Buffalo Trace Distillery Unveils Oral History Project

After more than 200 years of history in the making, Buffalo Trace Distillery is unveiling its Oral History Project, a compilation of interviews with the people and stories of the Buffalo Trace Distillery family, such as Master Distiller Emeritus Elmer T. Lee, and descendents of iconic figures such as Colonel Albert B. Blanton and Pappy Van Winkle.

For more than two years, Buffalo Trace Distillery has been working with the LouieB.NunnCenter for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries to capture the memories of the Distillery’s friends and family to serve as a virtual time capsule for future generations. All the video interviews are housed on the NunnCenter website, available at: http://www.nunncenter.org/buffalotrace/.

Visitors to the website can learn the stories behind how Elmer T. Lee had a hand in creating Blanton’s, the world’s first single barrel bourbon; the memories of Alice Blanton as she visited “Uncle Albert” on the Distillery grounds where she learned to roller skate; and how Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer for Buffalo Trace Distillery feels that Elmer T. Lee is the “grandfather he never had.”

“We’re so excited to see this project finally come to fruition,” said Meredith Moody, director of marketing services, Buffalo Trace Distillery. “To have the opportunity to preserve such rich memories of our company’s legends such as E.H. Taylor Hay Jr., a descendent of Col. E.H. Taylor Jr., one of our company’s early entrepreneurs, and our Warehouse Supervisors Ronnie Edwards and Leonard Riddle, who between them have 94 years of bourbon-making experience, is so rewarding.”

Douglas Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History agrees, saying “To have been given an insider’s look at the rich history of not only the Distillery itself but also the bourbon industry is such a rare opportunity.  We’re excited that now these stories will live on for future generations to learn about the history and tradition of one of Kentucky’s signature industries.”

In addition to visiting the NunnCenter’s website to watch all the interviews in their entirety, Buffalo Trace Distillery plans to offer computer stations in its Visitor’s Center for viewing the oral histories by early 2011.

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Old Forester 2010 Birthday Bourbon Debuts

Old Forester has released the 2010 expression of its vintage-dated Birthday Bourbon in honor of George Garvin Brown, the founder of Louisville-based Brown-Forman and Old Forester, America’s First Bottled Bourbon™. Launched eight years ago to commemorate Brown’s Birthday on September 2, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is a limited-edition, historically award-winning bourbon which is released annually.

“This year’s vintage release of Old Forester is crafted from a 72 barrel batch that was put into barrels on October 24, 1997,” said Chris Morris, Brown-Forman Master Distiller. “These barrels were evenly matured together in the very middle of Warehouse K, on the 5th floor in ricks 42, 43 and 45, surrounded by open space. This environment allowed the barrels to easily breathe during maturation and develop a rich fruit and spice character.”

Unlike the standard Old Forester, which is a batch of whisky from several different years, Birthday Bourbon is a vintage-dated bourbon, hand-selected by Morris from one specific day of production. The result is a one-of-a-kind character and flavor that will never be replicated again. Its unique decanter style glass bottle is a throwback to the late 1800’s when Old Forester was first produced. Old Forester is the only bourbon still in existence today that was produced before, during and after Prohibition by its original distiller.  No other bourbon brand sold in the U.S. today can make that claim.

Since its introduction in 2002, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has received unprecedented acclaim and has collected honors from USA Today, Malt Advocate, Whisky Magazine, Spirit Journal, and Santé.  A favorite among critics, Old Forester Birthday Bourbon has taken home gold from numerous tasting competitions including a gold medal in the 2005, 2006 & 2007 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The 2007 expression was also named American Whiskey of the Year at Malt Advocate WhiskyFest New York.

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, a Brown-Forman product, has a suggested retail price of $49.99 and is sold at most liquor stores with a wide and varied range of bourbons. The 2010 edition of Birthday Bourbon is bottled at 95 proof.

For more information on Old Forester and Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, visit the Old Forester website at www.oldforester.com or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/oldforester.

