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BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY RELEASES 2016 ANTIQUE COLLECTION WHISKEYS

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RANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Sept. 7, 2016) It’s the best time of the year for whiskey fans, as Buffalo Trace Distillery releases its 2016 Antique Collection. The highly anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what ardent fans can expect:

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George T. Stagg

The powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg weighs in at a hefty 144.1 proof this year.  Past releases of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon won many top awards, including twice named the number one spirit in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s The Spirit Journal. This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2001. This batch contained 142 barrels, but not as many bottles as expected, due to some very greedy angels!  Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses M, N, H, L and K.  Finding a bottle this fall will be difficult due to the low yield.  This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including the “Bourbon of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition. The 2016 offering was distilled in the spring of 2003 and aged on the third and sixth floors of Warehouses D, K, and L.  This bourbon registers in at 135.4 proof – one of the stronger Weller releases.  The bold flavors include plum, figs and vanilla.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2015 edition was named “Best American Rye Whiskey” at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2010; aged on the fourth, fifth and seventh floors of Warehouses I, K, and M, and weighs in at 126.2 proof.  The flavor has been described as toffee and cinnamon.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2015 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2016 edition has been aging on the first, second and third floors of Warehouses H and K.  This 90 proof bourbon was aged for seventeen years and tastes of leather, vanilla, tobacco and toffee.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was named the Best Rye Whiskey 11 Years and Older by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition.  This 2016 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of smoke, clove and all-spice with a dry finish.  The barrels for this whiskey were filled in April of 1998, making them the first “new” batch in years not drawn from the stainless steel tank as the previous past few editions have been.  From this year onward, this whiskey will be drawn directly from barrels put away for 18 years, versus using any tanked whiskey.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, and Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The 2016 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $90 each.

1792 Distillery Releases a New Limited Edition Full Proof Bourbon

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BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY (May 17, 2016) – A stout 125 full proof bourbon is the latest limited edition release in the 1792 Bourbon line up.  Bottled at the same proof it was originally entered into the barrel, the bourbon was distilled, aged, and bottled at the historic Barton 1792 Distillery.

New oak barrels were filled with 125 proof distillate in the fall of 2007 and left to age in Warehouses E, N, and I for eight and a half years. Warehouse I is one of the oldest warehouses at Barton 1792 Distillery. All of these warehouses are seven stories high, metal clad, with concrete bottom floors, and windows all the way around the outside, allowing some direct sunlight inside.

1792 Full Proof BottleAfter the barrels were emptied, the bourbon underwent a distinct filtering process, forgoing the typical chill filtration, and instead was only passed through a plate and frame filter.  This allowed the bourbon to maintain a robust 125 proof for bottling, as well as the rich and bold flavor. The aroma is powerful – with vanilla and dried cherries notes.  The first taste is intense as it meets the tongue, oaky and full bodied, but continues with flavors of caramel and jam-like fruit, before an enduring finish.

This is the fourth limited edition release of 1792 Bourbon expressions, the Full Proof joins previous releases of Sweet Wheat, Port Finish, and Single Barrel Bourbons. Although the 1792 Full Proof Bourbon is very limited in quantities, it will be released annually for the next few years. The 1792 Full Proof Bourbon will be available at retail starting in late May. Suggested retail pricing is $44.99.

Sazerac Introduces Peychaud’s Aperitivo

NEW ORLEANS, LA.  (Feb. 17, 2016) – Antoine Amedie Peychaud began producing his bitters in a New Orleans apothecary more than 150 years ago, eventually becoming the lead bartender of the Sazerac Coffeehouse, where he mixed simple cocktails with his bitters to much acclaim. Today, the Sazerac Company, still faithfully producing Peychaud’s Bitters according to the original recipe, is announcing a new spirit with Peychaud’s belief in quality, simplicity and mixability in mind; Introducing Peychaud’s Aperitivo.

