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It’s St. Patrick’s Day – how are you celebrating? If your plan is to get into the spirit with one of the earliest distilled drinks in Europe, this blog post might help you (I sure learned a lot). Here we’re sharing our Assistant Spirits Manager’s top picks. Andrew’s list is composed of different varieties of Irish whiskey – a single pot still, two single malts (including the only Irish peated single malt whiskey), and two blended Irish whiskeys. These five Irish whiskeys are at various price points which is great if you’re a newbie or well practiced looking for something new to try.
Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Bourbon Cask Matured Single Malt Irish Whiskey
“Knappogue Castle 12 year old, our signature expression, is an exceptional single malt made exclusively from malted barley. Triple distilled one batch at a time in traditional, onion-shaped copper pot stills, the whiskey is then aged in bourbon oak casks for twelve years. The delicate distillation process, along with the moist and temperate climate, yields the distinctive flavor of this remarkable Irish single malt.” – Knappogue Castle
Nose: Rich and biscuity with notes of peppery spice Taste: Mellow and well-balanced with a bright, elegant fruitiness and mild spice flavors Finish: Medium, clean, and smooth
Irish single malt whiskey must be distilled from a mash of nothing other than malted barley at a single distillery. Malted means the barley has been moistened for a few days to fool the grain into germination and then had its growth halted by heat. I’ll use Knappogue’s process as our guide:
Ingredients Knappogue Castle Single Malt is made with pure Irish spring water and malted barley. The malted barley is dried in ovens without the use of peat (unlike Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey – see below). This process enables the crisp, clean flavor of malted barley to come through without smoky overtones. The dried malt is then ground and mixed with hot water to extract the sugars. This liquid, called “wort”, is cooled to room temperature. Yeast is added, converting the sugars to alcohol and transforming the wort into a liquid called “wash,” with an alcohol level of 15-20 proof.
Distillation The “wash” is distilled one batch at a time in onion-shaped copper pot stills – a centuries-old tradition. The first output of distillation is 40 proof. These “low wines” are distilled a second time to increase strength and purity with the center cut of the second distillation used to make single malt. The “heads” and “tails” are removed to enhance the quality. The center cut is then distilled a third and final time, ensuring unparalleled smoothness. After the final distillation process, the spirit is colorless and about 130 proof.
Aging The spirit is then placed in bourbon oak casks, stored at a relatively consistent temperature, and in Knappogue Castle 12 Year’s case, aged for at least 12 years until the right balance of flavors and mellow appeal is achieved. An expert “noser” samples and selects casks of the finest quality and distinct flavor profile. The whiskey is then adjusted with pure Irish water to the desired proof (80 proof for Knappogue 12 Year).
Did you know? Knappogue Castle Single Malt Irish Whiskey is named after the 15th century castle in Ireland which inspired it, but the word itself has a meaning of its own. Knappogue (pronounced Nah’ Pogue) translates to ‘hill of the kiss’ in Gaelic.
Yellow Spot 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
“Inspired by the original Yellow Spot whiskey (last seen in Ireland in the mid to late ’60s) Yellow Spot 12 Year Old Single Pot Still Whiskey has been matured for not less than 12 years in a combination of American bourbon, Spanish sherry and Spanish Malaga casks. Drawing from the Mitchell family tradition of importing fortified wines, full term maturation in ex Malaga casks contributes exotic sweet characteristics to the whiskey.” – Spot Whiskey
Nose: Mown hay and cracked black pepper. Red bell peppers, nutmeg, clove oil and green tea. Sweet honey and peaches from the Malaga casks Taste: Honey sweetness with pot still spices. Flavors of fresh coffee, creamy milk chocolate and Crème Brûlée. Notes of red apples and toasted oak Finish: Sophisticated and complex. Sweetness throughout with a mix of red grape and dry barley upon exit
Single pot still whiskey is a style of Irish whiskey made by a single distillery from a mixed mash of malted and unmalted barley then triple distilled in traditional copper pot stills. This inclusion of unmalted raw barley in the mash in addition to malt is what makes this style different than single malt whiskey. This unmalted component is said to give single pot whiskey a “spicier bristle” and “thicker texture” than single malt whiskeys. Small amounts of other cereals such as oats or rye may also be used if required. As of 2016, there are only a handful of single pot still whiskeys on the market.
