Master Sommelier George Miliotes and Hooten & Young Wine and Spirits are proud to announce the release of their first American Whiskey.

Hooten Young was founded by former Special Operations Soldier, Master Sgt. Norm Hooten and Tim Young. Created as a brotherhood bonded by the love of freedom, family and honor, Hooten Young is a tribute to the brave men and women of the armed forces who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Notably known for his portrayal by Eric Bana in the film Black Hawk Down, Hooten is a true American hero. While retired from active military duty, he continues to work with veterans today as a full-time health care provider.

In addition to his medical work, Hooten has partnered with his closest friends to create an American Whiskey to honor the brave men and women of the armed forces.

“Hooten Young was crafted to help folks slow down, bond with the people around them and remember those who are no longer here,” Hooten Young President, Norm Hooten, said. “Our mission is simple, we are committed to honoring America’s heroes one thought-provoking sip at a time.”

Bonded by decades of friendship with Young, Hooten Young American Whiskey was discovered by Master Sommelier George Miliotes. Rare distillation and barrel aging practices, coupled with over a decade’s rest, have produced an American Whiskey with notes of maple, vanilla, ripe apple and a long smooth finish.

The whiskey is aged 12 years and made with 99% corn and 1% barley malt. It’s distilled at 170 proof and put into second fill American oak barrels. Miliotes brings his renowned expertise to Hooten Young as one of only 268 Master Sommeliers in the world.

“It’s been an honor to assist Norm and Tim to create a whiskey that is evocative of their background and seeks to honor America’s heroes,” Miliotes said. “The uniqueness of our whiskey can be attributed to the 12 years of aging, as well as the second fill barrels instead of using the first fill. You can’t fake aged whiskey, much like you can’t claim wines are from old vines if they are new. Being able to find this aged American whiskey that is relaxed and different brings something new to an overcrowded whiskey market. After countless hours blending, evaluating proofs and tasting, we are thrilled with the final product.”

Devoted to giving back, a portion of profits are donated to charities supporting Veterans. Hooten Young American Whiskey is currently available throughout the state of Florida in both retail shops and restaurants including Wine Bar George at Disney Springs® in “The Hoot” cocktail, straight up, neat or however you like your whiskey. The new whiskey can also be found nationwide online at wineonlinedelivery.com.

Tasty Chomps Q & A with Master Sgt. Norm Hooten:

Tasty Chomps: What have you been up to since the days of Blackhawk Down? 
Master Sgt. Norm Hooten: 
After the events in Mogadishu in October 3rd, 1993 I continued to serve in Special Operations for another 9 years.  I retired from active duty in August of 2001 but was recalled to active duty about one month later subsequent to the events of September 11th.  I was detailed from the U.S. Army to the Department of Homeland Security and soon after I transitioned over to the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) where I served as the National Training Coordinator for the FAMS Global Response Team. I served in this capacity until 2009.  In 2009 I was selected to serve as the Deputy Director of the King Abdullah Special Operation Training Center (KASOTC).  KASOTC was a joint Counter-Terrorism Training Center serving Special Operations Forces from around the world.

Tasty Chomps: What inspired you to pursue your Doctor of Pharmacy degree?
Master Sgt. Norm Hooten: My wife Bonnie is a pharmacist and she inspired me to attend pharmacy school. It was my intention to attend pharmacy school when I initially retired in 2001, and I was attending Campbell University School of Pharmacy.  The events of September 11th resulted in my recall to service in the U.S. Army.  Life had taken me in another direction, and I thought that the opportunity to complete pharmacy school had passed me by.  While I was at KASOTC I realized just how pervasive opioid addiction was in the veteran community, so I made the decision to go back to school so I could play an active role in combating the opioid epidemic in the Veteran’s community.

Tasty Chomps: How did the idea of this new whiskey concept come about? Tell us the story behind the whiskey.
Master Sgt. Norm Hooten: Hooten Young was created as a tribute to the brave men and women of the armed forces who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Hooten Young was crafted to help folks slow down, bond with the people around them and remember those who are no longer here. Our mission is simple, we are committed to honoring America’s heroes one thought-provoking sip at a time.

Tasty Chomps: What else is being planned for the Hooten Young brand?
Master Sgt. Norm Hooten: We are just getting started…and hope to share some additional news about the expansion of our brand as it unfolds.

Tasty Chomps: What are some of your favorite hobbies in general and during this COVID-19 pandemic in particular?
Master Sgt. Norm Hooten: I’ve been riding my bike a lot more lately with the gyms being closed during the pandemic. I’ve also enjoyed spending more time at our family farm in South Georgia.

Tasty Chomps: Favorite local Orlando restaurant?
Master Sgt. Norm Hooten: Wine Bar George!


Tasty Chomps Q & A with George Mililotes of Wine Bar George:
 
Tasty Chomps: How did you meet Master Sgt. Norm Hooten and Tim Young?  
George Mililotes: I first met Norm Hooten through Tim Young. Tim and I have actually known each other for decades – our wives used to work together many years ago. We’ve stayed in touch over time and last year Tim mentioned that he was looking to add some whiskey to Hooten Young’s portfolio. I’ve very much enjoyed getting to know Norm in the past year, it’s been an honor to partner with Norm and Tim to create a whiskey that seeks to honor America’s heroes.
 
Tasty Chomps: What are some important tasting notes about the Hooten Young American Whiskey and how it is distilled?
George Mililotes: Rare distillation and barrel aging practices, coupled with over a decade’s rest, have produced an American Whiskey with notes of maple, vanilla, ripe apple and a long smooth finish. The whiskey is aged 12 years and made with a 75% corn, 21% rye and 4% barley mash. It’s distilled at 170 proof and put into second fill American oak barrels.The uniqueness of our whiskey can be attributed to the 12 years of aging, as well as the second fill barrels instead of using the first fill. You can’t fake aged whiskey, much like you can’t claim wines are from old vines if they are new. Being able to find this aged American whiskey that is relaxed and different brings something new to an overcrowded whiskey market. After countless hours blending, evaluating proofs and tasting, we are thrilled with the final product
 
Tasty Chomps: What are some of your favorite food pairings to go along with the whiskey?
George Mililotes: If I’m having our whiskey in a mixed drink (like The Hoot made with G.E. Massenez Crème de Cassis and a splash of Ginger Beer), I enjoy pairing it with fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, chips, etc. Periodically this summer we will also bring back the Santa Carota Tomahawk for Two (36 ounces), a Hooten Young Old Fashioned would be the perfect pairing. Or, enjoy it with a little bit of ice and water for the perfect ending to your meal – it’s the perfect way to savor the flavors of the whiskey. 
 
Tasty Chomps: What are some good cocktails to order with this whiskey?
George Mililotes: I’d recommend trying in The Hoot cocktail at Wine Bar George – made with Hooten Young American Whiskey (aged 12 years), G.E. Massenez Crème de Cassis and a splash of Ginger Beer. 

Tasty Chomps: What are the most popular dishes this summer at Wine Bar George?
George Mililotes: The Grilled Whole Greek Sea Bass (which serves two-four) paired with a crisp white wine has been a go-to order for many of our guests this summer.  We will also periodically have the Santa Carota Tomahawk for Two (or even three or four at 36 ounces) with Yukon potatoes and seasonal vegetables. A solid option when your grill needs a break this summer.  A Hooten Young Old Fashioned would also be the perfect pairing.

Photos and press release courtesy of Wine Bar George.

Wine Bar George
1610 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
winebargeorge.com
(407) 490-1800