Jim Beam released two new whiskeys this spring, Booker’s Rye and Knob Creek 2001. The Knob Creek brand started in 1992 as a part of the Beam Small Batch Bourbon Collection (although Chuck Cowdery has a great post about how the brand may go back even further). It’s one of my perennial favorite everyday bourbons so I was pretty excited about this release.
Buffalo Trace just received approval for a new expression in the EH Taylor line. E.H. Taylor Four Grain will be a mix of corn, barley, rye and wheat. This will be the fifth expression in the E.H. Taylor line. To be honest, things are getting a little confusing. I defended Season Wood while others were claiming it watered down the Taylor name and a wheated bourbon didn’t belong in the brand. Now that Buffalo Trace appears to see the EH Taylor(EHT) line as their launch pad for limited releases I find it strange. Isn’t this what Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection (BTEC) is for? Maybe, if a release is exceptionally good it skips BTEC and goes straight to EHT?
Maker’s Mark (MM) is the last major distillery added to the “Bourbonr Mash Bill Break Down” list. Initially, I didn’t plan on creating one for MM. They only have one mash bill and for the first 60(ish) years of the distillery, there was only one product. I’ve been told that Bill Samuels would say “Do you see a Chateau Lafite Reserve? No! That’s why there’s only Maker’s Mark bourbon.” Whether or not the quote is authentic the gameplan is true. Sure, the bottle may have changed, but the bourbon remained unchanged for over half of a century.
This week, me and several other whiskey writers got an opportunity to take part in the first tastings of the new Booker’s Rye. Tasting whiskey at a distillery is always fun, and it was an honor to be a part of it. This one will go down as one of my favorite bourbon/whiskey experiences so far. Here are the details of the release.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Release Cheat Sheet
In the fall of 2013, Heaven Hill Distillery released the first Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (ECBP) outside of the Heaven Hill Gift Shop. It quickly became a favorite among Bourbonr’s. ECBP is a 12-year-old uncut, unfiltered bourbon which Heaven Hill releases once a quarter. Aside from the excellent flavor and high proof what makes ECBP even better is its retail price. ECBP retails between is between $50-$75. With such a low price it’s hard to find a better bourbon for the money.
Whiskey gets complicated these days. There are so many moving parts it can be tough to figure out who made what. That’s why it’s nice to see something that easily explains the whiskey making process. If you follow Bourbonr you already know I’m a sucker for a quality infographic. With the help of Mark Byrne, the guys over at Owen & Fred put together “WHISKEY: WOOD, WATER, GRAIN” They also made a corresponding video “How Whiskey is Made, in 30 Seconds”.
By now most Bourbonr’s are familiar with the Jefferson’s brand. You probably know them for their Small Batch or Ocean bourbon. Or, if you were lucky enough, their Jefferson’s Presidential Select bourbon. The man behind the brand is Trey Zoeller. Trey is a great guy I got a chance to chat with him about Jefferson’s new distillery and some other questions I’ve had for a while.
Today has been an interesting day in the bourbon world. This morning I read Bourbon Truth’s post “Where Is Jim Rutledge?” that had the Bourbonr’s across social media buzzing. While the grammar may not always be perfect, Bourbon Truth’s information is usually spot on.
This afternoon I received a press release stating that Jim Rutledge, form Four Roses master distiller, was starting his own distillery. I automatically thought it was a hoax. Then I checked out the website in the release and thought it seemed like a lot of information for a hoax. To verify I figured I would call the number in the email signature of the press release. Guess who answered?! Jim Rutledge himself! Always a class act, Jim chatted with me for 10 minutes about the plans for the distillery and their hopes to crowdfund the distillery. Count me in!
No, this isn’t a post on how to pair bourbon with cookies. It’s not some gluttonous baking recipe either. Today, we examine the bourbon market through the lens of a chocolate chip cookie study. Yes, you read that correctly but hear me out. This isn’t your typical bourbon blog post, but this study may explain some of the bourbon craziness we see today. The study took place in 1975 by Stephen Worchel, Jerry Lee, and Akanbi Adewole. The study examined how scarcity (and different levels of it) affected a persons rating (or perceived quality) of a cookie.
Most Bourbonr’s know that fall is prime time for bourbon. Each fall we’re greeted with new releases alongside our favorite annuals. While fall gets most of the good stuff spring and summer of 2016 is shaping up to be a great season for bourbon drinkers. Here’re what’s coming.
Booker’s Rye is first on the list for a reason. It’s the release I’m most excited about. I love Booker’s, and I like rye. What do you get when you marry the two? A $299 price tag. The details are still unconfirmed on this one. Here’s what we think the release will be. A 13-year-old rye whiskey that’s close to 140 proof. It will be limited to around 6,000 bottles so you may want to start putting in your order with your local retailer. It should start hitting store shelves (or back offices) in June.