Archive for category Buzz

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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Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon, Buzzing Soon

In April, Firefly Distillery is launching a Sweet Tea Bourbon to complement its flavored vodka sweet-tea line. The Firefly website currently has this to say about their new product:

Firefly Sweet Tea Flavored Bourbon Whiskey starts with handcrafted Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from the world renowned Buffalo Trace Distillery. It is then infused with South Carolina tea and real sugar cane. The experience is a perfect blend of sweet tea and bourbon, two southern traditions. Try it with spring water over ice.

Firefly Distillery is a distillery located on Wadmalaw Island, thirty miles south of Charleston, South Carolina that manufactures a line of vodka products using muscadine  grapes local to South Carolina. According to Wikipedia, In October 2008, Firefly Distillery and Sazerac Company formed a joint venture to manufacture and distribute Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka at Sazerac’s Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky in order to meet the growing market demand. Through this joint venture Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was able to be distributed to all states by March 2009.

Will this be a perfect sipping drink on a hot summer day? We look forward to getting a taste of this new concoction very soon. If you taste it first, be sure to leave us a comment and let us know how you like it.

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Photo of New Maker’s 46 Bottle Makes Appearance

A picture of the bottle of new Maker’s Mark bourbon, Maker’s 46 which is scheduled to be released soon, showed up on the Maker’s Mark Facebook page yesterday. The posting said,  “We took a few test shots of the new Maker’s 46 bottle a couple of days ago. Thought you might like a sneak peek”!

The bottle continues with the Maker’s Mark trademark red wax and seal, but sheds the paper label and gets a little more slim and sexy than the traditional Maker’s bottle.

Ambassadors will get a chance to sample the new product at the distillery for the first time on April 10, Ambassador Homecoming Day. As far as Bourbon Buzz is aware, an official public launch date for the new bourbon has not been announced. Look for it to hit shelves before the end of Spring.

Read more about this new bourbon here.

See the video below to hear Master Distiller Kevin Smith and Maker’s Mark president Bill Samuels talk about the new Maker’s 46 bourbon.

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Jim Beam and ESPN Bring The Next Round to Sports Fans and Bourbon Fans Alike

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Jim Beam® Bourbon, the world’s number one selling Bourbon, is proud to announce an innovative venture with ESPN to launch The Next Round – Served Up By Jim Beam, a Web series hosted by ESPN personality and award-winning journalist Scoop Jackson and featuring famous guests discussing the news with a focus on sports and pop culture.

The Next Round, which launches Sunday, April 4, during the first commercial break of the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter as well as on ESPN.com, will provide sports fans with a seat at the most exciting table in town. Each episode will feature Jackson and a range of guests – actors, athletes, media personalities and comedians – discussing the relevant topics of the moment. Known for his strong opinions and edgy perspective, Jackson has covered sports and culture for more than 15 years.

“This far-reaching media integration is a first of its kind for Jim Beam,” said Kelly Doss, senior director Bourbons, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. “We like to create legendary experiences for guys, and we know that they bond over Jim Beam cocktails and sports – a perfect combination. By seamlessly integrating the Jim Beam brand with ESPN’s many properties, including their network, Web site, magazine and radio outlet, we’ll truly be able to play where our guys play. We’re excited to get this venture under way.”

New content will air every two weeks on ESPN.com, and portions of the show will air during the 11 p.m. SportsCenter on ESPN. Segments will be recorded in Los Angeles at a custom-built ESPN/Jim Beam studio and at six remote locations that will include cities hosting major sporting events throughout the year. The Web series premiere will be shot at a bar in Boston to coincide with baseball’s opening day. Additional shoot locations will be announced at a later date.

“We think The Next Round will resonate with our audience and create the kind of social currency that will elevate Jim Beam’s brand in the minds of their target consumers, while providing valuable content to our fans,” said Ed Erhardt, President, ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales. “These kinds of innovative programs play to our strengths and allow us to strategically program across screens so our advertisers can reach their target audience in a meaningful way.”

The Next Round will be featured across several ESPN properties and will have its own custom page on ESPN.com, which will house clips of the show, shoot summaries, video podcasts, pictures and links and will act as the hub for fan social media interaction. Once per month, The Next Round segments will be featured on ESPN Radio. Additionally, ESPN The Magazine will feature The Next Round six times throughout the course of the program.

