FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Sept. 18 2019) It’s that time of the year – changing leaves, cooler nights and the release of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s annual 2019 Antique Collection of whiskeys. The much-anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what fans can expect:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Edit: Yes, I know Blanton’s and Buffalo Trace are two different mash bills. I’ve seen Eagle Rare picks from mash bill #2 and I’m not convinced the division is as clean-cut as we think. Even if it is, we’re talking about a 3-5% difference is rye. The point of the article is, drink what you like. But, know what you’re drinking.
New Distiller’sBardstown 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
Last week I saw an interesting looking bottle popping up my Instagram feed. It was a unique design and seemed to have a lot of popular whiskey accounts posting about it. Turns out it was Wolves Whiskey and their First Run release. Always a skeptic of shiny new bottles, I tracked down a sample to try. First, a little more about the whiskey:
The 2018 Bourbonr Whiskey of the Year vote is in! For the past few years, Bourbonr has crowdsourced the Whiskey of the Year selection. I’ll still add my favorite whiskey but this is about the whiskey you loved. Plus, I disagree with most books/sites for “Whiskey of the Year”.
George T Stagg is the 2018 Bourbonr Whiskey Of The Year! This marks three years in a row William LaRue Weller is in the Top 3. The Buffalo Trace Antique collection and Four Roses continue to dominate the top 3. But, it’s hard to argue when they continue to pump out great bourbon.