American Bourbon’s Dominance Over Scotch Whisky Continues!
News Wire: FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY – For the second year in row, George T. Stagg, the iconic uncut, unfiltered bourbon released annually from Buffalo Trace Distillery, has been named the number one spirit in the world by noted spirits reviewer F. Paul Pacult. The list, compiled annually by Pacult, will be released in his June 2012 issue of The Spirit Journal. Last year, George T. Stagg was the first American Whiskey to ever be named number one in The Spirit Journal’s 13 years of tabulating. Stagg knocked off the perennial favorite Highland Park 18 Scotch Whisky for the first time ever, and this year the Stagg beat out a Northern Highlands Single Malt Scotch.
Notes Pacult about this year’s winners, “Spirits are continually getting better and more sophisticated each year. It’s no surprise to us that three of the top five spirits in the world hail from Kentucky, which right now is one of the hotbeds of distilling prowess.”
The George T. Stagg Bourbon Whiskey is part of the Antique Collection that is released each fall from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Long considered the frontrunner of the Collection, the Stagg has collected numerous awards over the years, including the 2012 Bourbon of the Year; the 2012 Second Finest Whiskey in the World from Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible; 2012 Gold Medal, San Francisco World Spirits Competition; 2011 Ultimate Spirits Competition Chairman’s Trophy Winner; 2011 Double Gold Winner, Best Bourbon, San Francisco World Spirits Competition; the 2010 American Whiskey of the Year from Jim Murray’s 2010 Whiskey Bible; 2009 Bourbon of the Year and Best Bourbon Aged 13-17 Years from Jim Murray’s 2009 Whiskey Bible; among others.
The 2012 version of the George T. Stagg will be released later this fall with the Antique Collection. Suggested retail pricing of the Stagg is $69.99.
About Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications asWhisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies.
Hand Selected By Balvenie’s Malt Master of 50 Years
By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight
With 103 single malt distilleries in Scotland there are only 5 which are still family owned. Speyside in Scotland has 48 of these distilleries, the highest per capita in the world and the Balvenie has the most diverse and prestigious range if not in all of Speyside, perhaps in all of Scotland. The only distillery with its own cooperage on site, the Balvenie grows its own barley, uses traditional floor maltings and has its own coopersmith on site. This hand crafted artisan style is unprecedented in single malt scotch production. Now, the Malt Master for over 50 years, Dave Stewart, has hand selected 10 of their best casks to create the Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3. Hand pumped from the cask, the ranges in years of the 10 whiskies are from 22 to 44 years. The Balvenie Tun 1401 is a cask strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky at plus 50% ABV.
Tasting Notes of the Tun 1401 Batch #3
Slightly peated, with legs in the glass, and flavors of butterscotch, this smooth and complex whisky has a dry mouth feel and slightly bitter flavor. Smooth, warm complex, dry and sweet, this is simply one of the best single malts in the world period. The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch #3 comes with our absolute highest recommendation possible.
What Single Malt Scotch Whisky was Meant to Be…
By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight
Only 180 people populate the Isle of Jura, and the Jura distillery lies on the east side of the island. Distilling scotch on the remote island of Jura dates back to the 1600’s and the Jura distillery just celebrated their 200 year anniversary in 2010. The island of Jura is just 7 miles wide and 30 miles long with one road, one hotel and one distillery. In Gaelic, the people of Jura are known as Diurachs and known for their hunting, shooting, fishing, sailing, lobster, and of course, single malt scotch. The Jura 16 Year Single Malt is aged just off the beach on the Isle of Jura and gets much of its complex characteristics from the ocean air. Matured no less than 16 years, this single malt Scotch whisky is simply one of the best in the world period. All we can say is WOW!
The Jura 16 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting Notes:
With a scent of ocean air, oak and syrup, thw Jura has notes and flavors of oak, syrup, honey and has real complexity. Smooth yet very complex, this is the perfect single malt scotch and comes with our highest recommendation.
Quadruple Cask Complexity
By Matt Goldstein
One of Ireland’s best and most famous whiskeys, Tullamore Dew was first distilled in 1829. Now, this staple of Irish whiskey has released a signature single malt that could be the most unique Irish whiskey’s on the market. Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt is the only Irish whiskey aged in four different casks, Old Bourbon, Dry Oloroso Sherry, Port and Madeira casks. When most people think single malt, their assuming single malt scotch, however, single malt merely means the whiskey is made with malt only and whiskey from one distillery. As opposed to most whiskies which are blends and a mix of grains and different whiskies from different distilleries, this Irish single malt is a contemporary distinction in the maturation of whiskey.
Bourbon casks are used in most Irish whiskeys and Scotches, however, the Sherry, Port and Madeira Cask addition is where this whiskey separates itself. Most will claim that these three casks are used to ad sweetness to the whiskey and many times that is the case, however, the Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt isn’t just an Irish whiskey with added sweetness, but an Irish whiskey with real character.
