Starward Tawny

Whisky from all the way down in the wonderful island of Australia. I love trying spirits that make their distinct path in the drinks industry. It is quite refreshing when something unique occupies the new world whisky space, and Starward is one of those whiskies.

Born in the wonderful city of Melbourne, which is deemed the foodie capital of Australia, Starward focuses on flavour over everything else! Crafted to be that perfect companion to those friend or family filled dinner tables where enjoyment is the main focus. Another way that the distillery focuses on flavour, is instead of just finishing their whiskies in wine barrels, the full duration of maturation is done in different wine barrels. They did this to take on the old-world whisky ways and flip it. They wanted more of that in your face wine flavour burst! This mixed with the highly reactive climate in Melbourne, which they call elemental maturation, gives way to some wonderfully fruity flavours. The extreme weather differences in Australia gives way to some incredible reactions with the barrels.

The one we have here at the moment is their Tawny release. This is a limited edition project that is sure to disappear. Fully matured in fortified wine barrels that brings out a tasty rich and full flavour that is sure to please. It will not overpower new drinkers though; it still offers a pleasant smoothness. Wonderful fruity sweetness, with notes of dried citrus fruits, baking spices, and has a lovely dry finish.

Once the world starts calming down and travel opens back up, a visit to Australia is on the top of my list. For sure I’ll be heading to Melbourne for a distillery visit!

Slainte

Anthony

Forager’s New releases

Yellow Label and Black Label Forager’s have easily become some of our favourite gins by a long shot! The Yellow being that wonderfully crisp and refreshing gin to take any G&T to the next level. The Black being the quiet sophistication that every gin martini should be made with! So, when we received our stock of the new releases from Forager’s, I was beyond excited!

From seeing that they were trailblazing with the use of sugar beets in crafting their vodka or teaming up with a Famous jeweler to produce an incredible gin liqueur! You can tell that every bit of effort that they put into their bottlings are full of passion! There are plenty of great spirits out there, but not as many that are continuously striving to make better offerings for their customer base, like the folks at Forager’s.

If you have yet to try anything from the Forager’s lineup, please do yourself a favour and grab a bottle or two!

From the distillery itself, let me present the three new releases from the heart of Wales!

“Y Bēt (The Beet) – Welsh Vodka

Vodka distilled in the foothills of Snowdonia. Smooth and slightly sweet, this spirit is handcrafted and slowly distilled through a copper still. With hints of peppermint, cream, and citrus. It’s the perfect vodka for any cocktail. We are pioneering the use of Sugar Beets in crafting this vodka! Handcrafted to be a little off-beat, this rhythmic spirit was composed to showcase the harmony of the Welsh elements!

Forager’s Soulful Sloe Gin

Forager’s is proud to release the Soulful Sloe Gin. Created the way nature intended, slowly macerated with the freshest, late harvest sloe berries, orange and cloves. Sweet, bitter and rounded; perfect for a cold winter evening.

Foragers Clogau 2020 Release

The rarest of the worlds gold, meets the gracious Forager’s Gin. Combining the richness of sea buckthorn and the clean cut taste of Foragers Black Label, for this once in a lifetime Gin Liqueur, which tastes just like Christmas. Made in collaboration with our wonderful Welsh neighbour, famous jeweler Clogau! Crafted using the fresh water from the Clogau St David’s gold mine, deep in the mountains of Snowdonia.”

Slainte

Anthony

Larceny Bourbon

Definitely on a bourbon kick lately and this one from Old Fitzgerald Distillery is really hitting the mark this week! Larceny is another one of those bourbons that just isn’t widely spread, and usually brings out that reaction of ,“I haven’t seen that one before”, when you break it out for guests. It is always a joy to be able to introduce something to friends that haven’t had it before.

John E. Fitzgerald, who had exceptional taste when it came to bourbon, is the inspiration for this whiskey. The story goes that Fitzgerald, who was a bonded US Treasury Agent, had the keys to the old rickhouses where all the bourbon barrels were stored. He would use those keys to get himself in and steal bourbon from the barrels and take jugs of it home for himself. When those barrels were unusually light and unbelievably smooth, giving truth to his exceptional whiskey palate. These barrels became known as Fitzgerald barrels, which just solidified his legacy.

