Bourbon

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5 Books to Read this Month: November

5 Books to Read this Month: November

by David Klemt

Flipping through an open book

This month’s fun and informative book selections will help you develop next-level culinary, beverage and leadership skills this November.

To review October’s book recommendations, click here.

Let’s dive in!

Cook as You Are

The Great British Baking Show contestant Ruby Tandoh is a food writer with a half-dozen books to her name. Her latest will likely change how you look at food and its preparation. In particular, the “mini” version of Cook as You Are aims to be as inclusive as possible. The free download makes it easier for people who learn differently or require assistance in the kitchen to enjoy cooking. Cook as You Are features 100 original recipes created by Tandoh that don’t require hours of preparation or professional-grade kitchen equipment to execute.

The Bullhearted Brand

Expert Joseph Szala explains why operators should view branding as a strategic endeavor. Branding is more than a clever name, eye-catching logo, and slick tagline. Szala, as he explains, “lay(s) out the foundational elements and details about creating and scaling restaurant brands” in The Bullhearted Brand, drawing from years of real-world experiences.

Bourbon’s Backroads

Bourbon is one of the few spirits that America can truly claim as its own. Myths and legend abound, such as the claim that whiskey can only be called bourbon if it’s produced in Bourbon County. Karl Raitz conducted extensive research to uncover the full history of bourbon in the United States for Bourbon’s Backroads.

Gilded Age Cocktails

Author Cecilia Tichi takes readers on a cocktail journey spanning three decades. The Gilded Age, which took place between 1870 and the early 1900s, is known as the Golden Age for cocktails. Readers will be able to learn the stories of not only classic Golden Age cocktails to pass on to others, but also the stories of their creators. Gilded Age Cocktails transports us back to the pre-Prohibition Era, a time when bartenders first became famous and helped us all drink better.

Hacking the New Normal

Doug Radkey, president of KRG Hospitality, author of Bar Hacks and Hacking the New Normal, makes the case for making meaningful, impactful change in order for the hospitality industry to survive and thrive moving forward. As he explains during bonus episodes of the Bar Hacks podcast, as have multiple podcast guests like Chef Brian Duffy, the industry won’t truly recover unless we change our mindsets and the way restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, entertainment venues, and arenas operate and treat staff.

Image: Mikołaj on Unsplash

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Get Ready for Old Fashioned Week

Get Ready for Old Fashioned Week

by David Klemt

Old Fashioned Cocktail on bar

Old Fashioned Week is returning for its second year to raise money for the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.

The RWCF is a non-profit restaurant and bar worker advocacy and action organization.

In its inaugural year, Old Fashioned Week set and met a goal of raising $100,000. This year, the goal and mission are the same: Raise $100,000 to help hospitality workers financially.

How to Participate

Lynn House, national spirits specialist and portfolio mixologist for Heaven Hill, shares the details of Old Fashioned Week on episode 52 of the Bar Hacks podcast.

Over the course of nine days, October 15 through 24, Elijah Craig is celebrating the bourbon cocktail they feel best showcases America’s native spirit.

Old Fashioned Week is another win-win-win restaurant and bar promotion. Operators can drive in-person and to-go (where legal) traffic, consumers enjoy an iconic cocktail while supporting the industry, and struggling hospitality workers can receive financial assistance.

Luckily, participating in this philanthropic campaign is simple. First, operators can use their social media channels and guest database to let people know they’re celebrating Old Fashioned Week. Publish posts, send emails, and send out marketing texts.

Second, operators can use the “contact us” form on the Old Fashioned week website. From there, they can ask to have their venue included in the ZIP code search function.

Third, anyone can post pictures of their Old Fashioned to social media. Simply include #OldFashionedWeek and tag Elijah Craig. The brand will donate $5 to the RWCF for every properly hashtagged and tagged photo.

Like I said, it’s simple to participate and raise money for those in need.

Elijah Craig Old Fashioned

Hey, you can make your Old Fashioned however you want. However, if you want to make the signature Elijah Craig Old Fashioned, see below:

Elijah Craig signature Old Fashioned cocktail

Add bitters, simple syrup, Elijah Craig Small Batch, and ice to a mixing glass. Stir—do not shake!—until well chilled. Strain cocktail over a large ice cube in a double old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a swath of orange and a brandied cherry.

