The Black-Owned Wine and Spirits Festival returned for the 5th year after a hiatus due to COVID-19. It is the premier event for tasting the best in Black-owned liquor from brands from across the country. Whether you are still sheltering in place or if you are "in these streets", the BOWSF is where you want to be if you want to re-stock the bar, buy gifts for the upcoming holidays, or buy inventory for your venue. 

I went on a mini shopping spree and grabbed a few bottles for myself. Allow me to be your "spirits guide" through my haul of the Best Black-Owned Alcohol Brands from the Black-Owned Wine and Spirits Festival.

ABV: 10.1% | Tasting Notes: Lychee, Pear, Floral

A lighthearted sweet wine bursting with notes of orange blossom, tangerine, peach, and apricot. Ambrosia's Moscato is an effervescent balance of dry and less-sweet white wine. It's a swirling glass of juicy pears, lychee, and rose petals that satisfies a fruit-driven palate. With a mid-low alcohol content, a half glass will suffice for relaxing alone or with friends.


Den of Thieves Whiskey

ABV: 40%/80 proof | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Ginger

A savory, strong whiskey that starts off bossy and finishes smooth. The first sip will snatch your soul with an aftertaste that seems to last forever. Den of Thieves Ginger-Vanilla Whiskey aroma is sweet and unassuming. The scent will catch you off guard, you just barely smell the whiskey. PRO TIP: add a single drop of water to reveal the desired aromas, without diluting the whisky. I paired mine with a nice cigar because they bring out the best in each other. Together the whiskey draws out the sweetness in my cigar while the cigar brings to the surface the oak and spice from the ginger. These flavors work hand in hand to complement each other for the best possible flavor experience.

Fou-dré Vodka

ABV: 40%/80 proof | Tasting Notes: Pomegranate, Ginger, Lychee, Kiwi, and Lime

Chanel Turner is my girl crush and the host of the Black-Owned Wine and Spirits Festival. More importantly, she is the first woman to own her own spirit, FOU-DRÈ, the first Black woman to own a vodka brand as well as the youngest individual to own and operate a vodka brand. Mic drop.

FOU-DRÈ, French for lightning, sets itself apart by being "infused" rather than flavored with pomegranate, kiwi, and lime pure fruit extracts with a hint of ginger! I like an uncomplicated cranberry and vodka, with a dash of simple syrup and lime wedge. FOU-DRÈ's lightning-shaped bottle is sexy and the vodka is sophisticated. What's not to love?


ABV: 40%/80 proof | Tasting Notes: Vanilla

Since being home, I have yet to bust open this bottle of small-batch whiskey, hailing from Tennessee. I distinctly remember the impression it left on me when I tasted it at the Black-Owned Wine and Spirits Festival. To say the least, this newcomer is going to be around for a long time. That doesn't mean delay in adding Guidance to your bar! Guidance starts off the sweetness of caramel and vanilla with a smoky finish as the grand finale. It's a taste you savor after the initial sip. You are going to want to try this for yourself - sooner rather than later.


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ABV: 19%/40 proof | Tasting Notes: Agave, Strawberry, Lemon, Lime 

Tequila shots make for a fun night. Add strawberries and suddenly your twerking and singing off-key! Tequila is strong enough to suck out all the strawberry essence creating the sweetest mood-enhancing experience. Hidden Spirits strawberry tequila has a delicious scent of fresh strawberries with notes of tartness. If your palate craves sweets, yours will be delighted by this pink elixir with its citrus finish. Blend frozen strawberries, crushed ice, 1/4 of rum, and Hidden Spirits for a refreshing strawberry daiquiri.


Plush Plum Vodka

ABV: 35%/70 proof | Tasting Notes: Plum

Plums are generally in season from May to October, depending on what region you live in. Refreshing on a warm day, biting into the acidic skin, being immediately met by the sticky sweet reddish-amber fruit is a treat. You don't have to worry about being in or out of season when you make yourself a La Strega: 2 oz. of Plush Plum vodka, 3 oz. of cranberry juice, .5 oz. of Peach Schnapps, 1.5 oz. of orange juice, and .5 oz. of orange juice. Swirl together with a stirrer for a mild mouth warming sip just before a smooth dry finish that only makes me want more.


Related: Meet the Man behind Den of Thieves Whiskey, Jason Armstrong  


Tippers Punch Tea Whiskey from Guidance

ABV: 14%/30 proof | Tasting Notes: Earthy, Peach, Mango, Pineapple

This lil can is only 200ml and filled to the brim with ready-to-drink whiskey + peach tea. It's like drinking a whiskey cooler! Don't let the size fool you - there is enough grain alcohol to get you tipsy without drowning out the herbal pekoe leaves and fruit flavor. Get a 4-pack and get ready to party.


Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey

ABV: 46.5%/93 proof | Tasting Notes: Oak, corn, nutmeg, apples

Uncle Nearest has become a hero as of late. His friendship with a young Jack Daniels changed the course of history and the practice of distilling. The taste is as intriguing as the story. With its caramel-rich color and toasted oak flavor, this whiskey is bold and confident. Uncle Nearest is perfect for Apple Cider Old Fashioned Cocktail: 2 oz. of apple cider, a dash of angostura bitters, 1 tsp. of brown sugar, 2 oz. of Uncle Nearest served with crushed ice. Add cinnamon sticks, apple, and pear slices for some pizzazz.



I caught up with Chanel Turner, CEO of Fou-dré Vodka and the founder/host of the Black-Owned Wine and Spirits Festival. Check us out in the interview now streaming on YouTube.


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