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Bourbon Zeppelin
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Written for bourbon fans, by bourbon fans!
Steve Akley Presents...

This Month's Bourbon Zeppelin Feature Article

 

Barrel Picks

by Colonel Steve Akley
 
Serving on the New Orleans Bourbon Festival Barrel Picking Committee (this job isn't too shabby)

One of the great things about writing for the Zepp, is the fact I don't have to write the article like I am some pretentious member of the media. You know, "I'm not the story, I'm simply reporting on the story."

I mean we certainly that want with our mainstream media when it comes to reporting going on in terms of world events... but we're just having some fun here talking about bourbon. I have to be right upfront and saying getting invited to be on the Barrel Selection Committee for the New Orleans Bourbon Festival is simply one of the greatest things to ever happen to me. 

Let me tell you a bit about the two barrel selections we did in Kentucky the week of January 22, 2018. The first one was with Trey Zoeller. We got to sample some Ocean right from the cask. The New Orleans Bourbon Festival will likely have two offerings from Jefferson's available, one, a Cask Strength version of Jefferson's Ocean and another from a special "Ocean" run that yielded a small amount, of which, those bottles will be sold for charity (please see the Festival agenda as we get closer to ensure that comes through as the details must still be worked through at press time).
 
Trey Zoeller filing a bottle right from the barrel for us

This was my first barrel pick and going to Jefferson's kind of feels like home since Trey is such a great friend. This was very laid-back and informal with Trey Zoeller himself walking us through the entire process. We even got a taste of the upcoming Jefferson's Presidential Select 25 that will be out later this year. Heyooooo!

In the end, I can't wait for you to try our Ocean's Cask Strength pick which will be available at New Orleans retailers around Bourbon Festival Time (March 8-10).

The next stop was Jim Beam for a Knob Creek pick. Beam actually had Mint Julep Tours pick us up and shuttle us down to the distillery in Claremont, Kentucky. 
 
Hunter, our guide through this process, has our three potential barrels lined up

We were taken to a rickhouse where they had three barrels lined up. They tell you all about the bourbon (proof, warehouse it was stored in, what floor it was stored on, etc.) with one exception: the age. They don't want a decision to be made exclusively on age, they want it by taste.
 
Now that's barrel fresh!

We got samples from all three barrels at once which we lined up to drink... first neat, and then with a few drops of water to give an idea what it might taste like after it has been proofed for bottling.

The tasting process has begun

After all the tasting was done, the negotiations as to which barrel the group selects, began. We were lucky. We had what we thought was a standout in the sample marked "B" (for blue as it had a blue sticker on it). It turned out to be a 14-year old barrel (normal Knob Creek is aged "at least 9 years) and it was aged in Warehouse I on floor 3. I noted hints of vanilla, leather, spice, oak, rye bread and caramel on our favorite barrel.
 
Enjoying a little "B", the barrel we picked

The barrel was immediately tagged and rolled onto a flatbed where it headed to the dumping station to be emptied. We ended up with a yield of 33 gallons which is pretty great for a 14-year old barrel.
 
Our barrel now says: abvnetwork.com thanks to me!

We then signed our empty barrel and grabbed a bite to eat in the Jim Beam cafeteria and took a tour while they got the proof correct (it ended up taking 1.06 gallons in our 33+ gallons of bourbon to get it to 120 proof).

To finish out the job, the six of us each took a bottle, hand-washed it and got them started on the conveyor belt. Once they were filled, corked and labeled, the Barrel Selection Committee then hand-applied the badges noting these bottles of Knob Creek were hand-selected for the New Orleans Bourbon Festival. 
 
The badges applied to each bottle

I have to say, this was an incredible honor and one of my greatest "bourbon days" ever. Please plan on picking up a bottle of this pick when you are in town for the 2018 Bourbon Festival.
 
The finished product!
Table of Contents
Click to go straight there!

January may be the slowest time of the year for bourbon releases, but we're still coming out with some great content. We've got an excellent issue today with our team bringing some amazing original content... for who? 

You, that's who!

In addition to the team, we always get a little help from our friends. This issue is no different. Leigh Sturn tells us what bottle of bourbon is his favorite... right now.

Like I always say, I hope you enjoy this edition of Bourbon Zeppelin as much as we did putting it together for you.



Editor-in-Chief of Bourbon Zeppelin, Owner of the ABV Network, Podcast Writer, Producer & On-Air Personality, 30+ Year Bourbon Fan, Maker's Mark Ambassador (Ambassador #14,903/member since 2000), Four Roses Mellow Moments Club Member (2016), Author of the Best-Selling Cocktail Book Series Bourbon Mixology (Four Volumes, 2015-Present), Apprenticed at a Bourbon Distillery (2016), Completed the Bourbon Trail (2016), Executive Bourbon Steward (2017), Whiskey Warrior Award Winner (May '17), Founding Member Jefferson's Bourbon Ambassador Program (2017), Barrel Selection Committee Member for New Orleans Bourbon Festival (2018), & Kentucky Colonel (2016).
Plan on attending the 2018 New Orleans Bourbon Festival where The Bourbon Show will once again be the official podcast of the Festival. Steve Akley, Evan Haskill, Andrea Holak, Renee Howe, Jeremy Schell, Katie Garrett and many more from the team will be in attendance from the ABV Network. 
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
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.

Rob Samuels, Chief Operating Officer for:
Maker's Mark

Featured on The Bourbon Show - Today!

by Colonel Steve Akley
We have some great programming coming up on the ABV Network. Here's a sneak peak at some of the upcoming shows:
 
The Bourbon Show
February 6 - Top bourbon bars in Kentucky.
February 15 - Ed Foote the legendary master distiller from Stitzel-Weller.


The Bourbon Daily
February 5 - Renee Howe's Birthday Extravaganza
February 14 - An episode dedicated to someone we love from the industry, Marge Samuels of Maker's Mark.

ABV Network shows can be found on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Libsyn and more. Just search for the name of the show! You can even listen in on our website: abvnetwork.com.

Deals for Bourbon Zeppelin Readers

Save 30% off of your order on the TheBar2Go with the coupon code "ABVN".

Save 15% on your order at RoundTable Woodworks when you use the coupon code, "thebourbonshow".

