3 Spirits Picks for December
Article by Virginia Miller
Many spirits cross my desk — or are tasted at numerous bars or distilleries — in any given month. For December, here are 3 international spirits — vermouth, rum and Scotch— that stood out or offer something different.
BroVo Vermouths ($18)
I’ve been having fun with BroVo’s brand new line of vermouths — and was already a fan of their amaro line. As with their unique amari, based off recipes from different bartenders around the US, the vermouths use Washington state wines as the base (including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Rosé wines), produced with botanicals at their Woodinville, WA, distillery.
The initial four vermouths are Witty, Pretty, Jammy and Pink, each playful, vibrant and from recipes created by varying bartenders working BroVo distillers Mhairi Voelsgen (owner) and Mac Kenney. I particularly like the savory, dry Witty and the floral, bright Pretty, all four standing strong on their own on the rocks or mixed in a classic Palmetto cocktail, which is equal parts dry (white) and sweet (red) vermouth with bitters. Details and where to purchase by state or online here.
Lost Spirits Colonial Rum ($100)
I’ve been a fan of Lost Spirits in Monterey since the moment I first tasted distiller Bryan Davis’ whiskies and overproof rum. I adore their Cuban-style rum and their Navy Style Rum. Davis has done it again with their new Colonial American Rum (124 proof) with the same base but laden with notes of wood and smoke, figs, earthy coffee and a decided molasses bent. It’s a sipping rum at a mere 240 bottles — stay tuned for a new variation in 2015. Available for purchase only at Bounty Hunter.
SIA Scotch Whisky ($50)
Distilled, aged and bottled by Douglas Laing Co. Ltd. in Glasgow, Scotland, the first notable aspect of SIA is that it’s a recipe created by Carin Luna-Ostaseski. With women being the exception rather than the rule in whisk(e)y distilling and blending, that is worth celebrating. To taste, it’s a balanced, pleasing blend of whiskies from Scotland’s Speyside (50%), Highlands (40%) and Islay (10%) regions.
Luna-Ostaseski crafted a crowd-pleasing blend, golden in color, subtle and smooth but thankfully not lacking in character. As one expects from quality Scotch, harmony is everything and this whisky evokes wood, hazelnut, vanilla and a hint of spice. Though I don’t know the sources of the “juice” (whiskies), the blended aspect results in the affordable price. Sources for purchase here.