As first reported in Episode 23 of the Bourbon & Banter Podcast, the Bourbon Crusaders are partnering with the Society for Transparency in American Whiskey (STRAW) for a release that can only be described as a bourbon nerds dream.
Fred Noe, Jimmy Russell, Jim Rutledge & Chris Morris got together and hand-selected barrels from each of their respective distilleries. For the first time in history, barrels from Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, and Rutledge’s stock of Cream of Kentucky barrels will be mingled for what the most anticipated release in bourbon history. The Four Horsemen Kentucky Straight Bourbon is scheduled for a fall 2022 release.
While details are still sketchy, here’s what we’ve learned about the release:
- Eight total barrels, two from each distillery, will be used for this release.
- The exact proof has yet to be revealed but is expected to be north of 120-proof.
- All four master distillers were involved in picking barrels from all four distilleries, they did not bring them to the group individually. We’ve heard that barrel selection was done in July of 2021.
- This is particularly interesting since we know of Rutledge’s iconic reputation for blending. Rumor has it he took the lead on the percentages used and went through more than forty different variations before bringing a final 4 to the group to decide.
The release will be mingled from the following barrels:
- A 14-year-old Knob Creek single barrel
- A nine-year-old Basil Hayden Single Barrel, the first ever to be featured in a public release
- A 10-year and a 12-year old Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel
- Two 9-year old Woodford Reserve Single Barrels
- A 12-year and a 13-year old Cream of KY barrel (Barton sourced)
The bottle count is expected to be close to 1,400 full 750ml bottles, but 25% of that allocation (350 bottles) will be split and sold as 375ml bottles to allow for more fans to have access.
MSRP will be $5,000 for the release, which comes in a deluxe box that will feature a 50ml sample from each of the 8 barrels.
Each distillery will have a small allocation for sale on site through exclusive events this fall, with the remainder being sold online through a dedicated retail site that is being set up for this release only. In a surprise move, Seelbach’s will not be the online retail partner for this release. While we haven’t heard the name of the lucky retailer to process the online orders, we do know that they are rumored to be the first online retailer allowed to legally ship to all 50 states via a proprietary licensing process.
Now before everyone starts bitching about the absorbent price for the release, please keep in mind this isn’t the horsemen cashing in on the exploding whiskey market, it’s actually to raise funds to build a physical home for the Whiskey Tasting Notes Hall of Fame. This will be a facility focused on pulling the curtain back on the whiskey industry, creating a more informed drinker, and providing historical accuracy of American whiskey and how it's changed over the centuries.
STRAW has been in negotiations to procure a piece of land that is owned by a noted purveyor of bourbon truth, Lloyd Christmas, to put the hall of fame on. Located in Truth or Consequences, KY, which is a very small stretch off state highway 60/Shelbyville RD between Louisville and Lexington, the location consists of approximately 30 acres of undeveloped land. In the negotiations, STRAW has also asked Christmas to curate some of the content for the museum once it comes to fruition, which he has agreed to do provided it can be done from his lair, not onsite. Just like the great and powerful OZ, Lloyd Christmas prefers to keep his identity a secret from everyone.
When reached for comment, the mayor of Truth or Consequences, Ms. Mabel B. Sheet said “the 37 residents of Truth or Consequences look forward to working with STRAW and Mr. Christmas to shine a light on truth in whiskey and some of the greatest tasting notes of all time.”
More information will be forthcoming from the most honest team in all of bourbon.