Did you know? When the Mitchell family entered the whiskey bonding business in 1887, it was at the peak of the Victorian whiskey boom and pot still Irish whiskey was at its summit. The ‘Spot’ brand name originated from the family’s practice of marking casks of different ages with a daub or spot of colored paint with each color representing a particular age.
Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey
“Unique among Irish whiskeys, Connemara is the only Irish peated single malt whiskey in existence today. Inspired by the 18th century art of drying malting barley over peat fires, Connemara possesses a distinct peaty flavor and aroma, instilling a delicate smokiness and smooth, sweet taste.” – Connemara
Nose: Smokey peatiness balanced by heather floralness with hints of honey and oak Taste: Silky smooth with a honey sweet start, followed by more complex aromas of malt and fruit giving way to the intensifying full bodied peat. A well-balanced yet complex taste with vanilla oak notes Finish: A long and glorious finish with golden honey notes and deep peat spreading across the mouth and palate. Hints of chocolate vanilla and oak leave a mouth-watering taste
While most Irish whiskeys are tripled distilled, Connemara is actually double distilled to maintain the peat characteristics.
Did you know? Connemara is named after the area in Ireland.
Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey Classic Blend
“Clontarf 1014 is a bold and smooth Irish whiskey, triple distilled, aged in bourbon barrels and blended to perfection.” – Clontarf 1014
Nose: Some grain notes and faint honey and lemon rind Taste: Sweet, mildly grainy, and peppery; lemongrass and grain features Finish: Nice citrus fruit notes
Irish blended whiskey is as a blend of two or more different whiskey types, and its production usually includes Irish grain whiskey. Grain whiskey in Ireland is distilled from one or more of the following: corn, wheat, rye and barley. Barley and corn are used to give Clontarf its aroma and flavor.
Did you know? Clontarf 1014 hails its name from the Battle of Clontarf. At the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, High King Brian Boru sent viking invaders tumbling back into the sea and gave his life to achieve a remarkable victory for the Irish over the fearsome vikings.
2 Gingers Irish Whiskey
Price: $18.99 “Smooth, malty, and slightly sweet to start, with a tingle of honey and citrus. 2 GINGERS is a blended Irish whiskey, distilled twice and aged four years in the mild climate at the Cooley Distillery.” – 2 Gingers
Nose: Lightly malty nose with some fruit Taste: A touch of orange, some honey, vanilla, nuts and spice Finish: The charred oak of the bourbon barrel gives a smooth vanilla and caramel finish
In order to label a spirit “Irish whiskey”, it must be aged three years. 2 Gingers and Clontarf 1014 are aged just slightly past that at four years.
Did you know? The two redheads who grace the 2 Gingers bottle are the founder’s mother and aunt. 2 Gingers trademarked cocktail is called the BIG GINGER made up of two parts 2 GINGERS Irish whiskey, ginger ale, lemon wedge and lime wedge. We’ve used 2 Gingers in a few recipes of ourselves!
Hopefully we’ve provided some insight into the world of Irish whiskey for the novices and for those unfamiliar with these brands. Molly’s has many Irish whiskeys to chose from. You can find them all in Spirits Lane #1. Our staff will gladly help you find the perfect Irish whiskey for you!
Molly’s is giving TEN lucky people a chance to win a $30 gift card to use for their New Years Eve celebrations via Westword’s Instagram and Twitter! Check out the posts on their social media for the full details.
How to win:
1) Like @MollysSpirits
2) Comment and tag the friend(s) on Westword’s social media post that you’ll be popping bottles with on NYE.
3) That’s all! TEN Winners announced on HERE, on this blog post tomorrow, December 28th @ 5:30p! UPDATE: WINNERS ANNOUNCED BELOW!
