Whisky Advocate

Tips on Making Smoked Cocktails From a Professional Bartender

Can’t get enough smoke in your whisky? Bartender Charles Joly, the 2014 Global Bartending Champion and co-founder of Crafthouse Cocktails , likes to flavor spirits and cocktails using cold-smoke devices that add tantalizing barbecue and smokehouse flavors, but without the meat-searing heat. “Aroma is where the party happens,” he says. “The more senses you can engage, the more you engage the drinker, the more memorable experience they’ll have.”

Now it’s easy for at-home bartenders to do likewise, with the arrival of handheld and bartop smokers that turn any dram into a tasty and dramatic event. The key is to add...

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Metallica’s New Master Distiller Shares Plans for the Future

Following the announcement that he had been named master distiller and blender for Metallica’s Blackened whiskey , Rob Dietrich sat down with Whisky Advocate to talk about his goals, plans for new products, and what it feels like to step into the shoes of whiskey icon Dave Pickerell, who helped launch Blackened last year shortly before his death . Owned by Sweet Amber Distilling Co., Blackened is a blend of straight bourbons, ryes, and whiskeys sourced from across North America and subjected to a proprietary “sonic enhancement” process that uses Metallica songs to create sound waves, which ultimately impacts flavor....

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Are Online Sales Hurting Traditional Auction Houses?

The staid world of whisky auctions rarely sees a shakeup more dramatic than a record-setting price, but a recent sale at Bonhams in Edinburgh maj indicate that major changes are underway. More than 350 bottles of whisky valued in excess of $300,000 went unsold in the auction held on juni 5. The unwanted bottles represented nearly 40% of the lots—an unprecedented failure for a house like Bonhams.

Even with a growing number of whiskies consigned to auction each year, the successful sell rate is generally above 90%. In this sale, however, Bonhams sold just 62%—240 out of 387 lots in...

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Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Crown Royal French Oak Cask Finished More New Whisky

imageDo you miss Game of Thrones? Johnnie Walker —which previously released White Walker —is here to help assuage your woes with two new special-edition blends: Song of Ice and Song of Fire. Few details are available, but even a casual GoT fan will recognize that the Song of Ice packaging features direwolves, the sigil of House Stark, while the Song of Fire packaging shows House Targaryen’s dragons. Both whiskies are available for pre-order at Reservebar.com, priced at $43. A full U.S. rollout will happen in augusti.

Also coming out at the end of the summer, Old Forester’s 2019 Birthday Bourbon....

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Van Winkle Rye Makes a Great Stanley Cup Toast, Apparently

Scoring a rare bottle of whiskey can feel like a victory unto itself, and St. Louis Blues left wing Robby Fabbri took that winning spirit to entirely new heights. The Blues won their first-ever Stanley Cup Wednesday night, defeating the Boston Bruins 4 to 1 in a winner-take-all Game 7, and Fabbri celebrated by drinking straight from a bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 year old rye —giving all new meaning to drinking whiskey on ice.

Anything Pappy-related is the object of desire for most in the whisky community, so to see the Canadian-born Fabbri approach the bottle with...

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With Sale to Pernod Ricard, Rabbit Hole Distillery Sets Its Sights on Global Expansion

Next stop, world domination: Rabbit Hole Distillery announced today that it has sold a majority stake to drinks conglomerate Pernod Ricard , a move that will allow the Kentucky whiskey maker to expand its reach far beyond its current footprint. The sale happens barely one year after Rabbit Hole opened the doors to its $18 million, 55,000-square-foot distillery in Louisville’s Butchertown neighborhood. Pernod Ricard also holds a majority stake in West Virginia’s Smooth Ambler Distillery .

Rabbit Hole founder Kaveh Zamanian—a psychoanalyst who started contract-producing whiskey at other distilleries in 2014—says that the partnership will enable the brand to expand...

