Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Bourbon Barrel Blurbs Volume 02, Issue 07

Welcome to Bourbon Barrel Blurbs! After another bout of my body and mind betraying me, I am happy to be back. Here, we explore the fascinating world of bourbon, whiskey, and other spirits. So grab a glass, sit back, and join us for a sip of knowledge as we share blurbs on Hidden Ships, 5 new bourbons to check out, New York Single Malt Whiskey from Perpetual Whiskey Project, Bluebird Distilling, and Jim Beam RTDs. We also have news on Uncle Nearest racking up more awards, Eric LeGrand’s new bourbon, and much more. 

First Distillery In Surf City, NC

Andy and Amy Szwejbka are set to open Hidden Ships, Pender County's first distillery, in Triton Village in Surf City in September 2023. The distillery will produce gin, white rum, and vodka, while tequila and bourbon will be sourced initially. However, the distillery will lay down its first barrel of bourbon as soon as the permit is approved, which will take years before the first batch comes to market. Hidden Ships will have a production facility, a tasting room, and a bar, and will be focused on pre-Prohibition cocktails. The distillery's gin will have a juniper flavor with a botanical recipe that includes other flavors such as dogwood flower for Carolina flair. The 2,700-square-foot distillery will have a 20-foot bar as its centerpiece, with a speakeasy lounge area and indoor and outdoor seating for up to 70 people. The couple started a Kickstarter campaign with a $25,000 goal to fund the purchase of a chiller that could double Hidden Ships' production capacity, which will not stop the distillery from opening if the goal is not met. You can find more information HERE. 

The Bourbon Flight Bourbon Madness Begins

The Bourbon Flight has organized a "bourbon madness bracket" which includes 32 of the best bourbons in the world divided into four sections: Rye, Budget, Premium, and Wheat. The bracket is similar to the March Madness basketball tournament bracket. You can find more information HERE.

5 New Bourbon Brands You Need to Know

Courtesy Hand Barrel's website

Bourbon continues to be a popular spirit among whiskey enthusiasts, and new brands are constantly appearing in the market. Here are five new bourbon brands to try, all of which source their whiskey from reputable distilleries, but each with their unique features. Hand Barrel bourbon, distilled by Bardstown Bourbon Company, has a high-rye mashbill and comes in black and white bottles. High N’ Wicked Kentucky Straight Bourbon is produced using the sweet mash method, has a high rye content, and is aged for at least five years. Puncher’s Chance Bourbon is a limited-edition release made from a blend of five- to six-year-old bourbon and is finished in a rum cask. Frank August’s line includes a high-rye bourbon, a single-barrel bourbon, and a bourbon finished with toasted Japanese mizunara oak staves. Finally, Hirsch The Bivouac, inspired by an original whiskey from the 1970s, is a decent expression distilled in Bardstown, KY. You can find more information HERE.

Perpetual Whiskey Project Launches Premier New York Single Malt Whiskey

Courtesy Perpetual Whiskey Project's website

Perpetual Whiskey Project has launched its premier New York Single Malt Whiskey after years of patience and dedication. The whiskey is a blend of straight whiskey that has been aged in ex-bourbon, sherry, and new American oak barrels, and features fruity esters, toffee notes, and a subtle touch of peat smokiness. Perpetual Whiskey Project used unique distillation methods, including an Italian column still, to create their single malt, which boasts a complexity and depth of flavor that rivals Scotch. Each release of Perpetual Whiskey will be unique and captures a special moment in time, according to McLain Cheney, Distillery Operations Manager. You can find more information HERE. 

Bluebird Distilling And Country Musician Jordan Davis Release Limited Edition Whiskey

Courtesy Bluebird Distilling's website

A Chester County, Pennsylvania distillery, Bluebird Distilling, is expanding its distribution to 41 states following the success of its limited edition Bluebird Days Straight American Whiskey, created in partnership with country musician Jordan Davis. Founder Jared Adkins expects the move to increase sales by up to 20% and plans to add more products as national sales grow. The distillery, which already sells 14 products in over 250 stores across Pennsylvania, also plans to launch an e-commerce site for the coffee products from Char & Stave, its sister cafe and cocktail bar concept. You can find more information HERE.

Eric LeGrand Creates New Bourbon Brand To Help Support Those Who Are Paralyzed

Eric LeGrand Bourbon

Eric LeGrand, former Rutgers University football player, author, sports analyst, business owner, and advocate for those with paralysis, has launched Eric LeGrand Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The 750-milliliter bottles, priced at $45, will be distributed by Allied Beverage Group to New Jersey liquor stores and will also be available on ericlegrandwhiskey.com. LeGrand, who sustained a spinal cord injury in 2010, has fought against his own prognosis to regain movement in his shoulders. He co-founded the whiskey with Brian Axelrod and vowed to donate $5.20 of every bourbon case sold to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. LeGrand and his team have donated close to $2m to the foundation, which works to advance research on finding the cure for spinal cord injuries and improving quality of life for individuals and families. Eric LeGrand Bourbon is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, distilled and bottled in Kentucky, created with corn, limestone purified water, fresh rye, and barley. It is aged no less than two years in charred oak barrels. You can find more information HERE.

