Dow’s Vintage Port 2011 Crowned #1 Wine

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This week, we’ve switched gears and turned our focus toward wine. In case you missed it, Wine Spectator magazine has released its Top 100 Wines of 2014. We are proud to announce that Payless Liquors is the exclusive retailer of the #1 wine, Dow’s Vintage Port 2011. Dow’s received a 99 point rating from the magazine, which is the highest honor. It was also the first fortified and first Portuguese wine to top the famous list. So what makes this wine so great? Let us take you on a journey to uncover the secrets behind Dow’s one-in-a-million flavor.

Dow’s has been owned and operated by the Symington family since 1912, but the origins of the Port can be dated back all the way to 1878, when it was one of the first wines to have its own vineyard established. The Symingtons have been producers of wines for five generations, but their involvement with the wine industry dates back almost fourteen generations to their beloved great-grandmother, Beatrice Leitao de Carvalhosa Atkinson. This family is a well-known wine producer throughout Europe, and owns what is also recognized as the leading vineyard in the Douro Valley. The Dow’s notorious portfolio of Ports include: Late Bottled Vintage, Trademark Reserve, Aged Tawny Ports and Vintage Ports. In the United States, Dows Port is imported by Premium Port Wines, Inc. It’s available in restaurants and retailers nationwide.

The red Port is a blend of several grape varieties. The creation of the perfect balance of proportions is key to producing an appetizing final blend. In the Douro region, there is much debate on what fortified wine is. But in reality, there is no secret to be protected, because no one actually knows for sure what they are growing in their vineyards. Vintage Port is the most expensive and prestigious member of the Port family. Although the Vintages only account for 1% of Port production, it remains one of the most popular wines around the world. A Port is declared Vintage when the quality of fruit, bottles available and the market meet a demand. The Vintage stamp of approval is one highly sought after among Ports.

Dow’s Vintage Port 2011

Country: Portugal
Region: Douro
Type: Dessert & Fortified Wine
Varietal: Port-Vintage
Special Designation: Collectibles

Tasting Notes

A strong-bodied, luscious and refined red Port. A tobacco nose with an astonishing texture. The bouquet divulges hints of chalk and stone with hints of herbal scents. The core reveals an elegant combination of dark fruits and sweet tart. The finish is long with rich, chocolaty flavors. Certainly a lip-smacking wine!

Like we mentioned, Payless Liquors is the exclusive retailer of Dow’s in the local Indianapolis area. Stop by your local Payless store to pick up your bottle of the extraordinary Dow’s Vintage Port 2011, or reserve a bottle here on our website.

Bourbon Season: Mitcher’s Toasted Barrel & Jim Beam Harvest Collection

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Another week in November so soon? Time to talk about more bourbon releases at Payless Liquors! This week we will be highlighting two great buys from Mitcher’s Whiskey and Jim Beam. The Mitcher’s Toasted Barrel is a new release from one of America’s oldest whiskey brands. It offers a unique taste provided by an extra step in the aging process. The Jim Beam Harvest Collection is a made up of bourbons that use the namesake grain as the secondary ingredient. So kick back, relax and let us take you on a journey to all things bourbon.

Mitcher’s Toasted Barrel

Bourbon fans can now rejoice with the release of Mitcher’s Toasted Barrel. Mitcher’s has a long legacy of producing traditional American whiskey, and there is no doubt Toasted Barrel will aim to please. Toasted Barrel is made with Mitcher’s standard US*1 Bourbon, but instead of bottling after the normal aging time period, it is then transferred to a custom barrel for time to finish.

The custom barrel is made of wood staves that have been cured with months of drying. This transfer into the custom toasted barrels offers a unique flavor to this ever-so-popular brand of bourbon. Mitcher’s Toasted Barrels are lightly browned, unlike typical bourbon barrels, which are charred. This process provides the “toasted” aspect.

