This killer artwork was created for our first Bottle Pick from Chattanooga Whiskey and designed by none other than the Whiskey Kaptain himself. We get to slap this beautiful sticker on 120 cases of that sweet Tennessee High Malt Single Barrel, Barrel Proof bourbon. A huge thanks to Chris Helmly our good friend and Florida State rep for Chatt. You can see the review process below and see which bottle we put our stamp of approval on.
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In 1968 Thomas Ripy built the Old Hickory Distillery in Tyrone, Kentucky new Lawerenceburg. The Ripys sold bourbon they produced at their distillery to various wholesalers who bottled it under their own brands. Austin Nichols was one of these wholesalers. In 1940 an Austin Nichols executive named Thomas McCarthy took some of the best warehouse samples with him turkey hunting with a bunch of his friends. They next time they got together to hunt they asked Tom if he had any of that wild turkey bourbon and the rest was history. Two years later the Austin Nichols company decided to bottle and sell that whiskey as Wild Turkey Bourbon. Three decades later they bought the distillery that made that amazing bourbon and renamed it the Wild Turkey Distillery in 1971. Jimmy Russel, the master distiller was at that distillery before it changed hands and he’s been there since. Not only has he been inducted into the bourbon hall of fame but he taught his son Eddie everything he knows and he started at the bottom and worked his way up and became a master distiller himself. The only father-son team of master distillers in the world. Now Rare breed is a night and day difference than original Wild Turkey. This is something to sit down and enjoy. Compared to the original it pales in comparison.
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Time to raise your fist to to whiskey and rock! We become bad-ass whiskey soaked scoundrels as we opened this New York based bourbon coming in at 80 proof, aged 3 years with just a whisper of appley smoked wheat goodness. Before the review I was able to have a quick jaw session with CEO, founder and rocker Tommy Brunett as well as giving a what’s up to Drew Wescott Iron Smoke’s master distiller. They are one of those hard working, everything done on site from smoking the wheat with apple wood to crushing the grains in their own hammer mill and distilling their own spirits. All this takes place right outside of Rochester NY in Fairport along side the Erie Canal in a building that was know as the American Can Factory that dates back to the Civil War. Not only is it a distillery where they store apple smoked juice in 30 gallon barrels to speed up the aging process they also have a 4,000 square foot tasting room, event space and stage where you’ll see Tommy and his band belt out some killer whiskey drinking music. Punch my ticket, I’m heading to NY!
We get together with Florida Rep Chris Helmly for another round only this time it is with two special bottles of Chattanooga Whiskey. The 1816 Single Barrel aged 11 years at 111.2 proof was a limited release of their MGP offering that was picked up at the experimental distillery tour last year. This has a flavor all it’s own and you can taste high percentage of rye on the finish. The second bottle is Chattanooga’s first ever barrel 91 Tennessee High Malt Single Barrel Store Pick(their own distillate). Coming in at 118 proof! We also get a chance to check out the Chattanooga Whiskey single barrel selection kit. Chris gives us a break down on the selection process complete with a tasting chart and grain examples. For a 118 proof, it goes down smooth with an abundance of flavor as Chris says that’s what Chattanooga is after with their caramel malts and seven day fermentation process. Erik hits it right on the head, “Chattanooga just does it right”. We were impressed with the 91 and 111, the 1816 was good but we’d agree that the 91 Single Barrel store pick was just plain awesome giving it the highest score to date. Check out the review below, pick up a bottle and let us know what you think!
We get together with Florida Rep Chris Helmly for another round only this time it is with two special bottles of Chattanooga Whiskey. The 1816 Single Barrel aged 11 years at 111.2 proof was a limited release of their MGP offering that was picked up at the experimental distillery tour last year. This has a flavor all it’s own and you can taste high percentage of rye on the finish. The second bottle is Chattanooga’s first ever barrel 91 Tennessee High Malt Single Barrel Store Pick(their own distillate). Coming in at 118 proof! We also get a chance to check out the Chattanooga Whiskey single barrel selection kit. Chris gives us a break down on the selection process complete with a tasting chart and grain examples. For a 118 proof, it goes down smooth with an abundance of flavor as Chris says that’s what Chattanooga is after with their caramel malts and seven day fermentation process. Erik hits it right on the head, “Chattanooga just does it right”. We were impressed with the 91 and 111, the 1816 was good but we’d agree that the 91 Single Barrel store pick was just plain awesome giving it the highest score to date. Check out the review, pick up a bottle and let us know what you think!
