Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

SpeyburnPour2For this special Spirits Edition of Tasting Notes, we settle into a rainy Tuesday afternoon with a proper dram of Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky from Speyburn Distillery (Rothes, Scotland).

Speyburn 10 Year Old is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky made with the “crystal-clear water of the Granty Burn . . ., an integral ingredient used to produce the bold, bright, distinctive single malt whiskies of Speyburn.”  This “soft spirit” is then “matured in a combination of American oak, ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks” until it “marries with the gentle oak influence to create a balanced and approachable dram with hints of toffee, butterscotch and a long, sweet finish.”  Weighing in at 80 proof/40% ABV, Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a standard that “exhibits the distillery character and house style of Speyburn.”

Speyburn 10 Year Old is available in 750ml bottles and in the Speyburn 10 Year Old Source Water Gift Pack – includes a 750ml bottle of Speyburn 10 Year Old and a 100ml bottle of Uisge Source Water – Speyside for the SRP of $30.  You can find both of these packaging options at fine liquor retailers located throughout the United States.

Now that we are all caught up on this whisky’s background information, we are actually going to crack open one of those Speyburn 10 Year Old Source Water Gift Packs to not only record some Tasting Notes on Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky but to also experience how the Uisge Source Water interacts with the whisky.  This is exactly the kind of thing that rainy days are for, so let’s get to it!

Tasting Notes for Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky from Speyburn Distillery

Appearance: This whiskey pours a beautifully clear, light honey brown in color.  When held to direct light, the yellows radiate softly and shift the appearance to more of a pale gold to straw yellow.  When swirled in the glass, the slick liquid coats the glass with a parabolic arc that eventually releases super-slow moving, teardrop-like legs that crawl back down into the pour.

Aroma: The aromatics introduce themselves with a bright burst of citrus (orange and lemon) and a gentle floral character.  The grains add a cereal sweetness that opens further to offer notes of honey, vanilla and caramel.  To close out the profile, a very subtle waft of smoke surfaces to balance out the sweetness a bit. | With the Uisge Source-Speyside Water Added: The vanilla-laced oak notes bloom a bit more with the added water, but the overall sweetness is tempered.  The only other noticeable change is that the added water actually brings more attention to the spirit’s booziness. Nothing unpleasant, just a surprising twist.

Taste: Just like the nose, the fruits take the lead with citrusy tones that are joined by nuanced notes of sweet apple, raisin, and a touch of red plum.  This fruit sweetness and a light floral breeze act as a sublime lead-in for the cereal grains and barrel character. We are talking about some seriously satisfying notes of caramel, rich vanilla, toffee and honey.  The smoke is light, but it envelopes all of that sweetness – especially the pronounced oaky vanilla note – to offer a hint of toasted marshmallow in the finish. | With the Uisge Source-Speyside Water Added: The water really coaxes out those caramel tones here and the lemony note is also more defined.  The finish morphs a bit as white pepper and anise bloom within the smoke to add an extra layer of complexity.

Mouthfeel:  Slick in texture, this whiskey coats the palate but dries out quickly enough to avoid being syrupy or cloying.  Although it is mostly sweet, the smoky, citrusy and floral notes contrast and balance well.  At 40% ABV/80 proof, it is wonderfully smooth and only supplies the smallest of slow burns in the chest.  Aftertaste is all vanilla, oak and smoke. | With the Uisge Source-Speyside Water Added: The added water dries out the sweetness even more, thins the body, and soothes the slight burn from the ABV.

Final Thoughts:  There are two common misconceptions when it comes to Scotch whisky:

  1. The only good Scotch is an expensive Scotch
  2. You must have a trained palate to appreciate Scotch

From top to bottom, Speyburn 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky proves that those are indeed misconceptions.  It has a great deal of the complexity you will find in pricier Scotch whiskies, but it retains approachability by offering notes that casual American whiskey drinkers are familiar with.  Combine that with the fact that this Single Malt falls within a $20 to $30 price point, and you have an affordable option that can act as daily-drinker for seasoned whisky drinkers and/or a gateway for those interested in learning more about Scotch whisky.

