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Bourbon Zeppelin
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Written for bourbon fans, by bourbon fans!

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

KENTUCKY COLONELS

by Steve Akley


Recently, a large envelope was left on my porch by our mailman. As soon as I saw the return address (the Office of Kentucky Goveror Matt Bevin), I cheered aloud as I ran into the house. I knew one of two things was about to happen:

1). I was going fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a Kentucky Colonel
or
2). I was receiving the largest rejection letter in the history of rejection letters (the envelope measured 15" wide by 12" long).

Now, based on my history, number two might have been a distinct possibility, but I am pleased to say, it was, in fact, number one.
 
Me with my prized certificate moments after opening that huge envelope.
The journey to becoming a Kentucky Colonel literally began when I was a child. As a kid, I had a bit of a fascination with Harland Sanders, or as he was more well known as, Colonel Sanders. I mean, I certainly liked the chicken, but for me, a kid who wanted to be a writer, it was the branding of his own image that caught my attention. Kentucky Fried Chicken was Colonel Sanders and Colonel Sanders was Kentucky Fried Chicken.

You see, long before Kanye and Jay Z were saying, "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man!" the Colonel was living it. He starred in the company commercials, his face was on all of their restaurants and promotional material and he never broke character. If you saw Colonel Sanders in the news, there he was in that white suit, string tie and perfect goatee.

As I read whatever I could about the Colonel (not as readily available to gather info in the 70s as it is today), I found out his title was a ceremonial one. He wasn't in the military, he was a Kentucky Colonel.

That always stuck with me. Not that I thought I could ever become one, but I just thought it was cool. Now, fast forward several decades later and I really get into bourbon. Since it comes out of the great State, or better stated Commonwealth, of Kentucky, I began to pick up on how many of the people tied to the history of bourbon were Kentucky Colonels, that interest in what it was all about, started by Colonel Sanders so many years before, was re-stoked.

Now, with the internet readily available, I was able to research exactly what being a Kentucky Colonel was all about and what you have to do to become one. First of all, you need a sponsor. This sponsor must already be a Kentucky Colonel. That person then nominates you and the Governor of Kentucky must approve you. There is an application process that must be filled out and what they are looking for is charitable work as well as contributions to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

I felt like I had two of the three stipulations locked in pretty well. I am a charitable person by nature, with a portion of the proceeds of all of my books going to charity. Additionally, I support and help out various organizations in the St. Louis area as well as my cash contributions. As I looked at how I contribute to Kentucky, I believed my books, podcast and Bourbon Zeppelin, all focused on bourbon which is a significant contributor to the economy of Kentucky, really made for a compelling case for me to receive the distinction of being a Kentucky Colonel.

What I was missing was a sponsor. I didn't know anyone personally who was a Kentucky Colonel. I didn't think it would be right to seek out anyone I didn't know on the internet either. Basically, my dream was on hold in hopes that one day, all of my work in the world of bourbon would lead me to meeting the right person who could help out.

Sure enough, one day, just as you envision it randomly occurring, it happens in exactly that fashion. Evan Haskill, Seth Brown and I had a virtual meeting over Skype where we were discussing ideas for The Bourbon Show, the podcast the three of us do together. We came up with the idea of "Bourbon Bucketlists" where we spoke to the idea of naming 3 things you haven't had happen to you yet in regard to bourbon, but want to happen. This might be on the lines of finding a bottle of Pappy in the wild, or even something as lofty as starting a distillery. My first one was going to be simple: I wanted to be a Kentucky Colonel.

As soon as I said that, Seth Brown said, "Wait, my Dad is a Kentucky Colonel. He can be your sponsor."

That's it. That's exactly how it happened. I wrote up the information about my charitable work and my contributions to Kentucky and Seth's Dad submitted me for consideration. A little more than a month later, I was official.
It truly is a dream come true. In addition to this ceremonial title, I now was able to join the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, which is a separate entity from actually being named a Kentucky Colonel.
It is comprised of individuals who have become Kentucky Colonels and it is a fantastic organization that does some great charitable work as a non-profit. I couldn't be any more proud to become a Kentucky Colonel, to join the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels as well as be involved with something so many great people who have or currently are Kentucky Colonels (in addition to Colonel Sanders and my bourbon heroes many great people have been Kentucky Colonels including such notables as: Elvis, Muhammad Ali, Betty White, Hunter S. Thompson and more).
To celebrate, I certainly had a bourbon (or two), but I also jumped on the computer, went to eBay and picked up this little bobblehead of Colonel Sanders. He now sits in a place of honor on the mantle.

After all, he started this whole thing for me.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Colonel Steve Akley isn't wearing a string tie or white suit, but he does love the title associated with being a Kentucky Colonel. He notes this is the final article in Bourbon Zeppelin where he will write under just the name "Steve Akley" It's Colonel from here forward. Give him a shoutout on social media.
In this issue...
Our New Year's resolution is simple: bring B.Z. reader's the greatest bourbon publication on the planet. As you read through this month's edition, I hope you agree that we are on the right track.

Matt Guyer, a Louisville resident, has joined the team. Based on his "center of the bourbon universe" location, I am sure he will be able to provide some content each month that is sure to appeal to our fellow bourbon fans.

We have a couple of readers helping out as well. My buddy from Twitter, Rebecca Fitzgerald gives readers a fun look at the bourbon scene in her hometown. Instagram bourbon crew member Crystal Mattox shares her current favorite bottle of whiskey.

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

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

This month we take a look at:
Old Grand-Dad
Bottled-in-Bond
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:

Steve Akley - 82.0
Notes:
Aroma - Corn, vanilla, oak, sweet candy
Taste - Oak, spicy pepper, vanilla pudding and a nice warm glow
Final Evaluation - Whenever you are discussing value bourbons, this one has to be in the mix.

Reviewer #3
Kimberly Burns - 84.5

Notes:
Aroma - Candied fruit, baking spice, oak, and butterscotch
Taste Caramel, oak, and cinnamon; fades to vanilla with a hint of black pepper
Final Evaluation - Medium body and balanced, with a slightly oily mouthfeel. Spicy and lively, but not overwhelming. Opens up with more vanilla and caramel with a few drops of water. Solid sipper!

Alicia White - 59.0
Notes:
Aroma - A wonderful start of oak with carmel and sweet leather smell that’s followed by some black walnut and cherry.
Taste - A soft oak and caramel front with cherry and white pepper finish.
Continued in next column.
(Continued)
Final Evaluation - This bourbon reminds me of a boyfriend I had in high school a little immature, kinda fiery, but fun to be with. For the price it’s a really drinkable bourbon I had to try it a few different times before I could decide whether or not I really liked it.
-----------------------------------
Tossed Reviews

High
Aaron Cave - 85.0
Notes:
Aroma - Sweet corn, butterscotch, vanilla, spiced oak, and pepper
Taste - Caramel, vanilla cream, buttered popcorn, rye, pepper, and leather
Final Evaluation - Great bourbon for the price. Well balanced, with a nice long finish.


Low
Corey Chandler - 56.0
Notes:
Aroma - The nose on this starts with overwhelming alcohol. When that gives way, I pick up a lot of spice forward bakery smells. Almost like walking into a German bakery and smelling Gluhwein and cake, but a little over whelming and jumbled. As i go back for a second huff I am much more hesitant to take in a full breath in.  Its not unpleasant, but it certainly isn’t developed and balanced.
Taste - This again starts with a TON of alcohol.  Spice quickly dominates with clove, cinnamon, honey, and then some fresh leather.  It’s not a very thick pour and the good flavors leave you quickly.  I’m quick to go back for another drink because the finish is strong and bland, but each drink leaves me with the same feeling.
Final Evaluation - It is by no means a BAD pour, but it lacks the development that would let the great flavors last. I wish it was oilier and that the barrel came through more on it.  Given the price tag it is a quality product.  I would be inclined to spend the extra $10 and dive in to some Henry Mckenna or Elijah Craig 12 (if you can find it!).

Combined Score
The final score for Old Grand-Dad B.i.B. Bourbon is...
 
75.17

Who doesn't love a little trivia about their favorite distilled spirit?
What is the name of Chuck Cowdery's bourbon publication?
A. Bourbon News
B. Cowdery's Corner
C. The Bourbon Gazette
D. The Bourbon County Reader
The answer is below at the bottom of this issue (under Hasse's column)
News About Bourbon the B.Z. Team has Heard
To the Batcave...

