Bourbon Zeppelin
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This Month's Bourbon Zeppelin Feature Article

A visit to the...

Notes from A Bourbon Lovers Dream Trip by Steve Akley

In late August, I went to the place where every bourbon fans wants to go: The Bourbon Trail in Kentucky. Even though there are more-and-more distilleries getting in the bourbon game, it’s still important to point out over 95% of all bourbon on the market was created in Kentucky. Going to the Bourbon Trail is not a matter of wanting to taste some free bourbon (though that is always a highlight), it’s about learning about the brands you love so much, seeing how it’s made and even meeting the people behind the brands.


For those of you not familiar with the Bourbon Trail, you could draw a triangle on a map of Kentucky, starting with Louisville on the northwest side go east to Lexington (78 miles), south to Loretto (67 miles), then back up to Louisville (57 miles) and all 9 distilleries would fit in the triangle. It’s just one of the amazing to think about how much of the bourbon produced in such a small section of the country.

The Bermuda Triangle of Bourbon
This wasn’t my first trip to the Bourbon Trail, but it had been more than a decade since my last visit. Clearly, I was overdue for this journey.
Being that I’m not only involved in this publication, but The Bourbon Show podcast as well, I thought it was important that I go to all of the distilleries. I scheduled a five day trip with my wife that would allow us to visit and tour all 9 distilleries on the Trail.

We even picked up the official Bourbon Trail Passports that would be stamped at each distillery as we visited. If we were successful in our journey, we would even be able to stop at the Louisville Visitors Bureau on the way out of town and pick up a cool t-shirt featuring the bottles of all the distilleries on the tour recognizing the accomplishment of visiting all of them. I was on a mission. I knew there is no way I was going to be denied getting that shirt!

I carefully mapped out our trip to ensure efficiency and planned on making our first stop of each day as a distillery opened. This ended up being a smart move as it turns out those are the least crowded tours of the day. In fact, on two of our stops my wife and I were the only two on the tour. You may be thinking this could either be incredibly awkward experience or it could be a chance to really get a personalized tour. I can assure you in both instances, for us, it was a highlight. We got a chance to ask all kinds of questions and felt like VIPs getting showed around by our very attentive guides.


For someone who isn’t a true bourbon fan, nine distilleries could be a bit much. At the highest level, they could look a little bit the same... you hear some history, you learn about the rules of what makes a bourbon, you see the process and you taste some samples at the end.


For the fan, though, there is so much more. A keen eye allows you to see the artistry that really separates the offerings from its competitors. You get to walk through the warehouses. With a barrel losing about 6% its first year to evaporation, what do you think that smells like? I’ll tell you what it smells like… heaven. I’m trying to convince my wife to age some barrels behind the couch in the living room. Not because I’m getting in the bourbon business. I just want the house to smell like that.

There is also all of these little tidbits you get here and there about company you are visiting as well as the industry. These we so interesting I would find myself with my phone out on every tour taking notes as I went.

Introducing Bourbon Nuggets
It's amazing how much you learn with every tour. If you are a big time bourbon fan, it's probably not the big pieces of info that impress you, it's the little nuggets of information. Who has the biggest stills... the most warehouses... that kind of stuff. I was so inspired by these micro-facts, I decided to start a new piece here entitled Bourbon Nuggets. Whenver you see this symbol, you are getting a cool little tidbit of information about bourbon!

I realize while many want to visit the Bourbon Trail, not everyone has the time or desire to get to all nine distilleries in one visit. While I enjoyed myself on each stop, there were some highlights. Here our four quick top picks that really stood out on my trip and are well worth the time and travel if you happen to be in the area.


Jim Beam – Jim Beam is the biggest name in bourbon and they also deliver the best tour. It’s all there. You get to see and experience the entire process. You sample some mash. You get to taste some white dog. They pour bourbon right from a barrel in front of you and then let you taste it. Afterwards, you get to try anything from their regular line (not limited releases) and get to keep the glass. It’s top notch the whole way!


Four Roses – While Four Roses isn’t the biggest name in bourbon, they have a great history and it was every bit as enjoyable visiting it in 2016 versus the last time I was there more than a decade before.


Maker’s Mark – Not only is this a great tour, afterwards you get one of the most unique hands on experiences in bourbon… you can hand dip your own bottle of bourbon in that unique red wax.


Town Branch – Town Branch was the distillery I knew least about going into the trip. It was the only one where I hadn’t tried their bourbon before the trip. While I wasn’t necessarily stoked about going before I got there, it turned out to be one of the best. We had an awesome tour guide (ask for Dell) which is always a great start. What I liked about it is the parent company of Town Branch also owns Lexington Brewing Company. This means get to see how their beer is made in addition to the distilled spirits. You also get to sample both beer and bourbon. They even took one of their products they have, a coffee/bourbon liqueur called the Bluegrass Sundown and made a mini cocktail with it.


All-in-all it was a fantastic trip. We had a great time and enjoyed everything the Bourbon Trail had to offer.


Most importantly, we scored that all-important t-shirt!

A look at the sights and experiences from the Bourbon Trail: 1). Dumping bourbon from the barrel on the Beam tour  2). Evan Williams bottle mural at the Evan Williams Experience  3). The Booker Noe & Dot statue at Beam  4). Bulleit barrels stacked up  5). The Wild Turkey mural  6). Quality control samples lined up at Wild Turkey  7). The three stills at Woodford Reserve  8). Post-tour sampling at Maker's Mark  9). The Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center  10). The Jim Beam statue outside of the Jim Bam Stillhouse  11). An advertisement on the wall at Maker's Mark that show beer with the red wax and the phrase "Never Happen"  12). Amy and Steve Akley wear their shirts after completing the trail

The name Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and its logo are trademarks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

In this issue...
This magazine written for bourbon by bourbon fans just keeps getting better! We've got two fantastic new columnists this month:

We kick off one of our new columns with Greg Schneider who is writing about value bourbons priced under $17. Also joining us starting this month is the Bourbon Sipper with a column called Off the Bourbon Trail. She lives in Louisville and is going to hit all of the great things to see in Bourbon Country. She kicks it off this month with a visit to the Bourbon Festival held last month Bardstown, Kentucky.

We have so much original content, fun and contests, I'm going to just get out of your way here and let you get to reading.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as the BZ team had putting it together for you!

Bourbon Zeppelin
Reviews of Unique Bourbon Offerings by Steve and Four Bourbon Zeppelin Team Members

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reviewer #1
Steve Akley - 78.5
Aroma - Light on the nose with hints of pecan and chocolate candy
Taste - Light apricot and chocolate candy with a sting that delays but then comes on quickly
Final Evaluation - Not much in the area of wood with this one. The flavor profile just wasn't complex enough for me versus the offer offerings.

Reviewer #2
Alice Seim - 78.0

Aroma - Toasted oak, corn and vanilla.
Taste - Toasted oak, corn, vanilla, rye and apricot.
Final Evaluation - Sweet and a little spicy. As with the other Booker’s Bourbons in this series, this high proof is in my opinion best served on the rocks. Not that this is a problem as a little goes a long way. I would definitely pick this up over other bottles in the $60 range.

Reviewer #3
Robin Ricca - 73.0

Aroma - Brown sugar, caramel, butter and vanilla
Taste -  Caramel, spice, butter and toffee
Final Evaluation - This is a fairly well-balanced bourbon. Butter and caramel on the nose and also on the palate. There is an underlying burn to end but it isn't overwhelming. A decent bourbon at a decent price.


Tossed Reviews
Evan Haskill - 91.0
Aroma - Sweet buttery caramel and vanilla, sweet corn and spicy, earthy tobacco
Taste - Pleasant leather and tobacco with licorice and black pepper
Final Evaluation - Sweet, but not too sweet. Punchy but pleasant. A nose to die for.

Kate & Kris Kettner - 62.5
Aroma - Honey, vanilla, toasted oak, herbal tea, citrus lemon, grass
Taste - Lemon, brown sugar, green tea, vanilla, almond, acidic, tannins, licorice  
Final Evaluation - Overall, we liked this bourbon more than our scores show. In relation to the others, they are much better, but that doesn't make this a bad bourbon, just different.

Combined Score
The final score for Booker's Blue Grass Batch is...
The Bouron Lifestyle
This month, the Bourbon Lifestyle section is dedicated to a couple of cocktails and an awesome recipe for the grill.

Basil Hayden’s® Summer’s End Sazerac
By Brittini Rae Peterson
2 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon
1/2 part Cajun Spice Syrup*
5 dashes Peychaud’s® Bitters
2 dashes Angostrua® Bitters
Lemon Zest
Sprig of Thyme
1. Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.
2. Stir until well chilled and strain into a cocktail glass.
3. Garnish with the zest of a lemon and a sprig of thyme.

*Cajun Spice Syrup
1 part Water
1 part Sugar
1 tbsp. Cajun Spice
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and warm.
2. Stir until sugar and Cajun Spice are fully dissolved into the water.
3. Strain into an empty container and set aside.

Knob Creek® Smoke & Char
By Celebrity Chef Michael Symon
2 parts Knob Creek® Smoked Maple Bourbon
½ part Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ part Demerara Syrup
2 slices of Charred Peaches
4 large Basil Leaves
1. Char peaches slices on grill until nice grill marks appear.
2. Muddle charred peach slices with basil leaves and set aside.
3. Add Knob Creek® Smoked Maple, fresh lemon juice, Demerara syrup and muddled peach and basil mixture to a cocktail shaker with ice.
4. Shake and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass.

Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Smoked Shortribs
By Celebrity Chef Michael Symon
1 part Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon
6, 4-5” Long Beef Shortribs
¼ cup Kosher Salt
¼ cup Brown Sugar
3 cups Warm Water
1 Orange Peel
1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
1 tablespoon Whole Coriander
2 Bay Leaves
2 Sprigs Rosemary
Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Apple Wood Chips For Smoking
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the salt and sugar in to the warm water until they dissolve.
2. Whisk in the Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon, orange peel, peppercorns, coriander, bay leaves and rosemary.
3. Submerge the shortribs in to the brine, making sure they are fully covered.
4. Refrigerate and brine overnight.
5. The next day, remove the shortribs from the brine and pat them dry.
6. Discard the brine.
7. Lightly season all of the ribs with salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
8. Preheat your grill to medium high heat, piling the charcoal on only one side.
9. When the charcoal is burning hot, add a handful of woodchips on top and place the shortribs bone side down on the non-charcoal side of the grill.
10. Put the lid down and smoke for about 45 minutes.
11. After 45 minutes, add another handful of woodchips, put the lid back down and cook for another 1 ½ to 2 hours.
12. Check the ribs after an hour. The temp should reach about 180 degrees.
13. When the ribs are just about cooked through, flip them over to the hot side of the grill for a few minutes.
14. Remove to a platter and serve.
News About Bourbon the B.Z. Team has Heard
Fred Noe recently launched the Jim Beam Apple Watch on the Jim Beam YouTube Channel.  This stylish time piece-looking device is actually a collapsible shot glass. The tongue-in-cheek video, which is meant to be a parody of the real Apple Watch, has some good lines about the band being green since "some apples are" and a dial that does nothing.

The Jim Beam Apple Watch - 1st Generation
Here is the shotglass fully telescoped!
You can check out the video here, but alas the Jim Beam Apple Watch sold out in three hours online (at a retail price of $17.99). With the holiday season coming it may come back, though, since this is noted as the "first generation."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Win a Trip to the 2016 World Series
Evan Williams is offering a chance to win 4 tickets and an all expenses paid trip to the World Series. You simply fill out a form on their website (click here) to enter. You have until October 14 to get registered.

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

What brand of bourbon was said to the favorite of Ulysses S. Grant.

Hint, it's still in production today.

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

The Bourbon Virgin Tries...

Deceptivus Bourbon
Cadeé  Distillery

(85 proof)
Oh ouch. This burned a lot more than the last month's sample. At this moment, my chest feels like there is a massive forest fire occurring inside! But... after about ten seconds I am completely fine. 

