a little Lost Spirits Distillery tour beforehand here:

Seven Grand Whiskey For The People Video

Spirit Guide: Seven Grand DTLA Enters It’s Seventh Year! Featuring Andrew Aberhamson and Pedro Shanahan

June 4th, 2013 — 12:34pm


Last month Seven Grand was fortunate enough to enter our seventh year of operation in Downtown Los Angeles. We are humbled and grateful for our continued success, and to have been able to play a part in the reinvigoration of L.A.’s Historic Core.

As we have grown to provide high-volume Classic Cocktail service, we have also worked to establish one of the most active Whiskey Education programs on the West Coast. The only way this is possible is through the sustained efforts of a dedicated staff, and we strive to create a culture of honest hospitality and mutual respect among our crew.

Last month we were ranked in GQ Magazine as one of the Top 10 Whiskey Bars! Check it out:

http://www.gq.com/food-travel/wine-and-cocktails/201305/10-best-whiskey-bars-may-2013

We also were just nominated for Best Drink Selection for the Spirited Awards at Tales of The Cocktail, coming up this fall:

http://www.talesofthecocktail.com/untitled/tales-of-the-cocktail-announces-top-10-finalists-for-the-2013-spirited-awards/

Some of the recent additions to our Whiskey Wall, now featuring over 400 expressions! Tasting notes by Andrew:

Larceny – $8
A 9 year old barrel-rich Bourbon from Heaven Hill, at an amazing price. Heaven Hill has found a sweet spot here. (We had the West Coast Launch Party at Seven Grand, check the video:)

http://sevengrandbars.com/whiskycast-hd-episode-on-seven-grand-just-hit-youtube/

Mellow Corn – $8
This is good, cheap, fun whiskey.  It is bottled in Bond, aged 4 years in used barrels, and has a shockingly pleasant and sweet profile for such low price.  Try it in a Sour.

Bruichladdich TEN – $15
The Distillery calls this the most important release in the history of the distillery.  It is their pet project, even with all the outstanding and extreme whiskys they make on a regular basis.  This one is the centerpiece.  100% Scottish Barley and aged in Bourbon barrels, this one doesn’t have the explosive smoke you come to expect from them or the island.  A touch of spice, balanced out with nice sweetness and perhaps the most well rounded whiskey they may have yet made.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Peat Project – $16
Heavily peated and vat blended to get the lightness, smoke and complexity the master distiller is going for.  It is their classic peated expression as they would like to see it yearly, and done so through some tasteful blending.

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte 10 – $17
The same dram as the before mentioned TEN, this is the heavily peated version.  Just as they are most proud of the TEN as the Whisky they were aiming to make from day 1, this represents where they have wanted to take their peated line with full age.

EH Taylor Rye – $18
A new Rye from Buffalo Trace Distillery, it is another addition to the EH Taylor line of very good American Whiskey and like it’s relatives, bottled in bond.  Unlike what I had initially thought, this is not the same mash as Sazerac, but an altogether new Rye from the Distillery.  They have left out the corn and only distilled this from Rye and Barley.  As such, there is a soft hint of the green dill note found in the LDI stuff.  Lots of dried red fruit and black pepper up fruit, with a sweet and savory middle with caramel and baking spices and a long and dry finish.  Very good Rye, and a nice new addition that is from one of our favorite distilleries.

Russels Reserve 6yr Rye – $12
Wild Turky has finally released some more of their high end Rye, due to availability, the price has gone up. Thankfully they only raised the price and opted to leave the proof alone, and we have one of our best selling and most popular house Rye’s back from many years ago.

Westward Oregon Straight Malt Whiskey – $29
This is the first aged Whiskey from House Spirits in Oregon.  We launched it this year in the Whiskey Society, and it is very limited, 5 barrels total.  That explains the cost, and perhaps the appeal.  It should sell well with those in the know.  House Spirits is currently aging our Rye Whiskey Pedro made with them in November, and in a couple more years we will have it here in house.  Until then, this is what we can offer. (The folks up at House Spirits made a cool video about our experience getting to make whiskey with them:)

James Pepper 1776 Rye – $10
Really nice 100pf Rye coming from LDI.  Affordable and good.

