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Posts Tagged ‘Bourbon’

# 37 Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 18, 2015

Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection. This collection is composed of Booker’s, Baker’s, Knob Creek,and Basil Hayden’s. The whiskey collection is considered by Jim Beam Distillers to be a selection of ‘ultra-premium’ bourbon whiskeys created to establish a high-end category for bourbon, and thus to appeal to the serious whiskey aficionado.

BakersThe Baker’s Bourbon was named for Baker Beam, who was the grand-nephew of James Beauregard Beam (Jim Beam). It is bottled at 107 proof (53.5% alcohol by volume) and produced from bourbon whisky which was aged for a minimum of 7 years. Interestingly, the mash for this spirit was apparently fermented utilizing a special strain of ‘jug yeast’ that has been in the Beam family for over 60 years.

Here is a link to the review of the #37 spirit on my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#37 – Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

“…The breezes above the glass were rich and enticing with the scents of sappy oak and caramel chocolate. Honeycomb and vanilla join in with dabs of rich baking spices (particularly cloves and cinnamon) drifting in the breezes as well. As the glass breathes, the scents and smells in the air all seem to meld together and it becomes more and more difficult to separate one impression from another. A vague nuttiness seems to bring an impression of marzipan forward which is seemingly interlaced with spicy orange marmalade. This is truly wonderful to nose …”


You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

#64 Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon (1998)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 22, 2015

Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a whiskey brand produced and bottled in Kentucky by the Heaven Hill company. Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon’s are produced in limited quantities for selected markets in North America, and they have been winning awards since 1990 in a variety of Spirit’s journals, magazines and contests including Gold Medals at the Prestigious San Fransisco World Spirits Competition for their 1993 and 1994 bottlings.

Evan Williams Single BarrelIn 2009, Single Barrel bottlings from 1998 began to appear in the Alberta marketplace. The particular 1998 vintage bottle that caught my attention was bottle number 413 which was  set in oak on September 9, 1998, and bottled April 18, 2008.

Here is a link to the review of the #64 spirit in my Rum Howler Top 100 Spirits Countdown.

#64 – Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon (1998)

“… I have just stumbled into a sawmill where they are cutting large rough timber beams.  I can smell the wood tannins exposed on the sides of the timber and the fresh cut wood grain scent is delightful.  Of course there is much more than oak timbers in the glass:  wild honey,  rich vanilla, toffee, caramel and hints of molasses rise from the glass in a rich vibrant aroma which is spicy and tannin filled …”


You may follow my Countdown list of the 100 Best Spirits here: The Rum Howler 2015 – Top 100 Spirits

Posted in American Whiskey, Awards, Extras, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Review: Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on September 3, 2015

Wild_Turkey_81_BourbonWild Turkey produces their bourbon from a mash bill which includes three grains: corn, barley, and rye. This mashbill is said to have a relatively high proportion of rye which gives the whiskey brand its signature spicy kick. The new flagbearer for the brand, Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon) has recently replaced Austin Nichols Wild Turkey Bourbon in the Wild Turkey line-up here in Alberta. This bourbon spirit, rather than being bottled at the regular 40 % alcohol by volume is instead bottled at a slightly higher proof, 40.5% alcohol by volume or 81 proof hence the name Wild Turkey 81.

According to the Wild Turkey website, this flagship whiskey is meant to be a mixing spirit. In fact the website describes Wild Turkey 81 as,

“an everyday whiskey that can stand up to any mixer or in any cocktail with the bold, in-your-face taste that is distinctively Wild Turkey.”

Although the spirit carries no age statement, the producer’s website informs us that this Kentucky Straight Bourbon is aged for approximately six to eight years in what the company refers to as their ‘famous #4 alligator char‘ American Oak barrels.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon)

“… The initial breezes above the glass bring forward a sweetened butterscotch note wrapped in oak and cedar spice. Scents of vanilla and honeycomb come forward mingling in the air with the fine wood spices creating an impression of light toffee. The spices grow in intensity and begin to throw off dry rye-like scents of ginger …”

Please enjoy my review which includes a great cocktail suggestion, the Honeylemon Ginger Julep.


Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Wild Turkey 81 (Kentucky Straight Bourbon)

Review: Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon (Very Old)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on August 29, 2015

Jeffersons Reserve SAM_1688Jefferson’s Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey is considered to be the flagship brand of the Jefferson Bourbon line-up. It is a small batch bourbon reportedly produced by marrying a selection of only 8 to 12 barrels of aged bourbon. The spirit has no age statement although the bottle makes a point of mentioning that the spirit is ‘very old’. (Of course this could mean practically anything, and whether a significant amount of whiskey younger than 8 years enters the blend is unknown to me.)

The spirit (owned by Castle Brands) was created in 1997, by Chet and Trey Zoeller. It is bottled at 45.1 % alcohol by volume and named for the third president of the United States who apparently repealed the Whiskey Tax after his Republican Party came to power in 1801.

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon (Very Old)

“… The initial aroma from the glass is steeped in oak and cedar spice. I can smell wood sap and freshly sawn oak planks. Mingled within the oak is a deep rich caramel toffee which smells delicious. As I let the glass sit and breathe, I notice some chocolate and cola aromas entering the breezes with notes of honeycomb and delicious barbecued corn on the cob …”

Please enjoy my review.



Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon (Very Old)

Review: Michter’s US *1 Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 27, 2015

Michter'sThe Michter’s brand can trace its heritage to the Pennsylvania’s historic Bomberger’s Distillery, which in 1980 was declared a National Historic Landmark and is thought to have been up until the time of its closing, one of the oldest distilleries in the United States. In fact, the still house, the warehouse, and the jug house all date back to the 1840s.

The Mitcher’s brand itself was first distilled at the Bomberger facility in 1951 when it was owned by Louis Forman. Forman and his Master Distiller, Charles Everett Beam, apparently created the original whiskey that was named Michter’s Original Sour Mash Whiskey. The name was apparently a play on the names of Forman’s sons Michael and Peter. Over time the Bomberger distillery became associated with the Michter’s Whiskey and became known as the Michter’s Distillery. It was unfortunately closed in 1989 due to bankrupcy.

Since 2004, the Michter’s brand has been produced in Bardstown, Kentucky by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers with the brand currently owned by Chatham Imports, Inc.  The company has apparently built a new Michter’s Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky and has begun to produce their own spirit. This new production has not yet made its way into Michter’s US *1 Bourbon.

1878 Whiskey Cocktail over Ice

1878 Whiskey Cocktail over Ice

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Michter’s US *1 Bourbon

“… The immediate nose is assertive with alcohol (from the high bottling proof), as well as spicy oak and sap, grassy tobacco and sweet butterscotch all reaching up and grabbing at me. There is a lot of fruit including both orange and banana peel, some yellow apple and even a few apricot brandy-like aromas …”

I hope you enjoy my review which includes a nice suggested recipe, the 1878 Whiskey Cocktail over Ice.


Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Michter’s US *1 Bourbon

Some Help on Father’s Day

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 21, 2015

Dictador Insolent

Dictador Insolent

Today I thought I would give everyone who is scrambling at the last-minute a few suggestions for Father’s Day with the same list of ten spirits which I posted on my refrigerator for my wife and kids. Every item on my list is considered by myself to be a top-notch spirit, however each is available in my local market for less than 100 bucks. That may seem a high watermark for some, but I have three kids and they can chip in together.

Any gift from his list would make any reasonable Dad happy:

1)  Dictador XO Insolent Rum
2)  Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum
3)  El Dorado 21 Year Old Special Reserve Rum
4)  Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon
5)  Highland Park 12 Year Old Single Malt
6)  Gibson’s Finest Rare 18 Year Old
7)  Wyborowa Exquisite (Wodka)
8)  Botanist Islay Dry Gin 
9)  Corzo Reposado Tequila
10) H by Hine Fine Champagne Cognac (VSOP)

SAM_0699 Graham's Six Grapes

Graham’s Six Grapes

I realize that not everyone can or would want to spend 100 bucks. If you are more budget conscious, then here is a list of ten great budget priced spirits which would still make any Dad happy (including me):

1)  Bacardi 8 Yr Old Rum
2)  Appleton Estate Extra Old 12 Year 
3)  Diplomático Añejo
4)  Ninety “Decades of Richness” 20 Year Old Canadian Rye Whisky
5)  Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey
6)  Alberta Springs Canadian Whisky 
7)  Highwood Premium Vodka
8)  Broker’s Premium London Dry Gin (40 %ABV)
9)  Herencia de Plata (Reposado)
10) W & J Graham’s “Six Grapes” Reserve Port

The two lists are in no particular order, but I have tried to include a good range of spirit types with the emphasis on Rum of course. Hopefully this helps someone, if not for Father’s Day, then maybe for your own personal shopping.


Posted in Extras | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Review: Duke* Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 17, 2015

duke-bourbon-bottle-shot-front-webMonument Valley Distillers call themselves artisan distillers who craft small batches of bourbon, whiskey and brandy. The genesis for the company was a conversation over dinner between founders Ethan Wayne, (son of the epic movie actor, John Wayne) and Jayson Woodbridge and Chris Radomski (vintners of Hundred Acre Wines) in Calistoga, California. The company they created as a result of that conversation (Monument Valley Distillers) is based in California, and it spawned DUKE Spirits which is now tasked with preserving the legacy of Ethan’s father, John Wayne, by creating authentic products bearing his name.

DUKE* Kentucky Straight Bourbon is distilled in Lawrenceburg Kentucky, and (again according to the website information) is blended from small batches of  hand crafted five to ten year old whiskeys which have been aged in new heavily charred American Oak barrels. The resulting bourbon whiskey is bottled at 44 % alcohol by volume.

You may read my full review here:

Review: Duke* Kentucky Straight Bourbon

“… When I returned to the glass, light butterscotch aromas and bits of vanilla had revealed themselves; however, a sort of peppery grassy aroma of green tobacco was still dominating the breezes. There was also some spicy orange citrus peel and a few almond scents …”

Please enjoy the review!


Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Duke* Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Review: Marshall’s Bourbon Whiskey

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 11, 2014

Marshall'sMarshall’s Bourbon Whiskey is produced in Bardstown, Kentucky for the Beveland Liquor Company. In case you did not know, Beveland is located in northern Spain, near the French border, and they are (as far as I can reasonably tell from their website) a small to medium-sized wine and spirits company which sells a variety of distilled spirits into the European market.

Northern Mint Julep

Northern Mint Julep

I am not really sure how I came upon this particular sample bottle. It seems to have appeared unannounced upon my review shelf in my tasting room. I tried to locate its source; however, I could not even locate a local distributor for the brand. I suspect a friend or relative came upon the bottle in their travels, and slipped it upon my review shelf with the other bourbon whiskeys as an unexpected treat for me. This should be a fun review as I have no idea what to expect from a Bourbon which I could find hardly a trace of on the internet.

You may read my full review here:

Review: Marshall’s Bourbon Whiskey

“… The initial aroma from the glass revealed spicy oak sap and woody cedar scents pushed forward by a rather firm alcohol astringency. Light butterscotch aromas and bits of vanilla pushed through this astringency as did a sort of tobacco-like grassiness. There is some spicy citrus peel in the air as well us some nutty almond …”

I hope you enjoy this review which includes a nice summertime deck drink, the Northern Mint Julep.

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Marshall’s Bourbon Whiskey

Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 6, 2014

Brass Bonanza SAM_1189

A Brass Bonanza served with Blanton’s Gold Edition

Blanton’s is a bourbon whiskey brand created by Sazerac and launched in 1984. The brand is named for Albert B. Blanton who worked at the Buffalo Trace Distillery for more than 50 years, and who apparently spent much of his time at the distillery promoting the traditions of handcrafted bourbon. Blanton’s claims to be the first modern whiskey designed and sold as a single barrel bourbon, and indeed the original brand name for the brand was “Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon”.

Blanton’s Gold Edition is produced from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley which is distilled to 140 proof and barreled at 125 proof. Each bottle of Blanton’s Gold Edition is bottled from a single barrel (brought to 103 proof) after the whiskey has been chill filtered. Because even barrels which lie side by side in an aging warehouse (even though they may have exactly the same batch of distillate) will almost certainly age differently, there will be much potential for flavour variation between particular bottles of this Blanton’s bourbon.  However, the general character of the whiskey should remain the same between bottlings as the master blender is selecting only those barrels which meet the particular flavour profile he is aiming for.

You may read my full review by clicking the following link excerpt:

Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

“… The nose is very nice with honey, sap and wood spice rising into the breezes alongside subtle notes of Christmas cake (chocolate, raisins, dates and walnuts). There is a bit of an alcohol push along with a few grassy notes and some youthful astringency. As I let the glass sit I notice baking spices building (vanilla, dark brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg) in the air along with some baked apples and canned pears. There are also some nice sweet and spicy notes of pipe tobacco …”

Included in the review is a nice bar drink which mixed the Blanton’s Gold Edition with a few drops of bitters and a splash of ginger-ale. I called the resulting cocktail, the Brass Bonanza.

Please enjoy the review and the provided mixed drink recipe!

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Blanton’s Gold Edition Bourbon

Review: Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 8, 2014

Four Roses Small batch SAM_1137Four Roses is a Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey owned by the Japanese firm, Kirin Brewery Company. The brand traces its history back to 1884 when Paul Jones Jr. opened an office in Louisville, Kentucky on a section of Main Street called, “Whiskey Row.” In 1888 Jones acquired his trademark for the name ‘Four Roses’, and in 1922 he purchased the Frankfort Distilling Company. The Four Roses brand became well established, and in 1943 it caught the eye of Seagram, who purchased the Frankfort Distilling Co., and with it, the Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon trademark.

The brand underwent a few changes in the 1950s as the whiskey was converted into a blend by Seagram for the US market, but remained a Straight bourbon overseas in Asian and European Markets. As a blended whiskey the brand lost some of its importance was eventually sold to Vivendi and subsequently to Diageo. Diageo sold the Four Roses trademark to Kirin in 2002, and Kirin made a decision to discontinue the sale of blended whiskey and returned the focus of the brand back to Bourbon Whiskey.

1878 Bourbon Smash

1878 Bourbon Smash

Four Roses is now produced at the Four Roses Distillery under the guidance of Master Blender, Jim Rutledge. The Distillery uses 5 proprietary yeast strains in combination with two different mashbills to produce 10 different Bourbons recipes. To produce Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, Jim Rutledge chooses select bourbon barrels from four of these recipe Bourbons.

You may read my full review of Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon by clicking on the following excerpt link:

Review: Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

“… The aroma from the glass reveals spicy oak sap and woody cedar aromas surrounded by additional scents of vanilla  and sweet butterscotch. There is a bit of spicy orange peel as well us some nice dollops of maple and honeycomb. I allowed the glass to breath and began to notice some spicy cinnamon and clove as well as some tobacco and hay-like grassiness …”

Please enjoy the review which includes a tweaked version of Leo Engels, 1878 Bourbon Smash as the feature recipe!

Have a great Sunday!

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Review: Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon


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