Thursday, June 16, 2022

Bourbon Barrel Blurbs Vol. 01, Ed. 04

2022 North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition Is Now Accepting Entries 

The North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition is owned and produced by Wine Country Network, Inc, a leading producer of Internationally focused, professional beverage competitions. The North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition is dedicated to identifying North America’s Best Bourbon and Whiskey based products available.

The North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition was founded in 2014 to promote excellence in Bourbon, Whiskey, and Moonshine. This double-blind competition uses a 100-point scale. Only American and Canadian-made whiskeys have the opportunity to compete against America's native spirits for the coveted N.A.B.W.C "BEST OF SHOW AWARD" laser engraved custom barrel head. Winners also receive handsome die-cast medals and are featured in a follow-up feature article in Wine Country International® magazine and the "Best Bourbon and Whiskey" trade and consumer tasting.

For more information, visit:


Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey Invests $5 Million in ‘Hella Cocktail Co.’ Craft Bitters and Mixers

Uncle Nearest Ventures is the investment arm of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. The venture was created to invest in minority (BIPOC and women) founded, owned, and led brands with the greatest potential to grow into long-standing legacy brands.

Uncle Nearest has announced a $5 million investment in Hella Cocktail Co., a brand of botanically inspired mixers and beverages crafted to elevate cocktail culture for everyone. Their portfolio includes crafted bitters, premium mixers, and non-alcoholic bitters & soda RTDs. Hella Cocktail Co. says from strategy to vision, and from ethos to growth trajectory, the partnership between these two brands truly aligns in every dimension. Standing out with its inclusive category perspective and incredible development.


Review: Brother’s Bond Wants to Be More Than a Celebrity Bourbon

Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley launched one of the the fastest-growing bourbons in the U.S. last year with Brother's Bond. Inside Hook recently talked to the guys and got look at their latest release.

Why we’re drinking this: When it launched late last year, Brother’s Bond quickly became one of the fastest-growing bourbons in America, shipping over 80,000 cases across the USA in 29 states. It had the most successful pre-sale launch in the history of ReserveBar. It’s also already the most-followed alcohol brand on Instagram, according to the company.

The flagship Brother’s Bond release is a solid four-grain (65% corn, 22% rye, undisclosed wheat and barley), 80-proof bourbon that seems to have taken off so successfully due to a combination of star power, modest pricing, clever marketing and, yes, a very balanced taste profile.

While I don’t think the flagship release will appeal to hardcore bourbon fans in the long run — it’s solid and well-rounded if not overly complex (but good for summer-y drinks) — the Cask Strength suggests that a little more kick could go a long way.

How it tastes: Brother’s Bond Bourbon Original Cask Strength is a limited release of 70 of the Brother’s Bond Bourbon barrels, which were distilled and sourced from MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The Cask Strength release, uncut and unfiltered, has an ABV of 57.9% (our sample, which we tried in December, was 59% ABV — all of the BB releases share the same mashbill). The age statement we were told was four years.

Turns out the higher ABV did the trick: The “total balance” of the original gets a bit upended, but now you have more caramel, butterscotch and jam notes (including raspberry), with hickory and tobacco on the nose and some more rye spice making an appearance on the finish. This one is really nice for sipping, and given its modest price point, could also even work well in an elevated cocktail.

Fun fact: While a rye is “coming soon” according to the Brother’s Bond website, be on the lookout for a 100-proof release and various age statement bottles over the next few years.

Where to buy it: Available starting June 14th on ReserveBar and eventually a few select retailers, Brother’s Bond Cask Strength Bourbon has a suggested retail price of $79.99.

The full article can be found here


Taste Test: Keeper’s Heart Irish Whiskey and Bourbon Blend Is Solid—but Not Stellar

Robb Report recently reviewed the new Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon, a combination of Irish whiskey and American bourbon blended and sourced by the new O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. in Minneapolis.

Irish + Bourbon is made up of the following components: triple distilled pot still Irish whiskey, aged for at least four years in bourbon barrels; Irish grain whiskey (maize and malt), aged for at least four years in bourbon barrels; and bourbon made from a mash bill of 76 percent corn, aged in new charred oak barrels for at least four years. The Irish whiskeys were distilled at Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk, and the bourbon at MGP in Indiana, but the exact proportions are not revealed.

On the nose, the whiskey is light and grassy, with a bit of fruit and fresh wood. It is distinctly un-bourbon from start to finish, as it should be, but the best thing about it is that the character of the different whiskey elements are highlighted instead of masked. The fruit and spice from the pot still shines through, along with some vanilla and espresso notes from grain, and even more vanilla and a touch of char from bourbon. I had a chance to try the individual components of this blend, and the pot still in particular was excellent, so quality of the sourced whiskey doesn’t seem to be an issue here.

The full article can be found here.


The best Pappy Van Winkle bourbon alternatives

While Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is a one-of-a-kind item, there are many excellent substitutes. To find the best Pappy Van Winkle alternatives, Insider's James Brains tried Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year and Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year and talked to four experts: Jeremy Johnson; Freddie Johnson (no relation), a popular tour guide for Buffalo Trace Distillery, the makers of Pappy; Fred Minnick, the author of "Bourbon Curious"; and Henry Kwok, the owner of Henry's Place, a bourbon bar in Okemos, Michigan.

As you might expect, the top alternative was Weller but what other releases made the list? Click here to find out.


The Best Blended Bourbon Whiskeys Right Now, Ranked By UPROXX

It wasn’t too long ago that the word “blended” had a very negative connotation in the bourbon whiskey world. The idea was that “blended” bourbon wasn’t “straight” bourbon so it was, thereby, automatically inferior. While that may have been true at some point (but even then, not really), those days are long gone. Today, blended bourbons are amongst the most respected and lauded bottles on the shelf.

In fact, entire brands are built around the fact that they take barrels from all over and blend them into masterpieces. It’s a genre unto itself.

So what is a “blended” bourbon these days? Very simply, a blended bourbon is a mix of different bourbons from different mash bills and distilleries, sometimes from completely different states. With this list, I’m focusing on the blends with whiskey from different distilleries and states that are put together by craft distillers and blenders.

To see the complete list by Zach Johnston on UPROXX, click here.


 Sandy River Distillery fire outside of Farmville sends one owner to hospital

In a post made to the Sandy River Distillery’s Facebook page on Monday night, owners Mark and Candi Smith announced that Mark was in the hospital receiving treatment after a fire broke out at the distillery. 

The first craft distillery in Prince Edward County, Virginia, Sandy River Distillery is home to Sterling Vodka,1840 Bourbon, and various flavors of moonshine.


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