Blinded

As I found out in my trip to Kentucky, there is a lot and by a lot, I mean a LOT of bourbon out there and finding a favorite is hard especially at some of the bottle price points.

Enter Blind Barrels.

You can get a quarterly subscription or annual. Annual has a price saving. You get four samples of unknown whiskey. You get tasting notes and a QR Code to show who made it as well as a link to buy it if it strikes your fancy.

Thinking about this for my birthday.

Spirited Brewery # 3 – Scout & Scholar

Our last stop is in the Capital of Bourbon, Bardstown, Kentucky and to a brewery that honors the Bard brothers, William aka Scout and David the Scholar.

Scout & Scholar is just off the main street in a very frontiersy building with a large outdoor seating area as well as indoor seating on two floors. The beer list is quite long. So long that they have multiple personalized flights to order, like the collaboration flight that I tried first.

Got You Fam – “This Beer Was Brewed In Collaboration With Marker 48 Brewing Out Of Weeki Wachee, Florida. This Beer Is Know As An ErntBier Or A Harvest Beer. The Grain Bill Consists Of Mostly Vienna Malt Providing A Nice Bready Malt Forward Backbone. Using A Kolsch Yeast Strain And Noble Hops Helps to Cut The Sweetness Of The Vienna Malt For A Dry And Crisp Finish. Never Had An ErntBier? We Got You Fam.”

Post-Boredom Kolsch – “A collaboration between Country Boy and Scout & Scholar, Post-Boredom is our take on a refreshing German-style Kolsch with a heavy-handed dry hop pushing notes of tangerine and strawberry. This is the official beer of putting the past in the rear view and moving on. Tasting Notes: Bread dough, light cereal, slight mineral, strawberry, honeydew, gooseberry, hint of passion fruit.”

Stick and Poke – “Rum Runner Inspired Kettle Sour. Conditioned On Pineapple, Blackberry, Banana, And Key Lime. Then Aged To Perfection In Rum Barrels. Collaboration With Our Friends At Atrium Brewing In Louisville.”

Sage, Scout and Spirit – “This KristallWeizen Was Brewed In Collaboration With Our Great Friends At Log Still Distillery And Against The Grain. Aged In A Monk Road Gin Barrel This Beer Has A Unique Botanical Vibe From Start To Finish.”

I also had their Treading Paper IPA and their Miranda Belgian Dark Strong. Of the six, the Stick and Poke was my winner followed by the Miranda.

Bourbon & Kentucky – more photos

Anytime you travel, you have more photos than you know what to do with. For me, that means posting them here, there and everywhere. Here are more photos from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail…

visit to Peerless and their well designed space
Having coffee the Kentucky way at Biscuit Belly
not setting foot inside the seltzery in NuLu
flight at Luxe Rowe
clouds over the grounds at Jim Beam

Bourbon & Kentucky Report # 3

Tour time. Bourbon tours book in advance and many distilleries don’t really have walk-in policies. So before leaving, I plotted three tours that covered new, old and cocktails.

First was NuLu and Rabbit Hole…

…this is a really cool space with my favorite bourbons of the trip plus a barrel-aged gin that was great too. Our tour took us three levels up and allowed us to see fermenting beer as well. We got a cocktail at the beginning of the tour and a tasting at the end at their bar.

Right down the street was Old Forester. This was a well oiled tour. Disney-esque. You get quick history of the brand and a nice tasting at the end. Plus you get a barrel charring show too. This bourbon was good but I liked the chocolate from the tour better.

The next day at the Bardstown Bourbon campus that is at 14 rickhouses but going to 30! This tour was cocktails both shaken and stirred…

This was fun. Our tour took us to a special bar in a rickhouse. We got instructions to make a Bourbon Mule and an Old Fashioned. I learned which gear I need and how to use it. And we got a glass at the end.

When you plan a trip, I strongly suggest planning in advance and to choosing more than just a basic tour.

Bourbon & Kentucky Report # 2

Tuesday was no reservation day. We picked three distilleries and walked in to see what they had to offer. First up was Heaven Hill and their stable of brands. I picked….

…the Heaven Hill Family Flight with the Evan Williams coming out the winner. The bar was cool as was the history exhibit of the five brothers that have run the distillery.

Stops two and three were Preservation and Makers Mark. Both had great grounds but S IV was more my style. Even on a Tuesday, it was a real cool spot down in a hollow with a creek running through it and bourbon slushies. And black and red coordinated buildings.

Back in the town, we made several visits to the oldest bourbon bar at the Old Talbott Tavern which is where we were staying. It doesn’t really play up the historical aspect as much as I expected and the drinks were fine but I had classier presented drinks. I had more beers there than bourbon.

Bourbon & Kentucky Report # 1

Travel Day Sunday went smoothly from LAX to Muhammad Ali Airport. Once settling in near the Ohio River, it was time to find some bourbon. And find a flight of rye we did at Doc Crow’s on Main Street with Michters coming out on top of the four.

With the New Riff, second. The middle pair were too hot on the palate for me. Then to finish off the night, my first ever Mint Julep…

Monday brought rain and the Frazier Museum to get some Bourbon history. There was a really well done interactive portion as well including a put the barrel back together section. Plus the gift store has a great selection of Kentucky gifts.

After a horsey detour to the famous Churchill Downs, we headed down to the bourbon capital, Bardstown. Where we are staying at the oldest hotel in the area plus it has the oldest bourbon bar. More on that later. The first distillery stop and only one open in our Monday time frame was Boundary Oak near Fort Knox.

I would avoid the lavender and cinnamon versions and stick to the classic named My Old Kentucky Home which had a nice kick and a really nice corn taste to it. The cask strength Lincoln was nice too.

More bourbon to come!

In the Tap Lines for September 2022

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This month I will be making my first ever trip to Kentucky, specifically, the Bourbon Trail from Louisville to Bardstown.  So get a snifter out, there is going to be some bourbon talk this month.

~ e-visits to (3) breweries from cities that also distill spirits
~ special featured review of Kentucky
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Bourbon Empire by Reid Mitenbuler
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Bourbon Pursuit
~ New Beer Releases and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.

No Blazer Digits

Since I am in Portland, thoughts turn to my beloved Blazers and former player who almost got us a second ‘ship. Scottie Pippen.

Pippen has teamed with Dave Phinney to create a new bourbon, Digits with a ring absent hand on the label

Here are the details from the distillery.

Barrels
“Each barrel is hand-selected for it’s unique attributes by Dave & Scottie. The youngest Bourbon in the blend is five years old. The barrels were sourced from Indiana and Tennessee and aged at Savage & Cooke on historic Mare Island.”

Mash Bill
75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley

Profile
“In a true reflection of Scottie, the mature Bourbon is lush, velvety and a pleasure to drink with no hard edges.  DIGITS is packed with flavors of vanilla bean, caramel, buttered toast and maple.  Enjoy neat or on the rocks.”

Featured Review – Old Jetty Barrel-Aged Barleywine 2019 from El Segundo Brewing

Continuing the reviews of beers bought from the Glendale Tap cellar, we go old with the 2019 barrel-aged Barleywine release of Old Jetty from El Segundo Brewing.

This ale was aged in bourbon barrels and strides in at 13.2% ABV. Old Jetty is both prickly and smooth at the same time. There is loads of bourbon character but at the same time the sweetness is restrained. A bit of syrup note here. Great brunch beer.

Cider Doughnuts

The last time that I was in Portland, I had a spirit-ed doughnut from Blue Star, the Portland chain that also has locations right here in Los Angeles.

Maybe Portland Cider will sell this “inspired by” cider down here to combine forces in SoCal too.