Joel Gott Central Coast Rose

Payless Liquors Features Joel Gott’s Central Coast Rosé 2017

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Payless Liquors is proud to feature Joel Gott’s 2017 Central Coast Rosé. Among the many rosés we offer at Payless Liquors, Gott Central Coast Rosé stands out for its exquisite flavor at a reasonable price.

The Joel Gott’s 2017 Central Coast Rosé opens with aromatic notes of strawberry, cherry, rhubarb and white peach. Once the wine hits your palate with flavors of bright red fruit, it follows with a crisp well-balanced clean finish.

Matt Kettmann, a contributing editor at winemag.com, reviewed the Gott Rosé and declared it to be the perfect beach wine, due to its clean flavor and lightness on the palate. Kettmann noted that it had a flash of cherry sweetness mixed with aromas of strawberry and raspberry. He gave it 88 points out of a hundred.

What Is a Rosé?

A rosé wine is a wine intermediate in color between a white and a red wine. When juice is extracted from grapes, it is always clear in color, whether the grape is red, green or dark purple. Red wines get their color when the juice soaks in the skins of the grapes they came from, a process known as maceration.

There are, however, no pink grapes. Rosé is made by macerating the juice of red grapes for only a brief period of time, which makes the final product more of a pink color. The final shade will depend on how long the juice has been allowed to soak up the color from the grape skins.

Provence, a region in southern France, is the region most recognized for producing rosé wines, although a rosé can come from anywhere. There are many different varietals and shades of rosé, so you are sure to find one that suits your tastes and your budget.

The Tastes of the Rosé Family

The tastes of rosé wines are quite diverse, as are the regions they come from. While berry flavors and crisp finishes are common, there are heartier, earthier elements, too, like tobacco hints and leather. Some rosés are light in color while others have darker, stronger hues. They use a wide variety of grapes and macerate for different lengths of time. Some rosés are even sweet, though more commonly they are dry.

Most wine lovers can find a rosé they can appreciate, given the range of dry and sweet, hearty and light, earthy and citrus. Joel Gott’s Central Coast Rosé falls in the lighter, crisper category. If you are looking for that perfect rosé to take you back to the beach, or a nice light wine to pair with appetizers for a night in, grab a bottle of Joel Gott’s 2017 Central Coast Rosé.

Gott Wines

Joel Gott Wines was founded in 1996. They source their fruit from the best regions of the West Coast and blend them to create wines noted for their balance, cleanness, complexity and elegance. Their goal is to give their customers food-friendly wines at reasonable prices.

Payless Liquors

Payless Liquors, from Indianapolis, Indiana, serves the central Indiana area from multiple locations. They carry the Central Coast Rosé in 750 ml bottles. The Rosé is 13.6% alcohol and sells for $9.99 a bottle. You can stop by and pick some up today.

Canadian Club Chronicles

Canadian Club Chronicles – 41-Year Whiskey

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Canadian Club Chronicles 41-Year-Old whiskey is the oldest bottling of Canadian whiskey on the market. It is Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2019’s Whiskey of the Year. It is a sought-after limited-edition whiskey, with hints of caramel, toasted oak, vanilla, spice, dark plum, and subtle rye. It comes from a proprietary mash that has aged since 1977 in Canadian oak barrels. It is liquid gold, boasting a complex taste that’s both smooth and satisfying.

What Is Canadian Whiskey?

Canadian whiskey is a unique type of liquor. One of the factors that distinguishes Canadian whiskey from other types of whiskey is that it doesn’t have nearly as many legal requirements as bourbon or Irish whiskey. While bourbon must come from the United States and consist of a grain mixture with at least 51% corn, Canadian whiskey has no such legal requirements. Corn is still the majority grain, but it does not have any requirement based on percentage. The requirements of Canadian whiskey are as follows:

  • Aged a minimum of three years in its native country
  • Wooden barrels must be no larger than 700 liters
  • Manufacturers must mash and distill the spirit in Canada
  • Alcohol content can exceed 90%, so blends are allowed
  • May add caramel coloring and artificial flavoring
  • Must have alcohol content of at least 40% when finally bottled

Unlike bourbon, which manufacturers must age in new, charred oak barrels, the type of barrel does not matter for Canadian whiskey. The barrel can be charred, uncharred, new, or old. Canadian whiskey consists of several different grains, but (again, unlike bourbon) each grain goes through fermentation, distillation, and aging separately. Manufacturers do not blend the grains together until the very end of the process. This means the amount of rye whiskey creators add to each blend can vary significantly.

History of Canadian Whiskey in the U.S.