Maker's Mark just opened a barrel aging cellar for their Maker's 46 since it must be finished in temperatures below 50 degrees for nine weeks. This new cellar allows for year 'round production of the 46 brand.

The 14,000 square foot structure was built on the side of a hill allowing two sides of it to be natural limestone.

Rob Samuels
 
Rob Samuels of Maker's Mark takes you through a walk through of the cellar in this YouTube video.


The Bourbon Virgin Tries...

The Splinter Group
Straight Edge

(84 proof)
Alright, I feel like bourbon and I just had a little falling out. This was a little too viscous for me and if this was the only brand of liquor left on this planet, I would run far, far, far away from it! I suppose then I would have to learn how to make my own moonshine or become an astronaut to search our solar system for something better :D    

Actually, that might be pretty fun! Anyone want to join?!

I mean this could possibly be the end of my drinking days. Straight edge may make me a straight edge (For anyone that doesn’t know what that is, straight edge is defined as a person who doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs). But what the hell kind of life is that?!

I need an intervention!

Calling all cherry bombs, calling all cherry bombs, please report to the Bourbon Virgin’s house immediately!  

About The Bourbon Virgin
Amanda Hoppes, the Bourbon Virgin, is a poet/author from Iowa (she has never lived on a farm, owned a cow, nor does she constantly have one of those long pieces of straw hanging from her mouth). With the exception of some experimentation in college with Jim Beam, Amanda's drinking has pretty much kept to Bud Light and cherry bombs. Bourbon Zeppelin is going to try to redefine her palate by introducing her to bourbon. We'll see what happens each month as she tries something new! Follow her on Instagram (@abhoppes) and Twitter (@shehoppes). Her book of poetry, From Midnight to Moonlight, is available on Amazon by clicking here!
Like any business, Bourbon Zeppelin has expenses. While we've elected to go with a strict no advertising policy, those fans who enjoy reading BZ and want to assist in helping with some of these expenses now can since we have started a Patreon page. We've got rewards and recognition for those who can help us continue to deliver incredible and unique bourbon-focused content.
 
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BZ PATREON PAGE: patreon.com/bourbonzeppelin
Colonel Akley Samples The Most Coveted Whiskey of the Year
There is no doubt that the whiskey star of 2016 was Booker's Rye. An extension to the popular Booker's line, this one went beyond simply a new product offering. Booker's Rye was made with some of the last barrels laid down by legendary Master Distiller Booker Noe. If there was no other information in this article besides that tidbit, this would still be a "must have" for the true bourbon fan.

Booker's Rye led to the rare instance when critics and fans agreed that it was a winner. Priced at a suggested retail price of $300, it flew off the shelves. It was equally popular with the critics, as it received solid reviews across the board and it picked up Whiskey of the Year awards from both
Jim Murray's Whisky Bible and The Bourbon Show.

So, when one of my contacts with one of the Beam P.R. firms reached out and asked if I would be interested in trying a sample myself to share my thoughts in Bourbon Zeppelin, I was totally up for the challenge. Here's a look at my review:

Booker's Rye
Big Time Batch
Aged: 13 years, 1 month, 12 days
Proof: 136.2


Regular Tasting
Nose: The "noes" on this one is incredible. For a whiskey that comes in 136.2 proof, it's as gentle as a lamb. The most powerful scent coming off of this dram is cherries. It's literally coming at me like a bowl of cherries. There is also a small oaky note there and a hint of citrus.

Taste: The taste of caramel apples, brown sugar, cherry and vanilla. The light oak gives it a toasted marshmallow taste.

Finish: The 136.2 proof kicks in quickly but dissipates quickly as well. For a few seconds, it leaves your tongue feeling like the pins and needles you get from a foot "falling asleep." After a few seconds, a glow takes over and it has almost a refreshing quality to it.

"Kentucky Chew" Tasting (agreessively swirling, swallow, breathe in through nose, out through mouth...this is truly "Booker Noe" style)
This is a must for the true fan. It really works up the spices in the rye. That 136.2 proof is going to heat up like someone turned on a microwave in your mouth. As you exhale through your mouth it's like you are breathing fire. Unlike the glow, or "Kentucky Hug" warming effect you get by sipping it normally, this one results it a heated mouth that will linger for a few minutes.

Final Notes: I can't recommend this one highly enough. It has it all... a connection to one of the biggest names in bourbon, an incredible taste and even a unique experience in sampling (you gotta try the Kentucky Chew with this one). I know it's tough to find, but if you see one, don't let this unicorn get away!
Lynchburg, Virginia

by Rebecca Fitzgerald

When my husband and I decided to move from Northern Virginia, the City of Lynchburg in Central Virginia was not on our list. Twelve years ago, downtown Lynchburg was an industrial ghost town, and when we moved several miles north to the bucolic Blue Ridge Mountains, we found little reason to visit, let alone socialize and grab a leisurely drink. 

Since that time, however, this little city has come alive through a concentrated revitalization effort which, in turn, appears to be attracting a sophisticated crowd and some surprisingly urban-like endeavors, such as a rather modish whiskey scene. Indeed, half the downtown population is aged 21-34.

A stroll from your warehouse apartment loft by the James River and Bluffwalk might pull you towards one of the trendier food and drink establishments, such as Kegney Brothers, The Water Dog oyster bar, El Jéfe Taqueria Garaje or Shoemakers, just to name a few. 

Remnants of some of the exhaustive research Rebecca did for this piece
 

It is at Kegney Brothers (a bar originally opened in 1879 and seeing its own revitalization through Kegney descendant Nick Cash), where I enjoy a very nice Jefferson Reserve and chat with the bartender. Somehow, as with many bourbon conversations, the subject of Pappy comes up.  The Virginia Department of Alcoholic and Beverage Control (Virginia ABC) recently placed in lottery 96 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15-Year bourbon. The lottery garnered 25,659 entries in a 48 hour period. The bartender is sure this is a sign of bourbon trending.

Intrigued, I contact my local Region 2 representative for the Virginia ABC. One phone call and two emails later I have multiple local and state-wide spreadsheets showing five-year stats that could rival the NFL’s. The numbers shown below are a reflection of the three ABC stores that support the City of Lynchburg:

  Bottles Sold*          
  Category FY2016** FY2015 FY2014 FY2013 FY2012
  Straight Bourbon 48,902 55,460 55,568 50,101 45,899
  Scotch 10,162 11,472 11,177 11,007 11,685
  Canadian 21,630 23,588 21,926 22,608 20,069
  Tennessee 11,748 12,845 12,868 12,502 12,055
  Blended 14,603 14,546 15,139 15,160 15,292
  Domestic 8,869 6,650 5,968 5,095 3,833
  Irish 3,730 3,146 2,718 2,391 2,019
  Corn 22 53 111 22 0
  Moonshine 2,414 2,420 2,259 2,037 1,228
  Bottled in Bond 151 111 83 160 159
  Straight Rye 1,436 976 732 476 222
  Total Bottles Sold 123,667 131,267 128,549 121,559 112,461
             

*Provided by the Virginia ABC.
** FY2016 numbers not complete.
According to Kathleen Shaw, Public Relations Manager at Virginia ABC, “[A]mber-colored liquors led the best-selling list statewide with Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey taking top spot, followed by Hennessy Very Special (V.S.) Cognac and Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon.”
It should come as no surprise then that downtown Lynchburg recently welcomed not one but two bourbon bars.  

Bootleggers' sign
 

The most recent addition to the whisky scene is Bootleggers (Burgers Bourbon & Beer) on the Bluffwalk (a series of walkways, overlooks, trails and staircases that connect several city streets).  Bootleggers offers over 30 different bourbons as well as a generous selection of other whiskies. 

Bootleggers’ General Manager, Mike Nevarez, brings a wealth of experience from the Washington, D.C. market and prides himself on his selection of bourbons. He is clearly knowledgeable, and we spend several minutes discussing the distinctions of the various brands behind the bar.  Is that a Hirsch Reserve up there? Both Maker’s Mark and Wild Turkey have their own sections of the menu. 

“You will see how I have broken them down on the menu,” Mike demonstrates, “from the basic bourbon to small batch, to single barrel and then the rye, and so forth down to the flavored whiskies.” I order an Angel’s Envy Port Barrel off the small batch side of the menu.  Mike then says something that shocks me a bit.  “I am selling as much whiskey as beer.” I have to think about that for a minute.

