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Monthly Archives: September 2013

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Bourbon Name:   Parker’s Heritage Promise of Hope

Distiller:   Heaven Hill

What does the distiller say:   “I, my wife Linda, my son Craig and all my family are honored and enthusiastic about our efforts toward helping those affected by ALS, and the new Promise of Hope edition of my Parker’s Heritage Collection represents a great way for Bourbon fans and even novices to enjoy a great single barrel Bourbon while helping make a real difference in the fight against ALS.” – Parker Beam

Proof:   96

Age:      10 Years

Year:     2013

Color: (92/100)

Deep Amber

 Nose: (92/100)  

Waves of cocoa and butter meet the nose with hints of leather and floral spice. The proof makes itself felt here.

 Taste: (92/100) 

Neat – Cocoa presents on the front palate giving way to silky butter. Leather rises on the mid-palate to provide a full, balanced experience. Dry yet soft, this whiskey is like a luxurious pillow we could languish in for hours.

 Finish: (92/100)

Spice and oak rise and mingle with the cocoa and leather elements to provide a highly balanced and pleasant finish.

 Overall Rating: (92/100) Recommended

 We highly recommend Parker’s Heritage Promise of Hope strictly on the quality of the whiskey. The fact that $20 from each bottle is being donated to the Parker Beam Promise of Hope Foundation is an added bonus in our eyes. If you can afford this 7th edition of the Parker’s Heritage line (at roughly $95 per 750ml), you won’t regret having it to go to on a cold winter’s night

 

20130930-225322.jpgBourbon distilleries pride themselves not only on filling their bottles with quality spirits, but on designing the bottles so that they distinguish themselves from other brands. Consider the rustic-inspired Bulleit bottle, the winged elegance of Angel’s Envy, the horse and rider atop the round Blanton’s, and the majestic Willett pot still.

20130930-225407.jpgNo doubt the bottles are more valuable full than empty, but what do we do with them when we do enjoy the last of their contents? Nelson County, Kentucky artist Donna Cheek doesn’t throw them away – in fact, she ventures around the state of Kentucky every week, looking for bottles that might otherwise be on their way to landfills, and transforms them into Kentucky Bourbon Recipe© oil lamps.

20130930-223144.jpgThe Bourbon Guys witnessed Donna’s artistry first-hand during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in September. We walked into a Bardstown store called At Mary’s (http://www.atmarys.com/) with our wives, who oooooed and aaahhhed over Donna’s creations. In addition to antiques and unique gift items, At Mary’s sells the work of local artists like Donna Cheek.

Donna’s art is far more than home décor. She and her family now own and operate a farm that dates back to the 1830s. They still grow many of the ingredients in bourbon, including corn, rye, wheat, and barley. Donna recycles empty bottles and fills them with these home-grown products and candle oil. She includes a wick that can be burned like a candle, and you can simply refill the bottle when the oil runs low, making them functional as well as beautiful. She also sometimes displays particularly breathtaking bottles on lighted stands. (Just imagine that Blanton’s bourbon bottle!) Each creation has a barrel sliver lazered with Donna’s trademark Kentucky Bourbon Recipe© hanging around the neck of the bottle.

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The Bourbon Guys with Donna Cheek of Kentucky Bourbon Recipe©

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Bourbon Name: Four Roses Limited Edition 125th Anniversary 2013 Small Batch Bourbon

Distiller: Four Roses Distillery

Proof: 103.2

Age: This Small Batch release is a blend of three recipes, which consist of an 18 year OBSV,   a 13 year OBSK and a 13 year OESK.

Color:  Burnished Copper

Nose:  The nose has a very pleasant floral, cherry blossom with a good bit of vanilla. Not a lot of burn on the nose neat or with a little water added.

Taste:  The taste is super inviting. This bourbon hits the front palate with bright notes of vanilla and cherry and then gives way to a fruity apricot flavor. The cherry then picks up and continues on through the mid-palate. There is a nice spice on the back palate and the mouth feel is excellent!

Finish: The finish is very satisfying with notes of cocoa and a hint of leather from the barrel, balancing the fruit to the front and mid palate.

Overall Rating:  (92/100)

This is the second limited edition release of 2013 for the Four Roses Distillery, which commemorates 125 years of distilling this year. The first was the 2013 Limited Edition Single Barrel. We assure you that the 2013 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch release does not disappoint. It is a very well balanced and flavorful bourbon from the nose to the finish. Though we liked last year’s 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch release a little better, this year’s release is not far behind it. Four Roses 2013 Limited Edition is definitely one of the top five releases of the year. If you can find a bottle, grab it!!!