During the Civil War, the shutdown of American distilleries moved much of the business to Canada. That shut down sent many early distillery pioneers to Canada to continue to hone their craft. By 1900, Gooderham & Worts had grown to one of the greatest distilleries in the world. It produced around two million gallons of Canadian whiskey annually at the time.

Canadian whiskey entered the United States for the first time during the Prohibition. At first, it was far from a hit – American distillers could purchase Canadian whiskey distilleries for cheap, showing the lack of demand for the product. One liquor salesman at the time, Harry Hatch, bought four of the five largest distilleries in Canada at once: Gooderham & Worts, Corby, Wiser’s, and Hiram Walker. The fact that just a salesman could buy the majority of industry leaders is a testament to Canadian whiskey’s initial lack of popularity. Eventually, the blended whiskey gained popularity and has continued to hold a special place among whiskey drinkers.

In 2017, Canadian whiskey generated almost $2 billion in revenue in the United States, with over 17.5 million nine-liter cases sold. Canadian whiskey is the largest imported whiskey type in the United States, worth around $4.8 million retail. Recently, consumers have been experimenting with a wider range of Canadian whiskies. Both high-end premium and super-premium Canadian whiskey brands saw sales growth in 2017 (38% and 48%, respectively).

Tasting Notes on Canadian Whiskey

Canadian whiskey is not “brown vodka,” as a common misconception goes. It has a dynamic and complex taste, with a variety of selections aged in many types of barrels with varying recipes. Canadian whiskey is one of the most interesting types of spirits thanks to the leniency of the legal requirements. Makers can craft different flavors and tastes by varying the recipe and barrel used for aging. Each bottle can taste brand new.

Despite the almost limitless taste options, most Canadian whiskey distilleries stick to age-old recipes and production processes. Canadian distillers offer quality products they’ve made the same way for decades. Most Canadian whiskies have a majority of corn spirits, along with rye grain. Flavorful rye grains became so popular in the recipe that many people began referring to Canadian whiskey as “rye whiskey,” and today the two terms are still interchangeable.

Canadian whiskey is generally lighter and smoother in taste than other types of whiskies. Most distilleries use majority corn and rye grains, but some recipes also incorporate triticale, barley, or wheat grains. Canadian whiskey tastes delicious straight, but it is also a preferred spirit for mixing into cocktails and highballs. It is a versatile drink with a rich history and a bright future. The recent popularity of brand-new Canadian whiskies – straight rye, spiced, and small-batch – is proof of the drink’s longevity.

The Silky-Smooth Canadian Club Chronicles 41-Year Whiskey

Canadian Club Chronicles has been distilling spirits since 1858. Hiram Walker, an American entrepreneur, initially founded the company as a way to continue his whiskey business during the U.S. Prohibition. Soon, however, the brand turned into one of Canada’s top choices. It has been distilling spirits for over 160 years. The 41-Year Whiskey is the oldest whiskey Canadian Club has ever released. The bottle’s other name pays homage to the company’s headquarters in Windsor, Ontario: “CC Chronicles Issue No. 1: Water of Windsor.”

Canadian Club Chronicles 41-Year Whiskey hit the market in November 2018. It is the very first limited-edition release from the “CC Chronicles” line. It has a 45% ABV, and was blended with small portions of rye, cognac, and sherry. Those lucky enough to have enjoyed a taste of this special whiskey have described it as complex and deep. The aroma is a delicate blend of caramel and toasted oak, with a hint of vanilla and spice. The palette boasts more vanilla, caramel, and oak, along with notes of dark plum, tobacco, and rye spiciness. It leaves behind a warm, lingering finish of caramel and spice.

Experts have called this whiskey, “silky smooth,” “exceptionally balanced, “harmonious,” and “extraordinary, yet subtle.” The 41-Year Whiskey taps into the burgeoning market for high-end and premium whiskies in the United States, and comes in a special-edition decanter-style vessel. Each bottle holds 750 milliliters. It is a very limited-edition whiskey, and one consumers are sure to reserve for only the best occasions and once-in-a-lifetime achievements. Treat yourself or surprise a loved one – get your bottle today before they’re gone forever.

Rhetoric 25

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 25 Year Bourbon – The Final Rhetoric Release

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Since 2013, Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company has offered an annual limited release of bottles from its Rhetoric Line. The tradition began five years ago with the release of Rhetoric 20. The line continued to grow more sophisticated, complex, and luxurious with each additional annual release. Sadly, this is the last of the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric line. With an additional five years of age and sultry new taste notes – Rhetoric 25 is here for a limited time. This line of bourbon retires with the refined dignity that gets better with age. Don’t miss the chance to take home a bottle.

About The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co.

