Review of Starlight Single Barrel Rye (21 Kings x #Greg’s Pick Private Selection)

The words ‘Distilled In Indiana’ on a whiskey label used to automatically mean one thing: This whiskey was sourced by Midwest Grain Products (MGP). Well, not anymore. THE HISTORY OF STARLIGHT DISTILLERY The Starlight Distillery Rickhouse Starlight Distillery may seem to have burst onto the scene like another hot craft whiskey start-up, but it is actually part of a now...

Be Smarter Buying Private Barrel Picks

Last year, I was in one of my favorite distillery’s rickhouses doing one of my favorite things with some of my favorite people. Picking a private barrel of bourbon is still exciting for me, even after doing it many, many times. On this particular occasion, we tasted through three barrels of bourbon and collectively decided we weren’t going to take any of them. Noticing the visible shock on...

Review of Four Roses 2020 Small Batch Limited Edition

Once a year, Four Roses releases its Small Batch Limited Edition (SmBLE) bourbon, a unique blend orchestrated by Master Distiller Brent Elliott. You won’t see a bottle sitting on a shelf unless the store is asking over $400 for it, and even then you might not see one. The reason is simple: These are consistently among the strongest whiskey releases of the year. Among the many reasons Four...

Review of Wilderness Trail Settler’s Select Rye

One of my absolute favorite Kentucky traditions is our barrel picking group’s “hotel room double blind tasting” the night before our annual fall charity event. Each year, Brian Gomolka outdoes himself and I find myself searching for a new favorite bottle. This past November, the stars all aligned like never before. In a field of what ended up being six rye whiskies, two stood out above...

Book Review of ‘The Whiskey Rebellion’ by William Hogeland

William Hogeland’s The Whiskey Rebellion was published in 2006, well before the Bourbon Boom, and well before Lin Manuel Miranda had children rapping about Alexander Hamilton as a hero. Brilliant though Hamilton was, he was tone deaf and out of touch with the people. He was also conniving, manipulative and unscrupulous in the pursuit of what he believed to be loftier objectives.  History...

How The Bourbon Crusaders Determined the Best Bourbons on the Shelf

On Monday, November 5 2018, the Bourbon world was abuzz about a little charity event that raised over $340,000 for the American Cancer Society over the weekend. For more about the auction itself, Fred Minnick’s excellent Forbes piece captures it beautifully. What may have been overshadowed by the shocking and magical live auction at “Willett To Be Cured” was the months-long, massive blind...

Book Review of ‘Bourbon & Bullets: True Stories of Whiskey, War and Military Service’ by John Tramazzo

I am comfortable admitting that I likely wouldn’t have read this book if John Tramazzo hadn’t sent me a copy of it. I follow Tramazzo (Bourbonscout on Instagram), but I wasn’t all that interested in a collection of stories where soldiers drank together. When I saw that Fred Minnick wrote the foreword, I knew this book wasn’t what I thought it would be. A celebrated author and military...

Book Review of ‘Bourbon Justice’ by Brian Haara

In the book’s foreward, Fred Minnick himself tells us, “let me be clear: I cannot express how important this book is to bourbon history.” I’ve read and reviewed multiple Minnick books and they are amongst the very few I recommend to others. He’s spot on about Brian Haara’s phenomenal new book Bourbon Justice- This is instant classic material. Like many of you, I became aware of...