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Bourbon Zeppelin
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Written for bourbon fans, by bourbon fans!

This Month's Bourbon Zeppelin Feature Article
The Whisk(e)y Time Capsule


by Hasse Berg
Try imagining how your life will be 20 years down the road. Do you think any major event will come along, changing your life around completely, or, will you still be in the same place as you are right now? Will you be the same person? What about the world as we know it... is that going to change? Because it is, without any doubt, spinning really fast at the moment. Just take a look at the previous 20 years!

A lot of changes have also been made in the whisk(e)y world, over the last 20 years and a lot of things are going to change in the future; some for better and some for the worse.

Last but not least, what kind of man or woman are your kids growing up to be? And how are they going to remember you? Let me put it another way; how do you remember your parents? Certainly not the same way, as they remember themselves.

All these questions and thoughts are probably the same kind of reflections that lead some people into burying time capsules; filling them with family photos, books and music, things that matter to them and speak on their behalf. So when their children grow old, they can remember their parents and they can show the future that they were here; walking this earth, living their everyday life, no matter how ordinary that was and seemed at the time.

I tell my boys every single day that I love them, but that's just words and words tend to be forgotten and someday I'm not around to tell them anymore. At some point, they will be moving out of our house and who knows where they will settle down. Another city? Another country? Or, and I'm not trying to be a pessimist, perhaps one day I walk out of the door, and, boom... gone forever. What then? My wife would of course be around to tell our boys, what kind of man I was and that I loved them to bits, but, that's not the same thing coming from another person. So, I started wondering how I could leave something unique behind for our boys, something that was the essence of me. Let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy task. Because when my wife and I are gone, all of our things belongs to our boys and they are free to pick anything that tells our family story and remind them of who we were.

So what then?

One day, I was visiting my parents and stumbled over an unopened bottle of Glenlivet from the 70s, sitting in my father’s cabinet. Then it hit me. The anchor was right there in my hand. This old dusty bottle was a little bit of whisky history and something that I just couldn’t walk out of the door and buy on every street corner. Of course, I can pick up a bottle of Glenlivet, but the flavor profile has changed since the 70s. It got me to thinking, "What about all the bottles that we are able to buy today? They could be discontinued tomorrow."

I went straight home and started sampling all of my open bottles into 5 cl. sample glasses. I labeled all of them with the release year and data info. When that part was done, I needed some sort of case to store all of the sample bottles. Being a man with a lifelong love for woodwork, I was bound to building one myself and I liked the idea of making it personally. So I started designing a box, making it look like the old ammo carrying cases that the army used. I would definitely have made it out of used barrel staves, had I lived in a county where used barrels are easy to come by. But in Denmark? Forget about it!

So, instead I made it out of used boards that I had replaced and saved when I was renovating our house. It goes without saying that I put a lot of work into the box and when it was finally done, I have to say, I was pretty pleased with myself. There it was: a raw, old, and heavy as hell fortress/storage box made out of old battered boards, from our kids' childhood home. The box ended up containing 98 sample bottles and 2 Glencairn glasses. Most importantly, it contains my personal notebook, which has all of my handwritten notes about each and every one, of the whiskies in the box as well as a letter from their Dad.

The thought is that our boys are allowed to open the box, when our youngest turns 25 (21 years from now) and they are only allowed to enjoy the whisky in the company of one another. No other strings attached. So now, every time I open a new bottle, the first pour always goes into a sample glass. Over time, I'll definitely have to build a couple of more boxes. Until then, I fill this whisky/bourbon time capsule, with peace in my mind and joy in my heart. It gives me great satisfaction to think about all the evenings our boys will be able to share with a great prehistoric whisky in their glasses, in company of one another while reading my thoughts of that particular sample from so many years before. And maybe, just maybe, they will speak a kind word, of their old crazy bourbon/Scotch/malt whisky loving father.

Dedicated to Oscar & Ludvig.
Love, Dad

The actual whiskey sample box constructed by Hasse Berg for his boys.
In this issue...
Today is the biggest day yet in the history of Bourbon Zeppelin. Not only is this our fourth issue, the team behind BZ has launched a podcast on a new podcast network they've created. It's exciting news for sure, and we've got more for you on that topic in this issue.

Wasn't that article from Hasse Berg great?

He submitted it for his usual Hasse Berg's World column but I recognized right away it was something special and had to use it as our feature article this month. In doing so, I have to admit, it feels like a real moment in the history of BZ we may not fully appreciate just yet. This article means so much to me personally... not only from the perspective of it's a pretty deep and heartwarming article, but also from the fact it marks the first time I didn't write the feature article. It feels like it's another step in demonstrating how we are evolving very quickly from a single person's idea for an email magazine about bourbon to something much bigger. We have an incredible team at Bourbon Zeppelin and this clearly shows what we have is far beyond the work of just one person.

There were a couple more events that happened that also indicate Bourbon Zeppelin is getting on the radar of some of the most respected organizations in the bourbon business. We had two firsts happen in August leading up to this issue. Jim Beam had us review a product before it hit the market. That's right, we got on our hands on a bottle of their newest product, Double Oak! We fill you in on this new offering in this issue. Secondly, we received full press credentials for a major event we will be reporting on next month (the Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky). Both of these really feel great for us. We're trying to create something enjoyable for our readers and when large organizations like Beam and the Bourbon Festival invite you to the party, it just feels like we're on the right track here.

There's more good news...

One of our BZ team members makes his debut writing a column this month. The Bearded Sipper makes the case to expand your horizons by giving Scotch a try.

In addition to our regular team and their excellent contributions, we have a couple of guest contributors this month. Reader Matt Walker takes over the featured cocktail section I started last month with the Bourbon Slush recipe I shared by sharing a cocktail recipe he created himself. It looks fantastic. Another reader, known simply as the Bourbon Sipper (no relation to the Bearded Sipper), takes over the My Favorite Bottle (Right Now) column to discuss the favorite pour she has in her collection at the moment. One of our biggest supporters, Greg Schneider returns to write a second article for BZ. This time he stops in a local distillery in Detroit and gives us the lowdown on their unique sounding offerings.

We've got some unbelievable giveaways this month, plenty of reviews and all kinds of bourbon news. As I say each time (because I mean it), I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as the BZ team had putting it together for you!


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

This month we take a look at:

Booker's
Noe Secret Batch

A cornerstone of Bourbon Zeppelin are the Steve + 4 Reviews. In this regular feature, Steve and four of the BZ 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 removing 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:


Reviewer #1
Steve Akley - 86.5
Notes:
Aroma - New oak, spicy, vanilla, caramel
Taste - Oak with a hint of spice and caramel/slight sour aftertaste
Final Evaluation - This one lights a fuse. The initial taste is great and it lingers, and lingers with the heat rising. This is a solid offering for sure.


Reviewer #2
Kate & Kris Kettner - 82.5
Notes:

Aroma - Caramel, vanilla, oak, sweet, clove, tobacco, black pepper, rye, plum
Taste - Caramel, tobacco, clove, leather, dry, oak, vanilla, black cherry, raisins
Final Evaluation - Overall, very bold, dry, and hot. Balance leans towards oakiness. Kris says this is a “man’s Bourbon,” whereas I told him to f*** off. Sorry, Zeppelin readers! Welcome to our marriage.


Reviewer #3
Robin Ricca - 80.0

Notes:
Aroma - Orange, vanilla, oak butter and caramel
Taste -  Oak,vanilla, caramel and malt
Final Evaluation - This one has a lovely and smooth nose. This melds into a buttery burn on the palate. It is well-balanced with a very long gentle burn. Caramel pops up throughout.

--------------------
Tossed Reviews
High
Alice Seim - 87.5
Notes:
Aroma - Vanilla, caramel, honey
Taste -
New oak, caramel, vanilla, honey, licorice

Final Evaluation - Booker’s Noe Secret is basically my ideal bourbon. It had a great taste and mouth feel, and I was super bummed when my glass was empty. I’m tempted to buy a bottle of this. 


Low

Evan Haskill - 57.0
Notes:
Aroma - Indistinguishable/alcohol
Taste - Wood: cedar, maybe pine
Final Evaluation - Seems jumbled. I am surprised this is a roundtable pick. Maybe my palate is jumbled, though.


Combined Score
The final score for Booker's Noe Secret is...

83.0
The Bouron Lifestyle
A look at products for bourbon fans

Taconic Distillery in Stanfordville, New York has the perfect item for those looking for a hearty breakfast. They have a Double Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. This Grade A Amber maple syrup is aged in the company's used bourbon barrels from their Dutchess Private Reserve Bourbon line. Reviews state it has just a hint of the bourbon taste in this smooth maple syrup.

Prepare to fix a tall stack after you order this gem from Taconic for only $17.50 by clicking here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ward's Kentucky Specialties Bluegrass Bourbon Sauce is the ultimate representative of our Kentucky-centric sauces with a distinctive balance of the signature Bluegrass Steaks and Everything Sauce flavors of mangos, spices and bourbon that will enhance an array of delicacies from the simple to sublime. Glaze your salmon with the Bluegrass Bourbon Sauce for an unrivaled bourbon glazed taste. Also goes great with burgers, steaks, pork chops, chicken, soups or over cream cheese.

Pick up a bottle of this bourbon-based multi-purpose sauce by clicking here.

Who doesn't love a little trivia about their favorite distilled spirit?

What brand of bourbon was the first one to be sold in a sealed glass bottle?

Hint, you have probably "celebrated" a special issue of this offering at some point (if you are lucky enough to find it).

The answer is below at the bottom of this issue (under Hasse Berg's column).

With the excitement of the Olympics last month, two of the bourbons from the Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbon Collection shared an Olympic-themed cocktail for BZ readers:

Knob Creek® American Champion Old Fashioned
Submitted by Knob Creek Bourbon
Recipe created by celebrity chef Michael Symon

Ingredients
- 1 ½ Parts Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey
- Ginger beer
- ½ Part lemon juice
- ¼ Part Green Chartreuse
- 6-8 mint leaves

Method
1. Combine all ingredients (except ginger beer) in a bar tin with ice and shake well.
2. Strain into a chilled Collins glass, top off with ginger beer and garnish with a single mint leaf.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Basil Hayden’s® Rio Julep
Submitted by Basil Hayen's Bourbon

Recipe created by Austin mixologist Justin Elliot

Ingredients
-2 Parts Basil Hayden's Bourbon
- 1/4 part banana liqueur
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
- 1 dash of aromatic bitters
- 8-10 mint leaves
- Banana chip for garnish

Method
1. Muddle 8-10 mint leaves, dash of bitters and brown sugar in a double rocks glass.
2. Add Basil Hayden’s and banana liqueur and stir gently.
3. Fill the cup to the rim with crushed ice.
4. Garnish with a mint sprig and banana chip.

 
News About Bourbon the B.Z. Team has Heard
The Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC), St. Augustine Distillery and the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau (VCB) have created a trail of bars and restaurants that serve up original cocktails featuring farm fresh Florida citrus and spirits from the St. Augustine Distillery. A1A Cocktail Trail passports, available at Florida Welcome Centers and participating bars and restaurants, guide participants along State Road A1A to eight participating restaurants from Atlantic Beach to St. Augustine. Guests who enjoy cocktails made with St. Augustine Distillery spirits will get their passport stamped. Once they have a stamp from all eight location running down this 32 miles stretch of A1A running alongside the Atlantic Ocean, they can redeem it for a free collectible A1A Cocktail Trail t-shirt and branded, wooden coaster set.
Participating bars and restaurants include North Beach Fish Camp in Neptune Beach, Ragtime Tavern Seafood & Grill in Atlantic Beach, Hoptinger in Jacksonville Beach, Cap’s On the Water and The Reef in Vilano Beach, and Odd Birds, The Floridian and A1A Ale Works in downtown St. Augustine.

There is some exciting news for Bourbon Zeppelin fans. St. Augustine Distillery's first bourbon will be released very soon. (See article later in this issue.) A tour down A1A looking at the ocean sipping cocktails culminating in gift package that includes a t-shirt and coaster set? Count us in!

More information on the A1A Cocktail Trail is available by clicking here.
__________________________


The Bourbon Virgin Tries...

Rebel Yell Root Beer
(70 proof)

 

Eureka!

I think I have found the first brand of bourbon that I actually like! After I got the chance to sit back, relax, and take a nice, long sip of this one, I took another and another; Three right in a row! Whhaaaaattt?! Could it be? I finally found bourbon that tastes good to me… damn good.

This bourbon made me want to grab Billy Idol and sing:

“.. With a rebel yell, she cries more, more, more!!”

It would have been awesome if Billy really was there singing with me.

Then to my surprise, I liked it so much, I did some research on it. I checked out some recipes that you can make with this and the root beer floats and shakes are sounding pretty yummy right now!

So if you are ever at a nearby A & W and you see me order up a root beer float and then I bust out my flask; you know I will be feeling mighty fine after my float glass is empty.

If the bourbon here on out tastes like this, I’m golden, Pony Boy.


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!
New from Jim Beam: Double Oak

by Steve Akley

Set to release this month, the newest offering in the premium bourbon line from Jim Beam is Double Oak. The Bourbon Zeppelin team was lucky to get our hands on a sample to review prior to it hitting store shelves.
While the name alludes to exactly what is going on with the product, it's probably a good idea to share some of the specifics. Like any distilled spirit legally called bourbon, Double Oak is aged in a charred white oak barrel. After four years of aging, the bourbon is removed from the barrel and then placed in a different, brand new, charred oak barrel. There it ages until it's ready.

