High West Distillery is located in Park City, Utah. Nestles among rolling hills, it was founded in 2009 by a former biochemist. David Perkins went on a tour of the Maker’s Mark distillery in Loretto, Kentucky when it dawned on him. The fermentation and distilling process are very similar to his own work as a biochemist. He and his family relocated to Utah in 2009 to open the state’s first legal distillery since 1870. The distillery began small, with just a 250-gallon still in a historic livery stable and garage. Since then, High West won Whiskey Pioneer of the Year in 2011 from Whiskey Advocate America, and now operates out of a 1600-gallon copper pot still. They also opened an educational whiskey tasting, pairing, and tour portion of their distillery that is a must-visit.
The product we are highlighting from this particular distillery is their Midwinter Night’s Dram, a highly appropriate choice for this time of the year as winter is upon us in full force
at the moment. The name of course comes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. The best fix for a cold winter day is a hearty rye, of course! And even better is one that puts you in a dream like state.
The nose of this particular product is a very well balanced mix of spice and fruit. Swirling vanilla and plum are the most evident by far and provide a warm and welcoming aroma that makes you want to dive right in! The second whiff comes with hints of caramel, and cinnamon.
The taste is what one would describe as a “proper Christmas plum pudding with lovely mulling spices, dried fruits, and crème anglaise.” This is the perfect bottle to take off of the shelf for your holiday party. Even better though, it makes the perfect gift! Reserve yours today from one of our convenient locations.
Kentucky is the home of many famous distilleries but the topic of this week’s blog is one of its smallest and oldest. Nestled amongst rolling hills, the Woodford Reserve Distillery was founded in the early 1800s by Elijah Pepper. It was here that whiskey making practices, including the implementation of sour mash into fermentation, used today were actually developed. Master Distiller James Christopher Crow was the man behind the development of these practices, and we owe him many of the perfected products we so love today.
The Woodford Reserve Distillery was also one of the first to utilize copper pot stills. You can see these and other iconic pieces of history (such as a 500-foot-long gravity-fed barrel run and 100-year-old cypress wood fermenters) on site today. In addition to these founding pieces of the practices of distilling, you can see one of the only heated cycled barrelhouses in the world. This is particularly incredible because heated cycled barrelhouses ensure that “every drop seeps into the charred and toasted white oak, giving Woodford Reserve its color and signature flavor. Woodford Reserve distillery is standing history, and riddled with the culture of Kentucky distilling.
Now, onto the star of this post, the Woodford Release 2016 Master’s Collection Brandy Finish. This is the latest release of Woodford Distillery’s Master’s Collection series. As always, let’s start with the aroma. It’s sweet, the first notes to hit you are that of chocolate, followed by dried cranberries and spice. We’re already think this would be an incredible bottle for the holidays!
Next is the initial taste. The first sip is filled with toffee, hazelnut, and a little maple syrup. Its warmth matches its amber color and is everything we could have hoped for and more. The finish is even better, with long lasting notes of warm caramel and nutmeg. It had us reaching for our glass again immediately!
This bottle is nothing short of incredible, and truly upholds the Woodford Reserve name. The last item on our docket is to make sure you reserve your own bottle from your favorite Payless so you can get a chance to try it, too! Trust us, you will not regret it.
This particular bottle that we are going to be talking about today is cognac at its best. I think Hennessy themselves said it best, “it is the first in a series of rare and limited offerings”. Yann Fillioux is a 7th generation Master Blender and the conductor behind this masterpiece, as well as many others from Hennessy. Unlike other cognacs, which strive for consistency, the Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection Number 1 is completely unique and a coveted rarity.
Hennessy is actually called Jas Hennessy & Co. and its headquarters are located in Cognac, France. They sell about 50 million bottles a year worldwide, which equates to 40 percent of the world’s cognac. Oddly enough, Hennessy was founded by an Irishman named Richard Hennessy in 1765. It is also the world’s largest luxury brand, as it is owned in part by Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. With nearly 30 products and many being limited edition, it’s no surprise that it’s such a popular and coveted cognac.