The second bourbon bar, Fifth & Federal Station, sits just south of downtown proper in an old Esso Station at 801 Fifth Street.  The history geek in me appreciates the fact that the bar arrived in the 1850s in the form of a bateau and still bears the original blacksmith’s nails. 
With an impressive selection of over 100 whiskeys and bourbons, Fifth & Federal is sure to appeal to any whiskey enthusiast.  Sadly for the researcher in me, the bar has only had a soft opening, so I will have to wait a bit longer to explore its offerings.

I can’t help but wonder if Lynchburg’s whiskey renaissance is the result of a flood of craft breweries and wineries that is leading the consumer down a different kind of spirited journey. Regardless, I hope you will visit and experience the brilliant things that are happening here. 

Cheers.
Rebecca Fitzgerald
Rebecca Fitzgerald is a history geek and researcher who enjoys having a bourbon on her back deck overlooking the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains alongside her husband of 36 years. 

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!


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

Simply Great "Whiskey" Scented Beard Oil
by Colonel Steve Akley
We get a lot of cool whiskey items at Bourbon Zeppelin World Headquarters in suburban St. Louis County. Recently, The Beard Oil Shop sent in a sample of their whiskey scented beard oil.

I opened it up wondering if it would smell at all like whiskey. There is a national brand the distributes a "bourbon" beard oil that smelled floral to me. While I can't say I was tempted to pour out a shot, I will say Simply Great's certainly had some whiskey character to it. There was the smell of tobacco, leather and some spices. All components you might find in a good pour.

In terms of a viable product, this one is a winner. Just put a few dabs on your beard, massage it in and you are ready to go. Despite the fact it is an oil, it's not overly greasy to the touch when you first apply and it sets quickly. Top notch all the way. 

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

Boone County Distilling 
Featured on The Bourbon Show - Today!

by Colonel Steve Akley
Josh Quinn of Boone County Distilling is featured on the new episode of The Bourbon Show podcast released today.
The Bourbon Show is also excited to announce the boys got to talk to Marianne Barnes last month as she prepares to start releasing products under her Castle and Key brand. Mark your calendars for that episode which drops on January 15. While the crew isn't giving the details of the interview, they report Marianne Barnes is absolutely as fantastic as you probably have already heard. Don't miss this one!
January 16 will mark the official launch of The Bourbon Daily, a show featuring BZers Alicia White, Steve Akley and Evan Haskill. This is the first daily podcast dedicated to the topic of bourbon. As you wait for January 16 to get here, the crew released a single episode to preview their new show in December dedicated to the topic of the Booker's price increase. Check it out on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.
 
The Bourbon Show
Hosts: Steve Akley, Seth Brown & Evan Haskill
Bourbon banter, news and interviews with industry influencers from the world of bourbon.
The Bourbon Daily
Hosts: Alicia White, Steve Akley and Evan Haskill
A daily show (Monday - Friday) featuring a new bourbon topic everyday and "Fun Fridays" where anyting goes.
 
The Last Beer Show
Hosts: Wayne Pelletier and Jason Dominy
Discussion of everything related to the world of beer.
The Firewater Review
Hosts: Seth Brown and Aaron Cave
Hosts Seth Brown and Aaron Cave welcome a guest host each show to review a distilled spirit.
More shows are in the works and will be coming soon!

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

2017 Looks to be Exciting!
Happy New Year to all my bourbon friends and family. I couldn't be more excited about all of the things I have planned for 2017; the biggest of which I have decided to undertake is a podcast called “The Bourbon Daily” starring Evan Haskill, Steve Akley and yours truly. The Bourbon Daily is going to be a Monday through Friday podcast, with each episode only being about 20 or 30 minutes long. We are going to talk about bourbon and all things related to bourbon. It's the perfect size show to listen to on your daily commute to work or on your lunch break. We've already launched a small episode that's mostly about the Booker’s madness that's going on.
 Alicia, podcasting and "dranking"
 
Starting January 16, you're going to be able to hear us chat about bourbon and all kinds of fun stuff throughout the week. You can currently find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and virtually every podcast platform. You can also find more information about it on abvnetwork.com.
 
On top of that, if you follow my Instagram account (@bourbonsipper), you may have seen that earlier this year I left what some would call my adult job and took a leap into the bourbon industry. Currently I'm working at a craft distillery called Jeptha Creed, a small family-owned ground to glass distillery.
 
You may ask what I'm doing there, but that's a hard question to answer. As a small craft distillery, I literally get to do a little bit of everything. I give amazing tours, pour drinks behind the bar, label bottles, help hand juice fruit and I'm also part of their sales team.
 
We are the only distillery in Kentucky currently using an old heirloom type of corn called Bloody Butcher Corn, which the company grows on its own farm. Recently, Bruce (one of the owners) even taught me how to drive a forklift (we all have to have life goals). Along with my work (if something enjoyed this much is really work) 2017 is going to be jampacked with epic stories from all of the great events I plan to cover. I also have plans to visit as many craft distilleries as I can.
 
If it involves bourbon, you know I'll be there!
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).

Beam Announces Booker's Price Increase to $100...
The Internet Loses its Mind

Editorial by Colonel Steve Akley
Prior to being confirmed on December 10, there were rumors the price of Booker's was going up. The number of $100 was out there. Some were saying Beam would stair-step their way to the hundred dollar mark, but, through the announcement made through bloggers Chuck Cowdrey and Fred Minnick, as well as our own social media guru Evan Haskill, it appears Beam decided it would just be easier to take the increase all at once. 

If you were on social media at all that weekend, you knew this was the equivalent of a nuclear bomb going off in the world of bourbon:

"This is the end..."

"The bubble has burst..."

"I'm dying..."


Okay, I didn't actually see the "I'm dying" one, but it was pretty bad out there. In fact, there was so much negativity, misinformation and speculation, Evan Haskill, Alicia White and I, who were planning on launching our new podcast, The Bourbon Daily, on January 16, grabbed our gear and put out a preview show dedicated solely to this topic.

The truth is, Beam made a strategic decision their team has deemed is best for their company.

Is this the best decision for you if you are a bourbon fan? Probably not.

Is this the best decision for you if you are a Booker's fan? Definitely not.

Still, there is plenty of competition out there and plenty of incredible offerings for under $100. As bourbon fans, yes, we can feel helpless in light of announcements like this. It's true, one of our favorite brands just took a 100% price increase, and there is this mentality of "Now I have to pay twice as much for the same thing I've bought for years and what are the ripple effects?" (What else is going to increase/how does this impact other brands.)

The truth is, we as fans of bourbon, aren't helpless. In fact, we have all of the power. We control those $100 bills Beam, and others want. There are plenty of choices out there and Beam, as well as all others distillers need to work hard to put out incredible offerings and offer us value.

If they don't, those $100 bills will stay in our wallets.

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

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

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

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

Cheers,

Andrew Wiehebrink

Charr’d at the Marriot East
1903 Embassy Square Blvd., Louisville, KY 40299
Breakfast
Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 6 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Lunch
Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner
Sunday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Atmosphere 
So the first thing we should note about Charr’d is that it sits within a large hotel located on the east end of Louisville. A very nice hotel at that and it is an official stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The bar area is large, elegant, well decorated, and it really looks like someone spent the money to make it a very nice place to sit and sip some Kentucky Champagne. Not hard to see that this bar is built to create a real bourbon experience. Barrels, barrel heads, even the furniture screams bourbon. They make great use of empty bottles by using them for everything from hand soap containers to condiment containers. Nice touch in my opinion. The bar is big and extremely nice. This place really has the ingredients to be a great bar, but unfortunately it does fall way short. The nuts and bolts are there, the potential is there, it just seems they are having a little trouble closing the deal. Lastly, I will say this place is more of a restaurant rather than a bar so if you are looking for that bar atmosphere, keep away. If you want a nice place to eat and drink, give it a whirl.

Selection
The selection looks great on paper. The menu has just about everything you would need for a decent bourbon experience. It doesn’t have the vintages, discontinued, or super rare brands that some other bourbon establishments carry but the list is complete and has some goodies. Only problem? What they actually have in stock, doesn’t come anywhere near what the menu promises. There is a lot of shelf space on the long bar and boy is it underutilized. There just really isn’t that much bourbon…at all! Now, that isn’t to say that they don’t have a stock somewhere in the back but that is unacceptable. A proper bourbon establishment should make a point to display as many bottles as possible. About the rarest thing they had on display was a bottle of E.H. Taylor Single Barrel and a Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye. They feature three private barrel selections and did not have two in stock. Not very well maintained.

