There is No Candy in the Scotch: The Glenmorangie Milsean Unveiling

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Last week I had the undeniable pleasure of attending the Glenmorangie Milsean Private Edition unveiling. “Ooooooooooh. Sounds exciting gurl!” Yes! It toally was! Glenmorangie events are my favourite events cause they’re always so memorable and I love, love, love their Whiskies.

As per usual, we’re gonna do this photo-essay style. Enjoy!

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When I arrived at Sons of Essex at for the event, I noticed a candy-striper theme happening. The intrigue!

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I entered the bar foyer and more candy! I also noticed the Milsean bottles themselves were candy-striped. (More Intrigue!)

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Even more candy! Also Cinnamon sticks and fresh Ginger root!

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Even more stripes! I was beginning to feel like I was on the set of a mid-century french children’s film. Obvi, I was pumped!

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Feeling rather like a kid in a candy shop myself, I sat down at the bar to get a drink and survey the scenery. I ordered an Old Fashioned “Well Made” with The Lasanta.

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As you might expect, it was damn tasty. Literally anything with Glenmorangie is damn tasty, no surprises here.

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Then I was told by one of our esteemed hosts, Laura Baddish, that it was time for me to go down to the tasting area. Dr. Bill  Lumsden (Master Distiller at Glenmorangie & Ardbeg) was going to give a speech about the creation of Milsean.

She wanted me to be in the first group! Yesssssssss!

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This is a super blurry/grainy photo of Dr. Bill. I love him, he has the best stories I’ve ever heard and is the biggest nerd alive. Each year, he and Glenmorangie create a limited release Private Edition Whisky. Each one is unique and oh man, is Milsean ever one of a kind.

Dr. Bill said that he made a matrix of all Glenmorangie’s Whiskys and their flavor profiles, then looked for any gaps or weak spots. He discovered that the “candy profile” area was severely lacking. He thought of his days as a youngster, his grandparents shoving sweets in his mouth to shut him up. Then he had an idea, “How can I get those flavors into Glenmorangie?”

At this point, you might be saying, “WHAT NOW? Is there candy in my Single Malt Scotch?” No y’all. There is no candy in the Scotch. The process used to create Milsean is totally fascinating and achieves a “candy profile” without using any Peppermints, Butterscotch, Lemon Sherbet, or Smarties.

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Peppermints & Cinnamon Sticks: not in the Scotch.

After a bit of R&D, Dr. Bill and his team went to Oporto, Portugal and met with a cooper at a Port winery. They decided to try a new method for capturing the sweetness of Port without actually adding wine to the Whisky.  Once each barrel of Port was emptied of its contents, the cooperage team immediately charred the inside of the barrel so the Port residue would crystalize. Those re-toasted barrels were then shipped back to Glenmorangie’s distillery in Scotland.

Dr. Bill filled these barrels with Glenmorangie Original and waited a nail-biting 2.5 years for the Port cask finishing to complete. I say nail-biting because Dr. Bill noticed that the Whisky was taking on sugary Port characteristics much faster than he expected. He and his team tasted from the barrels every six months, ended the finishing process at the 2.5 year mark, and vatted the spirit for another six months.

Cool right? So cool. So cool in fact, that the whole process was nearly halted by the Scotch Whiskey Association for being too… well, I’ll say “forward thinking”.

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The hilarious thing about this night was that I had a cold! I could barely smell anything! So, when I left Dr. Bill and went to a “Nosing Station”, I had to explain to the guy running the station that, “under normal circumstances I’d be able to guess each flavor, but tonight I have a cold.” He laughed and that is how I met Dan Crowell, Central U.S. Brand ambassador for Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, and a huge spirits geek.

Dan and I chatted for a long time about Whisky, chemistry, what it’s like to work for Dr. Bill, various and sundry spirits, and other geeky things. At some point during the night, I heard someone say, “Well, Scotch IS a dodecahedron.” We laughed about that too. I realized that literally everyone I’ve met from Glenmorangie is super passionate about their work. Everyone is a nerd in some form and everyone has the fire.

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Feeling a bit of the fire myself, I went back to the bar for another pour of Milsean and some badly needed popcorn. Oh sweet, lifesaving popcorn, how I love thee.

