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Don Julio Passes Away, March 21st


Don Julio González

Don Julio González-Frausto Estrada, founder of Don Julio Tequila, passed away yesterday in Mexico. Don Julio began distilling tequila in 1942 with his La Primavera distillery. In 1985 he celebrated his 60th birthday and his sons gave him the gift of a tequila bearing his name and Don Julio Tequila was born.

From the Don Julio Tequila Facebook:

Don Julio González Estrada, creator and founder of Tequila Don Julio passed away yesterday in his native Mexico. Our most sincere condolences go out to his family and friends as we have lost a great friend and mentor. It is an honor that each one of our bottles carries the name of the man who dedicated his life to one of Mexico’s greatest icons: tequila. His values and philosophy will always thrive in the fabric of our brand. Out of respect to his legacy and pioneering spirit, we will be taking some time to reflect on this great visionary.

Rest In Peace old friend.

2 comments 03.22.2012 |

Malt Ball 2012 Pairs Portland Breweries and Indie Music


Malt Ball Poster

Immersed in a veritable wonderland of craft beer and indie music, the good citizens of Portlandia are blessed with more beer festivals than you can put a bird on and are surrounded by a seemingly bottomless pool of musical artists. The first annual Malt Ball will capitalize on these valuable resources and bring the two together for a day long celebration fueled by barley, hops, and Marshall half stacks.  The band line up for this beer/music festival is rife with budding heroes of the Portland music scene and most interestingly, the featured breweries are incorporating their music into their specialty beers.

Not only are the brewhouses offering a special release for the event, but each has collaborated with one of the performers to pair their beer with the band’s music. The Oregon Brewers Guild and The Portland Mercury, “PDX’s most awesome weekly”, present a unique opportunity to try your hand at pairing music and fine beverage. See for yourself if that Eisbock pairs best with punk, folk or orchestral synth and discover why, for some reason, that Blonde Ale tastes perfect when listening to doom metal progressive rock.

The Malt Ball 2012

Saturday, March 24 at the Bossanova Ballroom (722 E Burnside)
$20 presale tickets and $25 at the door.

Collaboration beers from:

10 Barrel Brewing
Breakside Brewery
Burnside Brewing
Coalition Brewing
Full Sail Brewing
Ninkasi Brewing
and more…

For more event and ticket information visit portlandmercury.com/maltball

Comments Off on Malt Ball 2012 Pairs Portland Breweries and Indie Music 03.21.2012 |

Freaker USA: Making YOU & Fine Beverage Cooler!

Other Beverage

Gotta get ya FREAKER SAMPLES! from freakerusa on Vimeo

Freakers are a simple enough product. Each is an ultra stretchy beverage coozy that will easily cover your favorite beer bottle, that magnum of Châteauneuf-du-Pape you’ve been saving, or even your daily 40 oz to freedom. Freakers come in all manner of colorful patterns and are brought to you by an illustrious crew of creatives; designers, internet-gurus and filmmakers.

What might first appear as a goofy kickstarter company that makes little beverage products, is the display of an authentic albeit bizarre modern retelling of the American Dream. Like all successful brands, FreakerUSA isn’t just selling a product, they’re giving you an official invitation to take part in a new lifestyle and theirs is chock full of freaky delights. It seems they have found a way, without the use of VooDoo mind you, to infuse life into a fine beverage sweater.

Find it hard to believe? Take a closer look and discover how they send hand written notes to their customers and organize grilled cheese parties across the country as part of their marketing efforts. They weave the Freaker so artfully and seamlessly in and out of everything they do, that it’s hard to see the lines between the product, the life and the profile of Freaker-culture.

Blah Blah freaker. Blah Blah fits. Blah blah anything.

Comments Off on Freaker USA: Making YOU & Fine Beverage Cooler! 03.20.2012 |

What’s Hot Right Now: Japanese Peruvian Food


Earth On Plate, Ready For Eat

Los Angeles and its surrounding cities and suburbs are a bastion of international culinary treasures. Some of the hubs include Artesia for Indian food, the San Gabriel Valley for Chinese, Montebello for Armenian, and Westminster for Vietnamese.

What you might’ve noticed is that a new, hybrid international cuisine has also become hot here. Japanese Peruvian food – a meld of traditional tastes from the Eastern, island nation and the South American fishing-industry-powerhouse.

While the combination might appear unusual at first, the two countries share a long history, beginning in 1873, which is when Peru established diplomatic relations with Japan (Chinese-Peruvians celebrate an even older tie). Sweeping political changes, a fragile economy and the first Sino-Japanese war chased many workers from their homeland and into the arms of a welcoming job market in Peru. Along with a strong work ethic, the Japanese immigrants also brought over recipes from across the Pacific – recipes that aligned perfectly with Peru’s thriving fishing industry and the rice dishes brought over by the Spanish, some three hundred years prior.

