Bourbon Zeppelin
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Written for bourbon fans, by bourbon fans!

This Month's Bourbon Zeppelin Feature Article
A Look at....

Al Capone's Role in American Whiskey History with his Niece, Deirdre Capone

by Colonel Steve Akley

While you may not be a fan of his role in U.S. history, there is little doubt that Alphonse Gabriel Capone has a spot carved in stone in the American lexicon. Equal parts fear and fascination, Al Capone so garnered the attention of the American public, he remains almost as recognized today as he was some 70+ years after his death.

The loose term of "gangster" that was associated with Capone, often conjures up the images of Robin Hood... helping out the poor with the riches of these good deeds. There certainly was an element of giving back to the community with Al. Even the very nature of his business of providing whiskey, in a time in American history when you couldn't legally buy it, helped people rally around him as they sought out to enjoy a taste of a product that was now deemed illegal by its government.

Capone literally built an empire selling whiskey during Prohibition. The fascinating thing about what he was doing was the fact he was dedicated to providing quality products to his customers. Think about this for a moment: he had almost no competition; certainly none on a grand scale as himself.

It harkens back to the time of the rectifiers that Colonel EH Taylor battled and ultimately helped enact the Bottled-in-Bond act to provide quality to the industry. These individuals would take unaged whiskey and add coloring and other ingredients to make it look and taste like a product that had been aged much longer.

Yet, despite the fact he wasn't competing, Capone still focused on providing quality products to his customers. It would have been so much easier, and likely more profitable, to take short cuts to provide a cheaper product. Instead, Al, who always looked at himself as a businessman providing a product to his customers that they couldn't get, actually was focused on getting the best whiskey possible for his customers. His crews were literally running all over the U.S. and Canada bringing whiskey in to Chicago and other big cities across the United States.

Make no mistake, whiskey was plentiful during this era. Even though it was being made, other than for "medicinal purposes" by a few distilleries, many hadn't destroyed all of their product and if you believe the whispers, Capone's crews were buying and distributing it.

Did Al Capone save whiskey in the United States?

Well, you can't definitively say that, but, tastes do change. Had he not kept whiskey flowing during Prohibition, who knows what might have happened. In fact, Prohibition did build the popularity of unaged spirits like gin because people were able to make it at home. Cocktails also became popular as individuals had to both stretch what alcohol they had and they often had to mask the taste of inferior products.

Capone kept the thirst going for aged whiskey by continuing to make it available to customers willing to seek it out. While we can't say that he saved the American whiskey scene by himself, he certainly played a role in keeping it going.

When I saw that Al Capone's niece Deirdre had written a book about her uncle I had to reach out to her to see if she would appear in Bourbon Zeppelin talking about Al's role in American whiskey. I'm pleased to say she did respond back to me and I have a great interview with her today.

What is so great about Deirdre is the fact that not only does she have all of the interesting family stories about her uncle, she also was close to him as a young girl. Obviously, she knew him at a time far removed from his days running whiskey and his health was failing, but she brings a great perspective and certainly humanizes him for us. I couldn't be more excited to bring you my interview here with Deirdre Capone.

Steve Akley/Bourbon Zeppelin (SA/BZ): Please tell us a little about yourself and your relation to Al Capone.
Deirdre Capone (DC): I am Deirdre Marie Capone. My grandfather Ralph James Capone was Al Capone’s older brother and business partner. 
SA/BZ: Could you share a memory from your childhood with your Uncle Al?
DC: As a little girl I was at the home of Al Capone’s mother, my great grandmother, helping pick dandelions for dinner that day. I climbed the apple tree to pick can apple when I fell on my back and had the wind knocked out of me. I was very frightened and my uncle Al Capone picked me up to comfort me. He felt so big and strong. He took me inside the house where he taught me a Italian folk song and to play it on his mandolin.
SA/BZ: Tell us a little about what you know about Al's involvement running whiskey during prohibition.
DC: During prohibition, people in big cities needed someone to supply them with liquor. Beer was easy to brew but good whiskey, which is aged, need to be purchased from places like Canada. My family only supplied top quality whiskey to their customers. 
SA/BZ: Despite the illegal nature of what Al was doing, there was some integrity to what he was doing in whiskey... he was obtaining quality whiskey for the speakeasies and customers he was selling to, correct?
DC: That is correct. My family prided themselves with the fact that they only supplied top quality whiskey for their customers. 
SA/BZ: Al's personal favorite whiskey was Templeton Rye. Was this something he was enjoying even when you knew him as a child?
DC: The very first spirits I tasted was Templeton Rye. I was at my grandfather’s home. He said it was ‘The good stuff’. He then told me the story behind them finding it in Iowa.

SA/BZ: You actually do some work yourself for Templeton Rye now, correct? Please tell us about what you are doing for them.
DC: I make appearances for them at major events. I sign bottles and my book.
SA/BZ: There is so much legend and lore surrounding Al, you have to hear some great stories. Knowing these things often cannot be verified, do you have a personal favorite associated with your uncle's involvement in the whiskey business?
DC: My grandfather told me that he and Al would often get annoyed with the competition  between bootleggers. He would tell them very often, “There is enough business here for all of us."

SA/BZ: Please tell us about your book, Uncle Al Capone.
DC: My book, Uncle Al Capone – The Untold Story from Inside His Family is the only book written about Al Capone from someone who actually knew him. 
SA/BZ: If there is one thing you wanted to tell our readers about your Uncle Al, what would it be?
DC: He is a very misunderstood man because most of what has been written about him is fake journalism.  

Final Thoughts

It was an incredible honor to be able to speak to Deirdre and find a little more about how Al Capone's business model involved something that still holds up today: provide a quality product for a fair price and customers will seek you out. Be sure to check out Deirdre's book, Uncle Al Capone – The Untold Story from Inside His Family. You can pick up a copy of it on Amazon by clicking here.

Also, Deirdre is doing some work for Templeton Rye. Check them out via this link.

Finally, Deirdre, has her own website where she has some press information and a list of her upcoming appearance. You can head over there by clicking right here.
In this issue...
The BZ team has done it again. They have figured out a way to once again raise the bar for a quality publication. The articles are just fantastic. Am I allowed to be a fan of a publication with my name on it? I don't care what the official answer to that one is, I can tell you I love what the team is doing.

As always, we've also got some great guests contributors. Jon Spackman tells you about his favorite bottle (right now) and Heath Layson checks in from the Bourbon Lounge to tell us what historical figure he would have liked to share a dram with.

Finally, we have two awesome new team members. Tanya Lawrence and Lisa Carrington have both written for the Zeppelin as guest contributors. I'm please as can be to have them joining us now as regulars.

As always, I hope you enjoy reading BZ as much as we did writing it... for you!

Editor-in-Chief & Kentucky Colonel
Reviews of Unique Bourbon Offerings by Steve and Four Bourbon Zeppelin Team Members

This month we take a look at:
Small Batch
A cornerstone of Bourbon Zeppelin are the Steve + 4 Reviews. In this regular feature, Steve and four of the B.Z. team members will rate and score a bourbon. Knowing that there is something intrinsically wrong with any scoring system, BZ attempts to smooth out the human factor in three ways:

1). Right out of the gate, having five evaluators automatically adds legitimacy to this type of system which is typically completed by one person.

2). Steve + 4 helps remove personal bias by tossing the top and bottom scores, leaving only the three scores in the middle as the ones that count.

3). The three scores that are left are then averaged giving us the final score for the monthly selection.

All final scores are tallied and kept at the bottom of BZ allowing us to have a growing comparative database.

Let's see how this month's selection fared:

Review #1
Jess Rubin - 81.0

Aroma - Oak with spice. Let's just say spicy oaky.
Taste - Sweet and spicy. The oak is there, but doesn't overtake it.
Final Evaluation - The initial taste quickly evolves as it hits the accelerator, but the intensity quickly dissipates leaving you with what Steve calls, "that old familiar sting." Solid pour.

Continued in next column.
Reviewer #2
Kimberly Burns - 77.5

Aroma - I get butterscotch, honey, and band-aids on the nose from this selection. 
Taste - The flavor is full and rich. A mild nuttiness gives way to a light, fruit-like sweetness. A hint of a leathery, spicy flavor creeps up in the finish.
Final Evaluation - This is a pleasant, easy-drinking, and approachable bourbon. Easy to sip neat, but I wouldn’t feel guilty offering it up as a mixer, either.
Review #3
Mark Hansen - 83.0

Aroma - Oak rules the roost here.
Taste - Buttery taste. Reminiscent of caramel popcorn.
Final Evaluation - Buy one and bunker one so you don't run out.
Tossed Reviews

Steve Akley - 84.0
Aroma - Solid! Very complex. Caramel, Butter Rum Lifesavers and oak
Taste - Oak, caramel, honey, baking spices and a little heat
Final Evaluation - Hadn't had this one in a while. I forgot how good it is.

Aaron Cave - 71.0
Aroma - Nice hints of dried fruits, caramel, apricot jam, rye spice, and oak.
Taste - Sweet corn, brown sugar, butterscotch, cherry wood, oak, and cinnamon.
Final Evaluation -Nice sound bourbon. Great for people starting to get into bourbon. Well balanced.

Combined Score
The final score for this one is...

Who doesn't love a little trivia about their favorite distilled spirit?
The straw was invented by Marvin Stone in 1888 so he could better enjoy what bourbon-based cocktail?
The answer is below at the bottom of this issue (under Hasse's column)
News About Bourbon the B.Z. Team has Heard

25 Year Old Rip
Next month, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery is releasing its oldest offering yet... a 25-year-old, Old Rip Van Winkle bourbon. This 750 ml bottle will come in a crystal bottle from Scotland and a box crafted from barrel staves in North Carolina. The suggested retail on these 710 bottles is $1,800.
Like to get your hands on a bottle? Good luck!

The Bourbon Virgin Tries...

Angel's Envy
(86.6 proof)

So bourbon has won a special place in my heart, especially after taste testing this one. I am not quite to the point of starting my own bourbon hoard or sipping on this at weekend parties, but by golly it is getting really, really close; close... like when the Atlanta Falcons almost won the Super Bowl.

Ha Ha, had to throw some sarcasm in there!

To move on with it, Angel’s Envy is a bourbon that if I drank plenty of it, I would certainly feel like I was an angel flying around in the sky. What made my mouth water before drinking this was the soft smell of vanilla that crept out of the bottle as I poured it, topped off with a hint of maple syrup! This would go great with some pancakes at breakfast time and make for an interesting day at work afterwards!

