Rogue Spirits Releases Oregon Single Malt Whiskey

IMG_9744Rogue Ales & Spirits (Newport, Oregon) has officially announced the release of its first five-year aged product, Oregon Single Malt Whiskey.

Produced at the only farm-brewery-distillery-cooperage in the United States, Rogue’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey has been “handcrafted from ingredients grown on Rogue Farms in the Willamette and Tygh Valleys, distilled on a 550-gallon still and aged in the air of the Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon.”  After five years of careful aging, this medium to full-bodied Single Malt has picked up “an attractive aroma of floral honey, peach and mango” that slowly transitions to notes of “lush, ripe fruit and brown spice.”

“Ocean aging is where a lot of the magic happens,” says Rogue Distiller Jake Holshue. “The Single Malt Whiskey breathes in the steady, cool, coastal air for five years, which influences its flavor profile, making the spirit truly unique, and proudly rooted in Newport.”

In addition to the release of Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, Rogue Ales & Spirits is also introducing a three-year aged Oregon Rye Malt Whiskey and a two-year aged Dead Guy Whiskey.  All of these offerings are available now as Year-Round offerings packaged in 750ml bottles.  You can expect to find these new whiskeys at select retailers located throughout the United States.  Prost!

Vital Information for Oregon Single Malt Whiskey from Rogue Ales & Spirits

Release – Year-Round, launching February 2018
Style – Single Malt Whiskey
ABV – 40% (80 Proof)
Ingredients – Rogue Farms Risk™ Malt, Free-Range Coastal Water & Rogue’s Proprietary Pacman Yeast
Availability – 750ml bottles 


Don Q Introduces Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum

DonQDBVermouthBottleDestilería Serrallés Inc. (Ponce, Puerto Rico), the producers of Don Q Rum, recently announced the release of Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum as the distillery’s latest Special Edition offering.

With the intention to expand upon Don Q’s “focus on unique barrel-aged expressions”, Jaiker Soto – the distillery’s Master Blender – developed Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum by first carefully blending “rare rums” that have aged for five to eight years in American white oak casks.  Soto then sent that blend to “rest for 4 to 6 weeks in Mancino Vermouth Vecchio barrels” so that the rum could pick up “the distinct aromatics of the fortified wine [the casks] once carried, as well as the botanical flavors synonymous with vermouth.”  Now infused with “a dynamic mix of flavors and a rich, aromatic essence”, the completed Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum emerges straight from the bottle with an “expression . . . reminiscent of a classic Manhattan, with the sweet vermouth-soaked wood barrel creating hints of cherry and raisins that interact nicely with the rare aged rum blend’s natural honey, dark chocolate and vanilla flavors.”  That being the case, Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum is at its best when served neat or on the rocks.

“Blending innovation, art and science has always been characteristic in the way we have been crafting exceptional spirits for the last 153 years. This new expression has allowed us to collaborate with other high-quality artisans in the industry,” says Roberto Serrallés, Sixth-generation rum maker and Business Development Vice President. “We’ve been excited with the idea of creating unique spirits from unexpected pairings through barrel-aging in recent years, and felt it was the perfect time to enter the category. Our team had been planning this expression for several years, and are grateful to our friends at Mancino Vermouth for helping us bring this dream to fruition with their barrels.”

Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum is available now in 750ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $49.99 each.  You can find this Special Release offering at select liquor stores located in Florida and all other states that normally see offerings from Don Q Rum.  Prost!

Vital Information for Double Aged Vermouth Cask Finish Rum from Don Q Rum

Release – Special Edition, debuts February 2018
Style – Rum (blended)
ABV – 40% (80 Proof)
Treatment – “A blend of rare rums first aged for 5 to 8 years in American White oak casks, followed by 4 to 6 weeks in Mancino Vermouth Vecchio casks, crafted from Italian white oak”
Availability – 750ml bottles
Rum Finder –



Jameson Irish Whiskey Introduces Caskmates IPA Edition

JamesonCaskmates IPAJameson Irish Whiskey (Dublin, Ireland) recently announced that it has officially expanded its Caskmates lineup with the release of Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition.

