2014 Bourbon Heritage Month Celebration

2014 Bourbon Heritage Month Celebration

It’s the biggest month of the year for bourbon lovers – National Bourbon Heritage Month.

We know that some people believe that Bourbon Heritage Month is one of the those made-up holidays like National Donut Day or International Vodka & Violins Day, but it’s not. Per Wikipedia, which is never wrong ;)…

National Bourbon Heritage Month is an observance in the United States that calls for celebration of bourbon as America’s “Native Spirit”. On August 2, 2007, the US Senate declared September 2007 as “National Bourbon Heritage Month.” The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, passed by unanimous consent. The resolution calls for consumers who enjoy bourbon to do so responsibly and in moderation. The bill reinforces the 1964 Act of Congress that declared bourbon “America’s Native Spirit” by celebrating the family heritage, tradition and deep-rooted legacy that the bourbon industry contributes to the United States.

You see? It’s a bona-fide month-long celebration of bourbon. Can you think of a better holiday?

Based on the success of our Bourbon Heritage Month (BHM) efforts last year, we’re excited to announce we’re going to do the same this year. We’ll be hosting a month-long party featuring lots of great blog posts, cool contests and great giveaways. Supported by the amazing Bourbon & Banter team and leading industry bourbon brands and partners, we’re ready to channel our inner Bourbon Evangelist and spread the bourbon gospel far and wide.

We’re not going to tell you all the great stuff we have in store but here’s quick teaser:

  • Bourbon Swag Gift Paks featuring items like glasses, hats, shirts and more from your favorite bourbon brands.
  • Bourbon Academy tickets – You bet. You might win a free ticket to attend Mike Veach’s famous Bourbon Academy when it swings through St. Louis on October 11th.
  • Food – What goes great with bourbon? Food. And nothing is better than food made with bourbon.
  • Art – Screw Monet and Picasso. Bourbon artwork is where the cool folks invest their money these days.

September is going to be crammed with some really great stuff so we’re going to use all of our online channels to runs contests and giveaways. Make sure that you’re following us on all of our social media channels so you don’t miss a chance to win something really cool. Click on any of the images below to connect with us online and make sure you’ll always be in the loop on what we’ve got going on in September.

2014 Bourbon Heritage Month Celebration   2014 Bourbon Heritage Month Celebration    2014 Bourbon Heritage Month Celebration   2014 Bourbon Heritage Month Celebration   2014 Bourbon Heritage Month Celebration

We’re kicking things off tomorrow with the announcement of our annual month-long sweepstakes. Make sure to check back in and get all of the details.




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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.

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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?

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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, Parade.com 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!



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