To drive viewership of the Web series, Jim Beam and ESPN are implementing a robust retail program with co-branded point-of-sale materials.

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Four Roses 100th Anniversary Single Barrel Coming Soon

LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (March 8, 2010) – Four Roses Bourbon is adding another barrel strength single barrel Bourbon to its collection of limited edition releases – this time, commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the opening of the distillery building in Lawrenceburg, Ky.

The Four Roses 100th Anniversary Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon will be released in early April just in time for the Kentucky Derby. Bottled at barrel strength and non-chill filtered, the distillery will produce only about 2,300 bottles to be distributed nationally in markets where Four Roses is currently available.

Selected from one of Four Roses’ 10 Bourbon recipes, the rare, 17-year-old offering boasts an aroma of brisk cloves and candied fruits while hints of peach and cherry meld seamlessly with creamy, spiced vanilla and oak.

“Every year our goal is to select the most special recipe aged to perfection,” said Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller of Four Roses Bourbon. “A milestone anniversary deserves a milestone bourbon and we believe this release is one-of-a-kind.”

The Four Roses Distillery, on the banks of the scenic Salt River, is a special find on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail route. The facility was built in 1910 and features a unique Spanish Mission-Style architecture rarely seen in Kentucky. The distillery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A gold etching of the distillery building is featured on the back of the limited edition bottle, adding to its appeal for the Bourbon enthusiast or collector.

Four Roses seeks oldest distillery employee
Also to commemorate the anniversary, Four Roses is searching for the oldest living person to have worked at its Lawrenceburg distillery. Once found, later this year, the individual will receive the No. 1 bottle of the limited edition bourbon release autographed by Rutledge as a collector’s item, and a still at the distillery will be named in their honor.

“Over the years, we have seen so many team members who are so committed and dedicated to our Bourbon,” said Rutledge. “The Four Roses Distillery could not have reached this level of success without a dedicated, loyal and hard-working staff. I applaud our entire team, and look forward to the future of Four Roses Bourbon.”

People who would like to submit someone for consideration as the oldest former distillery employee can contact Four Roses at (502) 839-3436 or by email at info@fourroses.biz for more information.

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Be sure to check out the first review of this bourbon over at BourbonBlog.com

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Maker’s Mark Keeneland Bottles to Feature Calipari

Building on the past success of the Maker’s Mark/Keeneland charitable bottle series that supports projects at the University of Kentucky, Maker’s Mark and Keeneland are continuing the program with the celebration of UK basketball coach John Calipari, whose likeness will be featured on the bottle this spring.

The popular coach will team up with University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Maker’s Mark and Keeneland to raise money for a unique extension program highlighting the performing arts for elementary school children throughout the Commonwealth.

“It’s an honor to team with Maker’s Mark and the university in this unique fund raising opportunity to help benefit the UK Symphony Orchestra Outreach Program,” said Coach Calipari. “I’m not sure the world is ready for my face on a bottle, but if it helps the university, I’m all for it. I hope all our great fans will support this worthy effort.”

Maker’s Mark will donate proceeds from the sales – estimated to be about $300,000 from 24,000 bottles – to an extension program that is bringing the UK Symphony Orchestra and students from the UK School of Music into public schools and communities throughout Kentucky. UK is in the process of securing matching grants.

Bottles will hit the shelves in Kentucky only, on April 2nd, 2010. Suggested retail price of $49 if retailers take their normal mark-up.

A bottle signing, scheduled the day of the Grade-1 Maker’s Mark Mile, will be held Friday, April 9, trackside at Keeneland, with Calipari, Samuels and Nicholson. In an effort to better accommodate the growing legion of fans who attend the Maker’s Mark bottle signing at Keeneland, a few guidelines and a new ticketing procedure is being established. Details on the ticket procedure for the bottle signing will follow later this month from Keeneland.

Maker’s Mark President Bill Samuels Jr. said, “John Calipari brings so much excitement to Kentucky and he deserves to be honored for the phenomenal results he achieved with the men’s basketball program in such a short period of time. More important is his dedication to the betterment of the University of Kentucky as an educational institution and achieving Dr. Todd’s goals for UK. Cal’s enthusiasm is contagious and is a wonderful way to show how the success of his basketball program can support the greater good of the university and education throughout the Commonwealth.”

