Artisan Bourbons

BourbonThis American spirit brings to mind our Southern states—although it can technically be distilled anywhere in the U.S. In recent years, small craft distillers have turned their attention to bourbon, and the results are tasty. Here are four staff favorites, both classic and modern, for your drinking pleasure.

And don’t forget to scroll down for a few great bourbon cocktail recipes.

Angel’s Envy Bourbon
Angel’s Envy is what happens when 200 years of bourbon tradition meet an independent master craftsman’s instinct to improve. It’s a total return to the art of craft first, hand-blended batches of 8 to 12 barrels at a time.

Tasting notes
Vanilla and roasted chocolate, with distinct notes of plum and light oak. A complex mingling of vanilla bean, spice and dried fruits results in a subtle silkiness with a long finish that fully coats the palette.

Eagle Rare
The rareness of this great breed of bourbon is evident in its complex aroma, as well as the smooth and lingering taste.

Tasting Notes
Complex aromas of toffee, hints of orange peel, herbs, honey, leather and oak. Bold, dry, oaky flavors with notes of candied almonds and very rich cocoa with a dry and lingering finish.

Colonel E H Taylor Small Batch
Founding father of the bourbon industry, Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. left an indelible legacy. Made by hand, barrels are evaluated and selected to create a perfect blend of distinctive character that is like no other.

Tasting Notes
Caramel corn sweetness, mingled with butterscotch and licorice. The aftertaste is a soft mouth-feel that turns into subtle spices of pepper and tobacco.

Redemption High-Rye Bourbon
High-Rye Bourbon mash-bill approaches the upper limit of allowable rye grain in a bourbon mash-bill. Bottled at 92 proof

Tasting notes
The dry spiciness of the rye balances the sweetness of the corn, roasted corn aromas. Good, complex nose, medium-bodied palate with a medium-short finish with a nice rye zip and some sweet vanilla.

The Cocktails!

The Retox Cocktail
Adapted from Saveur Magazine

This alcoholic take on the Master Cleanse regimen—which features cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup—is way more fun than the bourbon-less original.

6 oz. bourbon, such as Knob Creek Single-Barrel Reserve
2 tbsp. medium maple syrup
2 tsp. extra light maple syrup
2 droppers full of maple bitters
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
3 tbsp. maple sugar
seltzer to fill

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Mix the first five ingredients with the ice in the shaker.

Mix the cayenne and maple sugar in a bowl, and pour onto a dessert plate, spreading them out in a wide circle. Wet the rim of a rocks glass; roll the rim in the cayenne mixture to coat.

Fill the glass halfway with ice. Strain 1/3 of the bourbon mixture into the glass, top it off with soda water, and stir.

Makes 3 drinks.
Old Fashioned
Mad Man’s Favorite Cocktail
Adapted From Esquire Magazine

1 sugar cube
3 dashes Angostura bitters
club soda
2 ounces rye whisky

Old-fashioned glass

Place the sugar cube in an Old-Fashioned glass. Wet it down with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of water or club soda.

Crush the sugar with a strong spoon. Rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. Add a large ice cube. Pour in th bourbon).

Serve with a stirring rod.

Bluegrass Chihuahua
Jeremy Johnson, Louisville Mixologist; Co-Founder of Meat

1½ oz Angel’s Envy Bourbon
½ oz Del Maguey Minero Mezcal
½ oz Lemon Juice
½ oz Lime Juice
½ oz Orange Juice
1 tsp Simple Syrup

Shake ingredients, strain over ice into collins glass, top with about 2 oz 7up, garnish with lime and luxardo cherry.

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