Bourbon Tip #6

Bourbon Tip #6

Bourbon Tip #6

Sip. Don’t Flip. – Bourbon is meant to be enjoyed when purchased. Not flipped for a profit at the expense of others.

Comments { 0 }

Maker’s 46 Bourbon Review

Makers 46 Bourbon Review

Disclaimer: A sample of Maker’s 46 bourbon was provided to by Maker’s Mark for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow Bourbon & Banter to review the bourbon with no strings attached. Thank you.

There has been a push by the big distilleries in the past few years to capitalize on the bourbon boom and increased interested in trying new bottles by introducing specialty versions of their power brands. Maker’s Mark has always had a “why mess with what works” kind of attitude when it comes to their bourbon but eventually they did release a premium version in the form of Maker’s 46. Rather than doing a small batch or older version of Maker’s Mark they decided to go the route of finishing with a different wood to add complexity of character. Here is what they have to say about it:

A collaborative effort between the Maker’s Mark Distillery and Barrel Maker and “Wood Chef” Brad Boswell of Independent Stave Company, Maker’s 46 is a bit stronger and bolder than the original Maker’s Mark, but still soft enough to hold on the tongue, even at 94 proof. Aged longer inside barrels containing seared French oak staves – which create bolder, more complex flavors, while eliminating the bitterness that usually comes with whiskies that are aged longer – 46 delivers a big mouth-watering oaky finish unlike none other. 

Using staves instead of aging in a barrel causes a more intense aging process. Because of this it is only aged an additional few months with the staves in the barrel and they make it only in the winter to slow the aging down. So does the French oak make a big difference with this classic American bourbon? Let’s try it and find out.

Makers 46 Bourbon ReviewMaker’s 46 Bourbon Review

Bourbon Name:  Maker’s 46

Proof: 94

Age: 5-7 years

Year:  2014

How I Drank It:  Neat, in Glencairn whiskey glass.

My Nose Noticed:*  Corn | Vanilla | Rose | Toasted Oak

First Sip:  Butterscotch | Toasted Oak | Cherry | Chocolate

The Burn:**  When I was first getting into bourbon people talked about how wheated bourbons were sweeter and softer than rye. This confused me because the only wheated bourbon I had tried was Maker’s Mark which I still think has one of the most fiery finishes out there and didn’t come across as sweet or soft in any way. Maker’s 46 still has the characteristic Maker’s burn but it is much softer than the original, especially if you let it sit for a few minutes. It is a burn that flares up your sinus and then slides gently down the back of your throat. This really is a sweet bourbon, with a surprising amount of fruit and cream. The burn is what keeps it from being cloying. The Maker’s 46 nose is much stronger than regular Maker’s Mark and it affects the flavor quite a lot.

In the end, I liked Maker’s 46 much better than traditional Maker’s Mark. But as you may have guessed, I don’t really like Maker’s Mark so perhaps a Maker’s lover should weigh-in with their opinion. The Maker’s Mark fans I talked to said it reminded them more of a scotch which makes sense as this type of finishing has traditionally been more common with scotch.

Neat, Splash or Rocks:  Neat. Adding water or drinking it over ice took away too much of the burn and left if feeling a bit limp.

Share With: A lot of Maker’s Mark loyalists I know seem to be very hesitant to try anything else. Maybe this will get them to branch out. Also a nice choice for people who like sweeter bourbons.

Worth The Price:  At around $35 a bottle this is a fair price. Although, when it comes to a good wheated bourbon there are better values to be had if you can find them, such as Weller Antique.

Bottle, Bar or Bust: If you are a fan of double-barreled or creatively finished bourbons this one is worth having a bottle. Everyone else try it at a bar first.

*I like to let my bourbon sit in the glass for at least 5 minutes before I start to smell it or have a drink. I personally find that it’s better to let some of the alcohol waft off before diving in. If I’m drinking bourbon on the rocks I skip the waiting and dive in both feet first.

**Some of you refer to this as the “finish” but let’s be honest. Don’t we all just want to know if it burns good?

Comments { 0 }

Bourbon In The Blind – St. Louis Bourbon Tasting

Bourbon In The Blind   St. Louis Bourbon Tasting


We’re thrilled to announce that tickets to our highly anticipated Bourbon In The Blind Tasting Experience are now on sale!

Join Bourbon & Banter, Randall’s Wine & Spirits and The Blind Tiger on August 30th for an amazing afternoon of bourbon, gourmet pizza, giveaways and good old-fashioned banter. Spend the afternoon with your friends and learn about American’s Native Spirit from Bourbon & Banter founder, Patrick “Pops” Garrett as he leads you through a blind tasting of 6 bourbons. Challenge your taste buds as we strip away brand loyalty and label prejudice allowing both bourbon novices and aficionados to experience bourbon in a whole new way – In The Blind. And of course, since this is a Bourbon & Banter event there will be some pretty cool bourbon themed swag giveaways. There’s a rumor that one of our partners might even throw in some extra prizes to make things interesting.

