2019 Pappy Van Winkle Announced – With A Warning!

It’s a strange time in the bourbon world. Fall is the highlight of bourbon with the release of many different limited editions. Pappy is the crown jewel of bourbon hunting. However, this year’s announcement took a strange turn. There are two major complaints in the bourbon world when it comes to Pappy Van Winkle.  [Bourbonr paraphrase. Read the full statement below] First, bourbon flippers. Second, retailers overcharging. Buffalo Trace addressed both in this year’s announcement. As for retailers, we can’t do anything and we’ve asked them nicely not to overcharge. As for flippers, we’re coming for you with legal action! read more

2019 BTAC Review Part 1

This is part one of my Buffalo Trace Antique reviews. In this video, I review the Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17 and Thomas H Handy.

Sazerac 18

The nose is initially floral and fruity. There are notes of baking spice and caramel apples. The taste is filled with dried cherries and apricots. There are some brighter notes but it all transitions into a musty dry cedar note. It’s not as apparent at first. But, it’s slightly offputting when going back to the whiskey. read more

Bourbonr Blog Turns 6

The Bourbonr anniversary always brings a time of reflection. I try to make a few minutes to recap the last six years of bourbon. The last six years have provided me with incredible opportunities. I’ve also met some incredible people. I started Bourbonr because none of my friends drank bourbon. It was something I was excited about. To learn I turned to online forums and Facebook groups to connect with others about bourbon. I’m not a writer and I’m not from Kentucky. The early Bourbonr years were fueled by pure passion and naivete! However, instead of looking back at the last six years I’d like to add some observations/advice about the current and future state of bourbon. read more

Nerdy Post #3: What Is “Malt” And Why Is It Needed?

In this nerdy post, you will learn what “malt” it is all about – and why it plays such an important role in the production of whiskey. And as a bonus, I will also dig into why “malting” plays a big role in the flavor and taste profiles differences between American and Scotch whiskey.

For the longest time, I had no clue what “malt” was, what the process of “malting” barley was all about – and why it was relevant. In the process of finding out, another miracle of nature unveiled itself, as many times before, when you dig into the details about whiskey. The word “malt” is derived from “maltose”, which is basically two glucose molecules that are linked together. But more on that topic below. read more

Chattanooga Whiskey – From Sourced To Distilled

Sourcing is nothing new to the whiskey world. We’ve seen hundreds of brands pop up over the last 5-10 years. Everyone seems to do it a little different. Some brands source while they’re laying down their own whiskey. Others will blend sourced whiskey with their own distillate. Chattanooga Whiskey is taking a different approach. They’re completely replacing their sourced whiskey with their own distillate. To be honest, most that have jumped from sourced to distillate haven’t been that successful. This seems risky when you already have a successful, and tasty, whiskey already on the market. read more

Nerdy Whiskey Post #2 – Barrel Charring

This post is a little longer than normal, but we also got a lot of ground to cover; When you have read this post, you will have learned about barrel charring basics, why it improves whiskey, what the different char levels are, what the difference between the red line and the soak line is – and what happens inside the wood itself, when it gets charred. read more

Nerdy Whiskey Post #1 – Barrel Entry Proof

A few months ago, these (self-proclaimed) “Nerdy Posts” popped up in the Bourbonr Facebook group. They were concise and well researched. And, the feedback and discussions from readers were excellent. I reached out to my friend Henrik Brandt, the man behind the posts, to see if he would be interested in doing an expanded version for the Bourbonr blog. This will be a recurring series on the Bourbonr blog. I hope you enjoy! Henrik is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and is an admin in the Nordic Bourbon Community Facebook group. He will be publishing a book about American Whiskey in November and you can follow him on Instagram via @the_bourbon_nerd read more

Bourbon’s Third Wave

There’s a new wave of bourbon hitting the scene. Since the repeal of prohibition, a few familiar names dominate the bourbon market. Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, Brown-Forman, Wild Turkey, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark distill 99%+ of bourbon on the market. Small and craft distillers started to pop up across the US. around 2008. In 2008 there were 26 new distillers. In 2017, there were 274 new distilleries. As of 2018, we have around 1,589.   That is a lot of new distilleries but the issue is production capacity. I.e. how much bourbon/whiskey are they making? The entire production capacity of new 2017 distilleries is most likely less than one month of production at a big distillery. There was no real competition from a production standpoint. They’re a drop in the “barrel” compared to the big seven distillers. That was until a few years ago. A new trend has started to develop. We’ve started to see some new faces in the distilling world that can compete on production. Here is a list of new distilleries with sizeable production capacities. A lot of these numbers are estimates. But, I’ve tried to link to sources where I can. Also of note, not every distillery is running at full capacity. That goes for the big guys as well.

New Distiller’s

  Bardstown Bourbon Company 120,000 barrels. 7,000,000 proof gallons. Two 50-foot tall, custom-made, 36-inch stainless steel Vendome Copper & Brass Works still New Riff 8,000 barrels   O.Z. Tyler 72,000 barrels   Wilderness Trail 36,000 barrels   Lux Row 20,000 barrels (could move to 50,000 in the near future). 1,700,000 proof gallons   Rabbit Hole 20,000 barrels   Castle & Key 18,000 barrels and expected to grow to 45,000 in 2019   Michter’s 16,500 barrels. 1,000,000 proof gallons. With an additional expansion for aging (sourced barrels)   Smooth Ambler 3,000 barrels (per John Little). Vendome 36 ft Continuous Column still    

Big Guys: read more