We at RT are big fans of anything Tiffany Reisz writes, so we’ve been anxiously awaiting her latest, the RT Top Pick! The Bourbon Thief. Out June 28, the saga centers around a vintage bottle of bourbon. We figured the author must’ve done some research on the alcohol, and we wanted to know it all! Take it away, Tiffany.
In Kentucky, the bourbon barrels literally outnumber human beings. What makes this beverage so special? For starters, it’s native to Kentucky and so popular that in 1964, Congress declared it “America’s Native Spirit.”
While researching my new Southern Gothic novel The Bourbon Thief, I tried several different bourbons. What was the best? Hard to say as bourbon is hard liquor, and the lowest proof of any of the straight bourbons I tried was 100 and the highest was 125—higher than moonshine. But while the straight bourbons didn’t do much for me but clear out my sinuses, here are a few favorite bourbon products I found on Kentucky’s famed Bourbon Trail.
Maker’s Mark is the classic Kentucky bourbon with the famous red wax seal. Want to drink a bourbon sour and the bartender asks what bourbon you want? You can’t go wrong with Maker’s Mark. Unlike most other distilleries, Maker’s Mark rotates their barrels during aging so that the final product ends up with a uniform taste. And since you’re mixing it in a cocktail, you don’t need the priciest bourbon.
When visiting Iowa, my in-laws, my husband I and always have to take Kentucky Bourbon Barrel ale to my brother-in-law. A product of the Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., this beer is aged in used bourbon barrels so the bourbon trapped into the oak seeps into the ale and gives the beer a good hard kick.
My personal favorite bourbon product I encountered on my trips was Buffalo Trace’s Bourbon Cream Liqueur. It’s like melted bourbon-flavored ice cream that is also full of bourbon and magic. I died and went to bourbon heaven after my first sip. It’s fantastic in coffee as well. Also, I have to say Buffalo Trace is my favorite because they sent me a birthday card. Now that’s my kind of distillery.
And if you do want to try a straight bourbon (or bourbon neat), order a Blanton’s single barrel, and the bartender will think you actually know what you’re doing.
Remember, folks, drink responsibly and read irresponsibly.