The Orphan Barrel was born from a mission to share the country’s lost, great whiskeys, found or abandoned in the backs of distilleries and rickhouses – hence the name “Orphan Barrel.” When the company recovers these rare and spectacular barrels, every batch is bottled by hand to ensure quality control and a perfect product. Bottling and distribution take place in The Orphan Barrel distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

The location and culture of the company speak of Smoky Mountain roots, mixed with the tradition of Kentucky distilleries and the hip edge of neighboring Nashville distilleries. Though this is the last edition of Rhetoric for the small enterprise, they continue to release many special whiskeys and bourbons. The nature of bottling, sharing, and preserving these limited forgotten barrels, means that once Orphan Barrel releases are gone – they’re gone forever.

About Rhetoric

The Rhetoric line is mature, complex, and a little bit of fun. Orphan Barrel is rumored to have come upon the barrels in an old Bernheim Distillery in a warehouse for Stizel-Weller. That can’t be confirmed by our sources, but it is certainly clear that the whiskey has a complex and dignified pedigree. The barrels were certifiably distilled in the early 90s.

Rhetoric is a real hidden gem of a true Kentucky bourbon whiskey, and hits hard in all the ways that one expects from a straight bourbon whiskey. Velvety, rich notes of flavor help it go down smoothly, softening that edge and sting. Over five years of releases by The Orphan Barrel, have allowed those lucky enough to purchase the limited bottles a chance to witness the evolution of this vertical release.

In 2013, The Orphan Barrel released the first batch of Rhetoric after discovery – Rhetoric 20. After 20 years of maturing, the flavors proved to be quite profound. The first notes of Rhetoric 20 are leathery and smoky – reminiscent more of sweet tobacco pipe smoke, rather than peat-heavy scotch. The smokier, more masculine notes give way to toasty, oaky, and vanilla sweetness. The full finish hints to chocolate and cherry.

The subsequent releases of Rhetoric 21, 22, 23, and 24 have met mostly positive reviews. The greatest criticism of the latter two whiskeys is that the tannins are stronger due to the advanced age. However, some tasters love the slightly more complicated flavor and stronger proof. For most bourbon aficionados, the qualities that make the first releases great are only enhanced by the passing of time.

Nevertheless, there is a limit on how long vintages of this nature are viable. Most whiskeys peak around 20 years, and must meet certain parameters to age well beyond that. Rhetoric has enjoyed more years of great flavor, but every good thing must come to an end. That is part of what makes this vintage so special and valuable – it is the last of a set that tells a rich story of flavor and discovery.

Rhetoric 25 – The Details

Rhetoric 25 is set for release with the New Year. It will come in the customary 750ml trademark Rhetoric bottle. It is a stout 91 proof. While some flavor notes have stayed constant throughout the years of release, this edition is said to have more spice, dark caramel, and cocoa flavor. The high proof is detectable in the nose, but the taste is as silky, chocolaty, and toasty as ever. For inquiring minds, the company released a mash breakdown.

  • 86% corn
  • 8% barley
  • 6% rye

Rhetoric’s low rye composition results in a smooth easy drinking whiskey with just enough bite to remind you of its roots.  The retail cost of a bottle varies, but the market is competitive because many die-hard enthusiasts hope to complete a set. For those in the market for a bottle – know that supplies will not last.

Rhetoric 25

This is a Kentucky bourbon with a mysterious pedigree, and a story of salvation in the Tennessee hills. After a long run of satisfying libations, this batch is the end of an era. Enjoy the last Orphan Barrel release of Rhetoric 25 while it’s here.

Crown Royal Noble Collection 13 Year

Crown Royal Noble Collection – 13 Year Old Blender’s Mash

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Do you remember the Crown Royal “Bourbon Mash” to “Blender’s Mash” incident earlier in the year? The Crown Royal Noble Collection 13 Year Old Blender’s Mash is the end product in all this confusion. Though it wasn’t Crown Royal’s fault that the U.S allowed Crown to use the name but later changed it’s mind.

In essence, The 13 year old Blender’s Mash from the Noble Collection is the most bourbon like Canadian whiskey you’ll find. This is the third installment in the Noble Collection, which is an annual, limited release series by Crown Royal.

This blend is 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% barley malt, and has been aged in New American Oak barrels for at least 13 years – making this the oldest age statement released from Crown Royal to date.

Nose: Starts with sweet vanilla, notes of orange, and nutmeg with hints of oak undertones.

Palate: Mellow and creamy, yet rich vanilla that is not overly sweet. There is a mild tartness from green apple flavors. This gradually transitions into a spicier, oak and rye-forward flavor.

Finish: As the spices go down the back of your mouth you can taste undertones of caramel. Once that passes your mouth is filled with the flare of rye spice and that gradually eases into another wave of smokey caramel.

