Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Frey Ranch Bottled In Bond Straight Rye Whiskey

Frey Ranch Bottled In Bond Straight Rye Whiskey

On a 1,500 acre farm in Fallon, Nevada comes some of the best whiskey we have tasted to date.  The Frey family has been farming this ground east of the Sierra Nevada mountains for about 170 years, which has resulted in them producing true grain to glass products.  They maintain complete control over every step in the process and their dedication to the craft results in wonderful products.

Colby and Ashley Frey establised Frey Ranch Distillery in 2006, all while still farming the family ground.  They are deliberate about each action they take from the obvious milling, mashing, fermeting (you kow, the "whiskey stuff") to the bottle and stopper design and label colors.  No detail goes unnoticed and no decision is made without the hands on approach of this team.

The Frey Ranch Bottled In Bond Straight Rye Whiskey is comprised of 100% slow-grown winter rye, aged for at least five years and is an absolute rock star in our opinion!  It bothers us that many whiskey lovers had a bad experience with Rye previously and they have completely shut it down.  We get it.  Some Rye can be over-peppered tongue tinglers that aren't enjoyable.  But that's not even close to what you're getting here.

Golden-brown-red sunset color in the bottle, this whiskey gives you lifting aromas of citrus, lemongrass, candied jam and subtle smoke initially.  We let this one have some time in the glass and came back to it.  There is a floral and cocoa bean undertone that presents itself and almost a sugar cookie presence as well.  To say there is a LOT going on here would be a huge understatement.  Tasted neat, we welcome flavors of warm baked pumpernickel bread, lemon custard, vanilla candy, more citrus with a very well-balanced and frankly, minuscule amount of spice.  While we think this would create a beautiful cocktail, we believe this whiskey stands on its own and is best enjoyed neat.  We are going to go ahead and say that we will be seeing this one again in our 2024 Best Whiskey list later this year!  This is absolutely, without a doubt, a Rye whiskey that you need to taste.

Frey Ranch Bottled In Bond Straight Rye Whiskey Label

ABV:  50.0% (100 proof)

Distillery:  Frey Ranch Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $62.99

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100

Monday, June 17, 2024

Dread River Blackstrap Rum


Dread River Distilling Co. Blackstrap Rum

We don't get a lot of opportunities to taste rum, but we are so glad we had this chance.  Dread River Distilling Co out of Birmingham, Alabama has been distilling bourbon, rum, vodka, gin and other fine spirits since 2019.  During the Covid pandemic they were also pumping out hand sanitizer.  What started as a dream to create a small craft whiskey distillery has turned into a thriving and impressive destination location that not only produces whiskey but has so much more to offer.  Dread River now has a full-service kitchen, bar, gift shop, even facility....and some damned fine rum!

The Dread River Blackstrap Rum is starts with brown sugar and molasses, which is important to know when tasting this one.  In lieu of sugar cane, the brown sugar plays an important part in the color, aromas and flavors of this unique liquor.  If you pop this open and are thinking you're going to get something similar to a Captain Morgan plonk, you're in for surprise.  This rum has a hauntingly gorgeous deep, dark chocolate color and features all natural flavors.  The mash is infused with orange peel, peppercorn, vanilla beans and coriander, creating aromas that leap from the glass.  

We tasted this straight and neat since we truly believe it is a sipping rum and then again with a couple of ice cubes.  Maple, lemongrass, coffeebean, vanilla and fresh fruit basket aromas were competing for attention.  Island fruits, vanilla pudding, maple candy and orange marmelade were initial flavors without the ice.  Ice brought out some semi sweet chocolate and sweet rolls towards the end.  To drink this is absolutely effortless and a real smile maker!

This is the inaugural batch of Blackstrap Rum from Dread River and we suspect it won't be their last!  If this bottle is any indication of how the rest of their lineup is, they are definitely worth putting on your radar!

