Makers Mark 46 is made with fully matured Maker’s Mark Bourbon which is extracted from the barrel. The barrel is then affixed with 10 seared wooden staves inside the barrel. Searing the wooded staves caramelizes the sugars in the inside the wood. The fully matured Maker’s Mark is then put back in the barrel and aged for a few more months. There is no exact time when the Maker’s Mark 46 is removed from the barrel; the master distillers taste the bourbon and then decide whether it’s time.
Maker’s Mark 46 Review, Taste and Flavor:
When we first tasted the Maker’s Mark 46 it tasted almost the same as Maker’s Mark. We honestly didn’t know much of a difference. The scent is strong and dry. The flavor has a long warmth with notes of corn and oak. Maker’s Mark 46 bourebon is a strong and robust. The good oak finish begins to grow on you, especially the dry bitter aftertaste. This is a solid bourbon that’s not too sweet like other bourbons out there, which sometimes let the corn make the statement and not the whiskey. The Maker’s Mark 46 is all whiskey. It’s a bit above average and not too complex. The 46 seems almost exactly like the original Maker’s Mark. It’s solid, but probably not worth the extra $15.
Booker’s: The First and Only Bourbon Bottled Straight from the Barrel, Uncut and Unfiltered
By Matt Goldstein
Aged between six to eight years in oak barrels, Booker’s uncut straight from the barrel bourbon is part of the critically acclaimed small batch collection by Jim Beam which features Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Baker’s and Booker’s. Created by Booker Noe in 1992, Booker’s bourbon was so well received that Booker decided to make it available for everyone, all year round. Bottled at its natural proof between 121 and 127, the sediment at the bottom of the glass is a testament to this unfiltered magnum opus of whiskey. Not knowing what the sediment was, I actually got a free glass in a downtown Philadelphia restaurant when I sent the Booker’s back because there was “crap in my glass.” While drinking my second glass of whiskey, again the sediment appeared a few minutes later. I decided to live with it, and review the whiskey. It wasn’t until doing the research shortly before writing this article that I realized Booker’s is uncut and un filtered.
Booker’s: Review, Taste and Flavor
Booker’s small batch bourbon is strong with a thin bourbon flavor and thin mouth feel at first. Slightly sweet with a subtle bourbon scent, Booker’s is dry and complex. Although rich, dry is the main flavor and character in this whiskey. Having a great bite, with notes of oak and vanilla, the flavors open up with a splash or two of water. This is a classic bourbon whiskey and perfect for the bourbon sipping connoisseur. For the beginner, put this bourbon on ice or you might get bit!
Hundreds of years ago, the mighty buffalo thundered across the land and carved paths known as traces. One such trace, the Great Buffalo Trace, led to the rugged banks of what is now known as the Kentucky River. Early adventurers followed the buffalo, and discovered some of Kentucky’s treasures, rich fertile land excellent for growing grain and abundant limestone waters. Distillation soon followed and in 1787 a working distillery started on the grounds, located in Frankfort, Ky. The first modern distillery was built on the site in 1857 and incorporated the use of steam power, a major advance in producing high quality bourbon. The distillery was later purchased by E.H. Taylor, Jr. one of Kentucky’s original Bourbon aristocrats. Astute and innovative, Taylor brought advancements to the facility as well as to the entire whiskey industry. By 1886, the distillery had introduced the nation’s first climate-controlled warehousing for aging whiskey and had earned a worldwide reputation for producing America’s finest bourbons. During Prohibition, the distillery existence was spared by the allowance of a permit – one of only a few issued in the country to continue distillation for medicinal purposes, therefore making it the oldest continuously operating bourbon distillery in the United States.
The Distillery Today
In 1992 the Sazerac company purchased the distillery and renamed it Buffalo Trace Distillery, paying homage to the mighty buffalo that once roamed the area. The Distillery has won numerous awards both for the fine bourbons it produces as well as the distillery itself. In 2010, Whisky Magazine named Buffalo Trace Distillery “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Distillery tours are given six days a week. For tour information and times call 1-800-654-8471.
