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WINTER 2021
VOLUME 5, NUMBER 4
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President
Terry Moore
Summerville, SC
tr_moore@bellsouth.net
(843) 297-6691
 
President Elect
Thomas Taylor
Summerville, SC
rebelslt@gmail.com
(540) 377-6865
 
Treasurer/Secretary
Jaime Moore
Summerville, SC
Jaime_moore@bellsouth.net
(843) 408-5419
 
Member At Large
Ron Napier
Front Royal, VA
RonNapier@hotmail.com
(540) 636-1103

 
 

¡Feliz Navidad! Joyeu Noël! Frohe Weihnachten!Buon Natale! Счастливого Рождества! Feliz Natal! Crăciun Fericit! God Jul! Glædelig Jul! Vrolijk Kerstfeest! Hyvää Joulua! Veselé Vánoce! Gleðileg Jól!


Wishing you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season; may your family prosper, be of good health and find happiness in the coming year!

Jaime and Terry Moore

HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION

The Houston Convention will be here before we know it!  We have missed gathering with our Rotary family and can't wait to see everyone we have corresponded with in the past year and meet many of you face-to-face for the first time. For many of us, the Convention is like a "family reunion" - it's so good to see old and new dear friends!

The Fellowship has two evening socials planned (they will be identical in menu and whiskey tastings on both nights). We are offering this on two dates in the hopes that you will be able to join us for one of them – the Convention is jam-packed with events both day and evening, we hope the Whiskey DRAM Social, Tasting and Dinner will be one of your “must do” items.

In January 2022, an email we be sent out to the Fellowship so that you can sign-up and pay for the event. Look for that notice come mid-January. One thing of note - the tasting selections will not be chosen until late April. This is due to supply and demand issues that restaurants and bars continue to face. The selections will be top-notch, we can assure you, as we have some very discerning palates in our clan of Whiskey drinkers!

WHISKEY DRAM FELLOWSHIP - SOCIAL, TASTING AND DINNER

WHERE:  Bosscat Kitchen, 4310 Westheimer Road, Suite 150, Houston, TX 77027 

LOCATION/TRANSPORTATION: Transportation will not be provided to the restaurant. The location is approximately 6 miles from the Convention Center. Please allow plenty of time to contend with rush hour traffic in Houston.

WEBSITE FOR THE RESTAURANT:  https://www.bosscatkitchen-houston.com/ 

DATES (Two Nights): Sunday, June 5th and Tuesday, June 7th

TIME:  6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

COST:  $125 per person plus credit card processing fee.

HOW TO REGISTER: Look for an email mid-January with the link to register and pay for the event.
 
ON THE MENU:
Bourbon Chicken Sliders
Pulled Pork Hushpuppies
Mac & Cheese (Classic) Bar
Avocado Farm Chop Salad
Pig Candy
Boss Cat Burgers
Chocolate Silk Custard
 
WHISKEY TASTINGS: To be determined in mid-April due to supply and demand issues. We will also have a whiskey expert to guide us through the process that evening.

WANT MORE:  The full bar will be available to all guests at your own expense if you wish to sample other cocktails that evening. Bosscat Kitchen has a wide-ranging selection of the finest whiskey, bourbon and scotch.

OTHER INFO:  Wheel chair accessible, no stairs.

QUESTIONS:  Contact Jaime Moore, jaime_moore@bellsouth.net

 

TOP TEN BOURBONS OF 2021 by Zack Johnston, Uproxx


Naming and ranking the 10 best bourbons of 2021 is a fun, if difficult, task. I was lucky enough to get to sample a lot of whiskeys this year and narrowing all those drams down to 10 beloved bottles proved to be a little harder than expected. That being said, if you try just a handful of these bourbons, you’ll be glad you did. I vouch for the whole list, top to bottom.
Our parameters for which bourbons made the list are simple:
  1. Did the expression land this year (either as a completely new drop or this year’s release of a classic)?
  2. Did it taste any good?
That’s all there is to it. Of course, the latter point is pretty specific to my particular palate.

