The Greatest American Whiskey Bargain

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One of the keys to the runaway success of single malt Scotch is that it comes from a single distillery and you can’t add anything to it besides water and a bit of spirit caramel to even out the color. That highly regulated purity has struck a chord with consumers around the world who are willing to pay ever-increasing prices for their favorite Glen and have a passion that borders on zealousness.

But there’s actually another type of whiskey, which is held to an even higher set of standards than single malt Scotch: bottled-in-bond American whiskey. Full story

Short on Whiskey, Michter’s Cancels Its September 2016 Toasted Barrel Bourbon Release and Announces Distillery Expansion

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Forced to allocate all its whiskey offerings due to growing demand, Michter’s Distillery will not be releasing its Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Bourbon during 2016. “The incredible popularity of our Toasted Barrel Bourbon release during the past two years made this a very tough decision,” said Michter’s Distillery PresidentJoseph J. Magliocco. “The problem is every drop of our Toasted Barrel Bourbon that we release this year is one less drop of our Michter’s US*1 Bourbon that we have to allocate to our distributors and importers.” Read full press release

The Rise of Bourbon: Hotels Are Jumping in Full Barrel

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Bourbon sales are on the upswing across the U.S. with revenue from whiskey sales up 7.8 percent from 2014 to 2015 and showing significant growth over the last decade, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. While the popularity of bourbon has increased amanong all age groups, “millennials especially are taking to bourbon and it’s a greater percentage of women than one might think,” says Eric Loring, beverage director at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center in Boston. The growth is also driven by small batch and single barrel brands, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Full story

Brown-Forman ranked top ‘greenest’ beverage alcohol company in U.S.

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Lousiville-based Brown-Forman claimed the top spot as the “greenest” beverage alcohol company among U.S. publicly traded companies in the Newsweek Green Rankings. Brown-Forman increased its overall ranking from 69 to 52 and was named among the top three of all beverage companies in the U.S., following Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and Keurig Green Mountain. Full story

5 distilleries to open in Louisville by 2018

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In the late 1700s, bourbon distilleries helped shape downtown Louisville by opening offices along a section of Main Street that became known as Whiskey Row. But after Prohibition forced most of their closures, Louisville took a back seat in the state’s bourbon story.

Now, with several distilleries already open around the city’s center and a handful more on the way, Louisville is becoming a bourbon tourism destination at an unprecedented pace. Full story

New Limited-Edition Rye Whiskey From Booker’s, America’s Beloved Small Batch Bourbon Brand

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Today, with so many brands of bourbon flooding the market that it is hard to keep track of them all, and more being introduced all the time, it is hard to believe that the spirit was once in a state of despair. But that was the case into the Eighties, when everyone was drinking vodka before bourbon enjoyed a renaissance, thanks to the introduction of higher quality, smaller batch, and single barrel versions. Full story

The Nine Lives of One Bourbon Barrel

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The last place you might expect to discover a monument to American whiskey is in an overgrown field in the idyllic countryside of Speyside, Scotland. But if you follow a path up a woody hill, overlooking the Glenrothes distillery, in a clearing you’ll find great pyramids of used American oak barrels. The newest ones look like they could still hold whiskey, while the oldest, weather-beaten ones are losing their rusty hoops and the staves are turning into dust. Full story

We Found A Rare Bourbon That’s Absolutely Worth The Hype

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Old Forester is widely known for producing inexpensive and well-regarded bourbon, a favorite of bartenders and whiskey drinkers who recognize the brand’s quality and value. Old Forester is also known for its coveted white whale whiskey, the annual Birthday Bourbon expression. Since 2002, it has been released every September 2nd (or thereabouts) to mark founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday. Full story

Brown-Forman barrel makers on a 70-year roll

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The first barrel rolled off the line at Brown-Forman’s cooperage in Louisville 70 years ago and, with very minor changes, the barrels still are rolling briskly today.

“We have been making new barrels for the whiskey industry longer than anyone else,” said master distiller Chris Morris. “We’re also the only major distilling company that makes its own new barrels — in the world.” Full story

Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse Experience

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This city continues to find engaging ways to celebrate its state’s proud bourbon heritage aside from the plentiful availability of the beverage. The Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse provides those frequenting Louisville’s downtown area with another convenient opportunity to learn more about one of the world’s most popular whiskeys without committing to a daytrip with tour costs to see its rural origins. Full story

Woodford Reserve Unveils Latest Distillery Series Expression: Frosty Four Wood

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Woodford Reserve announces the latest Distillery Series expression, Frosty Four Wood. Unveiled in July 2015, the Distillery Series is Woodford Reserve’s latest line of complex offerings available for purchase at the Woodford Reserve Distillery and select Kentucky retailers. The series showcases Woodford Reserve’s continued commitment to providing an unmatched whiskey experience and leading the spirits industry through innovation and craftsmanship. Read the full press release

Drinkhacker Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 5 and Barrell Whiskey Batch 1

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Turns out Barrell Bourbon, first released in 2014, wasn’t a one-off. To date the company has released six small batch Bourbon offerings, all  of which are significantly different from one another. As a trend goes, they’re getting older — significantly so, considering Batch 1 was a mere five year old baby. The last two releases have both topped eight years of age (and the labels now include a clear age statement, front and center). Full story

Sazerac acquisitions suggest global growth

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Sazerac’s recent acquisition of Southern Comfort and Tuaca was “surprising” since it suggests the producer is looking to expand its presence outside of the US, an analyst has claimed. According to Jeremy Cunnington, senior alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor International, 99% of Sazerac’s global 169 million litre sales occur in the US, with the remaining 1% sold in Canada, meaning its recent acquisitions from Brown-Forman signify a “large leap” for the group. Full story

Merging US, Japan Work Cultures a Challenge for Beam Suntory

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The head of Japanese whiskey maker Suntory said Friday that merging work cultures remains a major challenge, more than 20 months after his company acquired the U.S. maker of Jim Beam bourbon.

