195 – Theirs vs Ours, Comparing Private Barrel Selections Against Standard Offerings with Chris Zaborowski at the Kentucky Bourbon Affair

Chris Zaborowski put Westport Whiskey & Wine on the map with their very large tasting bar and plenty of private picks. This session was recorded at the Higher Proof Expo during the 2018 Kentucky Bourbon Affair. The 2019 Kentucky Bourbon Affair will take place June 4-8. It’s 5 Days. 19 Distilleries. 45 Events. Tickets for the 2019 Bourbon Affair are currently on sale and you can find our more information at KYBourbonAffair.com.

Show Notes:

  • Pursuit Series Episodes 006 through 009 on sale now, visit PursuitSpirits.com.
  • The week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about the Kentucky Derby.
  • Chris Zaborowski helped shape the Stave & Thief Society curriculum.
  • What’s all the fuss about bourbon?
  • What do you need to know about buying a single barrel?
  • You have to have a retail partner.
  • All brands are allocated.
  • Do you choose to go to a distillery or get samples sent to you?
  • What’s your delivery lead time?
  • What brands are available for barrel selections? Large vs mid-size distilleries.
  • What questions do you ask when you go on a barrel selection?
  • What is the estimated cost?
  • What is the expected bottle yield?
  • What’s the final bottling proof?
  • Can you get it Non-Chill Filtered?
  • Let’s taste ours vs theirs.


Good morning.

Tracy is checking everybody and I’ll just go ahead and do get some great brief introductions. I like you know, I like to spotlight some of the standard from the screen.

This is Episode 195. of bourbon pursuit. I’m one of your host, Kevin Coleman. And let’s go through just a little bit of our news, if you will, because I want to make sure that you are getting your travel booked and your tickets bought for bourbon and beyond 2019 is be taking place September 22, and 23rd the headliners have been announced the accident announce you’ve got people such as myself and Ryan and Fred and Blake from bourbon air and Brian from sipping corn, we’re all going to be there in Jordan from drinking bourbon. We’re all going to be there we all have sessions on the stages at the bourbon tense. We want to see you there. So go into get your information and tickets about the festival at bourbon and beyond.com. For all our supporters out there on Patreon, we have to say thank you. And for people that are on the edge about it, guess what, we’ve got some new reward levels available. We have some that are just our think us at $1 a month and we have all the way up to $250 a month that gets you bottles of pursuit series, you get your opportunity to be on the podcast. You also get a one year subscription to bourbon plus magazine. tons of stuff. I want you to go and check it out patreon.com slash bourbon pursuit because we wanted to revamp this to bring newer and fresher rewards. And is also a reminder to say thank you for everybody that is supporting us because it is that community that funds this podcast to keep it going. So again, huge thank you to you out there. And episodes 678 and nine for pursuit series are now available. You can check out our revamped website that makes it a little bit easier navigation and quicker by now buttons over at pursuit spirits.com you’ve probably heard us talk about Westport whiskey and wine on the podcast before. We recommend it highly is one of those retailers for folks to visit when they’re coming to Louisville when they’re seeing the bourbon trail. They have a very large tasting bar and plenty of private barrel selections available. And those private pics is kind of what put Chris Zebrowski on the map. This session that we’re going to talk about or what you’re going to be hearing from today was recorded at the higher proof Expo during the 2018 Kentucky bourbon affair. The 2019 Kentucky bourbon affair will be taking place June 4 through the eighth it’s five days 19 distilleries and 45 total events. Tickets for the 2019 bourbon affair are currently on sale. And you can find out more information at ky bourbon affair.com. Now let’s check out what our friend Joe over a barrel bourbon has to say. And then we’ve got Fred Minnick with above that you are

Hi, this is Joe from barrel bourbon. I work with a team that takes blending seriously. We spend months obsessing over hundreds of combinations until we figure out the perfect blend for you find out more a barrel bourbon calm.

I’m Fred Minnick, and this is above the char. The Kentucky Derby is coming up. And if you live in Kentucky, you know it well, because we’ve been celebrating it really since last year. And the fact is, the Kentucky Derby is a part of our culture. It’s who we are. It’s it’s next to bourbon, it’s probably the most important asset that we have to this great state. And frankly, the horses also add like an element of beauty to the Commonwealth. We also get a lot of phone calls for tickets and emails wanting to know where the special parties are. That’s always a lot of fun to tell people okay, there are plenty to tickets available. five grand a pop if you want to sit here 500 if you want to sit there.

