Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
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High West Bourye Bourbon/Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
The excellent Bourye is always a special treat. There are so few opportunities to taste old American whiskey at a reasonable price. The Bourye is always a reminder that High West is really an American blending house. Sure, they distill stuff, but what they're good at is figuring out the precise proportions to maximize the impact of each component of a blend. The new Bourye is no exception. The heady spice of old rye and the rich, woodsy sweetness of well-aged bourbons are mingled perfectly for one of the most obvious and delicious bottles on the shelf today. Has this wonderful old-style feel to it and represents quite a good value considering many aged-stated rye and many bourbons are asking upwards of $100.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 96

Del Maguey Minero Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
Del Maguey single-handedly created the high-end mezcal category. And while their Chichicapa might be considered the flagship, it is their Minero that is the true star. Hand-milled agave cultivated at over 5,000 feet and roasted over mesquite, huamuchil, and eucalyptus wood is fermented in open wooden vats for up to 25 days. It's then distilled in traditional clay pots (the only standard release from Del Maguey using this type of still) to create one of the most viscous and powerfully rich mezcals available.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Mezcal Amarás Cupreata (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
The exceptional Cupreata from Amaras is a great example of why Oaxacan mezcal isn't the only game in town. These wild harvest Cupreata are extremely flavorful and the quality and complexity easily bests that off similarly priced Oaxacan stuff. Tasting this stuff transports me directly back to the Mexican Riviera where the gorgeous tropical mountains tour over the beach. You order lunch under the palapa and a shot of local mezcal. The perfect pair for the aguachiles de cameron that you just ordered. Bold vibrant and full of soul, this is what mezcal is ALL about.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Elijah Craig "Small Batch" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
Elijah Craig Small Batch remains one of the best values in the shop. 8 to 12 year old blend of bourbons distilled at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville. Despite removing the age statement, Heaven Hill's flagship brand remains one of the best values in the store. This style is dark nutty, honeyed with and minty spice to round out the ultra rich texture. The higher proof does great things for this one and not a whole lot of stuff can touch this in the price point.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WA 91

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
This is benchmark whiskey. Jimmy Russell's personal favorite and still one of the staffs go to, the Wild Turkey 101 is great because it pulls no punches and makes no excuses. WT has consistently produced exceptional whiskey for over 60 years and what a lot of people assume to be a mass market brand, is actually qualitatively better than many of their competitors. They make old fashion whiskey in the most efficient way possible and Jimmy has made sure (over the course of many corporate take overs) that WT will NEVER compromise quality for profits. The 101 is for those who like to chew their whiskey. Big bold and spicy, it's relatively high rye content (13%) is noticeable, but not over the top. Textured, full of vanilla and sweet spice, the 101 remains one of Kentucky's great value bourbons.
Price: $20.99 Add To Cart

2015 Matthiasson "Linda Vista Vineyard" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Matthiasson is really pushing the envelope for what's possible under $30 in Napa Chardonnay. They've taken a queue from our friends Europe and decided to let the vineyards and the fruit do the talking, rather than the winery. Balance and nuance is paramount here, but not at the expense of expressiveness. A beautiful golden color. Extremely balanced nose of juicy citrus and ripe apple fruit. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Mature but not oaky, with plenty of texture for those who like to feel what they drink. The finish is complete and satisfying with that zesty side of Chard that's rare in Napa. Obviously, Steve Matthiasson has got great taste and so do his wines.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

Booker's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Booker's is just bourbon you know. It's not magic. It's just whiskey. It happens to be really good high proof whiskey. It's happens to be age stated Kentucky bourbon. Booker Noe happens to have been pretty bad ass and this just so happens to be his legacy. Just like Booker it's big and bold. Just like Booker it's both spicy and bit sweet. Just like Booker it's the real deal no gimmicks. If all Bourbon could be this honest we'd all be better off. It also happens to be just $50...for now. Now that's MAGIC.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WA 91

