Four Amers: Wolfberger Wolfamer (21% abv), Sommer Fleur de Sommer (18% abv), Wolfberger Amer Fleur de Joie (18% abv), Wolfberger Amer Gingembre (18% abv)
In French, the word amer means bitter. A classic amer is a bitters liqueur infused with orange peel, gentian root, cinchona bark (quinine), and a touch of caramel. Master infusers from Alsace have also perfected infusions using ginger (Amer Gingembre) and “fleur de bière” which combines beer brandy with additional aromatics and spices (Amer Fleur de Joie and Fleur de Sommer).
These ingredients go through a maceration in alcohol with citrus peel, gentian root, cinchona bark, and other aromatics.
An amer can be enjoyed as a classic aperitif or digestif, straight over rocks or with tonic or soda water and citrus. Traditionally though, the Alsatians add beer to it; making an amer bière, literally translated, bitter beer. Pour or pull a draft blonde lager or wheat beer over 1.5 oz. of the amer. (The recommended ratio of beer to amer is 8 to 1). Order matters…amer first, then beer. This allows the amer to open up and combine with the effervescence in the beer to create a rich, frothy, orange aromatic head.
Casa Herradura’s Añejo tequila provides the base for Herradura Ultra. The Añejo is blended with Extra Añejo that has been aged for up to 49 months in American White Oak barrels. A subtle hint of agave nectar is added before the liquid is filtered to clarity.
Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum
Alexandre Gabriel, proprietor of Maison Ferrand and rum master blender, and spirits and cocktail historian David Wondrich, have revived this forgotten nectar and have produced Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum.
Plantation Pinapple Rum first appeared in the US at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans in 2014. It was meant to be a ‘one-and-done’ project just for Tales and with a few extra bottles produced for very limited distribution in New Orleans and a few additional states. This first batch sold out immediately and the reaction from bartenders and consumers alike was so overwhelming positive that Gabriel decided to make his pineapple rum a new addition to the Plantation portfolio. Due to the seasonality of the special Queen Victoria pineapples used, Plantation Pineapple Rum will be available as an annual limited edition item with delivery in April/May and July/August each year.
Gabriel and Wondrich relied on several ancient recipes to recreate it, and added a few traditional techniques from their own bag of tricks. The 1824 English Journal of Patent and Inventions and the 1844 Journal of Agricultural Society were their main sources of inspiration.
The rinds (where the pineapple’s essential oil chiefly resides) of ripe Queen Victoria pineapples are infused with Plantation 3 Stars white rum for one week and then distilled in pot stills. Separately, the flesh of the Queen Victoria pineapples are infused with rich, aged Plantation Original Dark Rum for 3 months. Then these two liquids are married together and the rum is put into casks where it rests for three months.
Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy Rum is available now, rolling out nationwide with a SRP of $34.99/750ml
Mezcal Amarás Cupreata
The cupreata agave is found in Guerrero, Mexico only on certain mountain slopes in the Rio Balsas basin. This agave, which is uncommon in the mezcal world, produces a spirit, known for its distinctly vegetal flavor profile. Anchor Distilling Company makes this special mezcal more available in the U.S. with the introduction of Mezcal Amarás Cupreata, a 100% cupreata agave unaged mezcal. This new release joins the brand’s first expression, a 100% espadín agave unaged mezcal, released in January 2015.
Mezcal Amarás Cupreata is produced by master mezcalero Don Faustino Robledo in the small village of Mazatlán in the State of Guerrero. Of the more than 22 different species used to make mezcal, the cupreata agave, or maguey papalote (as it is referred to in Guerrero), is one of the least common agaves used. Semi-cultivated on the steep terrain of the Sierra Madre del Sur highlands at 4,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level, the plant has bright green, wide, fleshy leaves lined with copper-colored thorns, and takes approximately 13 years to mature due to the harsh climate conditions of the region.
After maturation, the agave plant is harvested and cooked for five days in a conical stone oven covered with palm leaves and soil and heated with sustainable red oak logs. Juice and fibers are then milled from the cooked agave and placed in small ayacahuite wooden vats, incorporating natural spring water from a river close to the Palenque (distillery). The fermentation process is open air, and uses no yeast or other additives to accelerate the process, a crucial element that defines the nose and flavor profile of the mezcal. Finally, the agave is doubled distilled in copper pot stills with direct heat recycled wood from the local sawmill.