Knowledge
I ordered a Weller Antique private barrel pick and the bartender tried to give me the Special Reserve. I kindly said that was the wrong bottle and she apologized to me while confessing she isn’t usually a bartender and is filling in. This makes it very difficult to rate the knowledge of the staff but it does bring me to another point. Bourbon people go to certain bars for bourbon because the bar staff is usually knowledgeable and enjoys bourbon just as much as they do. A proper establishment should always have a bartender with some interest in bourbon and a good amount of knowledge about the products they offer. This draws more sales and creates a better experience. A man then showed up who I could only assume is their bourbon “steward”. I asked him to tell me about the barrel picks and he began on a rant that was full of uninformed and generally false pieces of information about each one. Don’t come here expecting to run into some decent conversations regarding bourbon.

Food
I do like the menu at this place. For a lobby restaurant, it has a good selection of appetizers, salads, and entrees. The yard bird sandwich is pretty good, especially on that pretzel bun. The eastern salad has a homemade ginger dressing that is awesome and it comes topped with a healthy chunk of grilled salmon. The food came quick, had good presentation, and it filled me up. I wouldn’t go as far as saying this is a fancy restaurant with outstanding food (it looks that way) but it does have decent food and a well thought out menu with some bourbon words and phrases thrown in for added effect.

Pour
The pour I received was very large. I was hesitant to confirm that this is normally how it is around this joint, or because the bartender just didn’t know any better. Either way, it was generous to say the least. No bottle toppers, which is a plus, and the pour was made right in front of me by the “steward” himself. Only problem was the pour was made into a rather large rocks glass. I am not a fan of this although some people don’t seem to mind. In my opinion, it just makes it a little more difficult to nose the bourbon properly. I think a glass made especially for nosing whiskey is a necessity that cannot be overlooked.

Bang for Your Buck
The price of bourbon was a little odd to say the least. Keep in mind this is a hotel bar so I would expect prices to be a little higher. In some cases they were but only in the “bottom shelf” offerings. I will give you an example. Mellow Corn, a great corn whiskey for the money, was listed at $11 per shot. The initiated would immediately take note that a bottle of Mellow Corn retails for $11. Evan Williams black label is listed at $9. Hold on because here is where it gets strange. Old Weller 107 private select is $9. That’s odd…And it was like this across the board. The majority of the more premium offerings were decently priced, especially for a hotel bar. In some cases, as I have shown, they are less than your basic whiskies. Only issue here is that basic whiskies are pretty much the only bottles they had in stock. Not hard to see why. I gave it three stars because I thought the food was good for the money. Larger portions and decent food means you can get full for under $15.  

P.S.
I normally don’t post script but in this case I feel it necessary. Just on the off chance that someone who is looking to open an establishment is listening. This place had everything it needed to make a great bar. They just overlooked the details which is a big no-no in this industry. They got it built, stocked it once, decorated it perfectly and said OK, that is it. Hardly… If you do plan on opening establishment, make sure the stock is properly maintained and the staff is informed and if possible, passionate about bourbon. Pay them extra if you find the right person, you will be compensated many times over. Make sure you have the proper glasses and that the bar presentation is always on point. It isn’t enough to rely on appearance. The end game must be seen all the way through.

Cheers!
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.
Breaking Andrew Wiehebrink News...
Our own Andrew Wiehebrink has two exciting pieces of news sure to interest Bourbon Zeppelin readers. First, he is starting to write on the Independent Stave Company blog. As the company's Director of Spirits Research and Innovation you are going to want to follow what he has to say. Sign up for ISC's blog by clicking here.


The second piece of awesome news  Andrew is involved in is the fact ISC is investing in a new state-of-the-art research facility where he will be heading up research and innovation for the company. Look for continued leadership from Independent Stave Company for the bourbon industry.

Congrats to Andrew for both of these announcements!.
So Long Old Friend
It's been loaded up on the shelves so it will be out there for a while, but grab it while you can!
Jacob Bromwell 1819 Bourbon
80 Proof
 
Color: Very light honey
Nose: Mild notes of yellow corn
Taste: Candy corn and black pepper
Finish: Hot, medicinal finish makes it tough to recommend
 
About Mark the Imbiber
Mark the Imbiber has been designed to help you select a bourbon based on flavor profile. The column is written by Mark "Cake" Hansen, a childhood friend of Steve Akley. Cake is not only blessed with a sophisticated taste palate, he combines it with a keen ability to convey those tastes with words. In his personal life, he puts these abilities to work brewing beer. Additionally, he is a graphic artist by trade and deisgns most of the artwork in Bourbon Zeppelin. You can reach Cake via email by clicking here.
by Derek Haas
Bourbon Holly

2 oz bourbon

1 oz cranberry clementine shrub  

 

(Shrub directions)

Simmer 1 cup of water, 1 1/2 cups cranberries, 2 sliced clementines, half cup of sugar and a cinnamon stick over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add a half a cup of apple cider vinegar. Chill shrub over night. 

 

Add shrub and bourbon in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube. Garnish with cranberries and fresh rosemary.

About Derek Haas
Derek Haas AKA @spirited_amateur on Instagram lives in NYC where he is a Manager of Recruiting at a global fashion company. Derek has recently developed a passion for crafted cocktails after visiting the countless speakeasy and cocktail bars around Manhattan. Bourbon is always his first choice but he tries to experiment with other spirits as well.
Submitted by Matt Walker

About this Cocktail

Ok.... ok.... I'm a bit late for the holidays. However if you're like me, then you still have a work party that happens later or just hate to see the season pass. Anyway, I served this cocktail during my NYE party last night and it was a hit!

 

This particular cocktail is inspired by my love of holiday punch. I guess if you wanted you could scale this guy up into epic proportions and do just that... a punch...but, for this purpose let's assume that we are not entertaining a house full of guests. 

 
One of the ingredients in this cocktail takes some prep but there is also a cheat method, too! I use a simple syrup infused with holiday spices by steeping them in a simple syrup mixture. You can use any spiced liquor like St. Elizabeth allspice dram and mix it in a 1:4 ratio to achieve a similar result. If you are feeling adventurous, then, I like to steep 2 tablespoons of whole allspice and 3 cinnamon sticks in a 2 cups of simple syrup made at a 1:1 ratio.

Ingredients

3/4 oz bourbon

3/4 oz sherry (I use Amontillado Sherry)

1 oz dry vermouth (I use Dolin Dry)

1/2 oz cranberry cocktail

1/2 oz lemon

1/2 oz holiday spiced simple syrup

(Champagne or soda water to top)

Preparation

Shake all ingredients except champagne or soda water and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Top with 1 oz chilled champagne or soda water. Garnish with festive holiday sprig or a few cranberries.
 
Cheers!
CHEERS!

Matt Walker / @walkerincharleston on Instagram and Twitter
The Bourbon Zeppelin Featured Cocktail is a monthly column shared by Steve Akley and Matt Walker. Matt and Steve enjoy experimenting with mixology and showing the best of their creations in BZ

Yes, they are both competive and try to "one-up" the other one month-to-month.
This Month Aaron Reviews:
Smooth Ambler Old Scout

This month, I will be reviewing a single barrel bourbon from Smooth Ambler. If you have been reading my reviews, then it probably is no surprise that Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbons are some of my favorite bourbons on the market. 

 

Before we get to the review, however, let’s talk about Smooth Ambler and what they are doing.  

 

Smooth Ambler is a craft distillery in West Virginia. They distill their own spirits at Smooth Ambler, but they are best known for their sourced whiskey - Old Scout.  Smooth Ambler labels all of their sourced Products as being ”Old Scout ".

 

Smooth Ambler is very transparent regarding where their bourbon comes from.  They source their oldest bourbons from MGP in Indiana - and these boys know how to pick bourbon.  If you haven’t tried it you don’t know what you’re missing.  

 

Their standard Old Scout and 10 Year Old Scout are great bourbons that are packed with flavor.  They are bottled at 99-proof and non-chill filtered, and their single barrel bourbons are something special - as all of their single barrels are bottled at cask strength and non-chill filter.  They have tons of depth and are very complex bourbons; when I said these boys know how to pick them, I meant it!

