Is this the gender-neutral washroom?
Credit: Netflix

Neat Stuff 24: Krysten Ritter’s whiskey chaser, Aussie single malt and 10 most wanted bourbons

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A wobbly Game of Thrones wrap-up got you down? Well, at least Krysten Ritter will be back soon for the third and final season of Jessica Jones. In the Netflix series based on the Marvel Comics character, Ritter plays a superhero-turned-detective who suffers from PTSD. The Hell’s Kitchen resident also drinks a lot of whiskey.

BuzzFeed’s Dan Dalton once took the time to catalogue all of Jones’ tipples in Season 1. Preferring bargain brands to single malts, she knocked back everything from Cutty Sark and Hudson Manhattan Rye to Old Grand-Dad and Four Roses. Her faves: Teacher’s Highland Cream blended Scotch and Windsor Supreme blended Canadian whisky.

Sam Spade, you got competition
Credit: Wikimedia

Whatever gets you through the night

In another nod to the show, Forbes calculated that the 13 episodes cost Jones more than $650* in booze. “She’s not trying to save the city or really do anything,” part-time novelist Ritter told Entertainment Weekly. “She’s making money to buy whiskey. She’s a P.I. because it’s a great opportunity for her to use her unorthodox skills and not work with people and work at night.”

Then again, why shouldn’t she imbibe like private dicks Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade? Jessica Jones, who beat #MeToo to the punch, has always done things that guys think they own. Here’s to a third round of that.

*All dollar figures in USD

Super Nova goes stateside
Credit: Starward Distillery

Fair dinkum: Australian single malt touches down in America

Don’t leave us hanging. At Forbes.com, Brad Japhe asks if Australian single malt is the next Japanese whisky. We’re all over Tasmanian drams, but it turns out the rest Oz is no lagger. Now U.S. drinkers can get their hands on Nova by Melbourne-based Starward Distillery, a single malt aged at least three years in cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and shiraz casks.

 

“It pours a brilliant auburn into the glass—a nod to the full-bodied red wines that influence its maturation,” Japhe says of 82-proof Nova ($55), whose producer has twice won Best Australian Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards since launching in 2016. “Aromas of fresh raspberry and cinnamon spice mingle in the nose, giving way to more of the same on the tongue. A lengthy finish reveals more characteristics of those viticultural precursors: berry tartness, slight tannic astringency.”

 

Do you come from a land Down Under?

Gyrating temperatures help give Aussie single malt grog is own character by speeding up maturation, Japhe explains. “A battle wages on in the booze world as to whether or not terroir can be tasted in a distilled spirit,” he says. “Sip on Australian single malt and you’ll be compelled to believe provenance matters; this stuff tastes quite unlike its counterparts in Scotland.” Good onya, mate.

Who’s your Pappy?
Credit: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Search party: The world’s 10 most wanted bourbons

Looking for something? Perhaps you’ll find it on Wine-Searcher’s list of the 10 most sought-out bourbons online. The spirit’s rebound in popularity mirrors a growing interest in whiskey of all kinds, Don Kavanagh says.

As Kavanagh points out, one producer—Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery—accounts for nine of the latest bourbon top 10. Last time Wine-Searcher ran the numbers, in 2017, it was eight. “The names of the brands are household names for bourbon fans: Eagle Rare, Blanton’s, Weller’s, Pappy Van Winkle,” Kavanagh observes of the longer list’s upper echelons. “The level of saturation is impressive.”

Blanton’s is riding high
Credit: Blanton’s Bourbon

Pick your poison—and your price point

No. 1: Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Bourbon, which has cracked the top 100 for overall search rank. Since last year its average price has climbed modestly, from $60 to $67, Kavanagh says. “And the whiskey itself? An absolute joy to drink.”

Taking second place is W.L. Weller 12 Year, the original wheated bourbon, which gets an average five-star rating from Wine-Searcher users. Kavanagh’s summary: “It’s not cheap—or at least it’s not cheap anymore. Back in 2014 the average price was $47; it’s now $238.”

And in third? George T. Stagg Straight Bourbon, whose search rank graph Kavanagh compares to “a child’s drawing of the sea, with unnervingly regular peaks at Christmastime.” No wonder: it goes for an average of $706.

Power drink: Scotch whisky beats energy for economic clout

What with climate change and all, maybe Britain should rethink its plans to turn the place into a fracking mess by mining natural gas. Just ask the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), which says the workers it represents contribute more to the U.K. economy than the energy sector.

As proof, the SWA offers a study based on work by the London-based Centre for Economic and Business Research. Apparently the Scotch industry generated about $274,000 in economic activity for each of its 42,000 employees last year, versus roughly $226,000 for energy.

The Scotch industry’s total impact on the U.K. economy in 2018 was more than $7.1 billion, the SWA says. Exports—to about 180 countries—clocked in at a record $6.1 billion. As Mark Twain said, too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.

The battle for Seoul

In other good news, the SWA has won a certification trademark for Scotch in South Korea. Now that the Asian nation officially recognizes “Scotch whisky,” Scotland’s national drink will enjoy protection there post-Brexit, the association reckons.

Scotch might need all the help it can get in Korea, where love of a dram ain’t what it used to be, according to Scotchwhisky.com’s Richard Woodard. From Seoul to Changwon, drinkers are switching to vodka and beer. (Just don’t make it a Cass, like Gordon Ramsay. We had a couple in Gangnam that one time, and it was a gas—literally.)

Pernod Ricard knows all too well: the drinks giant recently put its stake in Korea’s Imperial blended Scotch on the block, Pulse notes. Hmm, Scotch, you say? We’ll see about that.

Part of the scenery: Bourbon Camouflage makes shopping seamless

We’ve always felt like we don’t quite fit in. Maybe this new fashion trend will help, at least when it comes to buying bourbon. As Paste’s Jim Vorel reports, the tourism folks in Lexington, Kentucky, have unveiled Bourbon Camouflage, a line of T-shirts emblazoned front and back with shelves of local bourbon and accompanying price tags. The tees feature all the Lexington greats—Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve—and mimic several retailers, from Liquor Barn to Rite Aid. The catch: you can only snag one at the Visit LEX center on June 14, National Bourbon Day. See you in Aisle 3! 🥃

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