The Very Best of Bourbons, Whiskey & Rye in 2017

My rye and bourbon reviews: Drink, Enjoy, Repeat

Bourbon Thoughts: Four Roses Elliott’s Select Limited Edition Single Barrel

2016 Four Roses Elliots Select Barrel Strength

For the first time Four Roses Bourbon released Elliott’s Select bourbon, a rare Single Barrel bourbon. The bourbon will be Brent Elliott’s first limited edition release as the master distiller.  Brent Elliott became master distiller in September 2015 and hand-selected the 14-year-old OESK, one of the 10 unique Four Rose’s bourbons.  Bottled at barrel strength this particular […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Old Forester 2016 Birthday Bourbon

2016 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

The 2016 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is bottled from 93 barrels distilled on July 4th, 2004. The master distiller of Brown-Forman, Chris Morris, hand-picked the barrels with Old Forester brand representative Jackie Zykan.  Ultimately a little over 14,000 bottles were aged for 12 years and bottled at 48.5% abv. The nose is very icate with spicy and […]

Rye Thoughts: Booker’s Rye Limited Edition “Big Time Batch”

Booker's Rye Limited Edition Big Time Batch

The first ever rye produced by Boer’s also comes from some of the last barrels filled by the late, great, distiller Boer Noe.  the label is a note from his son, Fred Noe, explaining how his farther always liked the challenge of rye grains and laid these barrels in his favorite rackhouse.  It is aged […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition Bourbon Whiskey

Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition

Knob Creek 2001 is one of the last batches of bourbon barreled by the late, great Jim Beam distiller – Boer Noe.  His son, Fred Noe, discovered the barrels labeled 2001 after his father passed away.  The results is a really easy drinking bourbon that will keep you coming back for . The tasting notes […]

Whiskey Thoughts: Slaughter House American Whiskey

Slaughter House American Whiskey

David Phinney who is a part of the Splinter Group that distills Slaughter House, is also the winemaker at Orin Swift Cellars.  Orin Swift and team continue to produce some amazing wines like Abstract and Machete, needless to say we think they have great taste. Slaughter House is aged 9 years in American Oak and then […]

Rye Thoughts: High West Says Yippee Ki-Yay

High West Yippee Ki-Yay

High West to their Double Rye product and added it to barrels that had been used to age both Vermouth and Syrah.  The creation is a blend of Rye Whiskeys that High West hopes make you say ‘Yippee Ki-Yay’, like the cowboy on the bottle. The bottle I sampled was Batch No. 2.  The nose […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Trail’s End

Trails End Bourbon

Trail’s End secures eight year old juice from Kentucky and ages the Bourbon Whiskey with Oregon Oak staves.  This particular bottle is from Batch No 002 and is 45% abv. The nose is fragrant with sweet, orange notes.  The taste is smooth and sweet up front with some spicy rye hints.  The finish is long […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Smooth Ambler Contradiction

Smooth Ambler Contradiction

A bottle of Smooth Ambler Contradiction is exactly that, a huge contradiction.  A mix of a wheated bourbon and a spicier bourbon with a heavier rye mash bill; 27 percent of the bottle was aged 2 years while the remaining 73 percent was aged 9 years.  Despite what might lo like odd pairings the end result […]

Rye Whiskey Thoughts: Rogue Farms Oregon Rye Whiskey

Rogue Farms Oregon Rye Whiskey

There is no question that the folks at Rogue know how to brew some of the best beers in the world.  Check out a few of the best beers by Rogue Ales & Spirits. Over the past few years they have also ramped up their production of different types of spirits.  The Oregon Rye Whiskey […]

Rye Thoughts: 2016 Michter’s 10 Year Straight Rye

2016 Michter's 10 Year Rye

It is always good to get a taste of an aged bottle of Michter’s.  This particular bottle of rye was aged 1o years in fire-charred, new American white oak barrels and released in 2016.  Master Distiller Willie Pratt wasn’t happy with the product in 2015 so he refused to release a product in 2015, hoping that […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Noah’s Mill

Noah's Mill Bourbon

A Small Batch Bourbon distilled by the folks at Willet.  It is a surprising smooth pour for a bourbon bottled at 114.3 proof. The nose is smey and woody with some spicy rye notes showing through.  The taste is filled with rye, yet somehow still smooth.  The finish is long and rich with some of […]

Why Do You Need Whiskey Stones?

Whiskey Rocks

It doesn’t matter if it is a bourbon, rye or whiskey; there are certain times that you don’t want to add ice.  When you have an exceptional product, regardless of how high the proof, you want to experience what the master distiller envisioned when he crafted the bottle. Adding ice waters down the product and […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Old Scout Straight Bourbon Whiskey 7 Year

Old Scout 7 Year Bourbon

Smooth Ambler is a relatively new to bourbon distilling, founded in West Virginia in 2009, but they have quickly established themselves with a solid slate of products. The Old Scout straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged at least 7 years in old barrels.  It is distilled with high rye mash bill at 36% and bottled at […]

The Whiskey Wedge That Changed My Life. Forever.

2016 Whiskey Wedge Review - Buy the Ice Wedge Corkcicle

Now that I’m enjoying my drinks I have to say my life has changed when I got my hands on The Whiskey Wedge. Genius ensues because this ice “cube” is of an “ice slant” and keeps your drink cold without watering it down.

