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Turning Wine into Whiskey

Hey there, DRAM FAM! If you haven't heard of Dave Phinney yet, then you're in for a treat. This guy is a true rockstar in the wine and whiskey world, and his accomplishments are nothing short of amazing.

Let's start with wine. Phinney founded Orin Swift Cellars in 1998, and quickly became known for his big, bold wines that were bursting with flavor. His most famous wine, The Prisoner, is a cult classic that's beloved by wine lovers around the world. And his success with Orin Swift didn't stop there. He eventually sold the winery to E. & J. Gallo in 2016 for a cool $300 million. Not too shabby, right?

But Phinney wasn't content to rest on his laurels. He decided to try his hand at whiskey, and thus, Savage and Cooke was born.

He bought a historic naval shipyard on Mare Island in Vallejo, California, and turned it into a top-notch distillery. And his bourbons are nothing short of spectacular. They're made with a unique blend of grains that are grown on his own farm in Sacramento, and he also uses a unique strain of yeast that he's been cultivating for years. All of this adds up to bourbons that are truly unique and delicious; aged in new American oak barrels to give them a rich, complex flavor. If you haven't tried them yet, you're missing out.

The first one is called the "Second Glance" bourbon, and it's aged for four years in new American oak barrels. It has a deep amber color and a rich, complex flavor profile. You'll taste notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak, as well as a hint of spice. It's smooth and easy to drink, but it also has enough character to make it stand out from other bourbons in its price range.

The second bourbon is called "The Burning Chair," and it's aged for three years in charred American oak barrels. It has a reddish hue and a slightly smoky flavor, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and toasted oak. It's a bit bolder than the Second Glance, but still very approachable.

Finally, there's the "Lip Service" bourbon, which is aged for five years in new American oak barrels. This one is a bit more expensive than the other two, but it's worth it. It has a deep, dark color and a complex flavor profile. You'll taste notes of dark chocolate, espresso, and toasted oak, as well as a hint of black pepper. It's a bold, rich bourbon that's perfect for sipping on a cold night.

But that's not all. Phinney is also a master of branding and marketing. His wine and whiskey labels are instantly recognizable, with their bold graphics and edgy designs. And he's brought that same eye for design to his Savage and Cooke bourbons. The labels are works of art in themselves, and they're sure to catch your eye on the liquor store shelf.

Overall, Dave Phinney is a true trailblazer in the wine and whiskey world. He's not afraid to take risks, and he's constantly pushing the envelope with his innovative ideas. And we can't wait to see what he comes up with next. Cheers to you, Dave!

If all of that wasn't cool enough, at Whiskey Alley we are hosting tasting/ pairing dinners once a month on the back patio. I know you can see where this is going, the first one is on March 15th... and you guessed it, its going to be Savage & Cooke! A 5 course meal carefully curated and created by Chef Chad will perfectly match each offering from Savage & Cooke which will have their own expert, Virginia Haake, a rep for the Distillery. Buy yourself a ticket today because space is limited.

If you miss this one, fear not, we will be hosting dinners monthly featuring everything from whiskeys, to wine, to tequila, to beer, to cocktails or any other number of spirits.

Thank you to Heather Mae and Advintage Distributing for making this dinner possible.


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