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Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
David Othenin-Girard  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service


Reviews

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Carpano Punt e Mes Vermouth (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Punt E Mes has been a go to choice for cocktailing at my house for years. When you're a bit tired of the ultra richness of Antica formula, fall back on the lovely and structured Punt E to clear you right up. It does wonders for drying up a bourbon Manhattan, but it also sings in Spritzs and Negronis. The nose is vinous and spicy with herbal sweet earthiness. The palate is somewhat tannic with a strong quinine element. The finish softens up and releases you from its bitter grasp with soft sweet ending. A great change up from the standard red vermouths.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Campari (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I have a strange and painful affinity to Campari. There's not a moment of any day at any time that I couldn't get down with a bit of that amaroidal crimson concoction. I'm not certain that I'm not physically dependent on it.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Nikka Coffey Still Japanese Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
When people ask me to describe Japanese Whisky in the shop I typically go on a long winding history about Nikka's founder Taketsuru-san. His vision nearly 100 years ago is larger responsible for the high quality Japanese Whisky we see today. Of course in a more simplistic version, Japanese Whisky is basically made exactly like Scotch. Yes there are subtle differences in technique and style, but the image that Taketsuru-san brought back from Scotland in the 1920s has remained largely unchanged. That's why it's difficult to describe Japanese Whisky without explaining Scotch to someone. But, this little whisky is something so uniquely Japanese it stands apart from the rest of the category. The Scottish have certainly tried to distill Malted Whisky on a column still (over the course of the last 150+ years) but almost certainly abandoned the exercise due to the incredible costs as compared to standard grain whisky production. In this case they've taken the same wort that would go into their Single Malt and run it through the column still. Further more it's aged in high quality ex-bourbon rather than 3 and 4th fill hogshead. In a lot of ways this whisky is the most distinctly Japanese product on the shelf (with the exception of the malted rice whiskies like Ohishi and Fukano). Anyway, the result is ultra refined and subtle, but filled with character. Usually the term smooth is the most meaningless in the business, but this one definitely qualifies. Easy, but with an edgy earthiness almost briny note and sweet stone fruit to balance. Certainly not high on the intensity meter, but extremely well put together and appealing style. Great cross over from American and Irish Whiskey lovers.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila (750ml - cannot ship, in store pick up only)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Tasting Don Julio 1942 is always a SHOCKING experience. I truly doesn't compute how they're able to create something so heady and sweet using just highland distilled agave and oak barrels in the quantities that they must. The nose an explosive mix of sweet coconut, fresh vanilla bean, chocolate nibs and tropical fruit. On the palate the richness is jaw dropping, I can't help but let out a guttural exclamation. Uhhhhhh what the hell did they do here? Yes it's sweet, but it's so decadent you almost want to compare it to Sauternes or Quart de Chaumes. Baked tropical fruit, smooth silky texture and a long lingering finish. I tasted this next to slow BBQ cacao crusted short ribs and couldn't imagine a better pairing. We've also got this killer price so there's that too...
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart
WE 98

Balvenie "Doublewood" 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Good old Doublewood. Very few entry level offerings from a Scottish distillery provide so much depth for your dollar. For some many people this is the gateway to the world of Scotch and I think it does a lot of things really well. The gorgeous distillery in Dufftown is one of the best reasons to visit Speyside and one of the few that's still using onsite maltings, albeit in small quantities. It's clear that they're going for balance and easy of entry, but not at complete neglect of character. The nose starts with a big honey note framed around subtle driad fruit influence and a big vanilla component. The earthy maltiness builds with air and dominates the palate, but still some darker sherry components poke through. The finish moves away from the sweet honey and raisiny fruit toward darker drier components. Some wisps of fresh oak as it lingers. Certainly I'd love to see this at higher proof, but truly appreciate what this humble bottlings provides for the price.
Price: $43.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Belle Meade Single Barrel Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
These single casks from Belle Meade are always top notch. They spend a lot of time and effort identifying the choicest barrels and we've had great success with some of our own. At full strength you get a heads mix of sweet dense oak spice and maple drizzled stone fruit. With a tiny sliver of ice the big vanilla notes start to come out and the spicy backbone falls to the background. Voluptuous and satisfying, there are very few cask strength bourbons that match Belle Meade in terms of price to quality ratio.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Belle Meade Sour Mash Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I love what the Nelson's are doing over at Greenbriar Distillery in Nashville. They've got their heads screwed on and they got in at a pretty good time so they're NDP bottlings are still relatively reasonable. The Nelson's got hold of some pretty serious stocks of bourbon from several distilleries, likely including MGPi, maybe Dickel and others. The whiskey is now really reaching maturity. The style easily matches great brands like Michter's and Jefferson's in terms of quality and you're not looking at a stupid mark up like so many craft distillers are asking on their purchased stocks. Anyway, the style here is super round and easy. An excellent range of 6-8 year old bourbons of various mashbills are small batched to create a very even and solid drink. I especially love that the Nelson's have used their ancestor's merchant bottler brand to sell their Merchant bottled bourbon. It all just works so perfectly and never feels gimmicky or out of line.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

