Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
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Siete Leguas Reposado Tequila
Review Date: 08-09-2017
The special 7 Leguas brand of tequila continues to be one of the most underappreciated operations in Mexico. Founded in 1952 by Ignacio Garcia Vargas in Atotonilco, this tequila stands a pillar of tradition and passion for this great spirit. Easily in my top five tequilas brands and unique in their production technique, 7 Leguas produces tequila exclusively for their own brand and no third party brands from what I can tell. Siete Leguas actually operates two distilleries in the highlands. El Centenario uses traditional Tahona, wooden fermenters, old brick ovens, the inclusion of bagazo in the mosto (wort), and tiny copper pot stills. The other is called La Vencedora and is their "modern" distillery. Here they use mechanical mills, larger steel fermenters without the bagazo included, large brick ovens and larger copper pot stills. So still pretty old school compared too many of their contemporaries. These two distillates are blended by taste and then rested in ex-bourbon barrels for 8 months to create one of the most overtly pleasurable drinking experiences on the market today. This gorgeous reposado exhibits heady agave fruit, candied pineapple, subtle oak spice and rich vanilla. The palate is very rich, but always remaining on the fresh agaveness with the oak only serving to frame the beautiful authentic quality of this special spirit. It doesn't matter how you drink this, cocktail, shots, or sipped straight, if you're drinking 7 Leagues, you're gonna have a good time.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
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Berry Bros & Rudd "No. 3" London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
The wonderful Berry's No 3 Gin is a classic, but there's no better way to experience this special gin than sitting down at DUKES Bar in London's West End and having the illustrious Alessandro Palazzi mix you his famous Martini. The key isn't the way he shakes it, but instead the incredible Amalfi lemon that he uses for his for his garnish. Otherwise, his Martini consists of a vermouth rinse (of course he makes his own) and an ice cold bottle of No 3 right out of the freezer. Nothing more nothing less. You can get 98% percent of that experience by following those simple steps at home with a high quality lemon and a fine Italian dry vermouth. It's pure pleasure.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
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Jensen's Old Tom Bermondsey Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
Jensen's Gin is quickly becoming one of the most well liked craft gins on the market. The reason they're having such great success is their commitment to creating authentic, historically relevant and delicious of the highest gin. Their Old Tom is distinct from every other commercial Old Tom on the market today. Taken from a handwritten recipe in an 1840s distiller's manual, the Bermonsday Old Tom is the only UNSWEETENED Old Tom on the market. Intensely flavored and achieving that sweet Old Tom flavor via the heavy use of angelica root rather than the addition of sugar, this is the perfect gin to create OT Classics like the Martinez or the Ramos Fizz. The lack of sugar gives the bartender much more control over the final flavor and the big bold botanicals lends itself to use in other classics like the Negroni or the Last Word.
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart

St. George Gin 3-pack 200ml (cannot ship)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
The perfect gift for any gin drinkers. St George is California's premier craft distiller and they've exploded onto the gin scene with these three magical offerings. The cute little bottles and easy to wrap packaging make it the perfect gift for any occasion. Of course, these three unique and special gins are second to none and represent the completely different styles. Playful and full flavored each lends itself to different application and transcends the old ideas of what gin should be.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Mulholland New World Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 08-02-2017
Mulholland Spirits is LA's newest brand. These guys are all about having fun and giving people spirits that they love to drink. This gin definitely falls into the gin for non-gin drinkers category, although I've seen plenty of London Dry drinkers come back for a second bottle. Tons of citrus, cucumber, and a distinct lavender note, this is perfect for someone who LOVES Hendricks.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2015 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Another one of these awesome Rossos that's reinvigorating my interest in Montalcino. Bold savory nose of spice, slightly smokiness, and distinctly old school character without being unapproachable. This is old school in a way that almost anyone could appreciate. It very generous and lively on the palate and finishes long and quite clean considering the striking savory quality on nose. Stupendous stuff, which serious buyers should be trying to buy by the case.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List
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Hochstadter's Family Reserve 16 Year Old Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-05-2017
Everyone in the bourbon world always talks about the golden age of whiskey being behind us. "Remember when we could walk into the store and get Pappy Rye for $90 all day long?" Actually that era never existed, but although things have changed, if you do your homework you can still pick up gems like this one. What we have is a world class fully mature rye whiskey bottled a full strength in a tiny batch and its absolutely stunning! Sure it's from Canada, but if you need to relinquish your biases to appreciate one of the best Rye whiskey we've ever had on the shelf than modern decency OBLIGATES us to do so! Bold, rich textured, spicy and unmatched by any other product on the shelf right. The world about lost it's mind for Booker's 13 Year Rye at $300 and in my estimation this is twice the whiskey that ever was. I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd asked $400 for this bad boy. Yes it's still not cheap, but if this isn't the deal of the year then I'm going to be buying lots more whiskey this year!!!
Price: $189.99 Add To Cart

