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Downtown Wine & Spirits

Getting In The Holiday Spirit

December 7th, 2016

These seasonal favorites can spice up a hot cocoa or warm you up all on their own.

New Holiday Liquors

Vermont Iced Maple Créme

There is no denying the sweet taste of real Vermont maple syrup in this creamy and satisfying liquor, but the way it opens up to a pleasant vanilla caramel and apple flavor is a testament to the the versatility of this genuine New England product. Definitely a great contender to put in your coffee for an extra kick, but the taste and body would hold up poured in a glass over ice as well.

Deacon Giles Friendship’s Bounty Spiced Rum

This Salem distillery built on its historically-inspired Liquid Damnation rum with an assortment of spices that celebrate both the holiday season and the spice cargo of its namesake, The Friendship of Salem. This may be the lightest spiced rum you’ll have this year, but it will be far from forgettable with its sweet blend of flavors. Additionally, $1 of each purchase is donated to the Essex Heritage for education and preservation of maritime activities.

Georgi Apple Cider Flavored Vodka

Flavored vodkas can sometimes be tricky to mix with as it’s difficult to know what, exactly, you’re going to end up with. Fortunately Georgi delivers a clean and upfront taste of real apple cider that can give a great seasonal kick to your party’s punch or to mix with household soda for something simple yet full of cheer.

Short Path Winter Gin

Short Path devoted itself to experimenting with a wide variety of gin recipes, and their winter variety – formerly known as Gin No. 14 for a reason – shows this in how it stands out from what people expect from a usual summery “g+t”. The bright citrus flavor of the juniper is works well with the woodsier botanical addition of rosemary, and makes for perfect sipping at a homey family meal or in front of a roaring fire.

Spirits for your Halloween

October 25, 2016

Halloween Spirits

Captain Morgan Jack-O Blast Pumpkin Spiced Rum

A seasonal blend of pumpkin spice and the classic spiced rum that’s perfect for your Halloween plans.

Vapor Distillery Pumpkin King Cordial

A handcrafted liqueur made by blending the sweet juice from hand-roasted Baby Bear Pie pumpkins, with freshly ground cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, and Vapor Distillery award winning new western style RHok gin.

Deacon Giles Liquid Damnation Rum

The first rum to be hand-crafted and distilled in Salem, MA for more than 100 years, made with a unique blend of Blackstrap and Fancy molasses.

Espolon Tequila Blanco

Bright agave, pepper, vanilla, and grilled pineapple. A classic tequila that works perfectly in any drink.

Baron Samedi Spiced Rum

A carefully crafted, “supernatural” spirit with flavors of cocoa, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, and exotic spices.

Outer Space Vodka

A wild look, perfect for making drinks, or even just decorating your kitchen for Halloween.

Pennsylvania Dutch Pumpkin Cream Liqueur

Made for the Autumn holidays. Cream, and pumpkin, and spice, to make everything nice for these holidays.

Cooper & Thief Cellarmasters Red Wine Blend

Dark and jammy red blend loaded with bourbon-inspired flavors and aromas. Aging for three months in ex-bourbon barrels gives way to soft velvety tannins, with a subtle heat.

Whiskey of the Week

April 5, 2016

Mars Whisky Iwai Tradition

Mars Whisky Iwai Tradition

In the Nagano Mountain Range at nearly 800 meters (about 2624 feet) is Shinshu Mars Distillery, producing some of the best Japanese Whisky available in the US for the price. Iwai Tradition uses sherry, bourbon, and wine casks to create a whisky entirely different from the more fruit forward Iwai. Spice, honey, and light peat complement each other for a balanced whisky with great character that is perfect for sipping.

March 17, 2016

Irish Whiskeys

This week in honor of St Patrick’s Day we decided that whiskey of the week needed to be “Whiskeys of the week” as we break down some of our favorite Irish whiskeys that we’re excited to crack open this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Let’s start with 2015’s Irish whiskey of the year Redbreast 12 year old single pot still whiskey. Some call this whiskey close to perfect, with a sweet and spicy mouth feel similar to a rye, and a strong, bold, sweet and smooth finish that tends to linger. Redbreast offers a complexity and flavor that any Irish whiskey fan would love.

