World's Oldest Bourbon Sells At Auction For $137,000
Image Source: Catherine Chen
Bottled in LaGrange, Georgia between 1762 and 1802, the bottle of Old Ingledew Whiskey includes a label that reads, "This Bourbon was probably made prior to 1865 and was in the cellars of Mr. John Pierpont Morgan from whose estate it was acquired upon his death.” Yes, that JP Morgan. Interestingly, the buyer wishes to remain anonymous, and the antique bourbon's destination is unknown.
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Pandemic Drinking Gives US Alcohol Consumption Its Biggest Boost In Two Decades
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A new report from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis shows that US alcohol consumption went up 2% last year, the country's biggest increase since 2002. Online sales became a major force and is predicted to account for 7% of all off-premise alcohol purchases by 2024. Spirits had their best year since 1990, and whiskey was especially popular, so much that it's projected to nudge out vodka in overall sales volume by the end of 2022. Tequila and cognac also saw big gains of nearly 16% and 20% over the previous year. But the most popular category was ready-to-drink beverages, led by hard seltzer, which is poised to become the second-largest alcohol category in the US in terms of sales volume by the end of 2021. Beer remains the lead dog but continued its recent decline, finishing 2020 down about 3% in total sales. It seems Spuds Mackenzie is giving way to White Claw.
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25-Year-Old Glen Scotia Single Malt Named Best Whisky In The World
Image Source: Glen Scotia
A relatively unknown whisky from an obscure distillery in Campbeltown, Scotland was crowned "Best In Show" at this year's San Francisco World Spirits Competition, known as "the Oscars of Booze." Glen Scotia beat out more than 3,800 spirits entries, 269 of which were Scotch. The small distillery's 25-year-old single malt was matured exclusively in ex-bourbon oak barrels, giving it the usual vanilla and caramel notes along with aromas of fresh apple, apricot, dried orange zest, cinnamon, clove, ginger and a bit of smoke. That $500 price tag is too steep, you say? Give Glen Scotia's 15-year-old whisky a sip instead. It's less smooth but has a similar albeit more savory flavor profile in a reasonable $75 bottle.
Craft Beer Production Declines For First Time Ever
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For more than 15 years, the Brewers Association has been tracking growth in the US craft beer industry. The Association's 2020 report reveals that only 23.1 million barrels of craft beer were produced last year, a 9% decline from the 2019 numbers, the industry's first decline ever. The good news? Despite the production downturn, 2020 ended with 8,764 craft breweries in operation, an all-time high. Now, they just need people to start buying craft beer again.
Regulators Set Requirements For "Japanese Whisky" Labels To Avoid Fraud
Image Source: Gabi Porter
What is Japanese whisky? Historically, it's been modeled on Scotch whisky but vague rules and surging demand have allowed whisky distilled outside of Japan and liquor that isn’t whisky, like shochu, to be labeled as Japanese whisky. The Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association is setting the record straight. Effective immediately, distillers of "Japanese whisky" must use malted grains, and their water must come from Japan. Mashing, fermentation, and distillation must take place at a Japanese distillery. Whisky must be matured in wooden casks stored in Japan for at least three years, and bottling must be done in Japan with a minimum of 40% alcohol by volume. Whiskies that don’t meet these requirements may not use the Japanese flag, Japanese place names, or the names of Japanese people on labels. The catch: These rules apply only to association members. Buyer beware. For relaxing times...make sure it's actually Japanese whisky.