Friday, May 9, 2014

My Recommendation for a Mother's Day (or Father's Day) Bourbon Gift

My suggestion for the perfect gift is bourbon, of course, but with a twist. A bottle of one of the limited editions like the Parker's Heritage Collection 13-year-old wheat whiskey is a great gift, but this is different.

Micro-distilleries aside, every drop of American whiskey (bourbon, Tennessee and rye) is made by eight companies at 13 distilleries. The gift? A sampler of one bottle from each, either the eight or the 13.

Put them in a big basket if you want to.

For example, one from each of the eight companies: Maker’s Mark (Suntory Beam), Woodford Reserve (Brown-Forman), George Dickel No. 12 (Diageo), Bulleit Rye (MGP), Evan Williams Single Barrel (Heaven Hill), Four Roses Single Barrel (Four Roses), Buffalo Trace (Sazerac), Rare Breed (Wild Turkey).

One from each of the 13 distilleries: Maker’s Mark (Maker's Mark), Knob Creek (Jim Beam Clermont), Bookers (Beam Booker Noe), Woodford Reserve (Woodford Reserve), Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (Brown-Forman), Jack Daniel's Single Barrel (Jack Daniel's), George Dickel No. 12 (George Dickel), Bulleit Rye (MGP), Evan Williams Single Barrel (Heaven Hill), Four Roses Single Barrel (Four Roses), Buffalo Trace (Buffalo Trace), Ridgemont Reserve 1792 (Barton 1792), Rare Breed (Wild Turkey).

Okay, so we can't be sure what, exactly, comes from Beam's Booker Noe Distillery, but its namesake bourbon seems appropriate. And MGP doesn't own Bulleit Rye, but it is made there and Diageo actually admits it, which is something rare and special in itself.

You can, of course, modify the selections based on price or personal preference, but doesn't mom (or dad) deserve the best?

This gift, of course, is for moms and dads who value good bourbon over rarity and fancy packages. If you don't have a parent or spouse who appreciates that, buy it for yourself.


Anonymous said...

This is a GREAT Idea!

Richard said...


According to the guides at The American Stillhouse in Clermont (so take it with a grain of salt) their Boston, KY distillery is for white label four year old and flavored variations. We were told Bookers, Bakers, etc. were made in Clermont.

Chuck Cowdery said...

That's what I understand as well. Jim Beam white label is most of what Clermont makes too.

Matthew J. Brown said...

Fabulous suggestions! This would make for a good starter set for someone looking to get educated about American whiskey as well.

Chuck Cowdery said...

Buffalo Trace (standard, rye recipe bourbon), Larceny (wheated bourbon), Bulleit Bourbon (high rye bourbon). Covers the waterfront in three products, with no producer duplication.

Alternative (same descriptions). Wild Turkey 101, W. L. Weller Special Reserve, Old Grand-Dad bonded.

eric said...

This article was a springboard of whiskey education for me, providing an organizing principle. I'm giving myself the Mother's Day gift. I've picked up everything so far you rec'd from the 13 distilleries except Old Forester Bday, Ridgemont 1792 & Rare Breed. I'm wondering if you can take it a step further adding company > distillery > mashbill.

The Bday Bourbon is not available in my market, i.e. SF. It'll come later this year. Jim Beam's distilleries seem a bit of a mystery to me. Hard to get the facts of what is made where.

Thanks for the post.

Chuck Cowdery said...

I'm glad you found this useful, Eric. Part of the fun of this hobby is researching things like mashbills. It isn't hard. My book, Bourbon, Straight, is a good resource. I can help you with Beam, though. The Booker Noe plant essentially makes Beam white label. Everything else is made at Clermont.

Chuck Cowdery said...

And Maker's Mark, of course, is made at the Maker's Mark Distillery and nowhere else.

eric said...

Chuck, I have your book actually and read it a couple years ago. Now that things are making more sense to me, I'll give it another read. My question about Beam was prompted by you noting Knob Creek distilled in Clermont and Bookers at Booker Noe. Is that the case or is Bookers distilled and aged at Clermont as well?

Chuck Cowdery said...

I've always been told that pretty much all they make at the Booker Noe plant is Jim Beam white label but rather than suggest that I suggested Booker's to represent that distillery since they have the same name, but Booker's is made at Clermont.