Monday, May 11, 2015

Review of the Rooster's Nest Bourbon Beard Oil - Batch 2 - Wear Your Bourbon





There is a unique barber shop located in downtown Lexington Ky. - one like no other.  This traditional style-and-shaving parlour is called The Rooster's Nest.  Catering to the man that once was and now coming back strong, The Rooster's Nest rejuvenates the place a man needs to be and where any age can go to get a proper trim and shave. 

While providing a unique atmosphere with impeccable service, The Rooster's Nest also carries products that follow suit.  The one product that brought me through their door was the handmade Bourbon Beard Oil that the owner makes himself.  Now on their fourth batch, they have seen a wave of success with this tonic.  After speaking with Jason Glass, the owner, I found that just like bourbon, a good "mash bill" for beard oil is just as important as its oak-aged counterpart.

Jason, the creator of The Rooster's Nest wanted to make a beard oil that is close to home.  While experimenting with different mixtures and over 7 months of trial and error, he finalized his first batch.    The contents include sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, hemp, jojoba, tobacco oil and of course bourbon.  Makers Mark was used in batch one.  After his first batch sold out, batch two was quickly created.  This was the oil The Four Barrels tested.  Batch two was tweaked and the bourbon was changed to Bulleit.  They felt the viscosity was too thick on the first run and wanted to find a better balance with the alcohol content. 

So what makes a good beard oil?  Many believe that it's the scent but a good oil is so much more.  Most beard oils are generally based on one of the following ingredients like grape-seed, jojoba, argan, or coconut oil.  Choosing the right ingredients will in-rich one's bead in nutrients and interact with ones skin.  No one wants an itchy beard or break outs.  After trying the bead oil for a couple of weeks, I found that it created great results.  On my first day I noticed the fragrance of the oil and the unique ingredients.  The tobacco was most notable and was more of a natural scent that was pleasant and carried a strong musk smell that one would expect from a men's parlour shop.  

I've always come to believe my skin was sensitive to oils and dirt.  Growing up, I had skin issues like most boys did.  As I applied the Bourbon Bead Oil each day I found that it did not effect my skin in any negative way. In fact I noticed that it softened my beard and provided hydration to both my hair and the skin on the surface.  By the second week, I could feel that my beard was less coarse and easy on the touch.  

 The Rooster's Nest is now up to batch four and they feel they have nailed it.  Not wanting to share all their secrets, they continue to adjust their ingredients to find that perfect blend of what they are searching for.  With the current batch, they also adjusted the packaging.  The tonic now boasts a dropper to extract the oil.  The team feels this will offer a cleaner application and enhance ease-of-use for the user.  The creators also shared some future ideas that got my beard tingling and I will leave you with two words, bourbon and rum.  You will have to visit their parlour to find out what it is.  It will be worth the trip.  








"There was a time, not so long ago, when a man could head down to his local barber shop to get a great haircut, a hot lather straight razor shave, and relax in a place where a man could be a man.   That place still exists, it's The Rooster's Nest Barber Shop and Shaving Parlour. Visiting  The Rooster's Nest is like stepping back in time to a place where men shined their shoes, kept a tight crease in their pants, and they sure as heck kept their hair looking sharp. From the 1955 barber chairs to the walls full of pictures of a time long since gone, The Rooster's Nest is the perfect place to get one of our “13-Step Straight Razor Shaves”. Put a record on the hi-fi, grab a drink out of our old fridge, thumb through an issue of “Bachelor Pad” magazine, and relax in a real man's sanctuary. A real barber shop isn't a thing of the past. Come on down to The Rooster's Nest. Its a place you can call your own."



 


bottles currently go for $25.00 

 Check out their social media outlets below:

Website 

Facebook  

Instagram

Also, check out our store and order your own Bourbon Nation T-shirt today!  www.bluegrassbourbonco.com

Monday, April 6, 2015

Review of the Whisky Glass from Denver and Liely - A Glass from Down Under





There’s something to be said about handmade craftsmanship.  In the bourbon and whisk(e)y industry, many companies pride themselves for crafting fine whiskey over a period of time and not something that can be made over night.  Much time and consideration is put into their final product.  This practice can also be found in many other industries and when something is made the same pain staking steps,  perfection is created. When you pair two products like this you get a pure marriage.  Denver and Liely did such that.

Denver and Liely, Their Story -

 After a change meeting at a backstreet Melbourne bar, these two designers found man love in bikes, fine drinks and general appreciation for good thinking.  Their style is a reflection of what their Melbourne home is today – a melting pot of cultures, people and ideas.  Over the many years of experiences, travels and debates, here’s the fruits of Denver and Liely’s labor love.  Man love.  Enjoy. - per the website
  
The Whisky Glass –

Wanting to improve on the drinking experience by exploring the deepest, darkest depths of their whisky collections the Denver & Liely Whisky Glass was born. 

