Palms Arrak & Lapsang Souchong Ruby Punch

Arrack or Arrak (a uniform spelling does not really exist here unfortunately) is often named the oldest spirit of the world. To what extent this really corresponds to the truth is controversial. However, it is very well proven that it may be an aspirant for the title of the oldest spirit, considering the fact that already in the 2nd millennium B.C. Arrak was produced in India. Be that as it may, in the present Arrak is undoubtedly a beautiful enrichment of the range of spirits available. Read More

Île Four Sake and some cocktail ideas

First of all, I wish all readers a happy new year 2019! Moreover, I’m entering 2019 here on the blog in a Japanese way. Once again, I would like to deal with Japanese bottlings, which recently found their way to me and which are expanding the range of Japanese products available. These are several bottles bearing the name Île Four, which at first sounds little Japanese. Read More

Compagnie des Indes Caribbean 10 & Dominidad 15 – Caribbean Blend Old Fashioned

Independent bottlers enjoy a vast popularity among spirits lovers. Especially in the rum sector, many connoisseurs love the chance to get a rum into their glasses that – provided they trust the independent bottler and the product transparency – promises a more genuine (and unadulterated) experience than the official bottlings of some countries and brands would ever do. One of these quite popular bottlers comes from France: the Compagnie des Indes series. Read More

Windspiel Kraut & Knolle – Kraut, Knolle & Cola

It has been quite a while since I wrote about the Windspiel Gin from the German Eifel region. The special feature of the company behind this product, the Windspiel Manufaktur GmbH, is the potato base, which is also reflected in the taste profile and mildness of the distillate. And while the Windspiel Gin has always convinced me until the present day, I now want to take a closer look at a bottle that takes a slightly different path. Read More

Rutte Old Simon & Like Drinking from a Nutshell

With more than a decade of unbroken enthusiasm for gin, the ancestor of the British juniper distillate is increasingly coming to the fore. And this is no other than the genever from the Netherlands. When English soldiers came into contact with this spirit during the Eighty Years’ War, the basis for the later development of gin on the island was laid. However, the whole story has been told so often that I don’t want to go through it again today. Read More

Hepple Gin, Supasawa & the H. and H. Cocktail

The classic Martini Cocktail has never really had an easy time in Germany. Although it is also known as the “King of Cocktails” in the English-speaking world, where it is linked to countless anecdotes and where almost philosophical currents have developed around the question of how to prepare it the right way. In German-speaking countries, it still takes a backseat to what it should be. Read More

Plantation Single Cask Guatemala XO & Plantation Single Cask Panama 12 Years – Guatemala Julep & The Rubeus

Lately I have mentioned on varios occasions that South and Central American rums are often subject of debates. In my recent article about the Mexican Ron El Prohibido 15 I did criticize the practice of adding sugar or even so called “softeners” like glycerine to the rum (while not declaring it publicly). Against this background, external or independent bottlers are a very good way of approaching rum from these nations from a different angle. Read More

KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin & The Kyoto Gardener

In 2012, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan for the first and only time so far. Even back then, it was clear to me that the impressions I would gather on this trip would last as vivid memories for the rest of my life. Japan is a multi-facetted and fascinating country that also offers a level of cultural sophistication that is second to none. This is especially true when talking about the old imperial city of Kyoto, which is the breathtaking historical heart of the country with its temples, Buddhist schools, Shinto shrines, gardens and surrounding nature. Read More

Elephant Sloe Gin & Sloegroni

Whenever I’m moderating a gin tasting, I am faced with the difficult question of the right choice of gins. In the end, it all depends very much on what you want to achieve with the tasting: Should it be about the widest possible range of different gin styles and tastes? Should the focus perhaps be more on the subtleties of different London dry gins? Are you restricting yourself to the label “Dry Gin” and taking a middle course? Making the right decision is not always easy. Read More

El Ron Prohibido Gran Reserva 15 & Forbidden Pear

Today we are talking about something “forbidden”: The El Ron Prohibido. Of course, it is no longer forbidden, but it looks back on a story that explains the strange name. Originally, this molasses distillate was produced in Mexico and from there it was shipped via the Cuban capital Havana to Spain. Because the rum was so successful that Spanish spirits producers were affected, the Spanish king banned the rum without further ado. At least that’s what the marketing story tells us. Read More

The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey & The Auld Triangle

Ireland and whiskey obviously belong together. Although Ireland has one of the highest alcohol taxes in Europe, there’s hardly anything so closely associated with the island in the west of England, apart from Guinness, butter, the color green and the four-leafed clover. But the history of Irish whiskey is a very changeable one and among many whiskey connoisseurs the reputation of the Irish “water of life” is not as good as you might think. Read More

Conde de Cuba Rum

Cuban rum enjoys an excellent reputation. Not only in the USA, where in particular the Havana Club brand sums up the limited availability of rum from the socialist Caribbean island. Among the Spanish-speaking rum nations, Cuba is regarded as an exemplary, solid and classic producing country. Reliable and strict rum legislation therefore guarantees quality and explicitly prevents the addition of any artificial flavourings. And even if the addition of sugar is not explicitly excluded, it is not the rule. Read More

Dr. Sours Bitters

Among the many new releases in the bar segment, it is sometimes really not easy to keep track of things. Although I regularly read print magazines and other blogs, browse through forums and groups in the social networks, have conversations in bars and at trade fairs and so on ad nauseam, I also occasionally happen to make one or two discoveries. When and how I first came upon the product series to be reviewed here today, I unfortunately forgot. But I do remember that it really stood out. Read More

Ming River Sichuan Baijiu & “Crossing the Silk Road”

Today I have a tough row to hoe – in several respects. Because today I’m writing about a product that belongs to a category which I have not dealt with here until now, which is still relatively unknown in Europe and, on top of that, represents a real challenge to me. And the topic “Baijiu” is gigantic (while my first contact with Baijiu was gigantically bad). Read More

Sierra Milenario Reposado & Clinton Street Pub’s Jalisco Egg Cream

And today we are once again talking about a Tequila. A Sierra Tequila, to be precise. Anyone getting a shock now while nervously starting to look around for traces of salt and lemon can calm down and have a look on my article about the Sierra Milenario Fumado Tequila, which I published two weeks ago. In contrast to the slightly smoky Fumado, which reminds more than just a little bit of a Mezcal, today we are dealing with a mature quality. Read More

Burgen Gin & “Smooth & Green”

Just this morning I once again came across another written swan song on gin in the social networks. The fact that this kind of predictions still lead to discussions at all, surprises me a lot to be honest. Such prognoses seem to have become an undying echo, which is permanently there since years. Like a background noise that doesn’t stand out any more. (provided test product)* Read More

Hampden Estate Pure Single Jamaican Rum & Trelawny Negroni

It has been a little more than two weeks since I wrote about the Veritas White Blended Rum from Habitation Velier. In the course of this article, I dealt with the common but more or less hidden practice of maturing white rums and finally was able to convince myself of the “truth” of the Veritas rum. In addition, anyone who has read the article will know that I was really enthusiastic about this rum. Now, my expectations are very high again, because the bottle I have in front of me today also comes from the Hampden Distillery. Read More

Sierra Milenario Fumado Tequila & Teatime with Imix

Even though there are many different changes, which the bar world has undergone during the last few years, one of them is certainly the rise of the Mexican spirits Tequila and Mezcal. Admittedly, the reality in Germany and most other European countries is far from being the same as in the USA and it is also far behind the ever-present prophecies predicting both spirits a shining bright future, but at least the name Mezcal has become known to more and more people. Read More

Benguela Diamonds Gin & Corpse Reviver #2

The international spirits market has changed a lot during the last decades. Of course, people also have enjoyed drinking spirits in the past and thus have generated a solid demand for it, but it is the premium segment in particular that is changing into an increasingly important part of the market. There are premium spirits springing up like mushrooms in every nook and cranny and the enthusiasm of the people seems to be unbroken. Last but not least, this blog is also an example of the described development. And when I think of spirits that are sprouting from the ground, I almost automatically think of gin. Read More

La Escondida Mezcal & The “Descubrimiento”

La Escondida: the hidden or the concealed – that’s a name for a spirit that makes you curious to know more! In addition, the very appealing label of this bottle does its part: there is a mermaid whose face is strongly reminiscent of the aesthetics of Día de Muertos: with one hand in her hip, she holds a copita full of Mezcal in the outstretched other. Read More

Plantation Peru Multi Vintage & The Peruvian Sundew

Rum is considered by many to be the most global of all spirits. And this is certainly not a pie in the sky, but the result of lacking or hardly existing regulations on a supranational level. Of course, many states have their own legislation on rum production and there are also supranational regulations such as the European Union’s classification framework. However, there is no real regional limitation, while sugar cane is growing not only in the Caribbean. Read More

Veritas White Blended Rum & Jabon Candado

Anyone who enters the world of quality spirits will inevitably be exposed to some basic information very soon. For example, the difference between matured and unmatured spirits (often simply described as white and brown spirits). Of course, this is especially true for the types of spirits that are widely available in both qualities: matured and unmatured. And among these distillates, rum is by far the largest and best known. In this context, it might surprise some people that the term “unmatured” is not correct in most cases. Read More

Among Dreams

New Orleans probably plays the most important and most prominent role in the history of American cocktail culture (and thus also of global cocktail culture). Sazerac, Vieux Carré, the original form of Milk Punches, Brandy Crusta, Boulevardier and many others were created in New Orleans for the first time or are at least suspected to come from this capital of the South. No wonder then, it sometimes seems to have become a real seal of quality if a drink originated in New Orleans. Read More

V-Sinne Schwarzwald Dry Gin & Crushing your Senses

Well, today is the day and I dare to review a bottle of gin again. This may sound a bit irritating now, because I really appreciate a good gin, but of course, it has not been possible to ignore the fact of the sheer endless mass of new appearing juniper distillates we have to deal with since a lot of years. One of these gins is the V-Sinne (German for “five senses”) gin from the Black Forest. Read More

Wild Turkey Rare Breed & Arbitrary Nature of Time

The arbitrary nature of time – what a name for a cocktail! “I mean, have you ever really thought about it?” that’s what Maksym Pazuniak asks in his absolutely fantastic recipe booklet “beta cocktails.” which he published together with Kirk Estopinal. Well, and because the title of this cocktail is such a fit occasion, today I will do something that I would normally not: take up the question (tongue-in-cheek). Read More