Author Archives: Susan Holaday/Foodservice East Online

About Susan Holaday/Foodservice East Online

Longtime foodservice journalist - edit and publish 90+ years old which just went digital at with news, new products, personnel information, trends and stories.

The Spirit(s) World

More LA Spirits event awards presented

 FREDERICKSBURG, VA – The Los Angeles International Spirits competition presented five A. Smith Bowman Gold Medals and one, John J. Bowman Single Barrel Straight Virginia Bourbon, took home a Silver Medal.

Isaac Bowman Port Barrel Finished Virginia Straight

also was named a “Best Category Bourbon with a Unique Finish” and also too home a Gold Medal, earning 91 points. Other A. Smith Bowman spirits winning Gold Medals were:

  • Bowman Brothers Small Batch Virginia Straight Bourbon (90 points)
  • Tinkerman’s Gin – Curiously Bright & Complex (90 points)
  • Tinkerman’s Gin – Sweet Spice (91 points)
  • Tinkerman’s Gin – Citrus Supreme (90 points)

Go to

  1. Smith Bowman’s distilling roots date to pre-Prohibition. Check out

The Spirit(s) World – 6 Bourbons win medals

BARDSTOWN, KY  -At the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition six bourbons from Barton 1792 Distillery have earned Gold Medals, and one was named “Best of Category.”

Those Gold winners include:

  • 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – also named “Best of Category” in the Bourbon-Overproof Category with 92 points
  • Very Old Barton 80 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Very Old Barton 90 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Kentucky Tavern Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Zackariah Harris Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The competition, now in its thirteenth year, is judged by a panel of well respected judges including award-winning authors, buyers, journalists, educators and bar owners, who rate each spirit on a 100-point scale.

Complete results for the 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition can be found at


Buffalo Trace wins big in Spirits competition

FRANKFORT, KY – Three Buffalo Trace Distillery spirits took home “Best of Category” honors at the 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition.  Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon won in the category of Small Batch Bourbon 10 years or less, Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bourbon was named Best Straight Bourbon 6 years or older, and Wheatley Vodka won the category title for Best Small Batch Vodka. All also were awarded Gold Medals, as were the following spirits:

  • Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Weller Special Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Weller CYPB Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Old Weller Antique Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye
  • Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon (no age)
  • Benchmark Kentucky Straight Bourbon

 Silver Medals were awarded to:

  • W.L. Weller 12 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye Whiskey

This competition, now 13 years old,  was judged by a panel of there top industry judges including renowned authors, buyers, journalists, educators and bar owners. The spirits were rated on a 100-point scale.

For more results at the 2019 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition go to


“Pig out” at event at Cambridge’s Pagu

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Tracy Chang’s critically acclaimed Pagu, a Japanese/Spanish tapas restaurant in Central Square marks its third anniversary August 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. The date is also Chef Chang’s 32nd birthday as well as her pug dog, Pearl’s second.

The Suckling Pig Roast will offer two styles of pig served by friends Priscilla Capistrano and Amanda Ryan who will cook two Philippine style along with Jonathan Cardona and Jose Jiminez who will prepare two more, Mexican style.

Guests will feast on both styles with sides and desserts (including the Filipino shaved ice sundae halo-halo). In addition, Chef Chang will serve two popular soft serve flavors — Matcha with Chocolate Nibs and Black Sesame Seed. Beverages will be a la carte  and will feature such specials as a $30 Rose Porron served in a traditional spanish glass Porron pitcher.

Tickets are $45 dollars apiece — pictures with Pearl the pug on the patio are free! 

Walk-ins are welcome but with only four pigs and finite seating indoors and on the patio, the event is expected to sell out quickly.  Tickets are $45 apiece. For reservations, go to








The Spirit(s) World – Expresiones Del Corazón

A barrel-aged spirit, Corazón Tequila from Buffalo Trace, recently came onto the market in a limited line after an unusual, unique aging process. The whiskey barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery originally held whiskey aged 22 years or more.

The new tequila tastes of wood, caramel, almond, chocolate and even ripe plum and “lightly roasted coffee” on the finish, Expresiones Del Corazón points out. Buffalo Trace calls the new spirit “Old 22” and points out that “all the magic” takes place in the barrels. The new tequila tastes of wood, caramel, almond, chocolate and even ripe plum and “lightly roasted coffee” on the finish, Expresiones Del Corazón declares.