The recently awarded 13-year old Blender’s Mash is available at Payless Liquors for $69.99. Perfect for those looking for a more premium Crown Royal or those interested to try the most bourbon like Canadian Whiskey!

Spoetzl Brewery – The Lone Star State Beer

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Have you ever come across a case of Shiner Bock or anything out of the Spoetzl Brewery and thought to yourself where it came from? To answer that – a tiny town in the middle of Texas occupied by 2,069 residents. This little Texas town ships around 7 million cases of Shiner Beer to 49 states every year and has been around since the turn of the twentieth century and continues to grow.

History of Shiner

Spoetzl Brewery (Shiner), the oldest independent brewery located in Shiner, Texas, was founded in 1909 by German and Czech immigrants. Originally named “The Shiner Brewing Association,” Shiner was a conglomeration of German and Czech immigrants who had settled around the central Texas town and who were looking for the types of beer they had at home. Unable to find anything, the German and Czech immigrants set about making their own which boiled into the Shiner Brewing Association.

By 1914, Shiner was gaining traction throughout its Texas community and was looking for a brewmaster. Enter Bavarian-born Kosmos Spoetzl, a one-time soldier who had trained as a brewmaster in his native Germany. Part of the package that lured Spoetzl to Shiner was potential ownership of the brewery. In 1914, he co-leased it with Oswald Petzold with an option to buy in 1915, which he did, giving the brewery his own name but continuing to call the brews Shiner Beers. Spoetzl had attended brewmaster’s school and apprenticed for three years in Germany, worked for eight years at the Pyramids Brewery in Cairo, Egypt, and then worked in Canada. He had moved to San Antonio in search of a better climate for his health, bringing with him a family recipe for a Bavarian beer made from malted barley and hops.

Shiner’s Beer of Choice

The most popular Spoetzl beer? Shiner Bock, hands down. Brewed since 1903, its crisp, clear taste and deep amber color combined with its light hop make it an ideal choice for any weather, but especially summer days. Crazy as it seems, Shiner Bock was only made during Lent for its first few years, produced seasonally. The people demanded the Bock year-round, and lifetime production was born.

Favorite of the Music Scene

Shiner has lots of ties to the Texas music scene. They hosted a major music festival dubbed “Bocktoberfest” from 1994 to 2006 and have dominated TX concerts since the ’70s. That domination started when the then-struggling company started up Austin distribution — initially by loading up some Austin-bound vans with Shiner and literally selling them out of the back to local beer enthusiasts. The brand blew up and became available for $1.50 at the legendary Armadillo World Headquarters, where acts ranging from Willie Nelson to Bruce Springsteen played.

To conclude, Shiner, though not the oldest family-owned brewery in the U.S. is a staple throughout America’s beer scene. Stop in today and pick up a case and throwback some good ole Texas brews.

Winter is Coming – Johnnie Walker White

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In celebration of the final season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series, Game of Thrones, Johnnie Walker is proud to introduce White Walker by Johnnie Walker. The single malt whiskey takes its name from the feared supernatural creatures who inhabit the frozen lands north of The Wall on the fantasy megahit.

This new blend perfectly reminds Johnnie Walker and Game of Thrones fans alike that “Winter is Here.” The limited-edition bottle utilizes thermochromic ink to give fans a frosty surprise message when frozen. With flavor notes like caramelized sugar, vanilla, and fresh red berries, White Walker by Johnnie Walker makes for a delicious serve. The new blend is best-served ice cold, inspired by the White Walkers beyond The Wall.

The limited-edition whiskeys are inspired by the iconic characters and the creative world of Westeros and beyond and are here to tide fans over during their wait for the eighth and final season. Even the most revered Maester couldn’t have predicted a collaboration of this monumental proportion.

“Groundbreaking partnerships continue to be a strategic initiative for Diageo as they foster exceptional creative collaboration and help showcase the breadth of our portfolio. We are very proud to have our collection of single malts and Johnnie Walker, the number one Scotch whiskey brand in the world, collaborate with HBO’s most successful TV franchise to develop these limited-edition offerings for fans to collect and celebrate the final season of Games of Thrones,” said Dan Sanborn, Senior Vice President, Culture and Partnerships at DIAGEO.

“We knew there was fan appetite for a Game of Thrones whiskey and once we saw Diageo’s vision for a way to collaborate together we knew the idea was perfect and the time was now. From the beginning, they understood that we wanted to create something special, and they’ve accomplished that with both White Walker by Johnnie Walker and the single malt collection. We’re confident fans will enjoy sipping these delicious whiskeys as they wait for season eight and beyond,” said Jeff Peters, Vice President, Licensing & Retail at HBO.