Please support our sponsors so we continue to deliver incredible entertainment!
#ABVNetworkCrew
Join the Revolution
The ABV Network recently announced a listener loyalty program designed to reward fans of the network's programs. Win contests, get invitations to come onto shows, receive an insider's newsletter and much more. Joining is simple... just register on the ABV Network website and put the hashtag "#ABVNetworkCrew" in your social media profiles.
 

The Bourbon Daily Partners with the Kentucky Derby Museum to Offer Listeners a Tremendous Deal on Some Amazing Events!

The Kentucky Derby Museum has partnered with The Bourbon Daily and Bourbon Zeppelin to offer listeners and readers an incredible deal on its upcoming Legends Series. 

The Legends Series, in its fifth season will feature tastings of special collections and an intro into the masterminds behind them through a guided discussion with Museum's Bourbon Authority, Fred Minnick as host. The three-part series takes place in the Great Hall at the Kentucky Derby Museum with doors opening at each event at 5:30 p.m. which includes appetizers.
 
The lineup for this year's festivities is as follows:

February 16 - Angel's Envy
Father/sons panel: Wes Henderson, Co-founder & Chief Innovation Officer; Kyle, Production Manager; & Andrew Henderson, Distillery Operator

March 15 - Jim Beam
Innovation of Bourbon: Fred Noe, Jim Beam Master Distiller & Freddie Noe, 8th Generation Beam Family Distiller

March 29 - Willett Distillery
Even Kulsveen, Owner, co-author of Kentucky Bourbon and Kentucky Rye Whiskey

The tickets are $200 for all three events. Normally, a discount of $50 is offered to members of the museum, but this same offer is extended to The Bourbon Daily and Bourbon Zeppelin fans by using the coupon code "bourbondaily" over at derbymuseum.org.
 

Bourbon Hunting – February 2018
Several months ago, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and made a public confession. I confessed my profound passion and love for bourbon and most of all, bourbon hunting. Today, on this first day of February, the month dedicated to celebrating our true love, it seems only appropriate to come clean.

I have been cheating on the one I love.

Like many of you, I’ve spent countless hours talking with retailers, driving from store to store, visiting distilleries and camping out at bourbon releases with the hope of landing an elusive unicorn. You know their names, Pappy, Elmer, BTAC, or perhaps even something special on your “Birthday”. Despite all my efforts to cover my secret, I have been cheating on bourbon hunting with something special. Unlike many others, these are unpredictable and always a little different. Actually, this hasn’t been with just one. There have been many and almost everyone is different and I’m secretly into all of them. Their name is Store Picks, they are incredible and they are accessible.

Does that make me a bad person? If so, I’ll live with the shame. Say it with me … Shame. Shame. Shame….

The popularity of bourbon continues to boom and with it the hunt has equally become increasing difficult. Over the past couple years, I discovered the amazing diverse flavor profiles from a variety of brand store picks, especially from the everyday shelfies that bear their same label. In many instances, these have far exceeded the quality of many of the highly coveted bourbons we have all continually sought after.

Store picks you say? Who are they? Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, Makers Mark, Weller Antique, Weller Special Reserve, 1792 Full Proof, MB Roland, Peerless Rye, even Eagle Rare, when their store picks were available last year, being nothing short of amazing. These are just a few. Many brands and stores offer them.

What is so special about these store picks? They are accessible, delicious and each store pick may never be seen again. Unlike traditional releases from these distilleries where these are blends, each single barrel selection is unique and has its own character and flavor profile.

If you are fortunate enough to be part of a barrel selection committee and sample from a number of different barrels, you’ll understand how diverse these can be. For most, this isn’t an option so sampling from a number of these store barrel picks from a specific brand is a great way to understand how unique each can be. Remember every barrel is different and with it a different experience. It’s also important to learn who made the selection and identify those who select barrels for private picks that are more in line with your personal taste and flavor profile. These private selections should become your unicorns, you may be amazed how more accessible these are.

Next time you are stopping in to see you favorite retailers instead of asking what recently came in, ask what store picks they have available or have coming soon. They will appreciate your interest in other products and may even find something else in the back for you too.

If you have a favorite store pick, hit me up on Instagram with a DM, let’s trade some samples!

 

February 2018’s Featured Accessible Shelfie
Double Oaked Twice Barreled
Delicious, accessible and affordable bourbon you can find on the shelf

Besides death and taxes, there are two other certainties in my life; I truly enjoy double oaked bourbons, and I really don’t care for modern day Jim Beam products.

The Jim Beam Double Oaked Twice Barreled product changed one of these for me. This is the first modern Beam product (it pains me to confess) that I really enjoy. Heavy oak with plenty of vanilla, caramel and brown sugar on the nose. The flavors on

 
the palette are intense and do not disappoint. All of the nose flavors follow through in the taste along with strong spice and cinnamon … oh and the oak, mmm. The oak in the finish seems to go for days. 

This is a review I almost didn’t want to write as I can only envision its sub $25.00 price tag going away and this affordable bourbon jumping into the $50 range with many of the other double oak products in the category. If double oaked products are not in your budget, or you’ve never tried one, the Jim Beam Double Oaked Twice Barreled is worth the inexpensive investment.

Bourbon Hunting Code of Conduct Tip of the Month – Store picks are hot, but do you know who is picking them? Does their taste and palette compliment your own? Store picks are disappearing quickly off the shelves but before rushing out to grab the latest ones, be sure you know who was behind the selection. If you are not sure or they do not meet your personal flavor profile, it is okay to pass. 

About Jeremy Schell
Jeremy is a Virginia native transplanted to Louisville, Kentucky in 1990. An entrepreneur and survivor of the dotcom era, he is 23yr veteran of the Internet industry. Jeremy is a partner and Chief Digital Officer with PriceWeber (www.PriceWeber.com), a full service digital advertising agency in Louisville, KY. Over the years, working with notable clients such as Brown-Forman, Hershey, Makers Mark and others, he developed an affinity for drinking, collecting and talking bourbon …. and chocolate, mostly just eating it.  Connect with him on Instagram @jeremyschell or visit his web site http://www.MyPhilosophy.com
New Bourbon Review!
Colonel Steve reviews the latest offering from Taconic Distillery, Duchess Private Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Cabernet Casks on his blog today. Check it out by clicking here!
The Bourbon Bettys have successfully launched and are making waves as the hottest new show on the ABV Network.

