I heard some woman comment that you don’t need ice for bourbon, and...– Dominick Tutrone, owner of Henry Street Wines & Liquors in Brooklyn, who had nearly sold out of high-end bourbon as Hurricane Irene threatened the East Coast (from Slate.com)
Taste: Four Roses 2011 Small Batch
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2011 Mingling of four recipes, aged between 11 and 13 years Barrel strength; this sample, 111 proof Aroma: Floral notes, toasted oak, caramel, nutmeg Taste: Brown sugar, honey, chocolate, hints of spice and apricot Verdict: Buy this bourbon! By mingling four of Four Roses’ 10 recipes, Master Distiller Jim Rutledge has achieved a velvety...
Last night I broke the seal on a Jim Beam decanter That looks like...– “The King Is Gone (And So Are You)” - George Jones
Notes on tasting, Part Two
I once had the great good fortune to participate as Chris Morris, master distiller for Woodford Reserve, created two Personal Selections for Bluegrass Hospitality Group. We started with 10 samples, narrowed that to four, combined those into six new blends and finally chose the two winners. As we sampled, Chris explained to us what we were tasting. Bourbon has five areas of flavor: the sweet...
Notes on tasting, Part One
If you’re just beginning to explore the wide world of bourbon, you may be a little intimidated. What’s the best way to get started? I asked Peggy Noe Stevens, the world’s first Master Bourbon Taster and the founder of the Bourbon Women Association, for advice for the novice. “Drink it in its pure form first, before you mix it, so you understand the flavors and components....
Maker's 46, please
This week, Maker’s Mark ambassadors received a packet of 32 stickers to affix to checks at restaurants and bars to help promote Maker’s 46, the distillery’s first new product in more than 50 years. Half of the stickers congratulate establishments for stocking Maker’s 46 (“Thanks for serving Maker’s 46. I’ll be back,” “I’ll tell...
Cheers to the members of The Bourbon Society, who graciously welcomed me to their monthly meeting earlier this week. The Society formed in 2006 as a way for local aficionados to explore not only the diversity of bourbon, but also its culture and lore - or as they put it, “Drinking in history, one glass at a time.” At this week’s meeting, bourbon historian Mike Veach of the...
Taste: Bulleit Bourbon
Bulleit Bourbon Six years old; 90 proof Aroma: Creamy, buttery, lots of vanilla and pralines. Taste: Very dry, lots of woodsy grain, peppery finish with a bit of a mineral fade. Verdict: I really wanted to love Bulleit Bourbon. It has a great story: Originally created in the 1830s by Louisville tavern keeper Augustus Bulleit, who “vanished” while transporting barrels to New...
Never cry over spilt milk. It could’ve been whiskey.– Bret Maverick (James Garner), “Maverick” (1957)
Bourbon Barrel Loft rollout
Four Roses first came to Louisville in 1884 when founder Paul Jones Jr. opened an office on Main Street’s Whiskey Row. One hundred twenty-seven years later, “it’s great to be back,” master distiller Jim Rutledge said yesterday during the official opening of the Four Roses Bourbon Barrel Loft on the third floor of the Bluegrass Brewing Co.’s downtown location,...
Sample the Kentucky Bourbon Festival
As much as I love bourbon, I am a bit ashamed to admit that I have never attended the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Ky., the self-proclaimed “Bourbon Capital of the World.” I plan to remedy that situation next month at the Bourbon Festival’s 20th anniversary, Sept. 13-18. Festival organizers have 39 events lined up. One that I’m particularly looking forward to,...
There's no place like home
Spotted while on vacation in Philadelphia.
Jersey Shore: Bourbon
I recently spent a couple of days in Atlantic City, N.J., and it wasn’t too long before I needed a drink. At Carmine’s, a New York-based chain of family-style Italian restaurants (this one in the Tropicana Hotel and Casino), I spied a bourbon-based cocktail on the menu. The Very Italian Old Fashioned is made with Maker’s Mark, Punt e Mes Sweet Vermouth and bitters. The vermouth adds...
Taste: Four Roses 2011 Edition
Four Roses Single Barrel Limited Edition 2011 12 years old, unfiltered barrel strength (this taste, 109.4 proof) Aroma: Vanilla, caramel, nutmeg, oak, some floral notes Taste: Burns at the start, rising into the sinuses, then “blooms” on the palate, revealing notes of almond, toasted caramel, toffee. Verdict: This is a bold, assertive bourbon. With that high alcohol content, the...
When I was in college, “bourbon” meant Maker’s Mark, and “rum” meant Bacardi, each mixed with Diet Coke, of course. Now that I’m a grown-up, I still enjoy Maker’s (although I have stopped desecrating it). But aside from the occasional beach-vacation Rum Runner, I got over Bacardi a long time ago, coming to the conclusion that rum was a simplistic,...
'Deadwood' on bourbon
Cy Tolliver: Mr. Wolcott, how do you do? And what do you drink? Francis Wolcott: Kentucky bourbon, if you’ve got it. Cy Tolliver: Pour Mr. Wolcott a bourbon, Jack, and tell him it’s from Kentucky.
Four-star Four Roses Dinner
I don’t want to make you feel too bad if you missed the Four Roses Dinner at Buck’s Restaurant last Thursday night, but it was one of the best food-and-drink pairings I’ve ever had. Each of Executive Chef Andrew Welenken’s five delicious courses enhanced and amplified the Four Roses bourbon expression that accompanied it. The seared scallop with Yellow Label bourbon and...