Now, let’s get down to business. This particular bottle is crafted to be particularly aromatic. It’s scent is bold, but with delicate notes to follow. The first wave is of strong oak and grilled almonds while the second of spicy undertones. The palate is alive with candied apricots, those same delicate spices like clove and cinnamon, followed by earthy oak as a strong finish that will leave you reaching for your glass again.
This limited edition product is unique and can never be duplicated. Its rarity is enough to provoke a collector to reach for their wallet, but the taste and aroma are even more enrapturing than the lore of Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection Number 1. Be sure to reserve your bottle at your favorite local Payless, and let us know what you think!
Our subject for this week is the coveted Lagavulin 8 year Limited Edition.
This particular bottle is near and dear to my heart as I am an avid lover of my family’s Anglosaxon roots and the show Parks and Rec.
The Lagavulin distillery is located in Islay, Scotland and it is also the drink of choice for Ron Swanson of Parks and Rec. Any fans out there for either of those things? (If so, you must watch this video, it’s a great video even if you are not, actually.)
Even if you’re not and have had no idea what I was talking about up until now, Lagavulin 8 year is absolutely choice. Lagavulin is world renowned for more reasons than one, and completely deserving of the reputation is has received.
It was founded in 1816, and actually translates from the Gaelic (indigenous Celtic language of Scotland) to lag a’mhuilin, meaning “hollow by the mill”. Which perfectly represents the distillery itself. It is a quaint and beautiful building located just a hop and a skip from Port Ellen, Laphroaig, and Ardberg, all of which are also incredible distilleries.
This particular bottle, Lagavulin 8 yr., is very rare. It is not even listed as a product 99% of the time due to its rarity. Which is where we come in, we want to provide you with an up close and personal experience with this coveted product.
We definitely suggest this be taken neat in a whiskey nosing glass.
First off, as always, lets start with the nose. This may seem strange to say, but it seems clear that it is from the beautiful coast of Scotland. Right off the bat, there are notes of clean, fresh milk and light tea. Followed by chocolate and lemon, like a fresh spring morning with breakfast by the ocean. It is romanticism and poetry in a glass.
Next is the palate. Lagavulin never disappoints but, if it’s possible, this one was even more bold and beautiful than usual. It is a full on Lagavulin taste with a mix of charred chocolate and maritime flavors.
We have a very special treat for you this week! We will be highlighting not one, not two, but THREE items! The first of these is the Black Forest Decadent Red Wine by Cupcake, followed by the Captain Morgan Jack O Blast, and last but not least, Ballast Point Pumpkin Down.
That’s right, we’re going seasonal people.
With temperatures dropping and the days growing shorter, we must turn to alcohol. KIDDING! But it does help to have something delicious to focus out attention on. From pairings to drink recipes, the avenues are endless when these three items get together. I know you’re all getting antsy for me to get to our products for this week, so let’s get down to it!
Wine, oh sweet, delicious, red wine. There is no better time for this (in my very biased opinion) than during these chilly months. We say goodbye to the summer days of zinfandel and sunrises, and hello to cozy sweaters, crackling fires, and savory red wine. Now that is an evening that I’d be fine spending snowed in!
This particular wine is sweeter than most reds, I mean, the label is Cupcake so we can’t expect anything too dry. I personally welcome this sweetness, I mean we’re approaching Halloween for goodness sakes. Adults can have a sweet tooth too, right? Well I say adults deserve to have fun, and if that means pouring a tall glass of liquid sunsets then sign me up! Especially if the dark crimson color matches your vampire lipstick on October first, hello, no need to reapply!! I can definitely get behind that one.
Let’s stay on topic, we have THREE products to get through.
The color, like I said, is a perfect inky, crimson. Deep and inviting at first sight, its scent is even better (hard to believe, I know!). This wine is a blend, and when I say blend, I mean BLEND. It is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel (hey summer), Petite Verdot, and Petite Sirah. See? Told you it was a blend. It may sound like someone got mad at their liquor cabinet and blender at the same time, but I promise that Cupcake is genius for this combination.
Now, back to our senses. The smell is dark berry, perfect for a chilly October night. The blackberries and rich raspberries provide a luscious cushion in your first sip between the Zinfandel and Cabernet. The floral aroma is evident on your second whiff, it is easy to miss so be sure to pay attention to this siren’s call. She pulls you in with nothing short of a drowning devotion to her smooth and smoky power.
