SmokeGood DrinkGood Magazine

Distilled Spirits: Moët Hennessy acquires Woodinville Whiskey Company

French wines and spirit maker Moët Hennessy has acquired US-based Woodinville Whiskey Company for an undisclosed amount.

The Washington-based craft whiskey-maker was founded in 2010 by two friends, Orlin Sorensen and Brett Carlile.

The company claims to have grown into one of the largest craft whiskey manufacturers in the state. After the acquisition, the friends will continue to manage the company.

Product portfolio of the company includes its Woodinville Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Woodinville Straight Rye Whiskey.

These two products are claimed to be matured for at least five years at Woodinville’s barrel warehouses in Quincy, Washington. The climatic conditions of the state are considered ideal for the aging process. The grains used in the spirit-making process are also sourced locally from Omlin family farm in Quincy.

Woodinville initially produced microbarreled bourbon and rye whiskies. Later, it started producing a 5-year-old straight bourbon in 2015 and a 5-year-old straight rye, last year.

Moët Hennessy president and CEO Christophe Navarre said: “We are convinced that Woodinville fits very well within the Moët Hennessy portfolio.”

“Orlin and Brett have done a great job to establish Woodinville Whiskey as an iconic brand in Washington state with significant potential for expanded distribution through our US and international networks.

“While we are no strangers to whiskey, with our Glenmorangie and Ardbeg single malts, we have much to learn from Orlin and Brett about American distilling and look forward to this important new partnership.”

The Whiskey Wash quoted Sorensen as saying: “We are very proud about what we have accomplished since founding Woodinville Whiskey Company just a few years ago.”

“As we considered the many strategic opportunities before us, it was clear that being part of the Moët Hennessy portfolio and distribution network will allow us to reach our goals much more quickly.

“Brett and I are thrilled to continue leading the business and to be part of the accelerated growth we expect to achieve as part of Moët Hennessy, and its parent LVMH, the world’s leading luxury goods company.”

Woodinville Whiskey Company

For over 100 years Washington State has been a place where innovators and dreamers have come to take a chance to build something better. From the early settlers who pushed out of Seattle to build a better life, to those who have help build Woodinville into the epicenter of alcohol production in Washington state. Pure water from the Cascade mountains, grains grown exclusively for us on the Omlin Family farm, and an ideal aging environment make this the perfect place to craft our whiskey.

You are only as good as those who have taught you, and we’re honored to have one of the best teacher’s in the world. After 14 years as master distiller at Maker’s Mark, David Pickerell has been our guiding hand since the day we set up shop. We’re proud to call him our teacher and friend.

All of our grain is grown exclusively for us on the Omlin Family Farm in Quincy, Washington. As third generations farmers, Arnie & Phyliss Omlin know what it takes to grow the finest grains. We’re honored to be part of the family.

Straight Bourbon

90 Proof

They said it couldn’t be done. So we did it. Over 5 years in the making, a real craft straight bourbon whiskey.

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90 Proof

One of the only 100% straight rye whiskies produced, it has all the traditional rye spice and flavor rye whiskey drinkers love. And then some.

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80 Proof

Sweeter and softer, you’ll taste the distilled difference.

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92 Proof

We’re making an honest man out of the term “small-batch.” Everything about this whiskey is small – except its flavor.

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The LifeStyle: Southern Hospitality Cigar Time & Liquor – Katy, Texas

Nestled within the Houston-Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area, sits a wonderful cigar lounge where smokers can relax, have a drink and enjoy Texas hospitality. Cigar Time & Liquor, Located in Katy Texas offers its customers over 5,000 sq ft of lounge space, an extraordinary walk in humidor with a vast selection of premium and unique cigar blends.

Customers may also take advantage of membership options which has its privileges. Membership with Cigar Time offers a VIP loft with lockers,  poker, pool, flat screen TVs, a bar and plenty of leisure seating. The lounge has a state of the art air filtration and circulation system for its customers comfort.

Conveniently located next door is Liquor Time. Liquor Time is the sister store which provides aficionados with the opportunity to DrinkGood Whiskey while they SmokeGood cigars. Stop by and meet the friendly and knowledgeable tobacconists available to assist you with your tobacco and cigar accessory needs.

Cigar Time & Liquor is located at: 20940 Katy Freeway, Suite K Katy, TX 77449. For information on cigar events, membership and other inquiries call (832)321-4311.

