A little leather in your drink?
With origins in the 18th century, bourbon is back in the saddle, so to speak. America’s equivalent of champagne (without the associated Gallic sneer) was recognized by Congress in 1964 as a “distinctive product of the United States.”
Interest in this classic whiskey has been regenerated by the presence of an ever-widening selection of small-batch distilleries and artisanal crafters. Bourbon and other American whiskies have an appeal in an era when the focus is on locally sourced products. Patriotic patrons want something homegrown and the spirit’s role in classic cocktails is making it all the more popular.
There are many conflicting legends and claims as to the origin of bourbon, some more credible than others. It might be that the folks who were distilling the booze were sampling way too much to document when the process began; who started it in the first place, and when they think they actually got it right. It is more likely there was no single inventor of bourbon, which developed into its present form only in the late 19th century. Distilling probably arrived in what would later become known as Kentucky when Scottish, Scots-Irish and other settlers (including, English, Irish, Welsh, German and French) began to farm the area in earnest in the late 18th century, Wikipedia tells us.
Allium has put together a collection of bourbon to entice and impress the authorities. Check it out. Better yet, come in and sample the goods.
Redemption Rye | Amazing rye at special price… the way daddy liked to drink it. | 6
Old Overholt Rye | Allium’s well rye… best on the planet. | 6
Kentucky Vintage Sour Mash | If Troy had his way, he would serve this instead of the bottles of Jack and Jim we’re required to keep in inventory. This, he says, is what you drink with Coke. | 6
W.L. Weller Special Reserve | Pappy Van Winkle worked at Weller before starting his own house. This is the best for a penny. Rich and clean, like a jewel. | 6
Elmer T. Lee Private Selection | We sometimes forget about Elmer because we have so many gems. This is high-level, classic hooch. A good cousin worth drinkin’. | 7
Eagle Rare Single Barrel 10-year | We love the Eagle Rare. This is bourbon’s take on Scotch. | 7
Sazerac Rye | Classic rye, sweet and nutty. | 7
Buffalo Trace | Smooth and balanced for city slickers. | 8
Willett Reserve Pot Still | Sweet honey and balanced. Like the inside of a hive minus the bees. | 9
Van Winkle Special Reserve 12-year | Rare, rare, rare. If we are out of it or we choose not to share because there’s only a wee drum left, good luck! | 11
Old Petrero Rye Cask Strength | Cowboy whiskey. Almost gone. Very strong with hair-on-the-chest qualities. | 12
Caribou Crossing Canadian | Canadian single malt. Awesome and high octane. | 10
Old Rip van Winkle 10-year | Rare and famous. Used to work for Weller. Not for the timid at 107 proof. | 10
Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey | For visiting folk from the big city and Brian Alberg. | 10
George T. Stagg 15-year Barrel Proof | Is your Mama still around? This is the beast. You like nutty and sweet? You’re dead to me. 143-proof barrel strength. | 14
(A special thanks to Troy Kinser for providing the full bourbon taste experience.)