Brooklyn Crush Spring 2018

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Brooklyn Crush is a biannual wine fest presented by NY Wine Events which hosts several wine-themed events throughout the year. The event showcased global wines and samplings of foods from local vendors.

The fest was held at Industry City, a large complex of reconverted warehouses located on 36th Street on the far west side in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The complex has a mix of commercial businesses where you could spend the day eating, drinking and shopping. It’s a destination venue in itself.

The event was held on May 12th and was open to the consumer for an afternoon and evening session. I attended that afternoon and this consumer event had more interesting wines than many of the similar wine fests I’ve attended so far this year.

 

Some of what I sampled:

Some nice Brazilian wines:

NV Cave Amadeu Rosé Brut

2013 Cave Geisse Nature

2016 Cave Geisse Brut

2013 Salton Winery Cabernet Franc

2015 Casa Perini Tannat

Others:

2015 Sparkling Point Brut

2015 Sparkling Point Topaz Imperial Brut Rosé

2017 90+ Cellars Lot 33 Rosé

2015 Ironside Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Ferreira Carpenter Winery Montelpulciano

2016 Piazza Brothers Wine Room Amerone

2014 Jamesport Vineyards East End Cabernet Franc

2013 Dancing Coyote Petite Syrah

2017 Rhonea Vacqueyras White

2015 Atha Ruju Cannonau di Sardegna

2015 Castelucci Miano Perricone

2014 Don Tony Perez Petit Verdot

2014 Don Tony Perez Syrah

2015 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

2015 Ruffino Il Ducale Red

2016 Roberto Ferraris Barbera d’Asti

Spirits:

Brooklyn Kura #14 Ginjo Nama Genshu (locally made saki)

Pallini Lemoncello

Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur

Taconic Distillery Founders Rye

Taconic Distillery Private Reserve Bourbon

Interesting Nibbles:

Ends Meat (charcuterie made in Industry City)

Buli Olive Oil (from Tuscany)

Les Trois Petits Conchon (paté)

 

 

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Wine On Wheels Fundraiser 2018

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On April 28th I attended the 7th annual Wheeling Forward Wine on Wheels grand tasting and auction. Wheeling Forward is an organization that helps people with disabilities live life to the fullest through advocacy, mentorship and support services. One of the founding members, Yannick Benjamin is a Sommelier so it’s not surprising that they have many wine themed fundraising events throughout the year.

This event was held at City Winery, a music venue and urban winery located at 155 Varick Street in lower Manhattan. Many distributors/importers donated well over 100 wines from most of the major wine regions in the world. Pouring at the event were dozens of Sommeliers who volunteered their time and it really was “great wines for a great cause”.

It was an eclectic list of old and new world wines with everything from great Champagne to Pet-Nats. Before the general public were let in they had a premium wine room that poured some interesting older vintages some of which I sampled:

 

2014 Cucamon Granache A Tribute to Grace “Hofer Vineyard” (Cucamonga Valley). Light red, leather notes on the nose with cherry red leather fruit.

1985 Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot (Napa Valley). Medium amber with an amber rim, closed nose of roasted meat, dusty black cherry fruit, firm silky tannins. Still drinking nicely.

1991 Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon “Cherryblock” (Sonoma Valley). Amber in color, ripe plums, bell pepper and mint on the nose, chewy black leather fruit and dried leaf notes on the finish.

2010 Cerretto Barolo (Piedmont). Medium amber, tar and leather on the nose with moderate tannins on the firm finish.

Others that I sampled:

2015 Joseph Drouhin Chassange Montrachet

2013 Domaine Faiveley 1er Cru Clos de l’Ecu Monopole 1.5L

2013 Domaine de la Chapelle Corton Bressandes

2014 Chateau Mont Redon Chateauneuf du Pape 1.5L

2000 Chateau La Louviere

2005 Calon-Segur

2005 Chateau d’Issan

1999 Chateau Lagrange

2011 Brane-Cantenac

2011 Chateau Phelan Segur

2013 Bruno Giacosa Barolo “Le Rocche del Falletto”

2013 Mount Eden Chardonnay “Estate”

2015 DeLoach Vineyards Pinot Noir RRV

2009 Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Raymond Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve”