To create Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition, the distillers at Jameson begin by sending “propriety oak whiskey barrels” from their Midleton distillery to a local Irish brewery so that it may fill them with a “local craft IPA.”  Once the barrels are infused with the “crisp citrus notes” of that India Pale Ale, they are then “sent back to Jameson to be reused to finish Jameson Original.” After spending a lengthy time aging in the IPA-soaked barrels, a 40% ABV (80 proof) Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition emerges with that familiar “smooth taste of Jameson” but with added “light hints of hops, fresh citrus and floral notes.”  Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition now joins Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition to comprise the distillery’s portfolio of Caskmates offerings.

“Quality and taste have always been our reason to be,” said Sebastien Borda, Brand Director Jameson Irish Whiskey, Pernod Ricard USA. “Jameson Caskmates IPA was born from the dedication of the whiskey making tradition that John Jameson established in 1780, combined with a relentless pursuit of original and innovative expressions for our whiskeys. Jameson Caskmates IPA brings the crisp, hoppy notes that characterizes IPA beer together with the triple-distilled smoothness of Jameson to create a one-of-a-kind and exceptional tasting whiskey.”

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition is available now in 750ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $29.99 each.  You can find this latest Caskmates release at fine establishments throughout the U.S. that normally carry offerings from Jameson Irish Whiskey.  Prost!


Highland Park Introduces MAGNUS Single Malt Scotch Whisky

magnus-pack-768x1039Highland Park Distillery (Kirkwall, Scotland) has officially announced the North American release of MAGNUS, the distillery’s newest single malt offering.

Created to celebrate the name, 220-year legacy and ” relentless Viking spirit” of Highland Park founder Magnus Eunson, MAGNUS is a “bold” single malt whisky that has been matured in American oak first-fill sherry-seasoned and bourbon casks.  This treatment produces a 40% ABV Scotch Whisky that offers “notes of sweet vanilla, overlaid with [Highland Park’s] distinctive aromatic smokiness.”

Available exclusively in North America, MAGNUS is beginning to hit shelves now for the suggested retail price of $39.99 per 750ml bottle (price may vary by location).  You can expect to find this offering available at fine retailers, bars and restaurants in the US that normally carry Highland Park offerings.  Prost!

Vital Information for MAGNUS from Highland Park Distillery

Release – September 2017
Style – Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
ABV – 40% (80 Proof)
Treatment – Matured in American oak sherry-seasoned and bourbon casks
Flavors – “Lemon | Vanilla sponge cake | Caramelised pineapple | Aromatic peat smoke | Sweet violets”
Availability – 750ml bottles 
Distribution – North America only
Order Online –



Goodwood Brewing to Release Chicken Cock Barrel Aged Brown Ale as New Collaboration

8yr Aged MagnetGoodwood Brewing Company (Louisville, Kentucky) and Chicken Cock Whiskey (Charleston, South Carolina) have officially announced the release of Chicken Cock Barrel Aged Brown Ale, a draft-only collaboration brew that spent time aging in barrels that once housed the 160th Anniversary Chicken Cock Whiskey.

Although the brand “disappeared from the market in the 1950’s after the original distillery burned down”, Chicken Cock is a truly iconic whiskey that was established in Paris, Kentucky in 1856.  The brand “really hit its stride” (or strut) during Prohibition when it was “forced to move production to Canada”.  During that time, the infamous Chicken Cock “was smuggled across the border in tin cans” and became a staple at “some of the era’s most famous speakeasies, including the legendary Cotton Club in Harlem.”  Those times were good for the Chicken Cock, but the end of Prohibition brought about an unfortunate twist of fate.  “Shifting drinking habits” in the country “caused . . . many significant American Whiskey brands of the 19th and early 20th centuries to disappear”, and Chicken Cock was sadly one of them.

After multiple attempts had been made over the years to revive “The Famous Old Brand”, Grain & Barrel Spirits purchased Chicken Cock in 2013 “and is now restoring it to its rightful pantheon among the great American whiskies.”  Now relocated to Charleston, South Carolina, the distillery recently recognized a significant milestone for the brand with the debut of the Chicken Cock 160th Anniversary Limited Release, a Single Barrel 8-Year-Old Bourbon made with “70% Corn, 21% Rye and 9% Malted Barley.”  This whiskey was aged in “fresh white American oak barrels” that saw their staves “charred to level four, the highest commonly used char level also known as the ‘alligator char’ due to the rough, shiny texture the staves acquire.” Once the barrels were emptied, the folks at Chicken Cock Distilleries wanted to give a second life to these beautiful 8-Year-Old Bourbon barrels and were looking for ideas.  Breakthru Beverage South Carolina, the distributor for both Chicken Cock Whiskey and Goodwood Brewing Company, stepped in to introduce the two businesses and a collaboration was born.

