Category Archives: blogs

Three Different Whiskey Drinkers

While on a recent flight at 30k feet, three random whiskey drinkers ordered three separate whiskey’s beverages from our flight attendant who was so eager to sling out a few drinks.   Each of these travelers have never met outside of the chance flight but since we all ordered a type of whiskey, we found it funny and a good time to start chatting..  Let me be honest, when I am on a flight I usually have my head phones on with some variety of music but got caught into this conversation.

I ordered a double gentleman jack, the gentleman next to me ordered a double beam and coke and the third gentleman ordered a makers mark with club soda.   So right there, you have some variety when it comes to the drinking because one was drinking pretty much straight up and the other two were mixing their whiskey selection with either leaded or unleaded soda.

The two gentleman who ordered their mixed drink asked me why I ordered my beverage on the rocks vs mixing it with some general beverage?   Of course, I had to say I have a whiskey podcast and I believe it is a sin to mix your whiskey.   Which I wish I really had said that but inside it came out as you don’t mix your whiskey and slapped them both across the face.   ALRIGHT, I said I have found it is better to not mix my whiskey because I want to the pure alcohol versus a diluted flavor..  Crap!!  I said nothing but smiled and said what?  I didn’t hear you..

Well the two other gentleman claimed to be whiskey drinkers for a great many of years.   Each of them were in their mid-30’s so I could relate to their time on the whiskey train.   However one of the guys made a odd comment when it came to his drinking habit.   He said, he loves the taste of whiskey with club soda but hates the taste of whiskey without it?    The guy next to me nodded like it made sense..  I was confused..   I said, you like the taste of mixed whiskey but you don’t like whiskey?   Which I couldn’t stop by myself by saying you must have loved Zima with a jolly rancher?    That makes zero sense to me.. How can you love something but not like it unless something else is there to make it better?   Well if you put it like that it makes sense.   Makes as much sense as humping a cactus in the middle of desert.   But to each, their own..  Right?

The second gentleman in this discussion had the middle seat and was pretty much watching a tennis match of comments going back and forth and laughing like he was in pain.   The only comment he could make, he likes Diet Coke with some action fuel in it.   Now, I had to laugh at that one because I never heard whiskey being called action fuel in my prior drinking experiences.   That just got added to the 10 drinking comments I am going to make in the future..

Either way, after a short 90 minute flight it is great to have a whiskey discussion when normally I would be out in my own world and like Tom Petty..  Be Running Down A Dream….

Traveling Whiskey in Minneapolis

Alright, so the luxury of traveling for a job, you have the opportunity to try spirits from all over this glorious United States and the countries across the pond.   You get to get feedback from those gunslingers behind the bar who claim they know what you need based upon your palate, your mannerisms or basically how much you have had to drink.   Well this time, I wanted to throw some dirty laundry on the field because I couldn’t believe what I was first seeing then what I was hearing.

So, to paint the picture, sitting in Minneapolis, MN Airport as I puddle jump over to Las Vegas for a weeks’ worth of gambling, errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr working.   I stumbled upon a local airport bar with an exceptional selection and I saw a glorious bottle of High West Double Rye Whiskey.   Immediately I knew exactly what I was getting but I was sort of confused.  My confusion was that it was on the basic row of whiskey’s.  Sitting next to the Rebel Yell’s, Jim Beam (white label) and Jameson.   I made a snide comment to the bartender that did he mistake the location of the High West?   It should certainly be higher in the line of spirts then on the first level.  That is almost “The Rails” when you think about its location.   He quickly corrected me by saying it is an entry level whiskey that they were trying out but it certainly isn’t a high seller within their airport.   So, me being the traveler who loves a great deal was screaming hell yeah on the inside but feeling calm and cool and ordering a double on the rocks.