2014 Michael Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon “Animo”

2015 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel

 

 

 

Wine Spectator Grand Tour 2018

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Wine Spectator magazine held their 17th annual Spring Grand Tour wine tasting event. The tour travels to three cities in the Untied States and this year the tour stopped in Las Vegas, Washington DC and in New York City on April 24th. While not to be confused with the Spectator’s New York wine experience held in October which is three days of tastings, seminars and dinner, the Grand Tour still offered the opportunity to taste over 200 wines rated 90+ on the Spectator scale. Plenty of good juice to be sampled, too many for one evening but I tried my best.

The event was held at the Marriott Marquis hotel in the heart of Times Square at 1535 Broadway.

Some of what I tasted:

 

New World

2005 Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon “Martha’s Vineyard” (Napa Valley). Moderate to dark cloudy red, nice perfume of pencil shavings and tar, cherry mint on the fruit with a long finish. Tasty.

2013 Hall Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Kathryn Hall” (Napa Valley). Inky black, crushed red fruit on the nose, thick, dark cherry fruit with mint notes on the finish.

2014 Adobe Road Winery Cabernet Sauvignon “Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard” (Napa Valley). Dark red to black, black cherry on the nose, chewy dark chocolates on the juicy fruit, moderate finish.

2013 Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Georges de Latour Private Reserve” (Napa Valley). Black in color, roasted meat and dark chocolate on the nose, concentrated dark fruit and mint on the chewy fruit, moderate tannins and acids.

2013 Crown Point Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Happy Canyon” (Santa Barbara). Black with a purple rim, green herbs on the nose, silky tannins with juicy dark fruit and black licorice notes.

2014 Guarachi Family Wines Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Inky black, vanilla and crushed black fruit on the nose, big juicy black fruit with dark chocolate on the finish.

2010 Rodney Strong Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “Brothers Ridge” (Alexander Valley). Inky black, cooked meat on the nose, chunky, mint fruit ending with firm acids to balance the fruit.

2014 Round Pound Estate Cabernet Sauvignon “Reserve” (Rutherford). Dark red, red cherry and roasted meat on the nose, bright cherry fruit, moderate finish.

2015 Fess Parker Pinot Noir “Bien Nacido Vineyard” (Santa Maria Valley). Medium red with nice earth notes on the nose, silky, chewy fruit with cola notes on the balanced finish.

2015 Domaine Della Pinot Noir “Keefer Ranch” (Russian River Valley). Medium clear red, spicy cinnamon on the nose, spicy red fruit, moderate to low acids at the end.

2009 Col Solare (Columbia Valley). Inky black, cooked fruit and mint notes on the nose, dusty and tight.

2015 Penfolds Cabernet-Shiraz “Bin 389” (South Australia). Black with a red rim, crushed ripe berry on the nose, juicy and ripe with cedar and cooked fruit notes, moderate finish.

2013 Cheval des Andes (Mendoza). Dark red with earth notes on the nose, tight with dark slate on the fruit, firm, long finish.

 

Old World

2012 Chateau Haut-Brion (Pessac Leognan). Medium amber in color, green peppers, sweet herbs and cherry mint on the nose, dusty, silky fruit, great balance with dark chocolate on the finish. Tasty.

2011 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (Pessac Leognan). Medium red, toasty nose, silky red fruit finishing with firm tannins.

2005 Chateau Calon-Segur (St-Estephe). Dark brick with a beautiful perfume of violets and crushed red fruit, silky fruit with green pepper and dark chocolate notes, nice balance and a long finish.

2011 Chateau Angelus (St-Emillion). Medium red, black olives on the nose, dusty dark fruit, moderate to long dusty finish.

2011 Chateau Brane-Cantenac (Margaux). Dark red in color, pretty perfume of earth and violets, chewy red fruit with firm tannins.

