LV Distillery expands, a drink of my own, and Rí Rá’s rarities

• The portfolio is expanding at Las Vegas Distillery, which is now producing whiskey, gin, rum and moonshine in addition to its history-making Nevada Vodka. Pick up limited-edition bottles of those—as well as T-shirts, used barrels and the entire distillery line—at the new Half Full artisan store open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily next to the distillery. Also, mark your calendar for First Edition Day at the distillery, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 17, when you can bottle your own spirits, taste the portfolio, help with barreling and enjoy free cocktails. The event is free!

• Wanna make someone’s day? Name a cocktail after them. Or, even better, create a cocktail with them in mind. RM Seafood lead barman J.R. Starkus did just that when he channeled a number of my favorite flavors into the Woodman’s Reserve, a mixture of Ketel One Oranje, Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, house-made Guinness syrup and cardamom tincture, fresh lemon and Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate bitters. The cocktail debuted Nov. 1 at the Mandalay Bay restaurant, and will remain, I’m told, for some time. Thanks, man!

• There’s lots to love on Vanguard Lounge’s new menu, especially if you love the flavors of fall. The 13 new cocktails include the Smashing Pumpkins (Absolut Vanilia, St-Germain, pumpkin puree, fresh lemon and orange bitters); the Honeybear (house-infused apple brandy, Aperol, green Chartreuse and Bärenjäger); and the addictive beertail, Falling for a Bulleit (Bulleit bourbon, maple syrup, egg white lemon bitters and pumpkin ale). Hurry, before it’s time to nog out with the winter menu.

• Hooray for Rí Rá! The Mandalay Place Irish pub has compiled a killer whiskey list with 1½-ounce pours starting at $9 for the John Powers 12 Year and $11 for the Knockeen Hills Poteen (Irish moonshine) and going all the way up to the Glenfiddich 40 Year, which will set you back $650. Between those extremes, the list includes rarities, such as the 99-point Dalmore 1974 ($350, a spicy stunner aged in both Matusalem and Oloroso sherry casks); Buffalo Trace’s Eagle Rare 17 Year ($20); and the Isle of Jura 1976 “Feith A’ Chaorainn” ($175, pictured), named Best of Show at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The highland-style island Scotch is utterly unique, tasting subtly of the ocean air that is so close to the distillery on the tiny Isle of Jura.



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