6 Fabulous Whiskies To Make The Holidays Better

Stalla Dhu Cask Strength Linkwood 13-Year-Old Reserve – 57.3% 70cl


Toffee apples on the nose and toasted caramel notes emerge beautifully. The palate is complex and rich with notes of nougat and woody tobacco hints. Definitely one of our favourite’s!

Kavalan Classic Single Malt Whisky – 40% 50cl


The Taiwanese distillery, despite only being in business since 2005, has stunned the industry with their young but full-flavored whisky, focusing on their distinctively enjoyable tropical fruit notes.

Nikka Miyagikyo No Age Statement – 70cl 43%


Masataka Taketsuru, known as the; Father of Japanese Whiskey; created Nikka in 1934. The Miyagikyo distillery, located close to Sendai in northern Japan, produces this rich, fruity, and smooth Single Malt which presents flavours of honey, citrus peel, and freshly cut grass.

The Lakes Whiskymakers Reserve No.5 – 52% 70cl


The fifth edition in The Lakes Whiskymaker’s Reserve series is a great example of an outstanding English single malt! This bottling presents a distinctively sherried style, bottled at 52% ABV and made using a combination of Pedro Ximénez sherry, Oloroso sherry, and red wine casks.

Legent Bourbon – 47% 70cl

Legent bourbon is truly unique while remaining true to the core of bourbon’s principles, bringing together over 225 years of bourbon-making heritage and nearly 100 years of Japanese whisky artistry. Partially finished in red wine and sherry casks, it has a complex combination of spice and fruity undertones.

Lindores Cask of Lindores STR Wine Barique – 49.4% 70cl


This is the second release in the Casks of Lindores series from Lindores Abbey distillery, and has been matured exclusively in STR (shaved, toasted; re-charred) red wine barriques and bottled at 49.4% vol. A warming, sweet dram with complex spice.

 

American Whiskey Cocktails

With the weather getting better, the thought of sitting outside with a nice cocktail just sounds glorious. So I had chat with everyone around here and decided to put together a list of some of our favourite American whiskey cocktails!

Kentucky Buck – w/ Maker’s Mark

Credit Maker’s Mark

A harvest of sweetness and spice with fresh strawberry, citrus, bourbon and ginger beer. Just right for right now, this buck gets its perfect kick from deliciously bold Maker’s Mark.

Ingredients

  • 2 parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • 1/2 part fresh lemon juice
  • 2–3 whole strawberries, hulled
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters
  • Ginger beer
  • Fresh strawberry for garnish

FORBIDDEN SOUR – w/ Elijah Craig

Credit Elijah Craig

Take your whiskey sour to new heights with this Bourbon & Pomegranate cocktail.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 oz. Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
  • 1 oz. Pomegranate Flavored Liqueur
  • .5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • .5 oz. Simple Syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

MINT JULEP – w/ Knob Creek

credit Knob Creek

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 PARTS Knob Creek
  • 2 BUNCHES mint
  • 1 PART simple syrup
  • 1 SPLASH soda

DIRECTIONS

  • In a julep cup, mix the mint sprigs with simple syrup and a splash of soda.
  • Add fine crushed ice and pour in the bourbon.
  • Lift out two mint leaves for garnish.
  • Add powdered sugar over mint to add an optional frosted appearance.

Handsome Devil – w/ Smooth Ambler

Credit Smooth Ambler

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Old Scout American Whiskey
  • .75 oz Lillet Blanc
  • .75 oz Simple syrup (1 to 1)
  • .50 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Dashes of Peach Bitters
  • 3 Mint Leaves

Preparation

Combine all of the ingredients in an ice filled Boston Shaker. Shake thoroughly then double strain into a chilled rocks glass that is filled with ice. Garnish with a twist of Orange.