Captain Jack O Blast on the other hand provides the friendly and familiar smell and taste of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. This limited edition treat is filled to the brim with every delicious part that rum has to offer, mixed in with just the right amount of seasonal sweetness we all crave during fall. The taste lies somewhere between the spices of cinnamon in a pumpkin drink and the spices of rum we all know and love. The smell is pungent in the best way possible, imagine a liquefied pumpkin pie. A heavy mahogany laced with the sweet and delicate aroma of vanilla and nutmeg. With its amber, honey color, the taste is reflective of that warmth which makes it a welcome addition to any liquor cabinet. Mix it with a little coffee for a perfect cozy treat for any chilly night.
Now, beer and pumpkin, that isn’t a combination as easy to make successful. But, Ballast Point’s Pumpkin Down knocked this one out of the park. “A pumpkin ale that bucks the trend” is what they had to say on this product and it could not be more accurate. This is no attempt at a pumpkin pie beer, no no no. This is roasted pumpkin with a caramel and toffee backsplash. It feels like they made it for those who would rather spend their October nights by the bonfire instead of the fireplace. You can taste the malt and earth in it, softened with the slightest hint of spice that you would want in any good beer. You taste ale with every sip, but this heavy flavor is brought up in the most loving way to reflect the romance of the fall season by culminating a trusting relationship between the hops, cinnamon, and roasted pumpkin flavor. We want to recommend to you that you save this one for a night of risotto with butternut squash or a French onion soup with French bread. Don’t waste this ale, friends, savor it.
All three of these products are available at your favorite Payless. Be sure to reserve yours soon or your fall will be a bit less magical without these liquid autumn concoctions!
Bailey’s Irish Cream is infamous for its ability to combine alcohol and sweetness so flawlessly. Beginning in 1971, Bailey’s was of course founded in Ireland and introduced the very first Irish cream to the world in 1974. It’s not just the whiskey in the bottle that’s Irish, but the cream as well! It is produced by a company called Glanbia and has been for over thirty years. The company even claims that their product is so flawless, it will retain its taste for twenty-four full months from the moment it is made. Refrigerated or not, opened or closed, etc.
Don’t even try to deny it, you love pumpkin spice. We all do. No matter how much we try to deny it, it’s delicious. However, do you know what’s even more delicious? Bailey’s twist on this seasonal favorite!
Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice Limited Edition Irish Cream is a must have this fall. The notes are of the familiar toasty variety. Cinnamon flutters through your palette as the warm pumpkin and coffee flavors layer over each other in a swirl of sweetness. Bailey’s is smooth, delicious, and comforting to begin with. Add chilly weather and some pumpkin to that, well you’ve got a winner!
Bailey’s has several great recommendations for creating some cozy cocktails with this seasonal bottle. The first is none other than the Pumpkin Spice Latte! It is quite simple and involves combining two ounces of Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice, with one and a half ounces of coffee, and one ounce of milk. It can be served warm or over ice. We would like to recommend sipping on this next to a fire with a warm cinnamon bun. Doesn’t that sound incredible?
Next up is the Old Fashioned Pumpkin. This is comprised of just one and a half ounces of Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice and three-quarters of an ounce of bourbon! Shake it up with ice and serve. This classic would be best consumed with a delicious plate of Thanksgiving favorites like turkey, sweet potatoes, and stuffing!
Now, here’s the thing, Bailey’s has so many more recipes for this concoction of theirs, but don’t feel limited to their suggestions! There are about a million and one things to be made from this sweet seasonal treat. It won’t last long so be sure to hurry and grab a bottle (or seven) from your favorite Payless. Happy sipping!
The history of Canadian Club Rye is colorful to say the least. Nothing says it better than their slogans, “some men had to break the law to drink it, you just have to break the seal” and, “what do seven generations of gangsters, smugglers, politicians, admen, and guys like you have in common? Canadian Club, you’re in good company.” This is a drink to break laws for (though we neither suggest nor condone that). It was what the Godfather had in his glass when he said “I’m going make him an offer he can’t refuse”. Do you know what Al Capone was drinking while he tilted his fedora and adjusted his pinstripe suit? Canadian Club Rye. Even Don Draper sipped it as he mulled over his latest dramatic life event, and JFK set it down as he was enraptured by Marilyn (it’s good but it’s not that good, I mean come on, it’s Marilyn). Is any of this real? Probably not, but Canadian Club Rye is the bottle you picture on the gangster’s nightstand, the adman’s hotel room dresser, on Rockefeller’s mahogany desk.