September is an important month for the State of Kentucky! It’s the month when the entire state comes together to celebrate its Bourbon heritage. The epicenter of this celebration takes place at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky. Bardstown is a great little city – once named “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” by Rand McNally – best-known for its Bourbon heritage. But many visitors may not be aware that it’s also a town with some excellent restaurants. The Bourbon Guys would like to introduce you to what we feel are some the best and most unique eats in Bardstown:

Best Breakfast

Mammy’s Kitchen

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We ate breakfast at Mammy’s Kitchen on our way out of town after our visit to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail because we were sick of the hotel buffet. Mammy’s did not disappoint! The eggs benedict (pictured) were fantastic and the breakfast hot brown… all I can say is “Oh my gosh!” The overall atmosphere was quaint and friendly and the server kept our coffee cups full at all times. Mammy’s also serves a great lunch and their pies are amazing if you just want a snack (or pie for lunch!).

Check out Mammy’s Kitchen on Facebook:

Mammy’s Kitchen Facebook page

 

Best Lunch

Susie Q’s

20130916-224057.jpgSusie Q’s is our choice for the best all around lunch place in Bardstown. The service we received was outstanding and the food was even better. We had their signature items, the famous slaw burger (pictured on right) and the fried green tomato BLT (pictured on left). Both were very good and unique, but the slaw burger was absolutely divine.

Then it came time for dessert! Owner Connie Nalley makes her own homemade desserts and you can’t go wrong with any of them. But we had to try Connie’s famous bourbon bread pudding, which was hands-down the best bourbon bread pudding we’ve ever had. Don’t miss Susie Q’s!

Check out Susie Q’s on Facebook:

Susie Q’s Facebook page

 

Best Dinner

The Rickhouse Restaurant

20130916-224031.jpgIf you like good food and bourbon you’ll really enjoy the Rickhouse Restaurant! Located literally underneath the Bardstown Whiskey Museum, the small but welcoming entrance makes you feel as if you are entering a real bourbon rickhouse.

The food at the Rickhouse was delicious and their bourbon selection wasn’t bad either! They have excellent steak, chicken and fish, and their sides are creative and tasty, especially the 7 cheese mac-n-cheese. They offer many different bourbon flight options which of course is a plus not found at many restaurants. Enjoying a nice flight of five – yes, five, not three – different bourbons with your dinner is an experience that any bourbon lover would enjoy.

If you are in Bardstown and are looking for a great dinner, check out The Rickhouse Restaurant.

Check out The Rickhouse Restaurant Online:

The Rickhouse Restaurant website

 

Most Unique Dining Experience

The Kentucky Bourbon House

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The Kentucky Bourbon House, also known as the Chapeze House, is the type of place you go if you have an entire evening to spend. The host, who is named “The Colonel” is a unique guy who is apparently not only locally famous but nationally known as well.

Reservations must be made at The Kentucky Bourbon House because they serve dinner to everyone at the same time each evening. Seems like sort of a strange concept but it is very unique. Upon arrival you make your way to the bar area where “The Colonel” makes up some mighty fine drinks and then tells some pretty good stories.

Dinner is the best part of the evening! You are served a delicious dinner consisting of pork chops, butter boiled corn, green beans, potatoes and the best corn bread you will ever taste in your life. If you have an entire evening free, love good food, love good whiskey, and can tolerate a lot of story telling you will not be disappointed in The Kentucky Bourbon House.

Check out The Kentucky Bourbon House online:

The Kentucky Bourbon House website

 

Best Distillery Lunch

Toll Gate Café (at Maker’s Mark)

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Though it’s a few miles away from downtown Bardstown, The Toll Gate Café (at Maker’s Mark) is a great place to grab a quick lunch while visiting the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Located right at the entrance of the beautiful Maker’s Mark Distillery, you will find a quaint little building with quick lunch eats. The bourbon pulled pork is amazing and their other sandwiches are excellent as well. If you get hungry while touring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and don’t have time for a long lunch the Toll Gate Café (at Maker’s Mark) is a cool little place.

Check out the Toll Gate Café online:

The Toll Gate Café website

Hello, All! The Bourbon Guys were on brief hiatus knocking some golf balls into the trees (and sand, and water, and once in a while, on to the fairway).
We’re back, so very soon you can expect some new reviews and a feature story on one of our favorite people!

