Alright, alright, alright! We’ve got a great edition of Heads & Tails for you this week featuring cigars, corked whiskey, tattoos and Matthew McConaughey drinking Wild Turkey. (Bet you never expected to see that last one, did ya?)
We hope you had a good week and wish you an amazing weekend. Take some time to relax and enjoy the stories below. And don’t forget to share some of your favorite whiskey with a friend and introduce them to the concept of #drinkcurious.
Cigar & Spirit Pairing Guide
Whether you’re a cigar fan looking to pair your next smoke with the perfect whiskey or a bourbon drinker looking to learn more about pairing your next pour with a cigar you may want to check out this new cigar and pairing guide from our friends over at Famous Smoke Shop. They’ll help you find the perfect cigar to complement your special occasion or favorite drink. And you might just run across some Bourbon & Banter recommendations while you’re at it.
Find your perfect cigar and whiskey pairing.
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS CORKED WHISKY?
Most of us are painfully familiar with the flat, musty smell of a corked wine, but does the same unpleasant phenomenon ever ruin a bottle of whisky? Here’s the Whisky Professor with the answers.
Learn more at scotchwhisky.com
This electronic temporary tattoo can tell how drunk you are
In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in drunk driving accidents in America. It’s big deal. One of the best ways to combat drunk driving is testing, but breathalyzers can give false positives and drawing blood, while most accurate, is incredibly invasive. Thankfully researchers at the University of California, San Diego think they’ve invented a solution, and it starts with temporary tattoos.
Learn more at DailyDot.com
Matthew McConaughey took a big swig of bourbon and nestled deeper into a hotel penthouse sofa. Then, with zeal, he sat straight up and began sniffing the air like a bloodhound.
“They can smell it,” he said in an ominous tone. “Millennials, and I know this for a fact, can smell solicitation. And it’s a turnoff. The best ads are not solicitous.”
Add advertising maestro to Mr. McConaughey’s résumé.
Mr. McConaughey — Oscar winner, Texan, renowned bongo player — has signed a contract with Gruppo Campari, the premium spirits company, to serve as creative director for Wild Turkey bourbon. The multiyear deal goes far beyond pitching a product, as Mr. McConaughey has recently done for Lincoln. This time, in addition to appearing on camera, he will write and direct the spots. He has also involved himself in recording music for the campaign, which will be introduced in September. Read more at NYTimes.com
Who needs a drink?
Some people want a drink. And some people – like us- need a drink. If you’re one of us then we invite you to check out some of these cocktail ideas from our archives. Remember, if you learn to #drinkcurious, you’ll never have to drink alone.
Industry News & Updates
Suntory Whisky Toki, which launches exclusively in the U.S. this month and in Canada in July at a suggested retail price of $39.99, is a blend of carefully selected whiskies from the House of Suntory’s globally acclaimed Hakushu Distillery, Yamazaki Distillery and Chita Distillery. Traditionally crafted according to Suntory’s Art of Blending philosophy, the expression features the quintessential characteristics of a Suntory blend: exquisite balance, harmony and oneness.
A VIVID BLEND, TIMELESSLY MADE
While Suntory Whisky Toki respects tradition, it also challenges whisky convention by rethinking the hierarchy of its components. Suntory blends often use Yamazaki malts as their key component. Inspired by the spirits of innovation, the House of Suntory’s fourth Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo took a fresh approach with Suntory Whisky Toki, selecting the singular Hakushu American white oak cask malt whisky — with its unique freshness, mellowness and spectacular green apple notes — as one of the blend’s two pillars. To complement that selection, Fukuyo chose Chita heavy-type grain whisky as the blend’s second pillar, adding a clean taste with notes of sweetness and vanilla.
By pairing these seemingly dissimilar but deeply accordant whiskies, Fukuyo’s insight overturned the old relationship between malt and grain and created a blend that is both groundbreaking and timeless.
WITH A SIGNATURE BALANCE OF MALT AND GRAIN.
Traditionally in Suntory blends, grain whiskies have played merely a supporting role, acting as a broth or dashi to accentuate key malts. But the unrivalled sophistication and wide range of grain whiskies produced at Suntory’s Chita distillery led Shinji Fukuyo to rethink that role. He saw these whiskies, with their exquisite balance of complexity, subtlety and refinement, not as a scaffold for the heroic malt to ascend but as true heroes in their own right.
This unique encounter between Hakushu malt and Chita grain whiskies gives Suntory Whisky Toki its silky taste and vivid character. To give the blend greater depth and complexity, Fukuyo carefully selected two Yamazaki malts. Yamazaki American white oak cask malt whisky harmonizes the Hakushu and Chita components, while bringing roundness and reinforcing the sweetness of Chita heavy-type grain whisky with peach and custard aromas. Finally, Yamazaki Spanish oak cask malt whisky adds woody and bittersweet notes to the blend. The result is a vivid, well-balanced and silky blend with a subtle sweet-and-spicy finish.
The smoothness of Suntory Whisky Toki allows for exceptional versatility — the expression can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, as a highball or mixed as a cocktail. The Suntory Whisky Toki highball is recommended for those interested in experiencing how whisky is enjoyed in Japan today.
The highball is an artful blend of whisky and sparkling water over a generous serving of ice. In the 1950s, the highball was a favorite of whisky drinkers in Japan. The Japanese praised this simple, stylish cocktail as a refreshing way to drink whisky. They also loved how well it paired with Japanese cuisine. Since then, Suntory has played an important role in reestablishing the highball as a popular cocktail for a new generation of whisky drinkers.
