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The Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 240x300 The Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyBy Matt Goldstein, Forward by Shephard Ritzen

Maker’s Mark is owned by Fortune Brands, who also own Jim Beam.  The one most unique thing about Maker’s Mark is that it is not made with rye.  The creator, Bill Samuels Sr., was a sixth generation distiller, and in 1953, he abandoned his family’s 170 yr old recipe. He did not want to waste years fermenting different experimental grain formulas, so instead he decided to bake different breads with different grain proportions.  The best tasting bread recipe would be his new bourbon.  The winning combination was that of barley and red winter wheat. So by 1958, we had our first bottle of Maker’s Mark.

Admittedly, we were not expecting much from this bourbon but it performed very well.  For its price, about $22, it’s a very solid buy.  The Tasting Notes are as follows:  A light scent of grain, sweet apple spice scent and caramel.  With flavors of grain, malt and corn, sometimes sweet flavor, smooth, complex and crisp with a good long aftertaste.  This is a very solid bourbon and one we would drink again and again.  We actually like the regular Makers Mark brand more than the pricier Makers 46, which retails for about $35.   

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makers mark 250x300 The Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyHow Makers Mark is made:

Maker’s Mark is one of the few brands to credit Mother Nature for such a unique bourbon taste. That’s because we use pure, iron-free limestone spring water exclusively. Not city, well or river water. Our source is a 10-acre limestone spring-fed lake at the distillery.

First, we use yellow corn and red winter wheat from specially selected small farm cooperatives, all of which are located within the limestone geology near the distillery. This wheat gives our whisky its soft, mellow taste. And we only use naturally malted barley, because it has no enzyme-enhancing gibberellic acid, of course. Whatever that means.

Our dated rollermill is the key to preparing our grain for cooking. While some distillers think this method is too slow and produces a lower yield, it’s just fine for us. The slow process does not scorch the grain like a hammermill can. What can we say? That’s just how we roll.

Any good distiller/baker can tell you that pressure cookers and high-quality soft winter wheat do not mix.
By using an open cooker and a slower process that involves a lot of hands-on attention, we extend the subtle grain flavors into our whisky.

Makers Mark logo The Makers Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyWe are among the few remaining bourbon distillers that propagate their own yeast for fermentation with cultures that we can trace back to the pre-Prohibition era. We also use the traditional sour mash method, similar to making sourdough bread, where we always leave over some culture from one batch to start another. Guess you could say our yeast roots run deep.

Our rare cypress fermentation tanks are historically irreplaceable. Some of the planks are more than 100 years old.

Cypress was chosen for fermentation before modern stainless steel was available because it didn’t contribute iron or taste to the final product. While we don’t believe that cypress affects the process in any way, we continue to use some of these fermenters to give our visitors a sense of how the process used to look. That, and we’ve never believed in a sweet metal aftertaste.

Maker’s Mark double-distills its whisky  — once in an all copper column still to produce what we call low wine and again in a copper pot still to produce high wine. This added step removes impurities and produces a more refined sipping whisky. Our low wine is distilled off at 120 proof, while our high wine is 130 proof.

We believe that this is the lowest distillation proof in the industry. We continue this more expensive practice because it preserves our mellow grain characteristics.

Most distillers choose not to rotate their barrels. Not us. We like ours to get out and move around. And by move around, we mean rotate. It ensures every barrel experiences the same aging process. And you know what they say: a moving barrel gathers no moss.

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The Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

buffalo trace kentucky straight bourbon whiskey bottles The Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyBuffalo Trace: The Best Bourbon in Class

By Matt Goldstein and the Sharkey’s

Buffalo Trace is one of the biggest and best bourbon distillers on the market.  Owned by the Sazerac Company, Buffalo Trace distills many critically acclaimed bourbons, whiskeys, and spirits.  The oldest continually operating distillery in America, Buffalo Trace has won “distillery of the year” 7 times.  Winning a double gold medal in 2009 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys is simply one of the best in class.  At about $20, it will be very difficult to find a better bourbon for the price.  The Buffalo Trace distillery cannot be touched when it comes to making quality premium whiskeys at an excellent price; evidenced by their celebrated Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon and 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon.  All of these bourbons are better than most other bourbons and whiskeys at their price range.

