'Bourbon Society' blog posts

November’s Whiskey of the Month: Russell’s Reserve Rye

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

November’s Whiskey of the Month hails from the environs of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky and the legendary Wild Turkey Distillery. The legendary distillery has operated since right after the Civil War, when it opened as the Ripy Bros. Distillery, and was one of the unlucky ones unable to operate during prohibition. Immediately following the repeal of the 18th Amendment, the distillery got back to work and was soon renamed Wild Turkey Distillery, which has been under the watchful eye of Jim Russell since 1954.

Russell’s Reserve Rye is a project of Jimmy Russell and his son Eddie, who together have some 90 years experience making whiskey. The mash bill is the same as for Wild Turkey Rye, an 81-proof gem, however the distillation method leaves more water from the original mash in the white dog, meaning less fresh water is needed to cut it to the specified 90 proof when it is bottled. True to form of the elite whiskeys that have emerged over the last generation in Kentucky, Russell’s Reserve Rye is aged in the center of the center floors of the best rickhouse.

Russell’s Reserve Rye sports rich aromas of sweet almonds, English toffee, and classic herbaceous rye spice, giving way to a palate which still shows a hefty rye flavor, along with Chinese fivespice, caramel, and black tea. The long finish is refined and toasty, reminiscent of a bread bakery late in morning.

Russell's Reserve Rye

September Whiskey of the Month: Ezra Brooks

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Now announcing our Whiskey of the Month for September 2014: Ezra Brooks!

Ezra Brooks

Ezra Brooks was first produced in the 1950s by the Medley Distillery, which was first established in Owensboro, Kentucky in 1901. Like many bourbon brands, it has been bought and sold many times over the years. This is a good smooth bourbon for mixing or for enjoying simply with a little ice on a late summer evening. Many reviewers enjoy this straight bourbon whiskey as one of the better inexpensive whiskeys available.

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.