Pure Kentucky XO Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Ignore the ugly label. Ignore goofy name. Ignore the meaningless XO moniker. Consider the wonderful source of this special bourbon - WILLETT FAMILY. Consider the proof - 107! Consider the price - $35. Considering that this whisky is nearly 10 years of age that makes it one hell of a deal. It reminds me of a higher proof version of Elijah Craig which is bottled right down the road. A nose big pepper and cinnamon, dark cocoa and fine exotic wood. Hints of orange liqueur, rich toffee and sweet caramel bring this special whiskey back down to earth. It's not the floral feminine style you might find in a Rowan's Creek (which includes some very old whiskey, but older isn't always better you know?) and really shouldn't be compared to that one. But, if you like a bold power style this might be the one for you.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Saint Nicolas Pinot Noir Fiefs Vendeéns
Review Date: 05-11-2017
These guys are just out of control good. Stunning dark ruby color. Big nose of dark cherry, dried hibiscus, and earth. Wonderful structure on the palate with plenty of grip without feeling harsh or tough. It's not tannic by any means, but it has great texture. This is real deal cool climate Pinot and will definitely be appreciated by lovers of Burgundy, Oregon Pinot, even some California drinkers who want to expand the repertoire without risking TOO much on the wager.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Gitton Père & Fils "Montachins" Sancerre
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Wow, this is some old school stuff. Gitton is so obviously an exceptional producer, but the wines do require some open mindedness. These are vins de garde style Sauv Blanc that are spectacularly complex now, but deserve to be squirreled away for several years before reaching its full potential. Right now we see a powerful nose of intense mineral, pithy citrus peel and fresh diced shishito. The texture is medium to full but the acidity is monstrous. A totally bombastic style that should develop incredible depth in the cellar after 2-3 years.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2013 Bernard Levet "Les Journaries" Côte-Rôtie
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Levet is an old-school producer and this is exactly the style of Syrah that I like. I don't get the point of spending $50 on Syrah anywhere else when this stuff is available! It's not always here but when it is I always grab some. The color is dark purple with flecks of red. Needs some air to really get going, but expect an intoxicating nose of burning incense, dense blueberry jam, exotic flowers, smoked bacon, and fresh spices. In the mouth it's rich but not heavy. Dense pepper and gorgeous dark fruit. The palate is surprisingly lifted and open although the full elegant tannin begs for another few years in the cellar.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
VN 94

2012 Philippe Foreau "Domaine du Clos Naudin" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 05-10-2017
We don't get to sell aged Vouvray very often unless it's sweet and even then it's relatively rare. What we have here from one of Vouvray's most well-regarded producers is an absolutely stunning example of what just a few years in cellar can do to top-notch dry Chenin Blanc. The nose is brimming with stunning white and yellow fruit: white cassis and Mirabel plums. Behind that we start to see some slight nuttiness, not oxidation, but a hazelnut thing that's divine. Finally, some aromatic white flowers, but not gardenias. I hate gardenias. It's not perfumed at all, it's more tropical, with notes of fresh-growth floral vegetation. The texture is rich and balances and totally dry, but the nuttiness remains throughout as those fresh fruits turn slightly stewed. An exceptional value for an exceptional wine.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2013 Bernard Levet "La Chavaroche" Côte-Rôtie
Review Date: 05-10-2017
This is definitely the wine of the vintage for Levet, but it's still just a tiny sliver of its potential self. Nonetheless, the nose is extreme and potent. Dark berry, gravelly minerals, sweet fresh vanilla, cocoa, cherry mouth-coating and crunchy. Absolutely stunning stuff. Drink it now and you'll be bowled over, but keep your dirty mitts of it for 5+ years and you'll be wildly rewarded.

