Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 11, 2011
I mentioned a week ago that I had received a collection of sample jars from the personal collection of J. Leslie Wheelock, (a member of the Alberta Beam Global team), which spanned an impressive range of unique whiskies from Canada, Scotland, and the USA. This week I dipped into the samples and chose Sample Jar # 13, Maker’s 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.
Maker’s 46 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey begins where Maker’s Mark Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey ends. Bill Samuels, Sr. is credited with creating the first version of Maker’s Mark in 1954. After a few years of practice the folks at the Maker’s Mark Distillery have been producing this whiskey the same way since 1958. The process begins with pure limestone fed spring-water; follows with yellow corn, red winter wheat, and natural malted barley; continues with a unique milling, cooking, and fermentation process; and ends in a small batch distillation and moving (eg; rotating) barrel aging process. Of course the final result is tested and tasted to make sure it is just right.
In a recent display of innovation, Master Distiller Kevin Smith, began a sort of ‘trial and error’ series of experiments to come up with a new twist on the Maker’s Mark. In December 2009, Maker’s 46 was born. (click on the link to get the full story right from the Maker’s Mark Website.)
In a nutshell, fully aged Maker’s Mark is removed from its barrel, ten seared wooden staves are then placed inside of that barrel. (The staves are seared to caramelize the sugars in the wood.) These wooden staves are basically flat panels of wood each about 4 inches wide and 12 to 18 inches long. The aged Maker’s Mark is then put back into the barrel and aged several more months. When the proper taste profile is achieved, Maker’s 46 is removed from the barrel, bottled, corked and dipped.
I admit that after reading a little bit about Maker’s 46, I was eager to give my small sample a few tasting sessions and write down my impressions. Here is an excerpt from my review;
“….Maker’s 46 is surprisingly soft as it enters the palate, and I want to call this creamy in spite of the rush of wooden timbers and heavy toffee that quickly builds. Things are not as sweet as the nose would have implied however, and impressions of drier fruit, tobacco and cocoa seem to take hold at mid palate with the oak spiciness expressing itself as cloves and cinnamon….”
You may read my full review here:
Please enjoy the review and remember that the aim of my blog is to help you drink better spirits, not to help you drink more spirits!
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Beam Spirits, Bourbon, Maker's 46, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 5, 2011
Just before Christmas I was greeted by J. Leslie Wheelock, who is part of the Beam Global team here in Alberta, who had brought with him a with a veritable treasure trove of small whisk(e)y samples from his personal collection for me to inspect and enjoy in the hopes that I might write about a few of them here on my blog. No strings were attached, and I was left free to try them on my own time-table and to share whichever opinions I had which were fair and honest here on my blog.
The samples are a tour de force of some of the best whiskies which Beam Global has produced and includes Bourbon Whiskey samples from Jim Beam, Scotch Whisky samples from The Macallan and Highland Park, and Canadian Whisky samples from Canadian Club.
The samples all came in little sealed and numbered jars with a master-list letting me know what was in each jar. Originally, I was to receive 19 samples but since I have already received a full sample bottle of The Macallan Cask Strength, sample # 3 was omitted.
I decided that I wanted to experience a little bourbon first, which is why, when I chose to begin this series of mini reviews for the sample bottles, I decided to begin with Sample # 19, Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“…. this is a gentle bourbon that caresses the mouth with honeycomb cereal, vanilla and mild toffee on the entry. Spicier tannins from the oak build and gather strength in the mouth but they never reach a point where they overwhelm the other flavours….”
You may read the full review by following this link:
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Beam Spirits, Bourbon, Whisk(e)y Review | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on April 3, 2010
Last year I purchased a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon, the 1998 vintage. It sat on my shelf, waiting and waiting to be opened. I had only one bottle and to be honest it looked so nice that I really did not want to ruin the look of my liquor cabinet by opening it. It was in my “save for a special occasion” shelf. Then something wonderful happened. My good friend, Dennis was given a bottle as well. He had no such compunction to save the elixir and he happily agreed to share some samples with me. (In case you feel I was taking advantage of him, I should let you know that this is a mutual thing that we do, I share, and he shares, and everyone is very happy as we both get to try many more wonderful spirits this way.)
Now Evan Williams Single Barrel whiskeys are indeed something very special. They have been winning awards since 1990, in a vast variety of Spirit’s journals, magazines and contests including Gold Medals at the Prestigious San Fransisco World Spirits Competition for their 1993 and 1994 bottlings.
Here is an excerpt from my review:
“…After taking a deep wiff of the air around my whiskey glass, I close my eyes. In my imagination, I have just stumbled into a sawmill where they are cutting large rough timber beams. I can smell the wood tannins exposed on the sides of the timber and the fresh cut wood grain scent is delightful. Of course there is much more than oak timbers in the glass: wild honey, rich vanilla, toffee, caramel and hints of molasses rise from the glass in a rich vibrant aroma which is spicy and tannin filled….”
Your may read the full review here:
I have supplied a myriad of cocktails for the review for your enjoyment!
Posted in American Whiskey, Cocktails & Recipes, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Cocktails and Recipes, Evan Williams, Whisk(e)y Review, Whisky | Comments Off
Posted by Arctic Wolf on November 5, 2009
Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select is a Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, distilled and bottled at the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles Kentucky. I have found no age statement on the bottle or on the Woodford Reserve Website. My belief is that the spirit is 6 to 8 years of age although where I gleaned this bit of information has been forgotten. Perhaps the shopkeeper who sold me the bottle mentioned it.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“Bourbon has its own unique flavour, spicy honey and a rich woody profile. This bourbon has a heavy texture in the mouth. It seems like having a thick corn syrup resting on the tongue even though the liquid is much more viscous….”
You can read the full review here:
Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: American Whiskey, Bourbon, Whisk(e)y Review, Whiskey, Woodford Reserve Whiskey | Comments Off