Categories
Whiskey

Jim Murray’s World Whisky of the Year (2017)

Whisky connoisseur Jim Murray has released the winners from his 2017 edition of the Whisky Bible. Last year’s choice was a controversial one — Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye — as was the year before that: Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013.

Murray’s selection for 2017 will no doubt raise some eyebrows as well, as he named Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old as his World Whisky of the Year.

bookers rye whiskey

 

From the press release:

A unique Kentucky rye has been crowned the planet’s finest dram by the latest edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

Booker’s Rye 13 Years, 1 Month, 12 Days began life as an experiment by Booker Noe – grandson of Jim Beam – at the family distillery in Clermont, KY, shortly before his death in 2004.

Now it has become his remarkable legacy after landing the title of World Whisky of the Year.

Jim lavishes praise on its “brain-draining, mind-blowing” nose and finish of “amazing depth”.

And he hails it as a “staggering example of a magnificent rye, showing exactly what genius actually means. A very big, unforgettable whiskey from a very big, unforgettable man”.

Booker followed in his iconic grandfather’s footsteps by becoming master distiller at Jim Beam, but he was long-retired when he dabbled one final time.

After he passed away aged 74, son Fred kept an eye on his casks – and the result is pure liquid gold, scoring 97.5 out of 100 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The top three whiskies of the year, in Murray’s view were:

1. Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old
2. Glen Grant 18 Year Old
3. William Larue Weller Bourbon (Bot. 2015)

Here are the rest of the named winners.

Scotch Whisky
Scotch Whisky of the Year: Glen Grant 18 Year Old
Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks): Glen Grant 18 Year Old
Single Malt of the Year (Single Cask): That Boutique-y Whisky Co Macallan 25 Year Old Batch 5
Scotch Blend of the Year: The Last Drop 1971
Scotch Grain of the Year: Whiskyjace Invergordon 24 Year Old
Scotch Vatted Malt of the Year: Compass Box Flaming Heart 2015 Edition

Single Malt Scotch
No Age Statement (Multiple Casks): Glenlivet Cipher
No Age Statement (Runner Up): Port Askaig 100 Proof
10 Years & Under (Multiple Casks): Glen Grant 10 Year Old
10 Years & Under (Single Cask): Kilchoman Guze Cask Finish
11-15 Years (Multiple Casks): Lagavulin 12 Year Old
11-15 Years (Single Cask): The Single Cask Glentauchers 2002 14 Year Old
16-21 Years (Multiple Casks): Glen Grant 18 Year Old
16-21 Years (Single Cask): Scyfion Choice Mortlach 1996 19 Year Old (Berry Bros & Rudd)
22-27 Years (Multiple Casks): Dalwhinnie 1989 25 Year Old Special Releases 2015
22-27 Years (Single Cask): The Boutique-y Co Macallan 25 Year Old Batch 5
28-34 Years (Multiple Casks): Port Ellen 1983 32 Year Old Special Releases 2015
28-34 Years (Single Cask): Cadenhead Caol Ila 31 Year Old
35-40 Years (Multiple Casks): Brora 37 Year Old Special Releases 2015
35-40 Years (Single Cask): Cadenhead Glentauchers 38 Year Old
41 Years & Over (Multiple Casks): Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1952
41 Years & Over (Single Cask): Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1950 65 Year Old

Blended Scotch
No Age Statement (Standard): Ballantine’s Finest
No Age Statement (Premium): Ballantine’s Limited
5-12 Years: Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Year Old
13-18 Years: Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Ultimate Cask Collection First Fill American Oak
19 – 25 Years: Royal Salute 21 Year Old
26 – 50 Years: The Last Drop 1971

Irish Whiskey
Irish Whiskey of the Year: Redbreast 21 Year Old
Irish Pot Still Whiskey of the Year: Redbreast 21 Year Old
Irish Single Malt of the Year: Bushmills 21 Year Old
Irish Blend of the Year: Jameson
Irish Single Cask of the Year: Teeling Single White Burgundy Cask 2004

American Whiskey
Bourbon of the Year: William Larue Weller 2015 Release
Rye of the Year: Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old
US Micro Whisky of the Year: Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon 2009
US Micro Whisky of the Year (Runner Up): Koval Four Grain

Bourbon
No Age Statement (Multiple Barrels): William Larue Weller 2015 Release
No Age Statement (Single Barrel): 1792 Single Barrrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
9 Years & Under: Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon 2009
10 Years & Over (Multiple Barrels): Blade & Bow 22 Year Old

Rye
No Age Statement: Thomas H Handy 2015 Release
Up to 10 Years: Pikesville 110 Proof 6 Year Old Straight Rye
11 Years & Over: Booker’s Rye 13 Year Old

