Category Archives: Spirits

Bourbon in Transition

Master distillers’ decades-long experience lays foundation for Bourbon industry’s future.

Making good Bourbon takes a long time. So does making a master distiller. These artisans of alcohol must learn every aspect of the Bourbon business, and once they rise to the top, they tend to stay there — often for decades. Continue reading Bourbon in Transition

Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey

People who know me won’t be surprised by the analogy that came to mind as I sat down to sample Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey, a new product from a veteran of the local distilling industry. What jumped into my head was the rabbit-duck illusion, an ambiguous 19th-century German drawing depicting a rabbit that, if you look again, looks like a duck, or a duck, if you blink, that resembles a rabbit. Which creature is it? Continue reading Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey

Trail Blazer

By creating the Urban Bourbon Trail, the CVB’s Stacey Yates helped put Bourbon tourism on the map.

[Originally published in the Winter 2015 issue of Food & Dining Magazine]

These days, Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail, a network of 34 establishments that promote and celebrate Bourbon by offering at least 50 brands, is so popular that “I’m waiting for Gattiland to call and say, ‘We have 50 Bourbons – can we be we on the Trail?’” Continue reading Trail Blazer

Modern Day Moonshine

Shop any decent liquor store and you’ll find a growing number of clear spirits that aren’t gin, vodka or rum. I’m talking moonshine, a debatably named clear liquor and tasty tribute to the turbulent times of Prohibition.

Baby Boomers hearing the word “moonshine” recall “The Beverly Hillbillies’” Granny Clampett sipping “white lightnin’” from an earthen jug labeled “XXX.” She made her “rheumatiz medicine” from an unknown recipe in an illegal still. Much the same occurs today on the Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners” show, where its scofflaw characters make ‘shine by “recipes” that vary with nearly every episode. What’s available, affordable and fermentable is what gets used. Sometimes that’s sugar and water, other times it’s some ground corn, sugar and water. Once rotting strawberries served as the sugar source for a batch o’ hooch that emerged blue from the still. (Thankfully, the hard luck hill jacks ditched it.) Continue reading Modern Day Moonshine

Vodka — The Gateway Spirit

I am a cocktail enthusiast, part of a small but growing handful of people who drink because we love the art of drinking.

I love the theatrics involved in preparing a quality drink: the sound of ice cracking, the ease and elegance with which a bartender moves his fingers around the swiveled stem of a bar spoon, mist from orange and lemon peels releasing their oils, and finally, the moment a drink is poured into a glass, velvety smooth with a few ice crystals floating on top, ready to be experienced. Continue reading Vodka — The Gateway Spirit

Old World Character with a New Age Spirit – Dumante Verdenoce

Have you tried Dumante, that ancient nutty liqueur sipped for ages in pistachio groves of Sicily?

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t, because Dumante has only been out since Fall of 2007, although its rich, sophisticated taste and elegant packaging suggest a more established product. Continue reading Old World Character with a New Age Spirit – Dumante Verdenoce