43% ABV, 750ml, $59.99 SRP
Copper & Kings Stray Cat Gin
Louisville-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. is launching a limited release gin. Double distilled in a Vendome copper pot still, the apple brandy-based spirit was made with classic gin botanicals and aged in a medium-char Serbian juniper barrel for 12 months. It is non-chill filtered and unadulterated by any post distillation infusion of flavor or color.
Only 750 bottles (375mL each) will be produced and sold at the distillery store, with a tiny selection available for bars and liquor stores.
Copper & Kings Stray Cat Gin (94 proof/47% ABV) $40 per 375mL bottle
Martini Riserva Speciale Vermouths
Riserva Speciale is offered in two expressions: Rubino and Ambrato. The new vermouth variations (each priced around $15) will be available in the U.S, for the first time this fall in Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco.
Martini Riserva Speciale is a celebration of Piemonte, which begins with sourcing Italian wines from the region, including small parcels of Langhe DOC Nebbiolo and Moscato d’Asti DOCG. The grapes have been selected by Beppe Musso, Martini Master Blender.
The small parcels for full-bodied Langhe DOC Nebbiolo wines used to create Rubino are blended with extracts of Italian Holy Thistle and Red Sandalwood from Central Africa to deliver a bright ruby red vermouth, which inspired the name of the expression. The balance of botanicals creates a full-bodied herbal and complex style of Vermouth Di Torino with a long aftertaste.
The floral and aromatic blend of small parcels of Moscato d’Asti DOCG wines, used to create Ambrato, produces a honeyed Vermouth di Torino. The yellow Cinchona bark from Ecuador and Chinese Rhubarb create a light bitter taste profile.
Saint James Cuvée 1765 Rhum Agricole
Saint James Rum is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year with a special commemorative bottling. The commemorative bottle, named Saint James Cuvée 1765, is a blend created in homage to the original 1765 style. From the outset the brand was a pioneer in its category, being the first rum to create vintage specific blends, and designing an innovative square bottle in order to maximize storage and minimize breakage on the long sea-voyages to its original export markets. Today the Rhum Agricole is still produced in Martinique, which has the only rum AOC (appellation controllée) in the world, and more precisely in Sainte-Marie, on the East coast of the island. In order to be able to be marked with "Rhum Agricole AOC Martinique", the rum must be produced from sugar cane grown in an authorized area.
Principe de los Apostoles Gin from Mendoza, Argentina
Southern Starz, a California-based wine importer, announces an exclusive import and distribution agreement with celebrated Latin American mixologist, Tato Giovannoni to import and market his luxury gin throughout the US, effective immediately.
The addition of Principe de los Apostoles marks the first entry of Southern Starz into the luxury spirits category and seeks to show that there is far more to Argentina than just Mendoza Malbec.
Los Apostoles was crafted by Tato Giovannoni, Argentina’s leading mixologist,at his speakeasy bar “Floreria Atlantico” in Buenos Aires. The concept was to create a gin that was representative of the flavors of South America and would mix well with tropical ingredients. The search for Botanicals led Tato to the Province of Misiones where Yerba Mate is organically farmed, and there he found pink grapefruit, eucalyptus, juniper and peppermint to round out the mix. Working with award-winning master distiller Rolando Hibling in Mendoza, Tato worked on a formula that would produce a botanical Gin using only Argentine ingredients.
The Gin is produced in an old Alembic dating back to the 19th century – imported from Baden Baden. In 2014, Decanter Magazine declared Los Apostoles “ the first Luxury Gin in Latin America.” Its flavors are unique to South America and will be a mixologist’s delight. The first shipment arrives at the end of April. There are a few states that have not been assigned and Southern Starz is seeking to complete its national footprint for this product. It will retail for approximately $35/btl (750ml).
Appleton Estate V/X
Appleton Estate Signature Blend
Appleton Estate Reserve
Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old
Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old
While making no changes to the liquid, Appleton Estate announced a new naming classification and packaging design for its core range.
The Belgian Wheat Act Genever Style Gin
Sons of Liberty brewed a Belgian Wheat beer composed of barley, wheat and oats and infused that mash with coriander, sweet orange peel, lemongrass, cascade and chinook hops. The Belgian Wheat Act is distilled four times, but never over 160 proof.
