Bourbon Tasting

Bourbons are booming! Those big Kentucky distilleries that hung on through the 70’s are finally reaping their reward for their patience- The distillers themselves hung on financially and the whiskey waited patiently in its barrels. Where were you 10 years ago when that bottle of Booker’s was being barreled? What troubles did Jim Rutledge, the distiller emeritus at Four Roses Distillery, go through to bring us the good stuff that until 10 years ago was only available in Japan? What’s a non-distiller producer? What’s the difference between a single barrel bourbon and small batch? All the questions and many more we will discuss and answer together. Let’s taste 5 bourbons together- 1. Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey 2. 1792 Small Batch...

The Amazing Booker Noe

The Amazing Booker Noe

  I can’t stress this enough.  Booker Noe was an incredible man. The titans that paved the way for the modern bourbon age that we find ourselves in were not CEOs or marketing strategists.  They were country boys with a love for bourbon.  Before Prohibition, wealthy tycoons like Colonel Blanton, Colonel E.H.Taylor, Isaac Wolfe Bernheim and Samuel Bronfman led the way.  After the bourbon collapse of the brown spirits market in the 60’s and 70’s, it was largely the perseverance of a few (now legendary) Kentucky distillers that brought bourbon back.  Booker Noe was one of those men. Frederick Booker Noe II was the grandson of the famous Jim Beam.  He was born in 1929 and was the son of Jim Beam’s daughter, Margaret Noe.  Booker began helping at the distillery as...

Jim Beam’s “Small Batch” Collection

Jim Beam’s “Small Batch” Collection

Jim Beam is one of the most famous names in the American whiskey world. The historic roots of the Beam family cover over 200 years in bourbon making, but the Jim Beam brand name actually dates back to 1933 when James Beauregard Beam (Jim Beam) built the family’s Clermont distillery (after Prohibition) near Bardstown. Jim Beam, the great-grandson of the patriarch of the Beam family, Jacob Boehm, was responsible for keeping the Beam’s bourbon legacy alive after Prohibition ended. A second, larger distillery was later built about 9-10 miles away in Boston, KY in 1953. Jim Beam’s grandson, Booker Noe Jr., was responsible for launching Jim Beam’s small batch collection. Blanton’s (created by Elmer T. Lee in 1984 at the George T.Stagg Distillery) had created the first...

Is Cask Strength the Best Way To Buy Whiskey?

Is Cask Strength the Best Way To Buy Whiskey?

Is cask strength whiskey the best whiskey? Seems like a question most people you’d ask would answer “Yes!” to right away. There’s quite a bit to consider here, however. The vast majority of whiskey bottled by distillers is watered down to 40% abv/ 80 proof. Legally to be called whiskey, you have to be at least 80 proof. (There is an allowance of three tenths of a degree for loss of proof during bottling, but anything lower than that must be labeled “diluted whiskey”.) Whiskeys go into a cask/barrel at no more than 125 proof, so most cask strengths are going to be near that (60-65% alcohol) when bottled. Barrels, depending on where they are stored in a warehouse, may loose alcohol (or water) and volume to the angel’s share which alters their original barreling...