Since I first posted about Red Stag by Jim Beam last Thursday, I've learned a little bit more about it.
The total distribution of this product so far: 24 bottles.
I don't know who got the other 23. Mine came by courier from the Beam Global head office in Deerfield. Since I'm here in the neighborhood (Chicago, that is), I must have been one of the first to get it and I appear to have been the first to write about it.
The scheduled release date is June 1, 2009.
I can also tell you that Red Stag is made in Kentucky by Kentuckians, the base spirit is 4-year-old Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (i.e., Jim Beam white label), and it uses a natural infusion process.
Infusion, by the way, is a process for extracting flavor from an ingredient or ingredients by steeping them in a liquid, usually by heating it. The solids are separated from the liquid by using some sort of container, like a tea bag, or by straining the finished product through a filter to remove them. Tea is probably the best everyday example of an infusion.
I expect to learn more about the specifics of Beam's infusion process soon from Red Stag's creator.
Infusion is also used by contemporary chefs to create the base for a sauce by infusing herbs or other ingredients into water, stock, or some other liquid. Most flavored vodkas are not made by infusion but a few of the better ones are, especially those made by micro spirits producers such as Modern Spirits.
And, finally, for anyone whose knee jerk reaction to the idea of flavored whiskey is to judge it an abomination, what really is a single malt scotch finished in sherry casks? Isn't that flavored whiskey too?