An Opinion on Metallica’s Blackened American Whiskey

An Opinion on Metallica’s Blackened American Whiskey

So…Metallica has its own whiskey now. Ugh.   Everyone has their own whiskey, it seems. Nothing new, of course. Celebrity sells. There have been celebrities moving distilled products since advertising’s infancy. Beautiful people, famous people, successful people…from doctors recommending a brand to silver screen actresses insisting that a brand will make you irresistible…it’s all been done. Here are just a few modern celebrities selling booze- Matthew McConaughy- Wild Turkey and Longbranch Whiskey Mila Kunis- Jim Beam Christina Hendricks- Johnny Walker David Beckham- Haig Club Dan Aykroyd- Crystal Head Vodka Ryan Reynolds- Aviation Gin George Clooney- Casamigos Tequila (though I think he sold that) Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt- Miraval Rosé Drew Barrymore-...

Texas and Its Whiskey

Texas and Its Whiskey

Yesterday, Dec 29th 1845, Texas became the 28th state in the union. Texan citizens have always been fiercely loyal to their state and to the products produced there. There are now about 25 different distilleries producing whiskey in Texas. Though Texans are promoting these products, their popularity throughout the country has put Texas distilleries at the forefront of the American whiskey industry. Here is a list of their distilleries to date (research by Sku’s Recent Eats blog) 1. Alamo Premium Distillery, San Antonio, TX. This distillery makes Texas Moonshine Corn Whiskey and is working on Texas Craft Whiskey.2. Balcones Distillery , Waco, TX. This distillery released the first run of their Baby Blue blue corn whiskey in September 2009. They also make Brimstone...

Why So Defensive About Sourced Whiskey?

Why So Defensive About Sourced Whiskey?

I was asked at the Dram Devotee’s Whistle Pig tasting on Thursday, “Why do you sound so defensive when you are speaking about sourced whiskey?” It must be true that I sound defensive or it wouldn’t have been noted by one of my guests.  I can tell you that a lot of my defensiveness stems from the commentary that I read on the internet.  I suppose I do feel the need to defend those companies that source their bourbons and ryes, but also manage to put out a consistently great product. I’ve seen all the lists of sourced whiskeys from LDI/MGP (Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana/Midwest Grain Products).  (For those that have not seen the list, you can find information here- (http://recenteats.blogspot.com/p/the-complete-list-of-american-whiskey.html.) There is a lot...

Filibuster Whiskey from Washington D.C.

Filibuster Whiskey from Washington D.C.

Did you know that the citizens of Washington D.C. didn’t get to vote in an election until this month in 1964? (Don’t worry, I talk about whiskey in a bit..) Washington, D.C., is the only non-state to be enfranchised for presidential elections, gaining electoral votes through the ratification of the 23rd Amendment in 1961. That amendment gave the District of Columbia a share of electors proportional to its population (like the states), but limited it to no more electors than the least populous state (That’s right, D.C. and Wyoming are voting buddies!) This meant three electoral votes in 1964, and that number has not changed. Our capital is a strange place.  The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and...

John Hall’s Forty Creek

John Hall’s Forty Creek

I have found that many of the new distillers in America have come to distilling from breweries and beer production. It’s a logical step, as “beer” must be brewed before whisky can be distilled from it. (I’ve always liked the saying, “Whisky is what beer wants to be when it grows up…”) Some distillers come to whisky with wine expertise as well. Why make cognac when you can make whisky, right? One such wine producer in Canada that has made the transition to whisky production is John Hall of Forty Creek Distillery. The international community is paying more attention to Canadian whisky largely because of Mr. Hall’s contributions to craft production. John Hall started making wine in the 1970’s and purchased Kittling Ridge Estates Winery in Grimsby, Ontario in...

Midleton Distillery -Old and New

Midleton Distillery is home to the whiskeys we will be tasting this Thursday at Nektar in New Hope. The distillery in use today is not the one founded in 1825 by the three Murphy Brothers. They bought what was once a wool mill in County Cork from Lord Midleton and converted it into what we know as the Old Midleton Distillery. There, The Murphy brothers installed the world’s largest copper pot still with a capacity of 31,618 gallons. They produced a variety of whiskeys, including Cork Distillery Whiskey (now known as Paddy Whiskey) in the 19th century. Today, the old distillery has been converted into a tourist center. The new Midleton Distillery was constructed next to the old distillery in the early 70’s and is home to many of Ireland’s best...

Japanese Whiskey

I am a huge fan of Japanese whisky… Two of the most influential figures in the history of Japanese whisky are Shinjiro Torii and Masataka Taketsuru. Torii created the Yamazaki distillery in 1924 to bring Japanese whisky to the Japanese people. Taketsuru studied whisky making in Scotland until moving back to Japan in the 1920’s (with his Scottish bride) and began work as a distillery executive for Torii. In 1934 Masataka Taketsuru left to create his own distillery, which would become Nikka. Japanese whisky is based on Scottish traditional methods of distillation. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Japanese tea ceremony, but I can assure you that it is no easy task to learn its methods and intricacies. (My best friend studies the art...

Solera Aging in Whiskey

Solera Aging in Whiskey

I wonder if we won’t start seeing more solera aged bottlings of whiskey in the future… Dave Pickerell was the first to use the solera aging technique in whiskey production here in the U.S. No one can argue with Hillrock Estate’s success. An incredibly accomplished distiller on a farm in upstate New York that is creating whiskeys from grain to glass using grains that are actually grown on the farm? It’s like a idyllic modern craft whiskey daydream…and it’s winning awards and being bought off liquor store shelves faster than it’s stocked. Now we have Blade and Bow from Diageo. For Blade and Bow bourbon, Diageo has implemented a five barrel solera system at Stitzel-Weller, where the bottom or #5 barrel contains some of the original Bourbon that was...