“We’re proud to collaborate with Goodwood Brewing Company, a brewery as serious about their craft as we are at Grain & Barrel. This is a partnership that places a premium on quality. The Chicken Cock Bourbon Barrel Brown Ale is a distinctly delicious and artful expression. There are whiskey connoisseurs and beer lovers for whom it will be innovative and exciting. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”

– Matti Anttila, CEO and Founder of Grain & Barrel Spirits

Goodwood Brewing Company, a brewery that specializes in barrel-aged beers, gladly accepted the Chicken Cock 160th Anniversary Limited Release barrels and got to work.  They decided to brew up a Brown Ale and then aged the beer for “a month in the 160th Anniversary, 8-year-old bourbon barrels.”  Their efforts resulted in the aptly named Chicken Cock Barrel Aged Brown Ale, a 6.5% ABV offering that “offers an excellent synergy between bourbon and beer.”  This “partnership with Chicken Cock Whiskey marks the brewery’s first brand collaboration.”

Chicken Cock Barrel Aged Brown Ale is being released exclusively in South Carolina as a draft-only offering.  If you are in the area and wish to give it a try, keep an eye on the websites and social media accounts for Goodwood Brewing Company and Chicken Cock Whiskey for details on which South Carolina establishments will be pouring this special brew in the near future.  Prost!



Rogue Ales & Spirits Set to Release 2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout

Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works Master Cooper, Nate Linquist, poses with Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout

Rogue Ales & Spirits (Newport, Oregon) recently announced that it will begin the much-anticipated, limited release of its 2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout later this month.

The story behind Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout all begins with the barrel and Nate Linquist, Master Cooper at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works.  Back in 2015, the folks at Rogue Ales & Spirits got their hands on some “vintage, WWII-era, coopering equipment” and established Rolling Thunder Barrel Works as “the only brewery-distillery-cooperage west of Lynchburg, Tennessee.” With this equipment and a good supply of Oregon Oak, Nate Linquist “assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, cauterizes, sands and brands one barrel a day, all by hand.”  Once assembled, these meticulously crafted barrels go on to hold Dead Guy Whiskey as it matures, and then pull double duty by eventually providing Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout a home as it barrel ages.

Having been “brewed with ingredients grown at Rogue Farms and ocean aged in Dead Guy Whiskey-soaked handmade Oregon Oak barrels coopered at . . . Rolling Thunder Barrel Works”, Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout is a truly special offering because nearly every aspect of this beer has been either handled, influenced, grown, or created by a member of the Rogue family.  This homegrown approach results in a barrel-aged Imperial Stout that “features deep sherry notes accentuated by hints of coconut, cherries, dark fruit and vanilla held up against a dark roasted malt backbone with earthy hops.”  Weighing in at a massive 14% ABV, the 2017 vintage of Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout “is bigger and bolder than the inaugural 2016 release.”

“At first it was a creative challenge,” said General Manager Dharma Tamm, “to see how we could incorporate our brewery, distillery, cooperage and farm into one beer. However, our brewers, distillers, coopers, farmers – and even graphic designers turned it into a quest to create a world class beer that exemplifies the Rogue spirit of challenging the norm and pushing creative boundaries.”

2017 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout will make its official debut at Rogue public houses starting on Friday, July 21.  This Limited Release offering will then enter distribution on August 1 with availability on draft and in 1-liter swing-top bottles.  Quantities are extremely limited, so keep an eye out for Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout at select craft beer-friendly establishments located in Florida, Oregon, California, Washington and throughout the rest of Rogue’s nationwide distribution footprint (of course, this excludes Alabama and any other state where Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout would exceed ABV and container size restrictions).  Prost!

Vital Information for Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout (2017) from Rogue Ales

Release – Limited, official release date set for July 21, 2017
Style – American Imperial Stout
ABV – 14%
Malts – Rogue Farms Dare & Risk Malts; Nate’s Smoke, Brown, Kiln Black, Roasted Barley, C40 & C75 Malts; & Oats
Hops – Rogue Farms Liberty & Freedom
Yeast – Pacman Yeast
Added Ingredients – Brown Sugar, Sweet Dark Cherries, Vanilla & Chocolate
Treatment – Ocean aged in Dead Guy Whiskey-soaked handmade Oregon Oak barrels coopered at Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works
Availability – 1-liter swing-top bottles & draft
Beer Finder –




Field Trip: VIP Night at Noble Crust – Wesley Chapel

1SignOutdoor_editedOn Saturday, July 15, the Noble Crust hosted a VIP Night and Preview Party for their new location in Wesley Chapel, and we were fortunate enough to receive an invitation to cover the festivities.  Here’s your first look at this fantastic new restaurant taking up residence at the Shops at Wiregrass.

