Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, Vol. 1, Issue 6

Sazerac buys Irish whiskey distillery

Buffalo Trace owner Sazerac has acquired Lough Gill Distillery in County Sligo, Ireland, which will become the new home for its Irish whiskey brands Paddy and Michael Collins.

New Orleans-headquartered Sazerac has purchased Hazelwood Demesne, the owner of Lough Gill Distillery in the northwest of Ireland.

The distillery was founded in 2015 after the discovery of a huge warehouse complex, hidden by a forgotten 300-year-old Palladian house in Hazelwood Forest. The warehouse complex was repurposed into a distillery in 2019, producing the Athrú Irish whiskey brand.

Lough Gill Distillery was founded in 2015

Sazerac will develop the 100-acre site into a ‘world-class’ whiskey facility and visitor attraction. Once complete, the facility will welcome up to 150,000 visitors every year.

In addition, former Bushmills master blender Helen Mulholland has joined the company to lead the Lough Gill Distillery team.

She will be responsible for the selection and management of casks for Athrú, supporting the Athrú portfolio of aged single malts, as well as new product development.

Check out the full story at The Spirits Business.


US distiller calls IWA claim ‘ridiculous’

Kings County Distillery’s ‘Irish Style American Whiskey’

New York City-based Kings County Distillery has hit back at the Irish Whiskey Association’s (IWA) claim that it was misleading consumers with its Irish Style American Whiskey.

The Brooklyn-based distillery tweeted last week (14 June) that it had received a cease-and-desist letter from the IWA on 1 June.

The letter was issued over the labeling and description of the distiller’s ‘Irish Style American Whiskey’, which was created to mark St Patrick’s Day on 17 March.

According to the Kings County website, the expression is produced in an ‘Irish style’, and is triple distilled and aged in ex-Bourbon barrels. The one-year-old spirit is made with New York barley and bottled at 45% ABV. The product is now sold out on the company’s website.

Kings County Distillery took to Twitter to refute the IWA’s claim: “Dear @IrishWhiskeyAsc, we’ll answer for a lot, but accusing us of misleading consumers is fighting words around here. You want to pick a fight, we return the effort.”

For all the details, check out the full story at The Spirits Business.


Small Batch 2022. Photo courtesy of Garrison Brothers

Garrison Brothers pioneered bourbon distillation in the Lone Star State

Fans of America’s native spirit are aware that spectacular bourbon is now made all around the country. The situation was very different back in 2006, when Dan Garrison obtained a permit for the first legal bourbon distillery outside of Kentucky and Tennessee—in Hye, Texas, of all places.

Garrison was a survivor. Prior to 2001, he was a happy bourbon drinker and Vice President of Marketing for a software company in Austin. In the fall of that year, his biggest client, Enron, abruptly declared bankruptcy in one of the biggest fraud scandals in history, and he was faced with the need to reinvent himself.

Read the rest of Mark Spivak’s Garrison Brothers article for Naples Illustrated here.


New distillery planned in northern Kentucky town

AUGUSTA, Ky. (AP) — A distilling group is working to develop a new $23 million distillery planned in the northern Kentucky community of Augusta.

Augusta Distillery will be located in the historic F.A. Neider building, which provided metal stamping services dating back to 1883 until its closure in 2007.
The 40,000-square-foot building situated on 1.8 acres will house Augusta Distillery’s first full-scale operation, with plans to reach full production capacity by summer 2024, according to a news release from Gov. Andy Beshear’s office. Beshear attended a groundbreaking for the distillery on Monday.

The distillery received its Class B distiller’s license in July.

Company leaders expect construction to begin this summer and said the facility will be operational by summer 2024.

“This project breathes new life into a historic building in Bracken County, and I look forward to seeing what this location will become in the years ahead,” the governor said.

Augusta’s initial brand expression, Buckner’s 13-year single barrel cask strength bourbon, is distributed nationally and is available at retail in Kentucky and Ohio. Augusta’s next product offering is expected to arrive later this year.


What is in a bourbon label and how to read it

Trying to read a bourbon label can be challenging. But if you know the procedures and all that is involved, it may help you find a needle in the haystack that will blow your socks off.