Dread River Blackstrap Rum Label

ABV:  40.0% (80 proof)

Distillery:  Dread River Distilling Co.

Suggested retail price:  $39.99

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Broad Branch Distillery - Leading The Way in North Carolina Spirits


Broad Branch Distillery: Winston-Salem, NC

By now, the world clearly knows that 95% of the world's bourbon is born in Kentucky.  But did you know that all fifty states not only make whiskey, but they distill other unique spirits as well?  Today, we travel virtually to Broad Branch Distillery in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to discover six very unique spirits, ranging from a 60 proof flavored whiskey to a 6+ year aged, 100 proof Rye.  

Broad Branch Distillery Spirits

We tasted the Broad Branch Distillery Spirits line up from 50 mL sample bottles.  This includes four of their CORE spirits and two of their PREMIUM selections.  This tasting was very unique, as it included North Carolina rum and a classic Carolina Spirit that was reminiscent of tequila.  Don't get us wrong - we LOVE our bourbon and whiskey (and we tasted those too!) but it's always fun to discover new flavors and products outside of the famous distilled brown water.

Broad Branch Distillery Tasting Room

BBD relishes the Blue Ridge Moutain distilling processes and they live by the mission to create the best products they can while employing the craftmaking of the Old World style.  Though modern-looking and feeling, this team knows that time honored traditions of mashing, fermenting, aging and bottling spirits at the precise moment means that every bottle is getting the best that they have to offer.  At BBD, you're going to find a contemporary twenty-first century building located in the Winston-Salem Arts District with friendly faces and welcoming vibes.

So let's get into the bottles...

Broad Branch Distillery Nightlab
First up is "Nightlab", representing a traditional, time-honored North Carolina 100-year-old recipe.  This spirit was completely new to us and we couldn't wait to dig in.  If you smelled and tasted this, you would swear, without a doubt, that you were drinking a high end tequila.  This mash is comprised of grain, sugar cane and hops.  While there is no agave here, there is that agave flavor profile.  Most tequila is bottled at 80 proof, so if you like higher proof liquor, you will definitely want to set aside the Patron for this gem!   It is extremely clean and easy to drink, whether in a cocktail, on ice or sipping neat.

ABV:  47.5% (95 proof)

Distillery:  Broad Branch Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $33.95

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

Broad Branch Distillery Frank's Reserve

While we don't know the mash bill on "Frank's Reserve" we can tell you that this bottle feels right.  What does that mean?  It means it is a very smooth, lower proof derived of grains, sugar cane and hops.  This doesn't taste "hoppy" at all, likely because it was aged in European Chardonnay barrels and new American Oak barrels for 3 years each.  The 6 year age statement is delivering a beautiful deep amber color with cherry pie and peppery spice on the nose and palate.  We tasted this neat and while it is pretty straight forward, it is impressive in its own right.  For someone who is wanting to taste different spirits and who hasn't garnered a taste for 100+ proof offerings yet, this one comes highly recommended.

ABV:  44% (88 proof)

Distillery:  Broad Branch Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $39.95

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100

Broad Branch Distillery Smashing Violet

All of the products we tasted from BBD were well received, but we have to admit.... we were very excited to pour and taste this one!  This is their blueberry flavored whiskey, "Smashing Violet".  We tasted this neat, on ice and blended with a dash of pulp-free lemonade (from concentrate).  The pours were very small but introduced the palate to an inviting and absolutely delicious blueberry flavor.  We picked up some hints of spice cabinet and subtle flavors of New York cheesecake after some air time in the glass.  This one doesn't hit you in the face with an overwhelming blue monster, but that's because there are no added flavors, sweeteners or colors.  You get two things here - whiskey and blueberries.   This is crafted extremely well.  They could have really made this a "go to hell" high proof party drink and we are glad they didn't.  We think we need to buy a bottle and try this over vanilla ice cream!

