Savage & Cooke – Savage Blends by JJ’s – 1st Edition

Well, we made it! Today is the final entry in the 2023 Spirited Holiday Countdown Calendar, and I sincerely hope you have enjoyed the journey.

I never really know what people’s expectations are on these things. This is our fourth year of doing this Holiday Countdown Calendar and reflecting back on the last few weeks I can honestly say that we have some work to do to beat it next year.

We had (most of) our kids over last night plus a couple of bonus kids. We were only missing Tucker as he was on duty at Avera through the night shift.

Kate an Kaleb showed up in matching flannel pajamas. If you’ve never seen a man who is 6’7″ in a flannel onesie before, you have missed out.

Sevin and Jace were tasked with procurring the meal and did a maverlous job. Aaron provided the entertainment with a photo montage of his recent trip to Moab, Utah.

Buffy was content as all of her people were gathered in one place. Plus she had a few packages of her own to open.

Gifts were exchanged, and I believe everyone was happy with their loot. Jean gifted me an experience journey that we will be taking in the coming months exploring whiskey bars in Chicago and Minneapolis. Can’t wait to put that together.

It was a really fun night that went into the 1:00 hour and we finally made it to bed around 2:00.

I awoke this morning hoping the weather wasn’t going to too bad, but that was not the case. As I write this piece on Christmas morning the rain and ice are pummeling my home office window. We had plans today to make a run to Meckling to spend the day with my family, but Mother Nature is making that impossible today. So, for most of the day it will be Jean, Buffy and I enjoying a quiet day. We may have some visitors later if the weather permits, but if not, that’s ok too.

Today’s final entry into the 2023 Spirited Holiday Countdown Calendar is definitely worth the wait. Some of you may have tried it already and for those who have not, I feel you are in for a treat.

Savage & Cooke is a distillery in California that blends wine barrel aged whiskies. Founded by Dave Phinney of Orin Swift, Dave has revolutionized the personalized blending of whiskies with a process that we will definitely look forward to again.

Their flagship whiskey at Savage & Cooke is their Burning Chair Bourbon. It is 5ish year aged whiskey that is comprised of a proprietary blend ratio of various wine finished barrels. Cabernet, Zinfandel & Grenache. The personalized selection allows us to create our own flavor profile with three variations of those expressions.

Dylan Carney of Savage & Cooke visited our market a few months ago to guide us through the process of creating our own barrel. Dylan also provded some entertainment for our customers with his flamboyant demeanor and top notch knowledge of his product.

Ted and I created this whiskey. Joe was gone and could not particpate. We started with what Dylan called a good starting point and then tweaked the blend until we got to what we were looking for. The results were pretty impressive at that time, and even more impressive when we received our bottles.

I hope you enjoy this one, and I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  • Name: Savage & Cooke – Savage Blends by JJ’s – 1st Edition
  • Country of Origin/Locale: Vallejo, CA
  • Proof: 114.6
  • Glass: Glencairn or Double Old Fashioned Glass
  • Temperature: Room or slightly chilled
  • Cocktail Options: This is a smooth sipper at 114.6 proof, I wouldn’t make anything with it.
  • Available: No. See below.
  • Price: List Price – $84.99 JJ’s VIP Price – $67.99

Tom’s Tasting Notes: This bourbon is outstanding. The aromas are of fig, spice and salted caramel with notes of vanilla and maderized fruit. The palate is thick and mouth-coating with a caramel base, stewed fruit and cinnamon. The finish is where the wine barrels really show off with lengthy notes of spice and warmth that last for days.

We received 180 bottles of this elixir and it was a bit of a slow start to move. Thus has been the case with some of the newer offerings we have procured in our single barrel and personalized blends of late. But as folks started to taste it, and enjoy it, it quickly disappeard off the shelf. We have some held back for special events and bar pours. I have some stashed in my personal stash purely for enjoyment. A bottle may pop up on a raffle or two in the near future as well. I hope you agree, this is most certainly our most exciting whiskey of the year!