A bourbon label typically gives you the age, state, and brand. And, with these, you can easily lay your hands on the dram of your liking and speak in-depth about the drink.

Brand and Distillery

  • The most striking and vivid detail on a bourbon label is the name of the brand or distillery. This is what sets the bottle apart and gives the first impression of the drink to the customer. However, there are more interesting things to it. Generally, the brand name gives the details of the distillery where the bourbon was produced.


  • Mentioned right below the brand and distillery, the age of the drink is the next most distinguishable detail on a bourbon label. Bourbon must be made from at least 51% corn and aged in new charred oak barrels. Nonetheless, there are many instances in which the bourbon brand does not reveal the age of the dram. These are branded as no age statements. In the U.S., the lack of an age statement on bourbon is not uncommon. Bourbon whiskeys only display an age statement if the whiskey used is under four years old. Like scotch, a blended Bourbon’s age statement must reflect the age of the youngest Bourbon used. But this doesn’t imply that the higher the age, the better the bourbon. The alcohol ages as long as it sits in the oak barrel.

Type of Barrel

  • Bourbons are stored in new charred oak barrels and corn whiskey, which contains at least 80 percent corn, is stored in a used charred oak barrel or in a new un-charred oak barrel. Straight whiskies, aged for two years straight, mature in new oak barrels while straight corn whiskey can be aged in new un-charred ones as well.

Bourbon State and Type

  • Another unmissable detail on the label, mentioned below the brand and age, is the state and the type of bourbon that is in the bottle. All the details are mentioned on the label. This gives information about the state which may affect the aroma and flavor undertones of the pour.

Alcohol Content

  • Needless to say, the alcohol content is what defines the quality and the type of whisky that is being produced. This is denoted by the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage or by the term ‘Proof’ for American bourbons. The latter is just twice the ABV; which means 80-proof denoted 40 % ABV. Bourbons are distilled at not more than 160 proof and then stored at less than 125 proof and corn whiskey is stored at 160 proof. The coveted ‘bonded’ or ‘bottled-in-bond’ bourbon has 100 ABV or 50-proof and is produced in a single distilling season (January to December). It is then matured for four years under the US government’s supervision. This American whiskey label must specify the distillery and other details of bottling as the government takes responsibility for its safety.

Size of the Bottle

  • Regular bourbon drinkers can easily guess the bottle size by taking a glance at it. However, you can simply eliminate all the guesswork and be sure of the volume by a quick look at the whisky label.

Other Details

  • The Expression is another detail that you may or may not find in most details these days. Brands mostly give their or the distillery’s name which is popularly known, along with the age. However, to commemorate special occasions or to attract audience attention, some special expressions are launched. Another term that might be printed on the whisky label is small batch. This generally indicates a handcrafted limited edition release but it is commonly used as a marketing strategy to attract buyers.
Originally reported on The Bourbon Flight.


DISCUS launches Destination Distillery

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) launched Destination Distillery (www.destinationdistillery.com), a new website providing a tourism-driven experience and educational journey into the cultural heritage and history of spirits in America.

Visitors to the website will be able to explore many of America’s most famous distilleries as well as up-and-coming ones, state-by-state trails, the economic impact of the spirits industry by state, and important sites connected to the history of distilling and spirits in our country.

Visitors can locate distilleries based on the type of spirits they produce or by location. Categories of spirits are also listed, and each can be selected for an in-depth history of the category. Another unique part of the site is the “Stories” section which features information on historical milestones related to the spirits industry.

Destination Distillery builds upon the foundation of the American Whiskey Trail, a tourism initiative created in 2004 by DISCUS in partnership with Mount Vernon and George Washington’s historic distillery. Over the nearly two decades since, there has been a proliferation of more than 2,000 small distilleries in cities and towns across the country.

Destination Distillery is the ultimate destination for those interested in planning a spirited journey or learning more about U.S. distilleries and the history of spirits in our country. To learn more, visit destionationdistillery.com.

Check out this article on The Bourbon Flight for more.


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