The Kern Irish whiskey. Come on in on St Patrick’s day from 6:30 -8:00 and try The Kern. Made from the best Irish malts and grains, this blended Irish whiskey is pot stilled then aged in American oak for 3-5 years. Well-structured and semi-sweet with notes of honey and a sweet, rich, mellow slightly spicy finish. Come by Thursday from 6:30- 8:00 to celebrate St Patrick’s day with us and try their whiskey.

South Boston Irish Whiskey. Perfect for St Patrick’s day in Boston. Distilled in Ireland and bottled in South Boston. South Boston Irish Whiskey offers flavors of toffee, vanilla and finishes with a taste of burnt orange peel. Keep your St. Patrick’s day rolling with us and a tasting Friday from 5:30-7:00

The Pogues Irish whiskey. Inspired by the band The Pogues, this 3 year old blended whiskey offers a very smooth taste with flavors of Chocolate milk, vanilla and honey, and a robust lingering finish.

The Irishman Irish whiskey. This multi award winning Irish whiskey is a single malt that is triple distilled then aged in Oak bourbon barrels and Oroloso sherry cask. Giving this whiskey a remarkably awesome taste. A rich, full bodied taste of vanilla, honey, almond, and a hint of oak and coco, and a sweet smooth oak filled finish. St. Patrick’s day weekend continues at Downtown on Saturday with a tasting from 5:30-7:00 and on Sunday from 10:30- 11:30 am. Come in and try their Irish whiskey!

March 10, 2016

New Holland Whiskey

Join us this Friday from 5pm to 7pm as we pass out samples from one of our favorite distilleries, New Holland!  You’ll get to try three of their incredible craft whiskeys, including…

Beer Barrel Bourbon: Aged in new American oak barrels for several years before being aged three months in their Dragons Milk beer barrel. This creates a very smooth malty rich flavor with robust whiskey tones of toffee and caramel. Absolutely enjoyable!

Cask and Smoke: This semi peated whiskey gives you a rich full bodied sweetness with a nice hint of smokiness, creating one of the most complex, interesting and enjoyable whiskeys around.

Double Down Malt Whiskey: A rich smooth full bodied whiskey loaded in malt flavor.

Hope to see you there!

February 22, 2016

Frapin VS

Today for a whiskey of the week, we decided to pay attention to another brown spirit. Cognac. This week were giving a welcome back to one of our favorite cognacs Frapin Vs. Frapin has been off our shelves for some time but its now back and in case you missed it heres a refresher on how good it is. Produced by the oldest family-run vineyard in the region, this Cognac is one of a kind. A light vanilla nose gives way to full, warm notes of caramel, fruit and spice and an aromatic finish. Its flavor lingers on the tongue long after drinking, making it an ideal sipper for long winter evenings. Now available for $44.99

Tasting

Join us on Saturday February 27th from 3-6pm while we sample Alabamas official spirit Clyde May Alabama Whiskey. What is Alabama Whiskey? Alabama whiskey is whiskey that has oven-dried apples or apple juice added to it. Giving it a hint of cinnamon, vanilla and soft sweetness. Stop in Saturday and try this multiple award winning whiskey that calls Alabama its sweet home.

Back in Stock!

January 26, 2016

Glenfiddich 14 year

Glenfiddich 14 Year Single Malt Scotch Whiskey

We wanted to bring this back to your attention. This former whiskey of the week has been out of stock since October. If you missed it on its first go around we recommend giving it a try on its second.

Whiskey of the Week

December 31, 2015

OL'MAJOR Bacon Flavored Whiskey

With this being the week of New year’s Day and playoff football just around the corner it’s time for some day drinking. Que this week’s whiskey of the week Ol’ Major Bacon Bourbon. Bourbon for breakfast now may just be a thing, Ol Major Bacon Bourbon is bourbon infused with bacon for a bourbon that is sweet, full bodied, slightly salty, and slightly smoky. The bacon in flavor is not over powering, the mouth feel is heavy and sweet, with a hint of smoke and salt. The finish sweet, salty candied goodness. So yes bourbon for breakfast can actually be a thing I recommend trying it with a piece of bacon in your glass for garnish and added taste. Let’s try bacon bourbon as our next morning drink instead of a mimosa or bloody Mary, or try it in your bloody Mary. Get yourself a bottle today at $28.99 and remember the main reason you should try this BACON!