Temperance Trader Bourbon – $10
From Portland Oregon and Bull Run Distilling.  They wont say where they bought it, but its high Rye Bourbon, and pretty good.  A bit young, but full of flavor.

Jack Daniels Unaged Rye – $12
Jack Daniels has boldly broken new ground in the Whiskey world by making their first ever Rye. They were shocked at how amazing their initial Small Batched spirit turned out, and only released a very small amount for their hard-core fans. We are one of only three bars in SoCal who has it!  Get it while it’s still unaged, because as of now, it will never be White again.

Bulleit 10yr – $12
They have stuck with the usual high Rye Bourbon mashbill from the original here, and side by side with the original, they are different, the 10 is more barrel heavy, but also more mellow. A similar upgrade to Bulleit as the Maker’s 46 bottling was to Makers.

George Dickel Rye $8
Dickel has done something nice here.  This is the usual LDI bottling of Rye we have come to expect from new Ryes on the market, except they are running it through the Lincoln County process in Indiana after buying it.  It is 5 year old Rye and filtered through maple wood charcoal after the aging, as opposed to before as they do with their other whiskies.  It softens out some of the green mint notes normally found in these whiskies, and definitely produces a unique Rye.  Perhaps too mellow after the aging though, even at 90 proof it really isnt cocktail Rye and is best sipped neat.  We now have LDI Ryes from Bulleit, Templeton, Redemption, Smooth Ambler, High West and now George Dickel, but the Dickel is standing out from the crowd by taking the whiskey and really doing something new with it.

Nikka 12yr Taketsuru Pure Malt $16|
Malt whiskies matured for 12 years or more at the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries are blended in vats to produce this outstanding pure malt whisky.  Labeled Pure Malt instead of Single Malt because it is Whiskey coming from two different distilleries, much in the same vein as the Hibiki, this  is still 100% 12 year old Single Malt Whisky.  Bright gold in color and fresh, this single malt from Nikka offers a pitch-perfect balance of fruit, oak and smoke. On the palate, this translates to fresh apple and subtle vanilla flavors that lead into a long finish.

Nikka 15 Yoichi Single Malt $23
I wish tasting Nikka Whisky was a full time job.  This is my favorite new Whisky I tasted last year.  Silky in texture, with varying levels of sweetness coming and going and a touch of ginger spice keeping it alive.  There is a subtle smoke in the background that holds it all together and a beautiful cedar wood note that helps it stand apart from the Suntory Whiskies.  Jim Murray gave it 95 points, “Sheer brilliance.  An absolute must for anyone who regards himself a whisky connoisseur.”  At $23 a glass, you really can’t do much better, and for anyone who would like to try something really special, this is the one.  It’s proof that age doesn’t matter, and if you put this up against another Whisky twice its age, I think you’ll agree.

Irishman Single Malt $12
Good Irish distilled at Middleton. We launched this at the Whiskey Society. An easy sipping Irish, well-balanced and smooth. Come meet a new friend.

Four Roses Seven Grand Single Barrel $14
Pedro and Angus picked out this charmer, and truly one of a kind Bourbon.  Four Roses has ten different recipes they use to make ten different Bourbons.  How it works is they have two different mashbills, a High Rye and a Traditional High Corn, and 5 different yeast strains.  They make each mashbill with each yeast strain, 5 yeasts times 2 mashes equals 10 Bourbons.  Pedro and Angus blind tasted all of the Bourbons there, picked the one we now have, and it turns out the specific recipe that they ended up choosing is the only one of the ten that is not available to buy anywhere in the entire world.  We are literally the only place on the planet that has it bottled.  It was also the same barrel that Master Distiller Jim Rutledge also chose as his favorite, blind tasting along with them.  Badass duo, that Pedro and Angus… :)  It is a really lovely Bourbon, but hot as all hell, and I would really suggest offering a decanter of spring water along side it if someone orders it neat, or even some rocks to go along (please forgive me Pedro).  At $14, I have a new favorite on the wall.

