Notes From Your Spiritual Advisor - Warren Delray
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A South Florida Spiritual Advisor Turns 60!

There is a lot to be thankful for and I’d like to use this blog and forum to send my appreciation to everyone that reads this page, reached out for my recent birthday and sent out lots of warm and wonderful messages.



I am also truly blessed to be able to share some whiskey wisdom with others who are passionate about this truly artisanal and amazing spirit. It is also a blessing that my “office” or platform is the most beautiful Warren American Whiskey Kitchen and the stunning Warren Whiskey Library. Not a bad office indeed and I’ve been honored to host some absolutely amazing spirit journies and experiences with so many!

Speaking of, the next Saturday afternoon whiskey class in the library is coming soon: May 18th at 3pm! This just so happens to also be World Whiskey Day and we will be featuring spirits from many points on the globe: France, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Wales and India!!



Tickets are just $49 for the six tastings and seminars and can be purchased by texting me directly at 561-777-4848 or by visiting the EvenBrite website under Warren Delray events. I look forward to seeing many of you there!

And thank you all again for the birthday love and all of your passion, support and shared wisdom!

Cheers!

Fitz

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The Fastest Growing Whiskey That Almost Wasn’t And Tales Of The Teeling Family.

I’ve spent the last week or so taking a deep dive into the world of Irish whiskey and the famous spirit’s tumultous history and it’s been quite an eye-opening journey.

As a Fitzpatrick, a whiskey connoisseur and a spiritual advisor, I thought I knew Irish whiskey fairly well. And I pretty much did. But what I’ve learned in the last ten days or has really been eye opening!



Irish whiskey was the undisputed spirit champion of the world for many decades in the late 1700s and well into the early 1800s. Through Britain’s vast colonies the Irish had an outlet to sell and share their delicious spirit around the globe and production was at an all-time high that’s not been reached since. (But more about that later).



In 1823 an excise agent, Aeneas Coffey, patented what he called a continuous (or column still). This new invention allowed for whiskey (and other spirits like gin) to be produced faster and in much higher quantities.



When introducing it to his fellow distillers and countryman, however, he received much resistance. Irish distillers were convinced that their method, Pot Still, produced a much richer and higher quality spirit. The problem with Pot Still, though, was that production was slow and done in single batches. Still, the Irish resisted.



The Scots!? Not so much! Many Scotch distillers saw this new invention as revolutionary and embraced it as a way to outpace their island competitior and embraced it immediately. The Coffey still flourished in Scotland and so then did Scotch whiskey! By the turn of the century, the tables had turned.

But Irish whiskey still held its own until two very dramatic events. The Irish Civil War (Or War of Independence) in 1822 cut off their connections to Britain’s global colonial markets and the introduction of Prohibition in America was a tremendous blow to their other major export market.

Steady decline over the next few decades brought the Irish whiskey industry to the brink of oblivion. While once boasting over 100 distilleries (far more if you count the illegal stills) by the 1970s they were down to just two: Bushmills in the North and Midleton in Dublin. To make matters worse, those two merged to create “Irish Distillers” and effectively created a monopoly.

So what changed? What happened?

John Teeling happened. When he created the Cooley Distillery and rebuilt the iconic Kilbeggan Distillery in 1987, Teeling effectively broke the monopoly and paved the way for the emergence of others and the resurgence of a now thriving industry. Jameson and their worldwide marketing campaign played an important part as well in the comeback.



Teeling’s sons, Jack and Stephen, opened the Teeling Distillery in 2015 and became the first new whiskey maker in the former world capital of whiskey in nearly 125 years!! Their innovative style has been a huge success and so has the creativity and marketing savvy of many other new distilleries on the Emerald Isle.

As of this writing, there are over 40 active distilleries in Ireland with over two dozen more in the works! Irish whiskey for the last two decades has become the fastest growing spirit in a whiskey industry that has exploded across the globe.

And so we can all sit back, enjoy and raise a glass and a toast to one of the most amazing comeback stories in business history!

Slainte!

Want to taste the Teeling and know more? I will be holding a class in the vaunted Warren Whiskey Library this Saturday at 3pm! Tickets are still available and are just $39 for six tastings and the seminar. Text me direct at 561-777-4848 to purchase tix with me or you grab a seat on EventBrite under Warren Delray!

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A Toast to The Toasteds!!

Double barrel matured, Double Oaked, Twin Oaked, Toasted Barrel. Are we talking about the same thing? Pretty much. But I’ve never met a toasted barrel whiskey (or any of the above) I didn’t like!



You see, that second barrel delivers a deepness and richness you just can’t quite get with only one barrel. Let me explain…

First, understand that all whiskey gets 100% of its color and 60-70% of its flavor from the wood. (the balance is the mashbill or grain recipe, the water used for cutting and last but not least, the yeast strain involved). And with that, 50% of that flavor and color comes in the first twelve months a whiskey sits in the barrel!



So when you give a whiskey that has aged four, six or however many years in one barrel a new life in a brand new second barrel, naturally all those delicious caramels, vanillas and other flavors become deeper, richer and even more enhanced!! The depth of flavor is simply hard to match!

