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Our First BARREL PICK-Chattanooga Whiskey

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.

Wild Turkey Rare Breed vs Wild Turkey

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.

Whiskey Barrel Shortage

A surge in the demand for bourbon has led to a shortage in whiskey barrels. Exports of bourbon were in excess of 1 billion, that’s right with a “B” billion in 2014. Bourbon production has increased more than 50% from 2010 to 2013. In three years the craft-distilling companies have doubled to about 600 distillers.

The housing market crash of 2007 led to a number of lumber mills closing, they rebounded in 2014 but the supply of white oak has not caught up with the demand for barrel makers (Coopers). High timber prices, the lack of loggers have added to the problem. There is no quick fix for the bourbon industry’s supply problem. Since the bourbon has to be aged, the available supply is whatever was put in oak barrels 10 years ago when demand was lower. Distillers want to put more into barrels now but the barrels remain hard to get.

At a craft spirit conference where there was a presentation on staves(the wooden strips that make up the side of the barrels) and bungs(the plug for the bung hole) and the room was overflowing. Not for the lecture but the hopes of where to find barrels. The shortage is currently getting better and with the current tariffs could help close that gap.