Yeah, it’s it’s expensive the Kentucky Derby is, but it’s a once in a lifetime event. And if you’ve never been, you have to find a way to come out to Kentucky and enjoy the best two minutes and all of sports. With that said, If you cannot attend, you can still enjoy at home. I dare say your local market will probably have a Kentucky Derby party. And if you don’t have a Kentucky Derby party already in existence, then create one. In the latest issue of bourbon plus magazine Peggy know Stevens talks about how to throw a Kentucky Derby party. And if you are looking to find ways to bet there’s no need to bring in an outside bookie, all you have to do is download the twins buyers app. And you can bet on the horses as as they’re getting in the gates or even while they’re in the paddock, you can bet days in advance. And I’m telling you betting on horse racing, especially the derby. While you have bourbon in your hand, there is just something romantic about it. It’s a connection to who we were in the past, and a little bit of who we are now and where we’re going. So some hints on your bedding. I like to focus on the speed. Like there is a there’s a line in the program where it talks about the speed. always pick the fastest horses, and the last turn. Those are the horses that can always give you a shot of winning. And so what I like to do is I also like to compare the speed to the odds. So if I see I have a fast horse with 20 to one odds, I pick him to win place and show and about 35% of the time I get in the money on that. Now, you may say like Well, you’re still losing its horse racing, you got very low odds. So 35% is not a bad. Not a bad person percentage in horse racing. So I hope you bet on the Kentucky Derby and have a good time. If you are coming to Kentucky. Hit us up on Instagram or Facebook. You can find me at Fred Minnick. That’s at Fred Minnick. Until next week. Cheers.

My name is Chris never asked the owner of Westport whiskey one here in Louisville, Kentucky. been doing this for a little while. 10 years for the store. But I’ve been in the beverage alcohol business for well over 30 years of my adult life was one of the first one educators here in the community. And also was helpful with founding the original member of the statement thief, a thief society and helped write the curriculum on developing certified bourbon stewards. So that’s sort of one of the reasons brings me to this most important criteria for all this while I did, like you, I like I like to drink. I like good whiskey, I like to experience it and like to share, you know, share a lot of those situations. So we’re going to talk a little bit about today before we get into the darkness tasting, you know, some cover some key characters, you know, what’s all the fuss about? Single barrel whiskies? Well, obviously, or just bourbon in general, is returned to that idea that life,

quality of spirits that are present in Kentucky, or we’ve all known about it for a long time in the world just now finding out about it creates its own challenges in its own right. And then we’ll talk specifically about good doing barrel selections and what the things that you will need to know.

All right, so whiskey supplies are very limited, as we all know. And that’s really, that’s really frustrating for a lot of us. I’m sure it’s frustrating for you as a consumer like going. And I’m really impressed that you’re all here and not standing in line at some of the other release parties that are going on this morning around town. So thank you all for doing that as well. I mean, because it’s it’s a challenge for all of us to find the stuff where yet it’s gone from us, for example, our barrel allocations. Last year, we did

I think well over a dozen barrels of four roses for last year. And we were only allocated three for this year. For example, that’s that’s how tight the whiskey businesses becoming. Demand for bourbon is everywhere. You know, good, bad or indifferent. Our suppliers are, you know, are trying to send more whiskey across, you know, around the world to other countries as well as you know, around the states. And that dwindles the amount of whiskey. That’s good whiskey, it’s available for us here in the opportunity to get something you know,

we started doing a long time ago, the single barrel program because we thought there was a real opportunity to talk about something unique. Lot of the people market their brands saying we have a taste, we want you to taste this way we want you wanted what I wanted to always be consistent. So what we decided to do was to go after the single barrel aspect of this is fine, those sweet barrels. My first experience with doing that was back in 1998, I had the opportunity to go with Jimmy Russell at Eddie Rossum through the old wild turkey distillery. And that was the year that Russell’s Reserve was created. It Russell reserved came about from that little bit of the sweet barrel story where Jimmy and Eddie would always go and nowhere in the warehouse, I could pull a really good barrel of whiskey. Now, Jimmy was humbled at the time because he didn’t want it to be named after him. But at the marketing at the time, the parent owners of at that time, awesome. Nicole said, well, we’re going to brand this whiskey name. And after you said, you’re picking and finding all these little sweet barrels, we’re going to do that. So first time it resonated with me that there’s some distinction going on to find really good barrel of whiskey within situations. Of course, they’ve been on the Buffalo Trace tour. Most of you all if you’ve been on that. You’ve heard the story about how Blanton’s you know one of the buttons brands was created Elmer to leave and go pick single barrels of you know, Blanton’s bourbon for Colonel Blanton for special occasions and event. They always knew where the sweet barrels were. And of course if you believe the you know, the the funny stories about that are written on the back labels of larceny bourbon about john Fitzgerald knowing exactly where all the sweet barrels where because that’s where they usually found him, you know, drunk, but you know that the, at the end the old Fitzgerald warehouses, but the other aspect is every every Stillman in every part people that work the warehouses know where those sweet barrels are located. And that’s the fun part of learning that as we’ve been doing this, and ultimately to go and pick it barrels a great experience, get the opportunity to actually go and used to be that we are able to crawl around the warehouses. But now that’s been even more interesting is that only a few people that you actually go into the warehouses where we used to literally go in and watch people shoot me down the wrecks and take a drill, take the whiskey right out of the barrel for you that day.

there there’s a little, little federal law called OSHA that paid a lot of people are standing by and said, No, we can’t do that anymore. I can’t take the consumers up into those types of situations. But still, the fun ones that have great experiences, we’ll talk about those in particular,

what you’re going to need to know, should you want to go after a barrel on your own, you’re going to have to have a retail partner, I don’t care what state you’re in where you’re from, that’s just because of the because of the 21st amendment, we have a three tiered liquor law system in this country.

