Sunday, July 9, 2023

Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, Volume 02, Issue 15

From exciting whiskey releases to the best spirits for summer grilling, a lot is happening in the world of spirits and distilleries. J. Rieger & Co. has unveiled their 2023 Monogram Whiskey, now known as "Kansas City Whiskey - Solera Reserve," featuring a unique blend aged in oloroso sherry botas. Forbes shares the perfect whiskies to accompany your outdoor cooking adventures, including Ardbeg BizarreBQ and Woodford Reserve bourbon. We also delve into an intriguing interview with David Perkins, a craft whiskey industry veteran. On the flip side, tensions arise in Tennessee and Kentucky as the whiskey and bourbon industry clashes with local communities' concerns. Meanwhile, Wildwood Spirits opens its distillery and tasting room in Ballard, offering locally sourced spirits. We explore UPROXX's blind taste test of new bourbons and The Bullock Distillery's release of Piney Creek Bourbon Whiskey. Mashed presents a comprehensive guide to the 16 best distilleries in the U.S., and Three Rifles Distilling Co. opens its doors in downtown Clarksville. Lastly, Stephen F. Austin Athletics partners with Sisterdale Distilling Co. to launch their own bourbon, Stone Fort. Exciting times lie ahead for whiskey enthusiasts and spirits connoisseurs alike.

J. Rieger & Co. Releases 2023 Monogram Whiskey: Kansas City Whiskey - Solera Reserve

J. Rieger & Co. has released the 2023 expression of Monogram Whiskey, now called "Kansas City Whiskey - Solera Reserve." They have been incorporating oloroso sherry into their whiskey blends since their early days. Since 2015, they have used the solera method, aging the whiskey in rare 500-liter oloroso sherry botas. This year's release includes a blend of straight bourbon, straight rye, and light corn whiskeys aged in a solera of ten casks, adding complexity to the bottling. The 2023 edition offers notes of buttered popcorn, French toast, maple syrup, and aromas of woody tobacco and smoky cedar. It is available in select markets and at the distillery in Kansas City. For more information, visit:

What To Drink With BBQ? Best Whiskies For Your Summer Grilling [Forbes]

With the arrival of the outdoor cooking season and the July Fourth holiday, many backyard cooks are preparing to fire up their grills and smokers. Just as much effort is put into selecting the right meats, sides, rubs, and sauces, why not consider the perfect adult beverages to accompany the meals? One unique spirit choice for grilling season is Ardbeg BizarreBQ, a release from the renowned Scottish distillery known for its smoky, peaty flavors. Ardbeg collaborated with DJ BBQ to create a sweet, tangy, and smoky whiskey that pairs exceptionally well with slow-smoked Southern-style barbecue. Woodford Reserve bourbon and rye are also highly recommended choices, known for their excellence and ability to complement grilled foods. For those looking for versatility and refreshment, a Japanese highball made with Toki blended whisky is a popular choice. Additionally, BBQ lovers may enjoy Peg Leg Porker Spirits 8-Year Tennessee Rye Whiskey, specifically created by an expert BBQ pitmaster, Carey Bringle, to enhance the barbecue experience. These options offer a range of flavors and pairings to elevate outdoor cooking and celebration. The full article can be found HERE.

A Drinkhacker Interview with Keeper’s Heart’s David Perkins

David Perkins is a well-known figure in the craft whiskey industry, having founded High West Distillery in 2006. After successfully building High West into a renowned craft brand and selling it in 2016, Perkins couldn't stay away from the distilling world for long. In 2021, he joined O'Shaughnessy Distilling Company as a Liquid Collaborator and Advisor. Led by Brian Nation, formerly of Jameson and Redbreast, O'Shaughnessy Distilling focuses on blending Irish and American whiskey-making traditions in their Keeper's Heart brand. Perkins' expertise and collaboration with Nation have brought together a formidable team in the craft whiskey scene. Click HERE to read the fascinating interview from Drinkhacker.

Tennessee And Kentucky Towns Unhappy With Big Bourbon

The growing popularity of the whiskey and bourbon industry in Tennessee and Kentucky is causing frictions and opposition within local communities. In Kentucky, counties are upset after the legislature voted to phase out a barrel tax that supported schools and infrastructure, leading to feelings of betrayal. There are also complaints about issues like the destructive "whiskey fungus" and the transformation of distillery tours into tourist developments. Meanwhile, in Tennessee, neighbors are suing Jack Daniel's over an unpermitted expansion and the environmental impact of the "whiskey fungus." Additionally, concerns are raised about the destruction of prime agricultural land and the need for local food security. The conflicts highlight the tension between industry growth and community concerns. The full article from Fortune can be found HERE.