As a reminder, the Bourbon Bettys features three women from the world of bourbon:

Renee Howe - Podcast cohost on The Bourbon Daily, The Bourbon Show and Bourbon History

Barbara Hirsch - Started the hugely successful New Orleans Bourbon Festival in 2017.

Katie Garrett - Owner of the Old Hickory Whiskey Bar in Pensacola, Florida, one of the top whiskey bars in the country.

The Bettys combine news, education and a topic of the day in their weekly 30-35 minute podcasts. Be sure to hit "subscribe" on your favorite podcast provider so you don't miss an episode. 

Besides iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and any of your favorite podcast providers, you can always listen to the Bourbon Bettys on the ABV Network website.

Click here to listen to the latest Bettys' episode!

Our Favorite Brands of Whiskey in Amazing Photos!


About Nate Woodruff
Nate Woodruff's company, Whisky With a View, is dedicated to bring you beautiful pictures of whisky. He's a regular in the bourbon community on Instagram where you can find him with the ID of @whisky_nate.
This Month Aaron Reviews:

Barrell Single Barrel
Lincoln Road Package Store Pick

I’m always excited when I come across a new batch of Barrell Bourbon. Barrell Craft Spirits is a non-distilling producer, which means Barrell buys and sources their whiskey. They source their whiskey from non-disclosed distilleries in Tennessee and Kentucky. Each batch of Barrell is considered a limited release, due to the uniqueness of each batch. All of the Barrell’s batches are bottled at cask strength and non-chill filtered, and vary in age and proof. 

Via Barrell’s website “At Barrell Craft Spirits, our goal is to blend great tasting, high quality spirits. We blend products that explore the unique effects of different distillation methods, barrels and aging environments, and bottle them at cask strength. Every batch of bourbon and whiskey we produce is a limited release and has an intentionally distinct flavor profile. We take pride in producing, preserving, and presenting spirits to the people who enjoy them most.”

The bottle I’m reviewing this month is a single barrel of Barrell. This barrel is a store pick by Jamie Farris form Lincoln Road Package. This bottle is aged 9 years and comes in a 126.23 proof.

This bourbon is a beautiful amber, with long legs, and super oily!

On the nose first impression are cherry pie and toffee sticky buns. The more I get into it, the more complex it gets. There are big notes of toffee, vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon and pepper. Followed by lighter notes of cherries, apples, leather, and toasted oak.

The palate is full body thick and creamy. Big notes of brown sugar, cherries, caramel, toffee and cinnamon. Also there are some nice hits of oak, clove, orange zest, and pipe tobacco.

The finish is long and hot, It shows its 126 proof on the finish. Nice notes of toffee, brown sugar, cherries, cinnamon and oak.
 

91/100

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 that 60 cents of every dollar of a bottle of bourbon in Kentucky goes to taxes? Spend $10 on a bottle of a bottom shelf gem and only $4 goes to the distributors and the distillery. 

Whoa!

Welcome to the Whisk(e)y Warrior Award!
On the first of every month, someone is awarded the prodigious title of Whisk(e)y Warrior. A question and answer interview is conducted with the valiant warrior, and then distributed to the world in a special Whisk(e)y Warrior Release. What is a Whisk(e)y Warrior? Find out more by clicking here.

And now, we proudly present your Whisk(e)y Warrior.

When dawn pries back night’s tight grip as distant horizons crack the sky, he’s already moving.  Like a thunder clap his presence is undeniable. His nose knows the smell of adventure and proof for the sake of proving. He raids and plunders whiskey wares. Don’t stare. It’s not polite. From his battle ax drips rich spoils like honey from the comb. He’s not afraid of tasks that are hard. He’s one hundred percent Viking home grown. He is…
 
Erik Hasselgärde, Whisk(e)y Warrior!

 
Interview:
Zac: First, congratulations on being the first Whisk(e)y Warrior outside of the U.S.! Now, I know you’re originally from Sweden. Where in the world are you now, though? And what’s your day job?
Erik: I actually just moved from Stockholm to Copenhagen, leaving my day job running a Swedish non-profit, creator-centric music artist development organization. I currently just finished an internship at a new Copenhagen distillery which is doing some amazing things like making their own koji for saccharification and low-temperature vacuum distilling. You should see the place!
 
Zac: Wow that sounds super cool! Especially to a whiskey nerd like me. If I’m ever in Copenhagen I’ll be sure to stop in. Here’s a non-whiskey related question: If you could pick one song as your life’s theme song, what would it be?
Erik: Will you stare at me with a look of both pity and confused amazement like most of the people that ask me about my musical preferences, only to get a 20-minute monologue and afterward realize they’ve made a huge mistake in asking? I’m a huge prog-rock nerd, and a sucker for long songs that take you on a journey, which in this case seems fitting, so I’ll go with
The Great Nothing, by Spock’s Beard.
 
Zac: I’ll have to check it out. Now back to whiskey. What first got you into whiskey? Do you remember what your first one was?
Erik: This is a good time to tell you that I am a bourbon drinker through and through. I remember having early turnoffs by Scotch single malt, and it is, to this day, a flavor profile I cannot appreciate. But by way of a casual fling with port wine and wine spirits, I made a conscious effort to get into American whiskey. One summer in 2010 I bought a bottle of Bulleit bourbon (a new bourbon in Sweden then) and I instantly fell in love. No learning curve, no hesitant small sips–it just clicked right away.
 
Zac: So, what took you from that first sip of bourbon to launching a whiskey blog? What motivated you to start Northern Bourbon?
Erik: So far, Northern Bourbon is mainly a
Medium publication and an Instagram account. I use writing as an information retention exercise, so writing articles on Medium is my way of trying to understand different aspects of American whiskey enough to then explain them in my own words. Instagram is a more spontaneous outlet to interact with the whiskey community.
 
Zac: What have been the challenges of running Northern Bourbon?
Erik: To guard it against becoming anything else than pure self-indulgence. I want to inform others if I can, but with Northern Bourbon, I have no interest to please anyone other than myself. I only write about the things I have an interest in learning about, and I am 100% aware that my writing is understandable at best, so there’s no performance anxiety :) Same goes for Instagram with pictures.
 
