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Clyde May’s Whiskey: An American Whiskey Legend

It’s a known fact that history is filled with legendary moments, but only a few possess an iconic history. One of those noteworthy historical moments is when World War II veteran Clyde May became a moonshiner. To support his family after the war, Clyde May turned to moonshining. He began producing and selling an unaged, right from the still moonshine which he perfected over the years into small-batch whiskeys. From the first moonshine batch up until 2012, Clyde May’s Whiskey was technically participating in the illegal trade of whiskey-making. Mr. May’s son, Kenny May actually produced the first legal batch of his father’s whiskey in 2012, named Clyde May’s Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey.

Clyde May's Alabama Style Whiskey

We had the please of getting to know three whiskeys from the Clyde May’s Whiskey portfolio at an intimate tasting and lunch with Clyde May’s grandson, LC May. On deck for our tasting pleasure was the award-winning Alabama Style Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Straight Rye Whiskey.

Clyde May's Whiskey

The 85-proof Alabama Style Whiskey is made using a mash bill consisting of corn, rye, and malted barley. It is aged 6-7 years in caramel-charred oak barrels and finished with a hint of apple. It is the closest to the original Clyde May moonshine from 1946 which featured baked apples to the barrels at the end of the distillation process. The intensely bronze-hued spirit is a medium-bodied spirit with hints of black pepper, anise, and oak. You will pick up distinct notes of caramel, green apple, and fruits on the nose. The original definitely packs a punch and you’ll love how smoothly it evens out. That’s why in 2004, it became Alabama’s official state spirit.

Clyde May's Whiskey

The 92-proof Bourbon Whiskey is aged 4-5 years in 53-gallon oak barrels and is non-chill filtered. It boasts a slightly reddish bronze hue and starts out very soft and smooth but finishes bold and spicy with a lingering presence.

The 94-proof Rye Whiskey is an earthy golden brown and the most intensely flavored of the three whiskeys. It boasts an abundance of floral, fruit, and spices that presents themselves in layers. The crisp zest of citrus is the first thing we tasted, with a robust spiciness following shortly. A full-bodied whiskey with a dry and peppery finish.

During the tasting, we enjoyed two classic whiskey cocktails – a Manhattan and Old Fashioned, accompanied by a savory Grilled Branzino which paired wonderfully with our Clyde May’s Straight Rye Whiskey-based Old Fashion. The fennel and grapefruit vinaigrette in dish perfectly accented the spices and citrus in the straight rye.

It was such a pleasure to learn about the interesting history of Clyde May’s Whiskey; how the brand fully embraces and celebrates his creator’s past and his family. From its birth from moonshine to Clyde May’s arrest for bootlegging, and of course his farmland in Conecuh Ridge.

If you’re looking for an award-winning whiskey that celebrates its American history, look no further than Clyde May’s whiskey.

Bud Light Introduces Newest Flavor Abomination: Lemon Tea

It’s no secret that Americans like tea. In fact, we once cared so much about our access to it that we dumped a bunch in some harbor.

Some might even say that we love it, and we have the numbers to prove it. An old article by The Washington Post back in 2014 noted that Americans drink almost 20% more tea than we did back in the year 2000 and the imports of tea have risen by nearly 70% in the last two decades. In light of recent studies claiming we need to drink more than two liters of water per day, tea has become a fun, flavorful way to stay hydrated.

But have we gone too far?

This is the question on many Americans’ minds in light of Budweiser owned Bud Light’s newest flavor: Lemon Tea. According to a recent press release, Bud Light hopes to appeal to summer beer lovers with a light lager that’s been brewed with lemon peels, then aged over black tea before being bottled and served.

Group of happy friends drinking and toasting beer at brewery bar restaurant – Friendship concept with young people having fun together at cool vintage pub – Focus on middle pint glass – High iso image

This is just the newest addition to its steadily growing citrus line, joining the rungs of Bud Light Orange and Lime.

“As the number one selling beer in America, it is important for us to continue to innovate and bring consumers the types of products they are demanding,” notes Bud Light marketer Andy Goeler.

But what are Americans demanding? It’s only natural that beer companies want to follow the money. As Americans become less enamored with the beer market, the industry has expanded its feelers into new startups; namely, tea and marijuana products.

For example, while New York-based Constellation Brands, the owner of Corona, has begun to invest in pot, Bud Light has leaned toward tea. It’s estimated that CBD products — a cousin to marijuana — will result in over $1 billion in sales in 2020 alone.

