Frazier History Museum invites you to Bourbon Limited, an exclusive bourbon club

Bourbon Limited
Frazier History Museum invites you to Bourbon Limited.

If you live in Kentucky, love bourbon, enjoy trying new whiskeys and are one of the first 5,000 people to read this here blog, you just might be a great fit for Bourbon Limited, an exclusive new bourbon club curated by the folks at the Frazier History Museum.

The subscription-only club offers one-of-a-kind bottles from some of Kentucky’s top distilleries, as well as craft brands, to its members through the mail. While there is no membership fee to join, the bottles will cost you about $200 for each release, which will occur roughly every two to three months.

If there happens to be a release you don’t want, however, you might lose your spot in the club if you decide to pass on it. That’s the biggest difference between this mail-service club and the ones offered by distilleries like Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam.

But if you’re up for trying bourbons that run the gamut, Andrew Treinen, president and CEO of Frazier Museum, says they’ve got some special bottles lined up from some of Kentucky’s best distilleries.

Bourbon Limited box
Each release will come in a fancy box like this.

Also, he emphasized that these bottles will not be available to the general public in stores or even at the distilleries, and that each distillery they’ve partnered with so far has big plans for their unique bottles for this club.

If you’re wondering why a history museum is hosting a bourbon club, then you haven’t been paying attention. The Frazier History Museum is the starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and it has an entire floor (No. 3) dedicated to Kentucky’s native spirit.

Plus, the gift shop sells bourbon and very cool bourbon-related items, so if you haven’t been for a visit in a while, you should check it out.

But let’s get back to Bourbon Limited. Treinen says in a news release: “The members-only club will serve as a showcase for all the things that make bourbon so unique and uniquely American. It will provide participants with a wealth of inside information — and the stories that bourbon lovers love to share with their friends. And every now and then, members can expect a little something extra in appreciation for their support.”

If you’d like to join, just click the link here and sign up. You’ll have to enter a credit card to reserve a spot, but it won’t be charged until you approve it for the first release. Details on that will come soon, Treinen says.

As for the distilleries involved, that is somewhat of a mystery, and the curators are in the process of adding more each month. From a quick look on the website, some of the initial partners include Wilderness Trail, Blue Run, Peerless and Four Gate, and I’ll throw in Rabbit Hole because I have some inside information. Anything else you’re gonna have to feed me bourbon.

So am I joining Bourbon Limited? Well, I already beat you to it.

Bourbon Women

Another successful Bourbon Women SIPosium is in the books

Although I only attended the luncheon at this year’s Bourbon Women SIPosium, held Aug. 25-28 in downtown Louisville, I felt every bit a part of the annual bourbon extravaganza that brings together women from all over the country to mingle, sip and learn more about their beloved brown spirit. The energy was high, the mood oozed with excitement, the speakers were inspiring and the samples runneth over throughout the entire event.

Jackie Zykan
Jackie Zykan gave a touching speech about taking risks.

I kick myself every year that I don’t sign up to do more events during the SIPosium, which include classes, meals and excursions to distilleries. This year they even expanded the agenda to four days, and I spoke with some ladies who said they would be here all week if they could.

During the Welcome Lunch, hundreds of attendees gathered — myself included — to hear both Marianne Eaves (formerly of Woodford Reserve/Old Forester and Castle & Key, now with Sweetens Cove and Eaves Blind, to name a few) and Jackie Zykan (formerly of Old Forester, now with Hidden Barn) talk to the crowd that was filled with industry folks, whiskey fanatics and, of course, Bourbon Women (often those three are one in the same).

Eaves talked about her numerous consulting projects around the country and also about her decision to leave her job as master distiller of Castle & Key a few years back. Since then she’s started her own consulting business and also Eaves Blind, where people can join to taste samples of some of the things she’s working on.

She said many people questioned her sanity when she left the role as master distiller, but ultimately she had to follow her passion and march to the beat of her own drum.

“I discovered that so much more is happening in bourbon than just in Kentucky,” she said.

Speaking of following your own path, Keynote Speaker Zykan echoed that sentiment when she spoke to the room. She focused on her bourbon journey and where it has taken her, and she gave an inspiring pep talk on the importance of listening to yourself instead of society’s “shoulds.” In fact, she didn’t view her recent job change as a risk — it’s more of a calling.

Sherrie Moore and Alex Castle
Whiskey women Sherrie Moore and Alex Castle

“I’m a 5-foot-2 stack of mistakes,” she said about making the leap from master taster of Old Forester to starting a new brand with Hidden Barn. “I’ve never been happier in my entire life.”

To me, the luncheon was what I imagine the Oscars to be like. As I sat at my table awaiting the speakers, I was fan-girling out on all the talented industry women in the room.

From Sherrie Moore (formerly of Jack Daniel’s and Uncle Nearest) to Alex Castle (of Memphis’ Old Dominick Distillery) to Bourbon Women founder herself Peggy Noe Stevens, it was a who’s-who of the whiskey industry, and it was truly awesome that they were all badass women.

Repeal Day photo

Repeal Day is Dec. 5, so pull out those party pants!