 

Ok, onto the review.

This particular bottle of Old Scout is a private barrel selection from Davidson's Liquor: it's bottle number 3061, 10 years old, and bottled at 112-proof.

 

The pour is a dark amber color, and very oily.  The nose has a nice sweetness to it, with a nice mix of oak, sweet vanilla, cherry wood, toasted oats, and pipe-tobacco.

 

The palate is right on par with the nose: cream vanilla, dried cherries, toasted pecans, buttered biscuits, cloves, and lots of oak!

 

The finish is great - it is long and hot, with oak, cloves, cherries, and vanilla!

 

89/100

About Aaron Cave
Aaron Cave is a bourbon enthusiast from Columbus, Ohio. Living just a short drive from the Bourbon Trail, Aaron enjoys keeping up with the latest in the bourbon world. He recently made a dream come true by spending a day at Four Roses helping with barrel selection and getting to sample bourbon straight from the barrel. Aaron is a regular member of the Instagram bourbon crew where he enjoys talking bourbon and sharing photos. You can follow him on Instagram (@acave0324) or Twitter (@AaronRocky0324).
Bourbon Nuggets
Did you know... professional bourbon reviewer and The Bourbon Show podcast Co-host Seth Brown once gave an 87.0 score to Blanton's Bourbon.
Old Forester
Birthday Bourbon

Reviewed by: Evan Haskill

"In 100% of blind tastings, I guess that OFBB is barrel proof."

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.

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

In this issue, L.S.G. weighs in on Evan Haskill's One Sentence Review this month.
About Learn Something Guy
Learn Something Guy is one of the most brilliant minds from the world of bourbon... he's just a bit of a tool. Knowing this, and If you go in with the right attitude, you just might learn something every time he appears in Bourbon Zeppelin.

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

This Month, BZ Reader Crystal Mattox Talks About:
Crown Royal Black

Crown Royal is by far my favorite brand of whisky. Crown Royal is a Canadian whisky first created in 1939. I like all the blends and flavors by Crown Royal. The flavored blends such as the Apple and Vanilla make for a great variety of cocktails! 
 
However, my absolute favorite blend is the Crown Royal Black. 
Crown Royal Black is matured in charred oak barrels and blended at a higher proof—90 proof, 45% ABV. 

The best way to enjoy Crown Black is on the rocks, you get the full punch of the robust flavor without any filters. If you’re not one to drink whisky on the rocks, I would recommend it mixed with a little ginger ale. Ginger ale is light, crisp and refreshing; it doesn’t take away from the flavor of the whisky. Mixing with a dark cola, in my opinion, makes the drink heavier and a bit too syrupy for my liking.

If you haven’t tried Crown Black, you’re missing out! 

Enjoy, cheers!   
Crystal Mattox is a whiskey fan and part of the Instagram bourbon community (@crystal_n_m).

Please reach out and tell us so we can feature you in a future edition:
Click here to tell us about your favorite bottle!
Yippe Ki-Yay

The Review
While Yippee Ki-Yay isn't a bourbon (it's a blend of two rye whiskeys), it fits well in a bourbon publication because of the fact it was aged in Vermouth and Syrah barrels. The Vermouth is clearly there and gives it a distinct taste very similar to one of the favorite cocktails of bourbon-lovers, the Manhattan. This one is sweet, tasty goodness.
The verdict on this AWESOME offering...

Yep, that's right, this one is... 
KING KONG AWESOME!

About The Awesome Meter
A lot of bourbon passes through Bourbon Zeppelin Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Since we are bourbon lovers, we recognize a lot of it is really great and clearly we enjoy having it in our respective collections. Still, there are times when a tasting reveals an offering with something a little more to offer. One that extends the charts beyond great and into "awesomeness"... hence, the development of the Awesome Meter.

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


LAS VEGAS AWESOME


KING KONG AWESOME


ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT CHICKEN WINGS AWESOME


TYRANNOSAURUS REX AWESOME



JIMI HENDRIX AWESOME
Bourbon Nuggets
That cool label on Yippee Ki-Yay is actually a poster designed by artist Henry B. Balink (1882-1963). The original hangs in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West museum in Cody, Wyoming (centerofthewest.org).
Maker's Mark Busines Card Holder
by Colonel Steve Akley
My good buddy Karen from Grumpy Dog Candle Co. sent me this cool Maker's Mark 375ml bottle that is the perfect size for holding business cards for Christmas this year. This item not only looks great on my desk, it looks like Maker's Mark designed these bottles to hold cards when they are cut in half. So it not only looks good, it's highly function as well.

Thanks to Grumpy Dog for the great gift. Check out what they have in their store right now by
clicking here.
Husband and wife team Kate and Kris Kettner answer your bourbon questions!
What is your opinion of breaking traditions, such as the Lincoln Henderson experiments at Angel's Envy?
- Brent K. 
 
It’s grumpy old man time with grandpa Kris!
 
There are people that are fundamentally against change because they fear it. Then there are people that resist change because they know it’s wrong. When it comes to screwing around with bourbon, file me under that second camp. 
 
As bourbon’s popularity continues to trend upwards, that means that more and more people are sucked in by its gravity. Bourbon enthusiasts are no longer the only ones seeking out those hard-to-find bottles and casual drinkers that otherwise would shy away from straight whiskey now want to be part of the club. 
 
Enter finished bourbon.
 
Want to spend a bunch of money on a whiskey, but don’t actually like the taste? Well then go get you some MGP juice that was thrown into a Rumchata barrel for an additional 8 months! Are those vanilla, pepper, and oak notes just too much? Well then blow those pesky flavors away with the smooth fruity taste of a port barrel!
 
Experimenting with the conditions in which bourbon barrels are cured, charred, and aged one thing, but keep my whiskey tasting like whiskey and keep your damn Orange Curacao away from it. 

Thanks to Brent K. 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 your 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!
Bourbon Nuggets
On The Bourbon Show podcast, Brad Boswell, President, Independent Stave Company noted that as a general rule about 60-70% of flavor and aroma comes from the barrel. There are many factors that impact that number, but that's a good general guideline.
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).
3…….2…….1……Happy New Year!!!!!

Cheers to a new bourbon hunting season!  I hope everyone finished the 2016 season with a bang and some unicorns. Now is the time to start planning your annual hunting calendar. There are tons of great resources out there, but
breakingbourbon.com or a simple Google search will bear most of the 2017 releases as well as a general time frame for release.
 
While you should not give up on finding 2016 releases, your time would most likely be better spent focusing on 2017 and hoping you stumble on 2016 along the way. Start talking with your local stores. Let them know how much you appreciate their help (even if you didn’t get a bottle from them) this year. The bourbon hustle is not an easy game for anyone, but especially not for retailers. 
 
Still looking for your first unicorn?

This might be tough to hear, but bite the bullet and spend a little extra on a semi rare bottle that you normally would “only pay retail” for.  Whether it’s from the secondary, a buddy that got lucky but is reluctant to be a “good buddy”, or a store that gouges and you have written off. Go to your favorite store after, show them your “score from 2016”, and share a pour. Let them know how excited you are for “____________” this year. 
 
Already got a unicorn or 2 in 2016?  Great, and congratulations.  Share the wealth with friends and store employees, good karma will keep them coming!
 
Happy New Year and good luck in 2017!
About Corey Chandler
Corey Chandler lives in Richmond, Virginia, where he enjoys bourbon hunting with his wife. Corey is in the process of realizing a lifelong dream of opening a restaurant. Look for him to share more information about this as he get closer to opening his place next year. He's part of the regular bourbon crew on Instagram where he's always sharing his latest finds. Check out Corey Chandler's Instagram page: @mrshacorey

The Angel's Share

We all want to believe in a guardian angel, right? And with our precious bourbon it's no different.  Something heavenly should be watching over those barrels until they are ready for consumption.  That’s where the angels come into play. If you are a bourbon lover, you have no doubt heard of the “angel’s share,” but do you know the history behind what it really means?
 
Bourbon barrels are aged, most often in rackhouses, for a number of years. Prior to being filled, the oak barrels are charred and filled with bourbon.  While they are watertight to the point that they can hold bourbon, they remain naturally porous to the point that they allow the aging booze to breathe.  Evaporation does occur slowly, but it does occur.  When they are opened years later, they barrels have a lot less bourbon than when they were barreled. 
 