Sugar Shack – w/ WhistlePig

Ingredients

  • 2 oz WhistlePig Rye Whiskey Aged 10 Years
  • ¼ oz Maple Syrup
  • ¾ oz fresh Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Blackberry Simple Syrup
  • ¼ oz Pimento Dram or Allspice Dram
  • 2 dashes Maple Bitters
  • Star Anise for garnish

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a shaker.
  • Add ice to the shaker.
  • Shake.
  • Fill your favorite tiki mug with pearl ice.
  • Strain into mug.
  • Garnish with star anise and your favorite tropical adornments.
  • Enjoy!

Random Spirits To Enjoy On That Random Holiday

We’re nearing that 14th of February Hallmark holiday again where it’s like Cupid threw up red and pink things everywhere! We are always up for making a list of spirits we are currently enjoying, so that’s what we did. Whether you enjoy celebrating this holiday or not, that doesn’t matter here. These fabulous drinks are sure to tickle your tastebuds and bring upon that warming feeling deep inside. So hopefully this completely random list can inspire you to try something new!

Weller Antique 107 Bourbon – 53.5% 75cl

I swear, it’s not because it is red! This is an absolutely incredible wheated bourbon that has been accompanying my evenings by the fire more often these days. A wonderfully crafted bourbon that is bold and complex, but offers delicious fruity and floral notes. This higher proof offering works well sipped or in cocktails.

Foragers Black Label Gin – 46% 70cl

This gin has been my go to for G&Ts and martinis since we got Foragers in stock. I don’t know how I’ve without this gin for so long! Praised by chef James Martin on his Great British Adventure. Intense and smooth juniper notes, with richness from the sea buckthorn. Wonderfully crisp and elegant.

Brugal 1888 Gran Reserva Doblemente Anejado Rum – 70cl 40%

The rum for whisky lovers! This bottling from Brugal range is a beautifully distinct rum that crisp and dry, but not overly sweet. Double-wood aged for 6-8 years in White American Oak Casks, followed by 2-4 years in first-filled Spanish Sherry Oak Casks. The cask aging is where it makes it more reminiscent of a single malt.

Suntory Chita Japanese Single Grain Whisky – 70cl 43%

This is the first single grain whisky from the house of Suntory. Originally Chita grain whiskies have been used to enhance the flavours and harmony of Suntory blends. Now, it has gained a level of complexity and sophistication that allows it to walk on it’s own! Clean and mild, with wonderful rich honey & spiced oak flavours.

Stalla Dhu Single Cask Glen Elgin Port Wood – 48% 70cl

Can’t finish this list without our newest release from the Stalla Dhu range of independent bottlings. This Glen Elgin port wood finish is perfectly aged and bottled at the best ABV, hitting the sweet spot. Aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in first fill Port cask. Flavours of toasted almonds, fresh plums, and nougat. Intensely creamy!

Happy Sipping,

Andrew

Willett Family Bourbons

I’m always happy when bourbon shipments come in! Wether they are new releases, new to us, or just restocks! This past week we received our shipment of bourbons from Willett Distillery in, you guessed it, Kentucky. I have been a fan of Willett bottlings for a while, although I have not tried all of them yet, I have enjoyed the ones I have.

Willet Distillery remains independently family owned and operated, while it’s roots date back to shortly after the American civil war. It is currently in it’s fifth generation of family distillers and continuing to deliver exceptional spirits with that southern hospitality feel.

Two of my favourite bourbons that always have a place on my shelf are from the Willett Family brands. Those would be Rowan’s Creek and Noah’s Mill! In addition to those two, also returning to our shelves are Willett’s Family Resrve 4, Willett’s Pot Still, and Pure Kentucky XO.

Willett Family Estate 4 Year Old: Incredibly well balanced that you’ll almost forget it’s cask strength! A wonderfully robust rye that gives you flavours of baked cherry pie, caramelised vanilla, and baking spices.

