That’s right, bourbon — not whiskey — from Tennessee. My colleague Steve Cavendish got all the details from the Porker’s mouth. Bringle said he’s been wanting to add bourbon to the Peg Leg portfolio for some time, and friends at liquor distributor Best Brands helped him find the right supply of bourbon to purchase and bottle under the Peg Leg name.
Bringle said it’s 90-proof, straight bourbon whiskey made in Tennessee, checking off various points that qualify it as a bourbon. The product is 51 percent corn, aged six to eight years in new oak barrels that have been charred.
Not being a fan of Tennessee whiskey, Bringle touts the smoothness of this bourbon, which he said fits in with the “men’s lifestyle brand” he’s cultivating under the Peg Leg Porker name.
It’s a limited run that will amount to about 6,000 bottles; SpeakEasy Spirits is doing the bottling. The bourbon will be introduced next month at Best Brands’ holiday trade show, with statewide distribution planned
A version of this story ran in the current (and final) issue of The City Paper and online in the Nashville Post.
The list — Dino's, Melrose Billiards, Santa's Pub, Springwater and Fran's — doesn't contain any surprises, but Esquire enriches the piece with some funny and informative commentary from J.P. Harris. He's known as one of the city's true honky-tonk heroes — I'll Keep Calling, the record he released last year with his band The Tough Choices tied for Best Country Album in the Scene writers' picks in Best of Nashville 2012.
(Harris is also a carpenter of some renown who knows the nitty-gritty of creating a good hangout. His work building the record bins at new East Nashville shop Fond Object helped earn him the nickname "the hipster Bob Vila.")
Take a slug of the full story here, and if you wish, add a dash of your own opinions here in the comments.
So we’ve come up with the solution — the Tap That Craft Beer Crawl. Jump on the bus at any of five excellent Nashville brewpubs this Sunday, starting at 1 p.m., and we’ll carry your happy butt from place to place until you end up where you started. (Hopefully, you’ve arranged your own drop-off and pick-up details, right?) Your ticket includes beer at each brewery, a custom Nashville Scene growler, plus fun and games on the buses as you travel.
A portion of the proceeds will go to SoundForest.org.
The participating bars are Yazoo, Jackalope, Blackstone, Hops + Crafts and Rock Bottom. Tickets are $45, but click here for a deal while it lasts. It goes without saying that this is a 21-and-older event, but we’ll say it anyway. Hop on and get your hops on!
I'll tell you right off the bat that my favorite of the five is also the most expensive, so I apologize for having a high-end palate if you choose to follow my advice. I might have been a bit prejudiced since I had already tried Mount Gay Black Barrel Small Batch Rum at a private tasting with the distillery's master blender, Allen Smith, last month during Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Mount Gay has been making pure sugar cane rum on the same hilltop drawing water from the same well in Barbados since 1703, and has been a favorite of the sailing set for generations.
To celebrate their 310th birthday, Mount Gay set out to create a very special product. All of their rums are distilled in single and double copper pot stills and then aged in toasted oak barrels that have previously been used by American whiskey and bourbon makers. For their new Black Barrel product, they charged Allen to develop something really unique. He selected a high percentage of their double-distilled rums and blended it with some of their best single pass rum to create a very clean tasting product.
After being aged in their regular casks, Mt. Gay moved this small batch rum into some heavily charred barrels for finishing. The result is a bold, caramel/honey-colored rum that has leeched extremely spicy notes of vanilla and wood from the barrels. On the nose, heavy whiskey notes come through along with a nice spicy nuttiness. A peppery flavor, almost like rye, makes Mount Gay Black Barrel a wonderful ingredient in cocktails, and a Manhattan made substituting rum for the usual rye or bourbon is a wonderful change of pace.
What I really liked was that instead of creating a spiced rum the traditional way by adding spices like cinnamon, rosemary or pepper directly to the distillate, Mount Gay accomplishes it through contact with oak. I enjoy it up, chilled in a snifter in place of my normal evening whiskey. Although Mount Gay Black Barrel was specifically created to commemorate a special anniversary, they plan for this to be a regular release going forward. Look for it in Nashville's finer liquor stores for around $30.
With the recent remodeling of both Mason's Bar and Mason's Restaurant, Loews has introduced a nice whiskey motif to their decor and menus. The new cocktail list features many products from local distilleries ad might just prompt you to see where these are made. Now here's your chance.
According to the Loews Facebook page:
Experience the art of distilling with an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Nashville's notable distilleries: SPEAKEasy Spirits, featuring Whisper Creek and Collier and McKeel Handcrafted Tennessee Whiskey, Corsair Artisan Distillery and Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey.