So you have to you have to have a retail partner. In order if you’re going to try and purchase a belt on your own. All brands are allocated now. And it’s gotten worse, as indicated, talking about the four roses situation, you can’t always get what you want. If I had audio, we’d be playing, you know, little Rolling Stones at the moment.

So knowing that you have to you have to talk about we’ll talk about each individual brand here in a minute, what you can what you can look for, you’re going to visit the story and make this or make a selection, you have two ways to do that. If you go to the actual go to the distillery and get the opportunity to get employment, your barrel pick, that’s the best way to go. But if you’re from out of state, and you can’t always make it back over here, they will send you samples. And I will tell you this, if you get three samples from a distillery, and you don’t like them, tell them you don’t like them and ask for three more their job to get you that what you’re looking for, Don’t settle for what they send you. And if you run into resistance with that, have you read Taylor, advocate for you in that regard to because I think that’s really important. We’ve we do that? You know, there are certain small distilleries that we have to get barrel samples from and I can tell you number of times we’ve said the samples back said nope, not not not what we’re looking for. You know, so

then you have to, you know, look at your delivery lead time, if you’re trying to get something for Christmas, you’re already too late.

And a lot of respects, you know, just for example for this year, because the only reason I’m saying You’re too late because most everybody’s already cut off their out their appointments, I just got cut off from wild turkey just the other day, there is no new day, it’s going to be offered for the balance of the year. So you have to know those type of situations as well. samples, if you get the sample century, that’s usually the quickest way to get a turnaround on it. So if you’re in a shorter timeframe, that’s actually the faster way to do it. Because that way, you’re not dependent upon an appointment. You know, the availability of appointments at different distilleries. Questions on that, I mean, it’s pretty straightforward. But there’s some things that you need to be aware of, as you’re, as you’re dealing with that quickly will go through because really, we’re going to talk about the whiskeys and talk about each individual experience. From the legacy distilleries, we call that those are the big you know, those are the big guys have been around for a long time at bargain 1792 that’s still one of the is one of my favorite little places to go pick a barrel, you actually not only do you get not only to get the consumer to where you get to go around, and you know, look, look at the facilities, but you actually go into the barrel warehouse age, they have, you know, usually between four and six barrels, depending on the size of your group choose from, you get to bunk, you get to beat the bugs out of the barrels, you get to put the pipe the then you get your hands wet, full covered whiskey, and you get to taste it, it’s a great experience. So you can get an appointment there. That’s a really good one. Brown Forman enforcer experiences changing. We will know a little bit more about that, but we’re going to be picking a barrel and about two weeks after, after after the opening. So we’re going to be one of the first barrel selections down at the new facility. So I’ll give I have a better idea. I’m sure it’s gonna be fun. Used to be a good you know, going to go to to Woodford Reserve, you got two opportunities, Woodford you can do a two barrel batch, which Chris is doing a class on, you know, as we speak, right around two doors down. That’s a fun experience. I’ve really when I first got in this my bourbon snob and he said, I don’t want to do this. I want a single barrel bourbon. But the fun part of that is that you get four different whiskeys and you put the combinations together. And you would think what would be an additive effect, I love the smell. And so I love the taste on this, let’s put these two together, it’ll be a great whiskey. That doesn’t always happen. And it really teaches you what the master distillers going through when they’re bashing those whiskies. It’s a fun experience. And I really highly recommend it. The double OPT is another one of my favorite, favorite whiskies that we’ve done, they sort of changed the program a little bit, we’re pushing them back to actually thieving the barrels again. So I’ll know more about that we’ve got to pick on August six, then we’re pushing that envelope right now. They bring you samples out, they’ve already pulled the whiskey out of the barrel for you. So it’s it’s still a great experience a lot of fun, but the batch at what for the batch places the best go lands and our Buffalo Trace, everybody in their brother knows that the magic and the gold happens a Buffalo Trace Well, not all of it. But you know, there, you would think that based on the allocations of the whiskies, based on how hard it is to find even the normal stuff on an everyday basis, when they started advocating me on regular Buffalo Trace. I was like I can’t You’re kidding me. I mean, I can’t buy three cases of 175 or five case, you know, you know, we get allocated even on both sides on Buffalo Trace and sometimes around a product because of that. But when you get to pick a barrel, they’re they’re modifying their consumer program right now to used to be the first week of December, they’d had a, they’d have a release date for consumer barrels, and a 1201 midnight, I can tell you about 1205 or 1210 most of those barrels of so

you know, people are lining up for that. So they’re they’re rethinking their consumer program Bo has yet to release, what the details of that’s going to be and when that release dates going to be. But that Eagle rare was pulled off the allocations for 2018. So if you hear all these rumors Where’s not going away, they’re not going to upscale it. It’s just that they didn’t have enough commercial really nuff whiskey and storage to offer single barrel programs, but it will be released back in 2019. But those are the four brands you can get. And well or you can get into the special reserve or antique 107 you cannot get well or 12 we keep asking they haven’t done it yet. So don’t don’t look for that one or ask expect that. But that’s also a fairly good experience because again, you get the great tour, you go into their barrel warehouse and get the opportunity to get your hands wet the thief the barrels right there to four roses, for us is a really, really good experience.

