As with any good competition, a proper kickoff is needed. This competition, however, unlike most, ends up giving us 2 clear winners and leaves us with no losers! This competition is between 2 All-Star performers, both brought to you via Maker’s Mark, and exclusively selected by the bourbon experts at Payless Liquor’s is their hand-picked 2016 Maker’s Mark Private Selection vs. 2017 Maker’s Mark Private Selection. To best understand the results, one must first understand the details that went into the construction of the two competitors.
Maker’s Mark started their tradition of excellence in bourbon back in 1958. The Samuels’ family wanted to get into the bourbon-making business, but they wanted to offer something a bit different than the rest. In doing so they chose a wheated bourbon recipe, offering a softer and sweeter pallet them many of the rye-based bourbons of the time. Maker’s has made the same recipe without any variation (other than special higher proof options) until 2010 when Bill Samuels Jr. introduced Maker’s 46. This version of Maker’s kept the same family recipe so important to Bill but introduced a different aging process than anyone else in the industry by adding wooden staves to the barrels. The genius behind adding the staves is that because there are no “unnatural” agents being added to achieve these flavors, it does not jeopardize its status as being a “true bourbon” by definition. In choosing French Oak staves, Bill was able to find just the right wood to amplify the baking spice flavors already existing in Maker’s bourbon. Ultimately, Bill settled on adding 10 French Oak staves Maker’s cask strength, aging them for an additional 9 week to achieve the desired taste profile. One drawback to choosing French Oak is that exposure to temperatures over 60 degrees draws out too much-unwanted flavors from the wood, limiting the making of this bourbon to the months of October through February. It is for this reason that Maker’s Mark is constructing a state-of-the-art underground aging facility to allow them to maintain a 50-degree average aging temperature, and also allow them to keep up with the ever-growing demand for these new expressions.
As the desire for “Private Selections” by those in the bourbon industry grew, Maker’s knew it did not want to do the traditional “Barrel Selections” that others were offering, in large part due to Maker’s focus on consistency there would be little to no determinable variations for them to choose from. What they decided they could do is use the knowledge gained in their research in the making of their Maker’s 46 to offer consumers what no one else could. After reviewing their research, four additional woods were identified as adding their own unique twist to the aging process, giving customers 5 wood options to mix and match the 10 staves with to allow buyers to customize their selections like no other bourbon in the industry can. Here is a quick description of each of these options:
1) Maker’s 46 (French Oak): Spice, vanilla, dry finish, most balanced.
2) Seared French Cuvee: Caramel, butterscotch, nuttiness, slightly sweet, creamy finish.
3) Roasted French Mocha: Dark chocolate, coffee, soft char, growing sweetness, long dry finish.
4) Toasted French Spice: Fruit, complex spice, cinnamon, soft smoke, sharp finish.
5) Baked American Pure 2 (P2): Intense oak, vanilla, sweetened wood, sharp flavor.
Now that we know what makes up the taste profile, let us look at the combinations of these 2 “competitors”. By looking at the combination of the staves, and what we know each brings to the profile, as you might conclude the 2016 is a softer, more subtle profile, while the 2017 selection brings more sharpness and spice to the party.
-2016 Private Selection (110.7 proof): 3 Cuvee, 4 Mocha, 2 Toasted, 1 Pure
Nose: Soft sweet caramel, hints of vanilla, roasted nuts, with subtle milk chocolate at the end.
Taste: Chocolate jumps out front, sweetness exists but doesn’t overtake, soft baking spice, caramel enters late.
Finish: Chocolate remains dominate, dark coffee enters, ushering in a lingering but dry finish to overtake at the end.
-2017 Private Selection (100.8 proof): 2 Makers 46, 2 Cuvee, 3 Mocha, 2 Toasted, 1 Pure
Nose: Sweet wood, red fruit, with baking spices entering strongly at the end.
Taste: Vanilla, hints of caramel, notes of sweetness follow before sharp oak and spice take over the mid pallet.
Finish: Sweet wood, caramel apple, cinnamon,& dark chocolate joining more spice for a medium, slightly dry finish.
While I very much enjoy both selections, my taste pallet takes me to the 2017 Private Selection.
For me, it has the sharp, bright spice I like in a bourbon. To be perfectly honest, I was never a “Maker’s Guy” until I first tried the Maker’s 46. (That is the product that brought me on board with this great brand!)
I can see the 2016 Private Selection being favored by newer bourbon drinkers or those who want a softer entry that the original Maker’s provides, while the 2017 selection being the choice of those who are fans of more spice that the Maker’s 46 offers.
I summary I have a confession to make… I have become a HUGE fan of all the Maker’s Mark Private Selections!
For someone who never had Maker’s on my bourbon radar until l recently, I have enjoyed more variances of Maker’s Mark Private Selections then any other bourbon line over the past year. (And the Payless options rule the roost of those selections!) I love the fact that I can track the combinations I enjoy, and because I know the consistency that Maker’s offers, I know I can find the flavor I desire again, unlike with other Single Barrel options that can never again be duplicated.