Jim Beam Harvest Collection

Next up is the Harvest Collection from the folks at the Jim Beam Distillery. The idea behind the collection was to offer fans a line of innovative expressions, in the form of small batch bourbons that showcase some of Jim Beam’s finest hand-crafted products. So far, Jim Beam has only released the Soft Red Wheat and Brown Rice members of this series of six. The remaining four, Whole Rolled Oat, Triticale, High Rye and Six Row Barley, are expected to be released throughout 2015.

Soft Red Wheat is a light-bodied bourbon that has been aged 11 years. Wheat from Kentucky and Indiana gives the bourbon an approachable spice, with a hint of brown sugar sweetness. An aroma of oak, honey and amber gives it a warming welcome. The light-bodied finish can best be enjoyed straight on the rocks.

Brown Rice Bourbon is bottled at 90 proof and gives a long lasting, full-bodied flavor. The aroma is reminiscent of sweet potato and sweet brown sugar, with a slight oak spice. Enjoy tastes of tasted grain with rich vanilla notes. Just like Soft Red Wheat, we recommend drinking Brown Rice straight, either on the rocks or neat. The deep amber color of the bourbon resembles that of fresh brown rice.

Don’t miss out on these great bourbon buys at Payless Liquors. You can find these products at your local store, or you can reserve the bottle of your choice online.

Look forward to more bourbon releases and reviews next week on our blog!

New Arrival: The Boss Hog by WhistlePig

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Bourbon season is absolutely here! This week at Payless we welcomed a new arrival, The Boss Hog from WhistlePig. It may not be at the top of your list of bottles to buy this year, but it’s for sure a must try for any bourbon lover.

The recent release of Boss Hog is a combination of 24 of the oldest and finest barrels from the WhistlePig Dstillery. After fermentation, it’s aged for ten years in new American oak casks then second-use bourbon casks. This is where the hint of sweetness occurs from the rye flavors. Once the aging process is complete, Boss Hog is bottled by hand in Vermont at 100 proof. The most characteristic flavor to come from Boss Hog is the signature balance of rich, intense rye spice and smoothness. Some might even call it one of the best ryes on the market today. In fact, it’s one of the few 100% rye whiskies available today.

Have we piqued your interest? Read below for our aroma, taste and finishing notes.

The Color

Boss Hog is gold in color, which is a bit lighter than one would expect for a barrel proof, but is still a rich color nonetheless.

The Nose

A sweet scent of rye toast and baking spices is present on the nose.

On the Palate

Enjoy a warm taste of honeyed oak, caramel, gingerbread and vanilla on the palate. Notes of fresh mint and winter fruit are also present.

The Finish

The rye whisky finishing long and hot with the lingering spices of ginger and wood.

The Boss Hog by WhistlePig is an exclusive product. Only 50 barrels were hand-selected by the Master Distiller, Dave Pickerell to put out on the market. Get an exclusive bottle at your local Payless Liquors store or reserve a bottle on our website.

Have you had a chance to try Boss Hog? What did you think? Leave us a comment below!

Wild Turkey Honors Legend With Diamond Anniversary Bourbon

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The Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary release commemorates the 60th anniversary of Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell. Russell has been working since 1954 and hasn’t quite yet. And with bourbon currently on the rise, there is no better time to celebrate a great legend in the industry. He has single handedly defined the Wild Turkey brand for decades. To also mark the occasion, Wild Turkey has dedicated this year, the “Year of Jimmy Russell.” Such an honor for a man who has used his abilities to help grow the bourbon industry.

Jimmy Russell has always been persistent on keeping bourbon to its original roots of higher proof with a spicy profile and his son, Eddie did an excellent job of paying homage to his father with the Diamond Anniversary blend. Wild Turkey Diamond has been aged for 13 and 16 years in contrast to the standard, which is aged for 6 to 8 years. It’s bottled at 91 proof and comes in a special commemorative anniversary bottle.