2009 Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (Paulliac). Medium brick, roasted sour pickles? on the nose, dusty black fruit with moderate tannins.

2014 Chateau Talbot (St-Julien). Dark red to black, crushed black fruit and dark chocolate on the nose, tight, concentrated fruit, slate notes on the moderate finish.

2012 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Clear medium brick, pretty nose of violets, tar and leather, silky red fruit, great balance with moderate tannins and acids at the end.

2012 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino “La Casa” (Tuscany). Clear medium red, dried leaf and dark plums on the nose with chewy red leather fruit.

2011 Fattoria Dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino “Vigna del Fiore” (Tuscany). Medium brick, dried leaf and roasted meat on the nose, velvety fruit with some cinnamon notes on the finish.

2013 Mazzei “Tenuta Belguardo” (Tuscany). Clear dark red with a perfume of violets and roasted meat, big dark chocolate fruit followed by firm acids.

2004 Paolo Scavino Barolo “Bricco Ambrogio” (Piedmont). Light red in color, tar and red cherry on the nose, tight red fruit with pencil shavings on the finish, moderate acids.

2013 Pio Cesare Barolo (Piedmont). Brick in color, cherry tar on the nose, moderate chewy, red licorice fruit, moderate tannins and acids at the end.

2013 Aldo Conterno Barolo “Bussia” (Piedmont). Medium amber, tar and petroleum on the nose, dusty tight fruit, firm finish.

2010 Bodegas Bilbainas “Vina Pomal Gran Reserva” (Rioja). Medium red, stinky damp earth on the nose with dusty tart fruit.

2011 CVNE “Imperial Gran Reserva” (Rioja). Dark red to black, roasted bacon on the nose, concentrated dark fruit with mint notes, firm finish.

 

 

Petit Verdot On Long Island

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Petit Verdot is one of the classic varieties used in blending in Bordeaux. It’s an early ripening varietal and its dense fruit, dark color and high tannins mean “a little goes a long way” when used in the blend.

It’s grown on Long Island in small amounts used primarily as a blending grape as well but a few wineries bottle it on its own and when you go to the tasting room, it’s usually the most expensive wine by the glass option.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon I drove out to wine country to sample a few.

 

Sannino Bella Vita Vineyards  7490 Alvans Lane, Cutchogue

This winery practices sustainable viticulture and has a Bed & Breakfast on property

2014 Petit Verdot “Spotlight”. Black in color with a purple rim, crushed raspberry on the nose with slate and crushed rock notes on the tight and tart finish, moderate tannins.

2013 Petit Verdot “Spotlight”. Inky black with a purple rim, mint and cooked fruit on the nose, chewy dusty dark chocolate on the fruit with nice acidity. More fruit forward than the ’14.

***

Pellegrini Vineyards  23005 Main Road, Cutchogue

This winery was founded in 1991 and features a two-story oak beamed tasting room.

2012 Petit Verdot “Estate”. Black with a purple rim, slate and crushed black fruit on the nose, crushed red berries and some smoke on the fruit, moderate tannins and low acid with lavender notes on the finish.

***

Osprey’s Dominion Vineyards  44075 Main Road, Peconic

The first vines at this vineyard were planted in 1983, this was the most crowded tasting room the day I visited.

2013 Petit Verdot “Reserve”. Inky black, corked?, closed nose with smoky, dense fruit with moderate acids. Corked notes blew off after a few minutes in the glass.

 

 

Brooklyn Wine Fest 2018

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On Saturday April 14th I attended the Brooklyn Wine Fest which was held at the Brooklyn Expo Center located at 72 Noble Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

The event was opened to the public and consisted of an afternoon and an evening tasting. I attended in the afternoon.

These wine fests follow pretty much the same standard template, plenty of nondescript wines, food stalls/food trucks, a few sponsored cocktail booths, a cider booth, a beer booth and live music. I would call these events more of a wine party than a serious tasting but on this warm Saturday afternoon, the venue was full of local hipsters enjoying the wine, food and dancing to the live music. None of the wines excited me so my go to drink of the afternoon was a Bombay Sapphire Negroni.

