It’s been a busy week on the bourbon beat, so we’ve decided to round up more Kentucky brown spirit news than you can shake a stir stick at.
First up is the good news that Woodford Reserve is releasing more of its Double Double Oaked Distillery Series expression for a limited time. Insider is a big fan of this juice, which is Woodford’s Double Oaked that has sat — or “matured,” as we should say — in a second heavily toasted, lightly charred barrel for an additional year.
It was first released in 2015 and has returned one other time — for an ever-so-brief period.
We saw a tweet about its return on Tuesday and nearly fell off our chair. This stuff tastes like a campfire s’more that’s made with a piece of soft caramel instead of chocolate — or maybe it has both. Our mouth is watering just thinking about it.
If you can get your hands on it, you won’t be disappointed — trust us. It retails for $50 and can likely be found at the distillery in Versailles and a few other places around Louisville, which nobody is naming.
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The sleek new design includes a distinguished cork and wood instead of a twist-off plastic cap and just looks more … shall we say … grown up and put together? The new look was designed to maintain consistency with Four Roses’ other two products, the Small Batch and Single Barrel.
“I’ve always believed this is an exceptional bourbon, and I am excited to offer it in a new package that better reflects the elegant, smooth and mellow character of the liquid inside,” said Master Distiller Brent Elliott in a news release. “The bourbon itself will be unchanged. We will continue to use the same formulation and age of liquid to create the same, classic and consistent flavor that has made this a longtime favorite with our consumers.”
The new bottles will roll out this spring, and so far, we haven’t heard back on if the cost will rise or not.
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Although this isn’t necessarily bourbon news, it is news about a bourbon distillery. Jeptha Creed, the newish craft distillery in Shelbyville, was just named the Official Vodka of the Kentucky Derby Festival, replacing Tito’s.
This means that Jeptha’s vodka will be sold at Thunder (April 21), the Chow Wagon (April 27-May 4) and all the other Derby Fest events that involve alcohol. To honor the occasion, distillery owners Joyce and Autumn Nethery came up with a special cocktail called the Bluegrass Belle, made with their blueberry vodka, mint-infused simple syrup, lime juice and Sprite.
We note just how far Jeptha Creed has come since we first reported on the family whose dream was to build a distillery back in 2016. They’ve done that, and so much more.
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Old Forester has partnered with Bourbon Barrel Foods to introduce a line of cocktail bitters, syrups and tinctures so you can easily fashion yourself a delicious Old Fashioned (and many others) right at home. They’re now available where Bourbon Barrel Food products are sold and also online at the Old Forester store.
“We want people to enjoy our bourbon the way they like it — whether it’s neat, on the rocks or in a handcrafted cocktail,” said Jackie Zykan, the Old Forester Master Taster and Bourbon Specialist who helped create the products. “Cocktail Provisions is there to help you find your inner bartender and discover new, unique ways to experience Old Forester.”
The line includes three bitters (Bohemian Bitters, Smoked Cinnamon Bitters and Hummingbird Bitters), two syrups (Perfect Old Fashioned Syrup and Oleo-Saccharum Syrup) and one tincture (Salt and Pepper Tincture), and they range from $7.50-$11.50.
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Finally, in other non-bourbon bourbon news, Lexington’s Alltech Brewery & Distilling Co., maker of Town Branch bourbon and whiskey, will be helping to import an Irish whiskey to Kentucky and beyond.
Five products from the Pearse Lyons Distillery in Dublin will soon be available here, thanks in part to Pearse Lyons himself, who also founded Alltech in 2000.
Got that? Why limit yourself to an American bourbon distillery when you can also own an Irish distillery?
“Having worked on this project for a long time, I am excited to have these whiskeys available at home,” said Mark Coffman, Master Distiller at Alltech, who worked on the original blending of the brands with Alltech’s Irish brewers and distillers. “Our goal was to make sure that each has a unique personality but delivers notes that accentuate the single malt recipe coming from Pearse Lyons Distillery.”
Samples and bottles of the Irish whiskeys will soon be available at the Lexington distillery, and throughout the state in February.
If you’re curious about the differences between bourbon and Irish whiskey, it just so happens we wrote about that last year.