WOODFORD RESERVE LAUNCHES LATEST DISTILLERY SERIES EXPRESSION

WRFFWThe Woodford Reserve Distillery in Kentucky, has announced the launch of latest release in its innovative Distillery Series.

Woodford Reserve Frosty Four Wood (45.2% ABV) is a unique batching of mature Woodford Reserve bourbon, aged in American Oak and finished in barrels made from maple wood, sherry wood and port wood.

Commenting on the new release, Chris Morris, said: “Frosty Four Wood is the last of a historic whiskey specialty, as the original Four Wood was the first of its kind to touch four different barrels. It represents a rare moment that extends beyond bourbon and amplifies current flavours found in Woodford Reserve.”
Developed by Master Distiller Chris Morris, the Distillery Series which launched in 2015 with the Double Double Oaked and Sweet Mash Redux expressions, is said to showcase Woodford Reserve’s continued commitment to providing an unmatched whiskey experience and leading the spirits industry through innovation and craftsmanship.

The original Four Wood whiskey, in the 2012 Master’s Collection, was exposed to record-low temperatures during the 2013 Polar Vortex, resulting in flocking, or mineral precipitation. Filtration techniques produced a more fruit-forward whiskey with maple hints.

Woodford Reserve Frosty Four Wood, is now available from the distillery and specialist retailers for a RRP of $49.99 for a 375ml bottle.

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New Bourbons From Jim Beam & Diageo’s Orphan Barrel Project

JimBeamBonded_bs-200x300Jim Beam is returning to a place in Bourbon history with the release of Jim Beam Bonded, a 4-year-old Bourbon that takes some of its heritage from the US Government’s “Bottled in Bond Act of 1897.”

That law reserves the labeling of “Bottled in Bond” for whiskies at least four years old, bottled at 50% ABV (100 proof) and produced at a single distillery in a single distilling season. It’s not one of the more widely-known facts about American whiskeys, but distillers work with a two-season year: Spring season is January 31 through June 30, and Fall season runs from July 1 through December 31.

Jim Beam Bonded made its debut Monday night with a launch party at Bourbons Bistro in Louisville, Kentucky. It will be available at selected US retailers starting this month in 750ml and 1-liter sizes with a recommended retail price of $22.99 USD (750ml).

In addition, Beam is kicking off a special series of limited edition Booker’s Bourbon releases featuring labels inspired by the late Booker Noe. The year’s first batch of Booker’s has a label showing Noe sipping Bourbon in his famous rocking chair with his dog Dot at his feet. The scene is similar to Booker Noe’s memorial statue at the Jim Beam American Stillhouse in Clermont, Kentucky, and carries the name “Big Man, Small Batch.” Batch 2015-1 follows the Booker’s tradition of being uncut and unfiltered, and the 7-year-old batch is bottled at 64.35% ABV (128.7 proof).

ForgedOak_bs-200x300Meanwhile, Diageo is releasing Forged Oak, the fifth edition in its Orphan Barrel series of Bourbons.  As with the previous four editions, the 15-year-old Forged Oak was matured primarily in the warehouses at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, and was distilled at the nearby New Bernheim Distillery in 1997 and 1998 from a mashbill of 86% corn, 8% rye, and 6% malted barley.

Forged Oak will be a limited release, though there are plans to release future editions as more whiskey reaches maturation. It is being bottled at 45.25% ABV (90.5 proof), and will carry a recommended retail price of $65 (750ml bottle).

Bookers unveils first batch of new limited edition releases

bookersBooker’s Bourbon has unveiled the inaugural batch of its limited-edition collection celebrating founding distiller Booker Noe’s legacy as the father of small batch bourbon.

One of the few bourbons available today bottled straight from the barrel, Booker’s will now feature limited-edition labels inspired by Booker Noe’s love of bourbon, family and the spirit of experimentation.

Booker’s Bourbon Batch 2015-1 (64.4% ABV) named “Big Man, Small Batch” and aged for 7 years, 2 months and 16 days, features a custom label inspired by the iconic visual of Booker sipping bourbon in his rocking chair with his dog Dot by his side. The batch’s name honours Booker’s role in the creation of small batch bourbons and the larger-than-life personality for which he was known.

Commenting on the collection, Fred Noe, Beam’s 7th Generation Master Distiller, said: “Booker’s was founded on my dad’s dedication to making the very best bourbon there is, and I’m proud to honour him with this limited-edition collection. The ‘Big Man, Small Batch’ is the first batch to feature these new labels, giving our fans a little more insight into who my dad was and his love for creating great bourbon!”

Each batch of Booker’s Bourbon is hand-selected by Fred Noe, to ensure every bottle contains a robust, full-bodied whiskey that matches Booker’s whiskey preference. Noe also calls on the expertise of the “Booker’s Bourbon Roundtable”, an exclusive group of panellists consisting of top whiskey experts, enthusiasts and writers, to help select batches throughout the year – a tradition that will continue for the limited-edition collection.

Booker’s Bourbon Batch commemorative releases will be available in limited quantities throughout the year.

Moonshine whiskey makes a comeback in NY City

The un-aged white whiskey that established itself as the drink of choice during the roaring 20s has made a stylish return in the form of Manhattan Moonshine.