2013 Can Mayol Loxarel "999" Brut Nature Rosat Penedes
Review Date: 05-10-2017
We're incredibly lucky that our buyer Joe isn't greedy. I could easily see this spectacular wine selling for twice the price without anyone blinking an eye. But instead we get this spectacular rosé, one of the least expensive in the store, for a minuscule price. I'm not complaining. It's brut nature but not austere. Lovely aromatics of fresh red fruit and exotic teas. Superbly drinkable and refreshing, plus at this price you can just throw it around without thinking about it too much. Gifting this to everyone until it runs out.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Saint Nicolas "Gammes en May" Fiefs Vendeéns
Review Date: 05-10-2017
This is the perfect quaffable Gamay when you don't want the tutti fruitiness sometimes present in Village level Beaujolais at this price point. The color is translucent garnet. This loves a little chill and has this great earthiness behind the zippy pithy red fruit. I love these easy drinking wines that don't feel simple or one singular. It's open enough to serve to anyone, but will scratch that wine nerd itch if you've got it. Wonderful price to quality ratio here.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Leduc-Frouin "La Seigneurie" Anjou Rouge
Review Date: 05-10-2017
Just more proof that Loire valley is producing some of the best values in red wine. The color is deep garnet. Outstanding nose of fresh garden soil, evergreen shrubs, dark berry fruit and wet gravel. Tons of life and liveliness on the palate. Medium bodied with wonderful balance and powerful acidity that relinquishes just before it overwhelms. Easily a contender for summer red of the year.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Lucien Crochet "Croix du Roy" Sancerre
Review Date: 05-10-2017
The lovely Crochet Croix Du Roy is everything you want Sancerre to be. Low fruit big mineral, great balance and extreme freshness. The fruit does come out on the palate with hints of fresh lime peel and guava, but it's never obtrusive or in the way. Just perfect!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Laphroaig "Lore" Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-03-2017
Laphroaig purist (something I've been accused of previously) might balk at the idea of blending young and old Laphroaig. Add a more pronounced wood influence and people could be up in arms! But, they've worked wonders here. The brain child of Laphroaig head honcho John Campbell, this special offering has tons classic Laphroaig smoke framed around this ultra approachable background of old exotic wood and old Islay whisky. It may not have the intensity of the Cask Strength, but it's got tons going on and is the perfect introduction to how smoky Islay malt ages.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Lagavulin "2016 Edition" 12 Year Old Natural Cask Strength Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-03-2017
Lagavulin is an absolutely magical place. It's incredible just how good Lagavulin is consistently in their 16 year expression. No whisky has made more people scotch obsessed than that one, but what you get in consistency on the 16, the 12 year cask strength doubles in intensity and depth. And quite the opposite from the Distillers Edition this one is not about the interplay of sherry or oak and the rich Lagavulin spirit. Instead, this is all about Lagavulin's most Lagavuliny self. Refill wood here, American Oak likely, white wine in color. An absolute monster of a nose yet somehow linear and unwavering. Dense power tar, peat, tea, earth, salt. The palate is like SpaceX Falcon 9 exiting the atmosphere only to return to earth directly on your palate. Exquisite smoke, dried roasted herbs, citrus pith, and a sense of purpose. I don't love that the price went up a bit on this, but I get it. It's worth every penny, even better than last years. This whisky remains legend of the whisky aisle from that legendary whisky isle.
Price: $134.99 Add To Cart

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-03-2017
I never quite understood how Buffalo Trace was able to make so much great bourbon at such a low price. Even after visiting the distillery several times the numbers just seem silly. What you learn from being there is that Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare are essentially the same exact whiskey. Both are distilled from the same mashbill and aged in the same brick patent heated warehouse. Both are 10 years old when being dumped. The only difference is the way the taste. Literately, they taste each barrel and decide how to bottle it - either as a single cask or in the small batch blend. One is 30% cheaper than the other. Both are delicious. Incredible that this stuff isn't in EVERY well in every bar. Should always be a contender for your current HOUSE BOURBON.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WA 90

