Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Corsair Continues to Rack Up the Awards

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 8:04 AM

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Those boys at Corsair Artisan Distillery might need to slow down on the distilling and consider building some new trophy cases. Well, I say "boys," but I should definitely remember to include Amy Lee Bell who is one of the co-owners along with her husband Darek and their partner Andrew Webber. The three of them recently returned from Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whiskey awards in Louisville, Ky., with a boatload of new hardware.

Corsair was awarded both “Craft Distillery of the Year” award and “Innovator of the Year” from Whisky Magazine, which is pretty much unheard of for a four-year-old distillery. Heck, Pappy Van Winkle has whiskey in the office water cooler that's a decade older than Corsair...

According to the official announcement:

Distillery owners Darek Bell, Andrew Webber, and Amy Lee Bell were ecstatic. “We are humbled and truly grateful for this,” said Webber. “Winning one Icon of Whisky award is completely unexpected. Winning two is wholly unbelievable.” Corsair topped over 300 other American whiskey makers, including some impressive craft peers: Balcones Distilling, Breckenridge Distillery, Dry Fly Distilling, Garrison Brothers Distillery, Great Lakes Distilling, Koval Distillery & Smooth Ambler Handcrafted Spirits.

I've been fortunate enough to sample whiskeys from many of the distillers mentioned above, and I can personally attest that Corsair belongs in the same conversation with any of them. In fact, at last weekend's extraordinarily well-run Nashville Whiskey Festival I got a taste of their latest mad-scientist experiment, a whiskey made from quinoa.

I found it to be really, really complex, especially for something so young. Incredibly earthy, the nose was like a dirt road, but the small grain of the quinoa apparently releases some luscious flavors when it's malted and cooked. It just hit the shelves of Midtown Wine and Spirits this week and should be available in other liquor stores and bars in the next few days.

Another spirits organization recently did a rye tasting for the "The Fifty Best" website. Corsair's unoaked rye whiskey Wry Moon won the double gold medal as the No. 2 overall choice of the tasting panel. Ryemageddon, the oaked version of Corsair's rye also won a gold medal as one of the other favorites.

Just think, we can say we knew them when ...

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