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On June 1796, President George Washington signed a bill granting statehood to Tennessee. In 1866 Jack(Jasper Newton) Daniel registered the first distillery in America. In 1896 he bottled Jack Daniel’s Centennial in celebration of Tennessee’s 100th birthday in a special decanter that he designed himself and due to the time it took to craft the unique twisted glass shape few were made. For Tennessee’s bicentennial Jack Daniel’s (now owned by Brown-Forman) bottled a Jack Daniel’s Bicentennial Whiskey at 96 proof in a very similar decanter. The highest proof bottling at that time. Now you have Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel and Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select both at 100 proof! The Bicentennial was a limited bottling that was sold in 1995 and can now only be found on the secondary market for 400 to 600 dollars.
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Distilleries all across America, actually the world are stepping up to help in this time of crisis. With hand sanitizer flying off shelves and it becoming as scarce as a bottle of Pappy, some people have stepped up. Distilleries have parts of the distillate that can’t be used for consuming but they can be used for cleaning or cleaning hands. It’s not as easy as you think. There are laws and restrictions in place that make it difficult to produce. Luckily the government, specifically the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau actually waived parts of the law, particularly the part where they had to obtain permits or bonds to create hand sanitizer. This doesn’t mean that the distilleries knew how to make it. They had to get together with each other, watch webinars and consult online guides in order to make this stuff. Is does have to be at least 120 proof or 60% alcohol. We don’t recommend drinking it( just tastes awful) but it does well in killing germs, like covid-19. There has been some talk that you can even make your own whiskey into hand sanitizer as long as it’s 120 proof or more but who would do that? Here are just a few of the good people that jumping into the fray. Brown Froman, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Rabbit Hole Distillery, St. Augustine Distillery, Proof Artisan Distillery, Jameson, Carve Vodka, Heaven Hill, just to name a few. A great quote from Matthew Bagdanovich from Fish Hawk Spirits in Ocala FL said “You’d have to be a jerk not to lend a hand if you’ve got the ability to lend a hand”. Love that. Another good quote comes from Bill Thomas, owner of Jack Rose Dining Saloon said “And this is absolutely proof that the whiskey drinker is the best kind of human being on the planet”. That kind of says it all. So, we here at Whiskey and a Hammock raise our glass to all that are doing what they can to help.
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With the whiskey/bourbon boom it seems that some of those brands out there aren’t giving us the truth. The number of distilleries has gone from 100 to 1400 in the last ten years which means that obviously demand has gone crazy. Well… this being an aged deal, it takes a minute for it to mature and be ready. A short cut many of these brands are using is sourcing it from MGP(Midwest Grain Products). This in itself really isn’t the problem. The problem lies with some of these brands coming out with a great marketing story only to find out it’s false. Come to find out that people don’t like being lied to. Now some brands come right out and say it, that either they don’t distill it themselves or are using this as a starter. It comes down to if it’s good whiskey we’ll give it go but don’t tell us that it comes from some mystical water source or some secret recipe that was found it a collapsed mine. Nobody likes to find out that they’ve been drinking horse pucky.
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For the news this month we figure that we’d give you the low down on Chatt Whiskey. First off, they are the first distillery in Chattanooga in over 100 years! So what we are dealing with here is Tennessee High Malt, 75% yellow corn, the rest is Malted Rye, Caramel Malted Barley, and Honey Malted Barley then aged for 2 years. Same mash bill for the 91 and 111, single fermentation with 4 barrels at #3 char and toast and 4 barrels with a #4 char and then mix them together. The big difference, is that the 91 goes into a 4000 gallon solera barrel that has a #1 char to it. They are a whiskey from Tennessee but not a “Tennessee Whiskey” the difference is no charcoal filtering.
Plus they have an experimental distillery(the only one in the states to our knowledge) where other distilleries play with 20-30 malts or barleys a year, not Chattanooga. They play with over 100! With this experimental distillery they can try things out and make small runs and see how they turn out. For instance they came out with a maple bourbon and a mead flavored bourbon(no, we didn’t get to try those). The drawback, these can only be found at their distillery. If you make drive, take their distillery tour. I did and it was awesome! Lots of great information, see their aging cellar and at the end enjoy a flight of what they got and maybe a bourbon forward drink to. Thanks again to Chris Helmly the Florida State Sales Manager from Chatt Whiskey for taking the time to talk whiskey! Check out all three videos below.
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Our good friend George McDaniel stops by for a visit with a bottle of 1925 Prohibition era Gooderham and Worts Whiskey which he himself, diver extraordinaire, pulled out of the Niagara River in the mid eighties. Get a little history on one of the biggest distilleries in the world at that time. How people made fortunes “rumrunning” across the great lakes. How George happened to find it and recounts his whiskey run story. Thank you George for this once in a lifetime experiences!
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