One final word before we jump in, price and accessibility are not factors here. Some of these bourbons  will be easily found at stores, others only surface in Kentucky or their local regions, and some are probably already buried deep in the vaults of collectors.

We’re including them all anyway! These are the best 10 sips of bourbon I tasted in 2021, no holding back!
1. Double Eagle Very Rare
ABV: 50.5%
Average Price: $18,900
The Whiskey:
This whiskey ups the Eagle Rare game up in two ways. First, this is “double” aged, meaning that the whiskey spends 20 years mellowing in Buffalo Trace’s warehouses — or twice as long as standard Eagle Rare. That makes the barrels that go into this expression super rare. The second aspect is the decanter. The crystal decanter has two eagles, one as a stopper and one that is blown into the bottom of the bottle. It’s a striking bottle and only 199 were produced.
Tasting Notes:
The nose on this gently draws you in with mellow hints of cherry liqueur, dry cedar tobacco boxes, rich vanilla pods that feel oily, and a buttercream toffee candy that’s more sticky than brittle. The nose then leans towards a woody spice matrix of cinnamon sticks soaked in cherry syrup next to a slight note of anise that’s more absinthe green than licorice dark. On the palate, very dark cacao dust opens up your taste buds as dates soaked in floral Earl Grey create a base for a moist and very sticky toffee pudding with a small dollop of the silkiest vanilla ice cream you’ve ever had. The spices in that date-filled cake slowly rise after the sweet mid-palate veers into a soft and velvety finish that echoes with the woody spices but doesn’t carry forward the heat from them.
The very end leaves you with this dry cedar box that once held allspice berries, anise, and cinnamon but now holds a very dry leaf of cherry-choco tobacco.

Bottom Line:
A new Double Eagle Very Rare is always a special occasion. This year’s 199 bottles are going to be super tough to find. If you do, treat yourself to a pour. This is what a perfect bourbon tastes like.

2. Little Book Chapter 5: “The Invitation”

ABV: 58.4%

Average Price: $125 MSRP ($175)

The Whiskey:

The juice is a blend of four whiskeys — three straight bourbons and one straight rye. The rye is a 100 percent malted rye that’s three years old. The bourbons are two, five, and 15 years old.

Tasting Notes:

The nose opens with a Pecan Sandie vibe with a flake of salt, spiciness derived from fresh ginger juice, and dark chocolate laced with raw sugar and apple-soaked cinnamon sticks that have been ground to a fine powder. The palate builds on that cinnamon spice with a touch of nutmeg and clove that ties to a vanilla pudding-esque svelte body next to little pops of dried pecan shells, faux maple syrup, cinnamon toast with plenty of butter, more of that ginger, and a touch of subtle red fruit. The mid-palate leans creamy with light milk chocolate that leads back to the warmth with a dried red peppercorn pepperiness next to a rush of cedar boxes full of vanilla tobacco leaves with the slightest echo of menthol and dried reeds on the very deep back end.

Bottom Line:

Freddie Noe hit this one out of the park. It’s crazy-sippable neat while really going deep when you bloom it with a little water. It’s just excellent in every respect.

3. Michter’s 20-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

ABV: 57.1%

Average Price: $8,000

The Whiskey:

Master Distiller Dan McKee personally selects these 20-year-old (at least) barrels from their rickhouses based on, well, excellence. The juice is bottled as-is with no cutting with water.

Tasting Notes:

Imagine dark and sweet cherries smothered in rummy molasses with a touch of dried roses, nuts, and cedar all leading towards the soft — almost wet — tobacco leaf. That’s just the nose. The palate doesn’t veer too far from those notes but adds in a touch of burnt ends from vanilla pods with a light spice that leans more towards that tobacco than woody brown spices. The finish really embraces the cherry but more towards the stem and seed as the nuttiness leans marzipan and the tobacco takes on an ever-so-slight chewiness.

