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June 18, 2024

Does Age Really Matter in Bourbon and Whiskey?

Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is a truly American spirit that has existed since the late 1700s. However, in the nearly three centuries since its inception, bourbon has evolved quite a bit.

One thing that hasn’t changed much, is the aging process.

Aging transforms the raw distillate into a masterpiece of taste and character. Aging is not merely a tradition; it's a science that involves time, temperature, and the unique properties of the barrels used.

This article delves into the intricacies of how aging affects bourbon whiskey and offers insights into the age statement you often see on its bottles.

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May 29, 2024

How to Use Bourbon and Whiskey for Cooking

While drinking bourbon and whiskey is hard to beat, cooking with it comes in a very close second. When done right, the nuance in flavors shines through and can help you elevate just about every dish.   Whether you're a seasoned home cook or new to the culinary scene, this guide will take you on a flavorful journey. It will show you how to use bourbon and whiskey to transform simple dishes into extraordinary experiences. 

Bourbon and Whiskey Are Versatile in Cooking

Bourbon whiskey's sweet yet bold character makes it an adaptable ingredient in the kitchen, adding depth and complexity to lots of different dishes.  Here are some general tips for cooking with bourbon: 
  • Use it as a marinade: The high alcohol content of bourbon makes it an excellent tenderizer, so use it to marinate meats like pork or chicken before grilling or roasting. 
  • Make a glaze: Mix equal parts bourbon and honey or maple syrup to make a delicious glaze for roasted vegetables or grilled meats. 
  • Add it to sauces: Bourbon's smoky and sweet flavors can elevate sauces like BBQ or a sticky Asian sauce, adding another layer of complexity to your dishes. 
  • Infuse it into desserts: Bourbon's caramel notes work well in desserts like ice cream, cakes, and pies. You can even infuse bourbon into whipped cream or caramel sauces. 
Cooking with bourbon and whiskey isn't complicated. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new combinations. Just remember you only need an ounce or two (one shot) to add that unique taste. Anything more, and you could overpower the dish. 

Bourbon and Whiskey with Chicken

One of the best meats to cook with bourbon and whiskey is chicken.  The flavors pair beautifully, and there are endless ways to use them together.  Here are a few simple recipes to get you started: 

Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Skewers 

Elevate any BBQ with these bourbon-glazed chicken skewers. But make a lot, because you'll be amazed at how quickly they disappear. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes 
  • ½ cup bourbon whiskey - Rebel 100 or Ezra Brooks 99  
  • ¼ cup soy sauce 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ¼ cup honey 
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil 

Instructions: 

  1. In a bowl, combine the bourbon, soy sauce, garlic, honey, and oil. 
  2. Add the chicken cubes to the marinade and toss until evenly coated. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. 
  4. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. 
  5. Thread the chicken onto skewers and discard the remaining marinade. 
  6. Grill for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until fully cooked and slightly charred on the outside. 
  7. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or over rice. 

Whiskey BBQ Sauce 

Another way to incorporate bourbon whiskey into chicken is through a great BBQ sauce. 

Ingredients: 

Instructions: 

  1. In a small sauce pot, mix together the whiskey and BBQ sauce. 
  2. Cook it on medium heat until it begins to boil. 
  3. Turn the heat on low and allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes. Careful not to cook too long so it doesn't thicken too much or burn. 
  4. Use the sauce for sides or main dishes, or just dip some fries in it. 

Bourbon and Whiskey in Desserts 

As mentioned, bourbon's sweet and caramel flavors make it perfect for desserts. Here are two easy ways to incorporate bourbon into your sweet treats: 

Bourbon-Spiked Apple Pie 

Bourbon notes go incredible with certain flavors, and one of those is apple. Take your apple pie to the next level with a splash of bourbon. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pre-made pie crust 
  • 6 cups sliced apples (Granny Smith or Honeycrisp work well) 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • ⅓ cup flour 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • A pinch of nutmeg and allspice 
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). 
  2. Mix the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice in a bowl. 
  3. Add in the bourbon and stir until evenly coated. 
  4. Pour the apple mixture into the pie crust and dot with butter. 
  5. Place the second pie crust on top and crimp the edges to seal. 
  6. Make a few slits at the top of the pie for ventilation. 
  7. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  8. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream on top. 

Bourbon Caramel Sauce 

Another versatile sauce that's perfect for drizzling over ice cream, cakes, or even using as a dip for fresh fruit. 