Wheat
Wheat Whiskey of the Year: Bernheim Original

Canadian Whisky
Canadian Whisky of the Year: Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye

Japanese Whisky
Japanese Whisky of the Year: Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Release
Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Barrels): Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016 Release

European Whisky
European Whisky of the Year (Multiple): English Whisky Co. Chapter 14 Not Peated
European Whisky of the Year (Single): Langatun 6 year Old Pinot Noir Cask

World Whiskies
Asian Whisky of the Year: Kavalan Solist Moscatel
Southern Hemisphere Whisky of the Year: Heartwood Any Port in a Storm

Categories
Whiskey

A. Smith Bowman Distillery Releases Limited Edition Gingerbread Cocoa Finished Bourbon

A. Smith Bowman Distillery announces the latest release in its Abraham Bowman line of expressions, the Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Gingerbread Cocoa Finished Bourbon.

Marrying two Virginia gems, this limited edition bourbon was aged in a special batch of barrels used by A. Smith Bowman Distillery and Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Virginia.  The barrels originated at A. Smith Bowman in 2010, where they aged bourbon for four and a half years.  The barrels were emptied and sent to Hardywood Park Brewery to be filled with two special beers: six barrels aged Gingerbread Stout and four barrels aged Foolery Imperial Milk Stout. 

Both of the beers aged inside these barrels for eight months before being emptied again and sent back to A. Smith Bowman in December 2015. They were then finally filled for the last time with bourbon that had aged for nine years inside of new charred white oak barrels. This bourbon was distilled in December of 2006 and was allowed to finish for 17 months inside these special barrels. Master Distiller Brian Prewitt determined through periodic tasting evaluations that the rich caramel and oak flavors of the bourbon had intermingled with the spice notes of gingerbread and hints of cocoa in an extraordinary way.

“This bourbon tastes of ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon topped off with notes of cocoa. The gingerbread spice aroma gives way to caramel and toasty oak and finishes with a smooth and pleasant finish,” states Prewitt. 

The Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Gingerbread Cocoa Finished Bourbon is part of a series of limited edition whiskies, named after Abraham Bowman, the commander of the 8th Virginia Regiment in the American Revolutionary War. Each edition of the Abraham line is a different expression and a new release is offered a few times a year.  This is the 15th release in the Abraham line.  The Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Gingerbread Cocoa Finished Bourbon will be available for Virginia residents to purchase through the VA ABC Lottery on Thursday Sept. 29th, and in the A. Smith Bowman Distillery Visitor Center starting Oct. 1st. It will also be available in limited amounts in other states starting in mid-October. Quantities are very limited and most product will be available in Virginia. The Abraham Bowman series aims to release new and different expressions of innovative whiskey for each release, so it is unlikely this exact bourbon will be repeated. The age of this bourbon is 9 years and 8 months and it is 90 proof. It is available in a 375 ml only and suggested retail pricing is $39.99.abraham-bowman-gingerbread-cocoa-finish

Categories
Whiskey

Buffalo Trace Distillery Introduces O.F.C. Range of Very Rare and Collectable Vintage-Dated Bourbons

PRESS RELEASE

This fall, Buffalo Trace Distillery will release three unique vintage-dated bourbons honoring the National Historic Landmark’s original name – the O.F.C. Distillery. During Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr’s tenure, the O.F.C. Distillery was renowned for producing top class whiskey. The first vintages of O.F.C. Bourbon Whiskey coming in November are sure to be collector’s items and will be offered exclusively to non-profit organizations at no charge to raise money for their causes.  Although these rare whiskeys will not be available in stores or bars and restaurants, later vintages will be released to the overall market starting in the Spring of 2017.

All of the O.F.C. collection releases will be vintage dated according to the specific year in which the bourbon was distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each hand-cut crystal bottle will feature the vintage year on the label.

The first release is comprised of only 200 bottles; 100 bottles from the year 1980, 50 bottles from 1982, and 50 bottles from 1983.  Future releases will unveil whiskeys from the 1990s, including a 1993 vintage and several consecutive vintage years thereafter. Subsequent O.F.C. releases will follow year after year as vintages are produced and reach maturity.

Straight Bourbon whiskey must be aged in oak for at least two years, but these O.F.C. releases matured much longer. Recipe and age will vary by vintage, but many are expected to mature for twenty years or more. Barrels are evaluated regularly and some whiskey will be removed from the barrels as taste reaches the peak of flavor.