If you’d like to make this classic how Lynn House does, add four dashes of bitters instead of three. Two dashes of Angostura bitters, two dashes of Regan’s orange bitters.

Image: Paige Ledford on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

8 Bourbon Cocktails You Need to Know

8 Bourbon Cocktails You Need to Know

David Klemt

Cocktail and smoke on top stack of books

This is the culmination of all our Bourbon Heritage Month coverage, our final word on the subject: the bourbon cocktails you must know.

Yes, there are those out there who bristle at the thought of enjoying their favorite spirit being adulterated.

Combining bourbon with mixers, modifiers, even ice?! “Blasphemy,” they hiss.

Personally, we believe in enjoying spirits however you want. That’s doubly true for paying guests.

So, this is for those who appreciate their bourbon with ingredients beyond a drop of the world’s most pure water or an impossibly clear ice cube.

Here are the bourbon cocktails you and your bar team need to know.

Old Fashioned

At this point, the Old Fashioned is ubiquitous to the point that it’s doubtful there’s even a neophyte bartender who can’t make at least a mediocre one. However, this drink doesn’t carry its “classic” designation for no reason. In fact, the simpler the drink, the more legendarily classic, the more crucial it is that your bar team can absolutely nail it.

Add a half-teaspoon of sugar, three dashes of Angostura Bitters, and one teaspoon of water to a rocks glass. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add a large ice cube or ice sphere, or a fill the glass with big ice cubes, and add two ounces of bourbon. Stir, express an orange peel around the rim of the glass, and drop it into the drink.

Bourbon Smash

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: All Smash cocktails are Juleps but not all Juleps are Smashes, according to Imbibe Magazine. While difficult to define, Imbibe says crucial characteristics of a Smash are ice, fruit that’s in season, and a spirit base.

Prepare a rocks glass by chilling it with ice. Grab a cocktail shaker and toss in three lemon wedges. Muddle those, then add two ounces of bourbon, three-quarters of an ounce of simple syrup, three or four fresh mint leaves, and ice. Dump the ice from the rocks glass and add a large ice cube or sphere, or big ice cubes. Shake the shaker hard until chilled, double strain into the prepped rocks glass, and garnish with a mint sprig, a popular ingredient and garnish for Smashes.

Hey, speaking of that Mint Julep trivia we mentioned…

Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, of course. In fact, it’s said that more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep are poured during Kentucky Derby weekend. While those ready-to-serve bottles are convenient, we’re going to focus on a traditional cocktail build.

Now, you can build this drink in a rocks glass. But who wants to drink this in anything but a frosty, ice-cold Julep cup? So, you’re going to start by muddling three fresh mint leaves inside the Julep cup. Then, pack the cup with crushed ice. Add two ounces of bourbon, a half-ounce of simple syrup, and stir gently. Add more crushed ice and round it off above the rim. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with a fresh mint leaf or two.

Kentucky Mule

While we’re building cocktails that call for specialty drinkware… After the Moscow Mule exploded in popularity across North America, variants began popping up all over the place. Agave-focused bars made tequila- and mezcal-based Mules. And, of course, whiskey-centric programs latched onto their own versions of the Mule.

Enter: The Kentucky Mule. The star of this cocktail is, obviously, bourbon. Pour two ounces of bourbon into a Moscow Mule mug or highball glass—honestly, this is a toss-up given the recent surge in popularity of highballs—along with a half-ounce of fresh-squeezed lime juice. Fill the mug or glass with ice, top with ginger beer, and garnish with a mint sprig.

Bourbon Sour

In the interest of transparency, this can also be called the Whiskey Sour. I just want to make it clear that this particular recipe calls for bourbon.

With that out of the way, add two ounces of bourbon, three-quarters of an ounce of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and a half-ounce of simple syrup to a shaker. If egg white will be used to build your Bourbon Sour, add a half-ounce to the shaker. For the egg-white version, dry shake for 30 seconds, add ice, and shake again until chilled. Skip the dry shake if no egg whites are used—just add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a coupe and garnish with three to four drops of Angostura bitters.

