Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

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birthday_2016The Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is a very special bottle that only comes but once a year. The reason this bottle is annual and not released more often is because it is brewed specifically to be released on a particular date. This date being the birthday of the founder. On September 2nd every year, master distiller Chris Morris crafts the Birthday Bourbon that is vintage-dated and particularly fantastic for this momentous occasion. It is hand selected from one specific day of production. It’s a one of a kind bottle that is essential for any bourbon aficionado. The uniqueness of this bourbon could not be overstated. From the fact that it is only released once a year to the fact that it is released on the day of the founder’s birthday, and that it is hand-picked for its flavor and character to reflect the special day it is released. It is the ultimate in rare, handcrafted bourbon. This is also the fifteen year anniversary of this particular practice, making it even more special for bourbon enthusiasts. It has received unprecedented acclaim and both national and international whisky honors.

Now, let’s talk nose. The scent of the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is complex. Among the notes are cinnamon and spiked oak. They balance each other in a hearty dance between deep and sweet. Additionally, there is a hint of nutty chocolate and dark caramel. They do a similar tango that balances out this incredible concoction. The taste is full of mulled fruit character and spice, along with notes of bright citrus peel. It is warm and toasty in flavor with the perfect amount of fruit and citrus bite.

This bourbon is in limited supply so be sure to get it before it’s gone! We are hosting a contest that will go until October 20th. On the morning of October 21st, we will announce the winners. We have twelve bottles ready to go of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon and if you answer the trivia questions right, you may earn the right to purchase! Details here

Seasonal Favorites

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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 02-beers-primary-image-pumpkindownPoint’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 Pumpkin Spice

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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 simg_flavors_baileys_pumpkin_spiceeasonal 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!

 

Mondavi Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon

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Robert Mondavi’s vineyards are what one could categorizer as the very niche category of “grape paradise”. With sunshine and fog living in perfect equilibrium, it’s no surprise that these wines are notorious for their quality. The slow and drawn out process of growing the pribourbon-aged-cabernet-sauvignon-btze winning grapes pays off with their depth and purity of flavor. Mondavi himself spoke to the immense impact that the location of his vineyard has on his wines, “there is no secret: great wine begins in the vineyard.”

This particular vineyard’s notable history began in 1968 when Robert Mondavi developed a dry oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc called Fumé Blanc. It became so popular that it is now synonymous with Sauvignon blanc, thus began the incredibly astronomical success of Robert Mondavi’s wines and vineyard. From the Fumé Blanc came a number of incredible wines, but today the subject is none other than the Robert Mondavi Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet Sauvignon.
A member of Mondavi’s Private Selection, this wine is nothing short of what you’d expect from such a notorious name in this industry. It is pleasant to all your senses. Visually, its deep red color is perfectly matched to the deep warm smell we are initially greeted with. The toasty smell is paired sweetly with vanilla and brown sugar. Our mouths are watering even before our first sip!

The taste is just as delicious as one would imagine. It’s as if the Earthy scent of this red has been liquefied, sprinkled with the finest spices, and aged in the greatest bourbon barrels on the perfect vineyard! Among the traditionally delicious cabernet sauvignon taste, there is a mix of ripe blackberries and tart black cherries.

This is truly a bottle you need to reserve as soon as possible from your local Payless. It’s not every day that you find a wine that will taste just as delicious with ribs as a charcuterie board!

Jim Beam Double Oak

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Jim Beam is a household name. We’ve all heard of it and we all love it! From the original to the Honey flavor and everything in between, this distillery has amassed a collection as delicious as it is diverse. Beam has been producing quality bourbons from one family for seven generations, churning out award winning products time and time again. They’ve been trail blazers from the get-go with unique techniques (say that ten times fast), such as aging theimtqwnju4mtaznjy5nty1mji3r bourbons twice as long as necessary for a bourbon truly worth writing home about. 200 years have passed and they have tirelessly continued to perfect the art of distilling. Not only has it been held within one family, but also one location. “America’s native spirit” is only distilled in Kentucky. Jim Beam Bourbon has been able to grow and become a world-wide success, while still maintaining intimate, small town roots. It is without a doubt the authentic, original Kentucky bourbon that has survived to be a longtime favorite of all. From businessmen to writers, artists to scientists—there’s a Beam for everybody (that’s over 21).

