Most of the world knows tequila best as a party spirit, with Don Julio being the center of attention. It’s the essential ingredient in a margarita and makes an excellent one-shot-wonder, to be consumed with a pinch of salt and a wedge of lime. So pervasive was this reputation that when some spirits drinkers were presented with the idea of a “luxury tequila,” they had trouble imagining a tequila drinker would want to sip instead of shoot.
Of course, Don Julio wasn’t the first truly fine tequila in the world—but it was the world’s first luxury tequila. Here, we’ll explore tequila production, which makes Don Julio so special, and present two genuinely outstanding examples of fine tequila.
What Is Tequila, Anyway?
Tequila is a type of mezcal—a spirit produced by distilling nectar from the agave plant. For a mezcal to earn legal classification as a tequila, it must be produced strictly from Weber’s blue agave plant and undergo production in Jalisco, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, or Michoacán.
Harvesters remove the hearts, or pinas, from the center of the agave plants and roast them in special ovens to convert the starches into sugars. From there, the pinas ferment for about four days, and the liquid is distilled so that it reaches the required alcohol content. Then, the tequila is either aged in a cask of choice or bottled for sale.
How Don Julio Crafted Some of the World’s Finest Tequila
In 1942, Don Julio developed a procedure to produce higher-quality tequilas. Instead of packing as many blue agave plants into his fields as possible, Julio proposed giving each plant room to grow and mature fully. His passion for the spirit—as well as his unique dedication to quality over quantity—inspired a local businessman to grant him a loan, and Don Julio Tequila was born.
Julio selected only the best pinas for eventual fermenting. He developed a process that steamed each pina for a total of 72 hours for peak quality. When his luxury tequilas were finished, Julio chose to bottle them in a short tequila bottle. Tequila enthusiasts everywhere could share a bottle around the table instead of leaving them hidden beneath the table.
Don Julio’s Best—Don Julio 1942 and Don Julio Real
While each of Don Julio’s tequilas is something special, experts agree that two stand out above the others in this fine collection:
Don Julio 1942. Crafted as an homage to Don Julio himself, this añejo is aged 2 ½ years in bourbon oak barrels. Then, it’s distilled a second time in a stainless-steel pot still, producing a rich, sweet tequila. Tasters note that 1942 has a full, creamy palate with hints of caramel and spice and a long, spicy finish.
Don Julio Real. The crown jewel of the Don Julio selection. This tequila is worth the purchase based on the crystal and silver leaf decanter alone. However, the real treasure is found inside, with one of the world’s first extra-añejo tequilas, aged 3 to 5 years in American oak barrels. With tasting notes of coffee, vanilla, and wood, this supremely smooth tequila is one of the best in the world to sip neat.
Reserve Your Bottle Today
For a limited time only, Payless Liquors is pleased to offer bottles of Don Julio 1942 and Don Julio Real to our customers who truly enjoy fine sippable tequilas. Reserve your bottle at our East Street location and arrange for in-store or curbside pickup today.
When it comes to Canadian whiskey, Crown Royal literally takes the crown. It’s been the best-selling Canadian whiskey for some time in the world market and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. You can find it anywhere from fine restaurants, on airplanes and the shelves of any liquor store you stroll into.
Crown Royal can trace its lineage back to 1939 when Seagram’s introduced a new product to honor a visit from Britain’s monarchs, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The story goes that Seagram’s had tried hundreds of variations – around 600 to be exact – before settling on a concoction that was deemed worthy. Once the right blend was found, Seagram’s bottled it in a quilted crown-shaped bottle and packaged it in a purple pouch. The pouch was purple because it is a color long associated with royalty.
With its production facilities in Gimli, Manitoba, Crown Royal is now owned by spirits giant Diageo. Every bottle of Crown contains some combination of five different whiskeys, aged in a variety of new and used casks. Like keys on a piano, these whiskeys give blenders a different note that either plays harmony with each other or emphasize a taste.
Round and soft, this is an unchallenging, easy-drinking whiskey that may leave “serious” drinkers bored, but sure makes a great highball. It’s also enjoyable in a crystal tumbler neat or on the rocks.
Faint notes of vanilla and fresh, out-of-the-oven lemon bread. There isn’t really a scent of alcohol here like other blended whiskeys.
A sip of Crown will introduce gentle vanilla and honey notes. “Delicate” in a word is a great way to describe how these flavors intermix with each other. Tasters will also note a faint oak in the background, which is thanks to the aging process in the casks.
The finish on Crown is light, balanced, and almost too easy to drink prompting some more sips. There isn’t the typical burn of a heavier bourbon.
This August, we will be featuring Crown Royal as our hot item of the month. Stop by and pick up a bottle for yourself for $23.99 for a 754ml bottle.
