In 2014 I visited several cognac houses, and had the pleasure to spend several hours with Benedicte Hardy of Cognac Hardy in their aging and blending facilities. We got really nerdy with specifics on aging cognac. But first, some background. Hardy specializes in luxury cognacs, and in general is blended in an "approachable" and "feminine" style. It's a very large operation, with 20,000 barrels aging at their warehouses valued at more than 50 million dollars worth of booze. It was Benedicte's father who made the company famous in recent years putting the emphasis on luxury. She herself has a law...
A quick tour of the house of Deau Cognac in France.
The Merlet family has been distilling in France for 5 generations, but have only launched their own brand of cognac in recent years. They have a really interesting history that I learned on a visit to their chateau, vineyards, and distillery in 2014.
They call Bunnahabhain "the welcoming taste of Islay" because unlike other Islay scotch whiskies, most Bunnahabhain is not smoky. Here are is how the whisky is made.
A visit to the Deanston single malt scotch whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands.
A pot still shaped like a dragon and a scientific reinvention of the ancient dunder pit process? Only at Lost Spirits Distillery in California.
Hacienda La Caravedo is the oldest working distillery in the Americas and the place where they make Pisco Porton. It's located in Ica, Peru, about a four hour drive south of Lima. I visited in the spring of 2014. The distillery dates to 1684. Below is a picture of the document establishing the distillery. The grounds hold the distillery, vineyards, and this huge house, which is newly-constructed. You might recognize it from the bottle label. The house belongs to the owners of the brand. They were preparing for Easter when I visited so I didn't get to peep inside. The...
Lou Bustamante reports on a seminar on wood and barrels from this year's Tales of the Cocktail convention.