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Summer Bourbon Cocktails with Maker’s Mark & 46

Summer Breeze


1 part Maker’s Mark

1 part Ginger Ale

A splash of Cointreau

1 orange slice

Directions: Muddle an orange slice in an old-fashioned glass with a splash of Cointreau. Add in equal parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon and ginger ale. Stir gently. Top off with ice.

Char No. 46

Recipe courtesy of Ward III (New York, NY)

2 parts Maker’s 46

Muddled fresh peaches

1 part Averna Amaro

Dash of fresh orange juice

1 egg white

Bitters

Directions: Muddle peach in shaker and add all ingredients except the bitters. Shake vigorously for at least one minute. Strain into a chilled rocks glass. Drizzle bitters on the foam and garnish with fresh peach.

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Heaven Hill Announces Fourth Annual Release of Parker’s Heritage Collection

BARDSTOWN, KY–Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the country’s largest independent family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer, announces the September release of the fourth edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection, a limited annual series of rare, aged American Whiskeys that pays tribute to 6th Generation Master Distiller Parker Beam.  The fourth release is a cask-strength, non-chill filtered wheated Bourbon, meaning it uses soft winter wheat instead of rye as the “small grain” to produce a less spicy, rounder Bourbon.

This year’s release of Parker’s Heritage Collection follows last year’s “Golden Anniversary” Bourbon edition, which captured the “American Whiskey of the Year” award from Malt Advocate Magazine, in addition to being named “World’s Best New Release” in Whisky Magazine’s annual 2010 World Whiskey Awards. The 2009 release, a 27-year-old Bourbon, was the first American Whiskey to ever win “Best of Show, Brown Spirits” at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The new release marks the first in the Parker’s Heritage Collection to depart from the traditional Heaven Hill rye-based Bourbon mashbill.  Instead of the more commonly used corn/malted barley/rye recipe, the newest edition uses corn, malted barley and Kentucky winter wheat.  This recipe was first used at Heaven Hill in the spring of 1999, after the company acquired the wheated Old Fitzgerald line of Bourbons.  This new bottling of Parker’s Heritage Collection will mark the first release of Heaven Hill made, extra-aged wheated Bourbon.  And it will delight whiskey connoisseurs because not only is it non-chill filtered, but it also is being released in two very small batch dumps at barrel proof.  And like the previous three editions, it is being released in very limited quantities–only 52 barrels, kept in high storage in open rick warehouses, were dumped for this edition, yielding approximately 4,800 bottles for the United States and limited international distribution.

And in what will be welcome news in still-unsettled economic times, the fourth release, at $79.99, is priced considerably lower than previous releases, which carried an average national retail price of $150 for last year’s “Golden Anniversary” bottling and $200 for the 27-year-old Bourbon released two years ago.  Whiskey aficionados will also appreciate that the natural esters and fatty acids, which are by-products of whiskey distillation and aging, are not stripped away from the Bourbon in a process known as chill filtering, but are left in the whiskey to provide a fuller taste profile and richer mouthfeel.

Packaged in the same upscale 750ml bottle as the previous three editions, the Parker’s Heritage Collection Wheated Bourbon is available in a three bottle case that should start hitting retail shelves during September, nationally recognized as the start of the Bourbon season.

“I am genuinely excited to introduce a nicely aged, cask-strength wheated Bourbon for this next version of my Parker’s Heritage Collection,” noted Heaven Hill’s Parker Beam.  “At this age and barrel-proof, is how a wheated Bourbon shows best…it has the caramel and smoke notes that only ten years in the top floors of our rickhouses can produce.  And it has the long, smooth finish that I always look for in a Bourbon, with that softness that wheat brings to the recipe. I am very pleased that we now have wheated Bourbon that I feel has aged long enough to wear my name on the label.”

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New Evan Williams Infusion Packs a Cherry Zing

BARDSTOWN, KY–Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., the country’s largest independent family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer, announces the release of Evan Williams Cherry Reserve Kentucky Liqueur, a new product that marries extra-aged Evan Williams Bourbon with natural cherry flavor.  Bottled at 70 proof and available in both a 750ml and 50ml size, Evan Williams Cherry Reserve will be shipping to select markets across the country in September at an average retail price of $14.99 for the 750ml bottle.

