The Whiskey Hotline’s next stop on the road through Kentucky and Tennessee? Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. You might remember our visit last summer. What has changed since? When we were there last July, the first floor of their newly renovated Warehouse A was half full of barrels. Now, the entire warehouse is nearly full. The place is buzzing. On our last visit, they were gearing up to build a grain mill and two bed & breakfasts. The mill is finished – a shipment of corn arrived and we got to watch it go up an auger and into a hopper. That was cool. And at least one of the B&B’s is done. It seems like they start a project every week, and finish one every four.
What did we taste? KBD resumed distilling in January of 2012, and we got our first taste of their young rye and bourbon after just 13 months in wood. Excited to taste them over hte next few decades. Also, they’re distilling using seven different mash bills – we were able to sneak back a bottle of their wheated bourbon recipe white dog. And it’s fantastic. After our delicious (and popular) last batch of Willetts, you know we want another round. So keep an eye out for more Binny’s Handpicked Willetts in these ages: 4 year, 6 year, 7 year, 8 year, 9 year, 10 year, and 22 year (!!!).
Day two on the Whiskey Hotline’s road trip? Corsair Artisan Spirits’s Nashville, Tennessee distillery. These guys are doing exciting things.
Listen, we’re always the first to knock the use of smaller barrels. You just can’t make a traditional bourbon, put it in small barrels, and expect it to taste good. That’s what makes Corsair different. While they do age in 15 gallon barrels, they play with the rest of the formula too: using experimental grains (quinoa?!), flavoring with hops, trying new mashes. At the same time, Corsair mostly produces mostly whiskies from malted barley, and have experimented with fifty different smoked barleys and seventy different hops.
By the way, Corsair just filled their first 30 gallon barrel last year. We tasted it; it isn’t ready, but when it is, there’s a good chance it winds up being a Binny’s Handpicked cask. We’ll revisit it soon. Did we bring back anything else? Watch for more of their delicious Triple Smoked.
As promised, The Whiskey Hotline spent the weekend scouring Kentucky for only the finest handpicked barrels of whiskey.
First stop? Pogue in Maysville. We’re getting an incredibly small amount of their white dog rye. Binny’s is the only place to get it outside of KY and NY. Very good stuff too… lots of farm/hay/grass with a little fruit.
Of all the distilleries in beautiful Bardstown (recently voted “best” … in some publication) Kentucky Bourbon Distillers is one of our favorites. We had the chance to tour the grounds and follow the creation of their beautiful whiskey, from fermentation to distillation to barrel aging. And while we were there, we picked up some samples for our very own Binny’s Handpicked Willett Family Reserves.
Check out the pictures below and see why KBD stands out. Click on an image to enter a slideshow and to see our descriptions of each pic. We’ll post tasting notes for our final Handpicked Willett Family selections soon, so keep an eye on this space.