PeychaudsAperitivoAn extremely versatile spirit, Peychaud’s Aperitivo mixes well with a wide variety of spirits and mixers, and can easily be used as a bar staple, or at home.

“Peychaud’s Aperitivo is a refreshing spirit that’s easy to drink, and the perfect addition for fun and fresh cocktails,” Associate Brand Manager Jana Ritter, said. “We are very excited to introduce Peychaud’s Aperitivo to the cocktail world and to Peychaud’s fans everywhere.”

Peychaud’s Aperitivo has launched in New Orleans and will be spreading to other markets in spring 2016.

“Peychaud’s is an important brand not only in our company’s history, but in American cocktail history and we are excited to continue Antoine Peychaud’s legacy,” Ritter said.

Peychaud’s Aperitivo is 22 proof, and suggested retail pricing for a 750ml is $19.99.

You can enjoy Peychaud’s Aperitivo over ice or in a Royal Street Fizz:

 

Royal Street FizzRoyal Street Fizz 

3 parts Champagne

2 parts Peychaud’s Aperitivo

1 splash club soda

Garnish with a lime twist, serve in a champagne flute and pair it up with a medium to full bodied cigar!

AMERICAN BOURBON ASSOCIATION WEBSITE LAUNCHED

Sazerac-Comprehensive Website Aims to Help Bourbon Whiskey

Gain Respect Around the World

LOUISVILLE, KY (Feb. 16, 2016) Although bourbon has certainly been become more popular of late, Scotch whisky remains king of worldwide whiskey sales.  Granted, Scotch whisky has enjoyed a few hundred years head start on bourbon whiskey and ranges of fine Scotch are commonplace in bars around the world, while the selection and appreciation for bourbon whiskey is often limited.

As a result, the Sazerac Company founded the American Bourbon Association in 2012 to educate people around the globe about bourbon whiskey. The website, http://americanbourbonassociation.com, was launched in 2015 with a mission to become the best source of bourbon news and information online. Curious consumers are invited to learn about distilleries and bourbon brands, not just made in Kentucky, but from all over the United States.

The website gives the history of bourbon, written by esteemed bourbon historian Mike Veach, and explains what it is, how bourbon is made, bourbon myths, daily news, and lists of great bourbon bars and retail stores. Links to bourbon-related blogs, bourbon societies, brand and distillery websites, publications, trade associations and much more are also included.

“We realized there was a gap in appreciation between bourbon and other types of whiskey,” said Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer, Sazerac Company. “Bourbon whiskey deserves every bit of respect as other whiskeys. Distilleries in Scotland have benefitted from the Scotch Whisky Association promoting, protecting and educating people about Scotch since the turn of the 20th century, but no one has taken up the cause for bourbon. While the majority of bourbon is made in Kentucky, there are distilleries popping up all across America, and the bourbon industry has grown beyond just the state of Kentucky. Someone needs to be looking after bourbon’s best interest on a national and global scale, which is how the American Bourbon Association came about.”

The website is being maintained and updated by the Sazerac Company. Any liquor stores, bars, brands or bourbon distilleries that would like to be added can apply on the website.

Buffalo Trace Distillery Launches Interactive Website

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Franklin Co, Frankfort, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2015) – There’s no denying that bourbon has become more popular these days, but many drinkers are new to the brown spirit and confused about how bourbon whiskey is made and the subtle nuances of recipes, aging, proof and warehousing.  Buffalo Trace Distillery intends to change that with a new interactive website, www.yourperfectbourbon.com.

craft-your-perfect-bourbon-siteIn just a few minutes, users can design a bourbon perfect for their own taste. Once on the site, visitors will select their own bourbon recipe and learn how the grains such as corn, wheat, rye and barley influence the taste. Adding more rye results in a more “daringly spicy” bourbon, for example.  Visitors will then see animated graphics explaining how the distillation process works, before witnessing just what 55 seconds of charring can do to an oak barrel.  Then users on this bourbon journey get to select which level in the aging warehouse they want their barrel to age, and learn how different elevations within a warehouse ultimately impact the taste of each bourbon.  Aging and proof round out the end of the experience, before each custom designed bourbon is complete. Then a description of each participant’s perfect bourbon is unveiled, based on their individual preferences. While each custom designed bourbon is unique, the website will also identify actual brands from the Buffalo Trace portfolio that taste most similar in profile, helping fans learn what they might like the next time they crave a sip of bourbon whiskey.

