Saturday, June 23, 2012

What's in that bottle of Van Winkle anyway?

With all the interest in Van Winkle Bourbon -- I thought this was a very interesting read from the Whiskey Advocate Blog

We get limited amounts of Van Winkle each spring and fall -- sign up for our email to find out when they are released -- click here to sign up

What's in that bottle of Van Winkle anyway?
JUNE 11TH, 2012

A few weeks ago, when I posted my review of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year old here, a big discussion ensued about the source of this whiskey (and other Van Winkle expressions). I noted at the time that the comment thread on my review was neither the time nor place to discuss something as in-depth as this. I wanted to focus on the quality of the whiskey, not the politics behind it.

We approached the person who we feel knows as much about the subject as anyone, Whisky Advocate contributor Chuck Cowdery. He went directly to Julian Van Winkle for the facts, and here’s his report.

It’s no secret that the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery isn’t a distiller. It’s a marketing company, and a brand, run by Julian Van Winkle III and his son, Preston, with partners the Sazerac Company.

Van Winkle, as a brand name, was retained by the Van Winkle family when Julian’s father sold the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in 1972. Julian took over after his father died. The company continued to operate as a non-distiller producer, mostly selling whiskey made at Stitzel-Weller, which stopped distilling twenty years ago.

About ten years ago, with whiskey from Stitzel-Weller no longer available, the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with the Sazerac Company to secure a future supply. Sazerac’s Buffalo Trace Distillery made wheated bourbon sporadically between 1991 and 1999, and in earnest after 1999. When Sazerac acquired the W. L. Weller brand in 1999, it received stocks of wheated bourbon made at the new Bernheim distillery between 1992 and 1999.

That’s where things stand now.

Because the Van Winkle whiskeys are so rare, esteemed and costly, there is always a great deal of interest in where they were made. Sources changed over the years and it can be hard to keep up. It is impossible for anyone, even the Van Winkles, to say with certainly what any given bottle contains, though except for the rye, everything in recent years has been Buffalo Trace, Bernheim, or Stitzel-Weller, individually or in combination. They create a profile prior to bottling, based on what they have available and how much whiskey they need, then dump barrels accordingly.

Here, specifically, is the make-up for the upcoming (Fall 2012) bottling. This information comes directly from Julian Van Winkle.

The Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye has long been a 50/50 combination of Medley (Owensboro) and Cream of Kentucky (old Bernheim in Louisville) rye whiskey. The whiskey was all dumped into stainless steel tanks years ago. Each fall, some of it is withdrawn and bottled.

This fall’s Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old will be wheated bourbon made entirely at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort.

Van Winkle Family Reserve 12 year old (‘Lot B’) will be a mixture of wheated bourbons made at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort and the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville.

Pappy Van Winkle 15 year old will be a mixture of wheated bourbons made at Buffalo Trace, Bernheim, and Stitzel-Weller; every bottle will contain some whiskey from each distillery.

Pappy Van Winkle 20 year old and Pappy Van Winkle 23 year old will be a mixture of wheated bourbons made at Buffalo Trace and Stitzel-Weller.

Eventually, as current stocks are depleted, everything will become Buffalo Trace.

–Chuck Cowdery

New Extra Rare Crown Royal!

Crown Royal XR Blue....$124.99 / 750ml

Taste the latest in our Extra Rare Whisky Series, handcrafted with a unique blend that includes the final batch of whiskies from the renowned LaSalle distillery. Located on the island of Montreal, the LaSalle distillery produced whiskies with a unique richness, attributed to the fine water surrounding the island. The resulting whiskies were full-bodied and exceptionally smooth.
Experience its sophisticated blend of dried fruits and honey in a harmonious balance with spicy notes of Canadian rye, finishing in a lovely, round taste of raisins, cocoa and brown sugar.

Crown Royal XR Release #2 (LaSalle)
"This is the second release of Crown Royal XR. This one contains whisky from the old LaSalle distillery. (The first release contained whisky from the Waterloo distillery.) I like this whisky a lot. It’s nicely matured, very smooth and balanced, and dangerously drinkable. And it’s superior to the first release, which I felt showed too much wood for balance–especially on the finish. ($130)" -- Whiskey Advocate Blog

French butter with sea salt

In stock now at Forsyth....

Traditional churn butter with crystal sea salt!
come in for a taste of this decadent butter!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bells news...

I think this is the freshest we have seen their Pale Ale...