To make the Toki highball in the proper Japanese serving ceremony, fill a tall glass to the brim with ice. Add one measure of whisky. Stir to cool the whisky and glass. Again add ice to the brim. Pour three measures of chilled sparkling water along the side of the glass to avoid melting the ice or bursting the bubbles. Add a twist of lemon. Enjoy.
TASTING NOTES – Suntory Whisky Toki (43% Alc./Vol. 750ml)
Color: clear gold
Nose: basil, green apple, honey
Palate: grapefruit, green grapes, peppermint, thyme
Finish: subtly sweet and spicy finish with a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger
“The 100-proof bourbon category continues to explode with an impressive 24 percent growth rate*,” says Fletcher Buchman, brand manager at Luxco. “We continue to add products to our portfolio that fulfill the demand for craft bourbons with fuller flavor and connect current and future consumers that celebrate authentic bourbons.”
David Nicholson Reserve is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that offers a rye mash bill for a spicy, warm finish and will be available in 750ml in July. This bourbon, bottled at 100 proof, is extra aged for a more robust flavor and a full-bodied long finish. Suggested retail price per bottle is $34.99-$39.99. The suggested retail price per bottle for the David Nicholson 1843 is $29.99-$34.99.
“David Nicholson 1843 is still made according to the original recipe and offers a smooth, wheated Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey with hints of vanilla and oak. For David Nicholson Reserve, with the rye mash bill, we achieved a more complex, toasted rich flavor and a spicier bourbon,” says Buchman.
The brand’s packaging refresh includes a sleeker, contemporary bottle and a cleaner label design. With the addition of a natural cork and embossing on the shoulder of the bottle, the packaging now reflects the award-winning bourbon inside. David Nicholson 1843 recently earned a double gold award in 2015 and a gold award in 2016 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
For more information about David Nicholson 1843 and David Nicholson Reserve, please visit www.davidnicholsonwhiskey.com
The map is accompanied by a 24-page booklet, which gives the details of all 805 distilleries. Apart from a few dozens of large distilleries, we also found many hundreds of small craft and micro distilleries, which fall into 10 distinct whiskey categories. This also shows the enormous upswing whiskey has taken in the USA during the past years.
The map is supplemented by a set of 12 regional whiskey maps due to the high density of distilleries in some areas.
You can take a look at our map collection at www.alba-collection.com. All maps come in several sizes. We also offer attractive bundles for resellers.
For further information, please contact [email protected]
“We pulled several cask samples that I felt really were showing well, and Chef and Ramon went with the ones that really spoke to them, and complemented their cuisine,” says Filibuster’s Master Blender, Sid Dilawri. He adds, “We started with a multibarrel blend of 4, 5 & 6 year old Straight Bourbon, and then a ‘Dual Cask’ aging process in former Cabernet Sauvignon French Oak barrels from Trefethen Winery is what set us apart. We went with a ‘High Rye’ style, which is more lifted and spicy, and better with food. The final step was ‘cutting to proof’ – adding water from our deep limestone well to get it to a smooth, but flavorful, 90 proof.”
This limited edition Filibuster/Robert Wiedmaier Straight Bourbon is available neat, in a cocktail, or as part of a brand new $18 whiskey flight program at Brasserie Beck and Mussel Bar in Bethesda and Baltimore, Maryland. A “flight’ allows the restaurant and bar guests to sample three different types of whiskies, to compare and contrast flavor and style. While flights are often seen in the wine and beer world, whiskey flights are a newer concept, in keeping with surging popularity of hand-crafted whiskies and other libations.
The family-owned Filibuster Distillery was founded in Washington DC, but recently relocated to Shenandoah County, Virginia, where the climate, the limestone ground, and water lend themselves to higher quality whiskey. Chef Wiedmaier states, “When I’ve got bourbon on my mind, I turn to a decidedly artisanal brand, not one that’s mass produced. You can taste the uniqueness in its flavor notes, a real timeless quality. I pour it neat with a good cigar standing by.”
These spirits were ranked among 401 spirits that were submitted from a total of 29 countries.
Bourbons earning medals include:
- 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Kentucky Tavern Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Flatboat Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Zackariah Harris Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
The Los Angeles International Spirits Competition was formed in 2007, with an esteemed panel of judges using a blind-tasting method to award medals to the best distilled spirits from around the world. The award-winning entries will be displayed during the Los Angeles County Fair, Sept. 2 – 25, in “The Wine, Beer & Spirits Marketplace.”
Complete results of the 2016 LAISC are available at www.laspiritscomp.com.
I wish to live to 150 years old, but the day I die, I wish it to be with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of whiskey in the other.Ava Gardner
Never find yourself without whiskey again
No matter what you do to avoid it, it’s going to happen to you. One day, despite your best efforts, you will find yourself at an event bored out of your mind and in desperate need of a drink. Unfortunately, there’s not an ounce of booze in sight. That’s right folks. It’s your worst nightmare come true.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little preparation, you can avoid finding yourself in non-booze situation. Simply head on over to the Bourbon & Banter Store and purchase one of our unique flasks so you can always be prepared. Simply fill with your favorite bourbon or booze, tuck it away in your jacket or purse and head out to your next boring and uneventful event.
Armed with a full flask you’ll never be bored again.