If you follow me on Instagram, you know that spirits are a big part of my life. Whether it’s whiskey, scotch, rum, or cognac, I enjoy them all, as I know many of you do too! I have been tasting some fun stuff this season and know many are starting to stock up on their colder weather alcohol collections, so I knew this list would be helpful. All of these below I enjoy on the rocks, as well as in cocktails.
Chocolate Whiskey- This was my first time tasting chocolate whiskey, and not going to lie… I didn’t hate it. When made well, they give you that nice chocolate essence, nice smoothness, and an overall enjoyable sipping experience. Below are two nice quality chocolate whiskey’s you should try!
Whiskeysmith Chocolate Whiskey– Velvety and smooth, nice chocolate flavor that hits the spot for any chocolate and whiskey lover. You get some nice vanilla and spice too, it’s not all chocolate and the sweetness is well balanced. This is a great whiskey to add to a Milkshake, or a Hot Chocolate!
Ballotin Original Chocolate Whiskey– Deep chocolate notes with subtle vanilla and spice. This whiskey goes down way too easily, and is great on the rocks. I enjoyed it like that first, but then also made a fun chocolate old fashioned too, which was great.
Chocolate Old Fashioned
2oz Chocolate Whiskey
2 Dashes Cocoa Bitters
1/4oz Brown Sugar Simple Syrup
- In a glass pitcher or mixing glass, stir together whiskey and simple syrup with a large ice cube. Strain into a glass, with another large ice cube, and add bitters. Garnish with an orange peel if desired.
Wine Cask Finished- This sommelier loves a good wine cask finished whiskey!
Clonakilty Irish Whisky Port Cask- A fantastic Irish Whiskey thats so smooth, delicious, and finished in Port Casks from the Douro Valley, Portugal! Using premium Irish malt and 9 year old Irish grain, this complex Irish whiskey is one you will want to have around. Beautiful finish and great on it’s own, neat as well as on the rocks. Pair this with a Macanudo Cigar, and you have yourself a great gift!
The Sexton- Probably one of my favorite Irish Single Malt’s on the market, made from 100% Irish malted barley. Aged in sherry casks, and so incredibly smooth, this one is always a winner and a must have for every bar. The bottle shape is unique too, but the whiskey is simply the best! Dried fruit, nuts, and fresh honeycomb linger in your nose, before you taste the amazingness that is The Sexton. Every client I taste this on, gets hooked!
A fun cocktail recipe thanks to The Sexton:
Blood Orange Old Fashioned
2oz The Sexton
1 Sugar Cube
3 dashes Blood Orange Bitters
1 Cocktail Cherry
- In a glass pitcher, muddle the sugar cube and add in a few dashes of bitters. Add The Sexton and stir with ice. A large ice cube is preferred however use what you have at home (pictured above). Strain into a cocktail glass with or without ice (optional). Add a cherry and enjoy!
Some new and special releases!
Basil Hayden’s Toast- Made from new brown rice mash bill and finished in toasted barrels, this less spicy, nice bodied bourbon is delicious with notes of caramel. The toasted oak combined with dried fruit is a wonderful combination for those who enjoy sipping spirits as well as cocktails.
Plantation Rum, Birds of Paradise Peru 2006– This was my first time having a Peruvian rum! Alexandre Gabriel, Master Blender at Plantation Rum, and Jorge Luis Rodriguez Parajes, Master Blender at the Cartavio rum distillery partnered together for this one and it’s wow! This blend of three rums, has a double aging process, and was matured 11 years in ex-bourbon casks. This is a rum for the serious drinker, and is something special to sip or gift this season. This rum is layered with notes of chocolate, nuts, some earth and even tropical fruit on the finish. It’s smooth and delicious, and ideal for this cooler weather were getting!
Plantation Rum, Birds of Paradise Trinidad 2009– A 24 cask exclusive! This one was chosen from the cellars of Trinidad Distiller,s Limited by Alexandre Gabriel, Master Blender, and Andrew Hassell, General Manager and rum historian at West Indies Rum Distillery. The cellars are built entirely out of bricks, and this particular rum benefits from the double-aging process, inspired by a 300 year old technique. After this process, Plantation Trinidad 2009 was then treated to an additional one-year ageing period in Javrezac, in France’s Charente region, in 400-liter French oak barrels from Maison Ferrand. This rum is floral with hints of spice, coffee, and caramel and is ideal for a serious rum lover!