Be sure to come in and grab your very own bottle to celebrate the final season!!

Old Forester – 1910 Old Fine Whisky

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The fourth and final version in Old Forester’s Whiskey Row series has been released. The 1910 Old Fine Whiskey, a double-barreled whiskey, represents a specific point in Old Forester’s storied 150-year-old history. A fall fire that happened at the distillery in 1910 spurred a happy accident that led to the casking process that led to the Old Fine Whiskey.

Whiskey Row Series

Started in 2014, the Whiskey Row series tells the story of Old Forester’s one-of-a-kind history, highlighting significant milestones and innovations in production along the way. This series includes the 1870 Original Batch, a small batch bourbon pulling from three distinct warehouses, meant to reference founder George Garvin Brown’s original batching process; the 1897 Bottled in Bond, a small batch of barrels from one distilling season, in the same year, aged in a federally bonded warehouse for a minimum of four years; and 1920 Prohibition Style, which represents a barrel strength of the prohibition era when Old Forester was granted one of just ten permits nationally to continue being sold as a medicinal whiskey. The last of the series is the 1910 Fine Old Whisky.

Thanks to a Fire

On one October day in 1910, a fire caused the bottling line to be shut down at Old Forester’s distillery for an extended period of time. To make things worse, there was a vat of mature whiskey waiting to be bottled. Instead of pouring out the whiskey or letting it sit until ruin, the distillers at Old Forester decided to store the vat in new, charred oak containers until the line could be repaired. This resulted in the first documented double-barreled whiskey, which was new for Old Forester and remarkable enough to become a new barreling method.

Today’s Bourbon

In order to replicate the 1910 methods, the distilling team took mature bourbon from their inventory and had it go through a second barreling process in a lightly toasted, heavily charred barrel. I was then bottled at 93 proof. At 93 proof, this whiskey is at the right weight to challenge the other Whiskey Row Series. Popular opinion has the Prohibition 1920 series as the favorite, but with 1910 coming out, there could be a new favorite of the series.

The finished product has aromas of buttercream, sticky toffee, cedar, and apricot, with smooth, well-rounded taste mingling sweet oatmeal raisin cookie and milk chocolate, leading into caramel corn and evolving spice, according to Old Forester’s tasting notes.

Reserve Yours

We have a limited supply of this limited-edition whiskey. Be sure to call us and reserve your bottle of this one-of-a-kind series.

Five New Ways to Drink Tequila This Fall

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Tequila is a staple for warm-weather cocktails, but that doesn’t mean you need to put this spirit away just because the weather is starting to cool down. Patrón is a very versatile liquor that is made from the finest 100% Weber Blue Agave and is distilled in small batches at Hacienda Patrón distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. Tequila isn’t just for shots; it can be mixed into classics like Mojitos, Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, and Mules.

The Origin of Patrón

John Paul DeJoria and Martin Crowley founded Patrón in 1989. They started the production in Jalisco, Mexico, and later moved into a different distillery in 2002. The name, Patrón, means a charitable or financially supporting person, but the meaning John and Martin preferred for their brand name was “big boss”. The bee symbol on the bottles represents the strong attraction bees have to the blue agave plant.

How is it made?

By law, tequila must be made from Blue Weber agave in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Tamaulipas, Michoacan, and Guanajuato. Since the production process is strictly regulated, tequila can only be labeled and sold by that name if blue agave constitutes over half of the fermented sugars in the drink.

When the agave has ripened they are hand-chopped and the piña, the heart of the plant, is baked in brick ovens. This cooking process softens the piña, making the process of sugar extraction easier. The piñas are then transported to the milling area where they are crushed by a volcanic stone Tahona wheel and a roller mill. This mixture is then fermented for three days, distilled and sometimes aged in handmade barrels. The longer the tequila ages, the more color, and tannins the final product will have.

What are the different types?

There are different classes of tequila but there are only two varieties: 100 percent agave and mixto. Mixto is roughly 51 percent agave, and the rest is made up of water and different sugars during distillation. The general five classes of tequila are Blanco (slightly aged silver or white tequila), Oro (aged for a few months in oak barrels and is gold in color), Reposado (aged at least two months, but no more than a year in white oak barrels), Añejo (aged for a year, but no more than three) and Extra Añejo (aged for three years).

Patrón is great on its own, but with such a wide variety it’s the perfect tequila for almost any mixed cocktail. These flavorful drinks are guaranteed to expand your agave horizons.

