Companta Arrives, Plus Vago Tasting Notes

Glenmorangie Companta Single Malt Whisky $99.99 - Glenmorangie's 2014 special edition Companta is finally here! Hot off the heels of winning "Best Whisky of the year" from Jim Murray for their 2013 special edition Ealanta, this year's limited release utilizes red wine barrels from both Burgundy and the Rhone to infuse a red-fruited character that marries beautifully with the supple texture of Glenmorangie whisky. Using both American oak and cooperage from Clos de Tart winemakers, Dr. Bill Lumsden (Glenmo's head of whisky creation) managed to transfer all of the fresh cherry and raspberry aromas of the legendary pinot noir over to the nose of the Companta whisky. The color is a pale burgundy in the glass and a delicate note of cherry cordial is present. The palate, however, delivers classic whisky character, albeit rather desserty in style: spice cake, fudge, and cocoa dominate the flavor profile, but the finish is dry and spicy. Overall, it's a wonderfully-balanced malt and a huge feather in the cap for Lumsden; taking a style of whisky (red wine enhanced single malt) that has rarely offered greatness and making it absolutely great. Whereas we had plenty of last year's Ealanta in stock up until the "Best Whisky" award was announced, we doubt our customers will have that luxury this time around. Companta is one of the most anticipated limited releases of 2014 and it's a great way to start off the year. There might be back-to-back accolades in Glenmorangie's future. These will go fast.

(we’ve got more coming tomorrow, so don’t fret if you miss out)

In more news, the Vago mezcales I wrote about earlier this week arrived today. We've got the following below:

Mezcal Vago Espadin Mezcal $49.99 - Mezcal Vago is the business creation of Judah Kuper in conjunction with his in-laws in Oaxaca: a family of distillers that has been making mezcal for generations. Vago marks the first time their products have been available commercially, having previously been consumed solely by friends and family. The Espadin is the classic expression from Judah's father-in-law Aquilino García López. It's distilled from cultivated Espadin agave and showcases a clean and vibrant palate of citrus and smoke. Each batch is a little different from the last as Aquilino uses only the freshest, ripest agave when available. Overall, the Vago mezcales are some of the most exciting new spirits we've seen from Mexico in years and we couldn't be more excited about offering them to our customers.

Mezcal Vago Elote Mezcal $53.99 - The Elote is the classic Espadin expression from Judah's father-in-law Aquilino García López macerated with toasted Mexican corn. Like other producers use Pechuga (chicken breast) to add flavor, the toasted corn creates a creamier, softer mouthfeel that is insanely tasty and addictive.

Mezcal Vago Cuixe Mezcal $89.99 - The Cuixe uses only wild agave by the same name for the distillate. It's an oddly thin varietal that has narrow pinas and a floral, grassy, aromatic aroma. Those characteristics carry over into the spirit, adding grace and delicacy to a spirit often known for its power.

Mezcal Vago Ensamble del Barro Mezcal $69.99 - Whereas the Espadin, Elote, Mexicano, and Cuixe are made by Kuper's father-in-law Aquilino, the Ensamble del Barro is made by Uncle Tio using a field blend of Coyote and Espadin agaves. It's distilled in clay pots, which add an earthy and rustic flavor to the spirit. It's wonderfully complex and brimming with minerality and spice.

Mezcal Vago Mexicano Mezcal $89.99 – Coming soon!

Don’t forget we have tastings tonight in San Francisco and Redwood City! Lot 40 and Pike Creek in SF, while Tamdhu comes to Redwood City!

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll