Morning Report, Thursday, December 18th, 2014

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News: Ranger Creek’s New Limited Edition Bourbon Set for Release at Spec’s

SAN ANTONIO, TX, December 17, 2014 – Ranger Creek started operations back in November 2010, and they immediately began filling traditional big barrels with bourbon.  After years of waiting that would test the patience of even the strongest willed, the bourbon is finally ready.  This new bourbon is a historic milestone for the San Antonio distillery, and a special limited release is set at select Spec’s stores across the state for this Saturday.

.36 Single Barrel is a special, limited edition release of the first 14 big barrels that were filled at Ranger Creek. Each barrel yielded about 100 bottles, so there are only about 1,400 bottles in existence.  Each bottle is packaged in a limited edition display box and has the barrel number and unique bottle number hand written on it, along with the age statement and vintage. All 14 of these barrels are considered the 2014 vintage. The age statements range from 2 years 9 months up to 3 years 8 months, and there’s interesting variation from barrel to barrel.

.36 Single Barrel is a rare treat. The term “Single Barrel” means all of the whiskey came from one individual barrel, as opposed to multiple barrels being vatted together for a large bottling run. Single Barrel bourbon means the barrels were hand selected and painstakingly bottled one at a time.

Their new whiskey is a historic milestone because it is the first “Straight Bourbon” that the distillery has released, meaning that it was aged at least two years.  Ranger Creek’s current Small Caliber Series is a line of creative, innovative whiskies aged in small barrels for 12-18 months.  Aging straight bourbon in big barrels is a more traditional method, but it takes years.  With this new release, enthusiasts can try the small barrel version and the big barrel version to see which they prefer.

A limited release of .36 Single Barrel is set at select Spec’s stores on Saturday, December 20 at 10:00 am.  One store in each major market will carry about 60 bottles of the new bourbon for the initial release.  Markets include Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.  A tasting of the new bourbon will take place at each store from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.  Ranger Creek’s head distiller, TJ Miller, will be on hand at the San Antonio store to sign bottles.

Austin – Spec’s Brodie

4970 Highway 290 West

Dallas – Spec’s Dallas

9500 N Central Expressway, #200

Ft. Worth – Spec’s Hulen

2750 South Hulen Street

Houston – Spec’s Smith St

2410 Smith Street (@ W. Gray & McGowen)

San Antonio – Spec’s De Zavala

5219 De Zavala Road, Suite 101

Morning Report, Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

This is the time of year when we have a lot of visitors and get togethers. These recipes are great and hopefully you will enjoy them.

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The Noble Ruby by Mike Shain (Makes 37 servings)

55 ½ oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

55 ½ oz Owney’s Rum

18 ½ oz simple syrup

6 ¼ oz of lemon juice

1 oz Absinthe

1 oz Regans’ Orange Bitters

74 oz Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Sparkling Wine

18 ½ water

Combine all ingredients, except the sparkling wine, in a punch bowl. Stir to combine and add large ice cubes. Gently add the sparkling wine. Ladle into punch cups.

Psarou Punch by Orson Salicetti 

Psarou Punch 2

6 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
6 oz Skinos Mastiha Liqueur
14 oz Pisco Control C
6 oz Fresh Lime Juice
14 oz Sparkling Wine or Dry Prosecco
20 Sage Leaves
1 cup Fresh Pomegranate Seeds

Combine all the ingredients together in a punch bowl. Mix with a ladle. Add ice and garnish with six wheels of pink grapefruit, lime and lemon. Makes between 8 to 10 cocktails.

The Happiest by Jim Kearns

The Happiest

1 oz Aperol

1/2 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

1/2 oz sour cherry syrup

2 dashes Mole bitters

Stir, strain into a Fernet Branca-rinsed coupe, top with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.

Super “C” Bellini by Eben Freeman

Super C Bellini

2 ½ oz Prosecco

1 ½ oz Yoga Peach Nectar

1 oz  PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

½ tsp Vitamin C Crystals

Measure vitamin powder into champagne flute and top with peach nectar. Stir nectar to dissolve vitamin powder. Add PAMA and top with sparkling wine.

Pera Bisonte by Michael Neff 

2 oz Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

¾ oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

½ oz Pear Purée

Dash of Simple Syrup

1 dash Meyer Lemon Bitters

Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass.  Add ice and shake.  Add a splash of soda water and strain into a champagne glass.

Millennium Punch by Dale DeGroff     

15 oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

1 ½ bottles Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac (750 ml)

50 oz Spring Water

16 oz Fresh Lemon Juice   

8 oz Unsweetened Pineapple Juice

½ Ripe Pineapple, cubed (to flavor store bought pineapple juice)

1 ½ cup Sugar

6 Whole Fresh Lemons

3 Whole Oranges

Pour the shrub* into a punch bowl.  Add the Cognac, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur and pineapple juice to the punch bowl. Add spring water and adjust the sweet and sour with fresh lemon juice and/or simple syrup.

Garnet of Delight by Pamela Wiznitzer

¾ oz PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

1 ¼ oz Louis Royer “Force 53” VSOP Cognac

1 ½ oz half and half

½ oz demerara syrup

½ oz crème de cacao blanc

3 dashes Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

3 dashes mole bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Shake and serve up in a wine glass. Garnish with freshly grated dark cacao shavings.

Morning Report, Monday, December 15th, 2014

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Gear: The limited edition Johnnie Walker Oliver Sweeney Brogue combines classic style and taste. The shoe features a Johnnie Walker Red Label miniature in the heel, custom-embroidery, red suede lining in the heel compartment and a transparent top piece to reveal the whisky from below. If johnny is your thing than check out these shoes. We could definitely see them being a great conversation starter. Get them here.

