Hey, some mornings we have to take a break from our whiskey studies, menu plans and bottle procurement for some hands on, spiritual research!
Got a visit today from our dear friend, Gail Conde, who jumped ship from Southern Glazer Distributors two years ago to take a chance and rep a new brand of tequila I’d never heard of: Codigo.
She was packing the recently released Codigo 1530 Extra Anejo! Only 3 of this 150 bottle, small batch release made it to Florida! And we just nabbed one of them! The kicker? This special edition was aged for 12 YEARS in ex-Napa Valley Cabernet Casks. Oh, hell yes!!
Wait, what?? 12 Years? Seriously? True story!
Holy fuck is this spirit delicious! Soft, sweet nose and the light heat, deep caramel, butterscotch and orange zest palate is viscous and to die for. The finish doesn’t disappoint either! Long and lingering with just a hint of the currant from the Napa Valley wine barrels where it sat for over a decade!
NOT FAKE NEWS: Gail just informed us that our own Warren Codigo traditional Anejo Select Barrel Pick has also arrived in Florida!
We’ll have those very special bottles available to everyone soon!
This delicious dram will be also be featured on our spirit roster as a one or two ounce pour in-house with 750ml bottles to take home!
Having had the opportunity to experience the growth and explosion of brown spirits professionally as a bar manager these past two decades has simply blown my mind and my socks right off! Still can’t find either!!
But you will find nearly 1000 bottles at our new restaurant opening soon! And if you try it and like it (we’ll have 1 and 2 oz pours of just about everything) you can buy it! Most of those bottles will be available for sale and for you to then take home and enjoy! But back to the story…
When I think about first running a bar around the turn of the century (for those of you in your 40s that lived it you’ll relate, for those of you who are not but are passionate about spirits, you’ll appreciate) it sadly always came back to one thing: vodka! (Yawn-Lol).
Those fruity, fufu vodka martinis still dominated drink lists in the late 90s and 2000s. The Sour Apple Martini, Cosmopolitan, Flirtini and other clear spirit, super sweet concoctions were everywhere and with hardly a lick of brown spirits to be found!
Back then the only whiskies that would have been seen near the well were probably Jack Daniels, Johnny Walker Black, Dewar’s and perhaps Maker’s Mark. If a bar was just little better stocked, you may see the classic small batch series (Booker’s, Bakers, Basil Hayden & Knob Creek) on the back-bar. But that’s about it! (Old Crow or Early Times, anyone?)
Fast forward two decades and a spirit that once sat in the back of the bus has become the hottest category in the spirit world. While vodka still holds it own, (can you believe the whole Tito’s thing?) whiskies from around the globe have taken center stage and fueled a new way of viewing things for forward thinking bartenders, servers and bar managers.
Our favorite brown spirit has spawned a craft cocktail culture like no one has ever seen before. (Anyone ever even heard of a mixologist in 2000? 2010 even? Lol) It has raised our craft with a whole new level of expertise!
Our goal at Warren is to elevate the spirit experience through our creative cocktails and to hopefully help educate our friends and guests on many of the truly amazing brown spirits out there today. And we have damn plenty!
Check back soon as we start your journey by naming our top 50 favorite whiskies in the world right now and discuss/review a new bottle each day on the WCC blog! (And stay tuned for details in the coming days on how you can join the infamous Warren Cocktail Club itself!)
Best of all? You can buy all of them at Warren! Think of us not just as your go-to room for all things whiskey and spirit advice but also your new, favorite liquor store!!! That’s right! Not only do we do retail but you’ll find barrel select and reserve bottles here that you won’t find anywhere else!
A little introduction: While I have been redirecting dispositions (bartending) since the late 90’s in Manhattan, it wasn’t until 2009 when I was tasked to manage the bar at Maker’s Mark Bourbon House in downtown Kansas City (along with their 150-bottle whiskey list) that I became obsessed with making sure I always had the answer to all my friends’ and guest’s whiskey queries.
My obsession paid off, and now, in 2021, I have been given the honor and opportunity to curate the nearly 1000 bottle whiskey collection at the shiny, new Warren American Whiskey Kitchen in West Delray Beach! I think it’s safe to say 150 bottles seems like a starter kit to me now!
Friends, I am blown away with the arsenal of whisk(e)y I am now armed with at this beautiful new shrine to brown spirits. I’m hustling hard to ingest all of the info that I can on those obscure bottles that I’m a little less familiar with (or never even heard of), because let’s be real here – seems like there’s ten new distilleries opening every day! I’m so excited to give you a taste of both new and old spirits, and don’t worry, my goal is to gauge your taste so that I can make sure you’re enjoying and not wasting time or money.
The world of whiskey is exploding! Sometimes when you walk into a venue with a large wine list or spirit collection it can be a little overwhelming. I’m here, along with our entire whiskey-savvy staff at Warren, to help you navigate through this maze of new and old spirits. This isn’t just our job, it’s our passion, and we all feel so lucky to make a living this way!
Please think of me (and the rest of us here at Warren) as your new spiritual advisors.
Check back Monday for our exciting daily blog updates on the latest barrels and bottles we’ve procured. We can’t wait to share the entire list with all of our whisk(e)y loving friends in South Florida! And the food? You won’t taste any better!