Gin is a favorite libation for those who enjoy the fizz of a good tonic or the bite of a martini. While many of us know and love the herbal notes of gin, you might be surprised by its somewhat sordid history. Like many types of alcohol, gin has been the subject of controversy and vilification. Learn the history of this herbaceous spirit.
An Ancient Spirit
You can trace gin’s origins back as far as 70 A.D., where it was first used as medicine – specifically, a tonic of wine steeped in juniper berries to help ease symptoms associated with chest coughs. Fast forward to 1055, and the Benedictine Monks included similar recipes in their Compendium Solernita, a sort of medieval medical textbook.
By the 16th century, the Dutch were creating their own version of gin, a spirit comprised of a healthy dose of malt and juniper berries added to combat the harsh flavor of the fermenting grain. Gin, as we know it, however, came around the year 1714, when a British author shortened the liquor’s name, genever, to Gen, but misspelled it. Interestingly, this is the name that stuck, and gin’s history only gets more exciting.
Death and Taxes
It would be another few decades before Benjamin Franklin would quip about death and taxes, but the sentiment would still hold true in 18th century England. At a trade war with France, the King put exorbitant taxes on wine and Cognac, prompting people to get a little creative with their mixing. People began making their own gin. With no laws or restrictions on distilling, enterprising distillers began adding juniper to turpentine and even Sulphuric acid, which had some unintended health consequences. Faced with a mounting death toll and number of people with mental illness, distilling would soon become heavily restricted. Because of its ability to make people crazy – a literal “gin craze” – it would become vilified and high members of society would promote drinking beer and tea over the seemingly dangerous beverage.
Gin found its redemption in the mid-19th century, when a new still revolutionized the way we make liquor (crystal clear and without additives). The British Royal Navy kept gin on its ships, as it was not prone to spoiling like beer and wine. They also kept quinine aboard as a natural treatment for malaria. Quinine was notoriously awful, so seamen often mixed it with soda to quell the harsh taste. An enterprising sailor thought to add gin to the mix – and an iconic cocktail was born. The rest is history. Today, gin is a staple at bars across the world.
Find Your Perfect Gin at Payless Liquors
Gin comes in a variety of styles and proofs. It tends to be dry, though some types of gin take on a naturally more piney flavor profile than others. While the most popular gins like Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, and Tanqueray are distilled from Juniper berries, some local distillers make the spirit from grains and even blueberries. There are many ways to enjoy gin – come and try a bottle for yourself!
The holidays are the perfect time to show your friends and family you love and appreciate them. The right gifts can make all the difference to the people in your life. For your friends and loved ones who enjoy a high-class drink, a boozy gift could be the perfect thing to wrap under the Christmas tree or for your next Pollyanna exchange.
Holiday Spirit Gift Sets
Most of the major liquor brands release seasonal gift sets. The typical holiday gift set will include a bottle of liquor with holiday-themed branding or a special holiday blend and a few trinkets to accompany it. You’ll likely find liquor gift sets with holiday-themed etched drinking glasses, whiskey stones, coasters, decorative bottle pouches, and much more. If you’re looking for a great gift for a boozy pal, find out what their favorite liquor is and try to find a holiday gift set to match.
Liquor gift sets are one of the best ways to provide your friends and family with great drinks and functional extras they can use year-round. Every alcohol enthusiast is always keen to find new high-quality drinking glasses and other liquor-themed extras. Branded gifts will be well appreciated.
Bob Dylan Whiskey
Have a friend who loves whiskey as much as they love great music? The new Bob Dylan Whiskey from Heaven’s Door is a great gift idea for whiskey aficionados and Bob Dylan fans alike. As one of America’s most loved songwriters, you’re sure to have at least one Bob Dylan fan in your family or among your friends who would appreciate this limited-edition bottle.
Heaven’s Door Spirits worked with none other than Bob Dylan himself to develop this one-of-a-kind whiskey. As well as being one of the most well-known songwriters in American music, Bob Dylan was also a skilled ironworker. The iconic wrought iron gates he built in his own studio form the imagery on the front of every bottle of Heaven’s Door Bob Dylan whiskey.