Wild Turkey "Master's Keep - Decades" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-05-2017
The Wild Turkey Decades is distinct from your every day Wild Turkey as it contains nearly two decades of production. The concept actually seems crazy considering how much old whiskey is actually in this blend (it's likely 90%+ 15 years old) but the inclusion of both the very old 20 year and the standard 10 year add some incredible edges to the exquisite center. Expect powerful WT spice on the nose pointed with sweet burnt sugars, cedar, spearmint, cocoa and blackberry jam. The old whiskey comes forward on the palate allowing some of those mahogany and roasted walnut flavors out from behind the bold spice and sweet oak. The finish is long a pleasing, leaving you with just the right amount of Tellicherry pepper to balance the sweet fruit. For sales purposes I wish I could say this is 100% over 15 years old, but honestly the balance between young and old does wonders here and I'm certain that it would be a lesser whiskey without the inclusion of the powerful young WT.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart
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VING "KLC" Kale, Lemon Peel, & Cucumber Infused Organic Farm Fresh Vodka (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2017
When Flo Vinger came into my shop to tell me that she'd been making kale vodka in her bathtub, I honestly thought it was a joke. But, when she produced a shimmering elixir moments later I was astounded. It was totally wild unlike any other I'd come across previously. And of course it wasn't just KALE because kale just doesn't taste very good. But you slice some cucumber and a squeeze of lemon and we're in business. Industry skeptics and geeks will likely scoff, but in the end Ms Vinger has produced something total unique with an integrity rarely seen in the vodka category. She cares about her product more than anything else in the entire world and she's spent four long years perfecting it. Now anyone can experience the world's first KALE vodka for themselves. While it's stupendous cold or on the rocks, ultra easy and approachable, where this stuff really sings is in the cocktails. Adding subtle nuance and structure to what would otherwise be a neutral base does wonders in the classics, but also lends itself to experimentation.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Black Cow Vodka (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
What is this sorcery? Made from 100% West Dorset milk? Nothing else. How can it be? It's just impossible. But nonetheless here we are. Pure Milk vodka. And it's delicious! Soft, supple, slightly sweet and creamy. This stuff is textured and nuanced in the perfect way. Understated yet still distinctive somehow. Distiller and dairy farmer Jason Barber came up with the plan to utilize leftover whey from his cheese making operation. This is fermented into a wheat beer and distilled before being blended (with what I can only assume is more milk) and filtered to create the utterly (sorry) unique spirit. Keep an eye out for the Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar which is also made by Mr. Barber. Should pair perfectly!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
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Tequila Fortaleza Reposado Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I go on and on about how much I like Fortaleza. They're the most authentic. No one else comes close. Most of the rest of the agave in Mexico is wasted on crap industrial production. blah blah blah...While all these things are true that's not what matters most. What matters about Fortaleza is that it's absolutely delicious. The Reposado is often the one I find myself reaching for. Their repo is the perfect balance between the gorgeous and complex agave spirit that they produce and the oxidative complexity of barrel aging in the hot Jalisco climate. The perfect showcase for this juxtaposition. But regardless of any intellectual exercise, it just tastes utterly delicious. Soft barrel influence envelopes the gorgeous peppery fruit and floral components of the spirits. Nuanced spice and touches of smoky barrel. Very few come close indeed.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Tequila Fortaleza Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I often catch myself waxing poetic about Fortaleza. How it's the most authentic and old school. How they went back when everyone else was moving forward. How their tequila represents the true soul of Jalisco and makes their competitors look kind of stupid. Of course there are other great distilleries in Jalisco, but none is more committed to producing exclusively old school single estate real deal tequila. There base spirit is so good in fact that some aficionados look down on their exquisite anejo because it doesn't taste enough like the blanco. That said, taking this product out of that context reminds us how exceptional it really is. The quality of agave is matched perfectly by the quality of the oak and the confluence of those two flavors reminds us that great tequila doesn't have to be blanco! This delectable treat is all tropical fruit (coconuts, pineapple and passionfruit), butterscotch and subtle earthy pepper. A legend deserving of every accolade it's already received.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Arette Artesanal Gran Clase Extra Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
The Arette Artesanal is the first Extra Anejo I really fell in love with. The Gran Clase Suave is one of the easiest to drink spirits in the store. Crème caramel, sweet tropical fruit and a smidge of peppery agave fruit found out this exceptional offering from one of Tequilas great distillers. I love the classic looking bottle, but very few extras match the balance and complexity without overpowering with sweet oak. There's no questions that El Llano distilleries commitment to quality remains second to none.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Agave is the magical near mythical thing. No other product (save for the ultra expensive European Eau-de-Vie) can be superlatively good without any intervention or additions from the distiller. What other white spirit with no flavorings or additives is as delicious or complex? A challenge you to find my anything comparable. And within that frame work no product exhibits more purity and expressiveness of terroir than this incredible single field tequila. Rested for several years before bottling, the result is an absolutely unparalleled experience, which extorts the senses and boggles the mind. I'm not going to bother trying to describe how this tastes, but if you love spirits and don't own a bottle you will eventually regret it.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Highland Park "Valkyrie" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-13-2017
I'm predisposed to dislike releases like this one. Fancy new bottle, danish design partnership, etc. But, as it turns out this is really well put together new product. An absolutely delicious example of why own floor maltings make better whisky and a reminder of why Highland Park remains one of the highest quality distilleries on the market. Today a tiny percentage of the whisky we drink is produced using barley that is malted at the same distillery. This age old practice of drying barley is extremely expensive and time consuming. Since 95% of all malt is used in blended whisky the cost and consistence advantages of using industrially malted barley are crucial to the success of that industry. But, what you gain in efficiency and consistency you may forfeit in complexity. With the new Valkyrie, they've taken the venerated malt dried with special Orkney peat and unleashed it's potential in a way unseen in modern bottlings of HP. The result is something extremely pleasurable. Matured in a combination of first-fill American oak sherry, bourbon, and Spanish oak sherry butts as well as a selection of refill casks, which regardless of the lack of age statement have been married to create one of the best malts for your dollar available in the store right now. That Orkney peat is so unique, much more underbrush and earthy campfire than the Islay salty brine and the cask selection for this one was clearly excellent. Big nose of sweet fruit, candied citrus, and smoldering chaparral. Creamy rich textured and balanced with the sweet American oak playing perfectly with the smooth smokiness of the Orkney peat. The finish is long and soft and satisfying. A truly fun and somewhat didactic offering that nearly any scotch lover will appreciate.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Amaro Angeleno (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Angeleno is the hotness right now. It's not your grandma's amaro though so don't expect the sweet easy richness of Averna or the mellow bitter qualities of Nonino. Instead, the boys at Angeleno have created something distinctly Californian, not in the mold of any Italian Amaro, but with a great respect for those venerable products. The secret recipe includes locally sourced fresh and dried botanicals, many hand picked at a local farm. The base spirit is distilled from Pinot Grigio and a multi-step maceration and blending process before filtration and resting. The unusual concoction has a huge orange element, pointed with powerful herbal aromas, in particular chamomile and gentian. On the palate it starts a bit vinous and zippy sweet before the bitter orange peel and gentian peel pull it back. As you sip the bitterness builds. Very effective as a digestive, but works wonders in aperitif, as Spritz or even can sub-out orange liqueur or Lillet when you want to dry up or spice up a classic recipe. This is a modern classic in every sense of the word and will likely be everywhere before you know it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

