Maxim includes Redemption High Rye Bourbon in a roundup of best international whiskies.

We recently shared a list of the best new American whiskies, focusing on single malts, bottled-in-bond and leaders in innovation. Now, inspired by World Whiskey Day, we’ve expanded our horizons to include whiskies from around the globe. These don’t have to be the priciest, rarest or even newest—they’re simply the best brown spirits that are moving us right now. And since we currently can’t we travel with our feet, we might as well with our thirsty palates.

Redemption High Rye Bourbon (Indiana)

Redemption aims to offer a sweet spot between bourbon and rye with their High Rye Bourbon. Distilled and aged in Indiana’s renown Midwest Grain Products distillery, the High Rye Bourbon utilizes a unique mash bill (60% Corn, 36% rye, and 4% barley malt) that marries rye’s spice with the sweetness and aroma of a traditional Kentucky bourbon. Perfect for Manhattans. $30


WGN-TV Chicago and WGN Chicago Radio includes Redemption in segments featuring Matt Klette and the Redemption Virtual Bar Program.

Helping out-of-work bartenders with a virtual cocktail bar

Redemption Whiskey is hiring out-of-work bartenders, paying them $350 for “virtual shifts.” Interested bartenders can submit an original cocktail recipe, highlighting Redemption’s rye forward profile. Redemption will feature the bartender and cocktail recipe on its social media pages.



WGN Chicago includes Fleurs de Prairie in segment featuring Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti Bryan and her favorite rosé wine picks for Mother’s Day.



Eat This, Not That includes Layer Cake Pinot Noir in a roundup of the best affordable wines.

There’s a persistent myth in the wine world that we need to clear up—contrary to popular belief, a higher price tag does not necessarily mean a better-tasting wine. In fact, there are plenty of budget-friendly bottles that boast rich, complex flavor profiles that’ll fool even the most discerning wine connoisseurs (you know, the one who’s always commenting on the “mouthfeel” and ravings about tannins).

That’s not to say all inexpensive wines are created equal, however. The sweet spot for finding those bottles that are easy on your wallet but still pleasing to your palate tends to fall in the $10 to $20 range. But fret not—we’ve made your drinking decisions easier by rounding up some affordable, widely available wines. From silky merlots and spicy Zins to crisp pinot grigios and creamy chardonnays, here are a handful of the best cheap wines to add to your shopping cart.

Layer Cake Pinot Noir

If you’re on the hunt for a dry pinot that’s dangerously drinkable, look no further than Layer Cake’s. Gently fermented at cool temperatures and then aged in French oak, this light-bodied, fruit-forward red boasts pronounced flavors of tart raspberry, cranberry, and pomegranate. It’s versatile enough to enjoy with poultry, salmon, or even chocolate covered strawberries.



Forbes highlights Redemption and Gray Whale in an article about the brands’ virtual bar initiatives.

How Virtual Gigs Are Helping Bartenders Stay Afloat—Even Beyond Cinco De Mayo

Matt Klette, trade advocacy manager for the Deutsch Family Spirits Portfolio, devised a program for Redemption Whiskey and Gray Whale Gin that has both brands individually paying bartenders $350 each to write a recipe and present the resulting drink during a live 20-minute “Virtual Bar” segment streamed on Instagram.

Combined, the two brands have fielded 2,000 inquiries and 1,200 recipes from around the world (though they’re only hiring US-based bartenders) and are planning to schedule around 30 episodes each.

“This is a fun way to show the versatility of our products with some of the bartenders’ creative modern cocktails,” he says. “It’s also fun for consumers to get a peek behind the curtain of what goes into making these cocktails – the bartenders are right there showing you how to do it.”

Interested bartenders can email to submit Redemption recipes and to submit for Gray Whale, and Klette selects his favorites on a rolling basis. He asks his chosen creators to shoot a short video of themselves making their drink and each brand streams their respective videos on IG the day of the bartender’s appearance. On the given night, depending on the brand, either he or the co-founder of Gray Whale interviews the bartender live on IG Stories while both host and guest make the drink at their homes. Redemption airs a new interview every Sunday and Tuesday, while Gray Whale broadcasts on Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm EDT.

The program is set to run ten more weeks – the Deutsch Family portfolio has allocated $20,000 for “payroll” — but may extend it if they continue to receive enough irresistible submissions … and the bar industry remains closed.

“It’s one thing to get a handout but there’s some dignity in getting hired to do what you do best,” says Gray Whale co-founder Marsh Mokhtari, who pays out immediately via Venmo. He enjoys giving these bartenders an opportunity to build their brand through their interviews, during which he might chat with them about their inspiration, their career journey, their pre-COVID travels or their new baby.

He also brings a lighthearted touch by trying out the recipe himself alongside the expert.

“Sometimes I’m an epic failure. Sometimes we’ve had them be so complicated like involving rice washing – it’s like milk washing – and I’m like, ‘What is this and where the hell am I going to get these ingredients right now?!’” he says.


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