Cheers-Sept 2016

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 14 of 40 15 September 2016 • "The American whiskey market is booming," says Paul Taylor, bar manager for Southern Efficiency in Washington, D.C. The whiskey bar carries about 157 whiskeys, priced from $3 to $50 an ounce. Most of the whiskeys are from the American South, though the selection includes brands from across the U.S. and around the world. "It's exciting to see smaller distilleries pop up and show a sense of place, almost like terroir in wine," Taylor notes. Smaller distilleries are represented on the menu by producers such as Catoctin Creek Distillery Co. in Purcellville, VA; Southern Efficiency carries its Roundstone Rye ($5.50 an oz.), the Rabble Rouser Rye ($9) and the Kings Mountain Malt ($16). The bar also stocks bourbon ($9) and rye ($11) from Few Spirits, a craft producer from Evanston, IL. "It only take me a couple of minutes to get to a distillery from my bar," notes Taylor. "These distilleries are popping up all over the place and allow larger groups to have access to the distillation, aging and bottling processes." PURISTS AND GEEKS American whiskey drinkers can be placed into two camps, according to Mike Raymond, the cofounder/ co-owner of Reserve 101. The upscale whiskey bar in Houston, TX, carries more than 100 whiskeys priced from $6 to $175. "First there is the whiskey purist, who wants older, cask strength and served neat," Raymond explains. "The other spectrum is the 'craft' cocktail geek, who is looking for bottled-in-bond bourbons or ryes along with vintage expressions." Raymond notes that the "premiumization" of some whiskeys—and the price tags to match—may cause consumers to push back and retreat to another whiskey category. So it's definitely a consideration as the market grows. Smaller distilleries are percieved as producers of "craft spirits." While there's no legal definition of craft, these spirits enable consumers "to buy and drink something very new to them, and have something to introduce to friends they likely have never tried either," says Andrew Abrahamson, director of operations for the 213 Hospitality Single Spirit Bar Group. The Los Angeles-based company operates a variety of concepts including Seven Grand, with locations in Los Angeles and San Diego. The comprehensive whiskey bar carries 313 whiskies at the former location, and 341 at the latter, priced from $8 to $137. "The microdistilleries are pushing the envelope on what we should expect—crazy peated whiskies, barrel finishes and technical tweaks with the stills, Far left, Parents Weekend from Southern Efficiency, one of the Washington, D.C.-based bar's "Camp Iwannawhiskey" cocktails. Center, from top left, the Brush Up, Knight Rider and Wise Idea whiskey cocktails from Reserve 101 in Houston, TX. Above right, a Julep from Seven Grand whiskey bar in Los Angeles. "THE AMERICAN WHISKEY MARKET IS BOOMING." — Paul Taylor, bar manager, Southern Efficiency in Washington, D.C.

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