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Craft Your Own 6-Pack Now Available at All Binny’s Locations

Today Binny’s Beverage Depot associates throughout Chicagoland are hard at work putting the finishing touches on their brand new craft your own six-pack racks.  Every* Binny’s is taking part in the program, which features 160 continually rotating craft beers you can create a six-pack from, for the price of $9.99.



*Our two Binny’s express store in Hyde Park and Glencoe will not be taking part in the program due to space constraints.

Binny’s Mailbag: The Next Step


   Ever wonder about the mail we receive here at Binny’s? We get tons of questions at beer, spirits, and Now we’re opening it for you with the Binny’s Mailbag.


Binny’s – 

   Im fairly new to the scotch world, having tried and really liked Glenmorangie and Glenrothes which I believe are considered lighter scotches. Ive read quite a bit about Highland Park so  Im eager to try that next but Im wondering if that may be too strong for my taste just yet? Would I be better off sticking with something lighter or is there anything else you could recommend as a next step?

Thank you



Hi J.P.,

   You’re right on track with Highland Park. Their whiskies would be a good step forward. You’ll find that the HP’s are slightly fuller bodied, and in our opinion pack quite an impressive depth of flavor. Highland Park is lightly peated, so it doesn’t come off so much as smoke, but more of a spiciness on the finish of the whisky. In the case of the Highland Park 12 year old, it is 90% sherry aged, 10% bourbon, so there is a great dark-fruit flavor balancing the baking spice character and the very gentle seaside/island profile.

   Along the same lines of fuller, richer flavored whiskies, we would also recommend checking out Aberlour, a sherry finished highland malt, and also Old Pulteney. Pulteney is from the northeast corner of Scotland. The Old Pulteney 12 year old has a gentle “maritime” profile, and is a great value at under $40.

   Hope this helps. Any others questions, let us know.


Binny’s Mailbag

Quick Flight, Small Pours


Wine Spectator releases Top 100 of 2011
…temporarily offers free guest access.


Red Eye Chicago offers Thanksgiving Beverage Advice.
Great idea: set up a drink station in a different room to get guests out of your kitchen.


Did you see this interview on Shanken News Daily?
It’s neat, but it’s not like us to only report on ourselves.


Local beer blogger offers a roundup of Beer Related Election Results
From national elections a couple weeks back. Remember that?




Drillaud Recipe: The Aviation


We’re still hot on Drillaud French Liqueur. Why? The lineup offers great flavors at a huge savings compared to more famous brands, what with their advertising budgets and well-paid spokespeople and corporate jets and all.


Cocktail GlassAviation


2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1/2 oz Drillaud Creme de Violette


   Shake ingredients with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass. Drop in two Luxardo Marasche Cherries.


You can use any gin for this recipe, but we especially love the way the cucumber, rose pedal, and other botanicals in Hendrick’s work so well with the round, floral Drillaud Violette. The inclusion of Creme de Violette gives you a more authentic, classic Aviation. We’re excited to offer the usually tough-to-get liqueur that used to be the cornerstone of this cocktail.

Read more

Binny’s Mailbag: Great, Affordable Scotch


Let’s see what’s new in the Binny’s Mailbag.



   I was just reading The Whiskey Hotline on your website. Very interesting.

   A few weeks ago, I had my first experience with Scotch. Ive classically avoided the darker liquors ever since my bachelor party, oh so many years ago. (but thats a whole other story)

   Heres my problem. I had a friend come in from out of town, and he insisted that I hadnt given Scotch a fair chance. He told me to locate a very specific bottle, which you luckily had one bottle left at your South Loop location; Classic Cask 35 Year Old Blended Scotch.

   I loved it! It wasnt at all what I was expecting. It didnt have the harshness that I remember. It was caramel on the nose and the palate. Oak and a little smoke too. It was a lot smoother than I thought it would be. Delicious.

   The real problem? That bottle is pretty expensive. $299.99Thats okay for a special occasion here and there, but Id really like to find something similar thats not so pricey.

   Do you ever have Scotch tastings? Or, do you have any suggestions for something similar? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

– JW


Hi JW,

   Thanks for checking out The Whisky Hotline! Watch for another update soon.

If you’re looking for something with a smoky and sweet balance, be sure to check out some Highland Park and Talisker offerings. Talisker is the smokier of the two, but is balanced by a lot of honey and some brine. Highland Park picks up a more spicy character from the peat, and is predominantly sherry aged so it has a rich and full front with a mildly smoky and spicy finish.

Highland Park 18 Year is a bargain for the price, with younger expressions starting under $50 and going up from there. The base Talisker is a 10 Year Old at sixty bucks, and an exceptional 18 Year Old is sometimes available for eighty.

