Spirit: Whiskey-Based Pre-Batched Cocktail
Distillery: Sunday’s Finest
Aged: 8yr Kentucky Bourbon & 5yr Indiana Rye
About The Company:
“Robert Haynes is the co-founder and creator of the Gold Fashioned, the world’s first luxury ready-to-drink cocktail. Over the years, Robert has consulted for renowned bar programs locally, nationally, and internationally.
Robert started out in the hospitality industry in 2007 as part of the opening team of the iconic Chicago cocktail bar, The Violet Hour. In 2012, Robert teamed up with Letherbee Distillers to develop and launch BËSK. It’s a Swedish-style wormwood liqueur that was not only an industry favorite, but sought out by consumers internationally. The following year, Robert opened the critically-acclaimed Analogue in Logan Square as Partner and Beverage Director.
In 2017, Robert launched Apologue, a line of all natural, award-winning liqueurs featuring unique, palate-provoking ingredients. Robert has continually stayed at the cutting edge of cocktail culture, and with Sunday’s Finest Gold Fashioned he’s pushed the envelope yet again – bringing a new level of hospitality into the comforts of home.”
About The Gold Fashioned:
“Originating in the early 19th century and historically made with whiskey, bitters, sugar and water, a properly crafted Old Fashioned cocktail is a splendid thing.
With the introduction of the Gold Fashioned, Sunday’s Finest takes this elegant classic to the next level. We’ve crafted what we believe to be the ultimate Old Fashioned cocktail – providing you with a perfectly-balanced, uncompromising, and unparalleled drinking experience.”
Notes & Review
Nose: Strong orange peel and molasses nose (most likely from the demerara sugar). There are undertones of vanilla bean and walnut.
Palate: There is a nice sweetness from the demerara sugar and vanilla that are the main focus of the cocktail. If it had been traditional simple syrup, that might have been a negative, but the molasses and earthy sweetness from the unbleached sugar gives it a nice platform for more fruity notes of the orange and the earthy notes of the spice to play a supporting role.
The butterscotch from the bourbon is well supported by the sweetness and the rye gives it a little body and earthiness so it doesn’t get overwhelmed.
The chocolate begins to swell at the end of the palate, but doesn’t quite becomes a central player.
Finish: The saffron and chocolate take up their strongest presence here. There’s a nice spiced note and a familiar sharp, sweet, and floral taste that comes with a quality saffron rather than the metallic taste of a cheap imitation.
The chocolate never overwhelms the flavor and blends nicely with the remaining notes of vanilla and demerara to give it a satisfying finish.
Review: Listen. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh my sweet Kentucky bourbon! There’s absolutely no way I would spend $150 on a flipping pre-batched cocktail.”
I know. I hear you. I feel you. But, hear me out on this one.
I’m really surprised to be typing this right now. But, it’s actually a pretty dang good cocktail. I’m typically not a fan of pre-batched cocktails, but this one is done really well. The ingredients taste like they’re high quality, the flavors are good and in balance, and there’s a uniqueness that give it a few dimensions of difference from a traditional old fashioned.
Now, let’s do some quick math.
You’d get just over eight 3oz cocktails out of a bottle, meaning each cocktail comes to about $19 for a full cocktail. The proof of the cocktail is nearly 85 proof, meaning it’s not a gimmick with a low ABV where you could just suck them down without feeling a buzz.
It’s actually a pretty substantial proof for a pre-batched cocktail, and, if you haven’t paid $19 for a disappointing cocktail at some ritzy bar charging $20+ a glass, have you even lived?
When you break it down like that, the price tag doesn’t seem so incredibly eye-popping. Especially since it is actually a good and unique cocktail, so it’s got that going for it.
The demerara sugar seems to be the platform upon which the other flavors swell, and it compliments the butterscotch notes of the bourbon, while the rye gives it a little backbone so it’s not overwhelmed. It was really smart of them to include the rye blend in the pour to help balance it and give it some more earthiness for the cocoa and saffron to latch onto, as well as the molasses to bridge the sweetness and the earthiness so the flavor notes meld rather that conflict with each other.
Bottom line, should you buy it?
We don’t know. If you’re into quality cocktails, impressing your friends with the great presentation, story, and packaging, and have the cash to burn at $19 a cocktail, then yeah! By all means, go for it. Worst case scenario you impress people with the story and presentation of the Gold Fashioned which is worth its weight in gold… fashioned (I’m sorry, I had to). Best case, you like it as much as we did and it was worth every penny.
Greg Sinadinos started his spirits journey writing a whiskey periodical for Fine Tobacco NYC Magazine. He began answering review requests under a social media page he named “Whiskey Culture,” which quickly merged with Greg’s passion for connecting with others and his interest in history.
Today, Greg travels the country not just looking for great whiskey, but also exploring the history and individuals that the whiskey community is founded upon. He has authored “Whiskey History From Around The World” and is the host of “The Rickhouse” web series.