A Flight for the Ages

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If you are planning a bourbon tasting or just want to experiment on your own, here is a recommended flight from The Bourboneer.

I like to call this offering the “Unique Aging Style” flight. There are 4 bourbons presented, each with it’s own specific and unique aging method. The particular aging methods are introduced after the initial 4 – 6 year aging process and are considered secondary. The four bourbons selected were Maker’s Mark 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whisky, Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Jim Beam Double Oak Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Hillrock Solera-Aged Bourbon Whiskey. Each one of these selections uses a secondary aging process lasting from several weeks to several months.

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Angel’s Envy

Mashbill – 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barely. Alcohol By Volume – (ABV) 43% or 86 proof. Distiller – Louisville Distilling Co., KY. Age – 4-6 years with secondary aging in ruby port casks. Color – Butterscotch. Price – @ $45.

Nose – Bourbon and wine. Corn, malty sweetness candied and spicy fruit. Some hints of cocoa, currant and SweeTART.

Taste – Bourbon with noticeable wine notes. Rich corn, dark dried fruit, caramel, some spice from the rye and vanilla. Also there are some notes of chocolate covered sherries and oak.

 

Hillrock

Mashbill – 63% corn, 37% rye. ABV – 46.3% or 92.6 proof. Distiller – Hillrock Estate Distillery, NY. Age – 6 years by solera process (rotating and mixing new bourbon with older bourbon) with secondary aging in Oloroso sherry casks. Color – Golden Amber. Price – @ $85.

Nose – Sweet fig, tobacco, with strong caramel and vanilla notes. Floral and honeysuckle scent.

Taste – Sweet, bit of spice from rye, cinnamon and nutmeg. Maple syrup, brown sugar, dark fruits, cloves and Heath bar.

 

Jim Beam Double Oak

Mashbill – 77% corn, 13% wheat, 10% malted barley. ABV – 43% or 86 proof. Distiller – Beam Distilling Co., KY. Age – 4 years with secondary aging in new charred oak barrels. Color – Dark Caramel. Price – @ $22.

Nose – Oak, caramel, vanilla, toasted corn, toffee, hint of bettescotch and cinnamon.

Taste – Oak, caramel, dry corn, vanilla toffee and lights hints of maple.

 

Maker’s Mark 46

Mashbill – 70% corn, 16% wheat, 14% malted barley. ABV – 47% or 94 proof. Distiller – Maker’s Mark Distillery, KY. Age – (No Age Statement) estimated about 6 years with secondary aging by introducing seared french oak staves into original barrel. Color – Deep Amber, Price – @ $35.

Nose – Very sweet. Cherries, caramel, vanilla, oak and a whiff of pastry or candy.

Taste – Caramel and toasted wood, vanilla ice cream, sweet grains, roasted corn, cinnamon toast and many sweet dessert notes.

Be sure when you nose the bourbon that you keep your mouth open slightly. This will cut the strong alcohol scent and allow you to pick out the different flavor notes. When tasting, add a few drops of water to cut the alcohol. This will open up the natural flavors of the bourbon and will allow you to enjoy with less of the alcohol burn. DO NOT SHOOT bourbon. It’s a sin! Shoot crap like vodka, there is no taste worth savoring anyway.

I hope you enjoy your Bourboneer recommended flight. There will be more to come. Cheers!

-The Bourboneer

 

Bourbon enjoyed while writing this article: William Wolf  Traditionally Crafted Bourbon Whiskey, 43.4% ABV or 86.8 proof (aged a minimum of 6 months) Wolf Distilleries, North Charleston, SC.

Gratitude!

Recently, I was given a new assignment at work. Whether I like it or not, the occasional organizational transfer is part of my chosen profession. It’s an aspect you grow accustom to, frankly. I spent almost 6 years in my last position, however, it was time to move on to a new and different adventure. To say I enjoyed my tenure in my last assignment would certainly be an understatement. It wasn’t the position, duties, responsibilities or even the nuances of the job that kept things fulfilling, nearly everyday was a completely new experience. It was the incredible and talented people I worked with that made coming to work every day so rewarding. They made the job easy and enjoyable. These fine men and women developed and maintained a culture of professionalism, dedication and accountability that I had not witnessed in my 20+ years on the job. It was hard to say goodbye. Truly!

On my last day, the group threw a “thank you, we’ll miss you” going away party as a means to celebrate our time together. I was extremely thankful and utterly spoiled, to be honest. They not only paid for my lunch but surprised me with several thoughtful gifts. Since my written word lacks sufficient capability to explain my level of gratitude and how wonderful these people are I will simply show you what they gave me.

Knowing I am the Bourboneer and a lover of the brown water, I was pleasantly surprised by a bottle of Hillrock – Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey. A very delicious and very expensive bottle of bourbon. According to Clay Risen’s review in American Whiskey Bourbon & Rye, Hillrock has a high rye mash bill. “In the solera process, a barrel of aged whiskey is partially emptied and topped off with unaged spirit. After a few years the process is repeated…After a period of aging, the bourbon is “finished” in twenty-year-old Oloroso sherry casks.” I wanted to save the bottle for special occasions but I couldn’t resist, I just had to try a dram. I am glad I did! The nose was dense, filled with dark fruit, maple syrup, sweet tobacco with even a hint of leather. Chewy fig, raisin and notes of caramel and toffee were evident to the palate. So scrumptious!

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If the bourbon wasn’t enough they also gave me a beautiful stainless steel cocktail shaker with a “To the Bourboneer” engraved inscription. Unfortunately in the picture below, I couldn’t capture the inscription successfully. Every attempt to get an effective shot only reflected my phone and fat head in the picture. My apologies.

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Once again, I just want to say it was truly an honor to work with such professional, thoughtful and incredible colleagues. I am a better person for the experience. Thank you!

-The Bourboneer

 

Bourbon enjoyed while writing this article: Hillrock-Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey, 46% ABV or 92 proof (NAS) Hillrock Estate Distillery, Ancram, NY.

References: American Whiskey Bourbon & Rye, Clay Risen, Sterling Epicure Publishing, 2013, New York, NY.