This year has seen the disruption of way too many traditions and norms. So we’re happy to report that Bluebird Distilling is holding on to their Black Friday tradition of releasing two new spirits on Friday, November 27. For the sixth year, the Phoenixville distillery is kicking off the holiday season with special releases.
At 9 am, Bluebird will begin selling its Winter Whiskey and Barrel Proof Straight Rye. The Winter Whiskey takes the distillery’s Four Grain Bourbon, adds a pinch of brown sugar and a blend of winter spices. Winter Whiskey is described as having “warm notes of vanilla, baking spices, orange zest and toffee fill every sip.”
For customers looking for a more straight ahead whiskey, Bluebird is bottling a limited amount of Barrel Proof Straight Rye. It weighs in at 114 proof and promises to be “big, rich and bold.”
750 ml bottles of Winter Whiskey are $39.99, The barrel proof Rye is $39.99 for a 375 ml bottle. There will only be 150 bottles of the rye available.
Purchases will be offered outside the distillery. Bluebird will also offer special breakfast cocktails on their heated patio, as well as straight pours and cocktails to go.
Pottstown’s Manatawny Still Works has two bottle releases in time for your Thanksgiving feast. A year after releasing its first Bottled in Bond whiskey, the distillery is back with a second go-around, this one aged five years. Bottled in Bond is a kind of seal of quality and a technical term, meaning the whiskey has been distilled by one distiller, in one distilling season and aged for at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse and bottled at 100 proof.
This year’s Bottled in Bond is Manatawny’s oldest whiskey released to date and is described as having, “pleasing notes of sour cherries mix with oatmeal raisin on the nose, reminiscent of cherry cobbler. Bright flavors of apricots and dates fade to a deeper caramel and seasoned oak character with a mellow, dry finish.”
And as if that weren’t enough, Manatawny will also be releasing an aged rum. This is batch #8 in their series and blends a six-year aged baker’s grade molasses rum with a younger black-strap molasses rum.
State College’s Barrel 21 Distillery is bringing out its own version of the O.G. bottled cocktail, Rock & Rye. Based on an old family recipe, this version of Rock & Rye is made with Rye, rock candy, navel orange, pineapple, lemon, clove, cinnamon, horehound (an aromatic herb in the mint family) and honey. Snag a bottle of this sweet concoction for $36 a bottle.
Rock-and-Rye goes back to the late 1800s, where it was often promoted for its medicinal value. And who are we to say it wouldn’t help your cough, cold or sore throat. It’s still particularly popular in Pennsylvania, according to Whisky Advocate, Jacquin’s Rock & Rye was the third most popular spirit sold in the state during 2017.
Pennsylvania has a long-standing reputation as a difficult place to buy alcoholic beverages. And that is certainly not without merit. But the state does do some very good things for its beer, wine and spirits producers. Not the least of which is allowing Pennsylvania distillers to get on the shelves of up to ten Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores even when they are way too small to normally be considered for stocking in the vast system.
And Lancaster Distilleries is the latest PA producer to land on the shelves at the state-run stores and they’re celebrating by offering a $20 gift card to the first customer at each location that purchases an LD spirit, posts it to social media and tags the distillery and names the PLCB store where they got the spirit.
Lancaster Distilling, which located in the Zoetropolis Cinema in downtown Lancaster produces gins, rums and vodka. All of which are available at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits shops.
Find Lancaster Distilling products at these stores:
Belmont- Fruitville Pike, Lancaster
Centerville Square-Centerville Road, Lancaster
Shops at Kissel Village- Lititz Pike, Lititz
The Shops at Landis Valley-Oregon Pike, Lancaster
Willow Street- Willow Street Pike, Willow Street
Wheatland Center- Columbia Ave., Lancaster
Bridgeport Shopping Center, Lincoln Hwy. East, Lancaster
Manor Shopping Center, Millersville Pike, Lancaster
Ephrata, West Main Street, Ephrata
Shoppes at Dilworth Crossing, Dilworth Road, West Chester
In addition to finding Lancaster Distilling spirits at the above stores and to-go from the Cinema, the tiny distillery is often out and about with its “Booze Van.” Check out the upcoming schedule:
Friday 11/13: 500 Block, School Lane Lancaster PA 5-7pm
Saturday 11/14: 699 Warminster Lane Lititz PA 17543, 5-7pm
This weekend, Pittsburgh’s Wigle Whiskey is rolling out not one, but two brandies. Look for apple and peach brandy at all of Wigle’s locations, plus get it shipped to any county in the Commonwealth.
The Apple Brandy qualifies for the VSOP designation, “Very Superior Old Pale” as it has been aged for four or more years. Wigle’s Apple Brandy is made exclusively from locally-harvested apples and has been aging in 53-gallon American Oak casks. The age brings the oak and vanilla notes forward, but there are floral and sweet notes from the apples as well.
375 ml bottles of the 80 proof Apple Brandy retail for $37. Order it now for pickup or delivery.
For just about any other distillery, one brandy release a year is about all you could expect, but Wigle drops two on the same day.
Described as “peach cobbler in a glass,” Wigle’s Peach Brandy is the result of hand-pitting more than 2,500 local peaches from Andrews Fruit Farm in Adams County. After fermenting with wine yeast, the result is distilled and then aged in a recently emptied bourbon barrel where it remained for two years.
This very limited release is $65 for a 375 ml bottle. Purchase is available for pickup or delivery.
Brandy is great on its own or as part of a classic cocktail.
Triple Sun Spirits throws open the doors at a new tasting room in Doylestown. The location is in the Mercantile, a collaborative marketplace made up of artists, shops and restaurants in the Doylestown Shopping Center at 444 Main Street.
It’s the third location for Triple Sun, which also has another tasting room in Newtown and distillery and tasting room in Emmaus.
Wigle Whiskey is releasing two six-year aged whiskeys. Wigle in the Woods was distilled with local heirloom wheat and has been aging for six years in a full-size cask. The one-off whiskey is described as having tasting notes that include, “warming notes of vanilla, cherry, and freshly baked bread compliment chilly moments spent outside.”
If you thought that would be enough for one weekend in early November, you haven’t been following this website for very long. Wigle Whiskey is also releasing a six-year aged Single Barrel American Whiskey. Described as having a “unique sweetness that conveys notes of caramel apples, pecans, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom with undertones of earl grey tea.”
The 94 proof, 750 ml bottles are available for pickup or shipping in Pennsylvania for $65 each.