Thursday, April 25, 2013
The long wait is over! Jefferson's Presidential 21 year has finally landed. Super limited allocations on this one, I'm fully expecting to sell out today or tomorrow. This incredible small batch bourbon is a blend of 15 barrels ranging from 21 to 24 years old. The barrel character and tannins are sumptuous and engaging and not at all tired. The flavors are super lush with notes of caramel, bread pudding, vanilla, Italian suasage, fennel, rock candy and earth. This stuff is also perilously drinkable and perhaps one of the last ultra aged releases we'll see. Get it while you can!
So I'm a big fan of what Trey Zoeller and our friends over at Jefferson's are doing. The legendary Jefferson's Presidential 18 year was without a doubt one of the best bourbons ever bottled. Their pedigree for searching out and finding quality lots of bourbon is unmatched. What I love about the Jefferson's and Jefferson's Reserve lines are their willingness to actually make "small batch" bourbons. They're not using a hundred plus barrels like some of the big boys would do. And their taking the time to taste every single component that goes into the blend, a labor intense and time consuming step that few bother doing. Kentucky Bourbon Distillers would be the other bottler I can think of.
-Jefferson's Very Small Batch $29.99: An incredible value for a whiskey containing 5 to 12 year old stocks. The older bourbon gives this offering alot of depth, earthiness and barrel character while the end result remains soft, lush and creamy. A long-lingering finish makes this a classic
-Jefferson's Reserve Very Old Small Batch $39.99: Another mid-range master piece at a price point we've never had it at before. The Jefferson's Reserve contains bourbon as old as 20 years, and sinfully inundates the palate with notes of burnt caramel, toffee, butterscotch, roasted nuts, leather, nutmeg and a hint of blackberries and rye spice. The mouthfeel is a little thicker and more complex than the regular small batch, making it worth the extra ten bucks.
These price points will be while supplies last at both the Clement and Castro locations. Happy drinking!
Let me preface this by saying I have a new favorite single malt in the shop. There were two whiskies at Whiskies of the World Expo that really stood out to me as the best in show. The first one was the Laphroaig cask strength 25 year single malt (which luckily we already have at the shop), the second was the new Highland Park 25 year single malt. I can't remember enjoying something so much in a long time. Highland Park walks a beautiful line between hints of smoke and sea air, but delicate, rich and approchable flavors. Here's my tasting notes:
-Nose: Aromas of seaweed, peat, earth, heather honey, butterscotch and crushed minerals. The aromas are really terrior driven, you can almost close your eyes and imagine yourself on the Islands of Orkney.
-Palate: Mouth coating flavors of salted caramel, toffee, gravel, brine, vanilla and white chocolate with a hint of campfire and peat.
-Finish: Super long and lingering with notes of bitter chocolate, burnt caramel and earth.
You want this!
Independent Scotch bottlers are having an increasingly tough time finding quality lots of single malt. Older Laphroaig stocks are almost impossible. But that's exactly what Douglas has accomplished here in their beautifully colored 15 year non-chill filtered Laphroaig single cask, which only produced 282 bottles. Got a chance to try this at Whiskies of the World Expo, and let me just say, holy cow! It's smoky, earthy and minerally while being lush, caramely and creamy. An absolute winner start to finish, and one we may never see again. Get it while you can!
Currently at Both Castro and Clement St. Shops
Friday, April 12, 2013
Just got in the first California made bourbon to hit San Francisco! This is the first batch of bourbon from our friends over at 1512 Spirits in Sonoma. With only 128 bottles produced, we were lucky to score a few. It pours a deep mahogany with tones of ruby vermillion. The nose brings out round, sweet notes of rock candy and maple syrup combined with damp earth and oak. The palate brings more of the same, but the cherry-wood smoked barley becomes more prominent. Cherry-vanilla coke meets maple syrup and baking spices to create a symphony of lush sweetness leading into an earthy, round finish. The proof keeps the sweetness in check, while also contributing to the overall weight of the whiskey. Wildly innovative yet elegant and refined..... We're looking forward to what these guys come up with next.