Humboldt Distillery Celebrates 4/20 with Legal Cannabis-Infused Vodka

humboldt-distillery-humboldts-finestHumboldt Distillery (Humboldt County, California) has announced that it will be getting in on this year’s 4/20 festivities by mixing up a new cocktail with Humboldt’s Finest, a cannabis-infused vodka.

Fresh off a 2017 Double-Gold Medal win at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Humboldt’s Finest is a specialty Vodka infused with locally grown Cannabis Sativa, a strain of hemp “whose domestic cultivation was only recently authorized with the passage of the 2014 United States Farm Bill.”  Typically “grown for food, fiber and other industrial purposes”, the food-grade hemp infuses this THC-free vodka with “a unique botanical aromatic character.”  Humboldt’s Finest weighs in at 40% ABV/80 Proof.

“Humboldt’s Finest is infused with a legal food-grade hemp, without any detectable THC, so it’s legal in all 50 states,” says Abe Stevens, founder of Humboldt Distillery. “It does, however, retain a botanical aromatic quality reminiscent of fresh cannabis that gives it a pleasant herbal character, which makes some very tasty cocktails. One of my personal cocktail favorites is the Hemp Highball.”

Speaking of the Hemp Highball, here’s the recipe for Humboldt’s official cocktail of 4/20:

Hemp Highball

  • 1.5 oz. Humboldt’s Finest
  • 1.0 oz. jasmine simple syrup
  • .5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 slices of cucumber
  • Soda water

To prepare jasmine syrup, brew a strong jasmine green tea and dissolve 1 part sugar in 1 part hot tea, allow to cool. Add Humboldt’s Finest®, a slice of cucumber, lemon juice and syrup to shaker. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top with soda water, and garnish with slice of cucumber.

If you are interested in making the cocktail above or just want to experience this cannabis-infused vodka on its own, you can find Humboldt’s Finest available in 750ml bottles (suggested retail price of $29.99) at fine liquor stores located “in a growing number of markets across the country including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin.”  Prost!

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Whiskey Business Tasting Event Returns to Orlando for Fourth Year

WhiskeyBiz_editedOn Friday, April 27 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Orlando Weekly will host the 4th Annual Whiskey Business, Orlando’s premiere whiskey and bourbon tasting event, at the historic Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House (126 W Church St, Orlando, Florida).

Back for its fourth year, Whiskey Business is a unique event that allows whiskey fans the opportunity to sample a “variety of whiskeys, Scotches, ryes and bourbons” in one unforgettable evening.  As attendees roam the beautiful Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House, they will experience this stellar lineup of whiskeys while also enjoying a spread of little bites from local restaurants, a captivating burlesque show, musical entertainment, and so much more.  This event certainly has a little bit of everything, so let’s break it all down to ensure that we cover all that Whiskey Business has to offer.

The Basics

What – Orlando Weekly’s 4th Annual Whiskey Business
When – Friday, April 27 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where – Cheyenne Saloon and Opera House | 126 W Church Street | Orlando, Florida

The Whiskey

It kind of goes without saying that the centerpiece of Whiskey Business is the whiskey, and the following distilleries/brands will be on site pouring samples of their fine libations during the event:

Beyond just the whiskey samples, brands from around the world will serve up whiskey cocktails while brand ambassadors and distillers present themed and interactive stations, ranging from flavor pairings to recipe creation, to distilling demos and Q&A sessions.

The Food

To satisfy any grubbin’ needs you may encounter during the event, the following establishments will be in the house to serve up sample-sized “little bites” to attendees:

The Entertainment

Blue-La-La’s Ladies of the Peek-A-Boo Lounge will be in attendance to entertain guests with a burlesque show.  Musical entertainment will be provided by DJ BMF and Phat n Jazzy.

The Cause

A portion of the proceeds raised at Whiskey Business will go to benefit The Barber Fund, a small, grassroots 501(c)3 organization established in 2014 with a mission to HELP THOSE LIVING WITH CANCER.

“The Barber Fund is proud to have helped men, women and children with cancers varying from Ovarian Cancer, another Sinonasal Carcinoma (very rare), Colon, Lymphoma and Neuroblastoma. We have paid mortgages, power bills, medical bills, phone bills, purchased groceries, chaperoned appointments, helped care for animals and so much more.”

