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jmfangio

Spirits wish list

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Hi folks,

The other day I got this email from a friend of mine who is the spirits buyer for a local chain:

"I writing for an informal survey regarding unavailable products that you’d like to see in the states. I’ve got a supplier who’s got some money to spend on bring new unique brands from Europe in to the states and was wondering if there are any products that you’ve been coveting, but totally unable to get. Please feel free to pass this on to anyone who might like to add to the conversation. This might be a really good opportunity to get some of the small production spirits, aperitifs, liqueurs, etc. stateside. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated."

Any ideas? I, of course, would love to see stuff like Plymouth Navy Strength or Green Dot Irish Whiskey, but that's not what he's looking for. Most of the stuff owned by the big companies is going to be off limits. Plymouth, Green Dot, bianco sorti, Amer Picon are all brands owned by big guys and they're likely not interested in letting anyone else import them. A couple of years ago, before the R&W Violette came on the market I would have suggested looking for a violet liqueur, but other than that I'm drawing a blank. I'd love to hear what the forum has to say.

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Thread merge time?

Another violette is *still* a good idea; in my experience, the R&W is too dry for many applications. A decent peach brandy as well. There are tons of liqueurs that are worth bringing in.

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I would love to see someone import Ettaler Klosterliqueur. It's an herbal liqueur made by a small Benedictine monastery in the village of Ettal in Bavaria, Germany. The style is along lines of Chartreuse. It comes in Yellow, Green, White, and a Bitter variety. I've had the Yellow, and my immediate reaction upon sampling it was that this has to be the closest real-world match for JRR Tolkien's "Miruvor" the cordial of the Elves. I don't think it's ever been imported into the U.S.

http://www.kloster-ettal.de/ettaler/sites/15/1511.html

http://www.ettaler.de/index.php?cPath=4000_4100

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Suze is another big distributor baby, sadly. It is also (technically) available in the US: At least CA and LA have it. PM me if you're on the East Coast and it's an issue. ;)

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I have much more to say tomorrow but for now I will say: Suze.

Anything else made by the Carthusians...certainly, Gentiane des Pères Chartreux. Tasted it side by side with Suze a few weeks ago, and opinions were split but I much preferred the monk juice. Their fruit liqueurs are worthy of praise as well.

ETA: Tried a Tartufo (truffle amaro) for the first time last night...have no idea what I'd do with it, but the more amaro the better in my opinion.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

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Being in a small remote town in Ontario, Canada and subject to the whims of the LCBO my wish list would be way too long and contain much that is everyday to people elsewhere so I won't even bother. :biggrin:

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Brand?

If that refers to my post, the answer is, I don't have a clue - I've never tried the stuff. But if any commercial Swedish Punsch products are available in the US, the distribution seems limited and there surely must be some brands that have not been imported.

I'd be willing to be flown to Sweden to help with the research, though...

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Brand?

If that refers to my post, the answer is, I don't have a clue - I've never tried the stuff. But if any commercial Swedish Punsch products are available in the US, the distribution seems limited and there surely must be some brands that have not been imported.

I'd be willing to be flown to Sweden to help with the research, though...

Carlshamn Flaggpunsch is one I've tried (thanks Tiare).

Edit: bah, looks like Absolut owns them


Edited by J_Ozzy (log)

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I would love to see someone import Ettaler Klosterliqueur. It's an herbal liqueur made by a small Benedictine monastery in the village of Ettal in Bavaria, Germany. The style is along lines of Chartreuse. It comes in Yellow, Green, White, and a Bitter variety. I've had the Yellow, and my immediate reaction upon sampling it was that this has to be the closest real-world match for JRR Tolkien's "Miruvor" the cordial of the Elves. I don't think it's ever been imported into the U.S.

http://www.kloster-ettal.de/ettaler/sites/15/1511.html

http://www.ettaler.de/index.php?cPath=4000_4100

My wife picked up a bottle of each many years ago on a trip to Europe. The bitter is wonderful and was the first one to be emptied. The yellow is as you say, the green is something like Benedictine, and the white is a sweet berry liqueur.

It would be nice to have them here.

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Some time has passed since I first posted in this thread. I've learned a few things, I've acquired a few things I thought I never would through the help of friends and my goals for my booze cabinet have evolved. So I now feel comfy posting my wish list. I realize everything on this list is a casual trip to the store for most and an internet order away for many of the rest but from small, remote town Ontario my current list would be something like this...

Lemon Hart 151 rum

Smith & Cross rum

Ransom Old Tom gin

Bol's Genever

Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy

a good rhum agricole

a good, smoky mezcal

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Not to minimize the difficulties of dealing with the Ontario LCBO and the logistics of small towns, while I can get everything on your list in Atlanta (we live in a close-in suburb), I'm not sure it would be a casual trip. It would, at a minimum, require visits to two stores and expended time of two hours.

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Not to minimize the difficulties of dealing with the Ontario LCBO and the logistics of small towns, while I can get everything on your list in Atlanta (we live in a close-in suburb), I'm not sure it would be a casual trip. It would, at a minimum, require visits to two stores and expended time of two hours.