Boulevardier

Some people malign the Boulevardier is just a Negroni that swaps out the gin for bourbon (or other types of whiskey). I personally disagree with that derisive assessment as bourbon imparts entirely different characteristics.

Regardless of where you stand, part of the magic of the Negroni is that it calls for equal parts—it’s a 1:1:1 cocktail. So, I encourage you to try making your Boulevardier the same way. (Note: Some people add a quarter-ounce more of bourbon to stand up to the Campari.) Prepare a rocks glass with ice and set aside. To a mixing glass, add ice and equal parts bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Again, toss the ice inside that’s inside the prepared rocks glass and add fresh ice. Stir the liquid in the mixing glass until well chilled, strain into the prepared rocks glass, and garnish with an orange peel or twist.

Billionaire

If you’ve been to Employees Only, you’ve likely tried the Billionaire or at least know about it. Per Liquor.com, the Billionaire is a “sophisticated” riff on the Millionaire cocktail. The EO variant eschews the Millionaire’s Grand Marnier, absinthe, egg white, and freshly grated nutmeg garnish.

Instead, the Billionaire is a simpler build that calls for a specific bourbon and absinthe bitters. First, prepare a stemmed cocktail glass with ice to chill it (or task bar team members with placing them in in the freezer or refrigerator as part of their duties) and set aside. Add two ounces of Baker’s Single Barrel bourbon (107 proof), an ounce of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, a half-ounce of grenadine, a half-ounce of simple syrup, a quarter-ounce of absinthe bitters, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake hard until well chilled and strain into the chilled cocktail glass. Float a lemon on wheel on top to garnish.

(Updated) Amaretto Sour

This recipe is Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s modern take on the classic Amaretto Sour. To make it, you’ll need to have at least one cask-strength bourbon in your inventory. Unlike the other cocktails on this list, bourbon isn’t the star of the show. That honor goes to amaretto liqueur, but the bourbon is one hell of a supporting actor.

Prepare a rocks glass by chilling it with ice. Start by adding one-and-a-half ounces of amaretto, three-quarters of an ounce of cask-strength bourbon (remember, cask strength!), an ounce of fresh-squeezed lemon juice, one teaspoon of rich simple syrup, and a half-ounce of egg white to a shaker. Dry shake for 15 seconds, then add ice to the shaker and shake again. Dump the ice from the prepared rocks glass, add fresh ice (large cube or sphere, big ice cubes, etc.), strain the liquid, and garnish with a lemon twist and two brandied cherries on a skewer.

Image: Bon Vivant on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

7 Great Books About Bourbon

7 Great Books About Bourbon

by David Klemt

Shot of bourbon on wood background

Our onslaught of Bourbon Heritage Month content continues with a roundup of great reads that tell the story of bourbon.

Sure, it’s awesome to enjoy a bourbon with friends. But what about pouring a dram of your favorite bourbon while reading about bourbon?

Come on—you know that sounds fantastic.

So, grab one or more of these books, pair them with a beautiful bourbon, and expand your whiskey knowledge.

Buffalo, Barrels, & Bourbon

This brand-new bourbon book releases today on Amazon. In Buffalo, Barrels, & Bourbon, author F. Paul Pacult tells the story of the Buffalo Trace Distillery. The history of the most-awarded distillery in the world includes the American Revolutionary War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and it’s still going strong.

The Bourbon Bible

Author Eric Zandona writes for Distiller Magazine and is the director of spirits information at American Distilling Institute. Zandona dives deep into bourbon in The Bourbon Bible, sharing notes on 100 of the world’s best expressions along with 20 classic bourbon cocktail recipes.

Kentucky Bourbon Country

We all know that while a luxury, traveling is the best way to understand our world. Wine lovers have an array of bucket-list destinations, such as Piedmont, Tuscany, Bordeaux, and the Napa Valley. Scotch devotees have Scotland. And bourbon fans have Kentucky. Author Susan Reigler reveals everything bourbon lovers need to know about traveling to Kentucky to learn about their favorite spirit. All that will be left after reading the third edition of Kentucky Bourbon Country is planning your own trip and booking your flights.