Lagavulin 16-Year-Old Scotch
Scotch drinkers appreciate a fine aged scotch, and Lagavulin offers one of the best scotches to ever leave Scotland. This blend is an Islay single malt scotch whiskey aged for 16 years. Whether you have a friend who has only recently started drinking scotch or who is a seasoned scotch drinker, they are sure to appreciate the unmistakable quality of this fine bottle of scotch.
Johnny Walker White
The winter season may remind your friends who happened to be Game of Thrones fans about the abysmal series finale, and no one needs to be depressed around the holidays! Remind them of the glorious early seasons and cheer them up with a delicious stiff drink with a bottle of Johnnie Walker White. This finely brewed whiskey includes notes of vanilla, red berries, and caramelized sugar and is best served ice-cold. The bottle also showcases a brilliantly designed message when frozen thanks to thermochromic ink on the label!
These gifts are sure to please your boozy friends and family members this holiday season. Take time to find out which drinks they love best and try to find the perfect liquor to match.
Are you looking for a new whiskey to explore? Try Heaven’s Door Whiskey – a whiskey developed in partnership with Bob Dylan.
Heaven’s Door Spirits developed this award-winning handcrafted American whiskey in partnership with Bob Dylan. The bottle showcases the welded iron gates he crafted in his studio, Black Buffalo Ironworks, as a symbol of that partnership. The Chicago-based distillery recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s famed album, “Nashville Skyline”. They announced that the Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts in downtown Nashville will open in Fall 2020.
After working with Dylan himself to develop various flavor profiles, Heaven’s Door Spirits’ Ryan Perry and Master Distiller Jordan Via produced Heaven’s Door Whiskey as a trilogy in the following varieties:
Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey (90 Proof)
Double Barrel Whiskey (100 Proof)
Straight Rye Whiskey (92 Proof)
The Straight Tennessee Bourbon comes from a unique mashbill primitive to Tennessee and utilizes 30% small grains. These grains are complementary to the overall character imparted from a minimum of 8 years in American Oak Barrels. Overall a smooth and harmonious blend with notes of vanilla and baked bread layered with toasted oak.
While Bob Dylan is renowned as a Nobel Prize winning poet, singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist, he also expresses his creativity as an iron sculptor. The artist’s ironwork, created from found objects discovered in farms and scrapyards yards across America, is in demand. The image of Dylan’s original iconic gates is featured on bottles of Heaven’s Door Whiskey, illustrating the close partnership the artist and the distillery enjoy.
Heaven’s Door Whiskey working its way across America and is currently available in the following states:
Don’t see your state? You can also purchase Heaven’s Door Whiskey online. If you’d rather purchase from a store, check the locator to see if a store near you may stock it. Continue to check in if your state is not on the list, as new stores add Heaven’s Door Whiskey to their selections.
Want to learn more about Heaven’s Door Whiskey? You can contact the distillery via email or find them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The employees are available to answer your questions or inquiries about the whiskey, a job, or general information. Heaven’s Door would love to hear from you.
A whiskey made in partnership with Bob Dylan and that focuses on his ironwork is something special. It’s a new way of drinking a high-quality whiskey in a commemorative bottle for you to add to your collection. If you’re looking for a new whiskey to try, get a bottle of Heaven’s Door and see what you think. It just might surprise you.
Contact Heaven’s Door to locate a store near you so you can give this exceptional whiskey a try. This is a special whiskey that’s also a work of art.
Peach and whiskey lovers alike can celebrate the latest limited-edition whiskey from Crown Royal, one of the leading producers of fine Canadian Whiskey, available from Payless Liquors. Crown Royal is renowned for its smoothness and unique flavor, and the master blenders at Crown Royal have successfully extracted the best bits of juicy Georgia peaches to create a vibrant and delicious new limited-edition whiskey.