“Malt whiskey as we’re presenting it is not out there.” – Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall
Inspired by keeping close to its roots and a desire to make the best-tasting whiskeys in the world, Woodford Reserve is charting a new course with it’s new Blue Label malt whiskey. Unlike your typical 100 percent malt whiskey, Woodford Reserve Blue Label is a Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey crafted from 51 percent malt and aged in charred oak barrels – favoring the tastes of bourbon drinkers.
From the Makers Themselves
Choosing to go with a base of 51 percent malt gives the whiskey a rich flavor that’s complex and amplifies the nutty characteristics typically found in Woodford Reserves’ original whiskey. This is a-typical when comparing to a traditional malt whiskey. Generally, malt whiskey is made from a fermented mash consisting of malted barley. In the United States Code of Federal Regulations, the Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits define a “malt whisky” as a whisky produced at an alcohol by volume (ABV) level not exceeding 80 percent from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent malted barley grain and stored for aging in charred new oak containers at less than 62.5 percent ABV. A blended whiskey that contains at least 51 percent straight malt whiskey may be labeled as blended malt whiskey or malt whiskey – a blend.
In order to get that nutty characteristic, Woodford adds dark chocolate and caramel coated nuts that are dried out with a dusting of cocoa powder and brown spice. Traces of toasted coconut and a medley of fruits – apples, figs, dates, raisins, pineapples, oranges, mangos, and bananas – brighten the rich flavor and oak character of Blue Label.
The nose of Woodford’s Blue Label gives soft, nutty notes drizzled with light caramel and milk chocolate. Hints of spice and savory mint come together with freshly toasted oak. The aftertaste is one to be desired as well leaving subtle notes of sweet chocolate.
Reserve For Your Collection
If you want to claim your stake on this immaculate malt whiskey, send us a reservation form before it gets snatched up to someone else’s private collection.
When the opportunity comes to carry a premium brand no other liquor store is carrying, we had to jump on the chance.
The Chivas Regal Scotch whiskey brand, owned by Pernod Ricard, is already a highly-regarded player on the world whiskey stage. In 2016, it decided to depart from the norm and create a premium blended malt – unveiling the Chivas Regal Ultis.
Its departure is due to the fact that the Ultis is a 100 percent malt blend made using five of the main single malts
Chivas employs in creating their whiskey. The five distilleries used for the Ultis are Tormore, Longmorn, Allt A’Bhainne, Braeval, and Strathisla – which is where they house the Chivas visitor center.
“By working together, our blending team has masterfully brought five unique single malts from across the Speyside region to create an exceptional blend which is truly the essence of Chivas Regal Ultis,” said Colin Scott, Custodian Master Blender, in a prepared statement. “Each individual malt and each individual blender has added an element of expertise to the whiskey, which is unique to the blend, ensuring it is the ultimate embodiment of shared success.”
Though this premium scotch whiskey doesn’t have an age set to it, Chivas continues to show that it knows its stuff. On the nose, you’ll find unusual and exotic notes – Eastern spices and incense, sandalwood, flamed orange peel, and dried flowers. The body has a good kick with a core of sweetness: nutty malted milk, brown butter, some seaweed, and sesame seeds. The aftertaste leaves a fresh floral element with a touch of mint and some almond.
The Ultis is both opulent and graceful, which shows it has a sense of sophistication with an ease that keeps it approachable.
Come into any of our stores and reserve this one-of-a-kind bottle before it’s gone.
Region – Scotland
Blender – Chivas Brothers
Mashbill – 100% Malted Barley
Cask – Various
Age – Not specified
ABV – 40%
Keep Walking America. Always forward, never backward. That’s been Johnnie Walker’s message for over a century. The iconic striding man logo celebrates taking steps forward and just in time for Women’s History Month, Johnnie Walker is unveiling Jane Walker, the first ever female iteration of the brand’s iconic striding man logo.
Celebrating the many achievements of women, Jane Walker is a symbol of empowerment for all those on the journey to gender equality. The Jane Walker logo and packaging will debut on a special edition offering of the award-winning black label blend.
Johnnie Walker’s Vice President, Stephanie Jacoby worked with the brand on the campaign and shared that, “Scotch as a category is seen as particularly intimidating to women and Jane Walker is a really exciting opportunity to invite women into the brand, which they have played a significant role in since 1893.”
For every Jane Walker bottle purchased, Johnnie Walker will donate $1.00 to organizations supporting women’s progress, up to $250,000. Two organizations Jane Walker supports, in particular, are #MonumentalWomen and She Should Run.
THIS LAND WAS MADE FOR THE OPTIMISTS.THE ONES WHO BREAK BARRIERS AND EMBRACE DIVERSITY.THE ONES WHO BELIEVE IN CHANGE AND REFUSE TO QUIT.THE ONES WHO MAKE AMERICA PROGRESS WITH EVERY STEP THEY TAKE.THIS LAND WAS MADE FOR YOU AND ME.KEEP WALKING AMERICA.