Ticket Information

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.  Tickets are available in the following tiers:

  • General Admission: $45 each before fees – Includes unlimited whiskey samples, access to the live entertainment, “little bite” dishes from the hottest local restaurants, and craft beer options.
  • VIP Admission: $75 each before fees – Includes early entry at 6 p.m., access to a private VIP area with private bar, a VIP gift, VIP lanyard, unlimited whiskey samples, access to the live entertainment, “little bite” dishes from the hottest local restaurants, and craft beer options.
  • Designated Driver: $20 each before fees – Must be 21 or older to attend and obviously does not include any access to alcoholic beverages

The ticket prices above are listed as “Early Bird” prices, so be sure to secure your tickets as soon as possible to take advantage of this reduced cost.

Alright that should just about cover all the information that is currently available for this year’s Whiskey Business. If any additional details surface before the event, we will be sure to update you with that information here.

If you are free and going to be in the Orlando area on April 27, just go ahead and get your friends together, lock down some tickets, and support The Barber Fund’s incredibly worthy cause by having an amazing time at Whiskey Business.  Make it happen.  Prost!

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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 – https://donq.com/where-to-buy/

 

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**

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!

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Sugarlands Distilling to Offer Piña Colada Moonshine this Summer

SugarlandslogoSugarlands Distilling Company (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) recently announced plans to officially release Piña Colada Moonshine beginning on Monday, May 15.

Piña Colada Moonshine has been created by Sugarlands Distilling to act as the perfect paring for any summertime gathering with friends and family.  This new offering combines the flavors of “fresh pineapple and coconut milk” to trick the mind into believing it has been transported “directly to the sunny beach setting of its dreams.”  Clocking in at 70 proof (35% ABV), Piña Colada Moonshine “is best enjoyed over ice, on an island, or on your own front porch.”  Piña Colada is the latest moonshine to join Sugarlands’ “award-winning line of spirits that has won 20 awards internationally since distillation began in 2014.”

Sugarlands will officially release Piña Colada Moonshine on May 15.  Once released, this offering will be available in 750 ml Mason jars at select liquor stores found within the distribution area of Sugarlands Distilling Company and online at BuySugarlands.com. Prost!

Vital Information for Piña Colada Moonshine from Sugarlands Distilling Company

Release – launching May 15, 2017
Style – Flavored Moonshine
ABV – 35%  (70 proof)
Distribution – Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Minnesota & Indiana
Buy Online – BuySugarlands.com

 

 

Orlando Whiskey Festival Returns in May

3rdOWFposterOn Saturday, May 13 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Whiskey & Bizz Events will host their 3rd Annual Orlando Whiskey Festival at Mercedes Benz of Orlando in Maitland (810 N Orlando Ave, Maitland, Florida).

Established as “the first ever Whiskey Festival to hit Central Florida,” the Orlando Whiskey Festival will officially return on May 13 for its third installment.  With a pour list boasting nearly 100 brands spanning from fine single malts to flavored whiskies, this event promises to provide guests with a top tier, educational whiskey experience that also allows them to interact with industry professionals.  In addition to the abundance of amazing whiskies, this event will also feature “gourmet menu selections . . . from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups”, craft beer from Hourglass Brewery, wine, live entertainment, and all net proceeds will benefit the amazing cause of The Lovely Project.  There is a lot to cover when it comes to the 3rd Annual Orlando Whiskey Festival, so let’s break it all down:

The Basics

The Whiskey

This event will feature a pour list of 92 whiskeys.  This will include such distilleries as Angel’s Envy, The Balvenie, Basil Hayden’s, Four Roses Bourbon, Heaven Hill Distillery, Highland Park, Jack Daniel’s, Laphroaig Distillery, Suntory Whisky, Willett Distillery, Woodford Reserve, and many more.  To check out the full list of featured whiskeys, click here.  

The Food & Entertainment

“Menu sampling from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups” will be available during the event.  Participating eateries include the following:

The event will also feature live musical entertainment provided by Mo’mo-Browne.