  1. Vampiros Cocktail
    • 1 ½ oz. Patrón Reposado
    • 3 oz. Sangrita
    • 1 ½ oz. Citrus-flavored soda
    • ½ Lime, juiced
    • 1 pinch Mexican-style chili powder with lime (such as Tajin fruit seasoning)
      • Fill a highball glass with ice; pour tequila, sangrita, citrus soda, lime juice, and chili powder. Stir to mix well.
  1. Blackberry Sage Paloma
    • 2 oz. Patrón Silver
    • grapefruit juice
    • 4 blackberries
    • 6 sage leaves
    • 2 cane sugar cubes
      • In a large cocktail shaker, muddle blackberries, sage and sugar cubes. Add tequila, grapefruit juice, and crushed ice. Shake well pour into a cocktail glass garnish with sage.
  1. Smoky Harvest Margarita
    • 1 ½ – 2 oz. Patrón Añejo
    • 4 oz. Apple cider
    • 1 oz. Lime juice
    • 1-2 tsp. Agave nectar
    • Cinnamon powder, Sugar, and Kosher salt for the rim
    • Cinnamon sticks and Apple slices for garnish
      • In a bowl mix equal parts cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and coat in the sugar mix. Combine tequila, apple cider, lime juice and agave in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until combined and strain into glass. Garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks.
  1. Reposado Old Fashioned
    • 3 oz. Patrón Reposado
    • 1 tsp. Agave nectar
    • 2 slices Blood orange
    • 1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
      • Muddle agave and orange slices in a cocktail shaker then add tequila and ice. Stir and strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Add bitters and garnish with orange peel
  1. Añejo Manhattan
    • 2 oz. Patrón Añejo
    • 1 oz. Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth
    • 2 dashes Mole bitters
      • Combine everything in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a large whiskey cube. Garnish with an orange twist.

Payless Review – Balvenie Peat Week 14-Year-Old

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The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years (2003 Vintage) is a single vintage bottling, limited and rare by nature. This non-chill filtered expression is bottled at 48.3% ABV and matured solely in American Oak casks, providing a velvety and round taste with woody peat smoke balancing oaky vanilla and honey.

At a time when few Speyside distilleries were using peat in production, The Balvenie decided to distill a batch of heavily peated malt, which was laid down to mature at the distillery in Dufftown, Scotland. Ever since, they’ve dedicated one week each year, named Peat Week, to using 100 percent Highland peat to dry its barley. Instead of coastal elements of iodine, salt and medicinal characteristics associated with Islay peat, Highland peat imparts an earthy, woody smoke note. This means the peat has an unexpected sweetness rooted in the Speyside regional character.

History of Balvenie

The Balvenie distillery is located in the town of Dufftown in the Speyside region of Scotland. It was founded in 1892 by William Grant and was built next to its sister distillery of Glenfiddich. Balvenie is still owned by the Grant family and has had an annual production capacity of 1.48 million gallons. It’s still one of the most traditional distilleries in Scotland as all stages of the whiskey making process happen on site – growing the barley, malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, coopering and maturation. Balvenie is one of the best-selling single malts in the world and sits comfortably in the Top 10 for sales volume.

Tasting Notes

The color is a golden yellow and the nose is vibrant, fresh, and sweet. There are plenty of peat smoke aromas up front and these create an instant soft earthiness. Combating this are distinct aromas of honeycomb and vanilla, plus a whiff of dried apple and candied lemon.

The palate has its sweeter elements from the nose that hit first. They whiskey feels viscous and full, almost syrupy. There are plenty of honeycomb, vanilla notes, and hints of brown sugar. Underneath the initial taste is subtle hints of green apple, pear and a hint of apricot jam. Warm wood-like spices are everywhere as well. All of this is underpinned by a decent level of soft peat smoke that is never too far away. The finish is long, and the smoke really hits at the end. The sweet notes fade into a drier mouthfeel. The smokiness turns ashier and the warming wood spices grip your tongue and take hold of your throat.

Final Thoughts

It was difficult to know what to expect but it does not disappoint. The whiskey is tasty, balanced and easy drinking, even at the slightly high strength. It would be a good introduction to the world of peated whiskeys for someone too.

Although the peat PPM level is around 30. The smoke seems quite punchy, but it still has some way to go to go fighting with the big heavy Islay malts.

Come Get Yours

Does Balvenie’s Peat Week sound like something you would like to add to your collection? Contact us to reserve this bottle and get a taste of one of Scotland’s most traditional distilleries.

Rhinegeist Cheetah – The Session Beer That’s Hit the Midwest by Storm

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“Swift in body and mind, Cheetah sprints ever forward. A blur of pure instinct. Buena Onda. Pure, crisp, clean, blissful simplicity. Savor this moment. All we have and all we need is now. Feel free and therefore you are free.” That statement can be found on every can of Cheetah Lager that comes out the Cincinnati, Ohio, -based brewery.