Who determines when it's "ready" is none other than Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe III. This offering has been bottled at 86 proof. The bottle itself is reminiscent of the classic Jim Beam bottle look, but it is slightly different. It's wider, and a little thinner and shorter than the other bottles in the product line labeled as Jim Beam. A nice touch is the James B. Beam signature is cast into the glass above the label.
The nose on Double Oak is caramel baked good with light vanilla and some hints of citrus. You would think two turns at the wheel in a new charred oak barrel would make wood the predominant scent, but it's simply not the case.

The initial taste yields sweet citrus, caramel/toffee with a nice dollop of toasted marshmallows. It's only as you swallow the bourbon do you get a taste of the name with a hint of light oak.

The aftertaste is nicely balanced with only the slightest detection of a little glowing warmth. The experience of drinking Double Oak could easility be summed up in a single word: smooth.
I give this one a solid 91/100. It's a bourbon that is best experienced neat and could equally be enjoyed by the sophisticated bourbon drinker who will delight in the complexity of flavors as it would be by the inexperienced bourbon drinker who clearly would appreciate the smooth drinking sweetness of Double Oak.
Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe checks out his latest offering
With this bottle arriving just prior to Bourbon Zeppelin going to print, I didn't have time to get samples into the hands of our other reviewers. Over the next several months, we'll take a look at Double Oak via the various types of reviews we do here. In the interim, when this one hits the store shelves later this month, pick up a bottle to see what you think. Drop us a line by clicking here to give the BZ team your thoughts on this new product.
Tell Me A Little about "Twice Barreled"
Saint Louis, Missouri

by Steve Akley

St Louis is the Global Headquarters for Bourbon Zeppelin. It's also my hometown, and I am going to tell you a little about the bourbon scene in the city with the big silver arch. There's plenty to see in St. Louis, but I'll focus on some of my personal favorites. I present to you the Bourbon Scene in St. Louis, via photograph.
If you are in the bourbon game, you have to have a friend at a liquor store to help you out, otherwise your chances of getting any of the hard-to-find offerings is almost nil. Luckily, I do have an ally in the business. He's the manager of a small local liquor store that focuses on bourbon. I'm lucky in that he puts aside some of the tough to find bottles for me.

Am I telling you where my honeyhole is? Sorry BZ readers, I love you, but I'm not giving that info up! You gotta find your own spot.
The trend for liquor stores in St. Louis is clearly headed towards the mega store. You know the big box stores with "aisles that go for miles?" While the selections are large, they don't give you the personal touch like I have at my super secret spot.

An exception is Total Wine and More. They have a knowledgeable staff and the inventory is mind boggling. If my buddy doesn't have it at the store I usually shop at, I check Total Wine next.
Almost any list of the "Best Bourbon Bars in the United States" includes Gamlin Whiskey House in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. A visit to Gamlin's doesn't disappoint. The selection is second-to-none and the staff is passionate about bourbon and other types of whiskey. It's a great place to dine as well.
The best selection of bourbon might be found at Gamlin's, but the best bartender is James Gallagher, owner and bartender at Gallagher's in the greater St. Louis suburb of Waterloo, Illinois. James has an encyclopedia-like mind for cocktails and he has a dedication to tracking down the most unique bourbons for his patrons. I go there once a month with friends and James always has something new he lets me try.
The best club to join is the one run by The Wine and Cheese Place. Not only does it give you the ability to instantly buy some of the tough to find bourbons, it helps let you know exactly when product hits the market since they publish a few times a week. They do a large mail order business so it's worth signing up even if you aren't from here. Just click here to go there!
As much as I like everything bourbon-related in the Gateway City, my favorite place to enjoy it actually is in the comfort of my own home. After all, I've got a full liquor cabinet at my disposal, a beautiful lake with all kinds of wildlife (deer, cranes, bald eagles and more) and access to all of my online buddies through my iPad. It's bourbon perfection!
The Bourbon Scene In... is a regular feature in Bourbon Zeppelin designed to be an interactive piece featuring B.Z. staff and fans sharing what the bourbon scene is like in his or her city. You are encouraged to share a firsthand account and photos of all things bourbon in your hometown. If you would like to share what your local bourbon scene is like, please reach out to the BZ team by clicking here!
The Bourbon Show Podcast Launched
BZ staff members Steve Akley and Seth Brown recently launched their own podcast network called the ABV Network (for Alcohol by Volume and Akley/Brown Venture). This podcast network features all alcohol-themed shows. Steve, Seth and Evan Haskill (another BZ team member) recently launched the channel with The Bourbon Show, a podcast dedicated to talking bourbon. Each episode will feature the boys talking to a guest, discussing the latest in bourbon news and, yes, drinking bourbon. The inaugural episode contains an interview with the successful (and funny) Christine Riggleman of Silverback Distillery.
The first show is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Libsyn, the ABV Network Facebook page and the ABV Network Website. More outlets will soon be added. Look for a craft beer show to follow along with other alcohol focused shows in the near future. A Bourbon Zeppelin podcast is even in the works. In addition to the ABV Network website (ABVNetwork.com), we'll be keeping you up-to-date with show information right here in Bourbon Zeppelin.
The Inspiring Story of Two Bitch Bourbon

by Steve Akley
For Lauren and Joe Luby, the backstory of their Two Bitch Bourbon is like a Disney cartoon in that a tragedy has to be part of the first act. While Lauren was away in New Mexico visiting family, Joe took their two dogs, Hunter and Mocha Bean, on a fishing and camping trip. While out with Joe, one of the dogs, Mocha Bean, disappeared into the wilderness and Joe couldn’t find her. As soon as Joe called Lauren to inform her what had happened, she returned home in hopes of finding Mocha Bean. Sadly, despite exhaustive efforts, they weren’t able to locate her.

 

For months, Lauren continued to search local shelters and websites in hopes Mocha Bean would turn up. One day, a few months later while back in New Mexico visiting family again, Lauren was on website called petharbor.com. Even though it looked grim, she wanted to keep looking just in case someone found Mocha Bean. While it wasn’t meant to be in terms of locating Mocha Bean, she did come across two Doberman puppies abandoned in the desert. It just seemed to be fate. The desert had taken their beloved Mocha Bean, but had returned a gift twofold in those two Doberman pups.

 

Lauren and Joe named the sisters Scarlett and Sage. A few months later, Joe and Lauren were preparing to host their annual whiskey party where they have all of their friends over to taste new distilled spirits they have discovered. Since the biggest thing in their lives at that moment were those two full-of-energy pups, Joe and Lauren decided to have them on the invitation for that year’s event. Their design featured their dogs on a bottle of a fake brand called Two Bitch Bourbon. To the surprise of Joe and Lauren, it looked so good, their guests just assumed Joe and Lauren were using their party to announce they had launched a new business venture. They raved about the design and branding so much, Joe and Lauren began to seriously think about starting a company to sell Two Bitch Bourbon.

Clockwise from left: The party invitation that started it all, Sage and Scarlett, Joe and Lauren and Mocha Bean

The only problem was they weren’t distillers. As they began to do a little research, they came across George Racz from Las Vegas Distillery. George was not only just a distiller, he actually wrote the Nevada law making distilling legal in the State and had also become the first legal distiller in the State of Nevada since Prohibition.

 

Like everyone, George was taken by the story behind their proposed brand, as well as the passion and creativity Joe and Lauren brought. He partnered with them to launch Two Bitch Spirits, which would offer a full complement of distilled spirits in addition to their flagship Two Bitch Bourbon.

 

To generate revnue for their new endeavor, Joe and Lauren have turned to the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. With Indiegogo, they are able to offer merchandise and product appealing to those interested in their mission in exchange for much needed capital investments which begin as low $10.

 

Their goal is to offer their first product in the fall of this year with a Two Bitch Moonshine. This will be followed by a blended whiskey and eventually their Two Bitch Bourbon along with other products as well. We will be following their journey here in Bourbon Zeppelin. We will keep you updated with their progress and look forward to trying their products as they become available.

An Exclusive for Bourbon Zeppelin Readers
If you would like to join in on the journey of Joe and Lauren Luby as they build their company, the Luby's have some great bonus items for those who contribute. If you use this exclusive BZ reader link, you get some cool extras on top of the packages they are already offering:

Anyone using the link above to purchase perks totaling $100 or more, will receive a bonus gift copy of  Steve Akley's Bourbon Mixology (Volume 2).  Anyone using the link to purchase perks totaling $250 or more, will receive two Bourbon Zeppelin etched Glencairn whiskey glasses.



By clicking the link above you get all of the following for only $250: a t-shirt, a hat, a bandana, two shot glasses, a two liter barrel for aging your own whiskey, three vouchers for Two Bitch unaged whiskey (enough to fill the barrel with extra for sampling), a voucher for their "Founder's Bourbon" which won't be sold in stores and two Bourbon Zeppelin Glencairn glasses.

Let's face it, if you read this publication, you love bourbon. The dream for many of us would be to own our own distillery. Unfortunately, for most of us, that probably isn't going to happen. While this isn't an ownership opportunity, it is a chance to help fund someone else live that dream while getting a package that, when combined, is worth more than what you are paying for it. It's pretty exciting stuff!
 Speaking of Cool Stuff...
Be sure to check out the Contests section in this month's issue. Joe and Lauren have sent us one of their 2 liter barrels to give away. These fun little barrels are great. You simply put some white dog whiskey (plain moonshine) in it, and then let it age as long as you like to create your own personal blend of whiskey!


Steve takes a look at and reviews bourbon related products
This month we test...

The Whiskey Butler by Round Table Woodworks
Chris Williams and Rob Zvirin started up Camelot's Finest about two and a half years ago. What started out as a simple need to create great beard and mustache products, quickly turned from one business to two: Merlin's Beard Products and Round Table Woodworks. 

Chris and Rob met at Binny’s in Chicago - where they both were employed - and they quickly became friends. Before they knew it, Merlins Beard Products”was started. They were not only creating a great product; they were having fun with it. Chris' need to create kept growing, and they wanted to include their love for bourbon within their products.  “Round Table Woodworks” was thusly born.

At Round Table Woodworks”the majority of products are handmade and come from different types of lumber, but all of the bourbon-inspired products come from used bourbon barrels. 

The “Whiskey Butler” comes from the same concept as the “Wine Butler”, which is a single piece of wood with a hole in the middle - that way it can sit on the bottle. There are two holes that have spaces cut out so you can slide a wine glass upside down on both sides - it’s a great wine display piece.  

Well, the Whiskey Butler is about the same in terms of concept.  It is made from a used bourbon barrel.  There is a hole in the center so you can readily slide your favorite bottle into it, and the two holes on the side are designed specifically for Glencairn glasses!  

It is truly a beautiful display piece. 


I really like  this Whiskey Butler. It's perfect for displaying that one special bottle you have, and it looks great with the Glencairn siting in it.  

It's also great to serve your favorite whiskey to friends and family!  I really love the fact that it's made out of a used barrel, it really gives it a  rustic feel!

So check out Round Table Woodworks on Etsy, as they have some great products.  The Whiskey Butler is just the beginning! Also, their other company, Merlin's Beard Products is worth a look. Click here to check out what they offer.

Pick up your very own Whiskey Butler by clicking here!
Aaron is serving up his Pappy Van Winkle in style!
September 12-16, 2016
Begun in 1992 as a Bourbon tasting and dinner, The Kentucky Bourbon Festival has grown into a five-day festival with a multitude of bourbon-focused activities. “The people of Bardstown have been making bourbon since 1776,” says Jerry Summers, Festival Chairperson and Director of Community Relations of Beam. “And today, sixty-nine percent of the world’s bourbon is made in and around the Nelson County area, including the adjacent counties of Bullitt and Marion, that’s why Bardstown is indeed the Bourbon Capital of the World®.”

Today it is one of the Commonwealth’s leading community festivals, saluting and showcasing the Bourbon making process and the storied history of Kentucky’s renowned industry. Many distilleries, plus genuine Kentucky arts and crafters, display their wares…on the lawn of Spalding Hall from Friday evening through Sunday.

The following distilleries (and many more) are involved: Barton 1792 Distillery, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Four Roses Distillery, Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc., Beam, Maker’s Mark Distillery, Rebel Yell, Wild Turkey Distillery, and Woodford Reserve Distillery plus the Independent Stave Company and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Additional major sponsors include Kentucky Bourbon brands – Bulleit Bourbon, Blantons and Michter’s.

Can't attend this year's event? No worries. You will feel like you are there as Bourbon Zeppelin will have a reporter on site capturing the highlights with photos and sharing the experience of attending right here next month.

To learn more about the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, to the see full agenda, or to buy tickets, please
click here to go to the festival's website.
Rebel Yell Bourbon is Giving Away A Custom Motorcycle
Rebel Yell Bourbon has an awesome promo going on right now. You can actually win a custom motorcycle!

Whoa!

Getting in the game is simple. You just register on their website (
click here for your chance to win a custom bike from Rebel Yell).

Wait... it gets better.

You can actually enter once a day to increase your odds. In the registration you are able to set up reminders to ensure you are maximizing your chances to win. You are also able to get bonus entries for activities like watching videos, casting votes in polls or buying Rebel Yell products.
Be sure to send a photo to Bourbon Zeppelin when you win this incredible prize. If WE win it... trust us, you'll be seeing plenty of it right here in BZ.
by Steve Akley
Kentucky Bourbon Country
The Essential Travel Guide
The Details
Written by:
Susan Reigler
Photographs by: Pam Spaulding and Carol Peachee
Ediion: 2nd
Published by: University Press of Kentucky
Pages: 248
Publishing Date: August 2, 2016
Price: $17.01/Paperback & $16.16/Kindle
A copy of Kentucky Bourbon Country couldn't have appeared at Bourbon Zeppelin Global Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, at any better time than when it arrived. My wife and I were literally just a few weeks from a trip to Bourbon Country to check out the distilleries, hunt for some unique bourbons and to take in some sights.

