In May, four of us piled in a van and headed north to Coxs Creek, Kentucky. Clouds hung low as we pulled into the Four Roses storage compound, a rolling patch of treeless acres surrounded by forest and dashed with long squat gray buildings known as rickhouses. In the rickhouses, of course, is where the bourbon is born.Read More
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Letherbee distills straightforward spirits geared specifically for making cocktails. They package these spirits in very cool bottles with minimalist labels. They look good, taste great, and they aren't expensive. Who the hell do these guys think they are?Read More
This week just leapt forward into greatness. Our latest private barrel of Bourbon arrived today--our final selection for the year--a boozy doozy from the whiskey mongers at Eagle Rare. It's got style, class, and our edifying stamp of approval.Read More
It's an exciting time to be a wine merchant. Not just in this season but in this era. We have so much access, so many stories to tell. And because the satisfaction of our trade comes in introducing one set of heroes (you) to another (our favorite winemakers), our little wine hearts flutter when we get hold of bottles like these.Read More
Buying private barrels of Bourbon is truly one of the great pleasures in our line of work. In this case, sorting through a selection of master distiller Jim Rutlege's favorite ten or twenty barrels of Four Roses in search of one that fits our specific tastes.Read More
The word amateur comes to us from the Latin, meaning one who loves, or lover. It implies a complex relationship: If I am an amateur photographer, I love images as objects, as well as the subject of what I see through my lens, so I snap a picture. The picture marries subject to object, and becomes mine. Appreciation, appropriation, creation. The distinctions collapse into unity.
But in common usage, the amateur stops short. The amateur is imitative, derivative, simplistic.
The Japanese are, famously, lovers of whisky. For nearly a century Japanese distillers made whisky that roughly imitated the objects of their affection, namely single malt Scotch. To the world at large, they were amateurs--in both sense of the word--and nothing more. But in the last decade or so Japan has emerged as a global contender with a distinctive, singular style. An often quoted adage comes to mind: Good artists borrow, great artists steal.Read More