Seagrams Whisky Ad Circa 1985

Bourbon & Banter reader Jim Thorpe sent me the Seagrams Whisky ad below and I just couldn’t pass it up. I know it’s not for a bourbon brand but how can you not love it?

If you can’t get behind supporting the police, fire fighters, service men/women and others who put themselves in harms way I don’t think you should be drinking bourbon. In fact, you should probably be drinking vodka to match your lack of a soul. Seagrams Whisky Ad Circa 1985

I’d love to see a bourbon brand do a campaign like this again but as Jim mentioned in his note to me ,when he sent the image, in a politically-correct world most brands wouldn’t dare.

I say we take matters into our own hands folks. Next time you’re at the bar and you see a policeman, fire fighter or soldier that’s off duty, please by them a glass of bourbon and thank them for their hard work and sacrifice. And if by chance they don’t drink bourbon, by them a drink of their choice.

That’s what I call spreading the bourbon gospel.

 

Seagrams Whisky Ad Circa 1985

 

 

 

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Fall Fashion Issue: An Old Fashioned Cocktail Perfect for Autumn

Fall Fashion Issue: An Old Fashioned Cocktail Perfect for Autumn
The Old Fashioned is not so much a single cocktail as a style of cocktail. Originally, cocktail meant the drink consisted of a spirit, bitters, sugar and water. When new drinks were created with things like vermouth and absinthe, one who wanted the original style would order an “old fashioned cocktail.” While we think of it as a whiskey drink, it can really be made with any spirit. You actually could make a vodka old fashioned, but it would be rather bland and we probably wouldn’t be friends anymore.
 
In autumn, I like to add the seasonal flavor of apples. Cider is delicious, but there’s no place for juice in a old fashioned. No, you have to keep things boozy with applejack. Applejack was first made by William Laird in New Jersey in 1698. George Washington liked it so much he asked Robert Laird for the recipe in 1760. Laird & Company received distillery License No. 1 from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 1780. 
 
For this old fashioned we split the spirit duties between bourbon and applejack. The bitters will be aromatic, the sugar is honey, and the water is always ice.
 
Fall Fashion Issue

  • 1 oz bourbon 
  • 1 oz applejack
  • 1/4 oz honey syrup*
  • 3 dashes aromatic bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.
 
*To make honey syrup mix equal parts of honey and hot water. 
 
Fall Fashion Issue: An Old Fashioned Cocktail Perfect for AutumnFor the bourbon I recommend something in the 100-proof range. You will use Laird’s applejack, because that is all there is. Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic bitters work well here with their strong cinnamon notes, but Angostura will do you fine as well.
 
Applejack is a blend of apple brandy and neutral spirits which make this drink an easy sipper. If you’re looking for an additional kick, seek out Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy. It’s definitely got more burn, but also more apple flavor. 
 
Cheers!
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Bourbon & Beer: Beyond Boilermakers

If you’re a regular reader, you know that bourbon makes bad things bearable and good things great—even when those things are beer, and therefore already awesome. There’s definitely a time and a place for boilermakers (very late at night or very early in the morning), but my favorite bourbon and beer team-up comes from the increasingly-popular trend of aging beers in bourbon barrels. After the bourbon has aged in the barrels, they’re sold to brewers, who then age their beers (most commonly stouts, Scotch ales, and barley wines) in them in order to pick up some of the smokey, caramelly flavors the bourbon left behind. Some of these beers are limited releases—breweries will take a favorite, year-round stout and do a limited run of a bourbon-barrel aged version—and some of them are seasonal offerings, but all of them are worth getting your hands on.

Bourbon & Beer: Beyond BoilermakersBrewed first in 1992, Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout is arguably the OG of bourbon barrel-aging (and, for that matter, the entire barrel-aging trend). BCS is released once a year after aging in Jim Beam barrels for 100 days. And, despite Goose Island’s buy-out by Anheuser-Busch, the rich, chocolate, and undeniably boozy beer is still a great bet that can be enjoyed immediately when you buy it, or cellared for up to five years.

While stouts are some of the most popular types of beer to be barrel-aged, Founders’ Backwoods Bastard, a Scotch ale, is one of the most highly regarded. It’s another yearly release, and it’s perfect for fall weather, with hints of candied yams, smokey oaks, and barely a hint of its 10% ABV. Though most of the bourbon notes come through upfront, It’s heavy, it’s sticky, and it’s a beer that’s definitely not messing around.

Bourbon & Beer: Beyond Boilermakers

If you’re like many of the Bourbon & Banter team, you’ve got a healthy respect for Wild Turkey—and in that case, Anderson Valley’s Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout is the beer for you. Since Anderson Valley has an exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey (and therefore have a consistent source of used barrels), this beer is a little easier to find year-round. You’ll definitely want it year-round, too, with everything from smoked gouda to beer-and-ice-cream floats.

Maybe I’ll get in trouble for telling you about this one, but it’s honestly too good not to spread the wealth: Brooklyn Brewery Black Ops. When asked about Black Ops, the brewery responded with: “We have no idea what you’re talking about, and if there was such a beer, we would certainly not be able to tell you it’s released every November in exceedingly small quantities.” Well then. Guess if you get some, it’s best to keep it to yourself, especially since this stout is aged for three months in Woodford Reserve barrels, lending it a charred vanilla finish. The mouthfeel on this one is a little lighter than most (possibly due to the Champagne yeast used to bottle re-ferment the brews), so if you’re looking for a more approachable option, this is it.

(EXTRA CREDIT: If you’re really feeling ambitious, try hunting down some of Brooklyn’s Cuvee Elijah—one of their elusive “ghost bottles” not available for wide release. It’s aged in—you guessed it—Elijah Craig 12 year barrels, and picks up a bit of coconut from there.)

 

 

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Belle Meade Bourbon Review

Belle Meade Bourbon Review

I was sitting in a bookstore several months ago reading Garden & Gun when I stumbled across a review for Belle Meade Bourbon. Anytime I see a review for a bourbon I’m not familiar with I take notice, but seeing as how many people point to Garden & Gun’s reviews of and articles on the Pappy Van Winkle line of bourbons to explain their jump from bourbon geek fame to mainstream America fame, I was even more intrigued.

Glancing over the Belle Meade Bourbon website, the first thing I notice is information…and a lot of it. Granted, they currently only have one product, but they give you loads more information than most distilleries. Prior to Prohibition, Nelson’s Greenbriar Distillery had one of the most popular bourbons available (Belle Meade) and the most popular Tennessee Whiskey in production (Nelson’s Greenbriar Tennessee Whiskey), reportedly outselling Jack Daniel’s 16-1. Alas, prohibition came along, forcing the family to cease production.

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