“I hope people will really enjoy this fun and interactive experience, while learning how bourbon is made,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director. “It takes years to craft a great bourbon, but it only takes minutes to design your favorite online.”

The website www.yourperfectbourbon.com is for entertainment purposes only and not for the purchase of whiskey, too bad right? Let us know what you thought about it and what bourbon you came up with!

1792 SMALL BATCH BOURBON WINS DOUBLE GOLD AT 2015 NEW YORK WORLD WINE & SPIRITS COMPETITION

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1792 Sweet Wheat, Kentucky Tavern, each take gold

BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY (Oct. 13, 2015) –Three bourbons from Barton 1792 Distillery received top honors at the 2015 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, with two receiving gold medals and one receiving double gold. 1792 Small Batch Bourbon was awarded double gold, and 1792 Sweet Wheat and Kentucky Tavern each won gold medals.

“We feel very humbled and pleased by the recognition each of these bourbons received,” Ken Pierce, director of distillation and quality assurance, said. “We face many tough competitors from around the world at the NYWWSC and feel honored to have been judged so highly.”

The New York World Wine & Spirits Competition is one of the largest competitions for the retail beverage industry and has attracted top professional judges from broad spectrum of expertise. Considered the “Triple Crown of Competitions,” along with The San Francisco International Wine Competition and The San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the competition is judged each year in New York City.

Complete results of the 2015 New York World Wine & Spirits Competition are available at www.nyworldwineandspiritscompetition.com.

Van Winkle Bourbon Will Be Available Soon! Barrels yield less 15, 20 and 23 Year Old Bourbon than usual

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FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Oct. 14, 2015) – The long anticipated annual release of the Van Winkle bourbons is almost here, but unfortunately some of the angels were extra greedy over the past two decades, leaving us less bourbon than in previous years.

“When bourbon ages over 15 years, much is lost to the angel’s share.  Many of the 53 gallon oak barrels often yield less than 20 gallons,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director. “Unfortunately this year we experienced poor yields on the older Van Winkle whiskeys.  Furthermore, we have strict quality standards here at Buffalo Trace and several of the older Van Winkle barrels did not meet those standards. This makes a drastic difference in volume, considering we have very few barrels as it is. The result is less 15 year-old Pappy Van Winkle than usual, and far less 20 year-old and 23 year-old. Frankly, about half as much as last year.”

           Van Winkle bourbons are known for their smoother and sweeter flavor and they are aged years longer than most others and garner an impeccable reputation among connoisseurs.  Although the bourbons have become increasingly popular worldwide in recent years, very little is sold overseas, so that most of these coveted bottles are available in the United States.

The Van Winkle collection consists of several whiskeys. Suggested retail prices are as follows:

  • $49.99 – Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 10 Year Old 107 proof
  • $59.99 – Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old
  • $99.99 – Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye Whiskey 13 Year Old
  • $79.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old
  • $149.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
  • $249.99 – Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old

“Although a lot of retailers charge more than our suggested pricing, we are not asking them to do so,” said Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “We have not raised prices and do not intend to do so drastically in the future. We are committed to our quality and our pricing.”