December 12, 2015

Boston Harbor Distillery Whiskies

Hello everyone, due to some unfortunate technical difficulties we were unable to post any whiskey of the week reviews for a while. I thought to make up for lost time and to get in the spirit of the holiday I would talk about three different spirits today. This week’s whiskey of the week are the three spirits that come from Boston Harbor Distillery, it’s their Spirit of Boston collection. Three different spirits all distilled from different Sam Adams beer varietals. So without further delay here’s this week’s review.

Starting with Boston Harbor Distillery’s Spirit of Boston Distilled from Samuel Adams Thirteenth Hour Stout. This whisky technically speaking cannot be called a whiskey since it is made a different way has a nose reminiscent of coffee and wood. The taste light body, semi dry with flavors of coffee, chocolate and cinnamon. The finish, long warming a little heat but its sweet and malty with a taste of coffee and cinnamon. In short its delicious.

Next we have the spirit distilled from the Sam Adams New World Tripel. On the nose you’ll get a slightly hoppy smell with notes of oak, vanilla and spice. The taste: rich, heavy full bodied mouthfeel with a slightly citrusy hoppy note followed by a salted toffee taste. The finish: sweet with slight hint of salt and nice taste of hops.

Finally, we have the Spirit which was distilled from the Sam Adams holiday seasonal the Merry Maker. The nose: lots of gingerbread and vanilla with a hint of cinnamon and spice. The taste: a full bodied taste of Custard, caramel, gingerbread and vanilla the flavors play nicely together to create a sweet dessert like taste, that will make you want more. The finish: butter spiced sweetness equals more please.

These spirits available in pint size, make great stocking stuffers for any whiskey or beer fan.

Cheers and happy holidays.

A Very Happy Thanksgiving

November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Spirits

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, here are some festive drinks that the Downtown crew will be passing around during Thanksgiving dinner. These drinks will pair well with dinner, dessert or just on their own! No matter what your beverage of choice is for the holiday, enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers!

Midnight Moon Apple Pie Whiskey

Pie is of course the traditional dessert of Thanksgiving. This year, try this liquid dessert in a bottle instead, Midnight Moon Apple Pie Moonshine. It tastes like pie in a glass and is less filling so you can squeeze in seconds if you like. Cost: $24.99

Seymour’s Coffee Liqueur

Make your post-meal coffee more adult and delicious. Seymour’s Coffee Liqueur is a rich, bold, locally made coffee liqueur which will leave you wanting this beverage for all occasions. Cost: $39.99

Wild Turkey 81

Wild Turkey… Enough said. There’s a turkey on the bottle. Not to mention this whiskey has a strong, buttery, oaky taste with hints of cinnamon and caramel making it a good choice for sipping neat or for any after dinner bourbon based cocktail you could desire. Cost: $25.99

Lazy Eight Black Tea Vodka

Perhaps you’re not a coffee drinker and more of a tea drinker. No sweet tea vodka has a more natural tea taste than Lazy Eight Sweet Tea Vodka. Made with all natural ingredients, Lazy Eight Black Tea Vodka is more refreshing with a light sweetness. Recommended to be served on ice or blended with iced tea. Enjoy with a large meal or on its own. Cost: $20.99

Crop Pumpkin Vodka

Add that classic pumpkin taste to your Thanksgiving coffee! Or making any number of vodka based pumpkin drinks – pumpkin martini, pumpkin mudslide or even a pumpkin style White Russian. Or our favorite: straight with a slice of pumpkin pie. Cost: $23.99

Prichard’s Cranberry Rum

Enjoy this with your turkey and cranberry sauce or mix it in the cranberry sauce. Prichard’s Cranberry Rum is an award winning flavored rum, made with ocean spray cranberry juice. Serve on ice or use to make one incredible cosmopolitan. Cost $23.99

Reval Stoke Pecan Whiskey

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without dessert. And pecan pie is one of the most traditional desserts associated with this holiday. Why not put a twist on the tradition and try this pecan whiskey? Reval Stoke Pecan Whiskey is smooth, sweet and still has an amazing whiskey flavor. Cost: $14.99