According to D & L, what sets their glass apart is traditionally the tumbler has been see as the vessel of choice for whiskey and or bourbon.  The snifter, relegated the small group of true whiskey lovers.  They looked at both and decided to combine the two.  Being handmade, the Whisky Glass combines the benefits of taste and smell associated with the traditional whiskey snifter with the versatility and style of a classic tumbler.   

The design is wide based to maximize the surface area of the standard measure, and funnels to aromas through the tapered body to the optimally sized opening.  They claim this reveals the whisk(e)y’s full character. 

The D&L whisky glass allows true exploration into depths of your favorite drop.  Neat / on-ice / cocktails – whisky the way you like.



Our Thoughts –

Sure, one could say that you can drink your bourbon / whisk(e)y from any glass or any vessel, but why would you?  You take the time to read reviews and search for that one spirit that you’ve hunted for a season now.  Don’t finish the race by simply choosing anything.  If you care enough about what you drink, you should care enough to have it in the right glass.

A Personal relationship – When you buy something that is handmade, there is a bond created with that company that establishes a relationship.  You know that it wasn’t made by old “soulless” steel, but by a man’s hands that has a vision in mind of what the product is intended for. 

Handmade products do carry a price and carry a longer time to finish.  God didn’t create the Heavens and the Earth in one day.  Craftsmanship takes time. 
 
The glass is beautify made and well crafted.  The balance is near perfect and hard to tell if it’s even slightly off.  There are small air bubbles seen in areas of the glass which is a by-product of the hand-blown process.  The glass sets well in your hand and can be held very comfortably.   With its wide base design, it becomes very deceptive when your pouring your choice of spirit. I found myself thinking I didn’t have enough and in reality, there was plenty. 

The packaging they come in are simple but sets themselves apart from anything I’ve seen before.  You can tell immediately that the same amount of thought and care that was put in the glasses were equally placed in the design of the package.      



Their makers mark is laser etched on the bottom of each glass.  This gives a nice touch and lets you know that you have the real thing.

Overall, it's near the perfect glass to enjoy your whisky or bourbon.  I believe the wide base does help with the surface area and the opening is just the right size to enjoy your spirit through taste and smell.  Like I said, if you care about your spirit, you should care about your vessel.  

Price $50.00 AUD – Yes, that’s Australian currency

Available through http://www.denverandliely.com/




Check out our store  - Bluegrass Bourbon Company

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Now Open - The Four Barrels Official Store - Bluegrass Bourbon Co.

With much work and anticipation, The Four Barrels has created and launched our official store, Bluegrass Bourbon Company .  We decided to launch the online store in conjunction with the blog to expand our passion for the bourbon industry. 

Today the Bluegrass Bourbon Company released the official Bourbon Nation Tee.  Our first of many bourbon specific designs to come.  Along with apparel, the store will also carry bourbon related products, both locally and nationally proud. 

Follow us on instragram under thefourbarrels and bluegrassbourbon

Thank you for all your support and raise your glass for another milestone!

Cheers!
    

Visit us at www.bluegrassbourbonco.com


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review of the Jacob Bromwell Great American Flask - A Flask that Stands All By Itself





Copper has long played a significant role in the history of mankind.  Since the discovery of its properties as an uncompounded metal along with it's accessibility, the use copper throughout the world - particularly in whiskey distilleries, is even more prevalent today.



Spirits and copper have gone hand and in hand since the beginning of distillation.  Without going into a history lesson, copper is essential to proper distillation and purification along with properties that include the preservation of nutrients. These are just a few reasons why we see the use of copper in the process of making the finest spirits we all have grown to love. 

Bourbon and whiskey lovers take great pride in what they choose to drink.  For that reason, people have special shelves, cabinets and areas of their home dedicated in keeping and displaying their spirits.  So I ask the question, why would you not have something  just as special to carry your prized whiskey when you’re not at home.  That question was answered when I came across The Great American Flask.

The Great American Flask is just that.  Handmade from Jacob Bromwell, a company, founded in 1819 who produces high quality, handmade kitchen & bake-ware products, drink-ware, writing instruments, tobacco and men's accessories.  Their philosophy is simple, they want their customers to experience the simple and traditional values that once was.  Each Great American Flask is  handmade from 100% pure cooper that is lined with hot tin.  Hot tin provides greater wear and corrosion resistance than that of most base materials.  Also, hot tin prevents the copper from oxidizing.  Each seam on the flask is soldered with lead-free solder by hand, showing some imperfections due to the natural part of the hand-made process.  As a bonus,  it makes each flask completely unique. 