The Tullamore Dew 10 Year Single Malt Tasting Notes:
A very unique flavor for any whiskey, there are notes of oak, wood, malt, fruit and vanilla. Slightly smooth and more complex than the average Irish whiskey, this is solid and we recommend giving it a try.
Elmer T. Lee Takes the Top Spot with a Signature Rye Mash Style
By Matt Goldstein & Sommelier Tom Pittakas
Over the last few years Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has had a major resurgence as the whiskey and spirit world catch on to the complexities and the excellence of the greatest American Whiskey. Not only Bourbon, but American Rye’s are also in the midst of a renaissance as the country’s best distillers are proving we can rival with any whiskey makers in the world. We’d take a $30 Kentucky Straight Bourbon over a $50 Single Malt Scotch any day of the week. Over the past few years we’ve tasted every bourbon we could possibly get our hands on and these are the best bourbons on the market. We tried to stay away from special releases and bourbons that are simply too expensive as there is no need to spend too much money to find the perfect bourbon. Under U.S. law, Bourbon must be made with a 51% corn mash and aged in newly charred oak barrels. Bourbon must be from Kentucky and aged 2 years in order to be called a Kentucky Straight Bourbon.
A two time gold medalist at the San Francisco World Spirits competition and rated 91 by Wine Enthusiast, Elmer T. Lee is produced and distilled at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort Kentucky. With a heavy rye mash for a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, the Elmer T. Lee is very balanced and subtly is its genius. The Elmer T. Lee bourbon is bottled only when master distiller emeritus, the 91 year old Elmer T. Lee decides that it’s time. After all these years, Elmer T. Lee is still a master at his craft. Not only is this rated our top bourbon, but you can find it in the stores for about $35.00 and Elmer T Lee is simply one of the best buys for any spirit on the shelves. Made with a “Rye Recipe,” the Elmer T. Lee focuses more on the rye and grains than the sweetness of the corn mash. The rye style Bourbon makes a subtle, complex yet easy drinking style. Spicy with hints of cinnamon and honey, the Elmer T. Lee is rounded out by beautiful malts and grains. Perfectly balanced and flavorful, this Bourbon comes with our highest recommendation for any whiskey. Elmer T. Lee is still the master of the bourbon craft.
A special release of the small batch collection by Jim Beam, the Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is 9 years aged in newly charred American Oak Barrels, hand selected, and bottled at 120 proof. Exceptionally smooth for 120 proof, the Single Barrel Reserve has a light but sweet and smoky scent. With flavors of grains, malts, and an overall sweet flavor with notes of oak and wood, vanilla, chocolate and caramel. This bourbon is a flat out masterpiece and perhaps Jim Beam’s magnum Opus, not to be confused with the original Knob Creek, also a stud in the world of bourbon.
3. Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey:
Winning our first ever double blind taste test, even before our web site went live, Blanton’s is considered the original single barrel bourbon, a brilliant idea that has caught fire throughout the industry. An everyday work horse for bourbon, Blanton’s is stored in an iron clad warehouse but continuously heated to age and mature the bourbon. Sweet, smoky and creamy, Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is an perfectly balanced whiskey and simply one of the best Bourbon’s on the market period.
Selected as the #1 spirit in the world by the Spirit Journal and defeating perennial 5 times champion in a row, Highland Park 18 Year Single Malt Scotch, the George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon is now one of the most coveted whiskeys in the world. Winning award after award and finishing 2nd in our very own double blind taste test, the George T. Stagg is one of the most complex bourbons and whiskeys on the planet. Uncut and unfiltered, and bottled at 141 proof, this Bourbon Whiskey is for the serious whiskey drinker, one who appreciates every complexity in the glass. Once the whiskey cools down, flavors of oak, fruit, and vanilla ice cream give a perfect mouth feel.
5. Black Maple Hill 16 Year Small Batch Old Bourbon:
Although we did not want to select a bourbon this expensive, we could not resist adding the Black Maple Hill 16 Year to our top 10 list as it is not only one of the best bourbons in the world but one of the best whiskies period. With flavors of caramel, oak and nut, the Black Maple Hill 16 Year is the quintessential small batch bourbon, made in classic fashion, bottled at 95 proof from a single barrel.
6. Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon:
Bottled at 107 proof, the Pappy Van Winkle 15 was Rated 98 by the Beverage Tasting Institute.
7. Michter’s 10 Year Old Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon:
Named the “best american whiskey” by Food and Wine Magazine, not only is this one of the best bourbons in the world, but Michter’s American whiskies might even be better than their bourbons. Single Barrel 94.4 proof.
Handcrafted and bottled at 94 proof, Woodford Reserve is the quintessential sweet bourbon..
