Alcohol Professor: That Secret Brand

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Spanish single malt whiskey? Mysterious brandy? A cognac only one farmer from France has ever heard of? High quality, low profile, and generally a lot of fun to drink, how did a chemical engineer from France become an importer of such unusual spirits in the United States? On Alcohol Professor, That Secret Brand looks at PM Spirits, the company dedicated to bringing you those and other obscure, niche — “geeky” as founder Nicolas Palazzi calls them — spirits.

The warehouse district of Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood poses certain challenges to people who work there. Boutique spirits importing company PM Spirits founder Nicolas Palazzi has found himself facing one of them: the lack of nearby places to eat, a scarcity represented by the disreputable gas station Cobb salad — suspicious looking lettuce topped with torn up American cheese singles — at which he’s now poking in barely concealed horror. After a few tentative bites, Palazzi offers it around with little success. Surrounding him on the room’s floor-to-ceiling racks are substantially more appetizing offerings – Cognac, armagnac, whiskey, amaro. Often they are brand names unfamiliar to even seasoned drinkers, which was sort of the point of PM Spirits when Palazzi started it: to concentrate on high-quality, low-profile spirits largely unknown in the United States, to offer striking and sometimes controversial examples of spirits everyone thought they knew.

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