Sons of Liberty Pumpkin Spiced Whiskey

There’s a dessert for everyone so there should be a whiskey for everyone as well. If your dessert of choice is pumpkin pie, we recommend this award-winning pumpkin whiskey. Sons of Liberty Pumpkin Spiced Whiskey was voted 2014’s flavored whiskey of the year. It is loaded with pumpkin flavor along with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and spice. So good everyone will want seconds! Cost $49.99

Underberg

The perfect digestive after a large meal Underberg! Some of us may eat just a bit too much on Thanksgiving and need just a bit of help with digestion, for all of us who may have this problem, there’s no need to fear Underberg is here. Made carefully using ingredients from over 40 different countries. Underberg a premium, smooth herbal shot that has digestive properties. Cost 3 pack of 50ml $6.50

Whiskey of the Week

September 21, 2015 – New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon

New Holland distillery makes it’s second appearance on our website as one of our whiskeys of the week. This time it’s for their Beer Barrel Bourbon.

In essence, all whiskey starts off as a beer of some sort, using pale malts as their base.  However, this bourbon’s base is more like a stout in that they use darker malts. They take the wort from New Holland’s own Dragon’s Milk Stout and distill it. Then they add a unique twist to the aging process. The whole process starts as normal, Beer Barrel Bourbon is aged in American white oak barrels.  But here’s the twist: the whiskey is aged in beer barrels.  Many imperial stouts are aged in whiskey barrels; this helps add a slight and some times over powering whiskey flavor to the beer.  New Holland flips things around and ages the whiskey in the finished  beer,the barrels formerly used for their Dragon’s Milk Stout.

The result is a bourbon unlike any other that I have ever tried. I will say that this bourbon may not be for everyone; it is as different from something like Jim Beam as you can possibly  get.  Personally, I find this bourbon delicious. It has a smooth mouth feel and a soft finish and its only 80 proof. All of these reasons make it very approachable bourbon, even for people just getting into whiskey . I recommend this as a good way to start branching out into the bourbon world , since this is a very sweet, smooth sipping bourbon.

The mouth feel: creamy, rich, heavy and sweet. The taste: lots of oak, a little caramel. The finish: chocolate and corn, with no burn at all; zero heat.  A sipping Bourbon or a dessert bourbon recommended to be enjoyed neat.

This bourbon isn’t very complex but it is easy to drink and very soft and warming; and for $34.99 its worth trying a bottle, especially if you enjoy stouts or sweeter whiskeys. Check it out this week while it’s marked down to $32.99 enjoy!

September 7, 2015 – Glenfiddich 14yr

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This week’s whiskey is the first one I’ll review that hails from Scotland, the home of Scotch; and we really like Scotch!

The Glenfiddich 14 year Bourbon Barrel Reserve. Glenfiddich is a family run distillery located in Dufftown, Scotland. Founded in 1887, the distillery is a staple in the scotch world. The Glenfiddich 14 year is their newest release; so new that the Glenfiddich website doesn’t have a review of it yet. Luckily for us, they’re better at making scotch then at updating their website. This whiskey is great! Aged 14 years in bourbon Barrels that come from Kentucky and finishing in American oak makes this one of the sweetest, softest, smoothest whiskeys I’ve ever had the pleasure to try. The mouth feel is warm, rich, and creamy; smooth and sweet with a slight spicy note. The taste: caramel. Lots of caramel, with some toffee and vanilla as well. The second sip softens up a bit and the caramel flavor becomes even more bold and rich. The burn? What burn? The burn is so subtle you hardly notice that what you’re drinking is 43% abv. The finish is a soft vanilla taste with a hint of toffee. It literally drinks like a liquid desert. Yum!

If this is what happens when Kentucky bourbon meets single malt Scotch, I’ll try anything that brings these two of my favorite brown spirits together. We’ll make sure we keep this on our shelves as long as we can. Try yours today for $54.99.

August 31, 2015 – New Holland Double Down Barley Malt Whiskey

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This week’s whiskey comes from Holland Michigan, New Holland Double Down Barley Malt Whiskey. Originally know for its beer (Monkey king, Mad Hatter IPA, and Dragons Milk just to name a few) New Holland has recently started distilling. Although this is not the 1st whiskey I’ve tried and liked from this distillery, it is the most exclusive, meaning what we currently have in stock is all we will have for a while, unfortunately. With that said, “get it while you can” is actually a true statement rather then just a catchy tag line.

