Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jefferson Reserve Groth Reserve Cask Finish Review






Jefferson's newest submission to the world of bourbon comes from a wine barrel.  This bottling is presented in the traditional Jefferson's Reserve mold with a distinguishing red label sporting all the critical specs.  Groth, a 4-6 year old chill filtered bourbon is mellowed in former cabernet wine casks sourced form California's Groth Family Winery.  The roughly 9 month finishing process in these French oak barrels lends a number of unique characteristics to the spirit.  The color of this sipper has just a hint of the red hued cousin that formerly occupied the barrel. 

The nose is reminiscent of a classic 6 year whiskey with prominent vanilla notes and a nutty aroma. 

On the palate, Groth presents familiar notes of caramel and vanilla.  Coming in at 90.2 proof, the best way to enjoy this tasty beverage is over a few ice cubes which releases a sweet nose and red wine notes.   I have tried Groth a number of different times.  Each round, I find different notes to call out.  Almonds, nectarine, honey, peaches, berries and even toffee. 

Towards the end of the tasting, you really discover the flavors of the wine barrel aging.  There is a dry finish similar to that of a quality cabernet. 

I really enjoyed this unique entry into the bourbon world.  It comes with a price tag around $80 so it is a special occasion drink.   Try it today with a few other bourbon enthusiasts - you will be glad you did.  



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Review of Town Branch Single Barrel, Barrel Proof - Hitting the Bung Square on the Head






Located right in my backyard is the Lexington based bourbon and brewing company called Alltech Lexington Brewing & Distilling.  In the whisk(e)y industry, they are known for such products as Town Branch Whiskey, Town Branch Rye, a bourbon-infused coffee liqueur, and Pearse Lyons Reserve malt whiskey. 


With the latest trend in the bourbon market, many distilleries are putting out cask strength or barrel proof bourbon whiskey.  And so if the people ask for it, then you should supply them with it.  The inaugural Town Branch Single Barrel collection was bottled as non-chill filtered and at cask strength. Six, six-year-old barrels were selected for bottling for the first batch and are only for retail at the Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., located in the heart of downtown Lexington, KY.

The new single barrel expression came out early last year and it has made it's mark locally.  Alltech never distributed the juice so one would have to visit their distillery to sample and buy a bottle.  About 150 bottles came from each of the first two barrels and late last year, I was told they were putting out 6. 


See link below for barrel tasting from from local help.



Tasting notes:

 Strong vanilla and floral notes, and almost candy-like toffee notes.  Very smooth and rich in flavor. 

With their regular line-up only being being bottled at 80 proof, there is definitely going to be a difference in taste and feel once someone ties the barrel proof.

If your on the Bourbon Trail, it's worth stopping by and visiting the Town Branch Distillery and hopefully they will have a bottle or two left.  I bought four for my self. 





Retail Price - $80.00 -Very limited supply

Friday, December 18, 2015

Bardstown Bourbon Company - Collaborative Kentucky Whiskey Craft Distilling Program -


 “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leadership is about blazing a new trail and the Bardstown Bourbon Company has just made a new path on the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  Coming in 2016, the Bardstown Bourbon Company will be opening their state-of-the-art, all in one, wholesale Distilling Program and visitors center.  This facility will be a landmark for the bourbon industry and allow everyone from new bourbon enthusiasts to connoisseurs to come together to celebrate this great spirit. 


This program was created thoughtfully through the ever-growing demand of whiskey and Kentucky bourbon throughout the world.  Today, many craft and micro-distilleries have obtained their juice from the larger industrial distilleries, but with the high demand, those smaller distilleries have been pushed aside Prices being hiked up so that the larger producers can meet the demand has also impacted these labels.  With this collaborative, smaller producers, private labels, and potential buyers now can come to one place and receive all the training, help, and financing to add to the booming industry.  

 
This is a major move in the bourbon & whiskey industry.   The facility will meet all the customer needs to craft a great bourbon.  I believe that by raising the bar, it only creates a better standard for the industry as a whole.  The campus will feature a unique and transparent educational experience, high-end tours and tastings, integrated visitors center, event space, and eventually a restaurant and boutique hotel.    


When we work together, we help keep the traditions pure and collectively care for the future of what we hold sacred.  