Bottom Line:

This year’s 20-year drop helped solidify the excellence of this expression. I’d also argue that this is one of those “Ah-Ha!” bourbons that’ll advance your palate and understanding of the seriously “good stuff.”

4. Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 8 Years Aged, Spring 2021

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $85 (MSRP)

The Whiskey:

This year’s spring release is a marriage of eight-year-old whiskeys produced in the spring of 2013. That distilled juice rested in barrels spread throughout three warehouses on several different floors. In spring of this year, those barrels were vatted and whiskey was proofed down to 100 (per bottled-in-bond law). Then the whiskey was filled into Old Fitzgerald’s signature decanters and sent out into the world.

Tasting Notes:

The nose draws you in with warming eggnog spice, creamy vanilla pudding, rich toffee, mild fruit, and a hint of wet cedar and very muted citrus. To say this is “smooth” would be an understatement. The silky taste dances around oven-hot pans of pecan and maple-glazed sticky buns with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg next to caramelized orange peel vibes and lightness that’s almost hard to believe. The finish is long, effervescent, and leaves you with this soft sense of having just eaten the best oatmeal raisin cookie of your life with just the right amounts of oats, spice, raisins, brown sugar, and crumble.

Bottom Line:

This is pretty much a perfect whiskey. In fact, the rest of this list is the same. So, take this being number four instead of two or one as splitting some pretty fine hairs.

5. George Dickel Bottled in Bond, Fall 2008

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $45

The Whiskey:

Nicole Austin has been killing it with these bottled-in-bond releases from George Dickel. This year’s release is a whiskey that was warehoused in the fall of 2008. 13 years later, this juice was bottled at 100 proof (as per the law) and sent out to the wide world where it received much adoration.

Tasting Note:

The nose on this one is mildly sweet with almost earthy maple syrup next to pecans from a pie with a touch of dried apple and old leather. The taste runs deep with vanilla leading the way next to a touch of apple and pecan crumble. The mid-palate takes a turn away from all of that and dives into a candied cherry that’s dusted with dark chocolate and a ground-up fruit Neco Wafer or Flintstone’s multivitamin (that’s also cherry-flavored) before the finish gets this browned butter vibe with a touch of soft, sweet oak.

Bottom Line:

This remains one of my favorite sips of the year. It stands out. It’s highly drinkable neat or with some water. It also makes a great cocktail. There’s really little more you could ask for.

6. Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Aged 15 Years

ABV: 52.5%

Average Price: $270

The Whiskey:

Barrell Craft Spirits is another craft blendery that’s sourcing some of the best barrels in the game and expertly marrying those barrels. This expression blends 15-year-old bourbon from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennesse into a final product that reaches new heights for blended bourbon.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a lot to draw you in with this nose of rich tobacco spiciness next to soft cedar, tart cherry pie filling, saffron stewed pears, salted toffee, and what almost feels like the salted water left after boiling artichokes (seriously). The fruitiness really builds as the cherry leads towards a bowl full of ripe raspberries swimming in cream with a dusting of dark spices and brown sugar that’s countered by a dose of floral tea leaves, culminating with a mildly bitter coffee bean. The end is long and really holds onto the cherry and raspberry fruit while a note of that soft cedar dips back in with a hint of menthol tobacco buzz.

Bottom Line:

This is unique and just … interesting. It’s one of those pours that sticks with you. You think about it. You go back to it. You find new things every time you taste it. This is a gem.

7. Heaven’s Door Redbreast Master Blender’s Edition

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $115

The Whiskey:

This whiskey is a collaboration between Heaven’s Door Master Blender Ryan Perry and Redbreast’s legendary Master Blender Billy Leighton. The duo worked long and hard to create multiple whiskey expressions, which Bob Dylan taste-tested and granted final approval on.

The juice in the bottle is Heaven Door’s low-rye ten-year-old Tennessee bourbon. They take that whiskey and fill it into Redbreast whiskey casks that had previously aged Irish whiskey for 12 years. After 15 months of final maturation, those barrels are vatted and slightly proofed down with soft Tennessee spring water.

