July 5, 2007
Change is often a good thing, especially if it makes your whiskey taste better. We're not sure that saying will ever make it into common parlance, but we stand behind it. One of the latest changes that's supposed to do just that is Woodford Reserve's aging of its bourbon (which we really dig) in wine barrels. What won't they think of next? It's a limited edition release that will cost about three times the typical $30 price tag of WR, but we're intrigued enough to think it might be worth a try.
“We certainly believe this has a nice connection back to Woodford Reserve, and it would have interest to people who are involved in premium whiskeys,” said Wayne Rose, Woodford’s global brand director.
He added that it could stir wine drinkers to “think a little differently about bourbon.”
June 22, 2007
We love bourbon, and although we’ve said it before, it’s worth another look (and taste).
First a bit of education and then we’ll get to the drinking since we are just as much about improvement for our minds as imbibement for our flesh.
Bourbon is the official spirit of the United States via Congress, as of 1964 when legislative types could be proud that they toss back some good ol’ frontier whisky. Bourbon is the most stringently dictated form of spirit out there. Although a common misconception is that all bourbon must come from Kentucky, actually bourbon can legally be made anywhere in America. However, it must be at least 51% corn and the rest of it wheat, rye or barley, plus it must be aged in new charred oak barrels. With all those restrictions you can see that bourbon is a very unique liquor.
So where does Bulleit Bourbon fit in to the Bourbon-osphere?
Continue reading: "Bulleit Bourbon Review"
June 12, 2007
We know little or nothing about Japanese whisky, but we've heard good things about Suntory and other brands. We've found a resource that claims Japan is the second biggest producer of single malt whisky in the world - who knew? What is this resource, you ask?
It's called Nonjatta and it's got a bunch of interesting info on single malts from the Land of the Rising Sun. Check 'em out - it looks like they were on hiatus for the last few years but have sprung back into activity over the past couple months...here's hoping they keep it up.
May 15, 2007
We've always liked Bourbon for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it doesn't have the hoity toity vibe people often attribute to things like Scotch. While there are some definite high end Bourbons that'll set you back a good chunk of your rent money, we've always liked the Good Ole Boy aspects of a quintessentially Southern drink.
80 Strong, the latest Bourbon we've gotten our paws on lives right up to that expectation, and it's got the hot-looking pinup girl on the label to prove it. Read on to find out if the flavor lives up to the packaging.
Continue reading: "80 Strong Bourbon Review"
March 15, 2007
Most of our loyal readers know we're not the biggest St. Patrick's Day fans (it's a good thing our Irish family members don't read this site, eh?). It's nothing against the Saint Patrick, and his leading of the snakes out of Ireland and whatnot - well done, Pat. It's just that it turns out to be the biggest (or second biggest, if you count New Year's) amateur drinking night of the year. Not to be too Scroogey, but if we want to get overcharged for Guinness we'll just head into downtown Boston any night of the week.
But, just so you don't think we've forgotten about the holiday, we found an interesting roundup of what Irish Whiskey is all about, over at The Scotch Blog of all places. Kevin has some good things to say about the stuff, and drops some science on what Irish whiskey really means, below.
Continue reading: "Pre-St. Patrick's Day Irish Whiskey Tips"
December 20, 2006
We've always wanted to take a distillery tour - we've been to plenty of breweries and wineries, but there's something about seeing hard liquor distilled that seems like it would be one of those "check it off the life list" experiences. Alex over at the The Alex Blog just let us know he took a distillery tour, and on top of that it was the distillery of one of our favorite Bourbons, Woodford Reserve. We'll let him tell you about his experience, but let's just say we want to go and we want to go real bad.
In any case, walking around the facility you get the distinct impression that they value quality above quantity. Everything from the distillery, to the stone warehouse, to the “bottling line” (which is quite small, and only operated a couple of days per week), you get the impression of quality, and a more laid-back reflective life. Even if the reality of the south is different, as most of my friends work the same 50-70 hours a week that I do,– but suffice it to say that there’s at least the impression of a more quality life.
See the rest of the picture Alex paints at The Alex Blog
December 6, 2006
We've been fans of Woodford Reserve Whiskey for a while now, and we got an email a little while back saying they won quite an award at WhiskyFest. Turns out their Four Grain variety has raked in the award for American Whiskey of the Year, which is no small feat. We haven't tried the Four Grain, but we have big love for their regular variety so we have to imagine that fourth grain is where it's at. Of course, for ninety bucks a bottle you kind of imagine it HAS to be good, eh?