 

 

Dressner Fundraiser 2018

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On March 25th, Chambers Street Wines and Louis Dressner Selections held their 17th annual tasting and benefit for Partners in Health.

Partners in Health is an international medical organization “committed to improving the health of the poor and marginalized” in 12 countries.

The tasting featured 22 winemakers from France, Italy, Germany and Portugal pouring their artisanal wines grown in the most “natural” way, that is avoiding chemical treatments and with as minimal intervention as possible.

This year the tasting was held at Racines restaurant located at 94 Chambers Street in lower Manhattan. The event was in the afternoon and was crowded with people who as I, were able to taste many interesting natural wines from off the radar producers.

Some of what I sampled:

 

White

2016 Immich-Batterieberg Riesling “Ellergrub” (Mosel)

2015 Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet “Clisson” (Loire)

2015 Domaine du Closel Savennieres “Clos du Papillon” (Loire)

2014 Julien & Francois Pinon Vouvrey Brut (Loire)

Red

2015 Domaine Beliviere Jasnieres Coteaux du Loir “Vielles Vignes Eparses” (Loire)

2016 Fredrik Filliatreau Samur-Champigny (Loire)

2016 Damien Coquelet Morgon “Cot de Py” (Burgundy)

2014 Kewin Descombes Morgon “Vielles Vignes” (Burgundy)

2015 Louis Benoit & Violetta Desvignes Morgon “Cotes de Py Javernieres” (Burgundy)

2014 Romeo del Castello Etna Rosso “Vigo” (Sicily)

2015 Arianna Occhipiniti Terre Siciliane Nero D’Avola “Siccagno” (Sicily)

2015 Nusserhof Sudtirol Lagrein Kretzer Rosato (Trentino-Alto Adige)

2013 Nusserhof “T” Teroldego (Trentino-Alto Adige)

2015 Foradori Vigneto delle Dolmaiti Teroldego “Granato” (Trentino-Alto Adige)

2015 Fonterenza Rosso di Montalcino “Alberello” (Tuscany)

2011 Fonterenza Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany)

2011 La Stoppa Emilia “Macchiona” (Emilia-Romagna)

2016 Vignetto Saetti Lambrusco “Il Cadetto” (Emilia-Romagna)

2016 Vignetto Saetti Lambrusco “Rosso Viola” (Emilia-Romagna)

 

 

More Red Blends On Long Island

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Long Island wine country is about a hundred miles East of Manhattan. From my neighborhood it’s an easy drive on the Long Island expressway straight East as the crow flies to the end of the highway at exit 73. Make a quick right at the outlet mall and keep driving East until you come across the wineries. The road splits in two, main road (route 25) and sound avenue with wineries lining both roads.

On an overcast Sunday afternoon I took another drive out and sampled red blends.

 

Peconic Cellar Door  2885 Peconic Lane, Peconic

This tasting room shares the same building at the Winemakers Studio, they pour wines from wineries that don’t have their own tasting rooms.

2014 As If Wines “Persistence”. This is the first time I’ve tried wines from this producer, they buy local grapes and vinify at a local crush.

A blend of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, very dark purple with a purple rim, dark chocolate and sour cherry notes on the nose, tight, bright fruit with crisp acidity and some stemmines on the finish.

 

***

Mattebella Vineyards  46005 Main Road, Southhold.

The is a small, mom and pop vineyard operation using sustainable viticultural practices for their Italian heritage influenced wines with a small, cozy tasting room.

2008 “Old World Blend”. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the owners was pouring and highly recommended that I try this wine because the wine has aged well and at its peak now. Dark red to black in color with crushed dark fruit and some mint on the nose, chewy dusty fruit and silky tannins, roast nuts and violets on the finish. If I would have tasted this wine blind I would have guessed Chianti.

