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Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon Barrel Selection

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Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

Legend has it that Elijah Craig discovered the method of producing true Kentucky Bourbon when the warehouse he stored his barrels in caught on fire and charred the barrels. Whether or not that is true, there is no doubt that he discovered a way to make a bourbon loved throughout Kentucky and the United States.

Elijah Craig Small Batch premium is an award-winning, true small batch bourbon. Payless Liquors, along with Joe and Grady from The Grady and Big Joe Show, had the opportunity to select a barrel of Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon. We are very excited for this barrel selection! Here are more details on what you can expect with our Elijah Craig Small Batch Barrel selection.

Nose:  Dried orange and apricot zest with notes of custard and soft spiced wood that give a slight alcohol bite to the front of the nose.

Taste:  Up front flavors of dried cherries and ripe apples mixed with soft maple, and burnt brown sugar. Sweet soft char wood notes enter quickly in the middle and thru the end, bringing with it the slightest hint of vanilla, mixed with ever-growing spice notes that present strongly on the finish. The taste ends with just a dash of white pepper and more sweet wood char.

Finish: A medium finish with an oily texture allows its flavors to linger longer than most. Spice and sweetened wood flavors last to the end. Mostly infused with wood and fruit, yet enough subtle sweetness that keeps calling the glass back to your lips for yet another taste.

Joe and Grady
Joe and Grady with Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon selection

Overall:  This is a very nice, unique pour that you hope to get when you purchase a single barrel bourbon. It presents with the combination of the healthy fruits and sassy spice that would draw Grady’s interest time and time again, yet has the right amount of decadent sweetness that will have Joe holding a bottle like Whinney the Pooh holds on to his honey.

Interested in trying our selection of Elijah Craig? Reserve your bottle online to make sure you get yours. Let us know what you think! Cheers!

King of Bootleggers: George Remus

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A store clerk. Pharmacist. Optometrist. Lawyer. Entrepreneur. And bootlegger? George Remus was a man of many trades, including a bourbon legend that started his career during prohibition. Remus saw the potential to make millions during the prohibition age. During that time, alcohol could be stored in warehouses on legally owned property. It could then be sold for medical, scientific, or industrial purposes with the right authorization. Remus owned wholesale drug companies, and could legally buy and sell large quantities of alcohol, which he then diverted for illegal sale. Remus started his business in Cincinnati with buying his own distillery and trucking company to transport alcohol. At his peak, he owned 10 distilleries and warehouses in the greater Cincinnati area, and employed 3,000 people. He eventually became known as the “King of Bootleggers,” and now has a whiskey named after him!

The George Remus products include the George Remus Bourbon Whiskey, George Remus Rye Whiskey, and George Remus Limited Edition Rye Whiskey. All brands are available for purchase in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. For today, we will focus on the standard George Remus Bourbon Whiskey. George Remus products are not long aged products, typically around 2-4 years. The young taste of the whiskey is prominent but could have potential with age. On the palate, you will taste mild spices, oak, and vanilla – very common aromas for younger whiskeys. It’s a smooth sipper without a whole lot of overpowering flavor and a mellow finish.

MPG recently acquired the Remus brands in 2016 from Queen City Whiskey, so we will see in the future if the product enhances further with production under MPG. But the name and legend of George Remus is what will drive this young brand into fame. A truly good bottle of bourbon has a good story behind it, and Remus’s story is one you won’t forget. Interested in try this legendary brand? Head on over to your local Payless Liquors or reserve your bottle of George Remus today!

Good Is Never Good Enough

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That quote is said routinely by bourbon brewers at Angel’s Envy. While creators at Angel’s Envy want to preserve the tradition of fine bourbons, they are always looking for ways to experiment and improve bourbon. The brand initially started with an idea that had not been tried in the bourbon industry: making a bourbon finished in port barrels. Lincoln Henderson, a legendary Master Distiller, came out of retirement to explore new barrel again ideas with his son Wes. And with over 200 years of bourbon heritage, Angel’s Envy holds award-winning brews that separate themselves from the rest.

Angel’s Envy prides themselves on perfection, and they ensure every barrel is up to Angel Envy standards. Every barrel is tasted throughout each step of the finishing process. Some say this load of perfectionism is a little overboard, but it ensures that their brews meet their expectations of fine bourbon.