A new twist on an old practice, Woodford Reserve Four Grain incorporates wheat into its mash bill. “Traditionally, Kentucky bourbon distillers rely on a three-grain mash bill with corn serving as the majority grain, malted barley necessary for natural starch-to-sugar conversion, and rye as the preferred grain for creating a spicy, fruity character,” Master Distiller Chris Morris said. “By adding a fourth grain – wheat – into our mash bill, we can also deliver a soft, nutty flavor influence.”
Learn more at WoodfordReserve.com
. Oh, and now might be a good time to start getting ready for WhiskyFest '07
- we know we are.
August 8, 2006
To be honest, we're not quite sure why we haven't reviewed Buffalo Trace yet. We remember getting a bottle...for Christmas we think. We remember drinking it, and we remember liking it a bunch. But for some reason those notes we scribbled never got translated onto the Web.
Oh well - we can tell you it was really good, and if you don't believe us maybe you'll pay attention to a little thing like the International Wine & Spirits competition where a whole slew of Buffalo Trace whiskeys cleaned up in the 2006 awards.
- William Larue Weller -- Gold Medal & Best in Class
- Sazerac Rye Whiskey, 18 year -- Gold Medal & Best in Class
- Van Winkle Special Reserve -- Gold Medal & Best in Class
- Blanton's Original Single Barrel -- Silver Medal
- George T. Stagg -- Silver Medal & Best in Class
- Eagle Rare Single Barrel -- Bronze Medal
via Yahoo! Finance
Learn more at BuffaloTrace.com, and check out the full award announcements over at the IWSC site. Plus, read up on a bunch of the varieties and buy them online at Internet Wine & Spirits.
July 13, 2006
We're from the school of thought that a splash of whiskey makes everything better, from baked beans to making love (as long as by "making love" you mean "pushing rope"). Pioneer seems to have had the same thought - they're making the cabinets for their new set of speakers out of the barrels used to age whiskey. Seems like a great idea to us...we're no audiophiles but we do have a theory.
When we drink enough whiskey our worldview skews a bit, people around us become incredibly attractive and we feel like the handsomest guys on the planet. So wouldn't it make sense that whiskey-soaked speakers might play the same trick on our ears and make any old crap from Aguilera to Shakira sound like gold?
...check the latest rev of the "PureMalt" speaker line-up from Pioneer made from the 100 year old oak used to barrel-age whiskey (or is that whisky?) before retiring in your bookshelf HiFi. As to the specs, well, if this is the kind of marketing ploy that appeals to you, then do you really care about the inclusion of Pioneer's Technical Audio Devices (TAD) technology usually found in their professional speakers? Didn't think so.
May 14, 2006
We're huge fans of high-quality spirits distilled in places you wouldn't expect (like a Texas Vodka, for example), and we've just stumbled across a whiskey made in, of all places, the Colorado Rockies. Now we know most American Whiskey is made in the south, and we're intrigued by the idea of getting Rocky Mountain high off this new liquor, called Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey. They definitely get points for the simple and direct name, and they're generating all sorts of buzz, especially in the Colorado area.
The company just tapped its first barrel, and we're itching to get our hands on a bottle. Not only is it a unique whiskey, it's also got a pretty cool backstory:
The story behind the whiskey is the stuff of legend. When businessman George Stranahan's barn went up in flames seven years ago outside Aspen, (Jess) Graber was a volunteer firefighter who responded to the fire. After the blaze, Graber and Stranahan got to talking and discovered they had a mutual interest in the alcoholic beverage business. The idea began brewing there.
Stranahan, co-founder of Flying Dog Brewery, is a major investor in the whiskey business. The distillery relies on the nearby brewery to get its mash, a mixture of hot water and crushed grain that is an early step in the production of beer.
Thinking back to the fire at his barn, Stranahan, who attended Thursday's party, clearly is proud of the new venture that sprang forth from the ashes.
via Rocky Mountain News
The stuff retails for $54.95 per 750ml bottle, and good luck getting your hands on it. It's currently only sold in Colorado right now, and it's apparently so popular that liquor stores can't keep it in stock. Learn more at the Stranahan's site, plus find a list of stores that carry it for the next time you're in the Centennial State.