Zac: I know firsthand that running a whiskey blog can require some effort. What have been the rewards of starting Northern Bourbon and getting involved in the whiskey community?
Erik: This is one of them, for sure! I’m not looking for recognition because it is so much a selfish endeavor. So, when other people appreciate what I do and also tell me it means the world to me. There are so many things on the internet to read, watch, listen to etc. etc., so when people find my stuff and they take their time and interact I make sure to cherish that. Other than that, I’ve made some wonderful friends!
 
Zac: What are your whisk(e)y goals?
Erik: I have a vision to, in my lifetime, see bourbon become the bestselling whiskey category in the Nordic countries. All my personal whiskey goals are positioned towards that vision.
 Zac: I’m impressed that you can so succinctly state your goal. That’s remarkable. If there’s anything we can do to contribute to your vision please let us know!
 
Zac: What advice would you give new whiskey drinkers?
Erik: If you have the luxury, do things out of curiosity and because you love to. Form your own opinions, and find out what you do like before you tell everyone what you don’t.
 
Zac: Where can we find you and/or your content?
Erik: You have the best chance to see me in person in Copenhagen. Second best option would be to visit
www.northernbourbon.com, where a simple little landing page will direct you to where I’m active at the moment. My main outlets are on Medium, where I write 3-10 minute reads in both English and Swedish, and Instagram, where I post pictures of what I am currently drinking.
 
Zac: Erik, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Congratulations on winning the Whisk(e)y Warrior Award, and we hope the best for you and your whiskey endeavors!
The next award will be released March 1st. We’ll see you then, and remember to nominate your favorite Whisk(e)y Warriors by
clicking here!
- Zac Smith 

 
Bourbon Factoid

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

This Month, Leigh Sturn Talks About His Favorite Bottle of Bourbon (right now)

When trying to decide what your favorite bottle of whiskey is, a lot of choices may come to mind...

Will it be something from Four Roses, Wild Turkey, Heaven Hill, or maybe something from Buffalo Trace? 

When I thought about what makes a bottle of whiskey win the title of “my favorite,” I had to consider a number of characteristics. The first and most important being of course, the taste. My favorite bottle has a nose that consists of a perfectly balanced blend of vanilla bean, toffee, and rich caramel. The palate has all the classic bourbon flavors and hits hard up front with big rich spice (pepper, rye, cinnamon) followed closely by charred oak, caramel, marzipan, orange zest, and cherry. The lengthy finish starts out with a nice burn, a tingle, and then continues with spice, brown sugar, oak, and leather. 

The next characteristics I considered were price and availability. Although it’s fun to hunt and find that rare bottle that everyone else seems to be posting or talking about, sometimes you want an outstanding bottle that you can find on basically any shelf and doesn’t break the bank. My favorite bottle can be found on nearly every shelf and comes in anywhere between $38 - $55 in Minnesota. 

Some may roll their eyes at this next characteristic, but to me, the bottle shape, labeling, and the cork are all things that make a bottle seem more appealing and part of the fun of collecting. My favorite bottle is uniquely shaped and the labeling consists of a handwritten date of when the bourbon was bottled, the barrel number, the warehouse, rick number, and proof. It also has a sturdy and unmistakable cork. 

The final characteristic that I considered was the memories attached to this particular bottle. As if the above reasons weren’t enough to crown this bottle as my favorite, a few months back, my buddy (a novice whiskey drinker) came to visit and we spent one night sampling various whiskeys (I was trying to convert him) from my collection. At the end of the night, he also picked this bottle as his favorite. Also within the last year, I had the opportunity to go to Kentucky and visit various distilleries. While at one of them, I was lucky enough to meet one of the master distillers, talk to him for a good ten minutes, and have him sign a few bottles, one of which happened to be my favorite bottle. Finally, the first time I tried this bottle was on my birthday, which also makes it special to me. 

Now, every time I look at this bottle, the memories of sipping whiskey with my buddy, meeting and spending time with a bourbon icon, and drinking it while celebrating my birthday come flooding back into my mind. I am also reminded of how the flavors in this bottle are consistently amazing and that it is readily available and affordable. 
 

My favorite bottle comes in at 101 Proof and it is none other than, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle; if you have a bottle, grab a glass and raise it to the Russells.

Cheers! 

About Ths Month's Guest Columnist

Leigh is a whiskey enthusiast from St. Paul, Minnesota. He has been working in the mental health field for over 10 years. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Franklin), hiking, watching baseball, spending times with friends/family, coking, drinking or hunting whiskey.

Find Leigh on Instagram @whiskey_doctor and @bourbonwhiskeybrothers
 
Click here to tell us about your favorite bottle!
Love and Bourbon is in the Air
February. Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so I thought I would give this month’s column a little Valentine’s Day flair. Don’t worry, its not about chocolate or flowers, its about my one true passion--bourbon (what else did you expect?)! This month, I’d like to take a little trip to Michigan and take a peek into the history of Valentine Distilling Company. Located in Ferndale, Michigan, Valentine Distilling is home to a variety of product lines that include bourbon, vodka and gin. Of course, what I’m interested in learning about is the bourbon!
 
Valentine Distilling has three bourbons--their standard is red label, which is aged 4 years. They also have a blue label, which is a single barrel selection, and a black label which has been aged 8-10 years. Valentine Distilling was founded by Rifino Valentine, who remains the current CEO. The bourbon line was called “Woodward Limited Bourbon” but was rebranded in 2016 to distinguish itself and to honor former Detroit Mayor Hazen Pingree. As the city of Ferndale is located just north of Detroit, Mayor Pingree was chosen as a representative of the bourbon. Pingree started his life as a meager cobbler and rose through the ranks to become a successful shoe manufacturer and eventually the Mayor of Detroit and Governor of Michigan. Mayor Pingree served Detroit from 1890-1897 and was often called “Potato Patch Pingree,” as he encouraged poor residents to grow potatoes on empty lots to survive the nationwide depression in 1893. From 1897-1901, Pingree also served as Michigan’s 24th Governor.  He grew into a local folk hero, standing up against companies that tried to monopolize the streetcar, telephone, gas and electric industries in Detroit in the late 1800s. He battled some of the largest giants in his industry and didn’t back down from a fight. Valentine thought Mayor Pingree was a good representative for his bourbon, as Valentine Distilling was a relatively small company going up against some of the giants in the bourbon industry. 
 
