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Monday, 08 October 2012 18:00

What's new? Boozy Product Roundup

A singularly expensive dram

Today, the Cosmopolitan in Vegas becomes the first establishment in the U.S. to offer The Balvenie 50 Year Old - one of the rarest expressions of authentic Single Malt Scotch Whisky ever released. How rare? Well, there are only 10 bottles allocated for the entire country, and only 88 available worldwide. Oh, and it’s $30,000 a bottle.

The Balvenie released the 50 Year Old expression in celebration of its Malt Master David Stewart’s half-century of nosing and tasting whiskies, making him the longest-serving Malt Master in scotch whisky history. I wonder if they’re giving him a bottle of the stuff?

Hooch for the troops

Southern Comfort will pay tribute to our servicemen and women with the release of a special military-only package.

The distinctive bottles were designed to resemble the current camouflage pattern being used in Afghanistan while still incorporating the brand’s distinctive look and feel. To honor the connection with the troops, the back of the bottle highlights the special relationship Southern Comfort has with the military.

The program was kicked off with a donation to the Halo for Freedom Warrior Foundation, an organization supporting wounded warriors during their rehabilitation, reintegration and healing process.

Bottles will begin hitting shelves in early November with a suggested retail price of $16.99. They will be available on military bases only.

Next time you're in Santa Barbara...

Pali Wine Co. opened a new tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara’s “Funk Zone”. The grand opening party was held September 22nd and guests enjoyed a sampling of pairings for the tasting room's “Cupcake Fridays” -- where cupcakes are paired with Pali wines.

The tasting room is located just a few blocks from the beach, featuring a 2-story, 800-square foot venue with floor to ceiling windows that offer a view of the artistic quarter. Pali has embraced its local Funk Zone community with a rotating selection of works from local art galleries, as well as partnering with local food merchants in the area, which may be enjoyed inside at the tasting room bar or outside on the patio.

Tasting Room hours are Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and weekends from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For more information, guests can contact the tasting room at (805) 560-7254, or go to

Published in The Imbiber Blog
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 10:56

Getting Fired Up About Leisure Liquor

(Reposted from

In our previous installment of Booze Behaving Badly, we took a fledgling spirits company to task for one of the most ill advised marketing campaigns in spirits industry history. This week we’ll assay yet another suspect new release, from one of the country’s more venerable brands.

Southern Comfort recently rolled out a concoction called Fiery Pepper – a combination of their patented peach and whiskey-flavored liqueur and Tabasco sauce that SoCo VP Mark Bacon believes “will challenge (consumers) senses and fire up the night.” He neglected to add, “and possibly induce a nasty case of morning-after fire ass.”

Now, mass-produced infusions are nothing new, and while I myself am not a fan by any stretch, I understand their utility in the marketplace, as well as the consumer appeal, particularly among entry-level drinkers who don’t know any better.

Still, the Southern Comfort brand has always maintained at least a modicum of street cred among serious drinkers, and so my first thought upon tasting Fiery Pepper was “why did they do this?” (My next thought, incidentally, was “when the hell did I become the Andy Rooney of booze reportage?”)

Published in The Imbiber Blog
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 10:04

I'm pretty sure this isn't a joke

Just got the following press release, and not sure what to make of it...


Two Louisiana Icons Come Together for Chili-Pepper-Flavored Line Extension

October 4, 2011, LOUISVILLE, KY – Southern Comfort announces the launch of Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper, a fierce fusion of Southern Comfort and Tabasco® brand pepper sauce. The new product is set to hit shelves nationally in October 2011.

The new spicy concoction delivers a perfectly balanced mixture of genuine whiskey, and the premium flavors of Southern Comfort, infused with original Tabasco brand pepper sauce. Served as a cold shot or incorporated into a cocktail, Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper finishes off any drink with the perfect amount of heat.

“This partnership between Southern Comfort and Tabasco brand strikes the perfect balance between sweet and heat and brings together two iconic brands for a one-of-a-kind product,” said Mark Bacon, VP, Managing Director, Southern Comfort. “Fiery Pepper gives our consumers another unique way to enjoy Southern Comfort that will challenge their senses and fire up the night.”

“We’re proud to partner with another iconic brand born in Louisiana to create a spicy addition to the classic Southern Comfort line,” said Paul McIlhenny, president and CEO of McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco brand pepper sauce. “We look forward to a future of fiery cocktails.”

Published in The Imbiber Blog