Sunday, April 3, 2022

Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, Vol. 01, Ed. 01

Welcome to the first edition of Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, where we deliver quick snapshots of some of the latest bourbon and whiskey news.


Sweetens Cove Announces Kennessee

Sweetens Cove Kennessee is a blend of Kentucky and Tennessee bourbons finished with toasted maple sugar wood (image via Sweetens Cove)

"Did we just become friends?" one of the ads for Kennessee asks. The product is a mixture of Tennessee and Kentucky bourbon finished with toasted sugar maple wood.

Kennessee is a new product in the Sweetens Cove line and it hit Indiana shelves Friday. It is also being sold in Kentucky and Georgia, just in time for the Masters.

According to blender Marianne Eaves, Kentucky's first female master distiller, the magic behind the new whiskey is the curating and blending of Kentucky and Tennessee bourbons and the finishing of this blend with toasted sugar maple wood. More specifically, she created a base blend of select whiskeys, finishing them in a stainless steel tank with the addition of special wood spirals made from the sugar maple wood before final filtration, proofing and bottling.

“The use of toasted sugar maple to me is like a Kentuckian’s take on Tennessee’s Lincoln county process, adding flavors (mostly sweet and nutty) through the intentional deep toast instead of the way charcoal removes flavors and ‘mellows’ the whiskey,” Eaves said to us. “We make it bolder.”

Sweetens Cove Kennessee, bottled at 55.35% ABV, released April 1, 2022, for a price point of around $60 per 750 ml bottle. It is initially available in Georgia, Indiana and Kentucky, with plans to expand further across the U.S. in 2022.


Penelope Bourbon Introduces Architect Series

The fast-emerging craft whiskey brand Penelope Bourbon has announced its latest offering, the Architect Series.

Named in honor of the art of whiskey blending, this new release combines the brand’s signature four-grain mash bill with two styles of French oak staves.

Working in collaboration with Tonnellerie Radoux of France, a market leader in oak barrel manufacturing, Penelope Bourbon selected each stave using its “OakScan” process.

OakScan is a rapid analysis, stave by stave, based on Near Infrared Spectrometry, the company says. Each stave entering into production is scanned and marked with a letter. This letter indicates which category of tannic potential it belongs to. This is meant to help coopers sort the staves more easily and make barrels with specific polyphenolic indexes. This index estimates the polyphenolic content of wood between 0 and 100.

On the nose of this new whiskey is sweet candied cream and floral notes with hints of green apple, the company says, leading into sweet vanilla and viscous cream with savory oak. The body contains a creamy sweetness with herbal and floral flavors, before a finish of leather and heat, with floral and botanical lingering notes.

Aged 4 to 5 years, this Penelope Bourbon Architect Series is 104 proof. The suggested retail price is $60 per 750-ml. bottle.


Bardstown Bourbon Drops 7th Versions of Discovery and Fusion Series

Bardstown Bourbon Company has released Fusion Series #7 and Discovery Series #7 and they are now available at the distillery, and distributed in 20 markets across the country.

Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #7.

The Discovery Series is meant to showcase the art of blending with an emphasis on old whiskies sourced from a variety of origins. Discovery Series #7, for the first time, incorporates not only aged bourbons and rye, but also features aged Canadian Whiskey sourced from Ontario. This is the first time the series has reached into international territory.

Discovery #7 includes three aged straight bourbons blended with rye and Canadian whiskey. Flavors and aromas include baked cherry with a touch of mint, the company reports, plus raspberry genoise, and baked apple and brown sugar.

Discovery Series #7 comes bottled at at 114.5 proof. The suggested retail price is $139.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #7
The Fusion Series blends older sourced whiskies with more-recently distilled stock produced by the company at its Bardstown, KY distillery. Fusion series releases show a range of mash bills across the selected aged products, and includes corn, rye, wheat and malted barley. 

Fusion #7 is 70% three-year-aged bourbon produced by Bardstown Bourbon Co., and 30% twelve-year-aged sourced whiskey. It includes five mashbills: three from three-year-old Bardstown Bourbon Co. distilled whiskey and two from 12-year-old sourced stock.

The nose contains nectarine with toasted almond and honey, the company reports, followed by cedar and toffee with light tannins on the palate. Fusion #7 is 98.1 proof, with a suggested retail price of $64.99 per 750-ml. bottle.


