Single Barrel Tour with Matt the Beer Guy
This is the first post in an on-going series of single barrel whiskey picked exclusively for Midtown.
Jim Beam: Knob Creek Single Barrel
An Introductory Experience
I enjoyed the trip to Jim Beam for my first barrel tasting and selection. The whiskey was great to try and meeting Master Distiller Fred Noe was a trip. It’s impressive to be met by the master distiller and see that his office is the first one as you enter.
Now, I was warned about Fred: He makes no changes to his style for anyone, meaning, he’s going to be the good ol’ boy from the country, cussing and all. He know his stuff though and was fun and interesting to talk to.
After introductions, we headed to the barrel warehouse for the tasting. It was awesome to be let into the storehouse to see all of the stored barrels and smell all of the aging bourbon. We were presented with 3 barrels, each stored in a different location but *I believe* aged for the same length of time. One of the storehouse managers showed us how to hammer out the bunghole and pour the samples. We were set to taste!
Now comes the point of contention from Midtown: We were presented with plastic cups. As a wine, spirits and craft beer store, we pride ourselves and appreciate the appropriate glassware. Unfortunately, this falls short. That being said, the bourbon itself did not.
The fun of tasting straight from the barrel, is that the bourbon is barrel strength, aka not watered down. The Knob Creek we tasted was all above 100 proof and thus pretty hot. That is why Fred recommended we add a bit of water in order to bring the simulated proof roughly down to single barrel bottle standards. We tried them barrel strength first and then added a bit of water.
My favorite was one of the smoother bourbons as I love the carmel and vanilla notes that I associate with “smoothness”. That explains my taste for Woodford Reserve. The last of the barrels, we all agreed, was definitely not up too par; it tasted less complex than once would expect. The third barrel had a decent bit more spice and good depth. We decided upon this barrel as once our customers would love.
After deciding, we were taken for lunch and given a tour. The new touring facilities and visitors’ center are impressive. They have a mini distillery setup just for touring and it gives a fun, interactive aspect to the process.
Overall, my first single barrel tasting was a fun and informative experience. I hope you like the Knob Creek. We’ll let you know when it arrives.
We are thrilled to announce that we have set a date and a location for Whiskey Fest 2013 — this year’s festivities will be held on the evening of Saturday, September 14, 2013 at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
If you attended Whiskey Fest 2012, then you may remember that our focus was centered on local favorites; this year’s list of featured whiskeys will include Japanese, Canadian, Scotch, and Irish whisk(e)ys in addition to our American standbys.
The festival was a smashing success last year, but we want to make everything bigger and better for 2013, so we will be packing our schedule with a larger variety of classes, seminars, and special events in the days leading up to September 14th. You can also expect to see – and hear a lot more from us on the web and in the store about our favorite whiskeys and bourbons as Whiskey Fest draws near.
In the meantime, we will be making a point of keeping you up to date on the enormous selection of local and imported whiskeys on our shelves. We just received new shipments of Corsair Triple Smoke and W. L. Weller 7 Year, and we are also proud to be one of only a handful of spirits stores in the area offering a limited stock of Hakushu 12 Year Japanese Malted Whiskey. We are also expecting several shipments of hand-selected single barrel whiskeys any day now so you can look forward to brand new batches of some of our most-requested spirits including Blanton’s, Four Roses and Buffalo Trace Single Barrels, Elijah Craig 12 year, and that good old Tennessee standby: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, so please stop by and pick up a bottle of whatever tickles your fancy!
For now, we will continue to post updates about Whiskey Fest 2013 and related activities on Twitter, Facebook, and right here on the Midtown blog, so don’t forget to check back in with us frequently and be sure to let us know if you have any ideas or requests about spirits or seminars that you would love to see at Whiskey Fest 2013.
That’s right folks, this is a big deal! On September 22, the 1st Annual Nashville Whiskey Festival, sponsored by your favorite wine and spirits store, will take place at the War Memorial Auditorium. It will be one of the biggest events to hit Nashville and will be packed full of stars and gems of the whiskey world. With Tennessee being not only one of the largest whiskey consuming states in the world, it is also one of the largest whiskey producing. It’s only proper to throw a festival in celebration of one of America’s favorite spirits. What happens at a whiskey festival, you say? Here’s just a few things we have in store for you:
- -Special tastings through the week leading to the event
- -30+ distilleries & breweries participating
- -Educational seminars put on by master distillers
- -Special VIP hour w/ rare whiskey tasting
- -Cigar kiosk
- -Barrel aged beer
- -Special whiskey cocktail seminar featuring Tim Laird America’s C.E.O.
There’s all this and so much more to come. Follow us on Twitter (@Nashwhiskeyfest & @midtownwine), Facebook and make sure you’re on our email list to get the latest information as it comes out!
These days, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when wanting to make a cocktail.
Everyone you come across is working his/her way to becoming a mixologist. New restaurants, TV shows about drinks, all kinds of new infused vodkas and bourbons, fancy names and flair to match — it gets overwhelming. It is not hard, however, to achieve such mastery, allowing you to avoid that feeling of being overwhelmed or uneducated.
When it comes to something so fun as mixing, fear should play no part — everyone should be able to enjoy it. It’s what I like to consider an art in itself, and like any art or hobby, the “mixer” should be able to delve into it however deeply he likes.
There are a few necessary items that one should always have handy when wanting to get creative.
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