1995 Tormore 20 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-02-2017
This is the first Tormore we've had in the shop in over a decade and it's a wonderful example of this ultra fresh and light style. The perfect summer malt, and it loves water. For anyone that's driven around Speyside, you'd recognize the incredibly beautiful grounds and stunning copper roofs of this rare little distillery. It's not small production, but Chivas lets very little out as it's a base malt for many of their blends. This light fresh style is exactly what you want on a hot summers night or even GASP over ice. The nose starts strong note of black tea, fresh gravel and peaches. A pointed oakiness develops as we go deeper, fresh pencil shavings, dark roasted malt, lanolin - a slight dusty note. With a nice dollop of water the edginess falls away leaving wonderful pithy citrus, stone fruit skins, sweet malt. The tiniest hint of peat doesn't show it's self until the spirit hits the palate. This plays perfectly off the super sweet malt and round fruit. An easy soft let down on the back end. This is real drinkers malt and loves water, so it should be consumed with that in mind.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Domaine Baud "Cuvée Sauvage" Brut Cremant du Jura
Review Date: 04-18-2017
This is soooooo good. Super clean. Excellent balance. Magic Price.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Keenan Napa Valley Merlot
Review Date: 04-18-2017
This is just PERFECT Napa Merlot. Classic, solid, elegant, pleasurable drinkable delicious Merlot. Everything is there nothing more nothing less. In such a stupendous vintage like 2013 it's important to identify the great sleeper wines. This is without a doubt one of them.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart

2016 Amplify Wines "Camp 4 Vineyard" Santa Ynez Valley Carignane
Review Date: 04-18-2017
Here we go with some good old fashioned Geek wine. This hands off Santa Ynez Carignan really took me where I wanted to go without any of that wet dog stuff some might be expecting. A beautiful translucent ruby in the glass. The nose is brambly red fruit and hints of earth. Tons of acidity and mineral on the palate with that earthy red fruit taking over. There's this wonderful elegant subtle tannin, but the most striking thing is how clean and precise it is as a whole. An exciting wine to free you from the over-ripe doldrums that have become the norm in SoCal Mediterranean varietals.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tatomer "Vandenberg" Santa Barbara County Riesling
Review Date: 04-18-2017
The gorgeous Tatomer Vandenberg Riesling is in danger of redefining how we look at Santa Barbara County. It's incredible that they've achieved such depth and a complexity despite the drought. The color is a lovely light yellow. This has a beautiful nose of wet stones, lemony citrus peel and flinty petrol. The palate is just bursting with lemony acid, tons of texture and a graceful persistence. Somehow it's both perfectly SoCal and wonderfully Riesling! A great bottle and more proof that Tatomer is up to something special.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2016 Inizi "Saini Vineyard" Dry Creek Valley Tocai Friulano
Review Date: 04-18-2017
I was NOT expecting to love this! I'm not used to enjoying domestically produced Italian varietals because to put it bluntly, they don't often work. But, this works very very well. The nose is pithy citrus, soft floral notes, but not perfumed or artificial in anyway. Great texture and that tropical citrus note running through which drops away for a lovely mineral finish. One of the best domestically produced Italian whites I've ever had.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

