Welcome to this week’s installment of Heads & Tails – The Dead Tired Edition.
Why ‘The Dead Tired’ edition? Because that’s what I am. I’m worn out.
The day job has been kicking my butt, and our excellent team of writers has been keeping me hopping with new stories to post and fantastic ideas for growing Bourbon & Banter. Despite the ideas and energy from the team, I need a bit of a recharge.
With Bourbon Heritage Month kicking off on 9/1 and all that brings to our efforts here at Bourbon & Banter we’re going to slow things down a bit leading up to September. Post frequency may drop a bit the next two weeks but don’t worry; we’ll be back in full force in time to celebrate the best month of the year.
Enjoy today’s Heads & Tails and keep the feedback coming on our posts and social media. We love hearing from you and quite honestly, you’re the reason we keep the lights on around here.
REDDIT FINDS MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY’S TINY YOUTUBE CHANNEL
Just because you win an Oscar doesn’t mean you’re a YouTube star. Just ask Matthew McConaughey.
Read more via AdAge Magazine
HOME DISTILLING IS STILL ILLEGAL. VERY ILLEGAL
In Portugal, it often seems like half the people with even so much as one back acre of land don’t use it to put in a swimming pool or plant a flower garden, but instead plant a vineyard. Those who do almost invariably make their own wine, and some of them take it a step further. Using stills, some of them so small they run from kitchen stove burners, they make aguardente, the Lusitanian grappa.
Read more over at The Whiskey Reviewer
THE BIRTH OF SAKÉ
Go behind the scenes at Japan’s Yoshida Brewery, where a brotherhood of artisans, ranging from 20 to 70, spend six months in nearly monastic isolation as they follow an age-old process to create saké, the nation’s revered rice wine.
Learn more about this documentary
distillery in Lawrenceburg that everybody still calls “Seagram’s” come to be the source of the best rye whiskey in America, and a helluva lot of good bourbon, too? It starts with the water—and the expertise of master distiller Greg Metze. Where it ends no one knows.
Read more via Cincinnati Magazine
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN BOURBON MEETS THE PUBLIC
Bourbon is fun to drink at home or with a few friends in a bar. It’s, even more, fun when experienced at educational lectures, festivals and cocktail competitions. If you’ve never attended a bourbon event or simply want to learn more about them, we offer up a few of our favorite event recaps. Check them out and then make sure to seek out a bourbon event near you.
INDUSTRY NEWS & UPDATES
KENTUCKY KEEPS GETTING WETTER
As the Lexington Herald-Leader reported Sunday, the Commonwealth of Kentucky used to prohibit alcohol sales in most of its 120 counties, but that has changed. The recently-compiled map shown above is already out-of-date. In elections last week, voters approved legal alcohol sales in Cumberland and Metcalfe counties, while Williamsburg and Mayfield residents voted for expanded sales.
THE INTRODUCTION OF SUNTORY WHISKY TOKI
Deerfield, IL (June 8, 2016) – Japan is a land of contrasts and paradox: its culture holds a deep reverence for ancestry and heritage, but also a fascination with the future; and its people respect tradition, but they constantly reinvent and reinterpret the world around them. The House of Suntory, the founding house of Japanese Whisky, is proud to introduce a whisky that extends that thread forward: Suntory Whisky Toki™. Respectful of heritage, inspired by reinvention, Suntory Whisky Toki expresses both what is authentic and what is next.
Suntory Whisky Toki, which launches exclusively in the U.S. this month and in Canada in July at a suggested retail price of $39.99, is a blend of carefully selected whiskies from the House of Suntory’s globally acclaimed Hakushu Distillery, Yamazaki Distillery and Chita Distillery. Traditionally crafted according to Suntory’s Art of Blending philosophy, the expression features the quintessential characteristics of a Suntory blend: exquisite balance, harmony and oneness.
A VIVID BLEND, TIMELESSLY MADE
While Suntory Whisky Toki respects tradition, it also challenges whisky convention by rethinking the hierarchy of its components. Suntory blends often use Yamazaki malts as their key component. Inspired by the spirits of innovation, the House of Suntory’s fourth Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo took a fresh approach with Suntory Whisky Toki, selecting the singular Hakushu American white oak cask malt whisky — with its unique freshness, mellowness and spectacular green apple notes — as one of the blend’s two pillars. To complement that selection, Fukuyo chose Chita heavy-type grain whisky as the blend’s second pillar, adding a clean taste with notes of sweetness and vanilla.
By pairing these seemingly dissimilar but deeply accordant whiskies, Fukuyo’s insight overturned the old relationship between malt and grain and created a blend that is both groundbreaking and timeless.
WITH A SIGNATURE BALANCE OF MALT AND GRAIN.
Traditionally in Suntory blends, grain whiskies have played merely a supporting role, acting as a broth or dashi to accentuate key malts. But the unrivalled sophistication and wide range of grain whiskies produced at Suntory’s Chita distillery led Shinji Fukuyo to rethink that role. He saw these whiskies, with their exquisite balance of complexity, subtlety and refinement, not as a scaffold for the heroic malt to ascend but as true heroes in their own right.
This unique encounter between Hakushu malt and Chita grain whiskies gives Suntory Whisky Toki its silky taste and vivid character. To give the blend greater depth and complexity, Fukuyo carefully selected two Yamazaki malts. Yamazaki American white oak cask malt whisky harmonizes the Hakushu and Chita components, while bringing roundness and reinforcing the sweetness of Chita heavy-type grain whisky with peach and custard aromas. Finally, Yamazaki Spanish oak cask malt whisky adds woody and bittersweet notes to the blend. The result is a vivid, well-balanced and silky blend with a subtle sweet-and-spicy finish.
The smoothness of Suntory Whisky Toki allows for exceptional versatility — the expression can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, as a highball or mixed as a cocktail. The Suntory Whisky Toki highball is recommended for those interested in experiencing how whisky is enjoyed in Japan today.
The highball is an artful blend of whisky and sparkling water over a generous serving of ice. In the 1950s, the highball was a favorite of whisky drinkers in Japan. The Japanese praised this simple, stylish cocktail as a refreshing way to drink whisky. They also loved how well it paired with Japanese cuisine. Since then, Suntory has played an important role in reestablishing the highball as a popular cocktail for a new generation of whisky drinkers.
To make the Toki highball in the proper Japanese serving ceremony, fill a tall glass to the brim with ice. Add one measure of whisky. Stir to cool the whisky and glass. Again add ice to the brim. Pour three measures of chilled sparkling water along the side of the glass to avoid melting the ice or bursting the bubbles. Add a twist of lemon. Enjoy.
TASTING NOTES – Suntory Whisky Toki (43% Alc./Vol. 750ml)
Color: clear gold
Nose: basil, green apple, honey
Palate: grapefruit, green grapes, peppermint, thyme
Finish: subtly sweet and spicy finish with a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger
DAVID NICHOLSON 1843® LAUNCHES NEW VARIANT AND UPDATES PACKAGING
(St. Louis) June 27, 2016 – Luxco announced the brand refresh of David Nicholson 1843® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the launch of David Nicholson Reserve® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.The brand, dating back to 1843 and part of Luxco’s portfolio of whiskeys since 2000, will continue to provide 100 proof ultra-premium bourbon, in an updated sleek, upscale package for both of the variants.
“The 100-proof bourbon category continues to explode with an impressive 24 percent growth rate*,” says Fletcher Buchman, brand manager at Luxco. “We continue to add products to our portfolio that fulfill the demand for craft bourbons with fuller flavor and connect current and future consumers that celebrate authentic bourbons.”
David Nicholson Reserve is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that offers a rye mash bill for a spicy, warm finish and will be available in 750ml in July. This bourbon, bottled at 100 proof, is extra aged for a more robust flavor and a full-bodied long finish. Suggested retail price per bottle is $34.99-$39.99. The suggested retail price per bottle for the David Nicholson 1843 is $29.99-$34.99.
“David Nicholson 1843 is still made according to the original recipe and offers a smooth, wheated Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey with hints of vanilla and oak. For David Nicholson Reserve, with the rye mash bill, we achieved a more complex, toasted rich flavor and a spicier bourbon,” says Buchman.
The brand’s packaging refresh includes a sleeker, contemporary bottle and a cleaner label design. With the addition of a natural cork and embossing on the shoulder of the bottle, the packaging now reflects the award-winning bourbon inside. David Nicholson 1843 recently earned a double gold award in 2015 and a gold award in 2016 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
For more information about David Nicholson 1843 and David Nicholson Reserve, please visit www.davidnicholsonwhiskey.com
ALBA-COLLECTION: BOURBON - RYE - WHISKEY DISTILLERIES IN USA MAP COLLECTION
After two years of intensive research, the German publisher Alba-Collection is pleased to present the new and detailed „Bourbon – Rye – Whiskey Distilleries in USA“ whiskey map. The map contains 805 distilleries and shows the great variety of the American whiskey landscape. It is probably the most detailed special subject map of its kind.
