We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne.
This just in: Bourbon rules
This has been a great year for bourbon. But don’t take my word for it. No less an authority than The New York Times agrees. A story headlined “Bourbon’s All-American Roar” published over the weekend outlined the “singularly American success story” of our native spirit, which saw increases in sales around the world in 2011. Check it out here. Taking advantage of...
A toast to my big brother George - the richest man in town!– Harry Bailey, “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)
Eat your bourbon: Bread pudding
Bourbon shows up on menus across the dining spectrum. The other night I enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Seviche, chef Anthony Lamas’ Latin restaurant at 1538 Bardstown Road in Louisville. The drinks menu tends toward sangria, Mojitos and the Caipirinha - but I found the bourbon on the dessert menu, where it infuses an excellent bread pudding, above. Salud!
A sip for the solstice
Today is the winter solstice. That means tonight is the longest night of the year, and if that doesn’t call for a bourbon, I don’t know what does. My suggestion: Black Maple Hill Small Batch, a 95-proof bourbon made by Heaven Hill. Blended from barrels that have aged an average of eight years, it’s smooth and sweet, with notes of butterscotch and vanilla and a nice, lingering...
The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This...– P.J. O’Rourke, journalist, writer and humorist
Last-minute gift idea! Act now!
This handsome limited-edition bourbon bottle set, which commemorates the Bellarmine University Knights and their NCAA Division II national basketball championship earlier this year, would be a terrific gift for a fan of bourbon or Bellarmine - or both! Bottles of Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve bearing Bellarmine’s distinctive scarlet and silver colors sit side-by-side in a wooden case. These...
Make the holidays merrier
Several of my friends have asked me for gift suggestions for the bourbon fans on their lists. I thought I’d share some of the ideas with my blog readers - consider it my gift to you. Is there anything better than a bottle of Woodford Reserve or Maker’s Mark? Well, how about a bottle etched with your recipient’s name or a special message? Liquor Barn locations will do the...
Bourbon: Read all about it
Be sure to check out the winter issue of The Bourbon Review, now on sale at all Liquor Barn outlets. This issue features stories about Alltech’s Town Branch Bourbon, Bulleit Bourbon’s new home in Louisville - and my story about the interesting avocation of Brown-Forman master distiller Chris Morris: sculpture. That’s Chris below with a piece that he completed recently in his...
The Bourbon Babe doesn’t drink just bourbon. Sometimes you have to branch out - for instance, when you are making a champagne toast just after midnight in the state Capitol to newly inaugurated Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson. (If you think it’s easy to make a toast while photographing that toast at the same time, think again. But until I can afford to hire a...
A new Kentucky distiller
Congratulations to Limestone Branch Distillery in Marion County, Ky., holder of a brand-new Distilled Spirits Plant permit. This craft distillery was founded last year by brothers Steve and Paul Beam (distant cousins of Jim Beam), who plan to make white spirits - unaged corn whiskey, rum, vodka - and, eventually, bourbon. The distillery is located at 11280 Veterans Memorial Highway in Lebanon,...
Esquire's Rules of Holiday Drinking
Rule No. 658: The best Christmas album to drink to is A Winter Romance by Dean Martin. Rule No. 659: The best Christmas album to be drunk to is Goin’ Home for Christmas by Merle Haggard. Rule No. 660: The best Christmas album to be passed out to is These Are Special Times by Celine Dion. For more of the rules, click here.
My new favorite after-dinner drink
Earlier this week, the Kentucky Derby Museum was the site of Louisville’s “Manhattan Experience,” a competition sponsored by Woodford Reserve and Esquire Magazine that seeks the ultimate Manhattan recipe. The winners from contests held in cities across the country will convene in New York in January to mix their way to fame. While the celebrity judges sampled the five contest...
Shop. Find. Buy.
Still shopping for that fine-food-and-drink lover on your list? The folks at Find. Eat. Drink asked top chefs, bartenders and sommeliers for suggestions and wrapped them all up in their 2011 Holiday Gift Guide. Items range from limited-edition spirits to raw honey to special glassware. Louisville’s own Bourbon Barrel Foods makes the list under “Southern Inspired” gifts; its...
Taste: Rock Hill Farms
To celebrate Repeal Day, I enjoyed a glass of Buffalo Trace’s Rock Hill Farms Single Cask Bourbon. Michael Jackson (the dead beer/whisky critic, not the dead singer/dancer) once recommended trying Rock Hill with a double chocolate-chip cookie or rocky road ice cream. I chose to pair it with this lovely dark-chocolate wafer cookie, as I did at my recent Bourbon Babe bourbon tasting. The...
Raise your glass
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the holidays: Repeal Day. On this day in 1933, Utah ratified the 21st Amendment, becoming the final state needed for a three-quarters majority and officially repealing the 18th Amendment, commonly known as Prohibition. So tonight, pour yourself a glass of bourbon (or wine, or beer - hey, we’re all in this together) and make a toast,...
Every year at holiday time, Maker’s Mark sends its ambassadors a gift. One year it was wrapping paper; last year it was a mold to make an ice sphere for your drink (“the ultimate bourbon ball”). This year’s gift is a nifty sweater for your bottle of Maker’s (my Maker’s 46 seemed a little chillier, so it’s modeling the sweater in this photo)....
The Daily: Bourbon
The Daily, the news and entertainment app developed for the iPad, recently featured Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail in its feature “The Daily Travel.” The stunning photos, including those shown here, were shot by my friend Amber Sigman. To see more and read the article, click here. If you haven’t explored the Bourbon Trail, I highly recommend it. Find out more here.