As far as the Speyburn 10 Year Old Source Water Gift Pack goes, it proved to be an incredibly fun experiment.  Although everyone here did enjoy the undiluted pours a bit more, we did appreciate how the Uisge Source Water brought out and/or enhanced certain aspects of the whisky and had a great time having it as a part of the experience.  There is no denying that this 100ml bottle of water is a fantastic conversation piece that will easily convince any whisky-lovin’ guest to sit down and enjoy a dram or two of Speyburn 10 Year Old with you.  Since it only comes in at a few bucks more than the standard bottle of Speyburn 10 Year Old, we suggest you pick up the gift pack if you happen to be faced with the option.

All in all, this was one hell of a good experience that has left us all fans of Speyburn 10 Year Old. Whether you are looking for a gateway offering that can ease you – both in flavor and in cost – into the world of Scotch or are just looking for a solid whisky to keep in your liquor cabinet, Speyburn 10 Year Old should definitely be on your radar.  Prost!

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Heavy Seas Beer Introduces E.Krispers Cider

EKrispersCanFinalHeavy Seas Beer (Baltimore, Maryland) – an extension of Clipper City Imports, a division of Clipper City Brewing LP – has officially announced the launch of E.Krispers Cider in the United States.

Developed with the use of “100% Cider Apples”, E.Krispers Cider is a traditional English-style Cider made with “thirty four different varieties of apples [that come] together to give this cider it’s refreshing taste.”  Cider fans can expect E.Krispers (5% ABV) to offer “a unique bittersweet flavor that’s fruit-focused, crisp, and balanced with a classic finish.”

To ensure that they are crafting the best cider possible, Heavy Seas Beer went “directly to the source where traditional cider apples are readily available . . . to produce E.Krispers in Devon, England under the supervision of Cider Maker Barny Butterfield, (Owner and Cider Maker of Sandford Orchards).”  This decision has made it so Heavy Seas can have consistent “access to these traditional cider apple varietals that are not readily available in the US.”

“To grow the cider market in the US, we saw the need for a brand that will have the quality of a cider made from 100% cider apples. Cider apples have the attributes of sweetness, acidity and tannin needed to produce great, nuanced cider. E.Krispers is made from those apples,” said Barny Butterfield, Owner and Cider Maker of Sandford Orchards.

 

“It is exciting to see how much progress has been made to grow demand for cider in America,” said Dan Kopman, CEO at Heavy Seas Beer. “To add fuel to the fire, we need to establish a new price point that reflects both the quality and approachability of cider as an alternative to other alcoholic beverages. We are targeting price points at $8.99 per six pack,” said Kopman. “This will attract new cider drinkers, critical to category growth.”

E.Krispers Cider is actively launching in the U.S. now and will have Year-Round availability in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans.  You can expect to find this new offering at cider-friendly establishments located throughout the Heavy Seas Beer distribution footprint.  Prost!

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7venth Sun Brewery Schedules Bottle Release for Disputed Origins Imperial Stout

7venthCultivation7venth Sun Brewery (Dunedin & Tampa, Florida) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Bottle Release of Disputed Origins, a Piña Colada Imperial Stout brewed in collaboration with Cultivation Brewing Company (Sarasota, Florida), on June 14.

Named in reference to the many origin stories surrounding the Piña Colada cocktail, Disputed Origins is a Piña Colada-inspired Imperial Stout that boasts additions of pineapple, coconut and vanilla.  Although marrying these ingredients with an Imperial Stout may seem “odd” on paper, the 7venth Sun/Cultivation Brewing tag team brew crew assures that Disputed Origins (11.7% ABV) is just “as delicious as the frosty tropical beverage” itself.

Disputed Origins will officially release in 7venth Sun’s Dunedin and Tampa tasting rooms at noon on Friday, June 14.  This Limited Release will be available for purchase in bottles to-go and on draft during the event.  Disputed Origins is a tasting room exclusive release and is not expected to see distribution.  Prost!

Vital Information for Disputed Origins from 7venth Sun Brewery & Cultivation Brewing Company

Release – Limited; June 14, 2019
Style – Imperial Stout
ABV – 11.7%
Added Ingredients – Pineapple, coconut & vanilla
Fun Fact – On the history of the Piña Colada: “Puerto Rico is the birthplace of the Piña Colada (strained pineapple in Spanish). The creator of one of the most popular frozen cocktails (it even has its own national holiday – July 10th), is still hotly disputed. It may have been in the early 1800’s by a pirate known as El Pirata Cofresí; he stole from rich merchants and gave the spoils to the poor in Puerto Rico, but the recipe was lost when he was caught and executed. It didn’t resurface again until the 1950’s and there are three other different people and places that claim to have invented it.

