Sunday, July 10, 2022

Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, Vol. 1, Issue 09

BBB is back with the latest blurbs on 15 Stars Fine Aged Bourbon, Rebel Bourbon auction for Ukraine, Distillery of Modern Art, Five Trail Blended American Whiskey, Warbringer Mesquite Smoked Bourbon, Jackie Zykan and Hidden Barn, Playboy's Rare Hare 1953, Old Forester 117, and Forgotten 50 Distilling.


They set out to make Kentucky bourbon from popcorn. Then they started winning awards.

New bourbon brand 15 Stars has been winning awards with its very first releases, a 14-year-old called Timeless Reserve, and a new 7- and 15-year-old release coming in July. Provided
A Kentucky bourbon you’ve probably never heard of has been racking up rave reviews and awards. And they owe it all to a special popcorn.

15 Stars Fine Aged Bourbon, released by a father and son team working with Bardstown Bourbon Co., won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards and won Double Platinum from the ASCOT Awards created by Louisville-based spirits critic Fred Minnick.

Their first limited-release bourbon, 15 Stars 14 Year Old Timeless Reserve, was a finalist for best straight bourbon at San Francisco, according to Rick Johnson, who started the company with his son, Ricky, three years ago.

Their first bourbon is in stores only in Kentucky, in very limited release of only 1,650, with a suggested retail price of $279 a bottle. It’s 103 proof with a nose of butterscotch and maple, a palate of dark chocolate and molasses and a finish of dark chocolate, oak and coffee, according to the tasting notes.

The next release, called 15 Stars 7&15, blends two bourbons of those ages and will be available in late July in stores in Kentucky including Liquor Barn and Total Wine & More. That bourbon also was awarded Double Platinum in the 2022 ASCOT Awards. It will have a suggested retail price of $139 a bottle. It is 107 proof with a nose of cinnamon, rose petals and apricot, a palate of citrus and spice and soft toasted oak finish.

Read the full article here.


SB and Lux Row to auction barrel for Ukraine

Lux Row Distillers and The Spirits Business have partnered to auction a barrel of Rebel Bourbon to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Read the full article here.


Spirits and art highlighted at new distillery

Distillery of Modern Art - the name says it all.

The newest entry to metro Atlanta’s craft libation scene is also a modern art gallery.
The venue officially opened June 16. It’s been under construction for 19 months—delayed in part by the pandemic. The former sign manufacturing site in a nondescript corner of Chamblee has been transformed into an open, airy, trendy space where seven liquors (vodka, peach vodka, gin, corn whiskey, rye whiskey, bourbon and amaro peach) are produced.

Read the full article here.


Whiskey Wednesday: Take a Hike With Five Trail Whiskey

This week, we try a new blended whiskey from ... Coors?

Now, Molson Coors has made the leap to the spirits side of the business with the venerable beer company’s first whiskey, Five Trail Blended American Whiskey. Retailing at around $60 a bottle, this whiskey lives squarely in the premium price point, so it had better be something special, right? Well, aside from the novelty of being Coors’ first whiskey, it really is a pretty unique blended whiskey.
The blend is listed as 45 percent wheated bourbon from Indiana, 35 percent four-grain bourbon from Kentucky, 15 percent Colorado single malt, and 5 percent 13-year-old bourbon from Kentucky. The Colorado component was distilled using the same barley that Coors uses in its beers, so that’s one local stamp on the product. Another Colorado touch is when the four whiskeys are de-barreled and blended in Kentucky, Colorado river water is used to dilute the final product down to 95 proof.

The result is definitely a nice whiskey, exhibiting the sweeter corn/vanilla/caramel elements of the bourbon components and the complexity of the older Kentucky bourbon. But the single malt from Coors barley adds a lovely grain element to make the blend more interesting.

Read the full article on the Nashville Scene.


Ventura County Distillery Wins Award for Best Pot Still Bourbon in America

Warbringer Mesquite Smoked Bourbon, made by Sespe Creek Distillery in Oxnard, California, took the country's top award at this year's World Whiskies Awards competition.

Read the full article here.


Master Taster Leaves Bourbon ‘Dream Job’ To Start New Brand

There are dream jobs. And then, there’s owning your own company.

Former Old Forester master taster Jackie Zykan leaves what WSJ called a “whiskey lover’s dream job” for a shot at a whiskey brand called “Hidden Barn,” her partnership with two 5280 Whiskey Society founders and Royce Neeley of Neeley Family Distillery.

Read the full Forbes article by Fred Minnick here.


