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The Find: August 2014

Posted on  | July 31, 2014   Bookmark and Share
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Reaching deep into the distillery’s history, Tanqueray Master Distiller Tom Nichol has drawn inspiration from Charles Tanqueray’s closely guarded 1835 recipe for Old Tom Gin. In the history of gin, the Old Tom style bridges the flavor gap between the original, malty Dutch genevers and the more juniper-forward London Dry styles. Lighter than a genever but more full-bodied and sweeter than a London Dry, Old Tom gins were also essential during the first Golden Age of the cocktail. Developed with bartenders and cocktail connoisseurs in mind, the new Tanqueray Old Tom Gin is launching into the on-trade with limited availability at specialty retailers; 100,000 numbered bottles will be available worldwide. SRP $32.99; 94.6 proof.

The new Tanqueray Old Tom label design is based on a 1921 original. As part of this launch, Diageo identified ten historical Tanqueray Old Tom cocktails and included their initials along with the bottle number on the front label. The bottle pictured here features “TFC,” as in The Ford Cocktail. Others include: Tom Collins (TC); Martinez (M); Gin Daisy (GD); Casino Cocktail (CC); The Defender (TD); Golden Fizz (GF); Hot Gin Toddy (HGT); The Purl (TP); and Ampersand (A).

With barrel aging so vital to whiskey making, it’s no surprise to see some bottlings their wood pedigree like an ID tag. Prichard’s Distillery Double Barreled Bourbon is an especially meaningful example. The bourbon represents a relaunch of a Tennessee whiskey that dates back to 1822; Phil Prichard, fifth-generation descendant of the founder, revived the brand in 1997. The white-corn based whiskey is aged first at full proof in new, charred American oak for about nine years, before being brought to bottle proof and rested a second time in different new oak barrels for another three to five years. Prichard is so proud of the process that he trademarked the name “Double Barreled.” SRP: $79.99; 90 proof.


Patrón Spirits’ new Roca Patrón line highlights the painstakingly meticulous, centuries-old process via which a tahona—a giant two-ton stone wheel hand-carved from volcanic rock (roca)—slowly crushes the cooked agave. “What truly sets this process apart from other more automated methods of producing tequila is that in the tahona process, we introduce the agave fibers, not just the agave juice, into fermentation and distillation,” notes Francisco Alcaraz, Patrón’s master distiller. Moreover, each entry in the new Roca Patrón family—Silver, Reposado and Añejo—is finished at a specific proof, higher than the core line of Patrón tequilas, to achieve an optimal balance of flavors. Stylistically, the Roca Patrón tequilas are sweeter, earthier and more vegetal—with distinctive notes of roasted agave— than other Patrón expressions, exhibiting more complexity and slightly less citrus, pepper and fruit.

Craft beer grew 18% by volume in 2013 according to the Brewers Association. But the segment within the segment to watch may be craft beer in cans: more than 400 craft breweries are selling their beers in cans. Cans are now the focus of two dedicated festivals. The AmeriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival took place in Scottsdale, AZ, in May; Canfest is set for August 23rd in Reno, NV. Aluminum cans are considered especially eco-friendly as they are recycled at more than double the rate of any other beverage package. craftcans.com


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