Cheers September

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 19 of 51 20 Cheers • September 2014 NEW BROWN IN TOWN What's new in American whiskey? Here are a few craft brands to keep an eye on. Westland American Single Malt Whiskey is produced from fi ve different malts, has a mash fermented with Belgian brewer's yeast, and is aged in new American casks. "The traditional grains in the U.S. have been corn and rye, but using malted barley really goes back to the old world heartland of Scottish and Irish tradition," says David King, president of Anchor Distilling Company, who collaborated on the project. After researching letters, and sampling and testing pre-, mid- and post-Prohibition bottles, Washington, D.C.'s Georgetown Trading Co. relaunched James E. Pepper 1776 American Whiskeys: Rye 15 Years, Straight Rye, Straight Bourbon and Bourbon 15 Years. "American whiskey is very versatile, and so on one hand there are many consumers who prefer to drink it straight or with a little ice, but on the other it works so well in all the classic cocktails," explains Georgetown Trading Co. founder Amir Peay. The Old Fashioned was supposedly created in honor of James E. Pepper, Peay adds. Made in the sherry tradition, Hillrock Estate Distillery Solera Aged Bourbon from New York's Hudson Valley mingles young bourbon with a mature spirit carefully selected by master distiller Dave Pickerell, that's then aged in 20-year-old oloroso sherry casks for 36 days to balance its spicy rye notes with fi g, roasted walnuts and candied fruit. "The oloroso sherry cask fi nish is like putting parentheses around bourbon," explains Pickerell. "It adds a dry nuttiness on the nose and a warm fruity fi nish at the end." Dan Latimer, operations executive for the fi ve-concept Neighborhood Dining Group in Marietta, GA, is keeping an eye on producers including Charleston Distilling Company and High Wire Distilling Company (both in Charleston, SC), Balcones Distilling in Waco, TX, and Bull Run Distillery in Portland, OR. "We won't really know for sure what these new places are capable of for several years, though," he admits. "I hope they continue to strive for new and exciting things." —KAM Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits and lifestyle writer and wine educator in the Washington, D.C., area. She can be reached through her website,, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics. a softer style, delicate, lower-proof whiskey works better with a more subtle vermouth like Dolin Rouge. "It's all about striking a balance," Zykan says. Doc Crow's drinks program aims to make non-bourbon drinkers as comfortable as afi cionados, with sips like the Bourbini ($9), in which Heaven Hill 6 Year bourbon is topped with Mathilde Pêche liqueur, peach bitters and sparkling wine. Still, its most popular cocktail by far is the Old Forest Signature Bourbon Old Fashioned ($9). At the Whiskey Kitchen, a 132-seat, Southern cuisine- focused restaurant and bar in Nashville, the New Fashioned ($9.50) stirs Old Forester Bourbon with sugar, cinnamon, bitters and muddled apples and brandied cherries. "It's amazing how you can really elevate the typical Old Fashioned by using a spicy rye or just a nice premium Bourbon," says general manager Nick Elliott. Whiskey Kitchen, operated by the seven- concept M Street Entertainment Group, offers 80 American whiskeys priced from $6 to $27 for a 2-oz. pour. Keep in mind that the garnish matters with the Old Fashioned, Thomas says. For instance, lemon works well with bourbon's sweetness in the original, while rye plays off of the sweet fl avors of cherries, orange slices and other fruit in modern versions. Simply put, says Thomas, American whiskey is cool to drink—and people are drinking quality again. "The rediscovery of a spirit that can impart so many different fl avors, and the complexity imparted through the combination of mash bill, cooperage, yeast, climate and aging, has got everybody appreciating what their grandfathers knew about drinking generations ago." Bourbini at Doc Crow's Old Fashioned at Husk

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