One of their top products, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength, was even ranked the “Best Spirit in the World” by Spirit Journal. This year, Angel’s Envy is releasing fewer than 8,000 bottles of this rare and delicious spirit! Aged in port barrels, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength is full of flavor bourbon lovers are sure to enjoy. Though the bourbon is darker in color, its smell on the nose is not as strength as usual with darker bourbons. It has hints of rose petals, fruit, black peppercorns, and clove. On the palate, it has distinct flavors of caramel coffee, dried fig, aged tobacco, and toasted sourdough bread. The finish is rich and buttery. Angel’s Envy Cask Strength is best neat or with a splash of water to help bring out the flavors and settle the burn in its finish. If you’re looking for an amazing bourbon that combines flavor, balance, and complexity, you should give Angel’s Envy Cask Strength a try!

Looking for a chance to get your hands on Angel’s Envy Cask Strength? How about an opportunity to visit Angel’s Envy distillery on a private tour as well? You can bid on your chance to win both at Indy’s Premier Bourbon Event this Friday, February 17th! Get your tickets to this fabulous event that benefits education and outreach programs by the Indiana Historical Society!

Starlight Distillery Payless Single Barrel Selection #1481

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Payless Liquors will now be offering an exclusive selection of bourbon from Starlight Distillery. Starlight Distillery is a branch of Huber’s Orchard, Winery, and Vineyards in Starlight, Indiana. Huber’s Orchard, Winery, and Vineyards began in 1843, when Simon Huber settled in Southern Indiana with his family. Simon brought with him years of experience in fruit growing and wine making from Germany. What was once an 80-acre farm has expanded to over 600 acres with generations of experience in crafting award-winning wines and brews.

Huber’s Starlight Distilleries now produces brandies much like their ancestors in the 1800s. Master distillers, Ted Huber and Jason Heiligenberg, commit to crafting the finest products inspired by artisanal European tradition. Starlight Distillery prides themselves on producing in individual batches allowing for the ultimate expression of the distiller’s art. Payless Liquors Single Barrel Selection #1481 is no exception.

The single barrel selection #1481 selected is an unusual barrel, in that the staves were pulled from their Huber wine inventory. They represent a 2 year, air dried wood from
Southern Indiana coopered in the traditional 53-gallon whiskey style barrel but toasted for 30 minutes like a traditional wine barrel over an open flame. In order to make this an official bourbon barrel by definition, the barrel must be charred so they decided to “flash” char to a rare #5 char.  This barrel is truly a hybrid one that brings together knowledge of wine and spirits to develop this unique flavor profile for this rare Starlight Distillery Bourbon.

Starlight Distillery rarely shares these exclusive barrels for off premise use. These specialty barrels are typically used in the Starlight Distillery single barrel program on property in their own tasting room. This distinctive bourbon will be available exclusively for retail at Payless Liquors in Central Indiana. Don’t miss out on your chance to try a handcrafted bourbon with a unique flavor you’re sure to love. Contact us today to reserve your bottle. Cheers!

Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon

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Kentucky is the birthplace of bourbon, crafting 95% of the world’s supply. With the optimal mix of climate, conditions and pure limestone water, it is understandable how the state has become known for its high-quality bourbons drank around the world. Among its top producers include the Heaven Hill brands, which has been perfecting its brews since the end of Prohibition. Heaven Hill was founded in Bardstown, Kentucky by the Shapira family. At the time, the family had no brands, no available stocks of whiskey, and was starting at the peak ofHeaven-Hill-Bourbon-287720-L_grande the Great Depression. Today, Heaven Hill’s is still family owned with a diversified product offering of whiskeys, liqueurs, vodkas, rums, and more popular brands such as Evans Williams Bourbon, Burnett’s Vodka, and Admiral Nelson’s Rum.

One of its best-known bourbon brews is its Old Style bourbon. It is named after the spring that flows through the historic Bernheim Distillery grounds. Typically brewed for four years in oak barrels, the final product yields a pale golden color. When opening the bottle, the aromas can be bold with bold scents of nutmeg, cinnamon, and sweet fruits. On the nose, it can have a bit of an alcohol bite, but it is not too strong or complex. On the palate, it may taste more complex. It tastes much like its smell, with spice and caramel sweetness. The bourbon has a medium body and finish, with an overall good balance. Its alcohol bite can be toned down over ice, but also good in your favorite bourbon cocktails such as Old Fashions and Manhattans.

