We’re Kicking off Bourbon Heritage Month Early! The two single barrel bourbons that we picked out from our recent trip out to Kentucky are here! We couldn’t be more excited to share these both with you. Check them out below.
Tom’s Pick: Rebel Wheated 120 Proof Single Barrel Bourbon
We just received one of the first barrels of Rebel Single Barrel Bourbons to hit the state of Minnesota! This Single Barrel of Rebel we picked out is wheated, meaning they took out the classic spicy rye grain and replaced it with wheat as the secondary sweeter, softer grain. I’m always on the hunt for good wheated bourbon, and it’s not always easy to find. There are always two staples: Maker’s Mark and Larceny, then there are the mysterious unicorns in Weller and Van Winkle which are impossible to find. This barrel reminds me a lot of Larceny Barrel Proof, another rare bourbon we seldom get. Bottled at 120 proof, this bourbon is both bulky and silky. Bold vanilla and caramel on the nose with an extremely textured oily mouthfeel that coats the palate. The finish has a warm apple with just a hint of cinnamon baked in. With water added, the caramel tones brighten up and the oak spice finally comes through on the finish. Adding an ice cube unlocked a shocking level of complexity tying together the vanilla, oak spice, and fall apples.
When a trip down to Kentucky presents itself, you always pull the trigger. We stayed in Bardstown, a quiet town situated 41 miles south of Louisville. It’s one of the biggest hubs for bourbon in Kentucky. It’s perfect for making bourbon due to its high elevation that leads to optimal temperature fluctuation for aging and its many limestone springs used as their pure water source. If you ever hit the bourbon trail, please feel free to come in and talk to Tom to get tips and ask questions! Large bourbon hubs such as Bardstown and Frankfort are smaller towns even though Frankfort is the ironically the capital of Kentucky. We love going down to bring our customers back awesome whiskey we otherwise could not get our hands on as well as figure out the tips and tricks of the bourbon trail!
This bourbon absolutely shines in a mint julep. Its caramel and vanilla come through with the crushed ice taming the high proof.
Rebel Mint Julep:
- 1/4oz simple syrup
- 2oz Rebel Single Barrel Bourbon
- 1 small bushel of 6-8 small mint leaves
- Pebbled/crushed ice
- Copper/metal cup (optional but does help with keeping everything ice cold.)
- Garnish: more fresh mint
Instructions: combine the simple syrup and mint at the bottom of the glass and GENTLY muddle. You aren’t smashing the mint into salad, you are waking up the essential oils of the mint. Add bourbon and pack the glass with fresh ice and stir till the glass is chilled. The garnish is important, you want to slap the mint a little to get that mint going becoming more fragrant. Plus its fun. Place the mint across from your nose so it’s the first thing you smell when you go to take a sip. Enjoy!
Tashi's Pick: Ezra Brooks 120 Proof Single Barrel Bourbon
Tashi here to talk about our Single Barrel of Ezra Brooks! I wrote all about our trip to Kentucky back in April, which you can read here. I tried to keep our Luxrow barrels a secret and I’m sure ya’ll figured out that’s where we went based on the photos, but here we are: the big reveal! This was my first trip with France 44 and my first time on the bourbon trail. I was pretty nervous at our tasting, even though I came prepared having just finished my WSET Level 2 Spirits Certification. It was a huge privilege to accompany Tom, and for him to agree with my Ezra Brooks pick. So this is my baby, truly Tashi’s pick.
I enjoy this single barrel the most after I’ve let it breathe for a while. This one is gonna hit ya with some rye spice immediately either way, but have some patience and you won’t regret it. On the nose I get vanilla and toffee, on the palate caramel and spice with a warm lingering finish. Once it’s opened up I akin it to fresh baked coffee cake. I think this single barrel is gonna surprise you! I hope you venture for a bottle and please let me know what you think of my pick, I would love to hear your thoughts.