Have we got a real treat for you! Jameson’s head blender crafted this perfectly balanced Blender’s Dog, that you will absolutely love. Billy Leighton, their head blender, “has a musical note in his head and harmony is his main pursuit.” The Blender’s Dog whiskey celebrate Billy’s craft, the art of marrying whiskeys.
This is a superbly balanced, complex whiskey. The perfect balance of spirit, work, and time; delivering butterscotch sweetness with a prickle of spice and tannins. This blend is more than a science, it’s an art.
After scouring the internet for the word on The Blender’s Dog, it is unanimously a must-have. It’s the whiskey for anyone, even non-whiskey drinkers. “It is a wonderful complexity of flavors that were perfectly timed in your mouth,” one reviewer said, “The finished end was just lovely”.
Nose: From light citrus to pineapple, mango and kiwi notes, with the addition of fig and dates. A touch of walnut leads into the contribution of the seasoned American barrels and Spanish butts, vanilla and toasted oak.
Taste: A rich, round, creamy mouthful, with the sweetness of butterscotch, giving away to the prickle of the pot still spices Succulent fruit brings the perfect balance of charred oak with some subtle tannin add to the complexity.
Finish: Exceptional long, as the luscious fruit Is slow to fade.
Hands down, if you don’t think you can grasp the difference between the science of whiskey and the art of whiskey, you have to try this. Unlike other whiskeys, it is truly a work of art. Stop into Payless today to pick up a bottle, or reserve a bottle for yourself here. You will be completely blown away. Cheers!
Are you looking for that perfect concoction of flavor and awe? Try a wine inspired by “Apotheca”, a mysterious place where wine was blended and stored in the 13th century Europe. At a time when people who prepared of sold medicine or drugs were called Apothecaries. Try Apothic Inferno. This wine will take all your pain away at 15.9% ABV with flavors so vast like a raging fire. Apothic is a pioneer in creating innovative blends that push the envelope of what’s expected from a wine.
Apothic Inferno is a limited time small batch California blend that just returned to the shelves at the beginning of September. “A new blend emerges from the flames of a time-honored craft, creating the most unexpected and masterful encounter.” This limited release red blend wine has been aged in whiskey barrels for 60 days. They call this a “wine with a whiskey soul”, now that truly sounds like pain relief.
Debbie Juergernson is a master apothecary…or winemaker, if that’s what you wanna call it. She uses only the most distinct California grapes in her concoctions. “I strive to tell a story with each blend of Apothic”, she says. Apothic Inferno’s story starts off with it ‘s mysteriously dark red and blackberry color. The nose brings whiffs of chocolate covered strawberries and smokey hints of campfire. Then, red and dark fruit flavors combine with layers of maple and spice, giving way to a long, clean finish.
Now, Apothic Inferno is not your average wine, it’s nothing something you would want to pair with food. Its strong flavors are often overpowering of food (besides rich chocolate and cheesecake). This is a wonderfully mysterious and sensual wine good for relaxing by the fire or even a girls night. It is absolutely beyond worth it for the price. Wine with a whiskey soul and a hauntingly addictive flavor,
Calling all Whiskey Connoisseurs!
Did you know that Payless is the only store in Indiana that offers Jesse James Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey? This whiskey is made in the spirit of America’s true outlaw and it’s yours for just $39.99. You won’t find this anywhere else.
Every year at the start of fall, there is one thing you can count on; pumpkin spice everything coming out of the wood works. You either love it because you’re “basic” or hate it because you’re a rebel. Even though we know everyone secretly loves it. There is nothing to not love about the pumpkin spice flavor. Now, the Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte is not for everyone, but a mixed drink sure is! What could get you in the Autumn mood better than a bonfire and that perfect pumpkin spice beverage? We want to share our favorite fall recipes with you!
Spiced, Pumpkin Cocktail –
- 2 parts Pinnacle pumpkin pie vodka
- 1 part Irish cream liqueur
- ½ part half and half
- Whipped cream topping
- Nutmeg and granulated sugar mixture for rimming glass and topping
- Rim the glass with nutmeg and sugar
- In a shaker with ice, vigorously shake vodka, Irish cream, and half and half.
- Top with whipped cream
- Sprinkle with nutmeg and sugar
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Apple, Pumpkin Beer Cocktail –
- 8 ounces good quality bourbon
- 9 ounces apple cider
- 2 ½ ounces of lemon juice
- 12 ounces pumpkin ale
- Cinnamon sticks and cranberries for garnish
- Shake the bourbon, apple cider and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.
- Pour into 4 glasses with ice
- Pour the pumpkin ale evenly into each glass
- Garnish with cinnamon sticks and cranberries
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Now don’t roll your eyes to these pumpkin spice cocktails until you given them a try! Make a pitcher, invite your friends over and add a little spice to your night. Cheers!