Valentine Distilling is a fairly new bourbon producer and specializes in craft bourbon. Rifino Valentine worked 11-years on Wall Street and noticed the amount of imported spirits. From gin to whiskey, he yearned for a quality product that was locally produced. So, he left his Wall Street job, returned to Michigan and did just that. Valentine Distilling was formed in 2007 and was intended to be product that would stand out from other mass-produced products. Valentine focused his efforts on smaller batches using high quality ingredients. The first distillery opened in Ferndale in a building that once housed the Wolverine Pool Table Company. They have since expanded to a second production facility. The oak whiskey barrels are soaked in Michigan maple syrup before they are aged to give the product a light balanced flavor. At bottling, the blue and black label are blended with barrels that are sourced from the MGP Ingredients facility in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. 
 

So, this is a bit of a newer history in the making. Valentine Distilling Company bourbons are winning awards. In the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the Double Gold medals, which are the highest rankings given. The products are a bit hard to find still, as they are in limited distribution. If you can get your hands on a bottle of the Mayor Pingree Bourbon, you can now drink in confidence, knowing a bit more about “Potato Patch Pingree” and the inspiration behind the the label. 

Cheers!
About Andrea Holak
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!

Happy Go Shucky:
Pairing Oysters with Beer 

I could tell you that I consumed my first raw oyster at the not-quite-tender age of thirty-five, but that would be a lie. I had of course, gulped down the slimy, briny bivalve dozens of times before: This is an unavoidable part of one's gastronomic existence, growing up a stone's throw from the Chesapeake, in arm's reach of some of the sweetest and freshest seafood on the east coast, if not the entire country. Having always taken pride in being an adventurous eater, I had tried them time and time again. I can recall nearly every instance in which a beautiful plate of these mollusks were placed before me at a raw bar, toted proudly to the kitchen table, or brought forth through a restaurant on an elaborate platter; the glistening plates adorned with fragrant lemon, peppery cocktail sauces, and leafy green garnishes. I can recall choking them down each time; tears as salty as the oysters themselves escaping from the corners of my cringing eyes. I might not have had my first raw oyster at the not-quite-tender age of thirty-five, but that is when I first fell in love with them.
 
I fell in love with raw oysters on a warm, spring evening last year at Tampa's Ulele restaurant; a charmingly-rustic, beautifully-open space bordering the city's picturesque river walk. I was with my friend --- New York City-based photographer and fellow craft lover Matt --- chatting about beer and his ongoing project Pourtraits --- when a teeming plate of Gulf Coast oysters was brought out to the table: one half Barbacoa-grilled, crowned with garlic butter and grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses; the other, served raw and glistening on the half-shell. Placed alongside the handsome presentation were small pours of the restaurant's house beers --- a selection of diverse lagers --- and as I tasted through the various oysters and dry, clean-finishing beers, it struck me then how perfect of a pairing the two truly were.
 
I had fallen in love with oysters and beer.
 
So much so in fact, that over the course of the following months, whenever oysters have been available to me, I have dabbled in pairing them --- most specifically in their raw form --- with various beers: from citrus-forward lagers and heady stouts to peppery saisons and delicate gueuzes. I had fallen in love with the subtle, sea-like, and elegant nature of the oyster, and moreover, with beer's ability to enhance-, complement-, and contrast with- it. So when I had the opportunity last month, at the suggestion of chef-owner Dennis Marron, to stop by Merchant Oyster Company --- his northeast style oyster bar and chowder house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania --- meet with his beverage manager Nick Foust, and familiarize myself with the restaurant's oyster and beer pairings, I leapt at the chance.
 
What I thought I was getting when we walked into Merchant Oyster's warm, welcoming space on that cold winter's day, was a concise yet formal introduction to oysters by region and beers by style. Having anticipated some technical terms, I had brought with me a notepad and pen, and sat happily --- admiring the restaurant's exposed brick interior and its beautiful, seemingly-salvaged and paint-strewn wooden tabletops --- fingering through the tiny packets of oyster crackers and various condiments placed atop it. What I thought I was getting, when first greeted by our waiter Jeremy that afternoon was, in so many words, a pint and prologue, but as soon as he placed my inaugural cocktail --- a celery gimlet fashioned with Boyd & Blair vodka, celery, lime, and Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda, deftly executed and adorned with a charred lime wheel --- before me, I understood we would be getting so much more.
Over the course of the next hour, we delighted in course after course: lemon wedge-adorned pots of Old Bay-seasoned steamed shrimp; buttery, decadent "clam stuffies" baked in-shell with breadcrumbs and herbs --- bestowed upon us like charming twine-wrapped presents --- and each and every one of the beautiful, plump oysters! There were the bright, lightly-mineral Purple Mountain from Washington state's Hood Canal, and the balanced, bold Malpeque of Prince Edward Island. There were the briny, herbaceous Chunu of Smith Island Bay, Virginia; the sweet, firm-fleshed WiAnno from Massachusetts' southern Cape Cod, and the intriguing, flavorful smoked sea salt-infused "Smoke in the Water" from Hooper's Island of Maryland.
We ate them at leisure, alternating preparations --- some dressed in cocktail sauce, barrel-aged hot sauce, or with the restaurant's phenomenal pickled pepper mignonette --- but most, upon the suggestion of Merchant's beloved "Million Oyster Man" Angelo, drizzled with the slightest touch of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
 
