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 Passing Shots Confessions of
a Mixologist

Barrel Report

2014 Binny's Handpicked Single Malts

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:

1992 A D Rattray Mortlach #5017
Char sediment floating in this one. Woody nose with deep fruit, almost like cherry - plus honey. Big in body on the palate, with all the vanilla and caramel and heat you love in a monolithic Mortlach.

1989 A D Rattray Burnside #12446
Couldn't pass up this Burnside - don't forget it's Balvenie adulterated with just a teaspoon of Glenfiddich. This is graceful whisky: soft vanilla, soft flowers on the nose, with a punchy, spirited body with soft smoke. Why can't more whisky be like this?

1997 Cadenheads Aultmore Peated #3330
Brett brought back two sister Aultmore samples from Cadenheads: one peated and one unpeated. The easygoing unpeated shows soft lemon, pear and tropical fruit notes. The peated, our choice, shows all that subtle fruit plus iodine and ham from the peat. Complex, subtle.

1994 Gordon & MacPhail Mortlach First Fill Sherry Butt
Another Mortlach? You bet. Orange and caramel on the nose, leadinng into a broad spirit with butterscotch and caramel qualities. Focused like a lazer beam. Yum.

2007 Gordon & MacPhail Caol Ila First Fill Bourbon Cask
Wild and funky, this is something of a gonzo cask. Ham, graham cracker, green pear skin. The punchy spirited quality shouts its youth and power. Also, banana band aid (great band name, btw), in a good way.

1988 Signatory Balmenach #2899
Tastes heavy like a Balmenach should. Orange, honey and caramel breadth on the nose. Buttery - almost oily in body, with loads of caramel. Bourbon fans will love it.

1998 Signatory Linkwood Hogshead with "New Ends" #5121
"New ends," that's interesting. The sherry sweetness from the rest of the barrel still shows on the nose, in lovely honey and cherry notes that imply weight and breadth. Still light and easy on the palate, softly spirited, with a bourbon-like weight and roundness.

1998 Signatory Mortlach Sherry "Re-Cask" #2
Another another Mortlach? This one went into Sherry wood in 2011. We'd call that finishing, but our notes call it a re-cask. Sure. A peppery (black) nose leads into another monolith - all caramel and cherry fruit. Seems like we have a lot of Mortlach, but compared to OB prices, these are aged and great values.

1993 Signatory Inchmurrin Hogshead #2778
Pretty. Pear, sawdust, soft citrus fruit. Graceful, soft and easy to enjoy. Along with the buttery confection palate is a touch of vegetable, like buttery peas. Excellent.

1997 Signatory Laphroaig #3354
The peat on this Laphroaig comes across on the ham end of the spectrum. A touch of ham in the nose, with bright lemon and more ham. Easter brunch? Butterscotch on the palate, with soft grassy notes, not unlike agave. Not a slap in the face at all.


By the way, here are some other things we sampled that we suspect we'll be able to offer soon: 1995 A D Rattray Glen Elgin, 1981 Signatory Glenlivet and 1990 Signatory Auchroisk. Wish we could buy them all.

Passing Shots

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.

The Classic LaddieFor 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.

Who shot JR? Here's your chance. The essence of oil tycoon in a square bottle.

Turning to environmental responsibility: Parce Rum plants a tree in Colombia for every bottle sold. The rum itself is delicious too. Check it out.

Officer's ChoiceIt's the world's second best selling whisky, and you might have never heard of it: Officer's Choice. From India, it's at select Binny's now.

Add some spice to your life.

We've been anxiously waiting for this for over a year: Taiwan's Kavalan single and vatted malts are finally here. Their Solist expressions are choice.

DSP vodka lineDSP 162 is the original Distilled Spirits Plan number of Germain-Robin. So when we saw the new DSP vodka line, we knew it would be special. If anybody is going to get vodka right, it's these guys.

Speaking of Germain-Robin... what could be geekier than single varietal, single barrel brandy?

Bigallet Viriana China China is finally on our shelves. This is cool. It's the French response to Italy's Amaro. Aromatic and spiced, big herbal and orange peel bitterness with caramel sweetness.

There isn't much of The Last Drop to go around, and it's pretty expensive to boot. But it comes highly rated, and it's an incredible blend. Luxury.

Roger Groult's Commemorative D Day 70th Anniversary CalvadosA frequent request: yes, we have Roger Groult's Commemorative D Day 70th Anniversary Calvados.

A trifecta of things we love: NOLA, coffee, liqueur.

New from Captain, 1671 Commemorative Blend. The bottling celebrates the devastation and capture of Fort San Lorenzo by Henry Morgan, one of the most ruthless and violent men in history. Also the loss of his ship, the Satisfaction.

Marnier XOThe return of an old favorite: Marnier XO. Once called Marnier Lapostolle, this excellent Cognac is at the heart of the Grand Marnier base spirit.

They're here! Arriving Friday, we can once again offer exclusive Binny's bottles of all ten Four Roses Single Barrel recipes.

Confessions of a Mixologist


Lion's Tail

Never heard of the Lion's Tail? All you need to know is that it has a heart of bourbon, and that it's fantastic. There's not much history on this masterpiece, just that it was first published in 1937 - four years after the repeal of Prohibition - when bourbon was either scarce or raw.        

The cocktail includes Pimento Dram, an herbal liqueur with a rum base flavored with the spicy berry of the pimento tree. It mixes well with bourbon in the Lion's Tail and creates a sweet and spicy cocktail.


2 oz Larceny Bourbon

.25 oz Bitter Truth
Pimento Dram

.5 oz lime juice

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 barspoon simple syrup

Simple Steps:
Shaken w/ice and strained into a coupe

Try this great cocktail for yourself at our Lincoln Park Tasting Room, or mix it at home. Be sure to check out more cocktail ideas on the Binny's Blog.

Big Events

Binny's is proud to sponsor
bourbon womens

August 22 & 23
French Lick Resort, French Lick, Indiana

Bourbon Women invite you to this two day networking and education perfect for any women interested in whiskey. Learn the basics of bourbon, from how it's made to decoding labels, and learn how to judge a bourbon by its color, aroma, flavor and finish. Discover the important economic impact of bourbon and the mechanics of the industry. Enjoy a virtual tour through Kentucky's famed distilleries, and taste bourbon from each. Enjoy a cocktail reception and multi-course bourbon dinner featuring dishes perfectly paired with bourbons by the resort's Executive Chef. Plus, enjoy a 10% discount on resort spa treatments!


More details and registration online at

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