The OSC Digest

  • Very Old Tia Maria

    Originally produced in Jamaica in the 1930s, if not earlier, Tia Maria was first made with just four ingredients:  Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans, Jamaican rum, vanilla and cane sugar.  A figure called Dr. Evans began manufacturing it in greater quantity after WWII and brought the product to prominence.  The strength began at 31.5% or higher, dropping to 26.5% and then to 20%, where it remains.  This week, Old Spirits Co. sadly said goodbye to this stunning 1930s bottle of Tia Maria, a true one of a kind.  We know it's headed to a good home, however!
  • Boodle's Anybody

    Originally created in 1845 and named after London's Boodle's Gentleman's Club, this gin has a rich history.  In the 1980s it was still only available at Boodles Gentleman's Club, St. James's, London (est. 1762) or on the US and Japanese markets.  Making it available to the general British public would have been unthinkable!
  • Finlandia Vodka

    Although the distillery that produces Finlandia vodka was founded in 1888 by Dr. Wilhelm Juslin next to a glacial spring in the small Finnish village of Rajamaki, Finlandia vodka as we know it was not introduced until 1970. Tappio Wirkkala (1915-85) designed the “Frozen Ice” bottle for the inaugural launch. Here, a beautiful example with the sun on the label and the twist-off cap touched in red. We also have a very rare bottle of pineapple-flavour Finlandia from the 1980. How quickly times changed once the marketing dept picked up steam!
  • Early Pre-Bottled Cocktails

    While we’re loving pre-bottled cocktails from some of our favorite cocktail bars to rest our shaker arm and support them during the quarantine, we remember how far back this practice goes! In the case of Tanqueray Gordon & Co., 1924 to be exact! Old Spirits Co’s bottle pictured, one of three we are luck to have, is filled with a delicious Piccadilly Cocktail, as featured in the 1930 edition of The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock! Enjoy the visual feast and note the shaker-shaped bottle! Very nice to hold and very sexy!
  • Hirsch 28YO Bourbon

    Always happy to remember that @preiss_imports
    is back at it after a short break! They have a great portfolio of new spirits from around the world. But, the one I find most interesting are the Hirsch Selections they released in their previous chapter. Old Spirits Company has this beauty: Hirsh 28YO Small Batch Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey - Bottled 2000s (43.40%, 75cl). Sadly we won’t know how delicious it is until we find a back up!
  • Mid-19th-century Madeira

    This dear friend flew the coop today! Off to a better nest perhaps, or at least to one with more birds of the same feather!
    Blue Eagle Wine Co.'s Special Sercial Madeira - 1840 Vintage (18%, 71cl)
  • Back to the future!

    Yesterday Diageo released Gordon’s Mediterranean Orange Distilled Gin! Hope they didn’t forget they first offered it almost a century ago along with a Lemon Gin, reintroduced in February 2020 with the launch of the new Sicilian Lemon Distilled Gin. Gordon's produced Orange Gin from 1929 to 1988.  This beauty from c. 1936 will set you back a few bob, but it’s museum-quality and your palette deserves it! Available online!

  • 'Quality Sells': VAT 69

    ‘Quality Sells’!  It sure should!  Only just now coming to be reappreciated, but still largely neglected are post-War bottlings of the famous brands of blended Scotch whisky.  VAT 69, The Antiquary, Black & White, White Horse, Cutty Sark, J&B, Johnnie Walker and he list goes on — all fabulously rewarding drams.  Go on pus the boat out past cas strength singe malts to the open waters of blends.  They’re rewarding for the sophisticated drinker.  Think of it in terms of red Bordeaux wine.  You wouldn’t sit around drinking Merlot and Cab on it’s own all day would you?  You’d drink a blend like a Graves, which is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

  • HOPSES, Berne, 1954

    The central golden medallion on the front of the main label of this handsome bottle of Moskovskaya Vodka is marked with an image of the Swiss Eagle, HOSPES/BERNE 1954 and EXPOSITION DU TOURISME SUISSE ET DE L’ART CULINAIRE INTERNATIONAL.  With the last ‘World Fair’ or Expo held in Europe having taken place in 1939 and many nations still on food rations, it was time for such an event to stimulate co-operation in international trade, travel and cuisine.  From May 14 to June 21 750,000 visitors thronged the 170,000 meter Exhibition Hall featuring 21 national pavilions (including the USA and Japan) manned by 5,000 staff and volunteers.  24 restaurants fed everybody and chef delegates form 15 nations, some of whom sent national teams, participated in a Salon Culinaire.  HOSPES invigorated the Swiss tourism industry and fostered international exchange. 

  • Our Guide to Vintage White Russians

    It's simple, really.

    No matter how appealing those vintage bottles of milk or cream seem...

    Don't do it.

    You'll kill someone.

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