Distilled Spirits: Chief Brand Jameson Irish Whiskey Born in 1780

In 1780, the Scottish businessman John Jameson purchased the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin. It was not long before his chief brand, Jameson Irish Whiskey, would become internationally popular. The Bow Street distillery was previously producing around 30,000 gallons annually but by the turn of the nineteenth century the distillery was producing over a million gallons. John Jameson was keen to produce the best product possible, sourcing the finest ingredients.

Furthermore, John triple distilled his product when most others were double distilled; he believed this produced a smoother product. During the early nineteenth century, John Jameson’s son, John II, expanded the facilities which were, by this time, among the largest in Ireland. John II’s son John III further expanded the brand and when his son John IV came to power at the helm of the Jameson brand, he found himself in charge of a global brand.

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Like many Irish whiskeys Jameson is triple distilled, compared to the typical 2x distilled of Scotland and America, which removes more “impurities” and gives it more of a light clean flavor. Think of how vodka brands hype their 6, 7, 8, etc, distillations to achieve an even cleaner and lighter spirit. Jameson is also a blended Irish which means the 3x distilled malt whiskey is blended with grain whiskey which lightens the flavor and texture even more.

Overall Jameson is a tasty whiskey that I enjoy for what it is. It’s not my first choice neat, but on the rocks it’s nice and as a mixer it’s excellent. In my opinion the Jameson original is a little lighter on flavor than Bushmills white label and a smidgen unbalanced with the grain alcohol showing up a bit too much on the nose and palate to be a daily drinker for me. One of my favorite, it’s decent stuff and I’m happy to see so many people “discovering” Irish whiskey because of it.

Today, Jameson is the best selling Irish whiskey in the world.

Tasting Note

The nose is full and floral with a smooth sweetness. Marmalade and fudge, Madeira and a little cut grass note. The palate is thick and of good body with notes of orchard fruits, both fresh and cooked with a little vanilla cream. The finish is of medium-length with spice and honey.

The Jameson Whiskey Production Process

https://www.jamesonwhiskey.com/us/ourwhiskeys

The LifeStyle: Cigar Pairing of the Month #SGDG It’s a Lifestyle”

Yamazaki and LFD 1994 Pairing

1994 Litto and Ines Gomez purposefully (and brilliantly) set aside the most exceptional fillers and binders from their La Canela farm in the Dominican Republic to create LFD’s 20th Anniversary Rumba commemorative cigar. Surrounding the complex and powerful blend is a sweet and savory Mexican San Andres wrapper. Like LFD’s other premiums, the 1994 is a full-bodied cigar that’s totally off the hook; made with love, pride, and decades of patience.

The latest trend among whisky geeks is to be in the know about the burgeoning market for “world whiskies,” those that arise from locations other than the traditional brown spirits nations of Scotland, Ireland, United States and Canada. What some hipsters mightn’t have sussed is that in Japan distilling isn’t the latest fad. Since 1923, Suntory has been making whisky at its flagship distillery Yamazaki—a very Scots-like location in a misty vale at the convergence of three rivers. The spirit’s conjunction with this cigar has a very East meets West charm to it.

Yamazaki Single Malt Aged 18 Years (86 proof; 18 years old; $250 per 750 ml. bottle)

APPEARANCE: Medium amber tone with a Champagne sparkle.

NOSE: A rich aroma full of black cherries, spice vanilla, chocolate, sawdust and Christmas pudding.

PALATE: In the mouth it defines its spice with chewy nutmeg, vanilla and a smattering of ginger. The fruit expands to include pears, lychee and plums, the later two giving it an Eastern taste. A hint of peat also appears on the palate.

FINISH: The long encore includes a sweet oak finish with walnuts, caramel and orange peel.

CIGAR PAIRING: This matchup is an object lesson on how one tiny element can make a partnership blossom. The whisky’s peat, which seems a mere afterthought following almost two decades in wood, awakens my palette. Delicious notes of citrus, chocolate and some molasses as an afterthought on the finish of the smoke. The one thing that I am really noting how medium bodied this cigar is the in comparison to other cigars such as the Ligero and Double Ligero. As the first third of the cigar comes to a close the molasses really begins to stand out and a sweetness becomes the focal point with some citrus remaining on the finish.

Distilled Spirits: 50 Of The Most Expensive Whiskies In The World

We at SGDG Magazine understand our audience and I found a great conversation piece for all you whisky lovers, 50 of the most expensive whiskies in the world. If I had to money I would purchase the Balvenie 50 year old single malt scotch whisky without blinking twice, I’m sure a neat glass of the treasure paired with a 50th anniversary Padron Cigar would be an excellent #smokegood #drinkgood pairing.

The fine folks over at wine-searcher.com maintain one such list of some of the most expensive whiskies currently for sale in the world. This list, updated regularly, is based upon information from the huge network of over 58,500 online retailers they tie into globally, and it is now presented here for your consideration, courtesy of their hard working staff.

Distilled Spirits: The Maker’s Mark 46 Story

Over the years, whenever Bill Samuels, Jr., was out spreading the word about Maker’s Mark, fans of the brand would ask him when he was going to introduce something new. Not being a big believer in “line extensions,” Bill pretty much ignored them for a good long while. But a couple of years ago, he and our then-Master Distiller Kevin Smith decided to give it a try. To give them the best chance at success, they called in Brad Boswell of Independent Stave, the cooperage that has been making oak barrels to the specifications of Bill Samuels, Sr., since 1953. After more than a few false starts and outright disasters, all three agreed that whatever “it” might be had to start with regular Maker’s Mark.

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So Brad started monkeying around with a special barrel and experimenting with different wood varieties and levels of char. The magic combination – which just happened to be trial #46 – 10 “seared” French oak staves inserted into the barrel to lend natural flavors of caramel, vanilla and spice. Finished Maker’s Mark was then added to the modified barrel and returned to the coolest part of the warehouse.

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About 10 weeks later, well, voilà – we had something noticeably bigger and bolder, but with the smoothness and drinkability that have always set Maker’s Mark apart from its peers. We call it Maker’s 46, in recognition of the winning recipe. It’s (once again) a totally new kind of bourbon: bold and complex, but as approachable and easy to drink as you’d expect from Maker’s Mark. #drinkgood whisky

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Tasting Note

Nose: Toffee sweetness and the saw dust from freshly cut wood. Has a very toasty aroma, with sweet spices and deep, thick caramel.

Palate: Creamy and very soft. Then it opens up, in fact it explodes with spiciness which concentrates on the tip of the tongue. It’s on nutmeg, mulled wine spices, allspice, cinnamon. Also a hint of hot apple juice. Kevin remarks that it’s not unlike the cinnamon flavoured gum, “Big Red” – we’ve literally no idea what Big Red is, but it sounds really manly.

Finish: A natural progression of the palate with the sweet spices and it concentrates on the tongue – this may be one of the few times you’ll notice a concentration of sweetness like this from a bourbon. It also becomes grassy after a minute or so.

 

Distilled Spirits: Jefferson’s 18 Year Old Presidential Select

Founded in 1997, Jefferson’s is the brainchild of Trey Zoeller and his father Chet, a famed bourbon historian. They were continuing a family tradition that goes back to Trey’s 8th generation grandmother who was arrested in 1799 for the “production and sales of spirituous liquors.” To personify the brand, they chose Thomas Jefferson—known for his curiosity and experimental spirit. This is a mindset to which Trey has dedicated himself, pushing the boundaries of the definition of bourbon. Upholding tradition, yet always discovering new possibilities.

A superb bourbon, distilled from wheat in the fall of 1991, and aged in Stitzel-Weller Barrels. This is aged for 18 years and bottled in numbered batches, and has that same soft wheaty sweetness that is present in the other Jefferson’s bourbons.

Jefferson 18 Yr 002

Tasting Note

Nose: Spicy on the nose with hints of bramble leaves, nougat, custard and ginger.

Palate: Very buttery and spicy with notes of oak, pine resin, cinnamon, nutmeg, stem ginger in syrup, astonishingly creamy vanilla and a litlte berry fruit.

Finish: Good length and body, with tangy oak and buttery toffee.

Jefferson 18 Yr

This bourbon, said to be limited in nature, is pricing around $135 bucks. I would definitely recommend pairing with your favorite cigar –  #Smokegood #Drinkgood its a lifestyle.

Distilled Spirits: Diplomático Ambassador Selection Rum Simply Amazing

Diplomatico’s flagship, the Ambassador was created by Tito Cordero, Golden Barrel Award’s 2011 Master Rum Blender of the Year. Expect huge juicy sweetness and flavour thanks to its maturation in bourbon barrels and 2 year finish in sweet Pedro Ximenez casks.

Launched in London in October, 2011, Ambassador joins the ranks of the best premium rums in the world. The aroma seduces the drinker even before the first sip. Layers of rich chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, dried fruit, baked apple, dark-smoky oak and fine tobacco combine in a finely orchestrated liquid that has to be savored to be appreciated.

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Tasting Note

Nose: Fruity and thick nose with almond, hazelnut and cocoa. Toffee apples, fruits and hints of cooked banana, juicy sherry and mince pies, alongside deep notes of cinnamon and potpourri.