Bells Pale Ale....bottled 6/11/12
Pale Ale stands apart from the model of completely hop-dominated pale ales, offering a noticeable degree of malt body to counter the hop bitterness. A blend of floral & herbal hop notes provide the aromatic & flavor highlights, alongside the distinctive contribution of our house ale yeast. A crisp bitterness finishes the experience without being harsh.

Plus we got in more Bell's Oberon Mini-Kegs --
 I am told that this is the only batch of Mini Kegs of Oberon we will see this year.  Buy them now or miss out!

Rare Whiskey

Very limited releases!

In stock now 
Very limited -- sure to go fast

Elijah Craig 20 Year old -- sold out
Ardbeg Day Scotch - sold out

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Charleville Brewing Day!!

Watch the blog tomorrow morning for the release of our next Bourbon Barrel Aged beer!

June 22, 2012
Release of Charleville Bourbon Barrel Aged Hairy Cow....$14.99 / 750ml
2 bottles per person limit
(those of you lucky enough to get tickets to the Release Party can also purchase up to 2 bottles of the Hairy Cow sealed with wax)  The rest of the bottles do not have the wax seal.

Since we are releasing the Hairy Cow,
 we have Tait from Charleville hosting our 
Friday night tasting from 4pm-6pm at our Forsyth location.
We will be tasting....

Charleville Ale Mucho Hoppo
Charleville Half Wit Wheat
Charleville Hoptimistic IPA
Charleville Tononado Amber

Deschutes / Hair of the Dog Collage

Very, very, limited!
Deschutes Collab with Hair of the Dog Brewery


Limit 3 bottles per person
Deschutes Collaboration with Hair of the Dog Collage...$10.99 / 12oz

Conflux Series No.1
Strong Ale  - Alc. 11.6%

Deschutes Brewery and Hair of The Dog Brewing Company join forces to weave The Dissident and The Stoic and Fred and Adam into an artistic collage of cask-aging alchemy. Damn, beer is fun.

Barrel Aging: Rye Whiskey, Cognac, Sherry, Pinot Noir, Bourbon, new American Oak, and new Oregon Oak
Rated 99 on RateBeer

About the beers in this Collaboration

Deschutes The Dissident
The Dissident is an Oud Bruin, a distinctive Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a fruity aroma and flavor. Our first and only wild yeast beer, we use Brettanomyces to give The Dissident its characteristic sour taste. Our stiffest brewing challenge, it must be fermented in isolation from our other beers for a full 18 months, partly in pinot and cabernet barrels. The words coddled, costly and “worth it” come to mind. 

Deschutes The Stoic
A prized, potent, Belgian-style Quad of stirring depth and complexity.Four nuanced fermentations. Aged, sequestered, in select rye whiskey & wine casks. Ergo a stoically brewed quad, with the spellbinding complexity of its medieval ancestors.

Hair of the Dog Adam

Adam is a recreation of a historic beer style. Originally made in Dortmunder, Germany, it was the first beer I produced when I opened Hair of the Dog. Rich in flavor, Adam is best served as a dessert beer. It is great with chocolate or cigars, or just a warm fire and good company. It has 10% alcohol by volume and 50 IBUs. 

Hair of the Dog Fred
Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. Fred is a big inspiration for me and many other brewers. Fred's work in all-grain brewing and beer styles helped me become a better brewer. Fred the beer is a deep golden color. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties in an effort to incorporate the whole world into this beer. It has 10% alcohol by volume and 65 IBUs. We hope that Fred will inspire you to share your knowledge with others as Fred has with us.  Alcohol: 10% by volume. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TWCP Barrel Aged Beer

With the release of the Charleville / TWCP Bourbon Barrel Aged Hairy Cow on Friday -- watch for it (read more), I thought it was time to post pictures of the filling of the barrels at Six Row Brewing Company -- our next collaboration brew!

Six Row is filling a Buffalo Trace Barrel with their Killer Whale
Killer Whale
"This is the Second Anniversary Beer for Six Row Brewing Company. We took our Whale, a longtime favorite, and beefed it up into it’s “Killer” status of what essentially amounts to a barley wine equivalent. Deliciously strong, fruity, and floral, this beer is not to be taken lightly."
(ABV: 9%, Bitterness Units: 62.8 IBUs)

check out more info about our barrel program

Stone Ruination 10th Anniversary

In stock at Ballwin, Forsyth and Rock Hill now....
Each store is getting their own allocation....

off work today, so not doing online reservations....

