Inventory for October 25th, 2015

Count the bottles, line ‘em up. We’re back with this week’s inventory: ever wanted to burn your mouth off with vodka? Below you’ll find your chance. Geoff Kleinmann gives his tasting notes on Oak by Absolut, MBG to distribute Old Monk Rum, the Cricket Bitters seek fundraising, and Woodford Reserve launches white corn bourbon.

This week’s event tip is one near and dear to our heart. You might remember OTTTN’s pictures from the 04/2014 issue of MIXOLOGY. Now you can view the images by the two photographers, Sebastian Böhme & Tim Klöcker, in all their full glory. The photos are shown at Booze Bar Berlin until December 6th and really, it’s just good fun. The images are awe-inspiring and so much richer and detailed when blown up. Go, have a drink, and enjoy the view.

1) Launch of 500,000 Scovilles Chilli Vodka

Because who doesn’t like a milk chaser with their vodka? The ‘Hot Enough’ Vodka Co. has just announced the launch of its ‘Insanely Hot’ Chili Vodka that’s said to be “200 times hotter than Tabasco Sauce and twice as hot as anything we’ve previously released”. The vodka, which uses nothing but pure wheat spirit and Naga Jolokia chillies, is sealed industrially and comes with a warning “Don’t try and open it. No good will come of it”. The existing 250,000 Scovilles and 100,000 Scovilles Naga Chilli Vodkas have enjoyed some fame throughout Great Britain, most notably being featured on the ‘firebox challenge’. Leaves only one question. Why?

2) Oak by Absolut Tasting Notes

We’ve commented on Oak by Absolut earlier this year, but at that time, we hadn’t seen tasting notes or had the pleasure of tasting it ourselves. Though we have yet to try Oak, we thoroughly enjoyed Geoff Kleinman’s take on it. He notes, rightly so, that the market has seen an increase in oak spirits since 2013. Oak’s full classification is a “blended vodka flavored by oak chips with vodka and then used oak barrels to ‘rest’ in”.

Kleinman finds the nose to be distinctly split wood, but with a definite hint of caramel, even if that’s slightly burnt caramel. A slight citrus hint reminds the drinker that the base spirit is truly vodka. What Oak doesn’t manage to get right is the relationship between oak (the wood) and spirit. Oak chips are used to flavor the vodka, enhancing the tannic “red layer”, which needs more time to “be absorbed, digested, and oxidized. When you throw chips into spirit you get a rush of these tannins”. Oak still manages to get away with an impressive 78/100 points, making us (maybe, possibly) reconsider our next vodka purchase.

3) MBG to Distribute one of World’s largest Rum Brands: Old Monk Rum

Set to expand its portfolio, the Paderborn-based group MBG just took on the European distribution for Old Monk Rum. Old Monk Rum produces over 700 million liters a year, making them one of the largest rum brands in the world. In return for Old Munk Rum, Indian multiplayer Mohan Meakin Brewery will receive the license for Salitos and is set to handle the distribution of further biermix brands in India. Further cooperations are in the works, MBG plans on taking on brands like effect, Goldberg, and Acqua Morelli.

4) Cricket Bitters Seek Kickstarter Funding

Remember cricket bitters? We briefly touched on them in our inventory from June 2014, and they’re still kicking (chirping?). The two founders of Cricket Bitters have just launched a Kickstarter campaign, with a $21,000 goal, in hopes of “refining and commercialising the recipe with help from professional mixologists and distillers, buying ingredients from the ‘best quality’ manufacturing suppliers, developing packaging and labels, and ensuring regulatory compliance with labels and shipping costs”.

The Spirits Business notes that up until now, the designers Lucy Knops and Julia Plevin have been making the bitters at home, but that they’re seeing an increase in the demand for bitters. The Critter Bitters currently come in two flavors, ‘Toasted Cricket Bitters’ and ‘Pure Cricket Tincture’. As of press time, $5,000 have been pledged with 26 days to go.

5) Woodford Reserve launches White Corn Bourbon

In a tribute to distillers Oscar Pepper and James Crow, Woodford Reserve just launched its Master’s Collection 1838 Style White Corn. The Spirits Business reports that master distiller Chris Morris wanted to create a recipe that was similar in style to that of Pepper and Crow, who used to produce at the present day sight of the Woodford Reserve Distillery. The latest addition to the Master’s range uses white, instead of the traditional yellow, corn which produces a bourbon with a lighter body and one that is “softer, sweeter, fruit-forward taste profile”.


Foto: Women via Shutterstock

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