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The Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Tasting Notes         

Tasting Notes:  The scent is a light grain and a bit strong.  The taste is malty, balanced and a touch sweet.  With notes of grain, corn and a bit dry and malty, the Buffalo Trace is smooth, hint bitter, with a flavorful finish.  This is a very complex bourbon for $20.  We are right there with Wine Enthusiast when they say this bourbon is “highly recommended.”  We would recomend Buffalo Trace over Makers Marks and Jack Daniels (technically not a bourbon.)Read below about the process on making this great bourbon.  .

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Buffalo Trace LOGO pic The Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyThe Grain

Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is expertly crafted in the time-honored tradition unique to bourbon. Buffalo Trace begins with the finest Kentucky and Indiana corn, selected rye, and superior malted barley. Together, these grains represent our unique mash bill–a trade secret known only by those craftsmen responsible for producing this highest-quality whiskey.

Upon delivery the grains undergo a general visual inspection for any obvious abnormalities. Bushel weight is then checked to ensure the grain demonstrates the proper baseline characteristics. Finally, a sample of the grain is tested in the distillery laboratory to determine if it meets Buffalo Trace’s rigid standards for moisture levels and chemical balance.

buffalo trace the buffalo The Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyThe Milling

To prepare the newly received grains for the mashing process, they must first be carefully milled to exactly the right specifications. Grains at Buffalo Trace are milled with a hammer mill using a screen that only allows particles of milled grain as large as 10/64 of an inch in diameter through. In our experience, we have found that this size screen, called a #10, lets more of the true grain through to be part of the mash without compromising the integrity of the mash itself. The next larger screen would allow whole kernels of rye and barley through, and the next smaller screen would create too fine a grain, causing the mash to become too thick.

The Mash

Mashing water–fresh and rich with minerals from its natural filtration through Kentucky limestone–is heated in a steam-generated pressure cooker. Once the water reaches the proper temperature, the corn is cooked under pressure until it is ready for rye to be added. After the addition of the rye, a malted barley slurry is added to the mixture, which allows its activated enzymes to turn the starch from the cooked grains into a soluble sugar. The new mixture is, at this point, a sweet mash.

Fermentation

This part of the process takes place in our 12 fermenters – with each fermenter holding 89,962 gallons; they are the largest in the industry. After the mash has cooled, yeast is added with a small amount of the previously fermented and distilled mash, also known as sour mash. The sugar present in the mash feeds the yeast to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. The uniquely rich nutrients of the pure Kentucky limestone water used in this process also enrich the yeast. Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey undergoes a natural fermentation lasting anywhere from three to five days.

The Distillation Process

The fermented mixture, or beer, complete with solids, enters the top of the beer still and descends through plates, similar to those in a coffee percolator. Steam, pumped in from the bottom of the still, encounters the falling beer, creating an alcohol-rich vapor. The vapor is then recondensed and passed through a second still, known as a doubler, to create a crystal clear liquid that, by law, can be no more than 160 proof, or 80% alcohol by volume. For Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, however, the final liquid is removed from the doubler at a significantly lower proof in order to preserve more of the flavor and characteristics of the grains. This liquid, which is commonly referred to as raw spirit or “white dog,” is then entered into newly charred, virgin white oak barrels. Consistent with our desire to optimize flavor and characteristics of the grains, we enter the white dog into the barrels at 125 proof.

The Barrels

Before Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is placed into barrels, the barrels themselves undergo a rigid inspection. Barrels to be used for Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey must be made of naturally aged, “center ring” wood from trees typically 70 to 80 years old. This center ring falls between the outer ring, called sapwood, and the core of the tree. Our standards for wood selection are more expensive, but they make for a finer whiskey. Also, the grain of the wood is inspected for coarseness. Very fine wood grain results in immature whiskey that is weak and less flavorful. Grain that is too coarse leads to an excessive wood taste. Barrels also are reviewed for broken or cracked staves and open joints. As a result of these criteria, Buffalo Trace Distillery has the highest rejection rate of barrels in the industry.

