City Club Hosts Bourbon Tasting with Four Roses Distillery
People unfamiliar with Bourbon can be surprised by just how smooth it tastes. Those familiar with what the Kentucky Distillers’ Association calls “America’s only native spirit” can be surprised by its variations.
A Bourbon tasting at the City Club Friday, June 20, will have plenty for both camps to savor. Dan Gardner, senior marketing manager for Four Roses Distillery, producer of 10 unique Bourbon recipes, will share several small-batch bourbons plus samples of single-barrel bourbons from the Four Roses lab.
As of late Monday, 15 tickets remained available.
Four Roses combines two separate mashbills and five proprietary yeast strains for its 10 recipes, which are used alone or in combination in creating what goes into each bottle.
The difference in yeast strains is what changes the taste, Dan says. Some add spice; others add sweetness. A sensitive nose may pick up anything from caramel to cocoa and plum to pear, depending on the recipe.
“We emphasize the role of yeast because our yeast strains are so diverse,” Dan says.
Microbreweries pay the same homage to their yeast strains, which, as with Bourbon, both ferment and flavor the liquid into alcohol.
Saying bourbon is in the midst of a spirited spike in popularity is watering down the facts.
Bourbon is red-hot, or in this case brown-hot, and U.S. sales of it and Tennessee whiskey grew more than 10 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to the Distilled Spirits Council, a trade association.
The modern Bourbon renaissance started in the mid-1980s when Japanese consumers developed a taste for the classic Southern brown liquor, Dan says. Jim Beam gave it a boost in 1991 with the introduction of its small batch collections.
“It has just been building, building, building and has completely gone crazy for everybody.”
Last year, exports of Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey exceeded $1 billion for the first time, the trade group says.
The industry puts bourbon and Tennessee whiskey into the same category. In broad terms, the liquors are produced in similar ways with similar ingredients, but Jack Daniels and other Tennessee whiskeys take one additional step, mellowing out in charcoal.
Of course it is never that simple, and the “legal” definition of Tennessee whiskey and what producers can put on labels has been the subject of recent litigation and legislation. Both are produced in the same way and with similar ingredients. The main difference is that Jack Daniel’s and a few other Tennessee whiskeys are charcoal mellowed before going into the barrel to age, while bourbon isn’t.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend the tasting, which is from 7 to 9 p.m. Cost is $55 for Mug Club and Uncorked members, $65 for other NCC members and $75 for guests.