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Passing Shots Barrel
 Overhyped & Underrated The Casks
are Coming

Passing Shots

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.

Tap RyeWe 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.

Newly arrived: the only Irish gin available at Binny's today. We're waiting for the limited edition berry flavor.

Glen BretonGlen Breton 15 year: a little older, a little pricier. Still our favorite Canadian single malt.

Ironically, the first aged whiskey distilled, aged and bottled at Old Pogue distillery in Maysville, Kentucky, is not Old Pogue. It is, instead, Five Fathers 1 year old rye.

Not sure where the monkey comes from, but the 47 comes from the number of botanicals included in Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin. That's a lot of botanicals, and at least a third of them come from the Black Forest.

Johnnie Walker teamed up with expensive British men's clothing and accessories brand Alfred Dunhill for this bespoke Blue Label edition. If you missed it at travel retail, get it at Binny's.

Mortlach Rare OldThe relaunch of Mortlach begins with the new Mortlach Rare Old. How many distilleries boast an entry level bottle at $130?

Vanzilla: new flavored whiskey, or four story tall mechanical beast that eats cars at a monster truck rally?

Also in flavored whiskey news, Jim Beam Fire. Serve it on the rocks and you have a fire & ice. Patent pending.

The newest release from Glenrothes is the second in their Extraordinary Cask collection, a single cask from 1969. It will cost you the same as a Pontiac Catalina of the same model year.

Blaum BrosThe latest from Blaum Bros, our friends in Galena, is moonshine in a mason jar. They promise brown goods are on the way.

Old charter pulled something tricky - they removed the age statement from their bourbon, but kept the 8. We're listening: what do you think of the trend toward NAS?

The latest from Chicagoland's first craft distillery is a limited beer distillate: give North Shore's SommerWeizen a try while it lasts.

Sage LiqueurCocktail-centric Art in the Age is back with a new sage liqueur. With all these herbal spirits, how could anyone ever make a boring bloody Mary again?

Another old bottling of Macallan from Speymalt. Compared to OB, it's a steal.

Westland is a single malt from Washington state, and it is absolutely one of the best craft single malts we have ever tasted. Complex, subtle, round and faintly sweet, and it nimbly hides its 92 proof. It is a minx, and you need to taste it.

Barrel Report


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.

Four Roses

“Floral, Banana, Fresh, Medium Body"
Brown sugar and honey on the nose, with peach and banana fruit, plus a rosewater floral quality. Powerful on the palate, with lemon cut over a little fat and corn puddin' before a long, spicy finish.
“Slightly Fruity, Spicy, Medium Body"
Lean and spicy. Big floral notes on the nose, and banana and strawberry. The high-rye mashbill gives an herbal cut not unlike caraway, before a finish of lingering spirit.
“Delicate Fruit, Fresh, Creamy"
A nose of very ripe fruit, including banana, orange peel and maybe even fig. The wood shows as vanilla and caramel, with a round honeyed body and herbal notes of anise.
“Delicate Fruit, Spicy, Creamy"
On the light and fresh end of the lineup. An easygoing nose of banana and white pepper. Carmel, cherry and anise, and then a sensation not unlike to licking an oak stave. In a good way.
“Fruity Red Berries, Medium Body"
The wood shows in the nose: sawdust up front, plus marzipan and nutmeg, cherry, apple and orange. Rich in spice, with echoes of the nose's baking spice with a deeper herbal cut.
“Floral Rose Petal, Spicy, Medium Body"
Clove. Taffy apple, vanilla and Christmas spice. Eggnog levels of spice. Grippy, with sweet, bright cocktail cherry fruit notes, finishing dry and spicy.
“Spicy, Full Body"
Lighter, brighter, spirited and spicy. Steamlined and sleek with notes of clove and fennel. Call it a spice bomb.
“Rich in Spiciness, Full Body"
Clove. Taffy apple, vanilla and Christmas spice. Eggnog levels of spice. Grippy, with sweet, bright cocktail cherry fruit notes, finishing dry and spicy.
“Mint, Fruity, Full Body"
The F recipes are always a favorite, and this is proof. Lemon, citrus and light confectionary on the nose lead into a sleek and complex body before finishing fresh and minty.
“Mint, Fruity, Spicy, Full Body"
A rye-heavy mashbill and a yeast that emphasizes vegetal spice? Oh yeah. Menthol, eucalyptus on the nose. Dry, puckering, bitter and lingering. Gutsy. Big boy bourbon.