The Aging

While every step of the production process is important, Buffalo Trace Distillery believes the aging process is the greatest factor in producing truly outstanding whiskey. The Distillery’s best whiskey comes from aging in Warehouses C, I and K, and only on selected floors. For instance, the fourth and fifth floors of Warehouse C and the fourth through sixth floors of Warehouses I and K produce the distillery’s finest whiskey. These floors represent the middle floors in each of the warehouses and have the greatest temperature changes in the course of a year–the key to reaching full maturity and producing a balanced whiskey. Warehouses C, I and K also are rick warehouses constructed from large wood beams and surrounded by a brick shell. Each of the warehouses has an earthen floor, which best allows nature to do its part in the aging process and produce truly outstanding whiskey. Additionally, steam pumped throughout the warehouses during the extreme cold of winter compensates for the dramatic drops in temperature and gives the whiskey additional cycles in and out of the wood.

The Selection

Only the best bourbon produced by the distillery is bottled as Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Approximately 30-35 barrels of aged whiskey are selected from the middle floors of Warehouses C, I and K. Samples from these barrels are reviewed by the distillery’s tasting panel. If any one taster rejects a sample, the barrel it represents will not be used for Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Only the barrels of approved bourbon samples (usually no more than 25-30 barrels) will be married and bottled as Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The Filtration

Whiskey from selected barrels is married and passed through a chill filtration process, lowering the temperature of the bourbon to below 30″F (-1ºC). This process ensures that more of the color and flavor naturally present in the bourbon is maintained than does filtering through activated charcoal. The bourbon is then reduced to 90 proof, its bottling proof (45% ABV), using water that has undergone reverse osmosis filtration. Buffalo Trace Distillery was the first distillery to use this process, which is regarded as a benchmark within the industry for producing the highest quality bourbon. Reverse osmosis water begins as pure Kentucky limestone water that is placed in a tank containing a double-sided filter. This filter is cycled through the water, removing all the minerals and producing the purest form of water obtainable.

No other colors or flavors are added to the final product, a claim only bourbon, among all whiskeys, can make. Buffalo Trace’s proprietary bottles are then carefully filled, corked and sealed by hand, and then packed for limited distribution.

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The Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Elmer T Lee kentucky straight bourbon whiskey 169x300 The Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyOne of the World’s Best Single Barrel Sour Mash Bourbons

By Matt Goldstein & Jimmy James

A 90 proof “Rye Recipe” style bourbon, the Elmer T.  Lee is one of the world’s best single barrel bourbon whiskeys.  A two time gold medalist at the San Francisco World Spirits competition and rated 91 by Wine Enthusiast, Elmer T. Lee is produced and distilled at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort Kentucky.  There is no specific age for the Elmer T. Lee although all Kentucky Straight Bourbons must be aged at least two years in new charred white Oak barrels.  The Elmer T. Lee bourbon is bottled only when master distiller emeritus, the 91 year old Elmer T. Lee decides that it’s time.  After all these years, Elmer T. Lee is still a master at his craft.  This is flat out one of the best bourbons in the world, and for the price, around $25 to $30, maybe the best buy on the bourbon market. 

Tasting Notes:  Perhaps the best part of the Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon is the balance and style.  Made with a “Rye Recipe,” the Elmer T. Lee focuses more on the rye and grains than the sweetness of the corn mash.  The rye style Bourbon makes a subtle, complex yet easy drinking style.  The flavor is not overly sweet like some other Bourbon’s with a heavy corn mash, the Elmer T. Lee style is simply one of the best.  Spicy with hints of cinnamon and honey, the Elmer T. Lee is rounded out by beautiful malts and grains.  Perfectly balanced and flavorful, this Bourbon comes with our highest recommendation for any whiskey.           

elmer t lee portrait master distiller 188x300 The Elmer T. Lee Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

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Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases Single Oak Project Bourbon

single oak project bourbon Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases Single Oak Project BourbonWill This Lead to the World’s Perfect Bourbon? 