I’m totally looking forward to my alarm going off tomorrow morning :D

About The Bourbon Virgin
Amanda Hoppes, the Bourbon Virgin, is a poet/author from Iowa (she has never lived on a farm, owned a cow, nor does she constantly have one of those long pieces of straw hanging from her mouth). With the exception of some experimentation in college with Jim Beam, Amanda's drinking has pretty much kept to Bud Light and cherry bombs. Bourbon Zeppelin is going to try to redefine her palate by introducing her to bourbon. We'll see what happens each month as she tries something new! Follow her on Instagram (@abhoppes) and Twitter (@shehoppes). Her book of poetry, From Midnight to Moonlight, is available on Amazon by clicking here!
Like any business, Bourbon Zeppelin has expenses. While we've elected to go with a strict no advertising policy, those fans who enjoy reading BZ and want to assist in helping with some of these expenses now can since we have started a Patreon page. We've got rewards and recognition for those who can help us continue to deliver incredible and unique bourbon-focused content.
Bourbon Zeppelin Welcomes its Second Patreon Supporter
Meet Erik Hasselgärde, Diamond Level BZ Patreon Supporter
Five Questions with Erik Hasselgärde
1. How long have you been drinking bourbon?
As of 2017, it's been seven years since the first time I tasted bourbon neat. I have a vivid memory of the summer of 2010, barbecuing in the warm afternoon sun, falling in love with Bulleit bourbon.

2. What concerns you with bourbon right now and what do you like?
My concern is with the business more than with the product itself: Sweden has a highly regulated state-monopoly and, as a consumer group, a marginal interest in bourbon, meaning that new bourbon is rarely introduced to the Swedish market, and the interest in producing other Swedish whisky than single malt is minimal. My concern is a risk of always being outside of the bourbon community, contributing little more than passive consumption.
What I like right now is the social media community seemingly embracing the quality of "bottom shelf" bourbon–drinking out of love of the product rather than seeing bourbon just as another status symbol or collectible.

3. What's your all-time favorite bourbon?
Blanton's Straight From The Barrel. It's complex, rich, high proof, and best of all: available in Sweden!

4. What's your favorite column in Bourbon Zeppelin?
Any of the ones dealing with news, trivia or discussions about the bourbon industry: The Rumor Mill, Bourbon Trivia, editorials etc.

5. If you could have a drink with any Bourbon Zeppelin staffer, who would it be, and why?
Everyone on the BZ I've had contact with seems like a sweetheart, but I'll have to say Steve Akley. I like do'ers. I love talking to people who gets stuff done. That ability, combined with a knowledge and interest in bourbon would surely result in a great conversation. Provided that we drink from his collection rather than mine of course!
This month we test...

RoundTable Woodworks' Glencairn Display

by Aaron Cave

Chris Williams and Rob Zvirin started up Camelot's Finest about two and a half years ago. What started out as wanting to create great beard and mustache products quickly turned from one business into two, Merlin's Beards Products and Round Table Woodworks. 


It all started out with Chris and Rob meeting at Binny's in Chicago where they both were employees. They quickly became friends. Before they knew it, Merlin's Beard Products was born. Not only were they creating a great product, they where having fun with it. Chris's desire to create kept growing and they wanted to include their love for bourbon in their products. So they explored another passion and Round Table Woodworks was born.


At Round Table Woodworks, all products are hand made and come from different types of lumber, but all of the bourbon inspired products come from used bourbon barrels.


The boys at Round Table are putting out some amazing bourbon inspired products. The most recent product I have received is their Glencairn Glass Display. This glass display is beautifully crafted out of used bourbon barrels, and holds up to 6 Glencairn Glasses. Three glasses hang up side down and three stand upright in the middle of the display. Chris also went out of his way to engrave BourbonCave and Firewater Review on the sides of the display for me.


The Glencairn Glass Display is not the only product these guys are doing, they have other wonderful products you can check out on Instagram and Etsy, @roundtablewoodworks on Instagram and RoundTable Woodworks on Etsy.


Wyoming Whiskey Introduces L.E. Double Cask
Wyoming Whiskey is releasing a limited edition, sherry-finished bourbon this month. Wyoming Whiskey Double Cask is the first barrel-finished product from the Wyoming-based distiller. Pedro Ximenez barrels were chosen to compliment the flavor profile of specifically chosen barrels of five-year-old Wyoming Whiskey bourbon.

Wyoming Whiskey Head Distiller, Sam Mead, developed the creation with the tasting input of industry specialist and master blender, Nancy Fraley.

Fraley gave the Double Cask excellent marks. According to Fraley, the Sherry-Finished Bourbon features dark, autumnal notes of dried apricot and fig, stewed prune, black currant and toasted nuts. There are hints of candied orange peel, vanilla butter cream, and molasses underneath. The finish is comprised of dark, dried fruit followed by warm, brown baking spices.

“While traditional bourbon continues to be our focus, it is important to show that a variety of great whiskies can be made in Wyoming,” said Co-Founder, David DeFazio. “Both our recent Outryder Straight American Whiskey and Double Cask Sherry-Finished Bourbon are outstanding. We decided to finish our five year-old bourbon in Pedro Ximenez barrels because they complement our base spirit perfectly. We may experiment with other finishes in the future, but we’re really pleased with Double Cask’s flavor profile.”

A limited release of 110 cases of Double Cask will be available for purchase in Wyoming, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and California. Double Cask retails for $59.99 per 750 ml bottle. The first state to receive this unique whiskey will be Wyoming.

Wyoming Whiskey is holding fast to their western heritage, producing whiskey the right way, not the easy way: from the ground up. Using all regionally sourced, non-GMO ingredients, Wyoming Whiskey respects the maxims of great bourbon, yet also reflects the feel and taste of the place it was made.

The ABV Network is the fastest growing podcast network on the web. Here's the latest news with this exciting group of shows, many of which are helmed by Bourbon Zeppelin contributors.

Sam Mead of Wyoming Whiskey
Featured on The Bourbon Show - Today!

by Colonel Steve Akley
We are gearing up for the New Orleans Bourbon Festival later this month. As the Official Podcast of the New Orleans Bourbon Festival, we wil be on hand for the entire event, podcasting, interacting with the celebrity guests, meeting fans and joining the festivities.
We've got a brand new show about ready to join the lineup. On March 6, Beer Reviews with Pepper and the Colonel officially joins the network with its first show (a "show #0 that introduces Pepper and Colonel Steve and the show will appear beforehand as well).

The concept for this one is to get away from the
that is associated with review shows and just tackle it head on via just a couple of non-reviewers sampling beer and simply stating what they like. The goal is to find the perfect beer that can be enjoyed by men, women, experienced beer drinkers and newcomers alike. Pepper and Colonel Steve like to have a little fun along the way as well. These 15 - 20 minute shows appear the first four Mondays of every month.
Finally, we welcomed two incredible sponsors to the family. Here's a little more about them:

Whiskey Threadz
Whiskey Threadz is modern whiskey gear for those who know whiskey. Look good when you are drankin' as they say on The Bourbon Daily.

Dirty Knees Soap Company
Handcrafted soaps, lotions and body wash from the Danos family of Minnesota. The Minnesota Wood scent gets the highest endorsement possible from the ABV Network crew. Get 20% off of your order with the coupon code "bourbon20."
We are as pleased as can be to be associated with these great organizations!
The Current ABV Show Lineup
The Bourbon Show
Hosts: Steve Akley, Seth Brown & Evan Haskill
Bourbon banter, news and interviews with industry influencers from the world of bourbon.
The Bourbon Daily
Hosts: Alicia White, Steve Akley and Evan Haskill
A daily show (Monday - Friday) featuring a new bourbon topic everyday and "Fun Fridays" where anyting goes.
The Last Beer Show
Hosts: Wayne Pelletier and Jason Dominy
Discussion of everything related to the world of beer.
The Firewater Review
Hosts: Seth Brown and Aaron Cave
Hosts Seth Brown and Aaron Cave welcome a guest host each show to review a distilled spirit.
The Bourbon Chronicles
Host: Steve Akley
Host Steve Akley sips bourbon and interviews celebrities and celebrity family members.
The Nightcap
Hosts: All ABV Network Posts
Coming soon.... the "show after the show" where we leave the mics on after a podcast ends.

ABV Network shows can be found on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Libsyn and more. Just search for the name of the show!

The ABV Network is proud to be the Official Podcasting Network of the New Orleans Bourbon Festival. On hand at the event will be Steve Akley, Seth Brown, Alicia White and Evan Haskill. Come say "hi" as they are podcasting live at the event.

In addition to meeting the crew from your favorite shows and trying some incredible bourbons, check out some of the speakers that will be on-hand:
  • Jimmy Russell
  • Fred Noe
  • Trey Zoeller
  • Bourbon historian Mike Veach
  • Author and blogger Chuck Cowdrey
  • Pat Heist
Brands represented at the festival include: Baker's, Basil Hayden, Blade and Bow, Bulleit, IW Harper, Buffalo Trace, Calumet, Cooper's Craft, Devil's Cut, Eagle Rare, Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Maker's Mark, Old Forester, Old Grand-Dad, Russell's Reserve, Sazerac Rye, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Henry McKenna, Yellowstone and many more.

The dates are March 24-26.


Check out to see a complete listing of all events.
Our crew in New Orleans:
Clockwise from top left: Steve Akley, Seth Brown, Alicia White and Evan Haskill
Limestone Branch Distillery
Launches Minor Case Straight Rye Whiskey
Limestone Branch Distillery has introduced Minor Case Straight Rye Whiskey, featuring straight rye whiskey with a sherry cask finish and bottled at 90 proof.

“My grandfather, Minor Case Beam, made rye whiskey in his day, before prohibition, which was his specialty. This rye whiskey is inspired by him and a tribute to his distilling legacy,” says Steve Beam, president and distiller of Limestone Branch Distillery. “His mission was to craft only the finest whiskey – we are honoring him, his passion for distilling and what could’ve been if prohibition didn’t occur with this straight rye.”

Available in 750ml bottles and aged two years, Minor Case Straight Rye Whiskey offers a warm rye spice complemented by the dried fruit notes from being finished in a sherry cask barrel. The combination offers depth to the overall experience of this whiskey.

“This is a direct link to our family lineage on our father’s side, the Beams. We are excited to share our family heritage and proud to honor our great-grandfather with the release of this product,” says Steve Beam.

The whiskey is packaged in a unique flask-style bottle with a letterpress label and a cork topper. All of the details of the packaging are also a nod to the family history and tradition. The bottle features the crest Minor Case Beam used in his labels back when he had his own distillery. “We wanted to incorporate his original logo as a special touch. If you look closely, you can see the letters M, C and B in the crest,” says Steve Beam. The whiskey will be offered nationwide beginning at the end of February for the suggested retail price of $49.99.

Steve Beam and his brother Paul Beam opened Limestone Branch Distillery in 2011, with the goal of crafting the finest whiskey in small batches. With a history of distilling on both sides of their family – Beam and Dant – the brothers are seventh-generation distillers. In 2015, they brought the Yellowstone brand back to the family and launched a limited edition bourbon to commemorate the brand’s 105th anniversary
Deals for Bourbon Zeppelin Readers

Save 20% on your order at Dirty Knees Soap company with the coupon code: "bourbon20".

Alicia White is on vacation this month but will return for the April 1 issue.
The Bourbon Sipper is a Louisville resident who writes about activities appealing to bourbon fans visiting Kentucky with her column Off the Bourbon Trail. She is a regular member of the Instagram crew (@bourbonsipper) and she can also be found on Twitter (@bourbonsipperky).