This taste is hard to put into words, but we’ll try our best for you. At first glance, we are greeted with the all too deliciously familiar shade of amber. Then, it’s love at first sniff. The toasted grains bring us home to amber waves of
grain, rippling in the sunlight. The second whiff washes over us in a wave of vanilla. The simplicity of the smell makes us even more excited for the taste! As we bring the glass to our lips, a third layer of smell wafts over the rim of the vessel. This time, it’s subtle hints of oak. Taking in the drink makes us giddy and it does not disappoint. Spices mix in a cloud of sultry heaven, slowly bringing out notes of caramel. A symphony of vanilla and clove begin to churn into an unforgettable aftertaste that makes us go in for sip number two. Don’t bother putting the bottle away, friends, you’ll be on your second class before you know it!
It’s just the right glue to piece together an incredible story filled with depth and strength. It gives any room an air of trouble and authority. From its first days in the barrels in 1858, to the Hide A Case advertising campaign in 1967, all the way up to today, this liquor has left its mark on the world—and it should really be in your glass. Be sure to reserve a bottle soon at your favorite Payless. Come on, that inner troublemaker is just dying to get out and make history.
The Big Horn Basin has everything we need to make great bourbon, and it is important to us to source our ingredients locally. The consistency and uniqueness of these whiskey elements make for a better bourbon that stands apart. It’s the Whiskey of the West.
LOCAL CORN, WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE AND NO GMOS.
WE KNOW WHO GROWS. Brent Rageth from Rageth Farm in Byron, Wyoming has worked with Wyoming Whiskey from the start to select strains of non-GMO corn, wheat, barley, and winter rye for specific starch and sugar yields, the building blocks of bourbon making. We use a corn strain that matures in 92 days, and is hand-selected by Brent. Rageth Farms also delivers summer and winter wheat that is grown exclusively for Wyoming Whiskey, and a winter rye that will be the key ingredient for a couple of rye products that are on the near horizon.
Mash bill for (1) mash cooking will consist of 2,166 gallons of liquid.
Liquid will consist of:
1,100 gallons of water and
450 gallons of backset, or thin stillage.
A traditional bourbon, from an untraditional place.
Our original, flagship, and defining product, the award-winning Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey.
COLOR: dark amber
NOSE: floral, with a hint of vanilla bean and caramel pudding
PALATE: floral with brown baking spices and browned butter, vanilla crème, caramel, and a hint of cinnamon
MOUTHFEEL: light and smooth with vanilla bean and cinnamon spice filling the mouth cavity, hint of mint
FINISH: medium length finish with toffee. Spice and vanilla fade
SINGLE BARREL BOURBON WHISKEY
A traditional bourbon, from an untraditional place.
Our original, flagship, and defining product, the award-winning Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey.
Bottled to capture this unique bourbon and moment of time, both of which will never happen again.
COLOR: deep copper to mahogany
NOSE: browned butter, Cola, black currant and dried dates, orange citrus blossoms, bittersweet dark chocolate, almond butter.
PALATE: Cola, dark chocolate, buttered pastry, dried date and fig, raisin and orange citrus.
MOUTHFEEL: full and rich, chewy, spicy, creamy with nuts.
FINISH: long finish; dry, but with lingering impressions of butter crème, candied orange peel, and dark dried fruit.
BARREL STRENGTH BOURBON WHISKEY
The most elusive of the WW offering.
COLOR: deep copper to mahogany
NOSE: intense, but still buttery-smooth with a nice oakiness, vanilla, Turbinot sugar, orange blossom honey, caramel candy, fudge, and muted touches of clove and nutmeg in the background.
PALATE: balance between clove and nutmeg and sweeter notes of fudge, caramel, orange blossom honey, anise, and just a kiss of smokiness that completes the complexity.
