Category Archives: bourbon

Woodford Reserve Releases Master’s Collection Finished in Brandy Casks

Woodford Reserve Brandy Casks

Woodford Reserve announces the release of its latest expression in the limited edition Master’s Collection — Brandy Cask Finish — which will hit shelves in November. As the first whiskey to be finished in an American brandy cask, this new expression is yet another product of Woodford Reserve’s continued appreciation and commitment to innovation and craftsmanship.

Marking the eleventh release in the Master’s Collection, Master Distiller Chris Morris began with fully mature Woodford Reserve bourbon which was then finished in brandy casks for nearly two years. Upon completion of the maturation period, the finished casks were batched together to create this one-of-a-kind whiskey with crisp caramel and dried fruit notes. Finishing fully mature Woodford Reserve in these brandy casks accentuated Woodford Reserve’s rich dried fruit and nut characteristics developed from the grain recipe and fermentation process.

Brandy, a spirit distilled from wine or fruit, is often aged in oak barrels. Unlike bourbon, brandy does not have the new, charred barrel requirement allowing their barrels to be used multiple times. Therefore, this release is technically not a bourbon but rather a finished whiskey.

“As with every Master’s Collection release, this expression highlights Woodford Reserve’s creativity and dedication to innovation. I’m extremely proud to say we’ve yet again done something very special,” said Master Distiller Chris Morris. “Among Woodford Reserve’s many flavors include fruit and spice notes which the brandy casks emphasize. Both products showcase rich, intense vanilla notes from their barrel maturation making the combination of the two a true success.”

Brandy Cask Finish will be available for purchase in select markets within the United States and in limited international markets beginning in November with a suggested retail price of $99.99 (varying by market) for a 750ml bottle presented at 90.4 proof.

Originally introduced in 2006, the Master’s Collection has become an acclaimed addition to the Woodford Reserve portfolio, with the Collection gaining its inspiration from the tradition and rich heritage that today surrounds the historic distillery. Though individually unique, each Master’s Collection release encompasses the distillery’s one-of-a-kind production capabilities, combined with Woodford Reserve’s focus on contemporary style and straightforward presentation.

Tasting Notes for Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Brandy Cask Finish

Color: Warm red ochre.

Aroma: A medley of chocolate, maple syrup and caramel drizzled over toasted hazelnuts, dark raisins and dried cranberries. Soft notes of oak and spice linger in the depths.

Taste: Toffee-covered dried fruit and toasted hazelnuts warmed by delicate wood spice notes.

Finish: Long and warm with a touch of caramel lingering on.

Old Forester Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Birthday Bourbon

Hand Labeling4
Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky releases 2016 Birthday Bourbon product at 97 Proof. This release will soon be available nationally in very limited quantities. (Old Forester)

This September, Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, America’s First Bottled Bourbon™, will introduce its 15th Anniversary release of Birthday Bourbon, the annual limited-edition expression was created to pay homage to founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday on September 2nd.

The 2016 Birthday Bourbon expression is offered at 97 Proof, jointly determined by Brown-Forman Master Distiller Chris Morris and Old Forester Master Bourbon Specialist Jackie Zykan. This year marks Zykan’s first involvement with the Birthday Bourbon release since joining the brand in 2015.

“In 2002, when we first introduced Birthday Bourbon, the market for premium Bourbons was almost nonexistent; Birthday Bourbon represented a ‘first’ in this category. But 15 years later, global interest for premium Bourbons and well-crafted whiskeys is at a record high,” said Master Distiller Chris Morris. “We’re proud to have been a part of this story – not just over the last 15 years, but since George Garvin Brown founded America’s First Bottled Bourbon in 1870.”

Each barrel in the Birthday Bourbon selections annually are drawn from the same day of production, this year’s on June 4, 2004, leading to the ‘vintage-dated’ reference. The 2016 release of 93 barrels uniquely matured together on the 5th floor of Warehouse K at the Brown-Forman Distillery in Louisville, KY. The lot was positioned near a window facing west allowing them to be sun kissed, yielding a deeper oak mouthfeel. This warm location provides this year’s release with a deep, rich, oak forward personality. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is bottled in a unique decanter style glass as tribute to the late 1800’s when Old Forester was first produced. Beginning in September, the 2016 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon will be on shelves with a suggested retail price of $79.99. 2,400 (six bottle) cases will be available for purchase nationwide. This is a largest quantity of Birthday Bourbon ever bottled.

2016 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Tasting Notes

Tasting Remarks from the Master Bourbon Specialist:
“It starts off as soft butterscotch with candied orange peel. It transitions into a creamy vanilla in the middle and finishes with subtle anise and moderate spice. It’s like eating black jelly beans in the middle of an orange grove,” said Jackie Zykan, Old Forester Master Bourbon Specialist on the 2016 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon.