Of this bourbon collection, we’re taking a look at the Jim Beam Double Oak. As the name implies, it is crafted in charred oak barrels, switched between two to intensify and enrich the aging process. When first opening this bottle, it is clear that this will be a particularly sweet treat. The scent of toffee is right at the forefront of its scent, vanilla is a close second. The taste is similar with few surprises, instead it is a comforting and warm caramel that greets us. The second wave of flavor is vanilla and clove. One can truly taste the way the aging process has been taken to the next level with the depth of every single note, perfectly woven together into a rich, spicy, and smooth bourbon dream.

This bourbon is one that truly must be on your shelf. Reserve your bottle today at your favorite local Payless to get ahold of the Jim Beam Double Oak. It is sure to open your eyes to the way bourbon was meant to be aged.

 

Canadian Club Rye

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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 Canadian Club launches Canadian Club Chairman's Select 100% Rye. (CNW Group/Beam Suntory Inc.)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.

Medea Vodka

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Medea vodka may look like a glimpse into the future of spirits, but it really has a very rich and long history that goes back seven generations. The family name behind this world renowned product is Herman Jansen. The clan has its origins in the Netherlands, where the House of Herman Jansen was erected in 1777 and still stands tall today. Awarded Honorable Distiller of the Year in 2012, and with a production team sharing over 100 years of experience between them, it’s clear that the taste of Medea has been perfecting the craft for several lifetimes.
MEDEA-Vodka_bottleThis particular bottle of Vodka from The House of Herman Jansen that you can find on the shelves of your favorite local Payless is the world’s only programmable bottle, complete with patented LED technology. So, from the very start, you know this is going to be a fun experience. With a pop of the bottle, you’re greeted by the familiar and delicious scent of sharp lemongrass and pleasantly surprised by notes of apple and cream. A second waft brings about a hint of orange zest.
At your first sip, it is clear that this is a truly impeccable vodka. There is no doubt in the quality as you feel the smooth taste roll over your tongue. Your palate will be excited to unfurl the complex flavors coming at you courtesy of Medea. The white pepper and beeswax are a welcome surprise but the undeniable treat is the vanilla sweetness that is left after you swallow and go for your next sip, and then another and another and another…
Even if you’re not a fan of vodka, you’ll definitely want to give this one a chance. If not for the exceptionally smooth taste, definitely for the nifty bottle! You can get your very own bottle and program it to make it one-of-a-kind! Reserve yours soon and get to personalizing your drinking experience.

Willett 3 Year Rye Small Batch

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The Willett name dates back to one of the very first pewters, Edward Willett of Maryland. However, his descendant, Aloysius Lambert “Thompson” Willett of Bardstown, Kentucky was where it all began. Thompson began his love for whiskey and rye by working with his father at the Bernheim distillery. After a couple of years, he left to start the Willett Distilling Company with his brother, Johnny. They erected their pride and joy on their family farm, and history was made as this small family venture began to blossom.

Their first batch was officiallyWillett produced in 1937 on Saint Patrick’s Day, located on high ground to ensure the Kentucky breeze would aid in the maturation. Over several years, Thompson’s brothers joined the company and eventually it was bought from him by his son-in-law, while his daughter was made president of the company. They renamed it Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, though it still remains very much a family business. After a revamping of their facilities, they went back into business on what would have been Thompson’s 103rd birthday.

This particular small batch is a chestnut color, understandably lighter than the average whiskey due to its shorter fermentation period. At first glance, you may think it won’t pack quite as much of a punch as its siblings in the Willett line. However, you will be pleasantly surprised. At first whiff, it’s all leather and light spices; but if you dwindle a bit, you’ll pick up on the light, sweet spices.