The Nose

The nose has a fruity aroma, with hints of apples, caramel, oranges and spearmint. The aging also gives a woody vibe, but it isn’t too overpowering for those who don’t enjoy a wood flavor.

On The Palate

A gentle bourbon at first sip, with a creamy, round body. A little on the sweet side, there is also a nice mouthful of caramel and dark chocolate.

The Finish

It finishing a long, light woody taste. Don’t be surprised if you go back for more!

How to Enjoy

We recommend drinking Wild Turkey Diamond neat, with just a few cubes of ice, or drops of water. And of course, remember to toast to the great Jimmy Russell!

The Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary bottle is meant for anyone who enjoys a great bourbon. Reserve a bottle today here on the Payless Liquors website.

Have you gotten your hands on a bottle of the Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary? What are your thoughts?

Pumpkin Beer Round-Up

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Schlafly Pumpkin Ale St. Louis, MO

Schlafly Pumpkin Ale is a fantastic brew made with plenty of pumpkin, squash and spice. The foundation is made from pounds of pumpkin, while flavors of fall, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, play a supporting role. In fact, it’s one of the best widely available pumpkin beers! What sets Schlafly’s apart from the rest is its big, flavorful body, and the definite pumpkin pie vibe it has going on.

Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale Hayward, CA
Originally brewed in 1985 in Hayward California, Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale was the first commercially available pumpkin beer brewed in the United States back in 1985. This one is all pumpkin spice and lighter on the malty beer flavors found in other examples of the style. It’s made with real pumpkin and embodies a golden amber color. Enjoy it all throughout the fall season, as it is available from August to November.
Tin Man Herald Imperial Pumpkin Ale Evansville, IN
Herald Imperial Pumpkin is a higher octane pumpkin beer at just over 8% alcohol and is pretty well balanced, while also refreshing. It pours a ruby-amber color and the nose is reminiscent of subtlety fall smells. The overall taste is heavy and overpowering, but in a good way. The spice and malt play well together for a delicious pumpkin brew.

Flat 12 Flat Jack Pumpkin Ale Indianapolis, IN
Flat Jack is the fall seasonal ale from Flat 12 brewing in Indianapolis. In their words it’s, “a special blend of Indian(a) spices and pumpkin shine through just enough to complement this slightly sweet and malty tribute to the season of hayrides and bonfires. Flat out fantastic.” Flat Jack is full of pumpkin spices and offers a nice bitter finish.

Be sure to check out our pumpkin beer selections this fall at your local Payless Liquors store. If you would like to reserve one of these beers, be sure to send us a request via our website.

We hope you have a Happy Halloween full of pumpkin beers!


Larceny: A Lawless Bourbon

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Let us travel back in time to the year 1870, shortly after the Civil War. John F. Fitzgerald, a simple man, built a distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River, where he sold his bourbon to passengers on rail lines and steamships and to members of private clubs. Fitzgerald then made the decision to sell his brand to the one and only Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle for a small fortune of $10,000.

But more to this story has been uncovered in recent years. In 1999, a member of the Pappy Van Winkle family revealed a different side to Fitzgerald. It seems he wasn’t the man or the distiller he claimed to be — he was actually a bonded treasury agent, which meant that as a member of the Treasury Department, he was one of the only people allowed to carry keys to the barrel storage warehouses. As a man with a taste for fine bourbon, he used this luxury as an advantage to swipe the best barrels from all around as they aged and add them to his own “Fitzgerald barrels.”

Thus, the Old Fitzgerald Bourbons were a combination all the best barrels around. With the pick-up from Van Winkle’s, Old Fitzgerald was immortalized. What made it unique was the mash bill that contained wheat, rather than the other grains which were used in recipes at the time. This provided a softer, rounder profile to the bourbon.