Fair enough. I was probably a bit flippant with that remark. :biggrin:

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No worries. My remarks weren't intended to criticize; they were to point out that even in big North American metro areas one has to cajole, hump and scavenge to assemble a respectable cocktailian bar -- never mind the bar one really wants.

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Not to minimize the difficulties of dealing with the Ontario LCBO and the logistics of small towns, while I can get everything on your list in Atlanta (we live in a close-in suburb), I'm not sure it would be a casual trip. It would, at a minimum, require visits to two stores and expended time of two hours.

Dave, where have you seen Bols Genever and Laird's bonded? Haven't seen either of those at the stores I usually frequent in town. Boosma tends to be the only genever I recall seeing routinely. I have seen plenty of Applejack along with the 7.5 and 12 yo brandy but not the bonded.

Bols Genever I ordered on the internet but I would happily pick up a bottle of the Laird's bonded if it wasn't too far out of the way!

Rhum agricole and a nice mezcal can be had but the selection I have seen can be a bit limited here. But I tend to stick to just a few stores these days. I suppose more could be found if I shopped around a bit more.


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)

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Rhum agricole and a nice mezcal can be had but the selection I have seen can be a bit limited here.

The only mezcal I can get here (so it's what I have) is Jaral de Berrio blanco. Light and somewhat vegetal with pretty much no discernible smoke. I'd grab it for a Margarita before I'd grab it for a Division Bell if I had options. So I wouldn't require an extensive selection to satisfy the wish list, just some sort of selection would be nice. Even no selection would be acceptable if the one they decided to carry was a better example. There's no agricole of any quality available.

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I wonder if you might have luck finding nice Agricoles in Quebec, given the French Connection.(stretching for a pun...)

I had a cocktail last night with a lovely 50% ABV white agricole from Guadalupe -- alas bought in Paris -- and some Clement shrubb. And then after dinner, a selection of brandies -- a 1977 Calvados that was the best I've ever had, by far, a white Marc, an old Marc, and an XO cognac made for ... wait for it ... export to Norway. None available in the US. It took substantial willpower to not go back for a second sample of the Calvados.

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I wonder if you might have luck finding nice Agricoles in Quebec, given the French Connection.(stretching for a pun...)

Quebec has St. James amber, J. Bally amber, La Favorite Coeur de Rhum Vieux, a couple of really expensive La Favorites that I wouldn't spend that much on and Marie Galante Rhum Agricole blanc from Guadalupe. The wrench in the machine is that where I live is almost as far away as it's possible to get from Quebec without leaving Ontario. I'm pretty good friends with the person who cuts my hair and her husband, he's from Quebec and they sometimes go there for christmas so I was going to see if they'd bring back a couple things the SAQ carries but they didn't go this year.

I had a cocktail last night with a lovely 50% ABV white agricole from Guadalupe --

The LCBO has been listing a Domaine de Marquisat de Rhum Longueteau from Guadalupe (62% ABV) for a few weeks now but it's still not showing as actually available anywhere and I wasn't sure if it was considered an agricole or not. Kinda irrelevant right now I guess since they don't seem to be in a hurry to actually have it anywhere but something I've been keeping my eye on.

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Friends in the US who have visited me (and my Latin-influenced liquor collection) often complain to me about the complete lack of Aguardiente Reposado in the US, and indeed of the lack of non-anisado Aguardientes in general. On the Reposado side, of particular note are Zhumir Reposado (if they're still making it) and Estellar Oro (3 years in oak at 0 latitude). On the non-anisado side, Zhumir de Paute is probably the best - it approaches very good Cachaça in character.

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Quebec has St. James amber, J. Bally amber, La Favorite Coeur de Rhum Vieux, a couple of really expensive La Favorites that I wouldn't spend that much on and Marie Galante Rhum Agricole blanc from Guadalupe. The wrench in the machine is that where I live is almost as far away as it's possible to get from Quebec without leaving Ontario. I'm pretty good friends with the person who cuts my hair and her husband, he's from Quebec and they sometimes go there for christmas so I was going to see if they'd bring back a couple things the SAQ carries but they didn't go this year.

Not that it helps the current situation, but my experience with the SAQ has been that restocks of blanc and paille rhum agricole start showing up in late spring/early summer. I haven't seen it every year, but when it does happen they bring in 4 or 5 offerings.

My current wish list:

Nikka Yoichi 15 (too pricey)

Thomas Handy (too pricey locally)

Van Winkle Rye

Willet Rye

Old Potrero Hotalings

Kuchan barrel aged peach brandy

Toriani Amer

Cocchi Americano

Various amaros

some of the George Dickel products

My list was a lot longer in previous years, but some fortuitous travel paired with dedicated bottle luggage have pared it down considerably.

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Not to minimize the difficulties of dealing with the Ontario LCBO and the logistics of small towns, while I can get everything on your list in Atlanta (we live in a close-in suburb), I'm not sure it would be a casual trip. It would, at a minimum, require visits to two stores and expended time of two hours.

Lucky me that I can get all of those within a 5 minute drive of my house (Beltramo's and K&L). However, I cannot get Marie Brizard or Luxardo Amaretto at either of those places, so I would add those to my wish list. If I still lived near Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA, then I might be in luck. :)

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