Playboy Debuting “Rare Hare 1953” 17 Year Bourbon Release

PLBY Company, Inc (Owner of Playboy) has teamed up with Spirit Investment Partners (SIP) to create the release of Rare Hare 1953, an ultra-premium 17-year aged straight bourbon. Marking the inaugural whiskey offering from Playboy Spirits, a joint venture of PLBY Group and Spirit Investment Partners (SIP), the Rare Hare brand expects to offer a portfolio of ultra-premium spirits in select markets around the world beginning with the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific. 

A fitting tribute to the year Playboy was founded, the Rare Hare 1953 Anniversary Edition is a 17-year Kentucky bourbon finished in XXO Cognac casks from the Champagne region of France. Per the brand, Rare Hare 1953 is imbued with subtle notes of Grande Champagne and Fine Champagne grapes with hints of candied fruit and spices. Bottled at 111 proof and packaged in a commemorative box, only 1,953 bottles will be released for the U.S. market launch and 1,953 bottles for select markets in Asia and Europe.

Each bottle is individually numbered and comes in a sleek custom box equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.  The NFC chip will give inaugural 1953 owners access to the Rare Hare Society offering exclusive luxury travel experiences, intimate events, private barrel releases and more. 

Rare Hare 1953 is available for purchase for $589 (suggested retail price) at select retail locations or online at


Old Forester's Next Release in the 117 Series: Whiskey Row Fire

The limited-edition release marks the 7th anniversary of the fire on Whiskey Row and commemorates the bravery of the Louisville Fire Department

LOUISVILLE, Ky., July 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Old Forester Distilling Co. announces the release of the newest installment of The 117 Series – Whiskey Row Fire.

This commemorative bottle honors the 7th anniversary of the fire on Whiskey Row that nearly destroyed the historic block.

"I remember that day and that fire vividly," Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick said. "We are extremely proud of our brave firefighters who risked their lives and saved the block."

On July 7, 2015, a four-alarm fire ravaged the buildings on historic Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville. Teams of brave Louisville first responders were able to contain and extinguish the catastrophe, preserving the site for the Old Forester Distillery at 117/119 West Main. The block is now home to restaurants, bars, a hotel and other businesses – and has become a tourist destination.

In 2020, men and women of Louisville Fire, many of whom fought the blaze, selected eight single barrels from a lot filled the same day they extinguished the fire. All 8 barrels sold out in two days and proceeds were donated to the Louisville Firefighter Disaster Fund.

The remainder of the barrels filled that day slumbered an additional two years in the warehouse and are now batched together to create the 117 Series - Fireman Barrels.

At nearly 7 years old - these barrels are fully mature and wise in character.

Today, Frederick and Louisville Fire Department members were special guests of Old Forester and toured the distillery. In addition, Old Forester is making a charity donation to the Louisville Fire Department to help firefighters who are in distress.

The 117 Series is a limited-expression lineup that debuted in Spring 2021.

Old Forester Whiskey Row Fire is bottled at 100 proof and will be available starting July 7th at the retail shop at Old Forester Distilling Co. for $59.99 in limited quantities. Visit for more information.

Tasting notes: 

  • Color: Dark orange brown
  • Aroma: Sweet notes of honey comb, malt and marzipan mingle with delicate cedar and fresh oak notes atop cherries laced with vanilla cream.
  • Flavor: Brown sugar, marzipan, vanilla and honey sweeten a mix of berry fruit.
  •  Finish: Long notes of honey and vanilla linger with a touch of fruit.

About the 117 Series:

The 117 Series offers a deep dive, or deconstruction, on how either the individual Old Forester Whiskey Row Series expressions are crafted or highlights other historical moments of Old Forester's history on W. Main Street.

About Brown-Forman:

For 152 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel's & Cola, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel's Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, BenRiach, GlenDronach, Slane, and Fords Gin. Brown-Forman's brands are supported by over 4,800 employees and sold in more than 170 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit

About Old Forester Bourbon:

Old Forester is Brown-Forman's founding brand, founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown. Brown believed Old Forester was so pure and consistent that he sealed it, signed it, and pledged, "There is nothing better in the market."

Please sip responsibly.

Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, 50% Alc. by Vol., Old Forester Distilling Company at Louisville in Kentucky. OLD FORESTER is a registered trademark. ©2022 Brown-Forman. All rights reserved. Please do not share or forward this content with anyone under the legal drinking age.

SOURCE Old Forester Distilling Co.

CONTACT: Chris Poynter,


New Distillery in Berlin Aims For September Opening

While work is still underway, connections of a new distillery in Berlin, Maryland are hopeful it will be open in September.

Forgotten 50 Distilling, located on Old Ocean City Boulevard in Berlin, received its Class 1 distilling license last week and continues to move closer toward opening. The extensive renovations required for the building, and the decision to serve food as well as drinks, have kept the distillery’s connections busy for the past year.

Check out the full story here.


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