Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I couldn't be more excited about the incredible line of Lost Spirits products we got in today! These are all extremely limited, some haven't been available for a while and some have never been available. The Leviathan is batch number three and the Seascape is batch number two, while both the other releases are brand new products. The three single malts use 100% California barley smoked with Canadian peat and are fermented in salt water. Here's what we got in:
-Leviathan III Peated Single Malt: 110ppm (parts per million peat), one of the peatiest whiskies in the world, cask strength (53%), aged in sherry casks. One of the most interesting and unique whiskies you'll ever try. Don't be fooled into thinking this is anything like a peated Islay single malt Scotch. Canadian peat has a much different terrior, think evergreen forests: Black Spruce, White Spruce, Balsam Fir, Lodgepole and Jack Pine. The barrels Leviathan ages in were charred slightly more than the other two, adding a little more color and caramely flavors. $64.99
-Seascape II Peated Single Malt: 55ppm (parts per million peat), cask strength (65%), aged in French oak late harvest semillon white wine barrels and then finished in rum barrels. Has a beautiful buttery texture and signature honey and jasmine notes that combine with smoke and Canadian peat. It's the least peaty of the three single malts but a flavorful monster at 65% alcohol. $56.99
-Umami Peated Single Malt: The newest member of the peated single malt line up. Umami has around the same ppm's peat as Leviathan (around 100ppm), and is cask strength (59%), but it's different from the other two by way of its higher salt content. Each of the three single malts are fermented in salt water but only Umami is ferment in a solution that matches the ocean's salinity. This creates some very different results as sodium more readily binds to certain flavor compounds producing different flavors in the finished product, and the boiling temperature during distillation is altered allowing for certain esters and phenols that wouldn't normally come through to make it to the finished product as well. This whiskey is a little fruitier and brinier than its siblings, and it was one of our favorites at the Whiskies of the World Expo a few weeks ago. $69.99
-Lost Spirits Navy Style Rum: This is the best rum you'll ever try! A lot of people throw around the concept that their rum is a whiskey drinkers rum but this is the only one I've ever seen deliver on that promise. It starts with baking grade molasses, not the heavily processed and chemically altered kind called black strap that just about every rum distillery uses. This is the real, high quality stuff. After barrel aging Lost Spirits employs a revolutionary technique that simulates the barrel decomposition you'd find in 30 and 40 year barrels. After a certain amount of aging decomposing barrels produce some very desirable flavor compounds, you'll find these a lot of times in older Cognacs and Armagnacs.
No one has figured out how to re-create this process in a short amount of time, until Lost Spirits. The process uses UV light shown threw the oak to expedite production of the chemicals found in old barrels. The rum becomes literally the color of black coffee and is bottle at a robust 68% (cask strength). There is no flavorings, colorings or any other additives what so ever. This is rum the way it was always mean't to be, and as such I give it my highest recommendation! You want this. $54.99
Available @ Both Shops. Get em while you can. Cheers
Friday, April 11, 2014
Just got in the brand new Chichibu Single Malt "The First" at both shops. Chichibu will be extremely limited to start, each shop only got one bottle, but I'm hearing more will be released in winter 2014'. I was very impressed when I tried this earlier, for a 3 year single malt its incredibly refined and drinks way beyond it's age. The flavors are soft and delicate with notes of wild flower honey, lychee, orange blossom, cereal grain and sandalwood. At 59% it's one of the smoothest cask strength whiskies I've ever had. These will sell out in a heart beat so make sure to look for it around town if you can't get one of the two bottles we got. $229.99. Good luck! Cheers
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Long over due in both Healthy Spirits shops is the Connemara line of peated Irish whiskies! What is arguably the most flavorful Irish whiskey on the market also happens to come from my favorite Irish distillery, Cooley. Cooley is the only distillery in Ireland currently double distilling their whiskey, which is in contrast to the traditional triple distillation method. This produces a more complex spirit that retains more of the base grain's flavor, much like a single malt Scotch. Add to that the use of Irish peat, which gives a beautiful smokiness and amazing flavors of terrior, and you have arguably the most unique Irish whiskey out there. Peat, as you probably know, represents thousands of years of condensed vegetation and organic matter. By smoking the barley with Irish peat all the flavors of plant life and earth are captured, making the finished product a transformative experience. The whiskey literally tastes like Ireland, how could you not want to try that?
-Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey $48.99
-Connemara 12 Year Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey $79.99
-Connemara Cask Strength Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey $74.99
Available @ both shops. Come and get it.
So maybe you haven't heard, but this thing called bourbon is becoming pretty dang popular these days. So much so that distilleries like Buffalo Trace and Heaven Hill are out of product across the board. The Fitzgerald brands have become the latest victim, as anything baring the Fitzgerald name is officially unavailable in California for the foreseeable future. Fitzgerald is of course one of the original wheat recipe bourbons which the Van Winkle's made famous at their now closed Stitzel-Weller Distillery.
While Heaven Hill's most heavily promoted wheat recipe bourbon Larceny will still be somewhat available, I took it upon myself to grab the last few cases of Fitzgerald 1849 in the state. At around six years old and $19.99 a bottle, it's hard to beat 1849 in terms of bang for your buck and quality. A very comparable bourbon in terms of price, age and recipe, is the currently unavailable Buffalo Trace W. L. Weller Reserve. Who's absence in the market seems to only further fan the flames of bourbon geeks everywhere bunkering down as many wheaters (wheat recipe bourbons) as they can get their hands on. Will W. L. Weller and Old Fitzgerald make an appearance on the market again some day. Almost certainly yes, but the days of finding this stuff on the shelves with any regularity may be gone, gone for good.
I got a few more cases at Castro or at Clement by request. Get em while you can my friends.
Got a small allocation of "The General", a super limited (1,698 bottles worldwide) 30 plus year old blend that's one of the most anticipated releases Compass Box has ever done. What really interested me about this Scotch was the idea of the unknown. John Glaser found these amazing barrels that contained a blended Scotch that had been aged, then blended, then re-barreled for over 30 years. They were so old, no one actually knows the component whiskies that went into them originally. It's sort of history in a bottle if you will, potentially from distilleries that no longer exist. Any way we were only able to nab two bottles. I have them both at the Castro shop or at Clement by request only. Don't sleep. $329.99 a bottle.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Got a brand spanking new exclusive barrel in from George Dickel, consequently with a certificate of authenticity to prove it (bonus!). This 14 year barrel was one of only two available in California, apparently the east coast ate up the rest. Needless to say fighting for it was a long-winded process, but we were able to work some magic and make it happen. This is the first time George Dickel has ever done a private barrel release and it's without a doubt the best Dickel product I've ever tried! Here are my personal tasting notes:
On the nose I get notes of brandied cherries, burnt marzipan, red hot candies, lava rocks, blackberry pie and damp wood. The aromas are seriously oak driven and fruity. As I let it washes over the palate I get flavors of petrified wood, maple syrup, carrot cake, swamp rocks, wet cardboard and frosted corn flakes. The finish is long and woodsy. While this whisky definitely shows its age in full force it never cross the line for me.
Get em while you can! Cheers