Sometimes it just good to sit down and catch up, Jim and I had a rough stretch ahead of us where we would be doing several interviews in a small stretch of time. So on a cold winter’s day sitting by a nice fire and Woodrow at our feet that’s what we did.

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The nice thing is that we always have delicious bourbon at hand and this was definitely the case today. We were lucky enough to have been sent samples from Old Forester of their new expressions of Single Barrel which will come in Barrel Strength and 100 proof.

This was in preparation for our Interview with Jackie Zykan, the master taster for Old Forester. For the past couple of years it seems that this has been the case with distilleries where their customers cry for something more and then the distillery says, you want it you got it. Luckily for everyone out there, they listened and let Jackie work her magic.

We also had a bottle of the Old Forester Single Barrel 90 proof, a store pick from The Pearl of Germantown. Now comparing the three was really hard but Jim and I were up to the task. All three are excellent but we must say that the release of a barrel strength in the single barrel was much overdue.

The Pearl of Germantown is a small bar in Louisville that was made to look like a dive bar with its purposely decorated 70s basement vibe, pleather plush bar stools and velvet paintings of country artist such as Hank Williams Jr. They also have a very nice collection of bourbon and beer advertisement pieces.

Don’t sleep on this place as they have a very nice barrel pick selection program and can make a mean old fashioned. It’s a must on any #bourbonbullshitters pilgrimage to Louisville. They are owned by the Silver Dollar which is almost always on anyone’s top bourbon bars list. They also have some great food to boot.  Another must if you’re visiting the Urban Bourbon Trail.

Now after Jim and I had went through the Old Forester like O’l Woodrow drinking water after playing fetch, we still had some time. Jim pulls out a bottle of rye whiskey from Sagamore Spirts from the great state of Maryland. Now come on, you didn’t expect Jim to bring a wheat whiskey did you?

We have had a pour of their standard expression before but this was a barrel strength and while I don’t like the nose on it, I do love the taste. Breaking News-Yes Jim, I just admitted to loving a Rye. We also pulled out a bottle of the reworked Jim Beam Baker’s 7 year from my stash and we believe that Jim Beam did an outstanding job in making this a single barrel in a complete new bottle. That’s what we call great marketing.

Join Jim and me in the last of our winter pours. Hell, pour a couple glasses of whiskey, sit back, relax and listen as we go down The Bourbon Road with many turn and switchbacks.

Mike (Big Chief)