Sunday, November 11, 2012

Maker's Mark Bourbon

The wife and kids finally left for the park! Time to put my plan in place. Yep, I opened the Maker's Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky! This Bourbon is "Handmade" by the Maker's Mark Distillery at Star Hill Farm in Loretto, Kentucky. The distillery has been designated a National Historic Landmark, so be sure to check it out if you're in the area.

The bottle has a little story on it about the process they use to make their bourbon. The cap and neck are dipped in a red wax to finish the presentation. And finally the Maker's Mark, the S IV and Circle with Star, is added. You can find that mark on the label as well as as stamped into the glass. 90 Proof, 45% alcohol.

I like my Kentucky Straight Bourbon, well, straight. If you're a cocktail kind of person, though, Makers Mark has a handful that you can try. Let me know if you do that and which are your favorites.

Sweet, delicious aroma. Maple syrup and honey hang out with vanilla and oak. Very rich, the kind of aroma you make out with!

Oh, wow! Great bourbons always get me first sip. Wonderfully bold! Rich body and smooth. A beautiful sweetness is tempered by an excellent heat on the lips and tongue. Wonderful, gentle coating of the palate while still being powerful.

Maple syrup and caramel flavors are the first to come through, but within a few sips, this awesome rich, buttery pound cake flavor starts to build and repeat itself over and over. The finish is filled with vanilla and oak and some spiciness that carries long after each sip.

Great Bourbon! Recommended, and for $22 for a 750 mL bottle... need I say "duh"? I'm betting that if this is your first time with Maker's Mark, it will be the spirit that will make you switch!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Ile de Ré Double Matured Fine Island Cognac

Today I decided to jump back to one of the Cognacs given to me after my appearance on the Camus Cognac episode. Camus' Alexandra Albu provided me with an additional sample of the Ile de Ré Double Matured Fine Island Cognac that we had tried on the show. "Double Matured" is their middle-of-the-line Cognac that comes from the grapes they grow on the Ile de Ré island, the most western part of Cognac.

Double Matured is given its name based on the dual aging process used to produce the final product. The Cognac is first aged on Ile de Ré in damp and humid cellars.  A second aging process takes place in lightly charred and toasted barrels to provide the final Cognac with some smoky characteristics. 

Great violet and dried orange peel aroma. Some honey and a little wood are also noticeable. Very enjoyable bouquet.

Sweet but also salty right from the beginning. Definitely noticeably briny. Some really nice fruit and orange flavors pop first. Dry wood flavors are also prevalent. And there is an underlying spiciness that is enhanced by the alcohol heat. 

Everything I've read including literature direct from Camus and even my own review from the show talks about a "smoky finish". Don't get me wrong, I can taste the toasted wood characteristics, but the smoke is faint at best for me. Perhaps I just need a bigger sample (hint: Alex). The finish is dry and you are left with some heat in the chest and throat. 

Has some whiskey and Scotch characteristics and flavors. I bet they will be able to steal a few of those drinkers. 80 proof. Approximately $65-$70 for a 750 mL bottle. Could this be the spirit to make you switch? Find out for yourself.