Our largest and best Scotch event – Binny’s World of Whiskey – is held in early April each year. Keep an eye on our blog for info as the date nears.

Hope this helps! Cheers,

Binny’s Mailbag

Binny’s Blog Self-Congratulatory 500th Post

   We ran out of fingers and toes a while back, but the blog software is telling us that this is the 500th post on the Binny’s Blog. It’s kind of an arbitrary threshhold to celebrate, but here we are. Thanks to all the contributors that have pitched in, and thanks to all you out there who are reading this thing. 

   Keep coming back. We have a whole bunch more fun stuff in the works, and we’ll keep bringing you the latest breaking news in the world of beer, cigars, spirits, and wine.


Riesling Roundup

   Rieslingis an amazingly versatile grape. With the potential to range frombracingly focused to syrupy sweet, viscous and oily to refreshing andbubbly, it’s tough to make grand sweeping statements such asriesling goes great with turkey.


That said … seriously … riesling goes great with turkey.


We rounded up six affordable German Rieslings for a comparison tasting.These samples range from kinda sweet to quite sweet, but all offer acidity to balance the sugar, meaning the sweetness never detracts from the wine’s complexity.


These are a step up from the usual blue bottles that are so popular this time of year. Nothing wrong with the blue bottles, but these selections bring something a little special to your Thanksgiving table (or whenever) while still offering great value.


2010 Strub Riesling Soil to Soul 
Starts off sweet on the nose caramel (odd) and citrus (makes sense). I’m expecting something big, and it delivers on the palate, with lots of tropical fruit. This wine isn’t amazingly complex, but it is very pleasing and easygoing. For fifteen bucks (and on sale right now for even less) this is a great value.

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Meet a Barefooter at Binny’s


   We’re all about cocktails here at Binny’s – from the complex tastes of classic spirit cocktails to the innovate potential of beer cocktails. But one category we often neglect is wine cocktails (we usually like wine enough how it is) and especially sparkling wine cocktails. With the holidays rolling in, this is a great chance to delight and impress your friends and guests with delicious, exotic and innovative drinks.

   So we’re super excited to welcome Barefooter Randy, the global ambassador for Barefoot Wine & Bubbly on his mini tour of several Binny’s locatins this weekend.

   Randy will be crafting specialty sparkling cocktails for you to sample and enjoy featuring Barefoot Bubbly. For free! If you like them, maybe you’ll be able to talk a recipe or two out of him. Be sure to stop by the following Binny’s locations!

  Read more

Binny’s Mailbag: Sulfites and Heartburn


Let’s open up the Binny’s Mailbag once again.



I love wine but no longer can drink it due to giving me terrible heartburn. Someone suggested to try a Sulphite Free Wine. I can’t seem to find it on your site. Do you carry any?

– T.


Hi T,

   We doubt that sulfite free wine would help you much. A big component of wine is acidity. Combine that with alcohol, and you have a recipe for heartburn.

   About sulfites: they are a naturally occurring preservative found in small quantities in wine. They are often added to wine to preserve freshness and color. They sound scary, but really only effect a small group of people who have a severe sulfite sensitivity related to asthma. If you are in this group, you probably already know.

   It’s also interesting that preserved fruit foods such as dried fruits and juices often include more sulfites than wine. Check out this post on the Binny’s Blog for more on sulfites. By the way, we have been collecting data on which wines are low in sulfites. Though this information isn’t on right now, we’re working on a future version of the site that will inlcude this information.

   But back to the heartburn. You could try some lower alcohol or lower acid wines, and we would be happy to recommend some to your tastes, but addressing the heartburn issue itself might be the best approach. We had a similar issue, and after seeing a doctor we suffer less heartburn and enjoy food and wine more. We’d hate to see this issue get in the way of a great glass of wine.

   Thanks for the question!

   – Binny’s Mailbag

2011 Beaujolais Nouveau

   THURSDAY the 17th! Beaujolais Nouveau is here! 

   Okay, it’s that time of year again, when we offer up the freshest wine of the year, the always fun and vibrant Beaujolais Nouveau. Great with turkey, great with friends and celebration.

   We have your usual favorites such as Duboeuf, Drouhin, Cambon, Dupeuble, and more. As of the release day (that’s Thursday, November 17th) you can click here too see what’s available. Not all labels are at all locations. Plus you’ll find special kickoff pricing with your Binny’s Card on select brands.

   Also, Beaujolais Nouveau will be the focus of this Saturday’s Weekend At Binny’s tastings! We hold free staff-pick wine tastings at all Binny’s locations every Saturday from 1-4. Stop by on Saturday to get a taste of these fresh and fun wines!

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