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Archives for : May2017

Review of the new Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Batch 878.

Death, taxes, another batch of ECBP.  All are inevitable, one is preferable.

Faster than you can say, “Pappy 25 sold for whaa”, a new batch of ECBP is introduced.  No longer being referred to in the mainstream by their proof, the new batches of ECBP actually come with a batch number now.  The newest one is B517 which means May of 2017 (I don’t know what the B stands for, the previous one was A so one can assume this simply means the second batch of 2017).  Based on this batch numbering system, I would imagine there will not be a C3PO batch, but that would be cool as hell, especially if it was like this December with the new Star Wars movie (marketing team take note and see how Old Forester paired up with Hollywood recently…just sayin…).  Anyway  per the Elijah Craig website, all batches have always had batch codes, but they really didn’t start using them until this year.

So yes, there are a lot of ECBP releases.  But in all seriousness it doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that ECBP is still one of the absolute best deals in bourbon.  Barrel proof, 12 years old, and with a price in the mid $50’s, Heaven Hill seems content on keeping the cost the same, which is awesome for the consumer, and awesome for them as this product doesn’t sit on shelves.  To me, two bourbons that are comparable in nature are Stagg Jr, and Booker’s.  The latter is about 6 years old and does sit on shelves, the former is about 7 years old and underwhelming to me.  Of course that’s not to say that every batch of ECBP is stellar, some are not that great, some are decent, and some are really good.

This one, this one right here, is a really damn good release.  “The proof went down and the taste went up!” ™®  One of my favorite batches of ECBP was a 128.0 batch and this one beats it.  This might be the best batch of ECBP that has been released…….so far this month.

The nose on this one is like burnt maple syrup.  Coming in at 124.2 proof, it has absolutely no nose burn that I sometimes get on deep whiffs of strong stuff.  I like my nose, and I like when it doesn’t burn.

It’s got a delicious taste, caramel and honey, and it finishes forever.  Maybe it’s because I’m used to the 138+ commonly found with ECBP, but it’s just such an easy sipper at this proof.  Very smooth, very little burn, strong bourbon flavors, and a great price point.  What’s not to love?  And look, even if you don’t like it, you’ve got about 30 days until you can fall in love with another.

Grade = A

 

Buffalo Trace announces new Experimental Collection made from 6 grains.

This one actually sounds really intriguing and I hope to get a sample to try.  Stay tuned!

 

BTD Logo

 

BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY RELEASES

ORGANIC 6 GRAIN WHISKEY EXPERIMENT

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (May 9, 2017) Buffalo Trace Distillery has experimented with a variety of grains in their latest Experimental Collection release, six grains in one bourbon to be exact. The latest release is named Organic Six Grain Whiskey.

Distilled in early May 2010, this whiskey mash bill contains an assortment of grains; corn, buckwheat, brown rice, sorghum, wheat, and rice. These grains were milled, cooked and made into sour mash before being distilled on Buffalo Trace’s experimental micro-still to 130 proof white dog. The white dog was then entered into eight new charred white oak barrels that had received Buffalo Trace’s standard number four char. After resting in Warehouse H for seven years and one month, the whiskey was chill filtered and bottled at 90 proof.

This is a certified organic whiskey, as all six grains received organic certification, and the production method at Buffalo Trace Distillery, including distillation, processing, and bottling was organically certified.

While it may be uncommon to come across bourbons made with more than typically three grains, this six grain product still meets all of the requirements to be called bourbon, made with at least 51 percent corn, with the other five grains comprising the rest of the mash bill. Buffalo Trace observed that these six grains created a flavor profile that is different than the typical bourbons produced at the Distillery. For this reason, Buffalo Trace has elected to refer to this experiment as a whiskey in name.

Tasting notes for the Organic Six Grain Experiment describe it as being very complex, with slight herbal tones, heavy wood tannins, and earthy notes, accompanied by a spicy aftertaste that rounds out the comprehensive flavor.