Each of the 8 winners from Instagram have been notified on the original post! Our 2 winners from Twitter we have tweeted at! Each of the $30 gift cards have been left under your first and last names from your social media accounts, have your ID ready to be checked for name matching from one of our front end associates. You can pick up your gift card at our customer service desk at your earliest convenience! We hope it makes your NYE celebration just that much better! Cheers!
If you have any questions, please email us at info@mollysspirits or DM us on Instagram or Twitter!
Have you been searching for the perfect gift to get your friends and family? Look no further than our 2016 Boozy Gift Guide where you’ll find something for everyone! We here at Molly’s are all about making your shopping experience easy and fun so you can get back to celebrating the holidays with friends and family!
For The Whisk(e)y Lover
Whether you’re shopping for the whisky lover or whiskEy lover, Molly’s has options! And if you’re shopping for the aspiring whiskey distiller with dreams of aging their own, check out Denver’s Bear Creek Distillery’s Age Your Own Bourbon Kit. These kits contain everything you need to age your own Bear Creek Distillery Bourbon: 2 bottles of Bear Creek’s White Whiskey, 2 liter barrel, funnel, and instructions.
Whiskey Lover Gift Ideas
Bear Creek Kit: $149.99 (Denver Distillery) – SOLD OUT Templeton Rye Gift Set 750ml $37.99 – SOLD OUT Gentleman’s Jack: $32.99 – SOLD OUT A.D. Laws Bourbon & Rye Gift Set: $69.99 (Denver Distillery) – SOLD OUT Knob Creek Bourbon: $32.99 – SOLD OUT Woodford Reserve: $35.99 Jack Daniels Black Label Gift Set: $23.99 Crown Royal Gift Set: $25.99 Jim Beam Gift Set: $15.99 Forty Creek Whisky Gift Set: $19.99
For The Outdoorsy Wine-O
Shopping for a wine lover always on the go? Molly’s has a solution that CAN keep up with their active lifestyle and drinking habits. Boxed and canned wine have come a lonnnggg way from the early days of boxed wine (shoutout to our Franzia friends) and you can now find some pretty damn good juice in those eco-friendly packages. Not only is it a more sustainable option, but boxed wine provides flexibility for all of life’s adventures, from backcountry snowshoe hikes to party hopping and everything in between! With more and more bottled wine switching over to the dark side, you’re not limited to only a few varieties. Molly’s has an entire lane (Lane 12) dedicated to boxed wines!
Wine On The Go Gift Ideas
Lila Rosé Can: $4.48 | Sale $3.48 Underwood Pinot Gris Cans : $6.98 | Sale $5.98 Underwood Pinot Noir Cans: $6.98 | Sale $5.98 Infinite Monkey Back Alley Cans: $4.98 | Sale $3.98 (Denver Winery) Ciconia Tinto 3L Box: 23.99 La Vieille Ferme 3L Box: 24.98 | Sale $19.98 La Petite Frog 3L Box: $32.99 El Libre Malbec 3L Box: $22.99
For The Rosé All Day-er
It’s no secret that #RoseAllDay is every twentysomething’s life motto. Fill your friends fridge with that sweet (or dry) pink stuff to celebrate all of their rosé needs into 2017. Molly’s has an entire section of rosés on Lane 2!
We all have that friend who texts you and asks, “Brunch this weekend?” If you know what we’re talking about, this gift idea is for them! Whether they’re into a build-your-own bloody bar or bottomless mimosas, Molly’s can help you create a brunch experience in the comfort of your own yoga pants. Kick your brunch up a notch, because as the saying goes… brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast.
Boozy Brunch Enthusiast Gift Ideas:
Bolder Beans: $7.99 The Real Dill 32 oz Bloody Mary Mix: $9.99 (Denver Brand) Mile High Spirits Elevate Vodka 750ml: $21.99 | Sale $18.99 (Denver Distillery) Salty Iguana Green Bloody Mary Mix: $8.99 | Sale $7.99 (Denver Brand) Santa Barb Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives: $6.99 Blank & Booth Booze 750ml: $24.99 (Denver Distillery) Everfresh Orange juice: $2.49 Graham Beck Brut $17.98 | Sale $14.98 Caposaldo Prosecco Brut: $13.98 | Sale $10.98 Avinyo Cava: $19.98 Everfresh Pineapple juice: $2.49 Campo Viejo Brut Cava: $12.98
For The Sports Fan
Molly’s has the gear your sports fan needs for tailgates outside the stadium to cheering on his or her favorite team in front of the tv screen. Fun fact: koozies make great stocking stuffers!