By the time we were joined by beverage manager Nick, we were oyster-drunk and deliriously happy. We had been humoring the merits of pairing various IPA with assorted oyster; our table littered with empty half-shells and massive pours of fantastic, imperial IPAs: from Omnipollo's Nebuchadnezzar and Neshaminy Creek's Ecomis, to Pittsburgh-based Dancing Gnome's Double Lustra, whose intensely-tropical, citrus-forward flavors contrasted flawlessly with the milder, less-saline selections, while both refreshing and revitalizing the palate in between each gulp.
As we sipped the last drops of Double Lustra from our glasses, we chatted with Nick about West Coast oysters and East Coast chowders, about Pittsburgh breweries and statewide beer style trends, about the overstated importance of never overwhelming delicate oyster flavor with intense beer, and the understated importance of all things yacht rock. And of course, we got down to the nuts and bolts of pairing raw oysters and beer. While pairing at Merchant Oyster is, for all intents and purposes, a no-brainer --- the restaurant maintaining a board indicating their daily oyster selections with recommended beer pairings displayed prominently above the oyster counter --- I wanted to know from Nick what selections we could expect throughout the winter months, and what local and national brands he would recommend for pairing. When asked to walk us through a sample pairing, Nick provided the following culinary catalog:
 
Smoke in the Water | Maryland
Flavor Profile: Subtle smoke with a medium brine
Paired with: SeaQuench Ale (4.9% ABV) | Dogfish Head Brewery (Delaware)
Notes: "This beer was made with this oyster in mind… and the 19.2 ounce can is a must…" says Nick, "The owner of Dogfish, Sam Calagione, came up with the concept of Smoke in the Water, which is infused with smoked sea salt. The oysters were a hit at Chesapeake & Maine, Sam’s seafood spot in Rehoboth, so they decided to make [the oysters] more widely available…" 
 
Sloop Point | New Jersey
Flavor Profile: Mild brine, subtle earthy finish
Paired with: Things Remote Oyster Stout (5.4% ABV) | Eleventh Hour Brewing (Pennsylvania)
Notes: "Our Things Remote oyster stout is a collaboration between myself and Merchant Oyster with our friends Matt McMahon and Justin Strzelczyk at Eleventh Hour Brewing. Things Remote is lightly mineral, with a front-end sweetness and dry finish. We brewed this beer with forty to fifty pounds of oyster shells and nearly ten pounds of whole oysters, creating a stout that is subtly salty, just like a Sloop…"
 
Great White | East Coast Massachusetts
Flavor Profile: High salinity with a clean finish
Paired with: Otra Vez Gose (4.5% ABV) | Sierra Nevada (California)
Notes: "This salt bomb would pair great with Sierra Nevada's Otra Vez. The prickly pear gose style-ale with grapefruit and a hint of salt is what I have in mind…" states Nick, "When you drink it with a salty oyster such as the Great White, it really makes the prickly pear and grapefruit pop…"
 
Riptide | Massachusetts
Flavor Profile: Soft meat and a mild brine
Paired with: Pocket Sign IPA (7.0% ABV) | Dancing Gnome (Pennsylvania)
Notes: "Pocket Sign is a complex American IPA brewed with Vic Secret, Waimea, and Citra. You get everything from mango to kiwi to tree sap in the flavor [of this beer] so I paired it with a very mild oyster…"
 
Long Island Medium | New York
Flavor Profile: Plump with a medium brine and a metallic finish
Paired with: Twist Farmhouse Ale (5.8% ABV) | Prairie Artisan Ales (Oklahoma)
Notes: "These oysters are huge and salty. Anything with solid brine will go well with a good tart beer such as this, and Twist cuts through the saltiness of this oyster perfectly…"
 
Sugar Shack | New Jersey
Flavor Profile: Salt bomb in the front, sweet finish
Paired with: Miller High Life (4.6% ABV) | Miller Brewing Company (Wisconsin)
Notes: "I'm sure at some point, you’ve put a little salt in a cheap beer. If not, you should try it. I paired [the Sugar Shack oyster] with Miller High Life, the Champagne of Beers. Adding some salt really changes the flavor, and complements the Sugar Shack like nothing else… thanks to Dennis [owner of Merchant Oyster and Or, the Whale] for showing me this trick…"
 
When I left Merchant Oyster that afternoon, I left impressed. I left educated. And most notably, I left happy. There is an inherent importance in sharing a meal with others; in sharing our talents, our tables, and our knowledge with them. And when I think back to my afternoon at Merchant Oyster in Pittsburgh, I can't help but to appreciate the importance of such a simple, perfectly-paired feast. There is something about freshly shucked oysters and a rich, dry stout… a masterfully-executed lager and the thought of the sea… a lime-adorned celery gimlet and a sunlit-filled space resounding with laughter… the unhurried ticking of my winter wellies on the restaurant's gleaming tiled floor… and the Million Oyster Man's knowing smile and he shares with us his trick for the perfectly dressed oyster… that's all just simply good for the soul. So remember, if you ever find yourself in Pittsburgh, and your palate needs quenching --- or your soul needs warming --- you can always stop into Merchant Oyster Company; where you can delight in one of Nick's pairings, where you can indulge in a little yacht rock, and where you can, of course --- "drink all the things…"
About Tanya Lawrence
Tanya Lawrence is a graduate of George Washington University in Washington, DC. She moderates the Instagram page babels_cameron, dedicated primarily to craft beer and craft beer tourism throughout Florida and beyond. She lives in Tampa with her dog Santiago, and enjoys bird-watching and cheeseboards.
Bourbon Nuggets
Have you been catching the amazing stories of bourbon history and important people on the new ABV Network show, Bourbon History? If not, click here to get caught up on the episodes. Be sure to download, "The ABV Network Channel" on your podcast provider so you don't miss an episode!
This Month's Selection...
Dark Adrenaline
by The Shop Beer Co.
One lazy afternoon, after the kids' holiday break was over and I had the house back to myself, I decided to explore more local breweries here in Arizona to seek out a bourbon barrel-aged beer and to my delight I found The Shop Beer Company. Located in the historic Tempe neighborhood, in a building that was once home to Harry Mitchell, the former Mayor of Tempe.

Originally part of Cartel Coffee Lab, The Shop Beer Company launched the beer operation as an offshoot in 2012. This craft beer sanctuary is intimate and welcoming. Founders David Arnce and Dylan Demiguel will be celebrating five years in business this month and from what I could see, this addition to the neighborhood is welcomed by the residents. It had a neighborhood bar feel with damn good beers. There’s an ever preset food truck parked outside that serves up food you’d want even if you weren’t there for the beer. The lively beer garden is spacious with cool stringed lights giving just the right ambience. There’s impressive artwork throughout, some created my the owners own hands. With over 15 taps available you’ll definitely find something that suits you.

