I’m a big Smooth Ambler fan. Not that it should matter. But, more context is needed around bourbon and whiskey reviews today. It’s possible that these preferences make their way into reviews but I do my best to block them out. I should also say that this wasn’t a distillery or PR sample. I purchased this bottle on my own. I like Smooth Ambler because they make and bottle great bourbon. So do many other distilleries and brands. I’m a fan because of how they handle their business and interact with customers. They’ve always been straightforward with their customers. Even when it’s bad news. I see Smooth Ambler guys hop into the bourbon Facebook groups to answer questions. Even when it’s criticism or negative feedback. They appear to genuinely care about the people buying their products.
Heaven Hill recently released their Old Fitgerald Bottled-In-Bond decanter. This is an 11-year-old, 100 proof bourbon. It will retail for $110. If you’re not familiar with Bottled-In-Bond requirements, here’s a crash course. The bourbon has to be, 4-years-old or greater, from the same distillery, in the same distilling season and at 100 proof. Here is more information from the Heaven Hill press release:
Update: Check out the digital download for a hi-res guide for bourbon lovers
If you follow Bourbonr on social media (primarily Twitter or Instagram) you’ll notice quite a few non-bourbon spirits. There are a couple reasons for this. One, it’s nice to change things up. Two, and more importantly, it’s fun to be a newbie again. The further we get into a hobby the harder it is to remember what it was like to be new. I see this a lot in the Facebook groups. New guy asks a question. People mock the question or make trolling comments. New guy never asks a question again. This guide is the questions I wanted to be answered when I got into bourbon. And, more recently the questions I’ve asked about Rum and Armagnac.
Bourbon is rich with history. Whether legendary names like Jim Beam, Elijah Craig and E.H. Taylor, the history of bourbon runs deep. With the history, brand equity and goodwill are built. In the whiskey business history, legacy, tradition, etc. sells really well. Because of that, marketers use history and stories to sell booze.
Jim Beam Distillery plans to release a 30th Anniversary Booker’s small batch bourbon. While my interest in Limited Editions has waned recently this has me excited. Booker’s 25th is one of my all-time favorite bourbon’s. Booker’s Rye was really expensive but it lived up to the price in my opinion. I’d love to see this release under the $200 price mark. Time will tell.
For the second year in a row, Bourbon & Beyond will take place in Lousiville. This year you may recognize some familiar (aside from the famous musicians, chefs, master distillers, etc.). Three members of the Bourbon Community Roundtable will participate in the event. I’m moderating a workshop called “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Master Distiller“. Brian Haara from Sipp’n Corn and Ryan and Kenny from Bourbon Pursuit will be hosting events as well.
Welcome to open enrollment for the Bourbonr Pro membership. Almost three years ago, I launched Bourbonr Pro as a way to provide additional benefits and support the Bourbonr site. The main focus of the Bourbonr Pro memberships is the Bourbonr barrel picks. Don’t worry. If you choose not to become a “pro” member nothing changes for you. All of the advantages of the Bourbonr Pro membership are in addition to what is already provided on Bourbonr.
Let’s start with a little history. One-off barrels were a thing among distillers for a long time. They bottled these “single” barrels for parties and friends. And, on occasion, in exchange for a favor from a governmental official. It wasn’t until 1984 when Elmer T. Lee came up with the idea for a premium single barrel bourbon. Ancient Age Distillery (now Buffalo Trace) decided to name the brand Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon. It was named after former distillery president Col. Albert B Blanton. Blanton’s single barrel bourbon was one of the first premium bourbon releases. After a few years of sales Blanton’s sales began to pick up. Other distilleries also offering “premium” bourbons. The downward sales trend in the bourbon industry began to slow.
If you follow bourbon media outlets you’ve probably seen this already. But, for me, it’s exciting to see this film get released. If you’ve been reading Bouronr long enough you may remember I posted a trailer for the film back in 2015. I can’t imagine the work that goes into a project like this. I’ve gotten a chance to watch the documentary and it’s really good. Whether you’re new to bourbon or have been a Bourbonr for years, NEAT will get you excited about bourbon!
This will be my third year I’ve attended the Orlando Whiskey Festival. Every year, I’ve tasted some amazing whiskey. If you think you can make it definitely let me know. Would love to meet some fellow Bourbonr’s there! Tickets are available here.
Features include: fine single malt, blended Scotch and American whiskeys including Boubon and rye, favored whiskeys, beer and wine. The grand tasting allows guests to sample close to 100 whiskey brands and interact with industry professionals. Gourmet menu selections will be on site from some of Orlando’s most popular restaurant groups. An outside lounge area will incude live entertainment and cigar vendors.