Stave & Thief Society Expands Bourbon Certification Program Online

Stave & Thief Society, the Louisville, Kentucky-based Bourbon certification program, has officially launched an online version of its flagship Executive Bourbon Steward training. The new offering expands the reach of their tier-two certification, which had previously only been available through in-person classes taught at Moonshine University in Louisville.

“When we made the decision to take our Executive training online, we did take pandemic-related challenges into consideration; however, the truth is, we have been thinking about offering a virtual experience for much longer,” said Colin Blake, Moonshine University’s Director of Spirits Education. “While COVID-19 certainly quickened the pace of this release, our mission has always been to make Bourbon education as accessible and inclusive as possible – and virtual learning is another way we can deliver on that promise.”

Stave & Thief Society offers two levels of Bourbon Certification, each of which serves as an extension of this curated expertise. The first, Certified Bourbon Steward, can be achieved by independent study of the Society’s Bourbon Steward Handbook and requires passing an online test. The second is the Executive Bourbon Steward title, which can now either be achieved through on-demand virtual learning or participation in a hands-on, daylong class where students utilize Moonshine University’s state-of-the-art classroom, distillery, sensory library and beverage laboratory.

Since its launch, Stave & Thief Society has certified over 4,500 Bourbon Stewards from around the world – from restaurant and bar staff to hotel personnel, distillery tour directors, wine sommeliers, and whiskey enthusiasts alike.

For more about the Executive Bourbon Steward online certification program, click here.

For more information, visit


Brush Creek Distillery Expands Distribution to Kentucky

Wyoming-based Brush Creek Distillery has expanded its first line of spirits, including Brush Creek Vodka (SRP $26.99), Brush Creek Gin (SRP $28.99), Brush Creek Straight Bourbon (SRP 57.99), and Brush Creek Straight Rye (SRP $47.99) into Kentucky. All four products were crafted in Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee, matured along Wyoming’s western frontier and crafted at The Farm at Brush Creek. Brush Creek Straight Bourbon Whiskey contains “bold aromas of malt and dried cherries mingle with hints of new leather and thyme. The palate envelops a silky coating of roasted cherries and dried blueberries. Toasted Oak notes and hints of cinnamon hit throughout the palate and create a refined finish,” according to their website. The 4-SKU lineup of spirits is now available in liquor stores, restaurants and hotels across the state. For more information, visit


Dread River to Launch First Bourbon Distilled in Birmingham, Available May 1st

Dread River will soon release its newest spirit, Dread River Straight Bourbon. Distilled from a mash bill of corn, wheat and malted barley, aged over two years and is finished in Caribbean rum casks. The spirit will be 90 proof.

The distillery will officially launch the bourbon during the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park throughout the race weekend from April 29 to May 1.

Named after a mythical river that is said to have once flowed under Birmingham itself, Dread River Distilling Co. is Alabama’s largest distillery. Inside its 24,000 square-foot facility on 7th Avenue South, Dread River distills their own vodka, whiskey, rye whiskey, rum, gin and bourbon. In additional to their spirits, Dread River brews a number of their own beers and wines, which guests are invited to enjoy at the distillery’s tasting room.

You can reserve Batch 1 bottles of Dread River Bourbon by visiting, calling 205-588-1744 or emailing


Broad Branch Announces Big Winston Bourbon Bottled in Bond

Broad Branch is proud to announce the release of Big Winston Bourbon Bottled in Bond.

Aged for 4 years and Bottled in Bond, this single barrel, straight bourbon is distilled from a unique low rye mash. The finished expression perfectly balances sweet and savory flavors with gentle spice, featuring notes of cream, tart cherry and buttery pie.

Big Winston Bourbon carries the name of its birthplace—Big Winston Warehouse. A former tobacco auction site nearly 100 years ago, it’s now home to Broad Branch. We mash, distill, age, proof and bottle Big Winston Bourbon here onsite, in the heart of the city.

Big Winston BiB will be available for purchase Saturday, April 2nd at 1 pm. This is a distillery-only release and must be purchased at our tasting room in downtown Winston-Salem. See you there.

Limit one Bottle Per Customer


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