Today we recognize Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon as a tribute to the lawless John E. Fitzgerald and his impeccable taste in bourbon. Larceny is made of corn, wheat malted barley and rye mash. Once the grains are milled, they are cooked in the Kentucky limestone water. After fermentation, the bourbon is aged in honey barrels for six to twelve years. Once the aging process is complete, the bourbon is bottled at 92 proof. Below you will find color, aroma, tasting and finishing notes.


Bright copper coloring.

The Nose

The aroma is a blend of buttery bread, honey, vanilla and toffee. You may also notice hints of butterscotch and honeysuckle.

On The Palate

Enjoy a velvety taste on the tongue with a pleasant hint of spice. The taste also includes a rich mouthful of caramel and cinnamon.

The Finish

A tad short, but the finish embodies an even warmth and notes of honey sweetness.

Larceny has received high ratings from the following:

  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2013: 93 points
  • Wine Enthusiast: 93 points
  • Named in Top 20 Spirits by Spirit Journal
  • Best Buy by Whiskey Magazine

Have you had a chance to try the unruly Larceny? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

Bourbon Season: Parker’s Heritage Collection 8th Edition

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The wait is finally over, Parker’s Heritage Collection Edition 8 is now available for purchase. The much anticipated 2014 edition is part of a series of rare, limited edition American Whiskies that pay homage to the sixth-generation Master Distiller, Parker Beam. Beam has dedicated the last 50 years of his live to producing outstanding whiskey for Heaven Hills Distilleries to share with the world.

With his most recent diagnosis of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, Beam has used his recent misfortune to help raise money for the cause. For every purchase of Parker’s Heritage, Heaven Hill Distilleries will donated $5 to the ALS Promise Find. Beam and his family hope that this contribution will help raise awareness and ultimately find a cure for the crippling disease.

The 8th edition is a no frills bourbon that could be enjoyed every day, and never grow tiresome. It’s a 13 year old cask strength whiskey. Beam has also turned to a wheat whiskey for this year’s release. The batch is pulled from a year 2000 barrel the top floor of Rickhouse Y at Heaven Hill. In the glass, the whiskey takes on a deep amber color, which is unusual for bourbon. The aging and lack of chill filtration. Below you will find scent, taste and finish details.

The Nose

The aroma has hints of caramel, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. There is also a subtle piney scent present from the rye.

The Palate

On the first sip there is a pleasantly sweet start, with notes of toffee, ripe cherry and red pepper. The oak also offers a dryness flavor, with leather and molasses.

The Finish

Expect a long and warming finish. It’s also a bit on the strong side.

We recommend Parker’s Heritage 8th Edition for a variety of cocktails, or if you please, drinking it neat is also very enjoyable. If you aren’t a fan of an oaky taste add a splash of water makes it disappear.

Have you had a chance to get your hands on the Parker’s Heritage 8th Edition? What were your thoughts? What other bourbon releases are you looking forward to?

Hidden Gem: Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

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On October 20th we will have a special guest at our Adams Street store in Carmel. Shannon Wildenradt from Jackson Family Wine will be handing out samples of Stonestreet, Cambria and Carmel Road products, along with educating guests about their various wines. This week we would like to highlight the highly acclaimed, Stonestreet Monument Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from the Jackson Family Wine collection.

Tucked away in the valley of the Alexander Mountain Estates, the Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from vineyards along the ridgeline of the mountains that run through the land. Because of the proximity to the mountain crest, this provides wide varieties of soils ranging from those exposed to sun and others exposed to the breeze. This variety of soil forms a perfect environment for Cabernet grapes.

The 2009 Monument Ridge embodies an elegant vintage wine. Aromas of violet, blackberry and blueberry explode from the glass. Hints of ginger, black pepper and wet black slate are also present in the scent. On the palate you can expect a rich taste, with a refreshing flair. A long and dry finish completes this wine with a lingering currant punch.

After purchasing Stonestreet 2009, we recommend letting it age a couple of years to intensify the overall rich, red taste. As for food pairings, we suggest pairing the Cab with a tender filet mignon or juicy Angus burger.