I think that's how this bourbon got part of its name. A little deceptive at the beginning, making me think I was going to burn from the inside out and then magically I was ok!
This could be a new addition to my morning caramel frappuccino from Starbucks. Can you imagine...silky caramel coffee with cloud soft whipped cream and a touch of Cadeé Deceptivus bourbon? 

Ahhhh, heaven in a cup. 

I feel like it would be a better way to start the day, especially Mondays. I'm telling ya, it would definitely wake my butt up!
Friend,! I think I'm much closer to starting my own bourbon hoard! 👍
Did the Bourbon Virgin actually like a real bourbon? Whoa! Whoa!!
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!

by Aaron Cave

When people think of Columbus, Ohio they probably don’t think of bourbon, or distilled spirits, in general.  Most people relate Columbus with the Ohio State Buckeyes and craft beers. Believe it or not, Columbus does have a bourbon scene; not a great one, but we have one! 
 The main road-block for Ohio is that it is a control state, which means that the state of Ohio controls all liquor coming into the state.  They pick which bottles come in, while they also control the price.  Controlling the price is not a bad thing - if you happen to see a bottle of Elmer T. Lee for $29.99 in one store, it will be that price in every store in Ohio; finding the bottle is the problem.  With that being said, bourbon-enthusiasts are very limited on the bottles Ohio receives.
 When it comes to Limited Editions and Fall release bourbons, almost all bottles will go directly to bars and restaurants.  If you get a bottle of Pappy or BTAC, then either you know the right people or you’re a big spender via your local liquor store.  There are a couple stores in Columbus that I have a great relationship with, but there is still the chance all those limited bottles are going to bars. 
 I know what most of you are thinking - “this is horrible” - but there is a bright side to this story.  We do have some great bourbon bars in Columbus that will do some amazing barrel picks, and they also have those hard-to-find fall releases.
 Local Cantina and Gallo’s Taproom are two of my favorite bars to hit when the fall releases come out, and when they get a new barrel pick in.  Both bars do amazing barrel picks!  Last year I tasted 2 oz pours of Pappy 15, Thomas Handy, and Saz 18 - all $16/pour at Local Cantina, not too bad. 
This pour of 15 year old Pappy cost $16
Even the 23 year old Pappy is available if you are interested in trying a pour
Gallos Taproom did a great 12-year Knob Creek barrel pick.  These two bars are just a couple of my favorites. Some other decent whiskey bars are Barrel on High and Bakersfield, which have great bourbon selections.  Also, Wings has the biggest Scotch-list in Columbus. 
 Bourbon bars and great pricing are not the only things Columbus has to offer.  We also have three craft distilleries in Columbus that are doing interesting things.  If craft spirits is your thing, Columbus is a great place to be.
Rare offerings are limited to the Pappy family. Other like this Colonel EH Taylor Cured Oak are available as well
Barrel selects, like this one from Gallo's Taproom are another way to enjoy some great bourbon
Middle West Spirits just reopened their remodeled distillery; last year they had a big release of a wheat-whiskey finished in Oloroso sherry casks. Watershed Distillery is another craft distillery that is doing some cool stuff. Their bourbon is a four gain bourbon, with corn, rye, wheat, and spelt.
There is also 451 Spirits, who is new to the scene - they are not making a bourbon, but an apple-smoked whiskey.  Yes apple-smoked!  They smoke the apples for 24 hours then distill it, before finally adding it to their six grain whiskey. 
 Columbus, Ohio may not be the best place on earth for bourbon, but if you know the right people and know the right places to go for a drink, then it can be pretty nice!​
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!
A Look Behind the Scenes at International Stave Company
Introduction by Steve Akley
Almost every member of the Bourbon Zeppelin crew met on Instagram. The bourbon community on IG is incredibly fun and supportive. One of the regulars in the "bourbon crew" there is Andrew Wiehebrink of International Stave Company (ISC).

Believer it or not, one of the biggest names in bourbon isn't even a distillery. It's International Stave Company. ISC is the leading producer of white oak barrels. These are the barrels used to age bourbon.

Without barrels, bourbon is just a clear whiskey without the incredibly diversified flavor profile fans love. Knowing this, I've been on my Instagram buddy Andrew Wiehebrink to write an article for Bourbon Zeppelin to tell us a little more about his company.

I guess I wore him down because he finally agreed to put together an overview of who ISC is and what they do. Andrew did a great job in writing an article that demonstrates how important his company is in the bourbon industry.

I'm pleased to introduce you to my buddy Andrew and ISC!

Story by Andrew Wiehebrink
If you happen to be in Kentucky and get the urge to take a distillery tour, odds are you will walk through a rickhouse and find yourself surrounded by ISC barrels. The tour guide will tell you the barrels are American white oak with a classic char #3 or #4. Take a closer look at the barrels and if you’re lucky, you might find one with “experimental” stamped on the head. This stamp is evidence that there is more to ISC than the classic whiskey barrel.

Unbeknownst to the majority of the spirits industry/community, ISC has an in-house Spirits Research and Innovation department. This department is made up of engineers, chemists and Ph.D. scientists who are dedicated to furthering the understanding of spirit maturation in oak and the effect it can have on flavor.

The research side of ISC is much more than just a think tank, it is also the experimental arm of ISC. In addition to whiskey and other spirits, the department also includes staff who focus their research efforts on the wine industry. The research team is responsible for designing, monitoring, and tasting through the vast amount of ISC experiments aging in rickhouses and cellars around the world. Much like distilleries, we conduct experiments to explore, document, and understand all aspects of spirit maturation –encompassing everything from flavor development to environmental influences.

Before joining ISC I was aware of a few oak experiments in the industry but like most things in the whiskey world, all the cool stuff stays under lock and key until it hits the liquor store shelves. When I started training I went on a distillery tour across the country to taste through ISC experiments. I remember walking into the tasting room at a distillery outside of Chicago and on the counter were no less than 20 glasses filled with whiskey ready for our arrival. When I looked at the labels (each one a different experiment) I was fascinated at the amount of variables being altered – things that certainly had never crossed my mind. When I got done tasting through the experiments I remember sitting there, mind blown, trying to figure out how in the world these small tweaks could have such a profound effect on the end product. At that point, I knew this was going to be an interesting ride.

The experiments lined up and ready for Andrew to taste

Oak is a fundamental contributor to the multitude of flavors and aromas in aged spirits. You may find it interesting to know that oak is only comprised of a handful of components; hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin being the main three. You also have tannins and lipids, and the latter will eventually be responsible for oak lactones which is a major flavor contributor, especially in American oak.

It is amazing that so many aroma and flavor compounds can be derived from such few components (with the exception of cellulose). A firm grasp of when and how these compounds are created, as well as their interaction with products created elsewhere in the whiskey making process, allow us to assist our customers in creating very specific flavor profiles using only one ingredient – oak.

The bourbon boom has given opportunities to everyone in the industry and ISC is no exception. It has pushed the industry to innovate faster than ever before. With a new spirit research center currently under construction in Lebanon, Kentucky, ISC is investing resources to make sure we are leading the pack in innovation. We have great line of new products currently undergoing testing and while I can’t say much, I believe these products will be game changers in the industry. I think I speak for everyone at ISC when I say we are very excited introduce them to the market.


Andrew Wiehebrink B.S.E.ME
Director of Spirit Research and Innovation

In addition to working for International Stave Company, Andrew Wiehebrink is a bourbon scholar, corn scientist, engineer, farmer and cigar enthusiast. You can follow him on Instagram (@andrew_wiehebrnk), where he is regularly interacting with the Bourbon Zeppelin crew.
In Other Independent Stave Company News...
Kentucky Govenor Matt Bevin recently joined local officials and Independent Stave Co. executives to break ground on the company’s second Kentucky mill, which will produce barrel staves for the bourbon and whiskey industries. The $18 million project will create 47 full-time positions and provide the company with additional production capacity and flexibility.

ISC will construct a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art stave mill on a 48-acre property in Marshall County. Company executives expect to complete the project by July 2017. The company’s Morehead Wood Products mill in Rowan County opened in September 2015. Since then, it added second and third shifts, increasing employment to more than 100.

“We are committed to pursuing any project or product that will support the continued growth, innovation and quality of Kentucky’s bourbon industry and the wine and spirits sectors as a whole,” confirmed Brad Boswell, ISC president. “This mill is a strategic addition to our portfolio and representative of our long-term vision to serve our customers with a diverse range of high quality barrels and ever-increasing supply. This investment also mirrors current and future expansion to our cooperage operations, which will bring our production to record levels. It’s an exciting time for our family business as we support the growth our customers are also experiencing.”

ISC, a family-owned cooperage company, reaches distilleries, wineries and breweries in more than 40 countries. The Boswell family founded the company in 1912, first as a domestic supplier of staves, and today as a cooperage company crafting a wide range of barrels and oak products. More than a century since its founding, ISC still embraces the core values of family, innovation, community and hard work.

The company owns six stave mills in total – one in northeastern France – and five American oak mills. Those include the Morehead facility, two in Missouri, one in Indiana and one in Ohio. ISC also owns and operates six cooperages. In 1983 it purchased the Lebanon, Ky. cooperage, known as Kentucky Cooperage, where it currently employs 400 people.

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

Roundtable Woodworks' Bottle Display
Roundtable Woodworks has a cool item that can really showcase a special bottle in your collection. It's a bottle display made from a used bourbon barrel.

At first, it simply looks like a pice of wood with a hole in it. Upon closer inspection, you note it's charred on one side and smooth on the other. The bottom is angled and if you place the neck of the bottle in just the right spot, it is perfectly balanced. Like it won't move even in an earthquake... that kind of perfectly balanced. It's almost like a magic trick.

It's a fun conversational piece and it looks great on your shelf.

On the left you can see the charred interior and the exterior just looks like the outside of the barrel

Bonus Product Review - Merlin's Beard Wax

Intro by Steve Akley
A review of a beard care product may seem a little out of place in a publication dedicated to all things bourbon. In this case it makes perfect sense for a couple of reasons:

#1). Merlin's Beard Wax is made by Merlin's Beard Products which was the first company started by Chris Williams and Rob Zvirin, the owners of Round Table Woodworks. With their company featured in the Test This column this month, they sent a few items made of used whiskey barrels to be reviewed in Bourbon Zeppelin. In the package they included some of their beard items from their original company.

#2). With us having a person on staff dedicated to all things bourbon and beards, we decided to have the Bearded Sipper (@beardedsipper1976 on Instagram) write a review for us for one of the beard care products.

Here's what the Sipper had to say...

Merlin's Beard Care Review by the Bearded Sipper
When Steve told me about Merlin’s Beard sending him a sample that he’d like me to review, I jumped at the chance. I, like most bearded men, take the care of my face forest seriously and love trying new products. So for all you men out there who like to keep your crumb catchers on point, let’s see if Merlin’s Beard is worthy…

Like good bourbon, the first thing you notice when you open the tin is the nose and let me tell you, it does not disappoint. The sample I was given was  ‘Spice’ scented, and it passed the ultimate test when my wife immediately made a ‘mmmmmm’ sound as I held it to her nose. The scent is not overpowering, but will treat you to subtle reminders throughout the day.

After scraping a bit of the Beard Wax out of the tin with my thumb nail as instructed, I worked it into my hands and combed my fingers through my beard applying the wax. I love that Merlin’s Beard Wax is heavier than traditional beard oils (they also sell beard oil for those interested) which works great to help me tame some of my beard frizz. I also love how it doesn’t leave my beard looking oily or feeling greasy- only looking and smelling great!