Your 2-night stay at Loews Vanderbilt also includes two complimentary libations in Mason's Nashville, Nashville's newest late-night spot. On Saturday afternoon, they'll take care of the transportation on the 4-hour distillery tour.
I've written about The Balvenie before, and they make some of my favorite Scotch whisky around. Believe it or not, even though the scotch shelves at your favorite liquor store are clogged with numerous brands, there are only two remaining single-malt scotch manufacturers still owned by the original founding families. The Balvenie is one, and their next-door neighbors at Glenfiddich are the others. Both are still owned by the William Grant family, many generations after Billy Grant first started making Scotch whisky in the 1880s.
At The Balvenie, they still grow their own barley, which they then floor-malt in the distillery. They make their own barrels in house and even have a coppersmith on staff to tend to their stills. Their master distiller David Stewart (can't you just hear him pronouncing that name?) has been working in the distillery for 50 years, so you know there is a consistent dedication to quality thanks to all the in-house processes.
To commemorate Stewart's half a century, The Balvenie has released a 17 Year Old DoubleWood, a truly exceptional whisky that spent most of its life in repose in American oak barrels before being transferred to European oak sherry casks to add some spice to the vanilla that came from the American barrels, which most probably contained Tennessee whiskey.
The result isn't cheap at about $130 per bottle, but it really is a special treat for the man who kept you between the lines during those rebellious teenage years. Isn't Dad worth it? Besides, it's not like I'm suggesting you buy him a bottle of The Fifty.
"Every day I get in the queue (Too much, the Magic Bus)," wrote Pete Townshend in his silly singalong "The Magic Bus." But now Nashville has a bus worth lining up for. (Sorry, Mayor Dean.) The Nashville Brew Bus has arrived in town and starting this Saturday, June 8, you and your friends can get on board!
Leave your wheels behind as the bus takes you on a tasting tour of some of Nashville's favorite craft brew spots, starting at M.L. Rose West, heading over to Blackstone Brewpub & Brewery's production facility, Jackalope Brewing Company, then on to a mystery/surprise stop, which they're not giving up any secrets about. ... The tour will finish up back at M.L. Rose West for another free pint and some snacks.
Sing it, Pete! "I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it ..."
A couple of years back I told you about Angel's Envy, a premium bourbon produced by Louisville Distilling Co., the team of master mixers put together by Lincoln Henderson. You may know him as the man who basically invented Gentleman Jack and Woodford Reserve during his long career at Brown Foreman. His new company specializes in taking good whiskey and making it great by blending it and finishing it in creative and innovative ways. The original Angel's Envy benefits from a final repose in port barrels to offer a complexity not found in most bourbons that haven't been stashed away for two decades in a warehouse.
His latest creation is Angel's Envy Rye, a truly special spirit that deserves a spot in the front of your liquor cabinet. Lincoln chose a mix of locally sourced 95 percent rye and 5 percent malted barley to create the base spirit. After six years in new charred oak barrels, the whiskey has been finished in Caribbean rum casks. These particular barrels began their careers as small French cognac casks, so the combination offers some unique flavors and characteristics that just aren't present in your average whiskey barrels. The Angel's Envy team sourced and sampled more than 100 different rums to choose the exact one they thought contributed just the right richness to their rye whiskey. (And you thought I had the best job in the world ...)
As for Yelp Drinks Week, participating locations will feature at least three adult beverages priced at 50 percent off. Yelp says just go into any of the participating bars during business hours now through Saturday, April 20, and check in on your Yelp App to take advantage of the promotion. If you don't have a smartphone, you can also just mention the Yelp promotion.
Here are the participating Yelp Drinks Week 2013 businesses and their 50 percent off drink specials:
Recently I've been hearing some buzz about a new unique single-malt that has been developed by a young lady who used to be a regional representative for Balcones. Allison Patel enjoyed working for the Texans but knew she wanted to create her own spirit. The result of her passion is Brenne, a single-malt from France that's made using organic barley from a seed-to-spirit farm/distillery in the Cognac region. After being twice distilled, the whiskey is aged in new French Limousin barrels before being finished in used cognac casks.
The resulting spirit is really quite special, with a creamy nose of orange peels and chocolate. You definitely want to drink this out of a snifter so you can get your sniffer down in there to enjoy the aromas. The first attack of taste is very fruit-forward, with more of the orange and some banana. As the flavor recedes, strong elements of chocolate/caramel and vanilla appear, reminiscent of a nice creme brûlée. But even with these sweet, fruity notes, there are plenty of tannins from the oak to keep your tongue interested and the flavors in balance.
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