As for acclamations, Monument Ridge was given a 93 points rating by Wine Enthusiast for its “structural integrity, and elegant feel on the mouth.” Wine & Spirits, rated high with 92 points for “black cherry and chocolate depths and a dense, juicy silken cabernet.” Richard Parker gave 92 points also, saying “dark cherries, mocha, plums, spices, mint, minerals and graphite are woven together in this effortless, totally captivating wine.” Lastly, Antonio Galloni from Vinous says “it impresses for its nuance, clarity and precision” and gave the wine a 92 point rating.

Get your hands on this great hidden gem at your local Payless Liquors store or if you would prefer, reserve a bottle here on our website. And look forward to Shannon Wildenradt’s visit on October 20th in Carmel at our Adams Street!

Welcome Stranahan’s to Indiana

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Yet another wonderful whiskey hailing from Colorado is making its way to Payless stores. This time it’s Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. The story of Stranahan’s starts back in 1998, when firefighters answered the call at liquor connoisseur, George Stranahan’s burning barn. Volunteer firefighter, Jess Graber and George were inspired by the roaring amber color of the fire. They also discovered they shared a passion for the Colorado landscape and fine whiskey. And thus, Stranahan’s Colorado whiskey was born. Not only did they create Colorado’s first micro distillery, but also the first legal distillery in Colorado since Prohibition.

Graber and Strananhan developed a recipe for their product that was the smoothest, yet most potent whiskey of its kind. The 94 proof, straight small batch whiskey is aged in new charred oak barrels, just like bourbon. The final product turns out to be a blend of 2, 3 and 5 year old whiskeys. Stranahan’s is distilled from 100% malt barley with four of the barleys coming from the local Colorado area. The water used in distilling comes from the Eldorado Spring just outside of Boulder. You could say Stranahan’s evokes a delicious combination of the Colorado outdoors.

Stranahan’s comes in a sleek, glass bottle with minimalistic packaging. Each bottle has a yellow label draped across the middle with a tin cup top that covers the cork. What is most unique about the packaging is the almost sentimental notes describing what that person was doing at that exact moment while they bottled the product, for example “listening to Christmas carols” and “drinking coffee”. The label also includes the distinctive signature of the distiller. Did we also mention the bottling process is done by volunteers? People can simply sign up online to be a volunteer in the process. Volunteers are then are chosen from a random lottery. Currently the waiting list to volunteer is approximately 20,000 people long!

The Nose

Stranahan’s has strong hints of coffee, oak and oatmeal along with some strong undertones of vanilla and caramel. The coffee scent and taste can be accredited to the roasted barley.

The Taste

On the palate, it provides a full, thick richness that leaves you wanting more. Stranahan’s has an interesting, yet unique flavor that can’t really be compared to any other whiskeys of its kind. The sweet coffee flavor includes notes of more vanilla and caramel.

The Finish

The finish is nice with a slight spicy kick. A lingering touch of mint taste will leave your lips tingling.

Don’t miss your chance to get your hands on one of these limited release bottles. You can pick up Stranahan’s at select Payless Liquors stores, or you can reserve one here on our website.

For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow: Old Forester 13th Birthday Edition

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The Brown Forman Distilling Company has been producing quality Old Forester Kentucky Bourbon for over 140 years. In fact, “Old Forester is the only bourbon still in existence today that was produced before, during and after Prohibition by its original distiller,” says Chris Morris, the Master Distiller. Now that is an accomplishment! In commemoration of founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday on September 2nd, each year Old Forester releases a special Birthday Bourbon. This year will mark the 13th year for the much anticipated, limited-edition Birthday Bottle.

The Birthday Bottle release is selected from a single day of production and handcrafted by Chris Morris. It’s a small batch bottled at 97 proof and provides a one-of-a-kind vintage-dated flavor that can’t be replicated. It’s no coincidence that the bottle also embodies a decanter-esque style. This style of bottle dates back to the 1800s when Old Forester first started producing their highly-acclaimed bourbon. Each bottles has its sign of approval from George Brown featured on the label, along with the barrel and bottling date. This touch gives each bottle a personality and individuality.