ABV:  30% (60 proof)

Distillery:  Broad Branch Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $46.95

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100

Broad Branch Distillery Sungrazer Craft Rum

The Broad Branch Distillery "Sungrazer" Craft Rum was a great surprise for us as well.  Nice light golden color, this triple distilled beauty ages in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels for 3 months, creating an sweet-smelling and flavorful finish.  This is 100% Caribben molasses at the top of the game.  The nose shows off some spring floral boquet, candied apricot, sweet hard candy and even some bubble gum notes with some air time and swirling.   Mouth covering flavors of sweet caramel taffy makes this memorable and one to keep on hand for drinking neat or for some awesome cocktails.

ABV:  40% (80 proof)

Distillery:  Broad Branch Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $36.95

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

Broad Branch Distillery Rye Fidelity Whiskey

When we started tasting this "Rye Fidelity" rye whiskey, we couldn't write our tasting notes and thoughs fast enough. From the medium hickory color to the long finish, we knew we were in for a ride!  It's funny how many bourbon and whiskey drinkers we run into who immediately tell us that Rye "isn't their thing" because of the spicy feel and burn.  So for them, we challenge them to taste this incredible bottle!  We have personally really tasted some delicious Rye whiskeys this year and this one is definitely a contendor for our favorite!  Mocha and muddled ripe berries on the nose, this Rye has a dominant chocolate pie with graham cracker crust flavor, mixed berry jam and some espresso bean flirting at your tongue with some time in the glass.  It's extemely viscous and it completely covers your mouth.  Incredible!  This is North Carolina's only 6+ year single barrel straight rye whiskey and Broad Branch Distillery has set the standard.  No, that's not right.  They have set the bar for others to try to reach!  We dare any other North Carolina distillery to produce a rye this fantastic!

ABV:  50% (100 proof)

Distillery:  Broad Branch Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $69.95

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100

Broad Branch Distillery Big Winston Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Lastly, but certainly not least, is the second offering in the Broad Branch Premium Spirits category.  This is "Big Winston", a 6-year-old straight bourbon whiskey.  Mash bill unknown, this low rye bourbon Mahogany-colored bourbon presents notes of vanilla cream, spice cabinet, oak and wet tea leaf on the nose.  Lovely brown sugar with hints of spice at first taste.  Then joining are welcoming flavors of toasted nuts, vanilla custard and dried plum.  The finish is extremely smooth.  We tasted this one neat in a Glencairn and would love to try this in a cocktail.  Well done!

ABV:  42.5% (85 proof)

Distillery:  Broad Branch Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $59.95

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

Monday, June 10, 2024

Hooten Young Operation Gothic Serpent Rye Whiskey

Hooten Young Operation Gothic Serpent Rye Whiskey

Tim Young and former Special Mission Unit Member (MSG RET) Norm Hooten were chatting around a fire, sipping whiskey and dragging on cigars with friends.  That's how all great whiskey brands are started, aren't they?  These two guys wanted to honor military service and provide a quality whiskey to the market that had meaning behind their brand.  Hooten Young was born.

This is the first product of Hooten Young we have tasted, and that's a shame since we have seen it locally many times on shelves.  Now that we have tasted this 6 year rye, we will be on the hunt for more of their limited-release whiskey to taste and share.  This is the Hooten Young Operation Gothic Serpent Rye Whiskey honoring the 30 year anniversary of Operation Gothic Serpent.  OGS is the real life story that inspired the wildly popular movie Black Hawk Down.  

Coming in at 93 proof, this MGP-distilled whiskey has a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% barley.  The color is antique oak furniture with aromas of dried fruits, tobacco and clove.  Tasted neat in a rocks glass, the sweet dried fruit flavors were joined with carmel candy, peppercorn and cherry cordial.  While the finished isn't overly long, it is very pleasant and leaves you with wanting to dig back into the bottle.  This would be an entry level whiskey for this brand compared to its other limited, higher aged statement releases.  Nonetheless, it is definitely a whiskey that would be a great companion to telling stories with friends and making new memories.  Solid.

