Bourbon Boom Fuels Kentucky’s Economic Expansion – Bourbon Dispatches No. 9

Yes, Bourbon is so much more than good drinkin'. It is also boosting Kentucky’s Bourbon industry to new heights. In the last two years, Bourbon has added $1 billion in revenues and 2,000 distillery-related jobs into Kentucky.

Each year, the only native American spirit generates $8.5 billion for the state’s economy. But that's not all, it creates 17,500+ jobs paying more than $800 million. And for the politicos, Bourbon puts $825 million in Kentucky's coiffeurs via tax revenues. Plus, the distillers are adding $1.2 billion in distillery and tourism expansion.

So yeah, the Gov Matt Bevin is pretty happy about the study by the University of Louisville’s Urban Studies Institute and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

Hittin' the KY Bourbon Trail

“There were more than one million visits to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour experiences last year, elevating the Kentucky tourism experience to levels never seen before,” said a local politician.

KDA President Eric Gregory said, “This report proves that Kentucky Bourbon is the new fuel for the state’s economy."

Well if you want to boost the economy. Bourbon is as good an impetus as any.

Here are some details for you geeky econ Bourbon drinkers.

  • Distilling contributes $8.5 billion to Kentucky’s economy, up $3 billion since 2008 and $1 billion in the last two years alone. This includes direct, indirect (spin-off) and induced impacts;
  • As many as 17,500 people owe their paychecks to the spirits industry; either directly, or because their employers are part of the industry supply chain, or due to the household spending of those people. This is up 2,000 jobs from 2014;
  • Payroll for those workers increased to more than $800 million, from $707 million in 2014;
  • New craft distilleries employ 200 people with salaries totaling more than $5.5 million;
  • Average salary for distillery employees is $95,089;
  • Distilleries are in the middle of a $1.2 billion building boom driven by the virtual repeal of the ad valorem barrel tax and new tourism reform measures;
  • Use of locally grown corn has increased by 65 percent in the last two years, aiding Kentucky’s farm families;
  • Distilling has the second highest job multiplier in the state when it comes to total number of jobs and spin-off factor, behind only light truck and utility vehicle manufacturing;
  • More than $190 million in tax revenue for local and state governments is generated by spirits production and consumption, distillers pay another $625 million in federal excise taxes;
  • At 34.4 cents per dollar of output, Kentucky taxes spirits higher than all other 536 industries in the state. Kentucky’s spirits tax rate is fifth highest in the country among open market states;
  • The number of distilleries has grown to 52 – the most distilleries in Kentucky since the repeal of Prohibition;
  • Bourbon barrel inventory, now at 6.7 million, has reached its highest level since 1974;
  • If the industry continues to grow at this rate, economic output will exceed $10 billion by 2020, with employment more than 20,000, payroll over $1 billion and state tax revenue $200 million.

So here's the bottom line. Drink more Bourbon and keep the Kentucky economy humming along. It won't last forever, but enjoy the party while it lasts!

I'm off to buy some more of the good brown stuff. My justification: I'm helping folks get jobs and it tastes damn good too! And it don't make you feel too bad either.

Cheers.

If you want to read the whole report go here.

Where to Find Pappy Van Winkle — The List

Pappy Van Winkle(Last Update January 28, 2017)

When I started this site months ago, I had a dream, albeit a humble one.

It wasn't to change the world, but rather to find a tasty corn elixir distilled in Kentucky named Pappy Van Winkle.

I had read an article about it, by a guy, a sportswriter, that was also a damned good bourbon storyteller.

I already loved bourbon but had never met Pappy, but I did and liked him. At 12, he was exceptionally good, but at 20, taste-bud blowing.

Now, of course, Pappy is not a person, but a distilled bottle of sour mash that is harder to find then mermaids or gold at the end of the rainbow.

Beginner's Luck --- Finding Pappy Van Winkle

But somehow, I did find it two years in a row.

First Pappy Van Winkle 12 year which was smooth and next the 20 year...which was...well  let's just say I wish I had another bottle and leave it at that.

photo (23)

No More Pappy

But alas, there were no more bottles of Pappy in the land until the next go round. Fall? November?

So I've given up. Not on Pappy. But on finding Pappy Van Winkle  in a bottle, at least at a liquor store in this great U.S. of A.

My New Dream

So here is my new dream and it's a bit more humble still.

I will pursue Pappy in the bars across the land or overseas. Wherever it may be found.

So if your favorite watering hole has it let me know. Or, if you like Wright Thompson -- the before-mentioned sportswriter/bourbon storyteller -- run across it in an airport, dive bar or high-class bourbon bar, please let me know and I'll add it to THE LIST.

