• September 1, 2019

30 Days of Bourbon

Each day we will be posting a different pour online, including distillery, proof, and our tasting notes. Be sure to share your sips as well. Use the tags #lbs, #30daysofbourbon, and #bourbonheritagemonth on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

[Image: What will be your favorite pour during Bourbon Heritage Month?]

Each day we will be posting a different pour online, including distillery, proof, and our tasting notes. Be sure to share your sips as well. Use the tags #lbs#30daysofbourbon, and #bourbonheritagemonth on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Day 1: Weller Full Proof from Buffalo Trace

Day 2: Rare Breed from Wild Turkey

Day 3: Old Fitzgerald BIB 11 Year from Heaven Hill

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 11 year. The brand was first registered in 1884 by S.C. Herbst, and was eventually sold to Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle during Prohibition. Pappy moved production of Old Fitz to his distillery where it became the first great Wheated Bourbon. In 1999, Heaven Hill bought the Old Fitzgerald brand and began distilling it at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville.

Old Fitz 11 Year.
Color: Rich amber
Nose: Green caramel apple
Flavor: Oak forward
Finish: Long finish, caramel saltwater taffy


Day 4: Old Forester 2013 Birthday Bourbon from Brown-Forman

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. This special annual release started in September 2002 and varies year to year based on age, warehouse location, and number of barrels used. The 2013 bottling of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon marks the first year that specific information about the release was removed from the label.

Old Forester 2013 Birthday Bourbon.
Color: Rich amber
Nose: Presents spicy cinnamon and caramel.
Flavor: This year had lots of heat on the front and finish.
Finish: Complex notes of spice, tobacco, and burnt brown sugar can be appreciated with discerning palates.

September 2nd marks the birthday of George Garvin Brown, one of the founders of Brown-Forman. To honor him, Brown-Forman releases an Old Forester Birthday Bourbon around this time each year.


Day 5: Hancock's Presidential Reserve from Buffalo Trace

Hancock’s Presidential Reserve. ”Is this better than Blanton’s?” (“Gasp!”) Maybe not better, though the higher Rye heritage is evident. Blanton’s comes across more “smoking jacket.” Refined, balanced, and floral. I find Hancock’s a bit more spicy, more fruity, and “business casual”...a character that some personally prefer over the more pricey and elegant sibling. It is definitely a buy when found.

Hancock's Presidential Reserve.
Proof: 88.9
Color: Deep amber with a Garnet tint
Nose: A perfume note that hides a fruity character...suggests more proof than the label advertises
Flavor: Viscous and surprisingly thick and coating on the palate. Lightly toasted almonds, cherries, vanilla extract and hints of baking chocolate or powdered cocoa
Finish: Medium with rye spice prevalent and the sweetness of peach cobbler


Day 6: Blanton's SFTB from Buffalo Trace

Blanton’s SFTB (Straight From The Barrel). This wonderful bourbon is only sold in select non-U.S. markets and select domestic duty free stores which is a shame. This version of Blanton’s offers a unique chance to see what Blanton’s tastes like when it’s cranked up to full strength, and boy does it deliver on that promise.

Blanton's SFTB.
Color: Golden brown, long legs
Nose: Oak, honey 
Flavor: Oak, vanilla, notes of cinnamon
Finish: Heavy oak tannins, long and warm


Day 7: Maker's Mark Private Select from Maker's Mark

Maker's Mark Private Select. We love the unique experience you get at Maker's Mark by crafting your own barrel pick allowing you to combine finishing staves into your own expression of Maker's Mark Private Select. Starting with their flagship Maker's Mark (at cask strength), their Private Select adds 10 wooden finishing staves from up to 5 toasted wood types to each barrel. It is then aged for the selected profile. The different notes achieved in the Private Select compared to their flagship Maker's Mark is 100% due to the finishing staves.

Maker's Mark Private Select (Keeneland Pick).
Color: Deep amber
Nose: Sweet french spice with some faint heat notes
Flavor: Very comforting sweet and spice note that was smooth
Finish: Since this particular Private Select was a release by Keeneland, the finish reminds us of sitting in the grand stands watching the ponies run, and cheering on our favorite horse!


Day 8: Angel's Envy Oloroso Sherry Cask Finished from Angel's Envy

Angel's Envy Oloroso Sherry Cask Finished bourbon. This rare spirit spent an extended finishing period in Oloroso barrels, and the lengthened oxidation process resulted in a remarkable sequence of flavors that are unlike any other whiskey we’ve ever tasted. Each sip carries unique raisin and fruit qualities with just a hint of hazelnut on the nose.