I’ve been using this stuff for a couple of weeks now and find it to be some high quality @BeardedSipper1976 worthy beard wax, and I look forward to trying more of their products in the future. (*cough… Mustache Wax Sample… cough*) Buy some for yourself, or the bearded beauty in your life. Their complete line of beard products are available by
clicking here.
Bourbon Nuggets
Every bourbon fan wants their own barrel, right? One of the hot tips received on the Bourbon Trail was the fact the Four Roses Warehouse & Bottling Plant (623 Lotus Road, Cox's Creek, Kentucky 40013) sells used barrels $125 direct to consumers. You have to call first (502-543-2264) to ensure availability and let them know when you will be there, but it sounds like a pretty awesome deal.
Please Support This New Bourbon Zeppelin Sponsor...
New from Kalliope Distilling
The Facts:
On the Nose
Sweet, sticky toffee. vanilla. candy corn, and a hint of unwanted toothbrush from the dentist down the street.

Flavor Profile
It starts with a sweet pre-earthquake Haiti sugarcane mollases with a buttery toffee tartneds. Mid-palate, the cloves and spices kick in and you get a bit of the a organically grown clover honey in the background with a touch of heavily irrigated westward growing dark cherry fruitiness. The mouthfeel is an equisitely thick coating of the tongue and heavy oil as in the Exon Valdez spill then thinning more to a Deepwater Horizon feel as it takes over all of your tongue.
The finish is long, rich, and sweet with a hint of spice showing up unexpectedly after swallowing the last sip.  With the familiar phrase coming to life for me in the form of a "Kentucky hug". Caramelized brown sugar flavors with toffee, and a nice cardamom spice kick at the end that gave a really great balance of spicy and sweet.
Label Detail:
Read below how one lucky reader can buy a bottle of this 31 year old bourbon for only $6.66!
Trey Zoeller Enters Missouri Whiskey Hall of Fame
by Steve Akley
Trey Zoller, owner and master blender of Jefferson's was in St. Louis on August 31 to be inducted to the Missouri Whiskey Hall of Fame. The event was held at Gamlin Whiskey House, a steakhouse renowned for its bourbon selection.

In addition to Trey's induction, he hosted a tasting of his products. Attendees got to hear the background story of Trey and his company as well each product they were sampled. The lineup for the evening was a Jefferson's Manhattan cocktail, Jefferson's Very Small Batch, Jefferson's Reserve, Jefferson's Ocean and Jefferson's Groth Reserve Cask Finish, a private barrel selection for Gamlin's.

It was a fun night with Trey really being an open book on what he has done in the industry. His career in bourbon started with the purchase of 400 barrels of 17 year old and 14 year old bourbon. He found he could create complex taste profiles by blending different bourbons together. His philosophy of blending and unique approaches to his offerings continues today. For instance, the Jefferson's Groth Reserve Cask Finish that was sampled at the event takes 8 year-old bourbon and places it in French oak barrels. The barrels are then put in "hot boxes" where a temperature of 125 degrees is maintained for 10 months. The heat and time add many layers of flavor to an already flavor rich 8 year-old bourbon.

I know I walked away with a great deal of respect not only for what Trey is doing in the bourbon industry, but simply as a person as well. He was great, stopping by and talking to everyone who attended the event. If he hosts a tasting in your area, don't miss it!
Steve Akley & Trey Zoeller (the medal Trey is wearing is from his induction into the Missouri Whiskey Hall of Fame) and the flight of Jefferson's bourbon which was enjoyed that evening.
The Bourbon Sipper Visits the Bourbon Festival in Bardstown
Bardstown, Kentucky: This humble city, proudly trademarked Bourbon Capital of the World, devotes one week out of each September to the celebration of its rich historic bourbon culture through the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Throughout the week, some 55,000 visitors of all ages and interests come from near and far to relish in the beautiful exhibition of food, drinks and entertainment which sets bourbon country aglow. The festival boasts 13 bourbon distilleries and 40 events, such as culinary events featuring renowned chefs and special tastings, bourbon distillery tours, live music performances, galas and of course, bourbon tastings galore, entertaining the likes of bourbon enthusiasts, teetotalers, and everyone in between.

I had the pleasure of spending six glorious days in bourbon country, attending this Kentucky Bourbon Festival I had so highly anticipated. I savored each and every moment of every event possible. Believe me, doing so reaffirmed my belief that there are not enough hours in each day. Such an abundance of pride and hard work is evident in all that the festival has to offer. Oh, and a word of advice for festival amateurs: pace yourself (It’s a strategy I have yet to master), the evening festivities include plenty of great food and open bourbon bars!  I truly delighted in every aspect of my Bourbon Festival experience, including, but of course not limited to, The 1792 Flights of Bourbon event, the Boots & Bourbon event, the Bourbon, Cigars & Jazz event, the Bottled in Bond-Fire event, the Kentucky Bourbon All-Star Sampler event (my personal favorite) and The Great Kentucky Bourbon Tasting & Gala. I’m eager to share a quick run-down of the events I had the pleasure of attending.

The 1792 Flights of Bourbon event

The 1792 Flights of Bourbon event was hosted by Old Barton in Bardstown’s own Samuels Field airport, just down the road from the Old Barton distillery. This event had a great retro vibe, with vintage airplanes and décor. Each event guest received their own 1792 glass to use for bourbon tastings, which consisted of Old Barton’s 1792 Sweet Wheat, Single Barrel, Full Proof, and orange bourbon slushes, as well as mixed drinks. The event also featured hors d’oeuvres and music. This is the first year Old Barton has presented this nearly sold-out event (there were only 3 tickets left). The 1792 Flights of Bourbon event is one you don’t want to miss, and due to the popularity of the event I would advise anyone interested to grab tickets well in advance.

 Aah, the Kentucky Bourbon All-Star Sampler. Let me preface my rendition of the event with a confession: my enthusiasm for bourbon has grown into an obsession- I have bourbon fever! Sorry, not sorry. There was an impressive array of culinary creations distinct to Kentucky offered at this event, however I didn’t make time for a single bite. Several distilleries from all over Kentucky were represented, each with their own knowledgeable ambassadors eager to offer bourbon samples and share all about who they are and what makes their bourbon distinct.  One of many ways in which the Kentucky Distiller’s Association charms their guests and makes their event so unique is by having all of their Master Distillers- the stars of the bourbon industry- at this event. Yes, I admit, I was star struck and took more than a few photos with each and every Master Distiller I could, I asked them questions regarding their new releases and their barrel selection processes. The pinnacle of my night was when Jimmy Russell poured me a taste of Wild Turkey Rare Breed.  I left the event elated, as if I had been to the Oscars (some of that feeling may have been due to the generous amount of bourbon I had consumed).


Buffalo Trace's Boots and Bourbon event
If a great party is what you’re looking for, look no further than Buffalo Trace’s infamous Boots and Bourbon event. Chock-full of great food, open bars featuring a specialty drink cleverly named “The Burley Temple”, live music, dancing, and even a mechanical buffalo, there was no shortage of invigorating sights, sounds or tastes. Seriously, where else will you ever have the chance to ride a mechanical buffalo?
Heaven HIll's Bourbon, Cigars & Jazz event
Nestled in the My Old Kentucky Home State park, the Bourbon, Cigars & Jazz event was a glamorous way to celebrate bourbon with Heaven Hill. Cocktail attire, a large outdoor dance floor and live music performed by two different bands set the tone for the night at this delightful event. Classic Kentucky fare satisfied the appetites of countless guests, and with beverages distinct to Kentucky as well, it should come as no surprise that this is almost always a sold out event. At just $100 per ticket, which includes an amazing dinner, cigars, live music and as much bourbon as you can drink at highly accessible open bars, all while maintaining an air of southern sophistication, you just can't go wrong attending this event.

The highly anticipated event which all other Festival events build up to, The Great Kentucky Bourbon Tasting & Gala, is truly an amazing night.  Black tie attire, amazing bourbons, paired with unforgettable food and great company....  While all of the big dogs of the bourbon industry are there and mingling! Any guest who hasn't left this event feeling like they had been in some type of bourbon fueled fairy tale might be a few cards short of a full deck, if you ask me. This event spares no expense in order to bring its "A game", and it does not go unnoticed. I strongly urge anyone who has not experienced its glory at least once to put it on their bucket list immediately- you'll be glad you did!!
    The Bottled in Bond Fire

For festival goers who are not so much into the black tie attire type events (myself included), the Bottled in Bond Fire event is a perfect way to close out the Kentucky Bourbon Festival week. I attended this low-key, casual event, held in the historic Wickland- Home of Three Governors house, where bourbons were available from Old Barton, Heaven Hill, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace (E.H. Taylor small batch). Guests were given the opportunity to go on a historical tour of the house followed by making s’mores over a bonfire. Great food, live music, corn hole and bonfires provided the perfect atmosphere for making friends and sharing stories of Bourbon Festival adventures.
 Many people mark their calendars in anticipation of Christmas, others find excitement in planning anniversary celebrations, but I love looking forward to something different.... My count down to the 2017 Kentucky Bourbon Festival is under way, and I hope yours is as well.

The Bourbon Sipper is a Louisville resident who writes about activities appealing to bourbon fans visiting Kentucky with her column Off the Bourbon Trail. She is a regular member of the Instagram crew (@bourbonsipper) and she can also be found on Twitter (@bourbonsipperky).
Where Coffee and Whiskey Live in Perfect Harmony
Part 1 or 2
by Steve Akley
It's pretty safe to surmise that a disproportionate number of bourbon fans could be categorized as "coffee snobs." That's not to say there is a higher percentage of bourbon drinkers who are coffee fans compared to non-bourbon drinkers. In fact, the percentage of bourbon drinkers, and non-bourbon drinkers, who also consume coffee is probably statistically equal.

The reason why we can make a connection between perceived coffee-elitism, and drinking bourbon, comes from the fact bourbon drinkers enjoy the subtleties of the flavors presented in their favorite distilled spirit. It's part of being a bourbon fan. What notes have been added from the wood or the mash... 

Caramel? Vanilla? Pepper? Burnt oak? Lightly toasted oak? Honey?

It makes complete sense that if you enjoy this sort of dissection of flavors of your "bourbon neat," you probably also enjoy it in your morning java.

The notion of mixing bourbon and coffee isn't a new one. In fact, nearly every distillery has a blend they offer in its gift shop. These range from just okay to quite good.

"Quite good" is really only good enough to keep you interested in continuing a search for the best coffee and bourbon combo. This isn't unusual. In fact, the quest for the ultimate bourbon never ends for the true fan. There is a continual search to find something new, that might be older, but is better. The bourbon fan, who also happens to drink coffee, ends up a dual path of looking for the best bourbon as well as the best coffee.
Tal Fishman, of Whiskey Barrel Coffee, might have a product that completes the journey for the ultimate marriage of coffee and bourbon. Tal's story began in Europe where he was the manufacturing rep for coffee equipment company. His territory was the United States. In his role, he literally helped build up some of the most recognized names in the world of coffee as the concept of coffeehouses began to take off in the United States.

Tal loves to talk about how coffee is his passion, and he didn't seek it out, it just found him. He truly enjoyed his job with the exception of one small aspect. When he had an install job with a new client, he would prepare coffee for them to sample. The flavor was always unbelievable. Once the businesses opened, though, things changed. Processes were altered. The coffee itself might not have been the same high standard he had used. Even serving it in a paper cup took away from the perfect cups he was serving up while he was there.

With this in mind, Tal started his own coffee company to provide the finest coffee possible. As his business in the United States (Whiskey Barrel Coffee is based in Colorado), friends introduced him to bourbon. Tal's father-in-law had initially introduced him to Scotch back in Europe, but he had gotten away from it since it was as popular in the United States when he moved here.

After the introduction from friends, Tal became a fan of bourbon. At dinner one night, he couldn't decide if finishing a dinner would be better with a cup of coffee or a dram of bourbon. It was at this moment he got to thinking about creating a bourbon-infused coffee bean to provide the perfect compromise... a coffee that didn't taste like a bourbon-flavored coffee, but instead, tasted like coffee but finished with a the taste of an excellent bourbon.