So far I have sent a few tweets out and received a few locations.

Kentucky -- The Epicenter of the Bourbon Universe, BBall and My Fav Monk

Guess where? Of course, the land of Bourbon and Basketball. And my favorite monk.

Yes, I have a favorite monk. Thomas Merton who lived in a hermitage near Louisville and drank bourbon and beer and wrote some profound things until he got electrocuted by a fan in Bangkok.

The List

But anyway, back to THE LIST. If you can't have a bottle, you should at least, have a shot, a pour, or even a double if you have a nice, crisp benjamin (Franklin) on you.

So far THE LIST is very short (but growing):

1. The Husk - Charleston, SC

2. Bluegrass Tavern - Lexington, KY

3. Parlay Social - Lexington, KY

4. The Village Idiot - Lexington, KY

5. Henry Clay's Pub - Lexington, KY

6. Haymarket Whiskey Bar -Louisville, KY

7. Azur Restaurant and Patio - Lexington, Ky

8. The Aviary - Chicago, IL

9. Pappas Bros. Steakhouse - Dallas, TX

10. Pour Cafe and Wine Bar - Mt. Kisco, NY

11. Otto's - Covington, KY

12. Percy Street BBQ - Philadelphia, PA

13. The Crunkleton - Chapel Hill, NC

14. Palate - Millford, MI

15. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar -Covington, KY

16. WiseGuy Lounge - Covington KY

17. Congress Street Social Club - Savannah, GA

18. Seven Grand in Downtown LA -  Los Angeles, CA

21. On The Rocks - New York, NY

22. Hardwater Bar on Pier 3 San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

23. Charr'd Bourbon Kitchen and Lounge - Louisville, KY

24. Noorman's Kil - Brooklyn, NY

25. The Rhino - Missoula, MT

26. Acacia - Pittsburgh, PA

27. Butcher & the Rye - Pittsburgh, PA

28. Red Fish Grill - New Orleans, LA

29. Stache - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

30. Luxbar - Chicago, IL

31. Jack Rose Dining Saloon - Washington, D.C.

32. Hotel at The Lafayette - Buffalo NY

33. The Silver Dollar - Louisville, KY

34. Gamlin Whiskey House - St. Louis, MO

35. McCormacks Whiskey Grill - Richmond, VA

36. Murphy's Irish Pub - Sonoma, CA

37. Social Southern Table & Bar - Lafayette, LA

38. The Hamilton Kitchen and Bar - Allentown, PA

39. Twisted Spoke -  Chicago, IL

40. Tate's - Dallas, TX

41. Lilly’s Bistro - Louisville, KY

42. Rickhouse - Bardstown, KY

43. Springhouse - Alexander City, AL

42. Rye on Market - Louisville, KY

43. Bourbon’s Bistro - Louisville, KY

44. Proof on Main St. - Louisville, KY

45. Doc Crow’s - Louisville, KY

46. Seviche a Latin Restaurant - Louisville, KY

47. Z’s Oyster Bar & Steakhouse - Louisville, KY

48. The Old Seelbach Bar - Louisville, KY

49. The Old Bourbon County Kitchen (OBC Kitchen) - Lexington, KY

50. Longman and Eagle - Chicago, IL.

51. Eddie V’s - Tampa, FL

52. Half Barrel - Knoxville TN

53. Spark’s Steak House - Manhattan, NY

54. Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant - Newport, RI

55. Bourbon - Columbia, SC

56. Barrelhouse Flat - Chicago, IL

57. Foxes Cigar Lounge - Gilbert, AZ

58. Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant - Newport, RI

59. Burgers & Lobster - London, UK
Where and How Much? - 29 Clarges St, London W1J 7EF, United Kingdom (near Greek Park Tube Station) Pappy 12, Pappy 13 Rye ($16 - 12 year, $19 - 13 year rye) per double shot glass
Where and How Much? Fifth Floor Harvey Nichols, 109 - 125 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RJ, United Kingdom Pappy 10, 12, 13 Rye, 15, 20  ($16 - 12 year, $19 - 13 year rye, $27 - 15 year, $48 - 20 year)  per double shot glass
Where and how much? 9 Stoney Ln, London E1 7BH, United Kingdom
Pappy 20 ($32) per double shot glass
62. Martin's Tavern - Washington, DC
"Currently we are carrying the 10 and 12 as well as Buffalo Trace Experimental Batch." - Cliff Brown

63. Black Fly - St Augustine, FL 

"10 and the 12 year bottles"

64. Morimoto - Napa, CA

 65. Parker Garage - Parker, CO

"They have the 12, 20 and 23"

66. Barrelhouse Flat - Chicago, IL

"Pappy 15-$29 glass"

67. Neat Kitchen + Bar - Westmont, IL

"Has all 6 Van Winkle marks. His place rocks! One of the best whiskey spots anywhere!"