Angel's Envy Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish.
Color: Golden amber, toffee
Nose: Light oak, peaches, honey
Flavor: Pecan, peaches, with a hint of sour cherry
Finish: Smooth and sweet, short-medium finish with the sweetness lingering - a good dessert bourbon, and definitely an easy sip


Day 9: Wilderness Trail Single Barrel from Wilderness Trail

Wilderness Trail Single Barrel. This pick from Wine+Market in Lexington, KY is a 4 year and 1 month old bourbon. It was the second-only pick from this distillery, and several Lexington Bourbon Society members attended this pick. Wilderness Trail proudly uses Kentucky-grown Heritage rye from a local farm, a sweet mash process (most large distilleries use sour mash), and low barrel proof entry into a barrel for aging. When it comes time to dump the bourbon out of the barrel for bottling, Wilderness Trail’s bourbon and rye whiskeys are bottled at maturity with no chill filtration. That allows more flavor to stay in the bottle. It may also mean fans will see a bit of cloudiness in the bottle at times, and that’s ok.

Wilderness Trail Single Barrel (Wine+Market pick).
Color: Amber
Nose: Sweet spicy notes of pepper and a slight ethanol burn
Flavor: A sweet pepper note followed by a pleasing oily mouth coat
Finish: The sweetness takes over the profile for the finish


Day 10: Town Branch 10 Year Single Barrel from Town Branch Distillery

Town Branch 10 Year Single Barrel. Town Branch is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey brand produced by the Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company of Lexington, Kentucky which is owned by Alltech. It is the first distillery to be built in Lexington in more than 100 years. The distillery houses production for Alltech's four spirits: Town Branch Bourbon, Pearse Lyons Reserve (a single malt whiskey), Town Branch Rye Whiskey, and Bluegrass Sundown (a bourbon-infused coffee drink). The Town Branch 10 Year is a new addition to the family, and for a very limited time you may be able to find this one of a kind bourbon to purchase.

Town Branch 10 Year Single Barrel (Wine+Market pick).
Color: Deep amber
Nose: The barley and char is evident on the nose with nutty chocolate notes
Flavor: You can taste the barley, which is very pleasant, and dark notes of oak, chocolate, and coffee are evident
Finish: Brown sugar chocolate finish that leaves you a smile


Day 11: Wild Turkey Master's Keep from Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Bourbon. This bourbon is aged 17 years, and hand selected by Eddie Russell himself. Wild Turkey Master's Keep is the longest aged bourbon that the distillery produces, and has a lower proof than a lot of other bourbons at just 86.8, which enhances the flavor profile and lends a silkiness on the palate.

Wild Turkey Master's Keep.
Color: Gold
Nose: Oak and caramel and vanilla notes
Palate: Spice and sweetness.
Flavor: Similar to the nose, oak can be appreciated. There is some tobacco, and seasoned wood layer overtop a hint of dark brown sugar with a light mouthfeel
Finish: Short to medium flavor notes which are dominated by wood characteristics and no off-putting tannins


Day 12: Jefferson's Reserve Twin Oak Custom Barrel from Kentucky Artisan Distillery

Jefferson's Reserve Twin Oak Custom Barrel. This bourbon is a collaboration between the Kentucky Artisan Distillery and Independent Stave Company. This product starts with 10 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and then ages in custom barrels for an extra four months. Those custom barrels from Independent Stave Company have grooved staves which lend more surface area contact for the spirit to obtain all the notes of an excellent bourbon in a shorter amount of time.

Jefferson's Reserve Twin Oak Custom Barrel.
Nose: Sweet fruit like fruit snacks, and caramel
Flavor: There is a sour-sweetness, like a caramel apple, followed by a spice that is woody and not like rye
Finish: Medium, leaves with oak char


Day 13: Old Pepper 10 Year from James E. Pepper Distillery

Old Pepper 10 Year. This is a Lexington hometown favorite bourbon labeled under the Old Pepper name. In 2008, the brand was relaunched by whiskey entrepreneur Amir Peay. A decade-long campaign of thorough historical research and collection of historic materials was used to retell the lost story of this iconic American whiskey brand and to distill new stocks of "Pepper” whiskey. This small batch, Old Pepper 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon, was distilled in 2008 and received a double gold medal at the San Francisco Spirits Competition. Crafted from a high rye mash bill along with corn and touch of barley, it’s aged ten full years and bottled at 43% ABV in very limited quantities.

