Three Chords Single Barrel Bourbon – JJ’s 1st Edition
We spent the majority of our time in 2022 seeking out new barrels for you to enjoy, but probably said “no” more than we said “yes.” For a variety of reasons. 1)Some of the barrel samples we tasted just weren’t very good. 2)A lot of them were way too expensive for what was in the bottle. And 3)it gets expensive stockpiling these costly, and not-so-popular products on the floor, and we have to be careful about how we allocate dollars for inventory. There are some retailers who have the means to buy everything that comes across their radar, just to say they have the most. We feel being selective is better, because we pride ourselves on the quality of the product, not just the quantity of different items.
Three Chords is the brand that was developed by musician Neil Giraldo. Neil is best known for his better half, Pat Benatar. The two have been married for nearly 40 years and have played together since 1979. Celebrity whiskies are all the rage right now and it’s getting more and more difficult to take some of them seriously. I’d go into details on which ones to avoid, but I don’t want to get sued. This one is an exception. All of the Three Chords whiskies we have tasted (Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee) have been mostly outstanding. Their blending process is pretty solid, and they are procuring top notch barrels from top notch producers. Thus, the price. We were a little hesitant to pull the trigger on this one, which is a single barrel from MGP in Indiana. Largely because of cost, but I’m glad we did. It is definitely one of my favorite picks for 2022.
- Name: Three Chords Single Barrel Bourbon – JJ’s 1st Edition
- Country of Origin/Locale: Lawrenceburg, IN
- Proof: 110.2
- Glass: Glencairn or Double Old-Fashioned Glass
- Temperature: Room or slightly Chilled
- Cocktail Options: 3.Old Fashioned or Manhattan (See below)
- Available: JJ’s Bar, yes. Retail? Maybe. We have some stashed.
- Price: List Price – $92.49 JJ’s VIP Price – $73.99
Tom’s Tasting Notes: When selecting a single barrel product, we use a lot of different criteria. One of them is how well it will work in our best-selling cocktail, The 3.0ld Fashioned. When this one came in, we mixed up said cocktail, but it wasn’t overly impressive. Then we made a Manhattan, wow. Tons of spice, vanilla, caramel and toast on the nose. The palate is smooth at 110 proof with thick, viscous notes of caramel and sweet toffee mixed with a hint of dried fruit.
Here you go Luxardo Cherry lovers. The best Manhattan recipe you will ever need…
- 2oz High Proof, High Rye Bourbon or Rye Whiskey – In this case, Three Chords Single Barrel, which is what we are currently using in JJ’s Bar
- 3/4 oz Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
- 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters or other barrel aged bitters (no fruit)
- One Luxardo Cherry
Start with the bitters to build your cocktail in a mixing glass. Then the vermouth, then the whiskey. Add ice and stir for a good amount of time. Our bartenders stir 35 times as a rule (seriously, count the next time you are in). Strain the contents of the glass over a large cube in a Double Old-Fashioned glass and garnish with a Luxardo Cherry.
Traditionally, The Manhattan cocktail is served “up”, but we serve ours over a large ice cube because we always use a high proof spirit. It helps to dilute the whiskey a little bit with every sip, changing the complexity of the drink with every sip as well.
This really was a wonderful pour! I even managed to hone in on the proof. I’ve had some other SiB from 3 chord, this one takes the cake. Another hitter!