'Bourbon Society' blog posts

Koval Single Barrel Bourbon is August’s Whiskey of the Month

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Koval BourbonWe are pleased to introduce Koval Distillery’s single barrel bourbon as our Whiskey of the Month for August. Koval’s bourbon is near and dear to us because it is distilled a mere few city blocks from Big Jones in the Ravenswood neighborhood, and the distillery goes the extra mile by using 100% certified organic grains for its whiskey.

Made from a mash bill of 51% corn and the remainder of millet, Koval’s bourbon certainly has a unique grain backbone which is beautifully accentuated by a light aging in charred oak barrels.

Tropical fruits, especially mango and banana, pop out on the bright and fruity nose, with hint of warm spice yielding to a palate of stone fruit, vanillin, and caramel which is quite luscious for a young whiskey. The finish is clean and quenching, with pepper, pipe tobacco, and tea rounding out th cascade of flavors and aromas. Great stuff, and it doesn’t get any more local. Bring your Bourbon Society passport in for a complimentary pour anytime during August!

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It’s free to join the Big Jones Bourbon Society, just ask your server or bartender to sign up on your next visit. You’ll receive a passport to forty of our more than sixty whiskeys. On each visit, members are welcome to one complimentary pour of the Whiskey of the Month (WOM) which will usually (but not always) be a straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Big Jones Bourbon Society members will also receive invitations to members-only events such as whiskey tastings and whiskey socials.

Of course you’re welcome to enjoy any whiskey on our list at any time. We’ll mark off your passport as you taste each of the forty whiskeys, and once you’ve tasted them all, you will earn the distinction of Master Taster, and win tickets for two to a one-of-a-kind all-out whiskey dinner. As the ranks of Master Tasters grows, we will host a series of dinners for Master Tasters.

Clyde May’s Conecuh Ridge Whiskey is our July Whiskey of the Month!

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Clyde Mays Conecuh Ridge WhiskeyWe are pleased to introduce Clyde May’s whiskey as our July Whiskey of the Month. Clyde May was a farmer and WWII veteran who decided to make moonshine to supplement his income, a common pastime in his home territory around the Conecuh Ridge in Southern Alabama. One of the unlucky ones, Clyde found himself doing time in a Federal penitentiary, yet upon his release he did what any moonshiner at heart would do – he went right back to making moonshine.

Clyde May did a couple of things which were unusual for a moonshiner – he aged his whiskey in charred oak barrels, as was common for Bourbon. In the hot climes of Southern Alabama, the whiskey would age relatively quickly.  He also added oven-dried apples to his barrels, to smooth out the whiskey and give it a little extra fruit character.

In 2002, Clyde’s son Kenny May decided to go into the family business, legit this time, and opened a distillery. Since then, they have been making a unique and delicious whiskey according to Clyde’s old formula, which he liked calling “Alabama Style.” Their efforts have been rewarded with many awards and gold medals at prestigious tasting events, and an excellent rating of 93 from the Wine Enthusiast. We encourage you to give it a try, it’s unlike any whiskey you’ve ever tried, and probably the smoothest, in spite of its bottling at 86 proof.

The mash bill consists of corn, rye, and malted barley. On the nose, caramel and coconut leap out of the glass, and on the palate the malty grain flavors are still in the forefront, typical for a 4-year whiskey, but the fruit flavors of dried apple and orange peel take over mid palate, as a rich, boozy cream character envelops the tongue. The finish of black tea, candy apple, and charcoal is as refreshing as it is intriguing. Heady stuff. Bring in your passport for a complimentary pour any time during July!

It’s free to join the Big Jones Bourbon Society, just ask your server or bartender to sign up on your next visit. You’ll receive a passport to forty of our more than sixty whiskeys. On each visit, members are welcome to one complimentary pour of the Whiskey of the Month (WOM) which will usually (but not always) be a straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Big Jones Bourbon Society members will also receive invitations to members-only events such as whiskey tastings and whiskey socials.

Of course you’re welcome to enjoy any whiskey on our list at any time. We’ll mark off your passport as you taste each of the forty whiskeys, and once you’ve tasted them all, you will earn the distinction of Master Taster, and win tickets for two to a one-of-a-kind all-out whiskey dinner. As the ranks of Master Tasters grows, we will host a series of dinners for Master Tasters.

 

May Whiskey of the Month: Tin Cup American Whiskey

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Tin CupTin Cup American Whiskey is made with a high-rye mash bill and cut with limestone water from the Rocky Mountains. The name is a nod to Colorado’s first whiskey drinkers – the miners who came to the mountains looking for gold and silver and drank from tin cups.

The high-rye mash bill gives Tin Cup a pronounced spicy and grassy character, softened by the corn which makes up 66% of the mash, and mellowed by aging in #4 char American white oak barrels. The limestone water lends crispness and clarity.

Tin Cup is a feisty and slightly aggressive bourbon-style whiskey, with the spice and pepper leaping out of the glass on the nose, together with sweet corn and caramel aromas from the mash and barrel aging. It bites a little on the tongue like a good rye should, but mellows quickly into a fruity, creamy, almost dulce de leche kind of sweetness, with a long, easygoing finish reminiscent of sweet tea and lightly roasted coffee. Bring in your passport for a complimentary pour any time you visit during May.

It’s free to join the Big Jones Bourbon Society, just ask your server or bartender to sign up on your next visit. You’ll receive a passport to forty of our more than sixty whiskeys. On each visit, members are welcome to one complimentary pour of the Whiskey of the Month (WOM) which will usually (but not always) be a straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Big Jones Bourbon Society members will also receive invitations to members-only events such as whiskey tastings and whiskey socials.

