Several Imbibe staff members attended the Bourbon Tasting sponsored by Imbibe and Pacific Edge Imports. Drew Kulsveen and Hunter Chavanne of Kentucky Bourbon Distillers conducted an informative, educational but still casual evening of increasing proofs & great tastes. The evening opened with the Imbibe Signature Cocktail ‘The ‘Bourbon Rouge’ (Gina’s favorite; see recipe below). The sellout crowd learned what makes Bourbon, Bourbon. All Bourbons are Whiskey, but not all Whiskies are Bourbon. To be called Bourbon, the following criteria must be met:
(1) The primary ingredient must be corn (at least 51%)
(2) Must be distilled at no greater than 160 proof
(3) Only new, charred, white oak barrels should be used for aging
(4) Must be aged at least two years to be called a straight bourbon whiskey
(5) The spirit must go into the barrel at no more than 125 proof
(6) Only water can be added to adjust the Bourbon to the appropriate bottling strength
After this brief introduction with a history of bourbon and the distillery, we tasted the first three bourbons:
Kentucky Vintage (90 proof) amber; medium-bodied; clove, citrus, smoke; buttery, smooth
Willet Pot Still Reserve (94 proof) vanilla, coconut, cedar; graceful & elegant ~Richard’s favorite
Rowan’s Creek (100.1 proof) dark golden amber; pear, lemon, honey & flowers ~Josh’s favorite
Dinner was served as we continued the seminar portion of the evening before moving to the next three bourbons:
Johnny Drum Private Stock (101 Proof) smooth vanilla flavors; smoky; well-balanced ~Deanna’s favorite
Pure Kentucky XO (107 proof) caramel, vanilla, grains, butterscotch, spice, cedar, citrus ~David’s favorite
Noah’s Mill (114.3 proof) orange peel, apple sauce, cinnamon, maple, caramel, minty & hot
And the moment many of you have been waiting for, here is the recipe for the drink that Dean was making for everyone prior to the presentation.
The Bourbon Rouge~
- 1 oz Bardstown 4yr Black Label Bourbon
- 1 oz Dolin Rouge Vermouth
- ½ oz Paolucci Amaro CioCiaro
- 3 dashes Orange Bitters
- Stir all in shaker 60 times with ice
- Strain into glass
- Garnish with orange peel
All the bourbons listed above are currently in stock at Imbibe. Be sure to stop by and ask any of staff about their bourbon experience. The proof is in the tasting!
And for those of you looking for some great wines to add to your weekly flight, here are some new ones that just came in.
2007 Robert Craig Affinity $44.99 This is what Robert Parker has to say about this wine: “The 2007 Affinity exhibits more graphite, but in essence is similarly elegant, with supple tannins (although more velvety than in the 2006), very young, primary black and blue fruit notes, and superb concentration, texture, and length. This is an exceptionally promising wine that is still hiding behind a rather primary display of fruit. Give it 2-3 years of cellaring and drink it over the next 15 or possibly 20 years.” 96 points Drink 2011-2031
2006 Adelaida Syrah ‘Anna’s Vineyard Robert Parker has this to say about the delicious wine from one of Paso Robles’ pioneer wineries: “The outstanding 2006 Syrah Anna’s Estate exhibits this varietal’s gamy, meaty style with attractive barbecue/smoked meat, camphor, cassis, and acacia flower notes. The super-complex aromatics are accompanied by a round, medium to full-bodied wine with sweet tannin, good substance, and fine purity. Enjoy it over the next 5-7 years. 90 points
2007 Adelaida Pavanne (47% Roussanne, 34% Grenache Blanc, 13% Chardonnay, & 6% Viognier) Characterized by tropical flavors, Pavanne is an ideal summer quencher, combining rich and contrasting tart flavors with a mineral tinged finish. Initially full and ripe, with mouth coating flavors of pineapple and kumquat, it leaves your palate with crisp edged sensations reminiscent of quince and grapefruit-like citrus. It is ideal for casual gatherings and pairs well with a wide array of summertime fare.
2007 Olson Ogden Pinot Noir $39.99 Olson Ogden is a small, artisan wine company located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. They specialize in small production, handcrafted wines. The focus is on Pinot Noir and Rhone varietals, with an emphasis on vineyard designated Syrah, from passionate growers with special vineyards. The primary goal is to produce balanced, complex and tasty wines that express the terrior and vintage. Red fruits dominate the nose with hints of cola, spices and a touch of forest floor. This is a full bodied, well balanced, intense young Pinot Noir. It is complex and full of flavor with a long, lingering finish. The wines are usually bottled unfined and unfiltered and will likely contain a natural sediment during their evolution. This results in an authentic and honest wine that is rich and complex and a pleasure to drink.
Until next time, keep pulling those corks,
- The Imbibe Gang