Exciting New Stuff

For the first time in....well....as long as I can remember, we've got a new Kentucky Bourbon, of a distinct and elevated quality, at a price point you can afford, and in quantities that we can actually advertise! I worked hard to make sure we got the jump on this and my perseverance paid off. Old Forester has recently been releasing a series of old style whiskies to commemorate specific dates in the history of American whiskey. The "1920 Prohibition Style" is the third release in that series and it's by far the best of the bunch, in my opinion. In fact, I thought it was so tasty that I did everything I could to get my hands on more of it. The 1920 edition commemorates the fact that Old Forester had a license to distill for medicinal purposes during Prohibition, and the distillery claims that the whiskey in this edition tastes like something that they would have batched during that period. If this is what medicinal Bourbon tasted like in 1920, then the sick folk were certainly drinking well! The nose gives off a heavy, dark, and concentrated aroma of maple syrup and rich oak, pretty much exactly like the distillery notes state (those are some accurate notes!). The palate is classic Brown-Forman Bourbon, it's got that grainy, corny, pencil lead character, but heavier and rounder. Before you can really settle down on those flavors, the 57.5% ABV lights up what's left of your taste buds before finishing with a clear note of dark chocolate and cocoa. I think what I like most about the Old Forester 1920 is that it doesn't taste like anything else on the market. It's a unique, satisfying, and interesting Bourbon that tells a story and delivers beyond expectations. I would highly, highly recommend snagging a bottle, especially if you're looking for something new to try.

Old Forester "1920 Prohibition Style" Kentucky Bourbon Whisky $59.99 - From the distillery: This 115 proof expression is the third release in our Old Forester Whiskey Row series and celebrates the brand’s continued distillation during Prohibition. For 13 years, the production, transport, and sale of alcohol was strictly prohibited. However, Old Forester was granted a permit to continue distilling on Louisville’s Whiskey Row. The 115 proof expression represents a barrel sample that company president Owsley Brown I would have batched at the beginning of Prohibition. The nose is an intense medley of cherry preserves, drippy caramel, dark chocolate, thickened maple syrup and seasoned oak spiciness. Dark caramel coats layers of malt nuttiness and sweet graham cracker all warmed by green peppercorn and coriander spice brightened with a hint of cedar. Tart apple crispness gives way to a long smoky finish full of toasted marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker sweetness.

In other exciting news, the mother of all tiki rums is finally back on the market. After a long absence, Lemon Hart 151 is once again available to cocktail fans across California! A classic made from raw demerara sugar in Guyana, this bottling is historically relevant because Lemon Hart was the original supplier of rum to the British Royal Navy. It packs a hefty punch, but mix it up in an authentic punch and you'll be happy you did. Currently sold out everywhere, tiki bars like Smuggler's Cove in SF are buying dozens of cases to use as the foundation for their drinks. I'd load up on this one if it's an essential for your home bar because it seems to come and go like the wind these days.

Lemon Hart Demerara 151 Proof Rum $33.99 - The one true classic returns!

While I know the excitement of the Old Forester and the return of Lemon Hart might have driven you into a frenzy, don't sleep on this little guy. Redbreast's new Lustau sherry-finished Irish whisky is absolutely delicious, in a you'll-drink-way-too-much-of-it-way-too-quickly kind of way. The classic pot-still Irish whisky collides with rich and round Lustau sherry in this new Midleton distillery edition. What I particularly love about the whisky is that the sherry is artfully and gracefully intergrated into the true Irish character. It's more like a light frosting on a delicious Midleton cake. The soft vanilla notes are still present, the light fruits and gentle grains that real Irish whisky fans hold so dearly, but they're elevated, enhanced, and lifted by the sherry, particularly on the finish where the richness combines to create an oiliness with the grainy notes. I'd drink this over the Green Spot any day of the week. To me, it's a vast improvement. If you're looking for a new Irish whisky (which I know many of you are based on the emails I receive), this is a great place to start.

Redbreast "Lustau Edition" Sherry Finished Irish Whisky $64.99

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll