Liquor & Wine
We have provided a brief synopsis of the major categories of spirits that can be found at Montana Spirits & Wine. Don't forget to check out our Bartender Page, which hosts several links to websites that specialize in exciting, creative mixed drinks. Feel free to call for price quotes or to check on the availability of products.
WineMontana Spirits & Wine offers over 1500 labels including hard to find items and a very solid selections in all of the major varietals of wines. Be sure to ask about case discounts on still and sparkling wines.
VodkaVodka can be made from a variety of substances that contain starch, although the finer more expensive premium vodkas are made from grain or potatoes. During the process of making vodka, water is used twice; once at the beginning for mashing and then again when diluting the spirit prior to filtration. A highly controlled distillation process is what creates the purity of the vodka. After fermentation the mash produced contains hundreds of flavoring compounds and different alcohols, these must be eliminated in the vodka distilling process. To achieve this vodka may be distilled 2, 3, 4 or possibly more times. The result of this is nearly pure ethanol. The main problem with this is that the vodka now tastes of nothing. To combat this, the pure product may then be added to other vodka that has aged in wood. This allows the vodka to retain some character and identification. Finally the vodka will go through a filtration process. This takes the rough edge off the vodka and replaces it with a slightly smoother taste. The most common filtration process is to pass the vodka through activated charcoal. Different companies have different methods for filtration, ranging from repeated filtration over silver birch and quartz sand to allegedly being filtered through diamonds. A recent step that has been added to the production of vodka is the addition of flavors after filtration. This step has helped to vastly increase the popularity of vodkas – especially in bars and nightclubs.
GinGin is a flavored, clear spirit. All gin is flavored with botanicals like juniper berry, lemon, coriander seeds, fruit, and so on. Unlike liqueurs, where flavorings are added to the distilled spirits, gin is made by re-distilling the spirit with the flavorings, either with the flavoring ingredients in the still, or by passing the vapor through the flavoring agents during distillation. The name comes from the word “genievre,” which is French for juniper.
TequillaDistilled from the blue agave plant, tequila’s origins and production methods are often misunderstood. Although the blue agave is often mistaken for a species of cactus, it is actually a member of the lily family and has an appearance similar to that of a large yucca. Authentic tequila must be made with a minimum of 51% blue agave extract. The blue agave may only be harvested, and the tequila may only be produced, in five Mexican states: Jalisco, Guanajuanto, Michoacan, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. Tequila must be distilled twice, and if aged, only in oak barrels. Labels must include the words, “Henche en Mexico,” (Made in Mexico), the producer’s registration and ID number, plus the age of the tequila. Ages of tequilas designate how long they have been in an oak cask after distillation:
Muy Anejo means the tequila has been “very aged” in a barrel at least two years.
Anejo means the tequila has been “aged” in a barrel at least one year.
Reposado means that the tequila has been “rested” in a barrel between 2 months and 1 year.
Oro means “gold” tequila and has been aged up to 2 months.
Blanco, “white or silver” tequila is either unaged or aged less than two weeks.
Cognac • BrandyAll brandies are derived from distilled wines. Although the most popular method of making brandy is to use distilled grape wines, any fermented fruit may be used in the production of brandy. The name, “Brandy” comes from the Dutch word, “brandewijn” meaning “burnt wine,” stemming from the process in which the wine has been “burnt,” or boiled in order to distill it.
RumUsing sugar and/or molasses as a base ingredient, rum is normally produced in equatorial climates that boast excellent sugar cane production. After adding yeast, the rum is fermented and distilled. Colorless after distillation, many manufacturers then age rum in used whiskey barrels that have been constructed of oak and charred inside. This process will color and mellow the final product prior to bottling.
WhiskyDistilled mainly in copper stills, American whiskies can take several forms. To earn a designation of “Straight Whiskey,” a product must contain a minimum of 51% of a particular grain. Examples of this include rye, wheat, or corn. Blended whiskey is a mixture that may contain a minimum of 20% straight whiskey, a blend of straight whiskies, coloring, flavoring, other blended whiskies, or even neutral grain spirits. Bourbon whiskey is a separate designation. Bourbon Whiskey is legally considered a distinctive product of the United States. Distilled from a minimum of 51% and a maximum of 79% corn, bourbon must be aged in new, unused charred barrels constructed from American oak. Additionally, and unlike other various whiskies from around the world, no colorings or flavorings may be added to the product to achieve a richer colored tint. The maturing whiskey is stored for years in vast, dark, aromatic warehouses. Here it rests in fine oak casks, some of which have been used previously for Sherry or Port. While the whiskey matures, there is a complex interaction between the whiskey, natural wood extracts, and the air which 'breathes' through the wood of the cask, giving a unique, mellow bouquet to the whiskey.
ScotchDistilled only in Scotland, Scotch whisky starts with a process very similar to the production of beer. Pure barley is malted and then brewed prior to distillation. Distillation occurs in unique, teardrop-shaped, copper pot stills that are credited with imparting each distillery’s unique flavor profile. Experts consider the exact size and shape of the pot stills to be so crucial that when old stills must be replaced, they are duplicated precisely, right down to the dents and patches. After distillation, the whisky is matured in oak casks, many of which have been previously used to age other wines or spirits. Port barrels, sherry barrels, and even used bourbon barrels will impart subtle taste variations on a single batch of distilled Scotch whisky.
Fortified WinesPort Wine, Sherry, Madiera, or Marsala which may only be purchased from a liquor store due to the higher alcohol content. Depending upon the quality of the fortified wine, it may be drank or used for cooking.
LIQUERES AND CORDIALS
Every imaginable flavor and taste profile is available. Call us to see if we have what you need.