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5 for Friday: October 23, 2020

Fall is here! That means seasonal flavors like maple syrup and new bottle releases. Below are five favorites that stood out to the Villains this week. Cheers!

Widow Jane

What do you get when you finish 10-year-old Widow Jane bourbon in American oak barrels that were once filled with Crown Maple’s artisan maple syrup? In a word: Decadence.

The collaboration between Widow Jane and Crown Maple is a true New York partnership. Crown Maple is located in upstate New York, 90 miles north of the Widow Jane Distillery in the Red Hook neighborhood of NYC. For the past six years, Crown Maple has used Widow Jane whiskeys to create their Bourbon Barrel Aged syrup.

Widow Jane Decadence is rich and creamy with a hint of maple syrup. The distillery says 91-proof Decadence makes the best “Hot Toddy you will ever taste, full stop.”

Four Gate Batch No. 9

Four Gate, a collaboration between Bob D’Antoni and Bill Straub, came out swinging last year. Their debut, fittingly named Batch No. 1, weighed in at 123.4 proof. Four Gate’s latest bottling, Batch No. 9, is now available in incredibly limited quantities. Three different Kentucky straight bourbons were blended and then aged in dark rum casks from the Florida Keys. Two different Kentucky straight bourbons blended and finished in Oloroso sherry casks sourced from Spain’s Andalusia region. Both selections were then combined to create the 121.2-proof Batch No. 9.

Just 1,309 bottles of this intriguing whisky have been produced. If you live in Kentucky, Tennessee or Georgia, you may find it on local shelves. The rest of us will have to hunt online or find a plug.

Mr. Black Ethiopia

Arguably the most popular coffee liqueur brand on the market, Mr. Black spent countless hours refining their sourcing, roasting and production techniques for their latest release. Mr. Black Single Origin Ethiopia pays homage to the spiritual birthplace of coffee. The brand says to expect Earl Grey tea and bergamot on the nose, and orange marmalade and roasted hazelnuts on the palate.

Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind

Several sites have included tamarind on their lists of hot flavor trends over the past few years. The sweet-and-sour flavor has been popping up on restaurant menus throughout North America, and has also flavored a vodka.

Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind first grew in popularity in Mexico. Along with tamarind, the vodka is infused with Mexican chilies and lime. Sweet, spicy and featuring a glow-in-the-dark Día de Muertos bottle, 70-proof Spicy Tamarind is now available in select markets throughout the United States.

Pratt Standard Old Fashioned Syrup

Home bartenders and pre-batchers, rejoice! Pratt Standard Cocktail Co. is set to release their new Old Fashioned syrup on October 29. The alcohol-free syrup was perfected over the course of 64 recipes.

“The botanicals and bittering agents are built into this mix, so that you don’t have to add bitters or citrus peel to make a proper Old Fashioned at home,” says Pratt Standard founder Tory Pratt.

It takes just 3/4 of an ounce of the syrup to make a single Old Fashioned, whereas an entire 8-ounce bottle combined with 750ml of whiskey will create a dozen pre-batched cocktails. Either way, just pour the syrup and whiskey over ice to enjoy silky-smooth Old Fashioned with notes of orange and lemon peel.

Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash. Product photos property of their respective brands.

David Klemt View All

I’ve been studying and writing about the hospitality industry since 2006. Like so many people, I started my journey in this business by working as a host, server and bartender. I was introduced to nightlife in Chicago, learning the ins and outs of nightclubs and after-hours hot spots.

After moving to Las Vegas nearly 20 years ago, I both co-owned a valet company and helped promote the club it serviced. That led to me taking on the role of editor for a Las Vegas hospitality industry publication.

A few short years later, I continued along my journey of hospitality industry reporting. I went from contributing to a major industry outlet to taking on the role of editor and content curator.

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