Tasting Notes for Crown Royal Peach Whiskey
Whiskey connoisseurs know to spot great whiskey. Crown Royal Peach has a scent of fuzzy peach skins, oak, and hints of warm spice. On the palate you’ll enjoy the sweet tang of fresh Georgia peaches and creamy vanilla with the bold taste expected from one of the world’s most reputable whiskey manufacturers. The finish is sweet and smooth, and you can easily enjoy Crown Royal Peach Whiskey neat, on the rocks, or mixed with iced tea for a delicious and refreshing cocktail.
A Fantastic Addition to the Crown Royal Family of Fine Whiskeys
Crown Royal lovers will appreciate the newest addition to the line of flavored whiskeys from Crown Royal. If you enjoyed Crown Royal Apple, Vanilla, Texas Mesquite, or Salted Caramel, be sure to try Crown Royal Peach at your next opportunity. The delightful sweetness and rich, flavorful notes play well with the bold Canadian whiskey taste you expect from Crown Royal. Every batch is handcrafted and patiently aged to create the bold, yet smooth, flavor that has become the trademark of Crown Royal whiskey.
Established in 1939, Crown Royal has a nearly 100-year history of crafting some of the finest whiskey blends to ever leave Canada. Crown Royal is well-known for an unmistakable smoothness unmatched by other whiskey makers.
All Crown Royal varieties are fantastic on their own or mixed into cocktails. Enjoy your favorite whiskey cocktails with the signature smoothness of Crown Royal. The newest Crown Royal Peach Whiskey edition is sure to inspire some new creations. Customers can expect the same finely-crafted signature Crown Royal bottle in the usual cloth pouch, but the Peach edition fittingly comes with a peach-colored cloth pouch in lieu of the traditional purple.
Why Peach Whiskey?
Peaches are one of the most popular fruits in the country, and our Canadian friends to the north decided to blend the signature sweetness and flavor of fresh Georgia peaches with some of the finest-crafted Canadian whiskey for a remarkable new experience. Both whiskey aficionados and casual whiskey drinkers will enjoy Crown Royal Peach.
While most whiskey drinkers do not enjoy super sweet whiskey blends, Crown Royal Peach manages to capture the deliciousness and intensity of Georgia peaches without erring on the side of being too sweet; whiskey lovers can sip it neat or on the rocks for a delightful twist on the usual whiskey drink. Flavored spirits are growing increasingly popular across the country, and Crown Royal Peach is sure to turn heads and create new whiskey lovers.
Visit Payless Liquors to find out more about Crown Royal Peach and try some for yourself. Experiment with this delightful limited-edition whiskey and find a new cocktail that’s perfect for relaxing in the summer months.
Since 2013, Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company has offered an annual limited release of bottles from its Rhetoric Line. The tradition began five years ago with the release of Rhetoric 20. The line continued to grow more sophisticated, complex, and luxurious with each additional annual release. Sadly, this is the last of the Orphan Barrel Rhetoric line. With an additional five years of age and sultry new taste notes – Rhetoric 25 is here for a limited time. This line of bourbon retires with the refined dignity that gets better with age. Don’t miss the chance to take home a bottle.
About The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co.
The Orphan Barrel was born from a mission to share the country’s lost, great whiskeys, found or abandoned in the backs of distilleries and rickhouses – hence the name “Orphan Barrel.” When the company recovers these rare and spectacular barrels, every batch is bottled by hand to ensure quality control and a perfect product. Bottling and distribution take place in The Orphan Barrel distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
The location and culture of the company speak of Smoky Mountain roots, mixed with the tradition of Kentucky distilleries and the hip edge of neighboring Nashville distilleries. Though this is the last edition of Rhetoric for the small enterprise, they continue to release many special whiskeys and bourbons. The nature of bottling, sharing, and preserving these limited forgotten barrels, means that once Orphan Barrel releases are gone – they’re gone forever.
The Rhetoric line is mature, complex, and a little bit of fun. Orphan Barrel is rumored to have come upon the barrels in an old Bernheim Distillery in a warehouse for Stizel-Weller. That can’t be confirmed by our sources, but it is certainly clear that the whiskey has a complex and dignified pedigree. The barrels were certifiably distilled in the early 90s.
