Visual Recap: Summer 2015

2015 gave Western NY a beautiful, not too dry, not too wet, not too hot, not too cold summer. One could say this summer was perfectly balanced — the backbone of any good season, or more aprupos, any good whiskey, beer, or spirit. Here’s a visual recap from BWG’s Instagram and Tumblr feeds of some of the more balanced drinks we enjoyed this summer.



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Talking Buffalo Spirits on Grain of Salt 

BWG talked about our take on the Buffalo NY spirits scene with our friends at Buffalo Eats through their podcast series Grain of Salt. 

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Tommyrotter Distillery


Tommyrotter Distillery has just opened its doors in the Hydrolics District of downtown Buffalo. Their small, clean, beautifully designed space functions as both distillery and storefront, showcasing all their products as you look over their production floor.TR_shelves








Tommyrotter Distillery’s unique name is explained on their website:

“The Tommyrotters’ Club was a band of rebellious artisans in the early 20th century who broke rank from the Arts and Crafts Movement to create for creation’s sake. They sought adventure, mischief and inspiration in nature. Honoring their industrious spirit of back, hand and heart, Tommyrotter Distillery crafts small-batch gin and vodka.”TR_symbol

Right now initial batches of Tommyrotter’s premium vodka and gin, retailing for $30 and $35, are available for purchase at the distillery. Plans for local distribution are in the works starting in Autumn.TR_vodka_close

Tommyrotter Vodka is a simple, very clean rendition. It’s made using a blend of NYS wheats and corn. It has a smooth texture with a sweet vanilla-ish pop of flavor and an easy finish. It’s a good vodka that will mix well in cocktails.TR_gin1

We absolutely loved the Tommyrotter Gin. They use the same base spirit as their vodka adding 12 botanicals — Juniper, coriander, Angelica root, cardamom, grains of paradise, lemon rinds, orange rinds, elderflower, hybiscus, camomile, cacia root (cinnamon) and nutmeg. The nose is big, really big, loaded with herbal and floral aromatics. We’re hard pressed to remember a gin with this much flavor on the nose. A peppery spice enters mid-palate. The flavors combine to fill your mouth not with a hot spirity bite, but with a full, complex herbal spice. It finishes smooth and short with no trace tannins left on your tongue — just like you want your gins to finish. Great texture, balance and flavor make this young Buffalo-made spirit an absolute must purchase. BWG Tommyrotter Gin Rating: 91/100.

Join Tommyrotter’s email list and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for news and special events. Swing by their distillery, enjoy the spirits and let BWG know what you think. Cheers!

Tommyrotter Distillery | 500 Seneca St. Suite 110 | Buffalo, NY | Open Thursday and Friday, 4-8pm. Saturday 12-4pm.

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Bellwoods Boogie Monster

boogieOne of BWG’s favorite Toronto spots is a beautiful little tucked away place called Bellwoods Brewery. Bellwoods is soon set to significantly expand, but as of this writing their modestly inviting street-side open-air brew house and restaurant is our place of choice when taking a short summertime trip from Buffalo to Toronto.

Bellwoods’ list of rotating small batch brews are all delicious. Our favorite is the light yet layered and totally drinkable double IPA Boogie Monster. This 8% beer bursts with juicy, chewy hop flavors. It’s made with Galaxy and Mosaic hops which citrusy and herbal characteristics burst from your glass from nose through finish. Boogie Monster’s availability frequently rotates along with their other brews. The best way to catch a delicious Boogie Monster is to frequent Bellwoods’ website and to follow their Instagram page where every Friday they post what beers are newly up for customer enjoyment. If you’re in Toronto and looking for good beer, make Bellwoods your first stop. And if Boogie Monster is on tap, order it without hesitation…

Bellwoods Brewery | 124 Ossington Ave. | Toronto ON. MJ6 2Z5 | (416) 535-4586

Boogie Monster Double IPA BWG rating: 93/100.

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BWG Bourbon Giveaway

BWG Is doing our first giveaway promotion via Instagram. Click the link to enter to win this bottle of Russel’s Reserve Single Barrell Bourbon. Cheers and good luck! 

BWG on Instagram.


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BWG’s Father’s Day Gift Guide


They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. This theory is just partly true. To reach the complex, muntifaceted modern man’s heart, his significant other must know the ins and outs of his hobbies, his wish-lists and his passions. Sounds daunting, but BWG has got you covered from all angles this Father’s Day.

If the father in your life is a whiskey man: 
One of the newer, more delicious American craft whiskies on the market just dropped a stock pile of its newest release on the Buffalo market. Barrell Bourbon Batch 004 is robust and unique, boasting flavors of barbecue and peppercorns. Buy it from Gates Circle Liquors for $69.

If the father in your life is a beer man:
An outing to Big Ditch Brewing Company in downtown Buffalo will most certainly tickle his fancy. It’s perfect for both a family lunch outing, or a date night. Big Ditch’s awesome open space with buffalo-centric decor, modern style, delicious brews and tasty food offerings make this Father’s Day gift a no-brainer.

