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Posts from the ‘Reviews’ Category


Review: Big Five Coconut Rum

Big Five Coconut Rum is one of three rums crafted at St Petersburg Distillery under the Big Five Label.  The other two are Big 5 Silver, and Big 5 Gold Rum.  Big Five Rum is named for the five grand social clubs that thrived in Havana in the 1950’s.  For the record those clubs included The Vedado Tennis Club, Miramar Yacht Club, Biltmore Yacht and Country Club, Havana Yacht Club, and Casino Espanol.  Big 5 rum is made from sugar cane molasses sourced from South Florida sugar growers.  The rum is column distilled four times and pot distilled once.  The spirit is then artisan water proofed over four stages, charcoal filtered twice, and rested for 48 hours at each stage.  The resting period gives the water and spirit time to marry.  Natural coconut flavors are infused before bottling at 70 proof. Read more »


Review: Koskenkorva Vodka

Koskenkorva Vodka is made from Saana and Elmeri, custom barley varieties.  These are the northernmost barleys in the world.  The barley is all grown within a 120 mile radius of the distillery.  A continuous distillation process provides the equivalent of 250 distillations.  Pure spring water filtered through the ridges of Salpausselka is blended to reduce to 80 proof.  The vodka is so pure it does not require a separate carbon filtration.  The Koskenkorva distillery has produced this vodka since 1953 in Koskenkorva Finland, a town with a population of 2100.  Each year this town produces the equivalent of 90,476 kilos of barley per villager. Read more »


Review: Martell VSOP Medaillon Cognac

Martell VSOP Medaillon Cognac is crafted from eaux-de-vie sourced from four crus including Borderies, Petite Champagne, Grande Champagne, and Fins Bois.  Martell is the only cognac producer to distil only clear wine, where all the sediments and impurities have been removed.  The eaux-de-vie is aged for four to seven years in lightly toasted Troncais oak barrels.  Founded in 1715 by Englishman Jean Martell, Martell is the oldest of the great cognac houses.  Jean Martell left his hometown of Jersey to start trading eaux-de-vie and opened his first distillery on the banks of the Charente.  In 1831 his great grandson Frederic Martell crafted for the first time a blend of eaux-de-vie named Very Superior Old Pale.  In 1838 the family purchased the Chateau de Chanteloup, the iconic House of Martell. Read more »


Review: Greenbar City Bright Gin

Greenbar City Bright Gin was launched August 2017.  National distribution will follow early 2018.  The husband and wife team of Melkon Khoskovian and Litty Matthew have crafted a gin to honor the many flavors of the vibrant immigrant Los Angeles food scene.  From the aromatic herbs of East and South Asia, to floral and earthy flavors of Mexico, and the Middle East, this is how Angelenos eat.  Did I mention Litty is a Cordon Bleu trained chef.  City Bright Gin is made from their Tru Organic Vodka base.  Organic Juniper Berries sourced from scenic groves in Bulgaria, ancho chiles, angelica, basil, California Bay, cardamom, cassia, coriander, cubib, black cumin, fennel, grapefruit, lemon balm, lemon, lemongrass, kaffir lime, lime, pink peppercorn, Sichuan peppercorn, peppermint, spearmint, and star anise are steeped for 7-10 days and then re-distilled in a pot still.  Vapor path distillation is not used because they want the biggest/boldest flavors and aromas.  This translates into better richer cocktails.       Read more »


Review: Rock Town Mandarin Orange Vodka

Rock Town Mandarin Orange Vodka is one of four vodka varieties produced at the first legal distillery in Arkansas since prohibition.  Phil Brandon founded the distillery in 2010 in downtown Littlerock Arkansas.  The other varieties include their Original, Basil, and Grapefruit.  Rock Town Mandarin Orange starts with the Original vodka base made from local Arkansas corn grown by the Stobaugh Brothers.  The vodka is distilled 6 times and filtered to be ultra smooth.  Natural flavors including Satsuma, a Japanese Mandarin variety are infused before bottling at 70 proof. Read more »