The Heaven Hill brand is the seventh largest independent, family-owned and operated producer and marketer of distilled spirits in the country. It is also the second largest holder of aging bourbon whiskey, with over 1 million barrels in inventory. It’s commitment to quality, integrity, and consistency has given the brand a top-notch reputation for its products. If you’re wanting for an everyday bourbon at a bargain price, Heaven’s Hill Old Style Bourbon is the one for you. Contact us to reserve your bottle, or stop by your local Payless Liquors to pick up yours today.

O.F.C. 1980 Bourbon Coming To Indianapolis

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Buffalo Trace Distillery has announced that it will release three unique vintage-dated bourbons honoring the O.F.C. Distillery. Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Christened the distillery back in 1870 and originally named it the Old Fire Copper Distillery. This historic landmark is known today as the Buffalo Trace Distillery had the most state of the art features like copper fermentation vats, column still, and a steam heating system that is still used in the aging warehouses.

200 bottles of bourbon dating back to 1980, 1982 and 1983 will be released and offered
exclusively to non-profit organizations at no charge to raise money for their causes. And here in Indianapolis, the Indiana Historical Society was lucky enough to get bottle 65/100 of the 1980 Vintage!

bottle-canisterThe packaging for O.F.C. matches the brilliance of the whiskey with lead free crystal bottles featuring detailed fluting engraved into the mold. Glass artisans cut the shoulder facets using equipment created exclusively for Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each bottle is then manually polished to achieve maximum glass brilliance before in-laying cut copper lettering to spell out “O.F.C.” on the front. A paper label is then hand applied below with the vintage prominently noted, along with a label on the back of the bottle noting the milestones for the vintage year of the bottle.

The 1980 label memorializes the U.S. Ice Hockey team’s stunning win over the Soviet Union, along with pop culture happenings and Ronald Reagan’s presidential election.

This is the second time Buffalo Trace Distillery has partnered with non-profit organizations to raise money. In 2011, the Distillery gave away 174 bottles of its Millennium Barrel, the last bourbon barrel filled on the last day of the last century. In total more than $150,000 was raised for various charities across the United States, with the top organization raising more than $7,000 for their cause.

We are assisting the Indiana Historical Society to organize a bourbon tasting on February
17th where this bottle and other items will be involved in silent auctions. It should be a great evening to raise money for the Education of Indiana History. Watch our social media and IHS’s website for more info.

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Weller Pants

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Lately we’ve been talking a lot about these Weller Pants on Twitter and Facebook. So, we thought we’d talk about them here as well! These awesome (and cute) little holiday pants contain the Weller Special Reserve and Weller Antique. These two bottles will be the subjects of our blog this week!

weller-pantsFirst, as always, we would talk a bit about the distillery. Having some background is always a great way to enter the topic of any product. However, we have already talked about this one! W.L. Weller is a brand of wheated bourbon whiskey, currently produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Our blog  on Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection—Infrared went through their history, and you are welcome to read about that here.

What sets Weller apart right off the bat is its initial components. Like other bourbons, it is distilled from a mash of at least 51% corn, but the secondary grain is wheat, most bourbons use rye.

Now, let’s get to the review. The W.L. Weller Special Reserve nose is strong, the first wave isweller-special-reserve definitely that of alcohol. However, if you stick around for just another second, it is sweet, with notes of apple, honey, and vanilla—a beautiful combination. The palate is where the wheat really makes a difference, as one can expect. The vanilla sticks around and now we can taste caramel. The taste is smooth and has a nice finish.

Next is the Weller Antique. First we’ll talk about the nose, as always. Our first whiff is that of spice, lots of spice. You can tell that this will be a warm one. The layers come across as nutmeg, cinnamon, and deeper is vanilla as well as butterscotch. The palate feels a bit light weller-old-antique_0and thin at first. Which was incredibly surprising, given the impression it made through the nose. However, the finish is larger than life and even better with a second sip. The flavor, again, is sweet due to that wheat as opposed to rye, but the taste of the alcohol is strong enough to remind you it is definitely a Weller bourbon.

