The Whiskey Hotline Hits The Bourbon Trail
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace is all about honoring tradition and embracing change. This is clear to see on our shelves here at Binny's. Buffalo Trace creates a number of different products for every palate. In addition to producing the sought after classic you know, Buffalo Trace is hard at work creating everyday classics. Freddie Johnson, third generation Buffalo Trace man, tells guests to trust their palate and to let nature take its course. Freddie believes that once you have time to acclimate your palate, you find new flavors and products to love.
The life of a barrel is extremely fascinating. On average, barrels can have a life-span of anywhere from 30-100 years. Kelvin Cooperage has been building barrels since 1963. They originally opened on the banks of the River Kelvin in Glasgow, and later moved to Kentucky to take advantage of what Bourbon country has to offer. They service many of the craft distilleries and wineries around the world. A typical day at the cooperage includes building, charring and prepping new white oak barrels, buying/selling old barrels, and fixing up old barrels. It's a unique process that is worth watching.
Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey
If you haven't heard, Bulleit is building a new home in Shelby County. Until then, they will continue to host their fans at the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery. The Bulleit family is all about consistency, efficiency and innovation. They are building new rickhouses, shorter and longer, to get the same amount of sunlight and temperature fluctuation to create the bourbon their fans are used to.
Copper & Kings American Brandy Company
Copper & Kings Head Distiller Brandon O'Daniel led us around the 3-year old distillery. The team at Copper & Kings take great pride in making brandy the right way. In additional to their DNA blends, their in-house distillate is made using traditional copper pot-stills and they are non-chill filtered with no added sugar, synthetic chemicals or unauthentic flavors or colors. They distill at a relatively low temperature for longer periods of time for maximum copper contact to express more flavors, aromas, and smoothness. We had the chance to try our latest collaboration when we stopped by - Copper & Kings brandy aged in a used FEW Spirits barrel. We decided it needs more time in the barrel, but you can expect to see it on the shelf at your local Binny's later this year or early 2017.
Four Roses Distillery
We had the unique opportunity to hang with Ashley Barnes, Four Roses Bourbon Assistant Quality Control. Ashley works with head distiller Brent Elliott and a team of employees to make sure each round of their Small Batch and Yellow Label are consistent. In addition, they taste every single barrel used for their Single Barrel program to make sure it is up to par. Considering their Single Barrel program is so different because of the 10 proprietary recipes, Ashley and Brent always have a lot of work to do. Four Roses is also undergoing a major expansion, which will double their production and be fully operational by 2022. In the process, they hope to preserve many of the historic elements to the distillery, such as the unique Spanish Mission-Style architecture rarely seen in Kentucky.
Castle & Key Distillery
New owners and Marianne Barnes - Kentucky's first female Master Distiller - have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into Castle & Key. They have worked tirelessly to fix the grown over, asbestos-filled, abandoned land that once was home to Old Taylor Distillery. They plan to open to the public in 2017, but we couldn't wait to see what they have in store. While walking the grounds, Marianne gave us a taste of their small batch gin that they plan to make on a larger scale later this month when they get their new still up and running. Spoiler: it's incredible. Follow along with Marianne and the team on the Castle & Key Facebook page. Check out the Whiskey Hotline for updates on new whiskey, tastings, sales and more!