Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, Volume 02, Issue 23

In this edition of Bourbon Barrel Blurbs, step into the world of whiskey, where tradition meets innovation, and every sip unveils a story of craftsmanship and collaboration. In this captivating journey through the realm of distilled spirits, we delve into a series of remarkable developments that have graced the whiskey landscape. From prestigious limited releases that pay homage to literary icons and celebrated golf tournaments, to groundbreaking expansions and collaborations that redefine the very essence of whiskey, these narratives paint a vivid picture of the dynamic and ever-evolving world of whiskey. Join us as we raise our glasses to the Hemingway Rye Whiskey Signature Edition, witness Molson Coors' spirited venture beyond beer, explore the creation of the monumental James B. Beam Institute, savor the fusion of art and whiskey with Great Jones Distilling Co., and embark on an immersive journey through the captivating stories of heritage, innovation, and excellence.

Hemingway Whiskey Company: A Toast to Tradition and Collaboration

Hemingway Rye Whiskey Signature Edition
The Hemingway Whiskey Company has unveiled its highly anticipated Hemingway Rye Whiskey Signature Edition, a true testament to eight generations of Kentucky whiskey heritage. This exceptional offering is the result of a unique collaboration between three families and draws inspiration from the enduring legacy of American author Ernest Hemingway. Rooted in tradition and crafted with care, this whiskey is a blend of 90% 6-year-old Indiana Straight Rye and 10% 4-year-old Kentucky Straight Rye, both artfully finished in rum-seasoned Oloroso Sherry casks. With a robust 102 proof, it presents a complex flavor profile that tantalizes the palate with notes of dried fruits, nuts, cocoa, and citrus zest.

The release of the Hemingway Rye Whiskey Signature Edition is accompanied by a custom-designed bottle adorned with a typewriter key motif, showcasing Hemingway's signature. As the bottle is gradually emptied, a commissioned typewriter art portrait emerges, paying homage to the literary icon. The product's excellence has been acknowledged with accolades, including recognition from the ASCOT Awards.

Whiskey enthusiasts and literary aficionados alike can enjoy the Hemingway Rye Whiskey Signature Edition, available for purchase both online and at select retailers across various states. With a suggested retail price of $79.99 for a 750ml bottle, it's an invitation to experience the essence of Hemingway's world in every sip. To further engage with the spirit of Hemingway's concise storytelling, the Hemingway Whiskey Company presents the Hemingway Six-Word Story Challenge, a creative homage to the author's famous short story.

Molson Coors: Expanding Horizons and Elevating Spirits

Photo: Blue Run Spirits
Molson Coors Beverage Company is making a significant leap beyond its beer-centric reputation with the acquisition of Blue Run Spirits, a distinguished producer of premium bourbon and rye whiskies. This strategic move marks Molson Coors' entry into the spirits arena, reflecting its evolution into a comprehensive beverage company. Founded in Georgetown, Kentucky in 2020, Blue Run Spirits has swiftly garnered acclaim for its meticulously crafted spirits that defy conventions. The acquisition aligns seamlessly with Molson Coors' premiumization strategy and growth plans within the spirits sector.

The partnership ushers in the establishment of "Coors Spirits Co.," a new chapter in Molson Coors' spirits journey that includes the Blue Run brand among others. The founders of Blue Run Spirits will remain actively involved in the brand's development, ensuring continuity and innovation. This move underscores Molson Coors' commitment to enhancing its spirits portfolio while championing exceptional craftsmanship and innovation in the world of premium spirits.

A Quantum Leap for Whiskey Education: The James B. Beam Institute

Photo provided by the UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
The University of Kentucky has celebrated a groundbreaking milestone with the inauguration of the James B. Beam Institute, a visionary establishment that stands as the world's largest teaching distillery. The culmination of a decade-long effort, this institute is a testament to the university's dedication to advancing education in the fields of distillation, wine, and brewing. Bolstering its distillation program, the James B. Beam Institute will facilitate the expansion of its curriculum, offering a comprehensive array of courses, including online options.