As he was looking at farms in Brazil to source this new coffee line, a farmer gave him a uniquely flavored cup of coffee. When Tal inquired about it, the farmer told him he doesn't sell the coffee beans he had made the cup with. He called it "fall coffee." As the beans are sorted, they are run through screens. An average size screen like you might find used for your typical coffee bean would be a 15-17 size screen (a "screen size" of one equals 1/64 of an inch). Some premium coffee makers do prefer the bigger beans for their full flavor and those are capture with a bigger screen. These are typically the number 17 or 18 screens.

The coffee Tal tasted was bigger than the size 18 screens, hence, the farmer called them fall coffee since they fell to the ground since they wouldn't fit through any of the screens. Tal knew right away the coffee he needed was screen size 19 and up for Whiskey Barrel Coffee. You had to have a coffee taste up front, balanced perfectly by a bourbon finish at the end. The smaller beans from lesser screens would be overpowered with bourbon taste.

While the farmer wanted to make a sale, he couldn't accommodate the request. First, it would be far too expensive based on the fact only 2%-3% of all beans would be bigger than a size 18 screen. Secondly, his farms was already equipped to go up to a size 18 screen since that was the standard for the highest premium coffee. The expense of re-fitting all of the equipment would mean it was far too expensive to make it worth Tal's while to start this venture.

Tal's response, "I'll buy the 2%-3% of your beans that would be bigger than a size 18 screen and I'll pay for the retro-fitting of all of your equipment." With that, Tal had the raw materials to make the coffee he had envisioned, but he still had to perfect his process. There isn't a manual for making the quintessential cup of whiskey barrel coffee so it all came down to trial and error.

The perfect bean... the perfect aging... the perfect roast...

It took Tal two years, and more money than he wants to admit to publicly, to get the coffee he had envisioned from that fateful night when he couldn't decide if he wanted to finish out a dinner with coffee or bourbon.

If you watch the videos available on
Whiskey Barrel Coffee's website, you get a feel for the passion Tal has for his product. Today, he offers two distinct lines for bourbon fans. The Whiskey Barrel Aged coffee which comes in a dark and light roast (specials are occasionally available like a single barrel reserve they did with a winery from France which had used a whiskey barrel to then age wine in, which in-turn, Whiskey Barrel then aged coffee in). These coffee are whole bean offerings, packaged in a whiskey bottle with a wax seal. It's a presentation that is as unique and special as the coffee inside of it.

For those not looking for the full-body flavor of only beans aged in a whiskey barrel, they offer blends which provide more along the lines of notes of bourbon instead of the strong finish you get with the Whiskey Barrel Aged product line.

So does it taste?

Does Whiskey Barrel Coffee measure up to the tastes to the billing of the ultimate melding of coffee and bourbon?

Well, you have to wait for Part 2 of this story in the next edition where I'll be tasting some of the offerings from Whiskey Barrel and providing my thoughts on it! Look for it in the November 1 issue of Bourbon Zeppelin!
In the interim, Click here to check out Whiskey Barrel Coffee's unique offerings on their website.
Heritage Brown Sugar Bourbon
60 Proof
Gig Harbor, Washington

Color: Apple Cider
Nose: Sweet Brown Sugar, Cinnamon Sticks, All Spice
Taste: Brown Sugar Pop Tarts, Cinnamon Babka &Black Peppercorns
Finish: Sweet Cream Butter And Pecan Pie. Bourbon For Dessert? Yes Please! Would make a mean Hot Toddy.
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
When you’re a whiskey lover, the city of Portland has you covered for sure.  This city is a mecca for tons of cool things to do, great places to dine, and overall it’s just one of those places most people don’t mind visiting, or even living. Living in the city and in the middle of such a mecca of trends can make life great. But truth be told, it can get a little tiring at the same time, too.
While it’s not quite the same as “going out to the country for the weekend” - it’s good to just have a break from the really busy part of the city.  Getting away and removing myself from the overcrowded pubs to take a break from the excessive selfie-snapping restaurant patrons and not to mention the walking-while-texting pedestrians. All with the purpose of taking myself out of a hurried state of being, and to treating myself to a well-made Old Fashioned, or just a nice and simple bourbon. (Or another drink I’m obsessed with – The Paper Plane.)

One of my little secret spots is a stone’s throw from Portland.  Actually, it’s just across the river and ironically it’s in Vancouver, WA, a city the locals have nicknamed “Van-tucky.” (Most of those same people haven’t set foot in the Bluegrass State, by the way. Bless their little hearts.)

So I ventured over to Van-tucky and was hooked in by Lapellah pretty quickly with their whiskey selection as a start. Not something obnoxiously long, but solid, with names like Willet XCF Rye, Woodford Double Oaked, and even the Jefferson’s Chef Collaboration.  As if this wasn’t enough, I was also happy with a food selection to match. Even though we’re talking whiskey and bourbon, I have to sneak in a nod to this place for their biscuits, too.  I’ve been known to pop in there on a Sunday morning and sit at the bar and just order a single biscuit paired with a Bloody Mary. Bourbon is important. Good food is important. And a great biscuit, well, you can figure out the rest.
If you end up lucky enough to visit Portland there will be no shortage of trendy food and drink options, or instances where you’ll witness the real-life inspiration for the show Portlandia. And if you’re like me, getting away from the normal Trip Advisor tourist-traps can offer options when you want to get your bourbon and whiskey on.
Bourbon Nuggets
Lapellah shares their signature bourbon cocktail, the Sassy Appaloosa, in Steve Akley's new book Bourbon Mixology (vol. 3). You can check out Steve's new book with 29 other iconic bars also sharing their signature bourbon cocktail by clicking here!
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 Steve Akley
Sharing this column with Matt Walker means I really have to kick up my game. That guy has got it going on in terms of an amateur mixology.

I've really been experimenting a lot with coffee and cocktails recently, so I decided to go with a bourbon cocktail that would appeal to anyone who loves coffee. I feel like this one will be equally revered by the casual as well as ardent bourbon fan.

3 1/2 ounces black coffee (brewed and cooled to room temperature)
1/2 ounce bourbon
1 drop vanilla extract
2 ounces hot water (not boiling)
Heavy cream (to taste)
In a snifter, pour coffee, bourbon, vanilla extract and hot water. Mix with bar spoon. Turn the spoon upside down over the glass and drizzle heavy cream over spoon so it floats on top of the drink. The end result is a cocktail that looks like the moon burst over it.

Steve Akley / @steveakley on Instagram/Twitter
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
This Month Aaron Reviews:
Willett Family Estate
9 Year Old Bourbon
When you think of single barrel, high-proof bourbon, what name comes to mind? Perhaps “Knob Creek”, “Russell's Reserve”, or maybe “Four Roses”? For me it's “Willett”!

“Willett's Family Estate Bourbons” are some of the best single barrel bourbons on the market today. They have gained popularity in the last few years: we have gone from walking into a gift shop and being able to pick up a 10-year for around $100, to searching online for the best secondary price.

“Willett” is also known by the name “Kentucky Bourbon Distillers”. “Willett” is an NDP Distillery which are non-distilling producers. “Willett” buys barrels from other distilleries and keeps aging them ’til the time is right! In January of 2012, “Willett” did start distilling their own bourbon, rye, and wheat whiskeys, but they will keep sourcing their bourbon until their bourbon comes of age!

When it comes to sourcing bourbon and letting it age, “Willett” has it down. Not only do they do amazing single barrels, their small batch products are outstanding as well. Their small batches include “Rowan's Creek”, “Noah's Mill”, “Johnny Drum Private Stock”, “Pure Kentucky”, “Kentucky Vintage”, “Old Bardstown”, and their own “Willett” brand.

This is what “Willett” has to say about their “Family Estate Bourbon”:

"Willett Family Estate Bottled Bourbon is a very unusual whiskey in many regards. The Bourbon label exists for the sole purpose of our family's Private Barrel Selection Program, and is the only label of its kind in existence. It is an un-chill filtered, barrel proof, straight bourbon whiskey of unusual depth and complexity."
The bottle I have chose to review is an older 9-year single barrel, it comes from barrel number “186” and is 122.2-proof. The bottle is also sporting a purple wax top - “Willett” stopped producing wax tops a couple years ago.

Just looking at this in my glass, I know it's going to be backed with flavor. This is super dark, and the legs on it are like maple syrup.

The nose is just heavenly - there is so much going on here. Big notes of peanuts and spiced pears, while being heavy on the oak; and there are smaller hints of caramel corn, coconut, marshmallows, and rye.

The first sip is an explosion of flavor. This bourbon is rich and creamy, and it coats your mouth like thickened maple syrup. It is so complex that it’s hard to decipher what is going on. The first things I notice are peanut brittle and toasted marshmallows - then come the spiced oak and pipe tobacco, followed by buttery corn, pie crust, brown sugar, and a peppery rye.

The finish is long and hot, with peanut brittle and Rice-Krispy treats for days!


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).
Bourbon Nuggets
The earlier Bourbon Nugget about being able to purchase a barrel direct from Four Roses is even better when you consider a recently emptied bourbon barrels contains about 9 pounds of bourbon still in it (a little over a gallon), soaked into the wood of the inside of the barrel. Use it to age beer or figure out how to get that bourbon out of the wood and you've got a pretty sweet deal for $125!
It's Official, The Bourbon Show is a Hit!
Podcast Hits #1 on iTunes
The Bourbon Show, a podcast on the network started by Steve Akley and Seth Brown, officially debuted on September 1 with the publication of the last issue of Bourbon Zeppelin. The show, starring Steve, Seth and their buddy Evan Haskill features bourbon talk, sampling, news and an interview with a guest.

The first show welcomed Christine Riggleman of
Silverback Distillery in Afton, Virginia. Christine is not only has an interesting story, she's extremely knowledgeable and, most importantly, fun. The inaugural show couldn't have gone better and Steve (St. Louis), Seth (Atlanta) and Evan (Grand Rapids) took delight in keeping each other posted about the show climbing the board on it's way to number one via text of Labor Day weekend when the show debuted.

The second show, with Joe and Lauren Luby of
Two Bitch Spirits continued the momentum of the first show as The Bourbon Show has steadily expanded its audience. With Steve, Seth and Evan taken by surprise with the instant success out of the gate, they quickly elected to go with a weekly format by supplementing the twice monthly broadcasts with shortened versions they have dubbed "Pint Size" editions the alternative weeks they aren't releasing full shows which are complete with interviews and the news. The Pint Size editions just focus on a singular topic and do not feature any guests or a news segment.

With a publication schedule on the 1st and 15th for "full size" editions, a new show debuts today. The latest podcast features an interview of Brandon Vorhees of 
Gray Skies Distillery.

Be sure to check out The Bourbon Show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or your favorite podcast provider. Please help Steve, Seth and Evan on their journey to having the most popular bourbon podcast in the country by reviewing The Bourbon Show subscribing to it so you don't miss a show and giving them the five star review they deserve!
Is There A Difference in These Three Bottles?
For the last three months, we've been rating different batches of Booker's to determine if there is a difference in taste. The batches of Booker's we examined were Maw Maw's, Noe Secret and Bluegrass.

There is seemingly good news and bad news here.

On the positive side, this clearly isn't just marketing. There are truly unique flavor profiles with the different batches. That gets lost when you are not trying them side-by-side, but when you taste them at the same time you will see how different they really are.

On the negative side, there really isn't a clear cut batch that could be called the best. Take a look back at the Bluegrass reviews this week. The scores range from the high 60s to low 90s. Yep, it's clearly a matter of personal preference. That means you need to try the batches yourself to determine which is the best one for you.

That's not all bad, though. In the name of science and personal preference, you need to try all batches offered by Booker's!
Double Oak by Jim Beam

Reviewed by: Evan Haskill

"As the best selling bourbon in the world, JB knows what they're doing.... and when they double the oak, they double my pleasure."
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.

Virtual Reality 

You have seen the new iPhone, right?  Or the latest cellphone out upon the release of this edition of BZ?  Either way, I’m sure it’s already out of date at the release of this article. All the rage in cellphone tech is the virtual reality adapter’s so you can strap the cell phone to your head and deliver hands free visual and audio entertainment because you want to truly disassociate yourself from the real world. Pokémon Go has the virtual reality option where you can turn on the camera to see that rare Raichu in the real world habit that it freely roams as you hurl Pokéball after Pokéball at it so that it only runs away upon using 5 razzberries and 10 ultra balls. 

Sorry I digressed into my Pokémon Go world virtual world (if you see a Vaporean trained by BourbonBrotha at the top of a gym don’t be surprised). 


Anyway let’s get to the real point of this segment...

Bourbon virtual reality. 

Yes, the future of bourbon shall be virtual. What does that mean? Well, this means that those of you who are selfishly hoarding bottle after bottle in the unfinished part of your basement so your wife or husband doesn’t figure out how much bourbon you really own can finally get to experience these bottles without opening them. 

Imagine a bourbon virtual reality apparatus that allows you to experience the nose of your selected bottle without actually opening up the bottle. Yes, an aroma generating device that can provide the olfactory experience of any bottle just by presenting that bottle in front of a camera and then... boom you are instantly transformed into a virtual Glencairn glass that contains your sweet brown liquor. 

The bourbon drinking experience is quite a bit of the nosing of a fine glass of aged bourbon so why couldn’t we bring that to you without having to open the bottle?  I won’t get too technical, but, let’s just say a library of available scents and descriptions from noted “noses” could easily replicate the bourbon that you have sitting in your shelf. This could allow you misers out there who don’t want to open your “precious” Pappy 23 because it’s the only bottle you have and you got it from old man Brown’s liquor store because you purchased a bottle from him every payday for an entire year and married his ugly niece. Yeah, you guys who build shelves in your basement just to put your bottles on display so you can look at them like museum pieces and imagine the notes you would get from your bottle of Willett Family Estate 22 year old bourbon. You guys can finally get to smell the prized bottle in your display case virtually. See it, smell it, and then savor it, all without opening your bottle and preserving the integrity of your bourbon mausoleum.  

I think this future is coming soon and judging by secondary prices I want to get in on the ground floor of this virtual reality. Cheers and remember to occasionally drink some of that rare bourbon because it’s not rare if it stays unopened. 


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 Casey Mabe Talks About:
Blanton's Gold

Being in the USAF as a flyer on a C-17 has its perks. I have had the opportunity to visit 65 countries and 6 continents within the past 5 years. With all that said, some of the best bourbon on the market is not sold in the United States. As I was traveling around Germany, I came across a British shop that sold Scotch's and whiskey's from their highlands. In the back of this little store on the bottom shelf I looked down and saw it, Blanton's Gold Label Bourbon. I immediately reached down and grabbed it up and flew back home with it. I told my wife that I would not be opening this bottle until a very special occasion. Little did I know that special occasion was a surprise that was not supposed to happen.
Myself and my family recently moved from New Jersey to Oklahoma and I had packed up my bourbon collection and placed it in the U-Haul. When we arrived in Oklahoma, I unloaded my collection and noticed that the wax seal around my Blanton's Gold had melted and that it no longer had a seal.

Well, I guess I had to open it up and drink it by that point.

Blanton's Single Barrel is one of my favorite bourbons under 100 proof. With the Gold Label being 103 proof, it really accentuated the flavor profile. Without a doubt it is my favorite bottle right now until it is gone. I am hoping to make it back overseas and hunt for another one, but for now I will be slowly sipping away until it is under the moon.

Cheers folks!!
Casey Mabe
C-17 Loadmaster USAF
Special thanks to Bourbon Zeppelin reader Casey Mabe who filled us in on his favorite bottle. Casey has a wife (Sara Mabe) and a 4 month old daughter (Eyla Mabe). He hails great State of Georgia but has moved around the US due to the Air Force. He has been drinking bourbon for about 5 years now but has really gotten into the hobby within the past two years. Other than bourbon, he reports his  hobbies are fishing, hunting, and spending time with his awesome family.

Please reach out and tell us so we can feature you in a future edition:
Click here to tell us about your favorite bottle!
Willett Family Estate 14 Year Old Bourbon

The Review
This single barrel offering comes in at a solid 122 proof. Typically, higher proof offerings are accompanied with a mean punch or a deep burn. Not necessarily a bad thing... you just usually instantly know when you are drinking a higher proofed bourbon.

Willett Family Estate 14 year old changes everything you know about high proof single barrel bourbon. You might think a tiger is waiting for you in that long skinny bottle, but in reality, that  silky smooth taste is as gentle as kitten.

Fourteen years in the barrel not only mellows out and balances the heat, it also enhances the flavor. Caramel, spice, light tobacco and strong vanilla dominate this flavor profile.
The verdict on this AWESOME offering...
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!





Written by Hasse Berg / Illustration by Steve Akley
Hosted this month by Greg Schneider
Being a musician, I have drank with a lot of famous people, but the list would be too long and boring for this article.  The person who I would most like to split a fifth of Bourbon with is old Honest Abe.

Abraham Lincoln was from Kentucky and his farm inspired the name for Knob Creek Bourbon. I know that Knob the distillery wasn’t around then, but the water must have been even better without the pollutants. Abe was a great story teller and I bet after a few pops, the stories could get even better. He also had some really great quotes. My favorite quote is “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” I live by this motto every day.
I have a lot of respect for him as he basically gave his life to save our country and free the slaves. I could imagine us hanging out on his porch and him pulling out his pipe and “smoking some sweet hemp and playing my Hohner”. Legend has it he grew his beard after smoking hemp. I would then bust out with my guitar and accompany him. We would have a long jam session and polish off the fifth. \m/
Special thanks to Bourbon Zeppelin writer Greg Schneider for telling us he's like to share a dram with. You can follow Greg on Twitter: @schneiderg63.

Want to tell us who you would share a dram with? If so, click here!

Interview with a Bartender: Robert Freeman of Sidecar (Jacksonville, FL)

When thinking of new, up-and-coming craft cocktail destinations, the general train of thought might gravitate to Louisville, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, or New Orleans. These are the classic creative centers of booze, places where bartenders have been concocting new and enticing liquor experiences for decades.  Northeast Florida may not come to mind, but it should. The area has been peppered with a recent explosion of craft-cocktail lounges, breweries, and even a distillery. One notable addition to the list is Sidecar, a mixology-centric bar located in the San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville, Florida. While visiting, I had the opportunity to meet Robbie Freeman, one of Sidecar’s head bartenders. Freeman had the thrilling opportunity of competing in the 2016 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience cocktail competition, representing Florida mixologists and traveling up to Louisville to compete.

What got you interested in bartending?
It all started at Sidecar in Jacksonville, FL when we opened two and a half years ago. I started as a bar back and I got the job interview over Craigslist. I used to play as a musician and travel bar to bar playing punk rock shows. When coming home from one of my last adventures, I decided to become a part of the hospitality industry. I was so amazed by how many positive interactions I came across over my travels. When I would walk into some of these bars, the staff would treat me like family. That's one my favorite parts of the industry; it is so welcoming. Six months after I began as a bar back, I began training as a bartender. I love being able to excite, please, comfort, care, listen, and share all the times with my neighborhood. Since I became a bartender, I've only dedicated myself to learning more. 

How did you become involved in the Woodford Manhattan Experience, and what was your personal experience like competing in it?
My Bar Manager Dan Calkins printed out all the information on the competition from and challenged the entire staff, giving us a case of bourbon to work with. I went straight to work on these cocktails. A few months passed after submitting and they announced the top five who would compete regionally, and I was so happy to have been named in that group. My experience was wonderful. The competition was held at a very nice country club in Ponte Vedra, FL. I was nervous, but I always come overly prepared. When the competition started, I was last in line to compete. After listening and watching fellow competitors, I finally relaxed and was able to be myself. When it comes down to it, this competition was all about the bourbon. I needed to showcase the bourbon in the best way possible. After I was named the winner, I couldn't stop smiling. I had never won a competition before! So it was a big deal for me, my wife, and my bar family. Such a wonderful accomplishment. Soon after I won the competition, I traveled to Louisville, KY to meet master distiller Chris Morris & taster Elizabeth O'Neil, where we blended & toasted our own bourbon together. They gave us a full tour of the Brown-Forman barrel production site where they hand crafted & toasted barrels. I got to network with the other 26 competitors from all over the country, and I got to meet legendary Julie Reiner (Flatiron Lounge, Pegu Club, Clover Club, Lani Kai), Jacques Bezuidenhout (Tommy's Tequila,, San Francisco, CA USBG Founder), and Dave Wondrich (Esquire, Imbibe, Bar Smarts). The trip was quite breathtaking. Even though I didn't compete in the Final Six in New York, the experience will stay with me for a lifetime. 

What was your thought process in crafting the cocktail(s) that you entered?
The competition required two cocktails. One original cocktail made with the new Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon, and one Manhattan cocktail made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

When crafting my cocktail “Missed The Boat,” which I made with Woodford Reserve Double Oak, I started by writing down every sampling note that I could try and put into words. My sampling notes from the bourbon were Fruit, Honey, Chocolate, Oak, and Caramel. So I decided to compliment those flavors with a Chocolate Amaro (Averna Amaro), Vanilla (Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum), Brown Sugar (Caramel), Fruit (Orange Bitters), and Black Walnut (Oak). It took a few weeks to perfect my measurements, but I just wanted to take a large base of the Woodford Double Oak and slowly compliment it with other spirits. 
The Measurements for the “Missed The Boat” cocktail are:
2 oz Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon
1 oz Averna Amaro
1/4 oz Smith & Cross Jamaican Rum
1/4 oz Brown Sugar (1:1 Ratio)
1 Dash Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
1 Dash Fee Brothers Orange Bitters
Place all ingredients into a Chinese Mixing Glass. Stir 40x and Strain with a Julep Strainer -
Served Over a Fresh Cut Rock in an Old Fashion Glass served with an Orange Peel.
When crafting my Woodford Reserve Manhattan, I wanted to do something new. My standard Manhattan Recipe includes bourbon, Sweet Vermouth, Angostura bitters, and Luxardo cherries, so I did a spin on the Manhattan and replaced the Sweet Vermouth with an Amaro I was really excited about called Montenegro (Light, Floral, Sweet, Orange), changed the bitters to Angostura Amaro (nutmeg & cardamom), and instead of Luxardo cherries, I added a different spirit from the Maraschino Liqueur that is most known to be in the Aviation Cocktail. Here is what I came up with:

Measurements for my Woodford Reserve Bourbon Manhattan:
2 oz Woodford Reserve Bourbon
3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
3/4 oz Angostrua Amaro
2 Bar Spoons of Luxardo Marichino
Place all ingredients into a chinese mixing glass. Stir 40x and strain with a julep strainer.

Serve in a Nick & Nora Glass with a toasted Lemon Twist.
Robbie Freeman mixing up some of his signature cocktails
What kind of qualities or flavor profiles do you look for in a bourbon or whiskey when creating a craft cocktail?
When creating a cocktail I like to find a product that I'm typically excited about. I will start with the one particular spirit, next I will sample it with friends and coworkers, we will discuss what we taste, smell, and what it looks like visually. I will then try and find another spirit that may have similar qualities so that I can showcase those flavors & aromatics. I typically am drawn to sweetness. I have a sweet palate, but am typically drawn to classically stirred cocktails. 

What is your current favorite distillery, and what kinds of cocktails do you enjoy making out of their products?
I am a large fan of the St. George Distillery (California - Distillers Lance Winters & Dave Smith). I think they make beautiful spirits the right way. I like making a classic Hanky Panky Cocktail with their Terroir Gin and Bruto Americano. 