68. Modis - Breckendridge, CO

69. J’s Liquors - Owensboro, KY

"They have every PVW year plus many other very rare bourbons at the cheapest prices I’ve ever found. Awesome place."

70. Park Hyatt NoMI Lounge - Chicago, IL

"Has a little 23 left for $110/pour, and I believe a younger also, but don’t recall price."

71. Bourbon & Branch. - San Franciso, CA.

"$95 a shot for the 23."

72. Big Jones Chicago - Chicago, IL

Stay updated on the Pappy List.

*Thanks to all those who sent locations. Keep them coming.

73. The W - Lee’s Summit, Missouri

74. The Laundry Room - Las Vegas, NV

75. John Howie Steakhouse - Bellevue, Washington

76. The Franklin Room - Chicago, IL

77. Wang’s Table - Haverhill, MA.

78. Outlook Inn - Louisville, KY

79. Prohibition Pig - Waterbury, VT

"12 year, $32 for 2oz and 15 year, $48 for 2oz."

80. Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa - Point Clear, AL

81. Stogeez Cigar Lounge - Sioux Falls, SD

10yr  $12, 12yr $15, 15yr $25, 20yr $35, 23yr $55

82. Whiskey Street - Salt Lake City, UT

83. Eureka - CA, TX, WA (various locations, may not all have Pappy) 

84. Chapter One – Santa Ana, CA

85. La Table - Houston, TX

86. Rainbow Lodge - Houston, TX

87. One Flew South - Atlanta,GA  

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (E Concourse)

88. Justus Drugstore, Smithville, MO 

89. Midgley's Public House - Stockton, CA (Lincoln Center)

"They have the 12, 15 & 23 year. Great food and atmosphere too."

90. Basement Tavern - Santa Monica, CA

"I physically held the bottle. Asked how much for a shot? $150 for the 23-year."

91. Modis - Breckenridge, CO.

"They have Old Rip, 15 and I think 20 (if not 1 more). They even serve a Pappy 15 Old Fashion on the menu, but I’d rather have it without bitters, sugar and orange"

92. Bald Headed Bistro - Cleveland, TN 

93. Picasso's at the Bellagio - Las Vegas, NV

94. Ray's at Killer Creek - Alpharetta, GA

95. Ashton Cigar Bar – Philadelphia, PA

10,12,15,20, & 23

96. Oblix, The Shard - 31 St Thomas St, London, SE1 9RY

Prices per 50ml shot: 13 yr ($50), 15 yr ($57), 20 yr ($67), 23 yr ($116)

97. Delta Sky Club Lounges - Atlanta, GA (Airport)

98. Whiskey Down at MGM Grande - Las Vegas, NV

"had 3-4 bottles of Pappy including lot b but they also had a bottle of 17 yr old hand made Special Reserve barreled in 1974 bottled in 1994 101 proof"

99. The Federal Grill - Houston, TX

"10yr, 12yr, 15yr, 20yr and 23yr very reasonable!"

100. The Metropolitan Grille - Seattle, WA

"has 20 and 23 year old Pappy"

101. Japango - Boulder, CO

"a Japanese and Sushi restaurant in Boulder CO, we typically get a large allocation due to our relationship and volume with Buffalo Trace, and in general our reputation for our whiskey and bourbon selection. We had our own Weller barrel this past year, and we will have our own single barrel of both Eagle rare, and Buffalo Trace for 2017. We typically have all Pappy's throughout the year, as well as the complete antique collection. Largest Japanese whiskey selection in CO as well."

102. Barleymash - San Diego, CA

"They had a few options (this was a year ago this month) but I had the 12 at the time.”

103. 35 Steak House + Martini Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Las Vegas, NV

104. The Collins Bar - Birmingham, AL

"has them all and going fast"

Just arrived in Door County! Mink River Basin (125+ whiskies!) in Ellison Bay, JJ’s in Sister Bay, Donny’s Glidden Lodge on the Lake just north of Sturgeon Bay. Cheers!