Bourbon tourism in Kentucky is mirroring the rise of bourbon itself and has been doing so, dramatically I might add, for the past couple of years. People come from all over, often planning entire vacations around hitting all the stops of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The Kentucky tourism committee does a good job of printing pamphlets and advertisements that drive tourists to the main distilleries and historical locations along the trail.

The only problem is after about 4:00pm, you will find that most attractions are closing with 8 hours left in the day and your trusty bourbon trail pamphlet leaves you hanging in terms of what to do next. The Kentucky bourbon experience doesn’t have to end when the last tour leaves the distillery in the early afternoons. If the distilleries didn’t supply you with a good enough dose of bourbon intake for the day, there are some places you can visit to make the experience last a little longer so to speak.

The bourbon craze has given rise to numerous bars and restaurants who have built their entire concept around bourbon. So for you visitors coming to Kentucky on a bourbon adventure, this series of articles is designed to give you a handful of options that you might consider for a little after hours action. I have tried to stay away from the higher profile establishments and concentrate on places I like to describe as “where the locals go”. Being that I am a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, I feel like I can provide some useful insight for those looking to plan a visit soon. So if you are in town for Bourbon Festival, Kentucky Bourbon Affair (if you haven’t been to this, check it out), or just hanging around on by chance, make sure to check some of these places out.

What I have tried to do is provide you with 6 points of criteria by which each establishment is judged and then give each establishment a grade on price. Each category is rated on a 5 star basis with one star being bad and five stars being excellent. I hope you guys can find this series of articles helpful during your next visit to Bourbon Country!


Andrew Wiehebrink

Match Cigar and Bourbon Bar
207 Spring Street, Jeffersonville IN 47130

Mon-Thurs 3:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat Noon-Midnight
Closed on Sunday
Even though this place isn’t in Louisville, it is right across the river so I figured it would be fair game. Doesn’t look like much from the outside but when you step inside the place, it is just cool. Everything screams speakeasy and “low-key” probably describes it best. Half of the building is a cigar shop and the other half is a bourbon bar. I like to think this place is a cigar bar first. For the most part, the bourbon side is just a massive cigar lounge with a good looking bourbon bar right in the middle. What a great place to come and unwind. You can smoke anywhere, drink anywhere, lighting is low, and the couches and lounge chairs are plentiful. The establishment sits on Jeffersonville’s historic Spring Street and is surrounded by lots of local shops and restaurants. Nothing that really strikes my fancy but it sits about a block or two from some good river views. What does this mean? It means you can go in, grab a drink, buy a smoke, and enjoy your stogie while on a short walk to the Ohio River. There isn’t a smoking patio but somehow the owners of the place convinced city officials to allow them to rope off a section of the street and put out some tables and chairs. Very cool on a nice night. Overall, bourbon fans will feel right at home. Not a straight up bourbon bar but hey, bourbon and cigars…what could be better?

The selection is decent. You won’t find anything rare but what they do have is a nice balance of bourbon to satisfy your $6 craving or your $35 craving. I would say overall you probably have about 50 whiskies to choose from. But again, even though this place advertises itself as a bourbon bar, it really is a cigar bar with a mediocre selection of whiskey. The cigar side of the business has been around for a good amount of time and when the boom hit, they decided to put in a bourbon bar. Good thinkin’. They have 4 to 5 beers on tap and a handful in the bottle. Also a nice little wine selection if you prefer vino with your stogies. Cigar selection is good. A decent sized walk in humidor is stocked with most of your favorites and you have some good sized showcase humidors in the lounge with some of the outlying brands such as Acid and the like. True bourbon fans will get a kick out of the place but will probably end up heading somewhere else for some better pours. No barrel picks here.

The bartender I ran into was very knowledgeable and seemingly loves talking about whiskey. Definitely has a legitimate interest in the product and could tell you something about almost every bottle on the shelf. That always makes for a pleasant experience. Our conversations didn’t last too long but from what I could gather, the aspiring bourbon fanatic could come in and she could probably take him/her on a decent whiskey tour and they would definitely learn something.

Food -
The food is good. They only have about 10 items on the menu and they are very simple dishes. Just right to get your grub on after a good stogie and a tall pour of whiskey. It seemed to me the menu had been inspired by Cajun cuisines. You could have some e’touffee or perhaps some fried gator. The shrimp Po-boy was pretty damn good. Nothing real fancy with no big selection but that isn’t what they are going for here…I think it was nice of them to go through the headache of putting a kitchen in the cigar bar for hungry drinkers and smokers alike.

Jigger pours here but the jigger was big. I still think you lose a little of the pizazz not going straight from bottle to glass but the pour was big so you can’t really complain. A lot of places will leave the bottle in front of you, some don’t. Never really bothered me if they didn’t. It just gave me something to read while I sipped my corn. I got my order in a rocks glass which is not favorable but it happens so much that I really don’t think much about it anymore. Most people could care less but I like nosing whiskey out of a glass that is made for the occasion.

Bang for Your Buck
The prices are…fair. I wouldn’t say you get a great deal here but I don’t think it is highway robbery. A pour of Old Grand Dad will cost you about $6 and some Maker’s Cask will run you about $9. I have seen cheaper and I have seen way more expensive. The food is very reasonable and a good sized sandwich with a side will run you about $10. Good portions too so don’t worry about leaving hungry. The cigar side of the business is a little on the high side. I am not very in-tune with cigar prices but I did check out some of my favorites and noticed they were a couple bucks higher than what I usually pay. Overall, you will come thirsty, hungry, and needing a smoke then leave completely satisfied without breaking the bank. Go for it if you’re in town!
Andrew Wiehebrink is a bourbon scholar, corn scientist, engineer, farmer and cigar enthusiast. You can follow him on Instagram (@andrew_wiehebrnk), where he is regularly interacting with the Bourbon Zeppelin crew.
People are Putting Gin into Barrels, and We Need to Have a Discussion About It
by Sydney Youhouse

I should probably preface this article by saying that I work for a distillery that makes gin. And it’s pretty fantastic gin. It’s light and floral and citrus-forward, and does not taste like a sucker-punch of Christmas pine to the mouth. It is, in fact, pretty much the only gin I can enjoyably tolerate. This is not an advertisement for my particular employer’s gin. This is to say that gin is not my cup of tea, or my cocktail, if you will. My background is in bourbon and whiskey, and I am perfectly okay with staying in that realm, thank you very much.


However, I will also argue, as a staunch bourbon sipper, that gin is a spirit that you, as a fellow bourbon sipper, should be getting excited about. Especially since more and more of it has been coming out of used bourbon barrels lately.


But first, a refresher in spirits definition. Bourbon, by law, has to be made with a minimum of 51% corn. It must be aged in brand new, charred oak barrels, and no color or flavor can be added to the bourbon distillate before it has gone into its barrel. It can’t come off the still at any higher than 165 proof, it can’t go into a barrel at any higher than 125 proof, and it can’t be bottled at any less than 80 proof. It can also only be made in the US of A. Gin, on the other hand, is a bit looser in terms of rules. In order for gin to be gin, its majority botanical must be juniper berries. It is at least 85 proof, and typically contains six to ten different botanicals in its composition.


Barrel-aged gin, however, is a completely different ballgame. More nuanced than your typical unaged expression, the barrel-aged counterpart tones down the sometimes overwhelming notes of juniper, while also providing traditional char notes of vanilla, caramel, and baking spice. The result is a complex spirit that combines heady floral notes with subtle oak, and can be just as fun to sip as it is to mix.


Barrel-aged gin started popping up on the market between five to ten years ago, and is still yet-to-be-defined and regulated in a specific definition by the TTB. As such, there is an entire realm of possibilities to explore. Gin is an infinitely creative spirit on its own; as long as juniper berry is the majority botanical, there is no limit as to what a distiller can throw into his or her respective botanical basket. Combine those possibilities with the plethora of flavors to be gained from used barrels, and an entirely unique spirit is born, one that will particularly appeal to those like myself who have become much too comfortable with their Glencairn of bourbon.


For scientific purposes, I set out to try my local watering hole’s two barrel-aged gins. My first was Ransom’s Old Tom Gin. Bottled at a comfortable 88 proof, it is gin that has been aged between six to twelve months old in used French oak wine barrels. On the nose, it’s pleasantly sweet, with the typical juniper notes coming through only subtly. Vanilla is what is most identifiable, but the oak influence isn’t overpowering. Sipping it, I was met with instant cinnamon, with a nice surprise of spice on the tip of my tongue. Floral notes greeted me mid-palate, with dominant flavors of rosewater and grapefruit. My second option was the St. George Dry Rye Reposado Gin, which is 99 proof and aged in French and American oak wine casks for 18 months. The oak influence on the nose and palate of the St. George gin was much more pronounced, with flavors of caramelized and candied lemon coming through. The St. George felt like a floral whiskey; the Ransom like an oaked gin. Both were extremely unique from each other, and unlike anything else that I had tasted before. Other barrel-aged gin options to look out for include offerings from Smooth Ambler, Journeyman, and FEW.


Not only does the greatest advantage of barrel-aged gin lie in its creativity, but also its aging time; typically, these spirits are spending no more than two years in a barrel. With bourbon stocks dwindling and the drinking public desperate to appease their thirst with something that’s come out of a cask, barrel-aged gin is happy to step up and be the next trendy option. Will this affect bourbon’s meteoric rise? Probably not, but with a lot of bourbon comes a lot of used bourbon barrels. Why not put something new inside them?

Sydney Youhouse is the field reporter for Bourbon Zeppelin. As such, she brings firsthand accounts of bourbon topics and events, research pieces and personal narratives. Sydney spent time working for MB Roland Distillery in Pembroke, KY, a craft distillery located on the Kentucky Bourbon Craft Trail, and has first-hand experience in all aspects of bourbon production. She now works for Manifest Distilling in Jacksonville, FL. Her interests in whiskey include alternative grains, craft whiskey cocktails, and the grain to glass distilling movement. Follow her on Instagram @syouhouse to see what she’s drinking, what she’s working on, and lots of cute dog pictures.
Special Cigar Edition
Nub Cafe Cappuccino Robusto 
Body: Silky and mild
Flavor: Sugary sweet with a vanilla finish that lingers
Burn: Tighter draw with fairly uniformed ash
Excellent after dinner quick smoke.
About Mark the Imbiber
Mark the Imbiber has been designed to help you select a bourbon based on flavor profile. The column is written by Mark "Cake" Hansen, a childhood friend of Steve Akley. Cake is not only blessed with a sophisticated taste palate, he combines it with a keen ability to convey those tastes with words. In his personal life, he puts these abilities to work brewing beer. Additionally, he is a graphic artist by trade and deisgns most of the artwork in Bourbon Zeppelin. You can reach Cake via email by clicking here.
by Derek Haas
Bullet Proof Blood Orange Tea 

2 oz bullet proof Bourbon (Elijah Craig) 

2 oz unsweetened iced tea 

3/4 oz blood orange juice

3/4 oz lemon juice 

1 oz simple syrup 

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled double old fashioned glass with a large clear ice cube. Garnish with a dried blood orange wheel and some thyme (light the thyme on fire until it smokes) 

About Derek Haas
Derek Haas AKA @spirited_amateur on Instagram lives in NYC where he is a Manager of Recruiting at a global fashion company. Derek has recently developed a passion for crafted cocktails after visiting the countless speakeasy and cocktail bars around Manhattan. Bourbon is always his first choice but he tries to experiment with other spirits as well.
This month we’re going to talk about Brent Hamby’s bunker. Brent’s a lifesaver and should be cherished…like “CHANEL HANDBAG” cherished (for those not in the know…thats quite the honour).

