If you’re a fan of cream liqueurs and you haven’t tried this product yet then you are seriously missing out! It is a unique, versatile, great tasting, and fairly priced liqueur. In fact, it is so good that we used to always bring a couple bottles back from our distillery visits before it was available in Michigan.
- Producer: Buffalo Trace Distillery
- Location: Frankfort, Kentucky
- Name: Bourbon Cream
- Classification: Cream Liqueur
- Proof: 30
- Michigan Minimum Shelf Price: $19.99
The initial impression upon smelling this liqueur is that it will be very sweet. Strong scents of vanilla are present for a moment, before giving way to a smooth and delightful Bourbon smell. All these scents eventually give way to the smell of alcohol to let you know it will hold its own. Taste is exactly as you would expect with flavors of vanilla, caramel, and rich cream showing through. They mix wonderfully with the Bourbon taste, without any one flavor dominating the palate.
Since this is a cream liqueur, it would not be fair to compare it directly to Straight Bourbons. As such, we will refrain from scoring it in favor of offering some of our favorite ways to enjoy it:
- This is without a doubt our favorite cream to use in our morning coffee.
- It is smooth enough to stand on its own and enjoy over the rocks.
- “Buffalo Float” – one of the ways we were introduced to during a distillery visit, that has now made its way onto the official product webpage:
Buffalo Float – The grown up Root Beer Float!
- 2 oz Buffalo Trace Distillery Bourbon Cream
- 4 oz root beer
Combine in glass and serve.
For extra richness, pour over 1 scoop vanilla ice-cream.
Be sure to leave a comment and let us know how you best enjoy your Bourbon Cream!
Well, it looks like the cold weather is here to stay, so we found it appropriate to offer our take on the traditional “Hot Toddy” as our first cocktail recipe. If you give it a try, be sure to leave us a comment and let us know what you think!
- 8 oz Water
- 1 Lipton White Mangosteen Peach Green Tea packet
- 1-1/2 oz Four Roses yellow label Bourbon (Min. Shelf Price $20.04)
- 1 tsp Eight Mile Rd Honey (available locally – greentoegardens.com)
- Heat water slightly above preferred drinking temperature.
- Steep tea packet for 3 minutes.
- Add in the Four Roses yellow label Bourbon
- Stir in the Eight Mile Rd honey
Okay, so the Lions lost a heart breaker yesterday, winter weather finally arrived just in time to mess up your Monday morning commute, and it’s also the first work day of the New Year for many of you. Let’s face it – you could use some good news, right? Right! It just so happens that I have some for you, and it comes in the form of two Jim Beam products that are new to the Michigan market.
The first is their latest release (third overall) in the Signature Craft line, which is called Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask. It may be a mouth full, but I wouldn’t write it off as it is a fairly new idea in the Bourbon market. This blended product all starts with the flagship Jim Beam aged a minimum of 4 years, which is then blended with a number of other Straight Bourbons. Each of these additional Bourbons go through the normal aging process, then are finished or re-aged in smaller barrels (“quarter casks”) for a minimum of another 4 years. By using the smaller casks, it allows each Bourbon to have a drastically different taste profile due to the variations in surface area of the staves that the liquid is exposed to compared to the internal volume. Generally speaking, the smaller the barrel the more of an oak flavor the Bourbon will acquire over a shorter period of time. In this case, since Jim Beam has used multiple sizes of smaller casks, some new and some used, and presumably stored them in different methods for different periods of time, it gives them a wide range of flavor profiles to blend. Think Four Roses (which is a blend of 10 unique Bourbons), but with a wider range of flavors available to choose from prior to blending. At a state minimum price of $39.99 for a 750 mL bottle of this 86 proof blended Bourbon, it may be worth trying this for the new concept alone.
The second new product is Jim Beam Bonded. “Bonded” or “Bottled in Bond” is a special label that means that the Bourbon is aged and bottled under the supervision of the U.S. Government. This was the way all U.S. liquor was produced in the pre-prohibition era, but the rules have since loosened up. To qualify to use this label today, as always, the liquor must be aged in a Government supervised warehouse for a minimum of 4 years, and then bottled at 100 proof. Accordingly, this is essentially your standard Jim Beam “white label,” but bottled at 100 proof instead of 80 proof. If you enjoy stronger Bourbons it may be worth picking up a bottle, and at a minimum price of $24.99 for a 750 mL bottle it is the same price per alcohol content as the 80 proof offering.
