Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road: Brett in Scotland 2013

Roseisle Distillery

 

First stop: Roseisle, the new Diageo monolith. This is either the largest or second largest distillery in Scotland, depending on whose marketing suits you want to believe. This place is gigantic. 13 million Liter capacity. Besides being large, it’s a technological marvel, with the ability to pump out malt with any flavor profile, by manipulating mash times, ferment times, copper contact, and so on. Theoretically, they could produce all the malt needed to construct a Johnnie Walker blend. Despite its size, you malt fans shouldn’t feel threatened – Diageo is also expanding most of their other distilleries in Speyside.

 

Roseisle Maltings

 

Next is Roseisle Maltings, which is so massive it can churn out  600 tonnes of malted barley in less than a week. This facility, plus the Ord and Brughead facilities, supply all the malt needed for Diageo’s Speyside and Highland distilleries. Another interesting note, the Roseisle Maltings is 100% energy neutral for heating needs – meaning they use the waste from the malting process to fuel the facility.

 

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Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road: Willett

 

The Whiskey Hotline’s next stop on the road through Kentucky and Tennessee? Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. You might remember our visit last summer. What has changed since? When we were there last July, the first floor of their newly renovated Warehouse A was half full of barrels. Now, the entire warehouse is nearly full. The place is buzzing. On our last visit, they were gearing up to build a grain mill and two bed & breakfasts. The mill is finished – a shipment of corn arrived and we got to watch it go up an auger and into a hopper. That was cool. And at least one of the B&B’s is done. It seems like they start a project every week, and finish one every four.

 

What did we taste? KBD resumed distilling in January of 2012, and we got our first taste of their young rye and bourbon after just 13 months in wood. Excited to taste them over hte next few decades. Also, they’re distilling using seven different mash bills – we were able to sneak back a bottle of their wheated bourbon recipe white dog. And it’s fantastic. After our delicious (and popular) last batch of Willetts, you know we want another round. So keep an eye out for more Binny’s Handpicked Willetts in these ages: 4 year, 6 year, 7 year, 8 year, 9 year, 10 year, and 22 year (!!!).

 

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Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road: Corsair

 

Day two on the Whiskey Hotline’s road trip? Corsair Artisan Spirits’s Nashville, Tennessee distillery. These guys are doing exciting things.

 

Listen, we’re always the first to knock the use of smaller barrels. You just can’t make a traditional bourbon, put it in small barrels, and expect it to taste good. That’s what makes Corsair different. While they do age in 15 gallon barrels, they play with the rest of the formula too: using experimental grains (quinoa?!), flavoring with hops, trying new mashes. At the same time, Corsair mostly produces mostly whiskies from malted barley, and have experimented with fifty different smoked barleys and seventy different hops.

 

By the way, Corsair just filled their first 30 gallon barrel last year. We tasted it; it isn’t ready, but when it is, there’s a good chance it winds up being a Binny’s Handpicked cask. We’ll revisit it soon. Did we bring back anything else? Watch for more of their delicious Triple Smoked.

 

Also, somebody at Corsair hearts monkeys.

 

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Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road: Maysville, KY

As promised, The Whiskey Hotline spent the weekend scouring Kentucky for only the finest handpicked barrels of whiskey.

 

First stop? Pogue in Maysville. We’re getting an incredibly small amount of their white dog rye. Binny’s is the only place to get it outside of KY and NY. Very good stuff too… lots of farm/hay/grass with a little fruit.

 

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The Whiskey Hotline: HUGE December Update

Check out the newly updated online edition of The Whiskey Hotline, your global destination for Scotch, bourbon and specialty spirits. This edition is completely packed with breaking spirits news and commentary. Just a few of the things you’ll find:

 

Our Whiskey Wishlist ♦ Savings on Luxury
An Early Teaser  for our the Biggest Whiskey Event of the Year
2013 Predictions from the Great Brophstradamus
New Stuff ♦ Binny’s Handpicks & More

 

The Whiskey Hotline: Get In The Holiday Spirit

Here’s an excerpt from the newly updated WHISKEY HOTLINE. Check it out.

 

Get In The Holiday Spirit

 

Whether you’re giving thanks with a spirited toast, expediting that tryptophan-induced nap, or making pinochle more interesting, you’ll want to keep a few of these holiday-themed spirits on hand.

 

Honey, Turkey & Bourbon
Honey and turkey make a great pair. That’s why our buddies over at the Beer Buzzwill always recommend Biere de Miel for your bird. So why not add bourbon to the mix? Barenjager Honey & Bourbon is an easy pick, though Wild Turkey American Honey seems obvious too.

 

NogsAssorted Nogs

Our allocation of Evan Williams Egg Nog arrived early this year. Like, middle of October early. It brought friends. The limitedPeppermint Chocolate Egg Nog puts a new spin on things – a minty, chocolatey spin. And the seasonal Apple Orchardcombines apple cider and bourbon. It’s on the sweet side. Try it warmed. And for you hardened Nog enthusiasts, the Evan Williams plain Nog comes in an even bigger bottle this year. Nogtastic!

 

Candy Cane Vodka

This one’s pretty straightforward. Burnett’s Candy Cane Vodka. Remember candy canes? They’re back! In vodka form!

 

Coffeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Coffee coffee coffee…

Kahlua is no stranger to the special holiday release. In addition to their holidays-onlyPeppermint Mocha, they introduced the new Kahlua Gingerbread. This adds gingerbread, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove to the iconic coffee liqueur. And any Kahlua devotee should look forward to Kahlua Midnight, the new more intense formula from Kahlua that weighs in at a whopping 70 proof. Compared to their usual 40 proof, Midnight is a heavyweight. Coming soon.