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10 Highest Scoring Whiskies in the Summer 2019 Issue

More than 125 whiskies are reviewed in the Summer 2019 issue of Whisky Advocate—from single malt and blended scotch to bourbon, rye, Irish, Canadian, Japanese whisky, and more. Here, we highlight the ten highest-scoring whiskies (not featured as Collectibles or Editors’ Choice bottles) that are for sale in the U.S., each netting 92 points or above.

Angel’s Envy Oloroso Sherry Cask Finished Bourbon 93 points, 50% ABV, $200

The confectionary nose of flan and crème caramel comes draped over lovely grainy aromas of warm porridge and pastry crust. Vinous notes of cherry/berry fruit emerge, along with toasted almonds and floral...

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What Makes American Malt Whiskey Different from Single Malt?

In Scotland, Maltwhisky is always made using 100% malted barley. In the U.S. many malt whiskeys (especially those labeled “single malt”) are made with 100% malted barley as well. But they don’t have to be: U.S. regulations stipulate that malt whiskey is only required to have a minimum of 51% malted barley in the mashbill.

Like bourbon and rye, the maximum proofs for distillation and barrel entry for American malt whiskey are 160 and 125, respectively. Additionally, it must be stored in new, charred oak barrels. Therefore, American malt whiskeys are closer kissing cousins to bourbon and American rye...

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Inside Top 20: Virginia Distillery Co. Cider Cask Finished Whiskey

When formulating the annual Top 20 list, Whisky Advocate’s editors consider multiple factors, including quality—a score of 90 points or higher—availability, and affordability. Beyond that, however, we look for singular characteristics that make a whisky unique—what we call “x-factor.” With its inventive blend of Highland malt scotch and American single malt, finished in a hard cider cask, Virginia Distillery Co.’s Cider Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whiskey, number 13 in the 2018 Top 20 , had x-factor that simply couldn’t be denied. Distillery director Ian Thomas explains how such a unique dram came to be created.

The post Inside Top 20: Virginia Distillery...

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Learn the Basics of Barrel Proof Whiskey

Although whiskey has just four simple ingredients: water, grain, yeast, and oak, it can get complicated. To understand the term ‘barrel proof,’ for instance, you must understand the oak barrel’s role—to house the whiskey as it matures, imparting pleasurable flavors and also eliminating undesirable ones. Then there’s proof, which is simply a measure of alcohol content equal to twice the percentage of alcohol by volume. For example, a 100 proof spirit is 50% alcohol.

Although it is not part of the federal government’s Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, the term ‘barrel proof’ is officially defined. In 1979, the Federal...

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A Quick Guide to Irish Whiskey Blends

Irish whiskey is a rich and diverse style, encompassing many grains, techniques, and flavors. The whiskey often hits its apex through blending with this rich palette—and right now might be considered the golden age of Irish blends .

An Irish Whiskey Blend for Every Taste

If you want to get deep into the fundamentals of Irish whiskey, check out Instant Expert . For a quick-and-dirty summary of the different whiskeys that go into blends, and where they typically originate, use this guide.

The Four Types of Irish Whiskey

Legally, Irish whiskey can fall into one of four categories.

Single Malt...

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Ardbeg Drum, Teeling 29 Year Old Single Malt More New Whisky

With many new whiskies to look forward to this week, there’s one that will be out of reach for everyone but a single lucky (and wealthy) bidder.

Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson has collaborated with chef Massimo Bottura to create a one-of-a-kind 49 year old whisky that will be available only via a Sotheby’s online auction from april 25-maj 9. The lot will also include dinner for two at Bottura’s Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, and the proceeds will benefit his non-profit community organization Food For Soul. The Dalmore L’Anima 49 year old (“l’anima” is Italian for “soul”) is a...

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Rare Whiskies to Be Auctioned—Sight Unseen

Bidding has opened on Hart Davis Hart’s mobile-only auction of fine and rare spirits , which the Chicago-based wine auction house claims will be the largest spirits-only auction in U.S. history . Just over half of the 1,656 lots are American whiskey, roughly a third are scotch, and the remainder are Japanese and other world whiskies and miscellaneous spirits. Hart Davis Hart (HDH) predicts the mobile-only auction will realize $1 million–1.6 million over the two day sale mars 14-15. Bids must be placed using the HDH app or website, with no in-person bidding.