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The new un-aged whiskey in an Art Deco-style bottle has been launched by The Manhattan Moonshine Company, established in 2013 by William Kehler “to create the greatest un-aged whiskey ever made” and “to establish un-aged whiskey as a legitimate expression of whiskey that is competitive with aged-whiskey in flavour, quality, and class”.

An ever-growing fascination with the era of jazz-fuelled debauchery and Gatsby-rich style is what led entrepreneur William Kehler to develop a spirit that embodies the essence of the prohibition era, the jazz age, and Art Deco design. Today’s consumers, he says, are fascinated by the nightlives lived at this time, as is evident by the flourishing return of the cocktail culture and speakeasy-styled bars.

A popular misconception is that all moonshine is cheaply made, harsh tasting, illegal liquor made in the backwoods of the Southern US in bathtubs, radiators or back woods make–shift stills. It is this misconception that gave birth to modern day ‘moonshines’ packaged in mason jars or faux-jug-style bottles. In actuality, the majority of spirits that were produced during prohibition were produced by sophisticated distilleries that operated in secret, and what they produced flowed into high-class speakeasies across the country. Now that moonshine is being produced legally, moonshine has come to refer to any un-aged whiskey. As for taste and quality, moonshine, like any other liquor, reflects the quality and craftsmanship that went into it.

In the case of Manhattan Moonshine, the quality of craftsmanship is paramount. Whereas other moonshines are made by following traditional aged-whiskey or bourbon recipes and excluding the final step of barrel aging, the recipe for Manhattan Moonshine was developed from the outset to create an un-aged whiskey.

During a year of experimentation, Ian Smiley, master distiller created the formula for Manhattan Moonshine using a unique grain bill – featuring oats, rye and spelt – as well as a unique yeast and an innovative distillation process.

Packaged in a sleek Art Deco styled decanter, Manhattan Moonshine is claimed to be the first premium, un-aged whiskey that can compete with aged-whiskey offerings in complexity and quality.

The absence of colour and the heavy flavours imparted by the barrel during the traditional ageing process makes Manhattan Moonshine perfect for mixing cocktails; including many cocktails that traditionally call for Vodka or Gin. The cocktail program, developed by James Moreland, ranges from the classic but clear White Manhattan to the Duke Negroni and Bessie Smash, named after the late and great female Jazz singer of the 1920’s and 30’s.

To develop the strategy and manage the logistics of the launch, William has been working closely with liquor industry expert Susan Mooney and her team at the Spirits Consulting Group.

“William came to us with a truly innovative idea to develop his premium un-aged whiskey,” says Mooney, CEO Spirits Consulting. “We believe that there is a need in the market for its unique properties, visual appeal and crisp, complex flavour profile.”

SCG worked with William to find the perfect production partners, develop budgets for his brand launch and to create a winning launch strategy. “We are looking forward to working with William on the launch of this exciting product,” adds Mooney.

Manhattan Moonshine will launch both on- and off-premise in New York this autumn in its unmistakable 750cl Art Deco decanter, at an ARP of US$45. It will also be available for purchase online at: www.Manhattan-Moonshine.com.

Woodford Reserve announces the launch of its Kentucky Straight Rye

woodford ryeWoodford Reserve has announced the release of its latest permanent product extension, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey. This latest release showcases the company’s ongoing commitment to both whiskey lovers and innovation within the industry.

Woodford Reserve Rye (45.2%) is the third permanent line extension to join the portfolio, which includes the original Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.

When it comes to the craft of bourbon and whiskey, Woodford Reserve prides itself on maintaining an original and contemporary approach that focuses primarily on the adjustment of one of the five sources of flavour. To complement and emphasize the spice characteristics found in the original Woodford Reserve, the Rye uses a base that’s 53% rye, resulting in a liquid that’s both more balanced, and refreshingly subtle.

Since 2006, Master Distiller Chris Morris has been hard at work crafting a rye that’s worthy of the Woodford Reserve name. Because of the consistency of the mash, rye is notoriously more difficult to craft than a traditional bourbon, requiring more attention to detail throughout production, leaving the bulk of production to only the most experienced Master Distillers.

Commenting on the new release, Chris Morris, said: “One of the primary reasons behind Woodford’s growth into the number one selling ultra-premium[i] bourbon in America is because of our commitment to flavour, and that’s something that’s engrained in everything we do. Not only does it affect how I approach bourbon production personally, it’s the lens through which we view the future of Woodford Reserve, and I couldn’t think of a liquid that better embodies that than the rye.”

Woodford Reserve Rye is produced with the same heritage and tradition that surrounds the site of the iconic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky. As early as the mid-1800s, the site has been the location for visionary distilling practices, an attitude that Oscar Pepper and Master Distiller James Crow, the first people to distil at this location, fully embraced. Together, they perfected several whiskey production processes that continue to be used throughout the industry and have since become synonymous with great whiskey. Today, the Woodford Reserve Distillery is visited by more than 130,000 visitors each year.

Woodford Reserve Rye will be initially available across the US from February, for a RRP of $37.99.