Hooten Young Operation Gothic Serpent Rye Whiskey Label

ABV:  46.5% (93 proof)

Distillery:  MGP for Hooten Young

Suggested retail price:  $64.99

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Filmland Spirits Moonlight Mayhem! Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey


Filmland Spirits Moonlight Mayhem! Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Nearly six years ago to the day, we wrote an article about the importance and value of bottle labels in the wine industry.  This, of course, holds true today and encompasses not only the wine but also spirits industry.  We can't think of a brand in the whiskey world who understands this better than the team at Filmland Spirits.  This Los Angeles-based company is comprised of film industry experts and whiskey enthusiasts who want to marry the two industries with enjoyable, eye-catching and palate pleasing brown water.  And that's exactly what we have here for you today.

This is the Filmland Spirits Moonlight Mayhem! Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey that gives you a well-rounded package.  You get the ultra cool art deco label on a memorable and incredibly information-packed bottle, a fair price and most of all - a very tasty and fun product!  This is bottled in Kentucky and distilled in Indiana, meaning it is most likely a product of Midwest Grain Products.  If you're a bourbon snob and just rolled your eyes, feel free to move on.  Most folks don't realize that many dozens of brands start with and still use MGP to distill their spirits.  Some of the most popular brands are MGP to this day.  We never hate on that fact.

Coming in at 94 proof and with a 4+ year age statement, this has a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye and 4% malted barley.  Filmland Spirits lists this as a small batch bourbon, and like all small batch bourbons, that definition is clouded (or secretive to some) so we take that at face value.  Let's get into this one...

Moonlight Mayhem! Bourbon Label

Gingerbread color in the glass to the rim and more viscous than expected, pleasantly.  On the nose are tons of citrus, chocolate covered cherries and toffee.  A little air time brings out additional sweetness and this is reminiscant of a Werther's Original hard candy.  Tasted neat, the same citrus fruit is at center stage with some island fruits showing up in the back end.  Chocolate covered cherry, baking spice and cigar box join in nicely, always blending with the sweet toffee/candy notes.  This isn't overly complex but it is very tasty and respectable.  While this could be considered their entry-level whiskey, there's nothing juvenile about it.  Filmland Spirits also produces a cask strength bourbon, a 9 year-aged Kentucky straight bourbon, a straight rye and a cask strength rye.  Each one tells a story and features the amazing bottle artwork.  If you see any of these in the store, definitely give them a try!

Check out our YouTube video review!

ABV:  47.0% (94 proof)

Distillery:  MGP for Filmland Spirits

Suggested retail price:  $54.99

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

O H Ingram River Aged Bourbon


O H Ingram River Aged Bourbon

When we set out to taste and share our thoughts on this bourbon, we were a little apprehensive at first.  We suppose you could say that about any whiskey or bourbon that we've never tasted, but we were worried that the "river aged" statement might be more of a sales gimmick.  Of course the Mississippi River has been used for hundreds of years, allowing distillers a more convenient way to transport their product.  But why would you age your whiskey on a barge on the river?  Well, one advantage is that the whiskey is in constant contact with all sides/ends of the barrel with the constant gentle movement of the river's dance.  Some would argue that this helps develop the familiar whiskey flavors faster and with more intensity.  Let's find out!

The mash bill on this O H Ingram Whiskey offering is 70% corn, 21% wheat and 9% malted barley.  The absence of rye provides a smoother and sweeter bourbon and an extremely easy drinker.  On the nose we initially noticed a great deal of tropical fruit, orange juice, espresso bean and polished leather.  It is immediately both inviting and intriguing.  First tastes (neat, of course) provided flavors of apple pie, cinnamon, honeycomb and the citrus that stayed the course throughout the entire tasting experience.  When you first taste this, you find that this initially seems to be higher than 105 proof, but this quickly mellows out to a very pleasant and welcoming finish.

