Spirits With Spirit!
Over the last few years, new micro-breweries seem to pop up almost weekly, concocting new and creative ways to make beer taste anything but typical. Following their successes, Micro Distilleries are slowly starting to ‘play’ with their spirits, creating small-batch gems that have distinctly unique flavors, of exceptional quality.
On top of this, many of them are quite reasonably priced, offering great ‘bang for your buck’.
One example that comes to mind is Centennial Limited Edition Rye Whisky. For around $30, this whisky has been supremely crafted in small batches with the use of soft winter wheat blended with rye (instead of the traditional corn). It is also aged for 10 years in chilled and charred barrels. As the practice of using chilled barrels is rather unheard of, one can only assume it is one of the benefits, giving it a smooth, rich flavor profile. I can almost guarantee that in a blind tasting against the go-to blended whiskeys available, (the JohnnyWiserCrowns) that Centennial would come out as a clear favorite.
Another Micro-distiller that should not be missed, is Long Table Distillery, based out of good ol’ Vancouver BC! Offering high quality, impossibly smooth, and delicately infused vodka and gin, the folks down at Long table are passionate about offering something truly new and fresh, in more ways than one. During a tasting with Charles Tremewen at their Hornby Street tasting bar/distillery (with a impressively long tree-slab table – very fitting), I experienced for the first time, a Vodka that I could sip on, straight up, without being chilled and without the ‘I’m drinking-vodka’ face!
Infused with lemongrass, this vodka seems like it ‘floats’ along your palate, without the usual sting associated with the spirit. And at around $52, though higher priced then say Smirnoff, still sits comfortably at the Grey Goose price point, but with a more delightful flavor and finish that fully justifies the cost!
As for their Gins, they have two offerings. Both are expert-crafted, and sure to please as well, though if I’m being honest, I have never been one to appreciate Gin the way so many others do, so I’m passing on the recommendation from my gin-loving coworkers who rave about it as I do their vodka. They say of the London Dry… “fresh minty juniper and citrus peel aroma… Long Table gin will work in anything!” Hope that helps!!
The long (table) and the short of things, if you have yet to dive into the world of small-batch spirits, what the heck are you waiting for?!?