The flask holds 9 oz. compared to your standard stainless steel 8 oz. flasks.  The Great American Flask is also made historically-correct from the early original 1800’s copper flask.  How would I know that? The company has been in business since then and still going strong.     

The Great American flask can be ordered and customized to your liking.  You can include their beautiful gift box, a pure copper chain and or copper funnel.  If like your copper to stay fresh, you can add their copper polish as well or just watch the patina develop overtime.  They also offer personal engraving up to 30 characters.

Made in the U.S.A. it also carries a “True” Lifetime guarantee.  What that guarantee means is that every item purchased through Jacob Bromwell will meet your highest standard or you can exchange or return for complete refund.  This reminded me of what a gentleman's word and hand shake once meant.    

The large mouth allows a better flow then a standard flask would and I noticed that it made it easier to clean, refill and empty again. 

Though larger than other flasks, it still fits nicely in one’s hand and can still be tucked away in a coat pocket, pants, or a blazer.

The flask comes with two options to seal your vessel. Unlike most flasks that have permanent captive closures or a cap attached, when you buy the Great American Flask you will receive a birch wood stopper and a cork stopper.  Because both options are not attached, it makes it a bit easier to lose and harder to replace.  Jacob Bromwell does offer a copper chain to remedy that problem and I was told that they will be offering a leather strap soon. (see below)
    


To break my birch wood stopper in, I soaked mine in water for a few days to allow it to absorb and soften.  This gave it more of a snug fit and wouldn't allow any leaking if it tipped over.  

First Fill -

It took me a minute to decide what should be the first bourbon I filled my Great American Flask with but I felt I chose a fitting whiskey.  I went with the Old Forester 1870 original batch released in the winter of 2014.  Like the Great American Flask, Old Forester 1870 was made to represent something that once was and bring honor to the heritage that got them to where they are today. With two products emulating the pioneering spirit in their own way, I felt it was the right choice

Taste Comparison - 

After filling the flask, I compared it side by side with a bourbon glass.  I allowed the bourbon to sit in the Great American Flask for over 24 hours, giving it time to settle.  During my comparison, I could not taste any change in flavor compared to the the Old Forester in the bourbon glass.  Other than getting some nose from the glass, the Great American Flask did a fantastic job of providing me exactly what I expect from sip to sip.  
   
Final Thoughts - 

I was highly impressed with the Jacob Bromwell and the care that went into their products.  The service I received was top notch and that's something that you just don't experience in todays fast past world.  The price of the flask is worth the labor and craftsmanship involved.  Knowing that you own something truly unique and the care and effort that was put into the making of it, makes all the difference.

I look at the Great American Flask as more as an investment than just another vessel.  I can see this being passed down to my sons one day, know that it will hold up for the years to come and only aging gracefully like bourbon does in each barrel.  Overall, this is truly a unique flask worthy of being carried by proud men and holding the oldest and or rarest of whiskies. 

Price starting at $199.99 and goes up depending on accessories added or custom engraving.

Website - Jacob Bromwell

Facebook -  J.B. Est. 1819
 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Gift Ideas for that Bourbon Lover In Your Life

Finding the right gift for someone can be hard.  Finding that perfect gift for the bourbon lover in your life can be even more challenging.  If you are not in the know and don't understand what he or she is talking about when your shopping with them at your local wine and spirits store, use this list that I have made up to help make the holiday shopping a lot easier.

Whiskey Glass(s)

Even though their are many glasses on the market, only a few make it to the list.  The top glasses for the whiskey drinker are:

The Neat Glass -

The most scientific glass made to date to get the best taste and notes from their favorite whiskey.


http://theneatglass.com/

Custom Glencairn Whiskey Glass -

Have a set of glasses customized with their name, logo, or favorite team or whiskey etched right on the glass.



http://www.glencairnwhiskyglass.com/personalized.html


Decanter Box Set

Can't find a bottle of pappy for them?  Order the next closest thing, the Pappy Van Winkle decanter set.  A decanter set that will truly set them apart from all their friends. 

Per Pappy & Co.

