I am writing this to make you all beware of the bourbon BS that is everywhere.
Amazingly, some things published in professional, decorative, well-thought-out layouts are entirely wrong. Understand that each time I write about a subject, I diligently research the topic to avoid putting out insufficient information. Sometimes, I may get it wrong, but I strive to get it right.
A list of 15 Best
So recently ran across a bold, well-done list of the best bourbons of 2021 by fifteen different categories. To the educated bourbon consumer, they would see right through the shortfalls of the list. However, my concern is that someone looking for sound advice is often let down with incorrect information. So if you look at the list of fifteen best, their choice for best bourbon for the money is Widow Jane. Now I have nothing personal against Widow Jane products, but there are a lot of arguments to be made for other contenders in the value category. Widow Jane appears to sell in the $70 per bottle range, and I could make a strong argument for many bourbon whiskey brands with just as much flavor as Widow Jane for a lower retail price point. But here is the real point to remember, the best bourbon for the money is a personal opinion and nothing more. Enjoy what you like!
The best small-batch bourbon?
A little further down their list of fifteen is their suggestion for the best small-batch bourbon. Are you ready for this? Their choice is Blanton’s. How do you place one of the most famous and sought-after single barrel bourbons on your list of best small-batch bourbon? Either the author was lazy, confused, or just not very knowledgeable about bourbon. In the article, a photo of a Blanton’s bottle featuring the phrase Single Barrel Bourbon was readily visible.
Company representatives – beware of the bourbon BS
Another area of wrong bourbon information comes from some company representatives and distillery tour guides that do not take the time to understand bourbon. Again, I might make a mistake when explaining something, but I do everything possible to provide good, factual information. I once had a distillery representative tell me that a competitor’s whiskey used additives to enhance the flavor of their whiskey. The competitor in question was a significant brand, and the very idea was ludicrous. It was a blatant attempt to smear another brand without regard to the truth.
Distillery tour guides
Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to have many outstanding tour guides in my many distillery tours. There are excellent guides at many Kentucky distilleries, including the remarkable Freddie Johnson at Buffalo Trace. He is definitely, the gold standard of knowledge, history, and personality. However, many others work hard to provide factual information while keeping the experience entertaining. I have had great distillery tours at Wild Turkey, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Willett, Old Forester, Michters, and Old Pogue to name a few. Every once in a while, you will find a tour guide at another distillery that states the company line but ventures into areas that include falsehoods. Unfortunately, some distilleries do not do a great job of training or measuring quality control.
Always try to sort through the bourbon misinformation and beware of the bourbon BS. Go to a reputable source to fact-check something that does not quite sound right. Also, if someone is trying to sell you a new brand of bourbon, be aware. If the story seems implausible, it probably was created by a marketing team hundreds of miles away from the source of the whiskey.
Bardstown Bourbon Company Prisoner Wine Collaboration
This Bardstown Bourbon Company variation is by far one of the most flavor-forward barrel-finished bourbons I have ever tasted. Charlie Berry and I explain why that flavor is in this unique bottle of bourbon. To find out more, you can watch our video HERE.