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December, 2017

Dear friends of fine spirits

Around now, we get calls asking what we suggest as holiday gifts. Here goes:

NEW RELEASE – 200ML three-packs of Russell Henry gin (London Dry, Hawaiian Ginger, Malaysian Lime, and of DSP CA 162 vodka (Straight, Buddha’s Hand Citron, Malaysian Lime).

The quality of Crispin Cain’s white spirits has zero, that’s ZERO, equal. $32.00

THREE STOCKINGSTUFFERS. #1: any of the attractive 200ML bottles of Fluid Dynamics barrel-aged mixed drinks ($20). A cocktail becomes way deeper and richer after it spends 6 weeks in oak. This is OMG product. #2: the second edition of the Pear de Pear liqueur, based on local pears ($24/375ML). This is one of our most popular items at tastings: rich deep pear aromas and flavors; complex & just sweet enough. #3: turn someone on to the G-R XO in its jewel-like half-bottle ($65/375ML). First-timers simply do not believe that they have never heard of this brandy. Best distilled spirit in the world, according to ROBB REPORT MAG in 1996.

GERMAIN-ROBIN CHRISTMAS BLEND ($72). 2016 release, 120 bottles only. Contains some very nice older brandies, with subtle cinnamon/clove overtones, perfect with say fruitcake. Want to get relaxed? Makes a fabulous hot toddy.

MEZCAL AFICIONADOS. We have 48 bottles of the scarce San Baltazar Alipus ($50). The recently arrived Mezcalero Special no. 3 ($135) is 100% wild tobalá, extremely well distilled, probably the best tobalá I’ve encountered. It’s going fast.

WHISKEY.: Age for age, what’s the best bourbon on the planet? I vote for the most recent Low Gap release ($65), brandy-like is its combination of rich flavor and soft elegance. The latest Rye is exceptional: Rye intensity tamed and enhanced. The Sutcliffe & Son’s Exceptional releases continue to receive powerfully favorable reviews. Personal fave is the Grain ($100).

BRANDY. A bargain, last in the series: Only Once Blend no. 26, one barrel of blended 2004-2006 Colombards, plus a 1997 Sangiovese and a burst of youthful fruit from a 2013 Dolcetto. $75 is unreal for this quality, superior to any XO cognac. The recently bottled Single barrel Viognier $180) is very special.

GIN!!! The Russell Henry Dark Gin ($60) is unreal, one of the best things we have.

And finally, a real winner – for anyone who likes Grand Marnier, the Infusion Works Seville Orange ($60) (infused peel from Curaçao) is about four times better.

Many, many good wishes for the holidays and for a rewarding 2017./ansley coale