Both of these bottles are an absolute must have for any whiskey bourbon enthusiast. The bottles are available for purchase at your favorite local Payless, and you can reserve your Weller Pants today for the perfect holiday gift! (It can be a gift for yourself 🙂 )

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon

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birthday_2016The Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is a very special bottle that only comes but once a year. The reason this bottle is annual and not released more often is because it is brewed specifically to be released on a particular date. This date being the birthday of the founder. On September 2nd every year, master distiller Chris Morris crafts the Birthday Bourbon that is vintage-dated and particularly fantastic for this momentous occasion. It is hand selected from one specific day of production. It’s a one of a kind bottle that is essential for any bourbon aficionado. The uniqueness of this bourbon could not be overstated. From the fact that it is only released once a year to the fact that it is released on the day of the founder’s birthday, and that it is hand-picked for its flavor and character to reflect the special day it is released. It is the ultimate in rare, handcrafted bourbon. This is also the fifteen year anniversary of this particular practice, making it even more special for bourbon enthusiasts. It has received unprecedented acclaim and both national and international whisky honors.

Now, let’s talk nose. The scent of the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is complex. Among the notes are cinnamon and spiked oak. They balance each other in a hearty dance between deep and sweet. Additionally, there is a hint of nutty chocolate and dark caramel. They do a similar tango that balances out this incredible concoction. The taste is full of mulled fruit character and spice, along with notes of bright citrus peel. It is warm and toasty in flavor with the perfect amount of fruit and citrus bite.

This bourbon is in limited supply so be sure to get it before it’s gone! We are hosting a contest that will go until October 20th. On the morning of October 21st, we will announce the winners. We have twelve bottles ready to go of Old Forester Birthday Bourbon and if you answer the trivia questions right, you may earn the right to purchase! Details here

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection – Infrared

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Buffalo Trace is the oldest continuously-operating distillery in the United States producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.

About 20 years ago, Buffalo Trace Distillery began experimenting with recipes and barrel treatments. Right now, there are roughly 5,000 experimental barrels of whiskey aging in warehouses. Each of the barrels has unique characteristics and experimental changes in the mash bill, types of wood, barrel toasts and more. Periodically, an experimental whiskey is bottled and sold on a limited basis. And the first of these experiments involved the use of infrared light waves.

With the goal of learning how new and different flavors can be drawn from the oak, the distillery applied the light waves to barrels before charring in 2009. Eight special barrels were constructed for this experiment. All eight first underwent the same process as standard Buffalo Trace barrels, staves were open air seasoned for six months before being made into barrels.

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Then, the barrels were divided into two groups and exposed to two different levels of infrared light waves.  The first group of four saw 15 minutes of short wave and medium wave frequency at 70% power.  The second group of four underwent 30 minutes of the short wave and medium wave frequency at 60% power. The barrels were then given a quick 15 second char before finally being filled with Buffalo Trace’s Bourbon Mash #1.

In 2016, it was time to see how the experiment worked. The bourbon from both barrels has distinct flavor notes of wood, caramel, and vanilla, as well as pepper flavors drawn from the oak. It was also noted that the short wave infrared light seemed to affect more of the inner layers of the wood, while the medium wave infrared light affected the surface and medium layers.

Tasting notes for each describe the 15 minute infrared light barrels as having a floral nose followed by a complex flavor profile. Oak and tannins mingle with dry raisins and sweet caramel.  The 30 minute infrared light barrels are described as strong wood notes complemented by a taste of dried fruit. A lingering finish leaves a hint of cracked black pepper.

The Experimental Collection is packaged in 375ml bottles, and both entry proofs were bottled at 90 proof.  Each label includes all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. Want to get your hands on a bottle? Fill out our online contact form today. Then come back and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

From Field to Bottle – Old 55 Sweet Corn Bourbon

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State Road 55 may sound familiar to us Hoosiers. It’s a north/south highway running between northwestern and central Indiana. And it’s about to become much well known thanks to Old 55 Distillery!

Old 55 is a true family business. They are one of the few true field to bottle distilleries in Old 55 Sweet Corn Bourbonthe world. Every bit of the grain used is sourced from local fields or the family farm. Old 55 truly does capture the Midwest from the fields the spirits are harvested from to the hardworking people that travel it daily.

Old 55 is harvested, stored, milled, mashed, distilled, & bottled by hand in Newtown, IN. Their custom built pot still was designed and handmade in Germany by Kothe Destillationstechnik.

Old 55 has recently released a completely new take on bourbon using 100% Sweet Corn off the cob. Grown on the family farm, harvested, and distilled by to make something truly unique. It is Small Batch. It is Heart Cut. And is 40% alcohol by volume.