Alberta Dark Batch Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
This is some wonky old school stuff. I imagine this is what whisky USED to be like back in the day. Distillers in Canada (and the states for that matter) are well within their rights to use flavor additives to enhance their Rye Whiskies before bottling without listing the ingredients on the label. Purist are convulsing around the country, but if it makes it taste better and it's not poisonous than why the hell not. I used to harp on Cognac for using additives, but then I found out that great cognac uses additives (particularly old under-proof brandy called petites eaux or faibles) because it's freaking delicious. Nobody wants to talk about it because they're worried that their image will be tarnished. Alberta Dark doesn't beat around the bush. This is awesome rye whisky with a splash of sherry and it's delicious! Dark rye spice and nutty sherry notes work together to build a unique and inviting profile that will peak even the most grizzled whiskey drinkers interest.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Hochstadter's Vatted Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
The wonderful Hochstadter Vatted Rye was once an endangered species, but it looks like they've renewed their commitment to this product! This is absolutely fabulous little rye blends exceptional of whiskies sourced from distilleries in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky and Alberta. They include whiskies from 4 to 15 years old and are bottled at 100 proof without any chill filtration. The result is a unique and delicious confluence of flavors. A big nose of dark cherries, baking spice, old wood and sweet caramel. The palate shows less of the age, instead a bit more baking spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) with the sweetness taking a back seat. This is easily one of the most mixable ryes on the market and priced appropriately. It's recently replaced Rittenhouse as my go to in the house for mixing despite being $10+ more, it's totally worth it!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Lot 40 Single Copper Pot Still Canadian Rye Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
Lot 40 Rye has gone from being impossible to get and expensive to be our go to affordable sipping rye! The spectacular quality you get on this one for the price is UNMATCHED elsewhere in the rye world. That said it's nothing like the grainy rye coming out of all the craft distilleries in the states or the punchy cocktail friendly bravado of a Rittenhouse. This is zippy herbaceous 100% pot still 100% Canadian is well matured rye unlike any other. Delicious nose of caraway, licorice, candied cherries, citrus peel and baking spices. The palate is cinnamon and spice and everything nice! It's almost Christmas-y! Sweet Muscovado finish to balance all the spice. The whole thing builds to a nice long satisfying finish. This isn't a powerhouse that's going to knock you out, but instead there's something more intricate and oblique about it. Perhaps it's the pot stills or something else going on, but this is one serious little drink for $30.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 97

Russell's Reserve "Small Batch" 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
What can I say about Wild Turkey except that Jimmy and Eddie Russell are two of the industry's finest stewards. On their watch, across multiple owners, they've worked to been able to keep quality levels at Wild Turkey extremely high. They've never compromised what they've knew to be important for quality production in the name of making an extra buck and the result speaks for itself. Their namesake product, the Russell's Reserve 10 Year is probably older than Jimmy likes his bourbon, but for me it's perfect. Only bested by the Single Barrels in their portfolio, the 10 year is just a silly price for great aged bourbon of the highest quality. Tons of complexity on the nose, with that high rye component coming through. The big bold herbal spices is tempered with a sweet nougat and toffee. Big and rich on the palate with subtle licorice, old bourbon spice, sweet vanilla and dark fruit to finish. Very few things get this good under $30.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Old Forester Signature 100 Proof Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
This is probably the best regularly release whiskey produced by Brown Forman USA. The OF 100 proof has so much going on, yet it remains totally under the radar. For as good as Brown Forman are at making whisky (they skip the e on OF for some historical bizarre reason), they've yet to create serious cache around this brand. New releases like the OF Prohibition are changing that trend, but we sell 10 times as much Buffalo Trace as we do Old Forester. I think that a huge part of that has to do with their ground game in Kentucky. People go to BT (partly because of VW) and see the beautiful old brick warehouses and fall in love. Equally so at Woodford, but OF doesn't have a place to call its own. The distillery experience on Whiskey Row in Downtown Louisville was severly damage in a 2015 fire. Hopefully that will open soon and give Old Forester a place to showcase their exceptional wares. Maybe they'll finally do some cask strength single barrels? In the mean time, I'll keep reminding my customers that this is one of the best bourbons they're not drinking.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon (750ml) (ships as 3L)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
Willett's flagship product is their Pot Still Reserve in the wonderfully weird pot still bottle. This super easy going small batch blend represents 30 years of grit and determination in one little bottle. Now that the Willett's have finally got their still up and running, this will likely become a showcase of their older own distilled bourbons in the future. For now it's still a blend of some wonderful sourced whiskies of excellent quality. Easy drinking, but not simple by any means, expect a strong bouquet of candied citrus and sweet dark caramel. The sweet nose and front palate belies a building peppery note and a drier finish driven by oaky spice. Production remains very limited on these, so don't expect it to always be around. The awesome bottle makes for a great gift all year round.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Four Roses "Single Barrel" 100 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
This whiskey sets Four Roses apart from its competitors in nearly every category. It checks ALL the boxes. A 10 year old high rye recipe bourbon bottled as a single barrel at 100 proof and sold for only $40! What the hell is everyone else doing? Four Roses makes your whiskey look stupid! You go to Four Roses, see what they're doing. Takes some notes. No one sells better whiskey for less. This is always the special OBSV recipe. Since these are single barrels, every bottle you open is a new and wonderful experience. If you don't have a bottle in your bar already, you're making a terrible mistake.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 WA 92

