You thought craft beer was hot – get in on craft distilling on the ground floor. Here is your chance to taste great local products from (virtually) every craft distillery in the state of Illinois. Not only that, but we’ll have the people who make these great spirits here talking shop with you. That means owners and distillers from local favorites including North Shore and Few to statewide upstarts Blam Bros. and J.K. Williams, and many more.
Illinois Craft Distillers Expo
Binny’s Lincoln Park
Thursday, November 6th
Event cost: $15.00 ($10.00 with Binny’s card)
RSVP by calling 312 664-4394
Click here for the full list of participating distilleries. Read more
Glenlivet is touring the country to share their delicious Single Malts. The Glenlivet Masters of Scotch will lead a presentation on the Glenlivet brand, the product, the production. You’ll taste three of their flavorful Single Malts, including the 12, 15 and 18 year. It’s free, all you have to do is sign up.
More info after the jump! Read more
You know the story about Four Roses’s ten unique bourbon recipes, right? They use a combination of two mashbills and five distinct yeast strains, resulting in ten unique bourbons that act as building blocks in blending their different bottlings. We couldn’t resist finding the best of each, and for several years now, we’ve maintained our own Handpicked versions of all ten recipes. With the recent arrival of several new bottlings to fill out the lineup, we sat down to taste all the expressions at once.
Bourbon is back in a big way. The Manhattan, for example, has once again become many peoples’ go to way to enjoy America’s spirit. (Sure you can make a Manhattan with bourbon. Why not? -ed.) So check out this splendid reworking of the Manhattan called the Monte Carlo. The key difference is the substitution of Benedictine in place of vermouth. Benedictine is an aromatic liqueur that has been produced in France since the 18th century. If fact, B&B (Benedictine and Brandy) was one of the first packaged premixed cocktails. Benedictine is a versatile mixer and makes a great addition to any liquor cabinet. Also, if you simply mix Benedictine with bourbon, you just created a Kentucky Colonel. This distinguished elixir is perfect for sipping on your front porch as the last days of summer wind to a close.
Give this unconventional bourbon cocktail a try. The key ingredient in this drink is Orgeat syrup, a sweet and nutty syrup familiar to Tiki devotees like myself, but a mystery to many. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle tout suite. This delicious almond syrup is the magical ingredient in dozens of tropical drinks, most famously the Mai Tai. While most tropical drinks use rum as the base spirit, the Eastern Sour substitutes Bourbon and the results are delicious. The Eastern Sour was created by Tiki drink legend, Trader Vic Bergeron. Below is my version which is refreshingly sour. If you want to sweeten it up a bit, just add simple syrup.
Reminder: The two Binny’s Handpicked Cedar Ridge bottlings are still the only cask strength bourbon Cedar Ridge has bottled to date. It’s delicious, special, exclusive and limited.
We do like exotic wood finishing, and we certainly like exotic wood finishing more than flavored whisky. So it’s good to see Tap 357 Port Finished, form the makers of probably the best Canadian maple whisky on our shelves.
Fatter, sweeter Crown Royal for the British palate. Pairs well with some Cadbury chocolate candy you’ve never heard of before.
Yes, there’s a John Wayne bourbon. It may soon become rare and collectible if the Blue Devils win.
This rare blended Scotch was once a secret available amongst a small and elite society, but now everybody can get their hands on Syndicate 58/6. While bottles last.
Rundlets and Kilderkins? Silly names for barrel sizes, for sure, but the whisky isn’t funny: this Hazleburn is the perfect dram: light and refreshing.
Very, very old Armagnac from Delord, Dartigalongue.
For the fourth or fifth time in six years, we’re excited to pass on news that Bruichladdich is ready to stop all the oddball bottlings and launch a core line, including the new The Classic Laddie.
The committee gathered, tasted and voted, and now the 2014 Binny’s Handpicked Single Malts are on their way. Brett’s annual trip to Scotland yielded excellent whiskies this year. Now that we have sorted through all the options and honed the selection to just the best of the best, we can hardly wait for these selections to arrive (and they always take months and months, of course). Until then, get your wish list ready:
Ever heard of Swisher, Iowa? It’s home to Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery & Distillery and most importantly, where we picked our latest batch of Handpicked bourbon barrels. Yup, plural. We just couldn’t pick one. But more about Cedar Ridge first.
Owners Jeff and Laurie Quint have built quite the distillery/winery. Located in eastern Iowa, it’s just a short drive from Cedar Rapids or Iowa City. Jeff serves as Master Distiller and Master Winemaker. In addition to crafting award winning small batch spirits (like our Handpicked barrels), Cedar Ridge produces wines from their own estate-grown grapes. Fun fact: Cedar Ridge is the first licensed distillery in the state of Iowa since the age of prohibition.
Pictures and more after the jump! Read more
After being run out by law enforcement during prohibition, J.K. Williams has made their way back to Central Illinois. They are using the recipe their great, great, great grandfather passed down to make classic American whiskey. We’re welcoming them back with a J.K. Williams whiskey tasting. Find more information about the tasting after the jump.