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Bayou Select Rum Review

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As the resident bourbon historian here at Bourbon & Banter, I have a shocking secret to admit: I have a love affair with American rum. When people think of spirits that defined our nation, it’s almost always bourbon and rye whiskey. But rum, dear friends, is what fueled our colonial ancestors and built the foundation upon which this great country was laid. This favorite drink of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was mostly produced in New England and enjoyed by everyone from commoner to governor, in proto-cocktails like punches, cups, and flips, to name a few. Rum distilling and drinking was strong in Colonial America until the revolution halted the molasses trade and slowed production considerably. Things picked up after the war ended, of course, but by then the deed was nearly done: Britain, who we had royally pissed off, owned most of the molasses of the world, and made it damned hard for us to get it. So, residents of early America began to turn their tastes toward patriotic, albeit harsh, rye whiskey (much like George Washington made when he opened his distillery in 1797), and rum production in the US was nearly defunct by the end of the nineteenth century.

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Freddie Johnson: Bourbon Superhero

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Buffalo Trace Distillery, run by the Sazerac company, is a distillery known around the world for their amazing bourbon portfolio, including Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, Pappy van Winkle, and many other fantastic labels. These brands attract scores of visitors to their distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, where they offer five different (free!) tours, which end with a complimentary tasting. However, sometimes visitors have the chance to experience something sweeter than bourbon: a tour by Freddie Johnson, third generation distillery worker and tour guide extraordinaire. Freddie’s tours are the stuff of legend, so I contacted him for an interview to figure out just what sets him apart from other guides at Buffalo Trace.

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West Cork Irish Whiskey Review

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I always reach for bourbon when I want a tasty pour of whiskey. Sure, I’ve had a number of scotches I have enjoyed and I have the requisite bottle of Jameson on my bar, but when I crave whiskey I crave bourbon. That’s why, after trying a number of world whiskies at Whiskies of the World last year, I had to pin down some bourbon late in the evening just to get my wits about me.

However, every year around March 17th I get the craving for a nice glass of Irish whiskey; enter West Cork Irish Whiskey. West Cork makes some fantastic, affordable Irish whiskey that will impress at your St. Patrick’s Day party much more than a dusty bottle of Jameson. Let’s see what the distillery has to say about it:

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Highlights from Whiskies of the World Atlanta

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Note: Whiskies of the World Atlanta provided Melissa with a press pass in order to enjoy the event and share her experience with you. We thank WOTW Atlanta for providing this with no strings attached. Thank you.   First off, let me say that the folks running Whiskies of the World really know how to throw a fantastic event.  Of course, they delivered on the whiskey, but there were other (highly appreciated) touches that pulled the event together and made WOW ATL a welcome and inviting atmosphere.  They made sure each table had a pitcher of water for rinsing your …

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Five Reasons you can’t miss Whiskies of the World Atlanta

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Note: Whiskies of the World Atlanta is providing Melissa with a press pass in order to enjoy the event and share her experience with you.  We thank WOTW Atlanta for providing this with no strings attached.  Thank you. Coming up on October 23rd is a veritable bonanza of whiskey tasting and enjoying in Atlanta, GA at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  It is the Whiskies of the World festival, which happens all over the country throughout the year in places like Austin, Houston, San Jose, and San Francisco.  This year, Atlanta is the place to be, and I’ll show you why…

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Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon Review

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Disclaimer: A sample of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Straight Bourbon Whiskey was provided by Smooth Ambler Spirits for this review. I appreciate their willingness to allow Bourbon & Banter to review the whiskey with no strings attached. Thank you. I have to admit that I’m very wary of the “craft” spirits movement, especially when that really just involves companies slapping overpriced label art on a bottle of 4-6 year old MGP juice and calling it their own. But Smooth Ambler Spirits strikes a unique balance between the world of Non-Distiller Producers and actual Craft Distillers, by not only blending some kickass MGP barrels …

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The Bourbon Mixer: Philanthropy and Alcohol All in One

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I had the pleasure of attending the Bourbon Mixer in Louisville on August 15th, and I have to say, the Whisky Chicks and Bourbon Brotherhood know how to throw a fantastic event! Annually, these two groups combine to host a bourbon-fueled shindig benefitting different charities each year. This year, the entire event supported Best Buddies Kentucky, a nonprofit that is “dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” So, not only did guests get to gussy up and drink fantastic bourbon and cocktails, …

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A User’s Guide to the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience

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Anyone who has traveled the Kentucky Bourbon Trail knows that most of the distilleries on the Trail are located far outside of city centers like Lexington and Louisville. This is only natural, of course—a more remote location guarantees better connections to the grains, pure water, and acreage necessary for a distillery. So what’s a girl to do when she has a couple of spare hours in Louisville and has a hankering for bourbon? After a stop by Art Eatables for fantastic bourbon truffles (a must in Louisville) I popped on over to the Evan Williams experience on Museum Row in …