For immediate release:
BARDSTOWN BOURBON COMPANY ANNOUNCES FIRST OF ITS KIND
COLLABORATIVE KENTUCKY WHISKEY CRAFT DISTILLING PROGRAM
Comprehensive Program Fosters Continued Innovation, Offers “Game Changing” Barrel Financing Option, Custom Mash Bill Development, Onsite Storage and More
Bardstown, KY (December 14, 2015) – The Bardstown Bourbon Company is pleased to announce an innovative Collaborative Whiskey, Bourbon, and Rye Wholesale Distilling Program. Slated to open in Summer 2016, the new distillery will offer wholesale customers the opportunity to create custom, authentic, Kentucky whiskey products and will also provide comprehensive barrel financing. The Program promises to expand the explosive growth of the craft distilling industry by providing craft distillers and brand owners high quality whiskey to strengthen their supply.
Currently, many craft distillers and brand owners obtain their whiskey from large industrial distilleries, are limited in their ability to produce custom products, have no financing options, and are reluctant to promote the location and source of their whiskey. With a production team led by Bourbon Hall of Fame Master Distiller, Steve Nally – a 40-year veteran of the spirits industry and formerly the Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark – the Bardstown Bourbon Company will provide craft distillers and brand owners the opportunity to: 
  • Work with a team of whiskey experts to create their own authentic and innovative Kentucky whiskey products;
  • Benefit from highly competitive wholesale prices;
  • Ensure consistent, high quality production that can rapidly scale;
  • Control the future source for their product;
  • Finance new fill barrel production and aging, and
  • Provide a production location and environment that they can celebrate and promote.
“We are very excited to offer a suite of much needed services that we believe will help foster continued innovation and growth in the whiskey industry,” said David Mandell, President & CEO of The Bardstown Bourbon Company.
The Company, in collaboration with Live Oak Bank, the second largest SBA lender in the country, is offering customers comprehensive financing of the purchase price of newly filled barrels with terms of up to 10 years. This is an enormous benefit in an industry that is capital intensive and often without many good banking options.
“This program is a game changer,” said Daniel Linde, Chief Financial Officer of the Company. “As the first company to offer a comprehensive barrel financing program for whiskey, we are helping our customers continue to develop and grow their brands, without tying up all of their capital in production.”
As the domestic and international whiskey and bourbon market continues to expand, The Bardstown Bourbon Company will help its customers meet growing demand. The distillery has an initial 1.5 million proof-gallon capacity with barrel storage on its property for up to 185K barrels. The distillery is also designed to easily expand as production grows.
In addition, The Bardstown Bourbon Company offers a unique environment to showcase customer products. Set on 100 acres of active farmland and adjacent to the Bluegrass Parkway, The Bardstown Bourbon Company and its 37,000 square foot distillery form the gateway to Bardstown, Kentucky, the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” 
“This is such an exciting time for bourbon,” explained Steve Nally, Master Distiller of The Bardstown Bourbon Company. “I look forward to working with other distillers and brand owners to make great products. We also look forward to integrating some of these brands into the Bardstown Bourbon Company’s visitor experience, and we will use our facility to highlight and promote their brands.”
To learn more about and apply for the Collaborative Kentucky Whiskey, Bourbon & Rye Distilling Program, contact David Mandell, President & CEO, at david@bardstownbourbon.com
About The Bardstown Bourbon Company
Under construction since October 2014, The Bardstown Bourbon Company is “the Modern Distiller of the American Spirit.” The company is developing a $25 million destination experience with a first-of-its-kind Napa Valley style campus featuring a unique and transparent educational experience, high-end tours and tastings, integrated visitors center, event space, and eventually a restaurant and boutique hotel. The distillery is set to begin production in Summer 2016.
To learn more about The Bardstown Bourbon Company visit:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A shot of the 2015 Angel's Envy Cask Strength



For the past few years, Angel's Envy has released their annual limited edition cask strength bourbon.  From the outside, they have been some of the best looking boxed bourbons to date.  As for what's in the bottle, that has been a different story.  With their first release in 2013, they made waves with the introduction of the cask proof expression.  In fact, I believe they helped contributed to the barrel proof and cask proof frenzy that you now see today.  Last year, many reviews were not too kind.  I, on the other hand, felt they still made a great product, but for the price point and rarity, it was hard to swallow.  This year is no different.  The price point is still around $170, but expect to pay closer to $200.  Being released in 16 states and a total of 7,500 bottle, unless your at the store when they place it on the shelve or in the glass case, you wont get one.       

Being fortunate to sample this years juice, I found that didn't disappoint.  At 127.9-proof and 63.95% alcohol by volume, it carried a remarkable rich flavor that tickled your taste buds begging for more.  Sipping the cask neat and with a drop of water didn't change much of the complexity.  I would suggest drinking it per your own preference.  Just don't do anything crazy.

I recommend this years cask strength, if you can nab it.  It carries a hefty price tag but at 127.9, I think you will make this great bottle last a while.       

NOTES -

The color carries a darker tan of amber.
Amazing noise.  Smells of honey sickle, caramel, and vanilla.  
Dry with strong oak and a heavy finish.

Information from the Horses Mouth -


Louisville, Kentucky (November 2015) – Louisville Distilling Company is proud to announce the limited-edition release of the critically acclaimed Angel’s Envy Cask Strength. The expression will be available this November in select markets including: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, NJ, NY, OH, OR, TN, TX, WA. Due to the scarcity of barrels necessary for the enhanced finishing process, Angel’s Envy will only release 7,500 bottles. Previous releases quickly sold out.
 
