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.


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A Status Update Bourbon Cocktail on Oscar Night

We saw this bourbon cocktail recipe on the Today Show and wanted to pass it along to our readers. The name of the featured cocktail is Status Update which is in reference to the movie, The Social Network.

Status Update


  • 2 ounces Bourbon
  • 1/2 ounce Apple juice or 5 pices of apples
  • 3/4 ounce Ginger syrup
  • 3/4 ounce Lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce Royal Combier


Get inspired like the inventors of Facebook by drinking MPD’s updated appletini just like Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Parker’s characters do in the movie!

Fill a shaker with Ice. Add 3/4 ounce of Royal Combier (orange liquor),1/2 apple cider, 3/4 ounce of lime juice, 3/4 ounce of ginger syrup, 2 ounce of Bulleit Bourbon. Fill a rocks glass with ice. Double strain to finish.

Recipe by Derek and Daniel Koch, Cocktail experts and co-owners of MPD. For more cocktails inspired by Academy Award nominated movies check out these recipes on Today Show’s website.


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Apple and Cinnamon Infused Bourbon

Woodford Reserve bourbon infused with apples and cinnamon

We received a bottle of this infused bourbon for Christmas and have been enjoying it ever since. The recipe is very simple and quite delicious. We have refilled the bottle several times and the apple-cinnamon flavor keeps seeping into the whiskey. If you are looking for something a little different, give it a try and let us know what you think.

Apples and Cinnamon infused Woodford Reserve

1 liter Woodford Reserve Bourbon
5 ounces dried apples
4 cinnamon sticks

Pour all of the bourbon into a large pitcher. Into the now empty bottle of Woodford Reserve add the dried apples and cinnamon sticks. Carefully pour back enough Woodford Reserve to fill the bottle. Cap and let sit for three days.

The infused bourbon is great on its own neat in a glass or shaken with ice and strained into small martini glasses.

Other ideas:

  • Make several bottles and give as holiday gifts with the recipe attached and serving ideas
  • Mix the infused bourbon with apple juice for a refreshing cocktail on ice
  • Heat and serve it as a hot toddy and top with whipped cream
  • For alternative flavors the same process can be used with dried figs or dried peaches with a vanilla bean

Recipe by Tim Laird

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Bulleit Firing Off a New Rye Whiskey

Bulleit Distilling Company is set to fire off a new rye whiskey on March 1st. The release of Bulleit Rye Whiskey will be marketed and sold nationally in the US. It will have a suggested retail price of $27.99 per 750ml bottle. It is being referred to as“Bulleit 95 Rye” and reads as such on the label. Bulleit Rye is a Straight Rye Whiskey, offering a 95% Rye Mash Whiskey and 5% Malted Barley, which makes it among the highest ryes available in the market. It is aged and matured between 4 and 7 years, bottled at 90 proof, 45% (ABV) and is produced in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. BourbonBlog.com confirmed this information with Tom Bulleit today. Be sure to check out BourbonBlog.com for more info and a recipe that includes the new Bulleit Rye.

For the readers that are unfamiliar with rye whiskey, it a brother to bourbon whiskey. The main difference is that rye contains at least 51% rye, while bourbon contains at least 51% corn. Most ryes contain some corn, however, Bulleit Rye will be 95% rye and not contain any corn. It will be interesting to taste this whiskey and see if it stands out. As always, if you get a taste of this juice anytime soon, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think. Cheers!

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Jim Beam to Give Us The “Devil’s Cut”

Beam's new innovative bourbon product, Devil's Cut

Jim Beam is set to deliver a new product called Devil’s Cut in May, 2011. ‘Devil’s Cut’ is Beam’s trademarked term for whiskey that is still “trapped within the wood” after dumping. In other words, the dregs. We aren’t sure of the exact process Beam is using to retrieve the dregs from the wood, but it has been confirmed by Fred Noe that it some form of barrel sweating. Beam officially said this about its process: “Through a unique, proprietary process, we extract this formerly lost liquid from deep inside the barrel wood and put it back into our special Bourbon. The resulting liquid is deep in color, aroma and character with robust notes of wood and vanilla.”