As a natural planner (daily agendas are provided for any vacation other than a beach vacation... my family has gotten used to this), I had a few concerns about the trip:

1). I didn't want to miss anything bourbon-related. Well, let me rephrase that. There are so many bourbon-related activities in Kentucky, I want to make sure we will be hitting the best ones.

2). I want to be efficient. The worst enemy of a planner is inefficiency. If you drive 1/2 way across town to see something, only to drive south for something else and then back north to finish out the day, not only does this cause you to see less, you lose your non-planner traveling partners. They just want to ditch the schedule and just start "seeing stuff" as it pops up as you drive around.

3). I'm the type of person that does enjoy travel and sightseeing (my wife, daughter and I have been to all 50 states). As such, I do like to see cool stuff beyond just bourbon. I was having a hard time melding the two together with this trip, though. Travel sites seemed to have either bourbon-focused travel, or Kentucky travel and not a comprehensive look at both.

Broken out by city, Kentucky Bourbon Country has a layout that delivers precisely what this organized traveler has been seeking. Each city not only breaks down every bourbon-related travel destination, it also has non-bourbon related attractions like museums and local points of interest. There are also restaurants and bars listed as well as hotels. An appendix of liquor stores will no doubt come in handy in tracking down some unique bourbons I can't find in my hometown.

Basically, this is exactly what I needed. It overcomes all three of the concerns I outlined above. In addition to my daily agenda, we will also be packing this book on the trip in case we want to find something on the fly. After all, I do have 2 hours of spontaneous adventures scheduled on Friday afternoon in Louisville from 2:00 - 4:00!
Pick up your copy of Kentucky Bourbon Country in paperback, or for Kindle, by clicking here!
21c Museum Hotel Announces Private Selection, Single Barrel Spirit Offerings
Rare selections available in Louisville and Lexington
21c Museum Hotels will release a new series of limited-quantity bottlings of private selection, single barrel spirits, including, Bourbon, rye and brandy as part of the new 21c Selects partnership with a number of Distillers. 
 
These selections, extremely limited in nature, are available by the bottle at 21c Museum Shops in Louisville and Lexington and by the drink only at Proof on Main (Louisville), Lockbox (Lexington) and Garage Bar (Louisville).
 
“Since opening in Louisville in 2006, 21c Museum Hotels' growth has coincided with the rise of the current golden age of bourbon as a matter of fortuitous happenstance. Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to forge great alliances within the spirits industry as a whole, and the bourbon world in particular,” said Chea Beckley, Area Beverage Director for 21c Museum Hotels. “The 21c Selects Barrel Program is a way to share and celebrate the great relationships we've made over the years. Each barrel is hand selected by our team, alongside some of the best Master Distillers in the business.”
 
Released to coincide with Bourbon Heritage Month, celebrated annually in September, each spirit has been hand selected by 21c Museum Hotels in collaboration with Master Distillers from a number of distilleries including Buffalo Trace, Copper & Kings, Old Forester and Whistle Pig. 
 
Rebel Yell Ginger Whiskey
70 proof
Color: Caramel
Nose: Ginger, Honey, Vanilla
Taste: Ginger, Butterscotch, and Citrus fruit
Finish: Spicy Ginger Finish. Good straight up or for cocktails, think whiskey version of a Moscow Mule.


Rebel Yell Root Beer Whiskey
70 proof
Color: Caramel
Nose: Root Beer
Taste: Root Beer Barrel Candies, Caramel Corns, Bit o Honey
Finish: Aggressive Root Beer Finish. First time I’ve contemplated tossing a scoop of vanilla into whiskey. Good mixer.

Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon
80 proof
Color: Caramel
Nose: Honey, browned butter
Taste: Honey, Raisins, peppercorns
Finish: Hot pepper with light notes of oak, Good mixer.
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 Emily C. Oursler

Eating Crow and Other Lessons for a Misplaced KY Gal

Attending a Spirits Festival to taste some new and intriguing booze is something I don’t mind adding to the weekend lineup of activities. Well, let me qualify that and say as long as there is bourbon, or even an American Whiskey to experience and learn about, I don’t mind. (I blame it on the bourbon-obsessed part of my brain and my KY roots.)
While it’s been a record year for me from the aspect of meeting some very interesting and significant players  in the bourbon industry while visiting Kentucky, I’ve also met some really cool people in the craft distilling scene here in the Pacific Northwest. This past July I had a chance to attend the Proof Washington Distillers Festival, which was held in Seattle at Fremont
Studios featuring over 40 Washington distillers with a solid variety of spirits to be sampled and savored.

Living in the Pacific Northwest for over 15 years the significant surge in the craft distilling industry is something that has indeed been novel to me. But honestly, I didn’t take a lot of the local distillers too seriously and have been known to scoff from time to time at those who claimed to produce bourbon. Matter of fact, I’m pretty sure the old “bless your heart” phrase has come to mind a time or two.  

There were several distilleries I added to my “to-visit” list as a result of attending the Proof event.  So it was happenstance when a concert I was attending meant I would be just a stone's throw from Chambers Bay Distilling (CBD) and I couldn’t dare pass up a chance to visit these guys on their own turf.
Upon arrival I was greeted by Alan (Davis) one of the co-founders of CBD and in no time flat we were swapping stories, talking yeast strains, and chatting it up about Greenhorn and their recent award. Before I knew it, I was taking a deep dive into their featured micro-cocktails.  Another thing that’s been quite enjoyable about visiting distilleries and spirits events is the creativity behind  creating these micro-cocktails; a Peter Pan-sized cup of a special spirit gussied up with ingredients and given a cool name. Yep, I’m all over this, especially when I’m planning on taking home a bottle or two. Sure, sampling the juice varieties sans any dolling-up is my deal indeed. But give me something more than what I’m expecting and I’m all in.
I was already pretty smitten with CBD after meeting Jeff Robinette and Alan Davis at the Proof event. Not only were they the first table I stopped at to trade a ticket for a taste,  they said words that made angels sing. Words like Four Roses, Jim Rutledge, yeast, Kentucky. You get where I’m going here, right?  These guys had my attention, indeed! They were fun, interesting, passionate, and made a really tasty bourbon.
 
Here’s some of the down low on Chambers Bay Distilling:
 

The Strain - they have their very own proprietary wild-yeast strain from a local apple orchard and are constantly experimenting with additional strain options. I liked hearing this part of their story and even had a chance to see and smell their latest “experiment.”  If you know much about Four Roses and Jim Rutledge, you’ll pick up on why this was particularly interesting to me in covering the story.

Under the Boardwalk - the bourbon is aged in a floating boathouse and relies on the wave and tidal movement to speed along aging and brings out a note of sea salt in their bourbon.

Going for the Gold - these guys rocked it and took a Gold Medal in the Craft Whiskey Category for the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. For a young bourbon, this was pretty impressive.
 

Profile and Tasting Notes:

As our inaugural aged-whiskey release, Greenhorn is a young expression of our flagship wheated-bourbon. By using wheat as the secondary grain in our mash bill we produce a sweet bourbon—a flavor profile that pairs well with the salty sea air to which it's exposed during the aging process.

The Ingredients  - Greenhorn is made using Cascade mountain water, sweet yellow corn and soft white wheat from Grant County, Wash., and a proprietary wild-yeast strain harvested from a local apple orchard. The Result - salted caramel

Greenhorn bourbon has a sweet cola/floral nose and a salted caramel flavor profile mature beyond its years.

Flavor Profile - Salted caramel with a hint of apple pie and dark chocolate

Greenhorn is bottled at 88 Proof (44% alc./vol.)
No meet and greet would be complete without sampling the products. It's cocktail time!
Chambers Bay Greenhorn Bourbon with its gold medal from the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
About Emily C. Oursler
Nicknamed Gypsy Silo because she likes to travel and has been known to collect enough things on the way to "fill a silo," Emily Oursler serves Bourbon Zeppelin as the Managing Editor. In addition to contributing stories to BZ, she helps with the marketing and strategy of the publication. You can find Emily on Instagram and Twitter (@gypsysilo).
Submitted by Matt Walker

This drink came about July of last year when I was trying to make an easier variation of a French Bulldog. I ended up with the recipe below but with regular simple syrup. I posted it on a blog site I used at the time Bar Notes and it eventually gained some traction and was listed as the drink of the week on DrinkWire.com. Then when Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. came out with its first batch of Sweet Tea Syrup, I felt it was a match made in heaven. This one turned out even better than the original. So this is the new and improved Lafayette or Lafayette 2.0! 

 
Think of this as what would happen if Arnold Palmer liked drinking while driving the golf cart as much as the rest of us.

There have been a few variations of this floating around Charleston in the past, but I still go back to my version for the simplicity.

Love this as a summer cocktail.

Ingredients

2 oz Bulleit Rye

1 oz Averna amaro

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Sweet Tea Syrup

Preparation

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass with a stirring spoon from your collection. Fill glass with ice and stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a low ball over a cube. Garnish with an expressed lemon peel.

I resist the urge to shake this cocktail merely to retain the clarity to resemble a sweet tea. I am from Charleston after all. 
CHEERS!

Matt Walker / @walkerincharleston on Instagram
The Bourbon Zeppelin featured cocktail is a monthly column shared by Steve Akley and Matt Walker. Matt and Steve some enjoy experimenting with mixology and showing the best of their creations in BZ
 
Bourbon Zeppelin Ambassadors Enjoying Summer
Fans of Bourbon Zeppelin who have signed up for the free BZ Ambassador program have clearly been enjoying a great summer. Posting pictures under the hashtag #bourbonzeppelinspottedin, they have shared their adventures with the bourbon crew on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Check out a sampling of some of these fun photos:
Top Left: Andrew McGuiness let the Bourbon Zeppelin chill in Cheshire, England
 
Top Middle: Jeff Couch took the Zeppelin on a tour of Town Branch Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky
 
Top Right: Chris Lojkovic had the Zeppelin check out the Atlantic City Boardwalk
 
Middle Left: Blue Dram took the Zeppelin out on several excursions in Ennepetal, Germany
 
Middle Center: Hasse Berg had the Zeppelin give a bottle of Eagle Rare a proper burial “under the moon”
 
Middle Right: TJ Ivey got patriotic with the Zeppelin on the Fourth of July in Wilmington, North Carolina
 
Bottom Left: Rebecca Fitzgerald helped the Zeppelin expand beyond just bourbon with a tour of the Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, Virginia
 
Bottom Middle: Whisky Pete took the Zeppelin for a joyride in the skies of Houston, Texas
 
Bottom Right: Matt Walker used the Zeppelin as a good luck charm for some bourbon and rye hunting in Charleston, South Carolina
There is still a little bit of summer left. Get your photos in with the #bourbonzeppelinspottedin hashtag today!

Rodney Johnson's Photos
No recognition of Bourbon Zeppelin Brand Ambassadors would be complete without a shoutout to Rodney Johnson. Rodney has made an art of posting photos of his BZ Glencairn glass with the current bottle he is enjoying. The photos above represent just  a few of the photos he has shared. Thanks Rodney!

If you would like to become a Bourbon Zeppelin Ambassador, just drop us a line by clicking here!
Introduction by Steve Akley
Last month, I announced a creative writing contest that combines two personal passions for me... writing and bourbon. This is funded by me and designed to assist my fellow authors since I have this incredible venue to share the unpublished work of an author looking to have his or her work discovered. Below are all of the details communicated in the August 1 issue. No matter what you perceive your own skill level to be, please consider taking a chance on yourself by participating in this fun contest.

Regards,
Steve

Information Communicated in the August 1 Issue of Bourbon Zeppelin
It's important to remember that I came into Bourbon Zeppelin not only as a bourbon fan, but an independent author as well. With that in mind, I've come up with great way to give back to the writing community now that the BZ team has developed such a strong following and great audience for this publication.

The idea is this...
Have a creative writing contest for an original fiction piece with bourbon being involved in the story. We share a nice prize for the winner and even give him or her the option of running a portion of the short story in Bourbon Zeppelin and have the rest of the story for sale in Bourbon Zeppelin for a brief time. The complete prize package is as follows:

 
  1. A $50 Visa gift card.
The following two components of the prize are at the winner's discretion and have no substitutions or cash value if they aren't used:
  1. If the winner likes, a 500 word excerpt from the winner's story will appear in Bourbon Zeppelin with the full short story being available for sale in the BZ store.
  2. Steve Akley's graphic artist will design you a cover for the short story, his editor will edit your work and he will assist you in getting your work published for Kindle and Apple. The author of the material retains 100% ownership of the piece and neither Steve Akley or his team share in the revenue from the sale of your short story. This is literally just assistance to help you find an audience for your original work.
Sounds pretty cool, right?

You have until September 30 to get your 1,000 - 5,000 word short story complete. Everyone is encouraged to participate regardless of writing background or previous experience. Remember, we're bourbon people. If you can bring a creative story incorporating our favorite distilled spirit you might just be the winner.