The map is accompanied by a 24-page booklet, which gives the details of all 805 distilleries. Apart from a few dozens of large distilleries, we also found many hundreds of small craft and micro distilleries, which fall into 10 distinct whiskey categories. This also shows the enormous upswing whiskey has taken in the USA during the past years.
The map is supplemented by a set of 12 regional whiskey maps due to the high density of distilleries in some areas.
You can take a look at our map collection at www.alba-collection.com. All maps come in several sizes. We also offer attractive bundles for resellers.
For further information, please contact email@example.com.
CHEF ROBERT WIEDMAIER PRODUCES HIS OWN BOURBON LABEL WITH VIRGINIA’S FILIBUSTER DISTILLERY
Chef Robert Wiedmaier is known for his expertise in taking an ingredient and spinning it into a multitude of sensational directions on the same plate, but who knew that his cultivated skills would lend to collaboration with a small batch bourbon-making distillery? His exceptional palate, never ending curiosity, and penchant for surprise have prompted his obsession to create a bourbon to match the foundational Belgian flavors that inspire his cuisine. Wiedmaier and Virginia’s Filibuster Distillery have put their minds and taste buds together to produce the first fullfledged custom-bottled whiskey for the Robert Wiedmaier Restaurant Group. Hand selected by chef Wiedmaier and Ramon Narvaez, Corporate Beverage Director of the RWRG, the exclusive 90-proof Straight Bourbon Whiskey produced by Filibuster is now available at Wiedmaier’s restaurants.
“We pulled several cask samples that I felt really were showing well, and Chef and Ramon went with the ones that really spoke to them, and complemented their cuisine,” says Filibuster’s Master Blender, Sid Dilawri. He adds, “We started with a multibarrel blend of 4, 5 & 6 year old Straight Bourbon, and then a ‘Dual Cask’ aging process in former Cabernet Sauvignon French Oak barrels from Trefethen Winery is what set us apart. We went with a ‘High Rye’ style, which is more lifted and spicy, and better with food. The final step was ‘cutting to proof’ – adding water from our deep limestone well to get it to a smooth, but flavorful, 90 proof.”
This limited edition Filibuster/Robert Wiedmaier Straight Bourbon is available neat, in a cocktail, or as part of a brand new $18 whiskey flight program at Brasserie Beck and Mussel Bar in Bethesda and Baltimore, Maryland. A “flight’ allows the restaurant and bar guests to sample three different types of whiskies, to compare and contrast flavor and style. While flights are often seen in the wine and beer world, whiskey flights are a newer concept, in keeping with surging popularity of hand-crafted whiskies and other libations.
The family-owned Filibuster Distillery was founded in Washington DC, but recently relocated to Shenandoah County, Virginia, where the climate, the limestone ground, and water lend themselves to higher quality whiskey. Chef Wiedmaier states, “When I’ve got bourbon on my mind, I turn to a decidedly artisanal brand, not one that’s mass produced. You can taste the uniqueness in its flavor notes, a real timeless quality. I pour it neat with a good cigar standing by.”
1792 SMALL BATCH BOURBON AWARDED “BEST OF CATEGORY”AT 2016 LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL SPIRITS COMPETITION
BARDSTOWN, KENTUCKY (June 30, 2016) – 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was awarded “Best of Category” at the 2016 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition. An additional four medals were awarded to bourbons from Barton 1792 Distillery.
These spirits were ranked among 401 spirits that were submitted from a total of 29 countries.
Bourbons earning medals include:
- 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Kentucky Tavern Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Flatboat Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Zackariah Harris Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
The Los Angeles International Spirits Competition was formed in 2007, with an esteemed panel of judges using a blind-tasting method to award medals to the best distilled spirits from around the world. The award-winning entries will be displayed during the Los Angeles County Fair, Sept. 2 – 25, in “The Wine, Beer & Spirits Marketplace.”
Complete results of the 2016 LAISC are available at www.laspiritscomp.com.
In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is strength, but whiskey is the water of life.
IT’S TIME TO SPRUCE UP YOUR MAN CAVE
It's been a long hot summer. But now, kids are heading back to school and football season is just a few weeks away. It’s time to get your home ready for relaxing Saturday’s filled with football, friends and of course – BOURBON. This year though you should go beyond just having the best variety of bourbon in your neighbor. You need to show off your love of America’s native spirit by hanging some bourbon-inspired art on the walls of your home, office or man cave.
Bourbon & Banter has a variety of bourbon-inspired posters, canvas wraps and flags to show off your love of bourbon. We invite you to visit our store today and order some bourbon art that is sure to impress your fellow bourbon loving friends and make your home the best bourbon bar in town.