Check out the Calipari Foundation website for more information about obtaining a guaranteed ticket for the bottle signing this spring. Ebay auctions are currently under way for some of these guaranteed tickets.

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Maker’s Mark Tossing Out Cincinnati Reds Bottle

For the first time, the Maker’s Mark bottle, which commemorates the Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park, will honor an entire team: the 1990 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds.  This limited edition bottle is the seventh in a series honoring Turfway’s Kentucky Derby prep race.

The 2010 bottle pays tribute to the 20th anniversary of the Reds’ wire-to-wire season and stunning four-game sweep of the Oakland A’s.  The label of the 375 ml bottle features the famous photo, taken by then director of publicity Jon Braude, of the champions celebrating on the field.  The bottle is hand-numbered and dipped in red wax.

Led by team captain Barry Larkin, the 1990 Reds spent the entire regular season in first place, defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in six games to take the National League title, and then tore into the heavily favored A’s.  Larkin, Eric Davis, Chris Sabo, Paul O’Neill, and Billy Hatcher powered the team at the plate, while Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, Jack Armstrong, Danny Jackson, and the bullpen’s Nasty Boys—Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton, and Randy Myers—intimidated opponents from the mound.

Maker’s Mark is producing an unprecedented number, 8000, of these commemorative bottles, the most since the series started in 2004.  The bottles are to go on sale Friday, March 19 and will retail for about $24 depending on the retail outlet.  Proceeds from sales will benefit the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

The bottle signing at Turfway Park is Saturday, March 27, the morning of the Lane’s End Stakes.  The signing is from 8 AM to 11 AM at Turfway Park, Gate B.  400 free tickets will be distributed on a first come-first served basis, to persons 21 years and older and one ticket per person.  Each ticketholder may bring two of the 2010 bottles to be autographed.

The 39th running of the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes is a 1 1/8-mile race for Thoroughbreds aiming for the Kentucky Derby.  With its $500,000 purse, the race virtually guarantees the winner a spot in the Derby field, which is limited to 20 starters.  This year’s Lane’s End Stakes is set for Saturday, March 27, at Turfway Park.  Tickets for the race range from general admission at $10 to the Maker’s Mark VIP Tent at $175 and are available by calling (859) 371-0200.

The Lane’s End Stakes is sponsored by Lane’s End of Versailles, Kentucky., one of the world’s leading Thoroughbred operations and first among North America’s stud farms for 10 years, seven consecutively.  The farm stands such influential stallions as A. P. Indy, Smart Strike, Kingmambo, and two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.  Lane’s End is owned by William S. Farish, former United States ambassador to the Court of St. James’s.  Farish was honored earlier this year with the Eclipse Award of Merit for outstanding lifetime achievement in the Thoroughbred industry.

As part of the bottle introduction, the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum will host a grand opening celebration of its new exhibit: 1990-A Celebration of the 1990 World Champion Cincinnati Reds on March 25 at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.  Reds Hall of Famers and select members of the 1990 team will be in attendance.  The evening will consist of dinner and a question and answer session with the 1990 players.  Admission is $80 for the general public.  Reds Hall of Fame members and Maker’s Mark Ambassadors may purchase tickets at the discounted price of $70.  Tickets are available for purchase by calling 513-765-7923.

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Bourbon on The Rock with Japanese Big Ball Ice

I was finally able to obtain some big ball ice trays from Hong Kong thanks to Ebay. These trays do an excellent job of making 2.25″ diameter ice spheres. The ice has a lower surface area than a hand full of small cubes, which allows it to melt at a slower rate, thus diluting drinks less. Bourbon on the rock, as I have started calling it, brings some new enjoyment to drinking chilled bourbon. I have also read that double boiling the water will make the ice more clear. The boiling reduces the oxygen bubbles in the water, which make the ice less cloudy. I have to admit that I don’t have the patience to double boil the water, but I have been single boiling it. If I was presenting it at a bar or restaurant, I would take the time to double boil the water in order to obtain the clearest ice possible.

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