Posts Tagged Buzz

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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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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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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New Maker’s Mark Expression Coming Soon

The rumors about the new Maker’s Mark bourbon have been flying for some time now. Bill Samuels has finally addressed the matter in the latest news to Ambassadors and Kevin Smith posted proof info and tasting notes to the Maker’s Mark Blog. See the letter and posts below:

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Dear Ambassador,

Some of you may have heard the rumor that Kevin Smith, Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark, has been working on a secret project here at the distillery. You heard right.

After years of prodding from Maker’s Mark brand friends, bourbon lovers, taste-makers and, yes, even you Ambassadors, Kevin and I looked at each other and said, “Well, let’s see what we can do.”

Make no mistake, we weren’t interested in finding which barrel held at the right light on the proper floor of a special warehouse could be packaged and shipped to stores nationwide. What we were trying to do was go after a specific taste. We had very narrow parameters and went after this new idea the way my dad did when he burned the old Samuels’ family mash bill and created Maker’s Mark.

Almost a year and a half later, Kevin comes back to me and says he thinks he’s done it.

Boy, has he ever.  Totally amazing new stuff. I mean wow. WOW!

The first step is to get blow back from the bourbon opinionaters, journalists, spirits bloggers, whisky club organizers and, yes, from our Ambassadors. Think of this as either a gut-check or, more bluntly as a disaster check.

Here’s where our taste-making Ambassadors come in. You have already received your invite to Thoroughbreds and Redheads weekend, April 9 and 10. I want you to know that we’ll be sampling our new product at the distillery for the first time on April 10, Ambassador Homecoming Day. Even if you decide not to spend the whole weekend with us, we hope you’ll join us for this momentous occasion.

Cheers!
Bill

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Dear Friends,

I am very excited to let everyone in on a little secret. We have been experimenting with a few things down here at the distillery, and we think we have stumbled onto a bourbon expression worth telling you about. The flavor is incredible. It has an intense, sweet, oaky toast aroma and, at 94 proof, it is unbelievably smooth.

Our new baby is a real revolution, with no alcohol nose or taste, and the big, bold flavors come through without a bitter aftertaste. Imagine oak-sweet vanillas, creamy flavors and a long and luscious texture that coats the front of the tongue. Let me say it this way: the taste is pleasingly intense!

Brad Boswell, President of Independent Stave, and I collaborated to create a process that would marry the flavor of Maker’s Mark with the unique flavors found when oak is heated sizzling hot, blistering the wood on the outside, while locking in the flavor in the middle.

It’s really something folks. I’ve been working on this for a year and a half, and it absolutely defies description. I guess that’s why we’re having such a hard time figuring out what to call it.

I’ll let Bill and the marketing “gurus” work that out.

Kevin D. Smith, Maker’s Mark Master Distiller

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Buffalo Trace Experiments with Double Barrels

Buffalo Trace Experimental CollectionFRANKLIN COUNTY, KY— It’s time for the next round! After more than twenty years of experimentation, Buffalo Trace Distillery is rolling out more of their sought after Experimental Collection. The release explores what effect “double barreling” has on bourbon whiskey. In these two experiments the bourbon was aged in new, charred oak barrels and then removed after several years, only to fill more new, charred oak barrels.  The full flavor from each of these new barrels was extracted by the whiskey, creating a very powerful result.

Here are some of this experiment’s details:

1. 1993 Double Barreled: These barrels were filled April 4, 1993 and bottled September 15, 2009. Buffalo Trace Rye Bourbon Mash Bill #2 was used and the product entered the barrel at 125 proof. The bourbon was removed from its original barrel and re-barreled December 12, 2001. At 16 years and five months of age the finished product has a deep, rich flavor that fully expresses the oak character. The re-barreling has taken it far beyond its 16 years. It has a very strong, powerful finish.