By law, the first barrel must be flame charred charcoal black on its interior for bourbons. With the secondary barrel, however, there are no rules! (We like no rules! Warren Bar is famous for that! lol). Usually the second barrel is “singed” rather than burned on the inside. That simply means that the flame never hits the interior wood but rather is close enough to turn it a brown, dark brown color rather than the charcoal black of the first barrel. That’s what gives you that beautiful toastiness!

Secondary finishing is a hot trend in whiskey these days as port barrels, cognac casks, old wine barrels, sherry casks and all kinds of previously soaked woods are gaining new life and adding delicious flavors and complexity to more and more whiskeys on the market!

At Warren, your spiritual advisor is here to take you on a tour of these whiskeys and help you understand how each secondary barrel impacts the profile and what exact flavor notes they bring!



Which brings us back to the toasteds! Still my favorite! And not adding new flavors to the spirit but simply enhancing those classic flavors from the original oak! Elijah Craig, Woodford, Michter’s toasted, anyone?

Come see me and I’ll taste you on it and tell you all about it!

Cheers!

Fitz

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More Great Brown Spirit Surprises From 2023!

As we await our six barrels of new whiskey from the vaunted Buffalo Trace Distillery (see last week’s blog) I’m going to continue on discussing some of the whiskey that wet my whistle and made it sing in 2023! It was another great year for special releases and many that are more than affordable!

When we were told some people from Hard Truth Rye wanted to come to Warren and try us on their new sweet mash spirits I was fully expecting it to be the local or regional sales reps. Turned out it was Master Distiller Bryan Smith himself! What a treat. And the whiskey he’s making in Nashville Indiana is even more of a treat.

My favorite, the above pictured Chocolate Malted Rye, is without a doubt one of my favorite surprises in 2023. Using the sweet mash method of distilling he learned from Shane and Pat at Wilderness Trail, Mr. Smith has created one of the most intense, sweet and delicious spirits anywhere. It’s unmistakable dark chocolate tones are apparent on the nose and even more present on the palate. This rich, full-bodied rye has just enough spice (think cinnamon) to complement the rich caramel, butterscotch and vanilla flavors that wind into an incredible deep, long and rewarding finish!

Our team was so impressed with the product from this upstart distillery that two of our partners booked a flight that afternoon to visit the Hard Truth Distillery in Nashville, Indiana! The result? Our very own sweet mash malted rye barrel pick for Damn Good Hospitality! (Which just arrived at the restaurant last week!). It is so good!! I highly recommend to all whiskey fans to visit Warren soon and try a dram! (or two!)

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Come to Pappy! Warren Delray to Host an Incredible Evening with Every Pappy from 10 to 23 Year!!

2024 is already off to a great start at Warren but now comes news of perhaps one of the most exciting events ever: The Warren & Pappy Van Winkle Grand Dinner & Tasting!



On Wednesday night, 2/21 and Thursday night, 2/22 our culinary team is curated perhaps their most innovative and delicious menus ever to pair with the following: Old Rip Van Winkle 10, Van Winkle Family Reserve 12 Year “Lot B,” the 13 Year Family Reserve Rye and concluding with Pappy Van Winkle 15, 20 & 23 Year famous straight wheated bourbons.



Pappy Van Winkle whiskey has become a global phenomenon. It doesn’t matter in which country you reside, these bottles have become the most talked about and sought after bottles on the planet Earth!

The Buffalo Trace team will be on hand as well as yours truly to help you taste, appreciate and navigate through these six amazing skewers! How many people can say they have tasted each of these most special and amazing spirits. Bragging rights for sure!



Tickets for this momentous occasion are $1000 for non-WCC members and $750 for members. For more information please call our front desk at Warren at 561-455-4177.

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It’s the New Year And Time To Reflect Back on Some Brown Spirit Surprises in 2023

Our next round of 6 Buffalo Trace barrel picks should be on their way to Warren soon and can’t wait until we can share our two new Eagle Rare 10 Years, the new Weller Antique 107 and wait for it…. our second ever barrel of Weller Full Proof 114! (Not to mention 2 new barrels of good ole BT!)



Until then, now is a good time to reflect back on some of the spirits that really caught our attention in 2023. And an amazing way. The above Buffalo Trace Gold represens the only barrel of the much sought after spirit allocated to the entire state of Florida! All ours! Don’t ask us how. 😉

This barrel was most unusual and a surprise because our team did not personally select this particular barrel but left it to Harlan Wheatley and his team to send us a good one. The surprise? It wasn’t just good. It blew everyone’s doors off! (Even those of us who were not necessarily big BG fans). The rich and creamy texture of this spirit reminds me of no other!

Earlier in the year I was told someone from Hard Truth Spirits in Indiana wished to visit with us one afternoon. Expecting a regional sales rep we deiced “why not?” and agreed. But lo and behold, to our surprise, it was the Master Distiller Bryan Smith himself! We were able to sit with Bryan for several hours and taste through the entire range of his creations.

