Image Source: Getty Images
Outer-space inspired whiskey? Martini madness? Sochu? Drinks writer Kara Newman interviewed spirits pros around the country to find out what people might be sipping at bars, night clubs, and their own homes in 2023. These year-end forecasts often don't come to pass, but here's one prediction I'd bet on: the ascent of agave spirits will continue.
Image Source: Budweiser
Beer and sports go together like movies and popcorn. But not in Qatar. This year's World Cup host did a bait-and-switch, deciding just 2 days before the opening game that alcohol would not be sold in the 8 swanky new stadiums built for more than a million thirsty soccer fans. FIFA, the sport's governing body, caved to pressure from Qatari officials well after marquee sponsor Budweiser had already ponied up $75 million, set up dozens of branded beer tents, shipped beer in ocean freighters, and stored it in refrigerated warehouses to beat the desert heat. OK, said Bud: We'll donate the unsold beer to the country that wins the World Cup. And, oh yeah, we want a $47 million coupon for sponsoring the next World Cup.
Image Source: J Sprecher
Just in time for the holidays, Michter’s has released its 20-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon for 2022. Bourbons aged this long sometimes taste woody due to decades of barrel aging in high temps and high humidity. The rare survivors are highly coveted among collectors. Bottled at 114-proof, the SRP for this year's 20-year Michter's is $1,200. That may seem steep, but previous Michter's 20-year bourbons have sold for over $10,000 on the collector market. At least that's cheaper than Michter's other unicorn bourbon, the 25-year-old, which sells for upwards of $16K. Too rich for me. But if you got the cash, I got the ice cubes.
Image Source: Associated Press
Severe drought and heat waves forced French winemakers to adapt and harvest a full month earlier than usual this year. The upshot? "Better ripeness, better balance" in the grapes, according to Fabien Teitgen, technical director of Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte in Martillac, south of Bordeaux. "Global warming is very positive," says Teitgen. At least, so far.
Image Source: Stranahans
American single malt is a growing niche in the whiskey industry. To establish standards of identity, the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) has proposed a definition mirroring that of single malt scotch. To wit, it must be be made from 100% malted barley; distilled at one distillery; mashed, distilled and matured in the US; matured in oak casks no larger than 700 liters; distilled to a maximum of 160 proof; and bottled at at least 40% ABV. Neutral spirits are not allowed, but coloring, flavoring and blending elements are. If you want to weigh in, the public comment period closes on September 27.