As the Japanese presence in Peru increased, so did the influence of Japanese cuisine, which was termed “Nikkei cusine” in the restaurants and cafes that began popping up across the country. Traditional dishes like ceviche, (commonly regarded as the national dish of Peru), adopted characteristics from newly-introduced cooking styles, changing the age-old Incan method to a faster, fresher Japanese-inspired preparation.

Naturally, as these culinary mergers gained popularity across Peru, they were also packed into baskets and carried around the world. In the process, chefs have experimented with and elevated the style; most notable of these is Nobu Matsuhisa, who opened his world-famous Matsuhisa restaurant in 1987.

Read on to learn about this and the other game-changing Japanese-Peruvian restaurants that are totally en fuego in LA at the moment.

See the full post »

Glenfiddich Breaks World Record at Auction


Glenfiddich 125th Charity Gala On Liberty Island

An extremely rare bottle of Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded Single Malt Scotch Whisky, sold at auction last night for a record-breaking $94,000, in celebration of its 125th anniversary. The bottle of Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve, one of only 11 bottles in the world, shattered the record for the most expensive bottle of whisky ever sold at auction. The evening, held on New York’s Liberty Island, was hosted by famed actor and environmentalist Adrian Grenier, with proceeds benefitting SHFT Initiatives, the charitable arm of SHFT, which was founded by Mr. Grenier to promote sustainability issues through the intersection of commerce, art & design, and communication.

This extremely rare whisky was created to commemorate the 110th birthday of Janet Sheed Roberts, granddaughter of Glenfiddich founder William Grant in late 2011. This offering has quickly established itself as the benchmark for fine and rare whiskies, with Bottle #1 fetching an unprecedented 46,850 pounds Sterling ($72,630) at auction in the UK in December 2011. Bottle #2 was subsequently sold for 44,000 pounds at an event hosted by HRH Prince Harry. The sale of this third bottle reaffirms the brand’s position among the world’s most valuable Single Malt Whiskies, and is a fitting tribute to the distillery’s 125 years of pioneering achievements.

“We’re so excited to have kicked off our 125th anniversary year in such an unprecedented and memorable way,” said Lindsay Prociw, Senior Brand Manager for Glenfiddich. “Glenfiddich began its history 125 years ago when our founder William Grant cashed in his life savings to pursue his dream of creating the ‘best dram in the valley.’ The distillery he founded is unique because it is still proudly, independently owned by Grant’s descendents, and that makes SHFT the perfect partner for the auction proceeds. They help contribute to the pioneering dreams of others.”

Proceeds of the auction gala will benefit SHFT Initiatives. SHFT Initiatives is a sustainability-focused charity founded by film producer Peter Glatzer and actor-filmmaker Adrian Grenier. Its mission is to develop creative solutions to improve the health of individuals, communities, and the environment at large through the intersection of commerce, art & design, and communication. Like Glenfiddich, SHFT Initiatives is fully devoted to supporting sustainable business practices, as well as the artists, innovators and pioneers of tomorrow, whose dreams may one day have a profound impact on our world.

The event was co-hosted by Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman who travelled from Scotland to oversee this auspicious occasion and kick off the brand’s year-long 125th Anniversary celebration.


William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. Today, the luxury spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distills some of the world’s leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world’s most awarded single malt Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world’s fourth largest blended Scotch Grant’s® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick’s® Gin, Sailor Jerry® Rum, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and Milagro® Tequila.

Among the most recent accolades for the well-awarded company, William Grant & Sons was honored as the “Distiller of the Year” by the International Wine & Spirit Competition for the second year running and the fourth time since 1999. When counted along with the same designation from the International Spirits Challenge, William Grant & Sons has received this title an unprecedented nine times in the past 12 years.

Founded in 1964, William Grant & Sons USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of William Grant & Sons, Ltd. and features one of the fastest growing spirits portfolios in the USA with brands including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick’s Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Milagro Tequila, Stolichnaya Vodka, Grant’s, Hudson Whiskey, Gibson’s Finest, Monkey Shoulder, Clan MacGregor, Reyka Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Lillet, Art In The Age, The Knot and BOLS cordials. The company has offices in New York City (sales and marketing) and Edison, NJ (bottling and warehouse facilities). For more information on the company and its brands, please visit www.grantusa.com.

SOURCE William Grant & Sons, Ltd.

4 comments 03.16.2012 |

The Art & Science of Barrel Aging Beer with Full Sail Brewing


We love craft beer and we love just about anything aged in barrels .. to include beer after the barrel has been empty of its previous tenant. In the video below, Full Sail Brewing does a great job at explaining what barrel aging is and why they do it. Enjoy.

Comments Off on The Art & Science of Barrel Aging Beer with Full Sail Brewing 03.15.2012 |

New York International Wine Competition Now Accepting Submissions


Second Annual New York International Wine Competition

Submissions are now being accepted to participate in the Second Annual New York International Wine Competition (“NYIWC”) taking place on May 5th-6th 2012 at the Scholastic Building in SOHO. Compared to other competitions this contest stands out from others because of its distinctive set of standards and one-of-a-kind judging process making it the quintessential competition for all wines.