The Van Winkle line of whiskeys has won a multitude of awards through the years, including the 15-year-old being named “Excellent/highly recommended” in the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge; the 20 year-old awarded “Extraordinary/ultimate recommendation” in the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Challenge; a double gold for the 20 year-old in the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition; and the Chairman’s Trophy and “Extraordinary/Ultimate Recommendation” for the 20 year-old in the 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

The Van Winkle Whiskeys will be available starting in November and they will be packed three bottles per case. Please remember that supply is quite limited and bottles shall be hard to find in stores, bars and restaurants.

Happy hunting!

HARLEN WHEATLEY NAMED THE FIRST “MASTER DISTILLER OF THE YEAR” AT WHISKY MAGAZINE’S ICONS OF WHISKY AMERICA AWARDS 2016

unnamed FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Oct. 7, 2015) – Buffalo Trace Distillery’s master distiller and visitor center manager were each honored at “Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky America Awards 2016,” for their hard work at the Distillery. Harlen Wheatley was named “Master Distiller of the Year” and Matt Higgins was recognized as “highly commended” for Visitor Attraction Manager of the Year.

The category for “Master Distiller of the Year” is brand new this year, making Wheatley its very first recipient.

“Receiving ‘Master Distiller of the Year’ is a great honor, and doing so as the first recipient of this award to kind of the set the bar is extremely humbling,” said Harlen Wheatley, master distiller. “In every single category, we’re up against some very tough competition each year. We feel very honored to receive each of these recognitions.”

The Icons of Whisky Awards were created by Whisky Magazine to celebrate the people and places behind the great whiskies of the world. Nominees can be self-nominated or nominated by anyone working in the spirits industry.  Those working in the spirits industry then vote on the winners, with the editors of Whisky Magazine then culling down the votes into final winners. This year’s awards were announced during The Great Kentucky Bourbon Tasting & Gala on September 19th.  The winners from the Icons of Whisky America Awards will go to compete at the World Whiskies Awards taking place in London, England, in the spring of 2016.

CORAZON TEQUILA COMES OUT WITH BRAND NEW PACKAGING

CORAZON TEQUILA RELEASED A NEW PACKAGING INSPIRED BY EXPRESIONES DEL CORAZON LINE! 

           16952_Corazon_VarietyComparison_Stg11 CHICAGO, IL (Sept. 30, 2015) – Corazon Tequila is making some exciting changes to its packaging beginning in October. Inspired by the simple elegance of the Expresiones del Corazon line, the new heritage packaging puts the focus on the quality and craftsmanship that goes into every bottle of Corazon Tequila.

After five years on the market, Corazon realized that the current contemporary packaging did not reflect the heritage, authenticity, quality, and status of Corazon. These spirits are crafted of 100 percent agave, using artisanal fermentation and distillation practices. Traditional clay ovens, proprietary yeast and oxygenation are a few of the elements utilized to create these beautiful tequilas, crafted at the world class Casa San Matias Distillery in Mexico.

When Corazon created Expresiones, a premium line of tequila aged in barrels that previously held award-winning whiskies like Buffalo Trace and Old Rip Van Winkle, the packaging was designed to reflect the passion or “heart” that goes into every bottle of Corazon Tequila.  This was an obvious choice, as Corazon translates as “heart” in English.  Given the acclaim earned by these unique tequilas, the decision was made to design the base brand, which includes Corazon Blanco, Reposado and Anejo, to be reminiscent of the prestigious Expresiones.

“The new packaging really harkens back to the heritage of the brand,” Corazon Marketing Manager Mary Ellen Hogan said. “The uncomplicated bottling highlights the quality of the spirit and allows the heart and craftsmanship in every bottle to shine through.”

The new packaging will begin appearing on shelves nationally in October. Suggested retail pricing for Corazon Anejo is $39.99, Reposado is $34.99 and Blanco is $29.99. All three are 80 proof.

About Gemini Spirits & Wine

Gemini Spirits & Wine is the fastest growing spirits and specialty brand development company in the United States. Gemini is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sazerac Company and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Gemini operates as an autonomous company, and is focused on building its portfolio of spirits and specialty brands concentrated in targeted categories.