Availability – Bottles & draft
Distribution – None. Tasting Room exclusive release

Underground Mountain to Surface as Next Release in Founders Brewing Co. Barrel-Aged Series

FoundersBASeriesLogoFounders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan) recently sent out a teaser to inform their fans that Underground Mountain Brown will officially launch in August as the fourth release in this year’s Barrel-Aged Series.

Previously introduced as the taproom-exclusive known as Barrel-Aged Sumatra Mountain Brown, Underground Mountain is an Imperial Brown Ale that has been brewed with “earthy Sumatra coffee” and then aged for a year in Bourbon barrels in the “caves below Grand Rapids.” Crafted to be a true “celebration of the barrel, the bean and everything in between”, Underground Mountain Brown finds harmony as the malts of the Brown Ale base “complement the bold Sumatra coffee perfectly, while time spent immersed in oak creates layers of depth and complexity.”

Underground Mountain is scheduled to debut in Founders Brewing Co.’s Grand Rapids and Detroit taprooms on August 16 and distribution will follow later that month.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located in Alabama, Florida, Michigan and throughout the rest of Founders Brewing Co.’s expansive distribution area. More info to come. Stay tuned! Prost!

Vital Information for Underground Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Co.

Release – Limited/Barrel-Aged Series; mid-August 2019
Style – Imperial Brown Ale
ABV – TBD
Treatment – Brewed with Sumatra coffee & aged for a year in Bourbon barrels
Availability – 4-packs of 12 oz. bottles, 750ml bottles & draft
Beer Finder – https://foundersbrewing.com/beer/find-our-beer/

 

Creature Comforts Brewing Co. Set for Limited Release of River Ridge Red

CCBC_RRRStillWeb-9965Creature Comforts Brewing Co. (Athens, Georgia) has officially announced that it will hold a Limited Bottle Release for River Ridge Red in its Tasting Room on June 15.

Brewed as a “celebration of the crop from Independence, Virginia’s River Ridge Organics“, River Ridge Red is an “an ale aged in oak barrels with organic red raspberries” from River Ridge Organics.  To properly execute this meticulously crafted offering, the blending team at Creature Comforts carefully “selected the best blend of barrels to honor the complex flavor of the red raspberries featured in the beer.”  Once the blended beer was introduced to the fresh fruit, the folks at Creature Comforts “performed punchdowns for two weeks, and then continued to macerate on the fruit for more than 6 months . . .  [to allow] the acids from the fruit to round out and mellow, leaving a soft and honest red raspberry flavor.”  The completed River Ridge Red comes in at 6.6% ABV.

Releasing alongside The Curious No. 12, River Ridge Red will officially debut in the Tasting Room at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. on Saturday, June 15.  This Limited Release offering will be available for purchase in 500ml bottles – $17.99 per bottle, limit of six (6) bottles per person – and fans have the option to pre-purchase bottles on CraftCellrRiver Ridge Red is a Tasting Room exclusive release and is not expected to see distribution.  Prost!

Vital Information for River Ridge Red from Creature Comforts Brewing Co.

Release – Limited; June 15, 2019
Style – Blended Ale
ABV – 6.6%
Treatment – Ale aged in oak barrels with organic red raspberries from River Ridge Organics
Availability – 500ml bottles | $17.99 per bottle, limit of six (6) bottles per person
Distribution – None. Tasting Room-only release

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Mother’s/Father’s Day Gift Guide: The Whiskeys of Angel’s Envy

AngelsEnvylogoIt is once again that time to celebrate our parents during the five week stretch that contains their given holidays: Mother’s Day on May 12 and Father’s Day on June 16. The crew here at Mashing In is well aware that finding a decent gift gets more and more difficult as we get older, so we have decided to compile a gift guide for those moms and dads that enjoy a well-crafted adult beverage from time to time. This installment of the guide is a suggestion for the parent that enjoys a nice pour of fine Bourbon or Rye Whiskey: the whiskeys of Angel’s Envy (Louisville, Kentucky).

Angel’s Envy, a family-operated business created by the father-son duo of Lincoln Henderson and Wes Henderson, is a Louisville-based Bourbon maker that artfully crafts “divine inspiration . . . into a spirit so sublime you’ll want to share it with the world.”  With all offerings “hand blended [in] batches of 8 to 12 barrels at a time”, the overall approach at Angel’s Envy is to combine “200 years of bourbon tradition [with] an independent master craftsman’s instinct to improve.”

