Barrell Craft Spirits – Bourbon Batch 23

Quick Stats:

  • Distiller: Barrell Craft Spirits
  • Spirit: Blended Bourbon
  • Aged: 10, 12, & 15 Year Blend
  • Proof: 107.78
  • Purchase Price: $99
  • Barrell Craft Spirits Website

    About The Distillery: “Barrell Craft Spirits blends exceptional bourbons out of ingredients sourced from all around the nation. Our extensive stocks of high-quality casks mean we can craft extraordinary blends that maximize the nuances of each ingredient, yet always add up to more than the sum of their parts.”

Chicken Cock – Rye

Quick Stats:

  • Distiller: Chicken Cock Whiskey
  • Spirit: Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Aged: 2+ Years 
  • Proof: 95
  • Purchase Price: $74.99
  • Chicken Cock Website

    About The Distillery: “A historic Kentucky brand dating back to 1856. It’s believed its rise to fame took place during prohibition where it became a supplier and favorite pour at The Cotton Club speakeasy in Harlem, New York. Post-prohibition it was widely enjoyed, especially in New York, until a distillery fire put the company out of business. Recently revived by Grain & Barrel Spirits, it’s been brought back to shelves honoring Chicken Cock’s classic recipes and quality.”

Still Austin – The Musician

  • Distiller: Still Austin Whiskey Co.
  • Spirit: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Aged: 2+ Years 
  • Proof: 98.4
  • Purchase Price: $44.99
  • Still Austin Website

    About The Distillery: “Creating whiskey is as much ingenuity as it is exactitude. That’s why we insisted on building our distillery inside the city limits of Austin—a metropolis famed for blending art and science. But how, we asked, do we build a community around whiskey? We began working with Texas farmers, helping them turn crops; we gave back feed to cows; we built our distillery to conserve energy. We did this because it’s the right thing to do.”

When we received our review bottle from our friend Aaron, we were admittedly a little lost. The 2+ year age statement from a distillery we’d never heard of didn’t inspire the greatest level of confidence. However, we popped the cork, poured a dram, and dove in. We are pleased to report our suspicions as unfounded.

Still Austin is a new kid on the block. They were founded in 2017 with a vision of a true, locally sourced, grain-to-glass whiskey. The Musician is the culmination of that vision, one that is as rich in a glass as it was in their dreams.

Chattanooga Whiskey 111

  • Distiller: Chattanooga Whiskey
  • Spirit: Straight Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey
  • Aged: 3+ Years
  • Proof: 111
  • Purchase Price: $44.99
  • Chattanooga Whiskey Website

    About The Distillery: “Inspired by our city’s rich distilling history, Chattanooga Whiskey was founded in 2011 with a mission to bring back “Whiskey to the People.” Following the success of our community-powered Vote Whiskey campaign, we eventually became the first distillery in Chattanooga in over a century.”

We’re suckers for a good story behind a good brand here at Whiskey Culture. If you feel the same way, good news, Chattanooga Whiskey delivers.

Their story starts when sweeping legislation kept many counties in TN dry and unable to produce liquor. Though community sentiment had changed with whiskey being viewed as a deeply engrained piece of American history and culture, many of TN’s counties held on to these dated restrictions.

Chattanooga whiskey had a dream to overthrow these antiquated ideals and open Chattanooga’s doors to thirsty whiskey-seekers around the country by orchestrating the “Vote Whiskey” campaign.

With new legislation and laws, they opened their doors in 2011 with a mission to bring “whiskey to the people.”

They initially utilized MGP juice to bring their recipes to life while perfecting their own recipe. Now, the juice filling their iconic bottles is made in the walls of Chattanooga Whiskey, and, spoiler, it’s good.

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.

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.

Old Tub

  • Distiller: Jim Beam
  • Spirit: Bourbon
  • Aged: 4 Years
  • Proof: 100
  • Purchase Price: $17.99

    From the Distiller: “Our family bourbon was called Old Tub before we sold it in bottles. Prior to prohibition, people would bring their own jugs to the distillery and fill them with bourbon. Booker always enjoyed his 100 proof old tub. We’re proud to see it brought back as a drinkable part of our history.”

    About The Distillery: “ Since our beginnings in 1795, every Master Distiller has found the opportunity to push our story forward, finding untapped places to innovate how we make and enjoy bourbon. It’s rewarding to look back on all the Jim Beam family has accomplished, but we wouldn’t be where we are now if not for the steady desire to keep moving. And we certainly wouldn’t be here without each and every member of our global family.”

Wild Buck Whiskey

  • Distiller: N Joy Distillery
  • Spirit: 100% Rye Whiskey
  • Aged: Single Year
  • Proof: 100
  • Purchase Price: $54.99

    From the Distiller: “Wild Buck is smooth, bold, handmade and bottled at 100 proof. We start by fermenting a mash of 100% farm fresh rye grain. We grind and cook it daily one batch at a time. We add no artificial flavorings or color and use only purified, ultraviolet filtered rain water. At NJoy Spirits our whiskey is never rushed. Our whiskey is aged in custom made new charred American Oak barrels and allowed to develop in the Florida climate. This gives our final product a deep rich flavor with a hint of spice that only develops with time using smaller barrels… the way whiskey used to be aged.”

    About The Distillery: “NJoy Spirit’s Distillery is a family operated Florida whiskey distiller in the heart of the nature coast. When we started making our Rye Whiskey (we didn’t want to just make any rye) we wanted to make America’s finest 100% Rye Whiskey! We are confident we have achieved that and have no doubt you’ll agree with just one sip!”