Tasting Notes:

This opens with this medley of marzipan, soft leather, prunes and dates, Gala apples, a hint of cedar, and a whisper of ripe red cherry. There’s this body of nutmeg that leads towards a light vanilla pound cake full of candied and dried fruits with a soft Niederegger marzipan center. That then draws towards subtle pops of orange oils, floral honey, walnuts in buttery brown sugar syrup, and this mild touch of spiced apple tobacco leaf. The end lasts for just the right amount of time and leaves you with a walnut shell dryness, soft warmth, and slight tobacco chew buzz that all circles back towards a raisin sherry sweetness and a final morsel of that vanilla pound cake.

Bottom Line:

I also thought this would end up my favorite bourbon of the year since it marries Kentucky and Ireland. But what can I say? It was a great year for bourbon releases and this simply ended up among the top tier.

8. Woodinville PX Sherry Cask Straight Bourbon Whiskey

ABV: 47.5%

Average Price: $70

The Whiskey:

This whiskey takes Woodinville’s signature (and much-lauded) five-year-old straight bourbon and gives it a new finishing touch. The juice is finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks, making a sort of sibling to our favorite bourbon of 2020, the Port Cask Finish. But while there are similarities between the two, this feels like a step up in many small, tough to define ways.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is a bouquet of dark spices next to dried orange rinds, soft Christmas cake, and a slight floral underpinning that’s more “damp” than “dried out.” The taste embraces the holiday spice matrix with a creamy veneer of dark chocolate oranges, eggnog spice, and a velvety mouthfeel with a hint of orchard fruit and toffee drizzle. The finish is long but doesn’t overstay its welcome. There’s a sense of the woody spices that’s more akin to cinnamon sticks once stirred in hot apple cider, leaving you with a dry note of spicy tobacco.

Bottom Line:

This could have been this year’s Port Cask finish, which was my personal favorite from last year. But this really took the bourbon from Washington up another notch with this finishing. If you’re out in Washington, give this bottle a try.

9. Remus Repeal Reserve Series V Straight Bourbon

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $94

The Whiskey:

This year’s Remus Repeal Reserve V is a hell of a whiskey. The MGP of Indiana (now Ross & Squibb) signature bourbon is comprised of nine percent 2005 bourbon with a 21 percent high-rye mash, five percent 2006 bourbon with a very high-rye mash of 36 percent of the sticky grain, 19 percent 2006 bourbon with the same 21 percent high-rye mash, 13 percent 2008 bourbon with that 21 percent rye mash, and 54 percent 2008 bourbon with the 36 percent high-rye mash.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this is brilliantly fruity with touches of fresh raspberries, strawberries resting in dry straw, candied cherries, freshly peeled mandarins, apple cores and stems, and a touch of caramel malts. That caramel sweetness merges into a fresh honeycomb next to Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda vanilla flavor and pep while the fruit dries out, leaving you with meaty dried figs, dates, and prunes driving the midpalate toward the finish. A touch of candied ginger spices things up as a fruity but dry tobacco leaf rounds out the end with the faintest touch of walnut shells.

Bottom Line:             

There was a minute there where this might have been number one. It’s really that good. Grab a bottle and try for yourself.

10. BTAC 2021 Eagle Rare 17

ABV: 50.5%

Average Price: $1,390

The Whiskey:

This whiskey was produced in the spring of 2003. Since then, it lost 73 percent of its volume to the angels as it rested in warehouses C, K, M, and Q on various floors. The barrels were then vatted, proofed down, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

The nose has this matrix of dark holiday spices that layer into a Black Forest cake with the finest stewed cherries, the moistest chocolate sponge cake, and the richest cream with a touch of vanilla and dark chocolate shavings and a whisper of pink finishing salt. The palate really leans into the cherry with a bright but saucy vibe that’s spiked with nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon (and maybe a hint of ground ginger) while little firecrackers full of salted black licorice, dry cedar bark, and Cherry Coke fill in the background. The finish takes its time as the mid-palate cherry sweetness slowly dissolves into an old wooden garden box full of fresh dark potting soil bursting with fresh mint and spicy nasturtiums.

