Finally....I think the last snow of the season is behind us and warmer weather is moving in. Spring is an exciting time not just for warmer weather and leisurely episodes on the front porch, but it also means bourbon.
Each April I make my pilgrimage to Kentucky and pay homage to the Master Distillers at various distilleries in and around Bardstown and taste through some fantastic whiskey. In preparation, advance samples are received to taste through in order to expedite the process. This last week I had the opportunity to taste through a number of bourbon and rye samples. Yes, I said rye and the group is pretty stoked about it. Rye for the most part has been short supply and hard to come by so getting the opportunity to taste through some rye barrels is generating some enthusiasm for next month.
I tasted the rye samples blind and mixed in a couple shelf offerings. We had 4 distillery samples plus a Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, Sazerac Rye (Baby Saz), Dickel Rye and a Jefferson 10 year Rye that the ABC in Montgomery County did last year. Surprisingly, the Jefferson Rye came out on top for me...even beating out the Van Winkle. Second on my list was one of the distillery samples (we'll call it B52). The sample had a nice sweet floral nose, creamy sweet entry and a transition to spice and dark bread mid palate with a finish that was moderate to long. At 94 proof, it was a solid rye whiskey.
I also tasted through two different sets of bourbon from two different distilleries. I won't divulge who the distilleries are just yet but will say one set (3 samples) didn't pique my interest while the second set had some stunners.
A new batch of samples just arrived and I'll be tasting through those next Saturday evening. Prior to that tasting, I'll be hosting a bourbon tasting at my house for some co-workers who want to try bourbon but now nothing about it.
Welcome Spring....the whiskey is flowing!