Archive for April, 2010

Early Times Mint Julep KY Derby Commemorative Bottle

For the past 23 years, the Early Times Mint Julep has proudly served as the “Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby®.” In celebration of this, Early Times Kentucky Whisky continues its tradition with the release of the 2010 commemorative Kentucky Derby bottle.

The 2010 Early Times Mint Julep commemorative bottle holds special significance as the 11th and final in a series of paintings by the inimitable Celeste Susany, whose creations have graced the bottle every year since Kentucky Derby 126. In this year’s masterwork, entitled “A Golden Moment,” Susany adopts a more impressionistic style to capture the essence of this grand race. The scene spotlights the field of contenders galloping along the back stretch while the twin spires stand majestically in the background.

“Celeste’s work captures the true essence and emotion of Derby day and we’ve been so very fortunate to have her as our artist for the past 11 years,” said Joe Murray, Brand Manager for Early Times Kentucky Whisky. “The Early Times Mint Julep bottle has truly become a collectible among art, horse racing and whisky fans and is a must-have for Derby parties as the perfect way to serve a delicious mint julep in less than ten seconds.”

With 2010 marking Susany’s final year of doing the artwork for the commemorative bottle, Early Times is giving consumers the opportunity to submit their artwork for the chance to be featured on the 2011 Kentucky Derby bottle. Beginning April 20, consumers can log onto www.earlytimes.com/etmjartistsearch to submit their “What Derby Means to Me” artwork, as well as to see official rules and contest details.  The winner will win a VIP trip for two to the 2011 Kentucky Derby, $5000 in cash, along with having their artwork featured on the 2011 Early Times Mint Julep bottle.

“It has been an honor to have the opportunity to do the artwork for the Early Times Mint Julep bottle for the past 11 years,” added Susany. “It’s time to give another artist the chance to have their work displayed for horse racing fans to collect and enjoy.”

During this year’s Derby week, more than 120,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are expected to be served at Churchill Downs®. Over the past 23 years, more than 2.5 million Early Times Mint Juleps have been served between Kentucky Oaks® and Derby Days at Churchill Downs. This year’s Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday, May 1, 2010 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Launching in April 2010, the newly labeled one-liter pre-mix bottle will be available in limited quantities throughout the United States for a suggested retail price of $14.99.

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Minty Fresh Bourbon Cocktails: Juleps and Mojitos


Springtime in Kentucky is bourbon drinking weather (what weather in KY is not?)! Anyway, spring weather goes hand-in-hand with thoroughbred horse racing, especially the Kentucky Derby. As most people know, the official drink of the KY Derby is the Mint Julep. Folks usually either love or hate the julep. If you are a julep hater or just looking for something refreshing and a little different, we have a couple of twists on the traditional Mint Julep and Mojito.

PAMA Mint Julep

Ingredients (for one cocktail):

* 2 oz. PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur
* 2 oz. Evan Williams Bourbon (any bourbon will do)
* 2 Sprigs of Fresh Mint
* 2 Sugar Cubes

Directions:

In a mixing glass, muddle mint and sugar with Bourbon and PAMA. Shake ingredients vigorously over ice and strain into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and serve.

Thanks to Chuck Cowdery for this recipe.

Bourbon Mojito

Ingredients (for one cocktail):

* 1/2 lime, quartered (plus extra for garnish)
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 full sprig of mint
* 2 oz bourbon
* Soda water

Directions:

In a glass, muddle the lime, sugar, and mint until the sugar is dissolved. Add ice and bourbon. Stir well. Top with soda water. Garnish with lime.

Thanks to Shoes & Cocktails for this recipe.

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Early Times 150th Anniversary Release Revisits Old Times

Early Times Kentucky Whisky, first distilled in 1860 in Early Times Station, Kentucky, is a whisky known for its rich heritage and mild taste profile. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the brand, Early Times Kentucky Whisky will release a one-time, limited release expression in a 375ml commemorative bottle.

Although the year 1860 congers up images of “early times” today, at the time, the brand’s original distillers believed the industry was turning too modern, too quickly, and wanted a brand that captured the “good old days.” Thus, the brand name Early Times was selected to remind consumers of the old-fashioned methods of making whisky – mashing grain in small tubs and boiling the beer and whisky in copper stills over open fires.