FINISH: romatic and spicy, dominated by clove with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, fudge, orange peel, and anise that come out as the clove fades
A pillar of strength rooted in time and wisdom,
Forged Oak was found while foraging through the historic
Stitzel-Weller rickhouses. This Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey spent 15 contemplative years in charred American white oak barrels.
Forged Oak is a statuesque whiskey with aromas of cedar, maple and vanilla bean that give way to seasoned woody notes of cocoa and young berries, ultimately leading to a long, dry finish of black pepper.
Distiller: Heaven Hill (New Bernheim)
Mashbill: 86% Corn, 8% Barley & 6% Rye
Nose: Dark Sweet, Cherry Dark Fruit, Dried Strawberry
Taste: Wood, Spice, Dark Sweets, Vanilla, Grain
Finish: Long. Wood, Grain, Caramel, Spice
“Ok, I have been sampling whiskey for some time now, and I have gotten to know exactly what I like and dislike, but I still enjoy pushing my experiences in new directions; the road less traveled theory. Every now again there is a whiskey that comes up that is on my “must try” list.
I received the sample bottle from my editor for this review a few more weeks ago than I care to admit, as I would then be past my due date for this article. I have saved it for the last in this batch, my reward to keep me pushing towards that finish line, however arbitrary it is, as there is always more to sample.
As you may remember, I loved the Rhetoric by Orphan Barrel. As for Orphan Barrel Forged Oak, which is the focus of this review, this straight Kentucky bourbon spent 15 years in barrels in the Stizler-Weller rickhouses. And I am sure that many of you know that Pappy Van Winkle built that house. Now I hope you can understand my plan to use this as a reward.“
It’s a cognac of great distinction. This year Hennessy is celebrating the big 2-5-0. To commemorate the anniversary they have released the Hennessy 250 Collector Blend, which pays full tribute to the centuries of excellence, expansion and passion.
A cognac is defined by its blend and aging process. The Hennessy Master Blender, Yann Fillioux prides himself in offering the best product for the 250 edition. With 50 years of experience, Fillioux has created a blend made from double distilled white wine from locally grown ugni blanc grapes. The spirit was aged in Limousin oak barrels stored at ground level near the banks of the Charente River. These barrels add a touch of warm vanilla to the overall taste of the cognac. The eaux-de-vie blend has been aged 15-35 years. It’s a harmonious balance of power, vivacity and elegance.
At first glance, Hennessy Collector’s Blend makes a statement with its smooth, amber colored brandy. On the nose one can expect rich and expressive aromatic tones of spice and bitter orange. Fresh notes of nutmeg, black licorice and sweet peppermint all combined for an invigorating flavor. Powerful on the palate with the familiar elegant Hennessy flavors. A persistent finish with the spicy density and hints of saffron.
Unlike any other collectible liquor, the Hennessy 250 bottle is made from hand-cut crystals that increase its value. Only 250 barrels of the cognac have been produced, which comes out to be about a few thousand bottles. To enjoy this cognac at its best, sip neat at room temperature.
Own a piece of history with Hennessy 250 Collector’s Blend. We encourage you to reserve here on our website. Don’t miss out on your chance to own this iconic blend.
Ever put on a pair of pants you haven’t worn in a couple years, only to discover a $20 bill? Recently Patrón Tequila had that same thing happen to them, only they discovered tequila they had forgotten about, tucked away in a corner of their barrel-aging room.
An Exclusive Rarity
Introducing Patrón Extra Añejo 7 Años. Distillers first checked on the group of casks after around 8 months of aging, but it wasn’t what they wanted. By the next time they discovered them, 7 years had passed. Master Distiller, Francisco Alcaraz announced the brand’s first limited release as “a happy accident of again, temperature, wood and where the barrels were placed.” Very different from all their other offerings, Añejo 7 Años is a limited quantity product with less than 700 cases released in March.
How It’s Made
Añejo 7 Años is a blend of tequilas produced two separate ways. The type of tequila is the traditional tahona. It’s made by crushing agave by with stone wheel and the juices are then absorbed into a fiber. The fiber is then part of the fermentation process. The second method Patron uses is where a roller squeezes the juice out from the fruit and then it’s separated immediately from the fiber. After that process is complete between the two methods, each product is then aged separately in pine wood barrels and then double distilled in copper pots custom designed by Alcaraz. Then the two come together in French oak. The twist is in the French oak. Usually the tequila is aged in ex-bourbon barrels.
