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Have You Tried?

One of the best parts of having the job title Specialty Spirits Buyer, besides having to taste booze daily and write and talk about it, are the days when you hit something totally different, creative, interesting, or just flat out funky and unexpected.  Here are some things that I’ve had and brought in recently that are worth a look at for those who love to experiment:


Hayman’s Old Tom Gin- An 18th century sweet style of gin originally developed to hide impurities, Old Tom dropped out of favor as the quality of London Dry improved.  Hayman’s has introduced the first Old Tom style I’ve seen in a long time, and its excellent.  The light, fruit sweetness is a nice compliment to the minty, piney juniper character.  ($24.99)


North Shore Distillers Gin #11- A London Dry looks back across the English Channel at its Dutch Genever roots, Chicago’s Master Distiller Derek Kassebaum has taken his base Distillers Gin #6 and added a savory, herbal layer of aromas and flavors, I can get some white pepper, caraway and even a touch of oregano.  ($29.99)


Mette Eau de Vies- Toss away the standard Kirsch, Poire, Mirabelle, etc., this Alsatian master will craft an excellent Eau de Vie using just about anything as a base flavor.  Amongst the most exotic (and excellent and true to flavor) creations? Ail (garlic), Gingembre (ginger), Café (coffee), Feuille de Basille (basil), Cannelle (cinnamon), Mandarine (mandarine orange), and Poivron (green pepper).  ($44.99/375ml)

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