Port Gin Returns with New Look at Manatawny

Manatawny Still Works - Port Barrel Finished Gin

Pottstown’s Manatawny Still Works is bringing back its pink-hued Port Finished Gin in time for Valentine’s Day. Previously released as “Zimbro” — the Portuguese word for juniper, the spirit recently was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Spirits of 2020.

The gin will be available for online pre-order starting on Friday, February 5th for $40 per 750 ml bottle. Pickup and delivery will be available from Manatawny’s Philadelphia and Pottstown locations beginning on Friday, February, 12th.

The gin is finished with Gandona Estate port barrels which bring out the juniper and add sweetness, mild oak and vanilla. Pennsy Local was able to get a sip this week and felt there was definitely more port tasted in this second release.

Earlier in the pandemic, Zimbro was the backbone of some exciting cocktails at Pennsy Local HQ, including in a very tasty number made with Wigle’s Saffron Amaro and orange.

Disobedient’s Ghost Trail Rum Arrives in Time for Halloween

Disobedient Spirits - Ghost Trail Rum

Disobedient Spirits in Homer City (named for the Greek poet, not the Simpson) has just released its Spiced Rum. Ghost Trail Rum is made from can sugar and distilled in Disobedient’s copper still. Then the rum is aged in toasted oak barrels and injected with a “haunting symphony of spices.”

The spiced rum is named for a trail along the long-abandoned Cambria and Indiana Railroad. The Ghost Trail connects Blacklick, PA to Ebensburg, PA, 32 miles away, passing historic coal towns along the way.

Disobedient teases that the label has a “fun feature” that you’ll only see if you buy a bottle.

Ghost Trail Rum is available at Disobedient’s Indiana County distillery plus at Pennsylvania Libations in Pittsburgh, Sarnelli’s Market in Jones Mill, as well as several local farmers’ markets.

Accolades: Boyd & Blair’s Potato Vodka Lands at #4 on Ultimate Spirits Challenge List

Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka

Pittsbugh’s Pennsylvania Pure Distillers is celebrating today as its Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka is the number one vodka and number four overall spirit in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge Top 100 Spirits List for 2020. The list is judged by blind panels of experts in multi-stage assessments.

The Challenge includes entries from 45 countries and 96 brands. Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, which starts with Pennsylvania grown potatoes stood out among brandy, gin, whisk(e)y and other spirits to finish in the top five overall. It was also one of four vodkas in the top 100 and 20 places above the next closest vodka.

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2020 Pennsylvania Winners at the American Craft Spirits Association Awards

American Craft Spirits Awards | Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards
Wigle Saffron Amaro - Best in Category for Specialty Spirit
Wigle Saffron Amaro – Best in Category for Specialty Spirit

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.

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PA Looks To Continue American Craft Spirits Medal Run

ACSA - The Show Must Go On

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.

The ACSA will be announcing its 2020 award winners via a virtual awards show tonight, Monday, March 30th at 8 pm Eastern time. Sign up to reserve a spot or follow @Pennsy_Local on Twitter where we will be sharing live updates.

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Inquirer’s Craig LaBan Lists PA Spirits Among His Holiday Choices

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan lists Dad’s Hat’s Straight Rye and Manatawny’s Bottled in Bond in his list of the best whiskeys to buy this holiday season.

LaBan notes that age is helping both distilleries out, noting Dad’s Hat has recently bumped its Straight Rye from three to four years of age. He also notes that in Manatawny’s case, “[t]ime in a barrel is paying off for this rising distillery from Pottstown. “

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Dad’s Hat Bottled in Bond a Finalist for Whiskey of the Year

Dad’s Hat Bottled in Bond

Leading spirits writer Fred Minnick will be picking his whiskey of the year via YouTube Live on December, 20th. In the run up to the big day, he has announced all of his contenders and Bristol, PA’s Dad’s Hat Bottled in Bond is among the chosen.

About Dad’s Hat Bonded Rye, Minnick says:

Whenever I have posted positive things about Dad’s Hat, it’s often met with a groundswell of “this is crap” comments. And hey, we’re all entitled to our own opinions (for God’s sake, I blab for a living), but I often think people misunderstand this rye and its style. You can genuinely taste rye bread, and that appeals to me. I also love seeing Pennsylvania return to the whiskey game.

Whiskey of the Year Contenders

Be sure to tune in on December 20th, when Minnick announces his favorite via a broadcast blind tasting.