Lets get started…

Renee: How long have you been building this bad boy?
Brent: I started my collection as a Jack Daniels collector about 10 years ago. My grandparents are from a small town just 15 minutes from the Jack Daniels distillery and my grandmother worked for them for a few years. I currently have over 100 bottles of collectible Jack Daniels items, plus some non-bottle related collectibles. About 3 years ago, I got into other various bourbons and whiskeys and vastly expanded my collection over the past year or so.

Renee: What’s the bottle that started it all?
Brent: The bottle that started it all was and Eagle Rare 10 year from Old Prentice. My first Jack Daniels bottle was the Prohibition Set.

Renee: Eagle Rare happens to be my favourite bourbon! Renee: Name your most cherished bottle.
Brent: Most cherished bottle is probably either my Silver Coronet or Belle of Lincoln Jack Daniels collectible decanters.

Renee: Name a bottle you'd recommend to me. No Unicorns, I’m still getting my sea legs. If you’ve listened to The Bourbon Show Trivia episode that I was on, you’ll know.
Brent: Bottle I'd recommend to you is Rebel Yell 10 Year Single Barrel. The release year was great, and as you can see from the photo I’ve stocked up. (In my mind Brent finds my guest appearance hilarious and also that I’m super charming)

Renee: What’s your go to, your everyday sipper?
Brent: Favorite everyday sippers are Henry McKenna 10 and Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style. Renee: You spelled Favourite wrong.

Renee: So, where the heck are you from anyway?
Brent: I’m in the Atlanta area, shoutout to the Atlanta Bourbon Society.
Renee: I'm from Canada, thanks for asking. BIG shoutout to all my peeps in the KDUB!!

Renee: Where can people find you?
Brent: People can find me on instagram as @cambohamby. I'm also part of an exclusive bourbon group known as “The Bourbon Cartel”. We’re on Facebook as such and on instagram as @thebourboncartel. We work with various distilleries throughout the year to do our own barrel picks as a group. This year we’ve already done a pick with Eddie Russell where he hand selected 8 barrels for us to choose from. In the next few months we will be doing a barrel pick that no one has ever done before, so that will be a special one.

Renee: That’s very cool. I’ll be on the lookout for that! Alright Brent, that concludes our Q&A. Thanks so much for participating and letting me call you Mr. March.
Brent: Thanks so much. I had a lot of fun and enjoy being called Mr. March. You’re a cool chick and now a member of The Bourbon Cartel. You‘ll be in on all of our secrets. Once again, you’re hilarious and awesome.
Renee: Thanks Brent, it’s and honour and you’re too kind. (I’m blushing profusely, because this is so unexpected)

Full disclosure: This last little bit is fictional. I was never made part of The Bourbon Cartel, and I have no idea if Brent thinks I’m funny or cool. I’m also pretty sure, he doesn’t enjoy being called Mr.March.

Here’s Brent’s bunker in all it’s glory:

Renée Howe / @renee_m_h on Instagram and @reneehowe on Twitter

Renée Howe is a fashion and lifestyle blogger out of Kitchener, Ontario. She is also a regular member of the bourbon crew on Instagram. Through her "Show Me Yours" column, she plans to feature bourbon bunkers each month... including yours! Send your bourbon bunker photos directly to Renée by clicking here (your bourbon bunkers only please... ya filthy animals). 
The iconic brand Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a new addition to its product lineup: Ezra Brooks Straight Rye. The brand, which dates back to 1957 and has been a part of Luxco’s portfolio of whiskeys since 1993, will continue to provide variants for consumers that celebrate the modern gentleman in all of us.
Ezra Brooks Straight Rye, a genuine straight rye whiskey, is made from the finest ingredients available and bottled at an honest 90 proof. This rye whiskey offers slightly sweet and oaky tones with a warm, spicy finish – making it perfect for crafting classic cocktails or enjoying on the rocks. It is available nationally starting this month in 750ml and 50ml bottles.
“In the past 12 months, we have seen rapid growth in the rye category, up 27 percent, which indicates consumers are interested in more rye whiskey products,” says Fletcher Buchman, brand manager at Luxco.
This Month Aaron Reviews:
Jack Daniel's Single Barrel

This month I want to take a step back from bourbon, and take a look at a Tennessee whiskey. So these articles are all about single barrel higher proof whiskey, what Tennessee whiskey is single barrel and high proof?  You got it Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof.


So you may be asking yourself what makes Tennessee whiskey different from a bourbon. There are a couple of things that makes them different. For starters Tennessee whiskey has to be made in Tennessee, where bourbon can be made anywhere is the Unite States. Second, and the big difference is, the Charcoal Mellowing Process also known as the Lincoln County Process. 

So what is the Lincoln County Process?

For Jack Daniel’s once their whiskey is distilled up to 140-proof the un-aged whiskey then passes through a 10 foot vat of charcoal, that was made by burning maple wood. As it travels drop by drop through the charcoal it helps to kick start the aging process and also is said to and flavor.


Jack Daniel’s mash bill is 80% corn 8% rye and 12% barley, there is no age statement on the bottle, but the estimated age is 4-7 years. Jack Daniel’s pulls barrels from the upper levels of their rickhouse for all their single barrel barrel proof releases, with the proof ranging between 125 and 140.

So the bottle I am reviewing today comes in at a hefty 133.3 proof. 


The color is a medium amber in the glass, and very oily-legs for days.


The nose on this bottle is unbelievable!

This whiskey is 133.3 proof yet there is very little alcohol on the nose.  First thing I get is butterscotch, heavy brown sugar, and maple syrup, all sweet at first. Upon my second whiff the sweet dies down and you get burnt oak, ripe bananas, cloves, and pepper.


The palate and nose are very similar. There is not much alcohol on the palate and you are hit with a lot of sweetness at first. Maple syrup is the big player here. There is also some sweet caramel corn, and honey. After the sweetness fades, there is bitter chocolate, bananas, pipe tobacco, toasted oak, and a nice nuttiness.


Finish is long and hot, this is where it lets you know its 133.3 proof. Caramel, cashews, spicy cinnamon, and oak.


Going into this review, I have never been a big Jack Daniel’s fan, but this bottle has opened my eyes. I highly recommend picking this up if you are a lover of high proof whiskeys. I will always have a bottle of this on hand from now on.



90/100 ​

About Aaron Cave
Aaron Cave is a bourbon enthusiast from Columbus, Ohio. Living just a short drive from the Bourbon Trail, Aaron enjoys keeping up with the latest in the bourbon world. He recently made a dream come true by spending a day at Four Roses helping with barrel selection and getting to sample bourbon straight from the barrel. Aaron is a regular member of the Instagram bourbon crew where he enjoys talking bourbon and sharing photos. You can follow him on Instagram (@acave0324) or Twitter (@AaronRocky0324).
Jim Beam Partners with Bartender Tommy Lawson to Create Custom Cocktails
Noted Chicago bartender Tommy Lawson created some cocktails to enjoy during the entertainment "Awards Season" for Jim Beam.
Red Carpet Cocktail
2 ounces Jim Beam Black
¾ ounce lemon juice
¾ orange blossom honey
Add liquids into cocktail shaker and shake and double strain into a rocks glass and top with gold flakes.
Song and Dance
1 ½ ounces of Jim Beam black
½ ounce of Aperol
¾ ounce strawberry syrup
¾ ounce lemon juice
Egg white
Combine all liquids (except egg white) into a cocktail shaker. Dry Shake. Double strain into a clean cocktail shaker. Add egg white and shake until well combined and the egg white has emulsified. Strain into coupe/footed rocks glass and allow the foam to settle. Add confetti firework stencil.

The Manchester
2 ounces of Jim beam black
.5 ounce of simple syrup
2 dash bay bitters
1 dash orange bitters
Combine all liquids into a pint glass and stir for 60 rotations. Pour into a rocks glass with a large cube. Garnish with a sailboat.
Over the Moon
1 ½ ounces Jim Beam Black
.5 ounce of St. Germain
.5 ounce of simple syrup
¾ ounce of lemon juice
1 ounce red wine to top
Combine all liquids into a shaker. Shake well. Double strain into a small Collins glass. Top with a one ounce of bold red wine. Garnish with a lemon moon and star.
About Tommy Lawson
Tommy Lansaw is a Chicago-based mixologist and finalist from the Red Eye's 2015 Best Bartender in Chicago competition. Since 2012 he has manned the bar Wood where he develops and produces cocktails menus based on seasonal ingredients, simplicity and fun that pack a lot of flavors to enhance the experience for guests taste buds.
Originally from Cincinnati, Tommy's first break in bartending came while working for an herb and spice business at a local farmers market. It was there he learned how to use fresh ingredients in cocktails from local bar owner, Molly Wellmann.
Bourbon Nuggets
Seth's Birthday episode is the most popular "non guest" episode of The Bourbon Show. They recently released a show to celebrate Steve's birthday. Please give it a download today since he wants to pass Seth's show in popularity.

Learn Something Guy
If you see him, pay attention... education is straight ahead!

A Message from Learn Something Guy
"The fact this industry has worked this hard to tell us this doesn't matter, means that it 1,000% matters."
Learn Something Guy
About Learn Something Guy
Learn Something Guy is one of the most brilliant minds from the world of bourbon... he's just a bit of a tool. Knowing this, and If you go in with the right attitude, you just might learn something every time he appears in Bourbon Zeppelin.

Bourbon Zeppelin Fans and Staff Members Share the Stories of their Current Favorite Bottle of Bourbon

This Month, BZ Reader Jon Spackman Talks About:
2004 Evan Williams Single Barrel

The Heaven Hill Distillery released the Evan Williams Single barrel expression around 1996 with a 1986 vintage bottling. As of 2004, they won 5 Whiskey of the Year awards for the Evan Williams Single Barrel product line. The winning formula is a mashbill of 78% Corn, 10% Rye, and 12% Malted Barley.

My particular bottle is 86.6 Proof and was from Barrel No. 1496, which was barreled on 8-19-04 and bottled on 11-17-14, making this a touch over 10 years old. I have several Evan Williams Single Barrel vintages ranging from 2000-2007, and while they are very similar, this 2004 is so far the best I have tried. Bourbon fans should pick up any vintage they can find – I’m confident they’ll enjoy the pour.

This 2004 EWSB is my pick, and one of the best budget bourbons on the shelves. It’s affordable (under $30), and most importantly, it tastes great!  It’s not so old and rare that you can’t source it. Just the other day, my buddy picked up four bottles of 2004, two for me and two for him. And if you can’t find the 2004, the 2007 and 2008 vintages are great alternatives.

Nose: Caramel, oak, citrus, vanilla.

