View Post

Visiting the A. Smith Bowman Distillery

In Distilleries by Lee Stang2 Comments

“A. Smith Bowman Distillery Old Reston Avenue.”

That is the title of this painting by Doris Kidder that has hung all winter, in the hall outside of our company office in Leesburg, VA. I was aware the Bowman Distillery was once located in Reston, VA since I bought my first bottle of Bowman Brothers Small Batch Bourbon several years ago. Also, my wife and I had the pleasure to meet and talk with former Master Distiller Truman Cox at Whiskyfest New York in 2012, just a few months prior to his sudden death. We had a trip coming up to Savannah, and we figured on the way south we would stop at the distillery for a tour.

View Post

Out of Control: Seeking E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood

In Banter by Lee StangLeave a Comment

“E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood Coming Soon” was the title of the email I received on March 29th from the Virginia ABC.

Yes, Virginia is a control state. It’s not that bad, although they seem to have a tough time getting a good supply of Buffalo Trace or Blanton’s. Before living in Leesburg, Virginia, I used to live in Montgomery County, MD for most of my life. Montgomery County is the only county in the U.S. that has its own control board. So living with a control board is, what it is. You get used to it, sort of. I once read that 28 states have liquor control boards. There was a move in Virginia about six years ago to do away with the liquor control, but I guess it is hard to part with that tax revenue.

View Post

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10 Year Single Barrel – DRY 85 Private Selection

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Lee StangLeave a Comment

Some of the best bourbons I have tasted have been Private Barrel Selections. This Dry 85 Smooth Ambler Old Scout 10 Year Single Barrel may be the best.
Dry 85 Bourbon Bar, in Annapolis, MD and open for a little over two years has had six different private barrel selections for sale. These are selected by the owner Brian Bolter. All have been superb. Five are still on the menu at least by the pour.

View Post

DRY 85 Bourbon Bar: Like the Bourbon? Take it Home!

In Bars by Lee StangLeave a Comment

Suppose you are in one of the highest rated bourbon bars in the country tasting one of their bourbon selections. If you really like, it wouldn’t you want to buy a bottle and take it home.

That would be Dry 85, Annapolis, MD.

Dry 85, touted as a modern speakeasy, is the idea of owner Brian Bolter, a former Washington, DC newscaster and his wife, Lisa. Open since Jan 1, 2014, Dry 85 was named by The Bourbon Review Magazine as one of the top bourbon bars in the United States in July 2015. I have to second that award.

Prohibition ended on December 5, 1933. At least for everywhere in the U.S. but Washington, D.C. The District had to wait until the repeal of the Sheppard Act and remained dry for 85 more days, thus the name Dry 85.

View Post

A Bourbon Oasis Where You Would Least Expect It

In Banter by Lee StangLeave a Comment

Rock Hill Farms!!! I am in a restaurant/bar and they have Rock Hill Farms! Maybe not unusual for Kentucky. Very unusual for any place in my home state of Virginia. I am in neither. I am in Oranjestad, the capital of Aruba. My wife and I like to travel and have visited Aruba every October since our honeymoon in 2001. When we travel we like to try different and unusual restaurants and bars, especially bourbon bars. Tasting bourbon is not just about sitting in your house and having a pour, although that is enjoyable too. The environment of a great bar can make the …