In your first sip, you’ll be immersed in a diverse flavor combination that may shock your palette at first—but in the best possible way. On the front, this rye offers up notes of mint and tingling spice. As it goes down your throat, you get the familiar warmth of all good rye. Evergreens, sweet caramel, and dry dark clove and oak all dance around in harmony in this delicious 3 year rye.

This special treat will be in limited supply on our shelves, so be sure to contact us soon. You will not want to miss out on tasting what the Willett family name is all about, and just how much they really understand rye whiskey.

I.W. Harper 15 Year

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Though the brand has changed hands a few times, I.W. Harper is back where it belongs, thanks to Diageo. The limited edition 15-year whiskey is produced in the original Bernheim distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. It has been aged most recently at the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery.

The bourbon distillery had humble beginnings as one of its founders, Isaac Wolfe Berhheim, came to New York from Germany in 1867 with a lowly $4 to his name. However, by the 1870’s, Isaac, his brother Bernard, and silent partner Eldridge Palmer started the Bernheim Brothiw harperers distillery in Kentucky with $3,200. This was quite the turnaround for two industrious immigrants. In this same decade, the brothers re-branded as I.W. Harper and a legend was born

The brother’s product was quickly recognized throughout the country, most notably taking home gold at the Chicago’s world fair in 1893. A huge reason why I.W. Harper was so profitable so quickly was that it was one of only ten distilleries legally allowed to still remain in production during prohibition–for medicinal purposes. The love affair between this incredible concoction and the world at large continued to grow as it became an international sensation.

 

Fast forward to today, and this 15-year bourbon whiskey is the stuff of dreams. At first sniff, cherries and apricots alert the senses of the warmth about to be provided by the handcrafted beverage. Notes of chocolate and lemon come in a second waft, and balance each other out with the lightness of citrus and deep rhythm of cacao. A flurry of emotions ensue as the drink embraces you with your first sip. The first impression is one of glowing caramel and heavy oak–an all too familiar feeling for us bourbon lovers. You are welcomed home, and yet there is a surprise in this rare version of an old favorite. It’s the balance of sweet and dry notes that really make it a home run. The smooth, fruity flavors provide a delicate coating for the deeper ones to kick through as you swallow.

This limited edition legendary bourbon whiskey is one that cannot be missed out on. The return of I.W. Harper to its origins is an occasion that should not be celebrated without a glass of its 15-year creation. Be sure to pick up a bottle at our East St. store, or reserve yours today. After trying it, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection – Infrared

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Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the United States producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.

About 20 years ago, Buffalo Trace Distillery began experimenting with recipes and barrel treatments. Right now, there are roughly 5,000 experimental barrels of whiskey aging in warehouses. Each of the barrels has unique characteristics and experimental changes in the mash bill, types of wood, barrel toasts and more. Periodically, an experimental whiskey is bottled and sold on a limited basis. And the first of these experiments involved the use of infrared light waves.

With the goal of learning how new and different flavors can be drawn from the oak, the distillery applied the light waves to barrels before charring in 2009. Eight special barrels were constructed for this experiment. All eight first underwent the same process as standard Buffalo Trace barrels, staves were open air seasoned for six months before being made into barrels.

buffalo-trace-infrared

Then, the barrels were divided into two groups and exposed to two different levels of infrared light waves.  The first group of four saw 15 minutes of short wave and medium wave frequency at 70% power.  The second group of four underwent 30 minutes of the short wave and medium wave frequency at 60% power. The barrels were then given a quick 15 second char before finally being filled with Buffalo Trace’s Bourbon Mash #1.

In 2016, it was time to see how the experiment worked. The bourbon from both barrels has distinct flavor notes of wood, caramel, and vanilla, as well as pepper flavors drawn from the oak. It was also noted that the short wave infrared light seemed to affect more of the inner layers of the wood, while the medium wave infrared light affected the surface and medium layers.

