Spirits Close-Up: Smoke

From midday brats to late-night s’mores, the flavors of summer are full of smoke. I say you should add a little to your cocktails as well. There are several ways to get a smoky flavor into drinks, but which ones are worth your time and effort? Don’t Bother With Liquid Smoke: Do you want your … [ Read more]

Craft Cocktail: Campfire Rob Roy at Ngon Bistro

Most restaurants on University Avenue in St. Paul deliver excellent food at the expense of their ambiance. I’ll happily eat a banh mi from a grocery store or a bowl of pho in an unadorned plastic booth. But when it’s happy hour, I want to escape. I want to drink in summer as I drink … [ Read more]

Fooling Father Time: ‘Rapid-aging’ and the future of craft whiskey

The standard formula for whiskey, the way it’s always been done, is this: you fill up an oak barrel with a clear spirit and then you wait. And wait. And wait. Inside that barrel, things slowly unfold. Alcohol seeps into the toasted oak, degrading the polymers that make up its structure. The lignin and hemicellulose in … [ Read more]

Beers for non-beer people

When you love beer, you want to share it. One challenge, though, is that for many people there’s a notion that “beer” is just “fizzy corn water with a touch of alcohol.” The dominance of macro light lager in the marketplace for so long has convinced many people that beer only means one thing, and … [ Read more]

BrewDog reveals name of spirits operation; Lone Wolf Distillery

The enigmatic Scottish brewery, BrewDog, has revealed the name of its spirits project, Lone Wolf, as well as a few plans for its upcoming spirits. Once their stills begin heating up, they will become the only craft distillery in Scotland to be making their own base spirit for gin and vodka under one roof. It’s … [ Read more]

First community-owned distillery planned in Scotland

The GlenWyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society is working to make the Scottish hamlet of Dingwall a craft spirit destination once again. The Highland whisky firm hopes to raise £1.5 million to develop the country’s first community-owned distillery. “The firm, in conjunction with lottery-funded body Community Shares Scotland (CSS), is offering investment opportunities for as little as £250 to people living in all the … [ Read more]

Old Pulteney 1989 Vintage named world’s best single malt

Old Pulteney 1989 Vintage, from the Pulteney Distillery in Wick, Scotland, has been named the world’s best single malt at Whisky Magazine’s annual World Whiskies Awards. Pulteney is one of the northernmost distilleries on the Scottish mainland. The 1989 Vintage, released in September 2015, was aged in former bourbon barrels that also held peated malt. … [ Read more]

Scotch Ages Differently In Space

Ardbeg, the Scotch whisky distillery, has recently brought a sample of their whisky back from a three-year stint on the International Space Station. After testing the space whiskey against control samples that were aged on terra firma, Ardbeg’s distillers noticed significant differences in aroma and taste, leading them to conclude that terpenes (flavor compounds) behave differently in microgravity. … [ Read more]

Scotch Saturday at Rudolph’s

By John Garland A few weeks ago, stuck in the doldrums of what looked to be a hopeless Wild-Avalanche series, I ventured to Rudolphs on Franklin and Lyndale for a glass of scotch. Little did I realize the habit I was about to form. I never go to Rudolphs to eat. There may not be … [ Read more]