Boozy Sports Fan Gift Ideas
Colorado Avalanche Kolder Kaddy $3.99 Colorado Rockies Kolder Kaddy $3.99 Denver Broncos Hot Pink & Silver Kolder Kaddy $3.99 Denver Nuggets Kolder Kaddy $3.99 Colorado State University Bottle Suit: $5.99 Denver Broncos Orange Bottle Suit: $5.99 University of Colorado Bottle Suit: $5.99 Denver Broncos Stemless Wine Glass: $10.99 25oz Elite Broncos Mega Mug: $25.99 Denver Broncos Game Day Pilsner Glass: $12.99 Denver Broncos Plastic 16 oz Tumbler 4 Pack: $8.99 Denver Broncos Bottle Opener: $7.99 Denver Broncos Rocks Glass: $12.99 Denver Broncos 12 Pack, 12oz Cans: $12.99 Denver Broncos 2 oz Shot Glass: $4.99 Denver Broncos 2 oz Game Day Shot Glass: $4.99 Denver Broncos 2 oz Satin Etch Shot Glass: $5.99 Denver Broncos Wine Tote: $10.99 Golf Ball Ice Mold: $6.99
For Your Crafty Mixologist Friend
Shopping for the Walter White of cocktail concoctions or for someone who tries really hard to be a smooth as Tom Cruise in Cocktail? Dress their bar to impress! Molly’s has the tools he or she needs to dish out deliciousness in no time and look great while doing it!
Forgot about the office party secret Santa gift exchange or tonight’s holiday get together with the in-laws? Molly’s can fix that. Check out Aisle B, Lane 2 for an entire selection of pre-made gift baskets – complete with a few treats too!
Porto Kopke Gift Basket: $72.99 Frico Gift Basket: $62.99 Breckenridge Bourbon Gift Basket: $89.99
For The Beer Snob
And we mean that in the most endearing way. Molly’s loves beer snobs! Everyone knows one, shop for yours with us. Whether you’re on the search for a funky, tart sour or a barrel-aged bomber, we’ve got you covered with our 65+ cooler doors of craft beer, 6 doors of build-your-own 6 pack options and a walk-in bomber room. We pride ourselves at Molly’s as having one of the best craft beer selections in the state.
Beer Snob Gift Ideas
Colorado Bombers, ALL LOCAL Ursula Brewing Aurora Strong: $13.49 De Steeg Brewing French Saison: $11.99 Liquid Mechanics Peanut Butter Porter: $11.49 Breckenridge Brewery Holidale: $11.99 Copper Kettle Brewing Mexican Style Chocolate Stout: $10.99 Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist: $13.49
The Funky Stuff Duchesse De Bourgogne 750ml: $13.99 Almanac Farm to Barrel Blueberry Sour: $10.49 Del Borgo Prunus Sour: $8.99 Crooked Stave Petite Sour Rosé: $8.49
Beer Gift Sets Kazematten Brouwerij Gift Set: $21.99 Kazematten Brouwerij Gift Set $21.99 St. Bernardus Deluxe Tasting Set: $37.99 St. Bernardus Gift Set: $24.99 Duvel Collection Gift Set: $17.99 – SOLD OUT
For The Scotch Aficionado
“I love scotch. Scotchy scotch scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.” Ron Burgundy, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Scotch lovers sure do love their scotch! What do they love more than scotch – trying new scotch! Check out a few of the taster packs Molly’s has to offer, like the almost-too-cute-to-handle Glenmorangie Pioneering Collection 4 Pack.