Glenmorangie Milsean Private Edition Tasting Notes: (supplemented by those at the event who could smell better than I)

  • Nose: Sweet caramel, candied orange, lemon sherbet, sugar cane
  • Mouth: Classic Glenmorangie house styel but with candied notes like: peanut toffee, peppermint, lemon sherbet, candied plums. Once we added a few drops of water, Milsean took on an herbaceous quality with mint and angelica coming through. Awesome.
  • Body: Really viscous and legs for dayyyys
  • Finish: Long, wide finish with notes of french oak, ginger, cigars, cinnamon

Overall: I had a cold, so it was hard for me to get all the nosing, but I did notice how sweet it smelled. I was then pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t that sweet on the palate and actually became rather herbaceous! Such a great ride. Excellent long, wide finish and y’all know how I love viscosity.

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There are 167 barrels worth of Glenmorangie Milsean. They use non-chill filtering and bottle at 46% so you can enjoy every amazing flavor. If I were you, I’d get it ASAP before it disappears from our candy coated dreams forever.

Thanks to Laura Baddish and the folks from Moët-Hennesy USA for having me!

*Note: It was quite dark in this bar and my lil iPhone 5S didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. Please forgive the less-awesome-than-usual photos.

Temple of Clarity

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Ahhhhhhh, a stirred drink. It’s been a hot second since I posted about a cocktail in a Coupe and now that Tiki The Snow Away is over, I’ve got one for y’all.

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Seriously, after a month of shaken and blended drinks, I feel like I almost forgot how zen it is to just STIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Yes, that’s a lot of “R’s” but I like stirring, it makes me feel relaxed.

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Here are yer cast of characters:

  1. Templeton Rye: I wanted the base spirit to be Rye cause I was in the mood. “No lie, she wanted Rye.” I’m really digging the smoothness and mixability of Templeton.
  2. Grand Marnier: I may have mentioned that someone gave this to me as a holiday gift, and I’m so into it! I’ve never had it in my Home Bar before, but the viscosity, spices, dryness, and depth of flavor in Grand Marnier is REALLY doing it for me.
  3. Amontillado Sherry & Dolin Dry: since I added Grand Marnier (sweet, Orange), I wanted to add things to dry it out and compliment. Both the Sherry and Vermouth are dry with the Sherry giving nutty, raisin, briney notes and the Dolin Dry doing that magical thing it does.
  4. Pernod Pastis: last but not least, a bit of Pernod Pastis gives an excellent boost of bright Anise to this boozy drink.

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Express and discard the orange peel, we just want the oil. No distractions in the Temple of Clarity.

Temple of Clarity

  • 2 oz Templeton Rye
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 oz Lustau Amontillado Sherry
  • 1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
  • 1 Barspoon Pernod Pastis or Absinthe
  • Garnish: Orange oil, discard peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrrrrr. Strain into yer favorite chilled Coupe, express Orange peel and discard.

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Clear, simple, complex, rewarding. Cheers to you in this relaxing moment!

 

Tiki The Snow Away at King Tai Bar Feb 4th!

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WOO, we had so much fun with Tiki The Snow Away that we turned it into a party! If you’re in Brooklyn on Feb 4th, stop by for some excellent Tiki drinks, groovy tunes, and a tropical night to remember!

Here’s the info:

King Tai Bar invites you to Tiki The Snow Away: A late night cruise to summery paradise featuring drinks by Home Bar Girl and Shannon Mustipher with the generous support of Denizen Rum and Yaguara Cachaça.

Kick back and unwind to the grooviliscious sounds of Reggae, Brazilian Disco, and Tropicalic Funk courtesy of DJ Brother Cleve, Ambassador of the Cocktail Nation.

Thursday Feb 4th – Happy Hour til Late
King Tai Bar
1095 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216
$10 Tiki Specials all night long
$5 Denizen Rum Punch Special til 10pm

Facebook event here.

TTSA Booth Drinks

Drink Menu: Tropicbird, Pérola Branca, Brazilian Surf Girl, Parasol, and a Denizen Rum Punch.

Y’all it’s gonna be Tiki mania! Can’t wait to see everyone there!

Hawaiian Surf Girl

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Two days left of Tiki The Snow Away means two more Surf Girls! Hawaiian Suf Girl is near and dear to my heart as it adds some extra tropical goodness to mix.