See the complete details below and good luck if you decide to enter!
Bourbon Creative Writing Contest Rules
1. Stories must be submitted by midnight Central time on Friday, September 30, 2016.
2. Stories much be an original, unpublished work created by the person submitting the story.
3. Story length is 1,000 - 5,000 words. (minimum 1,000 words and maximum 5,000 words).
4. The story must have bourbon in it. Bourbon doesn't necessarily have to be the central theme, but it is mandatory to include in the story and being that you are participating in a contest for a bourbon publication, it's probably not going to hurt to have it engrained into your submission.
5. There is a cap at 20 entries. The first 20 stories that are submitted correctly will be the only ones judged. You can check to see if space is still available by emailing Steve at:
bourbonzeppelin@gmail.com. If your submission is incorrect, but spots are available, you will be notified why your submission was rejected and you can correct it an resubmit so long as spots are still available.
6. Submissions must be emailed to:
bourbonzeppelin@gmail.com. Your story should be submitted using Microsoft Word saved as the title of the story and your name (example: BourbonZepplinSteveAkley). It should be double-spaced, 12 point Arial font with one inch margins. In a second document you should include an excerpt up to 500 words. This is what would be published in Bourbon Zeppelin should you win.
7. Our judge is our Field Reporter Elizabeth Jones. Elizabeth majored in creative writing at her performance arts high school and English in college. She will be judging the stories on creativity and what she finds interesting. These are both very subjective, but that's kind of what a creative writing contest is. There are no parameters on what you can and cannot write, but please keep in mind the values you see in this publication will likely be reflected in the winning submission. It should be noted Elizabeth does not receive the submissions directly. Those will go to Steve who removes the names. Elizabeth is simply reading stories. she has no idea who submitted them. In addition to the winner, Elizabeth may designate up to 5 honorable mentions. She doesn't have to give any. These are simply recognition of a very solid effort if Elizabeth deems a story (stories) worthy. Those individuals will be noted for their accomplishment, but there is no prize beyond recognition for those submissions.
8. Everyone is eligible to participate, other than the BZ staff. Those members are listed as "Bourbon Zeppelin - The Team" below. Individuals who have contributed to BZ but are not staff members are eligible to participate (Example: Seregon O'Dassey contributed a piece for us this month but she is eligible to participate since she isn't on the staff, she was just doing a one-time reader submission.)
9. The winner will be notified on, or before, November 1. The winner won't be officially announced until the December 1 issue of Bourbon Zeppelin. This gives us time to assist in publishing the story if the author is interested prior to the December 1 announcement. We ask the winner to refrain from social media posts about the win until the December 1 announcement. The winner's Visa card will be mailed on December 1.
10. Have fun!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Above: George Garvin Brown

Right: 2016 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
George Garvin Brown's Birthday Celebrated September 2 by Old Forester
September 2 marks the 15th year in a row Old Forester has celebrated the birthday of its founder George Garvin Brown with a limited release offering produced on one day of the year. This year's batch was created on June 4, 2004. It was bottled at 97.0 proof and has a suggested retail price of $79.99.

Per tradition, bottles go on sale September 2, though, it may be later in your market. As you work on your strategy to score a bottle, here's a look at the tasting notes from Old Forester's website:


Color: Deep reddish umber

Nose: Complex and cinnamon wood spiced with nutty chocolate, dark caramel and rich oak notes all brightened with a dash of crisp citrus fruit.

Taste: Mulled spice sweetness and fruity with bright citrus peel highlights.

Finish: Long and warm with mulled fruit character lingering on.
 
This Month Aaron Reviews:
Blanton's Straight from the  Barrel
"Blanton's Single Barrel” has always been a favorite of mine.  Blanton's was the start of it all for me - one sip is all it took for me to be hooked.  Bourbon was my new drink of choice, as Blanton's opened my eyes to the bourbon world.

Since my reviews are on single barrel high-proof bourbons, you can probably guess where I'm going with this. Yes, my next review is “Blanton's Straight from the Barrel”!

When I started drinking bourbon, Blanton's was an every day pour for me.  I did a little research on “Buffalo Trace” and “Mash Bill #2”, and I found out “Elmer T. Lee”, “Rockhills Farm”, “Hancocks Reserve”, and “Ancient Age” were all “Mash Bill 2” as well.

I did a little more digging, and found out there are many different types of Blanton's with different proofs. There is both a green and black label which are 80-proof, a gold label at 103-proof, and the “Straight from the Barrel” - which is cask-strength, so the proof varies from 127-140.

So when I found out there was a cask-strength Blanton's I had to have it.

Unfortunately, the standard 93-proof is the only one released here in the States; all the others are for markets overseas, but I did not let that stop me.  It took some time and money, but after long hours of searching, I found a couple websites from overseas that will sell and ship it to you:  “Master of Malts” and “Whisky Exchange”.

The shipping is pricy, however, if you buy in bulk it's not too bad.

Here is what the Blanton's website has to say about it:

"Not only one of the world’s best bourbons, Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel is one of the world’s best whiskeys. Created for connoisseurs familiar with cask strength whiskeys, this enormous taste profile reaches depths of flavor found only in the rarest of spirits. The high alcohol by volume is intense and powerful yet inviting. The complexity of rye, caramel, oak, honey and vanilla coat your palate followed by a legendary finish. Straight from the barrel is best served neat or with a splash of water. Un-filtered, un-cut, unbelievable”.

On to the tasting!
The color is a deep amber, very dark, while the legs are thick and oily.  It coats the glass like honey!

The nose on this is amazing.  First whiff is all alcohol, but I expect that from a 128.2-proof - with that in mind, I let my nose adjust for a minute.  The second wave is all sweet honey, buttered popcorn, toffee, fudge, toasted oak, and pipe tobacco.

The palate on this monster is intense, very rich and creamy; very sweet up front.  Caramel corn, brown sugar and candied orange rind.  After the sweetness fades, you get raisins, rye, buttery pie crust, and a spiced oak!

The finish goes on forever:  long, hot and spicy, while the sweetness persists.  Light caramel and fudge, with spicy rye, cinnamon, and smokey oak!  Last - but not least - is that great burn in the chest.

This is a must have for any “Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2” lover!  For me it is worth every penny!

95/100
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).
Classy Glassy!
Having the right glass to properly taste bourbon is certainly a very important component to enjoying the experience. The most respected name in bourbon tasting circles belongs to Glencairn, the manufacturer of the famous tulip-shaped nosing glasses.

The two newest additions to the Glencairn product lineup have a direct tie-in to Bourbon Zeppelin. First of all, BZ has it's own glass.  It features the classic barrel zeppelin logo

Secondly, the Son of Winston Churchill blog has a glass featuring its logo. Most of the crew on SOWC pull double-duty by contributing to BZ as well.

If you would like to get your own pair of tasting glasses, see the links below in the BZ store.
1792 Distillery Releases LE Full Proof Bourbon
Will be released annually for the next few years
A stout 125 full proof bourbon is the latest limited edition release in the 1792 Bourbon line up. Bottled at the same proof it was originally entered into the barrel, the bourbon was distilled, aged, and bottled at the historic Barton 1792 Distillery.

New oak barrels were filled with 125 proof distillate in the fall of 2007 and left to age in Warehouses E, N, and I for eight and a half years. Warehouse I is one of the oldest warehouses at Barton 1792 Distillery. All of these warehouses are seven stories high, metal clad, with concrete bottom floors, and windows all the way around the outside, allowing some direct sunlight inside.

After the barrels were emptied, the bourbon underwent a distinct filtering process, forgoing the typical chill filtration, and instead was only passed through a plate and frame filter.  This allowed the bourbon to maintain a robust 125 proof for bottling, as well as the rich and bold flavor. The aroma is powerful – with vanilla and dried cherries notes.  The first taste is intense as it meets the tongue, oaky and full bodied, but continues with flavors of caramel and jam-like fruit, before an enduring finish.

This is the fourth limited edition release of 1792 Bourbon expressions, the Full Proof joins previous releases of Sweet Wheat, Port Finish, and Single Barrel Bourbons. Although the 1792 Full Proof Bourbon is very limited in quantities, it will be released annually for the next few years. Suggested retail pricing is $44.99.   

 
by Andrea Holak
The Making of a Bourbon Drinker
I’ve been a bourbon drinker for quite a few years and I’ll be the first to admit, it caught me a bit by surprise.  I grew up in a pretty conservative family so my exposure to booze was, what you might call a “self-guided tour.” The locals always drank basic light beer—nothing flashy. A few of the more rowdy fellas whipped up a few quarts of moonshine every now and again. I knew pretty quickly that I wasn’t a beer drinker. So the search was on to find something that I could sip on without that heavy beer feeling.  I liked Irish whiskey, but it lacked something—I didn’t know what—but I knew I was missing some kind of pizazz.
 
Enter bourbon.
 
I loved the depth of bourbon, how it tasted, how it smelled, how much it varied by brand and color and age. It felt like that scene in the Wizard of Oz, when the movie changes from black and white to color. Remember that?  It’s like the moment that everything changes and you know it’s going to be great!  I wanted to try every single bourbon that I could get my hands on and declare which one was my favorite. The cruel irony is that it’s truly impossible to pick just ONE! The more I learned about bourbon, the more I loved it. I could taste that they were different, but didn’t really understand the “why.”  So, I educated myself.
 
And drank more bourbon.
 
The more I learned about mash bills, the more I fell in love with bourbon. As you know, bourbons must have 51% corn as their base, but the remaining 49% is variable and is a large driver in how that finished product will taste. Those distilleries that have a higher rye mash bill will have a spicier product that sits on the back of your tongue and those who use a higher wheat bill will have a softer and sweet product that you’ll taste first on the front of your tongue.  Others keep it pretty balanced and will leave you with a smooth glass that goes down nice and easy.
 
For example, here are a few distilleries and how they tend to set their mash bills:

Traditional: Elijah Craig, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Knob Creek

Higher Rye Content: Basil Hayden’s, Bulleit, Four Roses, Old Forester

Higher Wheat Content: Larceny, Makers Mark, Old Fitzgerald, W.L. Weller
 
I seem to lean toward the higher wheated products, which in hindsight is interesting, because in my days of trial and error, these were the bourbons that I kept coming back to over and over again. Now I know the science of why!  And alas, the aging process. Now begins all of that time in those fire-charred barrels. If only I could find a way to get better as I age
!
If you drink bourbon simply because it tastes good, then cheers to you.  If you have that desire to know more about it, there’s a whole world of discovery, just waiting to be unlocked. While Kentucky is “Bourbon Central” in America, there are so many distilleries across the country that would welcome you with open arms. You definitely get the best experience at one of the iconic rackhouse distilleries, though the last time I was in Louisville, the urban distilleries seemed to be all the rage. They give you a sip of the history and fast track you to what you really came for—the free booze tastings!
 
Bourbon makes me happy. It’s definitely the drink with pizazz that I’ve been missing all my life.  So hoist a glass and enjoy one of the finer things in life!
 
To bourbon! 
Special thanks to Bourbon Zeppelin reader Andrea Holak who volunteered to write an Opinion Editorial for his issue of  Bourbon Zeppelin. Andrea is a St. Louis resident where she is a grant administrator at a local nonprofit that works to provide 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. We thank Andrea for joining the BZ team for this issue.

Would you like to write an Op-Ed piece for BZ? If so, click here!
Is There A Difference in These Three Bottles?
We are now two month's into our look into whether our not there is a difference in the batches of Booker's for sale today. From July - September, our Steve + 4 Reviews are featuring three different batches of Booker's (Bluegrass, Maw Maws and Noe Secret pictured above), to determine if there is a noticeable variance in flavor profile or if this is just a way to uniquely market Booker's.

The first two months have already been eye-opening. We will have our third and final review in the October 1 edition which will be accompanied by analysis of the results. A scientific project involving one of our favorite brands?

We're up for something like this anytime!
Jefferson's The Manhattan

Reviewed by: Seth Brown


"My least favorite bourbon cocktail was made a little better by spending some time in a barrel ... that is until the vermouth finish kicked in."
The philosophy of  the Bourbon Zeppelin team is to offer a variety of different types of ways to evaluate products submitted by distillers for review. The one sentence review represents one of the many types of reviews you will find in B.Z.

Future Bottles

We have all been in a liquor store and wondered why there aren't many unique bottles for our favorite bourbon. There are a few out there known for their sexy bottle designs. Angel's Envy and Willett pot still are good examples of out the box thinking.  

However, many distillers out there go with a standard bottle such as a wine or that standard 750 ml bottle shared by everyone from Evan Williams, Jack Daniel's, Benchmark and numerous other bottom shelfers. Well, I'm predicting an end to the mundane and a stopping of the ordinary. 

With the bourbon boom eventually some glass manufacturer will make custom bottles the norm for distillery that is willing. This is a void that the decanters of olden days used to fill. Decanters used to come in great shapes and designs as a way to sell some bourbon. 

Well, I think in the future we will have bottles that take on more varied designs. I'm talking bottles of all sorts. Horses, barrels, states, riverboats and whatever else is the companies can imagine. Can you imagine pouring your favorite western bourbon out of a  stylish stetson bottle.? As bourbon gets more and more popular we will get bottle crazy. 

You wait and see.

--BourbonBrotha

About BourbonBrotha
Jerome Faulkner, aka BourbonBrotha, or BB for short, is an active member of the bourbon community on Instagram (@bourbonbrotha). He resides in Newark, Delaware, where he lives with his wife and two children. BB jokes he has lifetime "nerd status" based on his background in chemistry and his PhD in Plant Pathology. While he isn't actively working in the lab anymore, he still puts his background to use evaluating corn, rye and barley... the base ingredients for bourbon!

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

This Month, BZ Reader the Bourbon Sipper talks:
Old Weller Antique

When you’re born in Louisville, Kentucky, you’re born with bourbon in your blood. The nurses basically mix it into a newborn's bottles with a little bit of formula and send you on your way. I’m no different. As a native to the state that’s known for the drink, there wasn’t a holiday that passed that I didn’t indulge in a bourbon ball. Or two. While my peers were slurping down Robitussin, my cough syrup was laced with bourbon to soothe even the peskiest of coughing fits. I was raised to be enamored with the stuff, and that is a love that you just can’t quit.