If you’re lucky, you know brand or our young will be on the barrel pick but their team there is really, really fun. And when you’re when you’re picking single barrel, which is the OS K, you know, that is all you get like four barrels to choose from. But if you’re picking a barrel strength, which is really the big is the real fun thing, you get to taste all the current basketballs that are available. Right now this last year, there were only seven mash bills, you know, available in the marketplace because some of them they had to pull off all the O’s were pulled off for 2018 they just didn’t have enough Oh whiskey to allow you to pick a barrel from that standpoint. But if you get all 10 as a hoot it’s a great day you’re tasting 10 different glasses or whiskey right? They’re all different mash bills and that’s that’s really one of my favorite ones to do. And they’re a little you know, you can still pull a little even though we were cut back they’re still you know, just helped a restaurant tour get a negotiate getting a barrel just recently which is really a lot of fun too. So quick stories on those Vonn to heaven Hill haven’t held right now Elijah Craig is the only thing they’re allowing barrel sample or barrel pics on and again you get to go back into the warehouse you get to you get to do the full thieving 2019 all the other brands are supposed to be returning at some level. We might be able to get Evan Williams late this year but right now even Burnham wait which was used to be like Oh, please take a break Burnham You know, I’ve been begging for now I’m begging for a barrel of Burnham you know used to be they begged us please take one please take one so in Henry we cannot kill the keep that one but I think this last year Fred been a callus on that one but naming that you the best whiskey you know, in the ultimate spiritual challenge out in San Francisco this year. It’s not drying up and running away yet but I think it’s just going to put a you know, it’s going to put a crimp on that barrel returning to the single barrel program. Jim beam’s another really really good fun experience. If you’re going to do about a knob Creek barrel, the Jim Jim Beam, that’s cool. You go into their warehouse, warehouse K, all the barrels lined up up if you do all the all that taste, when you picked your barrel, they get on the radio truck backs up to the loading dock that role that barrel right on the truck, you go down back down the hill and you dump it

you get to watch that barrel being dumped, you know gets you know, watch the gauging tank to say how the fun part is everybody guess is how much the challenge is going to actually hit. And then then they take you on a tour feed you lunch and then you take you upstairs where the whiskey is being proved down to 120 and then you get the opportunity to bottle your own whiskey right there. You go through the bottling line I mean you put you take the balls out of the cage but among the bottling line, you fill them up you want to take one two or three with you that day you’re definitely on the wax you Ceylon, they sent it over to the gift shop and you can take it home with you right then it’s great experience a lot of fun, long day a lot of fun makers private selections, the is the thinking man’s than woman’s choice of making bourbon or picking a bourbon you familiar with the 46 process makers 46 where you they had their barrel safe second private selection, they give you five combinations, you five different stage for which to choose from, and you’re able to pick what combination you want to do.

So that’s really, that’s really a challenge because depending on how large the group is, I’ve seen some groups take like seven or eight hours to pick it up. That’s what I’m sorry that’s that’s a lot of whiskey it’s way too long. But it’s still a great experience because you get the opportunity to taste five different expressions of Maker’s Mark and get to batch the one you like to do then you literally go and think the stage and the barrel they recoup or the barrel for you go fill it up and you roll it into the warehouse it’s really cool experience a lot of fun wild turkey I say this not only is alphabetical but honestly without a doubt that’s my favorite of all the barrel experiences we do

you really go you go into the the oldest warehouse on the property and you know you don’t like what’s going on particular that he’s at he’s there with you doing a barrel pick let’s say let’s bounce another damn barrel out and try something else that I mean you’re you’re wander around that warehouse and go up there’s a there’s a bunch of over here let’s try these up the night the discovery other side and try these lot a lot of fun, but it’s just a great experience because you’re really right there in the thick of it. You’re listening particular if you get the even with we’ve done it now with three generations we’ve done I’m a Gemini and Eddie Bruce and Joanne now the you know Eddie’s son and nice are now the next generations coming in to help with the barrel selections. Joanne’s I hope she’s a lot of fun to pick a barrel worth so do you have the opportunity that that’s really really a good one the reserve ride we thought we were going to get be able to get one 2018 but it’s going to be on the program for next year.