From the Jim Beam small batch series, the price for Basil Hayden’s is excellent for how well rounded and beautiful this bourbon is. Easy drinking at 80 proof. .
Winner of multiple gold medals, this single barrel is very complex for a young whiskey. Bottled at 100 proof.
Editor’s Note: Selection limited to Bourbons available in PA, DE, NJ, NY, and MD.
Glenmorangie Unveils Artein: A Single Malt Whisky Born of Stone
NEW YORK — Glenmorangie is proud to announce the launch of Glenmorangie Artein, the third release in its award winning Private Edition range. ‘Artein,’ Scots Gaelic for stone, is an intriguing marriage of 15 and 21 Years Old Glenmorangie, extra matured in ‘Super Tuscan’ wine casks. Stone has always been at the heart of the making of Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Glenmorangie has its own unique hard water source – the Tarlogie Spring – which slowly filters through layers of limestone, adding rich minerals that eventually give Glenmorangie its complex fruity aromas. Stone also plays a more symbolic role for Glenmorangie. Located on grounds near the Glenmorangie distillery is the Hilton of Cadbol Stone, an 8th century Pictish artifact, rich in ancient intricate carvings. This treasure became the inspiration for Glenmorangie’s iconic emblem, The Signet.
Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Head of Distilling & Whisky Creation, is renowned for pioneering the innovative approach of extra maturing whisky in ex-wine casks. He has long felt a strong affinity with the innovative ‘Super Tuscan’ wine producers who are justly celebrated for breaking with established Italian wine making traditions. The rugged Tuscan coastal hills, located on stony ground, seem an improbable area for establishing vineyards, yet the stone plays an important role in the taste of these special wines. The vines are forced to take root deep into the soil for nourishment and as a result the grapes ripen with the intense flavor of this unique terrain.
Dr. Lumsden comments, “Wine is one of my huge passions and I was fascinated by the role the stony ground played in the flavor profile of the famous ‘Super-Tuscan’ wines. I was inspired to experiment with extra maturing Glenmorangie in these wine casks and was thrilled with the result: a rich, outstandingly fragrant whisky — quite literally born of stone.”
Glenmorangie Artein’s recipe has two thirds hand selected 15 year old whisky with a special additional one third of 21 year old whisky. The spirit started its maturation in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before individually spending a period of extra maturation in Super Tuscan wine casks. On the nose, Glenmorangie Artein recalls a sweet and heady bouquet of ripe red berries, honeysuckle and fresh mint. On the palate, one can taste sun-soaked baked fruits such as ripe apricots, peaches and plums which harmonize fluidly with hints of spearmint and cherries in milk chocolate. A whisky of great length, bottled at a strength of 46% alcohol by volume, Glenmorangie Artein finishes with high notes of zesty, lemon sherbet and a flourish of creamy cappuccino.
The official launch of Artein will be held at Colicchio & Sons in New York City on February 15th, 2012. Celebrity Chef and James Beard Award winner Tom Colicchio will be in attendance. He will create a Glenmorangie inspired menu for this special evening.
Glenmorangie Artein is the latest addition to the ongoing Private Edition range, which consists of rare and interesting limited edition whiskies selected from “the cabinet of curiosities” of Dr. Bill Lumsden. Released on an annual basis, this range comprises the highly esteemed Sonnalta PX and Finealta. Brian Cox, Vice President Glenmorangie in the U.S., commented, “These Private Editions are fast becoming valued collector’s items. We have completely sold out of the last two Editions and anticipate that Glenmorangie Artein 15 Years Old will sell out even faster since the Super Tuscan casks make this a very rare Private Edition indeed.” Artein is available in the U.S. from February 1st, 2012.
Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky originates in the Scottish Highlands where, at the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills in Scotland, expertly matured in the finest oak casks, and perfected by the Men of Tain. The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field uniting tradition with innovation to create ‘unnecessarily well made whiskies.’
About The Glenmorangie Company
The Company is one of the most renowned and innovative distillers of Scotch whisky brands worldwide and is part of Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, the company produces two main single malt brands – Glenmorangie Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky and Ardbeg Single Islay Malt Whisky.
The Glenmorangie Private Edition Range
Glenmorangie’s Private Edition is an award winning special range that provides the occasional opportunity for the Glenmorangie Whisky Creation Team to share rare, limited samples of its rich and innovative experimentations to whisky connoisseurs and aficionados. Glenmorangie Artein marks the third release in this range; previous releases were Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX – a full bodied whisky, extra matured in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks and Glenmorangie Finealta – an exquisite recreation of a 1900s recipe from the Glenmorangie archives with subtle notes of peat.