Jim Beam® Launches Ready-To-Drink Cocktails Just In Time For Spring

Courtesy Jim Beam website

Jim Beam, in partnership with The Boston Beer Company, has launched Jim Beam Kentucky Coolers, a range of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails in four flavors: Strawberry Punch, Black Cherry Lemonade, Sweet Tea Lemonade, and Citrus Punch. The Kentucky Coolers aims to provide consumers with full-flavored RTD beverages with a lighter profile and a smooth finish. With only 120 calories per serving, the Kentucky Coolers can be served chilled and shared with others. Heather Boyd, Beam Suntory Managing Director of RTDs, North America, said that the company aims to offer consumers the perfect occasion to bring people together, and with the Kentucky Coolers, it hopes to bring the powerful connecting force of cracking open a crisp and cool beverage with friends to all. The Jim Beam Kentucky Coolers have a suggested retail price of $16.99 for a 12-can variety pack, $9.99 for a single flavor six-pack, and $3.49 for a single 24oz. can. You can find more information HERE.

Learn About Certified Texas Whiskey

This article from Inside Hook discusses the growth of the Texas whiskey industry and the importance of transparency and authenticity in labeling. The Texas Whiskey Association has created a certification standard to ensure that whiskey labeled as "Texas whiskey" is actually fermented, distilled, aged, and bottled within the state. The Texas Whiskey Trail, which includes about 30 distilleries, allows visitors to see where the whiskey is made and track their visits for rewards. The article emphasizes the uniqueness of Texas whiskey due to the state's climate and oak interaction, and the importance of promoting local products and educating consumers. You can find more information HERE.

Toast Women's History Month With 18 Woman-Owned Spirits Brands

Distilling has traditionally been a male-dominated profession, discouraging women from participating. Bessie Williamson was the first known woman to own and run a distillery in 1944. However, women like Lorena Vasquez, Joy Spence, and Jassil Villanueva Quintana have helped push the industry into the 21st century, resulting in more women working at distilleries, opening their own, and starting their brands. Today, there are numerous woman-owned spirits brands. While the profession still has a significant disparity, the industry is gradually moving towards equity. This Women's History Month, here are some woman-owned spirits brands to celebrate the progress women have made and continue to make in the spirits industry.

Woodford Reserve And Kentucky Derby Museum Are Dropping An Ultra-Limited Bourbon

Courtesy Woodford Reserve
It seems that the Kentucky Derby season is in full swing, with special bourbon releases coming out leading up to the main event on May 6. The latest is two batches of special Woodford Reserve bourbon, which is available exclusively from the Kentucky Derby Museum. The Secretariat Bourbon Box Set was released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Secretariat winning the Triple Crown. There are only 400 box sets available, and while they will go on sale to the public in the coming weeks, there’s still time to enter the lottery to win a chance to purchase one of two box sets, each numbered #73 to celebrate Secretariat’s victory year. Each box set costs $750. However, note that Kentucky law does not allow the museum to ship the booze to you. You can find more information HERE.

Uncle Nearest Takes Top Honors At 2023 Los Angeles Invitational Wine & Spirits Challenge

The Los Angeles Invitational Wine & Spirits Challenge is an annual competition that aims to highlight the best wine and spirits producers in the world and introduce those producers to the largest market of consumers in the United States. The judging for the competition took place on February 21-22, 2023, and attracted close to 1,100 entries.
Courtesy Uncle Nearest
The Best of the Best winners were a Pinot Noir from Russian River Vineyards (Sonoma County, Calif.) and a Rye Whiskey from Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey (Shelbyville, Tenn.). The Russian River Vineyards’ 2018 Austin Vineyard Pinot Noir was described as "Age worthy," "complex," "very round with great acidity," "full-bodied" and "savory" and earned 99 points and a Double Gold rating. The Uncle Nearest Uncut and Unfiltered Straight Rye Whiskey was described as having "leathery," "earthy," and "Moose Lodge-class old-style rye" characteristics, and was awarded Best of the Best honors in the spirits sweepstakes entries. You can find more information HERE.

New York’s Cooper's Daughter Spirits Blending Old Techniques, New Flavors

Courtesy Cooper's Daughter Spirits website
Cooper's Daughter Spirits is a distillery and cooperage in Claverack, New York. It was founded in 2015 by Stuart and Sophie Newsome and produces a wide range of spirits, including bourbon, whiskey, vodka, and liqueurs. The distillery's buildings are located on a 1.5-acre property, which came with a restored farmhouse and two other buildings. One of the buildings was renovated by Stuart to serve as a distillery and cooperage, while the other building, built in 1790, was refurbished and is now used as a rickhouse for aging bourbon and an indoor café. The property was originally part of the Jacob Rutsen Van Rensselaer House and Mill complex, and the current owners also own a 50-year-old apple orchard in Red Hook. Cooper's Daughter plans to use its own apples to make vodka in the coming years. The grains, fruits, botanicals, and tree syrups used to flavor their seasonal spirits are either grown on their own property or procured from nearby farms. The Cocktail Garden is an outdoor space where people can enjoy a drink and has several outdoor spaces, including a wood-framed tent and a blazing steel fire pit. The farm stand at the Red Hood apple orchard is currently being renovated and will be a farm and bottle shop featuring products made in New York. You can find more information HERE.

In conclusion, bourbon is a complex and fascinating spirit with a rich history and diverse range of flavors. Whether you're a seasoned connoisseur or a curious newcomer, there's always something new to discover and appreciate in the world of bourbon. From the classic Kentucky bourbons to the emerging craft distilleries around the country, there's never been a better time to explore the world of bourbon. So grab a glass, savor the flavors, and enjoy the journey. Until next time... Cheers!

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