For Mother’s & Father’s Day 2019, Angel’s Envy suggests treating your whiskey-loving parent to one (or more) of the following three core offerings (descriptions sourced directly from the distillery’s press release):

  • Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey | Description: Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon is finished in port wine casks for an award-winning spirit. We guide each batch’s conditioning, blending our handcrafted bourbon in small batches of 8 to 12 barrels at a time. Once it’s deemed ready, we finish our bourbon in ruby port wine casks, which adds subtly distinct flavor nuances that enhance the whiskey without challenging it. Our port finishing process lasts between three to six months, depending on taste.  SRP: $49.99
  • Angel’s Envy Rye | Description: Angel’s Envy Rye Finished in Rum Barrels is genuinely unique and worthy of Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson’s legacy. The taste profile of rye whiskey was a perfect fit for a rum cask finish. After sampling over 100 rums to find the right flavor to complement rye whiskey, the team’s decision was unanimous.  SRP: $89.99
  • Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 2018 Cask Strength | Description: Ranked the “Best Spirit in the World” by Spirit Journal in 2013, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon Finished in Port Barrels is unlike any whiskey you’ve ever tried and we released a very limited number of bottles – 12,000 to be exact. We judge only a handful of barrels exceptional enough for our lengthy finishing process. Even at 124 proof, every sip is worth savoring. A remarkably complex and unfiltered spirit, we suggest you enjoy it neat or with just a splash of water to release the flavor nuances, and perhaps with a few friends who appreciate outstanding whiskey.  SRP: $199.99

You can find all the offerings listed above available in 750ml bottles at fine liquor retailers located in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and throughout the rest of the Angel’s Envy distribution network.  Prost!

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Monday Night Brewing Introduces Fistful of Cake – Chocolate Orange Imperial Stout

Cake-insta-canMonday Night Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia) has officially announced that it will release Fistful of Cake – Chocolate Orange Imperial Stout, the latest Limited Release from the brewery’s Black Tie Series, on June 7.

Arriving as the second installment in Monday Night’s newly-established Fistful of Cake sub-series of dessert-themed beers, Fistful of Cake – Chocolate Orange is an Imperial Milk Stout that “embodies the decadence of chocolate, but tempered with the aroma of fresh orange peels and Vietnamese cinnamon.”  Although it weighs in at a substantial 9% ABV, Fistful of Cake – Chocolate Orange Imperial Stout has a citrus burst that is just big enough to convince you that summer can be a Stout Season too.

“Brewing a stout to drink in the summertime can be a little tricky,” said brewmaster Peter Kiley. “With this round of Fistful of Cake, we wanted to make something that would pair well with desserts, but wouldn’t be so overly sweet that it would feel too heavy.”

Fistful of Cake – Chocolate Orange Imperial Stout will officially debut in Monday Night Brewing’s West Midtown taproom on Friday, June 7 at 4 p.m. (cans can be reserved by clicking here) and distribution is scheduled to follow shortly after the on-site release.  You can expect to find this Limited Release offering available in 16 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-focused establishments located within Monday Night’s distribution footprint in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.  Prost!

Vital Information for Fistful of Cake – Chocolate Orange Imperial Stout from Monday Night Brewing

Release – Limited/Black Tie Series; June 7, 2019
Style – Imperial Milk Stout
ABV – 9% 
Added Ingredients – Cocoa nibs, freshly-peeled orange zest & Vietnamese cinnamon
Fun Fact #1 – “Earlier this year, Monday Night Brewing debuted the Fistful of Cake series with a chocolate-vanilla creation inspired by a French opera cake.”

Fun Fact #2 – On the Black Tie Series: “Monday Night Brewing’s Black Tie Series are small batch beers ranging from IPAs to sours to stouts. The Black Tie Series is designed to inspire and delight the nerdiest of craft beer enthusiasts. Each label features local art unique to each beer.”
Availability – 16 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – Alabama, Georgia & Tennessee 

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Three Taverns Schedules Brewery-Only Can Release of Tropical Luxure Sour Ale

ThreeTavernsTLcanThree Taverns Craft Brewery (Decatur, Georgia) has officially announced that it will hold a Limited Can Release for Tropical Luxure, a Tropical Fruit and Cream Sour Ale, on Saturday, June 8.

