Specials / New Products

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Plantation 1998 Guadeloupe Rum


This spectacular rum is unique in the growing portfolio of Plantation Rums in that it is made with 100% pressed sugar cane (not molasses like the rest of the Plantation collection). And while most 100% pressed sugar cane rum is rhum agricole, this one cannot be called that. The AOC allows limited quotas of rum produced in Guadeloupe and Martinique to bear the “rhum agricole” label. This rum was simply over quota, so it could not bear that name.

Regardless – and interestingly – Guadeloupe 1998 won “Best Rhum Agricole” at the UK RumFest!

Plantation Rum announces the addition of a hand-crafted and limited edition Plantation Rum Guadeloupe Vintage 1998 to its distinguished collection of artisanal rums. It is the only rum in the Plantation Rum portfolio made from 100% pressed sugar cane and as such should be labeled a rhum agricole. According to quota limits established by the AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée), this is one rum that cannot bear this recognition. Despite this, it was still named “Best Rhum Agricole Aged Over 4 Years” at the UK RumFest 2010. This rum is just now available in the US. Created by spirits visionary Alexandre Gabriel, a man committed to producing specialty spirits so distinctive and revolutionary that they set the bar for all others, only 600 bottles of Plantation Guadeloupe Vintage 1998 are released for the US market.

The rums in the Plantation portfolio are made with a proprietary Cognac Ferrand “double-aging” technique that is not used by any other producer in the industry. With the exception of Guadeloupe which is made from sugar cane, all Plantation Rums are made from molasses, distilled, put into casks and aged (for a time) in their country of origin before being shipped to the Cognac Ferrand estate in France where they are finished in previously used casks and then bottled. The portfolio shows the true terroir of the rum and includes blends from Barbados as well as limited edition vintages from Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama and Trinidad.

Regarding Plantation Guadeloupe’s rum vs. rhum agricole labeling, according to the AOC, limited quotas of rum produced in Guadeloupe and Martinique can bear the “rhum agricole” label. This rum was simply over quota, so it could not bear that name. However, in every other way, Plantation Guadeloupe technically fits the rhum agricole definition: produced in Guadeloupe, distilled from 100% pressed sugar cane juice, in a short column still (15 to 25 trays) then aged for 11 years (in Guadeloupe) in large French oak casks. Once they reached this maturity, these selected casks were shipped to Cognac Ferrand where they were poured into previously used casks and aged for one more year before bottling.

“Most rhum agricoles that I tasted were not a good tasting profile match for a second aging in our casks,” says Alexandre Gabriel. “Some have this vegetal quality that would not agree with the rancio aromas from our barrels which is this hard-to-describe nutty, spicy, sandalwood essence that comes from old casks. This rum was an exception, and showed some unusual potential. Now after 12 years of aging, we find we have a truly unique Guadeloupian gem to share.”

Plantation Guadeloupe 1998 was originally released as a single barrel edition in the German market only in 2010. Unbeknownst to Cognac Ferrand, one of these bottles was entered into the Rhum Agricole” category at the UK RumFest competition and was awarded “Best Rhum Agricole Aged Over 4 Years” in the Golden Rum Barrel Awards even though it did not bear this label! Its fellow nominees included some of the best rhum agricoles in the world, making this recognition even sweeter.

TASTING NOTES – Plantation Guadeloupe Vintage 1998

Possessing subtle orange and vanilla flavors with touches of dried fruits, the liquid is perfectly balanced, round and lush with a long smooth and fruity finish. It has a strong aroma with slight notes of citrus and oak.

Caribou Crossing, Single Barrel Canadian Whisky


Connoisseur Whisky of the Year – Export Market: Caribou Crossing
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel whisky was released in the U.S. early in 2010 to high acclaim from whisky writers and connoisseurs. Consumers and critics alike were impressed with this complex and richly flavoured new whisky. As a single barrel whisky, Caribou Crossing introduces American consumers to a new Canadian whisky in a style much admired by connoisseurs.

Single barrel is about as close as you can get to sampling whisky right out of the barrel, without actually visiting the distillery. And because unions, liability insurance policies, and various health and safety regulations tend to keep visitors out of most Canadian distilleries, Caribou Crossing is as good as it gets. And that is some good! If the whisky is this appealing at 40% alc./vol., a cask strength version would be staggering (hint, hint). Sazerac Company, which bottles Caribou Crossing, has spared no expense in bringing it to market as a premium whisky. This is a situation where a distiller’s intent and the connoisseur’s taste really line up.

Presented in a substantial domed cube bottle, with a hologram of a caribou stag standing, head erect, framed by aurora borealis – the Northern lights – a maple-leaf-crowned metal stopper sealed with blue wax, the package fairly screams “Canadian arctic.” This, you imagine, is a whisky to nurture as you warm up by the fire after a long day mushing the dog team. Well, clichéd images of Canada aside, this is also a whisky Canada can be proud of, and so much the better that people can tell even by the look of it where it actually comes from.

Sazerac promises more high-end releases, cherry picked from among its growing stockpile of more than 200,000 barrels of Canadian whisky. Good news for U.S. whisky drinkers.

To a growing list of accolades, Caribou Crossing now adds the award, Connoisseur Whisky of the Year – Export Market.

More information at CanadianWhisky.Org

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon - $97.99

Valentine's Day SPECIAL!- $86.99

Only 3,500 bottles of this special Bourbon bottling were produced, and it made Esquire magazine's list of "The 2011 bottles you'll want to try"

From time to time, Jim Rutledge, the Four Roses Master Distiller, selects a few exceptional barrels and marries them by hand to create an exquisite Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon like this one. Three recipes aged between 10 and 15 years have been mingled at barrel strength, creating a rich, complex spirit with soft aromas, subtle fruit flavors and a creamy smooth finish. Nose: Aromas of soft oak, caramel and honeysuckle. Palate: Subtle flavors of cherries and apricot, balanced with light spice and honey. Finish: Creamy smooth, long and mellow.

More information at: Four Roses

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Old Forester Bourbon 1.0L - $18.99

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Old Forester is one of the oldest Bourbon brands, and holds the distinction of being both the first bottled Bourbon as well as one of only six distilleries which were allowed to remain open during Prohibition (to produce whiskey for medicinal purposes). Old Forester 86 Proof is made in the same classic, time-honored style originated by George Garvin Brown in 1870. Twice-distilled, this remarkable spirit is crafted using an exacting grain recipe of corn, rye and malted barley. Old Forester is richer in rye than most bourbons, resulting in a uniquely full, rich, genuine character. Adding to this uniqueness, Old Forester is fermented with a proprietary yeast strain that is still grown fresh daily at the distillery. Old Forester is aged in charred oak barrels that are handcrafted at the distillery’s own cooperage. No other Kentucky bourbon company makes its own barrels. One sip and you’ll know why. Finally, Old Forester is bottled when Master Distiller Chris Morris judges the whisky ready. Mr. Morris just knows, and for that, bourbon lovers everywhere can be grateful.

More information at: Old Forester

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