While this story still correlates to my wonderful ball experience, it definitely deserves a post of its own. Debuting this year at the Bluegrass Ball, The Walk Along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail consisted of nine or so distilleries that set up shop during cocktail hour so that ball-goers could experience a variety of Kentucky’s prized possession. And experience we did! I don’t think I’ve ever had so many “on the rocks, splash of water” bourbon drinks in my life…not to mention in one evening. And a Southern Fried blog just wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t give you my personal recommendations and seals of approval!
While the more recognizable (aka less expensive) brands were there (Beam, Maker’s, Wild Turkey, etc), we were quite surprised to find that Jim Beam‘s Distiller’s Masterpiece addition was quite tasty…by itself! If you’re not a bourbon drinker, I highly recommend NOT drinking Jim Beam straight…in fact, it should be illegal. But the Distiller’s Masterpiece was very smooth, with a hint of sweetness that made it very pleasing to the tongue. Unfortunately it’s pretty rare (it’s not even on their web site), so I can’t post a picture. But if you ever come across it, try it!
My top recommendation, however, is Four Roses bourbon, specifically the single barrel addition. Owned by Seagram until recently, this concoction was actually the best selling bourbon in the country during the first half of the 20th century. Then Seagram pulled it out of the U.S. and began distributing it only overseas. Well, duh, it took off like wildfire and is now hot-to-trot in both Europe and Japan. Now it’s back in the U.S. and gaining ground around the nation once again. I absolutely loved this bourbon, and it also didn’t hurt that we sat beside one of the chief executives who provided us with this interesting history about the company (shout-out to Mr. R and friends!). Unlike me, if you’re lucky enough to be in one of their distribution areas, pick up a bottle ASAP!
~ DC Darlin’