Knob Creek Rye

When I did my half-assed Basil Hayden's review last week, I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you to find out that Knob Creek was one of the "Better Beams".  Its name doesn't start with a B, how is that possible?

So, I went to a wine tasting last night and came home with a bottle of Rye.  Why?  Because I'm cool.  The label tells me that it was patiently aged, because if you are impatient, those 9+ years just drag you down.  It has a very strong cherry-nutty-oaky flavor.  It's 100 proof and little bit of water helps to cool the burn.

Is it good?  Yes.
Is it $37 good?  Ummuhhmaybeishno.
Is it better than Russel's Rye?  Nope.

Basil Hayden's

Basil Hayden's is one of the Better Beam's: Baker, Basil, Booker and Knob Creek.

This is the easiest drinking of the Better Beams.  It has a nice corn, rye, mint and leather flavor.  It drinks quite nicely straight and works well in a Manhattan.  I only had one shot in the bottle at the time of writing this review and it is already gone.  Shit.  I'll have to break out the old grading scale to fill up some space.

Grade: B+
Cost: $40
Cost Adjusted Grade: B

Derby Day; Trying to Sell out to Bulleit Bourbon; Cinco De Mayo; Drinking holidays collide

It was all supposed to work out.  The bottle of Bulleit bourbon was offered up for review.  Tasty Kentucky Derby Cocktail recipes were provided.  Today is Kentucky Derby Day, one of the great drinking holidays, and it's Cinco De Mayo, another great drinking holiday.  One problem.  The bourbon has yet to show up.  Barney Fife had one Bulleit for his pistol.  I have none. 

Good thing for me that I have a well stocked bar.  When the Bulleit shows up, I plan on taking the Ginger Julep '68 Fastback for a ride.  Until then, we'll sip on a Cinco De Mayo Julep.
  • 3 oz of Anejo Tequila (using Patron, because I'm  a poser)
  • 1/2 oz of Mint syrup
  • Add ice, stir and drink
I'm going with Bodemeister to win the derby.  I hate to pick the favorite, but my kid has a friend named Bode, and that's as good a way as any to pick this race.

The Ginger Julep ’68 Fastback
Choice 2Ingredients:
o   1 ½ oz. Ginger Infused Bulleit Bourbon
o   ½ oz. Organic Brown Sugar
o   ¼ oz.  Peeled Minced Fresh Ginger
o   1 ½ oz. Soda Water
o   1 Lemon or Lime Twist

Directions: Muddle the ginger and brown sugar together until all of the sugar is moistened and nearly dissolved. Add a dash of soda to finish dissolving the sugar, stir in your Bourbon. Finish with ice, soda to taste and a lemon or lime twist.

Why we love it: The Ginger Julep ’68 Fastback brings a warm, gentle heat to the julep cocktail family with an invigorating ginger kick and splash of lime zest.

The Bulleit Rye Mint Julep
o   1/3 oz. Bulleit Rye
o   1 ½-2 oz. Stirrings Simple Syrup
o   Fresh mint leaves

Directions: Muddle mint leaves, Stirrings Simple Syrup and crushed ice in rocks glass. Add Bulleit Rye and fill glass with ice. Pour into cocktail shaker, shake vigorously and serve in rocks glass with fresh mint garnish.

Why we love it: The mint julep has been the refreshing spring cocktail icon of the Kentucky Derby since 1938, proving its test of time as a classic and distinguished recipe.

W.H. Harrison Whiskey

Indiana has made a habit of sending their best to Columbus.  See Oden, Gregg, Connely, Michael Jr, Thomas, Deshawn... I could go on all day.

Now they have sent us their bourbon.  This bourbon is named after William Henry Harrison, who also started his career in Indiana, before seeing the light and moving to Ohio.  He was elected the 9th President of the USA and promptly died of pneumonia 32 days after taking the office.

I've looked at some of the bourbon message boards, and there is a bit of a kerfuffle about whether or not they are distilling it in Indiana, or just bottling it there.  I personally could care less.

This is a very corn forward bourbon.  There is a bit of orange, vanilla and cinnamon.  Not extremely complex, but satisfying.

I will give them credit.  If we zoom in on the label, we can see that one noxious Indiana ingredient has not infected this product.  100% Tom Crean Free.  Which also means that it is Harbaugh free, once removed.

Woodford Reserve Double Oak

Woodford has added a second product to their normal offering of Bourbon.  This bourbon is the typical Woodford Reserve that has been aged in a second, heavily toasted barrel after it has matured.  More on the process can be seen in the video below.

That is all wonderful, but the question is how does it taste?  I had it described to me as dry, and that wine term is accurate.  There is very little sweetness to be found with this whiskey.  Not surprisingly, there is a strong wood flavor, but the tannin is not so strong that it completely ruins it.  A splash of water opens it up a bit and allows some vanilla and honey to come through.  It is an interesting whiskey, but I have trouble recommending it at $50.  Honestly, it barely resembles a Bourbon.

However.  This is the official Bourbon of the $1000 mint julep at this years Kentucky derby¹.  You know, the $10 cocktail in the $990 cup.  I played the home game last night, and after a couple of julep's, I know that the bottle will not be laying around collecting cobwebs for long.  All it needed was sugar and mint to taste good.

I would also be remiss if I did not try this in a Manhattan.  Doesn't work.

¹  2012 for readers from the future.

Bret Bielema is the Golgothan

We have already established that Bo Ryan is an alien.  But the stench emanating from Madison is not limited to the basketball team.  Oh yes, there is a monster at the top of the football program.  A big-giant-walking-talking-stupid-whiny-bitch of a turd.  Have you ever thought to yourself?  That coach at Wisconsin, just seems like a giant piece of shit.  Let me tell you.  You thought right my friend.

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel Bourbon

I have to admit that the medallion declaring that this whiskey was hand chosen for the state of Ohio makes me a little nervous.  I pray that the master distiller is not a member of fight club.

This bad boy is 101 proof, so a splash of water is necessary.  I actually broke tradition and added whiskey to a splash of water instead of a splash of water to the whiskey.  I'm just that kind of rebel.

I taste a lot of brown sugar with some cinnamon, orange and a strong oak finish, with just a hint of burning couch.  Pretty good at $41.