Ingredients: 

Instructions: 

  1. In a saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat until it turns into a golden-brown syrup. 
  2. Carefully add in the heavy cream and stir until well combined. 
  3. Stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. 
  4. Once the sauce has thickened, remove it from heat and let it cool slightly. 
  5. Slowly pour in the bourbon whiskey while continuously stirring until fully incorporated. 
  6. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week. 
Of course, the best thing about cooking with bourbon and whiskey is if things go south, you can always just order pizza and drink your bourbon instead.  Ready to stock up? Find some great Lux Row Distillers bourbon and whiskey near you. 
April 29, 2024

Kentucky Derby Traditions: Mint Juleps, Hats, and Whiskey

The thunderous sound of hooves on the track, the kaleidoscope of vibrant hats, and sweaty silver mugs filled with crushed ice, mint, and bourbon. These quintessential images come to mind when thinking about the Kentucky Derby. More than just a horse race, the Kentucky Derby stands as a cultural landmark, celebrating traditions that have been cherished for over a century.

This iconic event, held annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, is steeped in history and legacy that continue to draw people from all over the world.

But what is it about the Kentucky Derby and these traditions that make it so unique? Let's explore.

The History of the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby, often dubbed "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports," is one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world. Established in 1875, the Derby has a rich history rooted in tradition and excellence. It was the brainchild of Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., grandson of William Clark of the famed Lewis and Clark expedition and inspired by the Epsom Derby in England.

The original Kentucky Derby aimed to showcase the breeding and racing prowess of Kentucky, a state renowned for its thoroughbred horses. Something that’s very prevalent in Kentucky, today.

Over the decades, the Kentucky Derby has become a sporting event and a cultural phenomenon, attracting spectators from around the globe. Its iconic status is due in part to the race's pageantry, including the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home" and the display of extravagant hats worn by attendees. Throughout its history, the Derby has seen triumph and tragedy, from legendary horses like Secretariat setting records to jockeys overcoming incredible odds to emerge victorious.

As the first leg of the American Triple Crown series, alongside the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, the Kentucky Derby holds a special place in the hearts of horse racing enthusiasts. Each year, on the first Saturday in May, the eyes of the world turn to Churchill Downs as a new chapter in the Derby's storied history unfolds.

The race continues to captivate audiences with its blend of athleticism, tradition, and spectacle.

Kentucky Derby Traditions

Among the rich tapestry of traditions that define the Kentucky Derby, a few stand out for their uniqueness and historical significance. From the iconic mint julep that quenches the thirst of thousands to the sea of extravagant hats that color the crowd, these traditions are as integral to the Derby as the race itself.

Each carries its own story, contributing to the overall spectacle and allure of the event. Combining these cherished customs creates an atmosphere that is both festive and reverent, encapsulating the spirit of the Derby and ensuring its place as a timeless American tradition.

The Mint Julep Tradition

Since 1939, the mint julep has held the prestigious title of the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, a status it earned due to its widespread acclaim within the horse-racing community. This beloved beverage's roots reach back to the inaugural Derby Day in 1875, when juleps were already a state favorite. The Prohibition era saw an innovative twist with bartenders serving mint juleps in souvenir metal cups designed to resemble miniature Derby trophies made from silver or pewter.

The Art of Derby Hats

Hats have become an iconic symbol of the Kentucky Derby, ingrained in its cultural fabric and embodying the event's sense of tradition, style, and elegance. Dating back to the Derby's early years, fashionable hats were worn by both men and women as a symbol of status and sophistication. Over time, the tradition evolved, and elaborate hats became synonymous with the Derby's unique flair, with attendees using them as a means of self-expression and creativity.

Kentucky Bourbon and Whiskey

Bourbon and whiskey hold a special place at the Kentucky Derby, reflecting the deep-rooted heritage and culture of the region. Kentucky is renowned as the birthplace of bourbon, with its fertile soil, limestone-filtered water, and climate ideally suited for distilling this beloved spirit.

As such, bourbon has become intrinsically linked to the Derby, symbolizing the spirit of hospitality and celebration that permeates the event.

Beyond the mint julep, bourbon and whiskey bars dot the grounds of Churchill Downs, offering an array of fine spirits for enthusiasts to savor while enjoying the thrill of the races. The presence of bourbon and whiskey at the Derby pays homage to Kentucky's distilling heritage and adds to the event's ambiance, fostering a sense of camaraderie among attendees.

Amid the pageantry and excitement, the race and its accompanying traditions remind us of the uniqueness and splendor of American culture.

For enthusiasts and novices alike, the Kentucky Derby is an event that is as much about engaging the senses as it is about commemorating the past and charting the future. It exemplifies how time-honored traditions can continue to thrive, enriching our lives and connecting us to our shared heritage.

This is no coincidence if this also sounds like your favorite Kentucky distillery.

Whether you’re in town for the derby or visiting Kentucky one of the other days of the year, be sure to check out Lux Row Distillers. We may be partial, but it’s one of the most beautiful distilleries in Kentucky and its tradition and heritage go as far back as the derby itself. 

Of course, we have great bourbon, too.

April 19, 2024

Blood Oath Pact No. 10: A Toast to Tradition and Innovation

Get ready to raise your glasses and toast to a milestone in bourbon craftsmanship as Lux Row Distillers proudly announces the release of Blood Oath Pact 10. This latest edition marks a decade of dedication to excellence, blending tradition with innovation to create a truly remarkable spirit.

(more…)
November 6, 2017

Lux Row Virtual Tour

Experience Lux Row Distillers before its doors officially open by taking a virtual tour. Make your way up the tree-lined driveway to Lux Row’s sprawling 90-acre site. Take a step inside the Visitor Center and tasting room, home to the distillery’s retail experience and where you’ll sip award-winning brands alongside your fellow bourbon-lovers. Then tour where the fermenting, cooking and distilling will take place before heading out to see the distillery’s 6-story barrel warehouse, where 20,000 barrels of Kentucky Straight Bourbon will be housed and aged. (more…)
July 22, 2018
Couple driving in car while on road trip

The Ultimate Soundtrack for a Kentucky Bourbon Trail Road Trip

Established in 1999, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a must for anyone who’s curious about spirits or who just plain loves whiskey. Tourists from around the world make their way to bourbon country to cruise the scenic 70-mile span between Lexington and Louisville, where more than two dozen distilleries, including the newly opened Lux Row Distillers in Bardstown, reside. This road trip calls for a soundtrack. A backdrop of well-chosen tunes that will give the journey grandness, transforming what will already be a spectacular adventure into the stuff of legend. (more…)
September 21, 2018

Meet Lux Row Distillers Team Member Kelsey Lyon

Job: Lux Row Brand Ambassador Duties: To educate guests about the Lux Row brands, starting with a brief history of the Lux family and its roots, followed by a distillery tour and tasting Education: Graduated with a degree in hospitality management and event planning from Western Kentucky University in 2017 Kelsey was born and raised in Bardstown, Kentucky, so we can’t think of a better person to make suggestions about what to see and do when visiting the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. First on your list will be touring Lux Row Distillers (of course). But after that, we suggest you take Kelsey’s advice — from where to find the best cup of coffee to the best hike in Bardstown. (more…)
November 13, 2018

How to Host a Holiday Whiskey Tasting Party

Besides mistletoe, one of the best things about the holidays is the holiday party. If you really want to spread some cheer, give your party a twist and make it a whiskey tasting. This would be an intimate party — a dozen friends or less — so you can share the experience of walking through the whiskeys together. As the host, you’ll want to take a few steps to set up a successful tasting, and here to guide us is Philip Lux, Lux Row Distillers ambassador and lead brand representative. (more…)
December 13, 2018
Holiday Gift Guide Items

A Holiday Gift Guide for Whiskey Lovers

Finding a gift for the whiskey lover in your life is easy: As long as your gift has a whiskey theme, it’s a winner. Our list rolls high to low, ranging from a fine bar cart to a package you can put together yourself with a dose of TLC. (more…)
February 1, 2019
Bardstown map

5 Things to Know Before Visiting Bardstown, Kentucky

Like any right-thinking person, you’ve made the decision to visit Bardstown, Kentucky, the Bourbon Capital of the World and winner of the title “most beautiful small town in America.” Obviously, a tour Lux Row Distillers is at the top of your list. But where do you go from there? Here are five things you need to know before bopping into Bardstown. (more…)
February 28, 2019
Clayton & Crume founders Clay Simpson and Tyler Jury

Kentucky Craftsmen Spotlight: Clayton & Crume

Plenty of entrepreneurial dreams have been hatched in a college dorm room, but few actually end up maturing into fully fledged businesses. Clayton & Crume, however, is one of the success stories. Western Kentucky University graduates Clay Simpson and Tyler Jury started out making belts for friends and fraternity brothers in a makeshift dorm studio. Now they run a thriving leather goods company in the heart of bourbon country: Louisville, Kentucky. (more…)
May 29, 2019
Fred Minnick

Lux Row Chats With Bourbon Expert Fred Minnick

Since first writing about bourbon in 2006, Fred Minnick has become the foremost author, critic, editor (of Bourbon + Magazine), and, with the founding of the Bourbon & Beyond festival, impresario of the bourbon world. He has also written about rum, mead, and his military tour in Iraq, but his three books on bourbon have set a high mark: Whiskey Women, Bourbon Curious, and Bourbon: The Rise, Fall & Rebirth of An American Whiskey. Lucky for us, he had some free time for a chat. (more…)
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