The Nose

The nose of the 13th edition lends a creamy soft vanilla beam aroma, with hints of cinnamon spice, maple syrup and orange peel.

The Taste

A bit dry in the beginning, the bourbon opens to a sweet, oaky complex flavor. Notes of caramelized citrus are also present.

The Finish

The finish is warming on the palate with a yeasty yet cake-like feel.

Morris adds that, “The complex flavor and warm finish with just a hint of sweetness make this year’s batch a must-have release.”

This year, The Old Forester’s Birthday Bottle 13th Edition will be available at Payless Liquors’ stores the first week of October. Don’t miss out on your chance to own a piece of history. Once these bottles are gone, they are gone.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out more about when Birthday Bottle will be in stores. We also recommend subscribing to our email list for more information on the release date.

National Bourbon Heritage Month

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In case you haven’t heard, September is National Bourbon Heritage Month. Let me remind you this isn’t just another media holiday created by Twitter, but in fact this celebration is officially recognized by the U.S. Senate. So grab your glasses and toast to a month full of bourbon!

The History

As of August 2007, every September is a reason to celebrate bourbon. The National Bourbon Heritage Month calls for the acknowledgement of bourbon as America’s “Native Spirit.” The bill was sponsored by Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, and naturally was passed without any dispute. The Bourbon Heritage Month bill pays homage to the 1964 Act of Congress which declared bourbon to be “America’s Native Spirit.” This Act of Congress encourages Americans everywhere to embrace the tradition and deep-rooted legacy of bourbon that continues to flourish in the United States.


All around the United States in September, and particularly in Kentucky, people are finding ways to celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month. Here are a few of the special events and promotions going on this month in honor of bourbon:

  • Angel’s Envy is giving back this month with their Toast to the Trees campaign. For every picture on social media with the hashtag, #AE4TheTrees, they will be planting a white oak tree. Angel’s Envy is pairing with The Arbor Day Foundation to ensure bourbon’s legacy for future generations.
  • The Kentucky Bourbon Festival starts September 11th in Bardstown, Kentucky. The festival lets you experience and taste the rich history of American bourbon distillation in the state that produces 95% of the world’s bourbon. Enjoy delicious food, smooth bourbon and great entertainment.
  • Payless Liquors, Jim Beam and Ruth’s Chris invite you to the Inagural Bourbon Dinner in honor of the new Ruth’s Chris location at the Ironworks at Keystone. Join us September 26th for a night of delicious food and drinks. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn and taste bourbon from the experts at Jim Beam. The price is $100 per person which includes one Maker’s 46 Manhattan, a Ruth’s Chris Signature Selection dinner, a Jim Beam tasting and a bottle of Knob Creek to take home. Cocktails will begin at 6 pm and dinner begins at 7 pm. If you are interested in attending please make your reservation by calling Lori at Ruth’s Chris at (317) 844- 1155 or by emailing [email protected].

How will you be celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month? Let us know in the comments below, cheers!

From Indiana to Colorado: Tincup American Whiskey

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This week Indy and Denver fans may be at odds, but this whiskey collaboration proves that when Colts and Broncos get together they can make something great. What am I talking about? I’m talking about Tincup Whiskey and it’s a beautiful blend.

Tincup American Whiskey is distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana at the MGP Ingredients facility. The whiskey mash is 65% corn, 32% rye and 4% malted barley distilled in copper stills, then aged for four to five years in new charred white oak barrels. After the aging process, the whiskey is batched and blended for consistency.

Once the distilling and aging processes are complete, Tincup is shipped to Denver for the final touches. In Colorado, authentic Rocky Mountain water is used to cut the whiskey. The mineral-heavy water adds a nice crisp clarity to the product. Then it’s bottled at 84 proof and labeled for purchasing.

