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Whiskey Education

April 29, 2019
Blood Oath Pact No 5

Blood Oath Pact No. 5 Has Arrived

Every bourbon is special — but then there’s Blood Oath, the ultra-premium bourbon released by Lux Row Distillers once a year, in limited quantities and at a premium price. (more…)
March 28, 2019
Barrels being charred at ISC

The Art of the Bourbon Barrel’s Char

By regulation, all bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels. Why? Because unlike other whiskies, no additives (other than water) are allowed in bourbon. No added color. No added flavors. So, other than the distillate itself, bourbon picks up a lot of its character from the barrels. And the character of the barrels depends in large part on the level of char. To learn more about the process, we chatted with Jeff LaHue, head of strategic partnerships at Independent Stave Company (ISC), which supplies and chars barrels for Lux Row Distillers. (more…)
March 28, 2019
Lux Row Distillers Rickhouse

Bourbon’s Secret Ingredient? Barrels

Making great bourbon involves many ingredients, each essential in its own right, whether it’s the corn and grains or the cool, clear Kentucky water. But one of the most crucial elements in shaping bourbon into the drink we love: the charred American oak barrels in which it’s aged. (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 2, 2018

Mint Julep Cocktail: A Quick History

Whether you love the Kentucky Derby for the people-watching (those hats!) or the horse racing, one thing is certain: The derby’s signature mint julep drink is the best tradition of all. The mint julep is a combination of bourbon, mint, sugar, and water, served over heaps of crushed ice in a signature silver or pewter cup. Although the race itself may last only a couple of minutes, derby fans keep sipping their mint juleps long into the afternoon. Curious about the history of this favorite Southern libation? Then read on. (more…)
May 29, 2018

Whiskey 101: A Quick Guide to Grains

Ingredients matter. And regardless of where you are on your whiskey journey — beginner or connoisseur — you gain precious insight when you know what went into the glass you just poured. Understanding exactly what you’re sipping heightens your ability to recognize, appreciate, and savor. Each whiskey starts with a base of corn, rye, barley, and/or wheat grain. These grains — along with the oak barrels they’re aged in — define the taste and aroma of the spirit. (more…)
June 19, 2018

Top 5 Reasons to Love Whiskey

When it comes to whiskey, there’s only one question: What’s not to love? It has taste, stature, distinction, and legacy. It summons flavors we know — caramel, toffee, wheat — then craftily showcases them in a new way. That said, we have distilled it (see what we did there?) to the top five reasons we love whiskey in all its forms. (more…)
June 22, 2018

What Bourbon Swillers Need to Know About Ice

Ice seems like the simplest, most basic accessory for bourbon. You turn on the tap, fill the ice tray, put it in the freezer, and take it out when you want to chill your whiskey. Easy, right? Wrong. Over the past few years, mixologists have led us through an ice exploration. Turns out, there is a “right” kind, and it can make or break your whiskey drink. This is why we put together an ice primer. May your bourbon never suffer another ice faux pas again. (more…)
July 17, 2018

5 Reasons Most Bourbon Is Made in Kentucky

Say the word “Kentucky” and the next word automatically falls into place: bourbon. It’s just one of those natural pairings. Nearly all bourbon is made there: 95 percent, according to the Kentucky Distillers Association. The connection between the state and the spirit is undeniable. What is it about the Bluegrass State that makes it the bourbon capital of the world? There are five reasons: (more…)
August 20, 2018

A Glossary of Essential Bourbon Terms

There are some very specific rules when it comes to calling something “bourbon.” Though it is a type of whiskey, bourbon’s base must be at least 51 percent corn, and the spirit has to be aged in new charred oak containers. And to be considered “straight” bourbon, it has to be aged at least two years. What else should you know about bourbon? Familiarize yourself with these terms to become a know-it-all. (more…)
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