History of Barton 1792 Distillery, Barton Brands of Kentucky, Sazerac
Barton Brands Prior to Prohibition, there was no distilled spirits industry – just the whiskey business. Two Chicago gentlemen, Oscar Getz and Lester Abelson had been engaged in the whiskey business at this time. This was true after Prohibition as well, when these two men joined forces to re-enter the business shortly after the repeal in 1933 and founded Barton Brands.
By 1944, to ensure a reliable source of whiskey, Barton purchased the Tom Moore distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. Tom Moore had been producing neutral spirits for the military during World War II but had recently returned to the art of bourbon.
A colorful personality, Oscar Getz loved the heritage of the American Whiskey business. Over the years, he collected whiskey memorabilia and eventually opened a museum in their offices in Bardstown. The Oscar Getz Museum remains open in Bardstown to this day.
Barton Brands Today
The Sazerac Company purchased Barton Brands in March of 2009. Facilities today include Barton Brands of Maryland, Lansdowne, MD, Barton Brands of California, Carson, CA and Barton 1792 Distillery, Barton Brands of Kentucky.
Four Roses Single Barrel 100 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
In the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, Four Roses was the best selling Bourbon brand in America and has now coming roaring back all over the United States. A major international success story, Four Roses now has many bourbon whiskeys available in the U.S. once again. A double Gold Medalist and winning numerous awards over the last few years, Four Roses Single Barrel 100 Kentucky Straight Bourbon employs a 60% corn mash bill. The nose is a spicy syrup and corn, robust, full bodied and sweet. With flavors of oak, wood, and tastes of corn with aged complexity, there are many characters of quality in this single barrel bourbon. Aged in one of a kind single story rack warehouses, Four Roses is an American treasure and whiskey legend that has finally come back to the United States where it belongs. Bottled at 100 proof, we highly recommend Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon for sipping.
Four Roses Yellow Label Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Winner of the Best Bourbon 7 years and under award at the 2010 World Whiskey Competition, the Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon is very Jack Daniels esque, but for shots or sipping, we give Four Roses the edge. Not only is the Four Roses Yellow Label a couple dollars cheaper than Jack Daniels, the Yellow Label has an overall more complex and enticing flavor. The Yellow Label is sweet and smooth with a great finish. Although a bit tart and dry, this bourbon is also crisp with hints of fruit and honey. The flavor is exceptional for a middle shelf bourbon and is perfect for a mixer. Next time you reach for that bottle of Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, reconsider the Four Roses Yellow Label Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. You won’t be disappointed.
Mitcher’s US*1 Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
The Mitcher’s legacy dates back to 1753 and is considered America’s first whiskey distillery. Mitcher’s is the whiskey that George Washington’s Troops drank at Valley Forge. Mitcher’s US*1 Bourbon is a bourbon blend aged 4-6 years in fire charred American white oak barrels. This small batch blend is limited in release and bottled at 91.4 proof. Mitcher’s US*1 Small Batch Bourbon is one of the smoothest over proof whiskeys on the market, maybe the smoothest. With spicy scents of wheat, rye and corn, the Mitcher’s small batch has a thick mouth feel and complex finish. Sweet, full flavored, and very smooth, the subtle dry finish offers a unique complexity. This is an excellent bourbon for the experienced whiskey drinker.
Jefferson’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
The makers and distillers of Jefferson’s have roots in Bourbon country that date back to the 1700’s and the “very” small batch Jefferson’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a double gold medalist. This small batch bourbon is hand crafted and bottle at 82.3 proof. Aged in iron clad warehouses and blended from 8-12 different barrels, Jefferson’s bourbon is made with lime stone water of Kentucky; and corn, malted barley and rye grains. The nose is a sweet caramel and vanilla. The taste is a sweet corn and vanilla with a very smooth, easy drinking style. The Jefferson’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a solid bourbon for those looking for a not so complex, smooth and light bourbon.