Old Pepper 10 Year.
Color: Dark amber
Nose: Aromas of caramel and honey mixed with cinnamon candy, dried corn and a nice hit of black pepper
Flavor: The palate has a warming spice of clove, turbanado sugar, honey and apricot preserves
Finish: A medium finish with not too much spice even though it is a high rye


Day 14: Old Cabin Still Bourbon from Heaven Hill

Old Cabin Still Bourbon. Old Cabin Still is originally from William LaRue Weller, and came via Pappy Van Winkle to Stitzel-Weller and was a respected brand for decades. A huge corporation, Norton Simon, had been clumsily dabbling in bourbon and found themselves in a jam with a bunch of bad whiskey they couldn't sell, They bought Stitzel-Weller so they could gradually dump their failed whiskey into their bottom-of-the-line Old Cabin Still brand. This ruined the whiskey - effectively murdering the brand. When United Distillers dumped 70 brands to Heaven Hill in 1993 (who then dumped many to Luxco), with Old Cabin Still listed among them, it fell away into the mists of obscurity. Currently the brand name "Cabin Still" doesn't appear on either Heaven Hill's or Luxco's web site. It's not distributed in the Kentucky area (although it is still made and distributed in the Midwest and Europe). It's a moribund brand, while plenty of other brands with less excellence in their histories are still plugging along.


Day 15: RockCastle Bourbon from Barrel House Distillery

RockCastle Small Batch, Barrel Proof Bourbon. A rich contender from the Barrel House Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky, this entry is a namesake for the county producing limestone rich spring water. RockCastle has seen 8 batch releases since its inception, with proofs ranging from 112.6 to 119.6. Though this product is aged for 2 years, it boasts strong flavors and is a welcomed addition to any bourbon aficionado collection.

RockCasatle Small Batch (Batch #8).
Color: Golden amber
Nose: Lots of oak, pepper, baking spice
Flavor: Heavy oak, licorice, brown sugar
Finish: This starts with a punch of flavor, and then mellows into a medium sweetness. The finish is fairly short with little to no burn despite it being more than 100 proof. We would love to see this age a little longer comparing a 4 year product to their 2 year product.


Day 16: Michter's Limited Release Barrel Strength from Michter's Distillery

Michter’s Limited Release Barrel Strength. In the summer of 2017, Michter's Distillery released their US1 Kentucky Straight Barrel Strength Bourbon for the first time ever. Due to limited stocks, this was only available in Kentucky and we are happy that they distributed locally for this delicious bourbon.

Michter's Limited Release Barrel Strength.
Proof: 106.8
Nose: Caramel and toffee, balanced by vanilla
Flavor: Hints of apricot, cherry, and other stone fruits
Finish: Roasted pecans and molasses with some charred oak highlights


Day 17: Four Roses Super Premium from Four Roses

Four Roses Super Premium “Platinum”. This bourbon is one of two Four Roses products that are sold only in Japan, with the other being Four Roses Black Label. While this may seem odd, it is important to note that in February 2002, the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan purchased the Four Roses brand trademark from Diageo. The Platinum and Black Label are both export-only bourbons which are produced and dumped in Kentucky, and then shipped to Japan for bottling and distribution. The mashbill of the Platinum is undisclosed, and while it uses the Four Roses recipes, the percentages are different than what you would find in Yellow Label or Small Batch.

Four Roses Super Premium "Platinum".
Color: Light gold
Nose: Grain and floral
Flavor: Buttery, honeysuckle, and brown sugar
Finish: Light mouthfeel which doesn’t linger on the palate, and little to no burn with a sweet finish


Day 18: Wild Turkey 13 Year from Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey 13 Year. This is an OUS Bourbon from Wild Turkey Distillery specifically made for Japan and several minor export markets. Wild Turkey Distiller’s Reserve (export) is 91 proof, aged at least 13 years, and distilled and bottled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Co. in Lawrenceburg, KY.

Wild Turkey 13 Year.
Color: Copper
Nose: Vanilla spice, caramel, peppery oak char, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange peel, clove, hints of honey-maple & herbal/floral spice
Flavor: A delicate modern Wild Turkey product with toasted caramel, vanilla, sweet charred oak, clove, leather, pepper, nutmeg, citrus, floral spice, faint cinnamon
Finish: Medium-long & well-balanced with zesty oak, clove, vanilla spice, caramel drizzle, leather, pepper, nutmeg, honey, savory herbs & diminishing floral notes


Day 19: Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select from Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select. The Woodford Reserve brand comes from a storied past. It’s distilled and bottled at the the old Labrot & Graham’s Distillery, which started operations in 1780. Through the years the site has been home to several different whiskeys including Early Times, which was the most recent whiskey to be produced on the site prior to Woodford Reserve. While production stopped and the distillery was abandoned in 1973, it was eventually repurchased by Brown-Forman in 1993 and Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select was launched in 1996 as a “new breed of premium bourbon.”

Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select.
Nose: Quite thick and creamy with notes of honey and spice, leather, a touch of cocoa, a little smoke, toasty oak and vanilla cream with a hint of butterscotch
Flavor: Thick and full. There are notes of espresso beans, winter spice, cereal sweetness, plenty of rye, ground ginger, almond oil, toasty oak and a little rum
Finish: Long and mature with notes of cereals and toasty oaken spice


Day 20: Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Barrel Strength from Four Roses

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Barrel Strength. Every September, in commemoration of National Bourbon Month, the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, releases a limited edition, small batch bourbon. The expression is a special release, and is not part of the distillery’s core range. When the supply runs out, the expression is gone forever. The newest release in the Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Select is the 2019 version. This expression consists of a blend of spirits designated OBSV 21 YO, OESK 15 YO, OESV 15 YO, and OESV 11 YO. This is the first time that the distillery has featured a 21-year-old bourbon from the distillery’s OBSV recipe. The bottling is non-chill filtered.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Barrel Strength (2019).
Nose: Elegant aromas of oak, honey, red raspberries and vanilla
Flavor: Bright, sweet fruits, cinnamon, baking spices, and mellow barrel flavors
Finish: Rich, soft and lasting finish


Day 21: Knob Creek Single Barrel from Jim Beam Distillery

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon. A Jim Beam product, this Knob Creek Single Barrel pick is from Coliseum Liquors. This store has been in the Lexington, Kentucky community for many decades, and has lots of loyal customers. The Lexington Bourbon Society and other partners have done several picks with them recently. For a nine year bourbon, this one rivals the previous 14 and 15 year barrel picks they have selected. While supplies last, they will have this bourbon available for tastings in the store.


Day 22: Blood Oath Pack 5 from Lux Row Distillers

Blood Oath Pack 5. For this 5th release, an 8 year old rye bourbon was finished in Caribbean rum barrels for an additional 6 months. It was than blended with an 11 year old wheated bourbon, and a 13 year old rye bourbon. The exact blend percentages are not disclosed. All bourbons used in the blend originated from Kentucky.

Blood Oath Pack 5.
Nose: The rum finishing is noticeable yet not overbearing, as a hint of molasses weaves its way throughout. The nose is sweet and enjoyable with vanilla, brown sugar, brown butter, light grain, and a touch of ethanol present
Flavor: The juicy sip carries forward the molasses and also brings forward rye spice, pepper, vanilla, and oak
Finish: It finishes with a warming spicy rye heat, and vanilla, aged oak, brown sugar, and leather are sprinkled throughout


Day 23: Old Medley from Charles Medley Distillery

Old Medley Bourbon. Today we have a 12 year old bourbon, Old Medley. This brand is owned by the Medley family, formerly of the closed Medley distillery in Owensboro, KY, which is owned by CL Financial/Angostura. In music you often hear the term "deep cut" or "deep track" to describe a lesser known song from an artist. Old Medley kind of feels like a deep cut. It's not a bombastic bourbon but it has some finer points that make it worth visiting or revisiting. If you’re looking to branch out beyond the usual suspects you find everyday at the liquor store, Old Medley can play that role well. There are plenty of decent aspects to this bourbon that will keep anyone happy, there just aren’t any that will excite you.


Day 24: Yellowstone 9 Year Limited from Limestone Branch Distillery

Yellowstone 9 Year Limited Edition. This one is a real treat for many members of the Lexington Bourbon Society. Two of our global members, Chris Tatzenko and Lilith Morgan, from Brisbane Australia, currently have a barrel aging in the Limestone Branch Distillery. Each year they plan a holiday to come to Kentucky to celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month. Just like other years, they are the recipient of several bottle releases, one of which is the 2019 Yellowstone Limited Edition from Limestone Branch, which is crafted from a blend of nine- and 12-year-old barrels bottled at 101 proof. “The barrels I chose were in different parts of the rick house and each barrel’s unique location contributed to the taste profile and complexity of this bourbon. When combined, these extra-aged bourbons create a mature and complex bourbon with robust spice and oaky undertones.” Tasting notes for the 2019 Yellowstone Limited Edition, tell us to expect “cinnamon notes with toffee, dried fruit and a hint of citrus to the palate, followed by a dry finish of brown sugar and oak.”


