My apologies to all of you that have been checking in the last three weeks to see what we have in store for Whisk(e)y Wednesday and have found that my typing skills have not been put to the test. I fell behind around 4th of July and am now just getting caught up again. Don’t worry though, I have been doing plenty of tasting in that time.
Speaking of tasting, thank you to everyone that came out to our Blanton’s Single Barrel #2 release party last Wednesday. Without a doubt one of, if not the most successful event that we have had since moving over here just over a year ago. It was a great deal of fun to get to spend the evening talking about and sharing great bourbon with other bourbon enthusiasts. For those curious, we sold out of our entire barrel of Blanton’s before 9:10 on Thursday morning. Without a doubt the fastest a barrel has ever sold out at JJ’s, and for that, we can do nothing but say thank you. If you didn’t join us for the Double Eagle Very Rare tasting, fret not, as we still have plenty left for you to purchase by the 15ml, 30ml, or 60ml pour in the 3.0 Cocktail Bar. I am going to hype it up and say it is without a doubt worth the money to try. I was skeptical at first, as there aren’t many 20 year old bourbons on the market and for good reason. Too often, we see an overoaking that lends bitter flavors not desirable in good bourbon. Luckily for us, that isn’t the case with the DEVR. Instead it is loaded with balanced spice, expressed nicely alongside the smooth caramel and soft vanilla that makes you want another sip. It truly was a treat to get to enjoy, and even better alongside friends.
With as much as we have done over the last few weeks with our single barrel bourbons, we haven’t taken much time to appreciate any whisk(e)y being made outside the United States. Let’s change that this week. This week’s whiskies of emphasis are entirely Canadian, and rye heavy. Our first whisky is Lot 40, a pot stilled rye that although light in color, is heavy and full-bodied, with light oak notes, and plenty of spicy cinnamon to round out the finish and leave it lingering. Next comes a port cask finished expression from Pike Creek. Loaded with cherry and dark fruit notes, this is an impressively smooth and easy drinker. I would have to say that the port cask lends well to creating something mellow and enjoyable for whisk(e)y drinkers of all experience levels. Our next whisky is brought to us by the largest whisky distiller in Canada, Alberta’s Distillers Ltd. By using a mash bill of 91% rye, 8% high-rye bourbon, and 1% sherry cask whisky, they are able to create a whisky that carries the heaviness of bourbon, with the complexity of a well crafted rye whisky, full-bodied, rich, and spicy. The final whisky of emphasis this week is one of my personal favorites, Masterson’s 10 Year rye. Made from 100% rye, this whisky is spicy up front, but when enjoyed with a splash of water or a single ice cube finds its sweet spot right around 85 proof, where it opens up with plenty of green apple notes on the nose, and a soft tobacco flavor profile on the palate. I personally love enjoying this whisky with a cigar on the patio, but it also goes great with a t-bone steak and garlic potatoes fresh off the grill.
Try any of the above mentioned whiskies in a flight for half price all day Wednesday. Tom and I will be your bartenders, and all tips made will be donated to Coats for Kids, a local charity that funds the purchase of winter coats for children in the Sioux Falls area that are in need of protection from the cold during the brutal winter months we experience here in South Dakota.
One final thank you again to everyone that has made these Whisk(e)y Wednesdays so much fun. Tom and I really appreciate the opportunity to step out from behind the register and behind the bar to serve you in another way. It gives us a chance to learn and grow in our knowledge and love for whisk(e)y and we hope it is doing the same for you as well.