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					The United States Sommelier Association, Inc. ™


     Distilled Spirits
         Beer & Ales
           Coffee & Tea

                    USSA Services Guide
                        Product Knowledge

                         Table of Contents

Production of distilled spirits                3
Knowing and understanding distilled spirits     5
Knowing and understanding Brandy & Cognac      7
Knowing and understanding Canadian Whisky      10
Knowing and understanding American Whiskey     13
Knowing and understanding Scotch Whiskey       16
Knowing and understanding Irish Whiskey        21
Knowing and understanding Vodka                23
Knowing and understanding Tequila              25
Knowing and understanding Rum                  28
Knowing and understanding Gin                  31
Knowing and understanding Vermouth             34
Knowing and understanding Cordial & Liqueurs   35
Glossary of distilled spirits terms            38
Bottle, Barrels & Liquid Measurement           40
Knowing and understanding Beer                 41
Knowing and understanding Coffee               48
Knowing and understanding Tea                  60
Knowing and understanding Cigars               64


Product Knowledge
Production of Distilled Spirits
The raw materials used for making a distilled spirit are of two basic types.
           1.      Those containing a high concentration of natural sugars are grapes, sugarcane,
                   agave, molasses and processed sugar.
           2.      Commonly used starchy materials include corn, rye, rice, barley, wheat and

History of Pot Stills
                                 The earliest stills were composed of a
                                 heated closed container, a condenser
                                 and a receptacle to receive the
                                 condensate. These evolved into the pot
                                 still, which is still in use, particularly
                                 for making malt whiskeys and some
                                 gins and brandies. It consists essentially in separating the alcohol
contained in the wash from the water, taking advantage of the fact that alcohol boils at a lower
temperature than water, at about 80°C. Distillation comprises two stages accomplished in two
stills varying by their capacity and by their shape.

                The next refinement was heating alcohol-containing liquid in a cowman made up
                a series of vaporization chambers stacked on top of one another. By the early 19th
                century large scale continuous stills, very similar to those used today were
                operating in France and Aeneas Coffey designed such a still, which consisted of
                two columns in series.
               Since distillation requires that the liquid portion of a fermentation mixture be
vaporized, considerable hears must be applied to the process. The fuel used in distilling spirits
has always the most readily available at that particular time and place. Peat, coals and wood were
the fuels used historically. The high steam requirement for continuous still operation inhibited
the development of rectifying columns for production until after the Industrial.
Aside from specific product categories such as whiskey, brandy or vodka, another method for
classifying, distilled spirits is as aged or unaged. Vodka, bin, neutral spirits, and some types of
rum and brandy are all unaged. Whiskies, cognacs and other products must be aged for specific
periods. A law in wooden barrels usually mandates (the minimums is usually mandated by law)
in wooden barrels in order to develop specific characteristics of taste, color and aroma.
Most commonly, the barrels used for aging distilled spirits are made of oak, with various experts
touting the benefits of American Oak vs. French Oak. White oak is one of the few woods that
can hold liquids while still allowing the process of breathing through the wood’s pores. The pore
size is such that small molecules such as water move through the wood more easily than larger
molecules such as alcohol. Temperature and humidity cause these breathing process differences
between the liquid and the air in the warehouse. Some spirits are aged in new barrels and others


in barrels that have been previously used for aging wine, sherry or other distilled spirits. In the
course of aging, no one knows what happens inside the barrel, but distilled spirits producers have
never found any substitute for time.


Knowing and Understanding
Distilled Spirits
A Comprehensive Educational Tool in Product Knowledge and

All forms of beverage alcohol, whether spirits, wine or beer, are initially based upon
fermentation, which is the natural process of decomposition of organic materials containing
carbohydrates. Fermentation occurs in nature whenever the two necessary ingredients,
carbohydrate and yeast, are available. In making beer and wine, it is the most important part of
the process.

Distilled spirits involve the extra step of distilling, which reduces the original water content and
greatly increases the alcoholic strength. Where beers on average have an alcohol content ranging
from 2% to 8% and wines from 8% to 14%, distilled spirits are usually in the range of 35% to
50% alcohol, although individual products may be either higher or lower.

The principle of distillation is based upon the different boiling points of alcohol (173.3ºF) and
water (212ºF). If a liquid containing ethyl alcohol is heated to a temperature between these two
points and the vapor coming of is condensed, the condensate will have a higher alcohol
concentration or strength. Some spirits types undergo more than one distillation in order to
impart certain desired characteristics.

A History Lesson

Because carbohydrates and yeast are found virtually wherever human life can be sustained,
civilizations in almost every part of the world developed some type of beverage alcohol very
early in their history. The Chinese were distilling a beverage from rice beer before 800 BC and
arrack was distilled early on in the East Indies from sugarcane and rice. The Arabs developed a
distillation method that was used to produce a distilled beverage from wine. A reference to
distillation also appears in the work of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. The Romans apparently
produced distilled beverages, although no references concerning them are found in writings
before 100 AD. Production of distilled spirits was reported in Britain before the Roman
conquest. Spain, France and the rest of Western Europe probably produced distilled spirits at an
earlier date, but production was apparently limited until the 8th century, after contact with the

The first distilled spirits were made from sugar-based materials, primarily grapes and honey to
make grape brandy and distilled mead, respectively. The earliest use of starchy grains to produce
distilled spirits is not known, but their use certainly dates from the middle Ages. Some
government controls date from the 17th century. As production methods improved and volume
increased, the distilled spirits industry became an important source of revenue. As is still the case
today, rigid controls were often imposed on both the production and sale of liquor.
The Production of Distilled Spirits


The raw materials used for making a distilled spirit are of two basic types: those containing a
high concentration of natural sugars and those containing other carbohydrates than can easily be
converted to sugars by enzymes. Sugary materials include grapes, sugarcane, agave, molasses
and sugar. Commonly used starchy materials include corn, rye, rice, barley, wheat and potatoes.
The earliest stills were composed of a heated closed container, a condenser and a receptacle to
receive the condensate. These evolved into the pot still, which is still in use, particularly for
making malt whiskeys and some gins and brandies. The next refinement was heating alcohol-
containing liquid in a column made up of a series of vaporization chambers stacked on top of one
another. By the early 19th century large scale continuous stills, very similar to those used today
were operating in France and England. In 1831, an Irishman, Aeneas Coffey, designed such a
still, which consisted of two columns in series.
Since distillation requires that the liquid portion of a fermentation mixture be vaporized,
considerable heat must be applied to the process. The fuel used in distilling spirits has always
been the most readily available at that particular time and place. Peat, coal and wood were the
fuels used historically. The high steam requirement for continuous still operation inhibited the
development of rectifying columns for production until after the Industrial Revolution.
The flavor profile of a pot still product is more complex than that of a continuous still product of
the same alcohol content. This is a result of the different distillation methods.
The use of continuous still results in a flavor profile that is more uniform than a pot still product.
Many distilleries combine column and pot stills. The condensed distillate from the column still is
fed to the doubler, a type of pot still heated by closed steam coils, and redistilled.
The Importance of Aging
Aside from specific product categories such as whiskey, brandy or vodka, another method for
classifying distilled spirits is as aged or unaged. Vodka, gin, neutral spirits and some types of
rum and brandy are all unaged. Whiskies, cognacs and other products must be aged for specific
periods (the minimums are usually mandated by law) in wooden barrels in order to develop
specific characteristics of taste, color and aroma.
                    Most commonly, the barrels used for aging distilled spirits are made of oak,
                    with various experts touting the benefits of American versus French oak.
                    White oak is one of the few woods that can hold liquids while still allowing the
                    process of breathing through the wood’s pores. The pore size is such that small
                    molecules such as water move through the wood more easily than larger
                    molecules such as alcohol. This breathing process is caused by temperature
and humidity differences between the liquid and the air in the warehouse. Some spirits are aged
in new barrels and others in barrels that have been previously used for aging wine, sherry or
other distilled spirits. In the course of aging, no one knows what happens inside the barrel, but
distilled spirits producers have never found any substitute for time.


Knowing and Understanding
Brandy & Cognac


   •   Brandy is usually distilled from wine.
   •   Cognac, the most famous of brandies comes only from within a particular region in
   •   In the brandy lexicon the letter O means Old; S means Superior; V means Very, P means
       Pale and X means Extra (VSOP=Very Special Old Pale).
   •   Other famous brandies are Armagnac (France), Brandy de Jerez (Spain), grappa (Italy),
       ouzo (Greece), kirsch (Germany), pisco (Peru).
                                              No one knows for certain who distilled the first
                                              brandy. In all likelihood several cultures were
                                              experimenting with the principle simultaneously.
                                              What we do know is that Moors from northern
                                              Africa established distillation in Europe during
                                              their occupation of southern Spain during the 8th
                                              to 15th centuries. The Spaniards of the period were
                                              skilled winemakers and started using the pots tills
                                              that were left behind by the Moors after their
                                              expulsion in 1492. Within a century, brandies
                                              made from fermented grapes and other fruits
spread across continental Europe.

At its most basic, brandy is a distilled spirit made from wine or a fermented fruit mash. When
used alone the term brandy refers to grape products, other brandies will have the fruit name
attached as well. Almost all brandies are aged and virtually every wine-producing country also
produces brandy.

The Great Brandies of France

The most highly regarded of the world’s great brandies is cognac. A common misconception is
that all French brandy is cognac. By law cognac can only come from the Cognac region, about
                                                100 miles north of Bordeaux on the coast of
                                                France. As the natives say, “All cognac is
                                                brandy, but not all brandy is cognac.”

                                                All aspects of the production of cognac are
                                                highly regulated. It may be distilled only from
                                                wine made from grapes grown and harvested
                                                within the Cognac region. The St. Emilion
                                                variety, or Ugni Blanc as it is also known, is by
                                                a wide margin the main grape type cultivated.
                                                Cognac is always distilled twice in small copper


pots tills. The colorless, high alcohol distillate, which by law cannot exceed 72% alcohol after
the second distillation is pumped into French oak casks for aging. Cognac can receive no less
than two and a half years of barrel aging, but the vast majority of cognac age for much longer
periods, with the best XO maturing for two to three decades more.

Virtually all cognacs are blend of many different spirits. A particular VSOP brand may be the
end result of the blending of as many as 50 cognacs. The purpose of blending to maintain a
precise standard of taste and quality from batch to batch, France’s other
officially demarcated brandy region, Armagnac, enjoy a smaller, but remarkably, loyal audience
in the U.S. Armagnac differs from cognac in a number of ways, the most obvious being a single
distillation. It is also notable that while Armagnac production began a few hundred years before
cognac, the Armagnac region is much smaller, accounting for only about one-sixth as many acres
as Cognac. Armagnac also often carries vintage date on the label, referring to the year that the
brandies were distilled. All brandies used in the blend must, by law, come from that single
vintage. Cognac only rarely uses vintage years as identification, preferring instead to use a
lettering system.

Brandy de Jerez

                      After Cognac and Armagnac, the third of Europe’s three officially
                      designated brandy regions is Jerez in Spain. Despite the renown of its
                      neighbor to the north, more brandy is produced in Spain than in any other
                      European country. Of that production, some 95%, comes from Andalusia in
                      the south, especially from the town of Jerez de la Frontera. They’re the
hearty, rich, full bodied-brandies of Domecq, Gonzalez Byass, Diez-Merito, Bobadilla, Terry,
Sanchez Romate, Garvey and Osborne are produced and aged.

                              What separates these Spanish brandies from those produced
                              elsewhere is the utilization of the solera system in the aging
                              process. Under this system of oak cask aging younger brandies are
                              continually married with the mellower, older brandies from
                              previous vintages. The end result is fine brandies that combine the
                              best qualities of each of the individual components into one
                              consistent product representative of the style of the producer.

Brandy de Jerez recognizes three levels of quality: Solera, brandies which have been matured in
wood for at least six months; Solera Reserva, those which have been aged in oak for a minimum
of one year; and the ultra premium, utterly sensational Solera Gran Reservas, which are aged for
at least three years.

American Brandies

American brandies are divided unequally between the giant producers like Gallo, Christian
Brothers, Paul Masson and Korbel and he minuscule, boutique distillers of Oregon and


First produced by the Franciscans who established a chain of missions, the state of California
today accounts for over 95% of all the brandy produced in the U.S.

Many critics have noted improvement in domestic brandy production in recent years, allowing
these products to compete with those of any other region in the world. Paul Masson Grande
Amber is a great example of the forward strides made in domestic production. In addition to a
stylish, cognac-style bottle the brand has also increased the aging period by an additional year.
As a result sales have skyrocketed while the category as a whole has continued to decline.

Interestingly, the best selling brandy in the world isn’t from Spain, France, or California. This
distinction goes to Presidente, which is made by Pedro Domecq in Mexico. Domecq sells
outstanding five million-plus cases annually of Presidente and other two million-plus cases of
Dom Pedro, mostly to the avid brandy-drinking, populace of Latin America.

There are many other brandies available in this country, although most have relatively small
audiences. They include calvados from France and applejack from the U.S. made from apples;
grappa made in Italy and now in California; Metaxa and ouzo from Greece; pisco from Muscat
grapes and produced primarily in Peru; slivovitz, a golden-brown plum brandy produced in the
various Balkan countries; kirsch, produced from cherries in Alsace, Germany and Switzerland.

Leading Brands of Brandy
                              1. Lepanto (Spain)
                              2. Carlos 1 (Spain)
                              3. Metaxa 7 stars (Greek)
                              1.   Cles des Ducs
                              2.   Roux Bass
                              3.   Larressingle
                              4.   Marquis
                              1.   Courvoisier
                              2.   Hennessy
                              3.   Martell
                              4.   Remy Martin
                              5.   Hine Triomphe
                              6.   Hine


Knowing and Understanding
Canadian Whisky
                   Like the United States, Canada is a nation of immigrants. And as was the case
                   in the U.S., Scottish and Irish settlers brought their passion for spirits with
                   them to the cold frontiers of Canada. This connection to Scotland explains
                   why Canadians spell whisky in the Scottish fashion, without an “e” (When
                   speaking of spirits from the U.S. or Ireland, the spelling “whiskey” is used.)

                     Nor surprisingly, much of the early history of Canadian whisky has
connections to the United States. During and after the American Revolution, a large number of
British Loyalists who wanted no part of the new republic fled to Canada. These refugees added
to the number of Canadians operating home stills on their farms. And, although it is established
that the first rum distillery began operation in 1769 in Quebec, it is uncertain exactly who began
the first sustained whisky-producing operation or when that occurred.

It is certain, however, that by the 1840’s, there were some 200 distilleries operating in Canada.
And by the middle of the 19th century, another immigrant from the U.S., Massachusetts-born
Hiram Walker, moved his milling and livestock business across the Detroit River into Canada. In
what is now known as Walkerville, Ontario, he established a distillery aimed almost exclusively
at exporting whisky to his homeland.

The American Civil War, while disastrous to this country, provided tremendous opportunities for
Canadian distillers, who did not have to face the economic disruptions caused by the war and
who remained free of government restrictions and an awakening temperance movement in the
United States.

               By 1883, Joseph E. Seagram became the owner of a distilling mill in Waterloo
               that had begun operation in 1857 and gave it his now world famous name.

              When the U.S. entered its Prohibition era in 1918, it sparked a healthy increase of
              Canadian whisky consumption in the States. Officially, this was not the case, of
              course, but some historians estimate that as much as two-thirds of the whisky in
              the U.S. during this time originated in Canada. After the Repeal of Prohibition,
high-quality Canadian whisky resumed its place – legally as a favorite of American consumers.

Making Canadian Whisky
By law, Canadian whisky must be blended from cereal grains. It is distilled from a fermented
mash of wheat, corn, rye and barley. Canadians are often mistakenly identified as rye whiskies.
In reality, however, seven times more corn is used than other grains by Canadian distillers. It is
important to note, however, that each distiller’s recipe calls for different amounts of the
individual grains with the exact proportions being closely guarded secrets.

 All Canadian whisky must be aged in oak casks for a minimum of three years, although most
spend from six to eight years in the barrel. After aging, the whisky is dumped into huge lending


vats. This is the stage at which the art of the blender is put to the test. One of the many tricks of
the blender’s trade is the use of whiskies of various ages in order to produce a consistent blend
from year to year (the bottle label can only carry the age statement of the youngest spirit used).
That’s why a bottle of Canadian whisky produced today is likely to have the same taste profile as
a bottle of the same brand purchased 10, 20 or more years ago. After blending, the whisky is
returned to barrels to allow the newly combined whiskies to marry. Only then is bottled and sold.

As a rule, Canadian whiskies are light-bodied, slightly pale and have a reputation for being

Bottled Here, Bottled There
According to U.S. law, Canadian whisky must be a product of Canada. It is also further classified
as either bulk or bottled in Canada. Bulk whisky, which is also called U.S. bottled, is shipped to
this country in barrels. It is then bottled at U.S. plants by the marketers of the various brands.
With few exceptions, these U.S. bottled brands have traditionally been 80 proof products and are
targeted to compete with blended American whiskeys and straight bourbons. More than half the
Canadian whisky consumed in the U.S. is bottled in this country.

Canadian whisky bottled in the country of origin is marketed at a higher price pint than the bulk
brands and carries more of the cachet associated with fine imported whiskies. These brands tend
to be aged longer and are blends of the best available spirits. Although once bottled in Canada
brands are now 80 proof.

Leading Brands of Canadian Whisky

                               Canadian Club
                               Crown Royal
                               Seagram’s V.O.
                               Tangle Ridge
                               Canadian Mist
                               Black Velvet
                               Windsor Supreme
                               Lord Calvert
                               Canadian LTD
                               Canadian Hunter
                               Northern Light


      Canadian Whisky Drinks
                       Dog Sled

                  2 oz. Canadian whisky
                     2 oz. orange juice
                     1 tbs. lemon juice
                      1 tsp. grenadine
Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker or blender.
          Pour into a chilled old-fashioned glass.

              Canadian Stone Fence

                 1 ½ oz. Canadian whisky
                       ½ oz. triple sec
                      2 oz. apple cider
                     1 tsp. sugar syrup
Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker or blender.
             Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.


                1 ½ oz. Canadian whisky
                  1 tsp. sweet vermouth
                     1 tsp. grenadine
     Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker.
            Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.


Knowing and Understanding
American Whiskey
Whiskey is as American as apple pie and has been an important part of our culture for just as
long. The first immigrants brought spirits with them from their native lands and by the early
1700s there were numerous family-owned distilleries operating in the colonies. In colonial
America, as in other countries, the ingredients used for distilling were the ones handiest, namely
corn, wheat, rye and barley.

After the Revolution, one of first tests of the new republic was brought on by the Whiskey
Rebellion of 1794. Congress had instituted an excise tax on whiskey to help pay the national
debt. Small farmers in western Pennsylvania, who distilled and consumed a great deal of
whiskey, responded by attacking federal tax collectors. After numerous acts of violence by what
appeared to be an organized resistance, President George Washington ordered 13,000 troops into
the area at which time the opposition disappeared. A side effect of this action was the migration
of many farmer/distillers westward to the Kentucky region, where they found a limestone-rich
water supply – essential to the production of good whiskey – and a land hospitable for growing
corn, the primary raw material in the production of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.

Although several styles of whiskey have been produced in the U.S. it is bourbon that was
designated as America’s native spirit according to a 1964 act of Congress.

What Makes Bourbon, Bourbon
In order to be classified as bourbon, whiskey must be made according to a specific formula.
Bourbon whiskey must be made from a mash consisting of at least 51% but no more than 79%
corn. If more than 79% corn is used in the mash, the product must then be designated as corn
whiskey. Bourbon is a straight whiskey and, according to the law, must be distilled at 160 proof
or less and aged a minimum of two years in new charred oak barrels. As a practical matter,
though, most bourbon is aged at least four years and often longer. Since it is a straight whiskey,
no blending is permitted and there are no additives, with the exception of water to reduce the

Most bourbons are marketed as 80-proof products, but some, particularly the newer boutique,
small-batch, single barrel and barrel proof products are much higher in alcohol content.

Often associated with bourbon, the sour mash method is simply a technique of fermentation that
uses part of the previous distillation in the new batch of fermenting mash. The sweet mash
yeasting method uses only fresh yeast for fermentation. The sour mash method provides a
dimension of consistency from one batch of whiskey to another.

By law, bourbon can be distilled anywhere in the U.S., but the vast majority of it is produced in
Kentucky, where it must be distilled and warehoused for at least one year in order to carry the
“Kentucky Bourbon” designation on the label.


Another bourbon designation, “Bottled-in-Bond,” refers to bourbons produced according to the
stipulations of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1984. This Act specified that in order to avoid a
federal excise tax on distillers’ spirits, a bourbon must be straight, at least 6 years old and 100
proof. After being bottled the whiskey must be stored in a bonded warehouse until the tax is
paid, at which time it may be sold. Other distilled spirits meeting the above requirements may
also be termed bottled-in-bond.

What About Tennessee Whiskey?

The obvious difference between this straight whiskey and bourbon is that it is produced in
Tennessee. Made in a similar manner to sour mash bourbon, Tennessee whiskey includes an
extra step in it production process – the distilled spirit is filtered through maple charcoal in large,
wooden vats before aging in order to remove impurities. The most prominent Tennessee
whiskeys are Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel.

American Whiskey Can Be Blended

After the Repeal of Prohibition in 1934, Samuel Bronfman, then head of the Seagram
organization, observed that quality Canadian and Scotch whiskies were for the most part blended
products. He recognized that blending could produce a better-tasting product, with a level of
consistency form year to year and created a new category of American blended whiskey with the
launch of Seagram’s 7 Crown.

The important thing to remember about blended whiskies is that they are built. The straight
whiskies that go into them are distilled and aged to take a planned part in the blend. Every blend
on a store’s shelves ha a number of straight whiskies in its formula. A premium brand may
contain as many as 75 different straight whiskies and grain neutral spirits. The purpose of
blending is to create a balanced, light-bodied whiskey, with a richness in taste and an individual
character of its own. Balance is achieved because the blending art assembles a variety of
elements into a unique and distinctive product.

Leading Brands of American Whiskey

               Jim Beam                                        Seagram’s 7 Crown
               Jack Daniel’s                                   Wild Turkey
               Booker’s                                        Knob Creek
               Maker’s Mark                                    Blanton’s
               Early Times                                     Kessler
               Evan Williams                                   Ancient Age
               Old Crow                                        Ten High


Classic American Whiskey Drinks

                     2 oz. blended whiskey
                     ½ oz. sweet vermouth
     Stir with cracked ice and strain. Garnish with cherry.

                       Whiskey Sour

                  1 ½ oz. blended whiskey
                      ½ oz. lemon juice
                       ½ oz. lime juice
                          1 tsp. sugar
       Pour ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake,
               then strain into a cocktail glass.

                      Old Fashioned

                        2 oz. bourbon
                         1 cube sugar
                      Angostura Bitters
                        Twist of lemon
        Muddle a sugar cube in the bottom of an old-
   fashioned glass with a few drops of water and a dash of
  Angostura bitters. Add bourbon and ice cubes, garnish with
                       a twist of lemon.

                         Mint Julep

                           2 oz. bourbon
                       1 tsp. superfine sugar
                        4 Fresh mint sprigs
     Fill a Collins glass with crushed ice. In a small glass,
 muddle the sugar and leaves from two mint sprigs with a dash
of water. Add the bourbon, stir and strain into the Collins glass.
    Stir until the glass frosts. Garnish with remaining mint.


Knowing and Understanding ~ Scotch Whisky
                  As was also the case in Ireland, distilling in Scotland was first practiced by
                  monks. In fact, it was Irish missionary monks, well over a thousand years ago,
                  who brought the secret of distillation when they established monasteries in the
                  wild territory that became Scotland. Scotland is undoubtedly one of the world’s
                  classic whisky-producing regions. It is blessed with a combination of natural
                  resources and climate that has proven ideal for making whisky and has a long,
                  rich distilling history, a devotion to the distinctly individual malts form its many
distilleries and an appreciation of the complexities involved in producing some of the finest
whiskies in the world. As Scotland’s chief export, whisky is inextricably bound to the fabric of
the nation’s culture and economy.
   •   Scotch whisky is spelled without an "e". Irish and American whiskies are spelled "whiskey".
   •   By law, whisky can only be described as Scotch whisky if:
   •   it is matured in oak casks in Scotland
   •   it is matured for a minimum of three years
   •   it is bottled at a minimum strength of 40% alcohol by volume (abv)
   •   Any age detail given on a bottle of Scotch whisky must be that of the youngest whisky in that bottling. The exact
       date of distillation and bottling may be given on a label. However, the age of the whisky, if shown, cannot be more
       than the number of complete years that the whisky has been in the cask - unless it is given in days.
   •   A whisky may be described as being younger than its actual age.
   •   No age statement need be given on a bottle.
   •   Single malts are the products of one distillery - but need not be all from the same cask.
   •   A single malt can be a blend of casks of various ages, provided they are all from the same distillery.
   •   Vatted malts are malt whiskies from more than one distillery, blended together to provide a consistent product.
   •   Vatted malts can be described as “pure malt" or even "malt whisky", as opposed to single malts, which come from
       one distillery only.
   •   Blended whiskies are a mixture of malt and grain whiskies.
   •   Blended whiskies may contain between 15 and 40 different malts - sometimes more - plus two or three grains.
   •   Various cereals can be used for making grain whisky, including wheat, maize and both malted and malted barley.
   •   The proportion of malt to grain whisky used will normally be reflected in the selling price - less expensive blends
       generally contain more volume of grain whiskies, which are much cheaper to make.
   •   The type of cask used to mature a whisky is vital to its final flavor and character.
   •   Casks that have previously held another spirit - normally bourbon or sherry - are used by whisky makers to impart
       color and flavor to their product.
   •   Warehouse location can play an important part in a whisky's final flavor and speed of maturation. A cask matured
       by the sea - such as the many Islay malts - will have a different final flavor to one taken from a warehouse inland.
   •   Lowland malts tend to mature more quickly than those from other parts of Scotland do. Speyside malts are known
       to age particularly well.
   •   While it is maturing in casks, whisky loses around 2% of its alcohol by volume each year in evaporation.
   •   This is known as the Angel's Share.
   •   The Angel's Share can amount to almost 10 gallons (more than 45 liters) in 10 years.
   •   Older whiskies tend to command the highest prices.
   •   Apart from their increasing rarity, loss of volume through evaporation and the cost of storage for long periods add
       to the expense of production.
   •   Whisky changes in character as it matures - and the oldest may not suit everyone best.
   •   While some palates may like a very woody 25-year-old malt, others prefer the softer 18 year old or the fresher 12
       year old.
   •   The age at which someone enjoys his or her whisky is a matter of personal taste.
   •   Most Scotch malt whisky is distilled twice, using pairs of pot stills.
   •   However, some distilleries - particularly in the Lowlands - use of method of triple distillation similar to that used for
       Irish whiskey.
   •   Cask strength whiskies are those bottled at the same strength as they finish maturing.
   •   Scotch whisky is normally around 70% alcohol by volume (abv) when distilled but reduced to a standard 63.4% on
       being filled into casks.
   •   Regular malts are then normally diluted again with water on bottle to 40% to 43% abv.


The earliest reference to whisky-making in Scotland appears in the Exchequer Rolls of 1494-95
and record that Friar John Cor was supplied with “malt… to make aqua vitae.”
By the end of the 16th century, the making of harsh whisky was a common practice among the
Highlanders, who operated their own stills as a sideline to farming. An early commerce in Scotch
whisky began among these small distillers, and it must have grown to considerable size because
in 1644 the Scottish Parliament imposed its first excise tax on whisky.
This proved to be the first shot in a long-running battle between the government and him
numerous Scottish moonshiners, or “smugglers,” as they were called, which lasted for close to
200 years.
Throughout these years, all Scotch whisky was distilled using the pot-type still, resulting in
whisky in small batches.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that the continuous still was developed, which led to the
establishment of large Lowland grain distilleries. The column-shaped, or “patent,” still worked
continuously and could accommodate grains other than malt, allowing the production of lighter-
bodied whiskies from less expensive grains. Then in the 1860s, the practice of blending whiskies
from a number of distilleries to produce a product of consistent quality and taste first emerged.
These whiskies were marketed by the blenders under proprietary labels and were in essence the
first Scotch whisky brands.
Single Malts
Although still a small percentage of overall Scotch consumption in this country, single malt have
risen in popularity in recent years. They are derived from sprouted barley that has been dried in
kilns fired by peat and coal, which imparts a distinctive smoky character to the spirit and were
the original Scotch whiskies. Produced by more than 100 Scotch distilleries, each single malt has
a style and flavor all its own. It is also important to note that each single malt is the product of a
single distillery.
Single malts can be divided into the four areas from which they originate. Lowland malts are
generally the lightest, both in flavor and color; Islay produces the heaviest, most full-bodied
whiskies; Campbeltown malts are also full-bodied, but there are only a few malt distilleries left
there; Highland malts are the most numerous bay far, and are generally regarded has having the
most balance. The Speyside region, long regarded as the premium single malt-producing area, is
located in the Highlands.
Making malt whisky is an expensive, labor-intensive process that involves five general steps.
Select barley is soaked, germinated and dried in the process known as malting. The dried malt is
then ground into rough grist, and soaked in large, round tanks, producing an oatmeal-like slurry
called wort. Following a two-day fermentation, the wort becomes a 10% alcohol liquid called
wash, which is then distilled in pot stills. The new raw spirit, about 120 proof, is reduced with
spring water to about 110 proof and then aged in oak casks.
Blended Scotch
Although single malts have attracted a great deal of interest in recent years, more than 95% of
Scotch consumed worldwide is blended whisky.
The object of blending has always been to “soften,” the harsher characteristics of the individual
malt whiskies to produce a whisky appealing to a broad spectrum of the population.


As the word implies, blends are the result of mixing different whiskies together, including both
single malts and grain whiskies. Located mainly in the Lowlands, the 14 Scottish grain
distilleries produce grain spirits (which are not, as is sometimes misinterpreted, neutral grain
spirits), made primarily from corn. They are distilled in tall, column stills, a method that is faster
and cheaper than the pot still. The whisky is then sold to the several Scotch houses to use in their
Obviously, several decisions go into determining the final makeup of a blended Scotch, from the
quality of the barley chosen to the amount of peat to be used in the malt kiln, from the
determination of when to start and stop collecting the spirit from the second distillation to the
blender’s judgment about when each particular cask is ready to be added to the blend.
This last step is, an art a well as a science. Each Scotch house has its own closely guarded
blending formula. Usually there are 20 to 25 different single malt whiskies used in a blend, and
although the exact proportions are secret, anywhere from 20% to 50% malt whisky will be used
in a blend, with the rest being grain whisky.
Scotch whiskies age at different rates depending on where they were distilled as well as the
location and the conditions in which they mature. Throughout the years of maturation, the
whisky, which coming out of the still a colorless spirit, gradually becomes more complex. Its
color changes too, taking on an amber tint from the wood of the cask.
By law, all Scotch whisky must be aged at least three years, and few brands enter the U.S.
without being aged at least four. Those that are les than four years old must carry an age
statement on the label. The spirits are normally aged in oak casks, frequently casks that have
been used for bourbon aging in the U.S. Many distillers also use barrels that once held sherry or
wine. The majority of single malts spend a minimum of five years in casks, although most are
aged at least eight years, and some for much longer. In blends, when a Scotch is aged 10 years or
12 years, the number refers to the age of the youngest whisky in the blend.
As is the case with Canadian whisky, Scotch can be bottled in the country of origin or it can be
shipped in bulk to the U.S. and bottled here, which can be much more cost efficient.
Blended scotches can be made up of as many as 50 individual whiskies in various proportions to
maintain "house" styles. There is no legally required percentage of malt whiskies to grain
whiskies, nor do blenders reveal their formulas. Even some super-premium blends contain
surprisingly modest amounts of malt whisky.
Dewars White Label - the largest selling blend in the U.S. Medium to full-bodied, it has a well-
balanced palate. Owned by Guinness.
J&B Rare - from Justerini & Brooks (two 18th century London wine merchants) is made in the
"soft tasting" style geared to the U.S. market. It has a low proportion of malt whiskies, is mass-
produced, and is anything but rare.
J&B J.E.T. - a 12 yr old blend crafted from 40 individual scotch malt and grain whiskies. A
slight sweetness with a smooth well balanced palate.
Cutty Sark - another English-owned (Berry Brothers and Rudd), mass-produced blend. Of the
two soft styled blends, it is arguably fruitier and more flavorful.
Johnnie Walker Red Label - the largest selling whisky in the world. It is one of the finest
blends using both Talisker and Cardhu malt whiskies in the foundation malts. Full-bodied and


well balanced, slightly sweet with a nutty, smoky finish.
Johnnie Walker Black Label - the deluxe 12 yr old version, with a similar character as the Red
Label, except substantially more intense in aroma and flavor and contains a greater proportion of
malt whiskies. Dark colored, rich, full, sweet and smoky with a smooth lingering finish.
Haig and Haig Pinch - a fine blended whisky more famous for its dimple bottle than its
contents. Aged 12 yrs, it has a smooth, malty taste and a dry finish.
Chivas Regal - has been more successful than any other blended whisky in creating a luxury
image. Medium-bodied, a firm but mellow palate, a hint of smokiness and a sweet finish. Who
says it doesn't pay to advertise?
Famous Grouse - medium-bodied, well balanced, slightly peaty with a Carmel sweet and smoky
The highest quality is combined with maximum individuality and distinction. Variables such as
type of peat, water, climate, soil, type of still, aging, cooperage and, the most critical, area in
which the distillery is located, are all determining factors in the production of single malts.
   •   Malt whiskies are produced in four distinct regions of Scotland:
   •   l.The Highlands - North of an imaginary line from Dundec in the east to Greenock in the
       west The northeast region of the Highlands is referred to as "Speyside". The river Spey
       flows through the heart of the Highlands owing much to the character of the single malts
       produced in this region The Highland whiskies include the most well-known such as
       Macallan, Glenmorangie, Glenlivet, and Aberlour. Covering a spectrum of individual
       styles, they are all essentially elegant, quite fragrant, smooth, and range from penetrating
       and complex (Aberlour) to an almost flowery delicacy (Macallan).
   •   2.Islay (Eye-la) - The most southerly of Scotland's western isles, it is racked by the
       torrential sea and it's salty air. This intrusion by the sea is very evident in single malt's
       such as Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardberg, which are forthright, salty, peaty and
   •   3.Campbeltown - On the Kintyre peninsula in southwestern Scotland. With certain
       exceptions such as Springbank, Campbeltown malts are used primarily as blending
       4.Lowlands - South of the Dundee-Greenock line. Lowland whiskies are called fillers
       and used in blends.

Single Malt Brands
Glen Deveron 5 yr - from the Highlands region, this is a nice inexpensive introduction to single
malts. Simple and straightforward with a hint of smokiness, this malt whisky is comparable to a
nice Scotch blend such as Chivas, Johnnie Walker, Dewars and J&B.

Laphroaig lO yr (La-froig) - the best known of the Islay malt whiskies. It is a pungent whisky
that combines an oiliness and fullness of body with an intense smoky, peaty and sea weedy
character Not for everyone, especially the novice. "Your first taste of Laphrosig may be your


Glenlivet 12 yr - from the Highlands region, medium light and delicate with a trace of
sweetness, quite full on the palate. Big name recognition and very popular.

Glenmorangie 12 yr (Glen-more-angle) port wood finish - from the upper Highlands region
north of Inverness. This malt whisky is matured in American Oak Casks for about 1O yrs and
then racked into selected port casks for the last few yrs of its maturation. This "finishing" is truly
unique. The malt is the color of antique copper: golden with a rosy hue. A complex balance of
sweet and dry flavors, bitter chocolate being offset by a fresh mint note. Hints of port and walnut
are evident in the finish. Voluptuously smooth and velvety on the palate - a nice alternative too
more standard after dinner drinks.

Balvenie l5yr single barrel - from the Speyside ( northeast) region of the Highlands. Drawn from
a single cask of a single distillation, each bottling forms a limited edition of no more than 300
hand numbered bottles. Each bottle is unique and unrepeatable. Incredibly smooth and full
flavored with a slightly sweet aroma. This one stands out, in my opinion, as having the most
character. Highly, highly recommended! ! !

Macallan 18 yr - from the Highlands, referred to as the "Château Meraux" of malt whiskies
Distilled in very small pot-stills and aged entirely in used sherry barrels. Macallan is full-bodied.
rich slightly with a silky aroma of heather and a delightful sherry finish great name recognition,
you won't go wrong recommending this one !

Aberlour 21 yr (Abs-you-lure) - From the Speyside region of the Highlands. A dark, rich, subtly
sweet malt, matured exclusively in Sherry casks to create a smooth malt with distinct character A
delightful, fragrant bouquet, intense complexity, light nuttiness, and a long, lingering finish The
only single malt ever to twice win the Gold Medal and Pot Still Trophy at the International Wine
& Spirit Competition. A very elegant product - connoisseurs will be in heaven because this is
were single malts go when they die!


Knowing & Understanding
Irish Whiskey
                                        During Europe’s Dark Ages, when barbarians from
                                        northern and eastern Europe overran the Roman Empire,
                                        Ireland became a refuge for monks from throughout the
                                        Christian world.

                                        According to legend, some of those monks brought the
                                        alembic, a type of pot still, used by the Moors in Spain for
                                        making perfume with them. The monks, though, found a
                                        different use for this new technology – the production of a
                                        potable distilled spirit. They discovered that when a mash
                                        of barley and water was fermented with yeast and then
                                        heated in an alembic, the alcohol in it could be separated
                                        and retained. The resulting product, the world’s first
                                        whiskey, was dubbed uisge beatha, meaning “the water of
                                        life,” by the Celtic population.

That Gaelic phrase was anglicized by English invaders in the 12th century resulting in the word
whiskey. And although by that point the Irish had been distilling for more than a thousand years,
Irish officially became the world’s first whiskey when King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips
a license to distill whiskey in 1608. He then established the world’s first licensed distillery, Old
Bushmills, in County Antrim on the northern coast. That distillery still operates to this day.
A Growing Category
Irish whiskey is made from a fermented mash of malted and unmalted barley, corn, rye and
lesser amounts of other cereal grains. Part of the barley used is malted, but unlike the Scots who
dry their malt over an open peat fire to give it a smoky flavor, the Irish dry their malt in closed
kins, which eliminates the peaty, smoky flavor that characterizes most Scotch. All Irish whiskies
are triple-distilled in copper pot stills and are aged three to nine years in reused sherry, brandy,
bourbon or rum oak casks. Irish whiskies are full-bodied and possess a smooth malty flavor.
Irish whiskey is the smallest of all distilled spirits categories in the U.S. accounting for less than
1% of all distilled spirits consumption, although the category has been increasing in recent years
and showed growth of more than 5% last year.


Leading Brands of Irish Whiskey
     Jameson                                           Bushmills
     Powers Gold Label                                 Black Bush
     Tullamore Dew                                     Kilbeggan
     The Tyrconnell

                        Irish Whiskey Drinks
                                   Irish Coffee

                                   1 ½ oz. Irish whiskey
                                        Hot Coffee
             Into Irish coffee glass rimmed with sugar, pour Irish whiskey
                       Fill to within a half-inch of top with coffee.
                        Cover surface to brim with heavy cream.

                                Irish Headlock

                                 ½ oz. Irish whiskey
                             ½ oz. Baileys Irish Cream
                            ½ oz. Di Saronno Amaretto
                                    ½ oz. brandy
                 Shake and strain into chilled presentation shot glass

                                Irish Shillelagh

                                1 ½ oz. Irish whiskey
                                  Juice of ½ lemon
                                   1 tbsp. sloe gin
                                  1 tbsp. light rum
                               1 tsp. powdered sugar
                     Shake with ice and strain into punch cup
                Decorate with fresh raspberries, strawberries a cherry
                                and two peach slices


Knowing and Understanding
                  As is the case with many distilled spirits categories, when and where vodka was
                  first produced is a matter of some debate. According to a number of sources,
                  vodka originated in Russia during the 14th century and the gets its name from
                  the Russian diminutive, voda, meaning little water. The spirit was mainly
                  popular in Russia, Poland and the Baltic states until after World War II, when
                  worldwide consumption began to rise dramatically, first in the U.S. and then in
Europe. In the lands of its origin, vodka is usually consumed chilled and unmixed in small
glasses accompanied by appetizers. In the rest of the world, it is a component of mixed drinks.

Vodka Today

                 Vodka is the most popular spirit category in America today, accounting for more
                 than one out of every five bottles of distilled spirits sold with a volume of more
                 than 35 million cases last year it outsold the combined total of Scotch, Canadian
                 and Irish whiskies. Quite an accomplishment for a product that the federal
                 government didn’t even classify as a separate category until as late as 1951.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (BATF) definition it is a spirit without
any distinctive character, aroma, taste or color and that has been one of the secrets of its success,
since vodka’s chameleon like nature allows it to mix well with just about anything.

And, while for years vodka benefited from the movement of consumers towards lighter, less
flavorful beverages, it is now a beneficiary of a new movement returning to the flavorful
cocktails of the past, many of which have been reincarnated with a vodka base for the ‘90s.
There has also been a strong movement towards giving this by definition, flavorless spirit, and
flavor. This has been accomplished by suppliers who are marketing flavored vodkas such as
Absolut Citron and Absolut Kurant, Finlandia Cranberry and Finlandia Pineapple, Tanqueray
Sterling Citrus, Stolichnaya Ohranj and others.

Vodka Production & Distillation
                 Because Vodka is highly neutral, with flavoring substances largely removed
                 during processing, it is possible to make it from a mash of the cheapest and
                 most readily available raw ingredients. Potatoes were traditionally employed
                 in Russia and Poland but have largely been supplanted there and in other
                 vodka-producing countries by cereal grains. Most brands today, including the
best-known imports, are made from grains – sometimes rye, wheat and barley, but principally

The production of vodka begins with the distillation of a fermented mash of grain at a very high
proof (about 190), which effectively eliminates any of the congeners that usually lend distinctive
flavors to whiskies, which are distilled at lower proofs (about 160). The absence of these
congeners is what lends vodka its flavorless, odorless qualities.


Vodka is further purified by undergoing a process that treats the spirit with vegetal charcoal. The
process consists of a continuous flow of the neutral spirits through tanks containing at least 1½
pounds of vegetal charcoal for each gallon of spirits. The spirits must be in contact with the
charcoal for at least eight hours. Another requirement is that 10% of the charcoal be replaced
after every 40 hours of operation.

A second method keeps the spirits in constant movement by mechanical means, and in contact
for a minimum of eight hours with at least six pounds of new charcoal for every 100 gallons of
spirits. In addition, the government has said that it is okay to produce vodka by any other method
that results in a product without distinctive character, aroma or taste.

With modern distilling technology, alcohol comes from the still already about 95% pure. In the
vodka-making process, the charcoal removes some, if not all, of the remaining 5% of impurities.

Of course, it is also a fact that while the primary purpose of the charcoal is to remove things, it
also imparts a trace of flavor from the wood used to make the charcoal. The source of water, too,
is an important factor in the final product, since over half of what is in the bottle is water.
Distilled water or any highly treated water will not taste as good as water fresh from a virgin

So, the eventual quality of the vodka is often determined by the finishing process – the varieties
of charcoal used, the method of distillation used, the equipment used, the water used and other

Leading Brands of Vodka

       Smirnoff                                      Grey Goose
       Belvedere                                     Absolut
       Gilbey’s                                      Gordon’s
       Stolichnaya                                   Finlandia
       Kamchatka                                     Ketel One
       Kremloyvskaya                                 Blavod
       Barton                                        Skol
       Wolfschmidt                                   Tanqueray Sterling
       Fris                                          Popov


Knowing & Understanding
While still a relatively small category in terms of overall consumption, tequila has been the
distilled spirits industry’s rising star for the past 15 years. With the exception of one year of
slight decline, tequila has been gradually trending upward, picking up well over a million cases
since 1985. To put that in some kind of perspective, the Scotch category lost more than seven
million cases in the same period, on an admittedly much larger base. A good part of tequila’s
success can be attributed to the ongoing popularity of the Margarita, consumed either in bars and
restaurants or, with the aid of some of the outstanding mixes now on the market, at home. Of
course that’s all happened in the last few years. The history of tequila is one that stretches back
to the early years of European conquest of Mexico and has its roots in the Aztec culture.
The Aztecs did not drink tequila, nor did they invent the Margarita. Not that they wouldn’t have
wanted to.
Unfortunately, they had not yet discovered the secret of distillation. However, the fierce and
noble Aztecs were by no means teetotalers.
Their alcoholic beverage of choice, it was actually their only choice, was something called
pulque by the Spaniards. This concoction was made by cutting off the flower stalk of the agave
plant before it had a chance to bloom, then hollowing out the base of the plant and allowing the
cavity to fill with sweet, milky plant sap. With no place to go, the juice would collect there and
ferment into a sort of murky, foul-smelling wine.
The Conquistadors brought grapes and grains with them and, in an attempt to recreate the
alcoholic beverages popular in Europe, tried their hand at making beers, wines and brandies. But
the agave plant thrives where grapes and grain won’t –in semi-arid areas. The Spaniards didn’t
like the taste of pulque, and so they tried distilling it. After experimenting with different types of
agave, they finally produced a drinkable spirit, which they called mescal.
It’s Made from Cactus, Right?
                                             Many people mistakenly believe that tequila is made
                                             from a cactus. The confusion is common because
                                             various agave species are often confused with cacti.
                                             The main difference is that the leaves of agave plants
                                             are succulent rather than, as in the case of cacti, the
                                             About 125 years ago, several of the distillers around
                                             the town of Tequila in the central Mexican state of
                                             Jalisco began making a superior form of mezcal. They
                                             used the whole heart of specific variety of agave
indigenous to the region: the blue agave. Today only spirits made within the confines of this
region can bear the name tequila. If produced elsewhere, it must be called mezcal.
These days, the blue agave is no longer a wild plant, but has become a carefully cultivated
species upon which the local economy depends. On average, agave plants are about 10 years old
before they can be harvested for tequila production. The juicy core of the plant, which resembles
a large pineapple, is harvested. Called the piña (Spanish for pineapple), the core, which


sometimes weighs upwards of 100 pounds, is rimmed, cut into chunks, then baked in huge steam
ovens. A sweet juice (aguamiel or honey juice) is extracted by steaming and compressing the
piña. The juice is fermented for several days and then distilled at low proof. It is then double
distilled to a powerful 110 proof. Some tequilas also undergo a third distillation. Tequila as
consumed in Mexico is unaged and usually bottled at 80 to 86 proof. Almost all that is exported
is 80 proof.

Going for the Gold

Unlike a grape or grain distillate, such as brandy or whiskey, tequila is virtually free of
congeners, so aging is not that important. White, also called silver, tequila is drawn into vats
after distilling and bottled as needed.

However, some producers do age tequila is seasoned 50-gallon white oak casks imported from
the United States. In aging, tequila becomes golden in color and acquires a pleasant mellowness
without altering its inherent taste characteristic. Some tequila producers also add a dose of
caramel coloring to the aging tequila to achieve a darker color.

According to law, tequila designated añejo must be aged at least one year in wood. If it is aged
from two to four years it can be called my añejo. Many brands with this designation are aged in
small oak barrels for at least three years and sometimes up to seven. Some connoisseurs consider
añejo tequila to be like cognac and they drink it neat from a snifter.

Another designation appearing on some tequila labels is reposado, which translates literally from
the Spanish as reposed or rested and means that the tequila has been barrel-aged to acquire its

What About the Worm?

                     Some mezcal is produced with an agave rootworm in the bottle as a mark of
                     authenticity. However, only a small percentage of this type of mezcal is
                     actually exported from Mexico. Various legends attribute great strength to
                     anyone brave enough to gulp it down. Great aphrodisiacal powers are also
                     attributed to consumption of the worm. But the worm is unique to mezcal,
                     and not found in tequila. There is also some confusion over the words
mezcal and mescal. The first is the distilled spirit made from the agave plant but originating
outside of the delineated boundaries of the tequila region. The second is the name of a Mexican
cactus which is the source of the hallucinogen, mescaline.


   Classic Tequila Drinks

                 1 ½ oz. tequila
                 ½ oz. triple sec
                 1 oz. lime juice
  Rub rim of cocktail glass with rind of lime,
Dip rim in coarse salt. Shake ingredients with ice
   And strain into salt-rimmed cocktail glass.

              Tequila Sunrise

                   2 oz .tequila
                4 oz. orange juice
                 ¾ oz. grenadine
   Stir tequila and orange juice with ice and
   strain into highball glass. Add ice cubes.
  Pour in grenadine slowly and allow settling.
   Before drinking, stir to complete sunrise.


                1 ½ oz. tequila
             3 oz. pineapple juice
                1 oz. lime juice
                 ½ tsp. sugar
Mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker
    and strain into a chilled cocktail glass


Knowing & Understanding Rum
                                   The spirit that we now know as rum is one of those advances
                                   that came about as different cultures shared knowledge and
                                   technology during the age of the great explorers. The perennial
                                   sweetgrass, which came to be known as sugarcane, is probably
                                   a plant native to the Island of New Guinea. The important
                                   factor though is the discovery in India, more than 5,000 years
                                   ago, of the art of sugar making. From India, the cultivation of
                                   cane and the making of sugar spread to other cultures. It was
                                   the Arabs, who also brought the secret of distilling, who
                                   introduced sugarcane cultivation to Spain and southern France
                                   in the eight century. Columbus in turn, on his second voyage
                                   to the New World, brought it to the islands of the Caribbean.
                                    Although other European colonies in the Caribbean, notably
                                    the French and Dutch, also soon became avid producers and
consumers of rum, it was the British Navy which spread it around the world. In the 18th Century,
it was decreed that each seaman would be given a daily generous ration of rum to help keep his
or her spirits high. Lemon and lime juices were often added to the rum to help ward off scurvy.
The practice of the British sailor’s daily ration of grog continued until 1970.
Born in the Caribbean
There is some debate where the first rum was produced, with different producers claiming their
island as the birthplace. Some sources cite Hispaniola, other s Puerto Rico or Barbados.
Regardless of where the first rum was produced, by the latter half of the 17th century, molasses
from the West Indies was being shipped to New England, where it was distilled into rum. In fact,
the first distillery in what is now the United States was built on Staten Island and was already
producing rum when the English seized the Dutch colony in 1664. Another rum distillery was
operating in Boston as early as 1667.
Rum was America’s favorite spirit long before there was such a thing as bourbon whiskey. In
1775, more than 12 million gallons of rum were consumed annually in the 13 colonies, a fairly
significant amount for a population that was still under three million at the time.
The early popularity of rum in this country lessened as a result of the Embargo Act of 1807,
which made the importing of anything from England, France or their territories illegal. By the
time the restriction on West Indian molasses was lifted, bourbon and rye whiskeys had
supplanted rum as the settlers’ favorites. But use of the term rum to mean all distilled spirits was
well established, and for years anti-alcohol organizations railed against “demon rum.”
Much like the spirit itself, there is some confusion as to the origin of the word rum. The British
seem to have the greatest claim with some sources citing the world rumbullion, an old English
word meaning a great tumult or the British slang expression, “rum booze,” which was used as far
back as the mid-1500s to describe good, strong wines or spirits. Others say “rum” comes from
the repetitive syllables in the Latin name for sugar cane, saccharum officinarum.


How Rum is Made
                                                          All distilled spirits are made from water,
                                                          yeast and sugar in some form. With
                                                          whiskey, the sugar is obtained by
                                                          converting grain starches to grain sugar.
                                                          With rum, the sugar is ready-made as
                                                          the natural content of the sugar cane or
                                                          it’s by-product, molasses.
                                                          Rum, by federal law, must be distilled
                                                          from the fermented juice of sugar cane,
                                                          sugar cane syrup, sugar cane molasses
                                                          or other sugar cane by-products at less
                                                          than 190 proof. It can be made
                                                          anywhere, although more than 80% of it
                                                          is produced in Puerto Rico.
The two main types of rum are light-bodied (generally produced to be dry with a subtle flavor
and full-bodied (a more aromatic variety, and the style of much, but not all, Jamaican rum).
Once the sugar cane is crushed and the juice extracted, it is boiled, resulting in a sweet, thick
syrup. The syrup is pumped into high-speed centrifugal machines, which separate the sugar from
other solids. The remaining molasses is then fermented and distilled into rum. At this point the
process differs for light-and full-bodied rums.
Light Rum, Dark Rum

                Light-bodied rums are generally produced in column stills and distilled at 160
                proof or higher. By law, the spirit then spends at least one year in oak barrels.
                At this point, the rum is clear and normally designated as “white” rum. Another
                type of light-bodied rum, aged in wood at least three years and, with caramel
                added for color, termed “gold” or “amber.” The gold rum is slightly mellower
                and more aromatic then the white. A third type of light-bodied rum is añejo, the
mellowest and most flavorful of the Puerto Rican and other light-bodied rums. Añejos are aged
in wood from four to six years, and sometimes longer.
In contrast, full-bodied rums are made using a different process. Skimming from previous
distillations – called “dunder” – is added to the molasses in the fermentation vats. This is
followed by a natural fermentation of five to 20 days. The fermented liquid is then distilled in pot
stills, and then redistilled. Again, only the middle rum from the distillation is taken, at between
140 and 160 proof. This process results in a very flavorful, aromatic spirit that, in the case of
Jamaican rum, is almost always blended. Before bottling, this full-bodied rum normally requires
at least five to seven years of barrel aging.


The Flavors of Rum
                   Recently, rums, which have been flavored with spices or citrus, have been
                   gaining popularity with American consumers. More than anything, this
                   probably reflects consumers’ changing taste preferences, which are also
                   shown in the many drink and food recipes that call for both light-and full-
                   bodied rums.
                    The popularity of these new flavored rums is apparent in the fact that Captain
                    Morgan Original Spiced Rum, from Seagram, has captured the number two
sport in the rum category with sales of a million cases last year, and that Bayard Limon can
claim sales of more than 300,000 cases in its first nine months on the market.
Other flavored rums include Captain Morgan Authentic Coconut Rum, Malibu, Castillo Spiced
Rum, Runic Spiced Rum, Admiral Nelson Puerto Rican Spiced Rum and the recently introduced
Bayard Spice.
                               Classic Rum Drinks
                                          Cuba Libra
                                           2 oz. rum
                                        Juice of ½ lime
                            Put limejuice and rind in highball glass.
                            Add rum and fill with cola and ice cubes.
                                         Piña Colada
                                             2 oz. rum
                                       2 oz. coconut cream
                                       4 oz. pineapple juice
                                          Pineapple stick
                                        Maraschino cherry
                         Shake liquid ingredients in an ice-filled shaker,
                      or blend with ice in a blender. Strain into an ice-filled
                      highball glass, garnish with pineapple stick or cherry.
                                             2 oz. rum
                                          Juice of ½ lime
                                      1 tsp. superfine sugar
                            Pour ingredients into an ice-filled shaker.
                              Shake, then strain into cocktail glass


Knowing & Understanding ~ Gin
                   There is probably no distilled spirit category more connected in the popular
                   imagination with England and the English than gin. Whether from cocktails
                   mentioned in the plays of Noel Coward and the novels of Somerset Mangham,
                   the advertising of various gin brands or simply because so many gins bear the
                   legend London dry on the label, gin seems to be the spirit of England, and
                   although the English did give gin prominence and bring it to the far-flung
                   corners of the British empire, it was originally a product of the Netherlands.
                   Created for Medicinal Purposes
As was the case with many of today’s spirits categories, gin was originally created for medicinal
purposes. In the 17th century, sailors on Dutch East India Company ships were returning home
                 and carrying with them a variety of tropical diseases. Dr. Sylvie’s, a chemist
                 and professor of medicine at the University of Leaden set out to find a cure for
                 these maladies. Although he was not successful in that regard, the doctor did
                 discover that one of his concoctions, an infusion of juniper berries in alcohol
offered benefits as a sedative, a mild diuretic and as a stimulant to the appetite and tonic for the
elderly. Like many spirits pioneers before him, the good doctor called his discovery aqua vitae.
His countrymen called it jeerer, the Dutch name for juniper.
               What made this new recipe so revolutionary was not the use of juniper – it had
               been used before in dozens of liqueurs – but the choice of grain alcohol. Up until
               that time, most European distillers were limited to producing brandy from grapes
               or other fruit. And while the Irish and Scotch had been making whiskies for
               centuries, they tempered them with years of aging in wooden casks. Unaged grain
               spirits, at least those that could be produced with state of the art 17th century
               technology, were considered too harsh for human consumption. But his new
creation had a major point of difference – it was actually palatable. And it was relatively
inexpensive to produce.
Meanwhile, English soldiers who had been fighting in the European wars of the period were
introduced to what they termed, “Dutch Courage.” They returned to England with a preference
for this new drink, and the general population soon grew fond of this palatable yet inexpensive
spirit – so much so that it eventually became identified as the national drink of England. It was
the English, who shortened the name to gin and, in time, changed its formula too.
“London Dry” and Other Styles
When thinking of gin the most important thing to remember is that gin is a flavored spirit.
Without the flavorings it would be vodka.
What we normally refer to, as gin in this country is the London dry gin that English distillers
developed after the invention of the continuous still in the 19th century. The Dutch also still make
their Holland or Geneva gin, which is heavy-bodied and strongly flavored with a pronounced
malty taste and aroma, but very little, is seen in this country.
The possibility of creating purer spirits offered by the continuous still encouraged English
distillers to try an unsweetened or dry style of gin. Sugars had been used to mask the rough and
unpleasant flavors that could show up in older pot still production. Originally, the phrase
“London dry gin” specified a geographic location – that the gin was produced in or near London.


Now, the term is considered to be generic and is used to describe a style of gin. And virtually
every gin on the market uses the term dry.
By definition, gin is the distillate of a grain mash with various flavoring agents. It gets its
primary flavor from juniper berries, but many other herbs and spices go into the makeup. And
the botanicals come from all over the world: cardamom from Sri Lanka, cassia bark from
Vietnam, orange peel from Spain, coriander seed from Czechoslovakia, angelica root from
Germany. Most of the juniper berries themselves are imported from Italy. And there are dozens
of other possible ingredients.
The vast majority of gin found on a back bar or in the well is either English dry gin or American
dry gin. The English version uses 75% corn, 15% barley malt and 10% other grains for the mash.
The fermentation process is similar to that of whiskey. Following fermentation, the resulting
liquid is distilled and rectified through a column still, producing a pure spirit of at least 190
proof. Distilled water is added to reduce the spirit to 120 proof. The liquid is then redistilled with
the many flavoring agents. Methods vary from producer to producer. Some combine the
botanicals with the spirit and distill the new mixture, while others suspend the botanicals above
the spirit in the still and let the vapors pass through the many flavoring agents. The spirit that
comes off is reduced to bottling strength, anywhere from 80 to 97 proof, with distilled water.
              American gin is produced using one of two standard methods – distilling and
              compounding. Distilled gin is primarily made by adding the flavoring agents
              during a continuous process. And there are two fairly similar methods of
              achieving this – direct distillation or reinstallation. In direct distillation, the
              fermented grain mash is pumped into the still. Then it is heated and the spirit
              vapor pass through a gin holder a sort of percolator basket filled with juniper,
              herbs and other natural ingredients. It picks the delicate flavoring agents as it
              passes through and then condenses into a high-proof gin. Water is added to bring
the product down to its bottling strength – usually 80 proof.
The other method – reinstallation – differs only in that the fermented mash is first distilled into a
flavorless neutral spirit. Then it is placed in a second still, containing a gin herb and is redistilled,
with vapors absorbing the flavoring agents.
Compound gin – a less costly method – is simply the combination of neutral spirits with the oil
and extract from the botanicals. However, the dominant flavor must be from juniper berries.
Federal regulations do not permit any age claims for gin, vodka and other neutral spirits.


Leading Brands of Gin
         Seagram’s                                    Gordon’s
         Tanqueray                                    Gilbey’s
         Beefeater                                    Bombay
         Amesbury’s                                   Fleischmann’s
         Barton                                       Burnett’s White Satin
         Crystal Palace

                        Classic Gin Drinks

                                      2 oz. gin
                               Dry vermouth, to taste
               In an ice-filled shaker, pour ingredients in a ratio of
                 five to one for a dry martini, as little as a drop or
                         two for vermouth for an extra-dry.
                       Shake, then strain into a martini glass.
                      Garnish with a lemon twist or an olive.
             (A garnish of a cocktail onion makes the drink a Gibson.)

                                    Tom Collins

                                       2 oz. gin
                                  Juice of ½ lemon
                               1 tsp. powdered sugar
                                      Club soda
                               Lemon or orange slice
               Pour gin, lemon juice and sugar into a tall glass filled
                     with ice. Top with soda, and garnish with
                            a slice of lemon or orange.


Knowing & Understanding ~ Aromatized Wines
               While vermouth is consumed straight or on the rocks in European and South
               American countries, it has mainly been used, as a cocktail ingredient here in the
               U.S. Strictly speaking it is not a distilled spirit, although it is often treated as one.
               The vermouth market has been in steady decline for the last few decades, but as
               we see classic cocktails undergoing a renaissance in terms of consumer
               acceptance, vermouth is likely to become more important to restaurant and bar
               operators. The following paragraphs should give on premise personnel a better
idea of what vermouth is and how it is used.
What is Vermouth, Anyway?
                   The first commercial production of vermouth is said to have occurred in the
                   1800s, in both France and Italy. The French are generally associated with the
                   “dry” style of vermouth and the Italians with the “sweet” type, but both countries
                   – and many others, most notably the U.S. produce both styles.
                Vermouth is categorized as an “aromatized wine,” which a fortified wine is
infused with various botanical ingredients. Both dry and sweet vermouths begin with a selection
of white wines, which are fortified with a wine distillate (brandy) and then infused, or steeped, in
a wide variety of herbs and spices. Each vermouth producer has a proprietary recipe, but some of
the more popular flavoring ingredients include coriander, nutmeg, clove, orange peel, chamomile
and sage, to name a few.
                          Different base wines and flavorings are used to make dry and sweet
                          vermouths. Typically, both styles have cane sugar added, with sweet
                          vermouths getting a larger proportion. Sweet vermouths also have caramel
                          added for color.
                        Historians note that vermouth’s origins probably date back to the ancient
Greeks and Romans, who were given to flavoring wines with spices, herbs and even boiled
seawater. The word vermouth is said to be a derivative of warmouth, the German word for
wormwood, once a primary ingredient in vermouth. The wormwood plant yields a
characteristically bitter green liquid used to make absinthe, which is no longer a commercial
                   The main challenge for those who market vermouth is getting American
                   consumers to learn what vermouth actually is. It is an ingredient in perhaps the
                   two most popular cocktails ever created – the Martini and the Manhattan – and
                   yet it remains somewhat misunderstood.

Even as classic cocktails (the Martini in particular) have made a comeback in restaurants and bars, vermouth for
the most part has not benefited. Part of this has to do with the historical progression of the Martini from a drink of
virtually equal parts gin and vermouth to one with a thimbleful of vermouth, if that much marketers have had to
contend with consistently declining sales. To combat this trend, they are working to build a market for vermouth as
an aperitif and are encouraging expanded use of vermouth in cooking.


Knowing & Understanding ~ Cordials & Liqueurs
                  The cordial and liqueur category is the largest and most diverse in terms of the
                  number of brands, flavors and alcohol content. It is also one of the largest as far
                  as total case sales. Products in the category encompass virtually every flavor
                  imaginable and are used as traditional after-dinner drinks, as ingredients in
                  many popular shooters as well as for aperitifs, digestives, components of classic
                  cocktails or even as a flavorful enhancement to foods.
            One of the hallmarks of this spirits category has been the constant infusion of new
            products and flavors. In recent years some of the industry’s hottest products have
            been high proof cordials consumed in shooters either straight or in combination with
            other spirits.
            (Absinthe Plant)
             A cordial or liqueur, the terms are used interchangeably in this country and always
appear together in governmental regulations, are made by combining distilled spirits with a
variety of flavorings and adding sweeteners.
The original cordial recipes are shrouded in mystery, which is not surprising since their creators
were medieval alchemists looking for the secret of eternal life. In those days, these highly-
flavored spirits were used to stimulate the appetite or digestion, as love potion and aphrodisiacs
and as cure-alls for various ailments, making them forerunners of patent medicines.
                             In fact, the term cordial reflects these origins. It is derived from the
                             Latin word meaning “heart”, because the earliest cordials were
                             administered to the sick to stimulate the heart and lighten the spirit.
                             And certainly many of the seeds, herbs, roots and oils used in these
                             recipes, such as caraway seed, coriander, angelica root, oil of orange,
                             oil of lemon and various herbs rich in iodine are but a few.
                             The term liqueur also has its root in Latin, in this case liquefacere,
                             which means to dissolve, or melt and reflects the method by which a
liqueur is created.
Cordials and liqueurs are usually thought of as sweet and in fact by definition they must contain
at least 2.5% sugar by weight although most cordials are considerably higher in their sugar
content and many contain up to 35% of a sweetening agent. The sugar may be beet, maple, cane,
honey, corn or a combination of these. If the sweetening accounts for less than 10% by weight of
the finished product, the resultant cordial may be labeled “dry.” Most cordials and liqueurs
contain between 17% and 30% alcohol by volume although some brands such as Goldschlager
are over 50% alcohol.
Production Methods
                                            One of three methods is usually used to extract the
                                            flavors needed to produce a cordial. They are:
                                            infusion or maceration; percolation; and distillation.
                                            Fruit flavors are extracted by either infusion, where
                                            crushed fruits are steeped in water, or maceration, in
                                            which they are steeped in alcohol. Either process can
                                            take up to a year for the water or alcohol to absorb


             almost all of the aroma, flavor and color of the fruit. Once the liquid is drawn off,
             it’s stored in a tank for several days and then filtered. The fruit then undergoes
             distillation to extract whatever flavor remains. This distillate may then be added to
             the original liquid to give it more character. The final step before bottling calls for
             the addition of syrup made from sugar or another sweetening agent to reach the
             desired sweetness level.
              Percolation, which is sometimes referred to as brewing is similar to the process for
making coffee, is used to draw flavor from leaves and herbs while distillation is used to extract
flavor from seeds and flowers. In this process, the flavoring agent is placed in
the upper part of an apparatus, which contains brandy or another spirit in the
lower part. The spirit is then pumped up over the flavoring agent and is allowed
to percolate through it over and over again for several weeks or months. The
flavor and aroma are thus extracted form the flavoring agent that then
undergoes distillation to extract any remaining flavor. The distillate may then be
mixed with the percolate, which is next filtered, sweetened and bottled.
Distillation uses heat to extract the flavor from such agents as anise, caraway,
orange peel and mint. After the flavoring agent has been steeped in alcohol for several hours, it is
placed in a copper pot still with additional spirits and distilled. The colorless distillate is then
sweetened with syrup and usually colored with vegetable coloring or food dye before bottling.
Generic vs. Proprietary
                             Generic liqueurs are those produced and marketed by several
                             suppliers under the same universally used name. Some of the more
                             common varieties are amaretto, sambuca, triple sec and peppermint
                             schnapps. But even among generic liqueur brand names are
prominent. Proprietary liqueurs are those brands usually produced from a closely guarded
formula and sold under a trademarked name by only one producer. Famous proprietary liqueurs
include Kahlúa, Cointrau, Drambuie, Benedictine and Grand Marnier.
The Shooter Phenomenon
The biggest trend affecting this category is obviously the ongoing popularity of shooters. These
miniature cocktails involve numerous ingredients, colors and flavors, are conducive to a party
atmosphere and very often carry suggestive names. All of these attributes have contributed to
their ongoing popularity with young adults. For on-premise operators they can be real profit
builders, but it’s important to keep an eye on costs. Drinks with several ingredients, at different
proof levels can raise the operator’s costs and should be priced accordingly. It’s also wise for
operators to work with suppliers who very often have merchandising kits and theme night
promotions built around the shooter phenomenon.


Leading Cordial & Liqueur Brands
           Kahlúa                               B&B
           Southern Comfort                     Cointreau
           Baileys Original Irish Cream         Frangelico
           Jägermeister                         Sambuca
           Emmet’s                              Extase X.O
           Grand Marnier                        Goldschlager
     Di Saronno Amaretto                   Yukon Jack
     Benedictine                           Carolans

Leading Cordial & Liqueur Lines

           Dekuyper                        Jim Beam Brands
           Hiram Walker                    Hiram Walker
           Arrow                           Heublein
           Leroux                          Jim Beam Brands
           Boston                          Barton Brands Ltd.
           Jacquin                         Charles Jacquin
           Bols                            William Grant & Sons


                  Glossary of Distilled Spirits Terms
AGE     The amount of time distilled spirits spend in oak barrels prior to bottling. The amount of
time spent in other containers does not add to the product’s age according to federal government
ALAMBIC BRANDY Grape brandy made in an alambic pot still using the procedures followed in
France’s Cognac and Armagnac regions.
ALCOHOL CONTENT The statement of alcohol content by volume found on distilled spirits product
labels. IN 1986 the BATF issued regulations requiring that alcohol content must be indicated by
percentage, not jus tin terms of proof.
ANGEL’S SHARE      The amount of a distilled spirit lost to evaporation during the aging process.
APERITIF   A drink taken before dinner to stimulate the appetite.
BAC Blood Alcohol Content. This measurement indicates the percentage of alcohol found in the
human body at any time.
BARLEY     A cereal grain, which can be converted to malt for making whiskey and beer.
BARREL PROOF     A designation of bourbon, which has been bottled at cask strength. That
essentially means that no water has been added so there can be slight variations in alcohol
content for each batch bottled. The resultant product may be the result of marrying whiskies of
different ages.
BATF  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The division of the Treasury Department
responsible for the regulation of the beverage alcohol industry.
BOTTLED IN BOND Commonly believed to be an indicator of quality, this is in reality a tax
designation. Whiskey labeled with this phrase has been produced in one distillery in one year,
bottled at 100 proof and stored in a Treasury Department-bonded warehouse. No excise taxes are
paid until the whiskey is shipped from the warehouse.
BROWN GOODS       A term used to describe distilled spirits such as whiskey and brandy which are
brown in color.
CONGENERS        Trace flavoring agents, including fusel oils, esters, tannins and acids, produced
during fermentation which contribute to the characteristic taste, aroma and body of various
distilled spirits. They are vaporized along with the alcohol in distillation above 190 proof,
developed, and expanded during the aging process.
DRAMBUIE         Liqueur made with Highland malt Scotch whiskey and heather honey.
EAU DE VIE    Literally translated as “water of life,” this term refers to a clear distillate of fruit or
grape wine.
ETHYL ALCOHOL      The principle form of alcohol found in beverage alcohol products.
EXCISE TAX An indirect tax levied by the federal or state government on beverage alcohol
products, computed on the basis of alcohol content by volume. Beer, wine and spirits are all
taxed at different levels.
FRANGELICO       Hazelnuts and herbs provide the bade for this.
GALLIANO         Cordial flavored with herbs and flowers. Spicy and aromatic.


GRAIN NEUTRAL SPIRITS       Spirits distilled from any material at or above 190 proof that lack
distinctive taste, color or aroma. They are used for blending with straight whiskey and for
making gin and vodka.
GRAIN SPIRITS    Spirits distilled from a fermented mash of grain and stored in oak containers.
The characteristics imparted by storage differentiate gain spirits from grain neutral spirits.
GRAPPA    An Italian eau de vie made from the stems, pulp, skins and seeds left over from grapes
pressed for winemaking.
HEADS     The spirits usually rejected from a distillate; the first and roughest part.
IRISH MIST      Spicy liqueur based on Irish whiskey and heather honey.
JIGGER         Standard unit of measure for spirit in a mixed drink. Usually one and one quarter
or one and half ounces per drink.
KAHLUA          Coffee flavored liqueur from Mexico.
Kirsch or Kirshwasser Cherry brandy
MALT Sprouted or germinated barley used in making beer and distilled spirits. It is also referred
to as barley malt.
MANDARINE       Flavored with mandarin tangerines, brandy or Cognac based.
MARASCHINO      The flavor or Marasca cherries from Dalmatia.
MASH  Ground malt or any other material used in the fermenting process that is soaked and then
cooked in water to convert starches to sugar.
PROOF   A traditional method of stating alcohol content The proof level is equal to twice the
alcohol percentage. (e.g. 100 proof equals 50% alcohol by volume).
OUZO     Anise based Greek liqueur
PEACH SCHNAPPS          Very common peppermint based cordial
PONY     A small measure of spirit, a one-ounce portion.
PROOF  A measure of alcoholic strength of a spirit. Each degree of proof is equal to ½ percent
SAMBUCA         Elderbusch is used to give Sambuca its licorice flavor.
SINGLE BARREL BOURBON         A specially chosen bourbon, all of which comes from the same barrel
and whose age is likely to range from 8 to 12 years. The only real standard for selection is the
palate of the master distiller.
SINGLE MALT     A scotch whisky that is the product of a single distillery.
SMALL BATCH BOURBON      A bourbon bottled and blended from a limited number of barrels
specially chosen by the master distiller.
SOUR MASH    A type of whiskey produced by using residue from a previous distillation to aid in
fermenting a new batch of mash. Most bourbon and Tennessee whiskey is made using the sour
mash process.
SOUTHERN COMFORT        American whiskey blended with peach liqueur.
SPIRIT   A beverage created by distillation.


STREGA         Italian liqueur flavored with many herbs and spices.
WHITE GOODS     A term often used to describe clear spirits such as vodka, gin, rum and tequila.

Champagne / Wine split:              ¼ bottle= 6.35 oz= 187.7 ml
Half bottle wine (Fillet):           12.7 oz= 37.5 cl= 375.4 ml
Wine bottle:                         25.4 oz= 75 cl= 750 ml
U.S Fifth (Spirits):                 25.6 oz= 75.7 cl = 756.7 ml
Magnum:                              2 wine bottles= 50.7 oz= 1.5 lt
Jeroboam:                            4 wine bottles= 101.6 oz= 3 lt
Rehoboam:                            6 wine bottles= 152.4 oz= 4.51lt
Methuselah:                          8 wine bottles= 203.2 oz= 6.012 lt
Salmanazar:                          12 wine bottles= 304.8 oz= 90.17 lt
Balthazar:                           16 wine bottles= 406.4 oz = 12.02 lt
Nebuchadnezzar:                      20 wine bottles= 508 oz= 15.03 lt
Sovereign:                           34 wine bottles= 878.8 oz= 26 lt

                               CASK & BARREL CAPACITIES

Quarter-Keg beer:                    0.125 barrel(1/8)= 496 oz = 14.67 lt
Half-Keg beer:                       0.25 barrel(1.4)= 992 oz= 29.34 lt
Keg beer:                            0.5 barrel= (1/2)= 1984 oz= 58.7 lt
Barrel beer:                         31.5 gal= 4032 oz= 119.29 ly

                                      LIQUID MEASURES

Minim:                               1 drop
Dash:                                10 drops= 1.6 tsp
Scruple:                             0.33 fl dr = 0.0416 oz
Milliliter (ml):                     0.10cl= 0.0338 oz = 0.27 drams
Centiliter (cl):                     10ml= 0.338 oz= 2.7 drams
Fluid dram (fl dr)                   6 dashes= 0.125 oz= 3.75 ml
Teaspoon (tsp)                       0.166 oz= 0.33 tbsp
Tablespoon tbsp)                     3 tsp= 0.05 oz= 14.78 ml
Ounce (oz)                           1 pony= 8 tsp= 8 fl dr= 2.956 cl= 29.56 ml
Jigger                               1.5 oz= 4.434 cl= 44.34 ml
Gill                                 1 wine glass= 4 oz= 11.82 cl= 118.2 ml
Cup (c)                              8 oz= 23.6 cl= 236.0 ml
Pint (pt)                            2 c= 16 oz= 47.3 cl= 472.9 ml
Quart(qt)                            4 c= 2 pt=32 oz= 94.6 cl= 945.9 ml
Liter (lt)                           0.9463 qt= 33.8 oz= 100 cl= 1000 ml
Gallon:                              16 c= 8 pt= 4qt= 128 oz= 3.786 lt= 378.4 cl



                                          Types of Beer
Lager is brewed with bottom fermenting yeast at cooler temperatures for a smooth flavor. Pale
golden color, carbonated and lightly hopped, lager is a crowd-pleaser that tastes crisp and

Best suited to lighter-tasting foods; grilled chicken, seafood or spicy Thai.

Brewed with top fermenting yeast at cellar temperature, ales are fuller-bodied, with nuances of
fruit or spice and a pleasantly hoppy finish.

Ales are often darker than lagers, ranging from rich gold to reddish amber. Serve with stronger-flavored
foods; red meat, sausage, fish & chips.

Dry beer finishes crisp and clean, since more of the natural sugars are turned into alcohol during brewing.

This process results in a medium-golden beer that tastes less bitter, and leaves little aftertaste.

Try dry beer with pasta or light meals.

Extremely light in color and body, and mild in flavor. Light beers are highly carbonated with low bitterness
and no aftertaste.
Light beers have fewer calories and/or lower alcohol content.
Light beers compliment spicy Mexican or Italian foods, and combine nicely with appetizers.

Light or dark, in any style, draught beer is simply any beer served from a keg or cask.
Fresh tasting and easy to drink, draught beer in bottles or kegs has slightly lower carbonation levels so is
less filling than other bottles or cans.
A natural with pub food & all types of snacks.

Higher in alcohol (5.5% to 8.0%), malt beers boast a rich, full flavor -- heavier and sweeter than other
beers. Their color ranges from deep gold to amber to firelight red. Serve after dinner to compliment any
cuisine, or as a winter warm-up.


Ice beer owes its concentrated flavor and smooth finish to its unique brewing process. The beer is cooled
until ice crystals form, then filtered, resulting in a higher alcohol content.

Serve ice beers well chilled, with seafood or poultry dishes.

Deep, dark and flavorful, stout earns its character from brewing with highly roasted
malts. Stout features intense malt and caramel flavors, and depending on the variety,
ranges from sweet to dry and distinctively bitter. Serve as a unique compliment to
shellfish, hearty stews and wild game.

The Brewing Process
Brewing is fundamentally a natural process. The art and science of brewing is in converting natural food
materials into a pure, pleasing beverage. Although great strides have been made in the techniques for
achieving high-quality production, beer today is still a beverage brewed from natural products in the
traditional way.

Although the main ingredients of beer have remained constant, it is the precise recipe and timing of the
brew that gives one a different taste from another. Those ingredients include water, yeast, malt and hops.
Seeing that list, it's easy to understand why bread and beer have been linked to each other throughout


                       Pure water is an essential ingredient in good beer - and brewers pay scrupulous
                       attention to the source and purification of their brewing water. The water used in
                       brewing is purified to rigidly set standards. If it does not have the proper calcium or
                       acidic content for maximum activity of the enzymes in the mash, it must be brought
                       up to that standard.


                    Barley is used to make brewers' malt. At the malting companies the barley is soaked,
                    germinated (sprouted), then dried and/or kilned/roasted to arrest further growth.

                       During the period of controlled growth in the malting plant, specific enzymes of the
                       barley are released to break down the membranes of the starch cells, which make up
                       most of the kernel. But these are internal changes only. Apart from a slight change in
color, the external characteristics remain essentially unchanged. When the malt leaves malting plants, it
still looks like barley.

In the brewery, the malt is screened and crushed rather than ground to flour in order to keep the husks as
whole as possible. This not only prevents the extraction of undesirable materials from the husks but also
allows them to act as a filter bed for separation of the liquid extract formed during mashing.



The malt is then added to heated, purified water, and through a carefully controlled time and temperature
process the malt enzymes break down the starch to sugar, and the complex proteins of the malt to
simpler nitrogen compounds. The mashing takes place in a large round tank called a "mash mixer" or
"mash tun", and requires careful temperature control. At this point, depending on the type of beer desired,
the malt is supplemented by starch from other cereals such as corn, wheat or rice.


                     The mash is transferred to a straining or "lautering" vessel,
                     usually cylindrical, with a slotted false bottom 2 to 5 cm
                     above the true bottom.

                      The liquid extract drains through the false bottom and is run
off to the brew kettle. This extract, a sugar solution, is called "wort" but it is not
yet beer. Water is "sparged" or sprayed through the grains to wash out as much of the extract as
possible. The "spent grains" are removed and sold for cattle feed.

Boiling and Hopping

                         The brew kettle, a huge cauldron holding from 70 to 1000 hectolitres and made of
                         shiny copper or stainless steel, is probably the most striking sight in a brewery. It
                         is fitted with coils or jacketed bottom for steam heating and is designed to boil the
                         wort under carefully controlled conditions.

                        Boiling, which usually lasts about two hours, serves to concentrate the wort to the
                        desired specific gravity, to sterilize it and to obtain the desired extract from the
                        hops. The hop resins contribute flavor, aroma and bitterness to the brew. Once
the hops have flavored the brew, they are removed.

When applicable, highly fermentable syrup may be added to the kettle. Undesirable protein substances,
which have survived the journey from the mash mixer, are coagulated, leaving the wort clear.