The Small Batch Collection from Jim Beam: Baker’s, Booker’s, Basil Hayden’s and Knob Creek
By Matt Goldstein
The Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon is an old school style of bourbon, made in the traditions of pre-prohibition whiskeys; strong, rich in flavor and prepared in small batches. The entire small Jim Beam batch collection is made in this style; Booker’s, Baker’s, Basil Hayden’s and Knob Creek. The Knob Creek small batch bourbon is aged for more than 9 years in charred American white oak barrels. Knob Creek got its name from a creek close to the distillery and very close to the childhood home of Abe Lincoln. As a boy, Abe Lincoln almost drowned in Knob Creek. When the Lincoln family sold their home before moving to Indiana, some of the purchase was paid to the Lincoln’s in Bourbon. While still living in Kentucky, Abe Lincoln’s father worked in a Bourbon distillery.
The Knob Creek Flavor!
When the bottle is opened, the Knob Creek’s scent is of a sweet corn and oak. In the glass the scent opens up to a wheat, rye wood and oak. The flavor is a sweet corn, complex with a long warming. On ice, the oak flavors and subtle notes of corn are exceptional. The oak aftertaste is also exceptionally complex. This is a classic bourbon and the small batch shines through in the taste. We highly recommend Knob Creek. Enjoy Knob Creek neat or on the rocks. Since the Bourbon is bottled at 100 proof, a little ice can’t hurt.
The 1792 Ridgemont Reserve 8 Years Aged Barrel Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey:
This bourbon commemorates the year that Kentucky was founded as the 15th state. With a good scent of corn, the taste has notes of cream, rye and corn. Having a good and dry and rye mouth feel, the 1792 Ridgemont Reserve has a strong complex finish and lengthy warmth. This is a bourbon that is not too sweet, and the notes of rye make the biggest statement. With hand crafted malted barley, rye and corn, The 1792 is a small batch bourbon that is actually a cross between a bourbon an d a rye. This is a remarkable sipping whiskey. Normally, we like to drink our whiskey and scotches neat, but since the 1792 Ridgemont Reserve is bottled at 93.7 proof, a little ice doesn’t hurt.
The difference between a Bourbon and a Rye is that the mash and batch for a bourbon should be more of a corn base while a Rye focuses on more of a wheat or rye base. The 1792 Ridgemont Reserve has one of the lowest corn bases for any bourbon. That’s why it’s basically a fusion of rye and bourbon. It’s an excellent recipe to say the least. Established in 1879, The 1792 Ridgemont Reserve is crafted at the Thomas Moore Distillery where they use iron free limestone water from the Thomas Moore Spring. .
The Basil Hayden’s 8 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a small batch light body bourbon, light amber in color with a slight sour scent made by Jim Beam. Dry for bourbon, with a good bite and strong finish, The Basil Hayden 8 year is warm with a strong burn. Very Smooth when sipped slow, but the burn stays with you, having a sweet aftertaste with pepper spice notes.
The Basil Hayden’s bottle is an art in an of itself. The light brown paper label is draped over and held in place by a wooden and medal belt. Each bottle comes with a booklet describing the full Jim Beam small batch collection: Knob Creek, Booker’s, Baker’s and Basil Hayden’s. The bottle is beautiful bottle but the tin foil at the top can be a problem as it flakes too easily and pieces of the tin foil can fall into the bourbon. We recommend removing the entire piece or pieces of foil before opening the bottle. Basil Hayden’s is an excellent bourbon and won a silver medal at the San Francisco international spirit awards in 2007.
Small Batch Collection:
The eponymous Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon dates back to 1796, when Master Distiller Basil Hayden Sr. created a recipe unlike any other. He used a traditional corn base, but mixed in small grains in his mash to capture the spicy flavor of rye and complement the sweet smoothness of corn. More than 200 years later, Basil Hayden’s is a singular bourbon that bridges the flavor of rye whiskies and small batch bourbons together.
