Monday, January 23, 2017

Press Release: The Angels Share - A Loyalty to Liquor by James Markert

Loyalty to liquor, love and family. These key post-Prohibition-era, and American tenets flavor James Markert’s “The Angels’ Share,” The novel, which was released on Jan. 17, is a story of fathers and sons, of young romance, of revenge and redemption and the mystery of miracles.

The intriguing chemistry of whiskey aging, which Market encountered on a tour of Kentucky’s Jim Beam bourbon distillery, prompted him to write this novel.

“The tour guide told us the wonderfully thick aroma we noticed upon entering the rick house—hints of fruit, aged wood, vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and more–was called “the angels’ share.”

The guide explained that when bourbon ages, the rise and fall of temperatures pulls whiskey in and

out of the charred wood barrels in which it’s held, naturally flavoring the liquid. Some of that liquid

evaporates and permeates the air. This is the distillery’s offering to the angels. In turn, the angels

keep the distillery free of fire.

“I knew then and there I wanted to write a novel called ‘The Angels’ Share,’” said Markert

Markert, who holds a history degree from the University of Louisville, did his “homework” before

writing the novel, visiting more distilleries along Kentucky’s famed Bourbon Trail, including the

Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, and Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles. The nation’s

spirited history also included the Whiskey Trail, which runs through Tennessee, Kentucky and

Virginia and ties into whiskey-related historic landmarks in Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania.

“Twist my arm, but I visited about ten distilleries, and imagined what they looked like and smelled

like back in time. That research is ongoing,” said Markert.

About the Book

In the thick of the Great Depression, William McFee, the oldest son of the McFee family is the

latest in generations of distillery owners in Twisted Tree, Kentucky, working with his parents to

revive the business.

Unwanted publicity surrounds the distillery and family, when the gravesite of a drifter, recently

buried beside the distillery, draws crowds of people who have heard about mystique and wonder at

the gravesite.

About the Author

James Markert lives with his wife and two children in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a history degree

from the University of Louisville and won an IPPY Award for “The Requiem Rose,” which was later

published as “A White Wind Blew,” James is also a USPTA tennis pro.

Learn more at:

Friday, December 30, 2016

Review of the Angel's Envy Distillery Tour - Heaven on Earth

 The most recent edition to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is the newly opened Angel's Envy Distillery, located in downtown Louisville Kentucky.

 A vision of the late Lincoln Henderson, the Angel’s Envy Distillery was to be the location for his collaborative work alongside his son - post-retirement as Brown-Foreman’s Master Distiller.  A few years after his passing, his son Wes kept the vision alive.  With the help of Kevin Curtis, the Distillery’s Operations Manager and close friend of the Henderson family, the vision has now become a reality.
As you tour the facility, visitors get to experience both the traditional process of whiskey making as well as state-of-the-art technology all wrapped into one. And even though the distillery is one of the newest to open their doors to the public, Angles Envy is still able to keep the Kentucky bourbon heritage sacred through the legacy of Lincoln's vision and his impact in the industry.
 Tours begin in the beautiful visitor’s center stocked with plenty of their namesake bourbon and rum cask finished rye.  Visitors see the distillation process from the beginning to the end including stops at the fermenting tank, the bottling warehouse, and areas where they go into greater detail about the unique process of aging Angel’s Envy in used port barrels.  We had an excellent tour guide who let us in on a few secrets.  They will soon be kicking off their barrel selection process and visitors will also be able to fill their own bottles without even doing the full tour (will it be at barrel proof???).  They finish the tour at the beautiful distillery bar where you get to sample the products fruit of the distillery’s labor.  Currently, the tour offers only bourbon but they initiate the tasting using chocolate to highlight the notes in the whisky.

I don’t want to share too much because just like all the distilleries, I highly encourage everyone to visit, experience and enjoy the unique features and characteristics each one has to offer.  

This is a great addition to the trail. I can see this distillery maturing and getting better and better.  It is just blocks away from other great whisky attractions and spots for lunch.  Definitely worth a visit.
Located at 500 E. Main St. Louisville, Kentucky 40
Tours take around one hour and cost $15.00 per person.  10 spots maximum per tour
Limited to a number of visitors a day for touring, it's well worth the wait to get in.  Just be sure to book a reservation through their website before arriving at the doorstep.   
Tours are by reservation only, which can be booked through their website or through the link below.
Visitor Center, Tours & Gift Shop Hours
Tours are held on the hour with the last tour starting at 4 pm
Monday | 10-5
Tuesday | 10-5*
*No Distillery tours on Tuesdays
Wednesday | 10-5
Thursday | 10-5
Friday | 10-5
Saturday | 10-5
Sunday | 1-5
NOTE** This is a working distillery so no high-heels ladies or open-toes shoes.  
                            They are making delicious whiskey for us to enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