Medley Bros. Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
A splendid entry level offering from the Medley/Wathens Family bottlers. This little high proofer is nipping at the heels of greats like BT, Four Roses, Wild Turkey 101 for best bang for your buck bourbon in the store. The Medley's have the incredible advantage of actually controlling the distillation of the products, which most bottlers aren't able to claim (despite their best efforts). The result is one of the most affordable and delicious whiskies in the store. Easy and corn driven with sweet butterscotch and subtle barrel spice. Beautiful texture and a fine easy finish for something that's totally balanced and put together at 102 proof. Great for cocktails as well.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

Noah's Mill Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
Noah's Mill is a legend. It's been one of Willett's flag ship brands for decades. This whiskey includes some of their oldest stocks, which means some of the barrels in the blend are 20+ years old. Expect an average age around 15 years. This elegant whiskey is complex and heady, but not overpowering. Its soft yet distinctive aromatics range from candied citrus, floral honey and stone fruit to forest, leather and smokey oak. A sweet front palate of caramel and toffee is followed by a pepper and spice finish owing to a significant amount of rye in the mashbill. For an over-proof (114.3-degree) bourbon, it is not at all hot. It's absolutely incredible that we're able to sell this whiskey for $55 when every distillery out their is trying to get you to pay $100 for some 6 year old. Thank you to the good people at Willett for having the gumption to keep it real after all these years.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Jefferson's Reserve Very Old Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
The excellent Jefferson's Reserve Bourbons have long been a darling of knowledgeable drinkers around the country. Some purists harp on the fact that we don't actually know who distilled it and likely the bottler is prohibited by contractual law from divulging their sources, but that doesn't actually preclude the whiskey from being exceptional. These guys are making whiskey on a tiny scale (batches are less than 20 barrels) and include whiskies up to 15 years old. In fact, Jefferson says that 50% of this bottle at least 15 years old! That whiskey is then blended with up to 3 other bourbons for one of the best values in the store. Old whiskey flavor at totally reasonable prices.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
Maker's Mark is easily the most consistent bourbon on the market today. Not many people realize that it's a wheater (i.e. same recipe as Weller) the coveted base for the Van Winkle bourbons. There's not a whole lot that separates what Maker's does from what happens at Buffalo Trace. The yeast strains are different. The Maker's stills are tall and skinny which makes a difference, but for what it's worth Maker's have become masters at replicating that special recipe, which Julian Van Winkle helped develop all those decades ago. He was making the best whiskey at the time in an "old fashioned" way (i.e. No chemists allowed! was the distillery motto) so why wouldn't you seek his advice when starting a distillery? Indeed, it was in Stitzle-Weller's image that Bill Samuels molded what would become one of the Country's most popular whiskey brands. After around six years, with a unique system of barrel management to encourage consistent aging, we get this ubiquitous and delicious whiskey marked with that special red top.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 - 95