• The competition is open to any international winery whose products are commercially available in their country of origin.

• All wines are judged by a group of TRUE key trade targets – wine focused buyers, restaurant & bar sommeliers, retail stores owners/buyers, restaurant & bar owners, distributors & importers, etc… Unlike other competitions, these expert TRADE ONLY judges and their opinions make an immediate impact and have the ability to directly influence sales and a brand’s bottom line.

• The panelists of trade volunteer judges are not involved for publicity or for their industry position as critics or members of the press. They are the decision makers, experts and willing supporters of the craft who have an authentic understanding of the business of buying and selling wine.

• Each product category has a sub category for pricing. Therefore, a wine will be judged in its category along with other wines in the same price range. Each category will have its own pricing levels and details are listed on the submission form. For example, a $15 Cabernet will be judged against a $20 Cabernet and not a $45 Cabernet. The judges will also know the set retail price of the wine beforehand they taste and rate.

• We are including a “Kosher Wine Section” which is a new section in the 2012 NYIWC. Kosher Wineries have the opportunity to submit their wines to be judged in the regular or the Kosher Wine section that utilizes the same wine categories in the competition. They will also have the opportunity to submit the same wine in both sections at a reduced submission rate. Trade buyers with experience in Kosher Wines buying will specifically be on the Kosher Wine judging panel.

• Wines will be rated on a set of criteria including appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel and finish.

• Upon completion of the tastings, panelists will confer and decide which samples are award worthy.

• Award levels are Double Gold, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
– Double Gold: Phenomenal Product for Buyers
– Gold: Buyers “Love” It
– Silver: Buyers “Like” It
– Bronze: Buyers will purchase it

• Double Gold award winners will be re-tasted by all panelists to establish which brands may be eligible to receive a ‘Best of Category’ endorsement in their pricing category.

• While other recognized competitions prize up to 85% of entrants, the discerning panel and ethos of the NYIWC is to award the brands that are most deserving and not everyone that enters the competition. Last year, the NYIWC awarded less than 40% of its entrants.
See the full post »

Comments Off on New York International Wine Competition Now Accepting Submissions 03.14.2012 |

Milagro Tequila Unveils UNICO


MILAGRO TEQUILA UNICOFollowing in its tradition of continually evolving the landscape of Tequila, Milagro Tequila today announced its latest product innovation, as it launches UNICO, a super premium, limited edition micro distilled joven blend. Available nationwide in extremely limited quantities, UNICO promises to challenge the category and set a new standard for Tequila.

Developed by Milagro Tequila founders Daniel Schneeweiss and Moises Guindi, the entrepreneurial team spent more than two years alongside Milagro’s Master Distiller Pedro Juarez crafting this highly specialized liquid that blends a micro-distilled silver tequila with Milagro’s rarest and finest barrel-aged reserves. The resulting liquid is agave-forward with hints of caramel, vanilla and black pepper, and an exceptional long, warm finish.

“When we started Milagro, we set out to produce the best tequila in the world. Today, our goal is still the same, but with Milagro UNICO, we wanted to evolve the tequila category,” said Daniel Schneeweiss, Co-Founder of Milagro Tequila. “By combining old world techniques with modern innovations, we created a product that takes you through a journey of everything tequila has to offer – all in one glass.”

As a true testament of Milagro’s dedication to quality, a “kitchen distillery” was built in Jalisco to produce a limited edition 5,000 liters of unique, micro distilled silver that serves as the base for Milagro UNICO. By using more than 13 kilos of hand-selected agave per liter, Milagro is able to concentrate all the flavors of the agave which gives the silver tequila an unparalleled flavor profile and strong agave forward taste.

The base is then blended with proprietary proportions of aged reserves and rested for 30 days so the tequilas can marry while still retaining many qualities of their individual flavor profiles. The liquid is then taken through a highly specialized filtering and oxygenation process to enhance the blend and remove its color. Finally, this exceptional tequila is presented in a unique bottle, featuring the signature “pina” (the heart of the agave plant) hand-blown inside the glass.

“With its crisp, clean, fresh profile and strong agave flavors, Milagro UNICO sets a unique precedent in tequila craftsmanship. We’re proud to push the envelope, raise the bar and continue to offer unique and innovative products to consumers,” said Tom Wade, US Brand Manager for Milagro Tequila.

This limited edition product was previewed to top bartenders at Tales of the Cocktail 2011, and is now ready for a strictly limited edition, numbered release in both the on and off premise. With only 1,200 bottles produced, Milagro UNICO is currently available at a RRP of $300 with an ABV of 40%. For more information, please visit Milagro’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/milagro and explore the UNICO tab.

1 comment 03.13.2012 |

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