Review: Greenbar Tru Vodka

Greenbar Tru Vodka was recently released, replacing Tru Organic Vodka, in The Greenbar Distillery stable of organic spirits.  You may have noticed the new package design of their entire product line including Crusoe Rum, IXA Tequila, and Slow Hand Six Woods Whiskey.  With Greenbar Tru Vodka the change was more than just cosmetic, they changed the recipe.  The husband and wife team of Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Matthew have never been about playing it safe.  Since launching Modern Spirits in Monrovia California in 2004 the two have crafted dozen of spirits including rum, vodka, gin, whiskey, and liqueurs.  They even killed their first brand Modern Spirits to get out of a horrible distribution contract.  Anyone remember Modern Chocolate-Orange or Grapefruit Honey Vodka?  Greenbar Tru Vodka is made from three ingredients American organic wheat, California grown organic pomegranate and pure water.  The organic wheat and pomegranate are distilled separately in a continuous distillation column still and gently charcoal filtered.  They are then blended together.  Pure water filtered through reverse osmosis is added to reduce to 80 proof.    Read more »


Review: Tru Organic Vodka

Tru Organic Vodka is crafted from organic wheat, distilled with a state of the art column still, and gently charcoal filtered.  Pure water filtered through reverse osmosis is blended to reduce to proof.  The Greenbar Distillery was one of the countries first legal distilleries since the repeal of Prohibition when they opened in Monrovia California in 2004.  The distillery relocated to the LA Art District in 2012, and was the first legal distillery to open in Los Angeles.  This version of Tru Vodka is no longer produced, but you may still find a bottle at your local liquor stores.  The husband and wife team of Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Matthew recently changed the formula and the packaging of this vodka.  I will be posting my review of their new Greenbar Tru Vodka tomorrow. Read more »


Review: Landy VSOP Cognac

Landy VSOP Cognac is one of three cognac brands created by Maison Ferrand.  The other two include Pierre Ferrand, and Claude Chatelier.  Maison Ferrand is the result of the encounter in 1989 between Alexander Gabriel and one of the oldest winemaking families in the Cognac region.  They are now the sixth largest producer of cognac. The home office and production facility is located amid the vineyards of Charente in the 18th century Chateau de Bonbonnet.  In 2010 Landy entered a marketing partnership with Snoop Dogg.  Landy VSOP Cognac is made from eaux-de-vie originating from the Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, and Fins Bois cru.  Double distilled separately in small 25 hectoliter copper pot stills, the young cognac is kept in cool cellars in new Limousin oak casks for one year.  The spirit is then transferred to older casks where the softer tannins enable the cognac to mature while avoiding the development of excessive oak flavor.  The eaux-de-vie is aged for a minimum of four years before the casks are blended by their Cellar Master. Read more »


Review: Chopin Rye Vodka

Chopin Rye Vodka was launched March 2011.  Rye joins the Original Chopin Potato, and Chopin Wheat Vodka.  It is produced at a distillery located in the picturesque village of Krzesk Poland with a history dating back to the 1900th century.  The Dorda family acquired the distillery in 2003, restoring its traditional operations to their former splendor as well as modernizing it’s bottling and packaging facilities.  Chopin Rye Vodka is cultivated from farm to bottle with the finest naturally grown golden rye grown within 25 miles of the distillery.  The vodka is distilled in the distillery’s original four column copper still.  It is then filtered five times.  Purified artesian well water is blended before bottling at 80 proof. Read more »


Review: H by Hine VSOP Cognac

H by Hine VSOP Cognac is blended from twenty young eaux-de-vie from the Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne crus.  Each is aged for a minimum four years in lightly charred wood barrels.  The history of this house dates back to 1791 when a young Englishman set out from his native Dorset to learn the secrets of how cognac, his fathers favorite tipple is produced.  He had just turned 16.  Soon after arriving he was imprisoned at Chateau de Jarnac while fleeing the French Revolution.  He remained sequestered for several months, but later married Francoise-Elisabeth, the daughter of his host.  In 1817 Thomas Hine gave his name to this house established on the banks of the Charente in 1763. Read more »