The Detroit Lions match up against the Dallas Cowboys in a playoff game later this afternoon, which may be remembered as one of the most important games in recent Lions history. The highly anticipated 22 year old Lost Prophet Bourbon is also being released to the Michigan market today. Coincidence? I think not! The only question is whether you should search for a bottle ahead of time so that it’s ready for the post-game celebration, or if the hunt will be more enjoyable with the fresh victory still dancing in your mind.
For those unfamiliar with this particular Bourbon, it is the fourth release from the Orphan Barrel Project. If I’m still not making much sense, this is a project being undertaken by Diageo to bottle and sell extra-aged whiskeys that have been “lost” in their warehouses. All of the whiskeys are marketed as being produced by the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co., but in actuality have been previously produced at other distilleries. They are then bottled at the Diageo-owned George Dickel distillery in Tennessee. The first three whiskeys from this project were released in 2014, with this being the fourth. So far all of the project’s whiskeys have been Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys, but I suspect this may change with future releases.
Anyway, time to get to the details on this particular offering! This Bourbon is thought to have been distilled at the former George T. Stagg distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. The astute reader may realize that this distillery is now known as Buffalo Trace, and isn’t associated with Diageo. This means the Bourbon was moved from the original distillery, and explains why it was “tucked away in a corner of the historic Stitzel-Weller rickhouses in Shively, Kentucky,” as the official Lost Prophet description notes. The tasting notes follow:
“A soft spoken whiskey, with aromas of honey, apricot and clove that reveal a silky, full-bodied taste with notes of spiced vanilla and a touch of leather, culminating in a sweet smoky finish.”
This rare, extra-aged, 90.1 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon is now available to the Michigan market in 750 mL bottles, with a minimum shelf price of $119.96. I suspect it will be hard to find, and probably even harder to find at the state minimum price. However, it may be worth the hunt as this is a one-time release, and will never be bottled again. Please leave a comment if you are lucky enough to secure a bottle!
With this being our inaugural review, and taking the growing Michigan Bourbon landscape into account, it is important for us to feature one of the many offerings from our home state! Without further ado, let’s get into it:
- Producer: The Traverse City Whiskey Co. (sourced from MGPI)
- Location: Traverse City, Michigan
- Name: Straight Bourbon XXX Whiskey
- Classification: Small Batch & Hand Crafted
- Specific Characteristics: Batch Number 006
- Age: “Four years or more”
- Proof: 86
- Michigan Minimum Shelf Price: $29.99
Smell: Sweet corn immediately dominates the nasal passages, giving way to savory spices. Rose petal aroma is present after a couple of minutes, as is only a minor alcohol scent indicating its relatively low proof. Overall, a fairly balanced yet not very complex aroma that doesn’t overpower the palate.
Taste: Like the aroma hinted at, this Bourbon is sweet first, but not overly so. Spicy flavors from the rye quickly catch up and balance the taste, with an earthy pecan-like flavor mixed in. Flavors of orange, caramel, and cinnamon are also present.
Despite not being very old or complex, this Straight Bourbon is balanced from the time the bottle is opened and moves around the mouth as one would hope for. It is noticeably sweet first on the tip of the tongue, bitter for a only a moment, and then moves to the sides of the tongue for a lingering salty and slightly sweet finish. As a seasoned Bourbon enthusiast, this is what I would expect for the market around the $30 price point. Although it wouldn’t personally be my first choice of sipping Bourbons in this price range, it is better than I expected from a relatively new brand. My wife, who is a little bit less of a Bourbon drinker, found it to be enjoyable and commented that it is “very good” and “smooth.”
Recommendation and Score
Recommendation: I would not hesitate to recommend this Bourbon for use in higher-grade cocktails, or as a sipping Bourbon for those new to drinking Bourbon.
Score: 84 out of 100 overall.