So what does all of this have to do with angels? 

The legend that’s been passed down is that the key to yielding a good batch of bourbon required a sacrifice to the angels. Giving up that small percentage of each barrel to the heavens ensured a smooth final product and was a small price to pay for good bourbon. In other words, give the angels their share and take the remaining good stuff that’s left. If you keep the angels happy, you can keep the bourbon flowing.
 
In practice, this allows the newly distilled whiskey to mature into the smooth drinkable product that we love so much.  Both the evaporation and the oak barrel aging process impart the pleasantness that you experience in an aged bourbon over, say, white lightning moonshine. This variation in evaporation also causes the sweet hooch inside to vary a from the sky high proof at which it was barreled to the smooth palatable final proof in which it is bottled. A barrel that is aged for 7 years could lose up to 14% of its volume due to the alcohol evaporation during the maturation process.  That’s what has become known as the “angel’s share” of the bourbon. Knowing this, distillers have to make adjustments to ensure the final product will meet industry proof standards. 
 
Depending on the heat and humidity of the building in which the barrels are stored, most distilleries tend to see evaporation that ranges from 1-2% per year. Areas that experience higher temperatures and lower humidity will see an increase in the evaporation. The angels must be thirstier in those areas after looking after all of that delicious booze!  Different industries need to know their barrel composition so they can adjust for the angel’s share. Improvements to technology are constantly happening to distilling technology to reduce the amount that's lost to evaporation.  The simplest concept is to wrap the barrels in a material that allows for some breathability but minimizes evaporation. 

It's unlikely that the angel’s share will ever go away completely, which will no doubt make for some happy angels, well into the future.


The angel's taking their share over the years

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!
Bourbon Nuggets
Last month we reported Blade and Bow was auctioning off 34 bottles of twenty-four year old Stitzel-Weller bourbon barreled before they shut down in 1992. The sale of these bottles was designated for Robin Hood, the largest charitable provider for helping the impoverished in New York. We are pleased to note over $95,000  was raised for this wonderful charity. Way to go Blade and Bow!
This month Chrissy shares a recipe created for Bourbon Zeppelin Readers
Wyoming Whiskey Wings
 
This Recipe Uses:

With this Super Bowl coming up, I thought this would be the perfect thing to serve.

Ingredients

  • 4lbs (about 18-20) Chicken wings
  • 1/4 C. Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Corn Starch
  • 1/2 C. Kosmo’s Dirty Bird Rub
  • 1/2 C. Smoked Honey
  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
  • 3/4 C. Wyoming Whiskey
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Instructions

  1. Start with rinsing and cutting your wings however you'd like, unless you've already purchased pre-cut.
  2. In a large bowl, add in all dry ingredients brown sugar, corn starch & dirty bird rub. Mix well.
  3. Add in all wet ingredients honey, lemon/lime, bourbon, and stir well.
  4. Add in all chicken wings to the marinade, stir them until completely coated. transfer to a ziplock bag and allow to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. (can also be made the night before)
  5. Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees. On a foil lined baking sheet , arrange chicken on a raised rack & pour the remaining marinade over the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken lightly with some of the dirty bird season for an extra kick. 
  6. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven, making sure to turn them over half way through the cooking process. Cook until they are golden brown with delicious crispy burnt bits on it. Serve immediately.
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).
A New Type of Cocktail from The Spice Lab
by Colonel Steve Akley
If you are like me, when you think of a cocktail you probably think about wet ingredients: various types of alcohol, soda, bottled premixed ingredients, etc. The Spice Lab has a different take on the classic cocktail. They have put together cocktail kits of all dry ingredients: spices, botanicals, dried fruit, cocoa beans, coffee beans and more.

The kits are designed to enhance the base liquor, not overtake it like so many mixed cocktails. Recently, I picked up the Rum Kit which contains 6 ingredients and a zester to make unique cocktail creations.

I decided to "taste as I build" for this cocktail to see the impact of the ingredients I was adding.
I ended up calling the cocktail I built the Colonel Spiced Orange
I started out with a white rum from Hawaii. This was some good stuff. The best I could describe it would be to note it had a really strong butterscotch taste.

That's not a bad start, right?

Next, I decided to try to spice it up a bit. The Spice Lab suggested using 2 allspice peppers for a drink. You simply rub them together to bring out the flavor. As soon as I started doing that they really opened up and you could smell the spiciness to them.

I sampled my rum just with the allspice. It had already changed from a sweet butterscotch to a spicy one. I'm not sure how, but it even seemed hotter. Clearly, this was science people.


Finally, I took out the zester included in the kit and added some orange zest. The final taste yielded an incredible spicy orange taste. This is a drink any bar would serve. It was so awesome!

 

 

This Month's Selection...
Track #08
by The Lost Abbey
For the new year, I'm popping the cork on Boulevard Brewing's Collaboration No.6. This barrel-aged blend has Imperial Stout blended with Tart Cherry, Stickee Monkee, Bourbon Barrel Quad and Velvet Merkin.

With this, I found there is a such thing as too much of a good thing. All the blends of these delicious brews got lost in the others. Nothing distinctive came through. This brew was balanced and smooth, but slightly thinner than I would've thought. I believe it'll age well though. The cherry is a bright spot in an otherwise convoluted blend. Cheers to a new year and more bourbon barrel aged brews in 2017.

Gesonheid friends!


I give it 3 1/2 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).
by Matt Guyer

Jim Beam Talks Up Its Double Oak Twice Barreled Amidst a Four Course Meal at the Culinary Art 2016: Bourbon-Style Cooking School at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky

Walking up to the beautiful Kreso's Theater, Restaurant, and Bar in downtown Bardstown, Kentucky to attend the 21st Annual Culinary Art: Bourbon-Style Cooking School at the 2016 Kentucky Bourbon Festival this past September was something to observe.  A line of around two hundred excited whiskey and foodie enthusiasts were lined up and ready to go
inside the dining area for an evening of culinary and bourbon delight hosted by Jim Beam. The building, celebrating “Main Street” early 20th century American storefront architecture, was originally a movie theater built in 1942 named the Arco Theater. It was purchased in 2002 by the Kreso family and refurbished into the restaurant, bar, and theater that it is today with a grand opening back in 2004. 
 
When you first enter the establishment, you are in the front bar area and you notice a row of intimate bar tables and chairs to the front and right running left along dark wooded walls adorned with oil paintings depicting portraits, pastoral scenes, and early Kentucky frontier life from the late 18th and early 19th century. On the left is a magnificent oak bar in which stands out a stunning bar back with a selection of over one hundred forty bourbon expressions. 
 
Once you navigate through the front bar to the back you come into a large seating area with walls painted azure blue and gold with an adjoining stage front and center. After everyone was seated around our dinner tables, the event began with the Master of Ceremony, Fred Noe, introducing himself as the brand and family ambassador from the Jim Beam Distillery, while at the same time making everybody in attendance welcomed as a Booker's Cantaloupe Sour-inspired cocktail was being served.   
 
Mr. Noe made us abreast of the event that was about to unfold, and introduced Master Chef  and restaurateur,
John Varanese, from Louisville, Kentucky who would be leading the bourbon inspired four course meal using whiskies from the Jim Beam, Knob Creek, and Booker's portfolios. Mr. Noe then made us all raise our right hands and read out loud the "Bourbon Cooking Oath" as attendants to the Bourbon-Style Cooking School.
 
After the audience was treated to multiple door prize ticket drawings, with each drawing a chance at receiving a "signed" 750ml bottle by Mr. Noe from the many different Jim Beam whiskey expressions,
Chef Varanese wasted no time in beginning his cooking demonstration.
The First Course
The Second Course
His First Course appetizer was an inspired Jim Beam's Devil Cut Pork Belly Taco with Kentuckyaki, topped with Jim Beam Bottled in Bond Bourbon and Ale-8-One Pickled Vegetables. 
 
This worked for me...the bourbon pairings went well with the smokiness of the pork belly and the sweet and salty 
Kentuckyaki, a uniquely inspired teriyaki sauce made with Kentucky bourbons, sorghum, garlic, and ginger, which I thought was a great touch. The Jim Beam Bottled in Bond Bourbon and Ale-8-One Pickled Vegetables gave the dish an additional hint of woody oaks and a ginger burst of flavor that lent to a lightness that I thought was a good balance to all of the richness from the pork belly and the Jim Beam’s Devil Cut bourbon. 
 