The limited edition tequila comes in a replica of the very first hard blown glass Patrón bottle to commemorate its exclusivity. Añejo 7 Años is a dark golden hue with pronounced woody and black pepper aroma. A smooth taste with notes of fruits, mandarin and light caramel. It isn’t necessarily sweet, but it has more of a honey taste. It’s delightfully full-bodied with hints of spice and bittersweet dark chocolate. Unlike most tequilas, it is less aggressive upfront, but rather it has a more powerful backend. An overall great product to represent the Patrón brand.
Own a piece of tequila history is the purchase of Patrón Extra Añejo 7 Años at Payless Liquors. To ensure you get your hands on a bottle, please reserve here.
The latest thing in bourbon has hit Payless Liquors stores all around Indianapolis. Ocean: Aged At Sea is the new release from Jefferson’s Bourbon out of Louisville, KY. The Ocean edition was inspired by the original Jefferson’s Ocean, which were bourbon barrels that traveled around the world. These filled barrels stopped at five different continents and crossed the equator four times. Nowhere will you find a more well-traveled bourbon.
Ocean: Aged at Sea is very specific in its metrics of aging. For an estimated 7 to 8 years, the bourbon was aged in barrels on land. Then for an additional 5 to 10 months, it was aged in the same barrels at sea. The constant rocking of the ocean water, inconsistent temperatures and saline-rich air help mature the whiskey and add depth to the flavor. Barrels were stored aboard the OCEARCH 126-foot vessel. OCEARCH is a nonprofit organization that reaches great white sharks and other large apex predators that live in our oceans.
This second edition of Ocean bourbon consists of approximately 66 barrels, but only 62 of those barrels have been released to the public for purchasing. The four remaining barrels have been auctioned off, with the proceeds going to benefit OCEARCH foundation. Master Distiller of Jefferson’s Bourbon, Trey Zoeller and Founding Chairman and Expedition Leader of OCEARCH, Chris Fisher, are close friends who banded together for the cause.
Tasting notes of Ocean: Aged at Sea include:
The aroma embodies scents of warm vanilla, sweet caramel and burnt wood.
On the Palate
Enjoy a savory taste with sweet elements of butterscotch, vanilla, crisp brown sugar and spice. You might also taste a bitter, yet warm balance. Hints of cinnamon and plum are also present.
The finish is a medium length followed by a strong bitter bite. There is also a lingering sweetness from the palate.
Whether you are passionate about animal rights and philanthropy or just looking for a great bourbon, Ocean: Aged at Sea is what you need. These bottles also make great holiday gifts for loved ones. You can find Ocean: Aged at Sea in select stores or reserve here on our website.
Nothing says the holidays like a fantastic bottle of champagne. This year, we invite you to enjoy a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2006 sparkling wine from Champagne, France. Louis Roederer embodies all the exciting elements the season brings!
The Making Of Cristal Brut
The Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2006 is an indicative blend of Chardonnay 40% and Pinot Noir 60%. The champagne is aged six years, then left for eight more months after dégorgement. The specific aging and blend is the key to creating an overall refreshing and
Cristal Brut Tasting Notes
When first popping the cork, you can expect a glistening light amber color with soft, timid bubbles. Cristal Brut flavors include zesty lemon and orange, lilies and toasted hazelnuts. The aroma gives off an intense fruit scent full of apricots, melons and mangos. At first sip, enjoy a juicy burst of summer fruits. The last notes leave an impression of slight bitterness, yet still remaining true to the fresh fruit flavors.
The Acclaims of Cristal Brut
Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2006 is critically acclaimed, as well. It received a 95-point rating from Wine Enthusiast for its “impressive balance between ripe fruit and crisp acidity.” Wine Spectator also recognized Brut 2006 for its “sense of finesse, despite underlying power” and also gave it a 95-point rating. Lastly, Cristal Brut was unanimously named one of the top 5 Champagne Brut wines in the world.