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (May 2, 2011) – It’s no secret Buffalo Trace Distillery has been on a quest for the perfect bourbon. Dubbed “the Holy Grail” by the company CEO Mark Brown, formal presentations have been given on it, newspaper articles have been written and heck, even a documentary has been produced on it called “Quest for the Perfect Bourbon.”

                On Friday, April 29th, Buffalo Trace Distillery unveiled its latest endeavor to a select group of spirits writers from around the world; a line up of single tree bourbons it hopes will lead to the world’s perfect bourbon.  Officially called Single Oak Project Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, this project is an amazing mixture of creativity, patience, ingenuity and dedication. 

Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project 1st Release 300x122 Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases Single Oak Project BourbonBeginning in 1999, then Warehouse Manager Ronnie Eddins traveled to the Missouri Ozarks to hand pick 96 trees, consisting of fine grain, medium grain and coarse grain wood, based on the tree’s growth rings. Each type of grain indicates a different growth rate and will yield a different flavor profile.  From there, each tree was cut into a top and a bottom piece, yielding 192 unique sections. Next stop was the lumber yard, where staves were created from each section and were tagged and tracked. The staves were divided into two groups and given different air dried seasonings, 6 months and 12 months.  The air drying allows Mother Nature to break down some of the more harsh flavored characteristics commonly found in wood.  

                After all the staves were air dried, a single barrel was then created from each tree section, resulting in 192 total barrels.

                The next step in the process was to experiment with different char levels of the barrels. Two different char levels were used, a number three and a number four char. (The standard char level for all Buffalo Trace products is a number four char, which is a 55 second burn.)

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

                And then, the waiting began.  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 first release of the Single Oak Project Bourbon is expected to hit stores nationwide in very limited quantities around the end of May. Each release will consist of 12 unique single barrel bourbons. Every case will contain 12 bottles, each from a different barrel. The first release is made up of barrel numbers 3, 4, 35, 36, 67, 68, 99, 100, 131, 132, 163 and 164. Each of these barrels had the same entry proof, seasoning, char level and warehouse aging location. However, the  hope is to identify the differences in taste based on recipe, wood grain size and tree cut as these characteristics varied amongst this group of barrels. There will be a series of releases over the next four years until all of the 192 barrels have been released.  All releases will be packaged in a 375ml bottle. Suggested retail pricing is $46.35.   

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Malt Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies.

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Kentucky Derby Special: The Woodford Reserve Mint Julep

mint julep woodford reserve Kentucky Derby Special: The Woodford Reserve Mint JulepA Mint Julep Recipe for Derby Day

In the tradition of the Kentucky Derby, we’d like to invite you to sit back, relax and pour yourself a Woodford Reserve mint Julep.  What better way to enjoy a classic drink then with a classic bourbon.  The Woodfor Reserve is a handcrafted 90.4 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon.  It’s a great balance for a bourbon whiskey with a little complexity and rather smooth.

1 serving

1 level tsp powdered sugar

2 – 3 fresh mint leaves

Crushed ice

2 oz. Woodford Reserve, plus a bit more for muddling

Place powdered sugar in julep cup. Add fresh mint leaves. Wet with a splash of Woodford Reserve and muddle together using wooden muddler (a spoon works well aslo). Fill the cup 2/3 full with crushed ice. Add a straw and mint sprig. Garnish and tamp down ice with muddler. Add 2 oz. of Woodford Reserve, and top off the cocktail with loose crushed ice.