(We were featured on BourbonBlog.com while in Kentucky- Check out the video!)

http://www.bourbonblog.com/blog/2012/09/23/four-roses-private-barrel-selection-with-seven-grand-los-angeles/

Michters Sour Mash Whiskey $13
This is a tricky one.  I have searched as hard as I can through pages and pages of google results to find out what the hell this Whiskey is.  The best I can figure out is that it is indeed Bourbon (ie a Corn, Rye and Barley mashbill), but the reason they do not label it as Bourbon and instead opt for Sour Mash is that is not using only new barrels for the aging.  But even that little is still speculation.  The truth is that while Michters makes (actually, selects is the right verb here) some very good whiskey, they are very closed as to what they are doing and where they are getting it from.  Most people think it comes from Four Roses, others think there has to be some LDI spirit in there somewhere.  They could be buying and blending both, the truth we will never know.  But this is the one Whiskey from them that they have promised to keep in stock permanently, and make their flagship brand.  It is a brand that was made long ago at the Michters Distillery in Pennsylvania, and also served then as their flagship, where they felt that the in house yeast they used made so much of a difference, that they branded it as a Sour Mash whiskey instead of Bourbon.  And that could be what this new company is doing as well.  It certainly tastes like Bourbon, and tastes like pretty good stuff.

Dad’s Hat Rye $11
A micro distillery in Pennsylvania just miles from where Dustin grew up, Dad’s Hat shows a lot of potential, but is still very young, at 2 years.  Given some more time, this could develop into a very nice Rye, and its a treat to see a new one on the wall that is not being sourced from Indiana.  They are sourcing all of the grain from the state from local farmers and the mash is 100% Rye.  They then age it in smaller 1/4 casks, to impart more barrel character quicker.  Certainly worth a try in a cocktail, and a decent, or at the very least interesting, Rye to sip.

Duncan Taylor Longmorn 1996 16yr Cask $22
Longmorn, Gaelic for “the place of the Holy man”, is a favorite of mine, Pedro, JM and hopefully quite a few more of you.  This Private Bottling is Cask Strength and is immediately recognizable as the delicious, classic, unsherried Speyside whisky from what could be the best distillery in the region. Full of sweet malted barley with accents of fruit and flowers, finishing with hints of vanilla and spice.

Some recent additions to our collection of Gordon & MacPhail Private Bottlings-

G&M Ledaig St. Joseph 1993 – $22
19 year old Ledaig, finished in St Joseph casks.  Very good, and what you would expect from Ledaig.  Light peat, but very wine forward due to the casks.

G&M Old Pulteney 21 Year Old – $30
Best Whisky in the World last year.

G&M Mortlach 15 Year Old – $20
Mortlach is the major component of Johnnie Walker Black.  Delicious all the way through and a great Single Malt suggestion for JW drinkers.

G&M Highland Park 8 Year Old –  $12
Our favorite malt, younger and more affordable.  Single Malt Scotch for $12 a glass.

G&M Bladnoch 1993 – $25
The most southerly of all Scotch distilleries and a great Lowland.  Finished in refil Sherry.

G&M Caol Ila 1999 10 Year Old – $18
A very good peaty and smoky whisky, perhaps lacking complexity, but making up for it in balance.

Thank you Andrew for all the great tasting notes! We hope you get a chance to come sample some our new selections, and if you haven’t been down for Happy Hour lately, you really should come. We now serve a $5 Hand-crafted Cocktail Menu, (Thank you Dustin!) and offer $6 Pizza until 8pm, weeknights.

We also expanded our Free Live Music program to four nights a week, Sunday through Wednesday, with some of the best Jazz and Blues in all of L.A. Never a cover charge.