The launch of Evan Williams Cherry Reserve follows closely on the heels of the hugely successful introduction of Evan Williams Honey Reserve, which began in test markets in September 2009 and completed its national rollout in February of 2010.  Since that time, it has had both great sales success and critical acclaim, including winning a Silver Medal at the most recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Both the Evan Williams Cherry and Honey Reserves take advantage of established trends in the distilled spirits industry in general and the American straight whiskey category in particular.  Among these is the ongoing success of flavored spirits, whose growth is more than double that of unflavored spirits; as well as the continued popularity of Bourbon, especially Evan Williams, which showed double digit sales percentage increases in both 2008 and 2009. Heaven Hill fully anticipates that infusing Evan Williams extra-aged Bourbon, the second largest selling Bourbon brand in the United States and the world and a “Best Buy Whiskey of the Year” winner, with natural cherry will yield similar success as that achieved with Evan Williams Honey Reserve.

Like the Honey Reserve, Evan Williams Cherry Reserve is packaged in the highly-recognizable square Evan Williams bottle, with a clear label carrying the Evan Williams logo and a stylized rendition of cherries. With a black and red capsule closure, the trade dress draws on the equity of the Evan Williams brand franchise, but with a contemporary flair.  Bottled at an approachable 70 proof, and infused with natural cherry taste that complements its sweet, easy-to-drink Bourbon flavor, Evan Williams Cherry Reserve lives up to its tagline of “Smooth Bourbon. Cherry Zing.”

“We have seen remarkable success with Evan Williams Black Label and now Evan Williams Honey Reserve,” stated Heaven Hill brand manager Susan Wahl.  “Given the strength of the Evan Williams brand franchise and the proven success of the flavored Bourbon sub-category, we believe it is the perfect time in which to launch Evan Williams Cherry Reserve.  And with a very approachable price point and a full range of retail and on-premise marketing materials available, we are expecting our customers to do some real ‘cherry picking’!”

To help merchandise the brand, Evan Williams Cherry Reserve is supported by an array of retail promotional materials–including a permanent wire rack and header card, shelf talkers, case cards, cold box clings and a 50ml counter unit–allowing off-premise operators to create impactful displays that will capture consumer attention.  In order to generate sampling in bars and restaurants, on-premise POS including T-shirts and shot glasses will also be made available.  A targeted trade advertising schedule will also help create awareness among the key retail and on-premise audiences.  All materials utilize striking visuals and the “Smooth Bourbon. Cherry Zing.” positioning, rendered in red and black graphics.  Support materials also emphasize that Evan Williams Cherry Reserve can be consumed as a shot or in a variety of delicious simple cocktails such as the Cherry Breeze, Cherry Twist Margarita and Cherry Cola.

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Jim Beam Signature Bourbon Available at Duty Free Shops

Liquor supplier Beam Global Spirits & Wine has launched in July a new premium expression of Jim Beam Bourbon whiskey that will be available exclusively in duty-free and travel-retail. Jim Beam Signature will be initially sold at Gebr Heinemann outlets worldwide and carries a recommended retail price of €29.99 ($38).

The limited edition was created by Jim Bean master distiller Fred Noe using six unique grains and aged for six years in hand-selected white oak barrels, and is presented in a 1l flask-style bottle that comes in a soft faux leather drawstring bag printed with its name, Fred Noe’s signature and a neck tag with the story behind the whiskey.

Beam Global director of European travel-retail Gareth Brown said: “Jim Beam Signature is an extremely rare and special bottling that embodies the craftsmanship and quality that has been passed down 215 years of unbroken family distilling.”

Let us know if you find this premium release from Jim Beam. We are anxious to sample it, but not close to any duty free shops. If any of our traveling or foreign readers could send us a bottle, please contact us.

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Four Roses Set to Release Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon

This September, Four Roses Distillery will release a new Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon, adding to its collection of special offerings which showcase Four Roses’ ability to work with 10 proprietary bourbon recipes to create unique and varied expressions.