 

Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream LiqueurCream, not Irish

Like Irish Cream? Instead of having some questionable Irish whiskey as its base, how about a cream liquer made from some of the world’s finest bourbon? Check out Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream Liqueur. It used to be a distillery exclusive, but now you can get it at Binny’s. And if you want something a little lighter, try Whisper Creek Tennessee Cream, made from Tennessee whiskey.

 

Cranberries

We all like cranberries, right? But really, how often do you eat ‘em outside of November? So enjoy them while you have an excuse. Check out Bobeline Cranberry Liqueur. This timeless Lithuanian hit is produced from the juice of the freshest cranberries each autumn. I sveikata!

 

Scotch

We admit this list is looking pretty wussified. Look, if you like Scotch, then Scotch is your best bet no matter what the calendar says. How about our Handpicked 18 year old Glenlossie? How about our Handpicked 13 year old Laphroaig? So many choices! Oh yeah, speaking of our Handpicked program…

 

Find tons more spirits news over on the newly updated WHISKEY HOTLINE. Cheers!

 

 

The Whiskey Hotline: Barrel Report

Wondering what’s new in spirits here at Binny’s? Be sure to check out the newest edition of the online Whiskey Hotline. Here’s an excerpt that highlights upcoming releases from the Binny’s Handpicked Selections program:

 

Barrel Report

 

 

Two from High West

 

We’re teaming up with our buddies in Park City, Utah for two exciting new Binny’s Handpicked Selections.

 

Rendezvous RyeDouble RyeOur first selection is a special bottling of Double Rye, a blend of 2 year old 95% rye and a 16 year old 53% rye. After blending, the whiskey returned to barrel for a just under a year. Get this! The barrel had previously held their 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan. Super cool. Rye grain and citrus, coffee and cherry kick off the nose. Creamy marshmallow texture, gobs of cherry, and some spirited spice. Then a long finish with tons of rye. The Manhattan barrel shows its influce, making this pick an easy one.

 

Next, get ready for a Binny’s exclusive Rendezvous Rye. A re-barreled blend of 6 year 95% rye and 16 year old 80% rye, sourced from two famous distilleries. Our pick was then aged over two years in first fill four roses bourbon barrels. The result is a winner: Medium toast on the nose, peppery rye spice and caramel. Light on entry with spice and toast, soft fruit rounds out the edges to the powerful finish. Powerful, sure, but the key here is balance.

 

Both of these Handpicked Selections will roll in at 100 proof. If these are a huge success, we’re going to push harder for barrel proof next time.

 

Since we’re talking about them, be sure to try other great new releases from High West: OMG Silver RyeCampfire and American Prarie Reserve Bourbon. We just don’t have enough space here to give them all the praise High West deserves.

 

 

The Whiskey Hotline Hits Le Rue

 

Brett just returned from a trip to Cognac, and he brought back swag. Swag in the form of barrel samples. We still have to taste them and pick our favorites, but wouldn’t it be cool to have a Binny’s Handpicked Cognac? Maybe a new French brandy, too… We’ll see…

 

Be sure to check out pics from his trip.

 

 


Angel’s Envy

 

Angel's Envy

Sometimes we can’t believe that they actually pay us to do this stuff. Case in point: an afternoon with Wes Henderson picking a new Binny’s Handpicked Angel’s Envy.

 

It went like this: Wes and his father Lincoln blend their Angel’s Envy from three component whiskies that differ by the amount of time finished in port pipe. After tasting all three components, we made and tasted our own custom blends. It took us five attempts to get it exactly right, and then three more just to be sure.

 

It was worth the effort. The new Binny’s Handpicked Angel’s Envy is port barrel finished bourbon, Binny’s style: Big fruit, brown sugar, caramel and honey, and enough spirit to cut through. This exclusive bottling will arrive in a few weeks.

 

 

Check out the rest of the news that’s fit to drink over at the online Whiskey Hotline.

 

The Whiskey Hotline

The Whiskey Hotline Hits Le Rue

Brett just returned from France, from a two week mission to find the greatest Cognac has to offer. Was it a success? Well, he did bring back a bunch of samples for The Whiskey Hotline to taste. We just might have some Binny’s Handpicked Cognac in the works – if all goes well, that is. Until we have more info, check out these sweet pics from his trip:

 

Shots in the Dark: Wheated Bourbon Shootout

The Binny’s Handpicked committee got together last week to taste through some new Buffalo Trace Single Barrel Select samples. That means new Binny’s exclusive Elmer T Lee and Blanton’s are on the way. While we were all together anyway, Joe came up with the idea that we should do a blind tasting.

 

His pitch was this: we have an advance sample of the upcoming Larceny Bourbon from Heaven Hill. Larceny is a wheated bourbon with a $24.99 MSRP (exact Binny’s retail pending). Expectations are high for this new entrant. How will it fare when stacked against other favorite wheaters?

 

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2012 Handpicked Scotch Selections

Imagine this. Brett and his buddies go off to Scotland. They tour around for a while. Distilleries, warehouses, tasting rooms and all that. They take their time over a couple of weeks and find a good number of samples. Barrel proof samples.

 

Then he brings them back to Chicago and tells us that we have to taste them all. All in one punishing afternoon.

 

I know, it sounds like a dream job. But tasting 70 barrel proof Scotch samples has an effect on the palate similar to visiting an overcaffeinated dental hygienist who wants to make good use of her brand new scraper and gouger tool set.

 

With almost 70 samples to choose from, you know we found some great whisky. These eight are 2012 Binny’s Handpicked barrels, with a couple more surprises in the works.

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