The package appearance is very unique among the various whiskey and bourbons out there. The top is an actual tin cup, which turns out to be quite useful for sipping and sharing. The rugged hexagon-shaped box mimics the iconic Rocky Mountains. The name Tincup comes from an old mining town in Gunnison County, Colorado where tin cups were used by the miners.

The Nose

Tincup gives off a delicious spicy aroma with strong notes of cinnamon and butterscotch.

The Taste

On the palate you can taste a warm apple cinnamon flavor as well as a bold rye, vanilla and oak with hints of chocolate and caramel. It’s a full-flavored whiskey that is certainly a pleasure on the palate.

The Finish

The finish is long with the lingering cinnamon flavor. Tincup has a surprisingly smooth and sultry taste for such a robust whiskey.

Tincup American Whiskey is the perfect beverage if you are looking for an easygoing drink with a little spice. We recommend enjoying it neat for the full experience.

If you would like to try Tincup Whiskey for yourself, be sure to join us for our Indy vs. Denver tasting Friday, September 5th from 5-7 pm at our Greenwood Mall location. We will be tasting various beers from both Indiana and Colorado, along with Tincup. We will also have samples from the local restaurant, Between the Bun! Come enjoy these great products from both Indiana and Denver to help kick off the start of the NFL season.

Hidden Whiskey Gems at Payless

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You know that feeling you get when you find $20 in your pants pocket? Well, that same feeling is the one we get when we find one of our hidden-gem items tucked away in one of our many closets. This week we are featuring two hidden whiskey products: Jefferson’s Chef’s Collaboration and a 17-year Balvenie Doublewood.

Jefferson’s Chef’s Collaboration

From the Castle Brands’ whiskey brand, Jefferson’s is a collaboration whiskey with Top Chef alum, Edward Lee. Lee and Jefferson’s Master Blender, Trey Zoeller, set out to make the perfect whiskey that would pair with any hearty meal. After nine months of developing their collaboration, the men still couldn’t find the right taste. It was then that they decided to try a bourbon/rye blend.

Bottled at 92 proof, Jefferson’s Chef uses whiskey that is 14 years old. The nose is very nice and light, yet at the same time has hints of explosive rye. The marriage of very rare barrels of bourbon and rye gives the whiskey a harmonious blend of smoke and spice flavors. Notes of oak, cherry and cinnamon are also present. The finish is fairly long and fruity, but mellow.

We recommend a glass of straight Jefferson’s Chef to pair alongside tonight’s dinner. Chef Lee also includes various couplings in his cookbook, Smoke and Pickles. This exclusive collaboration is an extremely small batch that was offered at limited supply.

Balvenie (17 year) Doublewood

After their wildly popular 12-year-old Doublewood, Balvenie decided to let it mature for an additional five years in their traditional ex-bourbon oak casks. The result was the 17-year Doublewood, which was also matured in an ex-sherry European oak. The sherry-oak gives it a perfect balance of oak, malt and fruit. This extra aging adds a subtle elegance to Doublewood.

The nose emulates flavors of juicy black cherry, honey, apple cider and light floral. It is certainly pleasing to the nose with the many layers of fruit and airy malt. The flavor is medium-bodied with notes of tart apple, cherries, sherbet spice, toasted almonds creamy toffee and deep vanilla. On the finish, it is slightly short, but very nice with sweet-honey and hints of vanilla. Doublewood leaves a lasting impression of elegance and finesse.

When first produced, the 17-year-old edition was produced in small batches and went quickly. We recommend purchasing it now to save for the holiday season. Don’t miss out on your chance to indulge in a fantastic single malt whisky.

Just like that $20 bill in your pocket, these products are bound to go fast. Reserve the Jefferson’s Chef or Balvenie Doublewood today through our Payless Liquors reservation page.