But Bud Light has taken a different approach to engage with the younger market. A recent study found that up to 40% of Millennials are bored of classic fruit and juice flavors. They’re more willing to engage with brands that step outside the box and offer unique flavors and customized products instead. It’s this idea that Bud Light hopes to innovate on in order to boost summer sales.

“We saw the success of Bud Light Lime and Orange last summer and wanted to bring another beer into our portfolio that uses real lemon peels and tea leaves in the brewing process,” Goeler continues. “Its unique taste profile is something we think is going to help attract new people to the Bud Light family.”

The beer was officially available to the public starting on Monday, April 29. However, it seems like some people have managed to get their hands on it a little early.

Many Twitter users began to post the beverage as early as the start of April, giving it high ratings. Though it wasn’t revealed if these individuals actually tried the beer before its national release, this certainly looked good for Bud Light in the weeks leading up to the product release.

But this isn’t one of the quality products you’d expect from high-end tea producers like Harney and Sons or Republic of Tea; paired with the malty flavor of an affordable beer, these subtle flavors might be overpowered by the alcohol.

Bud Light expects to make this product a recurring seasonal beverage. The Lemon Tea flavor will be available until September of this year, giving countless Americans ample time to form an opinion.

Rosa Mexicano Celebrates Day of the Dead with a Special Menu

Tomorrow is more than just Halloween; it is the beginning of the Day of the Dead, also known as Día de Los Muertos. In honor of Mexico’s holiday remembering and honoring the dead, we partook in Rosa Mexicano’s Night of Spirits; a special evening of savory food, exotic drinks paired with desserts, with entertainment by Agave L’Amour and DJ jojoSoul. Known for serving New Yorkers authentic and innovative Mexican cuisine since 1984, we were beyond excited to enjoy an evening at Rosa Mexicano Union Square, where they are serving a special Day of the Dead menu at all 11 locations nationwide from Oct. 31st through Nov 4th. The menu will not only honor your loved ones, it will celebrate the memory of Rosa Mexicano Founder, Josefina Howard.

We had the chance to preview the featured menu which boasted a traditional Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) feast, prepared by Joe Quintana, Regional Executive Chef for Rosa Mexicano. We began with the very special and delicious Maravilla Punch, a blend of Hibiscus and Mezcal, served in a traditional handmade Mexican punchbowl (featured above). Foodies will love the Roasted Bone Marrow, a Chipotle-piloncillo sauce, grilled jalapeño , and toast; the Estofado De Cordero, a Lamb shank stew with roasted vegetables and epazote gremolata; and the Costillas A La Barbaco, a Tequila-pomegranate BBQ ribs served with charro beans and jalapeño cornbread.

 

The evening celebrated the powerful rituals of Mexico’s Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which included the Ofrenda, an altar where you may display portraits of your departed loved ones, in a moving ceremony of remembrance. Four desserts were paired with a unique variety of four Agave spirits: Mezcal, Raicilla, Bacanora, and Sotol.

All four spirits have been specially curated by Rosa Mexicano’s Courtenay Greenleaf, one of New York City’s few Master Mezcaliers. Agave Spirit Sponsors For Night Of Spirit Events + Calavera Cocktail included Montelobos Mezcal, Casa Noble Tequila, Bacanora Rancho Tepúa, Fidencio Mezcal, LA HIGUERA. la Venenosa raicilla, Ancho Reyes, Tromba Tequila, Derrumbes Mezcal and Milagro Tequila).

 

The Rosa Mexicano Day of the Dead menu of meals include:

Appetizers:
Empanadas de Camote (Corn and sesame empanadas, stuffed with sweet potato, peas and spiced pecans). Served with chipotle sauce.

Roasted Bone Marrow (Served with chipotle-piloncillo sauce, grilled jalapeño and toast) – see second food photo
Paired with: Tromba Añejo tequila.

Entrees:
Estofado de Cordero (Lamb shank with roasted vegetables and epazote gremolata)  – see first food photo

Trucha a la Parilla (Whole grilled trout over pumpkin seed pipián, topped with citrus salad)

Costillas a la Barbacoa (Tequila-pomegranate BBQ ribs with charro beans and jalapeño corn bread) – – see last food photo above

Dessert:
Tamal y Camote (Roasted sweet potato and cajeta tamale served with pomegranate sauce and vanilla ice cream).