The Charity

All net proceeds from the Orlando Whiskey Festival will benefit The Lovely Project, “a Non-Profit Organization, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, that exists to empower girls by providing them with tools, education and peer-mentorship for living a purposeful, productive life.”  The Lovely Project’s Mission Statement is as follows:

“Our mission is for every young girl to grow into a woman who will create positive impact on the world around them. The girls we reach in our community have the opportunity to cultivate healthy friendships in a safe, fun environment while being encouraged and mentored. Our vision is for every girl to know that she is Lovely.”

Ticket Information

Tickets to the Orlando Whiskey Festival are available for purchase now (click here to purchase), and tickets will be available online until May 12 (while supplies last).  Tickets are available in the following tiers:

  • General Admission: $95 plus fees – Ticket includes entrance into the festival at 7 p.m., a branded Glencairn official whiskey tasting glass, unlimited tasting of nearly 100 different brands of whiskey, menu sampling from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups, access to an outdoor cigar lounge featuring Drew Estates Cigars, live entertainment from Mo’mo Browne, specialty cocktails prepared by selected whiskey brands, and craft beer from Hourglass Brewery
  • VIP Early Access: $145 plus fees – Ticket includes entrance into the festival one hour early at 6 p.m., a branded Glencairn official whiskey tasting glass, unlimited tasting of nearly 100 different brands of whiskey, menu sampling from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups, access to an outdoor cigar lounge featuring Drew Estates Cigars, live entertainment from Mo’mo Browne, specialty cocktails prepared by selected whiskey brands, and craft beer from Hourglass Brewery

(**NOTE** There is a third ticket option available for purchase on the Eventbrite link provided above.  The “Ultimate Whiskey Dinner Experience” is a separate event scheduled for Friday, May 12 at DoveCote Brasserie.  If you purchase that ticket, it only grants you access to the three-course dinner.  It DOES NOT grant you admission into the Orlando Whiskey Festival. **NOTE**)

If you happen to be in the Orlando area and free on May 13, you may want to consider checking out the Orlando Whiskey Festival.  Not only will you be treated to an incredible evening filled with the finest whiskies, but you will be able to enjoy it all while supporting the very worthy cause of The Lovely Project.  How can you go wrong with that?  Prost!

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Monday Night Brewing and ASW Distillery Collaborate on Scottish-Style Single Malt Whiskey

aswmnbMonday Night Brewing (Atlanta, Georgia) recently announced that they have partnered with ASW Distillery (Atlanta, Georgia) on the creation and release of Monday Night Scottish-Style Single Malt Whiskey.

Although this is the first collaboration spirit created by Monday Night and ASW, the long-standing relationship between these two dates back to when “Monday Night co-founder Joel Iverson lived next door to ASW co-founder Charlie Thompson” before either had their current businesses.  A friendship started innocently when Joel invited Charlie to homebrew tastings, and that bond naturally carried over when they eventually established their respective brewery and distillery.  After co-sponsoring several events in Atlanta together and ASW Distillery sponsoring one of Monday Night’s first anniversary parties, a collaboration project was just the next natural step for the two companies.

This project became a reality just about as soon as Monday Night’s Brewmaster Adam Bishop met ASW’s Head Distiller Justin Manglitz and discovered that they shared an ” adorably obsessive love of all things chemistry and alcohol.”  The two then hatched a plan “to produce a smooth, smoky whiskey.”  The process started with Monday Night brewing up “a mash rich in Cherrywood-smoked malt” – the same malt used in the brewery’s Drafty Kilt Scotch Ale.  Once the mash was taken to ASW, “it was distilled . . . in traditional Scottish-style twin copper pot stills before being transferred into new American white oak quarter casks.”  There it aged until Monday Night and ASW were confident that they had a Scotch-style Whiskey that boasts “a pleasant bite . . . with a smooth, slightly sweet, and delightfully smoky finish.”

Monday Night Scottish-Style Single Malt Whiskey will start hitting Atlanta area shelves in early March.  This offering will be available in 750ml bottles for the “expected retail price of $59” each.  If you feel it necessary to be one of the first to try Monday Night Scottish-Style Single Malt Whiskey, ASW Distillery will be hosting a small release party on Monday, February 27.  Advanced tickets for the party will be available for purchase on Monday Night Brewing’s website beginning on Monday, February 6.  We will be sure to update this post with that ticket link and any further release information once it surfaces.  Stay tuned.  Prost!