Meant to serve as a summer-themed extension of the brewery’s Sour Asylum Series, Tropical Luxure is an American Sour Ale that has been given a tropical infusion of “mango, pineapple, passionfruit, and cream.”  Coming in at a refreshing and drinkable 5% ABV, Tropical Luxure promises to be the “perfect companion to help you battle that scorching Atlanta summer heat.”

Tropical Luxure will officially release at The Parlour at Three Taverns at noon on Saturday, June 8.  This Limited Release offering will be available for purchase on draft and in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans (limit of two [2] 6-packs per person).  Tropical Luxure is a brewery-only release that is not expected to see distribution in any form.  Prost!

Vital Information for Tropical Luxure from Three Taverns Craft Brewery

Release – Limited/Sour Asylum Series; June 8, 2019
Style – American Sour Ale
ABV – 5%
Added Ingredients – Mango, pineapple, passionfruit & cream
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft
Distribution – None. Brewery-only release

 

Ballast Point Brewing Co. Adds Citrus Cove Gose to Discovery Series

1_CANmiddle_CitrusCoveBallast Point Brewing Company (San Diego, California) has officially announced it will begin the Limited Release of Citrus Cove Gose in late May/early June 2019.

Arriving as the latest offering to come out of Ballast Point’s Discovery Series – a lineup of approachable beers that are “laid-back in style and drinkability, yet flavor-forward”, Citrus Cove is a Gose-style Ale that has a “crisp, lemon citrus acidity [leading] the way to a nice, dry, salt and lime zest finish.”  Coming in at just 4.2% ABV and 5 IBUs, Citrus Cove “captures the salty spray of an ocean wind mingled with a bright tropical character that begs one refreshing sip after the other.”

Citrus Cove Gose is actively rolling out now but will only be available for a limited time.  You can expect to find this new Limited Release available in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans and on draft at select craft beer-friendly retailers, bars and restaurants located in Alabama, Florida, California, Illinois, Virginia and throughout the rest of Ballast Point’s nationwide distribution footprint.  Prost!

Vital Information for Citrus Cove from Ballast Point Brewing Company

Release – Limited/Discovery Series; launching late May/early June 2019
Style – Gose
ABV – 4.2% 
IBUs – 5
Added Ingredients – Salt, lemon & lime
Availability – 6-packs of 12 oz. cans & draft

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Jester King Brewery Sets Release Date for Cherry Wine Barrel-aged Moderne Dansk

JKModerne2Jester King Brewery (Austin, Texas) has officially announced that it will begin the Limited Release of Moderne Dansk, a cherry wine barrel-aged Wild Ale, on June 7.

Inspired by the delicious cherry wine offerings from “one of [Jester King’s] favorite wineries in the world — Frederiksdal Kirsebærvin in Harpelunde, Denmark”, Moderne Dansk is an American Wild Ale that was brewed with “well water, local grain, and a blend of fresh and aged hops, and fermented . . . with [the brewery’s] mixed culture of brewers yeast and native yeast and bacteria.”  This base beer was then aged in Frederiksdal Kirsebærvin cherry wine barrels “for about a year before refermenting . . . with Stevnsbær cherry juice.”  After being “naturally refermented in bottles and kegs”, the completed Moderne Dansk (7.1% ABV) comes together to offer a “beautiful melding of the terroir from Frederiksdal and Jester King.”

Moderne Dansk will officially release in Jester King’s Tasting Room & Kitchen at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 7 and is not expected to see distribution (“aside from special events”).  This Limited Release offering will be available for purchase by the glass and in 375ml bottles to go ($20 each, four [4] bottle limit per person per day).  This weekend’s Moderne Dansk release event will also feature “a special selection of Frederiksdal wines” and a small batch “still version” of Modern Danske that will be available by the glass only.  Prost!

Vital Information for Moderne Dansk from Jester King Brewery

Release – Limited; June 7, 2019
Style – American Wild Ale
ABV – 7.1%
Treatment – Aged in Frederiksdal Kirsebærvin cherry wine barrels for about a year, refermented with Stevnsbær cherry juice
Availability – 375ml bottles – $20 each, four (4) bottle limit per person per day
Bottle Count – 2,900 bottles
Distribution – None. Tasting Room only

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Photo Credit (for all displayed in this post): Granger Coats & Jester King Brewery