And then there’s a lot of the smaller distilleries and I’m not going to go through each one but primarily These are great experiences in their own right we’ve not picked up from all of them personally yet. Copper and kings brand new one is that’s that’s that’s another really good fun one to go do.

Do to do to do to do to do to do

new roof it’s going to be we’re going to be experienced them we’ve picked okay i barrels from up that new roof before but we’ve already got our first we’ve already got our

date picked for picking a barrel with them. That’s an October this year, not next year. So as a typo, excuse me.

peerless is another really good experience that’s why we have that taste today to go from that standpoint and will adjust reopen their barrel selection program this year. And that, you know, doesn’t care about the damn you know, Feds at this particular point OSHA coming after we he’s like he’s gone down the warehouse, you’re on the fifth floor, you’re on the sixth floor, wherever Let’s go find a barrel. That’s that’s, that’s been a lot of fun. But that’s our first experience there. So that’s really worthwhile to try to when I give one I’ll give you a little bit of plug on that I think is really great experience because is picking a barrel word starlight at huber’s. Most people locally go, you know, whoever’s left sweet one, that’s sweet wine ponies line tell you the creativity on the still over there is amazing. We spent several days over there crawling around the still my daughter and in all of our family have gone over their consumers, you but every time I get in there with Ted, I found something amazing, you know, damn off ugly packaging, on tape saying that, but I’ve told database. So don’t feel bad about saying that. But the whiskey is really, really good. He’s making some incredibly good whiskey over there. And it’s a really good experience, if you really want to just get into a really truly hands on tasting a whole bunch of different selections. He’s trying, he’s trying barrel experiments. He’s trying different policies tried different, you know, different grain combinations. He’s taking him off at different points in the still and he’ll go through all that with you, you’re sitting there, and you know, having a really, really good experience, you know, from that standpoint. So that’s just another fun one that I really heartily recommend.

I know everybody’s gone. I want some whiskey. Alright. So next, next, the big things is first question is when you’re when you’re after you’ve had a retailer done all this, what the hell’s is going to cost me we went through sticker shock one time on one of our barrel selections. Oh my god, this is wonderful. This is wonderful. We didn’t do our homework before we walked in as well. What’s the cost of this whiskey? It was could be about a $23,000 barrel. So we had to rethink that one real quick. You know, no matter how good it tastes, that’s it. That’s an expensive investment. Maya so you don’t mean talking about retail from that standpoint. But anyway, it’s expensive barrel but it’s really it was really damn good. So what is expected yield everybody gets an idea already and what they’re expected Baba yields are going to be the older the whiskey obviously, the less expensive the less the yields going to be. But that isn’t always the case. We were at four roses one year picked up nine nine year old single barrel that we only got 68 bottles or 6060 bottles out of the barrel

turned out it was a leaker Didn’t you know nobody you could see on the outside there were some you know some

you’d see page and things along those lines, but we didn’t know how bad until we picked up Damn, I was one of the best parents who’ve never picked. We’ve also picked them you know we’re

pretty damn you know, like a makers makers experience you know you’re getting a full barrel know whatever you’re looking at, you’re getting 40 or 41 six pack cases of whiskey, you know, to 40 is about the max you’re going to get you know, you’re going to get out of anybody’s barrel at this particular point, but the range from the low end like I said, it’s 6060 bottles all the way up to 246.

That’s pretty much the range you’re going to be talking about that helps you with your estimate and your cost to final bottle proof there’s only a handful of places that give you a barrel strength whiskey. Everybody wants barrel strength non chill filtered whiskey well I ain’t happening everywhere everybody’s going to catch up to what their commercial proof is. People say why is that candle it’s very simple it’s the it’s the approval of the labels with the ATF or what I use called the ATF the TTP now you have to get your coal approval your label approval and not everybody wants to apply for labels all the time. So there’s only a handful you know, Flores but the barrel strength and a few other smaller people will allow you barrel strict whiskey otherwise it is you know what like knob Creek single barrel is 120 so like when we taste knob Creek comparison today both number one 129 think about knob Creek is when you pick a barrel their their range very rarely do you get 130s and a barrel pick a knob Creek there and that 120s usually one maybe 131 31 I very rarely gotten one the taste of over 134 we have seen it but doesn’t really happen that often. So you get you get pretty close or like it you know wild turkey where they go in where they go in at 103 you’re getting you’re getting close to the barrel proof when you know because they’ll run in that 112 to 15 range and you’re cutting them to 110 so you’re you’re pretty damn close when you look at it from that standpoint, that’s that’s worthwhile chill filtering. Most everybody still does. Buffalo Trace just took that option off the table you can get there’s no filter now. And again chill filtering started with just for stabilization. It was to take out the what was perceived impurities when a whiskey got too cold clouded up, particularly what’s below 86 per and that’s where the process of chill filtering started was to stabilize the fats and oils so you didn’t have to have an ugly cloudy whiskey.