If you want to share a tropical drink during the month of January, you have two days left to use the hashtag #TikiTheSnowAway on Instagram and Twitter, or tag u/homebargirl on reddit.

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This gurl has been surfing for days. Look at her tan!

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To the Surf Girl trio of Denizen Aged White, Senior Blue Curaçao, and Coco Lopez we add Passion fruit! Yea! It really adds a unique tartness in a way that Lime alone just can’t achieve. Lastly, Pineapple gives a great backbone and plays so well with the rest of the ingredients.

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Hawaiian Surf Girl

  • 2 oz Denizen Aged White Rum
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curaçao
  • 1/2 oz Coconut Cream
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice*
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz Passion Fruit Syrup
  • ~8 oz Crushed Ice
  • Garnish: Tiki umbrella, Maraschino cherry, pineapple

Combine ingredients and blend for 7 seconds. Pour in a 10 oz Surf Girl Tiki Mug and garnish.

*Always unsweetned, 100% Pineapple Juice not from concentrate. This is critical or the drink will be too sweet.

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Yummmmm. Surf’s Up!

Welcome to Tiki The Snow Away!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR & welcome to Tiki The Snow Away 2016! We made it through the Holidaze and now we’re gonna brighten up this dreary month with some fabulous Tiki drinks!

Before we get this party started, Imma answer some questions you may have:

A. What is Tiki The Snow Away? Last year, I’d had way too much Egg Nog, it was snowing constantly, and I was like, “screw these heavy drinks, I’m only going to have citrusy Tiki drinks for a month!” I decided to bring it back cause what’s more fun than Tropical drinks in January?

If you post a Tiki drink on Instagram or Twitter during January, use the hashtag #TikiTheSnowAway and I will re-post my fave drinks. If you post a Tiki drink on reddit, tag me and I will re-post them in a couple of roundups.

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Fresh fruit

B. What kind of produce do you need? Fresh fruit. Now, I know this is a winter Tiki party, but you should be able to get Limes and Grapefruit from your local grocery store. It also means that you can use BLOOD ORANGES! WOOOOOO!

If you can’t find any good Pineapples to juice, I would recommend getting a bottle of unsweetened Pineapple Juice.

*Note: If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, I know it’s summer so, go wild with your fruit selections.

Rums

RUM BUM BUM BUM BUMMMMMMMMMM

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Tiki liqueurs

C. What sort of Spirits & Liqueurs will you need? RUM. You’re going to need a lot of Rum. You’ll also need Blanco Tequila, Mezcal, and really any spirits you’ve got from the Caribbean/Central/South American regions. Since these are Tiki drinks, I’d also recommend the three liqueurs shown in the above photo. Allspice Dram is packed with a Jamaican spice set, Falernum is a lime/vanilla/spiced liqueur, and of course regular or Blue Curaçao.

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DD’s Spiced Rum

D. Will I need anything else? Glad you asked. Orgeat is a super important Tiki ingredient. (How else will we attempt to make the greatest Mai Tai in the world?) I’m also going to be using Coco Lopez in some of my drinks. Cinnamon Bark syrup is absolutely essential to winter Tiki and so is Spiced Rum. I tend to loathe pre-made spiced Rum, so I created an easy batch of my own.

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DD’s Spiced Rum

  • 6 oz Denizen Merchant’s Reserve Rum (sub Jamaican Rum)
  • 2 oz Plantation Barbados 5 Rum (sub a smooth aged Rum)
  • 1 1/2 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • 1 oz Cinnamon Bark Syrup

Combine ingredients in a bottle and agitate gently so all ingredients are integrated.

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Tiki garnishes are the best!

E. Anything else? Anything at all? You’ll also need fun Tiki garnishes. Go wild! Grab those Tiki Umbrellas, Pineapple spears, plastic monkeys, swirly straws. FUNNNNNN is the goal here.

Hope y’all have a blast. #TikiTheSnowAway is the best way to spend your January!

 

The Red Scotsman

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“Hol-li-day-y, Ce-le-bra-ate! If we took a holiday-y, took some time to celebra-ate…” -Madonna

Why don’t we sing that song during December? It’s the most holiday song there is! Errrrrrrrm, ummmm, ok gurl, focus.

