Barrell Craft Spirits – Dovetail Whiskey

  • Distiller: Barrell Craft Spirits
  • Spirit: Whiskey Finished in Rum, Port, & Dunn Vineyards Barrels
  • Aged: Unstated
  • Proof: 124.34
  • Purchase Price: $89.99

    About The Distillery: Barrell Craft Spirits was started by owner Joe Beatrice in 2013. Joe questioned the premise that starting a full-blown distillery was the only way to go about entering the whiskey game. He built the distillery on the premise of sniffing out great releases from established producers and creating unique and tasty blends to share with the whiskey world.

Blends. Where to begin?

Blends are one of those things that people are either morally for or against. Some people are purists and believe that whiskey is made to be distilled and bottled in its native form. I’ve even run across people that scoff at the idea of anything other than a small batch or single barrel, seeing it as a cop-out for having to create something that can stand on its own.

Me? I love ’em!

Blends are just an extension of the unlimited possibilities that whiskey brings us, and can unlock unique and interesting flavors that wouldn’t have been present in either iteration. I actually mess around with blending myself at my home bar.

It’s pretty awesome that companies are beginning to treat blending as a science and art, creating unique flavors and combinations for us to enjoy!

Traverse City – North Coast Rye

  • Distiller: Traverse City Michigan
  • Spirit: Rye Blend
  • Aged: 3+ Years
  • Proof: 90
  • Purchase Price: $39.99

    About The Distillery: “Here at The Traverse City Whiskey Co., we’ve worked hard to reconstruct the recipe that’s been lingering in one of our family heirlooms for three generations. Every day we’re busy distilling the best whiskey around using the techniques derived directly from my great-grandfather’s patents.”

Rye Whiskies are one of those things we’re just very critical of here at the blog. Some are excellent, and some are like drinking a pile of leaves and hay on fire in both taste and burn. However, when you begin finding quality made ryes, it opens a whole other world of flavors and unique notes.

Traverse city has done a great job making a rye that stands out with nice earthy flavors, balanced heat, and unique notes that enhance the experience rather than detract from it.

Podcast #009 – Traverse City Whiskey

In this podcast, we chat about four different expressions by Traverse City Whiskey.
– Signature Edition Barrel Proof
– Straight Bourbon
– North Coast Rye
– American Cherry

Nulu Bourbon

  • Distiller: Prohibition Craft Spirits
  • Spirit: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Aged: 4+ Years
  • Proof: 115.4
  • Purchase Price: $54.99

    About The Distillery: “There’s something special about rolling up your sleeves and getting “Back-to-Basics.” At PCS Distilling Company’s facility, we do just that; combining the finest ingredients in our recipes with hands-on, devoted attention to every step of the distilling process.”

About Keith

It was great meeting Keith, the owner of Prohibition Craft Sprits and the current mastermind behind the NULU branding decisions. He and his master distiller, Harrison Hayden have a passion for bourbon.

Both have long histories with our favorite spirit, and both surround themselves with it. As a matter of fact, while we were there, they were breaking down old barrels and turning it into furniture when they were done bottling their product.

Harrison had his own blends and concoctions he was aging in small barrels to constantly tweak recipes and seek new flavors. Keith told us he was looking to put PCS on the map as a must-visit destination. With all the stuff they are doing, we think that is a very real possibility.

About Nulu

The distillery itself is multi-dimensional.

There is a bar side hosting a great list of different pours. However, when you enter the distillery side, there is a whole other world full of whiskey and the NULU brand history. A large bar claims one side of the large room, a maze of “story walls” tell the tales and display artifacts of multiple historical events for bourbon, Kentucky, and NULU.

There is a private party area on one side of the maze, with a stage and DJ booth in the shape of a giant whiskey barrel included for good measure. There is also a lounge that overlooks the rest of the room.

Overall, it seems like NULU is positioning itself to be quite the hangout. And that is before they positioned themselves by partnering with MGP to produce their NULU bourbon.

Traverse City – Barrel Proof Bourbon

  • Distiller: Traverse City Michigan
  • Spirit: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Aged: 3+ Years
  • Proof: 116.6
  • Purchase Price: $74.99

    About The Distillery: “Here at The Traverse City Whiskey Co., we’ve worked hard to reconstruct the recipe that’s been lingering in one of our family heirlooms for three generations. Every day we’re busy distilling the best whiskey around using the techniques derived directly from my great-grandfather’s patents.”

Traverse City Michigan lies on the coast of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes.

I have a familiarity with Michigan, having gone most summers to visit family and gorge myself on Mackinac Island fudge. That being said, it is always interesting to see a distillery producing bourbon so far away from Kentucky. If for no other reason than because of the rampant misnomer that bourbon has to be produced in Kentucky.

However, Traverse City has found a nice mark. They have made a bit of name for themselves in the community. Well, at least near Tampa, Florida. After trying it though, we understand the hype. For being a younger bourbon, it does carry quite a lot of flavor.