News Release - Angel's Envy Opens Doors to Their Full Production Distillery


Reservations for Guided Tours Now Being Accepted Online


Louisville, Kentucky (November 16, 2016) - Angel's Envy™, the super-premium Kentucky Straight bourbon whiskey of uncompromising character and quality, will officially open its new distillery and visitor center to the public for guided tours beginning Saturday, November 19. Online reservations, which are required, are now being accepted at Admission is $15 per person and includes a tasting.
Located at 500 E. Main Street at Jackson, (the former Vermont American and Baer Fabrics Warehouse), the new state-of-the-art facility is the first full-production whiskey distillery in downtown Louisville. Having completed a $27 million renovation since breaking ground in 2013, the brand home center houses the Angel’s Envy distillery operations (including everything from milling of grains to blending and bottling on site), as well as a visitor center and gift shop. From the exterior walls to the vaulted ceilings and arched windows, their architects worked diligently to preserve every possible feature of the original building. Their breathtaking, one-of-a-kind 35-foot-tall column still, pot still and doubler were sourced locally from Vendome Copper & Brass Works—just four blocks away. 
The small batch artisan bourbon is the culmination of the late Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson's storied career. Each of the brand’s three current expressions (flagship Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Port Wine Barrels, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength and Angel’s Envy Rye finished in hand-selected Caribbean rum casks), exhibit his passion for experimenting outside of conventional norms by producing unique whiskey steeped in tradition, but finished with a twist.
“Opening the Angel’s Envy distillery and visitor’s center in downtown Louisville was a dream Dad (Lincoln Henderson) and I had,” said Wes Henderson, Co-founder/Chief Innovation Officer, Louisville Distilling Company. “He would be so proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time. My sons and I proudly carry on his legacy. The distillery is a must-see experience.”

“We are delighted that Angel’s Envy chose downtown Louisville for its new distillery and visitor center,” said Louisville Mayor, Greg Fischer. “It is evident that Angel’s Envy is not only committed to quality craftsmanship, but also the greater Louisville community.”

The Angel’s Envy distillery and visitor center will be open for tours every Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00am – 5:00pm, and every Sunday, from 1:00 – 5:00pm. Tours will not be available on Tuesdays.
For more information, please visit us at or on Facebook and twitter (@angels_envy).
The ANGEL’S ENVY™ brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.
Angel’s Envy is a proud member of the Kentucky Distiller’s Association (KDA)
Angel’s Envy2016. Heaven Can Wait. Please Drink Responsibly.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Whiskey Review of Baker's Bourbon - A Jim Beam Small Batch Collection

The Jim Beam Small Batch collection.  We all know it.  We all love it.  I was introduced to this Kentucky fixture as soon as I arrived to Lexington in the late 90s.  There is nothing better for a rookie in the whiskey drinking business than a sample pack of 4 bourbons from a world famous distiller in beautiful packaging!  

There is no need to say this but I am no longer a rookie.  Not only do I drink the brown water with friends, discuss tasting notes with my mom and dad but I also thoroughly enjoy writing about it.  All this “tasting” can sometimes take you away from the standards which enjoy a consistent flavor and a true following of bourbon lovers.  I like to take a step back from the newest-bottles-to-market on occasion and re-visit the classics and marvel at the consistency and beauty of how these whiskies are crafted.  

Today we discuss 25% of the Small Batch Collection – Baker’s.  Named after Baker Beam, the cousin of Booker – the brand’s Master Distiller.  Baker’s remains a standby in the industry while still sporting an age stamp of 7 years and rolling in at a perfect 107 proof.  The mashbill of Baker’s is 73% corn and 13% rye.  

Noted for it’s consistency, smooth & silky texture and full-bodied flavors, Baker’s tastes today as it always has.  On the nose you get strong notes of citrus accented by orange marmalade and lemon.  The aromas quickly lead to hearty flavors of ripe banana and warm buttered bread.  Drinking this bourbon is reminiscent of cracking into a crusty loaf of fresh baked bread straight from the oven. 
The palate develops herbal notes of cardamom and allspice.  As we tasted, we noted flavors of metal (we all taste something different) and a few comments on the smoothness but lacking of the rich flavor of a typical 7 year bourbon. 

Finally, the subtle sweetness of rye, blackberry and black cherry form on the back of the palate leading to a soft, almost mouth numbing finish thanks to the higher proof.  

As you can tell from this article, there are multitudes of flavors at every level of this whiskey- a true mark of a well-crafted spirit.  Each of us found different notes to consider.  This is certainly an easy daily drinker and worth a re-visit if you haven’t had the chance in some time.    

Average Price - $40 - 49.99


Thursday, September 1, 2016

One on One with Kentucky Artisan Distillery and Whiskey Row Bourbon Whiskey

Kentucky Artisan Distillers is a small but growing distillery East of Louisville in Crestwood, Kentucky.  Many bourbon heads may know them as the home of Jefferson's Reserve but they also boast a quite tasty offering under the Whiskey Row label.  I had the opportunity to sit down with Jeremy Dever, the Facility Director at Kentucky Artisan to discuss the background, philosophy and future of the spirit.

Four Barrels: First tell us about the bottle.

JD: The label presents a picture of Main Street Louisville around the year 1864.  We are shooting for a nostalgic feel around the times when bourbon started flowing down the Ohio River.