O H Ingram River Aged Bourbon Bottle Cap

We tasted this the next night and were met with a very similar experience but adding in hints of cherry pipe tobacco on the nose and chocolate-covered coffee beans on the palate.  Each bottle cap displays the barge number where the whiskey was aged.  We really were blown away by this bourbon and are seriously impressed by what O H Ingram is doing here.  

Check out our YouTube review!

ABV:  52.5% (105 proof)

Distillery:  O H Ingram

Suggested retail price:  $69.99

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

Thursday, May 23, 2024

15 Stars Private Stock 8 & 15 Year Blended Bourbon


15 Stars Private Stock 8 & 15 Year Blended Bourbon

Sourcing and blending whiskey is nothing new.  The practice has been going on for hundreds of years since the first whiskey was produced.  But in order to be successful at blending whiskey, you need to have an understanding of the whiskey itself, the mash bills, the age statements, how to marry the various barrels and an impeccable taste for quality.  Owners of 15 Stars, Rick and Ricky Johnson, are a father and son duo that formed the company in 2019 but didn't release their first product until the spring of 2022.  These entrepreneurs and whiskey pros have been steadily growing their brand since then, paying attention to every detail (including the 15 stars bottle closure, offering a nod to Kentucky becoming the 15th state) and sourcing only what they feel are the finest bourbon barrels available from Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee.

If you consider yourself a "bourbon purist", you might be rolling your eyes about now.  And you would be extremely remiss.  Sure, there is something to be said about a farm-to-bottle, locally sourced grains, aged-in-house operation.  But it is equally impressive to come across master blenders who can create unique and delicious bourbon.  In some cases, you could argue that the latter is more difficult because of the constant trial and error one must endure to find the perfect recipe that ultimately ends up in the bottle.

We were completely thrilled to taste this 15 Stars Private Stock 8 & 15 Year Blended Bourbon.  We had been seeing different 15 Stars products pop up at local liquor stores occasionally, but they were never on the shelves very long, which is indicative to the growing popularity of the brand.  

We tasted this neat in a Glencairn, but we didn't pop and pour this one.  The aromas leapt out of the bottle and we let this one set in the glass for about 15 minutes prior to seeing what it was about.  

15 Stars Private Stock 8 & 15 Year Blended Bourbon Close Up

Dark brown sugar color to the glass edge with impressive viscosity.  The bourbon felt very luxurious and the aromas initially made you feel like you were walking into a bakery.  Inviting fragrances of freshly baked yeast donuts filled the nose followed by raspberry filling, caramel and clover honey.  The first sip brought in oodles of black cherry with signs of cedar, dried tobacco leaf and vanilla fudge.  We went back and forth about baked pecan pie and mocha hints at the finish, but the black cherry dominance was present throughout the tasting and it was absolutely delicious.  You could drink this on the rocks, but for the life of us, we don't know why you would.  This bottle, in our opinion, should be enjoyed neat and maybe slightly chilled.  Our wine library is about 64 degrees, so this was right in our wheelhouse.  

Keep an eye out for 15 Stars.  They're off to a fantastic start and the momentum is growing!  If we are to assume that this bottle is an indication of the quality of all of their releases, we can't wait to taste some others.  Yes, it is that good!  This one will be fun to re-visit throughout the next few months to see what a little airtime does for it.  We think it will continue to thrive.

Check out our YouTube video review!

ABV:  53.5% (107 proof)

Distillery:  15 Stars

Suggested retail price:  $139.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Broadslab Distillery Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon


Broadslab Distillery Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon

We're suckers for farm-to-glass bourbons because you feel like you can really trust the process when everything is done in-house.  Sure, tons of folks are mashing, distilling, maturing and bottling their own product.  But at Broadslab Distillery in Benson, NC they are also growing the grains on their farm.  While the farm-to-bottle process isn't completely unique, it is somewhat rare these days.  And what really sets this distillery apart from others is their flue-cured aging process.  Their patent pending process means that they actually age their whiskey alongside hanging/curing tobacco, providing a unique process that carries over into distinct North Carolina flavors.  