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Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye & George T. Stagg Bourbon Take Top Prizes at San Francisco World Spirits Competition

thomas h handy 279x300 Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye & George T. Stagg Bourbon Take Top Prizes at San Francisco World Spirits CompetitionBuffalo Trace Double Gold Medals:  Sazerac 18 Year Old Bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year Old Kentucy Bourbon

The whiskeys from Buffalo Trace Distillery continue to win significant awards with the latest honors from the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), held in March.  Buffalo Trace takes home 4 gold medals, 4 double gold medals, best bourbon and best in show.  That’s a lot of gold!  The whiskeys listed below are a must try.  Top winners include:

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·         Best Rye; Best in Show Whiskey

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

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.      Best Bourbon

George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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george t stagg 123x300 Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye & George T. Stagg Bourbon Take Top Prizes at San Francisco World Spirits Competition·         Double Gold Medal

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Kentucky Rye Whiskey

George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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·         Gold Medal

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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Bulleit Bourbon to Introduce Bulleit Rye Whiskey

Bulleit Rye Logo 300x222 Bulleit Bourbon to Introduce Bulleit Rye WhiskeyA New Rye Whiskey Aged for Four Years in Charred Oak Barrels

By Matt Goldstein

A staple of the bourbon industry and one of the fastest growing, Bulleit Bourbon, is introducing a Rye Whiskey in honor of a 150 year family recipe.  As the Bulleit Bourbon already has one of the highest Rye contents for a Bourbon, a pure Rye Whiskey is a natural progression and one that should be embraced by their loyal fans, many of which write for this very web site.  Bourbons are required to be made up of a majority of corn mash but Bulleit Rye will be a 95% Rye and 5% malted barley.

The recipe for Bulleit Rye is as follows:  Similar to the craftsmanship behind the original Bulleit Bourbon recipe created by Tom’s great-great grandfather Augustus Bulleit, it was of great importance that Bulleit Rye replicates the same high quality taste of its Bulleit Bourbon counterpart.  The utmost care and precision is taken to produce Bulleit Rye, from selecting the highest quality rye grains, to sourcing our water from an ancient glacier aquifer that maintains a consistent temperature of 56 degrees.  The liquid is then fully aged and matured in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of 4 years.

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Review of Bullet Bourbon

The smell is of cinnamon and honey and pumpkin, sweet things, and I want to say prune, but then again I typically want to say prune.  The taste is unique, to my tongue, for a bourbon.  There’s almost a cotton-candy sweetness at first bite- followed by the vaguest hint of fire jolly rancher.  The burn is spicy but not too harsh, like good buffalo wings.  And then 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, like Proust and his Madeleine, or the guy from Blues Traveler and his chili.

 Now, I’ve since had better bourbons with more interesting flavors, liquid symphonies and blissful maelstroms, but I will always have a soft spot for this, my first discovery and still one of my favorites.  If there was a rating system on Whiskey Goldmine, I’d give it 9 out of 10 Whiskey Goldmine Units (WGUs)!

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Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr.: Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bourbon Whiskey

Colonel E H Taylor Bourbon Whiskey OFSM bottle and package low res 156x300 Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr.: Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bourbon WhiskeyBuffalo Trace Distillery Announces New Release

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky – 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.     

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Malt Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies.

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How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1

there will be blood burning oil rig 205x300 How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1How Whiskey Effects Us Every Day in Everything we Do: Part 1

By Matt Goldstein

After the Revolutionary war, America had a $75 million debt and U.S. treasurer Alexander Hamilton pressured President Washington to push the Whiskey Act through congress resulting in the first federal tax.  After the first tax collectors used violence to collect their fees, an uprising erupted called the Whiskey Rebellion.  Washington suited up, gathered an army bigger than the Continental Army that defeated the British, and squashed the Whiskey Rebellion.  This was the only time in history that a sitting U.S. President led troops into battle. 

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washington delaware pic 300x173 How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1George Washington, President, General, Businessman and Whiskey Distiller

The Whiskey Rebellion gave President George Washington a grand business idea.  Whiskey Distilling!  If people were so enraged to start a war over whiskey, it must be profitable right?  After his presidency, Washington went onto operate one of the largest whiskey distilleries in the country.  George Washington’s distillery was one of the first and most successful liquors businesses in the country and the also one of the most profitable plantations in the country. 

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  • Whiskey shipping was also the main revenue for the early railroad system. 