Serving as a benefit for The Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel Foundation, this VIP Night event acted as the perfect platform to introduce the community to Noble Crust and its philosophy that is clearly built on generosity and hospitality.  From the hostess at the door to the proud ownership mingling with the crowd, the entire crew at Noble Crust does absolutely everything they can to make you feel at ease and at home when you visit their restaurant.

And what a beautiful restaurant it is.  Before you enter the restaurant proper, you easily glide through a cozy patio space that has been designed with the ability to tame the Florida heat with breezy fans and a gentle misting system.  As you walk through the front door, your eyes feast on a gorgeous space that includes comfy social dining areas, an immaculate open kitchen, clever lighting that provides a warm ambiance, and one of the most stunning bars in the area.

Take a seat and your attention suddenly shifts to the alluring aromas wafting from the kitchen.  With a menu comprised of seasonal Italian dishes that retain a Southern soul, your options are many.  You can nosh on tasty appetizers such as Deviled Crab Arancini and Ricotta Gnocchi before selecting a main course that could range from one of several of Noble Crust’s incredibly balanced and delicious pizzas to Rigatoni & Short Rib Ragu or some Southern Fried Chicken.  After polishing off your first two courses, be sure to look over the dessert menu because you are definitely going to want to finish off your meal with a slice of Lemon-Buttermilk Pie or a jar of Warm Chocolate Budino.  Finally, and this goes for your entire meal, your Noble Crust experience is not complete unless you pair these delectable dishes with something from the bar.  It could be a of glass wine, a tasty brew from their carefully curated beer list, or one of their many ambrosial house cocktails.  Just find the flavor that best suits you, settle in, sip away and fully savor the complete dining experience that Noble Crust provides.

We could go on and on about our time at Noble Crust, but it is probably best to let our photos do the talking from here on out.  Check out the photos below and, most importantly, be sure to check out Noble Crust – Wesley Chapel as soon as possible.  The restaurant opens to the public this week, and their staff is polished and ready to go.  Make it happen and enjoy what may just be the finest dining option now available in Wesley Chapel.  Prost!


**Click any photo below to enlarge, read descriptions, and/or view the gallery as a slideshow**


Forbidden Root Brewery to Launch Its Fernet-Inspired Fernetic in Florida

Ferneticbottle_editedForbidden Root Brewery (Chicago, Illinois) recently announced that it will introduce the Florida craft beer community to Fernetic Imperial Black Ale, a limited release collaboration with Fratelli Branca Distillerie (Milan, Italy), beginning in late-June.

To properly represent Fernet-Branca in “its first foray into craft beer”, the brewers at Forbidden Root teamed up with the Branca family to “[deconstruct] the beloved Italian digestif and [reconstruct] the legendary family recipe into an unforgettable craft beer for Amaro and beer lovers alike.”  Their collaborative efforts resulted in Fernetic, “an exotic, spicy and complex” Imperial Black Ale made with a recipe boasting “quality ingredients such as rhubarb root, saffron, and wormwood, among the selected botanics of the 27 herbs and spices found in Fernet-Branca.” With an aromatic profile hinting at notes of coffee and peppermint, the 8.4% ABV Fernetic supplies a drinking experience possessing “a soft roastiness . . ., bitter notes [that] build to a spicy, creamy middle and dry woody finish.”

“Collaborations are always an opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and build off someone else’s creative energy,” says Forbidden Root head brewer BJ Pichman. “With Fernet-Branca, we were working with a nearly 175 year-old recipe, a body of very distinct flavors and a bitterness factor that is not usually present in beers. Our team really enjoyed the creative challenge of working to make a delicious, uncommon beer while keeping true to the flavors and history of the Fernet-Branca recipe.”