Willett Pot Still Reserve: Eye catching decanter in the shape of a pot still holds an even more solid bourbon! An interwoven mix of zesty citrus and honey carries this bourbon over the taste buds. Ending with that tasty rye spiciness.

Noah’s Mill: A wonderfully lush small batch bourbon. Incredibly smooth for a full proof bourbon. Flavours of toasted cinnamon pecans, coconut dates, mesh well with the spices and charred oak notes.

Rowan’s Creek:One of the best selling bourbons from the distillery, it is named after the creek that runs through the property. Incredibly velvety on the tongue, with a fantastic caramel sweetness you’d expect from a great small batch bourbon. Lingering clove spiciness is just enough to compliment the sweetness.

Pure Kentucky: Named as a tribute to it’s home state, because when you think of Kentucky, you think of bourbon! For those that like those oak and spice flavours at the forefront, with just the right amount maple sweetness.

If you’re feeling like a bourbon purchase is in your future, give one of the Willett family bottlings a go!

Sunday Tipple with Maker’s Mark

With our new shipment of Maker’s Mark coming in, I thought why not enjoy some this weekend. Well, I unsurprisingly decided to go with the Maker’s Cask Strength! So happy I did too! The best you’re gonna get without drinking straight from the barrel!

Maker’s Mark was one of the first to develop a premium image around their bourbon, and has held themselves to high standards to this day! Maker’s main focus is producing the highest quality bourbon they can, and they have a steadfast reputation for their craft. They do that by having such a small selection of whiskies in their repertoire. The other thing that sets them apart is the use of red wheat instead of rye in the mash bill. Rye is easily the most commonly used second grain in the mash, Maker’s is one of the few companies that wanted to go a different route. Instead of the spicy bite of the rye, wheat brings on a sweeter and more smooth sip.

It was never in the cards in the beginning to create a Cask Strength version of Maker’s. After years of inquiries and one evening trying it out of the barrel, they thought, why not! The winners of that decision, us bourbon drinkers! We get another tasty treat to have on our shelves.

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength is not for the drinker looking for a mild sipping bourbon, although I would encourage all to try it! This bottling is a bold, revved up offering of Maker’s. Everything you have already loved from the standard bottle, but just turned up a few notches! The vanilla and caramel flavours are much more pronounced. Robust orchard fruit notes with an undercurrent of cinnamon providing that wonderful spice bite. The finish is much longer than that of the standard release and you don’t get the roughness you’d expect from a cask strength.

This is well worth a try if you are looking for a bourbon with a bit more power! And when the world opens back up, a visit to their distillery in Kentucky should be on your list, go hand dip your own bottle!

A little Van Winkle for Saturday

Not quite the Pappy, but still very enjoyable! Makes for a Saturday evening wind down that much more pleasant. Been a long week, so looking through our open bottles is always something I don’t take for granted. One of the great things working in this industry, is having something interesting to try.

The Van Winkle name is usually the name that starts to make bourbon lovers salivate hand over their credit cards. Usually some of the most sought after whiskies in the world of bourbon.  While it may be touted as some of “the best” out there, we all know that the best is down to the individual. The history that the name carries, along with the alusiveness of the line-up, creates a sense of wonder around them. Don’t get me wrong though, all the ones I have had have been absolutely delicious, but there are plenty more attainable bottles out there if these aren’t within reach.

Like I said before, it’s not quite pappy, but pretty close. Same family and same release schedule. Old Rip Van Winkle 10 is bottled close to barrel proof with a touch of their Kentucky Limestone well water added to the mix. This is a very enjoyable offering from the Buffalo Trace Distillery and a great accompaniment for a summer BBQ. Not overly complex, just really easy to sip. Wonderful waves of fruit, lingerings of charred oak, candied peaches, and bit of that biting spice riding the back end!

At the time of writing this, we may have a coule left, so head over to the site to check! Or pop us an email and we’ll be sure to let yo know.

Enjoy your weekend and pour yourself a dram of something nice!