Rhetoric is a real hidden gem of a true Kentucky bourbon whiskey, and hits hard in all the ways that one expects from a straight bourbon whiskey. Velvety, rich notes of flavor help it go down smoothly, softening that edge and sting. Over five years of releases by The Orphan Barrel, have allowed those lucky enough to purchase the limited bottles a chance to witness the evolution of this vertical release.
In 2013, The Orphan Barrel released the first batch of Rhetoric after discovery – Rhetoric 20. After 20 years of maturing, the flavors proved to be quite profound. The first notes of Rhetoric 20 are leathery and smoky – reminiscent more of sweet tobacco pipe smoke, rather than peat-heavy scotch. The smokier, more masculine notes give way to toasty, oaky, and vanilla sweetness. The full finish hints to chocolate and cherry.
The subsequent releases of Rhetoric 21, 22, 23, and 24 have met mostly positive reviews. The greatest criticism of the latter two whiskeys is that the tannins are stronger due to the advanced age. However, some tasters love the slightly more complicated flavor and stronger proof. For most bourbon aficionados, the qualities that make the first releases great are only enhanced by the passing of time.
Nevertheless, there is a limit on how long vintages of this nature are viable. Most whiskeys peak around 20 years, and must meet certain parameters to age well beyond that. Rhetoric has enjoyed more years of great flavor, but every good thing must come to an end. That is part of what makes this vintage so special and valuable – it is the last of a set that tells a rich story of flavor and discovery.
Rhetoric 25 – The Details
Rhetoric 25 is set for release with the New Year. It will come in the customary 750ml trademark Rhetoric bottle. It is a stout 91 proof. While some flavor notes have stayed constant throughout the years of release, this edition is said to have more spice, dark caramel, and cocoa flavor. The high proof is detectable in the nose, but the taste is as silky, chocolaty, and toasty as ever. For inquiring minds, the company released a mash breakdown.
Rhetoric’s low rye composition results in a smooth easy drinking whiskey with just enough bite to remind you of its roots. The retail cost of a bottle varies, but the market is competitive because many die-hard enthusiasts hope to complete a set. For those in the market for a bottle – know that supplies will not last.
This is a Kentucky bourbon with a mysterious pedigree, and a story of salvation in the Tennessee hills. After a long run of satisfying libations, this batch is the end of an era. Enjoy the last Orphan Barrel release of Rhetoric 25 while it’s here.
Do you remember the Crown Royal “Bourbon Mash” to “Blender’s Mash” incident earlier in the year? The Crown Royal Noble Collection 13 Year Old Blender’s Mash is the end product in all this confusion. Though it wasn’t Crown Royal’s fault that the U.S allowed Crown to use the name but later changed it’s mind.
In essence, The 13 year old Blender’s Mash from the Noble Collection is the most bourbon like Canadian whiskey you’ll find. This is the third installment in the Noble Collection, which is an annual, limited release series by Crown Royal.
This blend is 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% barley malt, and has been aged in New American Oak barrels for at least 13 years – making this the oldest age statement released from Crown Royal to date.
Nose: Starts with sweet vanilla, notes of orange, and nutmeg with hints of oak undertones.
Palate: Mellow and creamy, yet rich vanilla that is not overly sweet. There is a mild tartness from green apple flavors. This gradually transitions into a spicier, oak and rye-forward flavor.
Finish: As the spices go down the back of your mouth you can taste undertones of caramel. Once that passes your mouth is filled with the flare of rye spice and that gradually eases into another wave of smokey caramel.
The recently awarded 13-year old Blender’s Mash is available at Payless Liquors for $69.99. Perfect for those looking for a more premium Crown Royal or those interested to try the most bourbon like Canadian Whiskey!
Are you a rare bottle collector? Snag a bottle of our Payless Liquors Hand-Selected Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon. You won’t find the same bottle anywhere else. Eagle Rare has won numerous awards including Gold Outstanding for it’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Masterfully crafted and carefully aged for no less than 10 years, this bottle is a rarity and a great breed of bourbon.
It has a complex aroma, as well as a smooth and lingering taste that lives up to its name with its lofty and distinctive experience. Some of the major flavors in this batch are toffee, hints of orange peel with dry oaky notes and almond on the palate. “Easily one of the most tactile yet assertive and expressive bourbons I’ve tasted in the last two years; fasten your seatbelts.”
