Tag Archives: rye

Mad River Distillers: Spirits With a Sense of Place

mad river barn

photo courtesy of Mad River Distillers

We’re mad about Mad River Distillers.

Maura Connolly, a co-founder of the Warren, Vermont-based craft distillery, visited Bottles on an unusually warm day in January to talk about and taste our team through the line of Mad River small-batch spirits.

Her distillery, a red-roofed, renovated horse barn, is cradled in the heart of the Green Mountains. In that quintessential New England structure, their craft Mueller still (designed specifically to make brandies, rums and whiskies) produces spirits that are distinctly of their place. That is, they are all made by hand and from scratch using raw materials from Vermont and neighboring regions. Nearly all ingredients — from the water drawn from a nearby mountain spring, to the corn in their bourbon and the apples in their brandy — are from local land, farms and orchards. And for those ingredients that aren’t indigenous, such as cane sugar, Mad River purchases from fair-trade certified, sustainable sources.
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We started with their First Run Rum, which is distilled from fair-trade demerara sugar, and like their bourbon and rye, is aged in charred barrels. We all agreed that with its rich bourbon-like texture, and smooth, caramel finish, it was indeed how Maura described it: a rum for whiskey drinkers.

Next was the Mad River Maple Rum which is as good as it sounds. Like the First Run it has whiskey-like qualities. Its unmistakable maple flavor comes from a secondary aging in oak barrels that once held pure Vermont maple syrup. Maura suggested that it makes a terrific Old Fashioned on the rocks, and that it’s also great just out of the freezer, on ice.

The Mad River Bourbon is a four-grain wheated bourbon, made from a special strain of a non-GMO corn grown in VT just for the distillery, as well as wheat, oats and malted barley. We were all impressed with the strong though not overbearing corn flavor, and could imagine how great it would be served in front of a roaring fire with a bowl of popcorn.

The Mad River Rye made from 100% organic rye grown in nearby New York was a hit with the team as well. We all agreed it would make a great sipping rye, with classic pepper and winter baking spice flavors, all complemented by a surprising, subtle mocha note that we were told was from a dark chocolate roasted rye in the mash bill.

We ended our tasting with Malvados, Mad River’s flagship apple brandy. A wink and a nod to the classic French apple brandy Calvados, Mad River’s tart, sour and sweet version is made from eight varieties of Vermont-grown heirloom apples and cider. It recently won a highly coveted Good Food Award – we can see why.

Because Maura and her team are so focused on quality and small-batch production, their spirits are only available in three states. We’re so glad Rhode Island is one of them and are honored to currently be the state’s exclusive purveyor of the entire line of Mad River spirits.

Here are a few Mad River cocktail recipes that we love. Visit their website for others, and enjoy!

madriver_maple
Russell Warren Old Fashioned 
Created by Ashish at the Russell House Tavern, Boston
3 oz Mad River Maple Rum
.5 oz Honey Syrup
1 dash Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
Optional: Club Soda
Stir all ingredients with a pinch of mint. Serve over ice. Garnish with Mint.

madriver_campari
1794

1.5 oz. Mad River Rye
1.5 oz. Campari
1.5 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
Stir Rye, Campari and vermouth over ice. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with an orange swath.

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Fancy Pants

2 oz. Mad River Bourbon
1/2 oz. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
2 dash orange bitters
dash Angostura Bitters
orange twist
Combine all ingredients except orange twist in a pitcher and stir. Pour over ice into a rocks glass and garnish with the twist.

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Bourbon 101

Whether we’re turning neophytes onto bourbon or introducing new finds to long-time aficionados, we at Bottles love talking about bourbon. We love talking about it, writing about it, sipping it, mixing it, discovering new distillers and re-discovering old distillers. We just flat out heart bourbon.

To spread the love to team members that are new to the store, we give them a crash course in the beloved brown spirit. A “Bourbon 101” to prime their palates for the joys ahead.

And given the sheer volume of questions we get in-store about bourbon we’re sharing our primer with you. What follows is meant to give you the basics on what it is and how it’s made. Once you’ve got that down, come in to the store or give us a call for the fun stuff: the flavor differences between styles and producers, which is sweetest, which is strongest, how best to enjoy bourbon and which makes the best Manhattan (just our opinion , of course).

Did we mention we love talking about bourbon?