We also offer Private Tastings for groups and parties. Hit this link to learn more on that:

http://213nightlife.com/seven-grand-flight-menu

Again, thank you for your continued patronage. We hope to see you soon!

Pedro, currently sipping Henry McKenna Seven Grand Single Barrel, available now for a limited time only, and only at Seven Grand.

Pedro Shanahan
Seven Grand DTLA Spirit Guide

213 Video Series: “Whiskey For The People” Featuring Seven Grand DTLA’s Own Pedro Shanahan

May 28th, 2013 — 12:31pm


“Whiskey for the People”

Seven Grand is a Whiskey Bar. We strive to be an institution of whiskey learning, with a wide offering of flight menus, and barkeeps who can help guide our guests through explorations of their tastes. Classic cocktails, hand-crafted by our staff, bring other entries into the rich history of Whisk(e)y.

We hope to make the world of whiskies accessible to everyone, providing a community hub for people to come together, talk, listen, dance and savor.

Honest hospitality. Free live music four nights a week. Classic Cocktails handcrafted with fresh-squeezed juices and house-made syrups, and one of the best Whiskey Walls in America.

Come enjoy the experience with us.

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

For more info on the Seven Grand Whiskey Society:
http://213nightlife.com/whiskeysociety

To see some of our flight menus, or to learn about Private Tastings and Parties:
http://213nightlife.com/seven-grand-flight-menu

Seven Grand DTLA Whiskey Society: Angel’s Envy Rye w/ Wes Henderson

May 14th, 2013 — 11:08am

Tonight at 7pm, we have Wes Henderson from Angel’s Envy coming in to taste and educate us on the original Angel’s Envy Bourbon Port Cask Finish, our new Seven Grand Select Blend that was in-part created by our staff, and the new Angel’s Envy Rye expression!

A Welcome Punch will be served at 6:30pm, so come early to get a good seat. Attendance will be capped at 35 peeps for the tasting, with priority given to paid-up members. First-timers can pay $15 to get in place of any no-shows at the time of the tasting. Come early to talk to us.

We will be offering an Angel’s Envy Cocktail Menu in the Main Bar, featuring AE Drink Specials all-night-long. The public is welcome to meet and greet with Wes immediately after the Whiskey Society event at 9pm in the Moosehead Snug.

RSVP for the 7pm tasting on the link below now, and feel free to invite your friends to come meet Wes at 9pm and enjoy the new Angel’s Envy Rye!

Register Here!

Seven Grand Whiskey Society dues are $120 per year, payable at the bar, and allow you to bring a guest to any event.

Again, first-timers can come and pay $15 just before the start of the tasting to get a seat, if we have room.

We also offer private tastings, hit the flight-menu link beneath my signature for more details.

Check out the Bourbonblog.com video below to learn about the new Rye expression, Wes started Angel’s Envy several years ago just to bring his father, Lincoln (Former Master Distiller at Woodford Reserve and a Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer) out of retirement.

We hope to see you on Wednesday, stick around afterward, we have free live music at 10pm.

Pedro, currently sipping Connemara Peated Single Malt. Not a bad way to end the day.

Pedro Shanahan
Spirit Guide, Seven Grand Whiskey Bar L.A.
Co-Curator, Whiskey Society

http://213nightlife.com/whiskeysociety

http://213nightlife.com/seven-grand-flight-menu

Seven Grand DTLA Whiskey Society: Angel’s Envy Rye w/ Wes Henderson, Wed., May 15th, 7pm

May 14th, 2013 — 11:04am


This coming Wednesday, May 15th at 7pm, we have Wes Henderson from Angel’s Envy coming in to taste and educate us on the original Angel’s Envy Bourbon Port Cask Finish, our new Seven Grand Select Blend that was in-part created by our staff, and the new Angel’s Envy Rye expression!