Jack Daniels – Herritage Barrel

  • Distiller: Jack Daniels
  • Spirit: Tennessee Whiskey
  • Aged: Unstated
  • Proof: 100
  • Purchase Price: $64.99

    From the Distiller: “This release celebrates the early craftsmanship of the Jack Daniel Distillery. The whiskey is from uniquely crafted heavy-toast barrels and 100 proof barrel entry proof. 

    The “Heritage Barrel” expression of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel was crafted with a low temperature, heavy toasted barrel which created a light but rich char full of deep flavor. A lower 100 proof entry proof allows our grain bill to assert itself creating a special Tennessee whiskey with notes of light baking spices, vanilla, and toasted oak with a long, lingering finish, aged to perfection at the top of one of the highest elevated barrelhouses, 1-09, on Coy Hill. What emerges is a flavorful and rich Tennessee Whiskey.”

    About The Distillery: “An exciting new era of innovation begins with Master Distiller Jimmy Bedford’s (’88-’07) introduction of Gentleman Jack, and continues with the biggest expansion to our family of brands in 150 years under Master Distiller Jeff Arnett (’08-present).”

Whiskey Culture Monthly – Issue #3 (July ’20)

For mobile version click here!

Whiskey Culture Magazine – May Edition (Issue #2)


Michter’s 20 Year Limited Release

Quick Stats:

Distillery: Michter’s
Spirit: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 20 Years
Proof: 114.2
MSRP: $700

From The Distillery:

“While we regularly sample all our Michter’s barrels to see how our whiskey is aging, we pay even extra special attention to our barrels once they are over 17 years old. At Michter’s we consider 17 to 20 years the ‘Fork In The Road Point’ when certain barrels of whiskey can achieve an extraordinary level of quality. It is these particular barrels that our Master Distiller Dan McKee personally selects for our very limited bottling of Michter’s 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon.”

Distillery Spotlight – NJoy Distillery

Guys, this distillery spotlight is long overdue. NJoy distillery was one of our earliest stops in our blog, and they produce a unique and very enjoyable bottle of whiskey. They were in the midst of renovating their distillery and we lost contact for a while. However, it’s their time to shine in the spotlight, and rightfully so!

Nat and Kev started N Joy distillery in the heart of the Weeki Wachee wildlife preserve. When we went, it was a scenic drive through a maze of plant and wildlife that was quite unlike anything we’ve ever experienced on our trips. Our choice of travel vehicle wasn’t exactly “ideal” as this drive is one down dirt roads and through rolling wilderness hearkening back to the days of moonshine distilleries hiding deep in relatively untraveled territory.

The final stretch of sugar sand road led up to the gate that encapsulates the property on which NJoy was founded. There we had our first meeting with two incredible individuals who followed a passion for a naturalistic lifestyle. One of living off the land. One of raising animals and growing wheat and sugarcane in a unique environment, and then turning it into whiskey and rum to share with the rest of us.

Nat and Kevin achieved what many of us daydream about. Recapturing the self sufficiency of the American frontier. A complete detox from the “bigger is better” race that has so many companies striving to visually impress their customers with flashy technology and polished architecture.

They have truly embraced the ruralism of traditional whiskey distillation in a way that closely echoes how it would have been made over a century ago, when land was still unclaimed and distillation was at the mercy of nature. Their distillery is equipped with free roaming animals outside the fields and adorably rugged and picturesque distillery dogs that help deal with the coyotes.

However, they are quite humble about their operation here. Our time with them was spent walking through fields of wheat and sugar cane which is all farmed on site, and crouching down and running our fingers through the dirt as they explained the unique properties the air and sand in the middle of the preserve lend their “Wild Buck” whiskey and their “Mermaid” rum.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Weeki Wachee, it is somewhat of an attraction in Florida. It’s heavily protected ecosystems include countryside, forests, preserves, rivers filled with matinees, and a direct pass into the Gulf of Mexico, making it a truly unique and diverse place to be. It’s also Florida’s home of the mermaid. So much so that it’s on almost all advertising for the city. There have been “mermaid” entertainment shows that have been drawing crowds since 1947. Hence the names “wild buck” whiskey and “mermaid” rum.

The whiskey itself is as unique as the distillery. There is something about this whiskey. Whether it’s the natural salt content of the earth being so close to the Gulf or something else entirely, this whiskey isn’t quite like anything we’ve ever experienced. It’s truly old school in a great sense of the word. It’s a 100% rye whiskey, and every last piece of milled rye wheat comes directly from the fields less than 20 yards away from the old fashioned copper still and re-purposed barn they distill their spirits in.

Where many whiskey drinkers identify rye with a spicy heat, something about this whiskey is completely different. It drinks smooth at 100 proof, and you can taste the literal definition of the word “earthiness.” It knows what it is. It’s unapologetic in its directness. And, it is absolutely worth a try if you’re looking for something incredibly unique.

Thanks again to Nat and Kevin for letting us tour their distillery and for being so passionate about what they produce.