FB: and the story?
JD: Keeping in line with others who are looking back at the heritage of the Kentucky native spirit, the thinking around this bourbon is to show its origins and how it used to be made.  Ships used to travel down the Ohio River and at each stop, additional distillate would be combined with the previous stop.  Eventually, the trip down to Louisiana would allow these whiskeys time to mingle and create a unique product.

FB: Talk about how this bourbon is produced.

JD: The most recent edition of batch 4 is purposely different from each of the previous 3.  This edition is a blend of 3-5 whiskeys sourced from Kentucky distilleries.  Each of those within the blend are 4-7 years old.  This is a 4 grain whiskey - predominantly wheat.

We blend, chill filter and bottle on site in Crestwood.  Each batch is different and is based on a flavor profile sought by owner and Master Blender Steve Thompson (former Brown Foreman Executive).  Each batch is limited to approximately 12-15 barrels and will be differentiated by the color of the bottle neck.  Batch 4 is red.

FB reaction:
The nose is brief but the initial flavor makes up for it.  I found lots of oak, accented by flavors of banana and white chocolate.

This is certainly sipping bourbon.  There is a significant amount of spice on the palate - even though the dominant grain is wheat.  You can taste the age and feel the impact of the wood.
The finish seems about right.  Not at all brief and certainly does not linger on the tongue.
I am certainly glad to see distilleries such as Kentucky Artisan in the Bluegrass.  On a recent trip to the distillery, I was given a tour along with hints about the future of the brand.  They offer multiple samples at the end including a few Jefferson's products.  Definitely worth checking out yourself.

Website:  Kentucky Artisan Distillery

Jeffersons Bourbon 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Toast The Trees with Angles Envy during National Bourbon Heritage Month

World’s Highest-Rated Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels
Will Plant a White Oak Tree for Every Picture Posted
This September with the Hashtag #AE4THETREES

Louisville, Kentucky (September 1, 2016) – Louisville Distilling Co. LLC, producers of the highly celebrated Angel’s Envy super-premium bourbon, will once again Toast the Trees this September in celebration of National Bourbon Heritage Month, in an effort to ensure that there are always enough American white oak trees for future generations of whiskey lovers.

Angel’s Envy is proud to continue its partnership with The Arbor Day Foundation—now in its third year. Angel’s Envy will plant a white oak tree for every Angel’s Envy drink that its fans share this September—neat, on-the-rocks or in a cocktail. To plant your tree, simply snap a picture of your drink and share it to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #AE4THETREES, and Angel’s Envy will work with The Arbor Day Foundation to ensure that a tree is planted. Additional opportunities will be available through the Angel’s Envy newsletter as well, which can be joined through its website at  

This year’s program builds on the successful social media initiative last year which culminated in the planting of 4,000 white oak trees to help restore the original composition of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Laurel County, Kentucky, and to make the site more productive for wildlife. 

“The ‘trees’ initiative is a great way to engage our consumers and fans in a fun and meaningful way via social media,” said James Kempland, Marketing Director, Angel’s Envy. “Toast the Trees helps us to preserve the future of bourbon through planning and sustainability.”

About Angel’s Envy  
The small batch artisan bourbon is the culmination of the late Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson's storied career. One of the original pioneers of the premium bourbon and whiskey categories in the U.S., Lincoln came out of retirement to create the world's finest bourbon on his own terms - with a simple desire to enjoy the art of making whiskey. In addition to the flagship bourbon port cask finish, the Company offers Angel’s Envy Cask Strength and Angel’s Envy Rye. Each Expression exhibits a passion for experimenting outside of conventional norms and producing unique whiskey steeped in tradition, but finished with a twist.

-       Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Wine Barrels, distilled for an unparalleled smoothness, aged for 4-6 years in American white oak barrels and finished in hand-selected port wine barrels for an incremental 3-6 months.  Now available across the U.S., the expression earned a 98/100 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine – the highest-ever rating for a bourbon – and five stars (highest recommendation) from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal.

-       Cask Strength, aged to the perfect level of richness and maturity in the few American white oak barrels that made the cut (and are available each year) and then finished in port wine barrels for up to 18 months. The inaugural releases sold out in weeks. Paul Pacult of Spirit Journal named the Cask Strength “Best Spirit in the World,” giving it five stars and noting it “deserves a sixth rating star.”  Available in select U.S. markets for the suggested retail price (750ml bottle) of $179. 

-       Rye Finished in Rum Barrels, made with 95% rye and 5% malted barley that’s aged for as much as six years in new American, charred oak barrels and finished in hand-selected Caribbean rum casks for up to 18 months. Both The Tasting Panel and Wine Enthusiast magazines awarded Rye with 94/100 points. Available in select U.S. markets for the suggested retail price (750ml bottle) of $79.99. 

For more information, please visit us at or on Facebook and twitter (@angels_envy).

The ANGEL’S ENVY™ brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.

Angel’s Envy™ 2016. Heaven Can Wait. Please Drink Responsibly. 

About the Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with over one million members, supporters, and valued partners. The impact we make on our world is accomplished through our conservation and education programs.