Warm, rich, and filled with history: Not just Pappy Van Winkle bourbon, but also the barrels it’s made in. Heritage Handcrafted has breathed new life into reclaimed Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrel wood to create these limited-edition boxes. Limited in production to 250, this treasure will never again be produced. Each box is handcrafted, individually numbered and personally authenticated by Julian Van Winkle with a signed note. Each unique box is adorned with a solid bronze “Old Rip Van Winkle” logo and accented with touches of handcrafted iron, luxurious velvet and hand-braided leather. Inside, you will find a crystal decanter, two crystal glasses and four hand-wrapped Pappy cigars. A perfect set for the bourbon aficionado



http://www.pappyco.com/products/limited-edition-pappy-van-winkle-signature-gift-set.html

Bourbon Apparel

Just because they can't drink bourbon all day long, doesn't mean they can show their love of bourbon throughout the day.


http://www.bourbonwoodtradingcompany.com/

Flask

Every whiskey lover needs a flask or two.  Their are flasks for all occasions and adding another to their set will help them along the way.


http://www.bourbonandboots.com/



Whiskey Barrel Stylus Pen

If you care about what they drink, they should care about what they use when they write letters or notes on their favorite whiskey.  



http://www.bourbonpens.com/

Whiskey Tasting Notes Book

Having a good source to keep their notes on all the whiskey(s) will help them remember what they will go back to and what to move on from.

http://www.33books.com/products/33-whiskeys


Whiskey Barrel Chairs and Furniture

 There is life for a barrel after all the whiskey has been poured.  Buying a beautiful piece of furniture that has been handmade from a talented craftsman is a great gift to any bourbon lover.


http://www.cohenwood.com/

Bourbon

When all else fails, simply ask your local wine and spirits owner for a good reasonably priced bourbon and they will point you to the right direction.  Any spirit lover will appreciate a good whiskey.





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Updated Review of Black Dirt Single Barrel Bourbon Batch #5 - Black Dirt Distilling




So why Black Dirt? The Black Dirt Distillery takes its name from the dark, fertile soil left by an ancient glacial lake that once covered thousands of acres of upstate New York known as the Drowned Lands. Because of these natural occurrence, the perfect condition was developed for growing the main ingredient that all American whiskeys needs, corn. 

The history of Black Dirt Distilling, LLC’s origin is not as short as some may think.  The original distillery goes back to 2002 when the first micro-distillery was formed in New York called Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery.  Founded by Jeremy Kidde and Jason Grizzanti, these two men had a plan to do more then what just one distillery could do.  Jump a few years ahead, in March, 2012 Jason and Jeremy formed the Black Dirt Distilling, LLC.  This addition was birthed out of the recent bourbon boom and the high demand for fine bourbon and whiskey outside the bourbon trail.  In order to meet this demand, the Black Dirt Distillery commissioned a 4,000 square foot distillery along with a 60 foot distillation column which was completed in Pine Island, NY in 2013.  Currently they are producing bourbon, gin, and brandy from these two distilleries.  The current batches of bourbon that can be purchased and what was reviewed was aged and bottled at the Valley Winery & Distillery.



Having the title as the first mirco-distillery in New York State, Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery / Black Dirt Distilling is growing by name and volume through their years of experience in both distillation and marketing.  They are making a name for themselves by making and bottling their own product from the beginning unlike many mirco-distilleries who purchase whiskey to help generate revenue.

 Mash Bill of Batch 005:

Aged a minimum of 3 years in new charred American Oak at 45% Alc / vol - 90 proof
Char level 3
Distilled from:
80% Black Dirt grown corn,
12% Malted Barley
8% Rye

Nose: Aroma of sweet caramel, vanilla and honey

Taste: Smooth up front.  Has a oily layer through out your tongue

Finish: Bitter in the back and lingers for a moment.

Final Thoughts:



For such a young bourbon, both in age and in production, I give a lot of credit to a company that is not buying their product from the larger distilleries throughout the United States.  With the sudden boom in the whiskey business in the past couple of years and many mirco distillers opening up, its hard not to buy barrels of whiskey to get cash flowing in.




Featuring a single barrel expression this quickly in one’s business plan is a risky move in the bourbon business. However, being able to say that it's your own gives a distillery more credit than most would think.




Overall, the bourbon is too young to develop much depth of flavor and characteristics you would come across in older whiskeys.  However, that's not the story here.  The heart of this tale is the depth of history which surrounds it.  From their founder, Jason Grizzanti who holds a fruit science degree, to the location of their sweet corn in the unique fertile ground where once stood an ancient glacial lake.  These are the blocks that build a great foundation for what could be an impactful distillery in the North East.  In order to build something that will sustain the sands of time, a good foundation must be laid.  Black Dirt has laid that foundation and we look forward to what the years ahead have to offer. 



Retail Price 750 ml size:

$40 - $47.99

Where to Buy:

Buy online at Astor Wines or Drink Up NY

Website: Black Dirt Distillery

Facebook: Black Dirt