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Whisky AdvocateWhisky Advocate

Whisky Advocate Summer 2017

Whisky Advocate magazine is the premier source for whisky information, education and entertainment for whisky enthusiasts.

United States
M Shanken Communications
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4 Issues


access_time2 min.
we are just getting started

(PORTRAIT: JOE MCKENDRY8)Seven years ago, on June 15, 2010, M. Shanken Communications acquired Malt Advocate and within 18 months relaunched it as Whisky Advocate, transforming it into the publication you now hold in your hands. We saw enormous potential in the magazine created by John Hansell 25 years ago this year. John, along with his wife Amy Westlake, also created WhiskyFest, an event celebrating the world’s finest whiskies and the people who make them. Whisky Advocate and WhiskyFest have continued to thrive and grow as part of M. Shanken Communications. WhiskyFest is now in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.When John and Amy told me they wanted to step down last year, I was saddened by the news, but happy to support their decision. There is no question…

access_time4 min.
dear whisky advocate...

PERSISTENCE PAYS OFFDear Whisky Advocate,I have been President of the Kingston Single Malt Society for almost a decade now! During this time I have met many new people and friends over fine single malts and those who have been fans of bourbon.Of course, the legend of Pappy enthralled me the moment I heard about it. As such, I thought it would be nice to savor some. So at least five years ago I started to pursue it more seriously.Finally, last year a bottle became available in Illinois. I managed to purchase it and have it held as it could not be shipped to me in Canada.It sat in Illinois for months until a friend vacationed in Florida. The bottle made its way from Illinois to Florida where it sat in…

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sippin’ in the city by the bay

48 HOURSThe Speakeasy is part bar, part theater (left, right). (PETER LIU)The Saratoga is a new hot spot (lower right).San Francisco has always been a great place to enjoy whisky and has the history to prove it. While the inferno of the 1906 earthquake incinerated most of the city, firefighters worked overtime to save the vast whiskey warehouse of a local merchant named A.P. Hotaling. The building still stands on Jackson St., and the plaque outside displays a cheeky tribute to their effort:If, as they say, God spanked the townFor being over-frisky,Why did He burn His churches downAnd spare Hotaling’s whiskey?The rest of the poetry on this tour will come in a glass. No need to rent a car, because the city is small enough to walk or hail a…

access_time1 min.
small craft advisory

Despite all the buzz around American craft spirits, “craft” is not a protected term and there is no universally accepted definition. So what are we talking about? Small production is typically a differentiating factor, but different states set their own limits for a craft distiller license. Some states have additional requirements, like Washington, which requires that at least 50 percent of the grain used in production be grown in-state. This page defines craft distillers as U.S.-licensed producers that have not more than 750,000 proof gallons (or 394,317 9-liter cases) removed from bond annually, market themselves as craft, are not con-trolled by a large supplier, and have abided by the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) Code of Ethics.My How You’ve GrownTOTAL NUMBER OF U.S. CRAFT DISTILLERS BY YEARIf U.S. craft distillers…

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there’s no such thing as plain vanilla

Knappogue Castle 12 year old Vanilla custard, lemon, baked appleJack Daniel’s 150th Anniversary Rich vanilla, barrel char, cinnamonMidleton Very RareVanilla pod, orange peel, spiceArouse your senses and prepare to deconstruct the flavors found in your whisky glass. Tasting Lesson is a drink hack to help anyone identify common whisky flavors and their origin.Vanilla is America’s most popular ice cream flavor. It’s familiar and imminently likeable, and its appearance in bourbon and other whiskies ranges from vanilla buttercream frosting to the intense flavor of the tiny, granular seeds scraped from a dark, wrinkled vanilla pod.Vanilla pod flavors vary according to the pod’s origin, whether from Tahiti, the island of Bourbon, or Mexico. Vanilla can be simultaneously smoky, sweet, floral, or fruity, but its trademark scent comes from vanillin, a compound that…

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bulleit whiskey gets a new home

Enhanced photo of Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Ky (ORLANDO HOETZEL)Thirty years after Tom Bulleit started the brand, Bulleit whiskey finally has a home of its own. Bulleit—which has sourced from numerous distilleries, including Four Roses and MGP, to supply its bourbon and rye labels over the years—opened its distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky on March 14th with an official ribbon cutting ceremony attended by executives from parent company Diageo, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and state Senator Paul Hornback, Kentucky Distillers’ Association president Eric Gregory, and of course, Tom himself.Construction on the $115 million distill-ery began in 2014, and production started this past February. It has a 52-foot Vendome column still capable of producing 1.8 million proof gallons annually, though the ability to grow has been built into the facility’s modular…