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.

First Sole Agent Portfolio Tasting at the Green Exchange, December 2nd 2016

Sole Agent’s first tasting at the historical Green Exchange!

The Public Bar, 1883 (oil on canvas) by Henshall, John Henry (1856-1928)

The Public Bar, 1883 (oil on canvas) by Henshall, John Henry (1856-1928)

Our first tasting will be between 6pm and 8pm on December 2nd, Friday evening. We will offer assorted snacks from our neighbor Arbor over the course of the experience in combination with detailed hand outs, maps and other information pertaining to the spirits we taste.

Very much like our portfolio we will showcase spirits from many different styles, country’s of origin and vintage. The list below represents what we will be pouring.

Averna Amaro of Caltanisetta (Sicily)1970’s1000ml34.00%
Campari, Sesto San Giovanni, Milan (Lombardy)1960’s750ml25.00%
Stock Fernet of Triest (Friuli Venezia Giulia )1960’s1000ml41.00%
Sarti “3 Valletti Riserva” Bologna (Emilia-Romanga)1940’s750ml42.00%
Olio Rabarbaro Bergia of Aragno (Torino)1950’s1000ml18.00%
Branca “Medicinal” Brandy. Milan (Lombardy)1950’s1000ml43.00%
Old Fitzgerald 1849 8 Year Old Bourbon, DP-KY 161979750ml45.00%
Old Grandad 5 Year Old Bonded Bourbon,Dist. 1950, Decanter1955750ml50.00%
Caroni 1999, 16 Years Old Alambic Classique, 1 of 2272015700ml45.00%
Tequila Sauza Blanco1970’s750ml40.00%

This first tasting shall have 10 seats available and the ticket price will be $200/person providing .5 oz pours of all the above list spirits. For any questions, concerns, reservations or any other inquires please email us directly at info@sole-agent.com.

-Alex Bachman (Owner)

Ichiro’s Malt “Double Single Malts” 2007-2008 Scotland and Japan


Ichiro’s Malt “Double Single Malts”
2007-2008, Japan and Scotland
700ml, 62% ABV, Bottle #117 of 500

In yet another “one-off” barrel expression Ichiro Akuta of Chichibu has proven, yet again, why his whiskeys are so special and sought after. This expression blends whiskeys from two different countries; 2008 Chichibu from Japan and a 2007 highland single malt that remains protected by an NDA. Blended in barrel, aged in Saitama, and bottled in 2015 with an average age of 7.5 years.ichirodoublefront

I had the pleasure of drinking this whiskey earlier this year at the famed Bar Zoetrope in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district. It was a true highlight for me even over the course of a week long trip that involved plenty of famed lost Japanese distilleries: Hanyu, Kawasaki, Kuruizawa, etc.

A modern pioneer and spearheading the re-birth of Japanese whiskey Ichiro breaks the Japanese blending model while adhering to traditional malting tactics and slow aging in large barrels from his own cooperage. In addition, he kept the barrel strength integrity of this blend unlike most expressions in the Ichiro Malt range.

A spirit of wonderful balance, yet profound flavor intensity that is certainly not adverse to a touch of water. Neither malt out shined the other, the ripe orchard fruit of quince, pear, and green apple speaks to a wonderful Speyside whisky supported by the honeycomb, camphor and mild eucalyptus of Chichibu. Japanese oak shows well on this foundation with the pleasant spice of incense, graham cracker and galangal. A very special dram!

Old Fitzgerald “1849” 8 Year Old (1979-1980, Italian Export, DP-KY 16)


Old Fitzgerald “1849” 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon

750ml, Released 1979-1980, 45% ABV
DP-KY 16, Italian Export

Old Fitzgerald “1849” was one the iconic labels to come from the famed Stitzel-Weller distillery. Birthed from a pre-repeal partnership between Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle, Alex Weller and A.Ph. Stitzel it produced some of the finest American whiskeys this country has ever seen from its re-opening in 1935 till its eventual sale in 1972 and closure in 1991.stitzelweller

While remaining stocks of Stitzel-Weller “juice” have been marketed in more recent years as Old Rip Van Winkle, and later under the Pappy Van Winkle label, both were created and expanded upon by Julian’s son and grandson, the Old Fitzgerald labels remain some of the most sought after.

After Pappy’s death in 1965 the surviving members of his family sold the distillery in 1972 as the bourbon industry began a sharp decline in the domestic market. The new owners, Norton-Simon, had purchased the distillery for its superior reputation with consumers and immediately took advantage of it if by adding inferior whiskey to existing stocks of Stitzel-Weller.stitzel-weller-1

Brands began to nose dive in consumer credibility, brands as Cabin Still are fine examples. While Julian Jr. and Julian 3rd began to purchase existing stocks of Stitzel-Weller and market them under new labels much of its was destined for markets abroad, a trend that was also acted upon by other famed “bottlers” of the day such as Even Kulsveen of Willett.

The 8 year bottles showcased below were release in 1979 and 1980 for the Italian market and represent some of the very last bottlings prior to Norton-Simon’s buy out and alterations. These selections have great fills and provenance with both U.S.A. and Italian tax stamps still in place. They represent some of the last Old Fitzgerald imported into Italy by Zola Predosa of Bologna and have been in possession of former ownership since their release.img_5429

James Patrick Meehan Bourbon Collection; The First Four

Sole Agent Spirits is honored to represent the James Patrick Meehan collection of American Whiskey. The first four bottles are all featured below as is information about James, how he came into possession of them and storage information authored by his grand daughter Kara Wagner:

Very Old Fitzgerald 8 Years Old, Dist. 1945 Bottled 1953, 4/5 Quart, 50% ABV

Very Old Fitzgerald 8 Years Old, Dist. 1945 Bottled 1953, 4/5 Quart, 50% ABV

Old Fitzgerald Bonded 6 Years Old, Released in 1955, 1 Quart, 50% ABV

Old Fitzgerald Bonded 6 Years Old, Released in 1955, 1 Quart, 50% ABV

James Patrick “JP” Meehan was the oldest of seven children, and was the father figure of his large, boisterous Irish-Catholic family. A working man, he began working at Montgomery Ward’s warehouse as a teenager and rose through the ranks and retired as the warehouse manager in the late 1980’s. Supplier/vendor gift giving and holiday parties were a way of life “back then” and JP acquired a collection of bottles over the years. A man with a great sweet tooth, he preferred ice cream or cake any day over a beer or spirit.

A few years ago his wife Edith passed away and until 2016 their Chicago bungalow remained unchanged from its original state. The extended family began cleaning out hidden closets and wardrobes and stumbled upon a collection of roughly 10 bottles of spirits. These gems were tucked neatly away in a dark corner of a wardrobe, hidden behind Christmas wrapping paper. Given that holiday parties were often hosted at their home, neither Edith or JP were drinkers, they likely hid these strong spirits from the rest of the family.

Old Taylor 6 Year Old, 4/5 Quart, 43% ABV, Released in 1974

Old Taylor 6 Year Old, 4/5 Quart, 43% ABV, Released in 1974

Old Grandad 5 Year Old Decanter, Dist in 1950 Bottled in 1955, 4/5 Quart, 50% ABV

Old Grandad 5 Year Old Decanter, Dist in 1950 Bottled in 1955, 4/5 Quart, 50% ABV

 

 

These four bottles were stored in an almost hidden, climate controlled corner of their home and were inevitably generous gifts received by my grandfather years and years ago.

-Kara Wagner

Leopold Wagner’s Ancora Amer 1940’s


Ancora Bitter Amer Tonique
Lisbon, Portugal
750ml, 1940’s, 35% ABV

Often over shadowed by the long list of Italian and French p2125e62f2d61d11d2d58a2fe32717510roducers Fabrica Ancora (Anchor) crafted fantastic spirits, and specifically an Amer, till its closure in the 1980’s. The man responsible was the great German Master Distiller: Leopold Manillius Wagner (1850-1924)

Leopold moved to Portugal to study at the Industrial and Commercial Institute of Lisbon. In his early 20’s he opted for Portuguese citizenship and enlisted as a soldier in Garrison Viana do Castelo’s military.

After his service he joined the Real Winery Company in northern Portugal, Oporto, where, due to his exceptional work ethic and intelligence, quickly rose to from accoutant to director-manager.img_5360

In 1882, he settled in Lisbon, where he founded the Ancora Factory, which he managed till his
death. Succeeded by his youngest son, Vitor Manuel Basto Wagner, in collaboration with his son in law, João António Ribeiro they proceed to manage the distillery till their passing when Leopold’s grandson Antonio Augusto Wagner Ribeiro took over till its closure.

To specialize in the industry that he had created in Portugal, Leopold spend much of his career traveling abroad to study and connect with the similar industries of France and Italy.

He became one of the best distillation masters in Europe and established his technique so that his formulas remained unchanged till the brand’s demise. Composed of cochineal, Seville orange, galangal, oleoresins, and approximately 20 other botanicals Ancora’s Amer is a masterpiece of co-maceration and balance. During its near century of production it was the chosen beverage of the Portuguese royal court and was a staple in Lisbon’s aperitif culture.