A TASTE OF THE NEW NORMAL
To celebrate the National Bourbon Heritage Month, we were invited by USDA India, Taste Of America to an online American Whiskey Tasting. Here’s a brief note on the whiskies that we tasted.
The tasting kit arrived a few days in advance with samples of 4 whiskies, a bottle of Svami Ginger Ale and the recipe of a Kentucky Mule Cocktail.
(watch a short video of the unboxing here)
1) Jack Daniels No 7 : JD and coke is a real thing. But it’s also important to remember that it’s a Tennessee Whiskey and not Bourbon. Why? Although it tastes like a Bourbon it’s not the same because of the pre-barrel charcoal leaching process that doesn’t exist in case of Bourbon production.
(80% Corn + 10% Rye + 10% Barley)
Tasting : Sweet dry spices on the nose and very oily on the palate. Overall it’s smooth and has toasty oak notes in the finish.
2) Woodford Reserve : This Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has slight higher abv of 43.2%. While a normal Bourbon can be aged for as short as 1 year in New charred oak barrel, a Bourbon has to be aged for 2 years to be called a straight Bourbon.
(72% Corn + 18% Rye + 10% Malted Barley)
Tasting : Lots of spice and honey on the nose. Mild cocoa and smoke too. On the palate strong rye and ginger with slightly thinner texture than JD. Long and mature finish with toasty spices.
3) Maker’s Mark : This is a classic straight Bourbon with it’s own uniqueness. Besides the trademark handmade bottle with wax seal what sets Maker’s Mark apart is the balanced flavours in the whiskey. One of Beam Suntory’s flagship brands, this whiskey made with soft red winter wheat is the star of the mash bill. Beasides that owing to the scottish heritage of the owners, Maker’s Mark is the only american whiskey to be spelt ‘whisky’.
(70% Corn + 30% Winter wheat and Malted Barley)
Tasting : Rich fruity and flowery, storng orange peel notes on the nose as well as on the palate. Spiced honey, toasty oak make gives it a good structure and the sweet vanila with dry oak spice in the finish makes it a palate pleasing whiskey.
4) Buffalo Trace : This was the first time we tasted Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The curious case of a Buffalo crossing the road next to the distillery as inspiration behind the brand name to being the oldest whiskies amongst the 4 tasted that evening, Buffalo Trace has the potential to be your go-to bourbon.
(Trivia : Buffalo Trace belongs to Sazerac Company, the second largest family-owned spirits company in the US, which has also acquired 23% stake in one of India’s growing whisky producing companies – John Distilleries in October 2019.)
Tasting : The colour is dark amber owing to 8 years of aging in the cask. On the nose it comes very close to an aged darm rum. Spicy, sweet caramel and toffee notes with hint of cinnamon and rum spices. On the palate hint of coffee and cocoa flavours with raisin and toasty wood prolonging to a sweet spice finish.
(The above mentioned american whiskies are available in India.)
Easy Cocktail Recipe : KENTUCKY MULE
40 ML BOURBON
15 ML FRESH LIME JUICE
1 WEDGE LIME
BUILD THE DRINK IN A TALL GLASS
GARNISH WITH A WEDGE OF LIME
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