Fernetic Imperial Black Ale will officially release in Florida in late-June at the following launch events:

  • Wednesday, June 21 at 3 p.m. at Ice Plant Bar (110 Riberia Street, St. Augustine, FL) – “A cocktail competition will run from 3-5 p.m. preceding the 5 p.m. Fernetic tapping. The event will give attendees an opportunity to taste the unique collaboration brew, meet Fernet-Branca and Forbidden Root representatives, and enjoy Fernet-inspired cocktails.”
  • Thursday, June 22 at 7 p.m. at SweetWater Bar & Grill (1507 S Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, FL) – A special tapping of Fernetic that will feature a cocktail competition at 10 p.m.
  • Friday, June 23 at 6 p.m. at The Blue Goose (48 9th St N, Saint Petersburg, FL) – Launch event with a Fernetic tapping at 8 p.m.

In addition to those launch events, Fernetic Imperial Black Ale will also see an extremely limited release on draft at select locations found within the Florida distribution area of Forbidden Root Brewery.  If you have been looking for a truly unique craft beer experience, be sure to check out one of the launch events above or keep a close eye on tap lists for Fernetic Imperial Black Ale.  Prost!

Vital Information for Fernetic Imperial Black Ale from Forbidden Root Brewery & Fratelli Branca Distillerie

Release – Limited, Florida launch begins June 21, 2017
Style – Imperial Black Ale
ABV – 8.4%
The Inspiration –  Fernet-Branca, an Italian Amaro made with 27 herbs and spices
The Botanicals – Rhubarb root, peppermint, saffron, wormwood, angelica, star anise, & 14 others
Availability – 22 oz. bottles & draft (bottles may not be available in Florida)


Field Trip: Cavalier Distributing Trade Show – Tampa

Just a few weeks ago, Cavalier Distributing (Lakeland, Florida) held a fantastic and informative trade show at The Vault, a beautiful venue located in the heart of Tampa’s Downtown Arts District.  Cavalier used this industry-only event as an opportunity to introduce the area’s restaurants, bars, retailers, and media members to their vast portfolio of fine craft beers, meads, ciders and spirits.  The best way to capture all that this event had to offer was through a visual medium, so check out the photos below (click to enlarge) so that you too can get the inside scoop on the exciting beverages headed our way this year from Cavalier Distributing.  Prost!



Yazoo Brewing and Jose Cuervo Team Up to Create Maracuyá y Tradicional Golden Strong Ale

ETFlogo_editedAt 3 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday, April 19, Yazoo Brewing Company (Nashville, Tennessee) will host a taproom release for Maracuyá y Tradicional, a cask-aged collaboration with Jose Cuervo Tequila (Jalisco, Mexico).

After quietly collaborating for nearly two years, the folks at Yazoo Brewing and Jose Cuervo have seemingly come out of nowhere to announce their clandestine efforts with the release of Maracuyá y Tradicional (translated: Passion Fruit and Traditional Casks).  Arriving as an incredibly special offering from the brewery’s Embrace The Funk series of sour and barrel-aged beers, Maracuyá y Tradicional is a Brettanomyces fermented Golden Strong Ale that has been made with passion fruit and then carefully “aged in Jose Cuervo 100% Blue Agave Tradicional Reposado Tequila casks.”  No one is going to know this beer better than the head of Yazoo’s Embrace The Funk program, so here is how he describes Maracuyá y Tradicional: 

“Working with a legendary 200 year old Tequila producer on this project has been a very fun crossover into merging beer, freshly emptied tequila oak and wild yeasts. The beer has a big bright tropical fruit character that melds so well into the deep smooth character of the tequila casks. There are a lot of layers to this beer, it’s definitely multiple beers in one bottle.”


– Brandon Jones, Head of Yazoo’s Sour & Barrel aging program

As an added bonus, this collaborative effort gets another twist now that Yazoo has sent the Wild Ale-seasoned casks back to Jose Cuervo.  The distillery “is currently finishing a version of their 100% Blue Agave tequila in these same casks for a future special release of an Embrace The Funk tequila.”

On April 19, 750ml bottles – with a real wood label – of Maracuyá y Tradicional will be available for purchase in Yazoo’s taproom.  The brewery “will also have 20 (twenty) 1.5L magnum bottles of this one time collaboration available on a first come first serve basis.” In addition to the taproom release, this offering will also see ” limited local distribution.”  You best believe that these bottles will go fast, so do what you can to be at the Yazoo taproom on Wednesday to secure your bottle of Maracuyá y Tradicional.  Prost!