There is just something special about Eagle Rare which has been blindly selected as a top bourbon choice in various restaurants and bars. We here at Payless had the pleasure of participating in the distilleries single barrel private selection program. Stop by our the Father’s Day Rare Drawing & Tasting event on the 16th off East Street for a chance to purchase your bottle of Payless Liquors Eagle Rare Single Barrel selection.
The Macallan Distillery was one of the first legal distilleries in Scotland almost 200 years ago. The roots of their founding are still prevalent in the brand today including natural raw materials, traditional distilling methods, and quality of craftsmanship. It is no surprise that Macallan single malt whiskeys are a favorite of father’s everywhere.
The Macallan distillery truly embodies a father’s relationship with his child, because after all, a solid foundation is the key to development in all areas of life. The six pillars of The Macallan encompass the strong sense of place at the heart of the distillery and its estate. In order to produce quality whiskey every time, the wood casks need to be of quality as well. In order to achieve this quality, Macallan takes the long journey of time, from a tree all the way to finished oak cask.
Celebrate the past, present, and future with the man who molded you into you. This June, Macallan is focusing on gratitude and wants to show dads everywhere how thankful we are for their love and support. Come to taste Double Cask and Rare Cask Father’s Day weekend in Zionsville or Indianapolis and get a special gift bag with every Rare Cask bottle purchased!
Double Cask Gold is the perfect partnership of American and European Oloroso sherry seasoned oak casks. This intriguing single malt celebrates the coming together of two styles. Burnished gold in color, the main aroma on the nose is lemon citrus with orange peel and an interlacing of vanilla sweetness and dark chocolate. The palate is medium sweet, malty and slightly dry. A long finish full of dried fruit, wood smoke and spice delights on the way down. Bottled at 40% ABV.
A few extra years goes a long way in the whiskey world and it’s apparent with the 12-year Double Cask. With the color of a harvest sun and a creamy butterscotch nose, this 12-year double cask marries the classic Macallan style and the unmistakable sweetness of American oak. With a deliciously honeyed palate with hints of wood spices, citrus, raisins and caramel, the oak lingering finish leaves a sweet warm feeling. Bottled at 43% ABV.
Ruby red in color, Rare Cask is a mastery with wood at its heart. This rich mahogany-red whiskey showcases two of The Macallan’s greatest and most defining strengths – sherry seasoned oak casks and natural color. Soft vanilla and raisin notes on the nose lead into a unwaveringly spicy palate. The citrus zest finale starts with vanilla and chocolate and the finish is warm and woody. Bottled at 43% ABV.
Alright, alright, alright…get ready to read all about Wild Turkey Longbranch!
We’re all familiar with the Academy Award-winning American actor, Matthew McConaughey’s fun-loving performance in films like Dazed & Confused, Dallas Buyers Club, and the TV series True Detective. One reason for his popularity might be his obvious Southern Charm. Born and raised in Texas, It is no surprise that he spends his time as the creative director for Wild Turkey Distillery. And a product of his is about to hit the shelves! This is the first time Wild Turkey has ever unveiled a product with a signature of someone other than the Master Distiller’s Jimmy and Eddie. Meet Wild Turkey Longbranch.
In collaboration with Master Distiller Eddie Russel, McConaughey’s true roots come out in the rare Wild Turkey Longbranch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. This 8-year old Wild Turkey Bourbon is refined with Texas mesquite and oak charcoals. McConaughey aimed to create a bourbon that is inviting to new bourbon consumers and one that experienced bourbon barons can understand and appreciate. The base comes from the classic Wild Turkey DNA and the low proof makes it the perfect gateway expression to pull people into the Wild Turkey family of whiskeys.
“Longbranch, in its simplest form, is an extended hand, inviting a friend into your family,” McConaughey says. “So the branch that was extended to me from the Russells was a long one, one that reached from Kentucky to Texas and back again. I offered the Mesquite from my great state to add to their legendary Kentucky whiskey and together we made Longbranch.”