Tasting Notes from the Master Distiller:
Color
Deep reddish umber
Nose
Complex and cinnamon wood spiced with nutty chocolate, dark caramel and rich oak notes all brightened with a dash of crisp citrus fruit.
Taste
Mulled spice sweetness and fruity with bright citrus peel highlights.
Finish
Long and warm with mulled fruit character lingering on.

About Old Forester Bourbon:
Old Forester is Brown-Forman’s founding brand, founded in 1870 by George Garvin Brown. Brown believed Old Forester was so pure and consistent that he sealed it, signed it, and pledged “There is nothing better in the market.

Please sip responsibly.
Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky, 48.5% ABV, Brown-Forman Distillers Company, Louisville, KY ©2016

“Booker’s Bluegrass,” First of Six Batch Releases

bookersbluegrassBooker’s® Bourbon, one of the few ultra-premium bourbons available uncut and unfiltered, is proud to announce the first of an anticipated six releases in its 2016 Batch Collection, “Booker’s Bluegrass.” Named in honor of two of founding distiller Booker Noe’s favorite things — whiskey and bluegrass music — this batch features a custom label depicting a banjo, one of the most popular and distinctive instruments in bluegrass music.

“My Dad, Booker, created Booker’s Bourbon to be his version of the perfect whiskey — uncut and full of rich flavor,” said Fred Noe, Beam’s 7th Generation Master Distiller. “‘Booker’s Bluegrass’ is a reflection of just that, and is a true testament to Dad’s larger-than-life personality. Whenever there was bluegrass music, he could be found dancing front-and-center or trying his hand at playing with the band.”

Booker’s 2016 Batch Collection is created in honor of Booker Noe and the namesake recipe his bourbon was founded on more than 25 years ago. Each batch in the 2016 collection will feature a one-of-a-kind label and batch name that offers an unprecedented look into Booker’s life, both at the distillery and with friends and family.

“We are proud to pay tribute to Booker and his love of experimentation with this special edition 2016 Batch Collection and think our fans will find the stories behind each batch are as unique and enjoyable as his namesake bourbon,” said Halley Kehoe, Director, Small Batch Bourbons at Beam Suntory.

Like all batches of Booker’s Bourbon, “Booker’s Bluegrass” was selected by Fred Noe to ensure that every batch contains a full-bodied whiskey that matches Booker’s personal whiskey preference. “Booker’s Bluegrass” was selected with the following characteristics:

Proof: 127.9

Age: 6 years, 11 months, 0 days
Batch Notes: Made with barrels culled from seven different rack houses, this batch has a pleasant nose that offers notes of vanilla and toasted nuts with a smooth and well balanced finish.

Sipping Suggestions: With ice or cut with water

Uncut and unfiltered [Booker’s® Bourbon is quality screened to remove only pieces of charred barrel wood from the liquid] like all Booker’s® Bourbon batches, “Booker’s Bluegrass” is now available nationwide in limited quantities with a suggested retail price of $59.99.

 

Brown-Forman Honors Barrel-Making Heritage with Coopers’ Craft Bourbon

Brown-Forman Coopers Craft
Coopers’ Craft, Brown-Forman’s first new bourbon in 20 years, will be available in select markets this summer and celebrates the company’s more than 70 years of barrel-making and wood expertise. (PRNewsFoto/Brown-Forman)

Brown-Forman (NYSE: BF-B) will introduce the company’s first new bourbon brand in 20 years with the release of Coopers’ Craft. This new bourbon will be available in select markets this summer and celebrates the company’s more than 70 years of barrel-making and wood expertise as the only major distiller that owns its own new barrel cooperage.

Brown-Forman founder George Garvin Brown began bottling bourbon nearly 150 years ago and recognized the important role of the barrel and the impact wood has on bourbon. Based on his vision, Brown-Forman established its own cooperage in 1945. To this day, Brown-Forman is the only major distiller to raise its own new barrels. This expertise has led to over 70 years of raising barrels and honing the craft of using wood to impart unique flavor characteristics to bourbon.

Coopers’ Craft is a celebration of barrel-making and a recognition of the importance of wood when it comes to crafting bourbon. In addition to being matured in barrels raised by master coopers at the Brown-Forman Cooperage, Coopers’ Craft is crafted using a special beech and birch charcoal filter finishing process, creating a smooth and flavorful bourbon.

“Coopers’ Craft is the result of decades of experience in mastering barrel-making and maturation techniques to create truly unique bourbons,” said Lawson Whiting, executive vice president and chief brands & strategy officer for Brown-Forman Brands. “Owning our cooperage is a testament to this expertise and brings to life the notion that what matters most, we do ourselves.”

Hitting shelves this summer, Coopers’ Craft will be available in the following U.S. markets initially: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee. Coopers’ Craft is presented at 82.2 proof and is available at a suggested retail price of $28.99 for a 750ml bottle.