I had a few while I was there, but on the suggestion of Bennett, a very cool beertender, I took home Dark Adrenaline their bourbon barrel-aged imperial brown ale. Aged 7 months in knob creek barrels, and released December 16th, this brown ale is good!

Now how good is it you ask?

Well it’s a coffee ale, and they know their coffee. I usually find coffee ales to be too bitter, but that was not so with this. The vanilla really balances out the bitter. This was rich and thicker than your usual brown ale. The nose was boozy and it poured solid black out the bottle. It was as boozy as it smelled not much subtly. It drank a lot stronger than the 9.6% ABV suggests and I’m gonna grab another bottle during my next visit to let it sit awhile and see how it develops. I wanna give this a perfect score just for the brewery alone, but I’ll be fair and say for me it’s a: 


4.25 / 5

If you’re in or around Tempe definitely give this place a try. It might be this craft beer lovers new home away from home. 

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 (@sixfeetofdynamite for either Instagram or Untappd).
Wild Turkey 81 Proof
So, I’ve been seeing all these commercials lately with the "alright, alright alright" guy from Dazed and Confused in them. (Excellent movie by the way.) I have sampled some of the better Wild Turkey like Rare Breed and Forgiven. Check my kill list. I thought, "Why not review just the regular Wild Turkey?" It is $22 for a 750ml. That is more on the high end of value bottles because I live in Detroit, but I think it is worth a review. Besides, everyone knows Wild Turkey is Frank Castle’s, "AKA the Punisher’s," drink.

Wild Turkey is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distilled and bottled by the Wild Turkey Distilling Co., a division of Campari Group. The distillery is located near Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. It offers tours and is part of the American Whiskey Trail and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

In 1891, Thomas Ripy built the Old Hickory Distillery in Tyrone, Kentucky, near Lawrenceburg, on the former site of the Old Moore Distillery. After Prohibition, the Ripy family (Thomas had died in 1902) repaired the distillery and began to again produce bourbon. The Ripys sold the bourbon produced at this distillery to various wholesalers who bottled bourbon under their own brands. Austin Nichols was one of these wholesalers.

The "Wild Turkey" brand is said to have been created after an Austin Nichols executive, Thomas McCarthy, took some warehouse samples on a wild turkey hunting trip in 1940. The bourbon proved so popular among his friends they continued to ask him for "that wild turkey bourbon."  Austin Nichols began to bottle Wild Turkey in 1942.

In 2013, Campari opened a new bottling facility at the Wild Turkey Distillery. For the previous 13 years Wild Turkey had been bottled offsite in Indiana and, later, Arkansas due to the 2000 fire. In addition to the Wild Turkey products, Campari's SKYY vodka is also bottled there after being shipped from the Illinois distillery.

Okay, enough of history, let’s get to my favorite part, the drinking of the bourbon. So of course I have my BZ Glencairn glass. Would it be a tasting without it??

This month I am feeling nostalgic and am blasting the creators of metal: Black Sabbath. I am listening to the first album Black Sabbath. I love these guys and got a chance to meet them through mutual friends. I even have the harmonica Ozzy played The Wizard on at Pine Knob.

 

Here is my take on Wild Turkey 81 proof:
Color: Dark Amber
Body:  Slow burn
Nose:   Apple or Fruity
Palate:  Apple and Leather
Finish: Slow burn with lots of flavors in the aftertaste

\m/!!

Eddie Russell, I would love to shake both of your hands!! Even the regular 81 proof is amazing! To quote Dr. Seuss, "I would drink this in a box. I would drink this with a fox..."

This is as good on the rocks as it is neat. I guess I am going to have to give Wild Turkey a little more respect! I WILL be putting this into my normal rotation now. I love the slow burn and burst of flavors. See I can also love non-wheated bourbon.

Now for my In Loving Memory Section. These are 750ml bottles I killed by myself this month. I am starting to think nobody cares about this section, so it might be the last. Send me yours if you dare.

1776 James E Pepper: Too much corn and not worth the money. This one should have stayed in 1776.
Weller 107 Antique: My favorite member of the Weller family!!
Bookers: What could be more amazing? This is THE STUFF!!
Russell’s Small Batch Single Barrel 110 proof: Not just high proof, high taste! Beautiful!
Buffalo Trace: Even the regular stuff is great.
Stranahans: Made in Denver; not impressed. Haven’t had a good Denver whiskey yet.
Rare Breed: Some of Wild Turkey’s Finest. I am hooked! More Please!
Forgiven:  Blended Bourbon with Rye. I’d forgive anyone.
4 Roses Single Barrel: Always a good go to; never lets you down.

Well that is about it.
Until next month I’ll be killing bourbon and living the Metal Life in Detroit!

\m/
About Greg Schneider
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.
And finally...
The Issue of "Bottle Flaunters"
Let me take a minute to introduce one of my favorite topics. One that will most likely be a reoccurring theme in this article. That topic being "Shit that drives me crazy." There is so much that I absolutely love about bourbon and the community that surrounds it but, there is also so much that drives me fucking nuts. Please realize that yes, this article is, and probably always will be a vast over simplification and grotesquely misinterpreted conglomeration of statements... but fuck it, I have been known to ruffle some feathers, so here we go. 

For this first installment I will focus on one of my favorite topics.  "Bottle Flaunters." 

Now, what do I mean by this? 

