October 2018: Anejo Tequila Aged in Bourbon Barrels

Bourbon Barrel Aged Anejo Tequila

Anejo Tequila

First, basic definition: Tequila distilled from Blue Agave plant primarily in the region of Tequila, Mexico. Tequila is a type of Mezcal (and the regions of production of the two drinks are overlapping). The distinction is that tequila must use only blue agave plants rather than any type of agave.

There are 4 basic categories of Tequila:

Blanco Tequila (aged less than 2 months)

Reposado Tequila (aged between 2 months and 1 year)

Anejo Tequila (aged between 1 and 3 years)

Extra Anejo Tequila (first established in 2006 and is aged greater than 3 years and usually rested for a second time in either Sherry or Wine casks)

Anejo Tequila is typically aged in American White Oak or French Oak barrels. Commonly, the distilleries  use Bourbon or Scotch barrels for aging Reposado and Anejo. However, Scotch is far less common due to the obvious difference in shipping expense between the two spirits. By far the most common Bourbon barrels originate from either Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s. And most will not specify which distillery cask is being used.

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September 2018: Blind Tasting of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrels

Our September 2018 tasting event was a blind tasting of Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel, hosted by Jay Cary.

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel

Smooth Ambler is a West Virginia company that was started in 2009.  Before it began distilling, aging, and selling its own products, Smooth Ambler made its first splash in the whiskey industry through its Old Scout Single Barrel line, which sources bourbon from other distilleries.

The Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel bourbons that we sampled are all sourced from MGP in Indiana. Each bottle is at least 8 years old and distilled from a high-rye mash of 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley.

Unbeknownst to the group at the time of our tasting, all five bottles at our tasting event were Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel bourbons. The age and proof slightly differed between each bottle, but each also had its own distinct flavor characteristics.

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August 2018: North American Rye Whiskey and Cigar Pairing

rye whiskey

Rye Whiskey has become a distinctly North American product. America’s neighbors to the north appreciate the unique characteristics of the rye grain. And, despite what some hockey fans might tell you, Canadian and American can play nicely together. At least when it comes to whiskey.

All of the whiskey we will be sampling is rye whiskey. Some of it from Canada, some of it from the United States, some of it a combination of the two, and some finished in European casks.

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July 2018: Cask Strength Sherry Cask Scotch

This month’s tasting features five whiskys from the Speyside and Highlands areas of Scotland.  Each of these Scotches is matured exclusively in sherry casks and then bottled at cask strength.

Let’s begin with some discussion of Speyside.  Speyside is the north-east most region of the Scotch regions.  It is home to the most dense concentration of Scotch distilleries.  Speyside Scotch characteristically (highly simplified and subject to exception) are not overly peaty, but instead often fruity and nutty.

Scotch regions

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June 2017: Cachaça (part III)

This is the third time that Flight Club has featured Cachaça. First, we tasted a variety of bottles purchased from the US. Last year, we introduced aged versus unaged Cachaça, with bottles sourced from Brazil. This year, we are taking a trip to the state of Minas Gerais, known for producing top-quality Cachaça.


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