 

***

Lenz Vineyards  38355 Main Road, Peconic

One of the original wineries out east, established in 1978.

2014 Merlot “Estate”. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, Black and thick in color, peppermint and crushed rocks on the nose, tight, plummy fruit with tart, firm acids at the end.  

 

***

Roanoke Vineyards Tasting Room, Love Lane, Mattituck.

Long Island’s only membership based vineyard, their tasting room is on Love Lane, a two block long business district with a nice deli across the street and a cheese shop next door.

2015 “Marco Tulio“. About an equal blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, dark red, damp earth and slate on the nose, chewy dark fruit, balance acidity with chocolate notes on the finish.

 

 

VinExpo New York 2018

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Vinexpo is a wine and spirits trade show that originated in Bordeaux France and is now held on odd-numbered years in Bordeaux and in Asia in even-numbered years. It is where trade professionals such as importers, distributors and Sommeliers can network with each other and to be exposed to new products.

Vinexpo New York took place on March 5 & 6 at the Jacob K Javits convention center located at 655 West 34th Street on the far west side of Manhattan. It’s the first time Vinexpo has hosted an event in New York City since 2002 and since then, the United States became the largest market for wines so I suppose it made business sense to host another one in this city this year.

I attended on Tuesday and the Javits Center was a beehive of activity since there were several other events other than Vinexpo being held at the Center. The expo itself was not very crowded, speaking with some of the vendors they felt the attendance was greater the day before. That might have been because of competing trade events being held that week and because I think that since the expo charged the trade a hefty entrance fee that many in the industry balked at paying and didn’t show up. I did attend a couple of very nice seminars.

 

Some interesting wines that I sampled:

2015 Beaux Freres Pinot Noir “The Beaux Freres Vineyard”

2014 Bouchard & Fils “Vigne de L’Enfant Jesus”

2014 Yangarra Vineyards Grenache

2014 Narbona Tannat

2015 Domaine de La Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape “Cuvee Les Haute Brusquieres”

2015 Chateau D’Issan

2015 Chateau Beychevelle

2015 Chateau Clarke

 

Seminars:

Comparative Tasting of the Northern Rhone AOC’s of Saint-Peray, Cornas and Saint-Joseph

2016 Eric et Joel Durano (St-Peray). A blend of Marsanne and Roussanne. Medium gold with floral notes and green herbs on the nose, juicy cantaloupe on the fruit.

2016 Maison Ferraton (St-Peray). 100% Marsanne. Medium gold, floral and honey notes on the nose with tart, kiwi flavors on the finish.

2014 Cave de Tain (St-Joseph). Syrah. Cloudy, dark red, red leather on the nose, chewy ending with tight, silky tannins.

2011 Delas (St-Joseph). 100% Syrah. Cloudy black, nice perfume of dark flowers and fresh herbs, silky red fruit and chalk notes on the balanced finish.

2014 Domainea du Tunnel (Cornas). 100% Syrah. Cloudy black with a purple rim, roasted meat and nuts on the nose, tight and tart with a long finish.

2015 Les Vins de Jean-Luc Colombo (Cornas). 100% Syrah. Cloudy black with a purple rim, sweet bacon on the nose, chewy, silky bright dark fruit with firm tannins.

 

New, Old and Different: Spanish Grapes To Know

2017 Bermejo (Lanzarote) Malvasia. Medium gold, grassy, salty nose, bright grassy fruit.

2016 Vina Goseval Cepas Vellas (Valdearras) Godello. Light gold, green, grapey nose, spicy fruit.

2015 Bodegas Arrayan La Suerte (Mentrida) Garnacha. Medium purple, salty nose, dusty red licorice fruit.

2015 Tridente Prieto Picudo (Castilla y Leon) Prieto Picudo. Cloudy black, ripe red fruit and roasted meat on the nose, cherry and dark chocolate on the chunky fruit.

2015 Descendientes de J Palocios Ville de Corullon (Biezo) Mencia. Opaque dark purple, closed nose of roast meat, tight fruit with notes of roasted nuts, firm tannins.