The whiskey which is produced in small batches is aged in small barrels. This helps in speeding up the aging process. While this whiskey is young (only 6 months old) it doesn’t have that overly young whiskey flavor. A 100 percent Malt whiskey that is double distilled then aged in American white oak barrels (Something else which recently made this review was also aged in white oak) then bottled at 90 proof.

The nose: Aromas of toffee coffee and chocolate.

The taste: Light body creates a very smooth mouth feel. Flavors of chocolate, toffee, caramel and butterscotch fill the pallet which could make your mouth happy like a kid in a candy store. The finish is smooth with a very light burn.

The result; Great Malt whiskey with sweet flavors.

Enjoy while it’s still here at $49.99

August 23, 2015 – Willet 2 Year Old Rye

Willet

I can personally vouch for this bottle’s worth, as I have enjoyed it twice.  And, if there wasn’t so many other delicious brown spirits to try, I would most certainly get it again. First, let me say this, usually a young whiskey or rye is nothing really to write about. However, in this case a review is highly worth it, as it is highly intriguing for its young age.

Let me begin by telling you a brief history of Willett. Willet began its long time production of whiskeys in 1937. However, due to the country’s energy shortage, they switched from distilling whiskey to producing ethanol in the 1970s. In 1984 the distillery was sold and renamed Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD). KBD used barrells that were still hanging around the distillery (from before the switch to ethanol) to make their own whiskey. However, this didn’t last long. They soon became an independent bottling company. That is, they did not produce their own whiskey, but bought it from other distilleries, packaged and sold it. Fast forward to 2012 when they decided to make their own whiskey again. Then fast forward to 2014 when this whiskey was ready to be sold… and here we are. Willett’s first release in quite some time.

Now, on to something more important… the result. Willett rye is a rare release and produced in small batches. It’s 109 proof but surprising smooth and sweet for something so strong. The mouth feel has a fairly light body, and is very warming and mildly spicy. The nose will give you a hint of caramel, a slight but pleasant burn and a hint of fruit. Overall taste is sweet and spicy, as the caramel and fruit taste play well together. The finish is a warming smooth burn with floral notes and complexity which will leave you raising your glass for another sip.

Although this is the first release from Willett in quite some time, there will be more to follow; ones that are currently aging right now. If this is any inclination on how the older whiskeys will taste, well, I for one can’t wait to see what comes in the future.  Pick up a bottle of Willet 2 Year Rye while you can, currently available for $42.99. Then be sure to come back to see what they release next.

Week of August 16, 2015 – Akashi White Oak Japanese Whiskey

Hailing from Akashi, Japan, Akashi White Oak Whiskey is Distilled at the Eigashima Distilery. This is the country’s oldest and smallest distillery. The whiskey is crafted using specially-imported barley from Scotland, as well as pure water that comes from the same underground source the Eigashima Distillery uses to make its sake. This is a blended whiskey with no age statement on the bottle, however, the thought is that it’s between 3-5 years old. The Whiskey is aged in bourbon cask and then sherry cask.

The aroma is light and and sweet with hints of toffee and oak. Hence, the term white oak.

The taste has a semi rich malty mouth feel, giving off sweet notes of black cherry, toffee, burnt wood and oak. There’s a warming taste and a hint of peat towards the finish.

This whiskey is great, so you should buy it while you can and enjoy it for as long as it is here. Since Sake is the distillery’s top priority, they only produce this whiskey two months out of the year so supplies are limited. Akashi White Oak Whiskey retails for just $34.99, so it is affordable to boot. Don’t miss out on this great buy!

Latest in the Liquor Department:

June 1, 2014

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Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Years Old will be released for our June 7, 2014 Grand Whiskey Tasting. With every bottle of whiskey purchased, you’ll win a raffle ticket for your chance to purchase the famous bottle!

Here’s a list of what we’ll be tasting:

  • Redemption
  • Temptation
  • Redemption High Rye
  • High West Campfire
  • Larceny
  • Bastille
  • Cyrus Noble
  • Breckenridge Bourbon
  • Breaking and Entering
  • Widow Jane
  • Angel’s Envy
  • Michter’s Rye, Michter’s Sour Mash
  • Bison Ridge
  • Bully Boy Bourbon

…and more!!

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