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Revisiting Distillery 291: Bad Guy and HR Whiskey Reviews

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews, Rye Whiskey Reviews by Brett Atlas4 Comments

Back in 2017 I covered the amazing journey of Michael Myers from east coast photographer to Rocky Mountains distiller. At the time, Distillery 291 was winning medals and garnering praise from a couple influential whiskey figures, but was still an off-the-radar craft distiller in a crowded and trendy field. Over the years, 291 has continued to grow and establish itself as a major Colorado whiskey brand.

Perhaps the clarity of vision Myers always held for Distillery 291 should come as no surprise from the former New York photographer. He wouldn’t hear of sourcing from someone else. They would create unique Colorado whiskeys that would be authentic from the beginning. Even when I tried the Colorado Rye Whiskey that was just over a year old, I couldn’t believe how good it was.

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Wilderness Trail Settlers Select Rye Review

In Rye Whiskey Reviews by Brett AtlasLeave a Comment

In a field of what ended up being six rye whiskies, two stood out above the rest. The ultimate winner was Booker’s Rye, currently an $850 bottle. The consensus runner-up was a 3-year rye from a then-relatively unknown new distillery called “Wilderness Trail,” who had just released their first 4-year rye that same day. I was stunned and couldn’t believe that a $60 3-year craft rye whiskey would excel amidst a group of well-known and established brands, including a couple private picks. I don’t need many fingers to count how many craft distilleries I’ve gotten intrigued about, but this definitely was one of them.

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How The Bourbon Crusaders Determined the Best Bourbons on the Shelf

In Banter by Brett Atlas26 Comments

What may have been overshadowed by the shocking and magical live auction at “Willett To Be Cured” was the months-long, massive blind tasting to determine the best bourbons that can still be found on most store shelves. 60 bourbons fought their way into the top 10, where they battled it out November 3rd in an effort to be named “Best on the Shelf.” The effort, the science and the coordination that went into this competition are worth examining closer.

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Bourbon Justice Book Review

In Book Reviews by Brett Atlas2 Comments

It’s also a dusty hunter’s dream. I finally learned the origins of some pre-prohibition whiskeys I’ve tried including Old Jordan (found in a 3-gallon glass carboy in a pharmacist’s office!), as well as a bottle from The American Medicinal Spirits Corporation that Pops poured some lucky Bourbon & Banter writers at his house a couple of years ago.

You’ve certainly read about landmark bourbon citations including the Bottled-In-Bond Act, the Taft Decision and others. But nobody until now has put them in their rightful historical context. Haara’s crowning achievement with Bourbon Justice is to emphasize bourbon’s true impact on the future of American business.

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Russell’s Reserve 2002 Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Brett AtlasLeave a Comment

I still feel that blind tasting is the best way to evaluate a whiskey, though my convictions are softening on that stance. I’m open to the premise that the situation and the company are variables that contribute in no small part to the overall experience, and influence our memories of a great whiskey. That being said, a terrible whiskey is a terrible whiskey, and its vilification will be further amplified when evaluated among others.

Nonetheless, I received a blind sample from Pops a little while ago and proceeded to review it blind. My notes were less than glowing and included the sentence, “I’d never drink this again.” Little did I know that sample was Russell’s Reserve 2002. Once Pops saw my notes, he knew something had to be wrong because he had a very similar experience. Campari confirmed that some samples had been tainted and generously sent replacement samples to both of us. In addition, my friend also poured me a sample from his bottle, which aligns wonderfully with the Campari replacement.