Featuring Redbreast 12 Year, Elijah Craig 18 Year, Woodford Reserve, Powers 12 Year, Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Makers Mark, Jack Daniels and Bulleit Bourbon
By Matt Goldstein
After many futile attempts at trying to come up with a more manly way to say whiskey “tasting” we just said forget it and got lit. It was the Whiskey Goldmine. We had 8 different whiskeys from bourbon to Irish whiskey and just plain old regular whiskey. The goldmine did not disappoint.
The career bourbon drinker Jimmy Barlieb, myself and special guest appearance by the one and only track star champion and softball phenom, Steve Tuteur poured about a shot each whiskey sipped them in a completely random order, sometimes with ice, sometimes without. We also did a few shots hear and there depending on the mood and type of whiskey.
Redbreast Irish whiskey was absolutely outstanding and by far the best whiskey of the evening. Redbreast 12 Year is perhaps the smoothest Irish whiskey we’ve ever tasted. With a scotch like complexity and a bit of sweetness, it had the perfect whiskey flavor but not too much that it dominated the entire drink. The bite was absolutely flawless. Redbreast 12 Year is the only aged pure pot still whiskey in the world and is matured in sherry and bourbon casks.
The Elijah Craig single barrel bourbon was very strong. It had a great bite and a lot of flavor for bourbon. You knew right away that you were drinking bourbon. The Elijah Craig 18 year is the oldest single sarrel bourbon in the world. After the 18 years almost two thirds of the barrel has evaporated. Not only are aged whiskeys, cognacs and rums more expensive to store for that period of time, but after so long, there is so little of the actual drink left to consume that a fine aged whiskey has to come with a serious price tag. If you’re a fan of bourbon, the Elijah Craig 18 year is an excellent choice.
Woodford Reserve is a handcrafted 90.4 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon. I’ve had this 4 other times and liked it, but this time it really grew on me. Although it has the bourbon flavor, it’s much more subtle than the Elijah Craig. It’s a great balance for a bourbon whiskey with a little complexity and rather smooth.
Powers Gold Label 12 Year Special Reserve:
Powers 12 is a blended Irish whiskey. It doesn’t have as much flavor as the regular Powers Gold Label but it’s certainly smooth enough for a straight sipping whiskey. Powers Special Reserve 12 years aged is crafted from the finest Irish Barley and water, triple distilled and matured in American Oak casks. Powers Gold Label is the best selling whiskey in Ireland. Yes, it crushes Jameson in sales actually.
Rare Breed is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon. What a badass shot of whiskey! WOW! We love it! Rare Breed is barrel proof at 108.6. According to bourbonenthusiast.com, Wild Turkey Rare Breed bourbon is a unique blend of Wild Turkey 6 year, 8 year and 12 year-old stocks.
Bulleit is distilled and aged in small batches and stored in a single-story warehouse. It’s a 90 proof bourbon whiskey which is “formulated by mingling, not blending,” two and sometimes three different batches. Bulleit is very strong and dry whiskey with a heavy of bourbon flavor. With a high content of rye, the Bulleit is called the frontier whiskey. It wasn’t one of my favorites of the night but our writer Jon Rosenberg seems to love it. Jon described Bulleit as follows, “There’s that glorious aftertaste: the second after the drink goes down there’s this lingering something that I have only ever found in Bulleit. It’s the sort of special flavor that can bring to mind old memories in a flash…”
Jack Daniels Old Number 7:
Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey speaks for itself. By far one of our favorite whiskey shots in the world, Jack Daniels is aged in white oak barrels characterized by the famous charcoal mellow. It’s made very much like bourbon, but since it’s not from Kentucky, technically it’s just a whiskey. But who cares? It’s not where you’re from; it’s where you’re at. Old Number 7 is more of a shot whiskey than a sipping whiskey but Gentlemen Jack is a perfect sipping whiskey. A review of the single barrel is coming very soon as well.
The Makers Mark:
The Makers Mark was not actually opened on this night because we were pretty lit from all the other whiskeys, but we’ve had it plenty of times so we can tell you all about it. Makers Mark is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. It’s a single barrel small batch whiskey. Maker’s Mark is a solid shot drinking whiskey and definitely a better sipping than Jack.
The Whiskey Armageddon: To compliment the whiskey, we drank Guinness and smoked couple Oliva Seri V, and CAO Brazilia cigars. The official song of the night was When the Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash. What’s better than a biblical song about Armageddon to help you savor the whiskey? When the Johnny Cash song came on all hell broke loose. I had no choice but to punch Jimmy right in his mouth. He shouldn’t have dropped his guard; that was pretty stupid. His lip was bleeding. Oops. He then tackled me and beat the crap out of me. It was awesome. If there was a whiskey goldmine, I’m pretty sure we found it.
“Will you partake in that last offered cup, or disappear into the potter’s ground? When the man comes around.”
Steve and myself ranked the whiskeys as follows:
1. Redbreast 12 Year
2. Wild Turkey Rare Breed
3. Woodford Reserve
4. Elijah Craig 18 Years
5. Powers Gold Label 12 Year
6. Bulleit Bourbon
7. Makers Mark
8. Jack Daniels