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Spirits

Jack Daniels Sinatra Select Tennessee Whiskey 1Liter - $149.99

I grew up hating Frank Sinatra. Raised 10 minutes from the Maryland/D.C line, I was liberal in my politics and lifestyle, looking down on Frank as if he were Satan. Following college and living in The Bay Area, I began my career around food & beverage at one of the more popular SF watering holes, Perry’s on Union Street. We used a juke box for music, filled with Ella, Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, Etta James, Nina Simone, and Bobby Darrin. Frank. Every day they sang, and frankly, Frank wore me down. I’d never heard a singer phrase like this guy. He’d hang on to a lyric, give a couple of words a wink, pump joy and pain into others. How could I have been so wrong? Move forward a few years, and I accepted an invitation to the JD Sinatra Select launch at La Dolce Vita in Beverly Hills. Damn straight I wore jacket and tie to the little bar and restaurant where Frank drank, and I’ve got to give them credit. Jack Daniels did it right, with this new bottle of theirs. Charming setting, fun folks, the talented Eric Tecosky of the LA bar scene as Brand Ambassador, incredibly handsome packaging. But the taste? Could Jack Daniels transcend my limited expectation of the most popular American whiskey in the USA?

On the nose, Sinatra Select is smoky, for an American whiskey. The impact of the wood is immediately apparent, but is balanced with orange, caramel, vanilla and corn. The contribution of Old No. 7 is clear, but this is a might big step up. Sinatra Select is much smoother and more oaky than the Old No. 7, but without being too tannic. It’s sweeter, necessary to balance the more bitter woody notes. Orange, caramel, vanilla, corn and identifiably Jack Daniels, but pleasingly more intense. Frank, that’s twice you’ve proved me wrong. I’ll never doubt you again.

Old Weller Antique (107) Bourbon - $24.99

Old Weller Antique Bourbon, 53.5% abv (107 Proof), $24/bottle

When it comes to a full line of bourbon from entry level to top shelf, it doesn’t get much better than “The Original Wheated Bourbon,” Old Weller. Their Special Reserve is by far the best value under $20, the Weller 12 year is a worthy candidate for the best wheated on the shelf (in stock that is) and their BTAC William Larue Weller is consistently a “must buy” if you can find it.

Then there is the 107 proof Old Weller Antique offering. For around $24, the Old Weller 107 (OW107) is a purchase you can feel confident in if you are looking for an everyday sipper. Obviously it is 107 proof, aged for around 7 years though it comes with no age statement. The bottle used to carry a 7 year age statement, but the quality has stayed fairly consistent over the years.

This is pretty similar to the Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year, the only difference being the age. It is the same mashbill, ages in the same location, and is cut to the same proof.

Barrels of Spirit This Year:

Keeping you all in the loop, we’ve got our own barrel of Henry McKenna 10 Year Old Bonded (non-chill filtered!!!) arriving by Spring. Samples of Buffalo Trace and Evan Williams Single barrel on their way. We’re looking at barrels of rum, tequila, as well as scotch and Armagnac. May even do a mezcal. Yes, we have some fun.

Jack Daniels Single Barrel $55.99 ON SALE FOR $44.00

Sometimes we buy too much, like in the case of the Jack Daniels Single Barrel. Bottled from a single barrel from the Jack Daniel distillery. Each barrel is selected by the Master Distiller for its suitability as a stand alone product before being bottled. You, our cherished customers, enjoy this $12 savings on Jack Daniels Single Barrel, as well as some info to guide you on your purchase.

“The nose is of good body with plenty of toasty oak, there are notes of corn and lovely cereal sweetness, there is a good smoke note, a little spice and toffee. The palate is full and mouth-filling. There are notes of cereal sweetness, the rye is in evidence with a touch of cigar box and nut oils, a little spice and an aniseed character. The finish is of good length with a hint of citrus and plenty of cereal sweetness.”- The Chaps at Master of Malt

Suze 750ml - $27.99

Comprising 50% of fresh roots of wild gentian, aromatic base Suze is a subtle mixture of infusion and spirit of gentian, obtained by maceration and distillation. The spirit reveals spicy and fruity notes of gentian, enhanced with extracts of herbs, where Suze keeps secret since its inception. Its aromatic richness results from a subtle balance between the fresh gentian and many aromatic plant extracts. Low alcohol (15% vol), a true marriage of contrasts, Suze is ideal for cocktails, with its golden color and bitterness. Imagine your own cocktails and learn how to marry in the unique taste to put together in a jiffy and colorful fruity aperitifs. We’ve had Suze on our shelves for a bit over a year now. It was with great excitement that this aperitif invented back in 1885, hit the American shores. But, being perfectly candid, it has not met sales expectations. That saddens me, because it’s in jeopardy of no long being available in this country. This is my effort to encourage you cocktail geeks to embrace this bottle. Over ice with fruit, splash of soda, as your vermouth, half an ounce in your margarita, Negronis, Brown Bomber, etc. Help this brand keep its citizenship here in the U.S.A