It was a chilly Tuesday back on Dec. 5, 1933, but that didn’t stop the nation from dancing in the streets out of celebration for the end of Prohibition. The 21st Amendment was passed that day, and Repeal Day, as it’s become known, has been honored ever since.

Old Repeal Day photo
Let’s party like it’s 1933!

Skip ahead 87 years, and while 2020 hasn’t given us much to dance in the streets for, we should still recognize and raise a toast to Repeal Day, which falls on Saturday this year.

Whether you craft yourself a fine Old Fashioned or pop the top on your favorite beer, let’s all remember that things could be worse — our country went without a drop of (legal) alcohol for 13 long years.

There are a few places around town celebrating Repeal Day and offering up to-go cocktails, and even if they’re not signifying a “Repeal Day” party, it’s still important, now more than ever, to support our local bars.

I’m thinking I might buy a couple margaritas from Dragon King’s Daughter, El Mundo AND Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen — or maybe brave the elements next to the fire at Shop Bar and indulge in the aforementioned Old Fashioned.

There are also two interesting virtual sessions being planned for Saturday if you’re looking for a group activity.

First up is a cocktail-making class with bourbon extraordinaire Marianne Eaves called Bourbon, Brandy and Rum: Repeal Day Classics on the Chibo platform.

Marianne Eaves
Marianne Eaves | Courtesy

Eaves will help you concoct three classic cocktails — New York Sour, El Presidente and The Vieux Carre — and you all will have fun sipping and mixing along.

“I am a distiller, not a mixologist,” says Eaves on the event website, “So let’s mix up some fun, chatting about being the first female master distiller in Kentucky, history of the spirits industry, booze and how glad we are that it’s legal again!”

The class starts at noon on Saturday, Dec. 5, and it costs $35. If you’re interested, I’d join now rather than later so you can get your kit in time.

If you’re wondering what Eaves has been up to since she left the master distiller position at Castle & Key, she’s created her own bourbon education company called Eaves Blind. If you’re a fan of Eaves or just a bourbon fan in general, you can sign up now to become a member of Eaves Blind and receive various experiments and products she’s been working on.

It’s a pretty damn cool concept, and it’s on the top of my Christmas list this year if anyone is looking for ideas for me. (hint, hint) Go check out her website and read all about it.

The other Repeal Day event is being organized by Fred Minnick, another bourbon extraordinaire, is called Repeal Day Expo. This takes place on Saturday from 1-11 p.m. and is an all-day virtual extravaganza with speakers, live music, cocktail-making sessions and much, much more.

Tickets range in price from $20-$50 (the VIP $140 tickets are sold out), and you can find out all the cool details at the link above.

For a shout-out, I also wanted to mention that the local Whisky Chicks group is also hosting a special Repeal Day Virtual Cocktail Soiree, but unfortunately tickets to that are sold out.

Today’s Reason To Drink

WR_DDO_060415

I envision the Double Double Oaked being double double the trouble.

Woodford Reserve just announced it’s making a Double Double Oaked as part of its Distillery Series. Literally my heart fluttered and I gasped like Oprah had just entered the room. I could divulge other sordid details about my body’s reaction, but I’ll spare you.

I absolutely love the regular Woodford Double Oaked — in fact, it’s one of my favorites. But to create a Double Double? I can’t even begin to wrap my tongue around what that’s going to taste like. Sweet. Spicy. Smooth. Layered. Delicious.

In the press release, this is how they explain it:

Double Double Oaked is the result of finishing mature Woodford Reserve Double Oaked for an additional year in its second, heavily toasted lightly charred new oak barrel. The extra year in the barrel creates a bourbon that is distinctly spicier than its original counterpart, known for its sweeter taste and finish.

The catch here is you can ONLY purchase the Distillery Series (there will be three releases a year, and the other, a Sweet Mash Redux, is coming out with Double Double Oaked) at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles. The two straight bourbons are $49.99 each and will be available later this month.

I’m actually heading to the Woodford Distillery in a couple weeks as part of a media excursion to try these very releases. I will definitely report back with sordid and juicy details of everything I swallow. You’re welcome.

Four Roses releases Limited Edition Small Batch bourbon

2014LESmallBatch_Front_USIn celebration of National Bourbon Heritage Month, Four Roses is releasing its newest Limited Edition Small Batch bourbon, which combines four of the distillery’s 10 recipes from barrels ranging in age from 9 to 13 years old. Master Distiller Jim Rutledge hand (tongue?) selected four of his favorites to create this limited-quantity release.

I got a chance to sample Rutledge’s newest creation, and it was simply divine. Notes of caramel, vanilla and citrus tangoed with my tongue, and the barrel-strength bourbon left a warm trail as I swallowed it down. It’s definitely one of those “very special bourbons” that you only whip out to impress company or if there’s a tornado warning in the area. (I can’t be the only one who hides out in the basement with a flashlight and a flask of good bourbon when those sirens go off.)

“It’s exciting and challenging to select the bourbons that will be used in various percentages for a special and different Limited Edition Small Batch,” Rutledge says. “We’ve only scratched the surface with what we can do with our 10 bourbon recipes relative to varying flavor profiles for special releases.”

Four Roses will release more than 11,000 bottles of the Limited Edition Small Batch starting this month. Look for it at liquor stores near you.