McConaughey treated the production of Longbranch just as he would his movies. He and Eddie Russel spent many hours sharing notes and testing different combinations for close to two years before finding a proprietary process that combines two separate charcoal filtration methods. Their process created a smooth and full-finish with notes of smoky sweetness.
“When we were creating Wild Turkey Longbranch, we talked at length about how to make a product that represents elements of both Texas and Kentucky,” said Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell. “Our goal was to make a straight Bourbon whiskey with a soft sweetness that was still unmistakably Wild Turkey. The result was a Bourbon that we both truly enjoy drinking neat, and look forward to sharing with others.”
This is May! & Wild Turkey Longbranch is hitting the shelves near you for a retail price of $39.99.
You love hanging out downtown with friends, great food, and that clear stuff AKA vodka. But what do you do when it’s the middle of the afternoon and you need to lay low till evening and you’re not too fond of wine? Hangar 1 has the answer you’re looking for.
The genius innovation is rosé vodka. You heard me right. This great refreshing alternative to wine is a mix of a unique blend of Hanger 1 Vodka and California rosé wine. Perfect for drinking with a group of friends in the afternoon and just in time for the sunny days ahead of us!
Hangar 1 works with vineyards and farms to source the grapes and fresh ingredients. Their inspiration for rosé vodka came from the local Golden State wine culture and that’s something they wanted to celebrate. This truly is a first-of-its-kind beverage.
The taste is a bit floral with notes of crisp apple, sweet pea blossoms, and a hint of oak on the nose, with a silky and soft mouthfeel finishing fresh with hints of cranberry. Hangar 1 has provided a few hand-picked recipes here for you to enjoy, including the Rosé Spritzer.
From The Crown Royal Blender’s Series, Bourbon Mash has been all the talk around town. This Blended Canadian Whiskey is aged in a combination of ex-Bourbon and new charred American Oak Barrels. The result? A richly layered, perfectly balanced whiskey with the complexity of a bourbon and the signature smoothness of Crown Royal.
This bottle is a great gift for a Crown Royal Collector though. Why? Well if you’re keeping up than you would know that technically, they can’t call this a bourbon. Even though promotional materials clearly stated “This is NOT a bourbon,” the bottle’s label say’s Bourbon and that’s an infringement.
Crown Royal was forced to pull the bottle and re-label it; however, a couple states including Indiana, we’re fortunate enough to receive a shipment of the Crown Royal Bourbon Mash with the original label! Meaning this bottle is a rarity.
Bourbon is a distinctive product of the US and declared by US Congress in 1964 and signed by President Lyndon B Johnson. NAFTA contains a section where Canada agreed to recognize Bourbon Whiskey as a distinctive product of the US. The law states that the word “bourbon” shall not be used to describe any whiskey-based distilled spirits not produced in the United States.
If you’re a Crown Royal collector or just have a thing for the rarities, stop by Payless Liquors and get your bottle of Bourbon Mash before we run out! You can also reserve a bottle here.
There aren’t many spirits as unique as this one. Henry McKenna is the longest aged, bottled-in-bond, single barrel bourbon out there to date! It all started when Henry McKenna, an Irish immigrant, adapted his family’s traditional recipe to work with the grains he found in Kentucky around 1837. The result? A PERFECTLY balanced bourbon.
The mash bill of this product is 75% corn, 13% Rye and 12% malted barley.This 10-year-old single barrel bourbon has won numerous awards and accolades including Double Gold in the 2014 WSWA Spirits Tasting Competition. As well as, Double Gold in the 2015 SF Spirits Competition and Gold in the 2016 World Whiskey Awards.
To be considered a Bottled-in-Bond whiskey must be a product of one distillation season and one distiller at a single distillery. The product must also be aged in a federally bonded warehouse under the supervision of the government for at least four years, and it must be bottled at exactly 100 proof. Additionally, the bottled-in-bond label must clearly identify the distillery where it was distilled and where it was bottled.
Color – Warm, Golden Amber
Aroma – Vanilla, Caramel, Oak & light Herbaceous notes