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A Colobus monkey, Colobus guereza, with infant.

The mantled Colobus, native to equatorial Africa, is a gregarious herbivore, first recorded by a European in 1833. Adult weight is some 15-25 lbs; life-span is 20-30 years. The ecological niche is eating stuff that is hard to digest, such as twigs and mature leaves; the monkeys have evolved complex stomachs. They spend more time than usual sitting around, apparently in extended digestion. Their territorial calls, not easily forgotten, are recorded at

Dear friend of fine spirits,

Late September we poured at San Francisco’s Craft Spirits Fair. We had maybe 20 spirits up. Three of us poured as fast as we could for 4 hours: amazing. People coming to the table would ask what I like best. Here goes:

Russell Henry London Dry is great gin (Pacult thinks it’s the 11th best spirit in the world), but I really enjoy the Hawaiian Ginger (infused into the same formula): incredible gin & tonic.

Of the DSP CA 162 vodkas, it’s the Buddha’s Hand: delicate, long, nicely structured. You can sip it like good brandy.

Of the Germain-Robin bottlings under $200, it’s the Single-barrel Muscat: focused, intense, unforgettable. There’s not much left.

Infusion Works Seville Orange. Like one of the tasters said, this is what Grand Marnier wishes it was: better brandy, way less sugar, beautifuly complex.

Old & Rare Barrel 351 is, aside from a 1987 Chenin Blanc we’re releasing next year and the single-barrel viognier we had 4 years ago, the best distilled spirit I have ever tasted. Beats me how it can so perfectly combine intensity with delicacy. I know, I know… 600 bucks! Hey: a bottle is 50 1/2-ounce pours, each costing $12, each pour an experience which can last 30 minutes.

We are holding about 20% of the Old and Rare releases for you folks (tasting room and mail order). About six weeks ago, a store got the mailer and wanted to buy every single bottle….

What do I drink almost every day? Mezcalero.