Rosa Mexicano’s Día de los Muertos meal will be available at these locations:

  • New York City: First Avenue, Lincoln Center, Union Square, Tribeca
  • New Jersey: Riverside
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Washington, DC: Penn Quarter
  • Maryland: National Harbor
  • South Beach, Miami
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
AWARD-WINNING, PREMIUM TEQUILA

The Tasting Room: An Evening With Joey Angelo and VIVA XXXII Tequila

An evening enjoying a great cocktail is always a good time but an evening enjoying great cocktails and learning all about the spectacular spirit from the CEO of the brand is a truly an amazing experience. That’s what we got to enjoy when we partaked in a tasting event with Joey Angelo, President, and CEO of VIVA XXXII Tequila.

AWARD-WINNING, PREMIUM VIVA XXXII TEQUILA

We enjoyed an intimate tequila tasting of these exquisite tequilas (handcrafted in Tequila, Mexico), as Joey Angelo walked us through the rich flavors and powerful aromas of the three varieties of VIVA XXXII Tequila – Joven, Reposado, and the newest addition, Extra Anejo. We enjoyed delicious pairings with all three tequilas, as he also educated the event’s guests on VIVA’s charity connections.

AWARD-WINNING, PREMIUM VIVA XXXII TEQUILA

If you’re not yet familiar, VIVA XXXII Tequila is meant to sip and savor, but priced so you can indulge. This award-winning, handcrafted tequila is more interested in you enjoying their tequila instead of their overhead cost. That’s why although their tequilas are superb and their packaging eye-catching and chic, their tequila is wonderfully affordable. You have to love a brand that cares more about their customers than their bottom line, especially when their product is on par with more “expensive” tequila offerings.

AWARD-WINNING PREMIUM JOVEN VIVA XXXII TEQUILA

The crystal clear Joven Tequila is made with 100% Blue Agave Blanco tequila blended with their 3-year old extra Anejo. Its flavor profile is crisp and clear with lemon peel, white pepper, vanilla, and hints of citrus. Its aroma is just as crisp thanks to its notes of lemon, white pepper, verbena, and yerba buena. This made it the perfect base for the slightly spicy ginger-turmeric cocktail we enjoyed.

AWARD-WINNING, PREMIUM VIVA XXXII TEQUILA COCKTAIL

The pale gold Reposado (pictured in the middle of the very first photo) is made from 100% Blue Agave tequila which has been rested in American Oak barrels for six months. Its tasting notes features hints of vanilla, caramel, nutmeg, and cinnamon with an aroma of agave forward with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a hint of toasted nuts. The newest member of the VIVA XXXII Tequila family is the Extra Anejo.

PREMIUM EXTRA ANEJO VIVA XXXII TEQUILA

This sipping Extra Anejo is dark amber in color with a rich and balanced profile thanks to it being rested in American Oak barrels for a minimum of three years. Because its aging process is longer, it’s tasting notes brings forth fruit notes with hints of caramel, sandalwood, and honey on the palate. This makes this tequila full-bodied with an exceptionally smooth finish.

Believe it or not, the taste and the bottle design aren’t the only amazing things about this brand. Did you know that 10% of net proceeds from the sales of these bottles help rescue animals from animal abuse? How amazing is that? You will notice this by the adorable sketch of a dog featured on the bottom side of each bottle.

We truly loved all three varieties but especially loved the crispness of the Joven. Tell us, dear readers, have you tried VIVA XXXII Tequila? What are your thoughts on this premium and affordable tequila?

 

Eau Claire Distillery Parlour Gin & Prickly Pear EquineOx Makes US Debut

You may have heard of farm to table foods which promote locally sourced ingredients from local farmers, did you know “farm to glass” also exists and refers to spirits made with regionally-sourced ingredients? The award-winning Canadian Craft Spirits maker, Eau Claire Distillery, has officially made their U.S. debut with their renowned, farm to glass, Eau Claire Parlour Gin, and Eau Claire Prickly Pear EquineOx spirit. Made from regionally-sourced ingredients and artisanal distilling methods, Eau Claire’s spirits reveal truly unique flavors and redefine taste, one grain-to-glass experience at a time.

The first of Eau Claire Distillery’s distinguished spirits to become available in the U.S., the Parlour Gin, and Prickly Pear EquineOx have won countless prestigious industry awards. Some of those awards (from 2017 alone) include SIP 2017 Consumers Choice Award, SIP Awards 2017 Best of Class – Platinum, SIP Awards 2017 – Silver, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017 – Gold, San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2017 Bronze, *The Fifty Best Gin’s 2017 Best Gin – Gold, and Distilled Competition 2017 – Silver.