These barrels are part of more than 14,000 experimental barrels of whiskey aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery, the largest number of experimental barrels ever held in inventory at the National Historic Landmark Distillery and most likely the world. Each of them has unique characteristics that differentiate them in distinct ways. Some examples of experiments include unique mash bills, types of wood, and different barrel toasts. In order to further increase the scope, flexibility, and range of the experimental program, an entire micro distillery, named The Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. “OFC” Micro Distillery, complete with cookers, fermenting tanks, and a state-of-the-art micro still has been constructed within Buffalo Trace Distillery. Buffalo Trace has increased its commitment to experimentation with the recent addition of its Warehouse X. Although small in size, Warehouse X is designed to explore the extent of environmental influences on the flavor profiles of whiskey.

The Experimental Collection is packaged in 375ml bottles, and each label includes all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. These whiskeys retail for approximately $46.35 each and will be available in late May, 2017.  Experimental Collection releases are generally quite small and have limited availability. For more information on the Experimental Collection or the other products of Buffalo Trace Distillery, please contact Elizabeth Hurst at ehurst@buffalotrace.com.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 17 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named “Brand Innovator of the Year” by Whisky Magazine at its Icons of Whisky America Awards 2015.  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 300 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracedistillery.com To download images from Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotracemediakit.com

New Old Forester Product coming in August – OF Statesman

Long story short there is a sequel to Kingsman The Secret Service (really good under-rated flick btw but totally not safe for kids) called Kingman The Golden Circle (trailer).

For this follow up film, the movie studio partnered with Old Forester to use their distillery for a good portion of the film that takes place in Louisville.

With the partnership, OF decided to release a special bourbon in honor of it called the Statesman.  I don’t know much yet except that it’s available in August and is 95 proof.

Here is the video announcement from OF. (Linky)

 

(More details about the bourbon itself as it becomes available)

2017 Michter’s 10 year Bourbon and Rye Review

In October of last year, Michter’s named a new Master Distiller, replacing the long tenured Willie Pratt with Pamela Heilmann, the first female master distiller of a KDA distillery since prohibition.  Pamela formerly ran the Booker Noe Distillery and has a ton of experience in the bourbon world.  Following along the guidelines of now Master Distiller Emeritus Willie, Pamela is only approving the limited edition Michter’s products when she deems them ready.  The 2017 M10 Bourbon and Rye were her first two approvals and of course I had to have my hands on them.  I drank a good bit with friends, but decided to sit down with a nice pour of each to really get my perspective.

2017 M10 Bourbon:

I poured the M10 bourbon, and set it aside to write a little.  The bourbon is a good 3 feet from me, but I can smell it over here.  It’s got a fantastic nose.  Strong notes of vanilla.  With a good enough whiff I get that wonderful smell you can only experience in a bourbon distillery, that ‘mash is cooking and the grains are in the air’ smell.  Very nice.

Unfortunately I feel that the bourbon falls a little flat on the palette and I have felt that way for the past few releases of M10.  It’s very one dimensional with a slightly bitter taste.  It’s not bad, it’s just not as good as I hoped.

I will say the finish is great at first and leaves a lovely caramel aftertaste.  It almost comes back to life after it goes down.  I can also say this is a definite improvement over the 2016 M10 (batch 1).  I feel like with each batch it’s getting better, and I think very soon we are going to have a product that sends M10 Bourbon back into the rank of ‘highly sought after’ for allocated bourbons.

Overall grade = B

2017 M10 Rye:

Nose is fantasic.  It smells like Sugar Babies.  Seriously, I get sugar babies and maybe some spearmint gum.  So nice.

And it tastes just as nice.  So smooth, especially for a 93 proof rye.  A little spice from the rye, just enough to make a presence, not overwhelming.  I get a wonderful flavor, it reminds me of honey nut chex a little bit.  It also finishes just as nice with some vanilla and some caramel.  It really is a great pour, one that I could pour all day.

I’m a big fan of the 2017 M10 Rye and had to buy a few backups.  At a retail price of $120’ish, I can afford to stock up on a few of these.  Much higher and I don’t know if that’s the case, but these days $120 is the new $60.

Overall grade = A

Conclusion:

I have loved Michter’s ever since my visit last summer.  They were so welcoming and so proud of their product and it shows in everything they release.  While the M10 Bourbon is not at the level that would make me buy it, it’s improving, and I look forward to future batches.  And I love the M10 Rye, such a great pour, and worth an investment at the price point.  Now if I could just get my hands on some of that M25 Rye…..