The packaging for O.F.C. matches the splendor of the whiskey itself, in lead free crystal bottles with detailed fluting engraved into the mold. Glass artisans cut the shoulder facets using equipment created exclusively for Buffalo Trace Distillery.  Each bottle then is manually polished to achieve maximum glass brilliance before in-laying cut copper lettering to spell out “O.F.C.” on the front.  A paper label is then hand applied below with the vintage prominently noted, along with a label on the back of the bottle noting the milestones for the vintage year of the bottle.  For example, the 1980 label memorializes the U.S. Ice Hockey team’s stunning victory over the Soviet Union, along with pop culture happenings and Ronald Reagan’s presidential election.  The bottle is then given one last polish for the ultimate premium presentation, while a cork stopper with a copper top adorns the top of the bottle to finish out this stunning bottle. 

This bottle is a replica of an O.F.C. decanter dating back to the early 1900s found in the Buffalo Trace Distillery archives.  Equally as impressive as the bottle is the display box in which the bourbon is presented. The dark wooden box prominently bears the O.F.C. name in copper, along with a copper plaque depicting the year the bourbon was distilled. Upon opening the revolving door on the wooden case, the bottle is proudly displayed on a small riser, commanding attention as its prized possession is revealed. A provenance card is inside each display box, containing the same information found on the back label. Finally, each box is then packaged in a tasteful cream colored bag to protect it from any damage before placing it into the shipping boxes. 

Non-profit organizations located in the United States who are interested in obtaining a bottle to use as a fundraiser for their charity should visit http://ofcvintages.com/ to fill out an application.  To be considered, organizations must submit an official U.S. non-profit tax ID number and use the bottle for fundraising purposes only. Applications will be taken online only and recipients of the bottles shall be notified by email by November 1st, 2016, at which time bottles will be shipped free of charge. Charities will have until March 1st, 2017 to auction their bottle and report back to Buffalo Trace Distillery how much money was raised.

      This is the second time Buffalo Trace Distillery has partnered with non-profit organizations to raise money. In 2011, the Distillery gave away 174 bottles of its Millennium Barrel, the last bourbon barrel filled on the last day of the last century. In total more than $150,000 was raised for various charities across the United States, with the top organization raising more than $7,000 for their cause. 

      “These vintages are certainly unique and special whiskeys. We hope this O.F.C. collection can pay tribute to the many years gone by here at the Distillery. Each vintage has a story to tell indeed,” stated Kris Comstock from Buffalo Trace Distillery.  “To offer this first release to charitable organizations for their fundraising efforts makes this even more rewarding. We expect bottles to raise upwards of $10,000 each for worthy causes.”

Collectors interested in a chance to participate in a fundraiser can start checking the website in November http://ofcvintages.com/ for a list of non-profit organizations who will receive bottles for fundraisers.

ofc-bottle-canister

Categories
Whiskey

Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases 2016 Antique Collection Whiskeys

It’s the best time of the year for whiskey fans, as Buffalo Trace Distillery releases its 2016 Antique Collection. The highly anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what ardent fans can expect:

George T. Stagg

The powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg weighs in at a hefty 144.1 proof this year.  Past releases of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon won many top awards, including twice named the number one spirit in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s The Spirit Journal. This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2001. This batch contained 142 barrels, but not as many bottles as expected, due to some very greedy angels!  Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses M, N, H, L and K.  Finding a bottle this fall will be difficult due to the low yield.  This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including the “Bourbon of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition. The 2016 offering was distilled in the spring of 2003 and aged on the third and sixth floors of Warehouses D, K, and L.  This bourbon registers in at 135.4 proof – one of the stronger Weller releases.  The bold flavors include plum, figs and vanilla.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2015 edition was named “Best American Rye Whiskey” at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2010; aged on the fourth, fifth and seventh floors of Warehouses I, K, and M, and weighs in at 126.2 proof.  The flavor has been described as toffee and cinnamon.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2015 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2016 edition has been aging on the first, second and third floors of Warehouses H and K.  This 90 proof bourbon was aged for seventeen years and tastes of leather, vanilla, tobacco and toffee.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was named the Best Rye Whiskey 11 Years and Older by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible2016 edition.  This 2016 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of smoke, clove and all-spice with a dry finish.  The barrels for this whiskey were filled in April of 1998, making them the first “new” batch in years not drawn from the stainless steel tank as the previous past few editions have been.  From this year onward, this whiskey will be drawn directly from barrels put away for 18 years, versus using any tanked whiskey.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, and Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The 2016 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $90 each.  For more information visit http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/brands/antique-collection.

buffalo trace antique collection whiskey

Categories
Press Releases Whiskey

Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases 2015 Antique Collection Whiskeys

FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Sept. 8, 2015) Whiskey fans rejoice, Buffalo Trace Distillery is releasing its 2015 Antique Collection in late September. The highly anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what loyal fans can expect:

George T. Stagg

The powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, the 2015 George T. Stagg weighs in at 138.2 proof this year.  Past releases of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon won many top awards, including twice named the number one spirit in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s The Spirit Journal. This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2000. This batch contained 128 barrels, a similar size batch as in previous years. Unfortunately these barrels yielded very little whiskey. Some of the barrels were nearly empty, containing only 1 or 2 gallons. Storage location of these barrels varied across a number of warehouses and several floors, but 84% of the original whiskey was lost to evaporation (or some very greedy angels!). Finding a bottle this fall will be harder than ever. This whiskey tastes of expresso, molasses, chocolate, vanilla, and dates.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including the Second Finest Whiskey in the World by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015 edition. The 2015 offering was distilled in the spring of 2003 and aged on the second and sixth floors of Warehouses I, K, and L.  This bourbon registers in at 134.6 proof – one of the stronger Weller releases.  The bold flavors include toffee, nougat, and figs.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2014 edition was named “World’s Best American Whiskey” at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2009; aged on the fourth and seventh floors of Warehouses I, K, and M, and weighs in at 126.9 proof.  The flavor has been described as fig, clove, and allspice.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Gold Medal at the 2014 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2015 edition has been aging on the first, second and third floors of Warehouses Q and I.  This bourbon was aged for seventeen years and tastes of oak, tobacco, and dates.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was named the third finest whiskey in the world by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2015 edition, and American Whiskey of the Year by Whisky Advocate Magazine.  This 2015 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of molasses and allspice, with a long, dry finish.  Several years ago, barrels of fully matured Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old were put into a stainless steel tank at Buffalo Trace Distillery to prevent further aging. Since then, whiskey has been drawn each year for bottling.  This is the last edition of Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old from that tank. Next year’s batch will be comprised of whiskey that is currently aging in barrels filled in April 1998 and subsequent releases will contain barrels filled in 1999 and so on.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, andJim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The 2015 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $80 each.  For more information visit http://www.buffalotracedistillery.com/brands/antique-collection.

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection Bourbon

Categories
Whiskey

Is There a Bourbon Shortage?

Adam Smith

There has been much talk in the whiskey world recently about an alleged shortage of bourbon. Given that one can walk into any liquor store in the nation and buy as much bourbon as one can carry, this is clearly absurd on the face of it. But let’s dive a little deeper into our microeconomic theory to see what’s going on here.

While it is certainly not true that there is a shortage of bourbon in general, nor even of good quality bourbon, it is definitely true that there are shortages of certain kinds of bourbon. But why is this? The answer might surprise you, as it has little to do with how much bourbon is made.

Imagine that Buffalo Trace lowered the price of Weller 12 bourbon to $1 a bottle. Consumers across the country would flock to liquor stores to buy all they could at that price. Demand would surge. There would then be a shortage of Weller 12 bourbon – i.e., the demand to purchase would exceed the supply available for sale.

Now imagine that Buffalo Trace raised the price of Weller 12 bourbon to $100 a bottle. A few consumers would still buy it at that price – but very few. The demand would plummet. There would thus be a surplus of Weller 12 bourbon – i.e., the supply would exceed the demand.

Note that in neither case has the actual supply of Weller 12 – the amount of bourbon available for purchase – changed. Yet we went from a shortage to a surplus. All because the price changed.

The reason that there is a shortage of particular types of bourbon is because they are generally sold at below-market prices. (At the same time there are many stores that have these much coveted products on their shelves – at a price higher than the average consumer is willing to pay.) Were the distillery/distributor/store to raise the prices of these bourbons, the surplus would disappear and an equilibrium price would eventually be reached.

Bottom line: there is a shortage of Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old bourbon at $250. There is not a shortage at $2500.

(Note that this model is simplified to assume that the distillery is selling the product directly, not through the three-tier system, which is what happens in the real world. But the underlying market forces are the same.)

Categories
Whiskey

Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases 2014 Antique Collection Whiskeys

I’m sharing this news because I know a lot of people are interested. Here is this year’s info on the latest batch of whiskeys you’d love to have, but won’t be able to find.

Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (Sept. 4, 2014) Whiskey aficionados can start their holiday shopping early once Buffalo Trace Distillery releases its 2014 Antique Collection in late September. The highly anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what loyal fans can expect:

George T. Stagg

The 2013 release of this perennial favorite received the prestigious Chairman’s Trophy during the 2014 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.  Barrels for this year’s George T. Stagg bottling were selected from Warehouses C, H, I, K, L, P, and Q.  This uncut and unfiltered bourbon was distilled back in the spring of 1998 and weighs in at 138.1 proof.  Although still highly allocated, happily there are a few more bottles available this year, since Buffalo Trace increased distillation for George T. Stagg back in 1997. This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and dates.

