You know the story about Four Roses’s ten unique bourbon recipes, right? They use a combination of two mashbills and five distinct yeast strains, resulting in ten unique bourbons that act as building blocks in blending their different bottlings. We couldn’t resist finding the best of each, and for several years now, we’ve maintained our own Handpicked versions of all ten recipes. With the recent arrival of several new bottlings to fill out the lineup, we sat down to taste all the expressions at once.
Bourbon is back in a big way. The Manhattan, for example, has once again become many peoples’ go to way to enjoy America’s spirit. (Sure you can make a Manhattan with bourbon. Why not? -ed.) So check out this splendid reworking of the Manhattan called the Monte Carlo. The key difference is the substitution of Benedictine in place of vermouth. Benedictine is an aromatic liqueur that has been produced in France since the 18th century. If fact, B&B (Benedictine and Brandy) was one of the first packaged premixed cocktails. Benedictine is a versatile mixer and makes a great addition to any liquor cabinet. Also, if you simply mix Benedictine with bourbon, you just created a Kentucky Colonel. This distinguished elixir is perfect for sipping on your front porch as the last days of summer wind to a close.
Give this unconventional bourbon cocktail a try. The key ingredient in this drink is Orgeat syrup, a sweet and nutty syrup familiar to Tiki devotees like myself, but a mystery to many. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle tout suite. This delicious almond syrup is the magical ingredient in dozens of tropical drinks, most famously the Mai Tai. While most tropical drinks use rum as the base spirit, the Eastern Sour substitutes Bourbon and the results are delicious. The Eastern Sour was created by Tiki drink legend, Trader Vic Bergeron. Below is my version which is refreshingly sour. If you want to sweeten it up a bit, just add simple syrup.
Reminder: The two Binny’s Handpicked Cedar Ridge bottlings are still the only cask strength bourbon Cedar Ridge has bottled to date. It’s delicious, special, exclusive and limited.
We do like exotic wood finishing, and we certainly like exotic wood finishing more than flavored whisky. So it’s good to see Tap 357 Port Finished, form the makers of probably the best Canadian maple whisky on our shelves.
The committee gathered, tasted and voted, and now the 2014 Binny’s Handpicked Single Malts are on their way. Brett’s annual trip to Scotland yielded excellent whiskies this year. Now that we have sorted through all the options and honed the selection to just the best of the best, we can hardly wait for these selections to arrive (and they always take months and months, of course). Until then, get your wish list ready:
After being run out by law enforcement during prohibition, J.K. Williams has made their way back to Central Illinois. They are using the recipe their great, great, great grandfather passed down to make classic American whiskey. We’re welcoming them back with a J.K. Williams whiskey tasting. Find more information about the tasting after the jump.
White Dog. ‘Shine. White lightning. Moonshine. Whatever you call it, you’re going to love Ole Smoky’s Tennessee Moonshine.
Here’s your chance to meet Master Distiller of Ole Smoky, Justin King, and taste some of the best ‘shine out there. He knows his stuff. Justin has studied and learned distilling methods that were passed down from his great grandparents. Notably, Justin helped produce their award-winning Apple Pie Moonshine that was recently named Best of Class Moonshine by the American Distilling Institute.
The faithful know it’s that time again, time for the Great Brophstradamus to make his predictions for the spirits world in the coming year. How wise is Brophstradamus? We aren’t sure, but his beard is legit. His predictions have been meticulously translated from the original quatrains by time, a secret decoder ring and Google. 2014 will bring more. More what?
A question we hear often: “My friend loves whiskey. What should I get him?” The answer, of course, is whiskey. But if you’re looking for something more creative, here are the TOP TEN WHISKEY GIFTS from our own wishlist. For more whiskey favorites, check out the Whiskey Hotline.