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2016 Cocktail Trends and Bourbon

In Cocktails by Alex JurasLeave a Comment

The average bourbon connoisseur may be vaguely aware of the emergence of a number of trends in the world of craft cocktails. While the more sanguine amongst you may raise a weary eyebrow at the use of ‘artisanal’ ingredients, home-ageing, or fancy garnishes and sparklers, and just ask for another large Pappy on the rocks; what if 2016 does offer some trends that you can apply to your bourbon drinking?

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Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Review

In Scotch Whiskey Reviews by Jarrod LapatoLeave a Comment

Aside from constantly second guessing myself on the proper spelling, what’s not to love about a whisky crafted in the spirit of friendship? (“Cairdeas” literally means friendship in Gaelic).

Each year, the Distillery Manager at Laphroaig, John Campbell, sets out to create an exclusive, limited edition malt that encompasses this spirit of friendship, and with this newest release, the Madeira, he has created one of the Distillery’s most unique expressions yet. In the words of Mr. Campbell himself, “Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira is what I like to consider friendship, distilled. This year’s bottling is exceptional because it’s so different from our previous releases. The aging of the liquid in Madeira casks makes 2016’s Cairdeas exceptionally flavorful and robust, while still maintaining Laphroaig’s characteristic peat and smoke. The result is a truly unique whisky.”

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Some Bottles Go To Heaven. Others Don’t.

In Banter by Jeffrey SchwartzLeave a Comment

You’ve poured yourself that last little bit of whiskey from the bottle. Now that you’ve savored that final drop, the empty bottle is standing on the table next to you. What do you do with it? Most people might look at the empty bottle and toss it in the trash. Wait a minute; you’re a responsible citizen. You don’t just throw it in the trash; you put it in the recyclable bin, right?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know whiskey is enjoying a huge resurgence and boom, particularly with American whiskeys. Big-name labels that sat on the shelves forever just a couple years ago are now almost impossible to find. There’s an extensive gray market out there to “assist” in the redistribution of wealth – meaning, some areas of the country see a larger number of these precious bottles and others won’t receive much, if anything, at all.

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Heads & Tails: The Bourbon & Rye 2016 Edition

In Heads & Tails by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

Welcome to this week’s installment of Heads & Tails – The Bourbon & Rye 2016 Edition.

It’s been a while since we’ve shared a Heads & Tails post since putting them on hold during Bourbon Heritage Month. Now that we’re almost recovered from that party, we thought we’d give it a shot and return them to their rightful home on Fridays. We hope you enjoy this addition and find a few things of interest to share across the web and help us spread the #bourbongospel.

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Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey Review

In American Whiskey Reviews by Brett AtlasLeave a Comment

Following in the footsteps of Michter’s, Willett and others, West Virginia’s Smooth Ambler Spirits built a cult following by sourcing some of the tastiest whiskey on the planet. Appropriately called “Old Scout” (SAOS), the bottles could be counted on for their quality, and they have taken home some prestigious awards. Unfortunately, given the current bourbon climate, the sourced Old Scout bottles were swallowed up so fast that the folks at Smooth Ambler were sadly forced to discontinue their standard 99 proof rye and bourbon Old Scout releases.

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Bourbon & Rye 2016

In Banter by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

We’re not very political here at Bourbon & Banter. But sometimes you have to say enough, is enough. This year’s elections have gotten out of control, and we’re pretty darn sure there’s only one way we’re going to survive the elections.

Yep. We’re going to drink ourselves through them. That’s why we’re standing behind the Bourbon & Rye party for 2016 and beyond.

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Bourbon & Ginger Cocktail Recipe

In Cocktails by Erin PetreyLeave a Comment

According to John Vickers-Smith, the Maker’s Mark “Distillery Diplomat” for the DC area, the Bourbon and Ginger was, in recent years, the most popular bourbon cocktail in DC. With an established and ever-expanding cocktail scene, this is unsurprising. I have found that throughout my bar-going life that the Bourbon and Ginger tends to attract more cocktail-centric folks, as well as bourbon-diehards looking for something a bit lighter to sip. Sometimes, an occasion (or a bar) doesn’t warrant a neat or on-the-rocks pour. And sometimes, you just need a mixed drink.

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Through the Looking Glass: Tommyrotter Bourbon Barrel Gin Review

In Gin Reviews by Jim KnudsenLeave a Comment

It should not be a surprise that I am primarily a bourbon guy, while I do enjoy gin on occasion. In fact, I was drinking gin before I started on bourbon. So began my tale of heading down the rabbit hole of craft gin. And to paraphrase the Cheshire Cat, if you don’t care where you are going, then it doesn’t matter which way you go.

My preference in gin is fairly routine, London dry gin and almost always in the form of a martini. To quote Bobby Finan, Partner and co- founder with Sean Insalaco of Tommyrotter, their gin is “a far cry from London dry”. The experience with Tommyrotter was quite an eye opener and one that I must admit took some time.