Bourbon Thoughts: 2015 Micther’s 10 Year Bourbon

2015 Michter's 10 year old Bourbon

  The 2015 Micther’s 10 Year Old Aged Bourbon or the M10 is a smooth pour.  Michter’s marks the neck of their bottles so you are able to see the year of the release; the numbering on the 2015 release starts with ’15’. The nose is a sweet with chocolate notes.  The sweet, maple flavors […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon Whiskey

Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon

Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon Whiskey is distilled by the folks at Buffalo Trace.  No longer considered a single barrel bourbon because an automated assembly replaced a manual bottling process which means certain bottles could contain two barrels at the switch-over. The nose is sweet and citrusy with oak notes.  The taste is dry […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Blade and Bow Bourbon Whiskey

Blade and Bow Bourbon

Blade and Bow is a relatively new product from Diagio who also produces Bulleit.  Diagio has in its possession as few barrels of whiskey distilled and produced by Stitzel-Weller.  While there is not enough whiskey in the old Stizel-Weller batch to bottle on its own the Diagio team used a solera system to stretch the old […]

Whiskey Thoughts: Parker’s Heritage Malt Whiskey

Parkers Heritage Malt Whiskey 8 Year

  The Parker’s Heritage Malt Whiskey is 65% malted barley and 35% corn, thus it doesn’t qualify to be labeled as a bourbon.  The product is aged for 8 years a bottled without chill filtration at a bold 54% abv. The nose has a funky, charred oak blast with some subtle, sweet vanilla notes.  The […]

Rye Thoughts: 2015 Thomas H. Handy Sazerac

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac BTAC 2015

The Thomas H. Handy Sazerac is part of the 2015 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection; unfiltered and uncut this clocks in at 63.45% ABV or 126.9 proof.  This bottling process which doesn’t add water or filter the rye helps to preserve a lot of the bold, at times, over the top flavors. The nose has a […]

Bourbon Thoughts: 2015 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

2015 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

This is the 14th year that Old Forester released a Birthday Bourbon for their creator, George Garvin Brown.  The bourbon is selected from a single day of production, barreled in 2003 and bottled at 50% abv.  The 2015 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is one of the better years that I have tasted. The nose has a […]

My Favorite Ice For Bourbon

Ice Sphere - Ice Ball

Most nice bourbons are meant to be consumed without ice, but maybe with a few drops of water to bring out the flavors.  Sometimes an every day bourbon calls for ice.  We skull ice cubes, but not for bourbon. The perfect ice for bourbon is not a cube.  Its is a big, round, sphere.  They […]

Bourbon Thoughts: 2015 William Larue Weller

William Larue Weller Bourbon

  You might recognize William Larue Weller from some favorites like the W. L. Weller 12 Year.  The William Larue Weller is a wheated bourbon and is one of five bottles that make up the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, arguably the strongest asset within the collection.  Unfiltered and bottled at barrel proof the 2015 version […]

The Best Gifts For Bourbon Lovers

Bourbon

Maybe it seems as easy as buying a bottle of bourbon, opening the bottle, pouring a glass and drinking; but there are some products that can be helpful in pouring that perfect glass of bourbon. 1.  Whiskey Stones – $9.95   The perfect product to cool down your bourbon without watering down the taste. 2. […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Four Roses 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon

Four Roses 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon

  The Four Roses 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon, as always, is a tough find but an exceptional product.  This will be the last release under Jim Rutledge who is retiring as the Master Distiller at Four Roses for the last 49 years.  There were 12,672 bottles distributed this year at a barrel proof ABV […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Jefferson’s The Manhattan

Jefferson's Manhattan Esquire

The good people at Jefferson’s have created a barrel aged Manhattan with the help of the Editors of Esquire Magazine.  Normally I would recommend mi your own Manhattan but this cocktail is barrel aged in bourbon barrels from the Jefferson’s distillery; therefore it is understandable that you may not have room for a bourbon barrel […]

Bourbon Thoughts: Jefferson’s Groth Reserve Cask Finish

Jeffersons Reserve Groth Cask Finish

  After aging their bourbon in new American oak barrels, the folks at Jefferson’s Reserve finish this bourbon for nine months in French oak barrels; these barrels once held Groth Cabernet Sauvignon.  You can pick up any number of cask finished bourbons but usually they are finished in barrels from a sweeter wine or even a […]

What is Bourbon?

Bourbon Barrels

It seems like an easy enough question but there are material differences between Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, Rye and Whiskey; there are requirements that must be fulfilled before a distiller can label a product as Bourbon.  In 1964 Congress and President Lyndon B. Johnson administration declared bourbon the America’s Native Spirit. In order to declare a product […]

My Favorite Bourbon Brands

The Best Bourbon Brands

There are a lot of bourbon brands out there, many of these unique brands are distilled by the same people.  Here are a a few of our favorite bourbon brands, their distillers and some of their best products: 1.  Pappy Van Winkle The hype has officially got out of control on all of the Pappy […]

Rye Whiskey Thoughts: Federalist 12

Federalist 12 Rye Whiskey

Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan, created a rye whiskey based on the recipe George Washington distilled himself.  The product. Federalist 12, gets its name from Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers.  In Federalist 12, Hamilton promoted the idea of a tax on whiskey to ‘diminish the consumption of it’; it would also be ‘equally favorable to […]

Rye Thoughts: Reservoir Rye

Reservoir Rye

  In 2012 the Reservoir Rye Whiskey won Double Gold in San Francisco at the World Spirit’s competition.  The product was intriguing and unique because it is a 100% rye mash bill. The nose is full of sweet honey and vanilla.  The taste is full of rye and the finish mellows with some of the wood […]

Rye Thoughts: Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye

Michter's Limited Release Barrel Strength Rye

    Michter’s released their Barrel Strength Rye in limited quantities.  You can tell the year of the release by the barrel number tag on the neck, 2015 bottles start with ’15’.  This particular barrel is bottled at 54.7% ABV. Michter’s takes the US*1 Rye straight from the barrel and enable us to sample it […]