Old Weller’s Antique first became an acquaintance of mine on my twenty-first birthday. I was handed a paper-labeled bottle, not knowing that it would turn into a life-long love affair. While it was an apprehensive introduction, Weller’s quickly turned into that friend who shows up to the party, stations herself on your couch, and never wants to leave. She lingers there, seamlessly transitioning from stranger into a familiar face that after time, becomes like family. 
The bottle is nothing special. She isn’t the prettiest. She isn’t the most eye-catching beauty on the liquor shelf. She’s like the quiet, slightly overweight woman in the back of the bar that somehow catches your attention and once she has it, doesn’t let it go. Much like that woman, the bottle emulates her curves, the voluptuous shape compensating for the plastic top that at first, seems quite unremarkable. Until you taste her, that is.

It’s a sweet, tender burn, one that my five year-old self would have appreciated on those nights when I was hacking up my lungs and desperate for numbing relief. The flavor yields traces of creamy vanilla with notes of sensuous caramel . The finish has a sweetness to it that you can’t help crave once it’s done with a burn that sticks with you the whole way down until it warms your soul. Weller’s Old Antique is considered a young buck in the bourbon world, but it has the flavor and charm of something far more aged. 

I keep multiple bottles of this gem on hand at all time so I’m never afraid to drink up or refill my glass. Knowing that it’s always there, just like that friend on the couch or the woman in the back of the bar, is a comfort to me and I always find myself going back for more.
Special thanks to Bourbon Zeppelin reader the Bourbon Sipper for telling us about her favorite bourbon right now. The Bourbon Sipper is a regular on the Instagram crew (@bourbonsipper) and she was interviewed by Steve recently for his O.P.U.S. interview blog. (Check out the interview by clicking here.)

What's your favorite bottle right now? Please reach out and tell us so we can feature you in a future edition.
Click here to tell us about your favorite bottle!
The Review
With so many limited edition bourbon offerings, you start to wonder what is truly a creative contribution and what has been designed to get additional cash register rings. Colonel E.H. Taylor's Seasoned Wood is the eighth in Colonel Taylor's limited edition series this one has proved to be a challenge to find for most bourbon fans.

Those lucky enough to score this gem, get a taste explosion that includes honeysuckle, butterscotch, black pepper and oak with a gentle burn in this wheated bourbon. This one sets the standard for the Awesome Meter!
The verdict on this AWESOME offering...
This one is JIMI HENDRIX AWESOME!
About The Awesome Meter
A lot of bourbon passes through Bourbon Zeppelin Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Since we are bourbon lovers, we recognize a lot of it is really great and clearly we enjoy having it in our respective collections. Still, there are times when a tasting reveals an offering with something a little more to offer. One that extends the charts beyond great and into "awesomeness"... hence, the development of the Awesome Meter.

The Awesome Meter rates only the bourbons deemed by the B.Z. crew to be "AWESOME!" Let's be clear, once a bourbon makes the list here, the staff has already acknowledged this product is on your must have list... after all, it has already been declared "awesome." Still, there is this idea of delving a little deeper so the Awesome Meter uses the following scale to see just how awesome, "Awesome" really is!


LAS VEGAS AWESOME

KING KONG AWESOME

ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT CHICKEN WINGS AWESOME

TYRANNOSAURUS REX AWESOME


JIMI HENDRIX AWESOME
Narrative by Steve Akley
One of the most incredible aspects of starting Bourbon Zeppelin has been meeting so many fantasic new people. Between the team we have working on the publication, the contributors from the companies in the bourbon industry and our incredible readers, it's been a really fun ride getting here.

With all of these new people in my life, there is one standout... and, that person is definitely Hasse Berg. Hasse is a bourbon/whisk(e)y/scotch drinker from Denmark. Hasse has been instrumental in getting this publication off the ground. The two of us will sometimes literally email one another ten or more times in a day working on BZ. These topics range from small logistical components of the publication like should we notify contest winners in the next month's issue or when they actually win and others get a little deeper; like do we take on advertisers? (We notify contest winners immediately and we will not featuring advertising... just in case you are interested.)  I know one thing, you need to have more than one person weighing in on these decisions so it's fantastic to have the counsel of Hasse Berg and that's why he serves as the BZ Associate Editor.


While Hasse Berg is a voice of reason as you work on building a world-class publication, truly the best thing about communicating with him is when he simply goes off script and just starts riffing sometimes. These are meant for publication. The guy is just talking to me. I have simply found these communications too funny not to share, so with his permission, I'm going to run these in BZ from time-to-time.

The contribution I have for you today is from his desire to search for  friend he had on the Distilld app. He approached me about running a classified ad in BZ to see if he could find the guy so he can get him on his Son of Winston Churchill blog. The type of thing only he can do. With that, I present to you...
Hasse Berg Runs A Missing Person's Report
Bourbon Zeppelin has agreed to assist the Son Of Winston Churchill in their worldwide manhunt. We ask all bounty hunters to be on the lookout for one American citizen, Mr. Brett Jarman, who goes under the alias IrishWhiskeyMan. 
 
The Son Of Winston Churchill has been hunting this cunning guy for the last 6 months, but he has managed to lay low and fly under our radar. 
 
Son Of Winston Churchill Spokesman Hasse Berg revealed to Bourbon Zeppelin, that they need Brett Jarman to step forward and take a seat, at the empty SOWC bourbon review chair. Brett Jarman was last seen May 4, 2015 reviewing Four Roses Single Barrel on the social whisky app Distilld. His last known address was in Longmont, Colorado. 
 
If you have any information leading to the whereabouts of Brett Jarman, please don't hesitate to write Son Of Winston Churchill. 
 
Cheers,
Hasse Berg
The Sazerac Company Unveils Mr. Boston Website
This Comprehensive site contains more than 10,000 recipes, 
replaces ubiquitous red book found on bars everywhere 
For more than 80 years, the Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide has sat on bars across the world, offering not only cocktail recipes, but party planning tips and historical tidbits on drinks.  Now, the book once called the “Bible of Booze” has entered the digital age, with the launch of the website mrbostondrinks.com, which contains more than 10,500 drink recipes, each of them entered into a drinks database as originally found in the printed books. 
  
The Sazerac Company bought the Mr. Boston brand in 2009 and immediately started  working on taking the famous red book into the next century by building this comprehensive website. It started by rounding up as many of the editions of the Bartender’s Guide as the company could find, which was at last count 58 out of the 75 guides published. From there, every single piece of data was entered into a custom built database, ending up with 210,780 points of data and 10,539 recipes (so far!)
           
“The Mr. Boston books have covered the evolution of the cocktail in America since Prohibition, but sadly, they were let go over the years,” said Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer, the Sazerac Company. “The ties between our company and that brand are inextricably linked, with not only the Sazerac Cocktail, but our heritage in New Orleans, a city long synonymous with the cocktail culture.  It was a natural fit to bring it all together where we are ensuring the future of the brand for at least another 80 years as the ‘go to’ site for professional and amateur mixologists.”   
           
Upon entering the
site, visitors are greeted with options to look for a specific cocktail, or explore areas such as bar basics, history, spirits, and a shop.  One can search for drinks by specific ingredients (example, bourbon, vodka, etc.) or even specific color (example, if you want to have a green party).  There are instructional articles and videos on the site such as “view types of garnishes” and “learn to make your own grenadine.”
 
           
If one is feeling nostalgic for the former print editions, 12 of the past editions between the years of 1935-2012 have been digitized, providing users the opportunity to view an original cocktail recipe with today’s current recipe to see how the drink has evolved through the decades.
           
Users can interact with the site as well, by creating their own bar book, which will allow users to “favorite” different recipes to build their book for future use and share the contents of the book with others on social media sites. Users also have the opportunity to review each recipe listed and add commentary about the cocktail which may be published on the site.
           
Other features to come soon include more instructional videos, a section for rare and esoteric cocktails, seasonal drinks, a guest editorial section, and a reservoir of well written articles on cocktails to serve as a reference.
           
Sazerac does plan to obtain the remaining 17 Official Bartender Guides it is missing and incorporate those recipes into the site as well.  Future plans also include establishing a physical Mr. Boston Homeplace at a location yet to be determined, as well as developing bartender recognition awards and working with bartender training schools. “We’re very excited to see the culmination of seven years of work come together in this beautiful website,” added Brown. “We want it to be a true resource for those in the spirts industry and those making cocktails at their home bar. We intend to keep adding to this site to make it even more robust than it is now.”         
This Month BZ Reader Greg Schneider Reviews...
The Watering Hole
Detroit, Michigan
So last month I said if I got another chance to write for BZ, I was going to take you to a bourbon bar in Detroit. I was going to go to a bar 1 mile north of the border in Ferndale. My plans were foiled when I forgot it was Dream Cruise week. The Woodward Dream Cruise is the largest 1 day car event in the world. Over 1.5 million fill a 16 mile stretch of Woodward. The street the bar I was going to was in what they call Mustang Alley. There were 950 Mustangs of various years and customs. I decided it would be too much hassle to go there.

Later, I found out that the bar buys its bourbon in Kentucky (aged 4 years) and adds its own flavors. I was then glad I didn’t choose that place because the discriminating readers of Bourbon Zeppelin would rather hear about a place that actually distills and bottles their own.

So I am off to
Two James Spirits. This is the first distillery in Detroit proper since prohibition. It is in the Corktown area of Detroit and is the oldest neighborhood in Detroit. Since it is so close to Southwest Detroit which is where Mexican Town is, I had to pop into my favorite Mexican restaurant in the shadow of the Ambassador Bridge to eat before I tasted bourbon.

 Two James is only a few blocks away on Michigan Ave. So with metal blasting in my car I pull up to the bar.
 
The street view and front door at Two James
 

When I went inside it was very nice and still kind of smells of fresh paint. It was nice outside so they had the baydoor open. The bartender Ben was super cool and suggested I take a “flight”. This is a series of shots to taste various kinds of liquor. I was only interested in the whisky. They make vodka, gin, and an absinthe named after the Nain Rouge (Red Devil) that is a Detroit Legend. There is a cool parade through Corktown every year to scare him away.

I decided I would try the Johnny Smoking Gun Whiskey, the Grass Widow Bourbon, and the Catchers Rye Whiskey. All the ingredients in their whiskeys are locally sourced. The rye in the Catcher’s Rye is grown in Ann Arbor which is 45min SW of Detroit.


The three bottles from which Greg samples (and his BZ Ambassador sticker)

Here is my review (now remember, I am not an expert... only a metalhead who LOVES bourbon):

The Johnny Smoking Gun Whiskey is meant to go with the “rich pork broths and fish broths of Japanese cuisine." It is a smoky blend of 70% corn 30% rye and 87 proof.  The first sip tastes like bourbon, but the aftertaste is a smoky almost Scotch taste. It is different from Scotch, though, as it really tastes like smoke. It was as if they put some liquid smoke in it. (I don’t think that’s how they do it though.) There is also a cinnamon aftertaste with the smoke. This whiskey won the bronze medal in the 2015 American Craft Spirits Association Judging and silver in the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

The Grass Widow Bourbon is a “High Mash Bill”. There are hazelnut and dried raisin notes that are a result of their proprietary Madeira Barrique finishing. It is 91 proof. The first sip is a very smooth bourbon taste. Then the after taste is hints of hazelnut and raisin. I really liked this one. I find it comparable to any top shelf bourbon. This bourbon won silver in the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and silver in the 2014 American Distilling Institute 8th annual judging for packaging and design.

Catcher’s Rye is distilled from 100% Michigan rye and pure water from the Great Lakes.  It is aged for a minimum of two years in traditional, charred new American oak 53 gallon barrels.  It has a subtle fig finish and is 98.8 proof.  The first sip you can taste the oak barrel finishing. The after taste is really fig like. I can also taste hints of cinnamon.

 


The information board

I really enjoyed the Two James Spirits tasting room. I really want to go back and take the tour, especially if involves more tasting! I could see the copper barrels through the barrel holes in the wall and really wanted to check them out. You could even watch people working on them through the wall. Oh well, next time.  Until my next column, I will be staying metal and sipping bourbon in Detroit. \m/

Special thanks to Bourbon Zeppelin reader the Greg Schneider for telling us about his favorite bourbon watering hole. Greg is a Twitter buddy of Steve Akley, BZ Brand Ambassador and has written for the publication in the past (he did the Bourbon Scene in Detroit last month). Thanks to Greg for helping out once again!

What's your favorite place to enjoy a bourbon? Please reach out and tell us so we can feature you in a future edition.
Click here to tell us about your favorite bourbon bar!
Hosted this month by Steve Akley
Hasse Berg kicked off this column in the August edition with an awesome selection in Ernest Hemmingway. It made complete sense. Hemmingway was noted to have a few, he liked to party, he knew a lot of other celebrities and most of all, he was a writer (something everyone on the BZ team appreciates and respects). With my turn at the wheel in this month's edition, I also wanted to take Hasse Berg's lead and get someone everyone knows. I wanted someone who was going to be bigger than the moment. 

Basically, I wanted a cultural icon.

This was a challenge. I mean if you only get one shot at this so your selection has to be epic. I thought long and hard about Abraham Lincoln since I share a February 12 birthday with him and every report I ever did in school seemed to be about him. He wasn't a drinker, though, and I wanted to be true to the exercise here. I'm sharing a drink with someone from history. That's the only rule. If a person didn't actually drink though, I wasn't giving the task at hand its due diligence. When you combine the one rule we have to follow, with the idea that I wanted to make this special event cool to everyone I met from that point forward ("I've had a bourbon with this person..."), my decision became clear.

I chose Marilyn Monroe.
Norma Jeane Mortenson aka Marilyn Monroe. Why?

I simply think that Marilyn Monroe is the rare individual whose celebrity transcends that person beyond pop culture. They just become part of the being of all of us. Marilyn Monroe is a symbol of beauty, overcoming obstacles to reach the stratosphere of success and tragedy as well. She died far too young, locking in her in a moment in time where she is this perfect icon of American history.