I am also a large fan of the local St. Augustine Distillery (St. Augustine, FL - Distiller - Brendan Wheatley). Their New World Gin is a product that I buy very frequently for my home. Simple creations like a Gin & Tonic (Made with Jack Rudy Tonic from Charleston, SC) or a Classic Negroni (Equal Parts Gin, Sweet Vermouth, and Campari).

When I sip whiskey at home, I typically gravitate toward Japanese Whiskey (Nikka Coffee, Hibiki Harmony, or Akashi White Oak) or American (Michter's 10 Year Bourbon, High West, and Knob Creek).

Scotch - Anything from Laugavulin, Laphroiag, or Compass Box. 

Rum - Ron Del Barrilito ( Puerto Rico), Plantation Pineapple (Cocktails), Diplomatico, or Santa Teresa 1796. 

What do you think the next big bourbon/whiskey cocktail trend will be? 
We are a part of a rapidly growing industry, but I am currently into smoked cocktails. I am a huge fan of Mescal & Islay Single Malt Scotch. So I like to transform other cocktails giving them characteristics of smoke from different types of wood, tobacco, teas, and spices (cumin & paprika). 

Thanks to Robert Stemmons for sharing the story of his journey with the readers of Bourbon Zeppelin.

Robert's Contact Information
Click here to read more about Robert Freeman
in this local article on him in Void Magazine.
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.
Buffalo Trace Releases 2016 Antique Collection
Once again, Buffalo Trace Distillery's 2016 Antique Collection will feature five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs. Here’s what fans can expect:

George T. Stagg
The powerhouse favorite of the Antique Collection, George T. Stagg weighs in at a hefty 144.1 proof this year.  Past releases of this uncut and unfiltered bourbon won many top awards, including twice named the number one spirit in the world by F. Paul Pacult’s The Spirit Journal. This year’s release contains bourbon from barrels filled in the spring of 2001. This batch contained 142 barrels, but not as many bottles as expected, due to some very greedy angels!  Storage location of these barrels varied across warehouses M, N, H, L and K.  Finding a bottle this fall will be difficult due to the low yield.  This whiskey tastes of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla.

William Larue Weller
The Antique Collection’s uncut, unfiltered, wheated recipe bourbon is William Larue Weller. Previous editions of this wheater have won many accolades, including the “Bourbon of the Year” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition. The 2016 offering was distilled in the spring of 2003 and aged on the third and sixth floors of Warehouses D, K, and L.  This bourbon registers in at 135.4 proof – one of the stronger Weller releases.  The bold flavors include plum, figs and vanilla.  
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye
Thomas H. Handy is the uncut and unfiltered straight rye whiskey. The 2015 edition was named “Best American Rye Whiskey” at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards.  This year’s Handy was distilled in the spring of 2010; aged on the fourth, fifth and seventh floors of Warehouses I, K, and M, and weighs in at 126.2 proof.  The flavor has been described as toffee and cinnamon. 

Eagle Rare 17 Year Old
The previous edition of this bourbon was honored with a Silver Outstanding Medal at the 2015 International Wine and Spirits Competition. The 2016 edition has been aging on the first, second and third floors of Warehouses H and K.  This 90 proof bourbon was aged for seventeen years and tastes of leather, vanilla, tobacco and toffee. 

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old
Last year Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old was named the Best Rye Whiskey 11 Years and Older by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible 2016 edition.  This 2016 straight rye whiskey release has notable flavors of smoke, clove and all-spice with a dry finish.  The barrels for this whiskey were filled in April of 1998, making them the first “new” batch in years not drawn from the stainless steel tank as the previous past few editions have been.  From this year onward, this whiskey will be drawn directly from barrels put away for 18 years, versus using any tanked whiskey. 

The Antique Collection was introduced more than a decade ago and has become a cult favorite among whiskey connoisseurs. The 2016 Antique Collection whiskeys will be available in limited quantities starting in late September or early October.  Suggested retail price is $90 each.
Husband and wife team Kate and Kris Kettner answer your bourbon questions!
If you only had two days on the Bourbon Trail, what stops do you make?
- Roger S., Fort Lauderdale, Florida
We picked this question about the Bourbon Trail, since we're going there soon, and will only have three days!  Now, I should preface this by saying that we have been on the Bourbon Trail before a few years ago, so that does affect my choices.

So, things to do, I would visit a cooperage because we didn't make it to one before and that looks like a ton of fun, and I hope my face doesn't get blasted off.  We managed to miss Jim Beam last time, so I would definitely want to hit that this time too.  My favorites on the tour were Town Branch, Four Roses, and Maker's Mark. Town Branch is a fun tour since they are also a brewery, so thats extra fun, and Four Roses goes into all of their very interesting mash bill information.  Maker's Mark has some really cool Chihuly glass and you can dip your own bottles in the gift shop! There is also a Craft Bourbon Tour, which Willett is on, and I hope to hit more from the Craft Tour on our next trip.  Buffalo Trace is not on the tour, but was fantastic and if you, go try to get Freddie as your tour guide, he's a third generation (If I remember correctly) employee and an amazing tour guide.

So, must see places Independent Stave Company, Town Branch, Four Roses, Willett, Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace, oh and Sergio's because, beer.

Thanks to Roger S. 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!
Luxco has announced the name of the distillery it is having built in Bardstown, Kentucky: the new distillery, and the company managing all whiskey production, will be nown as Lux Row Distillers. The family-owned company also revealed the new logo for the distillery. Construction on the project broke ground on May 2, 2016 with a ceremony including Luxco executives, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin and Nelson County dignitaries.

The distillery is located in Nelson County on a 70-acre site off state highway KY-245, in the heart of the Bourbon Capital of the World. When completed, the distillery building will be approximately 18,000 square feet and the overall site will include six barrel warehouses, a tasting room, and event space, in addition to offering visitors a new stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

“We have worked diligently to find the perfect and most inspiring name for the new distillery and we are excited to have landed on the name Lux Row Distillers,” says Donn Lux, Luxco Chairman and CEO. “We wanted the distillery, which represents a new chapter in our family and company evolution, to incorporate aspects of the Lux family name, the scenic property we are located on and the bourbon heritage of the area.”

The distillery is being built alongside an existing house on the property, which is registered as a National Historic Place and will remain. The property boasts scenic views. “When we drove into the property for the first time, we were captivated with the long and beautiful rows of trees that line the long driveway and felt that should be a part of the name as well,” says Lux.

With the rapid growth of Luxco’s bourbon brands, such as Rebel Yell, Blood Oath and Ezra Brooks, Lux Row Distillers will be positioned to provide the finest bourbon to meet Luxco’s ever increasing whiskey demand. The distillery should be operational in the last quarter of 2017.
Luxco CEO Donn Lux unveils the new name/logo at the Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky, on September 16, 2016. Bourbon Zeppelin had our own reporter, the Bourbon Sipper, covering the event while she was at the Festival.
It's Bourbon Zeppelin PSA Time!

Because the more you know, the more you enjoy bourbon!
About Evan Haskill
Evan Haskill is a lover of good bourbon and craft beer as well the announcer of The Bourbon Show podcast. He can be found on Instagram (@evanhaskill), Twitter (@haskillevan) and Untappd (@bourbon_neat84).
Fill No Spill Funnel Product Review
by Evan Haskill
These things are great. They're priced right, serve an important purpose... they look cool and they are effective.
Never again will you waste drops of precious bourbon while filling sample bottles. These funnels are perfectly designed to fit into the popular 2 ounce glass Boston rounds that have become all the rage lately.

Do what even the smallest kitchen funnel cannot accomplish with these glorious, sturdy, stainless steel, game changers. $9.99 shipped will net you (2) funnels on Amazon, so it's an inexpensive way to surprise a friend with a gift and keep one for yourself!

Admittedly, it Was More Trick than Treat...
by Steve Akley
With this being our issue out the month when Halloween occurs, the Bourbon Zeppelin team thought it would be fun to have a little Halloween trick on readers. Our new "advertiser" above was totally fake and most of the BZ staff had a part in the joke. I dubbed it the "Frankenstein Project" since everybody contributed a small amount to the project... much like how Franksenstein's montster was put together from body parts of many individuals.

In terms of what everybody did with their portion of the project, everyone had the freedom to do whatever they wanted for their assigned portion. Some liked personal connections, some liked to go with a Halloween them and others just did their own thing.

Here's a look at who contributed what to the Frankenstein Project, as well as a few hints that tipped off something was up the whole time:
The name of the boubon (Bela Lugosi), the descriptors of "bottled in blood and "single casket bourbon" - Hasse Berg

The distillery name (Kalliope) - The Kettners

The city it's made in (Peoria, Illinois) - Elizabeth Jones

The age statement/31 years (date of Halloween) - Aaron Cave

The proof of 103.1 (get it...10.31...Halloween) - Corey Chandler

The Nose - Evan Haskill

Flavor Profile - Jerome Faulkner a.k.a. BourbonBrotha

The Taste - Emily Oursler

The price of $6.66 - Amanda "The Bourbon Virgin" Hoppes
Special thanks to Mark "Cake" Hansen. He took the concept, and everyone's contributions and turned it into reality with the incredible label/bottle design. He really took the whole project over the top!




We have some really great contests you can win this month. We'll draw our winners, with the first getting to select which prize package he or she wants, then we'll go to our second winner and repeat this process until we have awarded all of our prizes this month. Entering is simple, you just send an email to Bourbon Zeppelin by clicking here to let us know you want to win! Complete contest rules are below.
Good luck!
A Pair of Bourbon Zeppelin Glencairn Glasses
Everyone knows Glencairn glasses are the best glasses for enjoying bourbon. The coolest Glencairn glasses are their Bourbon Zeppelin glass. That means these are the best glasses in the world. They come in this stylish giftbox Glencairn just introduced. Whoa. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Hello from the Bourbon Trail© Pack
While on his trip to the Bourbon Trail, Steve didn't just visit distilleries, he was shopping for you. Here's a pack with over a dozen items right from the Bourbon Trail area of Kentucky. Way too much to list here...but way cool!
Two Bitch Spirits Hat and Shot Glass
Our friends Joe and Lauren at Two Bitch Spirits have come through with another awesome prize package for BZ readers. You get a hat and a shot glass. Show some Two Bitch Spirit today!
Roundtable Woodworks Whiskey Bottle Display
In this month's issue, we reviewed the amazing balancing bottle display from Roundtable Woodworks. You can win your own right here. Whiskey not included. (I mean come on!)
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.

Cask strength congrats go out to our September contest winners. We had four people take home some great prizes. Way to go James Chenoweth (Two Bitch Spirits 2 liter barrel), Kyle Maddox (Whiskey Butler from Roundtable Woodworks), Luis Ramirez (St. Louis Goodies Pack) and Derek Haas (Two Bitch Spirits t-shirt and shot glasses).
Last month we noted Corey Chandler was getting married in September. With all that goes into a wedding, we gave Corey the month off. Look for the Bourbon Hunting Chronicles to return next month!
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
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!

- Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: Eagle Rare 17 Year Old
- Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: George T. Stagg
- Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: Thomas H. Handy
- Buffalo Trace Antique Collection: William Larue Weller
- Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (Batch 12)
- Heaven Hill Select Stock (20 Year Old/96 Proof)
- Pappy Van Winkle Collection
- St. Augustine Distillery Double Cask Bourbon
- Whoop & Holler Orphan Barrel
- Yellowstone 2016 Limited Edition

- Angel's Envy Bourbon Cask Stength
- Jefferson's 20 Year Old
- Maker's Mark Private Selection
- Michter's 10 Year Old Straight Bourbon
- Woodford Reserve Master's Collection: Brandy Cask Finish
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 and connect on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook via the handle @breakingbourbon.

