A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Takara in Berkeley for a tasting and educational tour. This prompts me to write down what I have learned in this blog post. This primer, by no means, is a comprehensive expert guide about sake. On the contrary, it is a polished study note by me, sharing on my website, in the hope you may find it to be useful as you get into sake.Read More
Paul John is an Indian Single Malt Whisky brand from John Distilleries, which has the distillery facility in Goa, a warm and tropical area in India. The whisky is double distilled in India made pot stills, but peat is sourced from Scotland as India is not the ideal place to find peat. The distillery in Goa has several barrel rooms, including one that is underground to avoid too much humidity. The warm temperature, perhaps that brings a bit more fruiter notes to the profiles as well.
Mizunara is a rare and expensive Japanese oak that is used to age premium Japanse spirits. It was first used right after the end of World War II, because of the lack of importing from food, medicine to American and European Oak. Japanese turned to their own Mizunara.Read More
Folle Blanche is a grape variety grown in Western France. It used to be the most popular grape for Armagnac and Cognac (slightly less extent). However, Folle Blanche is highly susceptible to rot and disease. The late 19th century Phylloxera epidemic wiped out most of it, since then it has been replaced by Bacco 22-A which is the only hybrid grape allowed by A.O.C.Read More
During my week-long visit to the Armagnac region, one of the unique Armagnac houses we met is Armagnac Fitte et Laterrade. Vincent Laterrade, the owner of the house, has been a sommelier in his previous life. He patiently recorded the stocks of Armagnac from very small producers throughout 20 years – talk about the virtue of patience! Together with the Fitte family, winemaker at the Château de Herrebouc, they distill and age in the small cellar.Read More
In the past year, I have been traveling through some countries where brandy has been the much kept secret such as Peru (Pisco) and Portugal (Aguardiente), I started falling in love with it. This March, I got pretty curious about Armagnac, the oldest brandy in France and also the cousin of the more well known Cognac.Read More
My whisky journey actually started with Ardbeg quite a few years ago, it totally threw me off with its big, peaty and smoky profile. I went to Japanese whisky instead, explored bourbon and rye, one time I owned more than 35+ bottles. Slowly, I have been back to the state where I appreciate different profiles: Scotch, Japanese, American to Canadian. A whisky with a medium to long finish, tailing away gracefully can win my heart easily.Read More