We have the pleasure of experiencing both the Parlour Gin and the Prickly Pear EquineOx at Five Mile Stone in New York City (one of the bar/restaurants you can enjoy these farm to glass spirits). We fell in love at first sight of the distinguished, cheeky, and sophisticated packaging. We all know how alcohol can make wild animals out of people and we loved the visual of wild animals looking and acting quite distinguished and sophisticated – hence why we believe Eau Claire’s spirits will turn the wildest of animals into sophisticated drinkers.

The Eau Claire Parlour Gin is a London-style dry gin that augments more traditional gin botanicals, creating a juniper berry-induced dryness, but with unique hints of rosehip, Saskatoon berry, coriander, lemon, orange, mint, and spice. It’s dry with a harmonious texture and smooth finish. Parlour Gin is distilled with a selection of special botanicals that gives it delicious, unique flavor notes. We usually tread lightly with Gins because the bite can be too much for us, but Eau Claire’s Parlour Gin truly surprised us with its quick bite and immediate smoothness.

The Eau Claire Prickly Pear EquineOx is a distillation of the essence of Alberta – blue skies, mountain-fresh water, prairie grain and distinctive ingredients like the prickly pear cactus. This smooth and flavorful spirit defies comparison, though it could be described as a sweet, barley-based alternative to gin or vodka. Its name honors the role Eau Claire’s horses and oxen play in the annual spring planting and fall harvest. This was our favorite! We loved the unique taste, slight sweetness, full-bodied weight, and smoothness of the Prickly Pear EquineOx. Oh, the cocktails we will enjoy with this distinctly flavored spirit.

Eau Claire Distillery’s Parlour Gin and Prickly Pear EquineOx are imported and distributed within the United States by Park Street Imports, LLC. Some retailers carrying both spirits in New York includes 55th Street Liquors, Ambassador Wine & Spirits, Blue Angel Wines, and Duke’s Liquor Box. You can enjoy a glass or two of both at these following NYC bars/restaurants: Five Mile Stone, The Wren, The Daisy, Cafe Tallulah, and Pisticci Restaurant. Current available markets for Eau Claire Distillery’s Parlour Gin and Prickly Pear EquineOx are New York and Florida, with other markets coming soon.

You’re Invited: The 5th Annual Craft Spirits Celebration

Calling all alcohol connoisseurs and craft spirit aficionados, have we got a great event for you to attend. Are you ready for an evening of flowing alcohol? The 10-day countdown is on for the 5th Annual Craft Spirits Celebration, where a variety of over 30, hand-selected spirit brands and over 100 expressions that represent a wide array of craft alcohol offerings from around the world, will showcase their spirits.

For the fifth year in a row, online spirits club, Flaviar, brings together distillers, connoisseurs, and craft spirit fans to a tasting journey that spans the globe with the Craft Spirits Celebration. With a theme of “Tasting is Believing”, the event, which will be held on September 14th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm at Houston Hall, promises to not only have you enjoy samplings of the spirits, you will learn all about those spirits directly from the people behind the brands. Get ready for an evening of tasting rare, exclusive alcohol offerings from global powerhouses such as Oban, Woodford Reserve and Dictador to small craft producers such as FEW, WhistlePig and Ilegal Mezcal.

“The Craft Spirits Celebration is all about bringing together people to explore fine spirits and connect with the community of like-minded people,” said Grisa Soba, co-founder of Flaviar. “Our Flaviar community gives us the ability to source spirits that they would not be able to get their hands on otherwise. In addition, we have been fortunate enough to be able to develop our own private bottlings as an exclusive offer, thus expanding the tasting experience.”

What other amazing things you can experience at the 5th Annual Craft Spirits Celebration event? A Glencairn Whisky Glass, Boozy Photo Booth, Cohiba Cigars, and food pairings. Tickets for the exclusive September 14th event are on sale now and are available in five tiers. Available tickets include:

  • Flavier Friends Exclusive Ticket – $79.00 (exclusive to existing Flavier members)
  • Discount for Duo: $120.00
  • Aficionado (including 3 months Flavier membership – a $60.00 value) – $120.00
  • Connoisseur (including 12 months Flavier membership – a $240.00 value) – $260.00
  • General Admission – $100.00

To purchase any of these tickets, head over to www.flaviar.com/craft-spirits-celebration and select your desired ticket.