One of the Most Underrated Single Malts
By Matt Goldstein
When people talk about the best single malts, most will tell you Macallan, Talisker, Balvenie and then tell you some dribble about the six classic single malts of Scotland, which was actually just a marketing ploy. Single malt vs. blended Scotch whisky, peated and smoky or smooth and syrupy, there are many ways to enjoy a scotch, all having their place. However, the Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt is one of the most overlooked single malts in the world, especially when you’re talking about the Glenrothes 1994. After winning multiple gold medals and “best in class” awards in international competition, one would think the Glenrothes would be behind the bars of many more establishments.
Established in 1879, this Speyside Single Malt is distilled in tall copper stills and aged in oak casks, the Glenrothes 1994 is a 12 year single malt scotch and it’s a work of art.
Tasting Notes of the Glenrothes 1994:
With the scent of sweet oak, syrup and salt, the taste is sweet and complex with flavors of oak, syrup, toffee, honey, and a complex finish with a slight hint of citrus. This is an excellent single malt that’s smooth and complex and we absolutely recommend it.
Pale golden, clear and bright
Bouquet: Fruity, toffee, marshmallows
Palate:Soft, fruity, lemon citrus
Finish:Long, soft and fruits
The Glenrothes we believe that whisky is a bit like people; or wine perhaps, in that it matures in casks at its own gentle pace. Sometimes this takes longer than expected, sometimes we’re surprised early. But whether it’s a Vintage, a Single Cask or one of our House Reserves, we only ever bottle The Glenrothes when we deem it to be at its peak of maturity to ensure that each unique selection is ready to enjoy at its very, very best.
Are You The 2012 Glenrothes Vintage Maker
The Glenrothes is launching the second-annual Vintage Maker competition running now till Jan 31. Share Your Glenrothes Vintage Moment and Win A Trip To Scotland. The Glenrothes is asking you to recall and share a game-changing or halcyon moment in your life, for a chance to travel to Scotland and create the 2012 vintage. The winners will be the entries that in the opinion of the judges best represent the definition of a Glenrothes vintage moment: a perfect combination of time, place, people and/or occasion when everything comes together to create a moment that will stay in the memory forever.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OalumKiFzU - “Are You The 2012 Glenrothes Vintage Maker?”
Wondering what the perfect Vintage Moment looks like?
This brand new video shares an inside look at the distillery and highlights the beauty and history of The Glenrothes, from the breathtaking hills of Speyside to the river Rothes and barrels upon barrels of vintage whisky.
See ambassador, Ronnie Cox share his own Vintage Moments here -
- 4 US winners will be chosen to create the 2012 vintage
- Share your Vintage Moment in 1500 words or less
- Trip takes place in May 2012
- Enter at TheGlenrothes.com or Facebook.com/TheGlenrothes
- Contest ends on Jan 31
The “Extremely Rare” Single Malt
By Matt Goldstein & Eric Duncan
Distilled and matured in Ross-Shire, the Glenmorangie 18 Years Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is considered “Extremely Rare.” Once it has spent fifteen years maturing in American white oak bourbon casks, approximately 30% if the whisky is transferred into Spanish Oloroso casks to spend a further three years maturing. Most scotches are aged for the majority of their maturation in bourbon casks because bourbon casks are only used once, usually aging bourbon in Kentucky for about 3-6 years. Then, the bourbon cask is shipped to Scotland to create single malts and blended scotch whiskies.
In the north of Scotland in the Highlands, the Glenmorangie distillery sits on the shores of Dornach Firth. Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been distilling single malt Scotch whisky and the 18 year is the magnum opus of this long, rich, critically acclaimed and award winning single malt distillery. Like many coastal distilleries in Scotland, the salty ocean water air gives the single malt much of its character.
Winning gold gest in Class at the 2011 International Wine & Spirits Competition, the double gold medal for single malts at 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, best Highland Malt at the 2009 World Whiskies Awards, and gold best in class for Highland Malt at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, the Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 Years Old has proven it’s stature in double blind taste tests again and again. Glenmorangie was also named distillery of the year in 2011 at the IWSC after taking 5 gold best in class awards.
Tasting Notes for the Glenmorangie 18 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky:
With a light gold color, slightly sweet in flavor, this whisky is a complex and crisp single malt. Slightly dry towards the finish with a good, thick mouth feel, there are hints of honey, malt smoke and oak. This is a beautiful whisky and we are lucky enough to have the pleasure to have tasted it multiple times. We highly recommend this single malt but there is a steep price tag, about $100.00.
For a whisky of this age this expression has maintained, thanks to our delicate floral spirit and fine Oloroso casks, an incredible degree of vibrancy where the raisiny sweetness of the sherry has been toned down by the nuttiness of the American oak.
Rich, rounded and sweet with dried fruits and a complex floral fragrance.
The taste is balanced between honey, malt and flowery scents. Dates and figs emerge in the background with a hint of wood smoke.
The finish is long and enticing with the sweetness of dried fruit and subtle dryness of Oloroso nuttiness.