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Review: Not Your Fathers Bourbon

Not Your Fathers Bourbon is the first in a new line of spirits made by Small Town Craft Spirits in Monroe Wisconsin.  This is Pabst Brewing Companies first foray in the spirits business.  Constellations Brands, AB-Inbev, and Rogue Ales and Spirits have already produced both brewed and distilled products.  Not Your Fathers Bourbon is distilled at the Minhas Distillery in Monroe Wisconsin.  Madagascar vanilla and natural flavors are blended before bottling at 86 proof.  Tim Kovacs the founder of Small Town Brewery, the company behind Not Your Fathers Root Beer was not involved in the creation on this bourbon.  Not Your Fathers Bourbon is currently available in Illinois and Wisconsin.  National distribution will follow this spring. Read more »


Review: Merrys Salted Caramel Irish Cream Liqueur

Merrys Salted Caramel Irish Cream Liqueur was released in the summer of 2015.  It is one of six Irish Cream liqueurs in their current lineup.  The others include White Chocolate, Strawberry, Pumpkin Spice, Toffee Buttermint, and Merrys Original Irish Cream.  At one time they produced a Caramel Cream Liqueur made with bourbon.  Merrys Salted Caramel is handcrafted by Master Blender Don Crowley in small batches using the finest Irish Whiskey, grain spirits, and fresh dairy cream.  The cream is delivered to the distillery within 12 hours of leaving the farms gate.  Natural flavors and caramel color are blended before bottling at 34 proof. Read more »


Review: Camus Borderies XO Cognac

Camus Borderies XO Cognac was first released in 2000.  Camus cognac has been produced by five generations of the Camus family since 1863 when Jean Baptiste Camus organized a group of producers to sell cognac under the brand La Grande Marque.  Cyril Camus currently leads the company and he also developed Camus Borderies XO Cognac.  Produced mainly from the most prized vines in Domaines Camus Estates, the wine is distilled on the lees.  Borderies XO is a single-growth extra old cognac having been aged in Limousin oak barrels for over six years.     Read more »


Review: Chase Orange Marmalade Vodka

Chase Orange Marmalade Vodka was initially a limited edition release.  The response was so strong it was made one of their flagship flavors.  It is made from a vodka base crafted with King Edward, and Lady Claire potatoes, estate grown on the family farm.  16 tonnes of potatoes are needed to make 1000 liters of alcohol.  Once harvested the potatoes are fermented with brewers yeast for one week.  The spirit is distilled four times in a Bespoke copper batch still and then twice more in a rectification column still.  The column is the tallest of its kind on the world.  At 70 feet it raises through the roof of the barn.  Water drawn from an onsite aquifer filtered through reverse osmosis and deionized is blended to reduce to proof.  The vodka base is marinated with thick cut orange marmalade and ribbons of peel from Seville Oranges.  The spirit is distilled again with orange peel from Valencia.  A final maceration with rough cut marmalade is followed by a chill filtration.  The vodka is bottling onsite at 80 proof in Herefordsshire England Wisconsin.             Read more »


Review: Portland Potato Vodka

Portland Potato Vodka is one of several spirits crafted at the Eastside Distilling Company located in Southeast Portland’s Distillery Row since 2008.  Currently eight independent distillers make their home there.  Eastside also produces several rums, bourbons, whiskeys, and liqueurs.  Portland Hot Potato Vodka, a habanero infused vodka made in collaboration with Secret Aardvark Hot Sauce was just released.  Portland Potato Vodka is made from potatoes and pristine water from Mt. Hood.  The vodka is distilled four times by Master Distiller Mel Heim. Read more »