We all know and love Jim Beam, but we don’t always get to hear about some of the other brands distilled by Jim Beam. Booker’s Blue Knights Batch is one of them and is the 2nd of the 2017 Booker’s releases. This batch was named in honor of Booker Noe’s lesser known group of friends, The Blue Knights Motorcycle Club. This was an international group of active and retired law enforcement officers that shared a passion for the open road.
In Jim Beam’s words, “Booker’s Blue Knights Batch is culled from barrels from four different production dates located in four different warehouses. The nose is sweet with vanilla notes, mixed with wood from the white oak barrels. The mingling aromas and tastes from different barrels make this a great, well-balanced batch.”
- 2% from 4th floor of 7-story warehouse ONE
- 38% from 7th floor of 9-story warehouse D
- 33% from 7th floor of 9-story warehouse F
- 27% from 7th floor of 9-story warehouse J
This whiskey has a mash bill of 77% corn, 13% rye, and 10% malted barley, and was aged in a New Charred Oak cask for a little over 6 years. It is bottled at cask strength and barrel proof of 127, it’s the closest you can get to getting it out of the cask yourself. Caramel to the eye, nicely balanced, full-bodied with a heavy oily feel. Booker’s Blue Knights Batch just has an all-around rich, dense and oaky profile.
Nose: Oak roasted peanuts, Dark Fruit, baking spice, cocoa, and toffee. All-around described as very pleasant.
Taste: Oak roasted peanuts, dark fruit, baking spice, cocoa, leather, and toffee, also described as pleasant.
Finish: A very long finish of oak and peanuts, a little brown sugar, clove and herbal spice.
Perfect for easy going sipping on a spring day! Reserve your bottle of Booker’s Blue Knights Batch while the selection is available. Cheers!
It’s not every day that a whiskey is made in collaboration with a movie. Old Forester Just released their Statesman whiskey a month before Kingsman: The Golden Circle is set to come out. This movie is about a group of master bourbon distillers by day, spies by night. Two elite secret spy organizations band together to defeat a common enemy as the world is held hostage.
Based on the dynamic characters in the movie, Old Forester named this whiskey Statesman after the American secret service-esque counterparts in the movie. “We wanted to make sure that whatever we bottled and sell fit the world that was presented in Kingsman.” That’s why they created the smooth 95 proof Statesman from hand selected casks from the warmest parts of the warehouse, because “True character is only revealed after a little heat.” This Kentucky whiskey is an exceptional balance of heat and spice.
Statesman shares it’s mash bill with the original recipe that Old Forester’s has used since 1870 – 72% corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley. The only difference is that Statesman was aged on the highest floor of the warehouse, where temperatures can reach 120 degrees during the summer. This whiskey is golden brown in appearance and bottles at 47.5% ABV.
Nose: Devil’s food, clove & oak spice with an undercurrent of raw vanilla.
Taste: Buttery leather is quickly dominated by a bold flash of pepper, cinnamon, bark and sharp citrus.
Finish: Intense spice and eucalyptus which fade into orange cream and caramel.
Jeff Bridges (middle) stars alongside Statesman as the character champ where he debuted this bourbon at the Kentucky Derby. If you can’t already tell by the makeup it’s wild flavors, this Kentucky whiskey is bold! Get ready for the Kingsman movie, set to premiere September 22, by trying Old Forester’s Statesman. This is thee action-packed whiskey you don’t want to miss out on. Reserve your bottle of Statesman here.
Farm-to-fork eating is all craze today. We want to know that what we are putting into our bodies is fresh. Straight from the ground and onto our plates. Well, we should be thinking the same way about the drinks we put into our bodies. Especially when it comes to alcoholic beverages with unknown amounts of sugar and additives. WhistlePig had a vision of creating a true farm-to-bottle whiskey and they did just that. WhistlePig FarmStock whiskey was created.
WhistlePig FarmStock Whiskey “is the manifestation of the dream that launched the company: to produce the finest whiskey in the world from our Vermont farm.” Farmstock is a blended rye whiskey made of young estate whiskey, five and six-year estate ryes, and MPG 12-year whiskey stock. This 86 proof blend really embraces the spiciness of both the local grains and wood. It is amber to the eye and bottle at 43% ABV.
Nose: Deep and complex aromas, there is a lot going on here. It is mostly made of a rich woody oak. It has subtle hints of dark, salt caramel and then it leaves on a nice fruity note. The grain-forward nature of this whiskey is said to leave an air of baking bread in the nostrils.
Palate: Despite the sweetness in the nose, the palate accentuates the dryer aspects of this whiskey. Again, predominantly oaky there are sweeter florally flavors at the end with hints of citrus and stone fruit.
Finish: Intricate and enduring finish featuring winter fruit, dark chocolate, tobacco, butterscotch, and vanilla founded in classic rye spice.
Try the WhistlePig FarmStock Manhattan. Combine 2oz FarmStock, 1/2oz Sweet Vermouth, 2 dashes of Angostura. Garnish with a Cherry and wa-la! You know what you’re getting with this whiskey and that’s a true farm-to-bottle whiskey. Heck, it’s even bottled in a barn! You can reserve your own bottle of WhistlePig Farmstock here.
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