The idea behind this beer was to create a sessionable lager that was perfect on flavor, but not too dominating to prevent drinking in copious amounts. The beer is 4.8 percent, and as the can says, it’s bright, clean, and simple. There’s an underlying citrus pop to the beer that creates a wonderful summertime/early fall drink that’s refreshing while still holding enough character to keep your palates entertained.

Cheetah is fairly new to the Rhinegeist stable – as in it just came around this summer in a limited fashion. But, this beer struck a cord quickly with Rhinegeist visitors. And by struck a cord, we mean how can we get this beer outside of the brewery.

History Behind the Lager

Being a lager, Rhinegeist’s Cheetah is ahead of the curve as lagers are becoming the next big thing with small to mid-sized craft brews. Breweries are looking to the past and the way things used to be done to draw inspiration for flavor and process. Back in the day, there was no temperature control, so beer would often be allowed to ferment in cool cellars or caves. The beer yeast adapted to this, hence the evolution of the lager strain of yeast – known as Saccharomyces Pastorianus.

More about the beer:

Appearance: Yellow in color, fairly clear. Frothy white head with average retention. Medium carbonation.

Aroma: Light sulfury aroma quickly dissipates to a moderately-low grainy/cereal aroma. No esters, very low hop aroma.

Taste: Medium-low malt flavor, light cereal, grain, and cracker-like notes. Low hop bitterness, dry finish. No esters.

Mouthfeel: Light body, medium carbonation, low astringency, no alcohol warmth.

Overall: A clean, crisp, yet flavorful craft lager that falls squarely in the Rhinegeist wheelhouse.

Avery Brewing Company: Go Play IPA

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Avery Brewing Company, a pioneering craft brewery known for its all-encompassing obsession with beer, has introduced its Go Play IPA – a new year-round beer. Avery Brewing crafted the Go Play IPA as a celebration of those who do their thing, regardless of what it is, with the same all-in obsessive enthusiasm that they have for beer.

The Go Play IPA sports – as quoted by their website – juicy, tropical, and dank aromas, fueled by dry-hop additions of Vic Secret, Idaho 7, and Simcoe hops. The addition of sodium and potassium and the near-sessionable 5.5% ABV make Go Play the perfect beer to handle hot days without having to compromise on flavor.

Creating a Sessionable Beer

Taking cues from the Michael Gose playbook, Avery Brewing Company applies the rounded salinity of that sour ale to the crowd-pleasing IPA. Activated with electrolytes and a sensible alcohol content, the Simcoe, Vic Secret and Idaho 7 hop fueled IPA brings a refreshing and hydrating beer vibe to athletics.

Adam Avery, Founder and CEO of Avery Brewing Co., said that this beer was the beer he’d been dreaming of creating for years. Outside of running the Boulder, Colorado, brewery, Avery spends a lot of his time rock climbing and mountain biking. He wanted to create a beer that was light and refreshing but didn’t skimp out on flavor. Typically, to create a sessionable beer that can be drunk on a warm day and not be incredibly dehydrating, it needs to be beyond light and borderline flavorless.

For Avery, this proposition was unacceptable. Like most people, living an active lifestyle needs a beer to tag alongside. Taking cues typically found in sports drinks, Avery concocted an IPA that not only felt refreshing but was also full of flavor.

The Taste

Go Play IPA reaches more sessionable IPA status while ultimately becoming a pale ale with a stronger hop tilt. Dry, crisp and refreshing throughout, the beer closes with the promised and rounded salinity that plays lightly on the finish for a snappy texture but slightly fuller taste with a medium-long grip of hop bitterness on the throat.

Pale, golden, and hazy, the frothy ale draws in the nose with a host of tropical fruit, citrus, and herb. Gentle sweetness carries a nutty, lightly honied and caramelized taste that brings thoughts of trail mix and graham cracker. With the mineral-rich ale splashing against the middle palate, its refreshing tone takes hold with a hop-centric demeanor. Papaya, passionfruit and red grapefruit rise first, with orange, apricot and a strong herbal contingency coming in a moderately bitter late palate. A light briny solution intertwines with impressions of fruit juice for a hint of Pedialyte in the finish.

Be sure to stop by any of our locations and pick up a 12-pack of Go Play IPA today!