Tasting notes for each describe the 15 minute infrared light barrels as having a floral nose followed by a complex flavor profile. Oak and tannins mingle with dry raisins and sweet caramel.  The 30 minute infrared light barrels are described as strong wood notes complemented by a taste of dried fruit. A lingering finish leaves a hint of cracked black pepper.

The Experimental Collection is packaged in 375ml bottles, and both entry proofs were bottled at 90 proof.  Each label includes all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. Want to get your hands on a bottle? Fill out our online contact form today. Then come back and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

The Cooper’s Croze

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The secret behind Jameson Irish Whiskey lies in the passion and dedication of their masterful craftsmen: our Head Distiller, Head Cooper and Head Blender. The Whiskey Makers Series celebrates them and their craft. The Makers Series is a trio is that includes The Distiller’s Safe, The Blender’s Dog and the Cooper’s Croze.

A Quick Vocabulary Lesson20160326 Jameson Makers - Coopers Croze

The Croze is a tool used to cut the grooves for the heads of the cask. It takes years of experience to use this tool properly.

The Cooper’s Croze was created by Jameson Head Cooper, Ger Buckley. This whiskey showcases the diversity of barrels at the Midleton distillery and the influence that wood yields. With 5 generations of knowledge passed down from his family, Ger selects, repairs, and maintains Jameson’s treasured casks. The Cooper’s Croze is carefully crafted that carries vanilla sweetness, rich fruit flavors, floral and spice notes and the undeniable influence of oak.

This bottle won’t be around for long. Reserve your bottle using our contact us form today! Let us know what you think of The Cooper’s Croze and the Makers Series in the comments below.

From Field to Bottle – Old 55 Sweet Corn Bourbon

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State Road 55 may sound familiar to us Hoosiers. It’s a north/south highway running between northwestern and central Indiana. And it’s about to become much well known thanks to Old 55 Distillery!

Old 55 is a true family business. They are one of the few true field to bottle distilleries in Old 55 Sweet Corn Bourbonthe world. Every bit of the grain used is sourced from local fields or the family farm. Old 55 truly does capture the Midwest from the fields the spirits are harvested from to the hardworking people that travel it daily.

Old 55 is harvested, stored, milled, mashed, distilled, & bottled by hand in Newtown, IN. Their custom built pot still was designed and handmade in Germany by Kothe Destillationstechnik.

Old 55 has recently released a completely new take on bourbon using 100% Sweet Corn off the cob. Grown on the family farm, harvested, and distilled by to make something truly unique. It is Small Batch. It is Heart Cut. And is 40% alcohol by volume.

Get your hands on this new Indiana spirit at your local Payless Liquors or by reserving it online. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

An Evolving Experiment In Bourbon Maturation

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The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company, dedicated to releasing limited edition spirits from rare casks discovered in some of the country’s finest whiskey cellars. Orphan Barrel has brought you Lost Prophet, Barterhouse, Old Blowhard, The Gifted Horse, Forged Oak, Rhetoric 20 & 21.  And now Orphan Barrel has come out with its eighth release, Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 22-Year-Old, a 90.4 proof bourbon.

Rhetoric 22Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 22 continues the slow march of this series set to culminate in the debut of a 25-year-old in 2019. If you are not familiar with Rhetoric, its stocks were said to be found “in the old Stitzel-Weller Warehouses in Louisville, Ky. The whiskey was distilled between 1990–1993 at the Bernheim Distillery located at the historic 17 and Breckenridge in Louisville, Ky. Its mash bill is 86%  corn, 8% barley and 6% rye.

Each sip of Rhetoric 22 starts with a smoky, leathery nose and tastes of toasted oak dark chocolate with ripe banana and spices of clove and anise. The finish is long and woody ending with dark chocolate notes.

According to Diageo, Rhetoric is an experiment in how barrel maturation imparts a lasting impression year after year. Each new year results in an older and wiser limited release from remaining maturing stock. A conversation piece if there ever was one.

Reserve your bottle with us and let us know your thoughts of the new Rhetoric in the comments!

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