Posts Tagged whiskey

Buffalo Trace Releases Fifth Round of Single Oak Project Bourbon

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (May 1, 2012) – One year ago Buffalo Trace Distillery unveiled its Single Oak Project and its quest for the perfect bourbon. Now as the fifth round of Single Oak Project Bourbons are released, there has been much excitement and many reviews, but still many questions to be answered.

The fifth round of experiments will focus on three variables, the recipe, rye vs. wheat; the entry proof, 105 vs. 125 proof; and wood grain size, tight, average, or coarse. All of the other variables such as barrel stave seasoning, aging warehouse, char level, and tree cut (top or bottom) remain constant.

As with the other four releases, Buffalo Trace hopes whiskey enthusiasts can continue to rate each whiskey they taste online at www.singleoakproject.com. To date, more than 1700 accounts have been created online, and nearly 1,550 reviews have been given on the four various releases so far.

The whiskey reviews have been tallied and the leading barrel after one year is…. a three way tie!! Barrels #10, 106 and 184 are all tied for first place. With all three of those barrels having different variables, it seems the only thing the three have in common is that the oak was harvested from bottom half of the tree! The other six variables of the leading barrels vary.

“Quite a mixed bag so far,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon brand manager. “It seems the only thing people can agree on so far is that they like bourbon aged in barrels made from the bottom portion of oak trees, opposed to the top half. Good thing we have 3 more years, 144 more barrels, and thousands more reviews to come!”

After a consumer reviews a bottle online, they will be availed of all the aging details and provenance of the barrel. They can interact with others who’ve also reviewed the barrel, compare their reviews, and even learn for themselves which characteristics they enjoy most, in order to help them select future favorites. Participants online will earn points after each review and most importantly, help Buffalo Trace Distillery create the perfect bourbon!

The Single Oak Project is part of an intensive research project Buffalo Trace Distillery started conducting in 1999 by hand picking 96 trees with different wood grains and then dividing them into a top and bottom piece, yielding 192 unique sections. From there, staves were created from each section and were air dried for either 6 months or 12 months. After all the staves were air dried, a single barrel was created from each tree section, resulting in 192 total barrels. These barrels were given either a number three or a number four char and then filled with either wheat or rye recipe bourbon.

To further the variety of experiments, the barrels were filled at two different proofs, 105 and 125 proof. And if this wasn’t enough, two completely different warehouses were used, one with wooden floors and one with concrete floors. In total, seven different variables were employed in Buffalo Trace’s ultimate experiment.

For eight years the Distillery continued with its tracking process, creating intricate databases and coming up with a potential of 1,396 tasting combinations from these 192 barrels!

The Single Oak Project Bourbon is being released in a series every three months from 2011 through 2015 until all of the 192 barrels have been released. The first releases hit select stores in 2011. This fifth release will reach stores towards the end of May. Like all the other releases, the quantities are very limited. Every case will contain 12 bottles, each from a different barrel. The fifth release is made up of barrel numbers 1, 17, 33, 49, 65, 81, 97, 113, 129, 145, 161, 177. All releases will be packaged in a 375ml bottle. Suggested retail pricing per bottle is $46.35.

At the conclusion of the Single Oak Project, the Distillery plans to take the top rated barrel based on online consumer feedback, make more of that product and launch it under the Single Oak Project nameplate

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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.

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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.”

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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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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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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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Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old Bourbon Named “Spirit of the Year”

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (Oct. 19, 2010) – Wine and Spirits Magazine has named Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey “Spirit of the Year” in its annual buying guide issue.  There are only eight spirits of the year in the issue, and Pappy Van Winkle 23 is the only bourbon.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from Wine and Spirits, one of the most respected publications in the spirits industry,” said Julian Van Winkle III. “This caps off an unbelievably successful year for the Van Winkle line as a whole, with major wins for Pappy 15 at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition and Pappy 20 at both the International Wine and Spirits Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.”

The Wine and Spirits annual buying guide issue will be on sale at newsstands October 19th.

About Van Winkle Bourbon

The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle

family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also partnered with Mr. A. Ph. Stitzel on the purchase of Mr. Sitzel’s distillery.  The three of them merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery.

In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. Its prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still.  Pappy had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were sold to Norton Simon, Inc. Later, United Distillers, who eventually ended up with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, sold off all of the original labels around 1999.
After selling the distillery, Julian Jr. resurrected a pre-prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian Jr.’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing high-quality wheated bourbon. His son, Preston, joined the company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come.
In 2002 the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed. For more information on the Van Winkle family of bourbon please visit www.oldripvanwinkle.com.

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Buffalo Trace Releases 2010 Antique Collection

FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY (October 5, 2010) Whiskey lovers rejoice! Buffalo Trace Distillery is releasing its 2010 Antique Collection. The much-anticipated collection will once again feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here is what ardent fans can expect:

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

The 2009 release was named in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible the “World Whisky of the Year,” making it the best whisky on the earth.  The 2010 release is comprised of whiskey that has been aged on the first floor of Warehouse K. The first floor enables the barrels to age slowly and gracefully. This vintage has a crisp spice, minty sweetness and pleasant oakiness.

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old

The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a 96 rating by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The 2010 edition was distilled in the spring of 1993 and has been aging in Warehouses C, H, I, K and Q.  With 17 years of aging under its belt, it brings to the table notes of leather, vanilla and tobacco.

George T. Stagg

The perennial favorite and last year’s winner of the “Bourbon of the Year” award by Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible, the 2010 George T. Stagg was found in Warehouses H, I, K and L. This uncut, unfiltered bourbon was distilled back in the winter of 1993 and weighs in at 143 proof—some strong stuff! This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee.

William Larue Weller

William Larue Weller is the Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheat recipe bourbon. The 2009 edition was just named the best bourbon in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal. The 2010 offering was distilled in the summer of 1998 and aged on the fourth and ninth floors of Warehouses I and P. This William Larue Weller release registers in at 126.6 proof. It tastes of caramel corn, light toffee and pipe tobacco.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye is an uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2004 and aged on the third and fourth floors of Warehouses K, M and P. It is 126.9 proof.  The flavor is cinnamon and allspice, with a bold lingering finish.

The Antique Collection was introduced a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. Since 2000 these whiskeys have garnered numerous awards from such notable publications as Malt Advocate Magazine and Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible.

“Last year’s collection won some pretty major awards so it’s somewhat intimidating to follow those whiskies,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “But we think this year’s offerings are just as good, so it will be fun to see if everyone else thinks so too.”

The Antique Collection will be available starting in late October. For more information visit www.greatbourbon.com

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