In the gin basket, the same botanicals present in the mash are infused with the spirit in addition to juniper berries (a requirement for gin). The motive behind The Belgian Wheat Act’s unique distillation was to carry the distinct flavors of the Belgian Wheat beer through to the gin and to clearly identify its origin to the consumer.
Ivy City Gin
One Eight Distilling will introduce its first gin to market with the release of Ivy City Gin, an American dry gin distilled from locally-sourced grains (63% rye, 26% corn, and 11% malted rye), with forward notes of Juniper and Spicebush, and a subtle bouquet of additional botanicals.
Ivy City Gin will be sold at the distillery and at participating Washington, D.C. retailers beginning on Friday, June 12th, followed by distribution to area bars and restaurants later in June. As part of its ongoing commitment to the Ward 5 community, One Eight Distilling will donate $1 from every bottle sold in D.C. this year to Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. in support of ongoing projects in Ivy City.
Imported Vodka made from a late harvest, select variety of Durum Wheat and Tatra Spring Mountain water in a 12th century village that has a 600-year old distilling tradition dating back to the 14th Century.
The vodka is inspired by an ancient recipe discovered in the preserved distillery discovered beneath L’ubovna Castle. A Goral is a local Mountain Ranger who lives in the High Tatra Mountains and excels in physical strength and spiritual purity.
Priced in the $24.99-27.99 range for a 750ml. Lime, Cranberry and Grapefruit Flavors will be available in Summer 2015.
Disaronno unveils Disaronno Riserva, a limited edition release and the brand’s first new product since the original liqueur was created in 1525. A combination of Disaronno and blended Scotch whisky, Disaronno Riserva is aged in vintage Marsala wine barrels at the company’s own Cantine Florio in Marsala, Sicily.
The innovation was inspired by a trip to the Highlands and Speyside in Scotland, where Mr. Reina selected the whiskies that would best marry with Disaronno. The whisky was combined with Disaronno in Saronno, Italy, where the historical headquarters of Illva Saronno are located. It then traveled to Marsala at the Cantine Florio, where Riserva was aged.
The Cantine Florio is located near the sea, which allows the temperature and humidity to create the optimum conditions for the product's aging process. This process, which lasts twelve years and takes place in the historical and valuable oak barrels that date to 1938, have long contained Marsala's important reserves. The Marsala wine barrels create a unique flavor and spice in the liquid.
Just 10,000 bottles were produced, and will be available at luxury retailers while supplies last at a cost of $349 per 750 mL bottle.
Patrón Citrónge Mango
Patrón Spirits introduces a new addition to the Patrón Citrónge liqueur portfolio. Patrón Citrónge Mango, available starting in June 2015, is crafted from Ataulfo mangos from the Mexican states of Nayarit and Chiapas.
Increasingly popular in cuisine and cocktails, the Ataulfo mango used to create Patrón Citrónge Mango is characterized by its oblong shape, bright yellow skin, nonfibrous flesh, and rich, sweet flavor. The refreshing mango taste is smooth and sweet with light citrus notes and a hint of pineapple and peach. Patrón Citrónge Mango Liqueur is crystal clear with a natural, sweet aroma.
The cork-finished frosted bottle, available in 375ml, 750ml and 1 liter sizes.
Brugal Papá Andrés 2015 Alegría Edition
Leading rum brand Brugal and brand owner Edrington are proud to unveil a new blend of Papá Andrés, the most exclusive aged rum from the Brugal family’s own private reserve. Papá Andrés has been created and enjoyed by the Brugal family for five generations. This is only the second time it has ever been released for sale.
For over 100 years, a limited number of casks containing the Brugal family’s private reserve rum have been guarded in Brugal’s warehouses in Puerto Plata. Once in a while a small portion of this rum is carefully extracted from the resting casks and used to blend a special limited edition bottling. The cask is then replenished with a selection of that year’s best aged rums and laid down again.
Traditionally enjoyed only at important family celebrations, this private reserve rum came to be known as Papá Andrés, in honor of the company’s founding father, Don Andrés Brugal Montaner. Just 1,000 of the Brugal Papá Andrés 2015 Alegría Edition decanters will be produced, priced at US$1,500 each (40% ABV), with all profits going to the Brugal Foundation which was established in 1988 to support development and reduce poverty in the Dominican Republic.