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High West Barreled Boulevardier Review

In Bottled Cocktails by Leave a Comment

Typically speaking, I prefer my bourbon neat. No ice, no additional water and certainly no mixers that would mask the flavors of my beloved whiskey. However, in the last decade, classic cocktails have been making a comeback. If you’re a regular of Bourbon & Banter, you’re already well aware of this, as we’ve featured quite a few cocktail recipes. When made properly, a classic cocktail doesn’t mask the flavor of the whiskey, rather, the other ingredients mingle with the whiskey, allowing the mixologist to build an experience that is to be savored, just as a highly trained chef would do with a meal.

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Cleveland Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by 5 Comments

It seems like a new micro-distillery is opening up every week recently and each and every one that aspires to make bourbon faces the same problem: how can you afford to pay your operating expenses for the years it takes your bourbon to age? Some get by selling un-aged whiskey, vodka, or gin while they wait for their bourbon to mature. Some sell other people’s bourbon until theirs is ready for the market. Some age their bourbon in smaller barrels to try to speed up the process. This year Tom Lix, the man behind Cleveland Bourbon Whiskey, decided to drastically speed up the aging process by using a secretive and patented pressure cooking system to age the bourbon dramatically faster.

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Rock Hill Farms Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by 2 Comments

This review might strike some people as odd because it’s for a bourbon that was first released over 20 years ago; 1990 to be exact – Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Bourbon. I don’t know if it was due to a perceived lack of audience, or if it had to do with red tape (Louisiana is famous for that), but either way, the bottle shop I work for didn’t receive Rock Hill until this past spring, and we’ve had difficulty getting restock shipments ever since. Additionally, I’ve yet to see it at another store in north Louisiana. Having read about Rock Hill online over the past couple years, I was eager to purchase a bottle once it arrived.

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Belle Meade Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Leave a Comment

I was sitting in a bookstore several months ago reading Garden & Gun when I stumbled across a review for Belle Meade Bourbon. Anytime I see a review for a bourbon I’m not familiar with I take notice, but seeing as how many people point to Garden & Gun’s reviews of and articles on the Pappy Van Winkle line of bourbons to explain their jump from bourbon geek fame to mainstream America fame, I was even more intrigued. Glancing over the Belle Meade Bourbon website, the first thing I notice is information…and a lot of it. Granted, they currently only …

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Big House Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" Garrett5 Comments

Big House Bourbon – Whisky for those on the inside. Wow, what a great name and tagline. As a marketing professional, I have to admit that I was immediately impressed with the branding of Big House bourbon and the quality of their materials. As a non-distiller producer of bourbon, Big House bourbon definitely has their work cut out for them when it comes to wining over the hearts and minds of American bourbon drinkers. It’s a good thing that they’ve come to the party with dressed to impress. Question is though, do they have what it takes on the inside …

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Four Roses 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" Garrett1 Comment

It was quite an honor for Four Roses to have their 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch bourbon named the 2012 “American Whiskey of the Year” by Whisky Advocate. It also means expectations for this year’s release were set really high. So when I started hearing whispers and rumors about how great this year’s bottling was shaping up to be, I admit I started getting excited. After all, when you hear phrases like “best ever” from the Master Distiller himself it’s hard not to expect great things.

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Jim Beam Signature Craft Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" Garrett2 Comments

Earlier this summer Jim Beam was kind enough to send us samples of Jim Beam’s Signature Craft series featuring a 12 Year and a Rare Spanish Brandy bourbon. Scheduled to be released in August they asked if we would mind sampling them and sharing our thoughts with our readers. Never ones to turn down a request to enjoy bourbon we initially thought we’d do our standard review of each bourbon. However, after some internal discussion (and sampling of the product) we decided it would be more fun to invite local bourbon drinkers together for a blind tasting and video review of the bourbons. After a month of planning we finally made it happen this past weekend. Our tasting panel consisted of four St. Louis-based bourbon drinkers – all with varying levels of bourbon experience. Some have been drinking bourbon recreationally for over 30 years while others have just gotten into bourbon the last few years and are admittedly at the beginning of their personal bourbon journey. In short, it was a diverse group that resulted in some enjoyable banter about featured bourbons.

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Stagg Jr. Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" Garrett1 Comment

Two weeks ago Buffalo Trace formally announced the release of Stagg Jr. – an extension of their legendary George T. Stagg bourbon. As a huge George T. Stagg (“GTS”) fan I was both surprised and excited to hear about the pending release. It’s not everyday that a legendary bourbon that’s traditionally released once a year launches a line extension that should be more readily available. Even with all of my excitement I have to be honest that I head into my tasting with some concerns as well. More about those after we take a quick review of the original Stagg …

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Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" Garrett6 Comments

When I first started to explore the world of bourbon, I was so clueless the word novice wouldn’t even be appropriate. For example, one of the first bottles of bourbon I purchased was Wild Turkey Rare Breed……before I’d ever even tried 101 or any other Wild Turkey product! You could say I dove head first into bourbon. Fast-forward 5 years and Wild Turkey 101 is my go-to and Rare Breed is still in my top 3 or 4 bourbons. Seeing as how there wasn’t yet a review for Rare Breed on Bourbon & Banter, I decided to take a crack at it.