William Larue Weller

The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. The previous edition was given a “95” rating by Whisky Advocate Magazine.  The 2014 offering was distilled in the spring of 2002 and aged on the second, third, fourth, and sixth floors of Warehouses D, K, and L.  This bourbon registers in at 140.2 proof – the strongest Weller release ever.  The bold flavors include dark molasses, plums, and toffee.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye

Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2013 edition was named “World’s Best Rye Whiskey” at the 2014 World Whiskies Awards.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2008, aged on the fifth floor of Warehouse M and weighs in at 129.2 proof.  The flavor has been described as Christmas cake, allspice, coconut, and clove.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2013 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2014 edition has been aging on the second, third and sixth floors of Warehouses I and K.  This bourbon was aged nearly two decades and tastes of oak, leather, cinnamon, and tobacco.

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was awarded a Gold Medal from Whisky Magazine’s World Whisky Awards.  This 2014 straight rye whiskey release was aged in Warehouse K and has notable flavor of all-spice, molasses and hints of mint, along with a long, dry finish.

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal, and Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

The 2014 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $80 each.  For more information visit www.greatbourbon.com.

Categories
Whiskey

Maker’s Mark Bourbon — Straight from the Barrel

I don’t usually run press releases on here unless I’m feeling especially lazy. But this latest one from Maker’s Mark caught my eye. I figured, if it interests me, it might interest you as well.

Maker’s Mark will start selling a cask-strength — that is, an uncut and unfiltered version — version of their bourbon to people who visit their distillery. I imagine that this will appeal to a lot of whiskey drinkers who otherwise shun Maker’s Mark.

Now, if only I were going to Loretto, Kentucky, I could try some!

 

Makers Mark Bourbon Logo

Dear Ambassador,

As you know, we love company. Maybe it’s because the Marion County countryside around our distillery is so peaceful. (A little too peaceful, if you know what we mean.) Or maybe it’s because our distillery is so out of the way, we’re thrilled when people make the effort to find us.

Whatever the reason, we invite you to stop in. We’ll be happy to give you an up-close-and-personal look at our distillery, our handmade whisky and the dream that led to both.

If you’re able to pay us a visit, we invite you to taste a bit of Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength™ to see how this uncut and unfiltered version compares to the original while experiencing the kaleidoscope of shapes and colors of The Spirit of the Maker – our installation by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. The countless handblown glass pieces include deep browns and vibrant ambers emblematic of our bourbon, crystal blues that reflect the water from the distillery’s spring-fed lake and rich reds illustrative of the signature red wax that tops each handmade bottle.

I have to say, it’s the perfect backdrop for sipping the amplified flavors of Cask Strength. Cask Strength will be available for tasting as part of the tour experience and for purchase in the gift shop beginning Monday, September 1.

We hope to raise a glass of it with you here soon!

Cheers!

Rob Samuels

Rob Samuels
Ambassador in Chief

Categories
Whiskey

The Bourbon Family Tree

I stole this from GQ. This gives you an idea of where your bourbon comes from. (Hint: almost all of it is made by a handful of large companies.)

Click on the image to see the larger version.

bourbon family tree

The chart is excerpted from The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining.

Categories
Awards Whiskey

Whisky Bible’s 2014 World Whisky of the Year

Glenmorangie Ealanta ScotchOne of the highlights of the whisky year for people who love awards and rankings is when Jim Murray publishes his Whisky Bible. Murray tastes seemingly every whisky produced in the world, and gives it tasting notes and scores. He also provides his rankings of the world’s best whiskies.

Murray has just announced his 2014 pick for the best whisky in the world: Glenmorangie Ealanta 19 Year Old Single Malt Scotch. Not only does he say it’s the best, he gives it a score of 97.5 out of a possible 100. He said it has “one of the longest finishes of any Scotch this year…Borderline perfection.”

Should you care? Who knows. I find rankings like this interesting, although not necessarily useful. It’s like the Oscars — it calls attention to notable achievements, even if the idea of something being “the best in the world” is ultimately kind of silly. It gives us something to talk about, a jumping off point for discussion, and I think that’s always a good thing.

But here perhaps is the cool part about this particular selection. You can actually buy a bottle! So many of these highly rated, award-winning whiskies are impossible to find. This one, however, is currently available from Caskers.

Is it worth $120? I have no idea — I haven’t tried it. But if anyone has, please let us know.