New Vintages Products

Darcy O'Neil :: November 19, 2006 11:19 AM

grappaWith the upcoming holiday season many companies are releasing new products to get on in the gift giving. This is one of my favorite times to visit the LCBO Vintages store in Toronto and check out all the holiday releases. Some of the highlights are the limited releases that are only available at the LCBO. You see, the LCBO is the world's largest buyer of spirit, so they have a lot of pull with companies who want to sell their products. A good example of this is the Compass Box Magic Cask Scotch Whisky, which is only being sold at the LCBO, no other place in the world will see this product. Also, Appleton is releasing their “Master Blenders' Legacy” rum, which is being released at the LCBO first, and then eventually the rest of the planet. You should be able to find lots of new and interesting products (wine, spirit and beer) at your local liquor store, but here's what I get to look at.

The two products that I'm most interest in are the Appleton Estate “Master Blenders' Legacy” rum and the Compass Box Magic Cask Scotch Whisky. There is limited information on these products, but the Magic Cask is aged in wine casks and married with 14-year-old Highland malt. It has rich candied fruit flavours mixed with the scotch. Sounds very interesting for anyone who likes a Speyside scotch, or sweet spirits. The Appleton Legacy Rum is new and fits between the Appleton Estate Extra and the Appleton 21 Year Old Rum. The Legacy blend is made with Appleton's 30 year rum stocks, so it should be a pretty good sipping rum, but would also make a pretty wicked Mai Tai.

Other new release spirit highlights include:

El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
Remy Martin ‘Extra Fine' Champagne Cognac
Marnier-Lapostolle ‘Cherry Marnier' Liqueur
Highland Park 30 Year Old Orkney Island Scotch
Bushmills 21-Year-Old Irish Whiskey

One of the most interesting products to be released at the LCBO is Grappa. For some reason, the moonshine or Italy is now a hi-end spirit that can charge a premium. But, you do get the cool bottles, which really do make a great gift.

Grappa. Other spirits are jumping into the bottle game too, including brandy and scotch.

If you are into port Taylor Fladgate offers a nice gift set that includes four 375ml bottles of port with the 10, 20, 30 and 40 year old ports. It would be a good session kit for anyone who wants to compare different ages and how it affects the product. There is also a large selection of vintage wines that come out at this time of year. If you like Australian Shiraz two products of note are Barossa Shiraz & Elderton Shiraz (2004). And if wine and spirits are not your thing there are a number of beer releases too. Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer would be a good purchase for a beer connoisseur. You don't get cask aged beer to often.

So those are some of this years highlights. If you are looking for interesting spirits, now is the time to hit your local liquor store.

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