Day 25: Old Forester 1910 from Brown-Forman Shively Distillery

Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky. Old Forester 1910 is the fourth and final expression in the Whiskey Row series. First launched in 2014, the series consists of Old Forester 1870 Original Batch, Old Forester 1897 Bottled in Bond, and Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style. According to Brown-Forman, “1910 Old Fine Whisky represents a specific point in Old Forester’s nearly 150-year-old history. In October 1910, a fire caused the bottling line to be shut down for an indefinite period of time. Complicating matters, there was a vat of mature whisky waiting to be bottled. Otherwise facing ruin, this whisky was instead stored in new, charred oak containers to rest until the line could be repaired.” This double barreling was the first such documented of its kind and led to it gaining the name Old Fine Whisky. In order to produce 1910, standard Old Forester has undergone a second barreling in a lightly toasted, heavily charred barrel. “Mature Old Forester enters a second barrel at 100 proof, just as it did in 1910,” said Old Forester Master Taster Jackie Zykan. “The second barrel is charred nearly to the point of incineration.”


Day 26: Jewel Tea Wagon 75th Anniversary Jim Beam Decanter from Jim Beam

Jewel Tea Wagon 75th Anniversary Jim Beam Regal China Decanter. This vintage Jim Beam product is from 1974, and is an 80 proof bourbon in a 4/5 quart decanter (757 mL). The age statement marks 100 months which puts it at 8 years, 4 months.

Jim Beam 75th Anniversary Jewel Tea Wagon.
Color: Dark cherry wood
Nose: Floral, raw honey, and butterscotch
Flavor: Light, sweet, caramel, light oak, honeysuckle
Finish: Short, sweet, and smooth


Day 27: Weller CYPB from Buffalo Trace Distillery

W.L. Weller C.Y.P.B. W.L. Weller CYPB Bourbon was created in response to the over 100,000 fans who completed the Buffalo Trace interactive experience called "Craft Your Perfect Bourbon". This educational experience launched in November 2015 and allowed fans to select the recipe (mash bill), warehouse placement, age, and proof of a bourbon. The majority selected a wheated bourbon recipe aged for 8 years, which for Buffalo Trace is Weller. Most requested top floor warehouse placement and a bourbon to be between 90-99 proof. CYPB is a limited edition Kentucky straight bourbon with one batch to be released each year beginning summer 2018.

Weller CYPB.
Nose: Stone fruit, crushed fruit (raspberries, cherries), beautiful sweet sugary notes, touch of lemon with the caramel notes taking a back-seat
Flavor: Wonderful hit of flavor, crushed citrus, brown sugar sweetness, and great oak spice
Finish: The flavors hit the palate hard with the crushed fruit carrying through from front to back, and the transition from sweetness to spice, to dry sweet (think vermouth) finish is really quite incredible ending on some nice licorice elements


Day 28: Peerless Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Peerless Distillery

Peerless Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Small Batch. This is the first bourbon release for Louisville-based Peerless Distilling Co. in 102 years. Like the distillery's rye whiskey releases, this is also produced using a sweet mash rather than a sour mash. The Kentucky straight bourbon is bottled at cask strength without chill-filtration. Its first official release was June 2019. Be on a the lookout for this highly-anticipated bourbon rooted in fruits, florals and oaks.


Day 29: New Riff Single Barrel from New Riff Distillery

New Riff Single Barrel. New Riff Distillery focuses on high rye with a spicy characteristic. A new riff on Kentucky's deeply-rooted tradition, their single barrel is 65% corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley. This sour mash, 4-year product is bottle at barrel proof without chill-filtration.

New Riff Single Barrel (LBS and Wine+Market pick).
Appearance: Extra rich, unfiltered deep amber color
Nose: Butterscotch rounding into fresh oak, with hints of vanilla and rye spice
Flavor: Broad, fulsome mouthfeel, leading to a sweeter vanilla accent, before a gathering of rye spices (clove, cinnamon, mint, dark berry) into the finish
Finish: Short, rye-led finish, with brambly red-black fruits amid white pepper and clove


Day 30: Kentucky Spirit from Wild Turkey Distillery

Kentucky Spirit. The final bourbon for our celebration of National Bourbon Heritage Month come from Wild Turkey. Kentucky Spirit is a 101 proof (50.5% alcohol), single-barrel bourbon, with each barrel hand selected under the watchful eye of legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russell. Known for being fuller bodied, with rich vanilla flavors and a hint of sweetness, it’s the perfect bourbon to enjoy neat. A complex layering of almonds, honey, blackberries, and leather gives way to a long, dark and lingering finish.