The Second Course was a solid creation made up of the new Jim Beam Double Oak Twice Barreled and Cherry Bourbon (Jim Beam Red Stag) Cured Salmon Salad, with a Kale Salad and Cucumber Ribbon, Toasted Hazelnut drizzled with Knob Creek Rye Whiskey Goddess Dressing.   
 
The picture does not do it justice, but this was by far my favorite serving of the night. The two bourbons flavored well with the salmon, but what really made this dish pop was the Knob Creek Rye Whiskey Goddess inspired salad dressing. I simply loved this dressing...one that left you with a tinge of rye, all-spice, saltiness, and herbs followed by a solid nuttiness from the toasted hazelnuts.
The Third Course
Dessert
After our wonderful salad, an Old Fashioned dinner cocktail made from Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve was served while we watched Chef Varanese prepare the Third Course:  A Knob Creek Bourbon Barrel Smoked Pastrami, Booker's Country Baked Beans with an Andouille Sausage, and Grilled Red Cabbage. 
 
I loved the smokiness of the pastrami combined with the beans and sausage. These three paired very well together, especially with the rich bourbon flavors coming through in the beans and sausage. I also enjoyed the grilled red cabbage with a scintilla of fruitiness and bourbon from the Jim Beam Apple.  
 
Execution reminded me of Irish comfort food, substituting all the above with corned beef, sautéed green cabbage, and black-eyed peas with smoked back rashers marinated with either a Guinness beer and/or an Irish whiskey. All the Third Course needed was an assist with either some soda bread or sweet corn bread.  Definitely another solid dish for me!
 
To combat all the boozy bourbon richness that had been served to us, some caffeine was needed, which came in the form of a Jim Beam Maple Praline dessert cocktail creation made with two ounces of coffee, and was brought out and served while at the same time our Fourth Course dessert was being prepared, a Salted Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Caramel Tart with Peach Nougat, Chocolate Ganache, and topped with Smoked Honey and Jim Beam Honey Bourbon Ice Cream.  
 
I am one those people who does not have a sweet tooth and normally does not order a dessert when out at a restaurant, but would rather have seconds from the main course and a whiskey as a digestif. I thought that the bourbon caramel was thick, chewy, and had a dominating salty-sweetness over the soft flakey tart shell at the expense of not being able to taste much of the peach nougat and chocolate ganache, but the entire dish was balanced effectively with the bourbon-infused ice cream and smoked honey. 
 
Personally, I thought the Jim Beam Culinary event was an overwhelming success just on the merits alone that it highlighted fourteen Jim Beam expressions while underlining bourbon as an ingredient and a flavor profile that is pushing the boundaries of conventional American and Southern cuisine. 

 
The whiskey world caught rumors of this new bourbon back in the winter/spring of 2016 and saw its early release on July 1, 2016, into European travel retail markets. In celebration of Bourbon Heritage Month, Jim Beam launched their new bourbon into the U.S. on September 1, 2016. It was also news that the Double Oak Twice Barreled is going to become a permanent fixture going forward within the Jim Beam core expressions. 
 
Fred Noe of Jim Beam said that he is “excited” to be experimenting with the twice barreled process. He explained the twice barreling as a "secondary aging" process, which "delivers an added complexity to the taste profile and that makes for a unique, premium bourbon experience.”

The new expression is essentially made the same as the Jim Beam White Label, but instead of being bottled after its first four years maturing in a new charred oak barrel, it is barreled again in another new charred oak barrel for an unspecified time...maybe a few months or longer.    
The industry calls this process "double cask, twice barreled or doubled barreled" and it is intended to give the whiskey a taste profile that is of a richer oak flavor that brings out not only deep woody flavors, but also rich brown sugar and caramel flavors.  
 
I am a fan of the double barreled process, and I think that it shows promise and has already demonstrated that it can be a delightful whiskey (I have in mind Woodford Reserve's Double Oak and the single malt Scotch whisky Balvenie's Double Wood). However, I can only hope that the marketplace does not get over saturated with a slew of whiskies touting the "double barreling" process only to be marketed to us consumers as a new premium whiskey. Jim Beam's Double Oak Twice Barrel’s MSRP of $23.00 USDs suggest, that the marketplace will not, while other double barreling competitors suggest otherwise, one that points toward a premium price point starting around $40.00 USDs and above. There are already several small craft distilleries here in the U.S. experimenting with the double barreling process, along with several Scottish and Irish distilleries (Glendalough in 2015 released a Double Barrel Irish whiskey)...it is definitely a burgeoning trend in whiskey production. 
 
Tip of the hat to Chef Varanese and his creative bourbon inspired cuisine. I had a ball attending the Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s Culinary Art: Bourbon-Style Cooking School. Simply delicious! An excellent gastronomical experience!
 
Postscript:
If anybody is interested and would like to have the recipes from the 2016 Culinary Art: Bourbon-Style Cooking School hosted by Jim Beam, including the three cocktails served, I have provided a pdf scanned copy of the official Jim Beam complimentary recipes booklet from the event to download or print out. Enjoy. (Editor's Note: Just request a copy by
clicking here).

Also, I did not get the chance to sample the Jim Beam Double Oak Twice Barreled at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Well I have remedied that problem and the verdict is in after trying several bottles over this past fall’s college football tailgating season. It’s not a candidate for my house bourbon, but make no mistake it is a solid Kentucky Straight bourbon whiskey. It is a surprisingly complex bourbon whiskey that is only flawed by its youthfulness. I would gladly include a bottle in my whiskey cabinet.  

 
I raise my glass to everyone and thanks for reading. Here's mud in your eye, and please remember to drink responsibly. Cheers! 
About Matt Guyer
Matt Guyer is a whiskey enthusiast born and raised in Kentucky. He writes about the people and places within bourbon country, and it’s lovers of whiskey. When he is not thinking about American whiskey and bourbon, then he is most likely thinking about Irish and Scotch whiskies. He is proud that he cannot be called a collector, a hoarder, or someone who bunkers expensive, rare, or discontinued whiskies. What can he say? He is a whiskey lover and a drinker, and they simply do not last in his house. He can be found on Twitter @whiskeystill1 and providing quick whisk(e)y reviews on Instagram @thewhiskeystill01.
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!
Are you a fan of Irish Whiskey? Love that unique flavor? Well, part of that flavor comes from good old bourbon! That's right, many whiskeys, like Jameson, utilize old bourbon barrels to age in.

That's some good Irish Whiskey, bourbon, isn't it?
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There are plenty of bourbon barrel stories to tell. Help us out! If you know where a bourbon barrel is being used, that would be of interest for the Bourbon Zeppelin readers, just reach out to us to let us know by clicking here!
A Look at Old Grand-Dad

This month is the beginning of a new year which I hope will full of bourbon for all!! This month I will be slamming some Old Grandad 80 proof as suggested by Carl S. Thanks for reading bro. Hope I do your pick justice. Next month will be a pick from Doug H. I’m going to order that bottle soon. So I get it in time. I will not forget about the “dude named Todd” his pick will be the next after Doug. Thanks for reading Todd keep up the bourbon! If anyone else has some suggestions please send them in because it makes me happy to know that SOMEONE is reading my articles.

Old Grand-Dad is a brand of bourbon whiskey distilled at the Jim Beam Plant in Clermont, Kentucky. The brand was created by Raymond B. Hayden and named after his grandfather Basil Hayden, Sr., who was a well-known distiller during his lifetime. A portrait of Hayden Sr. is depicted on the front of each bottle. Today, it is owned and produced by Beam Suntory. Since December 2015, Old Grand-Dad and Old Overholt – both of which are Beam Suntory brands – are marketed together as "The Olds".

The Hayden family's first commercial distillery was created in 1840, and the whiskey has been in production since that time despite several changes of ownership. In 1899, Old Grand-Dad was sold to the Wathen family, whose broad interests in the whiskey business later formed the American Medicinal Spirits Company and the foundations of National Distillers Group. During prohibition, the company produced "medicinal whiskey" for sick, blind, and lame patients. In 1987, National Distillers Group sold the spirits business to the Fortune Brands holding company, which became Beam Inc.

One of my favorite Old Granddad pop culture moments is when George Thorogood sings “the only one who will hang out with me is my dear old granddad and we drink alone” in his I Drink Alone song. Old Grand-Dad is cited in the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Whiskey Rock-a-Roller" (from the 1975 album Nuthin' Fancy) saying, "She likes to drink Old Grand-Dad, and her shoes do shuffle around". It is also mentioned in the Hank Williams, Jr. song "Women I've Never Had": "I like sweet young things and Old Grand-Dad, and I like to have women I've never had". On the show M*A*S*H, Hawkeye gives Klinger a quart of "Old Grad-Dad" as his contribution to a potluck. In the classic 1931 Warner Brothers movie The Public Enemy, James Cagney and Edward Woods are seen smuggling crates of Old Grand-Dad bourbon. So it is well entrenched in modern culture.

For this tasting I broke out my
Bourbon Zeppelin Glencairn glass and splashed in some Old Granddad no ice. The good thing about this snow in Detroit is you can set your glass in some of it and it makes the neat bourbon nicely chilled especially in 0 degree weather. This weather makes me angry so some Deicide seemed appropriate music for this tasting session. This is how my session went.

Color:  Caramel colored.
Body:  Heavy rye taste.
Nose: Oak, caramel, rye, vanilla, apple
Palate:  Nice burn, more rye than oak with a peppery or sort of spicy taste
Finish: Rye with a slight caramel taste and hint of some kind of spices

Overall, I was surprised how much I liked this because I am not a big fan of rye. I think it was the sort of spicy taste that I really liked. I can’t quite put my finger on the exact taste but is sort of peppery. I am a big fan of spicy foods and things.This one gets a big \m/ from me. I never really taste tested this before but I am glad I did. I think I might put this one in my rotation. You can’t drink the same stuff every day. So until next month I’ll be slamming bourbon and moshing in Detroit.

Happy New Year!

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.
#BZTree
In last month's edition, we challenged everyone to post photos of bourbon and their Christmas tree with the hashtag BZ tree. Here's a look at some of these fun submissions from BZ readers:
Here's a look at who submitted these fun photos (Instagram user name in parenthesis):
Top Row: Aaron Cave (@acave0324) & Hasse Berg (@hasse_berg)
2nd Row: Jason Hockney (@sophisticatedspirits) & Angela Lauten (@alaut_ofun)
3rd Row: Seth Brownn (@sethpbrown) & Evan Haskill (@evanhaskill)
4th Row: Rahn Beyer (@rahn_burgundy_) & Tatum Fishel (@ro_tatum)
5th Row: Kimberly Burns (@burnki) & Matt Evans (@brownwaterguy)
6th Row: Michael Devecka (@michaeldevecka) & Jason Hockney (@sophisticatedspirits)
Bottom Row: Steve Akley (@steveakley)
Do you care to share a photo of a bourbon section you've found in your travels? Would you like to share your personal bourbon hoard? Email those photos to the B.Z. team and we'll run them in a future issue!
And finally...
Winter is Coming

Regular readers of Bourbon Zeppelin probably already know I live in Scandinavian; Denmark to be exact. Up here, in the dark cold north, winter is upon us. This means, that the day is now seven-and-a-half hours long. We have lost about eleven hours, in comparison, to summer solstice. The days are often gray, windy and rainy and soon the temperature outside will probably drop 15 - 30°C below zero. By that time, our country is ruled by snow, ice and icy winds.

We Danes, like all other Scandinavians, know the drill and we adapt and prepare for the winter. The wood has been drying all summer in the woodshed and it is finally ready to heat up our houses. The winter tires has been mounted on our cars, and salt, sand and shovels, are ready to being put into good use against the snow. The summer wardrobe is all gone, replaced with boots, sweaters, coats and hats. My beard tends to go all Viking-style this time of the year as well.

When the winter finally arrives, we Danes are going into hibernation. We hide out in the warm cozy belly of our apartments and houses, and enjoy the company of our friends and family around the kitchen table. Playing cards or old board games with our kids, and reads by the lamp light are the norm since the nights are pitch black here.

There are no better time for tucking yourself under a warm blanket, enjoying a dram and a great book while listening to music, than this time of the year.

During summertime, I enjoy my bourbons and lighter fruity noted Speyside and highlands malts on the terrace in our garden or on the front porch in the cabin. During winter, I tend to warm myself up, with the more heavy bodied Islay malts. Peat and bonfire smoke dominates my winters, and the bourbon’s are patiently awaiting the return of the summer.

Maybe it doesn’t have to be this way?

Maybe I just haven’t found a “winter” bourbon yet.

Maybe I haven’t put much thought into the subject before.

Old habits die hard, as they say, but maybe it’s time to change, and I want you to help me out. So write a couple of lines about a bourbon, and why you think it’s a worthy replacement for my winter Islay malts, and through the next couple of winter month, we will post the answers here in Bourbon Zeppelin.

Thanks for helping a brother out.

Cheers,
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
Chuck Cowdery's publication is named, The Bourbon County Reader so D was the answer. If there is on other bourbon publication you need to read besides Bourbon Zeppelin it's The Bourbon County Reader. Pick It up by clicking here.
From the entire Bourbon Zeppelin team...
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
We are always looking for interesting things from the world of bourbon. If you have something you would like to write about, or think we should be writing about, just send us a note!
 
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The Bourbon Zeppelin Sample Policy
Bourbon Zeppelin accepts product samples in exchange for a fair and honest review by a B.Z. team member or members.

The Bourbon Zeppelin Jack Daniel's Policy
We love it. While it's classified as "Tennessee Whiskey" it's treated with the same as any other bourbon here.
By the way, the same goes for George Dickel (we love them, too!)
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152 Likes as of January 1, up from 139 on December 1. Help us get more!
Goal = 1,000,000 Likes (0.000152 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).Heritage Distilling Dual Barrel/76.50  #5). Ozark Distillery Bourbon/76.33  #6). Old Grand-Dad Bottled-in-Bond/75.17  #7). Woodford Reserve 1838 Style White Corn/72.2  #8) 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 (3), Robin Ricca (1) and Emily Oursler (1) Evan Haskill (3), the Kettners (1) Mike Swain (1) Kimberly Burns (1), Aaron Cave (1), Corey Chandler (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  5). Russell's Reserve Single Barrel 90/100
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: Wild Turkey Master's Keep -- All-You-Can-Eat Chicken Wings Awesome: Deceptivus Bourbon by Cadée Distillery-- King Kong Awesome: Rebel Yell Ginger Bourbon & Yipee Ki-Yay --  Las Vegas Awesome: Jim Beam Double Oak
All-Time Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beer Reviews by Six Feet of Dynamite Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbon barrel-aged beer reviews that have been rated by Six Feet of Dynamite for Bourbon Zeppelin: 5 Sticks of Dynamite: Black Butte XXXVIII by Deschutes Brewery -- Pump[KY]n by Avery Brewing --  Bourbon Barrel Quad by Boulevard Brewing Co. -- 4 Sticks of Dynamite: Oil Man by Elevation Beer Co. & The Lost Abbey Track #08 -- 3 1/2 Sticks of Dynamite: Collaboration #6 by Boulevard Brewing -- 3 Sticks of Dynamite: No entries yet -- 2 Sticks of Dynamite: No entries yet -- 1 Stick of Dynamite: No entries yet
What Historical Figure Would You Share A Dram With?
Here is the complete list of all individuals featured in this colum: Ernest Hemmingway (Hasse Berg), Marilyn Monroe (Steve Akley), Abraham Lincoln (Greg Schneider), George Washington (Bill Alexander)
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, Field Reporter Elizabeth Jones, the following Columnists: Amanda "The Bourbon Virgin" Hoppes, Evan Haskill, Chrissy Martin, Renee Howe, Corey Chandler, Six Feet of Dynamite, Aaron Cave, Andrea Holak, Greg Schneider, Alicia "The Bourbon Sipper" White, Kate & Kris Kettner and Matt Guyer.

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

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

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

Find out about becoming a Bourbon Zeppelin Brand Ambassador by clicking here!
Bourbon Zeppelin Reprint Policy
Bourbon Zeppelin authorizes bloggers and newsfeeds to reprint its content without authorization, providing these two stipulations are met:
  1. Bourbon Zeppelin is noted as the creator of content (Please include issue number/month/year)
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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.