105. Mink River Basin - Ellison Bay, WI

106. JJs La Puerta - Sister Bay, WI

107. Donny’s Glidden Lodge - Sturgeon Bay, WI

108. Dead Rabbit - New York, NY.
109. Dram Bar - Brooklyn.
"We always have a good allocation of pappy every year. This year we have the ORVW10, 12 and 13yr rye, PVW15 and 20."
"Better belly burst than good liquor be lost."                                          -Jonathan Swift
110. Brasserie Saint James - Reno, NV and San Francisco, CA
"won 2014 Great American Beer Festivals best mid-size brewpub and Brewers in the nation, also offer a full tasting flight of all PVW at both places."
111. CWS - Lake Worth, FL
112. Swig & Swine - Charleston, SC
113. Jack Binion's Steakhouse - Tunica Resorts, MS
114. The Lobby Bar - The Ritz Carlton - Amelia Island, FL
"Family reserve 20.   1 bottle"
116.Cotton and Rye - Savannah, GA
"15 year 2 oz pour is $40
20 year 2 oz pour is $60"
117. The Haymaker - Phoenix, Az
"We have over 120 whiskeys at each location, including many Pappy’s.  In fact, I have backups of 10,12,15 and 20 year old Pappy’s as well."
118. Grind Burger Kitchen - Louisville, KY
"Pappy 10 and 12 year"
119. The Black Marlin - Tustin, California
"has the 10, 12, 15, 20 & the 23 year old Family Reserve."
120. Smoke - Plano, Tx (Dallas)
"had the 10 and 23"
121. North End BBQ and Moonshine - Indianapolis, IN

"has the 10 and 12 as of this evening."

122. GT Fish & Oyster - Chicago, IL

123. Kirby's Prime Steakhouse - Woodlands, TX

"has 10, 15 & 20 as of New Years Eve"

124. Mad Oak Bar 'n' Yard - Oakland, CA

"We have tons of Pappy on hand. 10yr, 12yr, 13yr, 15yr, 20yr & 23yr.

125. Emeril's Delmonico - New Orleans, LA

126. Prohibition Kitchen - St. Augustine, FL

"They have the 10, 12 and 15, starting at 20 a shot."

127. Joe's Stone Crab - Miami Beach, Florida

128. Maxie’s Southern Comfort - Milwaukee, WI

129. Jockey Silks Bourbon Bar - Galt House - Louisville, KY

130. Industry Public House - Pittsburgh, PA (near Pittsburgh International Airport)

"has Pappy 15 as of New Years Eve at $50 a pour"

131. The Reeds at Shelter Haven  - Stone Harbor, NJ

132. JW Marriott Hill Country Resort/Crooked Branch Bar  - San Antonio

"located downstairs from the lobby. Bring $$$ as 10 yr goes for $42 a shot and the 23yr is going to run about $250!!! The 10yr is seeing some love but the 23 is still sealed."

133. Kindred Fare - Geneva, New York

134. Cask & Ale - Madison, WI

"Old Van Winkle 10 & 12, Pappy's 15, 20, 23, and the Van Winkle rye."

135. Shellys Backroom Cigar Bar - Washington, DC

"Drank the last of the 12 yr and most of a brand new 10yr! No one thought much of it!! Only 16$ per shot of 10, and 23$ for 12!!!!"

136. Peacock Inn - Princeton, NJ

137.  The Observatory - Spokane, WA

"12 year $25,  23 year $75"

138. The Padre Hotel - Bakersfield, CA

139. Rumi’s Kitchen - Atlanta, GA

"has the 15, 20 and 23 yr"

 

 


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To Swirl or Not to Swirl; That is the Question – Bourbon Dispatches Issue 8

This week Katelyn Best of the Whiskey Wash took on the subject of swirling whiskey. If you came over to the Bourbon tasting world from the Wine tasting world, you might believe this is an essential part of tasting whiskey.  Plus, it makes you look and feel sophisticated, like a real Whiskey snob.

But the question --- is it absolutely necessary to enhance the tasting experience?

I'll let you decide that for yourself.

But here's Kate's breakdown:

Wine changes substantially and quite quickly (within minutes or hours) when exposed to air, which is why experts recommend decanting, at least with certain wines. Spirits oxidize much more slowly than wine. That means that while the swirl encourages those aromatic compounds to evaporate, that’s about all it does—you’re not substantially changing the character of the whiskey by exposing it to more air.

The Pros of Swirling

  • Swirling Gives You a Gander at a Whiskey's Legs

One reason for swirling is to let you get a look at a whiskey’s legs—the drips that form as the liquid recedes from the sides of the glass. Legs can tell you a few things, if you know what you’re looking for: since alcohol is more viscous than water, heavier, slower-moving legs indicate higher ABV. Heavier legs are also said to indicate an older whiskey.