Palate: Vanilla, fantastic smoothness with just a little heat and the most amazing peanut brittle finish*

I put a * above because I have a trick to get the best out of this pour: a few drops of Old Limestone Mixing Water. The last time I enjoyed a pour of EWSB, I wondered why it lacked the peanut brittle finish I love so much about this bottle. Then I remembered that I was drinking it neat, and forgot to put the tiny bit of Limestone water in. I added a few drops and BAM! There it was. Love this bourbon and I hope you will too.

What you get with the 2004 Evan Williams Single Barrel is a smooth, easy sipper with a great flavor and complexity for its price-point. Try it straight, and then with a few drops of water. See what you think.

Let me know! Send me a message on Instagram at @j5races
Jon Spackman is a bourbon lover and avid dusty hunter. He can be found browsing the Instagram Community, helping newbies (and veterans) swap samples of drams on their bourbon bucket list.  

Do you have a favorite bottle? Please reach out and tell us so we can feature you in a future edition:
Click here to tell us about your favorite bottle!
A look at the what's ahead for the world of bourbon
Louisville has kind of been homebase for the bourbon-focused traveler. As Kentucky's largest city, it features many great restaurants, bars and hotel rooms are plentiful. Whiskey tourism was mostly surrounding Louisville, though, instead of in it.

With a flurry of build outs going on right now, Louisville is seemingly poised to take a run at being the epicenter of whiskey travel with four distilleries having just opened, or getting ready to open in the next year. Here's a look at the lineup:

  • Angel's Envy - Opened in 2016
  • Old Forester - Opens this year
  • Rabbit Hole - Opens this year
  • Michter's - Opens in 2018
With others in the works as well, Louisville is making the case for a one-stop bourbon tourism shop.
Did you know, our own Kimberly Burns designed this column header art with the molecular structures for whiskey? #awesome
Hosted this month by:
Heath Layson in the Bourbon Lounge

If I had a time machine in the Bourbon Lounge, I would love to go back and have a drink with the best storyteller in my opinion, Samuel Longhorn Clemens, none other than Mark Twain (writer’s pen name). I can only imagine the stories that he could tell of life in the Midwest as our country was expanding past the Mississippi River. His books, Life on the Mississippi, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (just to mention a few), take me back to a simpler and nostalgic time in American history. You see, I grew up and live by the Ohio River, so Mr. Twain’s stories hit a note with my heritage.

Those simpler times remind me of bourbon and how it’s made. His quotes that mention whiskey and bourbon harken to those times in a young America fighting its way through the Civil War. Boy, I bet he knew firsthand about the bourbon trade headed down these rivers to New Orleans!

I want to leave you with the @BourbonLounge’s top quotes by Mark Twain concerning bourbon and whiskey:

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”

 “Give an Irishman lager for a month, and he’s a dead man. An Irishman is lined with copper, and the beer corrodes it. But whiskey polishes the copper and is the saving of him.”

“If I cannot drink bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go”

“Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself. And never refuse to take a drink – under any circumstances.”

“Whiskey is for drinking: water is for fighting over.”

As I close, Mr. Twain is in all of us. As an adventurer, and a storyteller, he is a true American legend. With that ,I leave you with my favorite quote as I take another sip of my heavy glass of Kentucky bourbon:

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."  

– Mark Twain

Heath Layson / @BourbonLounge on Instagram

Heath lives in Owensboro, Kentucky with his wife and three daughters. He is an automation consultant with an industrial electrical wholesaler. He notes he’s a “long-time drinker, first-time guest columnist.”

Bourbon Nuggets
James Bond may be synonymous with the "shaken not stirred" martini, but he had a fondness for bourbon as well. Brands noted in books and movies include: Old Grand-Dad, I.W. Harper's, Walker's Deluxe (defunct), Basil Hayden and even Jack Daniel's.
It's Bourbon Zeppelin PSA Time!

Because the more you know, the more you enjoy bourbon!
About Evan Haskill
Evan Haskill is a lover of good bourbon and craft beer as well the announcer of The Bourbon Show podcast. He can be found on Instagram (@evanhaskill), Twitter (@haskillevan) and Untappd (@bourbon_neat84).
New from Heaven Hill...
Of course, that's just wishful thinking on Evan Haskill's part. This very cool Photoshop "dream come true" for Evan was created by his friend (and ours), BZ staff reporter Lisa "Cocktail Maven" Carrington.

Nice work LIsa!
About Corey Chandler
Corey Chandler lives in Richmond, Virginia, where he enjoys bourbon hunting with his wife. Corey is in the process of realizing a lifelong dream of opening a restaurant. Look for him to share more information about this as he get closer to opening his place next year. He's part of the regular bourbon crew on Instagram where he's always sharing his latest finds. Check out Corey Chandler's Instagram page: @mrshacorey

What REALLY Made America Great

I’ve always had a soft spot for Lewis and Clark.  It started when I was a kid and was scared to go up in the Arch.  You see, I’m a bit afraid of heights and my elementary class trips always led us to the St. Louis Arch.  Before the current renovation, they had a lovely Lewis and Clark museum underneath, which I must’ve toured at least a dozen times as a kid while I waited on my classmates to finish their Arch tour.  I became a bit of a self-proclaimed Lewis and Clark buff, if you will—which we can agree, is not very cool when you’re 11 years old.  Over the years, my knowledge of all things Lewis and Clark became this joke that people would tease me about.  As fate would have it, I live in the “Disney World” if you will, for someone who bears a dorky affection for Lewis and Clark.  They pushed off on their Corps of Discovery just a few miles north of St. Louis, where I now live (I promise I’m getting to the booze…).  When I was a kid, I learned all of the places they went, the maps they created, the people and wildlife they encountered for the first time.  As an adult, I’m learning that Lewis and Clark were a lot cooler than what they told me at the museum!

Last summer, I toured the spot where they cast their boats into the water just north of St. Louis at Camp Dubois on May 14, 1804.  In that little keelboat, they had to pack enough food and supplies for all of the men on the trip. At the top of their supply list was 18 kegs of bourbon!  Suddenly the dynamic duo just got a whole lot cooler!  Knowing this would be a long and difficult trip (and the boat was full of men that they recruited from deep within Kentucky bourbon country), they wanted to ensure they had enticement to keep the men engaged and not desert their mission, so they made sure bringing whiskey along was a priority. 

They rationed the whiskey out daily so each man would get a dram, or about 4 ounces.  This would be enough to take the edge off at the end of a long day of rowing or walking on difficult terrain.  A night watch would stand guard over the encampment, and would make sure the bourbon wouldn’t disappear overnight, as well.  Once, when one of the men took more than his share, he was brought before the other members of the group in a “court martial” process. The punishment he received was 100 well landed lashes. These men worked hard during the day, but took their whiskey very seriously!  Additional half-drams or drams could be earned by exhibiting great riflemanship or acts of bravery during the journey. Holidays were also times that Lewis and Clark would reward the men for their loyalty and perseverance with an extra chug or two of the good stuff.

As the bourbon was straight—usually 100-160 proof and not always the best quality, the men would sometimes mix in something to make it a bit more palatable. Since they were usually in a keelboat or the rustic woods and not in a well-stocked cosmopolitan bar, they had to make do with what was available. They would take the bourbon and mix in just a little blackstrap molasses or maple syrup to take off the bite.   

The whiskey was intended to last until the Great Falls, but supplies grew thin. The men watered it down to make it last longer until one day it was more water than whiskey. Eventually it ran out before they made it to the Great Falls.  They traded for it where they could, but times were definitely not as bright as they were when the bourbon was flowing. Nevertheless, they forged ahead. The Corps of Discovery returned to St. Louis on September 30, 1806 and no doubt found a place to hoist a glass of quality bourbon and celebrate the end of a long journey. The discoveries that they made along their journey were great and numerous. They helped to expand America west and permanently forged St. Louis as the Gateway to the West. And to think they were fueled by bourbon!

I’m sure you’re all wondering, I DID finally go up in the St. Louis Arch, and it was an amazing ride to the top. I love that my goofy flair for Lewis and Clark and my passion for bourbon crossed paths and made for a good tale.  And yes, I can still probably remember enough to be a tour guide at the Arch museum if push comes to shove, but I would much rather have a cocktail instead!

