Categories
Drink Explore The Connected Table SIPS

The Story Behind the Name: Four Roses Bourbon

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for roses.

My maternal grandmother’s name was Rose. My maternal grandfather created a rose garden in his back yard in tribute to my grandmother. I used to love to wander the garden and smell the different roses.

My late father would bring my mother a single rose every Friday during their 52-year marriage. The day of his funeral, a Friday, David Ransom presented my mother a single rose at the memorial service to continue the tradition. 

My mother always has a vase of fresh roses in my bedroom when I visit her in Tennessee. Roses are a symbol of love and, for me personally, for family and for heritage.

A bouquet of red roses welcomed me to Kentucky at the 21C Museum Hotel in Lexington. Details make the difference!

So, naturally I was intrigued by the story behind Four Roses Bourbon, which recently celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2018 by sending us a baby rose-bush to plant. Coincidentally, our garden had just three blooming rose bushes. Now, it has four rose bushes.  I welcomed an invitation to visit last December. It was my first visit to a Kentucky Bourbon distillery. 

The legend of Four Roses Bourbon (est. 1888) started when its Founder, Paul Jones, a Louisville businessman, became smitten with a Southern belle  named Mary, whom he courted for a number of years.  Jones asked Mary to respond to his “final” marriage proposal (after a few asks) by wearing a corsage of four red roses to a cotillion dance.  This time she accepted and entered the ballroom wearing the corsage.

There are a few versions to this story depending on who tells it. But, if you visit Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, you may be lucky enough to meet Al Young, the brand’s official historian (a.k.a. Senior Brand Ambassador), who will share a few anecdotes and who has a sharp memory.  Young  has worked with the distillery for 51 years and wrote a book called “Four Roses- The Return of a Whiskey Legend.”

A medicinal bottle of Four Roses Whiskey on display in the distillery’s mini museum.

The word “return” is important because for a long time, Four Roses did not produce its Bourbon. One reason was Prohibition which lasted from 1920 to 1933. During that time whiskey was only approved and made for medicinal use. After Prohibition (Repeal) distilleries had to invest heavily to start over. Making Bourbon, is time intensive. In 1943, the company was acquired by Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc., which reorganized it and decided to focus on making whiskies only for the export market. Then, the brand was acquired for a time by a consortium established between Pernod Ricard and Diageo. In 2002, Japan’s Kirin Holdings acquired Four Roses and reintroduced its flagship Kentucky Bourbons starting with its single barrel in 2004 and a small batch in 2006. 

Our tasting led by Master Distiller Brent Elliott

During a distillery visit last December Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott guided us through a tasting and explained the process to which utilizes two mash bills and five propriety yeast strains to make ten distinct recipes used in the blending. It was a lesson in chemistry as he showed how the different proprietary yeasts are coded and then blended (V-delicate fruit, K=light spice, O=rich fruit, Q=floral essence, F=herbal).

Workers on the Four Roses Bourbon bottling line applying labels by hand.

We had the chance to visit both the distillery in Lawrenceburg and the bottling facility on Cox’s Creek to experience production from start to finish.  We were intrigued by the bottling line with staffers applying labels and bottle tags by hand, each bottle carefully inspected. Talk about hand-crafted!

Four Roses has three signature Bourbons. All were smooth, mellow and delicate on the palate.

Four Roses Single Barrel has notes of vanilla, maple, pear and spice with a long finish (100 proof/50% ABV)

Four Roses Small Batch is creamier  and rich with more caramel and berry notes. (90 proof/45% ABV)

Four Roses Bourbon balances vibrant fruit and spice. (80 proof/40% ABV) 

We also tasted a special blend 130th Anniversary Four Roses. This limited edition Bourbon was lightly floral and a tad sweeter in a very satisfying – please, give me some more!- way. Then, Elliott took us into his laboratory where we had the rare chance to taste of few other proprietary blends. Swoon!

The distillery was decorated for Christmas when we visited in early December.

Four Roses conducts guided tours at the Lawrenceburg distillery, which is a beautiful Spanish mission-style building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On site are a small Four Roses museum and gift shop. Info: www.FourRosesBourbon.com

Al Young in Four Roses Bourbon’s mini museum at the Lawrenceburg distillery.

Four Roses Bourbon Senior Ambassador Al Young discusses the history of Four Roses Bourbon on The Connected Table SIPS on iHeart. Click the photo below to listed or this link

 

A special thank you to Four Roses Bourbon for hosting this trip and to The Baddish Group for including Melanie, a dedicated Bourbon drinker and rose lover.

Tasting Master Distiller Brent Elliott’s special Bourbons in his lab.
Categories
Drink

We Raise a Glass to Dave Pickerell. RIP

We were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Master Distiller Dave Pickerell on November 1. A West Point graduate, Dave was one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the spirits industry and an ardent voice for American Whiskey.

