Archive for category News

Buffalo Trace Distillery Produces Trophy Winners in 2011 Ultimate Spirits Challenge

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (April 21, 2011) – The winners from the 2011 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, held in New York in March, have been announced and the whiskeys from Buffalo Trace Distillery continue to win significant awards.  Named “Chairman’s Trophy” winners were Sazerac 18 Rye and George T. Stagg. The “Chairman’s Trophy” awards are given to the category’s highest scorer. Results are as follows:

Chairman’s Trophy Winner – Rye

    • Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – With a “95” score and “Extraordinary Recommendation,” this whiskey was described as “Wonderfully balanced with fruit and spice being offered in perfect harmony and with incredible length.”

Chairman’s Trophy Winner Bourbon

    • George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – With a “96” score and “Extraordinary Recommendation,” this bourbon was called a “mind blowing bourbon” by one of the judges who also said “…Bottled at cask strength which suggests that a water addition is prudent but we are amazed by how soft, supple, and perfectly integrated this spirit is at full strength.”

Chairman’s Trophy Finalists

    • Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky – Received a “92” and “Excellent, Highly Recommended” rating.
    • Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Received a “95” and “Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation” as well as a “Great Value” notation.
    • Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Received a “95” and “Extraordinary Recommendation.”
    • Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – Received a “92” and “Highly Recommended” notation.
  • Other notable scores of Buffalo Trace’s whiskeys include:
    • Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “93” rating
    • Charter 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “93” rating and “Great Value”
    • William LaRue Weller 12 Years Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “92” rating
    • Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “91” rating
    • Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “91” rating
    • Blanton’s Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “90” rating
    • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey – “89” rating
    • Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey – “89” rating

 

“What an honor to receive not one, but two Chairman’s Trophy Winners this year, for those represent the ‘best of the best,’” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “And then to have so many of our other whiskies do so well, too, is just amazing. We’re very excited.”

For a complete list of USC winners, go to www.ultimate-beverage.com/wine_reviews/spirits-results/.

 

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Malt Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotrace.com.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Splurge on Woodford Reserve’s $1,000 Mint Julep

Woodford Reserve bourbon is taking the traditional Kentucky Derby® cocktail, the mint julep, to a new level by unveiling the world’s most exclusive mint julep cup. The Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Experience will feature the most exotic ingredients in the world and a collection of 103 sterling silver mint julep cups designed by Tiffany & Co. exclusively for Woodford Reserve. Proceeds from the cup sales will benefit The Heart of a Horse Foundation.

“Woodford Reserve is proud to partner with Tiffany & Co. to bring horse racing fans the most well-crafted mint julep cup ever to be sold,” said Laura Petry, Woodford Reserve brand manager.  “Woodford Reserve has been associated with the thoroughbred community since the brand’s beginning and through the sale of these cups, we look forward to assisting The Heart of a Horse Foundation in their horse rescue mission.”

In addition to the 103 traditional cups, there will also be three (3) “Prestige” cups available for auction. These sterling silver cups feature a design around the base in 24 karat gold vermeil originally used by Tiffany & Co. on a horse racing cup created in 1876. Bidding on these extremely rare cups will start at $2,000 each.

“Tiffany & Co. represents the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship in silversmithing today and we are thrilled to continue that heritage with the creation of these sterling silver mint julep cups,” said Susanne Halmi, group director of Tiffany & Co.  “It is an honor to partner with Woodford Reserve for a second year while also supporting the Heart of a Horse Foundation.”

Owners of the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup will enjoy a mint julep featuring a unique set of ingredients from around the globe: ice made of rainwater captured on the pristine island of Tasmania, Australia; rare Chocolate mint grown in San Diego, California; bourbon smoked sugar from Louisville, KY which combined raw Demerara sugar smoked in used Woodford Reserve barrels; and a small batch of the Master Distiller’s personal selection of Woodford Reserve super-premium bourbon. The 103 traditional cups and three Prestige cups will be presented on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs® in The Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Experience located near the clubhouse escalator inside Gate 10.

“We are honored to have The Heart of a Horse Foundation chosen as the beneficiary of this year’s Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup sales,” said April Horowitz, Heart of a Horse Foundation President. “This program is an opportunity to promote our rescue mission and to raise awareness about horse welfare to millions of people both in America and abroad.”