Pappyland

It’s hard to come up with any bourbon label more well known, sought after, argued about, and in some cases reviled, than Pappy Van Winkle. Wright Thompson tells the story not only of the (in)famous label and multi-thousand-dollar bottles but also of the family behind it all. Love it or hate it, you need to read Pappyland for the full story.

Bourbon Empire

Reid Mitenbuler tells the real story of the business of bourbon in Bourbon Empire. And let me tell you, it’s no boring essay on the ins and outs of supply and demand, P&L statements, distribution, and on- and off-premise consumerism. Rather, Mitenbuler reveals a history rife with underhanded political dealings, organized crime, “questionable” business practices, bootlegging, and much more intrigue.

Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey

Even people with only a passing familiarity with bourbon probably know the name Fred Minnick. The award-winning author sets out to learn just who should be given the credit for creating bourbon in Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, winner of the 2017 Spirited Award for Best New Spirits Book.

Bourbon Curious

Fred Minnick returns with Bourbon Curious to convert his Kentucky Derby Museum classes into book form. Interestingly, this tasting guide is segmented into what Minnick identifies as the four main bourbon flavor profiles: grain, nutmeg, caramel, and cinnamon. Want to know how those profiles dominate bourbon? Get the book.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

9 Bottles for Bourbon Heritage Month

9 Bottles for Bourbon Heritage Month

by David Klemt

Bottle of Woodford Reserve Distiller's Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon on top of a map

One of the best elements of Bourbon Heritage Month is, undoubtedly, the opportunity to find and taste new expressions.

Given our love for finding new bottles, we’re sharing nine bottles to try this month.

Like our June 14 National Bourbon Day roundup, our suggestions for September run the pricing gamut. You’ll find a bottle under $20 and one with a $150 price tag.

The bottles below will also help your complete nine days of the 30 Days of Bourbon challenge. Who doesn’t love win-win situations?

$50 and Under

Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond, $15

You don’t have to empty your wallet to enjoy a bonded bourbon. Also, doing so connects you with decades upon decades of bourbon distilling history and heritage. Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond won’t break the bank and doesn’t skimp on quality, flavor or body.

Jim Beam Old Tub, $23

Speaking of bonded bourbons that won’t drain bank accounts, Jim Beam Old Tub is a limited edition, 100-proof expression that barely cracks $20 per 740ml bottle. This direct competitor to the bourbon above is neither carbon- nor chill-filtered. In fact, the distillery says the only filtering this liquid receives is of bits of wood from the barrels.

$51 to $99

Basil Hayden Toast, $50

Not only does Basil Hayden Toast receive its toasty profile from a second barreling, this bourbon features a new mash bill that includes brown rice. This is a smooth, subtle, 80-proof bourbon that practically begs you to relax and reflect to fully appreciate its nuances.

Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond, $65

There’s some controversy surrounding this 100-proof expression. That makes the bottle all the more compelling.

First, pricing can be as low as $35 per bottle SRP…if people hunting these bottles down get lucky. Some people report finding Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond for around $40, but most will say it’s between $65 and $80. Then there’s the fact that this small run bourbon isn’t exactly consistent between batches. That makes finding a bottling that really speaks to the consumer special.

Regardless of “controversy,” this bonded bourbon is aged for ten years, much longer than many other bottled-in-bond expressions out there.

Jack Daniel’s 10-Years-Old Tennessee Whiskey, $70

Here we go… On a technical level, Tennessee whiskey is bourbon. The process, up to a certain point, is identical: both must be at least 51 percent corn, and both must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. The big difference is the step that takes place just before the liquid is aged: it’s treated to a charcoal filtering.

So, please don’t come at us for including Jack Daniel’s 10-Years-Old Tennessee Whiskey on this list. Instead, seek out and try this new 97-proof offering from Jack Daniel’s.

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, $65

This bourbon is for those looking for a single-barrel expression from one of the most recognizable names in bourbon production. Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit rings in at 101 proof and is aged for eight years. Enjoyed neat, Kentucky Spirit delivers notes of almond, honey, leather, oak, pepper and vanilla, a full body, and a long finish.