Hop Separation and Cooling

After the beer has taken on the flavor of the hops, the wort then proceeds to the "hot wort tank". It is then
cooled, usually in a deceptively simple looking apparatus called a "plate cooler". As the wort and a
coolant flow past each other on opposite sides of stainless steel plates the temperature of the wort drops
from boiling to about 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (F) - a drop of more than 150 degrees F - in a few


                       The wort is now moved to the fermenting vessels, and yeast, the jealously guarded
                       central mystery of ancient brewer's art, is added on the way. It is the yeast -- these
                       living, single-cell fungi --, which break down the sugar in the wort to carbon dioxide
                       and alcohol; it also adds many vital beer-flavoring components.

                      There are many kinds of yeasts, but those used in making beer belong to the
                      genus Saccharomyces. The brewer uses two species of this genus. One yeast
                      type, which rises to the top of the liquid at the completion of fermentation is used in
                      brewing ale and stout. The other, which drops to the bottom of the brewing vessel,
is used in brewing lager.

In all modern breweries, elaborate precautions are taken to ensure that the yeast remains pure and


unchanged. Through the use of pure yeast culture plants, a particular beer flavor can be maintained year
after year. During fermentation, which lasts about seven to ten days, the yeast may multiply six fold, and
in the open-tank fomenters used for brewing ale, a creamy, frothy head may be seen on top of the brew.
When the fermentation is over, the yeast is removed. Now, for the first time, the liquid is called beer.


For one to three weeks, the beer is stored cold and then filtered once or twice before it is ready for
bottling or "racking" into kegs.


In the bottle shop of a brewery, returned empty bottles go through washers in which they receive a
thorough cleaning. After washing, the bottles are inspected electronically and visually, and pass on to the
rotary filler. Some of these machines can fill up to 1,200 bottles per minute. A "crowning" machine
integrated with the filler, places caps on the bottles. The filled bottles may then pass through a "tunnel"
pasteurized - often 75 feet from end to end and able to hold 15,000 bottles - where the temperature of the
beer is raised about 60 degrees Celsius for a sufficient length of time to provide biological stability, then
cooled to room temperature.

Emerging from the pasteurized, the bottles are inspected, labeled, placed in boxes, stacked on pallets
and carried by lift-truck to the warehousing areas to await shipment. Also in the bottle shop may be the
canning lines where beer is packaged in cans for shipment.

Packaged beer, may be heat pasteurized or micro-filtered, providing a shelf-life of up to six months when
properly stored. Draught beer, since it is normally sold and consumed within a few weeks, may not go
through this process. The draught beer is placed in sterilized kegs, ready for shipment.

Beer and Brewing Terminology

Abbey Beer: Originally a beer brewed by monks in a monastery, the term now applies to beers from
brewers who have acquired an abbey's rights. An abbey beer is often a strong, top-fermented ale.

alcohol free beer: Beer with an alcohol content of no more than 0.5% vol. The beer is produced by
removing the alcohol or arresting the process before fermentation is complete.

Ale: Beer brewed using the top fermentation process, where yeast cells rise to the top of the brewing
tank, to be skimmed off when fermentation is complete. Ales commonly use darker malt and have a
higher alcohol content and richer flavor than lagers produced by bottom fermentation.

all malt beer: A beer made entirely from barley malt, with no addition of sugar or unmalted grains such
as corn or rice.

alt bier: German style which is similar to the English bitter.

amber beer: A common term for beers whose color is midway between dark and pale. The amber color is
obtained by the use of special caramelized malts. Most amber beers are top fermented.

bitter: A highly-hopped ale.

bock: German term for extra-strong beer. Bocks are often dark but may also be wheat beers.

Cream Ale: A north American style, Cream Ale is a combines the refreshing taste of a lager with the
distinctive, slightly fruity character of an ale without blending the two.


Dark Lager: A bottom-fermented dark beer. The dark color is produced by the use of caramelized malt.
Dark lagers are popular in Germany and Eastern Europe.

Doppelbock: literally "Double" bock. Containing a higher alcohol content than regular bock.

Dry Beer: Beer of the pils type containing less residual sugar, made by a special process. As a result the
beer has a slightly higher alcohol content, a light, crisp flavor, and no aftertaste.

Dunkel: German for "dark."

ESB: Extra Special Bitter. First made by the Fuller's Brewery in England, but the style has been
appropriated by many other brewers.

Hell: German for "pale." Term indicates a golden and often malt-accented lager.

Honey Brown Lager: A smooth, full-bodied lager with a subtle honey flavor providing a slightly sweet

Ice Beer: A lager, which requires an extra step in the brewing process after fermentation. The beer is
chilled to -4 degrees C to allow ice crystals to form. Thanks to a proprietary process, the beer flows freely
through the crystals, which are then removed. Adding this extra step gives the beer a slightly higher
alcohol content and a smoother taste.

Imperial Stout: Extra-strong stout (alcohol content often above 10% vol.) first popular in Czarist Russia.

Lager: Beer produced using the bottom fermentation process, where the yeast cells sink to the bottom of
the tank during fermentation, and are then drawn off when fermentation is complete. Most lagers are of
the pils type. Other examples are Dortmunder, bock, dark lager and Vienna.

light beer: Beer with less alcohol (between 1 and 4% vol), or fewer calories (-30%), or both.

Maple Brown Ale: A robust brown ale brewed using pure maple syrup for a subtle sweet finish.

mild: A lightly-hopped ale, though also refers to lightly-hopped lagers in Germany.

Munich-style: A malt lager of average strength.

old ale: Generally dark and medium strong, though some are very strong.

pale ale: Bronze-to-copper-colored ale. It is pale when compared to porter.

pils/pilsner: A pale lager beer, highly hopped. It takes its name from the town of Pilzen in
Czechoslovakia where the bottom fermentation process producing a pale beer was invented in 1842.
Lager is often used as a synonym for pils.

porter: Dark brown or black ale with a medium-to-strong hop content. In rare occasions some porters are
brewed as lagers.

Scotch ale: Smooth, malty ale. Often extremely strong.

specialty beer: Any unusual or interesting beer, which appeals to beer connoisseurs and drinkers who
like to experiment.

stout: Dark-brown to black ale. Sweet stouts have a lesser hop content, dry stouts have a higher hop


table beer: A traditional light beer with an alcohol content of about 1.5% vol., commonly drunk with meals
at home.

triple: An extra-strong, hoppy golden ale.

Vienna-style lager: An amber colored bottom fermented beer in the Austrian tradition, lightly hopped and
fairly strong, which is now brewed in South America and Mexico.

wheat beer: Any beer containing a high proportion of malted wheat in addition to the malted barley.

Brewer Terminology

A.E.: Apparent extract. Percentage of sugars after fermentation (or during). 'Apparent' due to influence of
alcohol on the percentage of sugar measurement.

adjunct: A starch source for brewing other than malt. Examples: corn, rice.

B.M.E.: Brewing Material Efficiency. A calculation, which compares the actual extract received, divided by
the potential extract available.

barrel: An English unit of measure for beer. A barrel of beer is equivalent to 31 gallons (117.4 l) By way
of comparison, a barrel of oil is 55 gallons. Beer is not shipped by the barrel, however. The familiar full-
sized keg is a half-barrel (15.5 gallons/58.7 l), and a "pony" keg is a quarter-barrel (7.75 gallons/29.3 l).

bottle conditioning: Refermentation in the bottle, triggered by the addition of a little yeast and sugar.

bottom fermentation: The process used in the production of pils or lager beers, using yeasts, which
sink, to the bottom of the tank at the end of fermentation. The fermentation temperature is lower than for
top fermented beers, at 41-50F (5-10C).

carbohydrate: A class of organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (sugars, starch,
alcohol, etc.).

centrifuge: Device used 'in-line' to remove yeast and other suspended particles from beer.

chill haze: A visible haze produced in beer by reaction of proteins and tannins.

chillproof: Used to prevent chill haze.

conversion: The point in time/temperature in the mash mixer when the malt enzymes are converting
starch to sugar.

D.E.: Diatomaceous earth. A powder used to filter beer.

D.M.S.: Dimethyl sulfide. A garlic or cooked corn-like flavor compound. An undesired (typically) flavor

diacetyl: A buttery compound produced by yeast and bacteria. An undesired flavor component.

enzymes: Special proteins whose function is to speed up or make possible certain chemical processes.
Special malt enzymes convert starch to sugars.

ester: An aromatic compound produced by yeast during fermentation. Contributes to the beer aroma

fermentation: The process where yeast utilizes the sugars present in wort and convert them to the major


by-products of alcohol and carbon dioxide.

gueuze: A blend of old and young lambic, which triggers a new fermentation.
H.F.C.S.: High fructose corn syrup. Sweet sugar syrup commonly used in soft drinks. hectoliter: Literally,
one hundred liters (26.4 gallons). The standard metric unit of measurement for large quantities of beer.
hops: Perennial plant producing flowers which are harvested and used in beer production, imparting the
bitter and some of the aroma flavor to beer.
krausening: Refers to secondary fermentation. Wort is initially fermented for 5-6 days and then
transferred to a Krausen cellar, where fresh wort is mixed with the previously fermented liquid and
fermented again at lower temperatures for longer periods.
lautering: Separation of wort from the mash.
malt: The result of the transformation of a barley seed via the malting process.
maltose syrup: Syrup used in the brew house. An alternate carbohydrate source, which can be used in
place of corn grits.
O.E.: Original extract. The percentage of sugars in the wort after kettle strikes out (prior to fermentation).
pH: Scale used to indicate the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. Low pH = acidic. High pH =
Plato: Degrees Plato. A term used to indicate the sugar concentration of wort or beer. The formula is
grams of sugar/100 grams of solution.
PPB: Parts per billion. Commonly used to express concentrations of dissolved oxygen gas or D.M.S.
PPM: Parts per million. Commonly used to express concentrations of diacetyl or sulfur dioxide.
protein: Consists of amino acids linked together to form long chains. Depending on structure, these
chains can be functional. Enzymes are an example of functional proteins.
Reinheitsgebot: The German purity laws, established in 1516. Allows only malt, hops, yeast and water in
beer. The law was at odds with EU trade regulations and so is no longer in force, though many brewers
still adhere to its tradition.
spontaneous fermentation: Fermentation, which relies on spontaneous action by airborne yeasts, as,
happens in the Zenne valley near Brussels.
steely ends: Unmodified hard starch end of malt kernel (the portion of the malt grind used in the cereal
sulfur dioxide: A substance produced by yeast. In high concentrations it can produce an off, sulphur
tannins: A compound which, when bound to protein, can form a haze in beer. Tannins origininate in the
top fermentation: The process used in the production of ales, using yeasts, which rise, to the top of the
fermentation tank, to be skimmed off when fermentation is complete. Fermentation temperatures are
higher than for bottom fermented beers, at between 15 degrees C and 25 degrees C.
vorlauff: Brew house term to describe the clarification step at the start of the lautering process (wort
extraction from mash).
wort: Liquid extracted from a mash of malt or malt and adjunct.
Y.F.E.: Yeast fermentable extract. A test to determine the remaining fermentable sugars in beer.

Y.I.S.: Yeast in suspension.
yeast: Single-cell organism with numerous species in nature. Specific strains of yeast are used by
brewers to ferment wort to produce beer.


                                       A brief history

Coffee-drinking spread in the last half of the fifteenth century; it reached both Mecca and Cairo
by 1511, and arrived in Istanbul via Syria by the middle of the century. Curiously, it seems to
have been some time before anyone would actually admit to liking the coffee drink; the emphasis
was on its medical and physical effects, for which it was either praised or condemned, rather than
on its taste.

The Frenchman Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu transported the first coffee plant to the New World in
1715 and established a plantation on the island of Martinique. Several years later, when an
earthquake destroyed the cocoa plantations of Santo Domingo, de Clieu was able to provide
seeds for new coffee plants, and coffee's geographic circle widened. Gradually, plants were
transported from island to island, to mainland, then from one mainland colony to another, not
only in the New World, but in East as well.

The Spanish planted coffee from Java in Philippines; Brazilian seeds reached Hawaii in 1825,
and the French, who deserve so much credit for the spread of coffee growing throughout the
world, introduced coffee to their Indochina’s colonies in 1887. In the last quarter of 1800s, the
British cultivated coffee in their African plantations, starting in central Africa and working
eastwards, until the little red berries had come full circle, from where they were first discovered
centuries before.

                                 Coffee growing regions
                                        Typically, the geography of the coffee plant is in a
                                        tropical 25-degree latitude belt on both sides of the
                                        equator. The Arabica coffee plant grows best at
                                        altitudes between 3000 and 6000 feet. Coffee plants can
                                        be grown at lower altitude but attack from various
                                        parasites cause problems which make low altitude
                                        cultivation hard.

                                          Desirable temperature averages between 65 to 75
                                          degrees Fahrenheit. The Arabica coffee plant will grow
                                          in hotter areas but is not well suited for higher

     Arabica Coffee Trees in Brazil


                                                                        The Robusta coffee plant
                                                                        is typically located in
                                                                        hotter and more humid
                                                                        areas at lower altitudes
                                                                        around 600 to 1500 feet.
                                                                        Frost will kill every
                                                                        variety of coffee plant
                                                                        known. Thus, it limits the
                                                                        altitude and latitude at
                                                                        which this plant can
  Scientific classification
                                                                        thrive. The coffee plant is
       Kingdom: Plantae                                                 susceptible to changes in
       Division:   Magnoliophyta
                                                                        temperature. Temperature
                                        affects the color of the coffee leaf, the hotter the lighter
       Class:      Magnoliopsida        the color green. The longer periods of deep green, the
       Order:      Gentianales          healthier the coffee plant.
       Family:     Rubiaceae
                                        Generally, the coffee growing area takes at least 75
       Genus:      Coffea L.
                                        inches of rainfall per year. The rainfall should be spread
                 Species                over a 9-month period, with about 2-3 months of only a
 Coffea arabica- Arabica Coffee         few inches of rain. The dry spell is needed to allow
 Coffea benghalensis- Bengal coffee     coffee buds, flowering, and new growth. Erosion aside,
 Coffea canephora- Robusta coffee       the coffee plant will grow well with much more water
 Coffea congensis- Congo coffee         so long as it does not sit in water. In areas with less than
 Coffea excelsa- Liberian coffee
 Coffea gallienii                       75 inches per year, careful irrigation can provide
 Coffea bonnieri                        adequate water for the coffee plant.
 Coffea mogeneti
 Coffea liberica- Liberian coffee      The delicate coffee tree yields beans that are an
 Coffea stenophylla- Sierra Leonian    economic mainstay for dozens of countries and about
                                       25 million people—and, among natural commodities,
have a monetary value surpassed only by oil. Of the two main coffee trees, Arabic’s beget the
better beans—and about 70 percent of the harvest. The harsher beans of the hardier robusta tree
account for about 30 percent.

The three primary coffee growing regions are:

   •   Latin America and the Caribbean Islands

   •   Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Indonesia

   •   India and Southeast Asia


Latin America & The Caribbean
The type of coffee produced in this growing region is distinguished by its light body, simplicity and sharp
acidity. It is often characterized as having bright flavor with a clean, crisp finish.

Coffee came to Mexico from Antilles at the end of the 18th century, but was not exported in great
quantities until the 1870s. Today approximately 100,000 small farms generate most Mexican coffee, and
most of the beans come from the south. Mexico is the largest source of U.S. coffee imports. It produces
large quantities of coffee that is often used for dark roasts and blending. The state of Vera Cruz produces
much its coffees in its low laying regions. In the mountains near the city of Coatepec, an excellent coffee
called Altura Coatepec is produced. These altura, or high grown, coffees are light bodied, nutty, with often
a chocolate tang and acidic snap. Altura Orizaba and Altura Huatusco are other fine coffees produced in
Vera Cruz. The state of Oaxaca in the central mountains also produces some good coffees, referred to as
either Oaxaca or Oaxaca Pluma. Chiapas, near the Guatemalan border, produces coffee under the
market name Tapachula, and is gaining a reputation for its above average organic coffees. Coffees in this
region are often produced using the wet-process.

German immigrants initiated serious coffee cultivation in Guatemala in the 19th century. Some of the
world's greatest coffee is produced in the central Highlands of Guatemala. The most famous regional
marketing names are: Antigua, Coban and Huehuetenango. High quality Guatemalan coffees are
produced using the wet-process and are of high acidity and medium body, with smoky, spicy and
chocolate flavors. Guatemalan coffee is often marketed by grade, with the highest grade being strictly
hard bean, which indicates coffees grown at 4,500 feet or above. A secondary grade is hard bean,
designating coffees grown between 4,000 and 4,500 feet.

Honduran coffee is wet-processed and mainly used as a cheap blending coffee. Some excellent coffees
are grown here, but they are often blended with inferior beans before they are exported and are difficult to
El Salvador

The flavor of Salvadorian coffee is mild, with good balance, medium body, sharp acidity and a hint of
sweetness. The best grade of Salvadorian coffee is called strictly high grown. El Salvador produces an
excellent certified organic coffee under the brand name of Pipil. All coffees are produced using the wet-

The best-known Nicaraguan coffees are produced by the wet-process in the Jinotega and Matagalpa
regions and are light to medium bodied and fairly acidic. Nicaraguan coffee trees produce large beans
that contain salty acidity and heavy body when brewed.
Costa Rica
Costa Rican coffee is grown primarily around the capital city of San Jose. The most famous of these
coffees are San Marcos di Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Heredia, and Alajuela. These coffees are wet-processed,
and are full bodied and sweet, with a hearty richness and lively acidity. In Costa Rica coffee grown above
3,900 is call strictly hard bean, while coffee grown at an altitude between 3,300 and 3,900 is called good
hard bean. Costa Rican coffees are usually identified by the estate, cooperative, or facility where they are
processed. One of the most famous of these estate coffees is La Minita.
Panamanian Coffee is sweet, bright and balanced, and similar to coffee from the Tres Rios region of
Costa Rica. This wet-processed coffee is often used for blending, but is excellent served as a breakfast



Colombia produces 12% of the world's coffee supply, and is second only to Brazil. It is the only South
American country with both Atlantic and Pacific ports—an invaluable aid to shipping. The crop’s economic
importance is such that all cars entering Colombia are sprayed for harmful bacteria. The bulk of
Colombian coffee is of high quality, and the country has done an excellent job marketing its product
through the visage of Juan Valdez. Peasants grow the coffee at high altitudes, and it is processed using
the wet method. Three mountain ranges, called cordilleras, trisect Colombia from north to south. The
central and eastern cordilleras produce the best coffee. The most famous coffees in the central cordillera
are: Medellin, Armenia, and Manizales, named for cities where they are marketed. Medellin is the most
famous, and has heavy body, rich flavor and balanced acidity. Armenia and Manizales have less body
and acidity. In the US, all three coffees may be marketed together as MAM. In the eastern cordillera,
Bogota and Bucaramanga are the most famous coffees. Bogota is considered one of Colombia's finest
coffees, and contains less acid than Medellin, but is equally rich and flavorful. Bucaramanga has a low
level of acid, but is rich in body and flavor.

Jamaica is the home of Jamaican Blue Mountain, one of the world's most controversial coffees. Once a
superb coffee characterized by a nutty aroma, bright acidity and a unique beef-bouillon like flavor, recent
overproduction, lack of attention to quality and profiteering have led to a mediocre, over-priced product.
Some confusion exists about where the boundaries for growing this coffee actually lie, and often coffees
of lesser quality are packaged under its name. Jamaican High Mountain is a term that applies to coffees
of lesser quality that are grown at a lower altitude than Jamaican Blue Mountain. Both coffees are
produced using the wet-process.
Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico

Coffees from these countries are grown at moderate altitudes and are full-bodied with moderate acidity
and uncomplicated flavors. These wet-processed coffees are best suited for dark-roasted espresso
blends. Cibao, Bani, Ocoa, and Barahona are the four main market names for coffees from the
Dominican Republic.

The highest quality Venezuelan coffee is grown in the western part of the country near the Colombian
border. Maraciabos, as this coffee is known, refers to the port from which the coffee is shipped. The most
famous Maraciabos are Cucuta, Merida, Trujillo and Tachira. Coffee grown in the eastern mountains is
called Caracas, after the capital city. Venezuelan coffees differ from other coffees grown in the region in
that they are much lower in acidity.

Ecuador produces a large amount of coffee, but it is rarely seen in the United States. These coffees are
undistinguished, with light to medium body and mild acidity.

Because of its mild character, Peruvian coffee is used for blending French roasts, and as a flavored-
coffee base. Some good coffee can be found high in the Andes in the Chanchamayo and Urubamba
Valleys, and northern Peru is developing a reputation as a producer of good quality, certified organic

There are some indigenous advantages to the Bolivian coffee sector which give it great potential for high
quality coffees and some hope for the future. The production of sustainable coffee in Bolivia seeks to take
advantage of those distinct benefits and minimize the hindrances to produce a high-quality, export-ready
product which will provide higher incomes for everyone involved, especially the growers, and will not


burden to the local ecological and socioeconomic systems. Worldwide, Bolivia has a very poor reputation
among coffee producing countries, because the status quo of the Bolivian coffee sector in general
produces low-quality coffee. Why? No one within the "traditional" Bolivian coffee sector, from the poor
small-scale farmer all the way up to the wealthy Bolivian coffee exporting companies, has any incentive to
improve his product. Large, wealthy Bolivian coffee exporters, make huge profits regardless of the quality
of their product, because they face so little competition.

After arriving from French Guiana in the early 18th century, coffee quickly spread and thrived in Brazil.
Today Brazil is responsible for about a third of all coffee production, making it by far the heavyweight
champion of the coffee-producing world. Though many connoisseurs believe that Brazil’s emphasis on
quantity takes a toll on quality, many also praise the country’s finer varieties. Brazil is the only high-
volume producer subject to frost. The devastating 1975 frost, in particular, was a boon to other coffee-
growing countries. Two 1994 frosts raised prices worldwide.

Brazil's Santos is considered important by the specialty coffee industry. Another coffee, Rio, is also well
known for it's medicinal taste, and is often used in New Orleans coffee with the addition of chicory.
Bourbon Santos is Brazil's finest grade of coffee, and the beans from the Arabica trees that produce this
coffee are small and curly for the first three or four years of production. During this time, the coffee is
called Bourbon Santos. As the trees age, the beans become larger and lose quality. They are then
referred to as flat bean Santos. Bandeirante is a popular estate grown Brazilian coffee that is often found
in the United States. Brazilian coffee is generally produced using the dry-process.

Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Indonesia


Yemen Arabian Mocha, grown in the northern mountains of Yemen, is one of the oldest and most
traditional of the world's coffees. It is also one of the finest. This coffee has been cultivated and processed
in the same way for centuries, grown on mountain terraces and naturally dried. No chemicals are used in
its production, and it is no doubt organic. Mocha is a balanced coffee with medium to full body, good
acidity and chocolate undertones. Two famous market names for this coffee are Mattari and Sanani.
Sanani mochas have a wild, fruity acidity, while Mattari mochas are known for their full body and
chocolate undertones.

Sudan is famous for its Guhwah coffee served from a Jebena, a special Sudanese pot. The coffee beans
are roasted in this pot over charcoal then ground with cloves and other spices. The grounds are steeped
in hot water and the coffee is served in tiny cups after straining it through a grass sieve.

Burundi produces a variety called the Burundi N'goma. This delicious, single-origin coffee is grown in the
mountains of the Buyendi region of northern Burundi and possesses a remarkable flavor that is
reminiscent of a fine Kenya AA blended with a whiney Ethiopian Sidamo. Burundi is inching ahead in
consistency with reason enough to rely on the origin.

Ethiopia is the birthplace of the Arabica tree, and wild berries are still harvested by tribes people in its
mountains. About 12 million Ethiopians make their living from coffee, whose name is said to be a
derivation of “Kaffa,” the name of an Ethiopian province. In Eastern Ethiopia, coffee trees are grown
between 5,000 and 6,000 feet on small peasant plots and farms. These coffees may be called longberry
Harrar (large bean), shortberry Harrar (smaller bean) or Mocha Harrar (peaberry or single bean). They
are all cultivated simply, processed by the traditional dry method, and are no doubt organic. Ethiopian


Harrar is characterized by winy and blueberry undertones, with good body and high acid. Eastern
Ethiopia produces a washed coffee called Ghimbi or Gimbi, that has the winy undertones of Harrar, but
can be richer, more balanced, and have a heavier body and longer finish. Southern Ethiopia produces
washed coffees with fruity acidity and intense aromas. These coffees are known by the names of the
districts in which they are produced, such as Sidamo, or by terms like Ethiopian Fancies or Ethiopian
Estate Grown. The most famous of these coffees is Yirgacheffe, which has an unparallel fruity aroma,
light and elegant body, and an almost menthol taste. This coffee is sought out by many U.S. consumers.

Cameroon Arabica is produced in the Western Highlands of Cameroon as well as in the Northwest and
Southwest Provinces of Cameroon with the lowest elevations ranging from 2000 meters around Ngol
Kedja to 2679 meters above sea level around Mbounda in the Western Province. In the highlands of
Cameroon West Africa, hidden in the valleys of seemingly endless hills and volcanic peaks, lies a group
of villages that comprise the Boyo region where Boyo Coffee is born. Cameroon coffees are grown in one
of the world's most luscious rain drenched areas in the world located between 2 and 12 degrees above
the equator, in the tropical Central West Africa. The almost constant rainfall (over 100 inches per year)
naturally produces soil suitable for growing coffee. The top soil is dark volcanic soil and is full of nutrients.
Cameroon Coffee has its largest clientele in Europe.

Cameroon produces the Java and In varieties of Robusta as well as Blue Mountain Arabica, which comes
from Java and Jamaica. The production from the plantations, however, is not always as high as expected
because of the subsistence crops, grown in between the coffee trees, which absorb much of the fertilizer
used. Cameroon is placed fifteenth in the world for production and fifth on the African continent.

Kenya works diligently to assure quality in all beans that are exported. The coffee is cultivated on small
farms, and the growers are rewarded with high prices for quality beans. The main growing region in
Kenya extends south of 17,000-foot Mt. Kenya to near the capital of Nairobi. Kenyan coffee is wet-
processed and sold by the size of the bean, with AA signifying the largest beans, followed by A and B.
The best Kenyan coffee, called Estate Kenya, can cost twice as much as regular AA's, but is worth the
price. The tremendous body, astounding winy acidity and black-current flavor and aroma make Estate
Kenya one of the finest coffees in the world.

Most Tanzanian coffees are grown near the border of Kenya on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and are
sometimes referred to as Kilimanjaro, Moshi or Arusha. Other coffees are grown further south between
Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa, and are usually called Mbeya, after one of the region's cities or Pare,
a market name. All coffees are wet-processed and graded by bean size, with the highest grade being AA,
then A and B. Tanzanian coffees are characterized by a winy acidity, medium to full body, and deep
richness. Peaberries are often separated from flat beans and sold at a premium for the enhanced flavor
characteristics they possess.

Until independence Angola used to be one of the most important coffee producing countries ranking
number 4 in terms of production volumes after Brazil, Colombia and the Ivory Coast. The Robusta coffee
was famous for its high quality and mild cup. More than 20 years of civil strife, however, have severely
affected the coffee sector. Coffee plantations have been abandoned, many of them have been mined,
farmer families were dislocated, processing facilities and transport infrastructure have been destroyed. In
consequence, exports nowadays merely reach a level of about 5,000 t per year. Due to its uniqueness,
Angolan coffee still disposes of a good market potential representing an opportunity in particular under
present circumstances for generating development impulses in producing areas and diversifying foreign
exchange earnings. Certain municipalities in Kwanza Sul are considered as safe and relatively little
affected by war. Small scale farmers in these areas have the potential to reactivate their coffee production
provided essential support services such as input supply, know how transfer, coffee processing and


marketing can be made available. Abandoned and mine free coffee plantations within secure areas shall
be used to resettle dislocated farmer families enabling them to actively participate in productive

Though Uganda grows precious little Arabica, it is a key producer of robusta, and is used for instant
coffee. That humble, hardy bean accounts for 75 percent of the country’s export revenue and provides
employment for 80 percent of all rural workers. Efforts to diversify aside, Uganda is likely to remain
beholden to the bean for the near future. Uganda's finest Arabica is referred to as either Bugishu or
Bugisu, and is grown on the western slopes of Mt. Elgon on the Kenyan border. This coffee is winy in its
acidity, and similar to Kenyan coffee in flavor, though lighter in body.

Zimbabwe Coffee is grown on medium-sized farms and is a less potent version of Kenyan coffee,
containing less acid and less body. The best come from the Chipinga region.
Côte d’Ivoire

In the mid-1990s Côte d’Ivoire was the number five coffee producer and second largest robusta producer.
Why the decline? Some speculate that an emphasis on volume and a lack of investment and planning
have lowered quality and per-acre productivity. Today most exports end up as mass-market coffee in
Europe, especially France and Italy.
Sao Tome and Principe

Discovered and claimed by Portugal in the late 15th century, the islands' sugar-based economy gave way
to coffee and cocoa in the 19th century - all grown with plantation slave labor, a form of which lingered
into the 20th century. Currently, coffee is one of Sao Tome and Principe's primary commodity export.

India and Southeast Asia


According to legend, India is the birthplace of coffee cultivation east of Arabia. Today coffee production is
under the strict control of the Indian Coffee Board, which some say reduces economic incentive and
thereby lowers quality. India Coffees produced in India have more in common with Indonesian coffees
than with coffees from Africa or the Arabian peninsula. Good Indian coffees are grown in the states of
Karnatka (formerly Mysore), Kerala, and Tamilnadu (formerly Madras). In good years these coffees can
contain acidity typical of Guatemalan coffee, and the full body of a good Javanese coffee. In addition,
these coffees incorporate the unique spicy flavors of nutmeg, clove, cardamom, and pepper. India also
produces monsoon coffees, in which the green beans have been exposed to the monsoon winds blowing
through open warehouses during India's rainy season. This process reduces acidity and enhances
sweetness, making them similar to Indonesian aged coffees

The island of Madagascar, which is in twenty-second position in the world, produces Robusta, Arabica
and Excelse. But the history of Madagascan coffee is strewn with setbacks. In 1878, the Arabica
plantations were decimated by orange rust, and were replaced by Liberia and Robusta coffee trees. The
former proved to be of inferior quality and the latter gave too low a yield. Since 1900, Kwilu from the Ivory
Coast and Robusta from the Congo have been introduced. Unfortunately, they suffer from the danger of
cyclones as well as the inadequacies of the island's road network.


Indonesia (including Sumatra, Sulawesi and Java)

The Dutch unwittingly gave coffee a nickname in the late 17th century, when they began the first
successful European coffee plantation on their island colony of Java (now part of Indonesia). Top-grade
Arabic’s are still produced on Java as well as on Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Flores, but the Indonesian
archipelago is most notable as the world’s largest producer of robusta beans.

Indonesia is the world's third largest producer of coffee. However, only 10% of the crop is Arabica, and
the number of quality beans available for the specialty coffee industry is limited. Even though they are a
small percentage of total production, Arabica coffees from this region are considered some of the best in
the world, and are prized for their richness, full body, long finish, earthiness and gentle acidity.


Two of the world's best and most famous coffees come from Sumatra: Mandheling and Ankola. Both are
dry-processed coffees grown in west-central Sumatra near the port of Pandang at altitudes of 2,500 to
5,000 feet. Mandheling is known for its herbal aroma, full body, low acidity and rich and smooth flavor.
Though these coffees are difficult to find, they remain moderate in price.

Sulawesi or Celebes

Once known as Celebes, the island of Sulawesi in the Indonesian archipelago produces some of the
world's finest coffee. Celebes Toraja, grown in the mountainous area near the center of the island, is one
of the most famous. Coffees from Sulawesi are processed using the dry method and possess an
intriguing combination of sweetness and earthiness. They are low in acidity with a deep body resembling
maple syrup. These coffees are more expensive than Sumatran coffees because of small yields and the
fierce demand for this coffee in Japan.


Early Dutch explorers brought Arabica trees to Java, which became the world's leading producer of coffee
until rust wiped out the industry. The acreage was replanted with disease-resistant and less desirable
robusta stock. With the support of the Indonesian government, Arabica is once again being grown on
some of the original Dutch estates. Estate Java is a wet-processed coffee that is more acidic, lighter in
body and quicker to finish than other coffees in the region. Smoke and spice are flavors often associated
with this coffee's acidity. Some Javanese coffee is stored in warehouses for two or three years and is
referred to as Old Java. This aging process causes the coffee to lose acidity and gain body and

From 1814 to 1889, coffee became the leading export commodity of the country. The Philippine province
of Batangas was the fourth largest exporter of coffee in the world by 1880. Philippine history books further
stated that Lipa became the world’s sole supplier around 1886-1888. However, the coffee disease struck
this region which blighted the coffee plants in Europe, South America and Java eventually ravaged even
the Lipa plantations due to poor quarantine measures.

Hawaiian coffee is grown primarily on the islands of Hawaii and Kauai, with the coffees of the Kona
region of the island of Hawaii being the most highly prized. Kona possesses the perfect environment for
growing Arabic’s. The best estates grow beautiful, large, flat beans, which produce a medium-bodied
brew, with buttery, spicy characteristics. Consumers should beware that many coffees being sold as
Kona blends may contain only 10% Hawaiian coffee, typically blended with Latin American coffees.
Kona coffees demand a premium price, and the flavor characteristics of many lower priced Latin
American coffees are considered superior.



French missionaries first brought coffee to Vietnam in the mid-1860s, but production remained negligible
as late as 1980. In the 1990s, however, Vietnamese coffee production has been ratcheted up at a
furious pace. At least one trader worries that the industry is growing too quickly for its own good. “The
crop’s growing so fast that there’s not an equivalent growth in processing, so you’re looking at quality
problems,” he said from Daklak, Vietnam’s main coffee-growing region. Vietnam's specialty is robusta

New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, which occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, is usually where
coffee labeled New Guinea is grown. Coffee is cultivated by peasants on small plantations in the
mountain highlands, and processed using the wet method. Two of New Guinea's most famous coffees
are Sigri and Arona. These coffees are less acidic and aromatic than the best coffees of Sulawesi and
less full-bodied than the best Sumatrans, but nonetheless they are well balanced with a fruity aroma and
earthy body.

                                    Coffee blends and taste

                    Very few beans from a single source can produce a well-rounded cup of coffee on
                   their own. In any case, most coffee companies want their brands to be consistent, and
                   only with constant careful and subtle changes in proportions and roasting will a coffee
                   blender maintain roughly the same taste consistently.

                    Frost, drought, disease or revolution can cause a particular coffee to became
                    unavailable or just too expensive, and in such cases its place in the blend must be
taken by some other coffee, probably from some other part of the world, without the consumer noticing
the difference in either taste or price. The more coffees in a blend, the easier it is to swap one if

                             However, yes, there are some superb coffees that can be drunk alone and
                            unblended - at a price. They are probably all high-grown Arabic’s and will
                            come from small specialist shops: most supermarket "single-origin" coffee is -
                            probably to its improvement - a blend of coffees from a single country of
                            origin, which is not the same as an unblended coffee.

                                The coffee equivalent of an estate-bottled wine will probably have a flaw that
                               can be a bit off-putting to anyone but a connoisseur: it will lack "body" or be
"thin in a cup", will feel "watery" when drunk, or will produce a "weak liquor", no matter what the
coffee/water proportions were. There are some coffees whose taste far outweighs the need for a fuller
liquid; all aficionados, however, have different opinions and different favorites.

One should never be afraid to try blending one coffee with another. Sometimes two different taste result
not in a combination of the two, but in the happy creation of a third flavor. Certain coffees, such as the
famous Mocha-Mysore coupling, have long maintained happy marriages (Probably better than those of
their consumers).

The Arabic’s are generally identified by varying degrees of acidity, which is the pleasant, sometimes citrus
flavor that "lifts" coffees of better body but "flatter" taste. Acidic coffees go well in blends designed to be
drunk with milk or cream, as the alkaline seems to mellow the acidity while the Arabica taste, delicate but
decisive, comes through. Other coffees are added to blends because of their body or their whiney, gamy,
smoky or cheesy flavors, and such blends are probably best drunk black, perhaps after dinner. Not only


the combination, but also the proportions of coffees used in a blend will alter the result; and nothing
affects a blend of coffee more than the degree of roast

                                            Coffee roasting

                      Back on the plantation, the beans were sorted by size, density and color, mostly so
                      that the roasting time and temperature will have an identical effect on every bean.
                      Ideally coffee beans should be roasted before they are blended. But in big factories
                      that is not convenient, so a button is pressed and the greens beans in one silo slide
                      down a chute to join up with greens beans from several other silos, all in the right
                      weight proportions, and the whole lot go into the roaster.

                      The roasters are timed to the second, and the temperature strictly controlled.
Conventional roasters work at between 200 oC - 240 oC, and the time can vary according to the condition
of the beans and the color desired: beans that contain less moisture can burn if the time is not exactly
right. Between 8 and 14 minutes is normal. Towards the end of the roast the beans start to turn brown
very quickly as their moisture content lessens and they lose weight; around 15 per cent is acceptable. At
the same time they become about a third larger; and suddenly seem to burst, making little popping
sounds, very like popcorn without the fluffy white "blossoms". Pyrolysis, complicated chemical change, is
                  occurring within the 2000-plus substances, which constitute a coffee bean. To a coffee
                  lover, what really matters is that flavor and aroma are developing.

                   The flavor of robusta beans benefits from a darker roast, but if they are blended with
                   Arabica beans before roasting, all will still be will: in the same roasting time, the drier,
                   browner robusta will turn darker than the moisture-laden Arabica.

 The darker                        the beans are roasted, the more the various kinds lose their distinctive
flavors. This is                   particularly the case with Arabic’s, whose acidity lessens as the color
deepens.                           Eventually the overall flavor is that of the roast itself, rather than the type
of bean. In                        some cases this is desirable, as many a flaw can be disguised in a roast,
but when an                        expensive Arabica is roasted just that little bit too dark, its wonderful
flavor and the                     high price that was paid for the beans are simply going up in smoke.

                          As soon as the desired color has been attained, beans in a large commercial
                         roaster will undergo "quenching", which is a quick showering of water over the
                         beans. The water becomes an instant sizzle, but it serves its purpose, which is to
                         stop the cooking process, cool the beans and prevent them from losing their

                       There is no world standardization of terms indicating degree of roast, and
although the names can be confusing, the solution is to drink enough coffee of different roasts to
recognize what the color means in terms of personal preferences. All roasts are shades of light, medium
and dark.

                                         Coffee terminology

How do they talk about taste? There are four most important terms that describes the taste: Aroma,
Acidity, Body and Flavor. Lets us start with some tasting terminology/ term that used by our taster to
describes the taste:

Acidity: This refers to the crispiness of the coffee, that provide a sharp, bright, vibrant quality. The taste
of freshness. It is basic taste recognized by the taste buds located towards the front and sides of the
tongue; pleasant and desirable coffee attribute, particularly common to many high-grown Arabica beans.


Aroma: Is a sensation, which is difficult to separate from flavor. The fragrance of brewed coffee. The
smell of coffee grounds is referred to as the Bouquet. Without our sense of smell, our only taste
sensations would be : sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. The aroma contributes to the flavors we discern on
our palates.

Animal-like: A taster's term, not widely used but very apt for a particular coffee aroma that is like a litter
of puppies on a damp day in Texas. Slightly different from hidy, and detected more in Robusta than

Ashy: A smell like that of a cold fireplace, found in the flavor/ odor profile of certain coffees.

Bitterness: An undesirable flavor, detected at the back of the mouth, often as an aftertaste. Sometimes
the result of over-roasting likes dark roasts are intentionally bitter, improper brewing such as over-
extraction (too little coffee at too fine a grind), staling from oxidation, or resulting from poor storage,
:slightly bitter" can be desirable, as per espresso, dark chocolate, chicory.
Bland: The pale flavor often found in low grown Robusta coffees. Also caused by under-extraction (too
little coffee or too course a grind).

Body : The tactile impression of the weight of the coffee in your tongue. Like heaviness, viscosity,
thickness or richness that you perceive on your tongue. Like whole milk feeling. It could range from the
full (buttery and syrupy) to medium to light. Full bodied coffee usually originate in Indonesia such as
Sumatra, like the Sumatra Mandheling. Latin American coffee are usually light to medium bodied. Coffees
with a heavier body will maintain more of their flavor when diluted.
Briny: The salty sensation caused by excessive heat after brewing (truck-stop coffee).

Chocolaty: Flavor reminiscent of chocolate, which can be found in various crops (some Australian, New
Guinean & Ethiopian, for example)

Cheesy : Rather pungent flavor/ aroma of slightly sour, curdled milk or cheese.

Citrus: Flavor reminiscent of citrus fruits die to high acidity; very desirable, denotes quality and high-
altitude growth.

Earthy : The spicy "of the earth taste" of Indonesian coffees.

Exotic: Unusual aromatic and flavor notes, such as berry or floral.

Flavor: The total impression of Aroma, Acidity and Body. Flavor is the overall perception of the coffee. It
is generally used to describe the flavor, such as the fruitiness, chocolate ness, spiciness in your mouth.

Foxy : Derogatory descriptor for doubtful taste caused by over-fermentation.

Fruity : Flavor descriptor reminiscent of the odor and taste of fruit, particularly berries. Related to the
perception of very high acidity in some coffees.

Gamy : Unusual and interesting flavor, often found in dry-processed East African coffees (such as
Ethiopian Djimmah), reminiscent of cheesy, but not sour or negative.

Hidey : A taster's term for the aroma of animal hides, a distinct odor of dry leather; not dissimilar to the
smell of leather articles, rather unpleasant in coffee (see Animal-like)

Musty : Taster's term to describe a flavor like earthiness, as in a cellar.

Rancid : A taster's term associated with odors of deterioration and oxidation, as when oily foods like nuts
go stale.

Rubbery : A taster's term for the coffee aroma characteristic of hot types, not necessarily derogative, and
often associated with certain Robusta.


Smoky : Aromatic flavor of wood smoke, very pleasant attribute sometime found in certain coffees such
as some from Guatemala and also occasionally some Indonesian Arabica.

Soft : An important taster's term difficult to define; refers to a mellow texture found in certain beans,
desirable and pleasant; not associated with strongly acidic beans. Light in feel, but not in body. A term
understood best by tasting it.

Sour : Taster's term denoting possible over-fermentation; an excessively sharp, biting, unpleasant flavor
not to be confused with acidic.

Spicy : The flavor of particular spices.

Sweet : Smooth and palatable coffee that is free from defects and harsh flavors.
Thin : Term when coffee's body does not equal acidity or flavor; out-of-balance, watery, wishy-washy in
mouth feel.

Winy : Aroma descriptor used to denote the combined sensation of smell, taste and mouth-feel similar to
that in fine red wine. It is often perceived as a strongly acidic or fruity note, and is sometimes more
apparent as an after-taste. Kenya AA coffee is one of the most notables.

Woody: Flavor peculiar to either dead (indicating old crop, coffee store too long) or green wood flavor
found in certain coffees, like fresh sawdust; neither very pleasant.



Tea Production

From Bush to Cup: Making Tea
The tea bush belongs to the Camellia family, hence its Latin name Camellia Sinensis or Chinese shrub.
The tea bush is a hardy evergreen and its leaves are shiny and pointed with a wonderfully fragrant
aroma. The flowers of the tea bush resemble white buttercups.

All the tea requires to flourish is acid soil and a warm wet climate with at least fifty inches of rainfall every
year. Left to grow wild, the tea bush would blossom into a tree. However, on commercial tea gardens the
bushes are pruned to waist height for easy plucking. This is still performed by hand and is an extremely
skilled process as only the bud and top two leaves from every branch are picked.

                                      Where Tea is Grown
                                      Tea is grown in around fifty countries worldwide from Russia to
                                      Argentina, Brazil to Mozambique. The tea bush thrives in
                                      mountainous regions bordering the tropics and can grow at heights of
                                      up to 7,000 feet above sea level.

                                      India is the world’s largest producer and exporter of tea.

                                       Assam is a major growing area covering the Brahmaputra Valley,
from the Himalayas down to the Bay of Bengal. Assam teas are robust flavored, bright with a smooth malt
taste, perfect as the first cup of the day. They are best served with milk.

Darjeeling, with tea gardens up to 7,000 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Himalayas, produces
smaller crops of excellent quality. Darjeeling is often referred to as “the champagne of teas” because of
its quality and unique “Muscatel” wine flavor. Darjeeling is an ideal complement to dinner or as an
afternoon tea, on its own or with milk or lemon.

Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, produces tea still referred to as Ceylon. The best quality teas are “high grown” on
slopes above 4,000 feet. The most famous Ceylon teas come from the Dimbula Valley. Ceylon teas are
strong but delicate, with a slight bitterness. They are good with milk but not as suited to lemon.

Kenya now grows some of the very best teas in the world. Kenyan High Mountain, grown nearly 7,000
feet above sea level, produces an intensely bright color and delicious aroma. Kenyan teas also contribute
to the superb taste of Yorkshire teas.

China. Although most of its production is consumed at home, China is still famous for distinctive black,
green and oolong teas. Lapsang Souchong has a distinct smoky and tarry taste, acquired through drying
over pine wood fires. Keemun, the traditional tea of old Imperial China, is renowned for its orchid aroma
and brilliant red liquor. Keemun is frequently used as the base for Scented Blends, the most popular of
which is Earl Grey, scented with oil of bergamot.


Tea Manufacture

Once the tea is gathered, it is transported to the tea factory where the fresh green shoots are transformed
into the black tea that we drink. The methods employed in different factories vary very little. Yet, the teas
are seldom the same. Most of the characteristics in a tea arise from the properties in the green leaf.
Hence, we have the familiar expression “tea is made in the field.”

Tealeaves are processed into three main types:

Green tea: If the leaves are dried quickly without fermentation, they become green tea. Green teas are
highly favored by the Chinese and Japanese, and increasingly popular in the West because of their
health benefits.

Oolong Tea is semi-fermented, falling between black and green. The most famous, Formosa Oolong,
originates from Taiwan (formerly Formosa Island). It has a unique peachy flavor.

Black tea: If the leaves undergo the full fermentation process, they become black tea. Black tea is most
popular form worldwide, accounting for 77% of the world’s production. Green teas represent 21% and
oolong teas account for 2%.

    •   Tealeaves plucked in the morning are normally produced and graded as black tea by the
        following early afternoon.
    •   The tea is withered by spreading the tea leaves out on racks in a very warm room, thus removing
        much of the natural moisture from the leaves.
    •   The leaves are rolled and cut by machines, which crush and tear the tea. The orthodox process
        uses a conventional tea-rolling machine, which results in the larger leaf grades used in many
        loose teas. The CTC (cut-tear-curl) process results in smaller leaf grades, which provide the
        faster infusions, required for tea bags.
    •   The leaves are fermented. This process begins naturally as soon as the leaves have been rolled
        or cut. At this stage the green tea turns a rich coppery color as the oxygen circulates around the
        crushed leaves, similar to the way a bitten apple turns brown when left for a while.
    •   The tea is fired in very hot ovens. This stops the fermentation process and turns the leaves black,
        producing a tea with good keeping qualities.
    •   The dried black tea is sorted into a number of grades of uniform particle size. The teas are
        divided into “leaf” grades and “broken” grades. The largest-sized leaf grade is Orange Pekoe
        (OP). (The term pekoe is derived from a Chinese word used in reference to the tips of young tea
        buds.) The same grade in India is known as Flowery Orange Pekoe. A smaller leaf grade is called
        Pekoe. Leaf grade Formosa Oolong is called Souchong. Broken Orange is smaller than leaf
        grade and is sought after for popular blends such as English breakfast. Very small broken grades
        are graded as Fanning’s or Dust, both are popular for tea bags or instant teas because they
        infuse immediately.

                                                   The tea is finally packed into chests and shipped all
                                                   over the world. Teas are sold by grade in the tea
                                                   auctions or privately to traders or packers. Tea buyers
                                                   value teas based on their black leaf appearance,
                                                   infusion and liquoring properties. Buyers judge the
                                                   infusions based on actual tasting, which allow for the
                                                   description and evaluation of the various characteristics
                                                   of an individual tea’s liquor: briskness, strength, color,
                                                   body, quality, aroma and flavor.


                                     Tea Service
Defining Tea Service:
  • In England, the terms low tea and high tea defined differently.
  • Traditional English Low Tea, a light meal of tea sandwiches and pastries is served in mid
     to late afternoon usually between 3pm to 6pm.
  • English High Tea, a heartier meal that includes cold meats and cheese in addition to the
     aforementioned sandwiches and pastries, can replace dinner and is served from late
     afternoon to early evening.
  • At Celebrity Cruises we use Formal White Glove, Silver, English, Low Tea Service

                          Typical English Low Tea Menus
   Cherry Scones                                  Rolled Cucumber and Watercress Tea
   with Devon Cream and Cherry Jam                Sandwiches
   Assorted Miniature Tarts                       Open-Face Beef Tenderloin Tea
   with Pumpkin Chiffon, Lemon Curd and           Sandwiches
   Chocolate Fillings                             Closed-Face Stilton and Pear Tea
   Miniature Chocolate Brownie Triangles          Sandwiches
                                                  rolled in Walnuts
   Open Faced Smoked Salmon Tea                   Assorted FFAS Chocolate Truffles
   Sandwiches                                     Cascade of Grapes, Strawberries,
   with a Dill Cream Sauce                        Cherries and Clementines
   Rolled Cucumber Watercress Tea
   Sandwiches                                     Deviled Eggs with Shrimp, Tarragon, and
   Currant Scones with Devon Crème                Capers
   Miniature Tarts topped with Fresh Fruit        Miniature Stilton-Walnut Biscuits
   Chocolate Truffle Logs                         with Smoked Turkey with an Apricot-
   with Canadian Shortbread Cookies               Mustard Spread
                                                  Savory Cayenne Shortbreads
   Deviled Eggs                                   Chocolate Dipped Fruit
   garnished with Smoked Salmon and Chives        Almond Puffs
   Cheddar-Walnut Scones
   with Honey Baked Ham and Spicy Mustard         Chive Biscuits
   Lemon Tea Bread                                with Honey Baked Ham and Grainy Mustard
   Assorted Fancy Cookies                         Open-Face Shrimp and Watercress Tea
   Sponge Cake with Jam                           with a Curry Mayonnaise
   Petits Fours                                   Open-Face Egg, Tomato Tea Sandwiches
   Assorted Fancy Cookies                         with Radish Butter
   Fresh Fruit Tray                               Cinnamon Shortbread Dipped in
   Tea Service                                    Chocolate
                                                  Pecan Squares


                                   Table Service

•   Recommending Teas:
       o Guests may ask you for help when choosing a specialty tea. Always be able to
         recommend the most suitable accompaniment. For example, during a hot day
         recommend a light, refreshing fruit tea. Alternatively, during the afternoon,
         Darjeeling is a good choice. Try to learn as much as possible about the teas that
         you serve. Our guests will appreciate your specialist knowledge.

            Tea Before, During or After?
        o   When a guest orders tea and food, it is important to ask when they would like
            their tea served: before, during or after their food. Always offer the choice and
            don’t take their decision for granted.

•   Perfect Presentation
        o Cups and saucers should arrive already assembled on the table before the
            teapot is served.
        o The handle of the cup must point to the right.
        o The teaspoon should be tucked under the handle.
        o Cups: Don’t forget to warm the cold cups before serving
        o Drip mat: Always ensure that if there is a Celebrity logo it is always facing the

•   Serving a Pot of Tea for One
       o Warm the teapot with a splash of hot water.
       o Include a small milk jug with the handle facing towards the waitress.
       o Include a small white sugar bowl with white sugar (cubes if possible ) with
           teaspoon handle facing towards the waitress.
       o Always offer a hot water jug.
       o All handles should point towards the waitress.
       o Clean doily or dish paper for the tray.
       o Offer milk or lemon with two slices per person in a little dish.

•   After Service Care - Some Tips
        o Always store tea in an airtight container in cool, dry conditions away from strong
            light smelling products such as detergent or fruit to maintain freshness. If tea is
            left uncovered, it will start to lose flavor. Tea does have a shelf life of up to
            eighteen months. After then, it does not go 'off' as such but gradually loses its
            quality and character. The correct storage of tea is important as it can slow down
            this deterioration.
        o Always store different blends of tea in different containers. This is especially
            important with fruit flavored teas.
        o If using silver teaspoons or teapots, don't forget to polish them daily to prevent
            tarnishing. During the day, always remember to dry silver teapots immediately
            after washing to prevent unsightly watermarks.

•   How to Make Traditional Iced Tea
       o Brew the tea in a teapot, using twice as much tea as usual.
       o Leave to brew for five minutes then pour into a heat resistant jug.
       o Leave the tea to cool at room temperature. Do not place the tea in a refrigerator
           as this will produce a cloudy drink.
       o After an hour, the tea should be ready to serve. Pour into a glass, which has
           been half filled with ice.
       o Mix with half a teaspoon of sugar and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of
           scored mint.


        Knowing and Understanding Cigar Service

                                 Cigar Basics

                          A BRIEF HISTORY OF CIGARS

Nobody knows for sure when the tobacco plant was first cultivated, but there is little
doubt about where. The native people of the American continent were undoubtedly
the first not only to grow, but also to smoke the plant, which probably first came
from the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico.
It was certainly used by the Maya of Central America, and when the Maya civilization
was broken up, the scattered tribes carried tobacco both southward into South
America, and to North America, where it was probably first used in the rites of the
Mississippi Indians. It didn't come to the attention of the rest of the world until
Christopher Columbus's momentous voyage of 1492.
Columbus himself was not particularly impressed by the custom, but soon Spanish
and other European sailors fell for the habit, followed by the conquistadors and
In due course the returning conquistadors introduced tobacco smoking to Spain and
Portugal. The habit, a sign of wealth, then spread to France, through the French
ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot (who eventually gave his name to nicotine, and
Nicotiana tabacum, the Latin name for tobacco).
The word tobacco, some say, was a corruption of Tobago, the name of a Caribbean
island. Others claim it comes from the Tabasco province of Mexico. Cohiba, a word
used by the Taino Indians of Cuba was thought to mean tobacco, but now is
considered to have referred to cigars. The word cigar originated from sikar, the
Mayan word for smoking.
Although the first tobacco plantation were set up in Virginia in 1612, and Maryland in
1631, tobacco was smoked only in pipes in the American colonies. The cigar itself is
thought not to have arrived until after 1762, when Israel Putnam, an American
general in the Revolutionary War, returned from Cuba, where he had been an officer
in the British army. He came back to his home in Connecticut with a selection of
Havana cigars, and large amounts of Cuban tobacco. Before long, cigar factories
were set up in the Hartford area.
Production of the leaves started in the 1820s, and Connecticut tobacco today
provides among the best wrapper leaves to be found outside Cuba. By the early 19th
century, not only were Cuban cigars being imported into the United States, but
domestic production was also taking off.


The habit of smoking cigars spread out to the rest of Europe from Spain, where
cigars using Cuban tobacco were made in Seville from 1717 onwards.
By 1790 cigar manufacture had spread north of the Pyrenees’s, with small factories
being setup in France and Germany. But cigar smoking didn't really takeoff in France
and Britain until after the Peninsula War (1806-12) against Napoleon, when returning
British and French veterans spread the habit they had learned while serving in Spain.
By this time the pipe had been replaced by snuff as the main way of taking tobacco,
and cigars now became the fashionable way of smoking it. Production of segars, as
they were known, began in Britain in 1820.
Soon there was a demand of higher quality cigars in Europe, and the Sevilla's, as
Spanish cigars were called, were superseded by those from Cuba (then a Spanish
colony), not least as the result of a decree by King Ferdinand VII of Spain in 1821.
Cigar smoking became such a widespread custom in Britain and France that smoking
cars became a feature of European trains, and the smoking room was introduced in
clubs and hotels. The habit even influenced clothing--with the introduction of the
smoking jacket. In France, tuxedos are still referred to as le smoking
It is widely believed that Christopher Columbus' crew discovered cigars while
exploring Cuba. The Cuban natives smoked a crude form of the modern day cigar
during religious ceremonies. The cigar was wrapped with maize and filled with
tobacco leaves. Columbus' crew quickly became accustomed to smoking the cigar
and brought back samples of the "Golden Leaf" to Spain.
Initially, the smoking of cigars was considered a pagan ritual punished by
imprisonment. In fact, one of Columbus' crew members was imprisoned for
smoking. However, after a few years, cigar smoking became widely accepted.
Eventually, Spain would build an entire industry around the cigar. Seville, Spain was
at the center of this and is recognized as being the birthplace of the modern cigar.
At first, Spain imported the raw materials from Cuba and assembled the cigars
themselves. However, in 1821 Spain allowed Cuba to manufacture Cigars and hence
the Cuban cigar was born. In appreciation for Spain's kind gesture, the Cubans would
deliver a box of their best cigars to the Spanish king every year. These cigars were
the fabled Trinidad's.
Cigars become popular in the United States during the Lincoln years. Factories
began to open in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The term stogie is
actually named after Conestoga, Pennsylvania where one of the first cigar factories
were built.
The cigar industry did well up until the 1960's when smoking became more of a
health concern amongst Americans. At the same time, the United States imposed an
embargo against Cuba making it illegal for US citizens to import goods from Cuba.
Today Cigars are back and are becoming extremely popular amongst men and
How are cigars made?
Cigars are made either by hand or by a machine. A handmade cigar is where the
tobacco leaves were picked, sorted, and bundled by an individual, not a machine.
The cigar itself was fashioned by a skilled cigar roller using a few simple tools. A
machine made cigar is where most or all of the cigar was made from a machine, and
many of the processing stages such as picking the leaves, grinding up the filler
tobacco, and rolling the cigar were completed by machine.


What is a premium cigar?
A premium or super-premium cigar is a cigar made by hand and should be consistent
from one cigar to the next. Premium cigars are constructed from three parts - the
filler, the binder, and the wrapper. The filler is the interior of the cigar. When the
term "long filler" is used, it means that the filler was constructed from full leaves.
These leaves are picked, stored, and aged intact, and are obviously handled with
great care.
Rolling long filler cigars takes great skill to insure that it burns evenly and smoothly.
The second type of filler is short filler. Short filler consists of loose clippings of leaves
that are leftover from the long filler production. The next part of the cigar in the
binder that consists of several layers of leaves that encircle the spirals of filler. As
the name implies, it forms the filler into a circular shape, so that the next, and final
component, the wrapper, can be applied.
Drugstore cigars vs. premium cigars?
Most packaged “drug store” cigars are machine made and include non-tobacco
ingredients such as paper, saltpeter (for burning) and PG of Glycerin (to prevent
them from drying out). Premium cigars are hand made and contain only tobacco.
Please see filler in the glossary to learn more about the tobacco within cigars.


   The particulars of Cigars and service techniques
◊ All proper cigar service is conducted from the left side of the guests.

                    The first thing you should do is closely examine the "head" of the
                    cigar - this is the closed end that needs to be clipped. Almost all
                    have what is called a "cap" - a bit of tobacco leaf used to close of
                    the end - you should be able to see how far down the length of the
                    cigar the cap goes by inspection.

Typically only a 1/4" - 3/8" or so; sometimes much less, and on figurado shapes sometimes quite
longer. Anyhow wherever the cap stops is your cutting limit - cut beneath the cap's line or even
too close and your cigar will start to unravel.

Cut the minimal amount possible while trying to open approx. 75%-85% of the cigar
end's surface area. Sometimes this means a cut as little as 1/32" down, where other
times almost 3/8" - it depends entirely on the individual cigar's roll and cap
What's a Cigar Cutter?
A cigar cutters is a tool used to open the cigar just enough to create a thick and satisfying
puff, or draw, but also to leave the cigar intact as much as possible. There are a few
different tools to accomplish this task, but they all have the same basic function - to
puncture or remove a portion of the cap.

                                  Types of Cutters
                      Creates a top-to-bottom slice that creates a v-shaped
                      wedge through the head of the cigar. Pros: Allows you to
                      keep the cap of the cigar intact. Creates a large enough
                      hole to draw easily. Cons: Difficult to use properly. Needs
                      extremely sharp blades. Blades hard to replace

        Cigar Drill
                             Used to drill a tiny hole about a half an inch into the
                             head of the cigar. Pros: Allows you to keep the cap
                             of the cigar intact. Cons: Creates a hole, which is
                             sometimes inadequate for drawing smoke through,
                             difficult to use properly.

        Puncture Cutter
                              Removes a plug approximately ¼ inch across from
                              the cigar’s head. Pros: Relatively easy to use.
                              Creates a large enough hole to draw easily. Allows
                              you to keep the cap of cigar intact. Cons: Can
                              cause improperly humidified cigars to split. Doesn’t
                              work on cigars with pointed ends.


       Single Bladed Guillotine
                     A blade slides up and down in a track through a hole in
                     which you insert the head of the cigar removing the tip
                     of the cap. Pros: Creates a large enough hole to draw
                     easily. Easy to use. Cons: May make a rough-cut
                     across cap. Needs extremely sharp blades. Blades hard
                     to replace.

       Double Bladed Guillotine
                           Two blades sliding in opposite directions up and
                           down in their tracks through a hole in which you
                           insert the head of the cigar removing the tip of
                           the cap. Pros: Creates a large enough hole to
                           draw easily. Easy to use. Cons: Inexpensive dual
                           blades can be out of line with each other. Needs
       extremely sharp blades. Blades hard to replace. May make a rough-cut
       across cap.

       Scissors Cutter
                             Look like normal scissors except they have
                             rounded edge blades especially made for cutting
                             off the tip of the cigar. Pros: Can cut any size
                             and shape cigar. Cons: Hard to judge amount
                             being cut off. Needs extremely sharp blades.

Proper Lighting of a Cigar:

1. If you use a match, wooden
matches are best. Wait until the sulfur
burns off before using it to light the
cigar. Long cedar matches are the
best. Otherwise you can take strips of
cedar wood and light them using them
in the same manner as a wooden
match. This is the classic method.

        2. If you use a lighter, use a
        butane one. The gasoline
        based ones impart a foul
        flavor to your smoke.

                  3. Celebrity Cruises recommends that you CHAR or preheat the
                  foot (the open end) by slowly rolling the cigar above the flame at
                  an angle allowing a tiny black ring forms all the way around the
                  wrapper. Don't allow the flame to touch the cigar.


4. The cigar is then ready to light. Have the guest place the cigar in their mouth,
and they should draw in as you repeat the lighting process. They should slowly roll
the cigar at an angle above the flame, but never letting the lighter flame actually
touch the cigar. Approximately a 1/2 inch or so away. What appears to happen is the
flame seems to leap from lighter or match up onto the foot of the cigar, even though
the cigar should never come in direct contact with the lighter's flame. Remember
they should slowly spin the cigar to establish an even burn.

5. If the burn appears uneven, repeat the previous step on the appropriate side to
even the burn. If it is just a bit uneven, gently blow on the end in the appropriate
place to intensify the heat there, and will then have the guest take a couple of
steady draws on the cigar. Then just have them wait a minute before continuing to
puff. This short delay seems to allow the cigar a chance to stabilize and self correct
the burn.

6. If the cigar happens to go out, guests should remove the burnt ash, gently blow
through the cigar to clear out the old smoke, then re-light using the same process as
outlined above.

Classical Cigar Shapes by Length:
Ring size is the cigar's diameter, measured in 64ths of an inch. Thus a 32-ring cigar
will measure 1/2 inch in diameter. Although many catalogs list ring sizes, they may
deviate from each by a couple of points on specific cigars.

                                                            Small Panatela (5" x 33)
                                                            Short Panatela (5" x 38)
                                                            Slim Panatela (6" x 34)
                                                            Panatela (6" x 38)
                                                            Long Panatela (7 1/2" x 38)
                                                            Petit Corona (5" x 42)
                                                            Corona (5 1/2" x 42)
                                                            Corona Extra (5 1/2" x 46)
                                                            Robusto1 (5" x 50)
                                                            Long Corona (6" x 42)
                                                            Toro (6" x 50)
                                                            Lonsdale (6 1/2" x 42)
                                                            Grand Corona (6 1/2" x 46)
                                                            Churchill2 (7" x 47)
                                                            Giant Corona (7 1/2" x 44)
                                                            Double Corona (7 3/4" x 49)
                                                            Petite Belicoso (5" x 50)
                                                            Belicoso (6" x 50)
                                                            Torpedo (6 1/2" x 52)
                                                            Pyramid (7" x various)
                                                            Giant4 (9" x52)


The Ten Things to Know About Cigar Wrappers
The cigar wrapper isn't just one more component to a cigar -- it carries the majority
of the cigar's flavor and nearly all of its aesthetic appeal. In fact, publications like
The Cigar Encyclopedia and Cigar Aficionado suggest that the wrapper is responsible
for 60% or more of the cigar's flavor and value. With more diverse wrappers being
released than ever before, getting a handle on their styles and terminology has
never been more important. Fortunately, comprehending these subtleties is easy
with a little effort. The following ten points will help you understand, identify and
discuss the majority of cigar wrappers available today.
1. The Concept of Veins:
When blind tasting a cigar, aficionados will look at the veins in the wrapper. In the
case of shade grown wrappers, the smaller and smoother these veins are, the higher
the tobacco leaf quality. The wrapper should be appropriately thick and have an oily
feel -- suggesting that it is not dried out or brittle. As a rule, cigar wrappers are aged
for at least a year or two, and the longer they age the smoother they will smoke.
2. Understanding Shade Grown vs. Sun Grown:
Tobacco plants that are grown specifically for wrappers beneath a shaded tent are
called Shade Grown. The reason these leaves are grown in the shade is to keep their
surface smoother and prevent the veins from becoming too large. Leaves grown
directly in the sun, after all, are forced to become resilient to the heat and grow thick
with more veins. In contrast to Shade Grown wrappers, tobacco grown in direct
sunlight, called Sun Grown, produces a thick, dark wrapper. If grown correctly, Sun
Grown wrappers will have more sweetness.
3. American Market Standard (AMS) Wrappers:
Once popular in the United States, these wrappers are light green and have a sour
characteristic. They are sometimes referred to as Candela, Jade and Double Claro.
Because of the off-color and sourness, they are out of favor with today's tastes.
4. English Market Standard (EMS) Wrappers:
The English Market Standard has roots that go back to the 19th century and is the
benchmark for most cigar wrappers manufactured today. It includes the term Claro,
Colorado and Natural (in ascending order from lighter to darker). Wrappers in this
group are grown in Cuba, Cameroon and Connecticut.
5. Why are Two Countries Sometimes Referenced?
As the number of creative cigar makers grow, experimenting with growing different
tobacco seeds in different regions is becoming more common. It is not unusual to
find a wrapper labeled Dominican Sumatra, or Ecuadorian Connecticut. In the case of
Dominican Sumatra, it means that the seeds from Sumatran tobacco have been
transplanted to Ecuador and grown there. The first country is always the place in
which the wrapper was grown, and the second country is the origin of the seed.
6. Sumatra:
Sumatra wrappers are grown in Indonesia and typically carry a milder, more neutral
flavor. They are dark brown with a hint of spice and a sweet aroma.
7. Connecticut Shade Wrappers:
Perhaps the silkiest wrappers around, Connecticut Shade wrappers are recognizable
for their light, golden brown color. They are mild and have remarkably unobtrusive
veins. For more flavor, look for the seed grown in Honduras or the volcanic soil of


8. Broadleaf Maduro:
This sun grown leaf is grown in Connecticut, Honduras, Ecuador, Costa Rica,
Nicaragua and Brazil. As to be expected from the Maduro method, it is very dark
with rich, sweet flavors and aromas. Though the wrapper will be thick and veiny, a
well crafted one will have a texture like velvet.
9. Claro:
These are synonymous with Jade wrappers. They are light in color and can even be a
bit green. Becoming harder and harder to find, they are mild with a hint of sourness.
10. Cameroon:
African-raised Cameroon wrappers are becoming increasingly popular among cigar
makers, who are developing an appreciation for their spicy flavor and sweet aromas.
They are dark brown and can be found in cigars made by Alec Bradley, Arturo
Fuente, and La Aurora, among others.

Wrapper Types:
                                          DOUBLE CLARO (also called Candela or
                                          American Market Select)- green to
                                          greenish brown. Picking the leaf before it
                                          reaches maturity, and then drying it
                                          rapidly achieve the color. Very mild,
                                          almost bland with very little oil.
                                          CLARO - light tan. Usually this is the color
                                          of shade grown tobacco. Connecticut
                                          Shade wrappers are said to be some of
                                          the finest in the world. Shade grown
                                          tobacco is grown under large canopies to
                                          protect the tobacco from harsh sunlight.
Neutral flavor and smooth smoking.
NATURAL - (also called English Market Select) light brown to brown. These are most
often sun grown, meaning canopies like shade grown leaves do not protect them.
Fuller bodied flavor than shade grown leaves, but still very smooth.
COLORADO CLARO - mid-brown, tawny. (For example, brands such as Dominican
Partagas or Fuentes, using Camaroon wrappers.)
COLORADO - reddish dark brown, aromatic. A cigar with this wrapper tastes robust
and rich.
COLORADO MADURO - dark brown, medium strength, slightly more aromatic the
maduro. Usually gives a rich flavor, as found in many of the best Honduran cigars.
MADURO - dark brown to very dark brown. These usually have more texture and
veining than the lighter wrappers. They are often described as oily looking, with
stronger taste - sweet to some palates with a unique aroma.
OSCURO - very dark brown or almost black. They are the strongest tasting of all
wrappers. These wrappers tend to be from Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, or Connecticut
The term EMS or English Market Selection is a broad one, which refers to brown
cigars- anything other double claro, (EMS) essentially.
The darker the color, the sweeter and stronger the flavor is likely to be, and the
greater the oil and sugar content of the wrapper. Darker wrappers will normally have
spent longer on the tobacco plant. or come from higher altitudes: the extra exposure
to sunlight produces both oil (as protection) and sugar (through photosynthesis).
They will also have been fermented for longer.


                                Binder leaves are the intermediate leaf used to hold
                                the bunch of filler tobacco together. These vary
                                considerably from one manufacturer to the next.

                                Filler is the bunch of tobacco found at the center of
                                the cigar. Generally the filler is responsible for
                                determining how strong a cigar will smoke. There are
                                two types of filler: long filler, which contains the
                                whole leaf running from the head to the foot of the
                                cigar, and short filler, comprised of scraps of tobacco
                                (often the trimmed ends of long fillers).
                                The blending of wrappers, fillers and binders
                                determines the overall flavor of a cigar. There is an
                                art to blending tobaccos and as you smoke different
                                cigars, you will notice how the various tobaccos
                                interplay with one another.

Body, strength, flavor, and blends:
All too often, smokers confuse, or blur together, the concept of body, strength and
flavor in a cigar. Smoke volume does indeed relate to these factors as well. Most
smokers define a cigar's character to two primary components:
     1. BODY (or 'strength', and even 'intensity')
     2. FLAVOR (the 'taste' that characterizes a particular cigar)
A full-bodied cigar would be perceived as 'strong', but not necessarily as 'flavorful' -
naturally, the converse is also true. Incidentally, many veteran smokers favor cigars
characterized by both full body, and full flavor.

As an illustration... Many inexperienced smokers mistakenly assume that all Cuban
cigars are 'full bodied' - in fact, a large number of the great Cuban cigars are prized
for their 'delicate' (what some might regard as medium or even light) body. A classic
case in point is the larger Cuban Hoyos (and many of the Cuban Montecristos), which
are characterized by their unrivaled complexity of 'taste' (full flavor), and relatively
mild (as compared to other Cuban cigars) body. Likewise, there are a few Cuban
cigars that are found be to quite strong (full bodied), but not very flavorful (some of
the Sancho Panza, and El Rey Del Mundo come to mind).

While it is true that a smoker will select a type of cigar on the basis of body (full,
medium or light), many assume (wrongly) that all smokers desire cigars that are full
flavored. Just as some individuals are put off by 'full flavored' cuisine (Szechwan, or
Cajun for example) some smokers desire cigars that are more 'gently' flavored (the
Macanudos are a prime example).

In a discussion of cigar body and flavor, of paramount consideration is experience,
and a frame of reference. As one embarks on learning about cigars, a Dominican
Republic Cohiba might be perceived as a wonderfully robust smoke -- however, after
a year or two of smoking, that same cigar will cause the smoker to wonder if the
manufacturer altered the blend of this 'once' great smoke. It's all a matter of


                              Descriptive terms:
General Descriptors:
Bitter / dry / medium-bodied / full-bodied / green / harsh / mild / rich / sharp /
sour / sweet / tangy / tart
From The Spice Rack:
cinnamon / clove / nutmeg / pepper (peppery) / black pepper / hot pepper / white
pepper / rosemary / spice (spicy) / aged spice / dried spice / sweet spice
What's For Dessert?:
burnt sugar / butterscotch / caramel / toffee / chocolate / burnt chocolate / dark
chocolate / milk-chocolate / cocoa / cocoa bean / fruit / dried fruit / ripe fruit / citrus
(citrus) / burnt citrus / dried citrus / dried orange peel / raisins / licorice / nut
(nutty) / roasted nut / almond / chestnut / walnut
toast (toasty)
coffee / dark coffee / roasted coffee / dark roasted coffee / roasted coffee bean /
cream (creamy) / tea
Back to Nature:
earth (earthy) / flint (flinty) / flowers (floral, flowery) / herbs (herbaceous) / peat
(peat-like) / sand (sandy) / straw / dry straw / vegetation (vegetal) / grass (grassy)
/ leaf (leafy) / stems (stemmy) /
weeds (weedy) / wood (woody) / sweet wood / dry wood / cedar (cedary) / aged
cedar / balsa wood / dried balsa wood / paper (papery) / dry paper /
chemical / camphor / leather (leathery) / metal (metallic)

              Cigars are naturally hydroscopic products. In common with many
              organic substances, they dry out in the absence of humidity in the air,
              or absorb moisture from the ambient air. They establish an equilibrium
              with the atmospheric humidity, which surrounds them.
               At 68% a cigar will slowly dry out and loose essential oils. At 74% and
               higher, organic molecules will break down out-of-order, producing
               unwanted tastes. More importantly, at 80% or higher, you're leaving
               your stogies wide open to grow mold. Neither cigars nor humidors are a
particularly sterile environment.
Note that these are relative humidity’s - cigars should be stored at 70 - 73% RH
regardless of temperature.


Glossary of Common Cigar Terms:
The following is a dictionary of tobacco terminology. It includes among other things;
colors, parts, size, shape, etc. The information is provided in an effort to assist you
in your pursuit of tobacco enjoyment.

American Market Selection, a green colored outer wrapper on a cigar.
Paper placed around the cigar, usually near the head, originally used to protect white gloves
from tobacco stains. Merchants quickly seized the idea and began using it as a place to put
their font mark (brand name). This allowed them to distinguish their cigars from that of their
competitors. The band is now just an advertising means.
A single leaf of tobacco that is wound around the filler of the cigar to hold it together.
The main or middle of the cigar. The part between the head and foot of the cigar. The part of
the cigar that is usually held by the fingers of the smoker.
Refers to the cigar when it consists of the filler and the binder, prior to the application of the
wrapper leaf.
A group of cigars that are bundled together rather than boxed.
Comparable to the English Market Selection or EMS wrapper. The term cafe is used by General
Cigar to describe the wrapper leaves used on the Macanudo line of premium cigars.
A wrapper from the African Camaroons.
A green colored wrapper. This tobacco is cured under very high heat.
Named after Winston Churchill. A man who smoked BIG, cigars. As you can guess, the
Churchill is a large cigar.
A light golden brown wrapper. Also called natural.
A medium brown wrapper.
The process of removing moisture from freshly harvested tobacco.
A device for clipping the end off a cigar. Some resemble scissors with curved blades; others
look like small guillotines for making a straight or V-shaped notch. In addition one variety
looks like a .44 magnum bullet and another a fountain pen, they pull apart to reveal a punch
that cuts a round hole in the end of the cigar.
Double Claro is the result of picking the leaves prior to full maturity and quickly drying it.
Sometimes referred to as American Market Selection. Macanudo calls this shade "Jade". Cigars
with this wrapper are very, very mild!
Wrapper leaves that are slightly lighter in color than maduro.
The tobacco that makes up the heart or center of the cigar. There are two main types of filler,
short and long. The filler is responsible for most of the flavor and smoking quality. Short filler
consists of leaves that have been cut into many small pieces. The majority of machine made
cigars are done so with short filler. Long filler on the other hand consists of tobacco leaves,


not pieces, that run the length of the cigar. Long filler cigars are preferred as they buy better
and allow for a more consistent draw.

Also called the "tuck". The part of the cigar that is lit.
This is a simple device, which clips the capped end off of the cigar, leaving a straight, open
circular end.
The end of the cigar that is placed in the mouth.
The tobacco that makes up the heart or center of the cigar. There are two main types of filler,
short and long. Long filler on the other hand consists of tobacco leaves, not pieces, that run
the length of the cigar. Long filler cigars are preferred as they buy better and allow for a more
consistent draw.
A Spanish term, which means the darkest tobacco. A dark brown wrapper.
A very dark wrapper. BLACK in color.
This is a device, which merely punctures the cap of the cigar by creating a hole in its center.
Several tools are available for this purpose. Some even come in the form of a key chain.
One variety looks like a .44 magnum bullet and another a fountain pen, they pull apart to
reveal a punch that cuts a round hole in the end of the cigar.
As the name implies, a cigar that resembles a pyramid, torpedo of triangle in appearance. It
tapers from a larger ring gauge at the foot to a smaller one at the head of the cigar.
The diameter of a cigar is referred to a the ring gauge. It is a measurement equal to 1/64 of
an inch. A 64-ring gauge would be one inch in thickness and a 32-ring gauge would be 1/2
inch thick.
Tobacco, usually the wrapper leaf of a cigar. For mildness, the wrapper is grown under tents
and is not exposed to sunlight.
The tobacco that makes up the heart or center of the cigar. There are two main types of filler,
short and long. Short filler consists of leaves that have been cut into many small pieces. The
majority of machine made cigars are done so with short filler.
A cigar that is placed in a tube.
A cigar that is placed in a tube. Most tubes are aluminum while some are glass.
This again is a simple device, which makes a V-shaped slit in the cap of the cigar. Its
appearance is similar to a cat's eye when viewed from the end of the cigar.
The outermost tobacco leaf of the cigar. It must be free of holes, tears and other
imperfections. The wrapper can provide clues to the quality and flavor of the cigar. It plays a
very important part in the flavor and burn quality of the cigar.


                 The Art of Blind Tasting a Cigar
                        Master the art of the blind tasting
                by following the five easy steps outlined below.
As is the case when enjoying food or wine, the aesthetic of the item you are
sampling is half of the appeal and half of the fun. For cigars, this largely pertains to
the wrapper and the overall facade. Look for veins in the wrapper leaf. Is the
wrapper smooth, dry and brittle, dark, light, silky, gritty, oily or coarse? Make
observations on whatever comes to your mind. Remember: the idea is to capture
your initial impression. At heart, did you like the look and feel of the cigar? Was it
attractive to you? Or was it beat-up, brittle and worn-out? Rate your impression of
the aesthetics on a scale of one to ten, pretending that you were judging an Olympic
event. Don't be shy about withholding or offering decimal points for minor details.
As you prepare to light the cigar, roll it between your fingers. Does it have soft
spots? What is the weight like? Does it feel dense or light? Take in the aroma before
you light it. Is it pleasing? As you light the cigar, pay particular attention to the
draw. Does the smoke pull through on its own? Does the cigar appear to burn evenly
with little effort? Take a look at the ash. Note the color and the texture. Use
adjectives like flaky, solid and messy. Take notes on all of these characteristics both
before and after you light the cigar. Rate your ultimate impression on a scale of one
to ten.
Flavor and Strength
One of the easiest observations for a blind taster to make is whether the cigar is full-
bodied or mild. Look for undertones that seem musty, sweet, harsh, floral, robust,
green or salty. Write them down along with if they were pleasing or not.
As the cigar is smoked, does the flavor increase or decrease? Did it steer towards
more complex flavors or end in bitterness? As with wine, the after-taste is key: the
sensation that remains in your mouth after each puff is an important reflection of
quality. Spend a few moments thinking about how the after-taste makes you feel.
Are you eager to take another puff to get rid of it, or is it something that you want to
linger? Take notes on the overall aroma of the cigar as you smoke it. Use adjectives
like grassy, harsh, woodsy, overpowering, unpleasant and floral. Rate your
observations on a scale of one to ten.
General Comments
This element is important for context. Some cigars are repulsive early in the day but
absolute perfection in the evening after a meal. If the cigar you are sampling seems
like it has potential but doesn't create synergy with the mood you are in at that
moment, set another one aside for tasting at a different time. Cigars can reflect on
seasons, times of day and moods just like anything else. Use this category to make
notes on what mood would fit the cigar and whether it's something you would like to
enjoy often or rarely. Feel free to use this area to make overall observations such as,
"All in all it was not memorable," or, "This cigar had the ultimate experience you
could have." Rate this category on a scale of one to ten.


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