 

Tasting Notes – Spirits Edition: Jameson Caskmates

jamesonpromoA confirmed truth: very few things hit the spot quite like a dram of whiskey after a big holiday meal.  With that in mind, this special edition of Tasting Notes features the craft beer-themed offering from Jameson Irish Whiskey (Dublin, Ireland) simply named Jameson Caskmates.

It is pretty safe to assume that the two beverages that see the most time on bar tops at Irish pubs are fine Irish Whiskeys and really good Irish Dry Stouts.  This being the case, it is kind of odd that there has yet to be a truly thoughtful attempt at bringing these two together.  Well . . . until now.  This all changed when the Master Distiller at Jameson Irish Whiskey and the Master Brewer at Franciscan Well Brewery (Cork, Ireland) sat down together and hatched a plan:

  • Step 1 – Jameson would send the brewery several used whiskey barrels.  The brewers at Franciscan Well would then fill these barrels with their Irish Stout.  Once the beer properly aged and picked up the complex notes of the Irish Whiskey tucked snugly away within the wood, the barrels would then be returned to the distillery.
  • Step 2 – Upon receiving the return shipment of the now Irish Stout-infused barrels, Jameson distillers would fill the casks once again with their classic Original Irish Whiskey.

Since they had never done anything like this before, all the distillers could really do at that point was wait and see what would be the result of this collaborative experiment.  When the aging process was finally completed, they found the whiskey’s “triple-distilled smoothness . . . very much intact” but it had also taken on Stout-influenced notes of “cocoa, coffee and butterscotch.”  The proper introduction of Irish Whiskey and Irish Stout had finally been achieved, and now we all get to enjoy these results in bottles of Jameson Caskmates – Stout Edition.  If you would like a taste of this unique offering, you can find this Stout-infused Whiskey available in 750ml bottles at fine liquor stores and bars across the United States.

Now that we have the story behind Jameson Caskmates covered, it is time to break out the whiskey glasses, sip, relax, and take down a few Tasting Notes.

Tasting Notes for Jameson Caskmates – Stout Edition from Jameson Irish Whiskey

Appearance:  With a pour of two fingers, this whiskey rests in the glass light golden in color with soft hues of brown burnishing the edges.  Although pristine in clarity, the still liquid displays mesmerizing, oily rings when presented with the right angle of light.  With a gentle swirl of the glass, the whiskey leaves lengthy, slick legs behind.

Aroma:  The presence of alcohol soaked grain and hay begin the experience.  Once given a little time to breathe, the aromatics open up and soften to reveal notes of citrus, pear and apple.  The stout-like characteristics are reserved, but they do grab your attention late by lending qualities of cocoa and coffee.  The aroma rounds off with some honey sweetness.

Taste:  Caramelized, bordering on burnt, brown sugar and earthy barley rush the palate to start.  These two notes take on toffee and butterscotch qualities that nicely complement the building stout flavors of roasted malt, coffee and bittersweet dark chocolate.  Slightly nutty, this offering finishes with notes of woodsy, charred oak and creamy vanilla.

Mouthfeel:  Slick in texture, the coating ability of this whiskey quickly grabs the attention of your taste buds.  Sweet on the palate, but far from being overly cloying.  At 80 Proof, any heat here is slow and comforting.  The finish is long, allowing notes of oak, vanilla and cocoa the opportunity to linger.

Final Thoughts:  Jameson Caskmates absolutely comes together as an offering that builds on the experience of Jameson Original.  That being said, craft beer fans need to realize that this is still an Irish Whiskey experience.  It must be noted that we are dealing with a 40% ABV Irish Whiskey here, so boozy notes of fine grain and charred oak do show some aggression at first sip.  When this happens, just slow down, sip gently and really take in the flavors resting on your palate.  If done correctly, you can reach that transcendental moment that reveals the Irish Stout-like notes of coffee, roasted malt, toffee and cocoa.  With a bit of patience, this whiskey will open up and a rush of familiar flavors will surface to absolutely blow your mind.  I had a blast exploring this offering, and I highly suggest that you sit down with a glass of Jameson Caskmates to experience it for yourself.  Prost!