Housing a remarkable 30-foot column still and a barrel warehouse capable of storing 660 barrels, the institute is a hub for hands-on learning and practical experience. Students will have access to diverse courses covering chemistry, engineering, business, and more, setting the stage for promising careers in the thriving distillation sector. Supported by the Kentucky Distillers' Association (KDA), this initiative is a significant contribution to the state's flourishing distilling industry, which has far-reaching economic implications. Aspiring students, aged 21 and older, are invited to embrace this unique opportunity to learn and contribute to the world of bourbon.

Elijah Craig's Toast to Tradition and Innovation

Photo: Elijah Craig/Heaven Hill
Elijah Craig
, a distinguished name in the world of bourbon, has unveiled a Limited-Edition Toasted Barrel bourbon in honor of the 2023 Ryder Cup. This release marks a milestone in Elijah Craig's partnership with the Ryder Cup, solidifying the bourbon brand as the official bourbon and a worldwide supplier for this esteemed golf competition. The limited edition features Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon that is matured and subsequently finished in new European oak barrels toasted with a profile reminiscent of Lazio wine barrels from Italy's wine-growing region.

This innovative combination expertly balances the sweetness and spiciness of the toast profile with the fruity nuances of the Elijah Craig bourbon. The result is a remarkable whiskey with notes of caramel, crème brûlée, baking spices, and a captivating spice-driven finish. Each bottle showcases the Ryder Cup trophy on the neck label, a cork emblazoned with the Ryder Cup logo, and a face label highlighting the prestigious "Official Bourbon" designation. Whiskey enthusiasts and golf aficionados can anticipate the limited-edition release, available in August on an allocated basis, with a suggested retail price of $99.99 per 750ml bottle.

Harlem Standard: A Harmonious Blend of Flavor and Community

Photo: Harlem Standard
Harlem Standard
, a premium blended whisky brand hailing from Harlem, New York, has joined forces with Breakthru Beverage Group, a renowned beverage distributor with a vast footprint spanning the United States and Canada. The partnership designates Breakthru Beverage Group as the exclusive distributor for Harlem Standard in the Mid-Atlantic markets, encompassing Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. Launched in 2020, Harlem Standard has quickly established itself as a purveyor of fine American whiskeys, including Straight American Whiskey and various bourbon expressions.

With a shared commitment to quality, flavor, and community, Harlem Standard and Breakthru Beverage Group are poised to bring a dynamic range of spirits to discerning consumers. What sets Harlem Standard apart is its dedication to crafting premium whiskeys that not only tantalize the taste buds but also contribute to a greater cause. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle supports the Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians' Emergency Fund, underscoring the brand's commitment to supporting artists and the community.

Widow Jane Distillery: Redefining Rye Whiskey Excellence

Widow Jane Distillery has proudly introduced Paradigm Rye, a groundbreaking addition to its lineup and the brand's first nationally available product containing whiskey distilled at its home in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After maturing barrels of in-house distilled rye whiskey for five years, the distillery has combined these matured New York whiskeys with carefully selected rye offerings from Kentucky and Indiana. Paradigm Rye emerges as a revelation, setting a new standard for rye whiskey by highlighting the artistry of distillation, blending, and finishing.

The whiskey boasts a unique profile characterized by notes of lemon meringue, spring flowers, buttered rye toast, Mandarin marmalade, cedar, white pepper, thyme, and more. Unfiltered and proofed with limestone mineral water from New York's Rosendale Mines, Paradigm Rye offers an exceptional sensory experience. Available at 93 proof, with a suggested retail price of $49.99 per 750ml bottle, it encapsulates the essence of Widow Jane Distillery's commitment to craftsmanship and innovation.

A Fusion of Art and Whiskey: Great Jones Distilling Co.

Photo: Great Jones Distilling Co.
Great Jones Distilling Co.
, Manhattan's first whiskey distillery since Prohibition, has embarked on a unique creative journey by collaborating with the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat's estate. This exciting partnership has led to the creation of limited edition bottles adorned with Basquiat's iconic artwork. The distillery's selection includes three of Basquiat's remarkable works, including the "Pez Dispenser" dinosaur graphic, featured on the labels of their classic 4-year Straight Bourbon and a new distillery-exclusive release—a seven-year-old New York-distilled bourbon aged in Pineau de Charentes casks.