Named “best spirit in the world” by Paul Pacult in the June 2013 edition of Spirit Journal, Cask Strength shared top honors with a 25-year-old single malt whisky that sold for nearly twice the price. In his review, Pacult awarded the brand five stars – his highest recommendation – noting, “this masterpiece deserves a sixth rating star.” 
 
As with Angel’s Envy, the super-premium bourbon of uncompromising character and quality, Cask Strength is aged to the perfect level of richness and maturity (up to seven years) in the few American white oak barrels that made the cut. The barrels are then blended into a single batch and finished in hand-selected port casks.
 
Cask Strength is a rare and remarkably complex bourbon unlike any other you’ve ever tried,” said Wes Henderson, Chief Innovation Officer, Angel’s Envy. “Our fans look forward to it each year and we’re thrilled to make it more widely available.”
   
The suggested retail price for a 750ml bottle, which may vary by market, is $169.99. A remarkably complex bourbon at 127.9-proof and 63.95% alcohol by volume, Cask Strength is best enjoyed with just a bit of water to release the flavor nuances.   
  
Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Tasting Notes
 
Color: Rich Gold with an amber depth 
 
Nose: Heavy caramel with vanilla up front, followed by roasted almonds, orange peel citrus, and faint blueberry 
 
Palate: Pound cake, root beer, candy corn, honey. Then tart strawberries, blackberries, figs, and slight black pepper on the finish. 
 
Finish/feel: Less port forward than previous years, but while the port finish is distinct, the bourbon itself shines through the finish
 
Bottle Signing Events
Angel’s Envy will host exclusive bottle signing events with members of the Henderson family from December 2015 through April 2016 for those that purchase Cask Strength. A promotional code on each bottle shares a URL with more information about the events.
 
Angel’s Envy Distillery
The Angel’s Envy distillery will be located in downtown Louisville, on the corner of Main Street and Jackson, bringing the great tradition of Kentucky bourbon-making back to the city. The new craft distillery and brand experience center will make a great starting point for the Bourbon Trail and be open to the public for guided tours.  Louisville Distilling Company expects the new distillery to be up and running in 2016.
 
About Louisville Distilling Company LLC
Louisville Distilling Company LLC is the proud producer of the highly celebrated Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The small batch artisan port-finished bourbon, which is hand-blended in small batches of 8-12 barrels and allowed to develop naturally, is the culmination of the late Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson’s storied career. The award-winning flagship Expression, which is available across the U.S., earned 98/100 points from Wine Enthusiast magazine – the highest-ever rating for a bourbon. The Company also offers Angel’s Envy Rye, which is finished in Caribbean rum casks and Angel’s Envy Cask Strength, which Paul Pacult of Spirit Journal named the “Best Spirit in the World.” Each Expression exhibits a passion for experimenting outside of conventional norms and producing unique whiskey steeped in tradition, but finished with a twist.
 
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.
 
For more information, please visit Angle's Envy at the following social media outlets: 
 
 
 
twitter https://twitter.com/Angels_Envy (@angels_envy) and Instagram.
 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Angel's Envy - Toast the Trees #RE4THETREES


September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, an observance in the United States that calls for celebration of “America’s Native Spirit.” Also, where Kentucky shuts down and all we do is drink.  I wish.  During this celebration, there is one distillery that is giving back.

Louisville, Kentucky (September 1, 2015) - Louisville Distilling Co. LLC, producers of the highly celebrated Angel's envy super-premium bourbon will once again Toast the Trees this September (aka National Bourbon heritage Month), in an effort to fight back against the current bourbon barrel shortage.

The World's highest Rated Bourbon is proud to continue its partnership with the Arbor day Foundation to plant new white oaks trees across North America for every picture bourbon enthusiasts take of an Angel's Envy cocktail - neat, on-the-rocks or with the hashtag  #RE4THETREES.  Angel's Envy will plant a white oak tree for every picture posted this September bearing the hashtag.

With a sharp increase of new bourbon enthusiasts over the past several years, demand is higher than every.  Angel's Envy is committed to helping make sure that there is always enough American white oaks for the cooperages and bourbon distilleries of tomorrow to continue to age in new charred oak barrels.  Angel's Envy goes the extra step in finishing in port wine barrels.

American white oak casks are one of the main building blocks of producing bourbon.  And with  barrels only being able to be used once, it’s hard to keep up with the booming growth of the whiskey industry.  Replanting the white oak trees is something all bourbon and whiskey lovers need to take into consideration.  If there is a shortage, prices go up, less bourbon is available to drink, and all humanity goes collapsing down.  So this September, follow these simple steps while you enjoy a great bourbon and help keep our bourbon alive:

1. Purchase Angel’s Envy Bourbon or order one while your out at your favorite bar and or restaurant.
2. Make a drink – neat, on-the-rocks or cocktail, your preference – and take a picture.
3. Post the picture to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #AE4THETREES.
4. Toast the Trees plants a new white oak tree.



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