We were so impressed with the bold and delicious flavor and balance of this spirit that Brian and Jeff booked a flight to visit the distillery that afternoon! Of course, we now own our very own barrel of this incredible sweet malt. (Another surprise? When asked why he chose the arduous route of sweet mash, Bryan informed me that he learned how to make whiskey from Shane and Pat at Wilderness Trail!) Wow. Two of our absolute favorite distillers! And my idols. No wonder it’s so good!

One last most pleasant surprise? Knob Creek’s legendary distiller Freddie Noe finally acquiesced and agreed to release a KC straight bourbon older than the classic 9 year! And damn, it did not disappoint. I guess with someone like Freddie I shouldn’t have been so surprised but I’d definitely put this bottle in my list of favorite whiskies tasted in 2023! (About the 15 & 18 year? Stay tuned. More on those two releases later).

Check in next week and I will continue the list of most surprising brown spirits of 2023 and will be announcing some exciting new arrivals for 2024!

Cheers!

Fitz

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Some Amazing Things Coming To Warren & The Whiskey Library Bar in 2024!

Happy New Year to all and I hope everyone had a great holiday season!

It’s been a whirlwind of activity, fun, holiday spirit and energy at Warren these past couple weeks and we’re all finally catching up, catching our breaths and gearing up for some incredible happenings in 2024!

We’ve got some exceptional barrel picks coming soon (including six barrels from Buffalo Trace!) as well as some new, inventive blends from Brian and yours truly! (More on that later!)

Please check back next week as I will be posting one of my favorite blogs: my top ten surprising whiskies tasted in 2023!

There might be a few you wouldn’t expect on the list. I had the pleasure of tasting hundreds of whiskies last year including some that totally blew my mind!

I know, tough job!

Cheers!

Fitz

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Happy New Year from Warren!

We hope you all are enjoying this holiday season and we look forward to some exciting things happening in 2024.

In January we await the arrival of six new barrels from our friends at Sazerac and Buffalo Trace: A Weller Full Proof 114, A Weller Antique 107, two more barrels of Eagle Rare Ten Year and another couple of barrels of good old Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon!

In addition we can’t wait for you to try our new wheated bourbon barrel from our friends at Wilderness Trail, the masters of sweet mash!

Don’t forget our NYE celebration this Sunday night! Our 80s Prom Theme begins at 9pm after the early dinner turn and it is only $50 admission. (Of course that gets you a complimentary champagne toast at Midnight.

You can also book my seats at the Warren Bar for 9:15pm and celebrate your New Year with your favorite spiritual advisor! (I’m also available to host your pre-game early dinner for those who like to get out and get home early! You can begin a dinner and tasting anytime after 5 and until 6:30pm).

Wishing everyone great health, wealth and happiness in 2024!

Cheers!

Fitz

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL OF US AT DAMN GOOD HOSPITALITY!

With the Christmas holiday upon us this weekend I just wanted to wish everyone a safe and very happy holiday!



Seats are filling up fast this time of year so if you wish to sit at the Warren Bar in the Whiskey Library please feel free to contact me directly at 561-777-4848 to book your spot and try some of our amazing food and dozens of new spirit selections!

Don’t forget Warren for you last minute gift ideas! Gift baskets, Barrel Pick bottles, gift cards (how about a special one for the whiskey lover in your life with me at the Warren tasting bar!) and other great gift ideas!

We will be closed Christmas Day but reopen Tuesday and then it’s “game on!” until New Years Even and New Years Day!



Got NYE plans yet? We still have some space available for our 80s Prom theme party at Warren. If it’s anything like our past two New Year’s celebration then this is the place you’re going to want to be!

Please contact our front desk for further details and to reserve your spot!

Cheers!

Fitz

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And The Barrels From Buffalo Trace Keep Rolling Into Warren!

It’s been an exciting past month at Warren American Whiskey Kitchen as we secured eight more barrels of the best whiskey from the vaunted Frankfort, KY distillery.



This month’s highlights: A Weller Blue Label Full Proof 114 as well as the only barrel of Blanton’s Gold allocated to the entire state of Florida!!!



But what does that mean? When we taste through barrels at the BT rickhouses we are searching for ones that aged exceptionally well, deep, and complex. When we select one it is because we feel that spirit drinks significantly richer than anything we’ve found in Florida!



Those 53-gallon barrels will yield us approximately 200 bottles of fine whiskey with our Damn Good Hospitality sticker proudly attached. It really is a wealth of whiskey riches! In addition to the Gold and the Full Proof, we snagged another Antique 107, a baby Saz 6 year rye, and TWO more barrels each of Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace Bourbon.

Before our team left Kentucky last week they also made it over to see the fine folks at Wilderness Trail to try out their sweet mash wheated bourbon! Success, the team loved what they tasted and we secured a barrel of that fine whiskey as well!



We hope you’ll visit Warren soon and try out some of our many new and exciting arrivals. Don’t forget with the holidays here Warren is a great place for gift ideas. We have bottles, gift baskets, gift cards and don’t forget: a special invite card for a dinner tasting and experience in the Warren Whiskey Library at the tasting bar with yours truly!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Fitz



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