Every year bourbon enthusiast set out seeking to find one to the true “unicorns” of the bourbon world, a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, or an Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. These bottles are known to be the “Best of the Best” in bourbon. While most people are fixated on the name recognition of “Pappy”, true bourbon drinkers know that the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is often considered a more preferred prize to acquire. Unfortunately, like the Pappy, it is very limited and only available (if you can find it) one month a year.
The good news is, and what the smartest bourbon drinkers realize, is that before a barrel of Old Forester is hand selected to be included in a bottle of Birthday Bourbon, it starts out as an Old Forester Single Barrel. This is where the magic starts, and this is where the smart bourbon drinkers go the other 11 months of the year!
Payless Liquors has built a reputation of having relationships with some of the best bourbon pallets in the state, and when combined with their great connections with the Old Forester team themselves, it allows them the opportunity to select some of the most sought out selections available on the market. This year’s selection no different. We’ll start off with some tasting notes of this distinct selection.
Nose: Oak, cherries, and rye spice quickly hit you up front. There is a prevalent smell of alcohol as well, but this is to be expected in a 90 proof, but it quickly fades off when allowed to sit, allowing all the true characteristics that Old Forester is known for. A subtle sweetness exists at the end that seems to invite you in to take a sip.
Taste: More of that oak and rye back up what you get off the nose. There is some heat, but not off-putting in any way, that bring in some oak char, then gives way to a beautiful mid pallet. Cherry and dried red fruits enter and blend with some vanilla, and baking spices. Lastly, oak and spice take back over, with hints of burnt sugar to add that needed sweetness to keep the rye spice in check.
Finish: A medium to long finish allows spice to quietly dance on the tongue for a bit before slowly fading into an almost chocolate-like finish. That signature Old Forester wood never steps away too far, from start to finish, but never takes over, and provides the perfect compliment to a beautiful pour of bourbon.
Interested in trying our most recent selection? Contact us today to reserve your bottle. Cheers!
Legend has it that Elijah Craig discovered the method of producing true Kentucky Bourbon when the warehouse he stored his barrels in caught on fire and charred the barrels. Whether or not that is true, there is no doubt that he discovered a way to make a bourbon loved throughout Kentucky and the United States.
Elijah Craig Small Batch premium is an award-winning, true small batch bourbon. Payless Liquors, along with Joe and Grady from The Grady and Big Joe Show, had the opportunity to select a barrel of Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon. We are very excited for this barrel selection! Here are more details on what you can expect with our Elijah Craig Small Batch Barrel selection.
Nose: Dried orange and apricot zest with notes of custard and soft spiced wood that give a slight alcohol bite to the front of the nose.
Taste: Up front flavors of dried cherries and ripe apples mixed with soft maple, and burnt brown sugar. Sweet soft char wood notes enter quickly in the middle and thru the end, bringing with it the slightest hint of vanilla, mixed with ever-growing spice notes that present strongly on the finish. The taste ends with just a dash of white pepper and more sweet wood char.
Finish: A medium finish with an oily texture allows its flavors to linger longer than most. Spice and sweetened wood flavors last to the end. Mostly infused with wood and fruit, yet enough subtle sweetness that keeps calling the glass back to your lips for yet another taste.
Overall: This is a very nice, unique pour that you hope to get when you purchase a single barrel bourbon. It presents with the combination of the healthy fruits and sassy spice that would draw Grady’s interest time and time again, yet has the right amount of decadent sweetness that will have Joe holding a bottle like Whinney the Pooh holds on to his honey.
Interested in trying our selection of Elijah Craig? Reserve your bottle online to make sure you get yours. Let us know what you think! Cheers!
Every year on March 17th, the Irish and Irish at heart come together to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. What originally started as a Roman Catholic feast day to honor the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating the Irish culture. People from all over the world unite with parades, dancing, drinking, and of course, green!
Whether you plan on visiting your local Irish pub or staying at home, green and Irish traditional drinks are a must! From Guinness to Irish Whiskey and cocktails, there are plenty of options for even the choosiest of drinkers. One of our favorites is a classic Irish Martini.
It’s a simple version of a martini, with the perfect St. Paddy’s Day twist. Start with these ingredients:
2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce Irish whiskey
Lemon twist for garnish
First, pour the Irish whiskey into a chilled cocktail glass. Swirl the whiskey around the glass to coat the inside then dump the excess whiskey. You don’t want any other flavors in your glass affecting the taste of your cocktail! Pour the vodka and dry vermouth into a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice, then shake well. Strain the liquid into the rinsed glass and garnish with a lemon.
When making a drink as naked as this, it is important to use premium cocktails. The lack of juices and heavily flavored ingredients would not mask the poor quality taste of cheap liquor. Lucky for you, Payless has you covered!
We have hot deals on premium liquor through March 18th, just in time for St. Paddy’s Day! Check out these hot deals: