Prizefight Irish Whiskey ($43.99)
From the producer:
"When Flor Prendergast decided to create a whiskey, he brought in his American friend and spirits maverick, Steven Grasse, who had an idea that required a transatlantic collaboration: whiskey from Ireland, finished in rye barrels from America. They formed Pugilist Spirits to bring this idea to life, with whiskey distilled and aged in West Cork, Ireland and rye barrels sourced by Grasse’s own Tamworth Distilling in the U.S.
Inspired by the Irish-American connection, Grasse had the idea to call the whiskey Prizefight. The brand tells the incredible stories of the Irish who came to America and became the greatest fighters of their day. Each bottle commemorates the boxing legends who came with nothing and fought for everything.
Prizefight is a blend of 10-year-old malt and 4-year-old grain, finished in rye barrels for 6 months.
Tasting Notes: Fresh and clean with fruit, floral, and spice notes. Sweet and refreshing up front, followed by a subtle hint of bitterness and a spicy finish."
Prizefight is very distinct from traditional Irish whiskeys, mostly due to its having been finished in rye casks. The usual soft finish one might expect is instead a bit spicy. This is a great drinking whiskey, but I think it would shine more brightly in cocktails such a Manhattans or the original recipes that you can find on their website. We will be trying it neat and with Wild Moon Birch Liqueur.
123 Organic Reposado Tequila "Dos" ($52.99)
From the producer:
"When tequilero David Ravandi envisioned 123 Organic Tequila, he was inspired to design a brand specifically with wine enthusiasts in mind. The delicate floral aromas and complex mineral flavors found in 123 Organic Tequila are the result of artisanal, small-batch distillation and estate hand bottling.
As the sun and moon meet in the sky above the agave plantation, two stealthy jaguars (miztli) roam the fields in search of their elusive prey. During their silent hunts, Reposado (Dos) tequila rests in white oak barrels for six months before its timely release. This complex spirit reveals aromatic raw and cooked agave tempered by the warmth of oak aging with spicy notes of vanilla, anise and hint of citrus; a combination equally at home in cocktails and as a sipping tequila making it the most versatile of the 123 Organic Tequila styles."
Jose Cuervo and I had a pretty bad break-up in college. I'm sure some of you can relate. As a result, I spent nearly 20 years avoiding even the smell of Tequila, and I was not eager to taste any in preparation of opening this shop. Then I discovered that really good Tequila is REALLY GOOD. The owner of Blue Agave in Saratoga introduced me to Dos, and I was not exaggerating when I told him he changed my life in regard to Tequila. It's delicious, well-made, elegant, and worth every penny. Don't waste this in a mixed drink: sip it neat or chilled. If you MUST add something, try the Wild Moon Lime liqueur in it!
Black Button Bourbon Cream ($31.99)
From the producer:
"Whiskey and cream seem to be such a natural fit together and this, the only farm fresh New York State bourbon cream around, combines our hand finished Bourbon and local cream for a drink that delights. Bourbon Cream is similar in concept to an Irish Cream but discloses a richer feel. The bolder vanilla and caramel flavors make this a unique spirit that can be used on its own, in a cup of coffee or in a cocktail. We recommend trying it in a Root Beer Float!"
Drink this, not that! This stuff is incredible. It's sweet without being cloying or syrupy, and the creaminess is not overbearing. Black Button is a grain-to-glass distiller in Rochester that produces quality spirits. This contains a blend of their own bourbon, bourbon from another small distiller, and local NY cream. It will ruin you for other cream spirits! We will be trying it plain and mixed with Wild Moon Chai liqueur. This will be the last chance to try/buy this until next fall, so come and get it!
Wild Moon Liqueurs ($21.99)
From the producers:
"Uniquely flavored, all-natural liqueurs designed for the professional mixologist and home enthusiast alike. Hartford Flavor has revolutionized the traditional liqueur. Wild Moon Liqueurs are flavor forward, have reduced sugars, and no chemicals; there is nothing else like it on the market.
All natural-Gluten Free-GMO Free"
I just met the creators/owners of this company, and I was extremely impressed with their dedication to bringing something unique and versatile to the liqueur market. Beyond the incredible flavor profiles, these liqueurs are made in small batches as naturally (and organically) as they can be. The base spirit is made from sugar cane. I am happy to currently carry the Cranberry and the Lime, but at this week's tasting we will also pour the other flavors: Chai, Cucumber, Rose, Lavender, and Birch. You try them and tell me what you think--I will stock what the people like!