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What I Did Right at WhiskyFest Chicago

WhiskyFest Chicago 2015 Glass

Well I have survived. Thank to Pops and everyone else who were praying for me to make it back relatively unscathed and with a few stories to tell. After failing miserably at my first whiskey festival I learned a few things that I applied this year, and I think I can say that the weekend was a success. Here are some of the top things that helped me make the most of my experience at WhiskyFest Chicago.

1. I downloaded the app: One of the promotional emails I received prior to the event suggested I download the WhiskyFest app prior to attending and it turned out to be a great resource. When you open the app you see the event’s social feed. When I opened it the evening before the event it was full of people taking selfies on the train and asking for recommendations and advice. Even today, five days after WhiskyFest, it is still full of pictures and excitement. It was a really nice way to instantly bond with a group of strangers. Once I got into the grand tasting the map of the floor, and especially the list of whiskey, made it invaluable. I was actually able to keep track and rate of each one that I tried. I even managed a few notes before I decided that typing was really not worth the effort. Continue Reading →

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Happy Easter – Share Your Bourbon


Happy Easter - Share Your Bourbon Image

Happy Easter from all of us here at Bourbon & Banter. Whether you’re religious or not, Easter is the perfect holiday to spread the joy with those around you.

Dust off your top shelf bourbons, unlock the Pappy vault and break out your enormous collection of logo engraved Glencairn glasses. It’s time to spread the bourbon gospel by sharing your bourbon with friends and family. Don’t hold out on the good stuff because you’re saving it for “a special occasion”. Special occasions are tricky in that you never know when they’re going to happen. As for today, well…you know it’s happening and you should take advantage of it.

As for me, I’ll be sharing some very nice I.W. Harper from 1942 as well as some Antique Collection bottles.

What about you?




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Happy St. Patrick’s Day


Happy St. Patrick's Day 2015 Photo

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Blood Oath Bourbon Announced by Luxco

Blood Oath Bourbon Release Image

In early December 2014, St. Louis-based Luxco announced that they were acquiring a 50 percent equity position in Limestone Branch Distillery. The initial focus of the joint venture would involve Limestone Branch distilling the original recipe for Yellowstone bourbon and aging the product in 2015. In addition, “Limestone Branch Distillery plans to develop other hand-crafted spirits using various mash bills for bourbon, rye and continuing to work on their white spirit products.”

We have been striving for some time to enter the craft bourbon market with a truly authentic story and product. – Donn Lux, Luxco chairman

We were pretty excited about hearing the news when it first came out, and we immediately started to speculate on just how big Luxco’s plans were about getting more involved in the bourbon industry. Historically the brand has tended to put their focus on other categories with larger profit margins like tequila, but undoubtedly the bourbon boom has provided an opportunity for them to rethink their growth strategy. As a non-distilling producer with a portfolio that contains many well-known–yet lower-end–bourbon brands like Rebel Yell, Ezra Brooks and David Nicholson 1843, the investment sent a clear signal that Luxco had set its sights on playing a bigger role in the bourbon industry. And just a few months after announcing their investment in Limestone Brand, Luxco is making news again by releasing a new bourbon to the market. Continue Reading →

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