$100 and Over

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (2021 Edition), $130

September is a special month for bourbon lovers. Bourbon Heritage Month is the perfect time to splash out for high-dollar bottles. One of those is the industry’s first-ever vintage-dated bourbons.

For the unfamiliar, Birthday Bourbon has marked George Garvin Brown’s birthday, September 2, since 2002. As you may have suspected, George was the co-founder of Brown-Forman. This year’s Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is the product of 119 barrels that were filled on April 16, 2009, and aged for 12 years.

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Series No. 16 (Very Fine Rare Bourbon), $130

Whereas several bottles on this list pay homage to the rich history of bourbon production, Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection showcases the future. Now, Very Find Rare Bourbon is a nod to the past. However, the mission driving Master’s Collection is innovation. Special releases like Series No. 16 is produced with liquid from barrels that date back to 2003, which is the year that Chris Morris became Master Distiller.

Four Roses 2021 Limited Edition Small Batch, $150

Looking for a barrel-strength bourbon? Four Roses 2021 Limited Edition Small Batch is bottled at 114.2 proof. This bottling consists of four bourbons produced following four separate Four Roses recipes: a 12-year-old OESK, a 14-year-old OBSQ, a 16-year-old OESV, and a 16-year-old OBSV. To learn more about the Four Roses recipes, click here.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

The 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge

The 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge

by David Klemt

Bourbon barrels resting in Buffalo Trace rack house

Today marks the start of Bourbon Heritage Month, the celebration of America’s native spirit.

Unlike National Bourbon Day, which takes place in the US on June 14, September provides us with a monthlong bourbon celebration.

I, for one, couldn’t be more excited to revisit some of the bottles in my home bar.

But there’s another way to celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month. And operators can participate.

Bourbon & Banter

In 2011, bourbon devotee and advocate Patrick Garrett founded Bourbon & Banter.

A team of devoted contributors soon followed and developed.

Bourbon & Banter’s initial mission was simple but powerful: “to spread the Bourbon Gospel.”

However, over the course of ten years, that mission has evolved. A robust community has formed around Bourbon & Banter. Today’s mission is to continue building that community while helping others “drink curious.”

Bourbon & Banter reviews bottles, keeps readers and followers current with relevant news and events, sells merchandise, and more.

But there’s something else this dedicated bourbon bunch does. Something that celebrates Bourbon Heritage Month.

30 Days of Bourbon

Normally, the first of the month is reserved by KRG Hospitality for a roundup of weird holidays. However, we’re disrupting our regular programming in the name of bourbon.

Bourbon & Banter is challenging bourbon aficionados, casual bourbon drinkers, and the bourbon-curious to participate in a monthlong challenge.

The premise of 30 Days of Bourbon is simple: drink a new bourbon every day for the entirety of September.

Equally as simple are the rules:

  • Only bourbons count. Sure, drink whatever you want. But only bourbon counts toward the challenge.
  • Tennessee whisky counts, as technically it’s bourbon. We don’t make the rules for whiskey or this challenge, so don’t @ us.

Speaking of technicalities, Bourbon & Banter provides the following in terms of what differentiates one bourbon from another:

  • Mash bills within a single brand: Each of Four Roses ten mash bills are unique and therefore count as individual bourbons. The same holds true for their limited editions and Small Batch blend.
  • Single barrel bourbons: Using Blanton’s as the example, the stoppers don’t indicate separate bourbons—the barrels do. So, look for different barrels or they don’t count as different bourbons.
  • Proof: Bourbon & Banter says Evan Williams Black and Green Labels are the same but that White Label is different due to the rules for bonded bourbons.
  • Non-distiller producer (NDP) bourbons such as those from MGP count as the final products differ from one another so greatly.

Accept the Challenge

Bourbon & Banter have created a convenient 30 Days of Bourbon calendar. beyond that, they’ve also made logo overlays for participants to use as they post about their progress.

Operators can participate by offering a special or otherwise highlighting a different bourbon each day in September. Encourage guests to return and track their progress using Bourbon & Banter’s calendar.