Takeshi Niinami, the president and CEO of Suntory Holdings Ltd., said integration is difficult because Japanese and American employees have differing career aspirations and compensation systems. Full story

Bill to allow some distilleries to serve cocktails advances

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Bourbon tourists taking in the sights and smells of Kentucky distilleries could start sipping cocktails as part of the experience if a bill that cleared a legislative panel on Tuesday becomes state law. The measure would allow distilleries in wet territories to offer by-the-drink sales to visitors. It also would let the distilleries sell more of their whiskey and offer slightly larger amounts of free samples. Full story

Constellation Brands’ Venture Capital Arm Acquires Minority Stake in Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

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Constellation Brands, Inc. announced today that it has acquired a minority stake in Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, which produces a variety of craft whiskeys. Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery will continue to operate independently to produce, market, and sell its products. The investment is the second for Constellation Ventures, the company’s corporate venture capital function, focused on identifying smallerscale investment opportunities related to innovative concepts and emerging categories within beverage alcohol. Full story

Brown-Forman’s Morris named new chairman for Kentucky Distillers’ Association for 2016

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The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced Tuesday that Master Distiller Chris Morris of Brown-Forman has been named chairman of the 136-year-old group that unites, promotes and protects the state’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

Morris, an acknowledged authority on Bourbon and Kentucky history who is celebrating his 40th year in the industry, will serve through December 2016. The KDA Board of Directors selected officers during its annual meeting recently at the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville. Full story

Van Winkles oppose auction of stolen bourbon

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If members of the Van Winkle family have their way, 28 bottles of stolen Pappy Van Winkle bourbon will be destroyed — not sold.

On Tuesday, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said he spoke with Julian Van Winkle, president of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, who asked that all bottles and barrels involved in a well-publicized racketeering case not be auctioned off for charity, as Melton had previously suggested to BourbonBlog.com. Full story

The Jews Who Made American Whisky

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Many of the iconic bourbon and rye brands on store shelves are or were once owned and operated by Jews, including Jim Beam, I.W. Harper, Rittenhouse, Elijah Craig, Four Roses and Dickel.

From ubiquitous bagels and cream cheese to restorative matzo ball soup to decadently rich pastrami, Jews are famous for contributing a number of delicious dishes to the menu of American food favorites. But when it comes to drinks, the item that usually pops into people’s minds first is, sadly, the sickly sweet kosher wine Manischewitz. Full story

Jim Beam® Bourbon Transforms Historic Rackhouse Into Massive 3-D Holiday Display

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Jim Beam®, the world’s No. 1 bourbon, is making history once again by transforming a barrel rackhouse at its flagship distillery in Clermont, Ky., into a nine-story 3-D canvas for a multimedia celebration that’s as bold as Jim Beam itself. Featuring state-of-the-art digital projection imagery, 3-D animation and special effects that highlight more than 220 years of Jim Beam tradition, the holiday lights spectacular marks the first time a spirits company is using projection mapping technology to create a fully, immersive visitors experience. Read the full press release

Bardstown Bourbon Company Announces First of Its Kind Collaborative Kentucky Whiskey Craft Distilling Program

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The Bardstown Bourbon Company is pleased to announce an innovative Collaborative Whiskey, Bourbon, and Rye Wholesale Distilling Program. Slated to open in Summer 2016, the new distillery will offer wholesale customers the opportunity to create custom, authentic, Kentucky whiskey products and will also provide comprehensive barrel financing. The Program promises to expand the explosive growth of the craft distilling industry by providing craft distillers and brand owners high quality whiskey to strengthen their supply. Read full press release

Jim Beam Supports Military Families With $100,000 Donation To Fund Holiday Meals Program

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Jim Beam® Bourbon, the world’s No. 1 bourbon, proudly salutes military men and women with a $100,000 donation to Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. The donation, which was presented last weekend by seventh generation Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe in support of Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals for Military program, underscores Jim Beam’s ongoing commitment to America’s service men and women. Read full press release

Heaven Hill Brands Celebrates 80th Anniversary of First Bourbon Barrel with Special Production Run

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In 1935, Friday the 13th was anything but unlucky for Heaven Hill.  It was on that date 80 years ago that the fledgling distillery filled its first barrel of fine Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, marking the beginning of a business that has grown to become the largest family owned and operated distilled spirits producer, and the second largest holders of aging Bourbon, in the nation. Full story

People pay this guy to talk about bourbon

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Back in 1991, Michael Veach was a graduate student at the University of Louisville, working on a master’s degree in history when he heard that an area distiller was looking for help.

At the time, a company called United Distillers, which is part of Diageo PLC today, was interested in creating an archive for its historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Shively. They needed a graduate student to put it together. Full story