Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I was lucky enough to meet with Ralph Erenzo (and Dustin from Domaine Select) Distiller and sales manager for Tuthilltown Spirits out of New York. Firstly, these are both very nice guys, I was a solid 25 minutes late and the paid it no mind....I hate being late.
On to the product. I tasted most of the line, all of which is well-made, but was really blown away with a few products in particular.
Hudson Manhattan Rye: Solid toasted color, plenty dark and warm. Nose was all about the grain, not overly oaked at all. These two aspects made me ask how old it was, he had already told me that they use new barrels, so I was a bit puzzled by how dark it was compared to how gentle the oak was in the bouquet. "3 months," was the answer. HUH!?!? I don't see how that is possible. Well here is how they do it.
To start, they use small barrels. In Scotland I heard these called Quarter-casks and bloodtubs. Laphraig has a quarter-cask bottling that is super powerful. The idea is that a smaller barrel provides a higher ratio of surface area to spirit volume, i.e. more oak per gallon. This is cool, but not ground breaking. The other move is pretty outrageous. Apparently, Brian Lee, one of the men behind the spirit, is a sound guy. He devised a way to hyper infuse the spirit into the wood using sound waves. At night they crank up a subwoofer in the warehouse and vibrate the resting barrels. I think the result is undeniable.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Two Wine Enter, One Wine Leave.
Rueters had a funny piece about the rivalry between Napa and Sonoma as wine growing regions. I personally find it funny as the bulk of the world has no idea what they are talking about. I would think even most people in the US who claim to be wine drinkers would be a little hard pressed to sum up the differences between the two in a quick and succinct couple of sentences.
The reason I find this interesting is that I am starting to feel a little of the same rivalry in the cocktail world between New York and San Francisco. Like the wine industry, there are actually a very limited number of people who are really versed in both scenes, but plenty who think they are. As well, the two schools of cocktails are pretty different when you get in close and study them. In the end however, we are all just trying to make good drinks, just as the wine makers are just trying to make good juice. So what if we might have different ideas as to what that means.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Looks like there is another American Gin coming to a cocktail glass near you, New Amerdam. It seems Gallo is getting in on the 'gin-boom" (yeah, I just made that up) we seem to be in. In the last 5 years we have seen Sarticious, No. 209, Aviation, Junipero (I am actually not sure when Anchor started selling this, but it was new to me 5 years ago), Blue Coat, North Shore, g'Vine, DH Krahn, Death's Door, Leeds, Dogfish Jin and Rehorst Milwaukee Gin come to market. Historically speaking, this has got to be some kind of record. If this happened every 5 years we'd be swimming in the stuff.