El Silencio Mezcal 750ML - $65.99

It all begins in San Baltazar, Oaxaca with a hunt for the richest Agaves which grow at the highest altitudes, a kind only available in that region, resulting in less exposure to the sun, no standing water and a deep sugar content. There are over one hundred species of agave in Mexico, about twenty subspecies and at least thirty varieties, of diverse shapes and sizes. We carefully select a handful of these for our unique formula. Finding, selecting and determining the maturity of each requires generations of experience. Mezcal El Silencio is a premium “joven” 100% Agave blend or “ensemble”. Using only the finest and carefully selected 10-12 year old Agave, it is handmade in small batches to be smooth, elegant and delightfully complex. Our joven “silver” Mezcal combines the aroma of sundried vegetables, leather, dried fruit and sweet smoke, becoming the first choice of both connoisseurs and social drinkers alike. El Silencio is a sipping Mezcal, yet mixes flawlessly into hand crafted cocktails. Each bottle is individually labeled, numbered and signed by our Master Mezcalier. Always close your eyes and deeply inhale the scent of Mezcal before drinking it. Then, take a small sip and leave it on your palate for several seconds, exhaling the aroma through your nostrils. Proceed to swallow slowly while concentrating on the flavors lingering on the roof of your mouth. Proceed to take a second sip, savoring gently for at least ten seconds. The flavors will now come together and blend as they descend the finest and most exquisite in the rarefied world of Mezcal. Welcome to our world.

Tapatio Blanco 1L - $31.99

Tapatio Blanco 1L 110 Proof - $49.99

Tapatio Excellencio Gran Reserva Extra Anejo Tequila 1L - $195.99

Legendary Master Distiller Carlos Camarena Introduces Tapatio Blanco 110 Tequila to Los Angeles An alcohol so pure, you can taste it. Los Angeles Magazine By Bill Esparza, Street Gourmet LA

Last week was huge in the spirit world—no I’m not talking Billy the Kid and his regulators high on peyote in Young Guns—I’m talking tequila. One of the Mexico’s treasures, master distiller Carlos Camarena came to town to promote a new product: Tapatio Blanco 110 proof tequila, and meet with bartenders, and top bars all over the city.

Camarena is responsible for one of the greatest tequila brands ever, El Tesoro de Don Felipe, at his distillery, La Altena, in Arandas, Jalisco. The Camarena family has been making tequila since the 1800s. The still-young-at-heart Sr. Camarena turned the tequila world on its head a while back when he crafted the first single-estate tequila for the Tequila Ocho label.

That really would be enough, but then there’s Tapatio, now imported by Napa Valley-based Charbay Distillery and Winery, and represented by Congenial Spirits. Tapatio is one of the most traditional tequilas in Mexico, and the star of NOM 1139, Camarena’s distillery. It’s a big deal at a time when many of the old houses are selling to foreign companies. Top L.A. bartender, Pablo Moix weighed in, “[Camarena] is still putting up good work, where other producers are just not working at his same level.”

Currently, the entire line of Tapatio is available in the U.S. including the new 110 proof tequila blanco, which is the purest product yet to pour to pour into a caballito, or shot glass. The enhanced agave and spice set it far apart from the competition. Camarena never adds anything (the regulatory board allows up to 2% additives in 100% agave tequila), and never changes anything in the production process. His is a product that honors tradition.

Bartenders were starstruck by the humble gentleman from the highlands of Jalisco, which indicates a 180 degree turn for tequila. Bartenders are now pushing a traditional Mexican brand rather than the rushed-to-U.S.-market, foreign-owned startups that were the norm a few years back. To that I say, “Hey bartender—salud!”

I’ve reprinted this article to lend further authenticity to what I’m claiming herein. Some of you may remember when Tequila Ocho first hit the market; we jumped on board with both feet, selling more bottles of it that first year, than any other store in the country. Now this same master distiller has brought a no frills package, liter bottle of tequila into the country that is my own personal go to bottle at home. Perfect for margarita making, or sipping. No additives, pure and full of agave flavor. The bottle that really floored me was my recent tasting of the Tapatio Excellencio Gran Reserva Extra Anejo Tequila 1L ($195.99). Never have I tasted an Extra Anejo tequila that still so handsomely tastes of the agave, not overtaken by the wood it is aged in. This movement in tequila of un-aged oak for aging, versus used bourbon barrels to expedite, is ok by me.

Old Weller 107 Proof Bourbon 750ml.jpg
Jack Daniels Sinatra Select Tennessee Whiskey Liter.jpg
Suze Saveur D'Autrefois Liter.jpg
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