Fans are encouraged to follow Woodford Reserve online from exciting Derby events and activities via Twitter at @woodfordreserve. Visit www.twitter.com/woodfordreserve for all the details.

2011 marks the sixth year of the $1,000 Mint Julep Experience program with over $300,000 raised for worthy equine and humanitarian causes over the past five years.

How to Purchase a Cup

Starting April 11, 2011 at noon, (EDT) consumers age 21 years and older can log on to www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com to purchase one of the 103 traditional cups or to bid on one of the three Prestige cups. Presented on one day, at one place only, all cups purchased must be picked up by the buyer or the buyer’s proxy on May 7, 2011, Kentucky Derby Day at historic Churchill Downs.

Traditional Cups

103 Traditional Cups will be sold online for $1,000 on a first come, first buy basis. (There have been 103 Kentucky Derby winners born in the state of Kentucky.) The cups are individually numbered and feature the Woodford Reserve logo along with a unique horse racing design. The handmade sterling silver cups have been designed by Tiffany & Co. and come with a sterling silver sipping straw. Each cup will be presented in a unique Tiffany & Co. Blue Box and will be set in a Woodford Reserve casing made from the same wood as Woodford Reserve barrels. The cups will be on sale from April 11-May 5 at www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com for $1,000. Any unsold cups will be available for purchase at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.

Prestige Cups

In addition to the 103 traditional cups, there will also be three (3) “Prestige” cups available for auction. These sterling silver cups feature a design around the base in 24 karat gold vermeil originally used by Tiffany & Co. on a horse racing cup created in 1876. The cups will be up for auction from April 11-May 5 at www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com with bidding on these extremely rare cups starting at $2,000 each.

The Mint Julep Cup’s Exotic Ingredients

The $1,000 Mint Julep will be made with the most exotic ingredients in the world

  • Ice made of rainwater captured on the pristine island of Tasmania, Australia, where the air is scientifically proven to be the purest in the world. The air travels over Antarctica and 10,000 miles of ocean reaching the western part of Tasmania called “The Edge of the World” where it is collected without ever touching the ground.
  • Rare Chocolate mint grown in San Diego, California. This unique mint adds a tantalizing touch of spring freshness to the classic Mint Julep.
  • Bourbon Smoked Sugar from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, KY represents the union of flavors that result when Woodford Reserve barrels are combined with raw Demerara sugar. The bourbon-soaked barrel staves are utilized during the smoking process to impart a sweet, caramel flavor and the essence of smoked oak.
  • A small batch of the Master Distiller’s personal selection of Woodford Reserve super-premium bourbon, selected specifically for the $1,000 Mint Julep.

 

Tags: , , , ,

No Comments

Woodford Reserve Releases 2011 KY Derby Bottle

March 31, 2011, Louisville, KY – Woodford Reserve, the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby® is honoring the country’s favorite horse race with the release of the 2011 Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle. The limited-edition bottle features the artwork of award-winning artist and Virginia native Brett Amory.

Amory showcases two horses racing in those final moments towards the finish line with the only splash of color on the bottle. One can feel the intensity of the race shown by the two horses digging into the ground while dirt is tossed up in the air. The two colored horses along with their jockeys are the main feature on the bottle, standing out against a silhouette of muted browns and grays of the historic spires and fans in the background. The bottle also features Amory’s signature prominently at the bottom of the label as well as a neck-tag bearing information about him.

“The build up to the Derby is unlike any other sporting event,” says Amory.  “Louisville is absolutely transformed, and people from all over the world come to join the excitement.  I wanted to capture on canvas that one key moment they all came to see.”

The limited edition liter-size bottle will be available in early April in 42 US states at a suggested retail price of $42.99.

“The horses–what the Derby is all about–grab you on the bottle,” says Laura Petry, Woodford Reserve brand manager.  “So it is very fitting as a proud supporter of horseracing and the ‘official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby’ for the past 13 years, that Woodford Reserve is honored to be a part of the greatest two minutes in sports that takes our breath away every year.”