The event will start promptly at 1:00 PM with an introduction to bourbon and explanation of our bourbon flavor wheel to help you with your tasting. From there we’ll begin tasting bourbons and discussing what makes each one unique – without tipping you off to the brand. After the final bourbon has been tasted dessert will be served. While everyone is enjoying their dessert, Patrick will reveal the bourbons and provide additional information about each one and answer questions from the group. Throughout the course of the event there will also be some bourbon giveaways to keep everyone on their toes.


We thrilled to announce that Wall Street Journal-bestselling author Fred Minnick, who writes for Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate, Scientific American, and many others will be joining us at Bourbon In The Blind as co-MC and to sign copies of his award-winning and critically acclaimed book – Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey.

Based in Louisville, Kentucky–the heart of Bourbon Country–Minnick regularly judges cocktail contests and serves as a judge on the World Whiskies Awards and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Minnick is the “Bourbon Authority” for the Kentucky Derby Museum and is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors as well as the Author’s Guild. Minnick is also an accomplished photographer and is a former finalist for the Pink Lady International Food Photographer of the Year. But most importantly, he wears ascots.

Grab a copy of his book in advance for him to sign, or purchase a copy at the event. Either way Fred is going to help turn the event’s bourbon IQ up to 11.

When we’re done we invite you to stick around and enjoy a drink at The Blind Tiger as they open to the public at 4:00 PM.

Here’s the complete details for this year’s Bourbon In The Blind event:

What: Bourbon In The Blind Bourbon Tasting Experience
When: Saturday – August 30, 2014 – 1:00 PM
Where: The Blind Tiger (click for directions)
Dinner Details: Bourbon-inspired Gourmet Pizza
Bourbons: Blind tasting of six (6) different bourbons representing a wide variety of styles and strengths. Blind tasting format is perfect for bourbon novices and aficionados alike.
Available Seating: Seating is limited so resister soon.
Venue Details: Check out The Blind Tiger’s website for more details on their location.
Cost: $45.00 per person (includes bourbon tasting, pizzas, coffee/soda and dessert)Additional drinks are available for purchase during and after dinner. 
Reserve Your Seat Now: Buy Tickets

We hope you can join us for this amazing afternoon of food and bourbon. With only limited seating available I’m sure it will sell out fast. Make sure to reserve your seat and invite your friends. We look forward to seeing you on August 30th!



Comments { 0 }

Wild Turkey’s Behind The Barrel Distillery Experience

Wild Turkeys Behind The Barrel Distillery Experience

Looks like Wild Turkey is getting in on the trend of creating unique bourbon experiences for people who love their bourbon. I received an email yesterday from their PR folks informing me of their new Behind The Barrel Distillery Experience. It’s being billed as an immersive experience for bartenders to learn the craft of making bourbon from Wild Turkey legends – Jimmy and Eddie Russell.

It’s a two-day program, October 6-8th in Kentucky. The experience includes educational activities at the distillery along with food and drink in nearby Louisville. It’s considered a pilot program this year but something tells me it will become an annual event at least.

While anyone can technically apply to participate, the program is designed to develop bourbon advocates within the USBG. With only 30 spots available the competition is going to be stiff. If you’re interested hurry up and apply over at the Wild Turkey website no later than September 1st.

Check out the official press release from Wild Turkey for more details:

Led by Legendary Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell, Bartender Educational Program to Focus on Traditional Bourbon-Making Methods

LAWRENCEBURG, KY (August 5, 2014) – Wild Turkey®, in partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG), has developed an immersive experience for bartenders to help them learn the secret craft of whiskey-making from none other than Bourbon Hall of Fame™ inductees and father/son distilling duo Jimmy Russell and Eddie Russell. The 2014 Behind the Barrel event is a pilot program designed to develop a community of Bourbon advocates within the USBG and, eventually, to support the creation of a bartender-focused Bourbon expert certification program.

One would be hard-pressed to find a pair of distillers working today that are more suited to this task. This year, Jimmy Russell will celebrate his 60th anniversary at Wild Turkey, and his son Eddie is celebrating 33 years of making Bourbon alongside his dad. For decades, they have acted as guardians of America’s native spirit, never wavering in their commitment to using traditional whiskey-making methods and never compromising their integrity by taking shortcuts or doing things the easy way. This reverence for tradition makes them uniquely qualified to teach bartenders every step of the Bourbon-creation process – from grain to bottle.

Behind the Barrel is also a celebration of the Russell’s undaunted, #NeverTamed spirit. To be chosen for this up-close-and-personal experience, bartenders must demonstrate that, like Jimmy and Eddie Russell, they too have an uncompromising passion – behind the bar and in life. Where others take shortcuts, they are committed to doing things their own way, the right way. From October 6 through October 8, participants will spend two days in Kentucky, dividing their time between educational activities at the Lawrenceburg distillery and enjoying the best food and drink Louisville has to offer.

Behind the Barrel is open to USBG and non-USBG members. Applications for the 30 available spots will be taken from July 16 – Sept. 1, 2014. To apply, visit

Good luck to all that apply. If you’re lucky to get accepted please let us know. We’d love to hear about your experience and feature it on the site when you’re done.



Comments { 0 }