Scotch Lovers Gift Ideas
Glenmorangie Pioneering Collection 4 Pack: $29.99 Johnnie Walker Black Gift Set: $43.99 – SOLD OUT Johnnie Walker Collection Sampler Pack: $89.99 Chivas Regal Gift Set: $32.99 Kilchoman Islay Single Malt Scotch: $57.99 Glenlivet 15YR: $60.99 Laphroaig Select: $52.99 Macallan 12YR: $62.99 | Sale $59.99
For The Cider Connoisseur
Struggling to find a gift for the friend who’s always into the latest trends? Then Molly’s cider section is where you need to be! Yep, believe it or not, cider has proven to be the world’s fastest growing beverage category over the last 10 years, and Molly’s is known to have THE best cider selection in Colorado – with a huge focus on local cideries like Stem Ciders, Snow Capped Ciders and more.
A shot of tequila a day keeps the doctor away, right? Molly’s has gift sets to delight all tequila fanatics! From tasting flights for the tequila sipper to margarita kits for the margarita lovers, Molly’s has what the tequila lover wants!
Tequila Gift Ideas
Sangre de Vida Tasting Flight: $27.99 Corralejo Tequila Reposado Gift Set: $23.99 – SOLD OUT Jose Cuervo Especial Silver & Gold Tequila Gift Packs: $15.99/ea 1800 Tequila Silver Gift Set: $25.99
For Winter Cocktails
A wise elf once said, “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” And while that may be true, there’s nothing quite like sipping on a warm cocktail shared with loved ones during the holiday season. These liqueur gift sets make spreading (and drinking) holiday cheer easy and fun.
Winter Cocktail Gift Sets
Baileys Irish Cream Gift Set: $22.99 RumChata Gift Set: $17.99 Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur Gift Set: $30.99 – SOLD OUT Courvoisier Cognac Gift Set: $29.99 Disaronno Amaretto Liqueur Gift Set: $22.99 Kamora Coffee Liqueur Gift Set: $10.99
For Stocking Stuffers
Don’t forget about the stocking stuffers! Mini liquor bottles, bar keys, koozies, etc. make great stocking stuffers and are a great way to top off any gift. (One can never have enough wine openers!)
Stocking Stuffer Ideas
Shooters New Amsterdam (and all New Amsterdam shooters): $0.99 Baileys Irish Cream: $2.49 Bacardi Rum Limon: $0.99 Titos Vodka: $1.99 Jim Beam Bourbon Apple: $0.99 Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire: $1.99 Smithworks Vodka: $0.99 Crown Royal Vanilla: $1.99 Smirnoff (and all Smirnoff shooters): $0.99 Absolut Peach (and all Absolut shooters): $1.99 Rum Chata: $0.99 Deep Eddy Grapefruit & Sweet Tea Vodka (and all Deep Eddy shooters): $0.99 Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey (100ml): $1.99 Baileys Almande Almond Milk Liqueur: $0.99
And Now That You’ve Found The Perfect Gift…
Don’t forget about the presentation! Molly’s has gift bags in all shapes and sizes to choose from!
Gift Bag Ideas
Pricing from left to right: $2.99, $1.99, $3.99, $4.99, $1.99, $1.99 & $2.99
Friends of Molly’s! Come help us celebrate as we turn 2!
Time sure flies when you’re having fun, we are so grateful for our customers continued love, support and opportunity to be a part of this amazing Greater Denver area community. We are having a 2 day celebration for our customers in honor of our store turning 2!
Fun happenings going on for the duration of our party:
Live chalk artist painting by Mythica! Mythica recently competed on Skin Wars (now on Netflix) and is the same amazing local artist who did the first chalk art installation of Molly during our first anniversary! She will be back doing another Molly rendition in our Spirits section.
Free food trucks! What’s a party without free food?? Come grab a bite to enjoy while hanging and shopping at Molly’s.
Free special tastings! Friday, from 5-7pm (usual time) taste through the Campo Viejo wines from Spain. Saturday, from 3-5pm taste through Left Hand Brewing beers from Colorado.
Photobooth + Photo Contest! We will have a 1920’s themed photobooth setup on Saturday, bringing you back to prohibition era when drinking with friends and family was even more celebrated than it is today. Snap a photo as you enter the store, choosing from a myriad of props such as feather fans and boas, 20’s mobster hats, pearls and big faux fur coats! We will be randomly selecting ONE photo after our celebration each day to win a $50 giftcard to Molly’s!
