Friday, June 17, 2016

Bourbon for Dear Old Dad II

More from Pete and your friends at Madison Cellars.

Note: unable to get more Noah's Mill after we ran out!

Jefferson's Wood Experiment

The inspiration behind Jefferson’s Wood Experiment Collection came from Trey spending time in a wine cooperage in Missouri. Wine cooperages are different than what you find in Kentucky as they have different treating processes, which focus more on toasting, slow cooking, and searing to bring different flavors to the forefront. It was at this point we asked, "How could we change up what the final flavors of the bourbon are after we mature it in typical bourbon barrels?” Trey started by putting 4 year old bourbon that had been aged in new charred white oak barrels, and finished it in 13 different environments/vessels. There were so many combinations to experiment with – new bourbon barrels, new wine barrels, wine barrel heads on a new bourbon barrel, insert oak staves that have been seared, or oak cubes that have been slow cooked, etc. Over a period of 32 months, we charted the characteristics of each experiment monthly and analyzed how the different treatments have affected the outcome of the final whiskey.
We decided to bottle them up in five 200 milliliter experiments so you can try five different experiments and see for yourself how these small changes make a vast difference.


The Pepper family brand of whiskey is an iconic Kentucky & American whiskey brand produced from the American Revolution through 1958. After going out production for decades, it was relaunched by the Georgetown Trading Co. in 2008. A campaign of thorough historical research and collection of historic materials has been ongoing, and have been used to retell the lost story of this iconic American whiskey brand and to distill new stocks of "Pepper" whiskey (visit the History Page to learn more). To begin the relaunch of this historic brand partnerships with existing distilleries were formed and today the whiskey distilled for the 1776 line of whiskies is made in a collaboration with the historic Lawrenceburg Distillery in Indiana (founded in 1847). It was always a goal to one day build a James E. Pepper distillery and museum in Kentucky, and the dream was to be able to do so at the site of the abandoned historic James E. Pepper Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky. In the Spring of 2016, the dream became a reality and news was finally announced that James E. Pepper Whiskey will be renovating & rebuilding the historic James E. Pepper Distillery. Set to open in late 2017, learn more about the distillery project on our Distillery Page.


Bourbon has been enjoyed for centuries, but single barrel bourbon only dates back to 1984, when the owners of Ancient Age Distillery (now Buffalo Trace Distillery) set out to create a premium quality product. In the process, they revolutionized the industry.
The inspiration? Colonel Albert Blanton, our bourbon’s namesake. It all started during a conversation with his former apprentice, Elmer T. Lee. Mr. Lee recalled the days when Col. Blanton would entertain friends and special guests by serving them bourbon from Warehouse H. Col. Blanton discovered that this warehouse aged bourbon better than any other on the grounds, especially in the middle sections known as the center cut. After taste-testing samples, Col. Blanton would pick an individual barrel he liked best and have it bottled. The bottles became his special select single barrel bourbons.
Mr. Lee’s concept turned into a reality when the owners asked him to oversee the project, selecting the finest barrels from the same Warehouse H. In 1984, Blanton’s became the first American entry into the ultra-premium whiskey market. Today, most distilleries offer one or more single barrel bottlings, but Blanton’s was the first, and we still believe the finest, single barrel on the market.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Bourbon for Dear Old Dad : Eagle Rare

Pete has some recommendations for Father's Day gifts.

Eagle Rare 10 Year

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is masterfully crafted and carefully aged for no less than ten years. The rareness of this great breed of bourbon is evident in its complex aroma, as well as the smooth and lingering taste. Eagle Rare is a bourbon that lives up to its name with its lofty, distinctive taste experience.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Complex aromas of toffee, hints of orange peel, herbs, honey, leather and oak.
Taste: Bold, dry, oaky flavors with notes of candied almonds and very rich cocoa.
Finish: Dry and lingering.

"Easily one of the most tactile yet assertive and expressive bourbons I've tasted in the last two years; fasten your seatbelts."

-Paul Pacult, The Spirit Journal

Eagle Rare 17 Year

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Eagle Rare 17 year-old is one of the five bourbons included in the award-winning Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. This rare bourbon is released in small quantities once a year in the fall.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Dark candied fruit, cigar boxes, cinnamon.
Taste: Delicate and dry. Hints of leather, vanilla and tobacco.
Finish: Lingering, with a hint of toffee.

"This deep, burnished-gold whiskey has a somewhat fragrant nose and the aromas develop an almost wine-like character, with a hint of almonds lurking in the backdrop. The body is big and silky and the palate is far spicier than the nose leads you to believe, but there are also violet notes here, along with a touch of caramel and a hint of old leather. The finish is very leathery and very long."

-Wine Enthusiast magazine

Wine Enthusiast rating: 96

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Margarita Yum!

Noble Pig Peach Margaritas

4 servings - 140 calories each

1/2 cup tequila                                

11/2 cups margarita mix
2 ozs peach schnapps
16 ozs peaches (frozen or fresh)
1 tbsp sugar (optional, add only if using frozen peaches or fresh peaches that are not sweet)
1 cup crushed ice
fresh lime (for rubbing around rim of glass and garnish)
kosher salt

Blend it up, of course!