A Welcome Punch will be served at 6:30pm, so come early to get a good seat. Attendance will be capped at 35 peeps for the tasting, with priority given to paid-up members. First-timers can pay $15 to get in place of any no-shows at the time of the tasting. Come early to talk to us.

We will be offering an Angel’s Envy Cocktail Menu in the Main Bar, featuring AE Drink Specials all-night-long. The public is welcome to meet and greet with Wes immediately after the Whiskey Society event at 9pm in the Moosehead Snug.

RSVP for the 7pm tasting on the link below now, and feel free to invite your friends to come meet Wes at 9pm and enjoy the new Angel’s Envy Rye!

Register Here!

Seven Grand Whiskey Society dues are $120 per year, payable at the bar, and allow you to bring a guest to any event.

Again, first-timers can come and pay $15 just before the start of the tasting to get a seat, if we have room.

We also offer private tastings, hit the flight-menu link beneath my signature for more details.

Check out the Bourbonblog.com video below to learn about the new Rye expression, Wes started Angel’s Envy several years ago just to bring his father, Lincoln (Former Master Distiller at Woodford Reserve and a Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Famer) out of retirement.

We hope to see you on Wednesday, stick around afterward, we have free live music at 10pm.

Pedro, currently sipping Connemara Peated Single Malt. Not a bad way to end the day.

Pedro Shanahan
Spirit Guide, Seven Grand Whiskey Bar L.A.
Co-Curator, Whiskey Society

http://213nightlife.com/whiskeysociety

http://213nightlife.com/seven-grand-flight-menu

213 Video Series: Featuring Brent Falco and Cole’s Mint Julep!

March 26th, 2013 — 3:47pm


We here at 213 pride ourselves on bringing you not only new and creative cocktails/methods, but also the classics from history’s past.  One of which being the Mint Julep, a Kentucky classic.  This drink, simple yet complex really gives you an idea of what Kentucky tastes like.  The recipe of mint, sugar, bourbon and crushed ice, served in a Julep cup, tastes best on a hot summer’s day.  Prepare yourself for the warmer months ahead, take a look at the video below for Cole’s signature recipe.  Brent, take it away!

What We’re Reading: Homebrewers in Hong Kong, The Power of the Pickle Back, Craft Beer’s Aspirations, Price Fix on Booze?, Parker Beam, Drinks by the Book, Turning Japanese, An Irish Explosion, Know Your Hops, Ginnin up Classic Cocktails

March 8th, 2013 — 12:46pm

“Homebrewers Get Hopping in Hong Kong” 3/5/2013 – Wall Street Journal
Until recently, homebrewing barely existed in Hong Kong, a city better known for its robust wine scene. But a nascent interest in craft beer among Western expats has brought more exposure to brews from the U.S., U.K. and beyond. While easy-to-use kits with prepared and pre-portioned ingredients are available for beginners, more advanced homebrewers mash their own grains, producing a sweet liquid called wort, which is then boiled with hops and fermented with yeast. Read more!


“The Power of the Pickleback” 2/28/2013 – Wall Street Journal
FEW DRINKS INSPIRE skepticism quite like the pickleback, the cult Americana-inspired whiskey shot whose signature ingredient can be a deterrent to the uninitiated. The drink—a slug of whiskey followed by a bracing chaser shot of pickle brine, poured straight from the jar—has gained popularity in the U.S. in recent years as a novel way of making mediocre liquors more palatable. Read more!

“Craft Beer’s Larger Aspirations Cause a Stir” 3/4/2013 – New York Times
Several new, high-profile breweries are putting their product only in so-called large-format bottles. Dogfish Head Brewery, one of the bigger, better-known craft breweries in the country, will soon dedicate one of its two bottle-filling lines just to the 750-milliliter format. The trend toward large bottles is part of what is being called the “wine-ification” of beer, the push by many brewers to make their product as respectable to pair with braised short ribs as is a nice Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and at a price to match. Bottles sell for as much as $30 in stores and much more on restaurant menus. But they are getting a chilly reception from many drinkers. Internet message boards dedicated to craft beer are replete with complaints that large bottlesare too expensive and, thanks to their typically higher alcohol content, a challenge to finish in one sitting. Unlike wine, a beer is nearly impossible to recork. Read more!