Bottom Line:

This might have been my favorite Eagle Rare in a while had it not been for another Eagle drop that happened. That aside, this is just delicious goddamn whiskey. It’s beloved for a reason and this year’s BTAC release was a great reminder of the brand’s prowess among the greats of bourbon.

CHRISTMAS IS EGGNOG TIME

But first, what is eggnog?!
Eggnog is the type of drink that people either love or really, really hate. It's rich, creamy, and, well, egg-y. We fall into the camp of people who love it (like, really, really love it). Here's how to make perfect eggnog every time. It's historically known as milk punch (admittedly, not the best name). Eggnog is a mixture of beaten egg yolks, cream, and, often, whiskey or rum to make it boozy. It's served chilled.

Do you cook the eggs?!
Well, not exactly. You definitely don't eat the eggs raw! You temper them. Tempering eggs means you slowly add hot liquid to them to raise their temperature to avoid the risk of scrambling them. For this recipe, you warm up a mixture of milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then slowly add that mixture to whisked egg yolks until it's completely combined. If you whisk in the yolks right into the saucepan, you'll likely end up with some egg curds.

How do you know when it's ready?
Once you temper the egg yolk-milk mixture, you return it to the stove and cook over medium heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you have a candy thermometer, it should reach 160º.

What's the best alcohol to use for eggnog?
Whiskey or rum. Both taste delicious, so it really doesn't matter which you use. Rum tends to taste a little sweeter, so we typically reach for whiskey.

Do you have to use alcohol?
Absolutely not! Eggnog is delicious when served sans alcohol. If you want boozy eggnog, stir in whiskey or rum. No need for the fancy top-shelf stuff here, a good mid-range liquor do the trick. (Avoid the really cheap stuff, though. The sharp, harsh flavor will cut through all that luscious creaminess.)

How do you store it?
If you're serving it that day, you can place in a pitcher in an ice bucket to keep it chilled. When stored properly in an airtight container in the fridge, this eggnog can last up to 4 days in the fridge!

WHISKEY GLAZED CARROTS

INGREDIENTS

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter

2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 

3/4 cup whiskey, such as Jack Daniel's

3/4 cup packed brown sugar 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 sprigs fresh thyme

DIRECTIONS
  1. Melt 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of the butter in a large skillet (with a lid) over high heat. Add half the carrots and stir them around to brown them quickly, about 1 minute. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining carrots.
  2. Pour the whiskey into the skillet, taking care if you're cooking over an open flame. Let the whiskey bubble up and cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, add the other 1/2 stick of butter and stir it around until it's melted. Stir in the brown sugar and some salt and pepper. Add the leaves from 1 of the sprigs of thyme, then add the carrots. Reduce the heat to low, place the lid on the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Serve garnished with the remaining thyme sprig.

STARTING A CHAPTER


As interest in the Whiskey DRAM Fellowship grows, members have contacted us about starting their own Chapter.  We hope you find this information to be helpful. And, as always, feel free to email the Fellowship with any questions.
 
The Whiskey DRAM Fellowship, sanctioned by Rotary International, is the governing body over all Chapters. Anyone that wishes to join a Chapter must first join the Fellowship and submit dues as follows: $35 Annually, $100 for a Lifetime Member, $125 for a Lifetime Member plus Spouse/Partner.
This entitles the member of the Fellowship to a Whiskey DRAM lapel pin, the quarterly newsletter, invitations to events and socials, opportunities to net(work) at the Whiskey DRAM House of Fellowship at the annual Rotary International Convention, an invitation to our Board Meeting, and an invitation to off-site events/socials held in conjunction with the Rotary International Convention.

Below is the list of suggestions and to-do's to successfully start a Chapter:
1. Notify the Whiskey DRAM President of your intentions.

