Whisky Chat: Do you like Whisky?     Yeah.. We do too!

Visiting Buffalo Trace

As if just being able to attend Camp Runamok wasn’t enough the very first distillery I got to tour was Buffalo Trace Distillery – easily the one I wanted to visit the most as Buffalo Trace is the home of many of my favorite bourbons.

Buffalo Trace is a beautiful as well as massive complex, spanning more than 100 acres with 100 buildings. Buffalo Trace has a history of over 200 years of continuous production, being granted a “medicinal license” to produce alcohol during prohibition kept the distillery running from 1920 to 1933. Through it’s history Buffalo Trace has a few former names among them are; OFC: Old Firehouse Copper, Ancient Age and the current name of Buffalo Trace was made official in 1999.

Buffalo Trace has 10 fermenters which are about 92,000 gallons each, they take 3 boxes (~66 lbs) of yeast per batch and ferment for 3 – 5 days which after distilling will produced about 10,000 gallons of alcohol. One of the neatest things at Buffalo Trace was seeing their “experimental” fermenter and still that they use for testing new product ideas in smaller batch sizes – it was a beautiful still.

Stepping into Warehouse C was definitely one of the highlights of my entire trip. Just seeing wall to wall barrels stacked in this massive red-brick warehouse was so cool to see I can’t even express it. Buffalo Trace has 4 warehouses on-site; 2 red-brick, 1 yellow-brick, and one metal-clad.

Visiting Buffalo Trace was really fun for me and was something a have been waiting a long time to do. Thanks to everyone at Buffalo Trace – especially our tour guide “JW” – for the awesome tour and experience.

Camp Runamok

This past week from September 10th through September 15th I had the honor to attend the First Ever Camp Runamok.
What is Camp Runamok you ask? Well here it is in their words:

Bartender Summer Camp in the heart of Kentucky. September 10-15, 2012
Bardstown, Kentucky

That’s right .. Yours truly went to Bourbon Camp! A week in Kentucky hanging out with bartenders and bourbon enthusiasts, listening to a speaker, going on distillery tours and tons of liquor sponsored events and fun around the camp.

Big thanks go out to:
Lindsey, Maureen and Lush Life Productions
For Making Camp Runamok happen!

Next set of thanks goes out to our sponsors.
(I hope to mention them all – if I miss any please let me know)
Heaven Hill
Bulleit Bourbon
Four Roses Bourbon
Wild Turkey
Don Q Rum
Société Perrier US

Over the next couple nights I will have some posts coming about all the fun, tours, events and craziness that was Camp Runamok 2012.

Stay tuned


Interesting List

So this is an interesting list I found today:
Find one of your favorites then go & try some others of the same “Bourbon Recipe”.
And as expected ~most~ of my favs are all right there – in the “High-Rye” section.

Traditional Bourbon Recipe:

* Baker’s
* Booker’s
* Elijah Craig
* Evan Williams
* Jim Beam
* Jim Beam Black
* Knob Creek
* Old Crow
* Wild Turkey

High-Rye Recipe:

* Basil Hayden’s
* Buffalo Trace
* Bulleit
* Eagle Rare
* Four Roses
* George T. Stagg
* Old Forester
* Old Grand-Dad
* Woodford Reserve

Traditional Wheat Recipe:

* Maker’s Mark
* Old Fitzgerald
* Rebel Yell
* Van Winkle
* W.L. Weller

Company Wants To Drill For Whiskey Lost In Arctic

Master Blender Says Whiskey Should Taste As It Did 100 Years Ago

A beverage company has asked a team to drill through Antarctica’s ice for a lost cache of some vintage Scotch whiskey that has been on the rocks since a century ago.

The drillers will be trying to reach two crates of McKinlay and Co. whiskey that were shipped to the Antarctic by British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as part of his abandoned 1909 expedition.

Whyte & Mackay, the drinks group that now owns McKinlay and Co., has asked for a sample of the 100-year-old scotch for a series of tests that could decide whether to relaunch the now-defunct Scotch.

Workers from New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust will use special drills to reach the crates, frozen in Antarctic ice under the Nimrod Expedition hut near Cape Royds.

Al Fastier, who will lead the expedition in January, said restoration workers found the crates of whiskey under the hut’s floorboards in 2006. At the time, the crates and bottles were too deeply embedded in ice to be dislodged.

The New Zealanders have agreed to try to retrieve some bottles, although the rest must stay under conservation guidelines agreed by 12 Antarctic Treaty nations.

Fastier said he did not want to sample the contents.

“It’s better to imagine it than to taste it,” he said. “That way it keeps its mystery.”

Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay’s master blender, said the Shackleton expedition’s whiskey could still be drinkable and taste exactly as it did 100 years ago.

If he can get a sample, he intends to replicate the old Scotch and put McKinlay whiskey back on sale.

“I really hope we can get some back here,” he was quoted as telling London’s Telegraph newspaper. “It’s been laying there lonely and neglected. It should come back to Scotland where it was born.

“Even if most of the bottles have to remain in Antarctica for historic reasons, it would be good if we could get a couple,” Paterson said.

Knob Creek flows again

For loyal Knob Creek fans, the drought — and the wait — are finally over. After running out this summer, the next batch of fully aged Knob Creek Bourbon has been released from the barrels where it has matured for nine years, now ready to bottle and soon ship to establishments and retailers across the US. Bill Newlands, president, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, U.S. and Fred Noe, the seventh-generation Beam family distiller, officially restarted production at the distillery, presiding over the opening of the first mature, four-char barrel dating to 2000. (In Bourbon speak, an occasion known as barrel dumping.)

The nation’s number one selling Super-Premium Bourbon ran short this summer, due to high consumer demand and an unwavering commitment to the full, nine-year aging process that gives Knob Creek its rich, distinct character. Rather than rush production, Knob Creek stayed true to the ideals and standards of its originator, the late Booker Noe — Fred Noe’s father, and grandson of Jim Beam – and let this batch, barreled in 2000, reach its full potential.

“We want to thank Knob Creek fans everywhere for their patience and understanding these past months, and promise it was worth their wait,” said Newlands. “Accelerating production and compromising quality, by a few weeks, even days, was never an option we considered. Knob Creek fans have been in touch, many thanking us for doing things the right way. It is very gratifying, and validating.”

“Dad would have been proud today, seeing his vision for Bourbon’s discovery by a new, sophisticated generation come to fruition,” said Noe. “That was his wish in creating a richer, longer aged Bourbon like Knob Creek, and with it, the entire Super-Premium Bourbon category that’s growing so rapidly. Increased demand wound up outpacing our own very solid 2000 forecasts, and created the shortage that’s on the road to ending today.”

(For part one of this story read this post.)