Wildwood Spirits Distillery And Tasting Room Now Open In Ballard

Wildwood Spirits, owned by Zoey and Erik Liedholm, is a local distillery who now calls the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle home. Originally established in Bothell in 2015, the craft distillery focuses on using local ingredients in their spirits, following a "farm to bottle" approach. The owners have a strong Swedish heritage, with Erik being Swedish, and many of their spirits have Swedish names. The name Wildwood is a tribute to Erik's childhood home on Wildwood Street in East Lansing, Michigan. Wildwood Spirits recently opened a tasting room in Ballard, their second location, where they offer their collection of spirits for sale and serve craft cocktails. Their spirits include gin, vodka, whiskeys, and a non-alcoholic gin called Ginnocence. Notable offerings include Stark Vatten Vodka, Kur Gin, The Dark Door Washington bourbon, The Professor Irish-style whiskey, Solgud Orange and Fennel Liqueur, and Arände Grappa. The tasting room is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit:

UPROXX Blind Tasted And Ranked 10 New Bourbons

In the world of bourbon, the gap between spring and fall releases has diminished, thanks to a constant stream of new and unique offerings hitting the shelves. To navigate through this sea of choices, Zach Johnston at UPROXX conducted a blind taste test with a selection of recently released bourbons. The lineup includes a diverse array of bottles, such as Pinhook Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Flagship Bourbon 2023, Old Scout Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey Topflight Series by ReserveBar, Keeper's Heart Whiskey Irish + Bourbon Cask Strength, Frey Ranch Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey Farm Strength Uncut, Still Austin Bottled In Bond Red Corn Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Rabbit Hole Dareringer Founder's Collection Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in PX Sherry Casks Limited Edition, New Riff Yellow Leaming Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottled In Bond, Daniel Weller Emmer Wheat Recipe Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Milam & Greene Very Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey Batch 1.2, and Booker's Bourbon "Apprentice Batch'' 2023-02 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The blind taste test aimed to uncover new, intriguing bourbons while also highlighting any potential mediocre offerings that may be on the market. The results might just surprise you. For the full article including Zach’s methodology and tasting notes, click HERE.

The Bullock Distillery Releases Piney Creek Bourbon Whiskey

The Bullock Distillery recently released Piney Creek Bourbon Whiskey, featuring a label showcasing one of the waterfalls in West Virginia's Piney Creek Preserve. The preserve is part of the Beckley Outdoor Economy Action Plan and offers recreational trails along historic mine branches. The bourbon is a single-barrel release that supports the vision of Beckley Outdoors in establishing the city as a premier outdoor destination. Co-owner Tighe Bullock sees it as a dream come true to create a bourbon that contributes to his hometown's development. More details can be found HERE or at:

16 Best Distilleries In The US According To Mashed

Distilleries are the birthplaces of alcohol, where various spirits are crafted through advanced chemistry and experimentation. They serve as science labs for booze, and master distillers are constantly pushing boundaries to create new flavors. In the United States alone, there is a staggering number of distilleries, ranging from historic whiskey producers to innovative vodka makers. Many of these distilleries welcome visitors, offering tours, tastings, and educational experiences. To help spirits enthusiasts plan their next trip or discover new cocktail inspirations, Mashed has assembled a comprehensive travel guide featuring 16 of the best distilleries in the U.S.. The guide provides insights into these distilleries and their offerings. The full article and list can be found HERE.

Three Rifles Distilling Opens In Downtown Clarksville

Sean Ruth, a former executive chef, is defying the odds by opening his own distillery, Three Rifles Distilling Co., in downtown Clarksville, KY. Inspired by a distillery tour six years ago, Ruth decided to venture into the world of spirits. Together with co-owners Daniel Sharpe and Michael Lanham, the distillery became a reality.

The name "Three Rifles" represents the three owners, and their aim is to create a unique business. They focus on using local products and resources, supporting veteran-owned businesses in the process. Everything is handcrafted and locally sourced, from the spirits themselves to the labeling, bottling, and corking. The owners collaborated with veteran-owned Star Spangled Brewing Co. to secure a space for their operation.

The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Three Rifles Distilling Co. was on July 8. Located at 614 N. Spring St. behind Star Spangled Brewery, the distillery aims to provide high-quality spirits while promoting local businesses and resources. The full article can be found HERE.

Stephen F. Austin To Launch Its Own Bourbon

Stephen F. Austin Athletics and Sisterdale Distilling Co., based in Texas, have partnered to release a bourbon in August. The collaboration aims to celebrate the history and beauty of East Texas. The bourbon, named Stone Fort, pays homage to the iconic Stone Fort's history, which predates the state of Texas itself. The official launch of Stone Fort Bourbon is scheduled for July 28 at The Fredonia Hotel, featuring live music, appetizers, and giveaways. The bourbon will be available throughout the region starting from August 1. Additionally, a Centennial Stone Fort campaign will commence on the same day, offering various SFA Athletics donation levels accompanied by Stone Fort-related gifts. The first 100 bottles will be available as gifts based on giving levels and availability. For more information, visit:

In conclusion, the world of spirits never ceases to amaze and inspire. From the artistry and craftsmanship behind each bottle to the rich histories and flavors that unfold with every sip, the spirits industry is a testament to human creativity and passion. Whether it's the release of unique whiskies, the opening of new distilleries, or the exploration of different flavor profiles, there is always something to discover and appreciate. So raise a glass to the diverse and ever-evolving world of spirits, and may your journey through this spirited realm be filled with delightful surprises and memorable experiences. Cheers!

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