2. 1997 Double Barreled: These barrels were filled November 18, 1997 and bottled September 16, 2009. Buffalo Trace Rye Bourbon Mash Bill #2 was used and the product entered the barrel at 125 proof. The bourbon was removed from its original barrel and re-barreled December 12, 2001. At 11 years and ten months of age the finished product has a complex barrel flavor. It possesses a deep caramel color making it pleasing to the eye as well as the palette. It has a very robust start and finishes smooth.

“I really love the variety in these experimental releases,” commented Harlen Wheatley, master distiller. “The end product is so different from one release to the next. I look forward to the new information we garner from each round.”

There are more than 1,500 experimental barrels of whiskey now aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace. Each of the barrels has unique characteristics making it different from all others. Some examples of these experiments include unique mash bills, types 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 the 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 whiskies will be released in late October of 2009 and retail for approximately $46.35 each. Each experiment is rare and very limited. For more information on the Experimental Collection or the other products of Buffalo Trace Distillery, please contact Kris Comstock at kcomstock@buffalotrace.com.

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Nine-Year Aging Requirement Amidst Robust Demand Causing Knob Creek Supply Shortage

Knob_NothingDEERFIELD, Ill., July 7 /PRNewswire/ —  With double-digit growth fueling demand far exceeding early 2000 forecasts, Knob Creek(R) has reached a temporary shortage. The nation’s top-selling Super-Premium Bourbon requires a nine-year, four-char barrel aging process that sets it apart from the rest — as evident by its loyal customer base. The next batch of Knob Creek will be readily available again starting this November.

Booker Noe, Jim Beam’s grandson and the sixth-generation Beam family distiller who first hand-selected Knob Creek for production, knew the significance behind the nine-year aging process – a number nearly unheard of in American whiskey. It is evident in this complex, full-bodied 100 proof Bourbon that quality reigns supreme. With Knob Creek, Noe set the standard for an entirely new category: Super-Premium Bourbon. In today’s market, the demand for Knob Creek has far outweighed the supply.

“We could bottle the next batch of Knob Creek a tad earlier than nine years to satisfy demand, but that just wouldn’t be right. Much as we want to keep product available, like Booker Noe, we would never compromise on quality, or bottle at lower proof to fill a short-term gap,” said Bill Newlands, president, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, U.S.

“In many ways, a Knob Creek batch running out is the full realization of Mr. Noe’s dream to elevate the spirit he so loved,” said Newlands. “We have to thank our growing ranks of Knob Creek fans for making it so, and to ask their patience while the next batch fully matures to age nine.”

Noe family members today describe that dream as Booker’s quest to craft Bourbons reflecting a master distiller’s highest artistry, and watch them grow as spirits fans came to understand and embrace their rich and full character.

About Knob Creek Bourbon

Knob Creek is aged nine years at a sophisticated 100 proof or 50% alcohol by volume, and is named after the small town in Kentucky where President Abraham Lincoln was born. The intriguing taste of Knob Creek and unique flask shaped packaging has driven this brand to become the number one super-premium Bourbon in the world. Knob Creek is part of The Small Batch Bourbon Collection(R), credited with driving growth in the Bourbon category at the high-end. Today, these ultra-premium Bourbons continue to grow at a faster pace than premium Bourbons. For more information on Knob Creek and the Whiskey Professors, visit www.knobcreek.com.

About Beam Global Spirits & Wine

Inspiring conversations around the world, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. is building brands people want to talk about. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam(R) Bourbon, Sauza(R) Tequila, Canadian Club(R) Whisky, Courvoisier(R) Cognac, Maker’s Mark(R) Bourbon, Laphroaig(R) Scotch Whisky, Cruzan(R) Rum, EFFEN(R) Vodka, Larios(R) Gin, Whisky DYC(R), Teacher’s(R) Scotch Whisky, DeKuyper(R) Cordials and Liqueurs and Knob Creek(R) Bourbon. Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), a leading consumer brands company recently named one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune magazine. For more information on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.

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