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.
Collaboration is not just for breweries, Broken Barrel, who I have written about on this very blog and this month the L.A. whiskey maker has released a new whiskey with the Los Angeles Distillery.
Here are the details…
“These 5.5 year single barrels culminate the five years the two whiskey brands have known each other, and also mark the five years since Seth bought his first barrel of whiskey to tinker with. The team selected three wheated single barrels – all partnered with Total Wine California where these limited edition releases will go next week.”
Stone Imperial Stout. Classic craft stout. It is also now the base for Stone Imperial Whiskey. In partnership with Iowa’s Foundry Distilling Company, the “whiskey is made with the wort of Stone Imperial Stout (liquid resulting from the first stage of the brewing process), distilled and aged in 30-gallon charred oak barrels for 30 months. This is a monster of a whiskey clocking in at 127 proof.”
I am much more finicky with spirits than I am with beer. Tequila will be off limits due to the headaches I get the day after and Irish whisky or Scotch is just too peaty for my taste.
I have found better success with Rye and Tennessee whiskey and so far Uncle Nearest is at the top of my small list. And that is saying a lot because my expectations were high. This brand has had deserved press. It is women owned and women distilled and it honors the mentor to Jack Daniel.
The 1884 is a blessed combo of smooth vanilla notes with a cantankerous ABV hit. I get a little bit of wood character but it is a side player here. I have had it straight twice in two days and look forward to it again. Usually a bottle will sit a bit between visits.
I wish I could find small bottles of the different variants to do a taste test.
As is often the case with Strand Brewing, they tease a new venture in advance and then it gets a little lost before it comes to fruition.
I posted about their distilling a few months back and now, as you can see from the photo, whiskey and vodka under the Strand moniker has arrived.
Available at their taproom to go.
It kind and surprises me that Stone hadn’t licensed the Arrogant Bastard name to multiple spirits by now. A spicy whiskey or vodka probably would have been easy picks. But instead the have gone the whiskey route which I think is probably a better choice. Maybe a Dayfall Wit Gin is next?
I do my level best to stay seasonally appropriate. You don’t see mentions of Maibock in January or oodles of Oktoberfest posts in Summer. But, I am making an exception for this…..
…because, well 2020 needs more spirits and I think this one could make some fine fall cocktails since Southern Tier knows it’s way around pumpkin spice.
Cellador Ales is going fancy on Friday November 15th when they release two Jackson Ranch wild ale variants. They are whiskey inspired beers as described by the brewery as, “one aged in a High West Double Rye Single Barrel and the other in a Knob Creek Cask strength Single Barrel.”
Cellador will be making cocktails with the beers that night and if you have had one of them before, you know it will be tasty and interesting.
When it is all haze and 16oz cans, it is sometimes good to see a reliable brewery, like The Bruery, lean into their barrel strength and when they use whiskey barrels with a quad instead of stout. I perk up and start reading the label closely. Probably won’t see this one other than at Bruery locations so a trip to Orange County might be in order.
Whisky and beer are connected but sometimes that connection becomes ever firmer when distillers see the maximizing effect of putting the initials I-P-A on a bottle.
But I would certainly try the latest Experimental Series variant from Glenfiddich because they have gone all in to make a hoppy whisky. They collaborated with a brewer to first create an IPA that they thought would impart hops into the oak casks. Hard work choosing from amongst the beers but the 2nd recipe won out and they then had to figure out how long it needed to season the cask that had formerly held Glenfiddich.
All before putting the whisky in and aging it. The distillery claims that they created a whisky with “unique zesty citrus notes of ripe green apple, William’s pear and spring blossom. Complimented by the subtle tang of fresh hops followed by a long lasting sweetness.”