Posted on 2 Comments

Holiday Spirits

Christmas is almost here, and I thought I would spend some time writing about a few spirits I think would either make great holiday gifts or beverages worth enjoying with family and friends during this holiday season.  Personally, I love brown spirits during the cold winter months.  Scotch, bourbon and cognac make wonderful gifts or are simply great as after dinner drinks.

One of my favorite new scotches is Kilchoman.  It is made in an Islay distillery that was established in 2005.  In fact, it was the first distillery built on Islay in 124 years.  Even though their whisky is young, it is of exceptional quality and impeccably balanced.  This whisky is so skillfully distilled and blended you would never know that the whisky in the malt is only 4 to 6 years old.  I am generally not an Islay fan because most are so smoke and peat driven they become too overbearing for my pallet. However, Kilchoman is so well balanced that the smoke or peat doesn’t dominate the flavor profile.  If you are seeking a more traditional Islay, I recommend Bruichladdich 12 year or Arbeg 10 year; they offer excellent cost to quality ratio. Continue reading Holiday Spirits

Posted on Leave a comment

The Grand Liqueur Tasting 11/05/2011 2-5pm

We will be sampling over 40 of the unique and delicious liqueurs that we stock.  The first 120 customers will receive a complementary tasting glass that is theirs to keep.  So come by for some fun and to sample so of those strange liqueurs that you have always be curious about.  You might find some great and unique bottles for Christmas gifts.

Posted on Leave a comment

El Misterio De La Tequila

I recently helped out with a fund raising event for the Discovery Museum in Acton.  They asked me there to talk about tequila, and it made me realize there are a lot of common misconceptions surrounding this Mexican spirit.

Tequila is made from a dessert plant called Agave.  The agave plant stores its food reserves in a way that predators are not attracted to it.  It possesses long bayonet-like spikes, and these bayonets make it quite difficult reach. Furthermore, the plant does not produce palatable juices or fruit. So how did anyone develop the idea of making a drink from this plant? Continue reading El Misterio De La Tequila

Posted on Leave a comment

The Marketing Mess!

A customer approached me the other day in the tequila aisle and asked a very interesting question that I would like to address today.  He asked me if Patron is the best tequila on the market.  While Patron is an excellent top-shelf tequila, it is more a pop culture phenomenon and not necessarily the best tequila out there.  Much of the liquor industry is centered around image and marketing.  Many of the products that society and marketing stipulate to be the best are generally excellent products, but I would never call them the best.  Grey Goose and Patron are both very good products, just as their advertising campaigns dictate.  However, my recommendation to you is that, as a consumer, don’t let yourself be marketed to.  A determination of the best can only be decided upon by the consumer.  Drink what you like, not what other people tell you that you should like. Continue reading The Marketing Mess!

Posted on Leave a comment

Why Grain Reigns!

In this post I am going to discuss the world’s most popular spirit: that’s vodka of course!  Most people believe that vodka can only be made from potatoes or grain, but nowadays this is just not the case.  Vodka can, in fact, be made out of any starch/sugar rich plant matter.  Some vodkas are made from potatoes, molasses, soybeans, grapes, sugar beets, milk,  and sometimes even byproducts of oil refining or wood pulp processing.  I tried a vodka recently made from the now trendy super food called quinoa.  It was surprisingly good and I plan on stocking it in the very near future.  We currently stock vodka made from milk sugar (Vermont White), maple syrup (Vermont Gold) and grapes (Ciroc).  Each of the less common bases creates a distinctly different flavor, but in general each produces a spirit that tends to be sweeter than its grain or potato brethren. Continue reading Why Grain Reigns!

Posted on Leave a comment

The Forefathers of Bourbon

Due to Bourbon’s popularity these days and the recent passing of our nation’s birthday, I thought it would be appropriate to discus the history and the exact requirements that go into producing our country’s official spirit. It is fairly easy to figure out how Irish whiskey or Scotch Whisky got their names, but the way Bourbon got its name is slightly more convoluted.  How Bourbon became Bourbon is really an interesting story.

It all started in 1791 when the Continental Congress put a tax on whiskey production in order to help pay for America’s debt.  So angry were the the settlers of Western Pennsylvania that they refused to pay!  As tensions escalated George Washington was forced to send the Continental Army to stop a potential uprising.  However the situation turned out to be trickier to solve than anticipated and in order to prevent any political humiliation and further trouble with the stubborn Scotch-Irish, Washington came to an agreement with them by offering them incentives for moving to Kentucky (then part of Virginia). Continue reading The Forefathers of Bourbon