Archive for the 'whiskey' Category


Nahmias et Fils’ Moroccan Mahia Liqueur and Legs Diamond Whiskey

Last week I had the pleasure of taking a tour through David and Dorit Nahmias‘ distillery in Yonkers, NY (video to follow). Nahmias et Fils produces a distinctive, delicious, fig based uniquely Jewish, Moroccan liqueur – Mahia – and an un-aged unique white whiskey produced from rye – Legs Diamond.

David Nahmias is fulfilling his lifelong dream of continuing in his family’s footsteps; his father, his uncles, proud descendants from a long line of Moroccan tzaddikim and rabbanim produced Mahia in Morocco, their ancestral home. When Dorit lost her job as a banker, both she and her husband took it as a sign that they should establish the old family business right here in the US. The distillery has only been in production for just over 5 months and its products already appear in stores shelves in the New York area and in various California cities.

As you walk through their facility, while smelling the strong aroma of fermented figs, you feel immediately transported to Morocco, with authentic fabric covered low seats, with wall decorations that light up your imagination and give you visions of life in a more innocent, more beautiful, more hospitable setting, far from the hustle and bustle of New York.

Mahia is a liqueur made from figs and aniseed, it tasted just sweet enough without its sweetness being overpowering. It would go great as an accompaniment to a dessert, to a somewhat salty cheese or just by itself. Both SYR and I, found it delightful!

When I first saw the bottle of white, un-aged, un-oaked, white rye whiskey, I thought I’d be tasting something resembling a strong vodka. In any case, I thought (being used to aged single malt scotches) that the Legs Diamond would not only burn my throat, but probably even burn a hole as it worked its way down the pipes. I was pleasantly surprised when this whiskey made from mashed, fermented and carefully distilled grain, turned out to be incredibly smooth and left me with a hint of sweetness.

Nahmias et Fils will be coming out with more products soon, including aged whiskey, an apple based liqueur and more. If their first two offering are an example of their craft, I can’t wait to sample whatever else they’ll produce!



Scotch, Bourbon, Cigars…

This past Tuesday I attended Kosher Wine Society‘s event at the Roger Smith Hotel, on Lexington Avenue, in Manhattan. Aron Ritter, the Society’s president and founder celebrated his 30th birthday, this event was held in the Solarium, a roof balcony. The view was nice, the potables more than memorable.

Aron Ritter, the birthday boy

The event featured some rare but superb scotches, great bourbons and – for the smokers – some good cigars.

Superb selections!

I started with the Usquaebach [pronounced whisk-ay-bay] ‘Premium Blend’ Flagon. It consists of an 85% single malt blend and 15% grain whiskey. With a fruity nose carrying a vanilla sweetness, it runs to a grassy, herbal freshness. The very smooth rich palate is balanced with ample spiciness. The sweet character lingers on in the finish with Caribbean spices. Unusual in character and richness, definitely the best I ever tasted!

I followed with Usquaebach 15YO Pure Malt. Very nice, very smooth!

A partial view of the crowd

After some photo shooting and pleasant conversation I had some Glenmorangie 10 year old. It’s long been my favorite, it has an enigmatic aroma, delicate but very noticeable, sweet but with a strong hint of dryness, young yet oaky. On the palate it combines an oaky taste, a complex toastiness to the barley, with the lightest hint of smoke. I find it uncompromising from the first sniff to the last sip. Why else would it have been my favorite?

After some more photography and comparing notes on the scotches I went back for the bourbons. I always liked Blanton’s Single Barrel, it won a Siver Medal at the 2008 SAN FRANCISCO WORLD SPIRITS COMPETITION. The taste has a masterful start with powerful dry vanilla notes in perfect harmony with hints of honey and strong caramel. The long, creamy caramel holds the fort until some late soft peppers arrive to spice things up. Smooth, superb selection!

I ended the evening with the Eagle Rare 10 Year Old, Single Barrel, Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Honey-colored with aromas of toasted wheat bread and hints of tobacco, opening up to almond butter, melon and lanolin. On the palate it is oily and toasty with flavors of cereal grains and oak. The finish is long and sweet with a little spice.

From the ledge, looking around

An event I’ll long remember, I will definitely be back!


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