Bourbon fans, did you know there is even a small connection to Marilyn and bourbon?

There sure is... in the 1959 movie Some Like it Hot, a flustered Marilyn goes looking for a bottle of bourbon in the room of the characters played by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. That's enough "bourbon connection" to make this selection meet the criteria for both the column and my own personal rule.

Check out Marilyn, "searching for bourbon," at the 4:37 mark of this clip on YouTube by clicking here!
So What Historical Person Would You Like to Share A Dram With?
This is a regular feature in Bourbon Zeppelin. In addition to the staff, BZ readers are encouraged to take a turn at hosting this column and share who they would like to enjoy a bourbon with. The only rule is it has to be someone known (sorry, no family members) and you have to choose someone new (a running list is being kept at the bottom o fthe newsletter). If you are interested in participating click here to send us an email.

Pick Me!
The Growing Trend of Private Single Barrel Selections

Some people remember their first bike ride with romantic nostalgia. Others, their first kiss. Or maybe the first time they fell in love. I, however, fondly remember my first time purchasing a bottle of privately-selected single barrel whiskey.

If you’re going to laugh at me, do it now, because I am fully aware of how corny and melodramatic it is to wax poetic about buying a bottle of booze. In my defense, though, it was a pretty spectacular bottle.

There’s a liquor shop about an hour south of me that I am in a borderline-serious relationship with. I don’t visit them often enough for my liking due to the annoying commute, but when I do, I always leave with something interesting. More often than not, it’s usually a private pick bottle. The place has impeccable taste and an eye for picking out trends before they start trending. My first foray with them concerned a selection they did with Journeyman Distillery, a craft institution located in Three Oaks, Michigan. It was a lovely rye, with a zesty palate and a black licorice finish. My second involved a private pick of Old Scout Smooth Ambler bourbon, back before Smooth Ambler exploded into one of the biggest privately selected bourbons on the market. The latest, and one that I’m nursing slowly, is a fantastic single barrel from Barton 1792.

While private barrel picks are certainly nothing new, they are on the rise, with new private barrel programs regularly being unveiled. Though a barrel is a significant investment on the part of the retailer who purchases it, running anywhere from $8,000-$12,000 conservatively, it is an investment that appears to pay off, as private barrel purchases have skyrocketed in recent years. Virtually every major Kentucky distillery is offering them. Notables include Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace, Barton, Wild Turkey, Brown-Forman, Angel’s Envy, Heaven Hill, Willett, and Jefferson’s. New programs are expected to be debuted from Michter’s and Bulleit as well.

Barrel pick programs typically involve a distillery sending between 3-10 samples of potential barrels to the interested retailer, usually a liquor store or a restaurant. These samples will usually be from barrels that contain the same mashbill and proof that will fit that particular expression that the retailer is interested in bottling  (for example, Knob Creek Single Barrel, or Woodford Reserve Double Oaked). Once a suitable sample has been chosen, the distillery will bottle, label, and ship that particular barrel of private pick bourbon to the retailer’s locale.

Not all private pick selections are uniform, however. One of the most notable and successful private barrel programs comes from Four Roses, which offers its two distinct mashbills and five unique yeast strains in different combinations to produce wildly different private bottlings.  In all, Four Roses has ten different recipe combinations that a retailer can choose from, not accounting for individual barrel differences that come from the aging process. These selections are also bottled at barrel strength.

Perhaps the most innovative of the new barrel pick programs, however, comes from Maker’s Mark, which is offering up its Maker’s 46 bourbon for private selection. The fun part involves the wood; buyers will be able to select different types of staves to be inserted into their barrel to truly personalize their pick. The types of staves that are offered are Baked American Pure 2, which produces sweet oak and vanilla notes, Seared French Cuvee, which contains nuttiness and butterscotch flavors, the classic Maker’s 46, which lends spicy vanilla aromas, Roasted French Mocha, which is characterized by its coffee and dark chocolate notes, and Toasted French Spice, which creates smoky cinnamon flavors. All staves have gone through different toasting and charring processes, and ten staves will be used in each barrel. Thousands of combinations will be possible and available to retailers and their respective clientele.

Fair warning: not all private barrel picks will be spectacular. I’ve had one or two that haven’t been as wow-worthy as I had hoped. It’s important to remember that these barrels are being picked by liquor store owners and restauranteurs, not tried and true master blenders. Misses are inevitable. But overall, private picks are generally a safe bet, especially if it involves a bourbon that’s already in your daily rotation. Grab a bottle and compare it to its run-of-the-mill standard; what essences does the private pick focus on, versus the distillery selection?  The bourbon industry is always looking for new, innovative ways to be unique, and they may have found the best way to do so: letting consumers choose for themselves.
About Elizabeth Jones
Elizabeth Jones is the field reporter for Bourbon Zeppelin. As such, she brings firsthand accounts of bourbon topics and events, research pieces and personal narratives. In her personal life, she is a distillery worker and bourbon fanatic. She currently lives in the U.S. with her husband and dog-child. She has a tendency to take her work home with her, as her main hobbies are drinking whiskey, reading about whiskey, and following whiskey trends on social media.
Husband and wife team Kate and Kris Kettner answer your bourbon questions!
What is chill filtered and why do people hate it so much?
- Linda L., Phoenix, Arizona
 

It’s science time with Barrels and Mash!

 

Alright, so chill filtering is a pretty standard thing for a lot of distilleries. It basically involves chilling whiskey down to around 32˚F (0℃) which causes long chain fatty acids as well as other proteins and lipids to precipitate out of the whiskey. The chilled whiskey is then run through filters (silk, paper, mesh, etc. depending on the distillery) which removes these precipitates. The motivation behind removing these bits from the delicious whiskey juice is sometimes purely cosmetic in nature. If the whiskey is poured over ice or chilled in some other way, those fats, acids, and oils will cause the whiskey to become cloudy, which is seen as a negative thing by some consumers. The other work around to this “problem” is to increase the ABV of the whiskey to above 45% which increases the solubility of those cloud-causing materials and reduces the need to filter them out.

 

So, why all the hate?

 

Well, the filtration takes things that naturally occur in the whiskey through the distillation and aging process and removes them. That means things that produce aroma and flavor (often fruity and floral notes) as well as that rich, waxy mouthfeel that some whiskeys have. In a world where more and more people want their food and drink to be as natural as possible, the thought of removing those elements doesn’t sit well, especially when they might actually add character and experience to the sip. There are, of course, arguments to this reasoning as some claim that those fats and acids don’t add much, or that they really just get in the way of other, more desirable flavors. Due to the journalistic integrity here at Barrels and Mash, we will not choose a side in this argument and are just here to provide the facts in an objective manner.

 

Just kidding. Chill filtering is stupid.

 

Thanks for the question!


Thanks to Linda L. for the question. We've got a B.Z. pen on the way to you for asking!
 
About Kate and Kris Kettner
Kate and Kris Kettner are bourbon and beer bloggers from Edmond, Oklahoma. Together with friend Justin Sowers, they run the blog Barrels and Mash. They both can be found regularly hanging out in the virtual world of Instagram (Kate = @katekettner and Kris = @barrelsandmash)

Check out Kate and Kris' blog here!
The Bourbon Zeppelin team has an awesome deal for you to participate in our Ask Kate and Kris segment. If you question is featured in an issue (Kate and Kris select them without knowing who submitted the questions), we'll send you this awesome Bourbon Zeppelin pen complete with a stylus. This smooth writing gem will be sure to impress your bourbon lovin' buddies. There is no catch here. If your question is used in an issue of B.Z. we'll send you this pen completely free of charge*. So... what are you waiting for? Ask your question today!

 
*Note: You can ask as many questions as you like but one pen per person.
Because behind the scenes is the coolest!
Grumpy Dog Candles has been busy making their signature cigar ashtrays from bourbon bottles. Check out all of their current selections in their Etsy store by clicking here!

Several on the Bourbon Zeppelin crew have applied for the job of emptying those pesky bourbon bottles!
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 as the owner of the blog The Bourbon Guy and Rye. He can be found on Instagram (@evanhaskill) or Untappd (@bourbon_neat84).

Check out Evan's blog here!
Pappy Van Winkle Robosto Cigars Review
by Evan Haskill

Pappy!

Pappy is everywhere these days, it seems, except on store shelves. The other night, I enjoyed a delicious stout brewed by Perrin Brewing and aged for nine months in Van Winkle barrels. Empty Pappy bottles fetch hundreds of dollars on eBay and Craigslist, and you can have even have some Pappy aged maple syrup on your pancakes if you like.

I recently acquired a box of 10 Robusto cigars produced by Drew Estate with tobacco leaves aged in Pappy barrels. I am neither a beer expert nor a cigar aficionado, but I do enjoy the occasional brew and the occasional smoke. Having never obtained a bottle of Van Winkle bourbon or rye I am always excited to get my hands on products like Drew Estate’s Pappy cigars, or Perrin’s “Kill ‘Em All,” which I recently proclaimed to be the greatest beer I’ve ever had.

My cigar intake was limited to a Maker’s Mark cigar here, a Java there, several Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary smokes, and a few New Holland Dragon’s Milks. These Pappy cigars are a cut above the rest, and why wouldn’t they be? Drew Estate makes a fine Nicaraguan cigar, and for a bourbon lover like me these cigars lend a familiar quality to a hobby in which I always have to google, “which end of the cigar do you light, and which end do you put in your mouth?” before partaking.

These cigars are more than just hype, they are very good, very smooth, and the smoking porch still smelled amazing the morning after. Pappy is phenomenal bourbon, if not a $2,000 bourbon, and the products that are capitalizing on that market are worth a try, at retail.

Just don’t buy the empty bottles on eBay.

Bourbon Zeppelin has gotten pretty popular recently. As such, we've got four unique contests for you this month. Just enter one time and we'll put you in for all four. The first winner selected will get to choose what he or she wants and then we will repeat the process until we give away all three prize packages. If there is something you simply don't want, you can denote that in your entry email and we won't contact you if that is all we have left.

Entry is simple. Just send an email to us by
clicking here. If you win, we'll reach back to you via email. See the fine print for all of the details.

Good luck!
Prize Package #1

We can't imagine topping this one... 

Two Bitch Bourbon has given us a two-liter wood barrel you can age your own whiskey in. Simply pour some unaged whiskey (moonshine) into the barrel and let it sit. Get this, it gets better. The inside of this little gem is charred. That's right, you are making your own BOURBON!

The spigot on the side allows you to sample your homemade hooch so you know precisely when it's ready to share with friends or enjoy yourself.
Prize Package #2
 
Another prize package from our friends at Two Bitch Bourbon...

Prize package #2 contains an XL Two Bitch Bourbon two-sided logo t-shirt (front pictured/back has a Distiller's Circle logo). Also included are a pair of Two Bitch Bourbon shot glasses.
Prize Package #3
Product reviewed by Aaron Cave in this issue!

The Whiskey Butler, by Roundtable Woodworks, is the perfect display for your favorite bottle of bourbon. It balances two Glencairn glasses on the neck of the bottle. We suggest a Bourbon Zeppelin and Son of Winston Churchill for your display, but you are free to use whatever Glencairn glasses you like.

We're just sayin' a BZ and SOWC would look class up even a low-end offering!
Prize Package #4
Special "Thank You Bourbon Zeppelin Readers" Package
 
A note from Steve Akley
We started Bourbon Zeppelin as a way for bourbon fans to write about their favorite distilled spirit. That was it. We truly were, and are, all about creating a magazine written "for bourbon fans, by bourbon fans." The assumption was that, as fans, if we wrote about what we loved, our fellow bourbon fans would join us in the fun.

While we started with a readership of zero, here we are only in issue #4 and we've quickly grown into the thousands in terms of readers for each issue. As such, I would like to personally celebrate this accomplishment by giving back to our fans with a chance to win a prize package of uniquely St. Louis products, the home of BZ.

You get all of the following:
  • A mini bag of Red Hot Riplets from Old Vienna here in St. Louis. This is my personal favorite potato chip on the market. They even have places that make chicken wings around here with crushed up Red Hot Riplets on them.
  • Rich and Charlie's Italian Salad Dressing. This is the "go-to" salad dressing in St. Louis and many restaurants here feature a similar recipe.
  • Andy's Seasoning will add flavor to your barbecues (I know it does mine). It literally can go on anything.
  • Pappy's is the best place to get barbecue in St. Louis. Seriously. I mean it's not even debatable in my mind. You get a bottle of their signature sauce.
  • St. Louis is known for it's Italian food. Within the city limits the area known as The Hill has one great Italian restaurant after another. One of the best known is Charlie Gitto's. You get a bottle of their pasta sauce.
  • In case you didn't know, I'm a chicken wing fan. Big time. Chicken Wing Zeppelin just didn't song cool enough, so when I was looking to start a newsletter, I went with my first love in bourbon. I do include an homage to my love for wings in the Awesome Meter, though with "All You Can Eat Chicken Wings" scoring a 3 out of 5 of the Awesome Meter. What I love about Syberg's wings are they uniquely St. Louis. There isn't anything like them out there. Fried up crisp and drenched in this excellent sauce. So good! Come to St. Louis, we'll go eat some Syberg's wings and drink a few bourbons!
  • Lastly, you get two bottles of Fitz's Root Beer, our hometown favorite. You'll forget about the mass produced offerings you can pick up in any grocery store when you try Fitz's.
Warning... whomever wins this prize package is going to want to move to St. Louis so you have access to these goodies everyday!
Contest Rules (the small print)
1. Winner must be at least 21 years of age
2. Limit of one entry per household
3. All entries must be completed by sending an email by clicking here!
4. Prize package will only be shipped to a U.S. address.
5. All entries are due by midnight Central time on the 7th of the month.
6. Winner will be notified via email and sent via USPS.
7. There are no fees associated with the contest. Entry is free. The items won are free and shipping is free.
8. All entrants will be signed up for Bourbon Zeppelin so all future editions get delivered directly to his or her email.