Of course you’re welcome to enjoy any whiskey on our list at any time. We’ll mark off your passport as you taste each of the forty whiskeys, and once you’ve tasted them all, you will earn the distinction of Master Taster, and win tickets for two to a one-of-a-kind all-out whiskey dinner. As the ranks of Master Tasters grows, we will host a series of dinners for Master Tasters.

Henry McKenna Single Barrel is April’s Whiskey of the Month!

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Henry McKennaWe are pleased to announce Henry McKenna Single Barrel as our April Whiskey of the Month. Aged for 10 years, Henry McKenna is the only single barrel bourbon that is bottled in bond, meeting strict requirements for age and proof. Produced and bottled at Heaven Hill Distillery under the watchful eyes of Master Distillers Parker Beam and Craig Beam, Henry McKenna is perhaps the most under-the-radar top notch single barrel bourbon on the market.

The whiskey is named for Henry McKenna, an Irish immigrant who in 1837 settled in Bourbon country and took a liking to Kentucky whiskey. He then set out to reach a higher standard for finished whiskey beginning with his family’s recipe, insisting that his whiskey age in charred oak barrels before bottling, which was still a rare practice at the time, when most whiskey was still produced and bottled as a clear liquor. Heaven Hill produces Henry McKenna Single Barrel according to the original recipe and ages it for ten years, yielding a refined spirit that is feisty around the edges.

Spicy on the nose, with loads of fresh cracked pepper, spice box, and citrus peel aromas, the palate yields to a rich buttery toffee flavor accented by the spicy and grassy notes of rye and rounded out by the smooth vanilla flavors contributed by the oak and corn. The long, smooth finish closes with caramel and black tea flavors that linger. Magnificently complex, Henry McKenna Single Barrel is easy to ponder, and even easier to drink. Bring your passport in for a complimentary pour any time you visit  during April.

It’s free to join the Big Jones Bourbon Society, just ask your server or bartender to sign up on your next visit. You’ll receive a passport to forty of our more than sixty whiskeys. On each visit, members are welcome to one complimentary pour of the Whiskey of the Month (WOM) which will usually (but not always) be a straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Big Jones Bourbon Society members will also receive invitations to members-only events such as whiskey tastings and whiskey socials.

Of course you’re welcome to enjoy any whiskey on our list at any time. We’ll mark off your passport as you taste each of the forty whiskeys, and once you’ve tasted them all, you will earn the distinction of Master Taster, and win tickets for two to a one-of-a-kind all-out whiskey dinner. As the ranks of Master Tasters grows, we will host a series of dinners for Master Tasters.

A Bourbon Country Repast, ca. 1880 with Julian Van Winkle – A Piggy Bank Benefit for Southern Foodways Alliance

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

We are pleased to offer some deeply rooted Kentucky cooking for our second Piggy Bank Dinner, a benefit for the Southern Foodways Alliance. Julian Van Winkle will be here to discuss his storied bourbon (12, 15, and 23 year will be served) plus a couple of selections from Buffalo Trace Distillery, and we are cooking up a 5-course menu with receipts and inspiration from Lettice Bryan’s The Kentucky Housewife (Louisville, 1839) and The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery. SFA documentary films will be shown, The Poker Night String Band will play some righteous tunes, and good times will be had by all.

“The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. We set a common table where black and white, rich and poor — all who gather — may consider our history and our future in a spirit of reconciliation.

A member-supported non-profit, based at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, we stage symposia, produce documentary films, collect oral histories, sponsor scholarship, mentor students, and publish great writing. Donations from generous individuals, foundations, and companies fund our good work.” – SFA Mission Statement

Big Jones supports the Southern Foodways Alliance because their work inspires us every day by telling stories about the people and places in the South that make both the history and future of this cuisine. What’s critical about the SFA’s work is that they are going after these stories, collecting them, and documenting them. Without the SFA, many of these stories would be lost to history. As much as this dinner is to raise money for the mission of the Southern Foodways Alliance, it’s also to spread the word.

According to Big Jones tradition, every dish on this menu is made from whole raw farm ingredients processed at Big Jones. Farms and suppliers represented here are likely to be Gunthorp Farm, LaPryor Farm, Slagel Family Farm, Windy Knoll Farm, Genesis Growers, Green Acres, Spence Farm, Kilgus Farmstead, Anson Mills, Burton’s Maplewood Farm, and Seedling, perhaps a few more.

For anyone curious about the date we’ve affixed to the menu, we have used the inspiration of The Kentucky Housewife along with some later 19th-century books, Mrs. Hill’s New Cook Book (1867,) Housekeeping in Old Virginia (1879,) and Dishes and Beverages of The Old South (1913,) to create a menu of historically accurate foods from the time, when Bourbon whiskey was reaching its present form and coming into its own.  The legendary A. Ph. Stitzel Distillery was founded in 1872 as a sour mash distillery at a time when that was becoming the preferred distillation method, and Julian Van Winkle I, who was a young boy at that time, would eventually purchase that distillery and merge it with his wholesale liquor company W.L. Weller and Sons, and the rest is Bourbon legend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

6:00 Reception

Virtue Cider, “The Mitten” bourbon barrel-aged cider

18-month aged house-cured country ham, sorghum wild yeast rye bread, pickled ramps, asparagus, and fiddleheads

7:00 Dinner

Pappy Van Winkle 12 year old

Guinea fowl and butterbean dumpling soup with pickled pokeweed shoots

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce with spring onions, heirloom radishes, and hot bacon dressing
Salt-rising bread with cottage cheese and damson preserves

Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old

Crispy chicken livers with buttered bloody butcher corn hominy, young turnip greens cooked with smoked jowl, and gizzard gravy

Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Old

Mince pie with syllabub

Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye

Coconut macaroons floating in rum custard with preserved rhubarb and mint

Please join us for a very special evening. The price is $150 per person including tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 773-275-5725.

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