The Corazón brand, which falls under the Sazerac umbrella, is produced in Acatic, Los Altos Jalisco at the Casa San Matías Distillery, which has more than 130 years of tequila making experience. That tequila-making experience paired with Buffalo Trace Distillery’s renowned whiskey-making expertise creates an exciting new lineup for this fifth release of Expresiones del Corazón.

The Expresiones del Corazón line has won numeroustop awards over the years for various limited release expressions. Most recently, Sazerac Rye Añejo was awarded a Double Gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Añejo was awarded a Gold medal. Buffalo Trace Distillery Old 22 Añejo received a Gold medal at the 2018 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition.

“The unique aging process mixed with the impressive feedback we continue to receive from competitions worldwide tells us that our combination of Buffalo Trace Distillery bourbon barrels and Corazón Tequila is a perfect match,” Tequila Marketing Director Megan Hurtuk points out. “We are so excited for everyone to experience this year’s line-up of Expresiones del Corazón.”

Trace Distillery Old 22 has a retail price of $79.99. Casa San Matias, where the tequila is distilled, has a long history of 131 years in Mexico. While using traditional production methods, it is said to have been the tequila industry’s first producer to participate in a carbon footprint program promoted by the United Nations to combat global warming and is also one of only four tequila companies to use a biogdester to be environmentally friendly methods. The brand “falls under the Sazerac umbrella,” the producers say.

            Using 100 percent blue agave from the highlands of Jalisco, the brix for Expresiones del Corazón are measured to determine sugar levels before harvest, rather than a traditional clear cut.  Two sets of agave were harvested, one with a lower sugar content and flavored a little drier, and one with a higher sugar content considered a little sweeter for agave, resulting in more floral notes. The result was a harmonization of the two sets of agave in the Blanco, which was then used as the base for the other Expresiones del Corazón.

            The agave is slow cooked in stone ovens before being distilled in stainless steel pots using fresh spring water from the Jalisco highlands. The filled barrels are stored in the first row at Casa San Matías aging facility in Acatic, Los Altos Jalisco, where the barrels receive the ideal level of air flow to aid in the aging process. The barrels are then evaluated every two months until the desired characteristics are achieved. They are then bottled as single barrel tequilas. The suggested retail price is $79.99. For more information on Sazerac, visit



The Spirit(s) World – Corazon Tequila

Bravo to Corazón Tequila Blanco


CHICAGO – Congratulations to Corazón Tequila Blanco, named World’s Best Blanco today at the 2019 World Tequila Awards here. The Corazón family of tequilas also received  awards for Expresiones del Corazón Sazerac Rye Añejo – Gold, Expresiones del Corazón Old 22 Añejo – Silver, Extra Añejo – Gold, Reposado – Silver, and Añejo – Bronze.

Judging took place in three round – tasting the first round in respective categories, the second chose from “Best” award recipients in each category from the first, and the third repeated the second round to select World’s Best. The judges included a range from interenational journalists to industry experts.

Corazón Marketing Director Megan Hurtuk noted: “Our partners at Casa San Matias are true artisans. These awards are a testament to their craftsmanship and honor all of the hard working men and women of the distillery.”

The complete list of winners for the 2019 World Tequila Awards can be found at www.

To find more information about the Corazón family of tequilas, please visit and for the full list of the competition winners, go to http:/


4th grade students work to make change

WALLINGFORD, PA – A group of fourth grade students here recently showed that youngsters are capable of making a positive change for the environment after they sent essays to UNO CEO Jim Ilaria urging the restaurant chain to stop using plastic straws.

They pointed to the ways plastic straws thrown out in the ocean harm it and marine life. Impressed by their argument, he instituted the desired change with a new company policy – “by request only” – for the plastic straw option. He also organized a pizza party for the youngsters who contacted  him.

“I was impressed by the logic of their arguments and how they appealed to both my heart and my business mind,” Ilaria notes. “As an avid SCUBA diver who has seen the plastic debris in our ocean and as a former member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I understand and appreciate the importance of source reduction, recycling and waste minimization. I am proud that I have the ability to make this change and I’m excited to recognize the significant actions of these young students.”

“My students have been energized to make a positive change in this world, especially after learning about the damage caused by single-use plastic straws,” notes the students’ teacher, Mrs. Knight. “It has been such a joy to teach this passionate group of fourth graders, and I am so very grateful to UNO and Mr. Ilaria for recognizing their efforts by changing to a “request only” straw policy AND by hosting a pizza party. It just doesn’t get better than that for a bunch of remarkable ten year olds!”