In Bond We Trust

Bottled in Bond isn’t something out of the latest James Bond movie, though it sounds a bit mysterious, doesn’t it? If you’ve ever seen a bottle marked with “Bottled in Bond” you may have wondered what that means. It’s an interesting law that dates back to 1897 and President Grover Cleveland. In today’s world, where everything is regulated to the last drop, the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 may seem a bit antiquated, but at the time, it was necessary to ensure that the product that the consumer was purchasing was actually what it claimed it was and not, well everything including the kitchen sink. And if you are reading this, I am going to assume that you appreciate good quality bourbon, right? So, let’s dust off the history book and see just what the Bottled in Bond Act is all about and how it still influences that tasty bourbon in your glass today.

Back in the 1800s, whiskeys were not nearly as regulated as they are today. Consumers often found the taste and quality to be not consistent from bottle to bottle, though being sold a bottle of “straight” whiskey. While many established distilleries used standardized practices and produced a quality product, other quick startups tried to copy their success by making a far inferior product.  These distilleries might dilute the barrels to make them go a bit further by using water or cheaper alcohol as fillers and tobacco or other dyes to achieve a color that was close to the other barrels being produced at the time. Some whiskeys and bourbons may be good, but some may be a total ripoff to consumers.  As a result, the overall image of the distilling industry began to suffer. Interest grew to standardize the process and weed out the troublemakers and bring back a consistent quality product to the market. The government had a vested interest in this process, as they were seeing a delay in collecting the tax from many of the distilleries, who weren’t paying until the barrel aging process was completed.  

The result?

The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 and a renewed quality of spirit. On the most basic level, the Bottled in Bond Act ensured that the product the consumer was buying was really whiskey, according to the standard accepted definition of whiskey distilling. The Act requires the spirit to be the product of one distillation season and one distiller at one distillery. It must be bottled and stored in bonded warehouses under the U.S. government supervision for no less than 4 years. This strict supervision provides assurance to the consumer that the product that they are purchasing is consistent and pure and has not been tampered with or altered. Oversight is provided by Treasury agents who ensure the access to bonded warehouses remains strict. The only material or substance that can be added to the spirit is water, for the sole purpose of reducing the proof. The law also requires that the packages that contain bottled in bond spirits be of definite content and that the alcoholic strength of the spirit must not be less than 50 percent by volume (100 proof). The green seal over the bottle’s cork lists the name of the distiller, the location of the distillery, the quantity of warehouse monitoring is now done via computer rather than an armed guard standing at a warehouse. Regardless, a few distilleries have maintained a line of product to “Bottled in Bond” standards, mostly for the sake of nostalgia, but there is a market for those who desire a “pure” product.  They often give a nod to the heritage of their distillery and embrace the nostalgia of a simple bourbon.  The finished product tends to be strong and very consistent. You won’t see blended bourbons and won’t find the trendy flavored mixes that have popped up over the last few years. But, spirits in the bottle. The security which the consumer gets by this Act has caused a continually increased sale of spirits bottled in bond. Through the Bottled in Bond Act, the United States government was made the guarantor of the whiskey's authenticity. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill into law in 1897, allowing for the government’s oversight...and of course for the government to take their taxable share for four hard years of watching over the hooch.    

With the deregulation and modernization of the industry, the Bottled in Bond Act has become a bit less front and center to consumers when making their decision about a quality bourbon. Federal warehouse monitoring is now done via computer rather than an armed guard standing at a warehouse. Regardless, a few distilleries have maintained a line of product to “Bottled in Bond” standards, mostly for the sake of nostalgia, but there is a market for those who desire a “pure” product.  They often give a nod to the heritage of their distillery and embrace the nostalgia of a simple bourbon.  The finished product tends to be strong and very consistent. You won’t see blended bourbons and won’t find the trendy flavored mixes that have popped up over the last few years. But, I bet you’ve probably seen a few on the shelves of your local liquor store bearing that stamped cork or bright “Bottled in Bond” stamp across the label. Old Grand Dad, Old Fitzgerald, Old Forester (see a theme here…) and a handful more will bear that “Bottled in Bond” or “Bonded” stamp across the label. They are definitely few and far between, but they are out there. When you do find a bottle, you can enjoy it with pride, knowing many watchful eyes have been keeping vigil over that delicious bourbon until it made it into your hands.

Andrea Holak is a St. Louis resident where she works as a grant administrator at a local nonprofit which provides housing and related supportive services to people who are affected by HIV/AIDS. In her spare time, in addition to spending time with her husband, two Australian Shepards and a cat, Andrea enjoys all things bourbon. She has joined the BZ team to tell the stories of bourbon history. You can find Andrea on Twitter or Instagram with the name @redtumbleweed virtually hanging with the bourbon crew!
Steve Akley Releases Two New Cocktail Books
Bourbon Mixology (vol. 3)

Coffee & Holiday Mixology

Bourbon Zeppelin's own Steve Akley has released two new cocktail books sure to be hot sellers this holiday season. The first, Bourbon Mixology, is the third in the third in the series and features bars sharing their best bourbon cocktail.

The second book, Coffee and Holiday Mixology, follows the format of having iconic bars sharing their signature cocktail ,but this time its coffee cocktails and holiday-themed drinks. Akley notes, "With coffee being so popular as a morning drink, it made sense to explore what you could do with it in cocktails. I also like the idea of holiday-themed drinks since most holiday parties feature cocktails. Why not make the party even more fun by having the same drinks some of the best bars in the United States have during the season?"

At a price point of under $20 for the pair they make the perfect holiday gift for the cocktail fan on your holiday list this year. Both books are available on Amazon now.
Bourbon Zeppelin Spotted In...
Friends and fans of Bourbon Zeppelin love to incorporate "sightings" into historical events and popular culture. Our own Hasse Berg had a good one recently by working Zeppy as it's loving known, into an old The Adventures of Tintin cartoon.

We love this stuff at BZ headquarters. If you spot Zeppy out and about, drop us a photo by
clicking here!
This month Chrissy shares a recipe created for Bourbon Zeppelin Readers
Sunday Funday Bourbon Onion Dip

This Recipe Uses:
I’ve had this recipe for years and its one of our favorite things on Sundays during football season! You'll want to use a wheated bourbon with this recipe, so this time, I went with Old Weller Antique. 
1/2 Cup Bourbon (Old Weller Antique)
2 Tbsp. Bourbon
4 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Large Sweet Onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese (small curd)
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese
3/4 Sour cream
few drops lemon juice
pinch of sugar 
salt & pepper to taste
1. In a cast iron skillet or a wide heavy bottomed pan, heat oil over high heat. Add the sliced onions and 1 tsp. salt, stir to combine
2. Begin to sauce the onions, stirring often for the next 15 mins, or until they begin to color & soften.
Reduce the heat to medium, carefully add in 1/2 cup bourbon & stir together. 
3. Drop the heat to low, sprinkle the onions with 1 tsp. sugar, stir and continue to cook for another 25 mins, stirring occasionally until the onions have caramelized.
4. Remove the onions from the pan, place on a baking sheet & in the refrigerator to cool.
5. While the onions are cooling, in a food processor (or blender) combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream & 2 Tbsp. bourbon, process until smooth
6. Once the onions have cooled, remove them from the fridge and roughly chop them, fold them into the cheese mixture & season to taste with lemon juice, sugar, salt & pepper.
Serve cold with crudite & chips.
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).
New to Bourbon Zeppelin: Learn Something Guy. If you see him, pay attention... education is straight ahead!
The Proper Way to Drink Rye
by Steve Akley
Woven throughout this issue are facts and experiences from my recent visit to the Bourbon Trail. Our Wanna Try Something Different? column even gets into the fun by sharing a tip from my tour guide Dell at the Town Branch Distillery tour.

Dell made the case for tasting rye properly to get the full effects of the flavor. He claims that if you try it as he suggests, you will awaken the full potential of the whiskey. The process gets a little hot in your mouth, but his step-by-step approach helps alleviate that as well.

I elected to present this in picture form. I tried to hire Kate Upton to do a photo shoot for us, but she was unavailable. Luckily, I was able to secure one of her peers to substitute. Evan Haskill serves as our model walking us through the proper way to drink rye.
Step One: Pour some of your favorite rye. Our model has selected Sazerac Rye.
Step Two: Take a nice size drink, but do not swallow it. Show off your oversized Polo logo.
Step Three: Agitate that rye in your mouth by swishing back-and-forth. It will heat up!
Warning: You may look like an oversized leprechaun during this step.
Step Four: Once you have that rye as hot as you can take it, swallow it, and don't breathe... yet!
Step Five: Take a deep breathe in through your nose with your mouth closed.
Step Six: Exhale, letting that breath release via your mouth. You are ridding out most of the fire out and should be left with a nice warm glow and all of the complexities of flavors from the rye.
Congrats... you just learned the proper way to enjoy rye! If you follow these instructions, just like Evan did with his Saz, you will also get the most out of what your favorite rye has to offer!
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!"
Rebel Yell Release Single Barrel
Rebel Yell has introduced Rebel Yell Single Barrel, meticulously aged for a full 10 years and bottled one barrel at a time at 100 proof. This hand-bottled wheated bourbon will be available nationwide in limited quantity – 2,000 cases – in September, and 4,000 cases are planned for 2017.

This ultra-premium bourbon is robust in flavor with a mature finish and hand-bottled for a uniquely rebellious experience. By being bottled barrel-by-barrel, each bottle will have a unique flavor profile -- depending on how it aged, where in the rickhouse it was placed and the flavors that developed within that barrel. In addition, each bottle includes the barrel number and an “aged since” date on the silk-screened front label. Each bottle, complete with a premium matte finish closure and natural wood cork, is sold in individual boxes.

“We are excited to take the classic Rebel Yell recipe and age it 10 years, creating a robust and complex finish,” says Fletcher Buchman, brand manager at Luxco. “By bottling each barrel independently, we are creating a unique flavor profile specific to each batch. Some bottles may have a stronger vanilla and caramel flavor, some may favor more oak and wood tones, others may have more floral or tobacco notes, creating a unique tasting experience that may vary from bottle to bottle.”

Rebel Yell Single Barrel will be available in 750 ml bottles and offered at a suggested retail price of $49.99 (100 proof/50%ABV).
This Month's Selection...
by Avery Brewing
It's finally here! The season for pumpkin everything!

It's also the time for a pumpkin bourbon barrel aged brew. Avery Brewing may have outdone itself on this one, but at 15% abv it is not for the faint of heart. This pumpkin porter starts off with clove and pumpkin upfront but instantly hits you in the face with an intensely sweet bourbon kick. Excellent for a small pour. And at $15 for 12 ounces, well worth the price.

Can't wait to grab a few more to age for next year.

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).
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!

Tom Petschke enjoyed chewing on a toothpick after a good meal. Once, after dipping his toothpick into a bourbon he was enjoying he began to think about the possibility of creating a bourbon flavored toothpick out of used bourbon barrels.


The result of his work is the Petschke Toothpick, handcrafted out of used bourbon barrels. These special toothpicks are meant to be savored and enjoyed just like a good pour of bourbon. The more you chew, the more the flavors come to life. The come twenty to a pack in a glass shotglass with a wax seal. You can pick up your Petschke toothpicks by clicking here.
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:
The Pappy Van Winkle collection, one of the most anticipated releases of the year, starts roll out in October. Before the first bottle hits the shelf, the secondary market prices are already set. The offerings from this years should fall in line with the 2015 prices.

Here's a look at what to anticipate paying if you aren't lucky enough to snag a bottle yourself at retail, based on the current  2015 prices:

10 Year Old
Retail - $50
Secondary Market - $300 - $350

12 Year Old
Retail - $90
Secondary Market - $350 - $400

15 Year Old
Retail - $130
Secondary - $600 - $800

20 Year Old
Retail - $180
Secondary - $800 - $1,000

23 Year Old
Retail - $225 - $250
Secondary $1,000 - $1,500
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.
Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star Bourbon
When I saw Bourbon Zeppelin was looking for someone to review “budget bottles” (less than $17), I thought, "This is perfect."