The Limited Edition Small Batch includes three of Four Roses’ 10 recipes. It will feature the Four Roses recipe coded OBSV aged 15 years, OBSK aged 11 years, and OESK aged 10 years. The three bourbon recipes have been mingled at barrel strength to create a rich, complex spirit defined by soft oak, caramel and honeysuckle aromas. Subtle flavors of cherries, apricot, light spice, honey and raspberries are present giving it a creamy, smooth and mellow finish.

The release is timed to coincide with the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Approximately 3,600 bottles of this uncut, non-chill filtered bourbon will be produced and distributed in markets where Four Roses is currently available.

The new Limited Edition Small Batch comes on the heels of Four Roses’ most recent limited edition product – a single barrel bourbon released this spring to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Lawrenceburg distillery building.

Unlike the Limited Edition Single Barrel, which represents one Four Roses recipe aged to perfection, the new Limited Edition Small Batch represents a marriage of recipes to create a unique and special Bourbon of complex and layered flavors.

“The three recipes chosen for this small batch bourbon each express unique flavor characteristics that collectively create an exquisite, timeless bourbon,” said Jim Rutledge, Four Roses Master Distiller. “As this bourbon is being released during our distillery building’s 100th anniversary year, we wanted to commemorate a special time with another special bourbon. I believe this is a classic, well defined bourbon you’ll not just savor, but long remember.”

Four Roses is the only distillery that combines five proprietary yeast strains with two separate mashbills to produce 10 distinct bourbon recipes, each with its own unique character. More information about each of Four Roses Bourbon recipes is available at www.fourroses.us/ten .

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Heaven Hill Will Sponsor Bars in Louisville Arena

LOUISVILLE, KY—Heaven Hill Distilleries, the nation’s largest independent family-owned and operated distilled spirits supplier, announced a partnership today with the Louisville Arena Sports and Entertainment Properties (LASEP) to sponsor two new clubs at the KFC Yum! Center, the state-of-the-art arena opening in downtown Louisville in the Fall of 2010. Heaven Hill signed a 10-year commitment to create and sponsor the Evan Williams Bourbon Bar and the Burnett’s V Lounge, two upscale clubs that will be located at the East and West Event Levels of the arena and accessible only to lower level Club Seat Holders.

The new KFC Yum! Center, which will offer state-of-the-art amenities and technology, is one of the centerpieces of downtown Louisville’s redeveloped waterfront and has garnered national praise for its design and functionality. Heaven Hill, a proud corporate citizen of Kentucky and Louisville since the company’s founding just after the end of Prohibition, will be creating its first branded club concepts to support two of the distiller’s top brands—Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the second best selling and fastest growing Bourbon in America, and Burnett’s Vodka, one of the top selling vodkas in the nation and the 14th largest overall distilled spirits brand in the US.

The Evan Williams Bourbon Bar, a brand name which honors Kentucky’s first distiller of 1783—whose distillery stood within 300 yards of the new arena on the banks of the Ohio River—will be rendered in warm brown and red Bourbon tones featuring barrelhead décor and wood paneling. It will feature Evan Williams Bourbon, the second-largest selling Bourbon in the United States and the world, as well as several other top brands from the world’s second-largest inventory of aging American Whiskeys, such as Elijah Craig, Old Fitzgerald and Bernheim Wheat Whiskey.

The Burnett’s V Lounge, named after Burnett’s Vodka, the company’s top selling brand, will utilize a clean and crisp brushed silver and white color palette with a design reminiscent of the “ultra-lounges” of Las Vegas. It will offer a full range of traditional cocktails as well as newly-developed drinks featuring Burnett’s Vodka and Gin, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, Hpnotiq Liqueur and Lunazul Tequila. Both clubs will be available exclusively to holders of lower level Club Seats, and will also offer a range of dining options.

“Heaven Hill Distilleries’ partnership with the Louisville Arena Authority is tangible evidence of our company’s commitment to the Louisville community, where our distillery and sales and marketing headquarters are located,” said Max L. Shapira, President of Heaven Hill. “Through our Evan Williams Bourbon Bar and our Burnett’s V Lounge, we are pleased to be part of this exciting new addition to Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

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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