In addition to purchasing a true collector’s item, consumers can enter Woodford Reserve’s Kentucky Derby Sweepstakes with a chance to win a VIP trip to the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Consumers can enter by either registering their bottle’s unique number printed on the neck label, or by entering any random five digit code at www.WellCraftedDerby.com. Consumers may also enter by mail.  Upon registering they will be given a randomly-generated post position, from 1-20, for the 2011 Kentucky Derby. If the horse that starts from their assigned post position wins, he/she will be entered in the grand prize trip drawing. Official Rules are available at www.WellCraftedDerby.com.*

* NO PURCHASE NECESSARY – a purchase will not improve your chances of winning. Must be 21 or older to participate. Limit 12 entries per person and email address. Void in CA, VA and where prohibited. Other restrictions may apply.  See Official Rules for details.

Woodford Reserve also sponsors a Grade I race, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, which is run on Derby Day, May 7, 2011, and has become one of thoroughbred racing’s premier turf events.

Tags: , , , , , ,

No Comments

Maker’s Mark 2011 Keeneland Bottle Unveiled

click to enlarge image

Maker’s Mark Distillery officials announced today that the 2011 Maker’s Mark Mile commemorative bottle will honor a Kentucky icon – Keeneland Race Course in commemoration of its 75th anniversary.

In addition, sales of the specialty bottle – which go on sale April 8 – will benefit a newly named endowment for the arts honoring retiring University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd, Jr. and his wife, Patsy.

The Lee T. and Patsy Todd, Jr. Development Fund will make it possible for the UK Symphony Orchestra and students from the UK School of Music to take symphony music into public schools and communities throughout the state. This year is the third time that bottle proceeds have helped fund this program.

“Every year, we strive to make this commemorative bottle and its charitable proceeds about the people and entities that have a positive impact on Kentucky,” said Maker’s Mark President and CEO Bill Samuels, Jr. “Lee and Patsy Todd, as well as Keeneland, have made significant contributions to Kentucky and have been such wonderful partners to Maker’s Mark through the years, that it seemed only fitting to honor them in this way.”

The design of the 2011 collectable bottle features Keeneland’s specially designed anniversary logo and notes the 15th anniversary of the distillery’s sponsorship of the Maker’s Mark Mile.  Keeneland Race Course opened on October 15, 1936.

Samuels expects about $200,000 from the sale of more than 18,000 bottles statewide, creating funding for this unique program in excess of $1.2 million.

“We are so honored that Maker’s Mark is paying tribute to our anniversary in this way,” said Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson. “This sponsorship and all of the money it has raised through the years was the brainchild of Bill Samuels and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his ability to take a corporate partnership like ours to new heights. He is an innovator and, himself, a Kentucky icon.”

“Art and music are passions for Patsy and me. We are humbled that Maker’s Mark, Bill Samuels and Keeneland would honor us in this way by making us part of this special program and by helping take the transformative power of music to children across our state,” Todd said. “Our School of Music, and this outreach program, are emblematic of what becoming a Top 20 public research institution can mean for Kentucky – conducting research and providing service that changes lives and makes our Commonwealth a better place to live.”

Signing this year’s bottle will be Samuels, Todd and Nicholson along with Rob Samuels, the incoming President of Maker’s Mark and Bill Greely, retired Keeneland President. The signing will take place on Friday, April 15 at 6:30 a.m. trackside at Keeneland.

Stay tuned for more info. In the meantime, check out Maker’s Mark’s Facebook page for more pictures.

Updated Details on the signing:

Friday, April 15, 2011Bottle signing starts at 6:30 a.m.
Bottles go on sale on Friday, April 8, at retail liquor stores across the state. Please contact your local retailer for more specific information; bottles are not sold at Keeneland.
Line may begin at Keeneland at 8:00 p.m. on Thurs., April 14, 2011; location will be designated by Security personnel
Limit 2 bottles per person and only the 2011 commemorative bottle will be signed
There is no line position holding by people who are in line early; anyone cutting in line may be ejected from the property.
No alcohol can be brought in to Keeneland for consumption
No coolers inside the gates
Violation of policies may result in ejection from the property
Must be 21 years or older to participate

Tags: , , , , , ,

No Comments

Angel’s Envy is a Spiritual Awakening

Lincoln Henderson, a name that many Bourbonites know from Old Forester and Woodford Reserve, is about to make history again. Lincoln and his son Wes have created Louisville Distilling Company. In the coming weeks they will give us their first expression of Angel’s Envy. A unique bourbon whiskey that has been finished in port wine casks.

