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Last Week in Bourbon January 22-28, 2024

Last Week in Bourbon January 22-28, 2024

I don’t know you, Dettling 1867, but I like you already

There are two types of craft distilleries in this world. Ones like 13th Colony that try to hide everything they do and ones like Dettling 1867 who go above and beyond to show off their whole process and educate consumers as they go along.

I became intrigued by Dettling’s products recently after seeing some reviews pop up on Reddit. So I dove into their social media (mainly Instagram) and came away pleasantly surprised with what I found. Lots of craft distilleries take fancy pictures of their bottles or their tasting rooms, but Dettling really pulls back the curtain for their audience. Color me impressed when I see detailed posts about how air-seasoning barrel staves results in overall shrinkage of the cellulose structure (see above) and even multiple pictures of this unique barrel spraying technique (see below). I’ve been told that this is done to help lower evaporation rates in their hot, southern climate.

The black streaks are likely a result of the washed effect from all of the water spraying they do.

I encourage you to give their social media accounts a few moments of your time and I guarantee you’ll walk away learning something. As for their whiskey, I don’t know much about it aside from what their website says, but I look forward to trying it some day. There are a lot of whiskies on the market today that make you question if they’re worth your money. But when you see a producer like this showing attention to detail like Dettling does, it tells the customer that they are an open and honest company. I think that deserves to be recognized more


Elijah Craig Toasted Rye is coming

File this one under “labels we should’ve seen coming.” But this is probably a good thing because it shows us that Heaven Hill is serious about rye whiskey production. And if we ever expect to get a 10 year rye whiskey in their permanent portfolio, we’re going to have to accept that there is going to be a lot of younger, lower-proof rye whiskey releases. Elijah Craig Rye Whiskey is a wholly uninteresting rye whiskey, especially compared to the similarly-priced Rittenhouse Rye. So adding a toasted barrel is a smart move.

Now that this is announced, I am hedging my bets that we’ll see a barrel proof version of Elijah Craig Rye before the end of the year (maybe as a C924 batch or something). I am almost sure it won’t wear a 12 year age statement like Elijah Craig Bourbon used to, but 6 to 8 years would be real nice. And if ECBP Rye ever does become a thing with a 12 year age statement, I might not ever need to buy another rye whiskey again.

Makers Wood Finishing Series continues as a Distillery Exclusive

If you like Maker’s Mark, chances are really high that you liked Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series. There were signs early on that the WFS was only designed to be a limited-time thing and we were all saddened to learn that last year’s Barrel Entry Proof (BEP) would be the last one.

Oh, and I guess Maker’s is making the move to 700ml bottles now

But just like Kenny on the TV show South Park, killing it off isn’t that simple.

Maker’s Mark will continue the WFS by pushing it as a Distillery Exclusive. That’s kind of cool in a way because almost all Kentucky distillers are realizing that they’re losing out on money by not offering distillery exclusives. All Brown-Forman brands are doing it, Four Roses gift shops are now stocked every day with new Private Selections and Michter’s/Heaven Hill offers experiences to fill your own bottles with rare or allocated whiskies. So this makes total sense. The only downfall is that Maker’s Mark is somewhat off the beaten path at least as far as the Kentucky Bourbon Trail is concerned. It’s beautiful and a site you should definitely check out, but it’s always a pain to drive to.

It should also be pointed out that in the past, these red, “hand-written” letters and numbers on the label are just temporary holding spots – so don’t fall for this being a 90 proof release. It’s probably going to be bottled at barrel proof like the previous ones were, so expect a final release somewhere between 108 and 112 proof.

Here’s hoping that Maker’s will make this one worth it!

Woodford Reserve Batch Proof 2024 spotted and other news from Versailles

It’s hard to believe that Woodford Reserve has dropped two special releases this year and we’re still not out of January yet. Most people were already tracking the distillery exclusive “Double Double Oaked” which has been a fun release that Woodford has given us each year since 2017. Unfamiliar with it? It’s essentially Woodford Reserve Double Oaked – a 4-5 year old bourbon blend that spends an extra year inside of a second heavily toasted/lightly charred barrel with a slight twist. The twist is that it ages in that secondary barrel for two years instead of one.

Hey Woodford, if you’re changing the standard bottles to 700ml, does that mean that we can expect the Distillery Series to be bottled at 350ml in the future?

But the main story is Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Batch Proof coming out so early this year. While I’m sure that it hasn’t hit all states yet and that distribution will be staggered, it’s always interesting to me just how little press or attention this bottle gets. Nothing made this more apparent than seeing a few of these bottle pictures showing up on some Facebook groups with not a lot of comments about it.

This is not my picture, it was sent from a friend

Last year’s Batch Proof was everywhere it seemed like. I personally had the opportunity to buy one on about 3 occasions because it was just setting on the shelf. Have they increased case numbers? It felt like it. These bottles didn’t even retain much of a secondary market value once the summer came around. It might have had something to do with the fact that enthusiasts were lukewarm about how it tasted compared to previous years. Still, I’m overall happy that Woodford puts this out and look forward to tasting this year’s bottle – I just wish they’d bump up the proof of their other releases (let’s start with the other Master’s Collection releases first) to really elevate the brand.

CAUGHT: Finding my pictures being used around the internet

Last week I highlighted a YouTuber that had used one of my pictures for one of his reviews. But this week we have an online store who has done the same thing. I took this picture back before we got our own custom glencairns, so it does look more generic than most. Fun fact: I still have this bottle of Straight From The Barrel! The other two Blanton’s bottles have been finished and somebody stole the gold topper off of my Blanton’s Gold at an event I took it to. Who does that?!

Hey Wooden Cork Liquor, could I at least get a discount on some bottles?

Original Picture from my Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel review back in April, 2020

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