There is no age statement on the bottle, but Fred Noe confirmed that the base is 6 year old Jim Beam, but the flavor is supposedly very different. We have heard it tastes like Beam, but has more oak and a longer finish. Noe says, “pulling more [bourbon] out of the wood is the key to this product”. It will come in at 90 proof and the retail price will be about $24 for a 750/ml bottle. We are glad to see the innovation and looking forward to something new. Let us know what you think about it if you have been fortunate enough to get a taste.

See more about Devil’s Cut on Chuck Cowdery’s Blog.

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Knob Creek Introduces Its First-Ever Single Barrel Bourbon

Clermont, KY (February 16, 2011) – Nearly two decades after Booker Noe, grandson of Jim Beam and sixth-generation distiller, first introduced Knob Creek®, the distillery unveils its first-ever single barrel bourbon, Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve. In keeping with Knob Creek’s philosophy that handcrafting superior quality bourbon is worth the effort, the new Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is naturally aged for a full 9 years and bottled at 120 proof (60% alcohol by volume).

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is carefully hand-selected, barrel-by-barrel, to be a unique expression of Knob Creek’s rich, mature flavor. Naturally aged in new, charred American Oak barrels, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is bottled at near barrel proof to maintain its strong, rich flavors and aromas. Unlike other bourbons, which are blended together from multiple barrels to create a uniform taste, each barrel of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve, once hand-selected, is cut with water and bottled individually in order to preserve its integrity and unique flavor profile. This process allows for variations in taste, color and aroma in each batch of bourbon.

“We pay close attention to the barrels we select for Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve as we want to ensure that we’re bottling an extraordinary bourbon with a complex balance of aroma and taste,” said Fred Noe, seventh-generation Beam family distiller and son of Booker Noe. “I recommend enjoying this new bourbon neat, on the rocks or cut with a bit of water in order to best appreciate its depth and fullness of flavor.”

Incredibly smooth and nuanced, this new bourbon features even more of the rich wood and signature vanilla, caramel and smoky notes that bourbon lovers have come to expect from Knob Creek, the world’s number one selling Super-Premium bourbon.

“Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is the latest innovation in our bourbon portfolio,” said Rob Mason, U.S. director of Bourbons at Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. “We are especially thrilled to introduce our first single barrel bourbon offering, and to further strengthen our already-established credibility in the Super-Premium category.”
Initial reaction from bourbon experts to the new expression has been extremely positive.

John Hansell, Publisher and Editor of Malt Advocate, wrote: “This is a stylish, big, broadshouldered bourbon with a thick, sweet foundation…peppered with spice…and dried fruit.”

Kevin Gray, editor at CocktailEnthusiast.com, notes: “Knob Creek drinkers, and bourbon fans in general, would do well to secure a bottle.”

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is available in limited quantities and retails for a suggested price of $39.99 for a 750ml bottle. For more information about Knob Creek and Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve, go to www.knobcreek.com or visit on Facebook® at www.facebook.com/KnobCreek.

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Buffalo Trace Announces E.H. Taylor, Jr. Old Fashioned Sour Mash

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Feb. 22, 2011) – Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. will yet again leave his indelible mark on the whiskey industry. The man who introduced the first climate controlled aging warehouses, used a patented sour mash technique, and fought for the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 will have a line of premium whiskeys bearing his name. Buffalo Trace Distillery has recreated his traditional sour mash and produced a limited edition, one-time offering of Colonel E. H. Taylor Jr. Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bourbon Whiskey.

This faithfully reproduced bourbon was carefully aged for nine years and “Bottled in Bond” at 100 proof. The sour mashing technique for this small batch bourbon was derived from a meeting several years ago with some Buffalo Trace Distillery retirees who recounted a method for making old fashioned sour mash whiskey. The process replicated the way in which E.H. Taylor, Jr. made sour mash back in his day.

So in 2002 Buffalo Trace Distillery set to work making bourbon using Taylor’s original souring method.  The end result was a bourbon delivering a character and body rarely found in whiskeys today. Taylor, a name synonymous with quality whiskey making, might have even said this whisky is “of Topmost Class.”

