The Iconic Spirits Blog

Not Just Any Tequila

August 21, 2013

Tags: hornots tequila, sauza hornitos

America is a media-driven market economy, and we sometimes tend to remember a well-made commercial before even recalling the product it advertises. This is perfectly fine with those who create the commercials, of course, as well as the manufacturers of the products they depict. There just might be as many viewers who watch the Super Bowl for the commercials as there are diehard football fans.

The latest TV ad for Hornitos Tequila, titled “Not Just Any Tequila,” is on its way to the commercial hall of fame. Four guys walk into a bar and order tequila shots. When the bartender asks them if they want a specific brand, they reply: “It doesn’t matter---any tequila.” The ad then morphs into a series of fantasies. The quartet are standing in a barber shop, saying “It doesn’t matter---any haircut,” followed by a shot of four badly butchered mohawks. After saying “It doesn’t matter---any tattoo,” they end up with facial ink depicting butterflies and happy faces. In a travel agency, they say “It doesn’t matter---anyplace,” and ride a bus filled with octogenarians singing, “She’ll be coming ‘round the mountain when she comes.” In the final shot, they relent and say: “You know what---make it Hornitos Tequila.” (more…)

Bols Natural Yoghurt Liqueur

August 14, 2013

Tags: bols natural yoghurt liqueur

About six weeks ago I did a post on bizarre beverages, and made the observation that yesterday’s strange beverage is today’s commonplace quaff. Yoghurt liqueur is a good example. Ten years ago it would have made most Top Ten Bizarre lists, but today seems almost pedestrian compared to bacon vodka, reptile-infused wine and Mamma Mia Pizza Stout.

The concept of a yoghurt liqueur is not only tame stuff in 2013, but the first one on the market is being made by one of the world’s oldest and most respected spirits companies. The Bols family established a distillery shortly after their arrival in Amsterdam in 1575. By the early 17th century the operation had become the dominant player in the manufacture of both flavored liqueurs and genever, the Dutch juniper-infused libation from which modern gin evolved. The last family member died in 1813, and over the next two centuries the company went through numerous phases of ownership, including joint ventures with Diageo and Remy Cointreau. Today it remains what it has been for a very long time: the leading creator and marketer of liqueurs, with a current portfolio of 38 different flavors. (more…)

Hirsch Bourbon

August 7, 2013

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

In the world of distilled spirits, there are many products and people that are difficult to pin down, but few are as elusive as Adolph H. Hirsch and his legendary Bourbon. Here’s what we know: Hirsch was born in Mannheim, Germany, in 1908, and came to the U.S. in 1926. On and off, he was a Schenley executive for most of his life. In 1942, Hirsch and three partners bought the Pennsylvania Distilling company (Pennco), which eventually became the Schaefferstown distillery. Pennco was a contract distiller with a spotty history that primarily produced Bourbon.

In 1974, Hirsch commissioned a run of 400 barrels of Bourbon at Pennco. The distillery went out of business shortly afterward, and was purchased and renamed Michter’s. It stayed in business until 1989, when it closed for good; there’s no connection between that operation and another modern brand of whiskey also called Michter’s (confused yet?). When Michter’s folded, Hirsch’s 400 barrels of Bourbon---which he had forgotten about---were sold to Gordon Hue. Hue moved them to a distillery in Cincinnati, where he began bottling the contents and selling it as A. H. Hirsch Bourbon. Those remaining bottles of the 16 Year-Old are extremely rare; one is likely to set you back $1400, if you can find it. (more…)