By the way, did you miss out on the 2014 Four Roses Single Barrel? We couldn't help but notice that this year's bottle was a cask strength 11 year old OESF. Wait... Binny's Handpicked OESF just happens to be cask strength and 11 years old. And it's half the price. Just sayin'.

Overhyped & Underrated


       It's an old story with a gin twist. While new craft distilleries wait for their bourbon to mature, they have to sell something to keep the funds rolling in. At first, it was vodka. It turns out very few people are willing to pay 35 bucks for something that is supposed to taste like nothing. Then came white whiskey. Nobody bought that either.

       Now it's gin.

       Listen. Gin is vodka at heart. Think of it as the original flavored vodka. We'll still take juniper flavored vodka over Charleston Chew flavored vodka any day (we do love the great taste of Charleston Chew - try it frozen).

       Now craft gin is everywhere. But so many are priced over $30 that the category seems doomed from the start. And the exotic botanicals aren't helping. Yerba mate? Dragon eye?


       Seriously, why don't more people drink gin? The classic spirit is finally making a comeback with top-tier mixologists, but it still has a long way to go to reach the rest of the population. Maybe too many people were scared off by bad experiences early in their drinking careers.

       Or maybe it is gin's forward personality - its initial flavor and smell hide its true versatility. Gin is all about mixing. It offers an herbal complexity that can add a little spice, or work as the foundation of a special cocktail.

       Gin works well with so many flavors. With citrus in classics including the gin sour, Tom Collins, or plain old gin and juice. It rocks with both bitter and sweet - have you tried a corpse reviver #2? Or with oily and salinic flavors in a martini. We'll say it again - if you're mixing martinis with vodka, you're missing the point. At any rate, give gin another try.

The Casks Are Coming

       With our 2014 Hanpicked Single Malts on their way, we need to clear some space. Listen. Don't wait on these great deals. Once they're gone, they're gone for good.

English Whiskey Company Peated Cask Strength...$74.99
English Whiskey Company Peated 46%....$54.99
EWC Binny's/Fountainhead Collaboration 46%
EWC Binny's/Fountainhead Collaboration Cask Strength...$54.99
English Whiskey Company Classic Cask Strength
English Whiskey Company Classic 46%
Cadenheads Braes of Glenlivet 16 year...$74.99
Cadenheads Auchentoshan 14 year
Cadenheads Bowmore 11 year
Cadenheads Auchroisk 12 year...$69.99
Cadenheads Glendullan 17 year
The Exceptional Grain
Tomatin Cu Bocan Lightly Peated...$64.99
AD Rattray Glen Grant 15 year...$84.99
Bruichladdich 21 year Cuvee Cognac Cask...$169.99
Bruichladdich 21 year Cuvee Sauternes Cask...$169.99
Blue Hangar 7th Release...$89.99
The Belgian Owl Single Malt...$74.99
Signatory Laphroaig 14 year Binny's Handpicked...$99.99
AD Rattray Glentauchers 7 year FF Sherry Butt...$69.99
G&M Glendullan 12 year Binny's Handpicked...$44.99
An Cnoc 22 year...$114.99
Compass Box Peat Monster 10th Anniversary...$79.99
Scott's Selection Highland Park 19 year...$109.99
Glen Garioch Virgin Oak Limited Release...$89.99
An Cnoc Peter Arkle 2nd Edition...$44.99
Compass Box Flaming Heart 2012...$74.99
G&M Linkwood 21 year...$114.99
Signatory Bladnoch 19 year Binny's Handpicked...$64.99
Eillan Gillen 6 year...$34.99
Signatory Glen Scotia 22 year Binny's Handpicked...$89.99
Hazelburn 8 year Sauternes Cask...$49.99
Glenfiddich Age of Discovery 19 year...$129.99
G&M Miltonduff 9 year Binny's Handpicked...$34.99
G&M Tormore 13 year Binny's Handpicked...$44.99


*Prices are valid with your Binny's through November 25, 2014, or while supplies last.
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