High West Campfire Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I'm not usually one for oddness for oddness' sake. It strikes me as a waste of time. So if you're going to do something different or new it had better taste goddamned delicious. Luckily our dear friend Mr. Perkins up there in Park City has got his big boy pants on. So this odd blend of American Whiskey and Scotch is actually extremely satisfying. It's smoldering and complex. Vibrant and well integrated. The nose is sweet caramel, dry spice and smoldering smoky peat. On the palate it's definitely on the bourbony side, long and mellow, with the malt peaking out and building in the background. A great drink for any whiskey/whisky lover.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
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Delamain Pale & Dry Grande Champagne Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Delamain is really one of the most special producers of Cognac. They may not be the most exciting, bold or innovative, but they make DANG good cognac in a style that very few producers are going after. Restrained elegant and very deliberate. the XO is Delamain's "entry level" but it doesn't drink like an entry level. This has some very old brandies in the mix and benefits from an extended marriage period in smaller casks rather than the few weeks in large foudres like most producers. The result is a head nose of dried stone fruits, macerated vanilla bean and subtle exotic wood. Excellent vibrant entry that's lifted and open with tons of complexity. Those stones fruits play of the barrel spice perfectly as the long finish builds. This has always been a favorite circa $100+, but at this price this is easily the finest regularly available XO for your money.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
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Sazerac 90-Proof Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Buffalo Trace's flagship Rye named for the famous Coffeehouse in New Orleans which gave its name to both the cocktail and the company that owns the distillery. This whisky has an unconfirmed mashbill but what ever they're doing over there results in a wonderful spicy bold yet balanced rye. Aged for around 6 years and bottled at 90 proof, the Sazerac Rye cleans up at the competitions and is finally available on the regular. Even at 90 proof this bad boy makes a mean cocktail and might be a little more forgiving than something like the WT 101 Rye, plus it's now cheaper than that bench mark. Most serious drinkers should have a bottle open in the bar...
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
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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
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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
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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: $119.99 Add To Cart
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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
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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
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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

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: $109.99 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
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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

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
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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
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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
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Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon (750ml) (Ships as 3L due to bottle size/shape)
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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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
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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: $15.99 Add To Cart
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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
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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 Antigua 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
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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
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