The 1850 Cocktail {a bottled cocktail from Fluid Dynamics}

To continue my four-part review of my experience touring one of the distilling facilities owned by Germain-Robin (see my St. Nick Cocktail post for the first part), I am going to take a moment to share the 1850 Cocktail and some other tidbits about the spirit and cocktail production at Fluid Dynamics, Germain-Robin, and Craft Distillers. The 1850 Cocktail is simply a gorgeous expression of what The Craft Distillers are all about. My fiancee and I learned this very quickly during visit to the distillery.

The 1850 Cocktail from Fluid Dynamics

On our tour, our congenial host, Crispin Cain, showed us the entire facility and gave us the run down on everything that has come out of this special place, everything that lied there in quiet anticipation soon to grace thirsty zealots.

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Shown below is a picture of the column still used to distill most of the flavored vodkas and gins (more on these later). I had never seen one in person, and was taken aback by its beauty of artistic precision, a rare case of form following function! It was in front of this stunning device that Cain introduced us to their barrel-aged, bottled cocktail program.

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The folks at Fluid Dynamics by way of Craft Distillers have developed a small handful of in-house cocktails that they bottle and sell–their own versions of a number of classics. They blend these well-balanced cocktails first and then let them rest in 55 gallon oak barrels for about 6 weeks. After many trials and errors, they learned that adding bitters into the mix didn’t allow the cocktail to age well, so they omitted the bitters and suggest that the imbiber add bitters at home when serving the cocktail. They may or may not have been the first distillery to pre-blend, age, and then bottle a cocktail, but they certainly set the standard. I’ve had the pleasure to try most of these, all worthy of their own praise. But it’s the 1850 Cocktail that truly shines here. And it’s worth more than gushy prose. It simply deserves pure, precise, and honest reverence of the same caliber that it itself exudes.

Fluid Dynamics bottled cocktail - The 1850 Cocktail

I’m sipping The 1850 Cocktail now, and it’s breathtaking. Better than I could have imagined. This barrel-aged, bottled version of the Sazerac is a game changer for me. No other will quite embody its smooth, balanced purity. The Sazerac is, quite literally, the ur-cocktail, and before the recipe was altered in 1873 to utilize rye whisky, the original recipe from 1850, this cocktail’s namesake, was based on French brandy. This exemplary take on the original is worth seeking out.

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It pours a sumptuous golden amber, capturing the sun’s warmth in every facet. (Sometimes, I find myself flirting with pretension when I spend too much time enjoying the aroma of a whisky or wine, but here, I’d spend the waning hours of the day enjoying this beauty’s radiant color. Honestly.) On the nose, it expresses  the floral sweetness of an early summer evening: heather, lilac, and honeysuckle. The aroma then gives way to soft and subtle fruit like peach, apricot, and mango with the slight acidic tinge of citrus. It drinks medium-bodied on the palate and shows that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Every ingredient is on its game here; the whisky, brandy, and absinthe are all present, but not one of them is experienced alone. The absinthe–Cain’s own concoction that will get its own post later–is just subtle enough to impart a sweet licorice finish. All of this is without the addition of the Sazerac lynchpin, Peychaud’s Bitters. As if the barrel blending wasn’t grand enough, adding a couple dashes of Peychaud’s rounds and tightens up the cocktail even more, elevating it to contemplative status. These folks should be proud of this one.

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After touring the facility, Cain brought the two of us to the tasting table, where he brought out the big guns. The next part of this review will cover that part of the adventure, but for now, I leave you with The 1850 Cocktail, a wonderfully married blend of craft spirits that dangerously drinks like honeyed herbal tea. The distiller’s muse no doubt.

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The 1850 Cocktail {a bottled cocktail from Fluid Dynamics}
 
A definitive version of the first cocktail, this honest drink marries fine craft brandy, whisky, and a dash of absinthe and ages them for about 6 months in oak. Truly majestic.
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 3 ounces of The 1850 Cocktail by Fluid Dynamics
  • A couple dashes of Peychaud's Bitters
  • A large lemon twist to garnish
Directions
  1. Place 1850 cocktail and bitters in a mixing glass.
  2. Add plenty of ice.
  3. Stir for about 20 seconds.
  4. Strain into a cocktail coupe or snifter (over a large ice cube if you wish).
  5. Garnish with a large lemon peel making sure to express the oils over the surface of the drink.

 

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Nicholas Stanton

Bartender/Sales Associate at Craft Wine & Beer
I am strongly rooted in the Reno community. I believe in radically local ethics and the consumer support of micro communities. A large component of this is in the arts to express our realities, outdoor activities to encourage health and a deep care for the environment and food and drink culture to support local producers, farmers, and businesses. When I'm not geeking out and purveying new and exciting products at Craft Wine & Beer, I can be found cycling around town, reading literature of the Americas and dense philosophy and critical theory. Oh yeah, and keeping my two neurotic Border Collies entertained.
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