Larceny Bourbon, part of the Heaven Hill family, is one of only a handful of wheated bourbons on the market. Most bourbon make-up is corn, rye, and barley. Larceny has replaced the rye with wheat, on top of that, it has 25% more wheat than other wheated bourbons. In turn that creates a much more softer and smooth sipping bourbon. The bite of the rye is not there.

Just because it is a softer sip, it most definitely doesn’t mean it is less flavourful! This bourbon packs a hearty kick of flavours that open up into different avenues depending how you decide to prepare it. This is one I for sure do not get tired of drinking. Lots of honey and oak, along with some underlying cinnamon. This is not a polarising bourbon at all, I would bet most bourbon/American whiskey drinkers will get along with it. Very accessible, especially in a manhattan!

Slainte

Anthony

5 Warming Whiskies to Help Usher in the Colder Months

With the colder weather rolling in and most of us having to stay home, I thought a list of some of my favourite warming whiskies felt right. These are some of the ones I like to crack open if I want a bonfire feeling inside on those chillier nights. Now if you are not the biggest fan of smoky or peaty whisky, I may skip this list! If you love those flavours or open to getting into that peaty bite, then stay right here!

 

Bowmore Vault Edition 2nd Release – 50.1%

This 2nd release is focusing on the distillery’s smoky character and how it balances so well with the other flavours rolling in. The name referencing the distillery’s basement vaults that sit below sea level, the “No. 1 Vaults”. Wonderful flavours of stewed fruits, sweet creaminess, and of course a wood smoker BBQ!

Stalla Dhu Caol Ila 11 year – 60.4%

This newest release from our fantastic cask strength line up has quickly become one of my favourites. From the northern shores of Islay, Caol Ila has always been an understated winner in my book. This release doesn’t disappoint with that slight maritime sweetness, fresh cracked pepper, smoked almonds, and the not so overpowering campfire.

Laphroaig Lore – 48%

This no age statement release was created to represent the distillery’s over 200 years of knowledge and traditions. Lore is described as the “richest of the rich”, and I can honestly say it lives up to that. It is big, bold whisky that has waves of vanilla, dried fruit, with those telltale medicinal maritime flavours. This has been the perfect by the fire sipper!

Longrow 18 – Various

Not from the wonderful world of Islay, but equally delicious. From those fantastic folks at Springbank, this was bound to be good. Longrow is their heavily peated style and every release of the 18 I have had has been a winner! Very warming flavours of smoldering embers, lemon custard, roasted coffee, and a dry smoke.

Highland Park 18 – 43%

Couldn’t finish this list without mentioning that Viking elixir! Delivering some absolutely delicious whiskies from all the way up in Orkney. The 18 is a perfect representation of what the distillery is capable of. A very harmonious complexity that is velvety smooth and equally as rich. A soft sweet smoke, with rich honey and stewed cherries are only some of the flavours. This one brings out very indulgent tendencies.

Hopefully this list might help you decide on your next dram to savour on those colder nights!

Slainte

Anthony

Old Fitzgerald 9 year Bottled in Bond 2020

If you are looking for a super-premium American whiskey for that special someone this year, Heaven Hill has a good option for you! This Old Fitzgerald is part of the distillery’s series of well-aged wheated bourbons that are being released for each distilling season. This is the 2020 spring release that was pushed back because of the pandemic, but alas it finally arrived safely into our warehouse!

These bottled-in-bond bourbons have to be distilled at the same distillery, during the same distilling season, minimum of 4 years aging in a government bonded warehouse, then bottled at 100 proof or 50% ABV. So, it’s safe to say that to receive that designation it’s a bit stringent. And way way back John E. Fitzgerald was a treasury agent that used to patrol these bonded warehouses, often utilizing his palate for a bit taste testing.

The Old Fitzgerald name has been synonymous with quality bourbon for as long as it has been around, and that has not changed since the acquisition by Heaven Hill. These BiB releases are produced to offer whiskey lovers something a bit more special in the wheated bourbon space. The presentation is inspired by the original 1950’s Old Fitzgerald diamond decanter, honouring the brand’s long history and pedigree. The bottle will also don the tax strip that is a signature of transparency for Bottled-in-Bond products. The liquid inside the beautiful bottle pulls from different allocations from across their different rickhouses to pull a premium bourbon!

So if a wonderful premium wheated bourbon in an equally wonderful decanter is what you’re after, than this bottle is great for that collector…or drinker in your life!

Slanite

Anthony