Everybody who knows me, knows I am always looking for a value. I know where all the cheap eats, and everything is in my neighborhood. I am also willing to be YOUR personal tester of the budget bourbon (if there is such a thing, I will find it). If you want me to try a brand or have recommendations you know how to get a hold of me (if not, send an email by
clicking here). So, I set out for my spot where I get my liquor from.  I asked my buddy behind the counter where his "$17 or less for a fifth" bourbon was.

I could have got Ezra as that is my favorite lower priced bourbon. I like it better than the Tennessee bourbon with the famous name. I will talk about Ezra in a later piece as I want to try something not so mainstream for my first venture. My friend pointed me to a back shelf and suggested I try the Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star Bourbon.  It was $17 and some change for a fifth.
Ancient Ancient Age is distilled on the banks of the Kentucky River. The bottle says “the clear limestone water and accessible trade routes” are what makes this bourbon special. In doing some research, I found out that it is a part of Buffalo Trace’s mash #2. They first started distilling in the Leestown settlement which was a transportation hub. The 10 Star that I bought is different than the 10 year aged. The 10 star is only aged about 6 years. It is 90 proof. The 10 year only used to be available in Kentucky, but is now discontinued.

It was time for the tasting. I cranked up some Pantera and grabbed my
Bourbon Zeppelin Glencairn glass and poured some in. I used the categories on the side of the box it came in.
Color: medium amber
Body: medium
Nose: strong oak with hints of vanilla and caramel
Palate: Sweet oak. Nice burn
Finish: strong caramel
Overall, it was good and it gets a \m/ from me.  That is my version of thumbs up. Good bottles get a \m/ bad ones which I hope I don’t get receive a one finger salute. For those not in the know, \m/ is the metal salute. Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) invented it when he joined Black Sabbath to replace Ozzy who used the peace sign.

It goes like this...

Make a fist. Now stick out your pinky and index finger.

I would recommend trying  Ancient Ancient Age. It is a simple bourbon without  a lot of flash, but it is good. You can tell I liked it by how empty the bottle is. I really gave it a good tasting. I also wanted to see what happened the next morning. It was all good.

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

Click here if you would like to email a suggest value bottle to Greg. His Twitter I.D. is: @schneiderg63.
When U.K. Correspondent Suzie Allkins sends this photo from a store near her home. She notes he burlap bag on the Bulleit bottle as grabbing her attention. Has anyone found a Bulleit bottle packaged like this in the U.S.?
Do you care to share a photo of a bourbon section you've found in your travels? Would you like to share you personal bourbon hoard? Email those photos to the B.Z. team and we'll run them in a future issue!
And finally...
A Love Letter from a Cabin Boy
Out here in the cabin, the world seems different. It must be something to do with the tempo. Time runs in slow motion. Hell, it probably has something to do with a whole lot of things.

The cabin is our free haven from our everyday busy life, whether it's just for a weekend, or, as right now, a couple of weeks for summer vacation. It's a simple life, where the smallest moments and things are enjoyed more, because we don't have to do anything, or be anywhere at any given point. Time is one our side out here. It grants us room to linger in the moment.

The cabin is very low key... old second hand solid wood furniture, kitchenware no one wants to own anymore and the old rusty iron stove, which is still the only heating source in these cold Danish winters. Even the internet, in these global times, comes and goes without a warning, living a life on its own and that's all good by me. In fact, I never want it to change. I like the thought of, once and a while, being able to live a simpler life.

Every time we are out here, I never fail to drive up to the nearest small town to visit the local whiskey pusher. I think we are finally starting getting used to one another,because the old mumbling man who own the store is finally starting to welcome me with a bit of warmness in his voice. But, then again, over time, I have bought quite a few  bottles out of his store. So, maybe he just smells green on me. I'm definitely not one of the locals and I'm not welcomed as one.

I often tend to crack these newly bought bottles open on a night like tonight... sitting out on the porch with a whisk(e)y in my glass listen to music in my faithful overly expensive Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones. Not to go all Patrick Bateman on the details, but when listening to music, you want to choose your weapons carefully. Just like choosing the whisk(e)y glass, that just seems right to you.

These nights, burning the midnight-oil while my wife and kids are fast asleep and our dog is waiting patiently at my feet for its midnight walk, everything seems to fall into place. In these small quiet moments of simplicity, I feel like I’m the only one left alive and I'm perfectly happy.

Content with my own company!

Sorry old friend, did I forget about you? Content with our company, although you smell like saltwater and seaweed! You rolled around on those crabs that the kids caught, didn’t you? Good Boy!

I know that a shrink probably could make something out of this and I would be happy to give him my phone number to talk it over. There's enough bourbon left in the bottle and I've got an almost fresh pack of Marlboros right here. So, please join the party.... so long as you promise to sit quite and enjoy the scenery, and what a scenery it is.

Nights out here are pitch black, just like someone put a blanket over the world, letting me watch the skyline full of stars, in a new optimized digital restored 3D widescreen view for my enjoyment only.

Now, my man Tom Waits tells me its closing time and I guess he's right, as always. It's getting late and I've got to get on my feet! Maybe just one more for a nightcap and then I will wrap this night up and crawl into bed next to my beautiful wife.

Tomorrow will be a new day. Please enjoy it!
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
Ulysses S. Grant, who served his country as both the Commanding General of the U.S. Army during the Civil War and as the country's 18th president was a fan of Old Crow. The brand started in the 1830s by Scottish immigrant James C. Crow who started distilling near Frankfort, Kentucky.
Items from Steve and the Bourbon Zeppelin team
Whenever Steve makes a post on social media with his Bourbon Zeppelin glass, there are always a flood of inquiries about being able to buy one of those glasses. Thanks to the good folks at Glencairn Glass, you can pick up the exact same glass Steve uses with the BZ logo directly from the Glencairn site.

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

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

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

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

Check it out today!
Buy Now
Steve's Featured Book of the Month
Brain Tsunami is a group of five short stories by four authors designed to fill in the gaps of Steve's brother-in-law Christopher Lojkovic who had a terrible bike accident leading to amnesia in the hours surrounding the unfortunate incident. While he fully recovered, the memories never came back so Steve recruited some author friends to write about what "might have happened."

The end result? It's a Brain Tsunami!
Buy Now
Steve Akley is looking for individuals with bourbon-themed tattoos for an upcoming article. If you are willing the share the story of your tattoo, as well as a photo of it, please reach out to Steve to talk about appearing in an upcoming issue of Bourbon Zeppelin.
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 would like to have any questions about the publication, would like to say, "Hello" or you are interested in promoting your product/brand via Bourbon Zeppelin, please email Steve.
The Bourbon Zeppelin Sample Policy
Bourbon Zeppelin accepts product samples in exchange for a fair and honest review by a B.Z. team member or members.

The Bourbon Zeppelin Jack Daniel's Policy
We love it. While it's classified as "Tennessee Whiskey" it's treated with the same as any other bourbon here.
By the way, the same goes for George Dickel (we love them, too!)
Share this publication via social media
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Whenever talking about Bourbon Zeppelin on social media, be sure to use this hashtag:


Also, be sure to LIKE us on our Facebook (Bourbon Zeppelin)!
98 Likes as of October 1, up from 90 on September 1. Help us get more!
Goal = 1,000,000 Likes (0.000098 of goal achieved so far)
All-Time Steve + 4 Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbons that have been rated via Bourbon Zeppelin's Steve + 4 rating system:        #1) Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old/93.5  #2) Booker's Noe Secret/83.0  #3) Booker's Blue Grass/76.5 #4). Woodford Reserve 1838 Style White Corn/72.2 #5) Booker's Maw Maw's Batch/71.67
All-Time Steve + 4 Rankings "Tossed Reviews:"
One of the curiosities the BZ team didn't anticipate was the interest in who's reviews got tossed from readers and staff. Just for fun, let's keep track of who had their reviews nullified because they were either the low or high score (the number next to a name indicates the number of reviews tossed): Steve Akley (2), The Bearded Sipper (2), Robin Ricca (1) and Emily Oursler (1) Evan Haskill (2), the Kettners (1) & Alice Seim (1).
All-Time "From The Cave" by Aaron Cave Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbons that have been rated by Aaron Cave for Bourbon Zeppelin: #1) Knob Creek Single Barrel 95/100 -- 2). Blanton's Straight from the Barrel 95/100 3). Four Roses Single Barrel Private Selection OESV Recipe 92/100 4). Willett Family Estate 9 Year Old 91/100
All-Time Awesome Meter Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbons that have been rated on the Awesome Meter: Jimi Hendrix Awesome: Colonel E.H Taylor Seasoned Wood & Willett Family Estate 14 Year Old -- Tyrannosaurus Rex Awesome: -- All-You-Can-Eat Chicken Wings Awesome: Deceptivus Bourbon by Cadée Distillery -- King Kong Awesome: Rebel Yell Ginger Bourbon --  Las Vegas Awesome:
All-Time Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beer Reviews by Six Feet of Dynamite Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbon barrel-aged beer reviews that have been rated by Six Feet of Dynamite for Bourbon Zeppelin: 5 Sticks of Dynamite: Black Butte XXXVIII by Deschutes Brewery -- Pump[KY]n by Avery Brewing --  4 Sticks of Dynamite: Oil Man by Elevation Beer Co. -- 3 Sticks of Dynamite: No entries yet -- 2 Sticks of Dynamite: No entries yet -- 1 Stick of Dynamite: No entries yet
What Historical Figure Would You Share A Dram With?
Here is the complete list of all individuals featured in this colum: Ernest Hemmingway (Hasse Berg), Marilyn Monroe (Steve Akley), Abraham Lincoln (Greg Schneider)
Companies Featured in this Issue:
Our Favorite Blogs:
Bourbon Zeppelin - The Team
In addition to the guest contributors, Bourbon Zeppelin has an incredible staff in addition to editor and publisher Steve Akley. Steve's daughter Cat runs the BZ Facebook page. The writing team includes: Associate Editor Hasse Berg, U.K. Correspondent Suzie Allkins, Managing Editor Emily C. Oursler, Field Reporter Elizabeth Jones, the following Columnists: Amanda "The Bourbon Virgin" Hoppes, Evan Haskill, Chrissy Martin, Matt Saunds, Corey Chandler, Six Feet of Dynamite, Jerome Faulkner, Aaron Cave, Andrea Holak, Seth Brown, Greg Schneider, The Bourbon Sipper, Kate & Kris Kettner and Staff Reporters: The Bearded Sipper, Alice Seim, Carl "Los" Laehr, Mike Swain and Robin Ricca.

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

While we are interested in hearing from anyone creative, there are few specific things we are looking for:
  • Bourbon book reviews
  • Firsthand accounts of bourbon experiences (visits to distilleries, the Bourbon Trail, etc.)
  • Photos involving anything bourbon
  • A bickering husband and wife bourbon review team / "bickering" is the key here
  • A bourbon mixologist to host a monthly column
  • Artists willing to share their work that includes bourbon
  • Poets who incorporate bourbon into his or her work
  • Guest cartoonists for the Inside the Bourbon Barrel cartoon
Special thanks to the following individuals who are involved in the production of Bourbon Zeppelin yet help us promote the brand just because they are fans of our work: Larry Akley (#1), Henry Rimpler (#2), TJ Ivey (#11), Rommel Morales (#12) and Matt Walker (#13), Blue Dram (#14), Andrew McGuinness (#15), Chris Lojkovic (#16) & Jay Reed (#17), Ashley Ommen (#18), Rebecca Fitzgerald (#19), Jeff Couch (#20), Greg Schneider (#21), Rodney Johnson (#22)

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

Find out about becoming a Bourbon Zeppelin Brand Ambassador by clicking here!
Bourbon Zeppelin Reprint Policy
Bourbon Zeppelin authorizes bloggers and newsfeeds to reprint its content without authorization, providing these two stipulations are met:
  1. Bourbon Zeppelin is noted as the creator of content (Please include issue number/month/year)
  2. When an author is listed for an individual article, that person is also acknowledged as well
Copyright © 2016 Bourbon Zeppelin, All rights reserved.

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