For example, your Instagram page has a post of 12 (unopened) bottles of Al Young. The next entry is a carefully set up photo showing off your 9 bottle Pappy haul from this year. You know who you are and we get it, you're rich and get all the rare bottles. You want us to know how fucking cool you really are. You want to make sure that every other grown man posting on Instagram knows that you, and you alone have the biggest... something. In all honesty, I might just be jealous, because you guessed it, I am not rich!  It is one thing to hoard and buy an unnecessary amount of bottles because you can and you enjoy drinking fine, rare spirits, it is a completely different thing to flaunt it on social media. These are two distinct and inherently different people. One has a shitload of money and wants everyone to know it. The second has a shitload of money (most likely more than the person flaunting) and buys badass, expensive bottles and drinks them without the need to show everyone else how cool he or she is! I am so glad to personally know many people who buy or TRADE for rare, vintage, discontinued, and special release whisky and fucking OPEN the bottles and SHARE the contents. These guys don't have Instagram pages or even Facebook. They couldn't care less about what having these special bottles of whisky makes them look like to others. They fucking drink this stuff! Let us remember that, for fuck's sake, we love bourbon because it makes us feel good. Sharing special bottles with friends is the reason that I love this community so much. Well, at least my little community. My club has opened and shared some of the best bottles of bourbon ever made. Yeah, I post some pictures of our meetings to Instagram and I AM showing you all how cool I am! The difference is, my pictures contain OPEN bottles being shared with a group of like minded people, who appreciate the good stuff and are perfectly happy to share their rare and special bottles without anyone knowing who provided the bottle. There is no need for personal gratification other than what the contents of said bottle provide. I have a friend, lets just call him "Andy." 

Andy could embarrass most bourbon collectors with what he has in his bunker, no kidding, this guy owns (and opens) bottles that guys would trade a limb for on a monthly basis. He wants zero recognition. He just wants to share his passion with others that have the same passion. The liquid inside these special bottles sparks debate and conversation worthy of a DECA state championship and thats what he is in it for. How can you truly appreciate the rarity of these special bottles if you do not know what it tastes like? Don't flaunt your bottles, open them. Open them with people who share your interest. Fuck it, open them with random people you just met. OPEN the bottles! Yes, I am not an idiot, don't open them all, you have to have one or two in the bunker for fuck's sake, but you also don't need 12 Al Young's! Stop posting meticulously positioned, well lit, manicured photos of egregious amounts of unopened rare bottles to Instagram! 

That shit drives me crazy!  

Catch me @thedramgram on Instagram and after I win the lottery, 
bottle-spot.com scooping up all the bourbon and posting pictures to show you fools how rich and cool I am! That's another thing, damnit!  POST YOUR RECEIPTS, if you got a Pappy 12 and 15 but you spent $2,500 I bet you wouldn't want anyone to know because we would all chastise you immensely for being such a sucker and driving the costs up for us "normal" folk!  Then again, if my .25 cents = $1000 for you, GO FOR IT! 
Please Remember...
As the editorial writer for BZ, we remind everyone the thoughts expressed by Mr. Hughes are his own and not a reflection of Bourbon Zeppelin or the ABV Network LLC.
About Noah Hughes
Noah Hughes is one of the regulars in the Instagram bourbon community (@thedramgram). He suffers from bottle envy and other various bourbon-related ailments. He and Steve Akley are charter members of the St. Louis Bourbon Drinkers, a club dedicated to opening and drinking some of the finest bourbon in the world, with friends. 
Items from Steve and the Bourbon Zeppelin team
Bourbon Mixology Volume 2 is author Steve Akley's best selling book of all-time. The premise is simple: have 50 iconic bars share their signature bourbon cocktail. The bars selected do not fail to impress with their unique takes on some classic drinks and well as some very original creations.

The book literally becomes a travel companion piece as you will want to see out these bars on your next business trip or vacation. Get your copy right now!
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Bourbon Mixology Volume 4 is author Steve Akley's newest book. In this edition, 50 craft distilleries share signature bourbon cocktails made with their bourbon. 

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Mules and More features 40 craft breweries sharing a signature beer cocktail. With the popularity of the Moscow Mule, beer cocktails are becoming more popular and this book highlights the craft breweries featuring their products in their own unique beer cocktails.

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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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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: Knob Creek Single Barrel 95/100 Blanton's Straight from the Barrel 95/100 MB Roland Single Barrel 94/100 Four Roses Single Barrel Private Selection OESV Recipe 92/100 Knob Creek 25th Anniversary 92/100 Willett Family Estate 9 Year Old 91/100  1792 Full Proof 91/100 Peerless Rye 91/100 Barrell Single Barrel (Lincoln Road Package Store Pick) 91/100 Russell's Reserve Single Barrel 90/100 Belle Meade 90/100 Jack Daniel's Single Barrel 90/100  Old Weller Antique (Private Barrel Pick) 90/100  2015 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 88/100  Woodinville Whiskey (store pick) 88/100. George Remus Single Barrel Raye 87/100 Wyoming Whiskey (store pick) 87/100
All-Time Bourbon Barrel-Aged Beer Reviews by Six Feet of Dynamite Rankings:
Here is the ranked complete list of all bourbon barrel-aged beer reviews that have been rated by Six Feet of Dynamite for Bourbon Zeppelin: 5 Sticks of Dynamite: Black Butte XXXVIII by Deschutes Brewery -- Pump[KY]n by Avery Brewing --  Bourbon Barrel Quad by Boulevard Brewing Co.-- Maple Jesus by Evil Twin -- So Happens it's Tuesday by The Bruery -- Headless Heron by Central Waters Brewing -- Devil's Teeth by Modern Times -- 4.5 Sticks of Dynamite: Stickee Monkey by Firestone Walker --  4 Sticks of Dynamite: Dark Adrenaline by Shop Beer Co. -- 4 Sticks of Dynamite: Dementia by Ska Brewing -- Oil Man by Elevation Beer Co. -- The Lost Abbey Track #08 -- 3 1/2 Sticks of Dynamite: Collaboration #6 by Boulevard Brewing -- Bell's Brewery Black Note Stout -- 3.75 Sticks of Dynamite: Barrel-Aged G&T Goes by Anderson Valley -- 3 Sticks of Dynamite: No entries yet -- 2 1/2 Sticks of Dynamite: Quintaceratops by Brooklyn Brewery -- 2 1/4 Sticks of Dynamite: "K" is for Kriek  2 Sticks of Dynamite: No entries yet -- 1 Stick of Dynamite: No entries yet
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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 the following Columnists: Abby H., Six Feet of Dynamite, Aaron Cave, Evan Haskill, Jeremy Schell, Andrea Holak, Greg Schneider, Noah Hughes, John Edwards, Zac Smith, Thomas Springston and Tanya Lawrence.

Interested in joining the B.Z. team as a contributor? If so, just email Steve Akley to talk about it!
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) Tony Freund (#37),@Slo_MO_Que (#38), Kevin Ronecker (#39)
 

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!

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