This holiday drink is brought to you by my good friend Ms. Perl who brought this tasty bottle of Glenmorangie Original Single Malt Scotch to a party I was having. (Thanx Perl!) If you haven’t tried the Glenmorangie Scotches before, they’re typically on the bright/floral end of the spectrum.

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Firstly, this is not a Negroni variation, even though it has Campari, and is in a Negroni format. It would be a stretch to say that I subbed Sweet Vermouth for Añejo Tequila + Cinnamon Bark Syrup, but maybe that’s ok? And let’s be frank, it’s such a pretty pretty format: A Red drink in a Rocks glass, big orange peel…swoon.

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Here are your cast of characters: Glenmorangie Original Single Malt Scotch, Corralejo Añejo Tequila, Campari, Cinnamon Bark Syrup.

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Get ready to stirrrrrrrrr.

The Red Scotsman 

  • 1 3/4 oz Glenmorangie Original Scotch
  • 1/2 oz Corralejo Tequila Añejo*
  • 1/2 oz Campari
  • 1/4 oz Cinnamon Bark Syrup
  • Garnish: Orange peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrr. Strain into chilled double Rocks glass over ice. Express Orange peel and garnish.

*sub an Añejo Tequila that still tastes like Tequila. In other words, you want the Agave to be present alongside some woody tones in the Tequila.

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This drink is refreshing, bright, bitter, spiced and complex. You might want to have at least two of The Red Scotsman and I will not stop you.

It would also make an excellent bottled cocktail. (hint, hint: the best gift ever is a bottled cocktail)

Cheers to all your holiday festivities!

 

Sukkah Hill Spirits: Etrog Cocktail

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Last week, I reviewed and created a recipe for the fabulously spiced Besamim Liqueur from Sukkah Hill Spirits. Today, I am just as excited to talk about their Etrog Liqueur. For Besamim, I was like, “Oh my god you need to get this right now!” For Etrog I’m like, “NO SERIOUSLY, YOU HAVE TO GET THIS RIGHT NOW!”

You may be thinking, “gurrrrrl, that’s a lot of enthusiasm for a Monday morning.” Whatever man, once you try these two liqueurs, you’ll understand.

Etrog-Liqueur

Sukkah Hill Spirits were started by the Witkins, a couple who live in Los Angeles. They were making batches of Liqueurs for friends and family, when a store put in a request for their amazing products. Now they have a 5000 sq ft facility and the rest is history.

You may be wondering, “what does the word Etrog mean?” Well, Etrog is actually a highly prized type of citrus from Israel. They are traditionally used during the holiday of Sukkot, a hebrew word meaning “Tabernacles”. If you think Sukkot sounds like Sukkah, you’re right, the first is the plural of the second.

Etrog Liqueur is made from a blend of Etrog citrus grown in the Sequoia foothills of California and pure cane sugar Spirit in small batches. It is gluten free, vegan, and Kosher for Passover.

Etrog Tasting Notes:

  • Nose: Something like a magical Meyer Lemon hits you first, with supporting notes of lemon verbena, citrine herbs, and floral notes.
  • Taste: Firstly candied Lemon, then loads of wonderfully complex herbal notes. Flowers, honey, and pepper all make entrances.
  • Finish: Excellent viscosity, really warming finish.
  • Overall: HOT DAMN. Etrog is so exciting! It is sweet but there is so much going on here that it’s not boring at all. For cocktails, my first thought was “GIN!” though I know it will go very well with Blanco Tequila. I would also drink this as an aperitif over ice or long with club soda.

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As with the Besamim post, I am going to feature one cocktail for the introductory Etrog post. This drink really lets the Etrog showcase all of its beautiful flavors in a stirred format.

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Here are your cast of characters: Etrog Liqueur, Plymouth Gin, dry Junmai Ginjo Saké.

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Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to taste something truly divine.

Etrog Cocktail

  • 3/4 oz Sukkah Hill Spirits Etrog Liqueur
  • 1 1/4 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 1/4 oz Junmai Ginjo Saké (sub: dry, floral Saké)
  • Garnish: Lemon peel

Combine ingredients over ice and stirrrrrrrrr. Strain into chilled coupe, express Lemon peel and garnish.

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Cheers. Sunny, floral, lemony, fabulous Cheers to you all! Thanks to Sukkah Hill Spirits for the bottle of Etrog Liqueur!