Games! From guess the bottle to scavenger hunts, we have a few fun party games you’ll be able to partake in and win prizes from.
Giveaways! Stay tuned and check back soon! We will be hosting at least one giveaway per day. (Think snowboard giveaways, cocktail packages, etc.)
Anniversary Sales! We will of course be having special in store sales for our Anniversary! Curious what they are?! You’ll have to come to find out! Trust us, they are worth it!
Molly’s has partnered with Drizly for alcohol delivery. Because dreams do come true.
You get everything else delivered, why not your alcohol too? Molly’s Spirits now does consumer alcohol deliveries via the Drizly platform! If you live in Lakeside, Lakewood, Denver North (Lower Highlands and Highlands), Sloan’s Lake, Edgewater, Arvada or Wheat Ridge you are most likely within our alcohol delivery radius! Shop from thousands of Molly’s products directly from Drizly’s website or mobile app!
Ordering on the Drizly platform is extremely easy:
To start, go to Drizly.com and enter your delivery address in the top right corner.
From there, you can filter your search by store name (4th option down on the left hand navigation).
If you live within Molly’s delivery radius, you will see our name pop up here. Once you click on Molly’s, you can buy from our product inventory.
All deliveries will be personally delivered to your door by the same Molly’s staff you know and love! Order on demand and have your delivery in an hour or less.
Need something to get you over humpday, but don’t want to fight 5pm traffic? Have Molly’s deliver product for when you get off! It doesn’t get easier than that.
If you’re completely new to Drizly, enter promo code “MOLLYS” at checkout to get FREE delivery ($5 off your total) from our store.
Drizly Delivery Hours:
Monday through Thursday: 12pm-8pm || Friday and Saturday: 12pm-10pm || Sunday: 11am-7pm
Tequila is made by smoking, steaming then fermenting the heart (pina) of the Weber Blue Agave plant and then distilling the liquid. The pina takes up to 12 years to mature and can weigh up to 200 pounds. By Mexican law, to be a tequila must contain 51-percent Weber Blue Agave – a type of agave plant. Most premium tequilas are 100-percent blue agave and are they frequently state that on their labels. There are many less-expensive brands that do add sugar or corn syrup during fermentation and are called, mixto, or mixed, and their labels usually just say tequila on them.
Where Does Tequila Come From?
Yes, tequila comes from Mexico, but it comes from a specific region in Mexico. Like Scotch Whiskey must come from Scotland and Champagne must come from the Champagne region in France, tequila must come from the state of Jalisco and from limited regions in the states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. These regions are the only places where tequila can be produced, so it is written in Mexican law so it is decreed.
A Little Tequila History:
Tequila was first produced in Mexico in the 15th century when Spanish conquistadors began distilling “pulque,” a mescal wine fermented from the Maguey agave sap, a drink popular with many of the native Mexican Indians. The truth to where the first tequila was distilled has been lost to lore; one legend has that it was near the town of Tequila, one has its origin in Amatitan, and another in Arenal. There is no documentation from 400 years ago and it is truly a cold-case detective story, so choose the legend which suits you best. However, it is certainly documented that Jose Cuervo was the first manufacturer of tequila. In 1758 the King of Spain granted Senor Cuervo the rights to land and it is on that land where Jose Cuervo brands continue to grow its agave and produce its tequila. While Cuervo is the world’s oldest and largest tequila brand, it was Cuervo disciple and eventual rival, Don Cenobio Sauza, who first imported tequila into the United States in 1873.
Aging of Tequila:
There are three distinctive types of premium tequila: Blanco (also called silver), reposado (meaning: rested), and anejo (meaning: old). Blanco tequilas are unaged – or at least unaged in wooden barrels. They have the purest agave flavor, sweet with a little bite. Reposado tequilas are aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of two months but no more than 11 months. Repasados still have a significant agave taste but the flavors are blended with some vanilla and caramel notes that often gained by wood aging. Anejo tequilas must be wood aged for at least two years, so it’s flavor and color are most affected in its aging process. Flavors imparted by the wood often dominate the agave flavors found in the blanco and reposado tequilas, yet anejo tequilas have deeper and more complex tastes ranging from black tea, chocolate to tannins.
