Sour Mash Manifesto

Bourbon and American Whiskey

Revving Up!

I hope this summer finds all of you and yours doing well. If you are anything like me, with 3 active girls (10, 7, and 5 years old), your summer has probably been filled with activity. The frenetic pace over the last 6-8 weeks is finally starting to calm down a bit, and as a result I’ve got a number of things brewing for the site over the next month.

As I type I’m sipping the latest E. H. Taylor Barrel Strength offering from Buffalo Trace, and completing a review of course as well. Stay tuned for the full scoop on this one soon. Also on the roster for August are reviews of Evan Williams Single Barrel 2002, Bowman Brothers Pioneer Spirit Small Batch Bourbon (from A. Smith Bowman Distillery), a micro bourbon from Iowa called Cedar Ridge, and a value offering from Evan Williams, (“White” Label Bottled in Bond).

In addition to reviews I’ll be providing my take on the whole “adding water to whiskey” discussion that’s been going around even more than usual lately. Also, a great friend and the man behind the Owensboro (KY) Bourbon Society, Vince Carida, has put together some awesome information for starting whiskey clubs and societies. This is very important for whiskey’s growth in my opinion. I love being on my own with a great bottle of whiskey, but like many things – whiskey tastes even better with good company. A whiskey club/society is a way for people with like interests to to get together and share one of life’s best (and most affordable) luxuries. I get asked an awful lot about the best approach for starting such clubs, and Vince is way more qualified than I am to talk about it. Thanks Vince for your contribution!

Finally, I’m really looking forward to cranking out a multi-part series on how to expand and “train” your palate for better whiskey appreciation. We’ll start with proper glassware, how to execute an effective tasting session, how to select the right whiskeys for conducting tastings, and most critically how to begin to develop your individual palate. Some would have you believe that being able to pick apart a whiskey for aroma and flavor is something reserved for experts. I’m here to tell you that with a little discipline, knowledge, and of course practice, you’ll soon find you have all the ability you need to understand why you like certain whiskeys over others. It’s going to be fun.

Thanks again for all the comments on the site this last month. We’ll get things cranking beginning this week. Until then, sip something great!

Drink your whiskey!



  1. Jason, sounds like you’ve been busy getting some great things together for the site. Will be looking forward to it as always! Hope it’s been a great summer for your family. I will sip a glass of T. Handy (Gingerbread Dynamite) in your honor tonight. Cheers!

    P.S. Finally got over to Chuck Cowdery’s blog. What a wonderful curmudgeon and vast warehouse of whiskey knowledge that gentleman is! Great stuff.

  2. Looking forward to the whiskey club/society information. The Owensboro Bourbon Society looks like a lot of fun. An active group like that in Nashville would be great. If you know of anyone seriously considering it, please let me know. I would be willing to assist with website, newsletter and other graphic design needs. I have actually thought about it myself, but have no idea where to begin.

  3. Why not an online SourMash club via Google+ ?

  4. Really look forward to the tasting conference. I think we can all learn from your palate. Enjoy your summer and your family.

  5. Looking forward to the info about adding water. I’ve got a GTS, but at 71.5%, I’ll need a little help. Also, about the starting a club, looking forward to that. I have friends that are in a gentlemen’s scotch club in Charleston, SC. I’d love to have something similar to what they have. They have guest speakers, each member brings a protein to grill. and the best part (my wife does not like), no married women in the house and only single women may pour the scotch. Cheers.

  6. Good to have you back in the saddle Jason! Looking forward to all you have on tap.

  7. Jason, sounds like a good plan. Are you going to review Jeffersons Pres. Select 18 yrs. in the near future? Like the idea of a Bourbon/Whiskey club.

  8. iskch1 – I picked up a bottle of the 17 the other day. Will grab the 18 as well and do a side by side.

  9. Matthew – sounds like a good idea. I need another me!!!!

  10. Hi Jason. I really enjoy reading your thoughts. On August 4, you stated that you would create a multi part series on expanding and training your palate for better whiskey appreciation. I am really interested to read these articles. Do you still have plans to post these articles to your website? Thanks.

  11. DPPSmoker – sorry for the delay. They are coming for sure!

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