Our man steps down from his barstool with a tribute to Kentucky bourbon
T’was five nights before Christmas as I slump in my chair
Not a swizzle stick was stirring, an event that is rare
This madness must end and I rise to my feet
I walk into the bar to have something “neat”
Checking back of the shelves, for the stuff that is best
Some Bourbon perhaps, for a glow in my chest
And me in my jammies and the cat in my lap
Had just settled in with the perfect nightcap.
As the long dark winter sets in and the inevitable chill fills the air, nothing warms the cockles like a neat glass of the Dwight Yoakam State’s finest. Warm, rich and aromatic Bourbon, as it’s legally known, is like a down comforter for the soul. And as we all know quality bedding is important to have, especially when your soul is on the line. So, you’ll want something with a high thread count and genuine goose-down stuffing. That type of thing is usually found lurking on the top shelf, which is what we’re looking at this time around.
Angel’s Envy Bourbon is in the tumbler first this particular evening. This 86.6 proof bourbon was created by the recently late and legendary Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson. Angel’s Envy is worth coveting. Aged up to six years in toasted white oak barrels and finished in ruby port wine casks from Portugal, it has a deep, rich flavor reminiscent of toffee and raisins. This fireside sipper has definitely earned its wings.
But the folks up in Nelson County, Kay-Why have another card up their sleeve with Angel’s Envy Finished Rye. They forewent the traditional port barrels and instead put their new 100 Proof Rye Whiskey in Franco-Caribbean rum casks that previously carried French cognac for 18 months. (Oooh la la!) You may have tasted good rye before. Yet, I double-dog dare that you’ve not tasted any this good! The force is strong with this one. Think spiced brown sugar and vanilla with a maple finish.
Also from the high shelf is a very special, hand-crafted, small-batch bourbon from Versailles, Kentucky. Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72 percent corn, 18 percent rye and 10 percent malt that’s triple distilled and sequestered in white oak barrels for about seven years to let the deep limestone well water-based spirit “breathe” in all of the woody goodness. Conceptualize caramel, roasted walnuts, vanilla and oak with a 90 proof warm envelope.
Now if that isn’t hoity enough, take the same Woodford Reserve and a barrel that’s been flame-broil charred twice as long and marry them together for an additional nine months. The result is a bouncing baby bourbon called Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon. The extra char takes the original taste and boosts it up with more of a butterscotch flavor, giving it a creamier finish. It’s the same 90 proof but just a bit more hardy.
So hear me exclaim, it’s been fun these last years
Happy Christmas to all, and to all, alas…