Palate: Rich and fruity with a buttery biscuit base, cinnamon, dried apricots, dates and Nutella. The predominant flavour, however, is of really good sweet pipe tobacco. Stunning.

Finish: Long and fruity with sweet, thick honey and allspice.

Diplomatico002

To call Ambassador a ‘new rum’ is certainly incorrect as Tito Cordero has been busy blending components of this rum for several years, but it has only recently been released. Beginning with honeys of the cane, as it is called by the distillery, the fermented wash is distilled in a copper pot still before being refined in a smaller continuous still. Over the next decade, the alchemy between wooden casks and the cane alcohol takes place.

An exceptional 47% ABV rum every detail from the wooden case, 18 carat gold closure and writing on the bottle exude luxury. This is one product that didn’t disappoint anyone in the room when it was uncorked for the first time in London. #drinkgood

Distilled Spirits: Yamazaki 12 YO Whiskey Gold From Japan

I bought this bottle a long time ago for a party, freshly opened I found the very odd, it had a strong sweetness and taste of caramel and about an equally strong bitter tannin taste and this yielded some sort of flat taste curve of sorts. It didn’t linger and you was left with just this dry tannin taste.

Yamazaki12YO_002

Now, however, it has been on the shelf for a few months at about 70% of content left and I tried this again last night and I must say I was very positively surprised, It had developed a very nice round sweet taste with some sort of vanilla mixed with some fruity jelly candy tastes and the nose felt very developed with first having very much orange peel -citrus smell after a while. Definitely one of my favorites now!

This 12 year old from Yamazaki first came onto the market in 1984 and was the first seriously marketed Japanese single malt whisky.


Nose: Good body with plenty of nut oils and zest, a pleasant floral character with a little tropical fruit and a rooty note.

Palate: Smooth and soft with good sweetness and winter spice. A lovely citrus note develops with more tropical fruit notes and a little rum.

Finish: Medium with fruit and zest.

Yamazaki Distillery

The Yamazaki distillery was Japan’s first malt whisky distillery. Established in 1923 by Shinjro Torii, spirit first ran from the still on the 11th Novemeber 1924. The buildings stand between Osaka and Kyoto, in the blissful serenity of the Vale of Yamazaki. The whisky distillery is part of the Suntory brand and houses twelve stills of three different varieties. This allows Yamazaki to produce the range of flavours necessary for Suntory’s blended whiskies. It is very difficult to source whisky for blending in Japan; there are two parent companies: Nikka and Suntory. Between the two they own almost every distillery in Japan, thus there is little exchange between different distilleries. The Yamazaki Twelve Year-Old was launched in 1984 and stands as the first properly marketed single malt in Japan.

Distilled Spirits: Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 20 YO

20 Year, 90.4 Proof This is the #1 rated Bourbon Whiskey in the world—Rated 99 out of 100 by the World Spirits Championship. This bourbon is aged 20 years and bottled at 90.4 proof. This whiskey is wonderfully smooth and rich. No other bourbon today can stand 20 years of aging, but this bourbon does it with style. “Pappy” Van Winkle was a true character. This bourbon, like “Pappy”, is full of character that makes it a very special whiskey. It has been put in the class of a fine after dinner cognac. Rated 99 by the Beverage Tasting Institute.

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Tasting Notes

Nose: Stewed fruits on the nose, sweet spices, oiliness, white chocolate, walnut.

Palate: Rich, soft and sweet oak with custard. The mouthfeel is like silk, and Preston Van Winkle likens this to a classic Cognac, and we reckon he’s onto something. The maturity, smooth/oily feel of this on the tongue, coupled with musty fruitiness sum up what we love about a decent XO, this is sublime.

Finish: Good length, with hints of honeycomb, peppery spices and prune.

Overall: Heaven!

Excellent #drinkgood situation retail price $248.29 a bottle.

History

The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville, traveling around the state by horse and buggy. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also purchased the A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery, which made bourbon for Weller. They merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. Their prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still.

In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. He had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were either sold with the distillery or to other distilleries.

After selling the distillery, Julian, Jr. resurrected a pre-prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian junior’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian, III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing the highest quality wheated bourbon available. His son, Preston joined company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come.

Recently, the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed in order to produce a superior quality product.

Aside from the rich family history, Van Winkle bourbons are special for another important reason, their recipe. All of the Van Winkle bourbons are made with corn, wheat, and, barley instead of corn, rye and, barley. This “wheated” recipe gives the bourbon a much softer, smoother taste and it also allows the whiskey to age more gracefully.