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1350 Distilling Interview with Phil Bragg

We interview Phil Bragg and he tells us how 1350 Distilling started, how he got the idea, what 1350 means, and all about the military themed spirits. To create all these amazing spirits, they employ a one of kind, custom made all brass military round 100 gallon still. All this comes together with their sense of community and support for a variety of veteran organizations. Unboxing is comming up next.

1350 Distillery Tour

We had the chance to visit Colorado Springs and take a tour of 1350 Distillery with owner and distiller Phil Bragg. Everything from how their one of a kind Minute Man vodka is made from Colorado Sugar Beets to Wingman Gin with it’s special ingredient. Then on to Blue Jacket Rum, 1880 style. The custom made, steam injection brass military round looking still is worth the price of admission. People have been known to kiss this beautiful still(I won’t say who) that makes all these wonderful spirits. Lastly, the whiskey room. We get to sample all of their available whiskies. The Guardian Bourbon, Leatherneck(rye) Whiskey, Code Four Bourbon(barrel strength), and the 5 Alarm Cinnamon Bourbon that is amazing. Of course there is a full bar with signature cocktails. We had a great time, definitely recommend the tour in beautiful Colorado Springs. Coming up next, we get to do a quick interview with Phil Bragg.

Old Elk Straight Bourbon vs Old Elk Sour Mash

I picked up Old Elk Straight Bourbon, Grapevine Pick from my local liquor store(thanks for the recommendation Shlok, from Golden Ox Liquors!) and was saving it for a review but then my cousin came down to visit and brought with him a bottle of Old Elk Sour Mash Reserve Small Batch. So I had the brilliant idea to do a Flash Review. Just a quick sit down and taste them side by side and see which one we like better. The Sour Mash was part of their original runs back in the testing phase, they put 30 barrels aside back in 2013. Well… they have since decided to release some of their experiments and my cousin was the proud recipient of a bottle that only 60 made it into Georgia.

Art of the Spirits in Colorado Springs

This review comes all the way from Colorado Springs while we were on our #whiskeyventure. We met up with Richard Paul, owner and creator of Art of the Spirits. The bottles alone are amazing, each one adorned with artwork from amazing artist like David Uhl and Danial James. It the juice as good as the bottles? Watch the review and find out! We don’t just get to taste one but FOUR releases filled with beautiful brown water! We get to taste some cask strength bourbons, rum finished and even a rye! How does Earl Gray tea get involved and find out who is the beauty and who is the brains!

Copper Sky Distillery Tour, Bottling, and Interview

After we reviewed Copper Sky’s Wheated Bourbon back in December(Copper Sky Wheated Bourbon Review #0018) we called Mike Root(founder, owner and the one who sent us a bottle and sweet samples) and told him how much we enjoyed it. Mike said “come on up for a visit”. We had one thought, WHISKEYVENTURE! The amazing part is that another group down here in Florida, Bourbon and the Bible, were talking to Mike about a Copper Sky barrel pick. Then they saw our review, couldn’t believe the coincidence, asked if we wanted to be involved and of course we said YES! The vote was unanimous, we selected a 13 year light whiskey that came in at 135.3 proof and it was smooth. Plans were made to trek out west.

We flew out to Colorado, met Mike and gave us a tour. We learned Kya Coursen’s unending energy keeps the place humming as Sales Manager and Mixologist, Isaac Haefner, their head blender, explained the magic that happens in their spirit playground. Before we got to work, Mike shared a sneak peek of bourbon barreled rum they were working on and it was awesome! Slightly sweet with a punch of high proof where you might mistake it for whiskey. Can’t wait until this one is released.

Then we all got to it, bottled, corked, labeled, and added our custom label until the barrel was gone. After all that hard work we sat in the tasting room talking with local patrons and relaxed with a few cocktails mixed up by their Director of Mixology Oliver Capece which went down way too easy. We can’t thank Mike and his staff enough for letting us invade his distillery, we had so much fun hanging out we would of camped out in the tasting room all night! If you are into whiskey, we’d highly recommend heading out to Longmont, CO and visiting @copperskylongmont and have a drink and a cocktail!

Whiskey Glass Showdown

We’ve been talking about it for a while, should we change the glasses we review whiskey out of? On review #0017 of Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend, we received a comment from Zesty Cheesemaker saying “hate to say it, but I think you guys are using the wrong glassware… you’re going to need something like a Glencairn to funnel that aroma thereby allowing the flavor’s to shoot through then take a puff of your smoke along w/ it.” This spurred us into action to put some glasses to the test. We pit the Rocks Glass(the one we’ve been using so far) against the Glencairn and the Norlan. So check out our review, see what we thought and let us know what you think and the glass you use most.