Knob Creek Rye Single Barrel Review

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If you ask the average or casual whiskey drinker about rye whiskey, they will likely never have tried it outside of a cocktail, or say they are not a fan, without ever really having tried it for themselves. While bourbon has dominated the American whiskey market for years, rye whiskey has made a huge comeback over the past few years, and there does not seem to be any end in sight. Dating back to the days of prohibition, it was rye that was the original grain of choice by American whiskey makers, not corn. It wasn’t until after prohibition ended that corn took over and became the grain of choice, making bourbon whiskey America’s choice spirit. This was in large part due to corn being far less expensive, and in the end far easier to work with. By the 1990’s, rye whiskey had an afterthought and was being ignored by most whiskey drinkers. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that craft whiskey started to enter the market, and the cocktail craze started to emerge that rye was “rediscovered”, and the demand for rye started to once again grow. That’s about the time many of the bigger distillers took notice, including Jim Beam.

Knob Creek Rye is a product of Jim Beam and is an extension of their Knob Creek line. While the standard Knob Creek Rye has been on available since 2011, their single barrel rye’s are new to the market and is providing consumers with a true drinkable, yet affordable high proof premium rye product. Knob Creek was one of the first “premium bourbons” products Jim Beam brought to the mass market back in the 1990′s, along with other now staples like Basil Hayden, Booker’s, and Bakers. All of those offerings were bourbons though, so as the demand for rye continued to grow, Knob Creek Rye was born. Now some 7 years later the demand for higher proof rye’s has increased, and thus Knob Creek single barrels rye’s have (finally) come to be.

Payless was fortunate enough to get in early to this new offering and was given the opportunity to select from several premium offering of this high-proof rye. A select panel of bourbon tasting experts unanimously selected the same rye barrel, identifying it as a clear cut above the rest, and now this special hand selected single barrel rye whiskey is available exclusively for Payless customers.

Nose

Sweetwood jumps out of the dram, followed quickly by those traditional rye spice notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, & even some clove that one comes to expect in a rye whiskey. There is dried orange peel, and a pleasant vanilla mid-note that slowly opens up to allow in some dried black cherry, and notes of black pepper. There is complexity here that starts your taste buds to get very excited to take the next step.

Pallet

A silky texture presents with sweet caramel and wood leading the way. Swiftly entering are strong notes of sweet candied apricot and orange. There is a strong vanilla mid-pallet, with a balancing under-note of some subtle almond mixed in. Oakwood notes mix with soft hints of leather enter as the heat from the proof announces itself. There’s a nice spice that is present throughout to provide that kick you look for in a rye whiskey, but never fully extinguishes an ever-persistent sweetness that presents itself from start all the way through the finish. Joining the party late are some subtle notes of ginger and black pepper that present themselves at the very end.

Finish

A long, spice filled finish provides complexity and a firm backbone, yet is still sweet and extremely drinkable. While there is a punch of heat, that is to be expected from a near cask strength product (single barrels are 115 proof, while recent cask strength releases were just 119 proof), but don’t let that scare you. This hand-selected barrel provides an array of mouth-watering flavors that lay on the tongue from front to back and sparkles with enjoyable bursts of spice, vanilla, caramel, and ripe fruits. This is a drink that can be enjoyed neat, or will rock out any cocktail of your choice. This is a rye not to be passed on if you are lucky enough to find one.

September Special – Crown Royal Salted Caramel

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Seagram’s first introduced Crown Royal in 1939 to celebrate King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visiting Canada and it remained a Canadian only product until 1964. The beverage giant Diageo acquired the Crown Royal brand in 2000 when Seagram’s was dissolved and since then there have been numerous versions and variations of the original released. Like most Canadian whiskey it’s a blend of different grain whiskeys of various ages.

This version to come out of the Crown Royal brand is Salted Caramel.  The idea behind this was to infuse a blend of Crown’s best whiskeys with the subtly salty-sweet taste of indulgent salted caramels – imparting lush, creamy notes that compliment the richness of flavors that come out of the master-blended casks.

The Presentation

Crown Royal has a rather unique presentation. Their definitive crown-shaped bottles came from when Seagram’s introduced the Crown Royal brand to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Salted Caramel is no different. Like every bottle of Crown Royal, it gets treated to the signature crown-shaped bottle. This bottle though comes in a decorative display box and caramel-colored display bag with drawstrings.

In the Tumbler

Like most Crown Royal variants, Crown Royal Salted Caramel has an amber, almost copper color to it. When swirled in a tumbler, it has a thick-like look and feel to it that is consistent with most flavored spirits that have added sweetness to them. The aroma that billows out of the glass presents a pleasant, light maple syrup. Mixed with the maple syrup are aromas of wood and grain from the cask as well as hints of vanilla.

The Taste

The initial delivery brings a flavor of maple and caramel forward with a subtle peppery spiciness from the oak and grain. The spiciness carries a light touch of black pepper and orange-peel zest. The added sweetness of the caramel gives the spirit balance and cancels out the heavy oak and grain taste that comes with non-flavored whiskeys. The mixture of flavors provides an even balance on the taste buds that will leave you pining for more.