The bourbon world has lost another legend. Last evening Lincoln Henderson passed away.

At last year’s “Bourbon Classic” we had the pleasure of meeting Lincoln, his son Wesley and his grandson Kyle. He was one great guy! Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lincoln’s entire family. He will be missed.

Let’s all raise a glass of Angel’s Envy today in honor of Lincoln Henderson!

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Bourbon lovers find all sorts of ways to express their passion for their favorite brown spirit. T-shirts and shot glasses adorn the gift shops of every distillery. Collectors scour websites and festivals for lapel pins. And oh, the things we do with barrels! Both of The Bourbon Guys have tables made from bourbon barrels. But recently, we met someone who took his passion one step further and made it a permanent part of his body.

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Before Tattoo

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After Tattoo

Shawn Doan and his girlfriend April Manning, of Terre Haute, Indiana, attended a tasting and dinner with Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell at Arnold’s Bar and Grill, Cincinnati’s oldest tavern. Shawn rolled up his shirtsleeves to reveal this tattoo that pays homage to his favorite bourbon brand, Wild Turkey. He was kind enough to allow The Bourbon Guys to photograph the ink masterpiece. And Jimmy Russell himself was kind enough to provide his autograph for Shawn — who, as it turns out, already had an appointment set for the next morning to permanently ink the living legend’s name underneath the familiar logo!

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Shawn, April and Tim (One of The Bourbon Guys)

WT_ForgivenBourbon Name: Forgiven

Distiller: Wild Turkey

What does the distiller say: An accidental blend of 78% Bourbon and 22% High-Proof Rye

Proof: 91

Age: Blend of ages

Year: 2013

Color: Golden copper

 

Nose: (89/100)

Neat -

Tim: (88/100) “Light, sweet, and flowery. The bourbon component is pronounced but you definitely get a very nice high rye nose. I Could smell this all day.”

Larry: (89/100) “Floral overtones are aromatic but not cloying. The rye comes through in perfect balance with the bourbon, offering vanilla and caramel with spicy notes of cinnamon.”

Water – A few to several drops of water did not appreciably change our observations.

Taste: (91/100)

Neat –

Tim: (90/100) “Brown sugar, giving way to cinnamon and rye spice on the mid-palate.”

Larry: (91/100) “Beautiful and balanced. Bread pudding on the front with rye rising to strike a perfect rye/bourbon balance mid-palate.”

Water – A few to several drops of water did not appreciably change our observations.

Finish: (90/100)    

Neat –

Tim: (89/100) “Long, and mellow with just the right amount of rye and cinnamon spice.”

Larry: (90/100) “Lengthy. The balance on the mid-palate carries clear through to the end. The residual flavors are wonderful. Greater duration is all that could have given this finish a higher rating.”

Overall Rating: (90/100)

Though some believe that Forgiven is more marketing than mistake, we have it straight from Mr. Jimmy Russell that Forgiven was, in fact, the most fortunate error in recent memory. Whichever you believe, you can rest assured that Wild Turkey Forgiven will not disappoint.

Picture3Bourbon Name: Stagg Jr.

Distiller: Buffalo Trace

What does the distiller say:

Uncut and unfiltered, this robust bourbon whiskey ages for nearly a decade and boasts the bold character that is reminiscent of [George T. Stagg] himself.

Proof: 134.40

Age: 8 Years

Year: 2013

 

Color: Very Deep Amber

Nose: 91/100

Floral with strong overtones of sweet vanilla. The high proof does not translate to overpowering alcohol as might be expected. A few drops of water adds to the sweetness.

Taste: 89/100

Neat – Bold up front, as the proof would suggest, followed by caramel and a lot of vanilla mixing on the mid-palate. The mouth feel was noticeably thin and showed its relative youth just a little.

With Water – A few drops of water and the flavor opened up a little providing slightly more sweetness and depth of flavor.

Finish: 86/100

Neat – The finish was mild and, as anticipated by the thin mouth feel, faded more quickly than we like.

With Water – The finish changed dramatically, actually adding to the duration, a welcome surprise.

Overall Rating: 89/100 (Recommended)

Recommended, especially if you like the higher proof bourbons. It has been produced as a more accessible version of the older and nearly unattainable George T. Stagg. At roughly $50 retail, we find this bourbon to perform its role admirably.

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