So most whiskeys you know are still going to be chill filtered couple only a few places offer different bottles size options. Okay, Buffalo Trace is the most flexible you can go from 1752375 if they have those sizes available when you’re when you’re picking a barrel there for the most part otherwise it’s 750 milliliters at most every place you go some some private label personalization that will will allow you to occur again for roses probably one of the best ones as far as that’s concerned they give you a whole side label you can put whatever pretty much whatever you want on it

as long as it is an obscene though they’re pretty much into legit to play with it some some of the others will do that as well for you too. But most of them will apply a medallion on the on the on the show the bottle that gives you some level of personalization and then the time from selection to final delivery as I indicated on the one of the earlier slides it can be anywhere from 12 weeks to 16 weeks of course we got one barrel last year that got lost in translation we picked it in September we didn’t it until what March? Yeah. So just somewhere got shifted around and nobody quite knew exactly what happened to why that you know, we eventually got it but those are the key things

all right questions we want to drink some whiskey here

your way to quiet your all way too polite to muscle you know we do a class at the store. People are already people are already you know got the whiskey picked up already. And you know the noon so we’re, you’re doing really well. Right being very polite. So ours versus theirs.

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So ours versus theirs.

Like I said, we went on early on to say that the key thing about doing it finding the single barrels is a really fun experience. It’s to say, all right, can you can you taste the parentage? Can you tell the difference in the whiskies just by sending them side by side. So in this particular case, on the top, we’re going to stop, we’re gonna we’re going to save the peerless to last on the far left, so we’re going to come back to that when we’re going to start.

Start with the Russell’s because it’s going from proof.

So we’re going to start with the Russell’s reserve, which is the third one top row. And actually, this is the lowest proof of the three whiskies that’s why I’m starting there. Just give a good nose to it. Nice little bit of fruit profile, I’m getting just a little hint of cherry in there. But you know, just a really nice and a little bit of citrus, those are classics for coming out of wild turkey from that standpoint. Now this first taste, let’s just put it in, swish it around a little bit. reason we’re doing this one, it’s just because it’s for me, it’s my first day. So I don’t know about you all. That’s my first session whiskey in the morning. And that’s just the opportunity. This is the opportunity set your palate, get the alcohol burn out of the way, say, Okay, all right. give your body the first chance to say what the hell did you just do to me? Because when you taste something that you’re not familiar with for the very first time, it’s a visceral reaction, your body says, Oh, I don’t understand that or I don’t know what you just did. Okay, so now we’re going to taste the taste the Russell’s this time for itself. Just take a little taste. Notice where this hits you on the palate? Really good middle, right, right. This one hits you to me right in the middle and moves back at 110 proof. The alcohol is going to pull the flavor profile towards the back of the throat.

But it shouldn’t as like you know Jimmy it always says the warm Kentucky hug. It shouldn’t be a stringent

first taste to me was a stranger because that’s the first taste of alcohol for the day. Now I don’t get that heat. Yes, I tasted alcohol get a little heat but it’s not in a harsh way.

With me so far. Okay, so if you’re a two fisted drinker, give your regular Russell’s in your left hand. Let’s take up the single barrel Russell’s knows that one

Do you smell anything different? Less fruity. Okay, I’ll go with you on now when I get a little bit more Carmel notes on this one. The Magellan caramels and toffees are showing really well in the in the single barrel.

Particularly go back and forth would spice in the last you know in the in the regular Russell’s in the nose with that little bit of fruit

softer more Carmel aspect in the single barrel just in the nose alone. Go ahead and taste a particular field This is a creamier palette

much fuller Yeah. Round from top to bottom mid palate all the way you know front to back. Taste the upper palate on this whiskey to the roof of your mouth starts to get a little bit more you know aspect of this I get a creaminess and a richness here in this particular whiskey

and that’s what I look for when we go for Russell’s barrel. I’d like a little bit more they’re stronger aromatics because I really think the best thing about picking a wild turkey barrel is getting that citrus component and getting that little bit of the cherry component just didn’t get it this particular one but the flavor in this particular barrel i thought was amazing

if you go back and taste a regular Russell’s right after it

and no offense Mr Russell know south in this taste alright so we’re gonna do we’re gonna do the knob Creek next

so the knob Creek the top right

this is at 120 points so we’ve jumped up and prove

this particular one I don’t get this particular this particular thing about I don’t get a lot in the nose I don’t know about you I think it’s pretty tight to me.

