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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Maker’s 46 Valentine’s Day Cocktail

As you know, last summer Maker’s Mark released Maker’s 46, the historic distillery’s first new bourbon in 52 years. With rich, creamy caramel and vanilla flavors that linger on the front of the palate, a touch of spice and a nutty nose, Maker’s 46 is an alluring drink to toast with over a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. Here is a Maker’s 46 cocktail created just for Valentine’s Day by Ryan Goodspeed, head bartender at the acclaimed Miami restaurant Michael’s Genuine Food & Wine. The Maker’s Heart is a tantalizing mix of our new bourbon with pomegranate juice, blackberries, lemon juice and an aromatic orange zest sugared rim.  Light some candles, turn on a Marvin Gaye album and enjoy with the one you love!

The Maker’s Heart

Shake and strain up or over ice. Garnish with an orange peel. Dash of Fee Bros. Orange Bitters. Rim with navel orange-zested sugar.

In a mixing glass combine:

  • 3 Blackberries
  • 1 oz POM 100% Pomegranate Juice
  • ¼ oz Lemon Juice
  • Muddle. Add ice and:
  • 2 oz Maker’s 46
  • ¾ oz Sweet Vermouth (preferably Carpano Antica)
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • For sugar rim: Take one ounce of plain white sugar and zest it with four peels of orange.

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Early Times 354 Bourbon Coming Soon

Brown-Forman announces the Early Times brand is returning to its bourbon roots with Early Times 354 Bourbon. Crafted with pure water, select grains, proprietary yeast and carefully distilled and matured in select oak barrels, it’s the newest (and in a way, the oldest) member of the Early Times family. After an absence as a bourbon in the US market since 1983, Early Times 354 joins Early Times Kentucky Whisky in an expansion of the presence of the famous Early Times brand.

At the tender age of 15, Jack Beam began working at his family’s distillery. In short order, he was running the operation and in 1860 built his own distillery at a place called Early Times Station, Kentucky. Beam named his whisky Early Times, both as a tribute to its place of origin and as a nod to the old-world craftsmanship that goes into making it. He believed in the “early times method” of whisky-making – mashing grain in small tubs, boiling the beer and whisky in copper stills over open fires. It’s an abiding belief that has stayed with the Early Times brand all along, continuing long after Early Times became part of the Brown-Forman family of brands in 1923.

By the 1950s, Early Times was the best-selling bourbon in the world. As the vintage advertising from that era proclaimed, Early Times is “the whisky that made Kentucky whiskies famous.” Steeped in bourbon history, Early Times Distillery’s federal permit, No. 354, is the longest held in Kentucky.

As the only distilling company to own its own cooperage, Brown-Forman changed Early Times from a Kentucky bourbon to a Kentucky whisky in 1983 – allowing the company to achieve a perfect mix of seasoned and new barrels and create the smooth, mellow taste of Early Times whisky.

“Early Times is the second oldest continually produced Kentucky whisky on the market – second only to Brown Forman’s Old Forester,” said Chris Morris, Brown-Forman Master Distiller. “Early Times 354 Bourbon takes as a part of its names the distillery’s famous permit number – 354. This is the longest held operating permit in Kentucky. Everything about Early Times 354 supports the brand’s historic past and reputation for great taste.”

Early Times 354 will launch an ad campaign to coincide with the product’s release in several trade magazines focused on a national, independent, blind preference taste test in which Early Times 354 was preferred to Jim Beam White Label by male, Jim Beam drinkers ages 25-55.*

“The results of the taste test were what really told us we had a winner,” said Joe Murray, Early Times Brand Manager. “Early Times 354 is a premium line extension offering a quality product, at an accessible price point, capitalizing on the growing number of consumers entering the bourbon category.”

With a unique retro-classic package similar to the 1930’s Early Times bottle, Early Times 354 will initially be sold in 17 U.S. markets with more to follow in 2011. Each bottle is presented at 80 proof with a suggested retail price of $15.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Tasting Notes for Early Times 354 Bourbon

Color   – deep amber

Aroma – spicy with sweet fruit, fresh oak and delicate corn notes underscored by a layer of

vanilla and caramel.

Taste    – a lively entry with spice, caramel and vanilla that melt into a mixture of fresh and

dried fruit notes.

Finish   – warm with subtle hints of apple and corn

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Woodford Reserve and Esquire Crown “Master of the Manhattan”

New York, NY – After searching the country for the nation’s ultimate well-crafted Manhattans, Woodford Reserve bourbon and Esquire magazine have crowned Marcelo Nascimento from Austin, Texas and his “Voodoo Manhattan” as the “Master of the Manhattan” for 2011.

Nascimento’s cocktail was reviewed by a distinguished panel of experts along with the 10 other bartenders creations from across the country. Nascimento and the other participant’s cocktails were critiqued on creativity, ingredients, presentation and taste. The judges included Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris, spirits journalist Paul Pacult, Whiskycast creator Mark Gillespie, and Douglass Miller from the Culinary Institute of America. The judging took place at The Manhattan Experience at Top of the Standard in New York City on Monday, January 10.

“There was some stiff competition from the other bartenders and I didn’t expect to win, but the judges told me they thought my drink really stood out,” said Nascimento.  “The whole time in New York was exceptional and I want to thank Woodford Reserve and Esquire for an amazing experience.”