The word is that the whiskey for this first expression which will be called “Expression 10/10″ has been sourced from another distiller, under strict guidelines and quality control from Lincoln, and aged in Lawrenceburg, Indiana at Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana (LDI). This is a common practice in the bourbon industry in order for new distillers to be able to hit the ground running. We are hearing that the whiskey was aged in new charred oak barrels for 4 years and then finished or matured  in port sherry casks for around 6 months.

BourbonBuzz was able to obtain a sample of Angel’s Envy prior to release. This whiskey comes in at 86.6 proof (43.3 ABV). It has a wonderful golden amber color with a slight pink hue. The nose is highly aromatic, with sweet notes from the port and an almost maple aroma. The first sip is very smooth, clean and refreshing. It has a mild to medium body that is very well balanced. On the palate it has many sweet and toasty maple characteristics that carry through to a very long, complex and slightly dry finish. Angel’s Envy is not a bourbon that you will want to mix in a cocktail. You will want to sip this one neat or with a dollop of branch in order to savor all of it’s subtleties.

It has a suggested retail for $45.99 per 750 ml and should be in fine dining establishments and store shelves in KY very soon. While you are waiting, be sure to check them out on the web at AngelsEnvy.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Four Roses 2011 LE Single Barrel Coming Soon

BourbonBuzz.com just received news from Four Roses that their annual Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon will be introduced in May. The 20011 offering will have a flavor profile that has never been commercially offered by them before. Keep reading for the news about the 2011 LE Single Barrel and Small Batch straight from the Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge.

Many consumers look forward to our annual Limited Edition series of Special Single Barrel and Small Batch Bourbon offerings. (I enjoy reading the speculations of Bourbon connoisseurs across the U.S. relative to the recipe we will use for our next LE Single Barrel offering. Speculating on the formula of recipes for our LE Small Batch is too complex for speculation.) We are targeting May for the introduction of our Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon. This year we will use one of the 10 recipes that has not previously been bottled as a stand-alone Bourbon brand, and I am confident it will be a resounding success. I’m afraid the demand will be greater than our supply, and I won’t know for sure how many bottles we can fill until the barrels are actually dumped and gauged. The recipe we will use this year is OBSQ. “B” mashbill consists of: 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley. “Q” yeast generates a floral essence and when I first analyzed samples from the barrels we have selected I distinctly recall the first aroma I noticed reminded me of a “bouquet of red roses,” and it was Amazing! I believe you will have the same delight and perception.

Four Roses’ 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon is uncut and non-chill filtered with approximately 3,600 bottles to be distributed in May to markets where the brand is currently available.

We are also working on our Limited Edition Small Batch which will be introduced in September. Small Batch takes a lot longer to arrive at the ultimate formula – since various combinations of all 10 recipes may be considered. I’m not sure at this time how many of our recipes we will use to achieve “something special,” but it will probably be specially selected barrels from 2 or 3 of our ten recipes.

Tags: , , , , , ,

No Comments

Heaven Hill Launches Trybox Series

BARDSTOWN, KY – Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the nation’s largest independent family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer, announces the first two releases of the Trybox Series of New Make Whiskeys.  The new Trybox Series, named after the copper and glass “tasting station” where new make whiskey flows off the still, offers up several styles of Heaven Hill’s world famous American Whiskeys. Each is taken straight off the still, before aging in a charred oak barrel–the same way legendary father and son Master Distillers Parker and Craig Beam taste-test them.

The first two releases in the series, available at retail starting in May, will be New Make, which if barrel aged would become a Straight Bourbon such as Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage; and Rye New Make, which if aged would become Rittenhouse Straight Rye.  Future plans call for the release of other varieties of American Straight Whiskey as new make, as Heaven Hill Distilleries is the only American Whiskey producer that distills Bourbon, Rye, Corn and Wheat Whiskeys.

