Before our official reviews arrive, we wanted to give you a sneak preview of some new products hitting shelves soon. Glenmorangie is re-releasing its popular Astar single malt. Monkey Shoulder has created a product made especially for bar use. Plus, a trio of gins from Louisville’s Copper & Kings are ready for you to discover. Get all the details in our Booze News for the week of August 7, 2017!
Astar, meaning “journey” in Scots Gaelic, was originally released in 2008, but was discontinued in 2012. It has been relaunched as a limited edition release in select markets beginning in August of 2017.
The “journey” refers to the sourcing of oak from the Ozark Mountains in Missouri. The oak staves were left to season in the open air for two years before being made into barrels, which were then toasted, lightly charred and filled with bourbon. After four years, the bourbon was removed and the barrels were sent to Glenmorangie where they were filled with single malt whisky to age.
Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, Dr. Bill Lumsden explains, “At Glenmorangie we are always searching for perfection–and the Astar’s first release, entirely matured in our designer casks, was a momentous step on our journey. I’m delighted to be able to share the 2017 release with more single malt lovers–and to celebrate with them the whisky’s wonderfully creamy, spicy aromas and silky tastes of soft fruit smothered with vanilla custard.”
The 2017 version is non chill-filtered and is bottled at 52.5% ABV, slightly lower than the first release. Suggested retail price $99.99.
This blended malt whisky was created specifically for use in bars. Highland peat instead of Islay peat was used in the creation of this whisky, which was made with the consultation of a team of bartenders. The whisky was aged in first-fill bourbon barrels and is bottled at 40% ABV. It was launched in August 2017 in the UK and France with other markets expected to follow. Available to purchase only in bars.
COPPER & KINGS
For their American Dry Gin release, Louisville-based Copper & Kings uses an apple brandy base with traditional gin botanicals. Suggested retail price $35.
Says Copper & Kings Head Distiller, Brandon O’Daniel, “How do you elevate the crisp and refreshing expectation of a dry gin whilst still leveraging the beauty of the rounded mouthfeel and long, elegant finish of brandy? We’ve tried to retain the full fruit essence but within a signature classic dry gin style.”
Their Old Tom Gin uses a grape brandy base is aged briefly in former Kentucky bourbon barrels. Suggested retail price $40.
“We are romantics at heart, and love classic cocktails,” says O’Daniel. “We wanted an Old Tom true to the ‘Black Cat’–viscous, slightly sweeter and mellower, just a little savory versus crisp. Something that could stand up within a cocktail or up to forceful, quality mixer. We built this more in the antique Hodges & Co style developed by ‘Old Tom’ Chamberlain, with a little more ABV heft at 100 Proof, using a grape brandy base for suppleness and finesse. Finishing in a Kentucky bourbon barrel adds some nice spice to the mellow base.”
For their annual limited release barrel-aged gin for 2017, they’ve created L’Inspecteur. These limited annual releases all have a cat theme, and this one features an illustrated pink panther. Fans of the film series will recognize that the name of the gin makes reference to the character of the French police detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau.
The gin is aged for fourteen months in French oak, former cognac barrels. Bottled at 50% ABV in 375ml sized bottles. Suggested retail price $40.
All three gins are double distilled using copper pot-stills with no neutral spirit is added. The gins are not chill-filtered and have no added flavors or colors post-distillation.