Morning Report, Friday, December 12th, 2014


Gear: Somabar is like a Keurig for cocktails. Using a unique pod system of ingredients, somabar can create a perfect cocktail in seconds. While it may take a bit of fun out of handcrafting your cocktails it will surely speed things up and add consistency at your next party. Get on here.

Just a reminder to vote for the 2014 Whiskey of the Year if you haven’t done so already. Click here to vote.

Morning Report, Thursday, December 11th, 2014



Industry veteran to work alongside Master Distiller Craig Beam

LOUISVILLE, KY—Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the largest family owned and operated distilled spirits company in the country, has announced the appointment of 17-year industry veteran Denny Potter as co-Master Distiller.  Potter currently serves as Distillery Plant Manager at Heaven Hill’s historic Bernheim facility, overseeing production of the world’s second largest inventory of aging Bourbon.  He will continue to work with Master Distiller Craig Beam overseeing Heaven Hill’s world-renowned portfolio of American Whiskeys, which includes Evan Williams, the second largest selling Bourbon in the United States and the world.

Potter has spent 13 years in distillery operations, having served both as Plant Manager of Heaven Hill’s historic Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, and, previously, as Operations Manager at Beam Global’s Frankfort, KY facility. Prior to that, Potter served as General Manager of Cruzan Rum’s distillery in St. Croix, USVI, and as Director of Distillery and Environmental Operations at Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY.

“We are very pleased to have Denny continue his growth with the company and within the industry,” Heaven Hill President Max L. Shapira said.  “His knowledge of Bourbon production and aging—and his ability to teach and relate these subjects to the trade and consumers—make him an ideal person to help carry forth Heaven Hill’s leadership position and reputation into the future. Denny is grounded in the traditions of our company and industry yet has a keen eye for innovation and emerging trends.” Full article here.

Morning Report, Wednesday, December 10th, 2014


Drink: Jura Brooklyn Scotch Whisky is still distilled in Scotland but the city of Brooklyn played a major role in this whisky. Their Master Distiller made a welcomed trip to the US to craft a new whisky. The folks of Brooklyn were inspiration to this new spirit, a 16 year-old whiskey aged in American White Oak Bourbon, Pinot Noir, and Sherry casks. This whiskey is sure to be a delicious one. Bottle at 80 proof. More info here.

Rob Roy Recipe


2 oz. scotch whisky

1 oz. sweet vermouth

2 dashes Angostura bitters

lemon or orange twist to garnish

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir well for about 20 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist a piece of lemon or orange peel over the drink and use as garnish.

Morning Report, Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

It’s that time of year again, you’re out shopping for those whiskies to give as gifts. We, with the help of you, have created a list of three whiskies to give or receive this year. A bourbon, scotch, and rye whiskey. Thanks for your input on this, it wasn’t easy to select just three. Here they are.


Booker’s is a wonderful bourbon, it’s strong, full of flavor, and definitely a top shelf whiskey. It makes a great gift because it is readily available, a great sipper, and packaged in a nice looking wooden box. Booker’s could be a bit strong for some at first but most will grow to love and appreciate this whiskey. The recipient will likely enjoy this great offering from the small batch collection. Bourbon lovers will appreciate this bourbon for what it is and beginners will likely enjoy graduating to this strong, stand-up whiskey. 121-130.6 proof. $50-$55

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Willett Family Estate Small Batch Rye is an amazing rye whiskey but one that can be somewhat difficult to find. There’s not a lot produced, usually around 200 bottles per batch, so it can be a bit tough to track a bottle down. Each bottle carries the age statement and barrel number. The bottle itself is an impressive looking piece. This whiskey makes an excellent gift. It’s a great whiskey and the recipient will  likely appreciate the flavors and the fact that it is a difficult whiskey to get your hands on. Although it is 110 proof, it is still very much an easy sipper. $35-$45


Bowmore Darkest 15 Single Malt Scotch is a silky smooth whisky with deep flavor characteristics. With flavors of leather, spices, smoke, black licorice, cedar, menthol, it is definitely a unique whisky. It is not hard to find or expensive but it is a very enjoyable scotch. Recipients will likely enjoy the deep, dark flavors with this whisky and the way it stands out from the everyday sipper, especially with the fruit filled finish that adds a nice twist. 86 proof. $55-$70

Wild Turkey Spiced Review


Name: Wild Turkey Spiced

ABV: 43%

Proof: 86

Nose: Spicy & Sweet, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Clove, Allspice, Alcohol

Palate: Sugar, Cinnamon, Clove, Anise, Caramel, Vanilla, Oak, Cherries, Tobacco

Finish: Short & Spicy a ginger aftertaste

Overall: I will start off by saying this one just wasn’t for me. I rarely drink flavored whiskey but for some reason lately I’ve been seeking them out to try and review. In doing so it is really making me turn against the market. This whiskey was too sweet and although there was a lot of spice it wasn’t able to balance out the almost overwhelming sugar flavor. The flavors of this whiskey reminded me of drinking a Dr. Pepper with a slight alcohol burn. The finish was short and had a distinctive ginger aftertaste. Overall, I just wasn’t a fan of this whiskey, I sipped it neat and in a cocktail, and it wasn’t for me. This is the first Wild Turkey product I’ve tried that I have not enjoyed. I am a huge fan of their products, especially Rare Breed and Wild Turkey 101, which is my top choice for 5 bourbons under $30. Wild Turkey Spiced is a product in a market that I just don’t think is worth chasing for at this point. I would still recommend trying it if you are a fan of flavored whiskey, you never know which whiskey will be a perfect match for you.