“Minimum Pricing, maximum Confusion: Should Government Fix The Price Of Booze?” 3/6/2013 – Forbes
As healthcare costs mug state and federal treasuries, the temptation to control deficits by trying controlling people’s behavior is understandable. Two birds: one policy. But understanding why these goals might be desirable is not the same as understanding whether such policies will actually work. Take the political battle to impose minimum alcohol pricing in Britain and the evidence being used to support it. Read more!

“Masters of Distilling: Parker Beam” 3/6/2013 – Liquor.com
The world of spirits and cocktails is usually a safe place. There is joy, camaraderie, occasional naughtiness and frequent passion. A drink in hand and wherever you are, that’s the spot to be. And then sometimes, infrequently, it is not. I must say that I was stunned into submission to learn that Parker Beam, the beloved and long-serving master distiller for Heaven Hill, has been diagnosed with ALS. It is a jarringly sober moment; solemn would not be an overstatement. I think of Parker like I think of my own father. They are only a year apart in age, hard-working guys who have always loved what they do. In Parker’s case, he has been distilling and blending whiskey for over 50 years. It certainly doesn’t hurt to be a member of the famous Beam family, but his merits and those of his whiskies have long been established and acknowledged. Read more!


“Drinks by the Book: 2013” 2/28/2013 – Liquor.com
Good news: Spring is less than a month away, and summer is just around the corner! But before you dig out your shorts and flip-flops, there are still many long, cold evenings to weather. We suggest you use the time wisely and read these new spirited books. They’re, of course, best enjoyed with a glass of your favorite elixir—Vodka Distilled; Dava! The Russians and their Vodka; Drinking with Men; The Drunken Botanist; Beam, Straight Up. Read more!

“Turning Japanese: Whiskey with water is worth a shot” 3/1/2013 – Tasting Table
Whiskey in Japan is bolstered by a distinctive cultural practice that is starting to gain traction Stateside. The whiskey, which has an incense-like aroma from the use of Japanese oak during the aging process, is designed to be consumed with water. Lots of it. Whiskey snobs might prickle at the idea of watering down their booze, but the Japanese insist that the process of adding water (called mizuwari) or carbonated soda for a classic Highball ensures the liquor is far more palatable when drunk with food. Until recently, our Japanese offerings have been limited to only a few brands: Hibiki, Yamazaki and Hakushu. But with the arrival of Nikka, one of Japan’s most lauded labels, now is the perfect time to explore this drinking genre. The two expressions, a 12-year-old Taketsuru Pure Malt and a 15-year-old Yoichi Single Malt, have ranked among the finest Scotches and have a price to show for it: The bottles start at upward of $60 for 750 ml. Read more!


“An Irish Explosion” 2/18/2013 – Whiskey Advocate
When I announced Yellow Spot as Irish Whiskey of the Year, I predicted that The Teeling Company would be bringing some of the Cooley sparkle back to theYellow Spot Whiskey Irish category. And I was right. Read more!

“Know your hops: A primer on flavors from around the world” 2/19/2013 – LA Times
Much more than just a bittering agent, hops are the soul of beer. They balance the sweetness of the malt and furnish a refreshing flavor and pungent aroma to beer, and American craft brewers are experts at showcasing this spectrum of flavors that hops lend to beer. Read more!
“Ginning Up on the Classic Cocktails” 2/22/3013 – Wall Street Journal
BEHIND THE BAR AT DUKES HOTEL, amid the polished lines of glasses, mountains of fresh lemons and ramekins of Puglian olives, stand more than 15 different gins. Read more!