Worms and Other Tequila Myths:
The history of tequila is loaded with myth, lore, mystery and downright fabrications. Perhaps tequila’s greatest myth revolves around the worm in the bottle. Worms were never put into tequila bottles, at least not until the 20th century, and it was more likely a marketing ploy than anything tradition. Damn those marketers. However, worms were put into mescal bottles which could lead to the confusion, because myth number two is that tequila is actually a mescal, but not all mezcals are tequilas. Tequila is a type of mescal, grown in specific regions of Mexico, like scotch whiskey is a type of whiskey produced specifically in Scotland. One other difference – Mezcal is produced from the agave plant, but tequila is produced from a specific type of agave plant – Weber Blue Agave. This leads to another myth, call it a misconception, that agave is a cactus; it is not. Agave is a succulent and a member of the Lily Family.
Tequila is More Than a Shot:
Most Americans have come to drunk tequila either drunk as a shot and mixed in a margaritas. These are not wrong ways to drink tequila, just the Gringo way. Tequila is much more versatile than we appreciate. Whether your pleasure is blanco, reposado or anejo, tequila is a wonderful sipping spirit, served up, chilled or on the rocks. It great mixed with juice – which is why the lime juice in margaritas is so prevalent; so try mixing it with orange juice, grapefruit juice, or pineapple juice. Sprite and 7Up are common mixers with tequila but if you want your own dash of sweet, try mixing the soda with agave nectar – after all, this nectar comes from the same succulent family that produces tequila; it’s got to mix well.
Molly’s Spirits is Tequila Central:
Molly’s Spirits has an excellent selection of tequila at all price levels. Our Spirits Staff is educated on all things tequila and they love to help our customers find the right tequila for the best price.
So you’re a beer drinker. It’s in your DNA. Then it’s likely you are a whiskey drinker too. And there is a good bet that if you like a good dram of the whiskey that you enjoy a nice drought of the ale or lager. Why does the enjoyment of one coincide with a favored taste of the other? It might not only be in your DNA to like both liquors but also in beers’ and whiskeys’ as well.
Beer and whiskey are more closely related to one another than to any other liquor. Their DNA is so similar, the way they are made so closely parallel that they could be step-brothers, or steep-brothers if you would.
The relationship between beer and whiskey begins with their ingredients – cereal grains and water (hot) that are combined and steeped together in order to extract sugars from the grains. This sugar water is called wort and it is the foundation for every drop of beer and whiskey produced. Of course, most beers and many whiskeys use malted barley as their cereal grain of choice, but other grains may be used, from oats to wheat and from corn to rice.
Where beer and whiskey diverge is in the kettle during the second step in the brewing process. In this stage, water is added to the wort and mixture is boiled for a considerable time. This is the stage when brewers of beer add hops – and they can add hops at any time during the boil. Whiskey makers do not add hops during the boil – or ever. In whiskey terms this stage is called the wash and they like their wash clean of botanicals like hops – or of anything.
Once the boil is finished for both whiskey and beer, the wort (it is still wort, even though it is watered down and hopped up) is cooled so yeast can be added for fermentation. After the necessary fermenting time has elapsed both liquids are still technically beer and they go through one final, common stage: filtration. Most beer is filtered before kegging, bottling or canning; whiskey is always filtered before distillation. After filtration, beer and whiskey go their separate ways..
For the brewer, their beer is done, with some exceptions and it is on to the next batch of beer, the next filtration, or the next 4 hour nap until another brewing day begins. At this point, the work of the distiller has just begun. After filtration comes the distillation process; two or three (or more) times the ‘beer’ is distilled in accordance to style and preference. After distillation is complete, the white whiskey is transferred to age in wooden barrels for a minimum of two years and for as long as a couple of decades – for that really high-end hooch.