Four Roses Yellow Label Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 04-18-2017
I can't tell you the number of times we've had some older timer walk in off the street and beckon me over to point out the Four Roses Yellow Label, "now why does a nice store like yours carry this CRAP!" Wait a second there Sir. You may remember the old Yellow Label blend that Four Roses used to sell back in the bad old Seagram days and indeed that was a dog, but this is by no means that! The labels are nearly identical, but this one is filled only with Straight Bourbons from one of Kentucky's best. The blend of their ten recipes is one of the easiest Bourbons to get behind in the store and represents a stupendous value. Four Roses is high rye Bourbon, even their low rye recipe is high rye compared to some of their competitors. That wonderful grainy spice is tempered by the various yeast strains and the ultimate result is a wonderful easy drinking bourbon for a VERY reasonable price. Expect a nose of sweet barrel spice, caramelized sugars, and delicate floral notes. The palate has a bit more savory spice, but is still dominated by the sweet flavors of honey, ripe apples and more vanilla. Easy drinking and easy on the pocket book.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Elephant Hill Chardonnay Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 04-18-2017
It's not often that we find cross over wines in New Zealand for California Chard drinkers. That said this is not Rombauer of the Southern Hemisphere, but it is very much in an internationally appealing style. Deep notes of creamy butter, subtle nuttiness, stone fruit and baked Golden Delicious. The nose is so heady and rich that you expect to be inundated with ripeness and oak on the palate, but instead you get a wonderful zesty lemon paired with a great texture and some tropical fruit notes. Wonderful balance, for this textured expressive style.

2015 Elephant Hill "Le Phant Rouge" Red Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 04-18-2017
This lovely little quaffer is one of the best cross overs in NZ right now. It has lots of life and some good structure, but isn't ultra minty or eucalyptus. Great ripeness paired with elegant structure. Dark current, some plummy notes, and an easy earthy spice on the finish. This is one that almost any red wine lover can easily get behind. Love Bordeaux, you'll probably like this. Cali Cab? No doubt this is in your range. A very easy wine to love.

2015 Elephant Hill Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 04-18-2017
The gorgeous Elephant Hill Sauv Blanc is a benchmark for Hawke's Bay. It's certainly not what you'd expect from most $15 NW SB! The nose is powerfully rich and complex, but without the typically grassy notes, instead lovely herbaceous mineral quality and deep ripe lemon fruit. It's somewhere between a great Graves White and a top notch Sancerre. The palate is textural and equally complex with a subtle building acidity and a lovely touch of brine on the finish. A stupendous example of the potential here and a stellar price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
SK 90

Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc Martinique (1L)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The Neisson Blanc is the quintessential white agricole rhum. Neisson is all about creating rhums of Terroir and the blanc expresses that terroir better than anything thing they offer. The Blanc 100 proof is sourced from two sugar fields in the North of Martinique in the communes of Saint-Pierre and Carbat. The soils are volcanic pumice over sandy clay in nature and planted to Blue, Red, Cannelle, and Zikak Sugar Cane varietals. It's fermented in open vats and distilled on an Armagnac style alembic column still. It's rested for at least 6 months before bottling The traditional distillery is still run by children of the founder Hildevert-Pamphille Neisson. The result is something heady and wild, with tons of funky hogo, tropical fruit and fresh grass. It's vibrant and intense. A true expression of the cane from this special little island.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 98

Barbancourt Estate Reserve 15 Year Old Haitian Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Barbancourt Estate is Haiti's top rum producer and makes a very unique style that blends technique from both the Cognac and Armagnac. Like most French protectorates, Barbancourt uses only fresh cane juice for fermentation rather than a mix of molasses and water. This is then distilled to 70% on a column still before being rectified on an alembic pot still to 90%. This high proof spirit is then cut to 100 proof and aged in large vats and small barrels. The result is some where in between a Spanish and a French style rhum. It's ultra clean and fruity, but without the sweet syrupy notes of aged Spanish rums. By 15 years, there's plenty of concentration and density of wood, heavy on the butterscotch, toffee and baking spices. It retains some of the fruitiness of the younger expressions on the palate, but the bold spice and sweet caramelized sugar aromas are definitely in charge here. It's really unlike any other agricole on the market, as it's made quite differently, but nonetheless offer a lot deliciousness for the price.
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart

English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
English Harbour is a stupendous offering that represents some of the old school style rum, without the over the top esters of a Jamaican. Fermented with a mixture of baking yeast and wild yeast, the distillery uses open top fermentation to encourage some of the funky wild yeast to interact with the wash. This is then distilled on an old copper column still for a light bodied rum that's full of character. It's kind of an in between style, not quite light and sweet like the Spanish, not quite heavy and funky like the English. Altogether a wonderful expressive and delicious Caribbean rum.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WE 98

Kirk & Sweeney 12 Year Old Dominican Rum (750ml) (ships as 3L)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Sweet rich and easy drinking, Kirk & Sweeney is designed to give rum producers like Zaya and Zacapa a run for their money. Ultra dense and sweet style, if you love a good cigar with your rum, this one is always a good choice.
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Pusser's 15 year old British Navy Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Pusser is named for the ships "Purser" or Supply Officer, in charge of doling out the daily rum ration to thirsty seaman. The blending and technical information were acquired by Charles Tobias who championed the brands public debut over the last 30 years. In 2012, Tobias sold his shares in the rum company, but his vision lives. A true English Style rum made from a blend of Heavy rums, there is tons of complexity here, very much focused on the Demerara style. If you really want to catch the old school style, toss in a quarter once of some funky Jamaican rum. Blending rum at home is FUN and totally safe as long as you don't operate heavy machinery.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Johnny Drum "Private Stock" 101 Proof Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Johnny Drum has long been a go to for our staff and customers are starting to catch on. For years this special Bourbon held the 15 year designation right on the neck and while they're not able to use it any longer, there remains incredible old bourbon in the blend. While we don't have precise information about the contents here, there's no doubt that Willett is including some nicely aged bourbon in the blend. It remains a go to Bourbon that nearly anyone can appreciate. Dense nose of deep maple, oak spice, and sweet candied fruit. The palate is structured and not overtly sweet thanks to the higher proof. This one is really fun to mix with and stands up to anything in the price range without even flinching. Plus the old school wax top looks so COOL!!!!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2006 Worthy Park 10 Year Old "Golden Devil" Single Barrel Jamaican Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Worthy Park is one of the Jamaica's crown jewels, on the famous estate established in 1670. On the fertile central plains at nearly 1200 feet above sea level, thousands of acres of sugar cane grow as they have for centuries. Located in the central St Catherine's parish, the estate has cultivated cane commercially since 1720 and along side that operation a great history of rum production arose. But in the years after WW II, an over production of Jamaican Rum convinced Worthy Park to cease large scale distilling operation. It wasn't until 2004 that the Clark Family decided to give rum distillation another go. The distillery was completely rebuilt in 2005. This is some of the first distillate from the new distillery and it's as wonderful as expected. The yeast used in this high ester production is cultivated directly from the local cane leaves and only traditional pot stills are used. After 10 years in barrel, the esters have softened and developed into and incredible array of tropical fruit aromas. Lively and medium bodied, this rum is just more proof that Jamaica is producing the most complex and out standing rums on the market. The future is Jamaican rum and the future is now.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Bruichladdich "Botanist" Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Jim McEwan's ginny babe is a baby no more. Remy has taken the Botanist out of it's crib and it's quickly becoming one of the hottest gins in the world. That hasn't changed anything about how delicious it is. Still using those same 22 Islay botanicals, the key to the Botanist's complexity is actually the ultra slow distillation at Bruichladdich on the banks of Loch Indaal. 17 long hours to produce one batch on the odd Lomond Still nicked named "Ugle Betty". The resulting spirit is one of the most unctuous and deeply complex gins on the market. Each distinct local botanical infused with the breath of the Queen of the Hebrides.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Cadenhead's Old Raj Gin 110 Proof (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Cadenhead's Old Raj is a true Classic. That light yellow hue, imparted from the rare and expensive saffron flower, hints at the exceptional quality and complexity. The stiff 110 proof reminds us that this is Campbeltown's own Gin - the pride of Kintyre. It's racy, it's powerful, it makes no excuses, but it will hold you tight and kiss you goodnight.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

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