Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, Volume 02, Issue 22

Welcome to Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, your ultimate source for all things whiskey! Whether you're a seasoned whiskey aficionado or just beginning your journey into the world of bourbon, this blog is here to satiate your thirst for knowledge and updates in the whiskey industry. We'll be serving up a tantalizing blend of news, reviews, and stories from the finest distilleries worldwide, keeping you informed on the latest releases, collaborations, and celebrations in the whiskey realm. So, grab your favorite tumbler, pour yourself a dram, and join us as we delve into the captivating world of bourbon. Cheers!

Barrels & Billets Joins Kentucky Distillers’ Association

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) has welcomed Barrels & Billets in Jefferson County as its 54th distilling member. The distillery, owned by Hillerich & Bradsby Co., offers a hands-on, interactive Bourbon experience to the public. Visitors can create their own custom Bourbon blend using six different wood-finished Bourbons. The distillery is part of the H&B campus in downtown Louisville, along with the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and The Skybox event space.

Barrels & Billets specializes in wood finishing techniques for its Bourbons, including Lucky Lumber Easy Drinking Bourbon, Lead Off Rich & Complex Bourbon, Smokin’ Fastball Smoked Bourbon, and the luxury brand J. Frederick Three Wood Bourbon, which pays homage to the company's history of selling barrels for aging Bourbon. Learn more at

Joining as a "Craft" level member, aging between 0 and 10,000 barrels per year, Barrels & Billets is excited to contribute to the thriving Kentucky Bourbon industry. The KDA President, Eric Gregory, praised the addition of Barrels & Billets to downtown Louisville's Museum Row district and expressed excitement about continuing to strengthen Kentucky's position as the home of Bourbon.

Honoring a Hero with "Devil Dog" Bourbon

The limited edition bourbon "Devil Dog" has been introduced to honor Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz, who died during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The bourbon, produced by Art of the Spirits distillery, features a label with Lance Cpl. Schmitz's image is sold exclusively at the Beer Sauce shop in St. Peters. All proceeds from the sales will support The Freedom 13 charity, founded by Jared's father, Mark Schmitz, with the mission to build retreat villages for veterans in each state. The first village is planned for Missouri. The bourbon is priced at $199 per bottle, and only 282 bottles were produced, with each bottle numbered. The money raised will help support veterans and their families, providing them with recreational activities free of charge. As of Tuesday night, fewer than 250 bottles of the bourbon were still available for purchase.

East Meets West: Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend

Photo: Beam Suntory
Beam Suntory, the owner of James B. Beam Distilling Co. in Kentucky and Japan's House of Suntory, has collaborated to create a unique whiskey called Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend. This bourbon is distilled in Kentucky and then shipped to Japan, where it is finished and blended by fifth-generation chief blender for Suntory, Shinji Fukuyo. The process involves aging the bourbon in French oak wine casks, Spanish oak sherry barrels, and sherry casks previously used for aging Yamazaki single malt. The result is a first-of-its-kind whiskey with rounded and complex flavors. The release coincides with Suntory's 100th-anniversary celebration. Bottled at 57% ABV, Legent Yamazaki Cask Finish Blend is available for a limited time in the U.S. with a suggested retail price of $200.

Barrell Craft Spirits: A Symphony of Whiskey Blending

Photo: Barrell Craft Spirits
Barrell Craft Spirits (BCS) has introduced two new whiskeys: Barrell Bourbon Batch 035 and Rye Batch 004. The bourbon is a blend of six- and seven-year-old high-rye, high-proof barrels, combined with eight-year-old softer barrels, and further enhanced with 13-year-old barrels with dominant fruit flavors. The resulting blend is bottled at cask strength (116.24 proof). The rye is a blend of straight rye whiskeys from different locations, aged between 5 to 14 years, with a mash bill of rye, corn, and malted barley. This blend offers a fruit-forward profile and is also bottled at cask strength (115.7 proof). Both whiskeys are available for purchase online and in select retailers at a suggested retail price of $89.99 per 750-ml bottle. BCS, known for its unique blending techniques, aims to maintain transparency and inform consumers about its products through new back labels. These releases follow BCS's previous launches of Barrell Bourbon Batch 34 and Barrell Craft Spirits Private Release Rye Whiskey.

2nd Annual Bourbon & Blues Festival Set For August 19

Photo: Linn County Blues Society
Cedar Ridge and the Linn County Blues Society are organizing the second annual Bourbon and Blues Festival, set to take place on August 19, 2023, at the McGrath Amphitheatre. The festival celebrates the blues in the area and raises funds for various beneficiaries, including the HD Youth Center, KCCK and Blues in the Schools, Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, and the Community Health Free Clinic.

The festival lineup includes three award-winning blues artists: Shemekia Copeland, Sugaray Rayford, and Mr. Sipp. Tickets are available for purchase at $35 in advance and $40 at the gate on the day of the show. Children under 12 can attend for free with a paid adult ticket.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event, and attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets for seating. The organizers hope to grow the festival into a multi-day event attracting blues enthusiasts from across the Midwest.

