The idea that women drink spirits, especially whiskey, is often viewed as surprising… unless of course the drink is pink and sweet. Not only are we women drinking spirits in increasing numbers, we are making and selling them too. With that in mind, here are some gift ideas for this Mother’s Day to celebrate Mom and the women in the spirits industry.
Stephanie Macleod is John Dewar & Sons Master Blender and has been since 2006. Brands under this portfolio include single malts Aberfeldy, Craigellachie, and Aultmore as well as the blended Scotch brand, Dewar’s. We are fans of all of their products but would steer you in the direction of Aberfeldy 21. With its time spent in former sherry casks, this single malt is full of dried fruits, honey, and toasted malt.
Stephanie Macleod, Master Blender at John Dewar & Sons / Photo Source: Difford’s Guide
Brenne French Single Malt is a brand founded by Allison Parc. Her single malt whiskies are distilled in France which is unusual in and of itself, but they are then finished in former Cognac barrels which make these products stand out from the crowd. Flavors such as violets, vanilla creme, and almond pastries are some of the flavors which come to mind.
Allison Parc, founder of Brenne French Single Malt / Photo Source: The Whisky Woman
Joy Spence is a pioneer in the spirits industry. She was first employed by Appleton Estate as a Chief Chemist in 1981 before becoming their Master Blender in 1997. She is the first woman to have held this title in the spirits industry. We can think of no better gift than Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend. It was released in honor of Joy Spencer’s 20th anniversary as Master Blender. It is a 25 Year Old rum which includes some 35 year old rum in the blend. The blend includes two rums of significance to Spencer: rum from her first year with Appleton (1981) and rum from her favorite marque of pot-still rum.
Joy Spence, Master Blender at Appleton Estate / Photo Source: Chilled Magazine
Katia Espirito Santo is a 3rd generation Master Distiller. She sources the sugarcane used in her cachaça from Fazenda da Quinta, a farm in Carmo, about four hours north of Rio de Janeiro. The farm was purchased by her grandfather, Francisco Alves, in 1923. We recommend Avuá Cachaça Tapinhoã. It is barrel-aged in a rare type of wood, indigenous to South America. The tapinhoã cask was reclaimed and repurposed from vintage barrels kept in the distiller’s family, and used to age this cachaça for at least 2 years. Flavors such as toasted coconut and banana along with spicy wood notes are to be found. Sip neat or on the rocks.
Katia Espirito Santo, Master Distiller / Photo Source: Jornal O Globo
Melanie Asher is the Distiller and Master Blender for Macchu Pisco in Peru. Along with her sister Lizzie Asher, president of the brand, they have educated bartenders and restaurateurs about their unaged grape brandy. Additionally, they also rely on a cooperative of women farmers to grow and pick their grapes. We recommend their pisco called Ñusta (meaning “Inca Princess” in the ancient Quechua language). It is a mosto verde pisco made from the Italia grape. It’s presented in a hand-crafted, artifact-esque ceramic bottle, each of which was made from a whopping 30 pounds of grapes. Find notes of rose petals, citrus, and pears among many others. Rare, but worth the hunt.
Lizzie and Melanie Asher of Macchu Pisco / Photo Source: Peru this Week
Ready to start shopping for Mother’s Day?