Boone County Distilling Co has a unique niche in the continuously expanding Kentucky bourbon market; its products are “Made By Ghosts.” This ominous sounding tag line in reality is the company’s homage to those now little known nineteenth century characters in Boone County, Kentucky, who forged an enormous distilling pathway.
Jim Beam Bourbon, probably more commonly known as Jim Beam White Label, is Beam’s flagship product. According to data compiled by The Spirits Business, in 2020, the Jim Beam brand was the number one selling bourbon in the world, and good ‘ol Jim Beam White Label made up the majority of those sales. You may be wondering why Jim Beam Bourbon is so popular? That’s a fair question, so let’s take a closer look.
15 Stars is named in homage to Kentucky being the 15th state on the 15 star US flag, which debuted in 1795. Interestingly, this flag is also the only US flag to have 15 stripes, rather than the 13 that we have today. In addition, this is also the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner. So it’s one important flag! According to the 15 Stars website, they are currently distilling bourbons made with heritage corns, including a baby black corn, which sounds very interesting. Also on deck are bourbons made with heritage red, white and blue corns. While they are waiting for their own whiskeys to mature, they are sourcing and blending some older Kentucky bourbons. This 15 Stars 14 Year Fine Aged Bourbon is their first release.
The Heaven Hill 7 Year Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon replaced their 6yr old Bottled-In-Bond, which had been one of my favorite value bourbons. The 7 year Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon was first launched in October 2019, with a limited distribution that mysteriously did not include Kentucky. The suggested retail price was $39.99, substantially higher than the 6yr that it replaced. The squared edges of the 6yr’s bottle were replaced with rounded ones, the label became more refined, and the plastic screw top was replaced with a real cork and wooden cap.
I think what is most interesting about Very Old Barton Bourbon is that it is nowhere to be found on the Barton 1792 website. So maybe it’s listed on the Sazarac (it’s parent company) “Our Brands” website. Nope. That’s OK, I’ll just check the bottle label for a story. Wait a minute – there is no back label. Strange. It’s not that Sazerac is hiding this bourbon; they give a sample of it during their tastings at the Barton 1792 Distillery. But why is there absolutely no information available about it?
Have you heard of OH Ingram River Aged whiskeys? I had posted about their rye, which was their second release, back in February 2021. Since then, I have enjoyed their whiskey on multiple occasions. So, when the newest addition to their line, this OH Ingram River Aged Straight Bourbon, showed up on my front porch (Thank you OH Ingram!!) I was eager to give it a try!
Don’t worry! I haven’t become Armagnac Obsessed, but I actually am about this particular one, because it’s part of a bourbon and armagnac love story, so to speak. Sort of like Romeo and Juliet but with a happier (and tastier) ending. If you’ll remember back in the early summer of 2020, the Bardstown Bourbon Company released their Château De Laubade Bourbon, which was finished in Château De Laubade Armagnac barrels. So the cool thing is that these barrels, after first aging armagnac and then finishing BBC bourbon then went back to Château De Laubade to finish an armagnac. The circle of life. Isn’t that cool?! I have really wanted to get a hold of a bottle of this armagnac from the time I first time that I had heard of it, but it seemed like none of the 698 bottles made it to Kentucky. Fortunately my wonderful wife tracked one down in California and my wonderful brother-in-law muled it back for me.
Four Roses Small Batch Select is the newest addition to Four Roses’ main lineup. It was first introduced back in 2019 with limited availability, but now is significantly more widely available. At around twice the price of the Small Batch, Four Roses gives us 6 recipes instead of four, boosts the proof to 104, and delivers the bourbon non-chill filtered.