  • Swirling Evaporation and the the Nose

The other reason to give your whiskey a spin before you sniff it is to promote evaporation, which sends aromatic chemicals towards your nose. Evaporation is crucial, since without it, you wouldn’t be able to smell whiskey at all. On the other hand, it does occur without your help; a quick swirl merely speeds the process along.

The Con of Swirling

  • Swirling Leads to Burning Sniffs

You can’t get aromatic compounds to evaporate without also encouraging alcohol to evaporate, which is why you’ll get a harsh ethanol burn if you inhale those aromatic vapors too sharply.

If You Swirl, Sniff Lightly

So Best's conclusion (which I tend to agree with) is "just be more delicate than you would with a glass of wine and you’ll be fine."

Bourbon, Football and Trump – Bourbon Dispatches – Issue 7

My beloved (and consistently loserish) Atlanta Falcons made it to the Super Bowl this week so I thought I would talk a little Football and Bourbon, with a smattering of the new President thrown in.

All three "hot" subjects were recently covered in in this article on former Ravens standout Ray Lewis. Yes, everyone is getting in the Bourbon game.

RAY LEWIS LAUNCHING BOURBON BRAND FOR CHARITY, GIFTING FIRST BOTTLES TO TRUMP, PENCE

Now I could say something snarky, (like what the hell is Trump going to do with a bottle of bourbon? He doesn't drink right?) but I won't and here's why:

It won't be a profit-driven enterprise. Instead, only 100 bottles will be produced for charity.

The proceeds from their sale will go to the Time to Shine Scholarship & Internship Program for Women, which helps high-school aged women pursue educational and professional opportunities.

Ok. That is kinda cool. Bourbon "helps high-school aged women pursue educational and professional opportunities."

Sounds great to me. And "Lewis intends to give the first two bottles away as gifts to incoming president Donald Trump and vice president Mike Pence."

Why?

“I have been thoroughly impressed with president-elect Trump and his desire to help inner city kids and provide better education opportunities for women,” Lewis said.

The bourbon will go on sale starting February 15.

Now whether or not you like/agree with Trump or Lewis --- what the Hell let's give them a chance and see what happens.

If they F*** it up there's always Bourbon.

Bourbon Dispatches – Issue 6 – A Bourbon Legend – Parker Beam

“You can make bourbon anywhere but, if you want to sell it, you better damn well make it in Kentucky.”
~ Parker Beam, Heaven Hill Master Distiller Emeritus, 1941-2017

You --- like me --- probably got introduced to the name Beam and Bourbon in high school or college with Jim Beam's Standard White Label. That's what you drank when you really wanted to throw down. Maybe you broke up with your girl or were at the Georgia-Florida game. Either way, you wanted a little extra Umpph! to your partying so you mixed it with coke, shot or chugged the hard stuff.

So a few days ago, Heaven Hill said that Parker Beam, its Legendary Master Distiller, moved on to the great distillery in the sky.

Parker Beam who was the grandnephew of Jim (Park Beam, Parker's grandfather was Jim Beam's brother) actually worked at Heaven Hill (not Beam) who makes Evan Williams (the world's second best-selling Bourbon). In 1960, he started working with his dad Earl. Parker took over the reigns of Master Distiller in 1975. His son, Craig also took up the bourbon-making trade and he is Co-Master Distiller at the company.

Parker fought ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and released the Promise Of Hope bottling of the annual Parker’s Heritage Collection to help raise money and awareness for the ALS Foundation.

Heaven Hill Brands President Max L. Shapira said this about Parker:

“I, along with our entire Heaven Hill family, am saddened to share that our Master Distiller Emeritus, Parker Beam, passed away last night after a long and valiant battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. All of us within the company, and the general public, watched with awe and admiration as Parker and Linda waged a much-publicized war against this terrible disease, using their courage, his standing as one of the industry’s great Master Distillers and his wide sphere of influence to generate international awareness, and millions of dollars, for ALS research and treatment.”

Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers' Association also praised Parker Beam:

"Parker Beam wasn't just a name on a bottle — he was the living embodiment of the whiskey inside — authentic, classic, well-seasoned and distilled from old-fashioned hard work and gentleman integrity,"

If you have some Heaven Hill Whiskey in your collection (Elijah Craig Bourbon, Larceny Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Pikesville Rye Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whisky and Parker’s Heritage Collection) now would be a good time to pour a shot and drink it down for one of the better guys in the Bourbon biz.

Cheers, Parker. Rest in Peace.