The Voodoo Manhattan along with the other 10 recipes will be featured in a Woodford Reserve advertisement in the February edition of Esquire. The Voodoo Manhattan recipe is as follows:

Voodoo Manhattan crafted by Marcelo Nascimento

2½ oz. Woodford Reserve®

½ oz. Amaro Averna

½ oz. Clément Créole Shrubb

½ bar spoon of Pink peppercorns

Garnish with skewered blood orange supremes and inflamed orange peel

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Bill Samuels, Jr. Stepping Down as Pres. of Maker’s Mark

Loretto, KY (January 12, 2011) – In April of this year, Bill Samuels, Jr., will retire as President of Maker’s Mark®,the world’s oldest operating bourbon distillery and a National Historic Landmark, and transition into the new role of Chairman Emeritus for the iconic global brand. His son, Rob Samuels, who was appointed Chief Operating Officer in October 2010, will lead the Maker’s Mark organization going forward. The announcement was made by Matthew J. Shattock, President & Chief Executive Officer of Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.

“Bill Samuels reinvented the way bourbon was marketed at a time when the industry needed it most,” Shattock said. “He forever changed the bourbon industry while building Maker’s Mark into a global brand and staying true to his family’s commitment to handcraftsmanship. We’re pleased that Rob Samuels, as Maker’s Mark Chief Operating Officer, will follow in his footsteps, as Bill travels throughout the world on behalf of the brand as Chairman Emeritus.”

Bill Samuels, Jr., has been at the helm of Maker’s Mark for 35 years, and has overseen the growth of the brand from a Kentucky “cult” bourbon into a national icon that gave rise to the modern era of bourbon.  Mr. Samuels is the son of Maker’s Mark Founder, Bill Samuels, Sr., and the seventh generation to continue the family’s tradition of bourbon making first started in Kentucky by Robert Samuels in 1784.  Since taking over the business from his father in 1975, Maker’s Mark has experienced double-digit growth year-on-year, and the Maker’s Mark Distillery has become one of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting more than 100,000 visitors annually from the world over.

“A lot has changed in the spirits industry since we first started selling Maker’s Mark, but I’ve made sure all along that the way we craft our bourbon has remained the same as when we first started,” said Mr. Samuels.  “Our heritage and craft is what makes us unique and ensures our quality.”

Samuels continued, “Now that we’ve achieved the milestone of one million cases as a brand, it’s the perfect time to transition the day-to-day running of Maker’s Mark to Rob, who will carry on our family traditions. I look forward to taking on this new role and meeting with our brand fans in markets around the world.”

Bill Samuels, Jr., will officially step down as President and transition to Chairman Emeritus on Friday, April 15th during the Maker’s Mark Mile, a Grade-1 thoroughbred horserace held at the historic Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Ky., which will be the 15th and last year for the running of the race.  A private event will be held the following day at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, Ky., for brand Ambassadors and invited guests to celebrate the retirement of the venerable bourbon baron.

Together with his father, Bill Samuels, Jr., created the premium bourbon category.  A true pioneer and innovator, Mr. Samuels has forged a rich and enduring legacy, without ever intending to do so.  From the brand’s tongue-in-cheek advertising campaigns, to the industry pioneering brand Ambassador Program and the engaging Distillery visitor experience, Mr. Samuels helped transform Maker’s Mark from a bourbon into a lifestyle.  Last summer, Mr. Samuels introduced what may well become one of his most defining contributions, Maker’s 46, the highly acclaimed first new bourbon from the Maker’s Mark Distillery in 52 years.

Growing up the son of a bourbon maker, and with Jim Beam as his godfather, everyone expected Mr. Samuels to work in the whisky industry.  Always the contrarian and, to the surprise and consternation of many friends and family, Mr. Samuels decided to pursue other interests.  He studied rocket science at the Case Institute of Technology and UC Berkley, and then went on to Vanderbilt University, where he earned a law degree before eventually deciding to join the family business and take on the marketing and promotion of what was then an emerging local “cult” bourbon.

Said Mr. Samuels, “My career has been an incredible journey and, over the last 43 years, I have always stayed true to my fundamental belief that the most successful way to build Maker’s Mark is one brand fan at a time and to let brand fans become our most influential advocates.  I have no doubt that the future of Maker’s Mark is in the best of hands with Rob at the helm as COO and that the best is yet to come as the brand’s popularity continues to swell both in the U.S. and internationally.”

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Wild Turkey Gives Us A Rooster of A Cocktail

In honor of the opening of True Grit, the all-star remake of one of the all-time greatest films, Wild Turkey has put together this Old West cocktail with all the ingredients—the gold, the grit, the sarsaparilla and the whiskey—that shaped the now-mythic American West.

So catch a matinee, come home and make yourself up a “Rooster.” What better way to follow a new classic than with another?

Check out the recipe below and give it a try. Be sure to leave a comment and let us know if it is any good!

The Rooster
1 1/2 oz Wild Turkey 101
1/2 oz cinnamon schnapps laced with gold flakes
4 oz Sarsaparilla or any root beer
Salted rim (provides the grit!)

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Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Arriving Soon

Bourbon Buzz just received the following information from Knob Creek:

Knob Creek has big news, and we wanted our faithful Stillhouse fans to be the first to know: In just a few weeks, we’re launching Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve, the first single-barrel offering from Knob Creek®.

Knob Creek is the only bourbon that puts as much effort into our passion as you put into yours and as a result, our new Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is a truly extraordinary bourbon. Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve has been hand selected, barrel-by-barrel to be a unique expression of Knob Creek’s rich, mature flavor. Bottled at near barrel strength of 120 proof, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve will offer you a smooth, nuanced experience with even more of the rich wood and vanilla notes that have made Knob Creek the standout bourbon that it is.

You won’t have to wait much longer: We’ll be shipping our first batch early next year. We’ll send you more information in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned. And get ready to toast a deliciously rewarding new year!

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