Closed by Prohibition, the distillery, brand and barrel inventory was acquired by medicinal whiskey permit holder Brown-Forman Distillers in 1923. Brown-Forman moved the production of Early Times to Louisville, Kentucky in 1935 where it has thrived to this day. Every drop is distilled under the late 1800’s permit number DSP – 354.

“This commemorative bottle celebrates the rich history of Early Times’ role as the second oldest continually produced whisky brand in America,” said Joe Murray, brand manager for Early Times. “While Early Times is now made with modern methods, its name still invokes images of the good old days and still provides a welcome reward at the end of a hard day’s work. As one of America’s top selling Kentucky Whiskies for the last 60 years it still lives up to its reputation as ‘The Whisky that made Kentucky Whiskies Famous.’

The Early Times 150th anniversary edition will come in a unique 375ml bottle and carry an Early Times retro 1920’s label. The distillery will produce only 3000 cases which will be available in 20 US states at a suggested retail price of $11.99.

“Early Times 150 is crafted to emulate the flavor profile the brand would have possessed in 1923 when it was acquired by Brown-Forman,” said Chris Morris, Brown-Forman Master Distiller. “Most whisky aficionados who have been treated to a prohibition-era medicinal whisky taste a late bottling. These contain whisky that was aged up to three times longer than the distiller planned. In 1923 Brown-Forman began bottling 5-6 year old Early Times as medicine. This bottling, with its light honey color, mellow oak, brown sugar, vanilla aroma and simple sweet corn, vanilla and faint butterscotch taste bring back the best of a by-gone time – an Early Times to remember.”

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Exclusive Empty Calipari Marker’s Bottles Up For Grabs

Yesterday’s release of the 2010 Keeneland Maker’s Mark bottle featuring UK basketball coach John Calipari was a slam dunk. Reports are that 24,000 bottles  sold out everywhere in under 2 hours. There simply were not enough to meet the demand. Coach Cal and Maker’s Mark have decided to make 8,000 more of the bottles available. The catch is, they will be empty! They will feature the same design as the full bottles which sold out on Day One of sales. The only difference is that instead of the Surgeon General’s warning on the back label, there’s a message from the CFFC. The proceeds from these bottles will benefit The Calipari Family Foundation for Children to help better the lives of underprivileged children in Kentucky. The limited edition bottles are on sale now for $49.99 with free shipping anywhere in the continental United States. You can get order this bottle online directly from caliparifoundation.org

Why empty bottles? Maker’s Mark President/CEO Bill Samuels, Jr. said:  “Cal’s foundation can now sell and ship them anywhere. With nothing inside there are no legal restrictions. Fans everywhere can get one and make a donation to his cause for kids. When Cal agreed to do our charitable bottle only available in Kentucky, he warned me about the nearly 1 million fans outside Kentucky that are not going to be happy. He was right.”

“Ellen and I would like to thank Bill Samuels, Maker’s Mark and Keeneland for making this special edition empty bottle to help support our Foundation. By not including alcohol in the bottles, we are able to ship these keepsakes all across the world and allow the Big Blue Nation to share in the commemoration of our first fabulous year in the Bluegrass,” Coach Calipari said.

The collaboration between Maker’s Mark and Keeneland, Kentucky’s world famous bourbon and its historic thoroughbred racetrack and sales company, respectively, could result in nearly $250,000 for the CFFC.

Watch the video below for more info about the Maker’s Calipari bottle.

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Maker’s Mark Trademark Wax Seal Is Affirmed

A federal judge Friday agreed with the distiller of Maker’s Mark bourbon that the dripping red-wax seal on its bottles is the company’s exclusive property, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. District Judge John Heyburn in Louisville, Ky., issued an injunction preventing a rival liquor company from using a dripping wax seal on its tequilas sold in the U.S., ending a seven-year legal fight over the distinctive bottle- topper.

Friday’s ruling caps a lawsuit between Maker’s Mark owner Fortune Brands Inc. (FO) and two competitors, Diageo PLC’s (DEO) North American unit and Casa Cuervo, over the trademarked wax seal. Mexico-based Cuervo used a dripping red wax seal on special bottles of its Reserva tequila, which was distributed by U.K.-based Diageo.

Heyburn’s ruling barred the companies from using the seal but didn’t award damages to Maker’s Mark.

Calls and emails to spokesmen for Maker’s Mark, Diageo and Cuervo weren’t immediately returned Friday, the AP says.

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Click here for the full story from the Associated Press.

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