On September 15th, Bacardi, the top selling rum in the world will launch it’s newest product, Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum. Are you ready to take the Oakheart challenge? Similar to Jack Daniels recent Honey Liqueur launch, Bacardi is hoping to bring together more then 25,000 fans around the country to collectively try and celebrate its latest product launch. Markets involve in the Oakheart challenge include Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin. Not sure which establishments in your area are participating in the launch? Go to facebook.com/bacardi where you can view their interactive map and find a participating bar near you. We at Intoxicology have not yet had the pleasure of giving it a taste but you can be assured that when we do we’ll be reviewing it here. From what I’ve heard it is a much better effort then their three previously failed attempts to enter the Spiced Rum department. Stay tuned.
For the cocktail or spirits nerds out there, D’usse Cognac recently added it’s first brand ambassador role to it’s team. If you don’t know D’usse cognac you’ve likely been under a rock, but if you are familiar you probably know it from the heavy promotion by hip hop superstar Jay-Z. The business mogul has been it’s celebrity ambassador since launch, but their newest boots on the ground rep will be non other than Sullivan Doh. Check out some of the highlights of the presser and Doh below:
“Sullivan Doh has created a name for himself among the international trade community, shedding important light on French spirits,” says Michel Casavecchia, Cellar Master of D’USSÉ. “His vast knowledge of the category, embodiment of French style and sophistication, and contagious passion for the industry makes him the ideal representative for the D’USSÉ portfolio. We’re thrilled to have him join the team to continue communicating the superior quality and craftsmanship of our liquid in the U.S., while he also oversees South Africa, Nigeria and Canada.”
“Cognac has always been a favorite and a focus of mine in my career, and I believe it’s one of the best spirits to be born in France,” notes Doh, “It’s a liquid that remains a key asset behind the bar, and D’USSÉ is the perfect brand to continue reinvigorating the category. I look forward to using my expertise and leveraging the opportunity to work with a cognac that incorporates its rich history from the prestigious Chateau de Cognac to create compelling consumer programming specifically with today’s spirits enthusiasts in mind.”
“Sullivan Doh is one of the biggest stars in the world of spirits and cocktails, with an unrivalled passion for French spirits generally and Cognac specifically” explains Jacob Briars, Global Advocacy Director at Bacardi. “We are thrilled to have him join our family of Bacardi Ambassadors, and his energy and enthusiasm are a perfect match for D’USSÉ as the brand continues to grow at a tremendous rate.”
Doh received a bachelor’s degree in Catering Management at Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise Gregoire Ferrandi in Paris, before contributing to bar programs of some of the best food and drink institutions around the world in cities such as London, Sydney, and Paris. Prior to his new role with D’USSÉ, Doh co-founded and managed Le Syndicat Paris – the first cocktail bar in Paris to use only French alcohol to promote and showcase the diversity the country has to offer. Most recently, Doh was part owner and bar manager of La Commune Paris, the first cocktail bar in France to focus on Punch cocktails, using French spirits only. Both establishments have earned recognition among lists of worldwide best cocktail bars.
If you’ve ever heard of Birchbox or Trunk Club then you already know subscription box services are HUGE right now. Everyone wants to try new things, but no-one wants to waste their time and money on something they just aren’t sure about. With subscription box services you get the best of both worlds. You get new or unique products on a monthly basis selected for you by experts and you get to do it without breaking the bank. I’ve said for years one of the biggest issues with getting drinkers to try new things is that no one wants to waste $30 on a full size bottle that they’ve never tried before. Then we end up drinking the usual stuff like Smirnoff, Bacardi or Jim Beam.
Enter Flaviar: A Monthly subscription spirits company that offers you an opportunity to experience the best spirits from all over the world at a fraction of the regular price. Ironically I thought up this EXACT idea a few years back but wasn’t in the right place to really see it through. I guess I missed out right? So how does it work?
Each month Flaviar curates 3 fine spirits for it’s Prime Members to explore in an new tasting box (Whisky, Rum, Cognac, Gin, Vodka, Grappa, Tequila,…) Each bottle is 45 ml and there’s no commitment. If you don’t like their experts selections you can choose to skip a month, swap a tasting box or select a bottle and just pay the difference in price. As a cool bonus your first month is only $18.99 and then $24.99 each month after that.
When you find something you love, you’ve got the option to order the bigger bottle at any time, and another plus, prime members get free shipping on the full size spirits. It’s an awesome way to try before you buy. If you’re not a drinker but you know someone who is, they’ve got a pretty cool Gifts Sectionwhich lets you buy someone anywhere from 2-12 months of subscription service starting at 49.99. You select the first tasting box, and the recipient goes from there. It makes a great gift for under $50 bucks.
We’ve heard of Flaviar in the past, and even seen some ads around the internet, so we were pretty excited when they offered us a chance to sample a tasting kit ourselves. The box we received was a Rye whiskey kit that featured a good mix of brands we’ve heard of and a few unknowns as well.
First Impression: We love the packaging. Flaviar comes in a sleek and compact black box that easily fits in most mail boxes and appears “discreet” enough to keep the nosey neighbors from judging you (haha). As you can see above, the 5 bottles are packaged perfectly in well designed 45 ml bottles that look closer to an expensive cologne brand than a liquor company.
Tasting Notes: We’ve had a couple of these before, Few and Rittenhouse we know, and both are excellent rye whiskies. Prichard’s we’ve heard of but never tried. Verso and Zuidam were complete newbies to us. [Note: They have a really cool app they created called Flavour Spiral, its tasting notes reinvented and it’s pretty cool, you can check it out Here.]
Few: FEW Rye Whiskey is aged in air-dried oak barrels and is a meld of 70% Rye, 20% Corn and 10% Malted barley in its mash. The aroma here suggests vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and wood with hints of butterscotch and citrus. The flavor here has fruit and some honey with citrus and spice as well.
Prichard’s: Prichards is an American rye whiskey made from a mash of 70% Rye, 15% Corn and 15% Malted Barley. It’s aged in small, charred American Oak casks for up to 5 years. The aroma here is definitely citrus and honey, while the flavor suggests dark chocolate, vanilla, and sweetness.
Rittenhouse: Rittenhouse is a single distillery rye that’s aged for 4 years and mostly made from rye mash. It’s light on the nose with some hints of vanilla and caramel and has a bold and sweet taste that features honey, red pepper and caramel and cinnamon.
Verso: A Finland based single malt rye made from malted Rye and aged for 4 months in American Oak casks. Smells of honey and oak with a spicy sweetness that has bits of honey and cinnamon noticeable in the rye.
Zuidam: A Netherland rye whisky thats 100 proof, 100 months old, and 100% rye grain. One the nose you get chocolate, pepper and spices, and a sweetness not unlike bourbon. It tastes like sweet rye with cinnamon, pepper, and spicy notes.
Price: $18.99 to Start, $24.99 after [5 – 45 ml bottles per box]
Final Word: Overall I have to admit, as many times as I’ve seen their ads, I’ve never pulled the trigger. I wasn’t sure if it was worth it, but after receiving our first box we’re sold. Our Rye kit was amazing and as we mentioned we were fortunate to taste Rittenhouse and Few at Tales of the Cocktail last year, both great selections but Flaviar introduced us to 3 other really good brands, 2 of which we never even heard of before. We love the concept, but more importantly we love the price. At $25 bucks it’s a steal for the quality of brands you get. Done deal.
If you think Flaviar might be something your interested in, or if you know someone who would love this as a Christmas, Birthday, or even a house-warming gift, you can sign up or learn more about them by visiting .www.Flaviar.com
[Disclaimer: This content uses referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.]