2014 Vivanco Coleccion Maturana Tinta (Rioja) Maturana. Cloudy black, strawberry jam on the nose, chewy, jammy fruit, moderate balance.

2011 Bodegas LAN Cuimen (Rioja) Tempranillo. Cloudy black, crushed black fruit and crushed rock on the nose, chunky, chewy, crisp finish.

2015 Finca Collado Delit Monastrell (Alicante) Monastrel. Cloudy dark purple with barnyard notes on the nose.

2015 Mustiguillo Finca Terrerazo (Vina del Pago Terreazo) Bobal. Opaque dark purple, closed nose of black licorice, sweet fruit with moderate tannins.

 

Planet Bordeaux NYC

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Planet Bordeaux is a French trade organization that represents the wineries of the Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Superieur appellations from the world’s largest fine-wine vineyards. Bordeaux is justifiably famous for its grand cru wines from the famous Chateaux. Those wines are also very expensive but these off the radar regional wines, which are over half the production of the Bordeaux appellation, are more accessible in both price and style.

In February and March the organization held various trade and consumer tastings of its member wineries around New York City. On Sunday evening March 4th, they held a tasting for members of the trade. That tasting was held at O’Cabanon restaurant located at 245 West 29th street in Manhattan.

They poured sparkling wines, whites and several reds, many from the excellent 2015 vintage but from other vintages as well. I wasn’t familiar with many of the producers but there were some nice drinking wines that didn’t break the bank.

Some of what I sampled:

 

2010 Chateau Montlau

2012 Domaine del Ile Margaux

2014 Domaine del Ile Margaux

2012 Chateau La Rose du Pin

2014 M de Monsegur Reserve Cabernet Franc

2013 Chateau Boutinet

2014 Chateau Donjon de Bruignac

2014 Chateau de Seguin Cuvee Carpe Diem

2014 Chateau La France Cuvee Gallus

2015 Chateau Grand Jean

2015 Chateau Lauduc

2015 Chateau Lauduc Grande Cuvee

2015 Chateau Montlau

2015 Chateau de Bel

2015 Chateau Tayet Cuvee Prestige

2016 Chateau Haut Favereau

2016 Ipsum Carmenere

 

Bacon & Bourbon At Astor Center

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The Astor Center is the event space of Astor Wine & Spirits which is located at 399 Lafayette Street in Manhattan. Throughout the year they hold all sorts of spirits, cocktails and wine events and classes at the Center.

On February 17th they held their 10th annual Bacon & Bourbon event. It was a walk-around tasting of over 60 All-American whiskey that was accompanied by copious amounts of bacon and bacon infused snacks (including ice cream). Many of the well-known whiskey companies were in attendance pouring their small production (and expensive) specialty whiskey as well as smaller not as well known producers many of which produced proprietary whiskey for Astor.  The event was open to the consumer and there were two sessions. I attended the afternoon session and it was a nice way to spend a snowy afternoon.

Some of what I sampled:

 

Jim Beam Masterpiece Bourbon

Jim Beam Single Barrel Bourbon

Maker’s Mark Astor Private Select Bourbon

Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Cask Strength Single Barrel (121°-125°)

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Bourbon

Booker’s Sip Awhile’ Small Batch Bourbon

Four Roses Astor Cask Strength Single Barrel Bourbon (122.2°)

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon

Barrell Bourbon Batch #12 Bourbon

Barrell Bourbon Full Proof Astor Barrel (126° 174 bottles produced)

Black Dirt Bourbon

Black Dirt Single Barrel Bourbon

Charles Medley 12yr Old Kentucky Bourbon

Kings County Distillery Peated Bourbon

Balcones Brimstone Smoked Corn Whisky

Balcones Texas Old Single Malt Whisky

Pikesville Straight Rye

Potrero Single Malt Straight Rye

A.D. Laws Straight Rye

A.D. Laws Bottled In Bond Rye