Basil Hayden’s is unequalled in that it utilizes twice as much rye in it as the other bourbons in the Collection. Enriched by a hint of peppermint, it impresses with notes of pepper balanced by slight citrus overtones, and a spicy, warming finish. Aged eight years at a relatively mild 80 proof, Basil Hayden’s has a broad appeal and is equally enjoyable alone or in cocktails such as a Juicy Basil and Basil Bubbly.
“The group liked its clean, dry and most decidedly delicate palate. Elegant and soft.” — Patterson’s Beverage Journal, January 2005
– a unique offering of Woodford Reserve finish-aged in a toasted maple wood barrel, resulting in a whiskey enhanced with hints of maple, honey, and cinnamon. The fifth in the series of limited edition Master’s Collection bottlings, Maple Wood Finish continues Woodford Reserve’s tradition of crafting rare whiskeys. With Every Sip, a Sweet Notes…
Warm cinnamon, maple syrup, and milk chocolate are only samples of what this bottling has to offer…
Color: Golden Brown
Aroma: Rich and sweet with hints of brown sugar glazed baked apricots, milk chocolate and toasted oak.
Taste: Warm with cinnamon spice, faint hints of maple syrup, berry fruit and a touch of nuttiness.
Finish: Crisp with delicate maple syrup notes lingering on with a touch of warm fruit.
A Maple Wood New Fashioned
2 oz of Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Maple Wood Finish
1 tsp of maple syrup – stir/dissolve thoroughly
Dash of bitters
Thinly sliced apples
2 dried cherries
Line the bottom of a glass with apple slices and top with dried cherries. Add ice over the fruit and pour the cocktail over ice.
This whiskey is one of the most unique Master’s Collection’s to date as it is the industry’s first bourbon to be finish aged in barrels made from sugar maple wood. Barrels play a key role in producing bourbon, with approximately 70 percent of the spirit’s flavor and aroma and all of its color provided by the barrel. Woodford Reserve’s new offering features bourbon finish-aged inuniquely crafted barrels made of maple wood, something never before done in the industry.
“Sugar maple trees have a complex natural chemistry, rich in calcium, potassium and other minerals, but they are best known for their flavorful sap which contains as much as 3% sugar,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris. “Though it was thought that whiskey barrels could not be crafted from sugar maple wood, our Brown-Forman Cooperage has done just that. Of all the distillers in our industry, we are the only bourbon company that crafts its own
barrels, giving us unique knowledge and control of the process. The Master’s Collection Maple Wood Finish uniquely finish-ages Woodford Reserve in a toasted, not charred, maple wood barrel, resulting in a whiskey enhanced with hints of maple, honey and cinnamon.”
Ever year, one of the five sources of flavor is changed for the Master’s Collection expressions. These five sources – grain, water, fermentation, distillation, and wood-aging – are unique to bourbon whiskey, and altering just one of them creates a totally new flavor profile.
“Bourbon must be matured in new, charred oak barrels, and in our quest to fully understand the contribution oak wood makes to bourbon, we have studied other Kentucky hardwoods as well,” said Wayne Rose, brand director for Woodford Reserve. “This has led to some exciting discoveries and innovative barrel finish concepts. One of these – Maple Wood Finish – is a first for the spirits industry and has resulted in an amazing, elegant whiskey.
Maple Wood Finish is the fifth in the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection series following the Four Grain, Sonoma-Cutrer Finish, Sweet Mash and Seasoned Oak offerings. Released periodically at the master distiller’s discretion, the Master’s Collection whiskeys are extremely limited in quantity and bottled only once, in a proprietary package inspired by the copper pot stills of The Woodford Reserve Distillery.
The inspiration for the Master’s Collection is rooted in the rich history and tradition of what is today known as The Woodford Reserve Distillery. In the mid-1800s distillery owner Oscar Pepper and Master Distiller James Crow studied and recommended use of key processes like sour mashing and charred barrel maturation at the historic Woodford County distillery. These practices are still maintained in the bourbon industry, and today the distillery receives more than 100,000 visitors annually and is the only one in America to use bourbon triple distilled in traditional copper pot stills.”