2. Decide on an appropriate name for the local Chapter, typically covering one Rotary District.

3. Contact all the known Whiskey DRAM members in your designated area. This list can be obtained from the Whiskey DRAM Secretary - Jaime Moore can be reached at jaime_moore@bellsouth.net.

4. Hold a whiskey event, perhaps a tasting or dinner paired with whiskies. (It has been our experience that there are many restaurants willing to help you with such an endeavor.) Invite all the Whiskey DRAM members and every whiskey loving Rotarian you can contact from all the Clubs in your area to attend. Have an interesting format or program that will appeal to most of the attendees. Have fun with this!

5. Ask all the attendees to become members of the Whiskey DRAM Fellowship and at the same time, the local Chapter. Local Chapters can charge their own dues but from polling other Rotary Fellowships, Chapters typically do not assess an additional fee. However, any event held by the local Chapter are paid by the attendees directly to the Chapter. NOTE: All local Chapter members must be Whiskey DRAM members.

6. Encourage prospective members to become a Lifetime Member ($100 USD) or Lifetime Member plus spouse/partner ($125 USD). As a Lifetime Member, there is no annual billing, which means less administrative work and more commitment from the new member.

7. Plan at least four whiskey events during the Rotary year and promote the event to ensure good attendance and to sign up more members. Local events can be publicized in the Whiskey DRAM newsletter and on the Whiskey DRAM website. Use our Facebook Page to advertise your event; we encourage postings and photographs! You should also advertise in your District's newsletter and calendar of events. Send before and after event information to Terry Moore at tr_moore@bellsouth.net.

8. Arrange to have one or more whiskey event fund raisers so you can do a Rotary service project.

9. Name a charity of choice. Consider donating your Chapter's excess funds at the end of the fiscal year to a Rotary cause. For example, Whiskey DRAM's charity of choice is Rotary International sanctioned clean water initiatives.

10. Have a booth at all Club and District functions advertising Whiskey DRAM and your local Chapter.

11. Inform your District Fellowships Chairperson about Whiskey DRAM and your local Chapter members and ask for help in promoting the Fellowship.

12. Inform the District Governor about Whiskey DRAM and your local Chapter and ask for his/her help in promoting the Fellowship.Suggest offering a whiskey reception at the District Conference hosted by the local Whiskey DRAM Chapter.

13. When you have a decent number of members in your Chapter, hold an election of officers, elect a Board of Directors and adopt a set of By-Laws patterned after the Rotary Fellowship Standard By-Laws (recommended). The Whiskey DRAM By-Laws are on our website and are an excellent guideline.

14. Include a provision in your By-Laws to indemnify (hold harmless) the Whiskey DRAM Fellowship (Drinking Rotarians And Members) and Rotary International for the actions of the Chapter. Do a risk analysis of your Chapter's liability and obtain event insurance coverage, etc. as needed.

15. If you plan to collect money to fund your Chapter's activities (socials/events), you will need to set up a bank account once you have procured the proper tax identification number (if necessary). It is recommended that two Board Members be listed on the bank account.

16. Encourage your members to attend the Rotary International Conventions and participate in Whiskey DRAM activities and events.
 

SHARE YOUR WHISKEY ADVENTURES WITH US

This is YOUR newsletter!  The COCKTAIL TIME, WHAT ARE WE SIPPIN' and RECIPE sections are included for you to share your whiskey adventures.  Members are encouraged to contribute to the newsletter by sending us tasting notes, mixology, food pairings, fellowship photos, as well as recipes using selected whiskeys.  Please send these to jaime_moore@bellsouth.net.

Terry and Jaime Moore

HOW TO REACH US:
Rotary Whiskey DRAM Fellowship
c/o Terry & Jaime Moore
230 Marion Avenue
Summerville, SC 29483
USA
 
Website:  www.whiskeydram.org
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/WhiskeyDrinkingRotarians
Twitter: @WhiskeyDRAM
Email:  RotaryWhiskeyFellowship@gmail.com
 
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