161 – Blind Battle of Private Barrel Selections with Ben Pickett and Paul Warnott

It’s time for the blind battle of private barrel selections! Three heavyweight bouts between barrels that have sweet stickers and demand a hefty market price. During this fight of flights we are joined by Ben Pickett and Paul Warnott to discuss blind tasting strategies, barrel selection processes, and overall thoughts on our competing picks.

Show Notes:

  • Buy your tickets to the Speed Museum’s Art of Bourbon hosted by Fred Minnick
  • This week’s “Above the Char” focuses on the myth that bourbon can only be made in Kentucky
  • Paul invited us to come, what was the motivation behind it?
  • Ben, how do you disperse 150 bottles between 1000 people?
  • Are you spoiled by being able to go on every single barrel pick?
  • Do you see people faking store picks now because there are hang tags?
  • Time to do our first blind tasting
  • [Russell’s Reserve Results between Blind Monkey, Bluegrass Berries, and Twix]
  • Does trying anything in a particular order skew the results?
  • Tell the story behind Bluegrass Berries
  • Do you use anything as a palate cleanser
  • When you’re going into blind tastings, do you have a method for setting it up and breaking it down?
  • Time do our 2nd blind tasting
  • Have you tried a bottled-in-bond blind to remove the proof variable?
  • Do you pick for the group or the store?
  • Have you ever done a barrel proof line up and is that harder or easier than something that’s 90 or 110 proof.
  • What do legs do for you?
  • What do you think the attraction is to NCF or is it all mental?
  • Is there any way you can get a barrel proof single barrel any more that is outside of MGP?
  • Time to do our 3rd blind tasting
  • What was your impression of picking a barrel at New Riff/OKI vs Wild Turkey or Buffalo Trace?
  • When going back and forth between two, do you look for big discerning differences?
  • When you are doing blind, is it harder to do 8 or more together or should you narrow the field?
  • How often do you, if ever, spit anything out when tasting?
  • [Barrel Proof Results between EH Taylor Barrel Proof and OKI 12 year “Ricky Bobby”]
  • Stop in at Jake’s Cigar Bar to learn more and try some of these barrels.

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