Andrea Holak is a St. Louis resident where she works as a grant administrator at a local nonprofit which provides housing and related supportive services to people who are affected by HIV/AIDS. In her spare time, in addition to spending time with her husband, two Australian Shepards and a cat, Andrea enjoys all things bourbon. She has joined the BZ team to tell the stories of bourbon history. You can find Andrea on Twitter or Instagram with the name @redtumbleweed virtually hanging with the bourbon crew!
Dreamcatcher by Inoculum Ale Works
My last and most memorable experience in having a proper absinthe service was wholly accidental, unfolding in one of the last places on earth one would ever imagine having a proper absinthe service --- in a country whose primary population doesn't consume alcohol at all. Yet there I found myself, a handful of years ago now, perched atop the BiCE Sky Bar in the United Arab Emirates, ten floors above the bustling Dubai streets, tentatively sipping a glass of absinthe. I had taken seat here hours before --- the first customer upon opening for dinner service --- and was granted the best seat in the house: the corner table on the restaurant's outdoor terrace, overlooking the cerulean waters of the Arabian Gulf, surrounded by the city's towering skyscrapers, private residences, and famed architecture.
I was wholly lost in watching the sun beginning its evening descent into the horizon when an impeccably-dressed waiter interposed, politely directing my attention to Marina Beach below. The Red Bull X-Fighters Tour --- the largest and most renown freestyle motorbike competition in the world --- he noted, was about to begin. "You are in for quite the spectacle" he smiled, placing a complimentary amuse before me, and informing me that the evening's pageantry was not to be missed.
I was relaying my order for a single bowl of saffron risotto when the sun ultimately disappeared, and the lights of the surrounding buildings flickered on, illuminating the dark. The edges of the ever-recognizable Palm Jumeirah twinkled in the distance, and as the collective waves of voices and music filled the air --- the latter signaling the beginning of the event below --- it was as if everything around me was electric. A duo of planes then appeared, buzzing low overhead, and as stunt divers leapt from them one by one --- their chutes, when ultimately opened, revealing the portraits of the country's royal family members --- onto the event grounds below, to the waves of applause and resounding cheers --- I was enamored with the moment.
So much so in fact, that for the rest of the evening, I ordered courses not out of hunger, but out of the desire to not leave the table: A basket of warm ciabatta and spreads. A selection of formaggi. A tartare of lobster and avocado. A welcomed side of taggiasca olives. An octopus carpaccio with sweet paprika oil. The originally-requested bowl of saffron risotto; all of which were consumed deliberately at snail's pace, as I gazed in awe at the exotic surroundings. As forfeiting my seat was unthinkable, I instead accepted the waiter's invitation to sample the pastry chef's basil panna cotta, accepted a neighboring diner's offer of a cigar, and ultimately, accepted my own ramekin of decadent tiramisu. I had navigated the entirety of the menu, and was running out of things to order when, in one last attempt to prolong the evening, I requested absinthe service.
Thinking back, I couldn't tell you one thing about the spirit I was served, neither the name nor distiller, other than that sipping it was magic. I was given the slightest pour --- no more than a few ounces --- in a delicate, beautifully-etched glass. The glass was placed atop a similarly-beautiful saucer, over which the slightest amount of water was trickled tableside, and when I lifted it to the collective lights of the buildings surrounding me, to the distant glow of the Palm, to the dazzling floodlights of the spectacle below, it fluoresced --- the gulf's lapping waves reflecting in the near-milky contents. I was in love with a moment, and from that point forward, absinthe to me has been synonymous with magic. It's unsurprising then, that when I first heard that a local brewer had successfully created an absinthe beer, I had to see it to believe it. And of course, I had to taste it.
Originating in Switzerland in the late eighteenth century, absinthe is a high-proof, anise-flavored spirit derived from botanicals, including the leaves and flowers of the Artemisia absinthium, or grand wormwood. While some varieties of absinthe can be colorless, chlorophyll extracted from these herbs during the production process gives the spirit its characteristic green hue. Commonly referred to as la fée verte, or "the green fairy" in historical literature, absinthe has been said [albeit erroneously] to possess dangerous and hallucinogenic properties, causing some to fear it, and some --- from Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, to Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe and Lord Byron --- to famously revere it.
With so much romanticism and reputation surrounding a spirit, how does one successfully mimic it --- in a beer nonetheless? How does one evoke the spirit of the spirit itself, creating something new, whilst still maintaining the integrity of the spirit?
According to Inoculum Ale Works brewer and self-professed "funk farmer" Nick Moench, that can be achieved by "not replicating [the spirit] but by instead, paying homage to it". Standing provisionally in sleepy Spring Hill, Florida, with plans to move to the Orlando region, Inoculum --- Florida's sole sour-only production facility --- is the first of its kind for the state. Their nod to absinthe, named Dreamcatcher --- the "stuff that dreams are made of" --- is fast approaching its official small batch release date. I've come here on bottling day to meet with the brewers, who surrounded by gleaming tanks, in thick black gloves, drawing samples into glasses more-closely resembling beakers than pints, look more like a duo of prodigious chemistry students than brewers.
Within minutes of my arrival, I'm handed a pour of fern-green beer, and the conversation turns swiftly from preliminary greetings to science. We're talking color acquisition --- an effect Moench has mimicked here through the addition of wheatgrass --- retention and consistency; the first query my friends and fellow beer advocates had raised when I told them that I had taken it upon myself to seek out an absinthe beer. The second query, I'm telling Moench, who's academic background is in microbiology, is how he achieved flavor. There are, obviously enough, laws in place preventing the addition of spirits to beer. So how does one create a beer comparable enough to an aniseed spirit that it's recognizable as such?
Here, Moench states, he adopted a deconstructive approach, taking the basic ingredients of the spirit --- wormwood, hyssop, lemon peel, coriander, angelica root, star anise, and fennel seed, in this case --- and adding them together in "palatable rations", in a brewing process that takes approximately one month from start to finish. We are lost in the finer points of sour beer production when the third and final query raised by my peers is called to mind: how does it taste?
Traditional absinthe, owing to the anise, is predominantly licorice-forward, oftentimes mildly bitter, and capable of possessing very distinct herbal complexities. Here, Moench has paid homage where homage is due, creating a beer that is truly anise-forward and considerably tart --- presenting with a faint aroma of licorice candy --- and finishing with an ever-so-slight sweetness. When I swallow, there is sunshine at the back of my tongue. Absinthe beer is absinthe on a beach vacation.
Inoculum is bottling the beer as we speak --- three hundred allotments that will be labeled, signed, and wax-sealed for their release in the coming days. I'm holding my beaker-like glass in one hand, admiring still its sage green contents, when Moench pulls the first filled and capped bottled off the line and places it in my other hand. I hold the beautiful, unlabeled bottle to the light --- still swirling dregs of Dreamcatcher and smiling to myself over the thought of having sunshine on one's tongue --- and for a moment, I could have sworn I saw the once-lapping waves of Arabian Gulf reflecting too, inside that vessel.
I realized then that not only is it possible to mimic a spirit within a beer, to evoke the spirit of the spirit itself, but fantastic to do so. Like so many good things in life, this beer challenges us: it challenges our ideas about what a beer should be like, what a beer should look like, and what a beer should taste like. In relating to Moench the queries that had been posed by friends and fellow craft beer advocates prior to our meeting, I didn't mention the overwhelming apprehension so many demonstrated over how an "absinthe beer" could be executed, let alone the near-unanimous conjecture that such a beer "couldn't possibly taste good".
The first bottle off of the line

Days later, I am huddled around the beautiful, nondescript bottle with a few of my favorite skeptics, lining up a motley crew of mismatching tasting glasses while the parched doubting Thomases eye the beads of condensation slipping down the bottle's façade. I'm smiling to myself as I begin doling out portions of Dreamcatcher, intentionally avoiding questions. I have told them little about my visit to Inoculum to discuss the production of "absinthe beer" --- a beer that like so many good things in life, challenges us --- and even less about its taste. Like so many good things in life, I reason, this is something better to experience firsthand than to relay. I'm smiling again about that sunshine on the back of my tongue when I raise my glass of Dreamcatcher --- a cue for all else to do the same. I meet their collective gazes, reflecting everything from hesitance and exhilaration to anxious amusement and sheer terror, and with what I can only suggest was twinkle in my eye and a sweet memory on my mind, toast "to drinking all the things…"
Tanya Lawrence is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC. She moderates the Instagram page babels_cameron, dedicated primarily to craft beer and craft beer tourism throughout Florida and beyond. She lives in Tampa with her dog Santiago, and enjoys bird-watching and cheeseboards.
Bourbon Nuggets
Over one million people explored the Bourbon Trail in 2016. This marks the first year the trail passed the 1,000,000 mark and proves interest in bourbon continues to grow.
This month Chrissy shares a recipe created for Bourbon Zeppelin Readers
This Recipe Uses:
  • 2 Tbsp. Clarified Butter
    1 medium Onion (chopped)
    3-6 Cloves of garlic (I always add around 6, I can't help its the Italian in me)
    2 Jalapeno (finely diced and add seeds for more heat)
    2 lbs. Burnt Ends
    1 lbs. Ground Bison (or any leaner cut of ground meat)
    1 Cup Beef Broth (low sodium)
    1 1/2 Cups Bourbon (I used Maker's 46)
    1 40 ounce can Kidney beans
    1 56 ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
    1/4 Cup Chile Powder
    1/2 Tbsp. Oregano (fresh or dried)
    1 Tbsp. cumin
    1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
    1 Cinnamon Stick (broken in half)
    2 Bay Leaves
    Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. In a saute pan, cook your bison meat and once cooked drain out excess oil/fat.
  2. In a large dutch oven, or large soup pot, add the butter over medium heat, and allow to melt. Add in the onion & garlic, saute until the onion is softened. Add in the Jalapeno & the additional spices, excpet the cinnamon stick & bay leaves. Saute until the spices start to release their oils and the smell is fragrant.
  3. Add in the Bourbon, stir up the bits from the bottom and allow to cook down for 3 minutes. Add in the beans, bison meat, burnt ends & tomatoes. Stir & make sure everything is fully mixed together. Add in your beef stock, and use your judgement; the recipe calls for 1 cup, but depending on the consistency you are looking for you can always add in more. Lastly, add in the cinnamon sticks & bay leaves. Drop the heat & allow the chili to simmer for 2 hours minimum, of course the longer it cooks the more these flavors come together. 
Get the "story behind the story" for this recipe, along with other recipes incorporating bourbon as an ingredient on Chrissy's blog (click on the site name below to check it out):
A Lil' Dab of Bourbon
About Chrissy Martin
Chrissy Martin is a whisk(e)y sommelier residing in the greater Kansas City metro area. In addition to her love for bourbon, she enjoys cooking. As a trained sommelier, she is able to combine her love for food with bourbon by pairing them together. Like most of the BZ team, Chrissy is a regular member of the bourbon crew on Instagram (@alildabofbourbon).
The Case for Cocktails
by Lisa Carrington
The court is called to order and the bailiff reads the charges aloud “The cocktail is accused of defamation of the good name, flavor and character of bourbon”. I’m the defense attorney, and I will prove my client innocent of these charges.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury… We’ve all had that friend who won’t drink bourbon because of the night that went terribly wrong with Jack & Coke in college. Or the bar where they’ve macerated oranges and maraschino cherries to death, added a sugar packet, dumped soda water in and called it an old fashioned. But are these injustices really the fault of the cocktail? Should bourbon drinkers simply assume that cocktails were created by the devil to ruin bourbon? Are we now so sophisticated with our Napa Valley like olfactory sensibilities that there is no longer a place for the cocktail in our allocated world? I think a case can be made for cocktails, not just their existence but as a regular part of a bourbon drinker’s beverage portfolio.

Julia Ritz drinking a cocktail at the museum of the American Cocktail
As my lead witness I’d like to call Julia Ritz, founder of Women Who Whiskey (@womenwhowhiskey). What started out as 5-6 friends who went out on the weekends to enjoy whiskey has become 10,000 women worldwide with chapters from New York to Nairobi. Julia lives in New York City and discussed with me this week the cultural importance of the cocktail. Cocktails have a key role in how we socialize as Americans. Not only are they often the “gateway drug” as people are introduced to new spirits for the first time; they are cross-generational bringing people together to share in a unifying experience.
Admittedly, cocktails had some pretty terrible years, but so did fashion. The 1980’s simply weren’t kind to anyone. “As the slow food movement gained popularity and speakeasies began to spring up across the country cocktailing changed too. The craft bar movement revived favorites of our past and introduced new concepts built around enhancing the flavor of the liquor rather than covering it up” testified Ritz. The growing popularity of bitters adds even more dimensionality; coaxing out subtle hidden flavors from the bourbon we love.
A 'Smoking Canon' cocktail from the Undertow bar (@undertowphx) it has Bourbon, rum, sherry, pineapple bitters, & is smoked with cinnamon

This was Arizona Cocktail Week with hundreds of bartenders, brands and cocktail celebrities from around the world converging on Phoenix for classes, comradery, and cocktails. Declan Padraic McGurk manages the American Bar at the 5-star Savoy hotel in London (@thesavoylondon). It’s currently ranked 2nd on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars and has the distinction of being the longest serving bar in the UK since opening its doors in 1897. He shared his thoughts on both the past and future of cocktails with attendees. I am entering them now into the record. “The first documented use of the word cocktail in the world is found in a newspaper in London in 1798” said McGurk. Cocktails have a very significant role in our history, and often mark significant events. The first thing that astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin sipped upon returning to earth after their moon landing was a Moonwalk cocktail designed and sent over by the Savoy. The thank you letter from Neil Armstrong still hangs in the bar today. “The future of cocktails is bright” he says. “The evolving nature of cocktails give you the ability to constantly reinvent yourself”. New flavors, new combinations and new ways to enjoy things you already love.
So in closing, if the last cocktail you had was something pink, mixed with coke, or called a spritz or a slam you are doing yourself (& my client) an injustice - and you probably last had a cocktail in 1999. Find a great bourbon bar, where the bartender is passionate about his or her craft, and let them create something that will take the bourbon you love so much and frame it with a totally new story. Then you may just decide that my client is a worthy drinking partner who deserves your respect after all.  