So, is this the reason beer and whiskey pair so well together; that beer drinkers are often whiskey drinkers and the vice of versa. Perhaps. One other test is to look at the foods you prefer to eat. Is your preference cereal grains as a food staple: bread, rice, pasta, oats? In any case, when you’re wandering through your liquor store or bellying up to the bar, thinking about which beer to order, which whiskey to sip, think of its step-brother and steep yourself into a nice beer and whiskey pairing.
For years, gin was one of those spirits enjoyed at country clubs and football tailgate parties, or by odd relatives at family reunions. Yet, gin is one of the most unique and uniquely misunderstood of all spirits and it is making a great comeback, especially with the skill and craft of small batch distillers.
Gin is descendant of a 16th Century Dutch concoction called genever, originally used to mask a juniper elixir prescribed for the sick and ended up as a popular drink. It was introduced to England during the reign of William of Orange in the 17th Century when – the legends claim – the English could not replicate the distillation of genever, ultimately distilling what we know as gin. Apparently they even shortened its name.
Like other spirits, gin begins as a cereal grain mash but it is then infused with botanicals either before or during distillation. The main botanical must be juniper berries, beyond that requirement anything goes. Yet, many of the other ingredients used such as licorice root, coriander seeds, citrus peels (orange, lemon), anise, cassia, and almond, are very common among gin varietals.
The botanicals are infused into gin through two different methods: by maceration or by vapor infusion. Maceration is the process of steeping the botanicals in the alcohol a few days prior to distillation. During vapor infusing the alcohol-water distilling passes through suspended botanicals. Both processes seek to volatilize oils into the botanicals and chemically infuse their flavors into the alcohol.
There are several types of gin; the most common is London Dry Gin. This vapor infused gin must be at least 140 proof and cannot have flavors or colors added after distillation, and only a minute amount of sugar is allowed. This style, such as Boodles Gin, that is made for enthusiasts to enjoy the botanical flavors. Old Tom-style gin is sweet and considered the bridge between the London Dry and Dutch genever. Its sweetness often comes from ingredients added after distillation and it was the original gin used in Tom Collins cocktails. Plymouth Gin refers to gin made in the port of Plymouth along the English Channel. Like Champagne, to be a Plymouth gin it must be made by a distillery in this region of England. A new style of gin has emerged over the past decade, such as Hendricks Gin, emphasizing botanicals such as cucumber or grape rather than juniper and resulting in a far less piney flavor typical of gin.
While we all know Colorado is a craft beer mecca, many are also discovering the state also boasts great craft distilleries. These distilleries populate the entire state and are creating wonderful spirits, including some great gins – of all styles and flavors. Any lover of gin should know and try these delicious offerings; head to Molly’s and start enjoying Colorado craft distillers gin offerings then share some at a family reunion, a tailgate party, or mix yourself a cocktail at home (such as an Aviation or Tom Collins).
Colorado Craft Gins You Need In Your Life:
Spirit Hound Small Batch Gin Cap Rock Colorado Organic Gin Peach Street Distillery Jackalope Gin Leopold Brothers Small Batch Gin Woody Creek Colorado Gin Spring 44 Gin State 38 Gin Golden Moon Deerhammer Distilling Bullwheel Breckenridge Gin
In case you didn’t realize, there is a full-fledged whiskey revolution going on in America right now. Some may call it a fad, but for others it’s a way of life. To get more specific, bourbon whiskey is particularly popular right now, or as some call it, “America’s Native Spirit”. Bourbon whiskey is in our blood. No seriously. In order for a whiskey to be called a bourbon it has to be made in America. Another thing that makes straight bourbon pretty amazing is it must be barrel aged for at least 2 years, and that barrel must be a brand-new, charred white oak barrel. Nothing except water can be added during the distilling process. Neat-o, eh?
Fueling this revolution are the new distilleries popping up all over the country, and you better believe Colorado is at the forefront, blazing that path. That’s right Kentucky, we’re coming for ya!
Here are 5 Colorado Whiskeys we can’t stop drinking (or talking about):
Recommendations brought to you by Andrew K, Molly’s assistant Spirits manager, who happens to be a craft spirits specialist as well.