Rescue Ranch Hosting Boots, Buckles & Bourbon

Photo: Rescue Ranch website
Rescue Ranch is hosting the Boots, Buckles & Bourbon dinner presented by Outback Steakhouse on August 26 from 7-10 p.m. at The Preserve at Southern Distilling Company in Statesville. Tickets are priced at $150 and include dinner, drinks, live music, a silent auction, raffles, animal meet and greets, and more. The event's proceeds will support Rescue Ranch's mission, which focuses on promoting animal respect through education, conservation efforts, and responsible pet ownership. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website or check their social media pages.

Stem Ciders Adds to Bourbon Series

Photo: Stem Ciders' website
Stem Ciders is known for its experimental and innovative flavors, and its latest addition to the Bourbon Series is the Manhattan cider. A precise representation of the classic cocktail, this cider is aged for 10 months in various bourbon barrels and infused with vermouth-like herbs, luxardo cherries, and vanilla essence. The result is a cider that perfectly captures the essence of the Manhattan cocktail, with notes of vermouth, cherry preserves, and toasted oak.

The Bourbon Series also includes the Banjo cider, the base of the range, which is aged in bourbon barrels and offers a dry profile with toffee and caramel flavors. Lastly, there's a cider inspired by the Old Fashioned, aged in bourbon barrels and blended with orange zest, luxardo cherries, and bitters-inspired spices, creating a cider with complex flavors of orange marmalade, baking spices, and vanilla caramels.

Stem Ciders' Bourbon Series is available at Stem Ciders RiNo, Ghost Box Pizza, and Acreage.

Innovative Spirits: Highline Spirits

Photo: Highline Spirits' website
Highline Spirits is a new spirits brand founded by Christi Lower, a former pediatric surgery PA, mother of four, and whiskey enthusiast. The company aims to challenge traditional norms in the spirits industry and create unique small-batch spirits with diverse representations. Highline Spirits has four flagship products, including Bourbon Whiskey, Triple Rye Whiskey, Straight Kentucky Whiskey, and American Whiskey. The brand is currently available in Michigan and online. Highline Spirits plans to open tasting rooms in Michigan and has a significant stock of aged barrels for future production.

Templeton Distillery Introduces a New Tequila Cask Finish

Photo: TTB website
Templeton Distillery has introduced a new limited-release Tequila Cask Finish as part of their cask finish series. The whiskey is initially matured in new American oak barrels for at least 6 years and then finished in Tequila Corralejo 99,000 horas Extra Anejo barrels for 3-6 months. The Tequila Cask Finish is release No. 5 in the series and is highly anticipated by industry professionals. Only 4,200 cases will be produced globally, making it a sought-after and limited edition. The collaboration between Templeton Distillery and Tequila Corralejo was inspired by their shared traditions and community values. The resulting whiskey is 92 proof (46% ABV) and promises a unique flavor profile that balances Rye spice with Agave sweetness.

Heaven Hill Distillery Fills Its 10 Millionth Barrel

Photo: Heaven Hill Distillery website
Heaven Hill Distillery in Kentucky celebrates a significant achievement by filling its 10 millionth barrel of whiskey. The distillery, known for brands like Elijah Craig Bourbon and Evan Williams Bourbon, has over 2 million barrels aging in rickhouses across Nelson and Jefferson counties. The celebration comes after breaking ground on the $135 million Heaven Hill Springs Distillery, their return to Bardstown after a devastating fire in 1996. This milestone showcases Heaven Hill's enduring strength and legacy as the only family-owned and led spirits company to achieve this feat.

High West Invites You to Gather Around the Campfire

Photo: High West Distillery
High West Distillery is bringing back High West Campfire, a unique whiskey blend featuring scotch, bourbon, and rye aged for 4-8 years, bottled at 46% ABV. This year's batch includes 100% High West own-make rye whiskey. The whiskey offers aromas of grilled nectarine, smoked butterscotch, and chocolate-covered peanuts, with flavors of raspberry compote, hickory-smoked apple fritters, and salted caramels, and a finish resembling smoldering coals and brine. High West will donate $50,000 to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation as part of their "Protect the West" initiative. The limited expression is available for purchase with a suggested retail price of $79.99 per 750ml bottle.

Thank you for joining us on this spirited journey through the world of bourbon with Bourbon Barrel Blurbs. Our passion for this age-old craft drives us to continue sharing the latest updates and trends in the whiskey industry with you. Until our next barrel-blazing adventure, may your glass be filled with the finest spirits, and may your palate be ever eager to explore the next pour. Keep sipping and enjoying the wonderful world of bourbon. Until next time, may your spirits be high and your whiskey be top-shelf. Sláinte!

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