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crescent moon star How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1Whiskey, Modern Science, Chemistry and the End of the Dark Ages

That’s right, whiskey making sparked modern chemistry, modern science and ended the Dark Ages.  During the Dark Ages, Islamic Arabic scientists perfected distillation through the scientific method, and created whiskey.  Whiskey making in the Islamic Arabic areas expanded to Europe and exploded.  This whiskey distillation explosion advanced modern science and modern chemistry in Europe and ended the Dark Ages.    

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Whiskey Proof Terminology

The term proof was invented when English sailors would test how good the whiskey was by burning it over gun powder.  If the flames went crazy then it was proven that the whiskey was good.  If the flames fizzled out without much flash, then there was no proof of a good whiskey bottle.   

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Meditating monk 283x300 How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1English Monks and the Invention of Scotch whisky

When the Catholic Church refused to grant Henry the 8th a divorce from Catherin of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn, the alcoholic Henry the 8th ended all ties with the church and exiled many monks and priests.  These exiled Catholic Monks moved onto Scotland and began distilling whiskey for drinking. The monks then began to distill whiskey over a peat fire, thus inventing scotch. 

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The English Whiskey Tax and the Invention of Roads 

A Whiskey tax by the English sparked a violent uprising in Scotland.  Sound familiar?  Of course, England then invaded Scotland.  Because the land of Scotland was so difficult to navigate and move their army, the English began building roads to maneuver the troops.  These roads were so successful that they spread to America and built the first road system in the United States.  This style of road making then expanded throughout the world. 

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there will be blood burning oil rig 205x300 How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1How Whiskey gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires and Saved the Whales

In the 1800’s, whales were being decimated for their blubber oil, which was an early source for fuel, heat and light for lamps.  The largest mammal on earth was facing extinction as the demand for blubber oil grew and grew. 

Around this time, salt mine owner Samuel Kier was getting extremely annoyed that this oily type substance kept leaking into his salt mine and ruining the salt.  It was costing Kier and many salt mines a lot of money.  One day, Kier took the curious oil, which was actually crude oil, and put it in his whiskey distillery.  When the oil was distilled, it became petroleum, our first fossil fuel.  The birth of oil distillation created industrial empires and gave birth to the modern mechanical age.   

The birth of crude oil in commercial use eradicated the demand for whale blubber oil and whale hunting was reduced to a minimum.  The levels of whale hunting have since been relatively sustainable for our largest and very treasured mammal.  Of course, the discovery of oil lead to many deadly wars, global warming and might actually run out because of our insatiable appetites for Cadillac’s and SUVs, but hey, we can always use whiskey to drink our problems away.   

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Part 2 Coming Soon:  Whiskey and America, The Model T, Ethanol, the Space Age, and the First Man on the Moon…

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Source: How Whiskey Made America by Planet Green

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The Eagle Rare 10 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

EagleRarePaperLabel 138x300 The Eagle Rare 10 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon WhiskeyWinner of Five Double Gold Medals: The Best Bourbon Buy on the Market

By Matt Goldstein

The only bourbon ever to win five double gold medals, Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon is Distilled by Buffalo Trace and owned by parent company Sazerac.  For under $25.00, the Eagle Rare 10 Year might be the best buy on the bourbon market.  Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, this is possibly our favorite bourbon.  Aged for 10 years in charred oak barrels, bottled at 90 proof, the Eagle Rare is exceptionally smooth and perfectly sweet.  With all straight bourbons, the Eagle Rare is made by the sour mash method in which some liquid from the previous batch is used to distill the new batch.         

The Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Review, Taste and Flavor

The Eagle Rare scent is sweet and tangy with notes of corn.  Right off the bat at the first taste, it’s excellent bourbon.  The flavor has solid sweet notes, strong corn, with hints of honey, oak and grain.  Very smooth, slightly dry with a rich, complex and robust mouth feel and finish, the Eagle Rare out performs almost any bourbon.  There’s a reason that this bourbon won so many gold medals.  We’d prefer a little more bite in a bourbon but the flavor and complexity make up for it tenfold.       

The Eagle Rare is an absolute must buy!

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