Log Date

A whiskey adventure for you and me.

  1. Writing on the coaster

    Julian van Winkle offers up Pappy alternatives:


    "My first pick? That’d be seven-year-old W.L. Weller. It’s very close to ours, sweet and a lot of caramel. If you can’t get that, try Maker’s 46. It’s a little more interesting, with that extra French-oak aging that they use. Third would be Four Roses, the single-barrel. And if that’s not available, then I’m gonna go drink vodka."

  2. Still frame

    Amidst all the Maker’s debate recently, for February, Bourbon & Banter's monthly wallpaper features Maker's Mark distinctive red shutters. 

    Amidst all the Maker’s debate recently, for February, Bourbon & Banter's monthly wallpaper features Maker's Mark distinctive red shutters. 

  3. Writing on the coaster

    Maker’s Mark: Dilution vs. Delusion


    Five years ago, some distillers put some whiskey in some barrels. Every year since, bourbon has only become more and more sought after. So demand grew, but the small batch of barrels did not increase — what was barreled remained barreled, come what may. This year, Maker’s Mark took stock of what they had and realized it wasn’t enough. 

    There’s a few routes they could have gone from here. They could have wandered down Pappy’s trail and simply said “that’s it, that’s all” until newer barrels were appropriately aged. But Maker’s isn’t Pappy’s. The van Winkles can do this because they produced a damn good, high end bourbon, with a taste people deem worth a $200+ price tag or an ebay bidding war. Maker’s is good whiskey. But it isn’t some superb, transcendent liquor. So that’s out. 

    They instead chose to follow a path forged by Jack Daniels in the 80’s — to dilute their whiskey, lowering the proof from 90 to 84. Maybe JD got away with it then, but you can’t do a damn thing in 2013 without impassioned feedback being tweeted, blogged, facebooked, instagrammed, vined, pathed, whatevered right back to you — and the roar was swift and unfavorable. How dare Maker’s Mark water down our whiskey, etcetera, etcetera. 

    Listen, there’s just not enough. If you want Maker’s Mark, you can either have slightly diluted Maker’s Mark, or no Maker’s Mark at all. But why do you even want Maker’s Mark? Once upon a time, bars would stock only a few bottles of whiskey, and Maker’s was the staple bourbon. But when the interest in bourbon swelled, an outpouring of new, intriguing, and diverse bourbons cropped up. So go for them. Preserve what’s left of Maker’s supply. If the worst thing to come from this is that you find a new bourbon, it’s not all bad. Remember, the more bourbon you drink this year, the more whiskey will be barreled up for years to come. 

  4. Writing on the coaster

    Single Barrel vs. Small Batch // Bourbon of the Day

    Single Barrel Bourbons

    Single Barrel Bourbons are just that: the whiskey in each individual bottle comes from a single barrel. There is no blending of different barrels, which is a common practice to achieve a certain style or characteristic. While there is no legal definition of a “Single Barrel Bourbon”, the implication here is that these Bourbons come from choice barrels. These “honey barrels” are selected for the unique nose, palate, and complexity of the bourbon they produce.

    Single barrel whiskeys are relatively recent innovations in the whiskey world, making their first appearance in 1984 with Blanton’s from Buffalo Trace. Since then, other distillers have followed suit with their own particular honey barrel Bourbons. Some examples of great Single Barrel Bourbons on the market today include Four Roses Single Barrel, Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old from Heaven Hill Distillery, and Eagle Rare from Buffalo Trace Distillery.

    Small Batch Bourbons

    Small Batch Bourbons are a composite of different bourbon barrels that are mingled together in limited quantities. Distillers combine different barrels at different ages from various locations in their aging facilities (called rickhouses) to achieve a desired structure. Just like with Single Barrel Bourbon’s, there is technically no definition of a Small Batch Bourbon, and a small batch can be anywhere from 2 to 200 200 barrels. To achieve the same quality found in each bottle of Maker’s Mark, the company follows a specific formula that uses “approximately 1,000 gallons or less (20 barrels) from a mash bill of around 200 bushels of grain”.

    Makers Mark, Michter’s US #1 Small Batch Bourbon, and Hirsch Small Batch Reserve are three of the best and most widely available Small Batch Bourbons out there. Heaven Hill’s Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old Small Batch uses around 50 barrels to get that perfect balance of vanilla and dried fruit, while Jefferson’s uses 200 – 300 barrels for their small batch collection to achieve an unparalleled smoothness.

  5. Still frame


Carrot cake and a bourbon line-up: Grandma Bow’s 90th birthday.


    Carrot cake and a bourbon line-up: Grandma Bow’s 90th birthday.

    Notes: 12 notes

    Reblogged from: rouxby

    Tags: birthday maker's mark photos

  6. Writing on the coaster

    Gift a Whiskey Drinker: a Maker’s Mark cigar

    [Start with an excellent bottle of bourbon, sure, but make it worthwhile. HERE you’ll find some clever tsotchkes & knickknacks that will become indispensable to the whiskey enthusiast.]


    Back in ’69, some refined cigar aficionados put several bourbons to the task of pairing well with a fine  cigar. Of Maker’s Mark, the editor wrote: “The solidly medium-bodied Maker’s shows orange, vanilla and caramel flavor, with a sweetness informed by molasses and maple sugar. The woody finish is zesty and effervescent. The light Macanudo faltered next to the bourbon, but the other three cigars made a very impressive pairing with Maker’s. The Padrón tasted even sweeter in that context, the Monty balanced well, and the Fuente seemed more leathery and full-bodied.” 

    Nearly half a century later, that experience has been condensed into one single unit: the Maker’s Mark cigar. The long-leaf tobacco hails from the Dominican Republic, where I then believe it is infused with a late summer Kentucky breeze on a hillside. 


  7. Writing on the coaster

    Charm A Whiskey Girl // I


    Bypass the Maker’s Mark. Every man in America seems to have it in his mind that a glass of Maker’s on the rocks is a surefire way to win a heart, or at least a conversation; it is not well, nor Beam, nor a gamble. It sure seems expensive enough to impress. Listen, Maker’s requires neither the thought nor the palette sufficient to rouse a whiskey girl. A Maker’s Manhattan has only become standard due to alliteration, not taste. Sorry Maker’s! You’re alright but there’s certainly better. 

    Survey the selection. Nearly every bar nowadays stocks a bottle of Bulleit, and perhaps also a Bulleit Rye. A Bulleit on the rocks is the simplest path to success — it’s smooth and subtle and strong. That glass of “frontier whiskey” is Americana and simplicity and also, a high alcohol content. Other easily available options: a Knob Creek is what you meant to order when you eyed the Maker’s, and try it chilled; an Eagle Rare is smooth enough to appease even an unseasoned whiskey drinker; a Basil Hayden carries a name recognition with a flavor that easily validates it. 

    [More whiskey charming counsel this way.]

  8. Still frame

    From Cocktails: Neat, a photo series by Peter Olson. 

    From Cocktails: Neat, a photo series by Peter Olson