The spirit of discovery is alive and well here at Cereal Alchemist. A lot of behind the scenes footwork goes into exploring new frontiers and distilled spirits to write about, very few of which will ever grace the Drink page for a review or the Blog page for an honorable mention. Simply put: not everyone can be a winner in these boomin' times, and there are plenty of really good things going on in the spirit world that you'd rather hear about first. Ordinary people with extraordinary dreams are making them happen.
This edition of Friday's Finest goes to the movers and shakers in the distilled spirits arena, the ones who know the great strivings and are coming out on top. I'm not going to tell you which bottles to buy from these people, because I'd buy anything they put out there. These are the select few players who you just can't go wrong with when it comes to quality, taste, and craftsmanship. They are out of this world.
Sure, Chip Tate can come across as a pretentious know-it-all, but my experience is that many whisky astronauts suffer from a deplorable excess of personality. What's more, you can't deny that Balcones' whiskies are generating more excitement than a meteor fly-by at the moment. I've tasted it all, and it's the best rocket fuel this side of Cape Canaveral.
I just got a chance to tour this place, nominally the "world's highest distillery." It's not exactly exoatmospheric, but you're going to have a hard time with the Colorado altitude all the same. Understanding the effect this would have upon their angel's share, the whisky's makers mature the spirit in a carefully climate-controlled warehouse on site. I understand that Jordan has a single malt in the pipeline that's been maturing for a couple years now. In the meantime, I'll just get that Rocky Mountain high from their bourbon, vodka, and bitters. Too infinity, and beyond!
Triticale is not a moon, it's a space station. If you're thinking that a rye/wheat hybrid grain would produce a whisky with characteristics of rye and wheat... you'd be absolutely correct. It's delicious. It's unique. Not your cup of Irish tea? Scoot around this binary system for a taste of their port-matured wheat whisky. Or their cask strength bourbon. Or hell, anything you'd like. Where Dry Fly's going, you don't need roads.
Nothing this company makes is bad. NOTHING. And all of it is pretty great. Start with their core expression ("the original") then move out from there. It's a whole new solar system of delicious Scotch whiskey.
I'm pretty sure some Ardbeg Day release will flop, someday. Shoot, even our own sun will eventually expire and collapse into tiny neutronism. Until that day, I expect this will continue to be my Islay of choice.
Don't worry about how to pronounce it. Just know that they're the most progressive, inventive Scotch distillers in the galaxy. With a pipeline that includes "cuvee" (PX is my favorite, but they're all great), the world's peatiest whisky (Octomore), and the mysterious Black Art series, you'll have to watch how quickly you imbibe or you're going to be explaining a lot to your EMH.
Products from this Campbeltown distillery can go by any number of illicit names: Springbank, Longrow, Hazelburn, just to name a few. Hard to find much of their stuff stateside, but if you've got Jango Fett on speed dial I'm sure you can work something out.
El Dorado is insane, just totally insane delicious rum. Insane, because they apparently have boatloads of mature stock sitting around and are selling it below exorbitant prices. It's a mad house! A mad house!
Avion: the Betazoids of the United Federation of Agave Roasters. By that I mean that it's almost as if they can read your mind and totally get you what you want out of a tequila. By that I mean that they would make a frightening addition to the collective. 7 of 9? More like 10 out of 10. Can't go wrong.
Who distills only vodka anymore? You realize that cosmonauts drink vodka, right? Astronauts drink that other stuff I just wrote about. Still, Karlsson's is pretty damn good. When you only make one thing, why not make an astonishingly prodigious potato vodka? Those guys don't dig imperfection. Resistance is futile.