Dave was the master distiller at Maker’s Mark for 14 years before leaving in 2008 to become a sought-after consultant. Following his tenure at Marker’s Mark, Dave helped launch Whistle Pig in Vermont and consulted for other brands including Hillrock in upstate New York and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery in Virginia. Dave was touring to promote Blackened, a whiskey he made in collaboration with the band Metallica. The band posted this message on the Blackened website:

Thank you for sharing your optimism, your passion, and your joy with us. You’ve left a mark on the world, and it’s a better place for it. It’s been an honor to have shared the journey with you. Rest in peace Dave.

Dave was a beloved and familiar figure throughout the beverage alcohol industry, always wearing his signature Stetson hat and always ready to share a story, a drink or a few laughs. “Larger than life” was how many have described Dave. He lived well and radiated passion and pride for his work and for the industry.  We just wish it had been a longer life. We raise a glass to you, Dave!

Read David Ransom’s profile on Dave Pickerell at Inside F&B here.
Or click below

 

Listen to our show with Dave here:

 

Categories
Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Hog Wild for Iowa Whiskey- The Connected Table LIVE Oct 5

Cornfields, hogs, Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, “Bridges Over Madison County,” John Wayne and a political “straw poll.” That’s what we knew about the state of Iowa besides its gigantic State Fair which we hope to attend one day, even just for the pie eating. It’s the #1 hog producer and the nation’s third most productive agricultural state after California and Texas. David, who’s driven through Iowa, says it’s endless rows of cornfields.

cornfields
Iowa is also home to Cedar Ridge, the state’s first and largest whiskey producing distillery. Located in Swisher in the heart of corn country on the Eastern side of the state, Cedar Ridge is run by Jeff Quint, ninth generation family member of the Quint family farmers and distillers. Jeff’s great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Johann Jakob Quint, settled in Wintrich, Germany in the early 1700s to open a cooperage and winery on the Mosel River. His great grandfather, John Quint, emigrated to the U.S.A, and settled in Eastern Iowa in 1881, bringing his trade and skills with him. Jeff’s father, Howard, taught him how to press apples into wine and brandy.

Jeff Quint is a ninth generation farmer and fermenter.
Jeff Quint is a ninth generation farmer and fermenter.

In 2003 after a career in accounting and finance, Jeff and wife Laurie, his high school sweetheart, founded Cedar Ridge. Cedar Ridge was the first state licensed distillery to open in Iowa since Prohibition. Production now averages four barrels of whiskey per day and has provided a nice boost to the local economy.

Tasting through the whiskies made by Cedar Ridge. Smooth as corn silk!
Tasting through the whiskies made by Cedar Ridge. Smooth as corn silk!

We met Jeff Quint at Tales of the Cocktail this past summer and tasted through his portfolio which includes an Iowa Bourbon Whiskey, a Single Malt Whiskey, a Malted Rye Whiskey and a Wheat Whiskey. Jeff joined us October 5 to share his family’s story, cialis et hypertension the spirits of Cedar Ridge and what he loves about Iowa. Listen lto this show anytime on iHeart.com and the free iheart App. Link.

Or click here:

 

 

Categories
Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Ashby Marshall Goes Grain to Glass At Spirit Works Distillery

Though the profession of wine making has had a fairly large contingent of women at the helm for decades, the spirits making game has long been male dominated, and it’s only recently that women have started turn their eye towards running a still. And, while we may be able to only count female distillers on a hand or two, the list is growing, with more women jumping in the distillation game than ever before.

Ashby Marshall in Distillery
Ashby Marshall

Ashby Marshall, distiller and co-owner of Sonoma County California’s Spirit Works Distillery is one of them, and she’s making some wonderful and unique products in her Sebastopol distillery. Not least, is a Sloe Gin, one of only a few made in the U.S. (or world, for that matter), and a testament to a longtime heritage on her husband’s side of family time spent gathering Sloe berries in coastal England to make their own version.

Ashby and Timo Marshal with Bandit
Ashby and Timo Marshal with Bandit

Of course that’s not all she makes, Ashby’s growing list of products includes a Vodka, two other Gin interpretations, (including a barrel-aged), and two Straight Whiskies: a Rye and Wheat. In keeping with Ashby’s and husband Timo’s ideals (they were both in environmental non-profit work when they met), The Spirit Works utilizes a Grain–to-Glass policy, using only California-grown organic Red Winter Wheat to make their spirits, and control everything – milling, fermenting, distilling, and bottling – at their facility. A rarity these days among the ever growing segment of “craft” spirits brands, so many of which are custom-labeled or finished, but initially come from industrial-sized custom spirits-making facilities.

ALL THE BOTTLES ON A BENCH

Ashby Marshall joins us Wednesday March 23, 2pmET on The Connected Table LIVE!  We can’t wait to talk to her about her wonderful spirits and her vision, and hopefully her take on the future of women in distilling. Tune in live www.W4CY.com. LIsten anytime on iHeart.com and the iHeart App.

Connect

Instagram: @Spiritworksdistillery 

FB @Spiritworksdistillery 

Twitter: @spiritworks

Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple

 

Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple who connected you to the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.  www.theconnectedtable.com

Categories
Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Talking Irish Whiskey with Stephen Teeling, The Connected Table LIVE! – April 15

With a history of making spirits that dates back to the 1700’s, Stephen Teeling’s family has probably done more to shape the concept of what we call Irish Whiskey than any other family in Ireland. Now the Teeling family is about to open Dublin’s first new distillery in over 125 years, bringing the legacy of his family’s long relationship with his country’s spirit of choice full circle.