Of course these aren’t the best nosing glasses let’s face it i mean you know with a big nose like mine after my glasses off to put it in there

I get just a little bit of spice but not nothing nothing nothing too dominant in this particular in the in the nose. What about the taste nice entry for me. Comes in that nice little bit of creaminess right in the beginning pulls back to the back with that nice knob Creek spice

I’ve always thought is knob Creek is what I call my cocktail bourbon. That’s that bourbon I like to start my evening with because it’s really spicy

you know next good makes a great cocktail if you really want to do that but just even just on the rocks to start the evening off because the higher proof on that naturally but also that spicy component i think this delivers a really nice elegant spice feel. So then we’ll grab the single barrel version


the question is what discriminates knob Creek from you know regular gym name and you know because it’s the same Nashville Well, at every distiller we were looking at they all use the same Nashville with the exception of you know, with minor exceptions between waited and Ryan Nashville’s but in the ryan Nashville’s are pretty much the same agenda they make to ride mash bills there’s the old granddad Nashville and the gym in the gym be mash bills about 7272 corn 1810 malted barley and rough approximate they won’t tell you the exact numbers but that’s rough rough approximation. Its location in the warehouse and age. Okay, knob Creek knob Creek barrels pretty much, you know,

outside the mid, mid mid way and not as high up in the barrel warehouses. I think fifth floor and down is pretty much where we where we get these where we get the knob Creek swim, do you mean is everywhere inside, outside up, you know, up down wherever to get that same consistent flavor. Okay. And also it’s only four years old. Now Creek is we those of us who’ve been around long enough to remember it used to be a nine year old age statement, you know, and they took that off about three years ago, but it’s still like averages and that eight eight to 12 range depending on where they pull it so that extra time in the barrel gives you more battle and gives you more texture.

The lower floors you started a little bit more earthiness a little bit more green and herbals and then then you start getting really high alcohol is the higher floors so back to the knob Creek I think it’s got a greater I think I can get I think it’s got a boulder knows I could get a little bit more a little bit more toffee even in the nose on this one

and flavor profile. I think it’s why I liked I liked the first glass really well because the way it entered I think this is a little bit bigger.

You could taste that parentage because it came in at the same place. It brought that creams and vanilla is right at the beginning of the palette and it’s pushing that nice spice in the back

but to me The first one was very linear came in on the tongue went straight back went from crane despise

the single bar version here to me is giving you cream and spice and a whole big mouth feel. It’s not It’s not your teenage children competing for attention.

Okay, it’s they’ve hit stride about mid 20s and life is okay.

And we have a house style talk a little bit about that from that standpoint it was for was here when we have a house style

every once a while I go off the reservation but you know in will get a big bold, spicy barrel but I want creams and vanilla as and toffees I want to be, I want to be seduced one by the nose to I want that I want that mouth profile to hit me in that creamy, lush aspect.

To steal a line from Brad Boswell, who is president of independent state company where most most of the barrels come from? Did this really great barrel class with him one time and he’s he my favorite line that likes to solve for him is vanilla is catnip for adults.

Amen. Okay, it was chocolate to be better, but you know, vanilla I’m in. And that’s what I look for in those barrels. It’s all there that Van Allen is in those barrels. The reason we toast those barrels is to get the vanilla profile out of that barrel.

And therefore, you get that opportunity, as it ages to get a little bit more of that the challenge has always been is and we’ve all tasted it over aged whiskey. I’m assuming at this point, whiskey career, you’ve tasted some that have been the barrel too damn long. Everybody knows it. And do all I get is would tannin

becomes less vanilla, and more green wood tannin. It’s like opening a very expensive bottle of Napa, California read one way to way too early. It sucks all the moisture out of your mouth. That’s what barrel Tannen does in a whiskey.

It’s the first thing you do. When you taste that whiskey. As you go grab it glass of water, you have that bottle water and take it back because it’s sucking all the moisture out of your mouth. That’s a whiskey that’s out of balance to me. Now, that may be your style, because I’ve got a group that I picked barrels with. They want those big, bold tannic barrels.

And that’s that’s okay. That’s why we have all the different different things. But our style is to be that better balance. I want spice. I want would Tannen but I don’t want the tannin to be the overpowering flavor profile.

And that’s where I think this knob Creek shows a great example. The first the knob Creek single barrel commercially has a little bit that would Tannen you know on the aftertaste. But I think this one has would tannin but it supports the supports the overall flavor profile and pushes it up to the upper palate. This one is just bigger mouth field because that to me.

But this would be one of those barrels that would have been just bashed in with regular knob Creek.

And I’m glad we rescued it. So I’ll do 1792. Next. In full disclosure, the 1792 we’re tasting is only the small batch because full proof isn’t available commercially for them to buy for us to compare, okay, but the barrel select that we have is full proof at 125. Okay, so we’re looking at the 90 some odd numbers 94.75321. You know, it’s But anyway, so we’re looking at, we’re looking at the 79, two small batch first.

And I think one of the best things about the 1792 is it to me is a great fruit knows, I mean, it’s just just a regular old 1792 is a great value whiskey for the you know,


has, has a little bit of sweetness in the nose has a nice little fruit component and the nose.

And then taste comes in just that nice, nice bright, creamy, but immediately goes back to oh my gosh, we’re taught

to me, it’s front and back.

