Cleveland Bourbon Review

Cleveland Bourbon Whiskey Photo

It seems like a new micro-distillery is opening up every week recently and each and every one that aspires to make bourbon faces the same problem: how can you afford to pay your operating expenses for the years it takes your bourbon to age?

Some get by selling un-aged whiskey, vodka, or gin while they wait for their bourbon to mature. Some sell other people’s bourbon until theirs is ready for the market. Some age their bourbon in smaller barrels to try to speed up the process. This year Tom Lix, the man behind Cleveland Bourbon Whiskey, decided to drastically speed up the aging process by using a secretive and patented pressure cooking system to age the bourbon dramatically faster.

First the whiskey is aged in traditional oak barrels for six months so that it meets the legal definition of bourbon. Then the whiskey is put in steel vats, the barrel is chopped up and added to the mix. It then goes through agitation and pressurization to force age the bourbon over the course of a week.

It is a process that has many in the bourbon world turning up their noses, but Lix compares his bourbon to Knob Creek and challenges doubters to put Cleveland up against Knob Creek in a blind taste test. So far results have been mixed on that test, you can listen to my podcast partner Charlie and I try it ourselves on Bottom’s Up #34, but with the global demand for whiskey rising every day and many distilleries struggling to keep up the traditional way, maybe Lix is onto something. 

Let’s go ahead and give it a taste and find out for ourselves.

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Bourbon Academy Formal Training

Today’s the day. Time to head out to the Bourbon Academy and spend the day with Mike Veach and other fellow bourbon lovers. While I wish you could all be here please know that I’ll try to share some highlights and photos throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook. And rest assured that tonight, after I’m all schooled out, there will be much bourbon drank and banter had with Mike. I’m feeling smarter already. Cheers!




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The Science of Barrel Aging – A Primer

For many of us, chemistry is not a topic of regular conversation or even something we think about while dozing under a hot shower in the morning. It’s true we’ve likely triggered some high school science memories by watching episodes of Breaking Bad, but the fact remains that we are largely insulated from the WHYS and HOWS behind our modern lives.

Science is really the “wizard” behind the curtain. 

For example, here is an equation that is integral to our enjoyment as bourbon folk:

Barrel Aging Equation Image


In its most simple form –  corn + oak = bourbon. 

But what actually occurs inside that barrel to change the white dog into bourbon?

Do Master Distillers employ a special version of alchemy that is passed down from generation to generation?

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Yellowstone Bourbon Ad Circa 1948

Celebrating Throwback Thursday with this great outdoors themed ad from Yellowstone Bourbon from 1948.

My only question is who was drinking the bourbon in this ad? The men or the bears?

My money is on the bears. What do you think?

Yellowstone Bourbon Ad Circa 1948 Photo




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