Carnegie, PA’s Quantum Spirits has just released its first Sweet Vermouth ($26 for 750 ml, 22%ABV). The Pennsylvania produced vermouth, Marquette Liqueur is described as “well balanced and perfectly viscous, notes of berries, bright fruit, herbs and rooibos shine through.”
And what do you do if you have a vermouth and an amaro in your liquor lineup? Why you start offering cocktail bottle kits of course.
Quantum is now offering a Manhattan Bottle Kit ($55 for a bottle of Quantum Solera Rye and Marquette Liqueur) and a “Nerdgroni” Bottle Kit ($80 for a bottle of Quantum Gin, Quantum Amaro and Marquette Liqueur).
Philadelphia’s New Liberty Distilling has released a new London Dry style of gin. Snug Harbor Gin is $24.99 for a 750ml bottle. The sourced gin is described as having a “classic citrus flavor and aroma due to the addition of dried lemon and orange peels in addition to the juniper and other botanicals.”
Pennsylvania breweries, wineries and distilleries had to have had their fingers crossed that the Governor’s recent targeted mitigation order really did only apply to bars and restaurants as the order added several new restrictions, requiring that among other things a meal be served with any alcoholic beverage transaction.
Despite many alcohol producers in the state not normally serving food and having just invested in new purchases to take their businesses outdoors or to make their interiors safer, they have not been spared the statewide measures that went into effect on Thursday, July 16th.
The biggest effects of the Targeted Mitigation Order from Governor Wolf is that indoor capacity has been further reduced to 25%, no seating at bars and most importantly, “prohibition from conducting operations unless the facility offers sit-down, dine-in meals or is serving take-out sales of alcoholic beverages.”
This sparked rapid debate on what constituted a meal and further if this rule would extend to producers that normally are not required to offer food.
On Monday night, The American Craft Spirits Association virtually hosted their annual awards banquet. 152 distillers across the United States, as well as the Caribbean and Central America, submitted entries to be judged. Pennsylvania historically does very well and is the case again this evening as Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey took home a boatload of awards (20 in total) including the Best in Specialty Spirits award for their Saffron Amaro.
Pennsylvania did well as a state again, by our count, ten distilleries combined to win 40 awards.
With the Conavid-19 pandemic changing our ways of life, the American Craft Spirits Association postponed its 2020 conference that was supposed to be happening now in Portland, Oregon. But they have decided that the awards show must go on. The American Craft Spirits Association is the only national organization of craft distillers governed by craft distillers and winning an award at its annual event is a big deal for distillers, equivalent to a brewer bringing home an award from the Great American Beer Fest held annually in Denver.
Pottstown’s Manatawny Still Works is partnering up with its Circle of Progress neighbor, Sly Fox Brewery to release a new whiskey. The whiskey starts with Sly Fox’s Nihilist Stout without the hops. It is then distilled and aged for more than three years in American oak. The whiskey is described as having notes of coffee and sweet malt.
500 bottles will be available for $45 per 750 ml bottle. The distillery is hosting a kickoff event on Sunday, March 8th and its Passyunk Tasting Room at noon. In addition to bottles for sale there will also be tastings and cocktails plus baked goods by Philadelphia chef Monica Glass that will be featuring the whiskey.
While looking through its inventory, Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey realized one of the barrels would be turning 4 this Leap Day. And of course they couldn’t resist turning the barrel into a Deep Cut, Bottled in Bond release.
The 100 proof whiskey is aged 4 years and has a mash bill of 64% rye and 36% malted barley. Wigle describes the whiskey as having “delicious notes of dark cherry, pepper up front and brown sugar on the finish.” Just 200 bottles of the whiskey will be available. Get your bottle at Wigle’s Ross Park Mall location or at the distillery on the 29th. The mall has the additional benefit cupcakes “baked with a prize” by Sinful Sweets in Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia Distilling is known for its Bluecoat Gin but it has been dabbling in whiskey production with its occasional Tough Broad Whiskey made in collaboration with Yards Brewing Co.
But in a recent newsletter, the Philadelphia distiller has made note that the first quarter of 2020 is going to be about whiskey production. Philadelphia Distilling will be using 100% local grains for their malt and rye whiskeys.
Be patient though, the whiskey won’t be ready till 2025.
Litiz, PA distiller Stoll & Wolfe has just announced a lottery to purchase the first 60 bottles of its Rosen Rye. The first PA produced Rosen Rye to be released in nearly three decades.
Rosen Rye is a heritage grain that had fallen out of use but was once a staple at the old Michter’s Distillery in Pennsylvania. Master distiller Dick Stoll may have been the last man to distill from the grain from before Michters closed its distillery in 1990. Now with the help of Laura Fields and her SeedSpark Campaign, the grain has found its way into Stoll & Wolfe’s latest whiskey.