Wasmund’s is dry and smooth with a good burn. Having good spice, the scent is thin with light notes of bourbon. Amid a bourbon scent and Irish whiskey taste, the finish is a smooth and solid burn. With apple wood and cherry wood smoked flavored hand malted barley, Wasmund’s single malt whiskey is a non chill filtered single batch copper pot stilled whiskey that only produces one barrel at a time.
The Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey:
The Four Roses is smooth and light with a lot of flavor. Having a good, sweet bourbon spirit and a strong bourbon finish, the Four Roses Bourbon is outstanding. This hand crafted bourbon has notes of oak, fruit, with slight spiciness. All Four Roses Bourbons are aged in new white oak barrels in one-of-a-kind single story rack warehouses. 45% ABV
Four Roses. One brand. Ten recipes.
Four Roses is the only Bourbon Distillery that combines 5 proprietary yeast strains with two separate mashbills to produce 10 distinct Bourbon Recipes, each with their own unique character, spiciness, and rich fruity flavors. All 10 of these recipes are gently aged undisturbed in new white oak barrels in our one-of-a-kind single story rack warehouses. All 10 recipes are expertly married together to create Four Roses Yellow. Four are married for Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon. Only one is hand selected for Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon. To the thrill of Bourbon connoisseurs and Bourbon collectors, from time to time, our Master Distiller will select an exceptional single barrel, or marry a few exquisite recipes, to create one of our highly acclaimed limited release Four Roses Bourbons. No other distillery has 10 Bourbon recipes. So enjoy our Bourbon with the knowledge that you are sipping something truly unique – and uniquely Four Roses.
Woodford Reserve is a handcrafted 90.4 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon. With a great bourbon flavor, its subtlety is its genius. It has great balance for a bourbon whiskey with a little complexity and rather smooth. For the Woodford Reserve Classic Manhattan, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add ingredients and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a bourbon-infused cherry.
2 oz. Woodford Reserve
1 oz. Sweet vermouth
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
Splash of cherry juice
Q&A with Woodford Reserve Distillery Manager Dave Scheurich
Meet Dave Scheurich, the Woodford Reserve Distillery Manager. Dave lives in a country farmhouse with a picturesque front porch, which often gets him referred to locally as one of the most fortunate residents of Woodford County. Did we mention his house is at the Distillery?
What exactly is the job of a Distillery Manager?
I’m responsible for all production operations including distillery, warehousing, processing, bottling, shipping and plant maintenance. I am also involved in many promotional events Woodford Reserve hosts.
I began work at Woodford Reserve’s parent company, Brown-Forman, in 1989 as a Facility Maintenance, Construction and Security Manager. In 1994 I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and was selected to be a project manager for the renovation of what was then called the Labrot & Graham Distillery. The rest, as they say, is history.
What do you love most about your job?
Seldom is one presented with an opportunity to be involved with the renovation of a National Historic Landmark, the start-up of a new distillery and the creation and growth of a successful bourbon. My best experience at this job was being part of a project team that directed the distillery renovation and thereby seeing the birth and growth of Woodford Reserve.
The house you share with your family is on-site. What’s it like having no commute to the office?
Living at the distillery has been a good experience. My wife, Della, and I were allowed to design and build the Plant Manager’s house during the distillery renovation project. Our only direction was that it had to be a clapboard-sided farmhouse with a front porch. Woodford Reserve is the only bourbon distillery surrounded by horse farms and the horse farm directly behind the house specializes in raising foals to yearlings so we are able to sit at our kitchen table in late winter and watch the new moms and babies bond. Della and I often host writers, celebrities and other VIPs at the house in Southern hospitality fashion. The short commute to work always has its benefits. It’s like living in a park!
Last but not least, what’s your favorite way to enjoy your Woodford Reserve?
I am not one to adulterate my favorite bourbon. Depending on the occasion I drink Woodford Reserve on the rocks or straight up.