Owner and master distiller Jeremy Norris insists on doing things the old way, or as he refers to, the right way.  The distillery cooks in a 500-pound copper pot still and the barrels are put aside until the whiskey has reached that familiar golden-brown color and rich aromas.  And that is what brings us to the Broadslab Distillery Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon today.  This small batch single barrel is an impressive 115+ proof and just gorgeous in the glass.  

Tasted neat, as always, the bourbon showed up with raw leather, cedar, maple, tobacco and vanilla on the nose.  Since this was a pop-and-pour taste initially, we decided to give this bourbon some air time in the glass before getting an accurate opinion of what it offered.  There was a unique and pleasant earthiness to this bourbon.  It was joined with spice cake, eucalyptus, cherry cola and vanilla throughout.  The finish was lively and this was not overly sweet.  Tasting a product like this confirms that we already knew; Not all great distilled spirits are born in Bardstown, KY!

This is a well-rounded bottle.  We like the aromas, the tastes and the label.  The fact that you can find a really nice product like this, it makes you wonder why people chase only allocated bottles.  Small Batch.  Single Barrel.  Cask Strength.  What else do you want?

Broadslab Distillery Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon Close Up

ABV:  57.63% (115.26 proof)

Distillery:  Broadslab Distillery

Suggested retail price:  $68.95

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Monday, May 13, 2024

2021 Flora Springs Trilogy


2021 Flora Springs Trilogy

This is our third vintage of Flora Springs Trilogy to taste and review over the years, and it has always been a consistently delicious and top performer.  For the 2021 vintage (their 38th bottling), there is a new label design which is (in our opinion) more elegant and welcoming that previous offerings.  As most of you know, we do take in consideration label design, or what we call shelf appeal, when scoring our wines and spirits.

The 2021 Trilogy is comprised primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon (85%) but also includes Petit Verdot (10%) and Malbec (5%).  This flagship wine is incredibly silky-smooth throughout the entire tasting experience, offering up tannins that are glossy and fine.  A swarm of aromas that include ripe dark berries, graphite and cedar are introduced initially, but this isn't a fruit-bomb, in-your-face type of wine, which is extremely refreshing.  After some time in the glass, the cedar yields to more earthy style of aromas.  The black fruits carry over on the palate with whisps of chocolate shavings, mint, minerality and suggestions of pine.  This wine is very structured and refined.  

We tasted this wine unaccompanied first and then paired it with some hard cheeses, cured meats and jams.  While the jams were not the best pairing, this wine absolutely soared with the aforementioned meats and cheeses.  If someone were building a wine cellar and asked us to give them 20 different wines to stock/cellar, this one would definitely be in that group.  It is perpetually delicious and each vintage is just breath taking.  Well done!

2021 Flora Springs Trilogy Close Up

ABV:  14.2%

Winery:  Flora Springs: Napa, CA

2.300 Cases Produced

Suggested retail price:  $100.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100

Monday, May 6, 2024

Irons One Bourbon


Irons One Bourbon

Tucked away in a brick building in the bustling city of Huntsville, Alabama is a small craft distillery that is doing things the old-fashioned way and creating a product that may just blow your mind.  Owner and distiller Jeff Irons is nearly a one-man show, using only the help of his CTO (Chief Tasting Officer) and wife, Vicki Irons.  Irons One Distillery produces about 30 gallons of bourbon per week, give or take.  In fact, when he sent us a bottle for review, he was temporarily out of stock because he just can't keep it on the shelf.  Now we understand why!

The philosophy that Jeff Irons uses is to oversee literally every aspect of every batch of bourbon personally, from start to finish, ensuring only the highest quality product.  His "from my hands to yours" business model and the fact that every bottle has his name on it resonates with everyone who has ever tasted his incredible craft.  You won't find a team of seasonal workers or any cut corners here.  What you will find is incredible detail and care that is put into every step of the distilling process.