Cheers!bourbon101_info-color

 

 

Learn All About Heaven Hill Distilleries – Small Batch Bourbons, Bottled-in-Bond, and Beyond!

heavenhillIn the spirit of welcoming in the fall season, we are having a new Bourbon Special at Bottles! We’re featuring a wide range of whiskies by Heaven Hill DistilleriesAmerica’s largest independent family-owned producer of Bourbon, who holds the second largest inventory of bourbon in the country. They make great bourbons like Elijah Craig, Evan Williams 1783, Rittenhouse Rye, and much, much more. Below we’ve outlined some of the featured whiskeys from our display. So take a read, soak it in, and swing by the store today and grab a bottle or 5 off our new display!

henrymckenna1 copyHenry McKenna 10 Year, Bottled in Bond 
By law, a Bottled in Bond whiskey must be bottled at 100 proof, aged for a minimum of four years in a government warehouse, and must contain whiskey from a single season of distillery production. Henry McKenna is one of our all­-time favorite whiskies, from anywhere in the world. Bold without being pushy, and deceptively boozy, you’re gonna want Henry in your corner on a night out (or in)!
bernheim1 copy

Bernheim Wheat Whiskey
A straight whiskey that utilizes winter wheat to bring out extremely soft, sweet, slightly herbal flavors. Very good on its own and eminently mixable, this is a truly unique whiskey!
elijahcraig_12yrsmallbatch copyElijah Craig 12 Year
These days, you don’t see a lot of 12 year old Bourbon out there, and certainly not at an affordable price. Elijah Craig 12 is a truly small batch bourbon ­ each batch is blended from no more than 70 hand selected barrels. The result is a clean & bracing whiskey, with clear vanilla & oak notes.
evanwilliams_1783_1 copyEvan Williams 1783
1783 was the year the first official distiller opened in Kentucky, and this Bourbon pays tribute to that Kentucky spirit. A small batch version of Evan William’s Black Label, it’s dry & toasty, with a beguiling zesty & spicy finish.

 

evanwilliams_2004singlebar copyEvan William Single Barrel
Bottled from a barrel aged near the top of Heaven Hill’s rickhouse, where the average temperature is much higher. The resulting whiskey has penetrated deep into its barrel, picking up remarkably nuanced flavors of cocoa, black tea, vanilla, cedar, and a light citrus quality.
evanwilliam_whitelabel1 copyEvan Williams White Label, Bottled in Bond
By law, a Bottled in Bond whiskey must be bottled at 100 proof, aged for a minimum of four years in a government warehouse, and must contain whiskey from a single season of distillery production. This antiquated system helped protect farmers and distillers in the past, giving them a government backed cash crop and tax breaks on warehousing. Now­a­days, it just means good, quality Bourbon.
rittenhouserye1 copyRittenhouse Straight Rye
A spicy rye whisky that smells and tastes like running through a field on a warm summer day. This 100 proof expression loves to be mixed, though it can be consumed on the rocks if you want to put some hair on your chest!

Cheers!

 

Great Bourbon for a Bargain!

Bourbons for a Bargain

Who doesn’t love bourbon? If you’ve indulged during the holidays, you may be looking for a whiskey that doesn’t decimate your wallet. That’s why we’ve put together a list of great bourbons, all of which are under $20. Stop by our store, shop our bourbon display, and treat yo’ self!

Old Grand Dad Bottled in Bond Bourbon Whiskey
First distilled by Basil Hayden himself, Old Grand Dad is a high -rye bourbon with a spicy, robust finish. $18.99


Evan Williams Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Full of juicy grain & vanilla notes with a long, dry finish. $17.99
Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond Bourbon Whiskey
Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond – 100 proof
A wheated bourbon with a lighter, more floral finish than it’s high-rye cousins. $11.99

What does Bottled-in-Bond mean?
Bottled-in-bond refers to American spirits that have been aged and bottled according to a set of specific US regulations. The spirit must be the product of one distillation season and one distiller at one distillery and stored in a government warehouse for at least 4 years. The purpose of the 1897 Bottled-in-Bond Act was to create a standard of quality for Bourbon whiskey. The Act created incentive by allowing distilleries to delay tax payment until the aging of their whiskey was complete.

Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon Whiskey
Produced by blending Four Roses proprietary 10 recipes of bourbon for a full, round, & lush experience. $19.99
W.L. Weller Special Reserve Bourbon Whiskey
A Bottles favorite! A wheated bourbon perfect for mixing; light & floral. $16.99

Watch Liam, our whiskey expert, talk about W.L. Weller Bourbon: http://youtu.be/XNc4LbbEpOw

Old Heaven Hill Very Rare Old 8 yr Bourbon Whiskey
Old Heaven Hill Very Rare Old 8 yr (Liter) – 86 proof
Rare, out of production, and crazy cheap. Get it while you can! $14.99
Rebel Yell Bourbon Whiskey
Rebel Yell – 80 proof
Based on W.L. Weller’s original wheat recipe – it’s long & smooth with a clean finish. $14.99
Hochstadter's Slow and Low Rock and Rye Whiskey
Ok…so this isn’t Bourbon. But, it’s a cocktail in a bottle that uses Rye Whiskey. Basically, an Old Fashioned in a bottle! Serve over ice.  $19.999 – 750ml, $11.99 – 375ml

 
Looking for Bourbon Cocktail Ideas? Click below: