The Distillates Tasting Series

A Tasting Series for The Honest Nerd.

Spirits are vehicle for stories. For connections between humans. To distill the land to something so expressive and unique as a moment in time; to give hands a voice; That is art. And yet so often distillates are encapsulated is so much marketing bullshit or corporate hooah that the true fan can’t find the heart beat. This tasting series was born from relentless curiosity and a love of chitter chatter.

The Community: The Distillates nurtures a private slack group to coordinate tastings, splits and group buys. We are a community of ~150 active and fairly obsessive spirit enthusiasts from around the globe; heavily centered in Europe & USA but with members in Australia, Asia and Africa. We’ve grown to include a great mix of uber-geeks, highly reputable shops (e.g. Off Premise, Baytown), indie bottlers (e.g. Grape of The Arts, L’encantada,New England Barrel Co), and importers (e.g. PM Spirits, MFB, Armagnac.de). In Sep 2022, as a result of much nagging, I set up a parallel Facebook group to coordinate communications.

The Tastings: I lined up a distillates tasting series intended to stretch our imagination. I want to introduce new spirits, highlight different parts of the globe, and surface brands that aren’t globally recognized or provide unusual angles on well established houses. We’re talking about “warehouse tastings”; Pillaging casks, deconstructing blends, exploring aging or specific marques, and trying experimental batches. My goal is to tickle our curiosity and make people think. And more than anything, we wanted direct access to the makers and the dreamers. So we are bringing you along for the ride.

How this Works

The Set: The brand and I coordinate a lineup of something special. The sets are typically between 6 – 12 samples @ 30-50ml depending on the game plan. They set the price point. I don’t mark up the sets at all and our money goes 100% to the brand. We cap each tasting at 30 sets, to keep it as a real conversation.

Shipping: The sets get sent all over the world, in large part thanks to the brands support. In some cases, the brands aren’t used to shipping direct to consumer and then we coordinate with proxies in Europe and the USA who are willing to help. We have participants from Asia, Africa, Australia as well, but will figure out shipping on a case by case basis.

The Conversation: Once all the sets have landed, I work with the brand to figure out a Saturday that works for them. We typically do these evening European time, mid day Americas time. While I wish we could pre-book the tasting date at time of sale, we have had shipping take weeks and we have had it take months, so patience it is. Then we get on zoom for a handful of hours with the distiller, master blender or bottler and we pull back layers. The methods and the madness. Both art and heart.

How to Participate

These are invite only but that doesn’t mean they are exclusive. Just that I like to coordinate who is attending. To get invited, join the group on Facebook, and DM me (Shane Pearlman) and I’ll drop you a link to the slack community where most of the action is. Please note that these are private tasting events, and participation is not guaranteed.

I’ve got some pretty amazing confirmations, and a lot in the works, with household brands, major up and comers and some fun and bizarre jaunts. I’d love for any and all help from y’all and your network to make additional amazing ops come to life. Think we should try something? The more doors we open, the more fun this gets.

2022 Tasting Series: Eau De Curiosity

Tasting #01 : JLP Folle Blanche Family Cask Vertical (Cognac) w/ Amy & Jean Pasquet done

Tasting #02 : L’encantada Unreleased Domaines (Armagnac) w/ Vincent Cornu done

Tasting #03 : Grosperrin Pre WW2 (Cognac) w/ Guilhem Grosperrin delayed due to logistics or just cancelled

Tasting #04 : Eau de Terroir (Marc de Bourgogne) w/ Nicolas Julhes confirmed & sold out

Tasting #05 : Dunsville’s Warehouse Tasting (Old Irish Whisky)  With Graeme Millar & Jarlath Watson done

Tasting #06 : Ron Aldea Warehouse Tasting (Rhum “Agricole” from La Palma) w/ Jose Manuel Quevedo & Francisco Perez confirmed & sold out

Tasting #07 : Belgrove Distillery Warehouse Tasting (Rye Whisky Tasmania) w/ Peter Bignell confirmed & sold out

Tasting #8: A bloom in the desert, Neta Micro-batch Agave (Mezcal) with Nikki Nakawa & Max Rosenstock confirmed & sold  

Tasting #9: Dreams of Shochu w/ Jake Tennenbaum confirmed & sold

Tasting #10 : Somerset & Capreolus Apple of My Isle (Apple Brandy) w/ Barney Wilczak & Matlida Temperley confirmed & sold out

Tasting #11 : The Poitin Revolution : Killowen & Baolleach (Poitin) w/ Brendan Carty & Michael O’Boyle open

Tasting #12 : Dram Fool Warehouse Tasting (Scotch) w/ Bruce Farquhar & Collin Fraser finalizing