We tasted this small batch bourbon neat in a Glencairn initially.  We then re-visited it with a single cube in a rocks glass but determined that the neat pour was best fitting in our opinion.  We also re-tasted this five days later and, as predicted, were equally and pleasantly surprised as the initial tasting.  This bourbon provided a myriad of aromas and flavors:  Nutmeg, vanilla, oak, spice, dry earth, cake on the nose and some time in the glass kept throwing in more.  

Folks often talk about the "Kentucky hug" that you get with a whiskey or bourbon.  Well, we would suggest that this bottle gives you an Alabama backrub instead.  The pecan pie, vanilla cream, caramel corn and spice cabinet flavors blend beautifully and you can taste some floral and hard candy elements on the back end.  To say that this bourbon is smooth would be an unfortunate discredit to what Mr. Irons has done here.  We can only compare the smoothness of this whiskey to a professional paint job on a full restored 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS.  

Sometimes when we taste a new (to us) bourbon we start laughing after the initial taste.  And that's exactly what we did here.  We knew instantly that this was a superior product and a real treasure.  It's understandable why Irons Distillery wants to keep every step of the process under their thumb.  The quality, flavors, smoothness and drinkability of this product needs to be protected at all costs.  

So, how did we arrive at our score?  We compare this bottle to others in the 90 proof range.  This could very easily be our favorite 90 proof bourbon of 2024 and it is as good as any that we have tasted in the last 6 months.  The only drawback is the availability and distribution.  If this was more readily available it may have reached our first-ever perfect spirits score!  But if you are in the Huntsville, Alabama area, you absolutely, without a doubt, need to check out Irons One.  They might just have some bourbon waiting for you!

Jeff Irons - Irons One Distillery

ABV:  45.0% (90.0 proof)

Distillery:  Irons One

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  96/100

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

ANGEL'S ENVY "Worth The Envy" Marketing Campaign Focuses on Inclusivity


ANGEL'S ENVY is breaking down barriers with their wildly popular, award-winning and globally recognized finished whiskeys.  They are rolling out a national marketing campaign called "Worth The Envy", with a mission to "craft the future of bourbon and break stereotypes".

Maria, Dao, North American Marketing Director for the brand says, "At ANGEL'S ENVY, we pride ourselves in our innovative nature and origin.  We were one of the first distillers ever to bring secondary finishing to the bourbon industry at a time when it was considered a somewhat radical and visionary concept.  'Worth The Envy' strives to bend how people think about bourbon."

This new campaign shows how bourbon sparks conversations and experiences and it makes people who are not necessarily stereotypical whiskey enthusiasts think about how bourbon can enhance their lives.  More unique cocktails, a more welcoming environment and inclusiveness for all levels of whiskey fans and a potpourri of people from all walks of life are encouraged to come together and share in this lovely distilled spirit that we call whiskey and bourbon.

At Drink The Bottles we can tell you that we have personally been fans of ANGEL'S ENVY for many years.  Their Rye whiskey finished in port wine barrels is one of the first finished Rye that we had ever tasted.  We still use it regulartly in an Old Fashioned when we are looking for a sweeter version of the wildly popular cocktail.  Hats off to ANGEL'S ENVY on this new marketing campaign!

Spark Plug Cocktail Recipe

Mix up a delicious twist on the classic Espresso Martini Cocktail.

  • 1 1/2 parts ANGEL'S ENVY Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Port Wine Barrels
  • 1 part Vanilla Liqueur
  • 2 parts Espresso
Add all ingredients into a shaker tin.  Shake vigorously and strain into a coupe glass.  Garnish with three coffee beans or grated cinnamon.

Frey Ranch Bottled In Bond Straight Rye Whiskey

On a 1,500 acre farm in Fallon, Nevada comes some of the best whiskey we have tasted to date.  The Frey family has been farming this ground ...