The collaboration pays homage to Basquiat's enduring legacy and artistic genius, which were nurtured just a stone's throw away from the distillery's location. Beyond the limited edition bottles, Great Jones Distilling Co. offers an immersive tasting and tour experience called "Basquiat's New York," a remarkable opportunity for visitors to savor exceptional whiskey while exploring the world of this iconic artist. This limited-time experience invites enthusiasts to delve into the fusion of art and whiskey and witness the interplay of creativity and craftsmanship.

Legal Resolution: The JW Dant Trademark Dispute

The legal dispute between Log Still Distillery and Heaven Hill Brands over the use of the 'JW Dant' trademark has come to a resolution. The ongoing lawsuit revolved around trademark infringement claims stemming from Log Still Distillery's desire to use the Dant family name for their products. The United States District Court has entered a permanent injunction, effectively resolving the matter. Jessica Pendergrass, general counsel and chief compliance officer for Heaven Hill, underscored the collaborative spirit of the bourbon industry and extended well wishes to Log Still Distillery in their distilling endeavors. The resolution confirms that Heaven Hill Brands remains the sole producer of JW Dant spirits.

Heritage Distilling Company: Crafting Excellence in Every Sip

Photo: Heritage Distilling Company
Heritage Distilling Company
has unveiled the highly anticipated release of Stiefel's Select Single Barrel: Four Grain Bourbon. This whiskey, already adorned with prestigious awards, including a Double Gold Medal, is now available for connoisseurs to savor. Enthusiasts can indulge in this exceptional offering at HDC tasting rooms in Washington and Oregon, as well as through online pre-sale orders, complemented by direct-to-consumer delivery across 34 states.

The Stiefel's Select Single Barrel: Four Grain Bourbon is a testament to Heritage Distilling Company's unwavering commitment to producing whiskeys of unparalleled quality and flavor. The craftsmanship and attention to detail at every step of the production process have earned HDC a reputation as one of the premier craft distilleries in the United States. Recognized for its diverse range of spirits, Heritage Distilling Company collaborates with Native American tribes through the Tribal Beverage Network, creating distinctive brands and distilleries that celebrate heritage and excellence.

Ross & Squibb Distillery: Elevating the Barrel Experience

Photo: Ross & Squibb Distillery
Ross & Squibb Distillery, nestled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, has unveiled exciting updates to its barrel programs for 2023. The Remus Straight Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel takes center stage with enhanced, custom packaging that includes detailed labels showcasing purchaser/retail account names, barrel details, and proof points. The selection process has been elevated to offer private barrel-selection opportunities, guided by Master Distiller Ian Stirsman at the distillery. This immersive on-site experience includes a tour and private tasting, immersing enthusiasts in the world of craft distillation.

For the 2023 release, Remus Bourbon barrels aged between 4-5 years are meticulously crafted to offer distinct mashbill and proof range options, enabling customization and personalization. The Rossville Union Rye Single Barrel program follows suit, providing enthusiasts with unique choices to explore. Each barrel yields around 30 cases of 700ml bottles, priced at $59.99, allowing whiskey enthusiasts to savor the artistry of Ross & Squibb Distillery.

Rod & Hammer Distillery: Elevating the Art of Bourbon

Photo: Rod & Hammer Distillery
Rod & Hammer Distillery
has proudly introduced its latest limited release—a six-year single-barrel bourbon that encapsulates the brand's dedication to crafting exceptional spirits. Fashioned from a mashbill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley, this bourbon offers a sophisticated flavor profile that resonates with notes of creamy vanilla, charred oak, and toasted honey sweetness. Each bottle is meticulously numbered and accompanied by barrel-proofing information, presented in an elegant gift box.

Available in a limited quantity, the 750ml bottles can be acquired at the distillery's tasting room and through online channels. Additionally, enthusiasts can find this exclusive release at select local Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions stores. This limited release not only embodies the essence of Rod & Hammer Distillery but also showcases California's distinctive take on the art of bourbon.

As the world of whiskey continues to evolve and expand, these stories reflect the spirit of innovation, tradition, collaboration, and craftsmanship that define the industry. Each release, partnership, and distillery endeavor contributes to the rich tapestry of whiskey culture, inviting enthusiasts to explore and savor the remarkable journey of this timeless spirit. Until next time, Sláinte!

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