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: Hidden View Price

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
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

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
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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: Hidden View Price

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

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

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: $99.99 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: $19.99 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

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

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: $31.99 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: $34.99 Add To Cart
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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

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: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

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: $14.99 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

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

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

Gin Mare Mediterranean Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Oh Gin Mare, you've always been here for me. When I'm bored of the same old gin, there you are waiting for me, all savory and oily. It's that Olive thing that gets you first, but then you notice the other unusual flavors. And you fall in love. Don't mess this up by trying to mix it too heavily. This stuff begs for good tonic and some anchovies. Nothing more needed.
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart

Ventura Spirits "Wilder" Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Ventura Spirits is one of SoCal's most exciting new distilleries. These guys are really in it for the right reasons. They do crazy shit like try to distill seaweed and make wild weird brandies from local strawberry, quince and other wonderful treats. Their Wilder Gin exemplifies everything that their all about. They're pulling these botanicals from the hills around the distillery and fruit from local farms, the result is something utterly unique and truly Californian. This is a beautiful base to build complex cocktails around or use it to give a fresh twist on an old classic. No doubt this should be considered one of SoCal's premier micro gins.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

The 86 Co. Ford's Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The wonderful Ford's Gin has become a go to for many bartenders and no surprise thanks to it's loveable creator Simon Ford. It's pretty simple really. First, get one of London's great old gin houses to produce an ultra high quality gin for you. Make sure it's distinctive, but versatile. Maybe add a hint of Grapefruit - nobody is doing that. Next, ship the ultra high-proof bulk spirit to the states for proofing and bottling at Charbay in Ukiah. Kick it with Marko, drink a lot. Finally, sell it for an incredibly fair price. It's that easy. Now you know how to start your own Spirits Company. Or just buy 86 Co.'s Ford's Gin and relax.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
My things have really come full circle when the Australians are surpassing the British in the Gin game. No doubt there are some cranky brits over this one, but the quality of the Four Pillars gins cannot be denied or ignored. This is a citrus driven style, but with plenty of botanical oomph to keep it serious. I love to use this in citrus based cocktails. In Rickeys, Corpse Revivers, Last Words it just sings, but has enough to standard up to a really nice tonic syrup and some descent soda.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill "Tom Cat" Barrel Aged Gin (375ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Caledonia Spirits had me hooked the moment I opened a sample of the outrageous honey they use to make their gin. This veritable nectar of the gods could literally make anything delicious. Now take an ultra high quality gin, age it in good quality oak, and add just enough honey to feel it, but not enough make it particularly sweet and you've got one of the most dangerous concoctions on the market. Aromatically unique, encompassing a huge variety of complex flavors, Barr Hill has created one of the most successful barrel aged gin I've yet come across. Sip it straight or in the place of whiskey in certain spirit driven cocktails.
Price: $30.99 Add To Cart

Jensen's London Dry Bermondsey Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Jensen's is one of these new craft gins coming out of London that's taken the time to do the research and get it right. They've achieved incredible balance and complexity without simply overpowering their gin with new or odd botanicals. The spirit is supple and ultra fresh feeling and seemingly without one tiny edge sticking out anywhere but remains a truly traditional London Dry style. One of my favorite new gins and without question on of London's finest.
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart

Wint & Lila Seville Orange Blossom London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The easy going Wint & Lila Gin has become a fast favorite of many of our customers who are digging the G&T craze. The fad never ended in Spain and with good reason. There's just no better way to cool off and stave off Malaria than a high quality gin & tonic. This small family owned distillery in historic city of Cadiz is right in the heart of Seville orange country, also smack on the edge of the southern tip of the sherry triangle. Needless to say, the family owned Casalbor distillery has been at this a while and they've created a Gin with a sense of place like no other. Using their "Bain Marie" distilling system avoid burning or damaged the fresh botanicals and fruit aromatics. The result is a pungent yet surprisingly easy going gin with tons of citrus and sweet herbal character. Grab some Indi&Co Tonic and you're set for the weekend.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

1986 Domaine Boingnères Folle Blanche Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
There is no doubt that Madame Lafitte's Domain Boingneres is the finest Bas-Armagnac has to offer. In the Grand Cru village of La Freche in a prime outcropping of the Armagnac's most ferrous sandy soils the beautiful and meticulously tended estate stands a head above the rest. Madame Lafitte took over from her father in 94 after his multi-decade career of building up Boingneres to being one of the top producers renowned across all of France. In 1975, Monsieur Lafitte removed all of the Domaine's Bacco and replaced them with the Cepage Noble (namely Ugni Blance, Folle Blanche, and Colombard). Each are distilled separately and aged in their dry chais in 100% new Gascogne wood. The high quality distillation is able to stand up to all that oak without any trouble and the resulting aged products are truly transcendent. This Domaine truly one of the benchmark by which all other Armagnac's should be judged. The 86 Folle Blanche is absolutely unparalleled in it's pinpoint structure and intense aromatics. There's a great deal of spice and a beautiful richness that keep it from seeming at all austere. Expense, but for great lovers of this region it is something to aspire to.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

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