Limit 4 per person

10.8% ABV
110 IBUs
ABOUT THE BEER Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA was created as an homage to the almighty hop. As the celebrated Stone Ruination IPA approached its 10th birthday this June, we knew we had to do something special, so we cranked it up from 7.7% to 10.8% and used twice as much hops–a whopping 5 pounds per barrel, including a pound each of Citra and Centennial in the dry hop. The results were GLORIOUS, but don't take our word for it. The only people more bitter than those who don't get any... will be those who do.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Can sampler pack...

Leinenkugel's Summer Sampler pack all CANS!

Includes CANS of
Berry Weiss
Summer Shandy
Honey Weiss
Sunset Wheat

Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout

Finally back in stock!!

2011 Schlafly Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout...$10.99
Our Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout is complex and strong, with rich chocolate and roasty flavors. The beer is brewed to have big malt flavor and hop bitterness to balance the sweetness of the high alcohol content. After primary fermentation and conditioning, the beer is transferred to freshly-emptied bourbon barrels and aged for several months before being carbonated and bottled.
In the 18th Century, Imperial Stout was first brewed in London for export to the court of Catherine II of Russia. The beer had to have a higher alcohol content to prevent freezing during transport. The process of aging beer in liquor barrels, however, is new; there is no tradition for this process, as beer and liquor production have traditionally been kept separate. We hand-select bourbon barrels from a micro-distillery in Bardstown, KY and transport the barrels immediately to St. Louis to ensure the barrels do not dry out before being filled with Imperial Stout.

Arcadia B-Craft Black Double IPA

Arcadia B-Craft Black Double IPA....$9.49 / 4pk
"Massive in every way, B-Craft delivers a complex bundle of flavors with a citrus hop aroma strong enough to make a billy goat shake his head.  Moving past the massive hop aroma, rich roasted malt flavors of coffee and chocolate move forward only to be checked by an impressive hop bitterness.  Texture and flavor dance together so seamlessly that you may need to remind yourself that this beer slides down as a session yet delivers like an assassin!" - Arcadia

Ommission beer..

Omission Lager...$9.49 / 6pk
Omission Lager is a refreshing and crisp beer, brewed in the traditional lager style. Perfect for  variety of beer drinking occasions, Omission Lager’s aromatic hop profile offers a unique, easy-drinking beer for those looking for a lighter and approachable beer style.
MALTS: Pale, Caramel 10
HOPS: Citra, Sterling, Mt. Hood
IBU: 20
ABV: 4.6%
*Product fermented from grains containing gluten and crafted to remove gluten. The gluten content of this product cannot be verified, and this product may contain gluten.

Omission Pale Ale...$9.49 / 6pk
Bold and hoppy, Omission Pale Ale is a hop-forward American Pale Ale, brewed to showcase the Cascade hop profile. Amber in color, Omission Pale Ale’s floral aroma is complimented by caramel malt body, making for a delicious craft beer.
MALTS: Pale, Caramel 10, Dark Munich, Carapils
HOPS: Cascade, Citra
IBU: 33
ABV: 5.8%

*Product fermented from grains containing gluten and crafted to remove gluten. The gluten content of this product cannot be verified, and this product may contain gluten

A new cider from Doc's - Sour Cherry

Doc's Draft Sour Cherry Hard Apple Cider

Monday, June 18, 2012

Urban Chestnut in bottles!

In stock at Rock Hill, Forsyth, New Ballas, and Ballwin now!

also online

Revolution Series: Our contribution to the renaissance of craft beer—brewing artisanal, modern American beers. 

Urban Chestnut Winged Nut (Revolution Series)...$8.99 / 4pk pints
or $2.29 pint
We affectionately refer to the first beer in our Revolution series of modern, American craft beer, as our unusual little bird. It’s a little on the flighty side @ 5.7% ABV, and it’s a little on the wacky side because we brew it with finely milled chestnuts (genus castanea …for you nut freaks), Willamette hops, and we ferment it with a Bavarian Weissbier yeast strain. All of these nuances contribute to its ‘nutty’ personality. Stats: 25 IBU, 5.7% ABV, 14.5 Original Gravity 

Revererence Series: Our celebration of beer’s heritage ~ brewing classically-crafted, timeless European beer styles. 
Urban Chestnut Zwickel (Reverence Series)....$8.49 4pk pints
or $2.29 / pint
Our flagship lager, pronounced ‘zv-ick-el’, is an unfiltered, unpasteurized, German classic that finishes as a smooth-drinking, vitamin rich (from the yeast), naturally cloudy bier. Hops: Hallertau Malts: Two-Row & Pilsner ABV- 5.1%, IBU’s- 19, OG – 11.5 Plato