Review: Trails End Bourbon

Trails End Bourbon is an ultra premium Kentucky straight bourbon aged for 8 years.  The bourbon travels to Hood River Distillers in Hood River Oregon, where it is steeped with Oregon oak staves in stainless steel vats.  Pure glacier fed spring water from Mt. Hood is blended to reduce to 90 proof.  Hood River Distillers produces several brands including  Pendleton Whisky, 44 North Vodka and Lucid Absinthe.  Trails End is named for the final destination of the famous Oregon Trail which is located near Hood River Distillers.  In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to map a path from the Missouri River in Missouri to Oregon.  The two traveled to Oregon and back between 1804-1806 mapping the return journey which they found more direct.    Read more »


Review: Blue Nectar Silver Tequila

Blue Nectar Silver Tequila was introduced October 2011 in Colorado and Michigan.  Since then distribution has expanded.  Blue Nectar is the result of a father and son with a shared love for tequila.  It started with a birthday ritual of gifting exceptional tequilas, and resulted in the creation of their own brand.  Blue Nectar is made from 100% blue agave, estate grown for 8-10 years in the volcanic soils of a 1700 hectares field, adjacent to the distillery, at an elevation of 4139 feet.  The pinas are slow cooked and cooled for 24 hours in an autoclave.  Once the juice is extracted it is fermented for 3-5 days in stainless steel tanks and then triple distilled.    Read more »


Review: D’usse VSOP Cognac

D’usse VSOP Cognac, pronounced dew-say was launched by Bacardi in NYC May 2012.  Jay-Z is their celebrity endorser.  D’usse was created by Cellar Master Michel Casavecchia who has spent over 20 years creating cognac for Chateau de Cognac.  Chateau de Cognac is where Baron Otard Cognac is made.  The Chateau was originally built as a fortress to resist the Viking and English invasions at the end of the 11th century.  In the 15th century Jean de Valois rebuilt the Chateau.  Baron Otard established his cognac house in 1795 when he acquire the chateau.  The eaux de vie selected for D’usse VSOP Cognac are aged in a combination of dry and humid cellars.  The blends of eaux de vie come from four crus including Grande Champaign, Petite Champaign, Borderies, and Fin Bois.  Each is aged a minimum 4 1/2 years.  The unique D’usee VSOP Cognac bottle includes a gold Cross of Lorraine, Frances fabled emblem of courage, honor, and perseverance.  The Chateau de Cognac also produces D’usse XO Cognac. Read more »


Review: Rock Town Grapefruit Vodka

Rock Town Grapefruit Vodka is one of three flavored vodka’s produced at the first legal distillery in Arkansas since prohibition.  The other flavors include Mandarin Orange, and Basil.  The distillery was founded by Phil Brandon in 2010.  Each flavored vodka starts with the Original Rock Town Vodka base, made from corn grown in Arkansas within 125 miles of their downtown Little Rock distillery.  Little Rock Arkansas was originally named La Petite Rock by French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bernard de La Harpe because of the rock formation along the Arkansas River in now downtown Little Rock.  The vodka base is distilled 6 times and filtered to be ultra smooth.  Natural flavors are infused before bottling at 70 proof.  The Rock Town Distillery also produces moonshine, bourbon, whiskey, and rye. Read more »


Review: Camus Borderies VSOP Cognac

Camus Borderies VSOP Cognac is a Limited Edition cognac crafted in 2014 by Cellar Master Patrick Leger.  Camus can trace its history back to 1863 when Jean-Baptiste Camus organized a consortium of cognac producers under the name La Grande Marque.  For five generations the Camus family has worked with boundless passion and patience to craft remarkable cognac.  The wine used to create Camus Borderies VSOP comes from a blend of white grapes, primarily Ugni Blanc Grapes, predominantly grown on the Camus family’s own Borderies vineyards.  Borderies cru is the smallest of the six winegrowing regions of Cognac.  The Camus family is the largest land owner in the Borderies appellation, where le Plessis, their family home lies.  To achieve a delicate balance between scientific precision and artistic flair the master distiller crafted a subtle blend of wines, some with and some without lees.  The eaux-de-vie is aged for a minimum of 4 years in Limousin oak barrels prior to blending.  Read more »