“Taylor was a true pioneer of the whiskey industry over a century ago,” said Mark Brown, president of Buffalo Trace Distillery. “We believe this whiskey is a tribute to him.” Taylor was the great-nephew of President Zachary Taylor, mayor of Frankfort, state representative to the Kentucky General Assembly and a member of the State Senate. In 1870 he first purchased the distillery and took on the daunting task of modernization. He later named the distillery O.F.C. and continued to invest large sums of money to make it an industry leader. Taylor over-extended himself financially in an effort to use the most modern equipment to make the finest bourbon whiskey available.  Throughout his career, Taylor was responsible for the development of seven different distilleries in the area and is widely considered one of the founding fathers of the bourbon industry.

This Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bourbon is the first of several new E.H. Taylor, Jr. whiskeys to be released over the next few years. “All of the Taylor whiskeys will be distinctive. Most will be very limited,” said Kris Comstock, brand manager. Each offering will showcase a vintage label and canister, reminiscent of Taylor’s bottles nearly one hundred years ago. “We designed the current bottle to replicate antique bottles made by Taylor back in 1913,” adds Comstock. Each bottle will be packaged in a canister, much like something Taylor used during his day. Retail price for the E.H. Taylor Jr. Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bourbon will be available for around $70 per 750ml bottle.

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KY Governor Steve Beshear Joins Heaven Hill For New Rickhouse Dedication

BARDSTOWN, Ky. – Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the nation’s largest independent family-owned distilled spirits producer and the world’s second-largest holder of aging Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, today welcomed Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to the company’s Bardstown headquarters to help dedicate the newly constructed Rickhouse “J”.  The new whiskey aging warehouse is part of a nearly $5 million expansion to the company’s Bourbon barrel storage capacity, already the second greatest in the world at 900,000 barrels.

Heaven Hill, producers of such renowned American Whiskey brands as Evan Williams Bourbon—the second largest selling Bourbon brand in the US and the world—Elijah Craig Bourbon, Old Fitzgerald Bourbon, Rittenhouse Rye and Bernheim Original Straight Wheat Whiskey, required the additional barrel storage to accommodate the growth in the company’s sales and whiskey production. For the first time in 2010, Heaven Hill produced more barrels of American Whiskey and Bourbon than any other American distiller.   With 49 warehouses in Nelson and Jefferson Counties already filled to the capacity with aging whiskey, the company met the need for additional barrel storage facilities with the construction of two new rickhouses, increasing the company’s barrel storage capacity by an additional 40,000 barrels.

Heaven Hill just recently filled the company’s 6 millionth barrel of fine Kentucky Bourbon in December, thereby becoming only the second continuously operating distillery in the country to do so.

In helping Heaven Hill President Max L. Shapira cut the ribbon and roll in the first 53 gallon, 500 pound barrel, Governor Beshear noted that “Kentucky is internationally known for its rich heritage in the Bourbon industry and this latest expansion at Heaven Hill further enhances that reputation.  The Commonwealth is pleased to partner with one of its signature industries to make these investments possible.”  The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority had previously approved Heaven Hill Distilleries for tax benefits through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup state sales and use tax on building and construction materials.

Heaven Hill President Shapira stated that the company “is extremely pleased to be dedicating our new rickhouses, not only because of the growth in our Bourbon and American Whiskey business that has necessitated this expansion, but also because of the positive impact this has on Bardstown, Nelson County and the Commonwealth.”

Beshear and Shapira were joined by local and state dignitaries, as well as executives from the family-owned company and Heaven Hill’s 7th generation Master Distiller, Craig Beam, for the ceremony.  The new warehouse, along with Rickhouse “I” that was completed in December, will be filled in short order to accommodate the demands for Heaven Hill’s products, and will join 18 other rickhouses at the company’s Bardstown facilities and another 29 rickhouses throughout Nelson and Jefferson Counties.

Guests gathered at the Heaven Hill’s award-winning visitor’s center, the Bourbon Heritage Center, and were shuttled out to the warehouse site for the dedication aboard the Heaven Hill Trolley, which is a well-known sight year round throughout Bardstown as it carries riders to all the area’s major attractions.

Founded in 1934, Bardstown, KY-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. (www.heavenhill.com) is the nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer and the world’s second-largest holder of Kentucky Bourbon. Heaven Hill’s diversified portfolio of brands includes The Christian Brothers Brandies; Evan Williams and Elijah Craig Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys; Burnett’s Vodkas and Gin; Hpnotiq Liqueur; PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur; Lunazul and Two Fingers Tequilas, and Dubonnet Aperitif.

Heaven Hill reminds you to “Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.”

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