Use social media to announce the day’s bourbon or mark personal progress. Operators and participants should use the hashtags #30DaysOfBourbon and #BourbonHeritageMonth.

Obviously, operators should give credit to Bourbon & Banter for this challenge and their calendar, so make sure to tag their accounts: Instagram, Twitter and, Facebook. Also, visit them on YouTube and check out their Patreon.

Additionally, Bourbon & Banter has been asking participants to donate $30 to the charity of their choice during the 30 Days of Bourbon challenge for the last five years. Founder Garrett has also been rewarding participants with bourbon-related prizes randomly.

Of course, operators can also come up with their own rewards for completing the challenge at their venue.

Cheers!

Image: Josh Collesano on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

7 Whiskeys for National Bourbon Day

7 Whiskeys for National Bourbon Day

by David Klemt

Lux Row Distillers Blood Oath Pact No. 7 bourbon whiskey

We celebrate America’s native spirit on June 14, National Bourbon Day.

Certainly, this is a mainstream holiday more than worthy of celebrating. We definitely don’t need an excuse to enjoy a dram and a cocktail, but it’s great to have one at the ready anyway.

Of course, there are far too many labels out there for us to list and honor them all. So, we’ve chosen seven bottlings that span a decent range of prices.

Cheers!

$50 and Under

Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch (Kentucky), $20 SRP

Perhaps owing to their affordable prices, a lot of people tend to sleep on Evan Williams. However, their bottles routinely end up on bartender go-to lists. Their 1783 Small Batch pays homage to the year Williams founded Kentucky’s first distillery,

Wyoming Whiskey National Parks Limited Edition American Whiskey (Wyoming), $50 SRP

Are you and your guests big fans of our beautiful national parks? If so, Wyoming Whiskey National Parks Limited Edition is the perfect whiskey! This straight bourbon, which features Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park on its label, is a five-year-old, 92-proof homage to our natural resources. For every bottle sold, Wyoming Whiskey is donating $50 to the National Park Foundation.

$51 to $99

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (Kentucky), $57 SRP

If you and your guests are looking for one of the smoothest expressions of Woodford, Double Oaked is the one. This whiskey starts its life as Distiller’s Select but receives a second barreling in virgin, charred-oak barrels. And Double isn’t smooth enough for you, there’s always Double Double

Russell’s Reserve 13 Year Bourbon (Kentucky), $69.99 SRP

The Russell’s Reserve label is part of the Wild Turkey portfolio and honors Master Distiller Jimmy Russell’s legacy. Master Distiller Eddie Russell is Jimmy’s son, has been producing whiskey for Wild Turkey for 40 years, and, like his father, is Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame inductee. The Russell’s Reserve 13 Year bottling is, of course, 13 years old, and it rings in at 114.8 proof.

Blood Oath Pact No. 7 (Kentucky), $99 SRP

The Blood Oath series is part of the Lux Row Distillers portfolio. Like Orphan Barrel releases, each Blood Oath release, known as a Pact, is highly sought after. In fact, if you don’t get your hands on one right away, the prices can double or more on the secondary market. Blood Oath Pact No. 7 is a blend of three Kentucky bourbons: one 14 year and two eight years.

$100 and Over

Heaven’s Door & Redbreast 10-Year Master Blenders’ Edition (Tennessee), $99.99 SRP

Alright, so this one is only a penny under $100—we’re rounding up for this one. As the name of this straight bourbon suggests, this is a collaboration between Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door and Redbreast Irish Whiskey. Master Blender’s Edition features 10-year-old Heaven’s Door bourbon given a 15-month finishing treatment in 12-year-old Redbreast casks.

Copper Tongue Orphan Barrel (Tennessee), $100 SRP

As with Lux Row Distillers releases, Orphan Barrel is highly sought after and highly collectible. Aficionados and fans in the know will go out of their way to score a dram if they can find it. Coppper Tongue will be no different, a 16-year-old, cask-strength straight bourbon weighing in at 89.8 proof. The distillery recommends enjoying it neat or, interestingly, with a slice of pear.

Image: Lux Row Distillers

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