Stephen Teeling
Stephen Teeling

Located in Newmarket, an area of Dublin long associated with brewing and distilling, the new Teeling Distillery features three copper pot stills, reviving a format for distilling based on the old “Dublin style” of making whiskies. Stephen, along with his brother Jack, will oversee the new operation which will focus producing small batch whiskies in 3-4 different interpretations.

Connect:

www.teelingwhiskey.com

http://twitter.com/teelingwhiskey

Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!

The Connected Table LIVE! will interview Stephen on Wednesday April 15th, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. ET on W4CY. Listen to the podcast anytime on demand for free at iHeart.com. Here’s the direct link:

http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live

 

Categories
Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Meet Two Spirited Women on The Connected Table Live Oct 15

Melanie and David talk with two spirited women on Wednesday’s edition of The Connected Table LIVE Wednesday, October 15th, 2pm ET/6pmPT W4CY www.W4CY.com.

Lizzie da Trindade Macchu Pisco
Lizzie da Trindade
Macchu Pisco

Our first guest is Lizzie da Trindade-Asher, President of Macchu Pisco, who with her sister, Melanie, have helped share Peru’s national drink with the world. A lawyer by training Lizzie directs the legal, marketing, and importing side of Macchu Pisco and its sister brands, La Diablada and Ñusta Pisco. Melanie oversees production in Peru. Together, Lizzie and Melanie have achieved 30 percent growth annually since founding the company in 2004. “Every day, I am inspired by my sister’s dedication to creating authentic pisco,” says Lizzie, who graduated magna cum laude from Duke University, worked for the 1992 presidential campaign for Bill Clinton, and earned a degree with honors from Harvard Law School.

Their pisco is an un-aged 80 proof clear spirit derived from a single distillation of fresh fermented grape juice (wine). It takes at least 4 bottles of wine to produce one bottle of pisco. It is from this costly process that an elegant spirit is born, one which most closely captures the essence of the grape. According to Lizzie, pisco is traditionally a sipping spirit. Because denomination rules require no additives whatsoever, pisco can be considered organic and thus should not produce a hangover, the mark of a real pisco.

Lizzie and her sister are active in supporting and improving Peruvian working conditions and women’s rights, as well as Latinas in business and education both in Peru and the U.S. Macchu Pisco established a precedent in Peru to support traditionally underpaid farmers by paying fair wages to the women who harvest their grape crops. They also ensure their socioeconomic goals are met from ground to glass by employing a vertical integration model—the only pisco company to hold such credentials—owning and overseeing each step of the production process. They also formed the Asher-Ezra Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to underprivileged Latino children in the Bronx.

Connect: http://www.macchupisco.com

https://www.facebook.com/macchupiscodrinks

https://twitter.com/MacchuPisco https://twitter.com/MadAboutPisco

Allison Patel Brenne Whiskey
Allison Patel
Brenne Whiskey
Our second guest is Allison Patel, founder and owner of Brenne Single Malt Whisky produced in Cognac region of France. Allison’s professional background combines arts and smarts. As a young girl she was a professional ballerina performing with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City. After retiring from the corps de ballet she worked in national sales and marketing for EXHALE Spa, setting and exceeding sales goals.

Her move from the ballet barre world to the cocktail bar world is just another sign of her entrepreneurial spirit. Traveling in France pursuing her passion for good food and drink and blogging about whiskey for pleasure at www.whiskeywoman.com, she discovered a single malt whiskey being produced from grapes in the Cognac region of France. Fond of fine whiskeys from lesser known areas, Alison’s interest was piqued. She researched the potential to import smaller production “world whiskies” to the U.S. eventually establishing an import/export company to focus on this category of distilled spirits.

Brenne (rhymes with men) is produced by a third generation cognac producer who was growing estate barley as well as grapes. The cognac was matured in French Limousin oak barrels imparting a smooth taste and fruit forward notes that captured Allison’s attention. Her talent for persuasion and sales helped Allison strike a deal with the producer who had only producing this special cognac whiskey for the family. Over a three and a half year period she refined the process with the producer finishing the spirit in XO cognac barrels after five – six years aging in the Limousin oak ones. The result is smooth, aromatic, spicy yet mellow and unlike any other whiskey we’ve tasted.

Allison was named one of the Top 10 Women in Whisky by Drinks Business Magazine and awarded Highly Commended in the Icon of Whisky award for Brand Innovator of the Year for 2014.

Connect:

www.DrinkBrenne.com

https://www.facebook.com/BrenneWhisky

The Connected Table Live airs live Wednesdays at 2 p.m. ET/11a.m. PT on W4CY Radio http://www.W4CY.com. The show is available on demand at www.iHeartRadio.com and everywhere the iHeartRadio app is available under the Shows & Personalities section.

Link to show: http://w4cy.com/radio-shows/the-connected-table/
Bookings and advertising inquiries: info@www.theconnectedtable.com