Proof – Crooked Furrow, Glen Fargo, and Harvest Blend

Who makes it? Proof Artisan Distillers

Mash Bill: ? (not disclosed)

This was our second mail call and Joel Kath from Proof Artisan distillers sent us not one but three bottles from their distillery in true North Dakotan fashion(according to Erik). So we were up for the challenge and reviewed all three. Kris said that the Crooked Furrow smelled of sweet apples while Erik was more of a buttered popcorn on the nose. For the finish, was smooth and we both agreed that an ice cube is not needed. Then on to Harvest Blend which we both agreed was good but not as good as Crooked Furrow and that there was a flat spot on the finish. Glen Fargo was Kris’s favorite being a single malt and America’s scotch like whiskey.

Kris gave Crooked Furrow 7.5, Harvest Blend 6.0, Glen Fargo 8.0

Erik gave it Crooked Furrow 8.2, Harvest Blend 7.5, Glen Fargo 8.0

How much: for the Glen Fargo about $75, the Crooked furrow about $45, and Harvest Blend ?

The distillery resides in a 1920’s municipal building complete with Judge’s chambers where the tasting room is. For their tasting room, the “minions” salvaged a bar from the Down in Under Pub in Grand Forks, North Dakota that was about to be torn down. The pub has been around since 1892!

Proof is also the first legal distillery in North Dakota since prohibition.

Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend

Who makes it? Joseph Magnus Distillery & Co.

Mash Bill: ? (not disclosed)

We picked up this bottle of Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend and knew that when we cracked it open we needed to have Monte De León Cigars there with us. This sourced bourbon is finished in Armagnac, Sherry, and Cognac casks. Came on strong at 124 proof with notes of molasses, burnt cherry, coco, and leather. After we sampled this delicious bourbon it was time to have a couple of Monte De León’s own cigars in a non-stop rain storm. All of us were soaked (whiskey and rain) and could not have had a better time. We get into a little history of the bottle, grandparents, how some things changed and how some have stayed the same.

Kris gave it 9

Erik gave it 8.6

How much: This will run you about 150 dollars

In 2007 Jimmy Turner found a bottle of bourbon in a closet while cleaning out his parents home after his mother died. It turned out to be a 122 year old bottle passed down from generation to generation, he gathered experts together and they tried to re-produce it’s contents. They found an 8-year-old bourbon aging in Kentucky that had a strikingly similar profile to the original bottle and all agreed that it needed to be finished in a sherry cask.

Nancy Fraley is the Master Blender at Joseph Magnus finishing the 12 year bourbon in a triple cast process using Oloroso Sherry, Ximenez, and Cognac casks.

After we posted our review Nancy Fraley herself commented on our video:

“Hey there @Whiskey and a Hammock, Magnus Master Blender Nancy Fraley here. Fantastic episode and review, thanks, although I’m sorry it didn’t score into the 9’s! 😉 Just a few FYI’s: the Cigar Blend Bourbon was not a product that was original to the Jos. Magnus distillery that existed between 1892 and 1917. Since I come from a brandy production background (Germain-Robin in CA, started by a 10th generation Cognac maker), I’m deeply influenced by the long tradition of “Cigare” Blend Cognacs, and as such sought out to make a Bourbon that would be an homage to my mentor(s) in the French brandy world. Also, the components in your bottle use about 2 to 3% of the finished flagship Magnus expression of the regular Jos. Magnus Triple Cask (Oloroso, PX, and Cognac), and I combined that with 12.5 to 20 year old Bourbon. All of this blend finishes exclusively in Armagnac barrels. Thus, any cask finished notes you might taste will really just be coming from the Armagnac. The Sherry and Cognac notes in the blend are negligible. But the plum, prune, leather, and burnt cherry are a combination of the age of the Bourbon and the Armagnac.

Secondly, yes, I actually DID take a needle and syringe into the 2 original Magnus bottles by going through the side of the glass and did very little damage to the closure and cork. It literally took at least an hour to do this because of all the pushback on the needle! When I analyzed the whiskey, I noticed that it had a strong Sherry type note to it. Interestingly enough, we discovered that when Joseph Magnus was selling off used barrels when he closed down his distillery, he was selling off Sherry casks. Cheers, Nancy.”

Proof Artisan Distillers Mail Call Review

Not just one but we review all three bottles from Proof Artisan Distillers! Proves to be a good showing from North Dakota’s first legal distillery since prohibition. We’ll give a little background on Proof along with giving out trivia and a language lesson on bison/bisons.  Plus what to use to make a crooked furrow.  Thanks again to Joel Kath, owner of Proof for sending a package with brown water goodness.

Proof Artisan Distillers Unboxing!

Huge shout out to Joel Kath owner of @proofartisandistillers who sent this amazing package of brown water goodness. Not just one but THREE different bottles for us to be excited about. So you know what we’re reviewing this month, PROOF ARTISAN DISTILLERS! Review #19!!!SHOW MORE