Tag Archive for spirit

Broadslab Legacy Reserve Hand-Crafted Liquor

Broadslab Legacy Reserve Hand-Crafted Liquor
Johnston County, North Carolina
45% BV
 

Broadslab_Legacy

This Broadslab liquor comes from a legacy of moonshiners according to the label. It’s corn heavy for a whiskey, but that moonshine history likely plays into that. Yellow corn is the coloring and it smells like corn, too, which either means that corn dominates its flavor profile or I’m not imaginative today. It also smells of root-vegetable starch or corn that has sat around for a while—which it has, ageing in charred oak barrels.

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That picture has rocks added, obviously. Its taste is by the book for a whiskey, by which I mean it’s both tasty and lacking in anything particularly unique. I want to call what I taste caramel corn, but it’s closer to buttered popcorn that’s stayed a bit too long in the popper—believe me, I know of what I speak. I used to work in a movie theater, and you haven’t lived until you’ve had popcorn smothered in nacho cheese when you’re a broke college student on a break. I don’t mean that snack is good, just that it’s something to experience.

Add in some pepper and stale popcorn hits the mark as a descriptor. There’s definitely a spice kick on the backwash. I know stale popcorn doesn’t sound appealing, but I honestly don’t think this is a bad whiskey. It’s plenty smooth and flavorful, but it doesn’t stand out for me.

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Bloggers’ Night at TOPO Distillery

Entrance to the distillery.

Back in the fall, I spent a few days at TOPO Distillery’s facilities as part of the Terra VITA Sustainable Classroom. It was a strange sort of torture being so close to their organic, 99.6% local (more on that later) array of spirits that includes white whiskey, vodka, and gin. So I asked Esteban McMahan, TOPO’s spirit guide, if he wouldn’t mind hosting a tour and tasting for food bloggers in the Triangle. And he said yes!

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The evening started with us bloggers slowly trickling in, a few having fallen prey to the oft-made mistake of going to Top of the Hill restaurant and brewery down the road first. That restaurant provided us with some delicious appetizers.

Salmon, cucumber, and herb cream cheese bites.

Salmon, cucumber, and herb cream cheese bites.

The pork banh mi on crostada was especially delicious.

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It’s also quite loud to crunch on when someone’s speaking. I may or may not know that from personal experience.

Esteban plied us with libations featuring their spirits as we filtered in, and I loved the blueberry cocktail.

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It was made with blueberries, simple syrup, lemon juice, and TOPO gin. The gin was a subtle undercurrent, which suits me quite well as I can often find gin overpowering in a drink. Other drinks which I did not sample were a vesper cocktail, heavy on the gin with a pretty curl of lemon—

Triangle Localista gives a vesper a try.

Triangle Localista gives a vesper a try.

–and martinis.

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Luxardo Maraschino Original Liqueur

Luxardo Maraschino Original Liqueur
Veneto, Italy
32% ABV
luxardo maraschino

This is a spirit of legend for me, in that I’d seen it in a million cocktail recipes before I could ever track it down. Now that it’s finally appeared at my local ABC store, I can explore it. And it’s full of shockers. Per Luxardo’s website, the spirit is distilled from the marasca cherry and aged for two years before being diluted and sweetened. When I think maraschino, I think of the dessert topping and thus (1) sweet and (2) reddish-pink. This spirit is neither.

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It’s clear as it can be for one. And there’s nothing sweet about the nose. The smell is a blend of cherry and almond that makes me wish it were in ice cream form, like now. I’m not talking toppings. I’m talking the main event.

Okay, the Gourmez, just drink it already! Fine, fine. So about that sweetness…it’s there, but its taste is pure sugar in undissolved, granular form. The sweetness bears no resemblance to most mixers’ almost plastic taste and its very light. Vanilla notes are strong, but it’s the spirit’s nuttiness that’s most surprising. Cherry comes across as the least of its ingredients.

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