This is a true craft distillery putting out a unique product in very limited quantities. I’m not sure what Short Mountain is trying to accomplish with their whiskey, though. The brand notes describe a classic bourbon but everything from their mash bill to their distillation technique is far from classic. So it is not surprising that the bourbon is far from “classic.”
This is an all-around solid whiskey that won’t disappoint. But to violate an iron-clad rule of multi-sibling parenting, I’m saying its older brother, A119, this year’s first ECBP release, is better in every respect. A119 is headed for Harvard while B519 is good state school material. To strain the sibling metaphor further, the A119 is the charismatic kid, attractively assertive in every respect (perhaps helped some by its 135 proof), and its boldness presents as complexity rather than a brute punch in the face. Still, Elijah Craig fans will find the B519 completely likeable. Its EC DNA is as pure and recognizable as its sibling’s; it’s just packaged in a softer, gentler version.
The New Hampshire State Liquor Commission regulates the sale of alcohol in the state of New Hampshire. New Hampshire is one of 18 control states in the nation where the government directly controls the distribution of alcoholic beverages as well as being responsible for the regulation of alcoholic beverages. An important source of revenue for the state, the Commission contributes over 100 million dollars to the General Fund each year. Over the past few years, the NHLC has really stepped up their barrel selection program by hand selecting barrels various bourbons and tequilas. Last year I was lucky enough to be asked to sample nine barrel aged tequilas that were hand-selected exclusively for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission. Read my previous post on that experience here.
The Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBCo), 1500 Parkway Drive, is announcing the release of its first Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #1. The product is a blend of Bardstown Bourbon Company’s estate-made, two-year-old wheat and high-rye bourbons, with an 11-year-old sourced Kentucky bourbon. Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #1 is the result of a collaboration of the company’s expert distilling, beverage and culinary teams working together to develop an exceptionally smooth, yet complex pour.
At a dinner to meet Heaven Hill’s new master distiller, Colin O’Driscoll, my Bourbon & Banter colleague Matt Evans took one sniff and pronounced it a “chocolate bomb.” That was dead on. A friend at the same dinner asked, “Did you add water?” I answered, “Why? It’s soft at 135 proof!” Whiskey nerd that he is, I knew he meant “Did you act professionally and discover anything important by adding water like rational people do?” So I did, and it turned into honey: extraordinarily delicious, but I missed the oomph of the barrel strength. So, I advise no water be added.
Ragged Branch started distilling bourbon in 2014 under the tutelage of the late Dave Pickerell. One of Pickerell’s suggestions was to mature some of the first batches of bourbon in 25 gallon barrels to age it faster and enable it to get to market a little after 2 years. As the two year wheated bourbon started rolling out, Alex Toomy, the owner/distiller of Ragged Branch, got tired of dealing with the 25 gallon barrels. He took the remaining smaller barrels that were 3 years old and dumped them in 53 gallon barrels with a number 4 char for another year.
To me, summer is gin season. There is nothing like a tall, ice-cold gin and tonic on a hot, humid day. The botanicals bring a brightness to the palate that provide just as much of a cooling sensation as the ice. With summer weather just around the corner (and for many of us it’s already arrived), here’s my suggestion on how to drink curious this gin season.
Rebel Yell Launches New VariantView Post
Bower Hill is a bourbon brand that was started by Carl Brown and Kevin Clang in 2015. Carl and Kevin were nice enough to devote some time out of their schedule to chat with me about Bower Hill. Needless to say I had a lot of questions. I will say that it was extremely refreshing to talk to a NDP that was so transparent about what they are doing and how they are doing it. Honesty and transparency are two things that bourbon fans are not exposed to when talking to or researching NDPs. While Bower Hill provided all of the tasting samples for this review at no charge, they did not pay for this review and all thoughts, opinions, and tasting notes are my own.