If the father in your life is a food man:
This father’s day gift is almost literally duck soup and it may be the easiest choice on this list. Here are your three simple steps to execution. Make reservations at Toutant. Order the fried chicken upon arrival. Write BWG a thank you letter after.

If the father in your life is a music man:
The Vynil Mania Record Collection Night on Saturday June 20th is an excellent choice for an early father’s day gift. It will feature everything from records, CDs, stereo equipment as well as music memorabilia, posters, tees, books and collectables. General admission is just $3.

If the father in your life is a clothing man:
A trip, or gift certificate to Blue Collar on Hertel Ave in North Buffalo for some trendy, well fit, seasonally appropriate styles is cherry pie for a fashion-minded father. A second Blue Collar location canal side downtown is currently in the works.

If the father in your life is a reading man:
An excellent novel that is most certainly an ode to manhood is the historical revenge thriller The Revenant. Set in the early 18th century, a fur trapper is mauled by a bear, then robbed and left for dead by his friends. The film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy and directed by the Oscar winning director of Birdman is coming out in early 2016.

If the father in your life is an arts man:
The Albright Knox offers free admission on the first Friday of every month. Different art displays and events are featured each month, with both attractions for parents and children alike. The Albright’s AK Café is an excellent lunch, or dinner spot as well.

Cheers to all fathers from BWG.

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Visual Recap: Spring 2015

Spring was shorter than usual this year in Western NY. Winter didn’t loosen its White Walker like clutch on our souls until the last week of April. Now a week into June, Summer is already in its full stampeding stride. Festivals, events, concerts, bbq’s and vacations are booking every weekend up well into September. After the worst winter of all time Spring was seemingly overlooked — but BWG most certainly didn’t overlook enjoying delicious libations as we dreamt of the warm summer to come…

Follow BWG on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr for more pics of whiskey, beer and spirits.

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Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye 2014

handyThomas H. Handy Rye (most simply referred to as “Handy” by whiskey enthusiasts) is part of the annually released Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC). BTAC whiskies consist of famous brands of the whiskey world including George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17 and the aforementioned Handy. This high-end rye whiskey is named after a New Orleans bartender who first used rye whiskey in the now famous Sazerac Cocktail. Handy is unfiltered and bottled at cask strength. The 2014 release clocks in at a monstrous 64.2% abv. Opposite of our last review of the entry-level Old Overholt Rye, Handy Rye is considered among the top echelon of American rye whiskies and is highly limited in distribution and availability in NY. Handy is incredibly vibrant on the nose. Sharp notes of vanilla spice, rye, and a bouquet of fresh herbs and spices. One of the best features of this whiskey is how well masked the high alcohol content is. As Handy sits in the glass it gains more and more complexity, the alcohol always a second fiddle to the flavor. On the palate we get some heat, but it compliments the spicy rye characteristics wonderfully. Handy’s finish is epically warm and long. It stays with you a good while, leaving pungent traces of herbal flavors that weave themselves back through the nose as you begin your next sip. This is an excellent whiskey, but it’s not obtained easily. Best local bet for a bottle of Handy is to get on as many liquor store call and waiting lists as you can and hope they get a good allotment. The 2015 Handy release should get to NY sometime between October and December. BWG rating: 94/100.

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Old Overholt Rye

overholtOld Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey is one of the least expensive whiskies on the market. It has been around for over a century (literally) and due to its relative value, is the resident house rye at most cocktail bars. Old Overholt is part of the “Old Whiskey” trio, composed of itself, Old Crow and Old Gran-Dad. These entry level whiskies are owned by the Jim Beam Brands Company. Old Overholt is a simple whiskey with rich, spicy rye grain flavors on the nose and palate. It has a bit of sweet corn and cherrywood. It’s mild, wistfully smooth on the tongue and glides into medium-long finish. There’s absolutely nothing outstanding about this whiskey, almost to the point of being boring to the practiced whiskey drinker. But Old Overholt’s mildness and spiced flavors lend themselves very well to rye-centric cocktails — and its price point makes it an unbeatable beginner level foray into the American rye whiskey style. Available online and in store at Gates Circle Liquors for $20. BWG rating: 82/100.

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Woodford Rye

woodford_ryeBWG has been delving into rye whiskies lately and we’ve steadily been gaining an affinity for the spicier, more herbal characteristics of the style. Woodford Reserve is best known for bourbon but they have a mid-level rye whiskey that is recent to our market. Woodford Reserve Straight Rye is composed of 53% rye, 14% malted barley, and 33% corn. The nose starts us off with a more bourbon-like vanilla extract and oak. Some pleasant potpourri spices come through as the whiskey is allowed to open up. The palate gives lots of herbal, peppery tang — and there’s a lovely maple syrup, candied bacon flavor that fades into a long peppercorn finish. This is a solid, well structured whiskey. It’s not overly complex or unique, but it displays all the flavors one would look for in a nice rye. Locally available at Gates Circle Liquor for $45. BWG rating: 88/100.

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