On this note, I will rest my case.
Lisa Carrington is a bourbon enthusiast and passionate cocktail creator living in Phoenix, Arizona. She enjoys making her own bitters, crafting new cocktails from local ingredients and smoking just about anything from salmon, to cigars, to cocktails. You can follow her bourbon and cocktail musings on social media under the handle @cocktail_maven on both twitter and Instagram. 
This Month's Selection...
Black Note Stout
by Bell's Brewery
Bell's Brewery gains new fans every year with this offering. Aged in freshly retired oak bourbon barrels for months, this imperial/double stout is aimed squarely at stout and bourbon lovers. There were malty notes of bitter chocolate, espresso, and dried fruit. A chewy tobacco flavor with a fragrant bourbon barrel.

My only gripe is that I wish I would've aged this one. Otherwise, I'm adding this as a yearly must have.

About Six Feet of Dynamite
Arizona resident. Chi-town girl. Avid craft brew drinker. Stout and porter lover. Getting to love all things craft... one brewery at a time. Like most of the BZ team, Dynamite is a regular member of the bourbon crew on Instagram and her Untappd account is not to be missed (@sixfeetofdynmite for either Instagram or Untappd).
Bourbon Zeppelin - Friendship Maker?

Intro by Colonel Steve Akley
Story by Lisa Carrington

As the founder of Bourbon Zeppelin, we've had a lot of cool things happen in regard to this publication. We've had the industry take note of what we are doing and helped provide valuable content, we've consistently expanded readership and we've got some of the best people in the world writing for this magazine.

How could this possibly get any better? What if two individuals actually met based on the fact they both are writers for the publication? That's right, long-time writer Six Feet of Dynamite and our newest team member Lisa "Cocktail Maven" Carrington both are from Phoenix. Dynamite actually took note and suggested she and Lisa meet up for drinks. That made me incredibly happy. It's just so awesome. It's something you don't even fathom when you start a publication like this. A friendship from a bourbon magazine? Who knew that could happen!

By the way, when I heard about the fun they had, I got envious. I have to get out to Phoenix to hang out with these two!

The Story of the Meeting

The best part of this community isn’t actually the bourbon, it’s the people that make it up. This month I was fortunate enough to spend an evening out with another Bourbon Zeppelin contributor Six Feet of Dynamite who writes the bourbon barrel-aged beer column every month. Dynamite's Instagram handle fits her perfectly (@sixfeetofdynamite). She is energy, awesomeness and beer knowledge all wrapped up in 6 feet of pure fun. Our two goals for the evening were to advance my craft “Beerducation” and for Della to expand her bourbon knowledge... and to have some fun of course.
 We met at Angel’s Trumpet Ale House (@angels_trumpet_ale_house) and jumped right in like we were old friends. No one would believe it was the first time we met. Common interests have a way of doing that I suppose. Angel’s Trumpet has 30+ constantly rotating taps of beer from all over so I figured that would be a good place for me to learn a few things. Dynamite picked out my flight: Devastator Double Bock, Founders Rübaeus, Caferacer 15, Epic Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout, DragonHosen, and The Shop’s Coffee Brown. Six distinctively different beers. We chatted and she helped me pull apart the flavor notes that ranged from raisin to pine.  My favorite was the Epic Big Bad Baptist. Maybe that’s because it’s really great, maybe because it’s got such a badass name, or maybe it’s just because it was aged in whiskey barrels!
Our next stop was the Valley Bar (@valleybarphx). A super cool hidden bar and music venue downstairs in a dark back alley (the best places always are). It’s full of Phoenix history including a kinetic shadow art installation honoring the city’s most famous murderess, Winnie Ruth Judd, right above the bar. They have a decent, albeit small, whiskey list. I ordered up Buffalo Trace, Highwest Double Rye, Highwest Campfire, and Blanton’s. My goal was to provide extremely different options, since it’s easier to pick out flavors when the differences are distinctive. While she liked them all it’s not surprising that she enjoyed the sweetness of the two bourbons best.
Well you certainly can’t spend an evening with the Cocktail Maven and not have at least one cocktail so we ended our night at Bitter & Twisted (@bitterandtwisted_az) with the ‘La Chocolat Sazerac’. It’s a generous pour of rye whiskey, Aztec bitters, a splash of crème de cacao and of course absinthe. It’s one seriously sexy whiskey cocktail. Thanks to Steve Akley (and a genuine love of booze) for bringing us together. This was the first, but definitely not the last, beer & bourbon meet-up!
A Look at Henry McKenna

Well, I guess I didn’t know as much as I thought about my beloved Ezra Brooks. Last month I got an Email from Luxco who makes Ezra telling me that they will in fact have their own distillery. Here is some of the press release:

September 16, 2016 – Luxco has announced the name of the distillery it is having built in Bardstown, Kentucky: the new distillery, and the company managing all whiskey production, will be known as Lux Row Distillers. The family-owned company also revealed the new logo for the distillery. Construction on the project broke ground on May 2, 2016 with a ceremony including Luxco executives, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin and Nelson County dignitaries. The distillery is located in Nelson County on a 70-acre site off state highway KY-245, in the heart of the Bourbon Capital of the World. When completed, the distillery building will be approximately 18,000 square feet and the overall site will include six barrel warehouses, a tasting room, and event space, in addition to offering visitors a new stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. “We have worked diligently to find the perfect and most inspiring name for the new distillery and we are excited to have landed on the name Lux Row Distillers,” says Donn Lux, Luxco Chairman and CEO. “We wanted the distillery, which represents a new chapter in our family and company evolution, to incorporate aspects of the Lux family name, the scenic property we are located on and the bourbon heritage of the area.” The distillery is being built alongside an existing house on the property, which is registered as a National Historic Place and will remain. The property boasts scenic views. “When we drove into the property for the first time, we were captivated with the long and beautiful rows of trees that line the long driveway and felt that should be a part of the name as well,” says Lux.

This blew my mind that people in the industry would read my article. Now back to the value bottle thing. This month I will honor reader Todd’s request and slam some Henry McKenna. I am looking for a way to get some Very Old Blanton for Doug. It seems it is only available in Ky even on line. Don’t worry, I don’t give up and I will find it somehow.

Henry McKenna Bourbon is a bourbon whiskey produced in Bardstown, Kentucky by Heaven Hill. It uses the same mashbill as Evan Williams and Elijah Craig and Fighting Cock. It’s younger and bottled at a lower proof and likely aged in a different part of the warehouse than the others. It is probably near the bottom where temperatures don’t fluctuate as much as at the top which leads to a less rich and less complex spirit. The brand is sold as a straight bourbon. Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. is an American, private family-owned and operated distillery company headquartered in Bardstown, Kentucky that produces and markets the Heaven Hill brand of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and a variety of other distilled spirits. Its current distillery facility, called the Heaven Hill Bernheim distillery, is in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the seventh-largest alcohol supplier in the United States, the second-largest holder of bourbon whiskey in the world, the only remaining family-owned distillery in Kentucky (not counting the Brown-Forman Corporation, which is publicly traded but more than two-thirds family-controlled), and the largest independent family-owned and operated producer and marketer of distilled spirits in the United States.

It is sunny and warm today in Detroit so I am blasting Cannibal Corpse “Eaten Back To Life” on my deck in the warm sun. I got my Bourbon Zeppelin Glencairn glass out and I am ready for some delicious bourbon. Here’s my take:

Color:  Medium Amber
Body:  Smooth
Nose:  Caramel, Vanilla, Wood
Palate:  Caramel with a hint of Apple
Finish: Caramel and Oak taste


This one gets a big \m/ from me. It is cheap... $25 for a 1.75 liter and it is good. I love the caramel and vanilla flavors. It almost tastes like candy. You can tell how much I like it by looking at the picture of the bottle.  I would serve this to friends because it is good on the rocks but also would probably make a good mixed drink. Although I would never mix my bourbon with anything other than ice. It also would be good in the marinade pan of my smoker. Bourbon cherry smoked is heaven. Next month I hope to find some Very Old Blanton to try. I’m trying Doug. If anyone knows how or where I can get some contact me.

Until next month I’ll be staying metal and slammin' bourbon in Detroit.

Greg Schneider loves three things.... heavy metal music, bourbon and a good deal. He's managed to indulge all three in his \m/ Value Bottles column. Greg uses a simple system of "\m/" for bottles he recommends (the keyboard shortcut for the Ronnie James Dio "thumbs up") and "m/" for ones he doesn't like (the keyboard shortcut for "giving the bird").

Click here if you would like to email a suggest value bottle to Greg. His Twitter I.D. is: @schneiderg63.
One Day Haul!

Our own Alicia White shared this photo of her best day of bourbon hunting... ever. These 10 bottles represent one pretty awesome bourbon day. Way to go Alicia!
Do you care to share a photo of a bourbon section you've found in your travels? Would you like to share your personal bourbon hoard? Email those photos to the B.Z. team and we'll run them in a future issue!
And finally...

Recently Fred Noe and Beam Suntory removed the age statement from their entire Knob Creek lineup, and while American whiskey bloggers and Jim Beam fans gathered to hang Noe, and his entire family from the highest tree, I was left back here in cozy little Denmark, wondering about the whole situation.

It goes without saying that I don't like what's going on in the Bluegrass State these days. I'm a sworn in supporter of John Glaser and Compass Box's transparency campaign, if that means anything to you Bourbon loving nuts? But being a faithful follower and devoted Scotch whisky love, it's all a rerun show to me, of what happened to Scotch whisky and its fans years ago, when the whisky boom was at its highest.

But if it's any comfort, all of us Scotch whisky enthusiasts, bought into the same mistakes, as you bourbon enthusiasts are making right now, and after all, there was only so much that we could have done, to prevent this from happening, because the whisky, and now the Bourbon boom, took both the fans and the industry by surprise in the beginning.
Maybe we should have paid more attention, when whisky overnight became the new hot thing in Europe, and numerous of private tasting societies were formed all over Europe, along with new established whisky stores, and whisky bloggers trying their luck out on the internet, and rumors of a secondary whisky market and whisky flippers, who turned whisky into liquid gold, started to float around, and new distilleries entered the whisky scene, alongside long forgotten mothballed whisky distilleries, who suddenly was bought and reopened.

Or maybe we should have paid more attention, when the often high priced “act fast, buy now only 522 bottles available, step right up sir” limited editions whiskies entered the scene, or very special duty free only bottles became a reality. But we didn’t, not until the NAS bottle boom began.  

The new whisky enthusiasts were craving long age spirits, in a way that drained the distillery warehouses, the problem was, that we weren’t aware of that fact at the time.

Back in June 2015 the message couldn’t have been more crystal clears, when the honorable and respected folks at Japanese Nikka announced that they were forced to discontinue their entire age stated single malt line up, for both Yoichi and Miyagikyo, due to stock shortage. When the news hit the streets, whisky drinkers from all over the world, raided the whisky stores, buying all the discontinued bottles faster than a speeding bullet,  and the few bottles that remains today, are being sold for insane amounts of money.

Surly NAS expressions are not all a results of stock shortage, and all brand owners are defiantly releasing limited edition whiskies, because there is money to be made, from the highly collective group among the whisky fans. Some distilleries like Ardbeg even seem to have based their fundament on limited edition whiskies, and surly some distilleries just felled into line, when the NAS bottles became a standard, in most distiller’s core range line.

Maybe I’m being naive here, but I’m a firm believer, that most of the discontinued age statement whiskies, at first, where a result of the whisky boom, and the sudden demand for whisky that dried out the warehouses, forcing the industry to sit back and monitor the marked, because you can't age whisky over night, and who wants to expand their business to meet the demand, if it's all just a fling that worse out in a couple of years?

The American Bourbon Boom created a market for the now numerous and highly expensive yearly limited editions bottles, and NDP’s like Orphan Barrel Whisky Distilling Co. who are creating highly collective one time release bourbons. We all know there are some amazing bourbons released among the limited editions, but it’s fine and difficult line to walk, because there’s a lot of wolfs all dulled up, as oh so pretty sheep’s among them. I’m defiantly not lowering people who loves to hunt the limited editions bourbons, as long as they keep in mind, that whiskey was meant to be enjoyed, not collected like stamps, but the downside with the limited editions bourbons is, that some distilleries are likely to drop the age on their standard offerings and transfer their long aged barrels into their limited lineup.   

My greatest fear and concern is, and have always been about the quality. Younger whisk(e)ys are not always synonym with less quality. I can defiantly name quite a few, that I prefer over much older expressions from the same distillery, but its noticeable that distillers all the sudden found it preferable to drop the age of a bottle, that have been produced and released at the same age statement for decade, like for example Heaven Hill’s Elijah Craig 12, which use to state that “perfection takes time”, apparently not anymore it doesn't, because the age statement is all gone now, and the juice is being dropped to a undisclosed age.

I like to know exactly what I’m buying, for my hard earned money, and I think it’s time whisk(e)y enthusiasts stepped up their game, joined John Glaser and Compass Box's transparency campaign or formed their own, demanding that all whiskeys shall carry an age statement, and all NDP’s shall reveal their source, so we can all get a clear image of, what’s up and down, in the neo-boomed whiskey world.
Hasse Berg        
About Hasse Berg
Hasse Berg is a passionate whisk(e)y fan and blogger from Denmark. He serves Bourbon Zeppelin as the Associate Editor. His site, Son Of Winston Churchill "A Part Of The Secret Whisk(e)y Society" features independent whiskey reviews and talk. Check out Hasse Berg's Instagram page: @Hasse_Berg

Check out Hasse Berg's S.O.W.C. blog by clicking here!
Trivia Question Answer
Marvin C. Stone invented a paper straw to better enjoy a mint julep!
Items from Steve and the Bourbon Zeppelin team
Whenever Steve makes a post on social media with his Bourbon Zeppelin glass, there are always a flood of inquiries about being able to buy one of those glasses. Thanks to the good folks at Glencairn Glass, you can pick up the exact same glass Steve uses with the BZ logo directly from the Glencairn site.

Using a proper nosing glass is key to being able to fully experience a bourbon sampling. Why not do have a little Bourbon Zeppelin attitude while you are doing it! Pick up your BZ Glencairn Glass today!
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Associate Editor and BZ contributor Hasse Berg leads a team of excellent contributors on his own Son of Winston Churchill blog. He has also gotten a Glencairn glass for sale on the Glencain website.

Using a proper nosing glass is key to being able to fully experience a bourbon sampling. You need to have a few of these on hand when friends are over. Be sure to add a SOWC to your Glencairn Glass  collection today!
Buy Now
Bourbon Mixology is author Steve Akley's best selling book of all-time. The premise is simple: have 50 iconic bars share their signature bourbon cocktail. The bars selected do not fail to impress with their unique takes on some classic drinks and well as some very original creations.

The book literally becomes a travel companion piece as you will want to see out these bars on your next business trip or vacation. Get your copy right now!
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Amanda "The Bourbon Virgin" Hoppes makes her literary debut with From Midnight to Moonlight. This book of poetry explores a full range of emotions.

Yep, Amanda runs a little deeper than simply seeing if she can expand her drinking horizons beyond Bud Light and Cherry Bombs!

Check it out today!
Buy Now
We are always looking for interesting things from the world of bourbon. If you have something you would like to write about, or think we should be writing about, just send us a note!
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click here to sign up for your free subscription.
Bourbon Zeppelin is a 13-times yearly newsletter publication sent out to the 50,000+ social media followers of author Steve Akley (monthly plus a special "Black Friday Gift-Giving Edition"). If you would like to have any questions about the publication, would like to say, "Hello" or you are interested in promoting your product/brand via Bourbon Zeppelin, please email Steve.
The Bourbon Zeppelin Sample Policy
Bourbon Zeppelin accepts product samples in exchange for a fair and honest review by a B.Z. team member or members.

The Bourbon Zeppelin Jack Daniel's Policy
We love it. While it's classified as "Tennessee Whiskey" it's treated with the same as any other bourbon here.
By the way, the same goes for George Dickel (we love them, too!)
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Also, be sure to LIKE us on our Facebook (Bourbon Zeppelin)!
198 Likes as of March 1, up from 176 on February 1. Help us get more!
Goal = 1,000,000 Likes (0.000198 of goal achieved so far)
All-Time Steve + 4 Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbons that have been rated via Bourbon Zeppelin's Steve + 4 rating system:     #1) Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old/93.5  #2)  Booker's Noe Secret/83.0  #3) Michter's Small Batch/80.5  #4). Stumpy's Old Monroe/77.16 #5). Booker's Blue Grass/76.5  #6).Heritage Distilling Dual Barrel/76.50  #7). Ozark Distillery Bourbon/76.33  #8). Stumpy'Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond/75.17  #9). Woodford Reserve 1838 Style White Corn/72.2  #10) Booker's Maw Maw's Batch/71.67
All-Time "From The Cave" by Aaron Cave Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbons that have been rated by Aaron Cave for Bourbon Zeppelin: #1) Knob Creek Single Barrel 95/100 -- 2). Blanton's Straight from the Barrel 95/100 3). Four Roses Single Barrel Private Selection OESV Recipe 92/100 4). Willett Family Estate 9 Year Old 91/100  5). Russell's Reserve Single Barrel 90/100 6). Belle Meade 90/100 7). Jack Daniel's Single Barrel 90/100
All-Time Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beer Reviews by Six Feet of Dynamite Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbon barrel-aged beer reviews that have been rated by Six Feet of Dynamite for Bourbon Zeppelin: 5 Sticks of Dynamite: Black Butte XXXVIII by Deschutes Brewery -- Pump[KY]n by Avery Brewing --  Bourbon Barrel Quad by Boulevard Brewing Co. -- So Happens it's Tuesday by The Bruery -- 4 Sticks of Dynamite: Oil Man by Elevation Beer Co. & The Lost Abbey Track #08 -- 3 1/2 Sticks of Dynamite: Collaboration #6 by Boulevard Brewing -- Bell's Brewery Black Note Stout -- 3 Sticks of Dynamite: No entries yet -- 2 Sticks of Dynamite: No entries yet -- 1 Stick of Dynamite: No entries yet
What Historical Figure Would You Share A Dram With?
Here is the complete list of all individuals featured in this colum: Ernest Hemmingway (Hasse Berg), Marilyn Monroe (Steve Akley), Abraham Lincoln (Greg Schneider), George Washington (Bill Alexander), John Wayne (Jeff Nichols)
Our Favorite Blogs:

Patreon Supporters of Bourbon Zeppelin
Patreon Status -

Gold Status -

Diamond Status - Erik Hasselgärde

Pappy Status - Corby Harris
Bourbon Zeppelin - The Team
In addition to the guest contributors, Bourbon Zeppelin has an incredible staff in addition to editor and publisher Steve Akley. Steve's daughter Cat runs the BZ Facebook page. The writing team includes: Associate Editor Hasse Berg, U.K. Correspondent Suzie Allkins, Field Reporter Sydney Youhouse, the following Columnists: Amanda "The Bourbon Virgin" Hoppes, Evan Haskill, Chrissy Martin, Renee Howe, Corey Chandler, Six Feet of Dynamite, Aaron Cave, Andrea Holak, Lisa Carrington, Greg Schneider, Alicia "The Bourbon Sipper" White and Tanya Lawrence.

Interested in joining the B.Z. team as a contributor? If so, just email Steve Akley to talk about it!

While we are interested in hearing from anyone creative, there are few specific things we are looking for:
  • Bourbon book reviews
  • Firsthand accounts of bourbon experiences (visits to distilleries, the Bourbon Trail, etc.)
  • Photos involving anything bourbon
  • A bickering husband and wife bourbon review team / "bickering" is the key here
  • Artists willing to share their work that includes bourbon
  • Poets who incorporate bourbon into his or her work
  • Guest cartoonists for the Inside the Bourbon Barrel cartoon
Special thanks to the following individuals who are involved in the production of Bourbon Zeppelin yet help us promote the brand just because they are fans of our work: Larry Akley (#1), Henry Rimpler (#2), TJ Ivey (#11), Rommel Morales (#12) and Matt Walker (#13), Blue Dram (#14), Andrew McGuinness (#15), Chris Lojkovic (#16) & Jay Reed (#17), Ashley Ommen (#18), Rebecca Fitzgerald (#19), Jeff Couch (#20), Greg Schneider (#21), Rodney Johnson (#22), Erik Hasselgärde (#23), Jeff Franks (#24), Cat Akley (#25), Jenna Brownson (#26), Rob Brownson (#27), Bill Alexander (#28), Chris McKeon (#29), Joe Bartucca (#30), Brent Kauser (#31), Jonathan Gorab (#32), Jessie Hernandez (#33), Ben Pyatt (#34), Michael Devecka (#35), @bourbonwedrink (#36),

Why do Ambassador numbers skip to #11?
#1 and #2 are ceremonial. One goes to Steve Akley's father who passed away in 2012 and two goes to Hasse Berg's grandfather who passed away in 2013. Numbers 3 - 10 are being saved for yet-to-be-determined fans who really go the extra mile to show their love to Bourbon Zeppelin!

Find out about becoming a Bourbon Zeppelin Brand Ambassador by clicking here!
Bourbon Zeppelin Reprint Policy
Bourbon Zeppelin authorizes bloggers and newsfeeds to reprint its content without authorization, providing these two stipulations are met:
  1. Bourbon Zeppelin is noted as the creator of content (Please include issue number/month/year)
  2. When an author is listed for an individual article, that person is also acknowledged as well
Copyright © 2017 Bourbon Zeppelin, All rights reserved.

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Bourbon Zeppelin is delivered to you raw an unedited by author Steve Akley on the 1st of every month. (Apologies for any errors.) Check out Steve's books by clicking here: Steve's Catalog on Amazon.