GOOD LUCK!
Cask strength congrats go out to Greg Schneider who won first place in our contest and took the bourbon patches, Jeff Couch who took second place and grabbed the T-shirt/glass package from Silverback Distillery and Lee Ann Sciuto who took third and got the Jammit Jam Apple/Bourbon Jam.
Welcome back bourbon hunters and huntresses. I hope last month brought you success with Booker’s Rye and Four Roses Elliot’s Select. Fear not, Elliot’s is still being released so if you have not already snagged one you can still uses my tips to hunt one down!  Today I will begin with a story…

It’s the middle of March and well after the fall releases and all the crazy that comes with it. I was driving through Maryland on my way to a conference, and, as always, I am stopping at every liquor store on the way. For the most part I’m striking out, but my family was nice enough to polish off more than a few bottles over the holidays so I needed to stock up anyway. Each store I stop in I grab something off the shelf, make a few comments to the cashier (some cases ended up just a cashier, others the owner) about the selection and how crazy the bourbon search had been, say thank you and get on my way. I am about 20 minutes away from my destination and running out of potential scores when I stop in a state line store that is a little run down, but has a pretty good bourbon selection. Nothing is terribly peaking my interest, but I do notice that they have a good amount of Buffalo Trace. So I grab a bottle of “baby” Sazerac and tell the cashier that he has a very good selection. He said “Thank you. What you have there is a great pour”. 

NOW STOP!!!! 

I could have said “Yeah…it’s ok”, whipped out my phone to show him my collection with chest out, and I would have been sent on my way never to return. Instead I exclaimed “Yeah, I’m pretty excited to see it on your shelf. I’m actually on my way to a work function so I will be sharing this with a few colleagues and bosses”. The man tells me to wait a moment and disappears to the back only to return with a bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 10yr. He looks at me and says “well if you’re going to be drinking with your bosses you might as well really impress them!”  He rings up the bottle at $59.99 and tells me he hopes it impresses them enough to get me a raise and have a great day.

Now, the moral of this story is humility while hunting. A store owner could not care less what you have at home. *****exception…you brought it to share J********  What they care about is either the money or the product. If its money then you will see the Pappy proudly displayed behind the counter at $600 for a Rip Van and up from there. If that’s your thing, go for it. Most stores, however, care about the product. Showing them a picture of your 4 bottles off pappy proudly on display at your home bar may impress them, but it won’t convince them that they need to make it number 5. Treat every bottle like it is a gem and you are thankful that you found it. Treat every cashier and attendant and manager and owner like they have done you a favor just by being in business. Then, treat yourself to a pour the rare bottle you scored by doing the previous 2!
The crazy hunt is upon us.  Be on the lookout for Elliot’s, Parker’s Heritage, Birthday Bourbon, and soon Pappy. Build your connections now. Talk to stores and use the guidelines in the past issues to sharpen your axe and hunt in the bourbon jungle.

Good luck and may the Schwartz be with you! 

********Side note: for the sake of all bourbon lovers, when you finish your rare bottles do one of 3 things. 1. Keep the empty at your home on display 2.SMASH the bottle 3.Give your bottles to a responsible artisan such as @therobcompany -- Fakes are an ever growing problem.  Don’t add to it!***********
About Corey Chandler
Corey Chandler lives in Richmond, Virginia, where he enjoys bourbon hunting with his fiancé. 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
Bourbon Zeppelin best wishes to our own Corey Chandler and his fiancé Shaina who will be getting married on September 17th! We wish Corey and Shaina the very best as they start their lives together!
 
Do you think Shaina will mind if Corey checks out the local liquor stores in search of some great bourbon finds on their honeymoon? We’re guessing she’s pretty used to Corey doing this so it probably will happen!
Through a collaboration with the team at the bourbon blog Breaking Bourbon, we are pleased to present their Bourbon Release Calendar to BZ readers. This tool is invaluable for seeking out those hard-to-find bourbon releases. As our own Corey Chandler notes, scoring big at the liquor involves a significant amount of planning. This calendar can help you put together your blueprint for success and we thank the crew at Breaking Bourbon for allowing us to share it with you!

September
- Elijah Craig 18 Year Old Single Barrel/90 Proof
- Elijah Craig 23 Year Old Single Barrel/90 Proof
- Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch
- Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
- Smooth Ambler Wheated Bourbon


October
- Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: Eagle Rare 17 Year Old
- Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: George T. Stagg
- Buffalo Trace Antique Collection:  William Larue Weller
- Pappy Van Winkle Collection
- Parker Heritage Collection (10th Edition/24 Years Old)
- Yellowstone Limited Edition
About Breaking Bourbon
Breaking Bourbon was created by Eric, Nick, and Jordan, three lifelong friends who share a passion for bourbon and whiskey. The website features bourbon and American whiskey reviews, an always up-to-date release calendar, articles, and more. Visit online at BreakingBourbon.com and connect on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook via the handle @breakingbourbon.
Interview with Vicky Osgood of the Birmingham Whisky Club
by Suzie Allkins & Steve Akley
Suzie Allkins, BZ's United Kingdom correspondent, recently came across an event being hosted by the Birmingham Whisky Club in conjuction with Wild Turkey. The event, entitled, "A Beginner's Guide to Bourbon," demonstrated exactly what Suzie has been saying for a while - there is an increased awareness, and interest, in America's distilled spirit from our friends across the pond.

With this in mind, Steve and Suzie reached out to Vicky Osgood, the Events and Marketing Coordinator for the Birmingham Whisky Club and she was gracious enough to answer a few questions for them.
This event is set for September 30,2016. Click here if you would like to find out more.

What is the interest level in bourbon for whisky fans?

Bourbon is definitely gaining more and more interest in the UK. We are a nation of Scotch drinkers but with the rising availability of bourbon in bars and retailers, it’s definitely having an effect! I would say bourbon has always been traditionally thought of as a cocktail ingredient, but as a wider range of bourbon has become available to drinkers (and brands have had a larger marketing budget attached to them) it’s attracting a wider fan base of discerning drinkers who are discovering more about it.

 

What type of selections are available at stores in the UK?

Traditionally, we’ve always had a fairly small range of bourbon available in supermarkets and convenience stores, but this is getting better all the time. We’ve always had availability through specialist stores and online (there isn’t much you can’t get hold of through great web based stores such as The Whisky Exchange), but supply is prompted by demand. As people see more brands in bars and via tasting/promotional events, they start the movement for more local venues to widen their ranges. We’ve seen a lot of brands invest their time in Birmingham via bar training events and activation exercises lately, so we’re being seen as more of a key city for investment. This is definitely prompting consumer demand via education. Our supermarkets will generally stock big brands like Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve, but I’ve seen the rising availability of more specialist brands (Four Roses, Michter’s, Few and Smooth Ambler as examples). I think there has been a rising interest in Rye especially… And we’ve definitely feeling the “Jim Murray” effect (with more bars locally stocking Crown Royal).

 

How did your club get connected to Wild Turkey for your event?

The Birmingham Whisky Club is pretty well connected in the whisk(e)y world! We go to a lot of festivals and events to make contacts and bring them to our wonderful city. We actually became connected to Wild Turkey via Campari (who we’ve worked with before). For this event, the reps actually reached out to us to work with them on their “Bourbon Heritage Month” celebrations (where a variety of educational tastings are taking place across the UK to raise awareness of the process, rich history and love of bourbon). As we’ve never really worked with a bourbon brand, we thought it would be great to share the love with our members and the city!

 

Do you think bourbon is just a novelty at this moment or while interest continue to increase in the UK?

I absolutely believe that interest in bourbon will continue to grow in the UK. I think most of our members/following are very switched on to Scotch and interest in anything world whisky is new and exciting. As I’ve previously mentioned, more and more bourbon brands are distributing in the UK, so there is a huge variety to try and experiment with! We’ve recently hosted sell-out tastings with Japanese (Suntory and Nikka) and Indian (Paul John) whisky, so we’re excited to be entering into the world of bourbon with Wild Turkey!

 

What is the favorite bourbon you have tried?

That’s a bit of a tough question! Recently I’ve loved Balcones Brimstone and Basil Hayden's… But I’m finding new favourites all the time. Maybe next time we speak, it’ll be Wild Turkey after the tasting!
A big thank you for Vicky Osgood for taking a few moments to speak to tell us about the Birmingham Whisky Club and the bourbon scene in the U.K.!

This month Chrissy shares a recipe created for Bourbon Zeppelin Readers
Bourbon (Whiskey) Mac & Cheese

This Recipe Uses:
Mac & Cheese Ingredients:
1 lb pasta, (elbows, rotini, penne)
3 Cups Cheddar Cheese
3 Cups Smoked Gouda Cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
5 Cups Milk
1/2 Cup + 3 Tbsp. 77 Whiskey Local Rye & Corn (great whiskey out of Brooklyn New York/or your favorite bourbon of choice)
1 Stick of unsalted butter
5 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. Spicy Mustard
1/2 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
 
Topping Ingredients:
1 Cup Chex Rice Cereal
1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup Smoked Gouda Cheese
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
pinch of Cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
 
Instructions:
  1. In a medium sauce pan, melt one stick of butter over medium heat. Once the butter has completely melted add in 5 Tbsp. flour, stir until the flour is blended (no clumps) about 4-5 minutes. *you want for the butter/flour to be slightly brown in color. 
  2. Carefully add in 1/2 Cup of whiskey, whisk until thoroughly combined. Once the whiskey is combined with the flour slowly add in your 5 cups of milk, one cup at a time, all while continually whisking. Once all milk has been added, bring the heat up to high and boil the sauce. After the sauce boils for 2-3 minutes, drop the heat back down & allow to thicken. (4-6 mins)
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil & cook your pasta just shy of al dente
  4. Drop a handful of cheese at a time while whisking constantly until all the cheese is added and melted. (be prepared it is an arm workout!)
  5. Add in mustard, paprika, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, continually stir after each ingredient has been added. Salt & pepper to taste, also if you want a bit more smokey flavor or spice you can always adjust & add in more smoked paprika & cayenne. Drop the heat to low & cook for 6 minutes
  6. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat, add in the additional 3 Tbsp. of whiskey and set aside. Add in your pasta into the cheese sauce and stir the pasta until its completely covered in ooey gooey cheese sauce.
  7. Transfer the mac & cheese to a 9x13 greased baking dish.
  8. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for your topping, making sure your crush the chex cereal into smaller pieces. Taste for seasoning and adjust where necessary. Cover the top of the mac & cheese with the topping.
  9. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees, cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, remove the foil and turn your broiler on. Place back in the oven uncovered and allow for the topping to brown & crisp up. 
  10. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-7 minutes to allow for the mac & cheese to settle. Serve & enjoy! 
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).
Laphroaig 10 Year Old Scotch Whisky
by the Bearded Sipper
A case of Scotch... I mean a case for Scotch
Without question, we are all bourbon lovers here at Bourbon Zeppelin. But, if there is a case to be made for Scotch, it comes from the Islay region where the most divisive Scotches are made. From this magical land of Islay comes my favorite, and one of the richest Scotches on the face of the planet, Laphroaig 10 year. Because cask strength is always better, I’m specifically referring to Laphroaig 10 year Cask Strength.

It is a difficult taste to describe, but let me try…

I want you to imagine yourself sitting on the beach around a roaring campfire. You’re listening to the waves lap against the shore in chorus with the crackling wood of the fire. The salty breeze from the ocean intermittently clearing the smoke from around you as you exchange memories with the friends that surround you… Now imagine taking the shirt you wore that night and stuffing it into your grandmother’s medicine cabinet for a week. If you could then extract the essence from that shirt, and put it into a fancy Glencairn glass, you might get an idea of the kind of whisky heaven I’m talking about.

This whisky is not for beginners. It’s powerful and holds nothing back with smoky iodine and Band-Aids punching you right in the nose. You start to wonder if someone is playing a cruel trick on you. The first taste only confirms that suspicion as you’re hit with a medicinal ash that clings to your mouth making you question everything you have ever known about the brown water.

But something… something brings you back.

Is it the smoke? Is it the funky fruit undertones that seem to blossom under the punch of peat? I still don’t know what about this dram draws me in, but it makes me want to understand, and in trying to understand, I fell in love.  

As bourbon lovers, we are wooed by the vanilla and caramel notes from the barrel, the sweetness from the corn, and the spice that comes with the rye. The pungent, peated barley of Laphroaig is going to be outside of your comfort zone, but, you owe it to yourselves to see if the nectar of Islay can seduce you the way it has me.
Special thanks to the Bearded Sipper for telling us about something different this month. The Bearded Sipper is a staff reporter for Bourbon Zeppelin and part of the bourbon crew on Instagram (@bourbonsipper1976).
 
Wanna Try Something Different is a column dedicated to introducing different types of whisk(e)y beyond just bourbon. While true fans always put bourbon first, we often like to expand our horizons a bit by trying other types and styles of whisk(e)y. The question of where does American Whiskey, Scotch, Rye, Japanese Whisky, etc. fit into Bourbon Zeppelin is now answered quite simply, "Right here!"
This Month's Selection...
Black Butte XXXVIII
28th Birthday Reserve
by Deschutes Brewery
This bourbon and scotch barreled aged porter by Deschutes Brewery is the 28th Birthday Reserve and deservedly so. At an 11.5% ABV, it tastes like a birthday gift wrapped in smoked chocolate, boxed in coffee and raisins with an orange peel bow. 