Online auctions can be a great way...

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Essential Whiskey Cocktail: Sazerac

When we think about cocktails, the base spirit usually comes to mind first. But the Sazerac began with its bitters.

In the late 1700s, Antoine Amédée Peychaud immigrated to New Orleans from Haiti, bringing with him a recipe for bitters. When he opened a pharmacy in the 1830s, he began serving his bitters medicinally with sugar and cognac.

“Eventually people began asking for Peychaud’s bitters about town,” says cocktail historian Elizabeth Pearce , author of Drink Dat New Orleans. “One place [that had them] was the Sazerac Bar, located in the 100 block of Royal Street.” This bar combined the...

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Meet our 2018 Top 20 Sweepstakes Winner

Blake Borah estimates he had about 50 bottles of whisky in his Harlem studio apartment before adding three more when the 36 year old was selected as the winner of Whisky Advocate’s 2018 Top 20 sweepstakes. For Borah—who is the beverage director at New York City restaurant Barn Joo —a love of whiskey started in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky when he got a job bartending at The Oakroom in the Seelbach Hotel .

“They had a very nicely curated bourbon and whiskey selection. This is when I was first starting out, and I was just doing bartending, so I...

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The Must-Grab Whiskies When Visiting Canada

If Canada isn’t yet on your must-visit list, it should be. Not only is the country home to some of the best spots for whisky tourism— many just a short jaunt across the border —Canada also keeps some of its best bottles for the home market. Take a trip and scoop a few up—use these suggestions to make your shopping list. (Prices in Canadian dollars.)

Canadian Classics

Start here for prime examples of Canadian-style whisky.

Canadian Rockies 21 year old —92 points, $110 Lush, creamy corn whisky from Highwood Distillers, Canada’s last privately owned traditional distillery. With a maple leaf...

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How to Taste Butter Flavors in Whisky

Picture the cool creaminess of butter slathered over fresh bread, browning to a sizzle in a hot pan, or dripping from a glistening ear of corn. A slightly oily, mouth-coating quality is the calling card of a buttery whisky, but the tasting experience can span the aromas and flavors of butter as well.

The buttery textural sensation that appears in many types of whisky is derived from diacetyl, a compound that arises naturally from yeast activity during fermentation that can accumulate due to the action of bacteria in the washback. Distillers aim to keep the level of diacetyl in check:...

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These Seared Sea Scallops Are a Perfect Match for Coastal Scotch

Scotland’s coastal regions are home to some of the country’s finest single malt whiskies: from Old Pulteney, crafted in the far north of Scotland and influenced by the North Sea, to the Orkney Islands-based Highland Park, to the eight operational distilleries on the isle of Islay. The influence of the coast and the bodies of water beyond is inescapable, leading to whiskies that show a range of salty and briny flavors . And—because salt enhances and amplifies flavors—these whiskies are especially suited to pairing with food.

“Coastal scotches like Old Pulteney pair well with this scallop dish because of the...

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Eight Sand Blended Bourbon, 40 Year Old Scotch More New Whisky

It’s a mixed bag of whisky and whiskey this week.

First up, MGP Distillery has unveiled a new brand called Eight & Sand. The whiskey is a blended bourbon, which includes both straight bourbon and other unspecified American whiskeys. It’s hitting shelves in a dozen states for $30.

Want to taste whisky from a long-dead distillery? Littlemill 40 year old, distilled in the waning days of the 1970s, is available from Loch Lomond Group . Just 250 bottles are being released, including 23 coming to the U.S. for the hefty, but round, price of $10,000.

Two new whiskies from Germany are...

Läs mer http://whiskyadvocate.com/eight-sand-mgp-whiskey-littlemill-40-year-scotch-whisky/

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