The Trybox Series is available in a 750ml bottle size, packaged three to a case, and is bottled at the full traditional barrel entry proof of 125, or 62.5% alcohol/volume.  The suggested national average retail price will be $24.99, and it will launch in most markets across the country.  The Trybox Series is offered in an upscale package, contemporary yet with elements that are based on traditional distillery sample bottles.  The labels detail the “Main” and “Secondary” grains used in that particular whiskey, and subtle color changes differentiate each whiskey style.  All the bottlings will utilize a rich, metallic copper cap, hearkening back to the copper stills so important for American Whiskey distillation.
New make whiskey, traditionally referred to by distillers as “White Dog”, is American whiskey in its most raw and elemental form.  It is a very different sensory experience than barrel aged whiskey, offering up grainier and sharper aromas and flavor notes.  Cutting edge mixologists today are discovering new uses for new make whiskey as a unique and appealing cocktail base.

The New Make uses the same grain recipe, or mashbill, as nearly all of Heaven Hill’s award winning Bourbons, including Evan Williams and Elijah Craig. By law, Bourbon must contain a minimum of 51% corn in the mashbill, traditionally combined with malted barley and either rye or wheat.  Heaven Hill’s Bourbon formula, however, and most of the other larger distilleries, has always contained a much higher percentage of corn than the legal minimum.  Heaven Hill also uses one of the highest percentages of malted barley in the industry, despite the fact that it is the costliest grain in the process, because it not only aids in fermentation conversion but it also adds a distinctive earthy sweetness to the distillate.  The Rye New Make utilizes the traditional Heaven Hill rye mashbill , the same that is used to produce world-renowned Rittenhouse Rye.  The Rye New Make adds an element of spicy, sharp fruitiness to the taste.

“We believe our reputation and the breadth of our American Whiskey offerings will make the Trybox Series an important addition to the national whiskey scene,” commented Susan Wahl, Brand Manager for the whiskey portfolio at Heaven Hill. “The ability to offer not only a classic new make Bourbon formula, but also a Rye, Wheat and Corn Whiskey new make will make this a significant extension of the current available whiskey offerings, and highly desirable to enterprising mixologists and whiskey connoisseurs.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Buffalo Trace Releases 2011 Experimental “Rediscovered Barrels”

FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY – Every once in a while at nearly every large distillery, a barrel warehouse employee will run across a barrel or two that has seemed to be in hiding for a number of years. They’re like little gems, concealed within the dark corners in the back of a rick just waiting to be rediscovered and sampled to see what treasures lie within.

Such is the case at Buffalo Trace Distillery, where a batch of barrels, some as old as 21 years, were rediscovered, tasted, and now bottled under the highly acclaimed Experimental Collection moniker.

“In 1998 we acquired the Old Charter brand, along with a large inventory of barrels, approximately 150,000. In a recent audit of our barrel inventory, we found some barrels from this lot. One was empty, one tasted horrible, and the others tasted very nice. Of course we bottled the very nice barrels and are offering these rare finds under our Experimental Collection label,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon brand manager.

There are three different offerings, distilled back in 1989, 1991 and 1993. Details are as follows:

• 1989 Barrels, Rediscovered: These seven barrels were filled on Nov. 17, 1989. The still proof and entry proof are unknown. After more than 21 years of aging, the wood is very prominent, but it still doesn’t conquer the rich vanilla and caramel flavors that bring to mind handmade holiday candy.

• 1991 Barrels, Rediscovered: These 8 barrels were filled on Oct. 29, 1991 and the still proof and entry proof are unknown. After a little more than 19 years, the warm and spicy aroma of this bourbon is overtaken by a robust black walnut character on the palette that finishes as thick candied fruits. The flavor lasts an eternity.

• 1993 Barrels, Rediscovered: These 8 barrels were filled on May 13, 1993 and like the other two offerings in this collection, the still proof and entry proof are unknown. After 17 years and 7 months in the barrel, this bourbon has a nice rich and creamy texture, like a whiskey latte with extra foam and a shot of vanilla. A great sipper for long cold nights.

There are more than 1,500 experimental barrels of whiskey now aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each of these barrels has unique characteristics that differentiate it from all others. Some examples of these experiments include unique mash bills, type of wood and barrel toasts. In order to further increase the scope, flexibility and range of the experimental program, an entire micro distillery complete with cookers, fermenting tanks and a state-of-the-art micro still has been constructed within Buffalo Trace Distillery.

The Experimental Collection will be packaged in 375ml bottles. Each label will include all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. These whiskeys will be released in February 2011 and retail for approximately $46.35 each. Each experiment is very rare and very limited.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments