Past Finds

We write regularly about rare spirits we've uncovered, which you'll see below. These updates are posted a bit after they're sent to our mailing list, ensuring dedicated customers get first option to purchase rarities. If you'd like to get on the list, please do—and feel free to contact us with specific requests.

Jacquin’s Forbidden Fruit 1960’s; The Lost Ingredient of Savoy and Royal


Jacquin & Co.’s Forbidden Fruit Liquor of Philadelphia (U.S. of A)
1 Pint, 32% ABV, 1960’s

Immortalized in The Savoy Cocktail Book and the Cafe Royal Cocktail Book Jacquin’s iconic 19th century liquor was a staple of cocktails such as the Dorchester of London and Tantalus. Birthed in the late 1800’s the “Forbidden Fruit” and key ingredient was pomelo.

The liquor’s creator, restaurateur Louis Bustanoby, died in 1917 and was never able to see the glory days of his product. It had a dubious beginning, Martin Doudoroff has a wonderful chronology of the spirit, as Louis was known to employ male and female escorts at his New York establishment Cafe des Beaux Arts to encourage patronage and the consumption of his
then new liquor.

Regardless, it was the great Harry Craddock and William Tarling who first popularized and documented its use in their respective books. It was produced up until the 1970’s until the then owners, Jacquin & Co., decided to discontinue it in favor of the new lower ABV raspberry liquor Chambord, which debuted in 1982. The lineage is unmistakable as Chambord, now owned by Brown Forman, still uses the same bottle shape and branding.

Biancosarti; The Genepy Hybrid of Luigi Sarti

237_001-1Luigi Sarti, and his family, opened their distillery in the spring of 1885 in their native Bologna. The facility was opened in an initial effort to meet the high demand for cordials such as kummel, cherry brandy and triple though the popularity of Luigi’s alpine/arquebuse/genepy inspired “bianco” amaro soon became the flagship brand.

Biancosarti was a rectified macerated spirit that lay halfway better a vermouth and bitter, thus spawning the category: amaro bianco. (Higher ABV of 35%, full bodied unlike many white vermouths of the time, no barrel aging). Primarily flavored with orange, chamomile, Artemisia, cardamom and gentian root there were likely another some 15+ other botanicals used as well in its early iterations.

Initially the label and advertising featured “aperitif-digestive” as Biancosarti was not only a top class aperitif with soda and ice but proved to have a digestive efficiency as well.

In 1943 the factory was completely destroyed during the bombing of Bologna, an important railway junction in northern Italy. The Sarti’s, like many other liquor and wine producers, for logistical reasons, stood near t
he stations to facilitate transportation.

The plant was rebuilt in 1947 and Biancosarti quickly became a cult product over the next 70 years with famous commercial spots including Telly Salavas as Lieutenant Kojak and Lieutenant Sheridan, played by the great Ubaldo Lay.

Given the036c74f0e0d9cd7c40a73fae116f6532 success of carbonated aperitifs, especially of Campari Soda, Sarti launched Sartisoda in the 1950’s, with an unprecedented hype and welcomed reception in the market.img_2804

Sarti continued to produce as a family till the early 1970’s when the remaining brands were acquired by Bols and later sold to Gruppo Campari in 1995. Like many of the amari that have shifted ownership over the years Biancosarti underwent a number of production changes. Current iterations are artificially colored, have a lower ABV of 28% and use certain amounts of liquid extracts in place of actual botanicals.

The bottle to right represents some of the first production of Biancosarti from the reconstructed distillery in the early 1950’s. Bottled at its original ABV of 35% and devoid of any artificial coloring.

Ichiro’s Malts “Joker”; The Conclusion to the Iconic Card Series

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Ichiro’s Malt Card Joker Technicolor
700ml, 57.7% ABV, Bottled in 2014
Bottle # 2,255 of 3,690 Produced
Vatting of: 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991 and 2000 Vintages
Casks: Chibidaru, Bourbon, Madeira, Hogshead, Sherry Butt, Cognac and Puncheon

Since this company’s onset we have made no secret of our infatuation with Ichiro Akuto’s, and his grandfather’s, whiskies. Many people are familiar with Ichiro’s “Card Series”, a select 54 different bottlings of single cask whiskies distilled at Hanyu, that had been released over the past decade. This series came to a conclusion in 2014 with the release of the joker, both a technicolor and monochrome bottling though I have only seen the latter at Gen Yamamoto’s bar in the Azabu-Juban district of Tokyo back in 2014.

The technicolor joker is a vatted malt, or what scotch whisky producers refer to as a blended malt, which stands in stark contrast the rest of the series which were all single barrel releases. With this final bottling Ichiro utilized, and showcased, the vast diversity of his grandfather’s barrels and aging regiments.

There were 3,690 bottles released upon its completion, none of which came to the U.S., and were mainly destined for domestic Japanese consumers, Hong Kong, Taiwan and select countries in Western Europe. In comparison, the monochrome joker was a mere 241 bottles and remained a single cask of Hanyu from 1985 finished in Japanese (Mizunara) oak.

Followers of Sole Agent’s mailing list and website know that we very rarely, if ever, outsource our opinions and tasting notes when it comes to the products that we represent but there is always an exception that proves the rule. Stefan Van Eycken wrote probably the most provocative and in depth examination of this whiskey back in April of 2014, not long after its initial release, which can be view here on Chris Bunting’s fantastic site Nonjatta.

This is one of the most sought after Japanese whiskey bottlings on the planet, in conjunction with the rest of the card series and older vintages of the lost distillery Karuizawa, it is very doubtful we will ever have one in our possession again.

1968 Rittenhouse 5 Year (Continental Production) & 1966 J.W. Dant 7 Year (Gethsemane Production)


Rittenhouse 5 Year Straight Rye
Continental Dist, Philadelphia
4/5 Quart, 1968, 43% ABV
Italian Export

b6mwbqcciaeeeb9In the same year that prohibition was repealed, 1933, the Continental Distillery was opened in Philadelphia, PA. to meet the now legal demand of the north east’s famed spirit. Debuting their new label Rittenhouse, named after Rittenhouse Square not to far away, it was put to market as a 2 year 100 proof whiskey.

The brand, then commonly referred to as Rittenhouse Square due to its original bottle shape, went through a myriad of changes until 1942 when Uncle Sam decided to convert the plant to rubber manufacturing to help with the war effort. These different iterations included a 2.5 year 100 proof, a 4 year 100 proof and a 5 year 100 proof expression in 1941.

p_IMG_4563.JPGUpon the conclusion of WW II Continental Distillery, and its parent company Publicker Industries, went through a slew of additional changes and iterations. While Rittenhouse was marketed as an exclusive product of Continental it would have been made at either Kinsey or Linfield site and simply described as a “Product of Pennsylvania”. However, after the late 50’s, bottling at Linfield shut down and Continental reclaimed its famed product both in production and bottling.

By the 1970’s Continental had closed and Publicker was completely out of the distilled spirits business by 1979. The Rittenhouse brand is now owned by Heaven Hill but was also produced by Barton and Medley prior to landing at its permanent home. Our bottle above is an Italian export bottling at the often seen 86 proof but aged 5 years and produced and bottled at Continental distillery.


J.W. Dant 7 Year Straight Bourbon
Gethsemane Dist, Louisville
750ml, 1965, 43% ABVolddantlabel
Italian Export

While now currently also owned by Heaven Hill, J.W. Dant’s history goes back to 1836. It wasn’t until 1870 that Joseph Dant and his brother George built an actual commercial distillery at Dant’s Station in Marion County, Kentucky. The brother’s ran and oversaw the distillery till the Volstead Act of 1919 and its closure in 1920. During this time exisiting stocks were stored at Stitzel-Weller and sold as medicinal whiskey.

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J.W. Dant’s son Joseph Bernard Dant had opened his own distillery, Gethsemane of Nelson County, in 1912 and while closed during prohibition the infrastructure remained. After repeal in 1933, the Gethsemane distillery was sold, re-opened in 1936 with George Dant hired as the plant manager. The distillery went under a number of ownership changes till it was finally shuttered in 1961. National Distillers and Schenley were among the most well know owners.

The bottle we are offering represents some of the final distillate from the famed Gethsemane distillery The plant closed in 1961 and this being a 7 year bourbon bottled in 1965 puts its production year in 1958. The export label translates to:

Produced by Dant Distillery Company in the plant of Gethsemane, Kentucky (U.S.A.) And bottled by the plant in Aladdin, Pennsylvania” From a number of years following the its closure much of Gethsemane whiskey was stored and bottled in Pennsylvania.

Myers’s Rum 1970’s w/ Custom Shaker and Recipe Book, Italian Export


Myers’s Rum
“Planter’s Punch Brand”
Fred L. Myers & Son
1970’s, 750ml, 40% ABVItalian Export

A gift set from the Italian market featuring a glass Myers’s shaker and recipe booklet. A Seagram export this bottle pre-dates Diageo’s acquisition of the brand. While not at its original 97 proof it certainly contains older rums which have been excluded from current blends.

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Myers’s has been in production since 1879. It is a blend of up to 9 continuous and pot stilled Jamaican rums. It is aged for up to 4 years in small oak barrels. The rum is produced by National Rums of Jamaica Ltd (Long Pond/Monymusk Distilleries) and is bottled by Myers Rum Company in Nassau, Bahamas.