I mean, it’s still good. I mean, for under 30 bucks is a hell of a graph, Greg was whiskey. But for me, if I’m analyzing this, you know, candidly, I think I love the front, the sweetness right at the front of the mouth and the middle of the palette, but then it has that really woody aftertaste. Oh, yes, it’s questions that question but common he said he had some friends that every every year they’ve gone back and pick barrel Pixies seen how the maturity of the whiskey has gotten how bad it’s gotten better? Yeah, I mean, the program that they’re doing there and Josh man who manages that program he’s really gotten to handle of, you know, finding the really where the really good barrels come from in that program.

And I have a kick up have a great kick out of go down there and pick and barrels with him. So let’s try this. Let’s its nose the single barrel version. This is it bulletproof at 125 knows how big the fruit noses on this one.

I get that almost apricot,

peach type nose in those. I mean, it’s a fruit nose very big.

Little bit of a little bit of a little bit of an lm there but it’s just a huge beautiful fruit nose. Nice little bit of spice too. But to me, the difference again, is how much round or this glass of whiskey is

I don’t get that little bit of burn. Much higher proof but I get no burn on this particular glass of whiskey. The fruit, the vanilla, the profile all of that balances the alcohol in my opinion 1792 I was just reminded when you go to 7092 you have three different options on on picking a barrel down there, you can do a small batch like the first one you can pick up a single barrel they call it small batch but the small batch in this case is one barrel. You know you could pick it as bottled in bond

or you can pick it is foolproof.

They have three options that you can bottle it up

so now this is a really linger are finished a little bit of whatever bourbon you want because we’re gonna switch to rye so a little water would be helpful for those who are not familiar with peerless if you’ve not taken the opportunity to go down and visit peerless down a 10th 10th 10th and main I heartily encourage you to do so it’s a great tour it’s it’s truly a family run operation everybody there you know treat your really well.

They’ve got a great story to tell. I mean I’m not going to go into all their history in the story but I do think it’s one of the best little tours it’s it’s one of the best hidden gems particularly here in town. If you’re not yeah the 10th and Main Street

Yeah, town. Yeah. Yeah. So if you have opportunity to set a blank time the afternoon call and see if they have an appointment or time but it’s definitely worth going to. So now we’re going to be talking about rye whiskey. peerless peerless This is there this is a rye whiskey This is under three years old. We’re looking at right now they’re whiskeys are averaging about 3031 months. Oh, they’re coming up on three years age. People go. Okay. Particular when you get the price you go Why am I paying this much for such a young with such an arm whiskey? Well, let’s take their whiskey on the top left in this case first.

First of all, on theirs alone, I’m being seduced by the nose. This is probably the biggest knows of all almost all the whiskeys that we’ve had so far.

It’s a little bit of buttered toast.

Good game to play some time if you want to do is get a bunch of different wire whiskey, rye whiskeys and some raw breads

from a very light rioted fold our political slice them up and tell us a few of them and compare the raw flavor profiles with the whiskey.

So nose wise, I think this is pretty damn great start.

Get that nice little bit of green Ross spice in the note

mid palate back because rye whiskey should not be sweet. Traditionally. Now there are a lot of rye rye whiskeys legal rye whiskey whiskey, that are barely legal because there are 51% raw definition rye whiskey is just like bourbon 51% ry is all the minimum right you have to have doesn’t tell you what the other small grains can be. Most commercial rye whiskeys will have

you know somewhere that 50s to low, low 60s, raw

bar large percentage of corn and then your malted barley. I think the quality the other whiskeys, amazing, expensive as hell. Somebody asked what the price is about I want to you know, it’s buck tend to buck and a quarter depending where you go shopping. And in Kentucky, what, yeah, even a distillery in Kentucky, we have a value added tax or if you’re from out of town, we have we have 11% value added tax at the wholesale level. So that in flight to inflate your bottle costs by about 15%. So you can go you can find this, you know a lot of places around the country about 100 bucks, or sometimes even less, but here it’s hundred a quarter, you know, hundred 10 You know, it just because our taxes graphic crazy. So look at the single barrel version of this. What I really liked about this one is the Carmel in here, this has this, you know, really, really nice Carmel profile with that with that nice spicy finish. And the other thing I like about this is that mouth coding, again, on the front, I’m in the middle, I’m in the back. I’m and this is this one’s close to like 120

it was close to 130 and the

barrel strength

really nicely. I mean, to me, it was a nicely balanced whiskey,

not bourbon. You know,

from that standpoint, I think it’s a little I don’t think it’s as complex as some of the bourbon we just tasted. But I think it’s an amazing complex right. So what do you think?

Well, yeah, the bourbon I’ve been tasting bourbon since it’s about a couple months old and it’s it’s very I’m done that but I’ve been tasting it all. I’ve been taking it all along. But I think this rise pretty amazing. The question was winds, the winds peerless. Is bourbon, come out with the next next next summer. I’ve been tasting it’s if you like the raw, you’ll have the bourbon. Yes, I think the parents is expensive, but I think it’s damn good rye whiskey. I think it’s, you know, I think it’s damn good whiskey period atmosphere. really damn good. Rob whiskey. Thank you all for your time.

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