Get your hands on this new Indiana spirit at your local Payless Liquors or by reserving it online. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

An Evolving Experiment In Bourbon Maturation

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The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Company, dedicated to releasing limited edition spirits from rare casks discovered in some of the country’s finest whiskey cellars. Orphan Barrel has brought you Lost Prophet, Barterhouse, Old Blowhard, The Gifted Horse, Forged Oak, Rhetoric 20 & 21.  And now Orphan Barrel has come out with its eighth release, Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 22-Year-Old, a 90.4 proof bourbon.

Rhetoric 22Orphan Barrel Rhetoric 22 continues the slow march of this series set to culminate in the debut of a 25-year-old in 2019. If you are not familiar with Rhetoric, its stocks were said to be found “in the old Stitzel-Weller Warehouses in Louisville, Ky. The whiskey was distilled between 1990–1993 at the Bernheim Distillery located at the historic 17 and Breckenridge in Louisville, Ky. Its mash bill is 86%  corn, 8% barley and 6% rye.

Each sip of Rhetoric 22 starts with a smoky, leathery nose and tastes of toasted oak dark chocolate with ripe banana and spices of clove and anise. The finish is long and woody ending with dark chocolate notes.

According to Diageo, Rhetoric is an experiment in how barrel maturation imparts a lasting impression year after year. Each new year results in an older and wiser limited release from remaining maturing stock. A conversation piece if there ever was one.

Reserve your bottle with us and let us know your thoughts of the new Rhetoric in the comments!

The Rebirth of Yellowstone

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In 2010, the seventh-generation distillers Paul and Steve Beam founded Limestone Branch Distillery with the intention of crafting the finest whiskey. Yellowstone is one of the older yellowstone-selectbourbon brands, dating back to 1872, the year its namesake national park was founded. Minor Case Beam, Paul & Steve’s great-grandfater was the original owner of the Yellowstone brand.

The first bourbon they released was Yellowstone Limited Edition. And now, they proudly present the 93 proof Yellowstone Select. The Beams selected, blended, and bottled barrels of 4 and 7-year-old of sweet, spicy, and smoky bourbons for this expression. Each was selected to give this exclusive whiskey a taste that celebrates its deep, family origins.

Tasting Notes:

  • Appearance: Deep, golden chestnut.
  • Nose: Leather and dried fruit with a slight hint of citrus and smoky oak.
  • Palate: Spicy rye with a whisper of dried cherries fading to smoked caramel.
  • Finish: A memorable finish, rich with brown sugar and Kentucky tradition

This is an easy-drinking bourbon with a well-balanced flavor profile that also works well in cocktails. Grab your bottle at your favorite Payless location or reserve a bottle today!

Stranahan’s Private Label

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Founded in 2004, Stranahan’s is the first modern microdistillery to legally make whiskey in Colorado, and the state’s first legal distillery since prohibition.

Stranahan’s is a straight whiskey and like bourbon, is aged in new number 3 charred oak barrels. The final whiskey is a blend of 2, 3 and 5 year-old whiskeys and cut with water IMG_0025sourced from the Eldorado spring outside Boulder. Stranahan’s is distilled from a 100% malt barley base grain – the first to ever do this. And Stranahan’s is different than most all mid-west (Kentucky) bourbons. You will taste the difference the western grains bring to this bourbon.

Typically when a distiller bottles his whiskey, several hundred or even several thousand barrels are combined for a staunchly uniform taste. At Stranahan’s, they select ten to twenty of our choicest barrels, and combine them for a small batch with a reliable, yet distinctive flavor unique to Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. Each barrel is bottled by hand, with each label hand-signed by the distiller. The bottling process is done by volunteers.

And Payless was fortunate enough to get to select our own Private Barrel. We gathered a committee and sampled several barrels to create our own unique bottle.  Here are the tasting notes of our barrel:

Nose:  Malt & barley, oak, some IMG_0024brown sugar with a hint of toffee and spice.

Taste:  Malt & Barley, almost cereal like hit first, with some brown sugar sweetness.  Quickly oak wood enters in the middle, with some subtle hints of dried fruit.  A smooth thickness coats your mouth, leaving you with some nice cinnamon-clove spice, with a vanilla-caramel flavor entering at the end.

Finish:  A spicy malt flavor lingers a bit on the tongue, longer than most, to remind you that you have just had something unique.

Our Stranahan’s Private Label will be rolling out to all stores soon. And you can always reserve a bottle using our contact us form. Cheers!

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