I give it a 5 out of 5.
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).
Jim Beam Bourbon Bachelor Party Guide
The Key to a Proper Send Off
Bourbon Zeppelin recently received a copy of this ultimate bacheor party planning guide put out by Jim Beam:
Jim Beam Distillery Stops
526 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont, KY 40110
1).
Jim Beam Distillery Tour - During an epic 90-minute tour, visitors will experience (mashing, distilling, barreling, aging and bottling) what goes into creating the world's #1 bourbon.

2). Fred's Smokehouse Don't forget lunch! Overlooking the Kentucky foothills on the Jim Beam Stillhouse site, this bourbon-inspired café embodies the Beam family traditions while offering a modern bourbon-inspired twist to Kentucky favorites.

3). Behind the Beam - Enhance your visit with a private tour featuring a bourbon-inspired lunch, guided tasting and story time with Jim Beam's great-grandson Fred Noe.
Be sure to book your experience now for events on October 21 or November 26


Louisville Stops
4). Fourth Street Live! - Boasting an assortment of over a dozen bars and restaurants, have the time of your life at this Louisville entertainment hub.
420 4th Street, Louisville, KY 40202


5). Mint Julep Tours & Transportation - Check out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Public Tour to learn more about the art, history and craftsmanship of Kentucky Bourbon while safely visiting stops along the Bourbon Trail Experience.
140 N. 4th Street, Suite 326, Louisville, KY 40202


6). Bardstown Road - Located in the middle of the Highlands of Louisville, is Bardstown Road. This bourbon-lovers' spot offers a vibrant nightlife scene and eclectic restaurants that are housed on Bardstown Road.

7). Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory - This museum showcases the story behind the world-famous Louisville Slugger bat and takes you through the production process.
800 W. Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202


8). Kentucky Derby Museum - Home to the iconic Kentucky Derby, take a trip through horse-racing history and finish it off with a traditional mint julep at the Derby Café.
704 Central Avenue, Louisville, KY 40208


9). Muhammad Ali Center - The only place in the world that permanently showcases the life and legacy of the late, great Muhammad Ali. In this award-winning museum experience you will learn about Ali's life-first as a Louisvillian and then, as a powerful force in history.
144 N. 6th Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Ezra Brooks
Launches New Seasonal Variant and Updates Packaging
Luxco announced a new look for iconic brand Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the launch of Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream. The brand, which dates back to 1957 and has been a part of Luxco’s portfolio of whiskeys since 1993, will continue to provide four variants for consumers with a taste for adventure.

“The domestic whiskey category continues to grow rapidly – more than four percent in the past 12 months –  and the Ezra Brooks brand is keeping pace with this growth*,” says Fletcher Buchman, brand manager at Luxco. “This is the perfect brand family for anyone who enjoys bourbon, as the Ezra Brooks family of bourbon offers a few choices on proof and flavor profiles.”

The brand is also launching the new Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream, available seasonally in the fall and winter. This creamy addition to the family of products offers a buttery, caramel and toffee flavor with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. It will be available in 750ml bottles, at 25 proof with a suggested retail price of $12.99-$14.99.

Ezra Brooks’ new look includes a new corked bottle with a premium matte-finish closure capsule. In addition, a higher end label offers the bottle a craftier look and feel. The brand has recently earned top honors at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, taking Gold for Old Ezra Seven Year and Silver for Ezra Brooks Black Label and Ezra B 12 Year Single Barrel in 2015.

Ezra Brooks is aged the old-fashioned way and then charcoal filtered for an unmistakable flavor. The brand family – all offered in 750ml bottles and ranging in suggested retail prices of $11.99 to $26.99 – includes:
  • Ezra Brooks Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, bottled at 90 proof and offering a mellow flavor with hints of spice and chocolate and a smooth finish.
  • Ezra Brooks Blended Whiskey, bottled at 80 proof and offering a genuine Kentucky sour mash recipe with a light, warm finish.
  • Old Ezra Seven Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, bottled at 101 proof and aged a full seven years for a buttery long finish and deep, rich taste.
  • Ezra Brooks Bourbon Cream, bottled at 25 proof and offering a rich caramel and toffee flavor with a smooth, creamy finish.
St. Augustine Distillery
Releases First Bourbon Made in Florida
St. Augustine Distillery is proud to announce the official release date of its eagerly awaited Florida Double Cask Bourbon, the first bourbon to be put into barrel in the State of Florida since Prohibition. Florida Double Cask Bourbon will be available at the distillery’s gift shop on Friday, September 9th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and select retailers, bars and restaurants shortly after.

“Developed by the best craft distillers in the world, Florida Double Cask Bourbon is a celebration of the Sunshine State, its agriculture and unique maritime climate,” said Philip McDaniel, co-founder and CEO of St. Augustine Distillery. “Florida’s year-round heat and humidity ages our bourbon faster and with greater intensity than anywhere in the country. Our distillers have a running joke that our barrels ‘age in dog years.’”

St. Augustine Distillery’s production team utilized several industry legends to assist in this release. Jake Norris, Founding Distiller of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, developed the mash bill. Dave Pickerell, former Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark, designed the production facility and guided the final blending.

Florida Double Cask Bourbon is a dark amber, malted bourbon distilled and bottled on-site using local ingredients to capture the distinctive flavors of the region. The spirits in this first bourbon release range from 16 to 28 months.

“New federal regulations require the ‘stated age’ be that of the youngest spirit in the blend,” McDaniel explained. “We aged our whiskey in a sequence of new, wine quality 25-gallon and seasoned 53-gallon barrels. To achieve our flavor profile, we hand-selected dozens and dozens of barrels to blend a unique and robust bourbon.”

ABOUT FLORIDA DOUBLE CASK BOURBON
· Tasting notes: full-bodied, deep, and complex with notes of caramel, dark fruit, oak and dark chocolate.
· Triple Gold Medal winner in the 2016 MicroLiquor Awards and Triple Gold Medal winner for package design.
· Bottled at 93.8 proof with 46.9% ABV.
· Price in the gift shop will be $50/750 ml.
Bourbon barrels can only be used one time...
in the bourbon making process. That leaves plenty of life left in these versatile 53 gallon handcrafted gems. So what happens to all of those barrels? Well, the Bourbon Zeppelin team is determined to find out what happens to every barrels and tell the story of The Life of a Bourbon Barrel, one story at a time!

Online retailer Woodzee has found new life for old Maker's Mark barrels with a unique product... sunglasses. Check them out::

 

A nice touch comes in the fact the exterior is charred. While you can find used bourbon barrel sunglasses elsewhere, Woodzee is the only place to find the specific ones made from Maker's Mark. You can pick them up right here.
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There are plenty of bourbon barrel stories to tell. Help us out! If you know where a bourbon barrel is being used, that would be of interest for the Bourbon Zeppelin readers, just reach out to us to let us know by clicking here!
Here's a Look at What's Hot on the Secondary Market at the Prices they are Fetching:
2015 Colonel E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood 
Retail - $70
Secondary - $325+
 
2015 Colonel E.H. Taylor Cured Oak
Retail - $70
Secondary - $625+
 
2015 Michters 20 Year Old Bourbon
Retail - $600
Secondary - $1000-$1200+
 
High West Midwinter Nights Dram
Retail - $90
Secondary - $200
 
Parkers Heritage Promise of Hope 7th Edition
Retail $100
Secondary - $325-$375
About Matt Saunds
Matt Saunds is a store supervisor at Village Wine and Spirits in Sleepy Hollow, New York where he manages the sale of inventory on the secondary market for the store. He also has a consulting business on his own helping clients buy and sell rare and hard-to-get distilled spirits. Matt is a regular with the rest of the B.Z. crew on Instagram (@msaunds27). You can reach him via email by clicking here.
Last month, Steve ran his family recipe for the perfect summertime cocktail, the Bourbon Slush. Above, our own Kate Kettner enjoys her Bourbon Slush in the backyard on a hammock. Below, Ashley from the Instagram bourbon crew everyone from BZ hangs out with (@asax117), sent us a photo of her enjoying her Bourbon Slush in her personal place for her favorite summertime outdoor activity... her garden.
Do you care to share a bourbon photo? Photos of your bourbon hoard, the monthly cocktail selection, your bourbon travels and more are all welcome. Email those photos to the BZ team and we'll run them in a future issue!
And finally...
The Bourbon Defense Speech
 
Damn!

Am I sick and tired of explaining myself?

Am I fed up with all of yours intimidating questions, to why I love Whisk(e)y?

Do I walk around asking you the reason to why you are a birdwatcher? No! Maybe I should. But I don’t.

What is it that you are insinuating here? That the real reason why I love myself some whisk(e)y, is to cover up the fact, that I might be an alcoholic? Is that it? Okay brohanski, grab that wooden box. Yeah, the one over there and come along. We are heading for the park and I will stand all old school, on that box and explain to the world, once for all, why I love whisk(e)y.

Listen up people. Yeah! That’s right, gather around. You sir, in the yellow sweater! You too please! Don’t be afraid, steep right up. Thank you very much!

This here isn’t any convention meeting folks. This here is bourbon drinking. So you can leave the pinstripe at home. Just pull on a some used jeans and that old stinky shirt and come hang with the boys. Shoot the shit, crack an obscure joke, and be yourself.

Bourbon is a lifestyle.

It's not just something you buy, it's something you breathe. It's how you carry yourself. It’s that wild night in Istanbul, where you thought to yourself, "I’ll never going back home." And you got that stupid tat saying 'MOM' and you where dancing with that gypsy woman, with the raven black eyes. Over and over again!

It's the reason why you want to grow a big wild pirate beard (and walk with a limp) going “AAAARRRWW Savvy” all night long. It's so godamn cool, that it's make everything else seems exactly like that low fat yogurt ice-cream from the health store down the corner. It’s the Duke, Cool hand Luke and Dirty Harry all married into one bad ass person.

Some guys like to put on a shirt, with a famous football players name printed on the back and go watch the game. But that ain't me babe. The only game, I want to participate in is the bourbon game... and if I have to be caught dead in another man’s shirt, it's without a doubt, going to be Elmer T. Lee's.... all the way man!

Am I taking this too long and talking too loud?

I don't think so!

Do you really believe that Nietzsche went crazy, when he threw his arms around that horse’s neck? I don’t think so! He had just discovered that Heaven Hill had discontinued Elijah Craig 12 and he just couldn’t take it anymore. What about Lichtenstein going door to door in his old hometown, apologizing to all the parents. Please, give me a break! He was just checking if they were holding some bourbon.     

Whisk(e)y is the solution to all things. “Hey man, I think our toilet just flooded our house and my cat is on fire”. So what! You do have a great bourbon collection. That's your main concern. Is that intact? You live 15 minutes drive from here; I’ll be there in 5.

"My girlfriend just left me for Henry the gunner. You know the navy seal guy with the great abs”. Life sucks! Go buy yourself a bottle of bourbon. Now you are hanging with Four Roses. Tell me again; Who is missing out now?
 
This here isn’t a member’s club only thing. You don’t need to go and buy a set of overly expensive clubs to play this game.  “I just hit a hole in one, whisk(e)y is on me”. Forget about it. I just drove the ball and it landed on the windshield at some guys BMW. Drinks on me!  

Is not just a thing, it's THE thing. It can be lowdown and dirty, a real kick in the head. It can be refined, divined, or, it can be a cheap shot. But it's always an experience!

Thank you all for you attention. I’ll have to be one my way now. I just heard rumors saying that my local whiskey pusher just landed a couple of E.H. Taylor Seasoned wood!...

What in the bourbon God’s names, are you all still doing here? Run your fools!   

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
The answer to this month's trivia question is Old Forester. They were the first to be sold in a sealed glass bottle and even have registered the phrase, "America's first bottled bourbon." If you got that one right, we suggest you celebrate it with a dram of Birthday Bourbon, the yearly tradition from Old Forester released on September 2 to honor founder George Garvin Brown's birthday.
Preview of Next Month's Edition
by Steve Akley
Just a few days before this issue was released, I had the good fortune of spending a few days in the Bourbon Trail area of Kentucky. It was too late in the month to get it in this issue, but I'll be writing about everything I saw in next month's Bourbon Zeppelin. I will say my bourbon hunting was no better than my luck as been in St. Louis recently. The closest I got to anything good was captured in this photo: I saw a bottle of Elliot's Select... in a locked case on the Four Roses Tour.

Pictured is my tour guide Elijah. The guy gives one great tour, the best we experienced during our 11 distillery tours in Kentucky on that trip. Seriously, ask for him!

Elijah's not a good guy, though, when it comes to helping a new friend out. I tried begging, groveling, bribing... anything to get that bottle. Alas, nothing worked. I think he was smiling a little too much at my misfortune here!
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 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!
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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 seek 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!
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Steve's Featured Book of the Month
This is one of those short stories where it just came together perfectly. I had an idea for a short story in the form of the classic detective stories like you used to see on TV all of the time. I sat down on Saturday and just wrote this one out. I got stuck on the end but on a walk the next morning it all came together in my mind how it should be wrapped up.

Pick up this gem for your Kindle for only $1.49
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Help make Bourbon Zeppelin a publication of its readers by contributing. Photos of bourbon, articles, firsthand accunts of bourbon exeriences, etc are all welcome. Do you dabble in graphic design? We'd love that to!

Let's keep BZ great. You certainly can play a role making it happen!
Don't want to miss an issue of Bourbon Zeppelin?

The only way you can ensure you get every issue of B.Z. is by having it delivered directly to your email inbox on the first of every month. If you want to receive the bourbon magazine of newsletters written for bourbon fans by bourbon fans, simply
click here to sign up for your free subscription.
Bourbon Zeppelin is a 13-times yearly newsletter publication sent out to the 45,000+ social media followers of author Steve Akley (monthly plus a special "Black Friday Gift-Giving Edition"). If you 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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