Bourbon Trinity

Bourbon Trinity

Bourbons beyond the Bluegrass

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Pop quiz, people. 

True or false: For a Whiskey to be bestowed the title of "Bourbon," it must be made in Kentucky

If you answered "true," do not pass go. Do not collect $200. And definitely do not take another sip of whatever you’re drinking. ‘Cause first, we need to have a little chat. 

So, gas up your proverbial tank — we’re going on a Bourbon-soaked road trip (hypothetically speaking, of course) that extends beyond the boundaries of the Bluegrass State. From the cornfields of Indiana to the mountainous landscape of Colorado, you’re about to discover these Bourbon outsiders give Kentucky a run for its money.

As you’ve probably guessed, a Whiskey doesn’t need to come from Kentucky to be labeled a Bourbon. As long as it’s made in the good ol’ U.S. of A., it’s golden. That leaves a lot of room for the other states in the unions to stake their claim on producing some pretty spectacular juice.

And that’s a good thing — especially since the rest of the world seems to have come down with an acute case of Bourbon fever. But how did Bourbon get so big? A fortuitous combo of small-batch/single-barrel production that elevated Bourbon as a premium Spirit, the emergence of a global exports market thanks to a friendly agreement between the EU and NAFTA and the rise of the craft cocktail movement ushered in a boom that in some cases supply couldn’t meet. And luckily for Bourbon’s boom, there seems to be no bust in sight.

Good news: Bourbon producers have ramped up their efforts in order to give the people (ahem, you) what they want. In fact, last year, distillers filled more than 1.7 million barrels of Bourbon in Kentucky alone.

And the even better news? They now have an assist from distillers all across the country. Like George Remus, a vanilla-forward number hailing from Indiana. And New York’s Fistful of Bourbon, with its power blend of five different juices. Then, there’s Colorado’s Old Elk, a masterful blend of Whiskies hailing from New York, Indiana and yes, Colorado. You’ll find all three in this box.

‘Nuff talking, though. Let’s get to tasting. Cheers to Bourbon’s brilliant outsiders!

Smartass Corner:

1) In 1964, Congress passed a concurrent resolution declaring Bourbon "A Distinct Product of the United States." Just as Scotch can only be produced in Scotland and Tequila can only be produced in Mexico, Bourbon can only be produced in the United States.

2) Before the resolution was passed, Prohibition drove some Bourbon distillers out of the country. Somewhat famously, Mary Dowling shuttered her distillery in Tyrone, Kentucky, took her still, grabbed a Beam, and headed to Juarez, Mexico to wait out Prohibition. There she continued to make and sell Bourbon. George Remus was named after a renowned lawyer and bootlegger from the Prohibition era who was eventually arrested and convicted. Allegedly, he also served as inspiration for the title character The Great Gatsby in the novel of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

3) Where’d the name for "Fistful of Bourbon" come from? Well, the official version goes like this: Each finger represents a different Whiskey that went into the final blend. That's five fingers and five juices.

4) Curt Richardson, a legendary businessman whom you might know for Otterbox, is a true Bourbon lover. He teamed up with Master Distiller Greg Metze (who used to work for MGP in Indiana) to produce the Old Elk line.

5) Bourbon’s secret ingredient is… dish soap. During fermentation, starchy CO2 bubbles can build up and overflow — damaging the equipment and entire batches of product.It’s very common to suspend a small ladle filled with a few drops of pure dish soap above the mash. If the bubbles rise up and touch the soap, a reaction called saponification pops them, protecting both the Spirit and the distillery. Just a few drops of soap can protect a 50,000-gallon batch.

7) Distilleries were expected to and even required to stop production of beverage alcohol and retrofit stills to produce ethanol for WWI and WWII. But they did their part, even changing over from 48- to 53-gallon barrels to save wood — those were the largest barrels that would fit in current ricks and it saved a significant amount of lumber. To this day most distilleries still use 53-gallon barrels.

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Flavor Spiral™

About The Flavor Spiral

The Flavor Spiral™ is a quick, clear and visually-appealing way to look at the drink's flavor DNA.

It's tasting notes reinvented. The Flavor Spiral™ is a unique and revolutionary way of describing flavors. It was developed by Flaviar tasting panel, industry experts, and You, our dear Flaviar community member.

Your favourite drinks like never before. It could easily be an art form, but that's a conversation for another day.
Dog Dogson
Dog Dogson's
Bourbons have very prominent notes of vanilla, as American White Oak is naturally high in vanillins.

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