What We’re Reading: American Single-Malt Whiskeys Serve Notice, Swedish Punsch, Ohio’s Booze Bond, American Single Malts, San Diego’s North Park, Bartenders Are Doing More Than Taking Orders

January 22nd, 2013 — 4:29pm


Food, art and a hipster vibe in San Diego’s North Park, 1/13/2013 – Los Angeles Times
It’s edgy, it’s cool — and it’s official: San Diego’s North Park made Forbes’ list of America’s Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods in September, joining such spots as L.A.’s Silver Lake and San Francisco’s Mission District. North Park has all the ingredients for the cool school: It’s culturally diverse and has art galleries, boutiques, trendy bars with handcrafted cocktails and local brews, and foodie-approved eateries. Read more!

Bartenders Are Doing More Than Taking Orders, 1/22/2013 – New York Times

Around the neck of every bottle from the fledgling spirits outfit the 86 Co. — the gin, the vodka, the tequila, the rum — is a small glass ridge. To the untrained eye, it looks like a packaging flourish. It is not. Read more!


American Single-Malt Whiskeys Serve Notice, 1/15/2013 – New York Times
a single-malt whiskey from the Balcones Distillery in Waco bested nine others, including storied Scottish names like the Balvenie and the Macallan, in a blind panel of British spirits experts.

It was the first time an American whiskey won the Best in Glass, a five-year-old competition to find the best whiskey released in a given year. Balcones, said Neil Ridley, one of the organizers, is everything you’d expect from a young American: brash, robust and full of flavor. “It was like putting a New World wine against an Old World chateau,” he said. This wasn’t supposed to happen. American whiskey is all about corn and rye; malted barley, the primary grain in the Scotch variety, traditionally plays a minor role in bourbon recipes. And single malts have long been considered an exclusive province of Scotland. But suddenly, American malted whiskeys — most of them single malts — are popping up, some to loud acclaim. “There’s been a wave this year,” said Sean Josephs, a co-owner of Char No. 4, a restaurant in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, that features a bar flush with domestic and imported whiskeys. Read more!


Swedish Punsch: Kronan Brings It Back From The Brink, 1/14/2013 – Huffington Post
By now, you’re probably familiar with how excitable we become when we discover a liqueur or spirit we’ve never tried before. That’s just what happened the other day when we walked into our local wine shop and sampled a bit of Kronan Swedish Punsch. No, that is not a typo, do not adjust your screen — we’re talking “punsch,” not “punch.” Swedish punsch was a popular ingredient in cocktails in America until Prohibition, after which it just kind of disappeared. But thanks to Kronan, it’s back. A sugarcane-based spirit, Swedish punsch also contains rum, sugar and spices. Read more!

Ohio’s Booze-backed Bond Deal Could Be Trend Setter, 1/18/2013 – Forbes
In what could be one of the largest mixes of taxable and tax-exempt bond deals of its kind, Ohio officials are moving forward with a roughly $1.5 billion offering that will be secured with profits from the sale of liquor. The deal has been mired in controversy since it was concocted years ago. However, one thing that potential bond buyers may not have to worry about is the bonds going into default. This week, the state’s liquor control division announced that state liquor sales set a record last year. Given the rate of consumption of liquor in the Buckeye State, I believe there is little reason to think that the strong sale of beverages containing it (or on the rock pours) in the state won’t continue in future years, providing a more than adequate revenue stream to back the bonds. Read more!


American Single Malts, 1/14/2013 – Liquor.com
While America is, of course, famous for its bourbon and rye, another type of domestic whiskey is getting popular: single malt. Though the term is usually associated with Scotch, an increasing number of craft distillers across the US are creating unique versions of the spirit. Here are a few to look out for: ST. GEORGE SINGLE MALT WHISKEY ($70), UPRISING AMERICAN WHISKEY ($42), HUDSON SINGLE MALT WHISKEY ($45 FOR 375 ML), CORSAIR TRIPLE SMOKE ($45), WASMUND’S SINGLE MALT WHISKY ($37). Read more!

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