See this is where the fairy tale turns a bit south because TWO LEVELS UP was Slow & Low – Rock and Rye.  If you heard a few of our episodes in the past, we reviewed both of these whiskey’s during separate podcasts.   I told the bartender, is that a mistake that Slow & Low is more in demand than the High West Rye?    To my surprise, Slow & Low is as popular as Jack Daniels in that airport because that rock and feel whiskey is popular to those airport customers who are traveling through the land of 1000 lakes…  It really took me two separate whiskeys to take all of that in and believe that was a valid statement?    My next question left the bartender almost dumbfounded.   When I said, I am getting ready to order my third High West Double Rye (for $5.50 AT AN AIRPORT!!!!), how many folks order a second round of Slow & Low?   His response, not many.  They find it is unique in flavor, they don’t need anymore.   What I heard what he said, folks hated me for letting them order that whiskey.

Now, I am just a single traveler on a global podcast series with one of my best friends.    I think he would completely agree with this statement.  Friends don’t let friends drink Slow & Low when High West Double Rye is $5.50 at an airport.    Enough said, time to catch my next flight…

Giving Pappy Another Drink

Alright, so we wanted to take a second look at a bad first impression.   As everybody has always chased that allusive Pappy Van Winkle, one of the hosts had luckily won a bottle during Indianapolis Bourbon Fest last December.   As a true gentleman and whiskey drinker, he gave that bottle of Pappy Van Winkle to his co-host and buddy.    Yes, you are reading that correct.  As a gift, gave the bottle of Pappy to his co-host.

So, Rob and Eric went through the normal reviews of their bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.   We tried to straight, we tried it with whiskey stones and we tried it with local ice.   The verdict, pure disappointment.   We couldn’t believe the unicorn of whiskey in our eyes was just that much of a disappointment.   Did we set our expectations too high?   Could we believe that we couldn’t do any wrong with it?    Were we just drunk and stupid?   Well any of those could probably be the right answer.   Never-the-less, the bottle of Pappy has sat in our recording studio since that faithful day.

Well, we decided that it was time to break out the bottle of Pappy Van Winkle on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and fire it up with a cigar and give it a second chance.   No microphones, no true review conversations just two pals arguing about Cubs and Cardinals while drinking some whiskey and smoking a cigar.      Let us set the mood.   We are smoking an Isla del Sol from Drew Estates (we are at Rob’s house and that is one of his favorites), we have Pappy Van Winkle (12 year) sitting at room temperature sitting in our beautiful Glen Cairn whiskey glasses and the sun is shining.   Can we pick a better day for a whiskey and a cigar?

As I said, we were smoking a pair of Isla Del Sol “Robusto” Cigars from Drew Estates.  If you had drank with Rob in the past, we are sure you would have found a few of these in his traveling humidor.   Reason being, they have a great sweet taste on the light and mellow out completely over an hour or so smoke.   Burns fast but keeps a great flavor during the entire burn of the cigar.     We thought this might help the pairing of the Pappy during this review.   Of course, we could completely be wrong yet again and be disappointed with the whiskey.

Now, bring on the pappy.   This wasn’t going to be watered down, this wasn’t going to chilled down with whisky stones but it was going to be poured and drank how it was meant to be..   That and honestly, we didn’t want to do a full review on the whiskey.    We just wanted to try the whiskey again as normal, everyday guys but weren’t trying to do a review.   If we keep saying that, it might be true.    Well on the pour, we had that perfect caramel look of the whiskey in our glasses.   The same great look that we had the first time we went down this road.    We noticed that it did have some great hints of spices when we gave it a spin.   Almost the same comment we made before when we tried it out but made the mistake of saying it was almost like a “Rye” because of the spices.  Mistake #1 because we both love spices.

Now it is on to the face that the Cardinals are in first place for a hot minute and the Cubs are barely over .500 and we are just sipping and arguing like two guys would do at the sports bar.   Touching back up our cigars while we are going through our first round with honestly a different sort of response and approach with our Pappy this time.    When you are just drinking with your friends, you don’t overly care what you are drinking and when they are talking a bunch of crap, you need that extra alcohol to tolerate their constructive criticism on your favorite baseball team.   What we did agree upon, the whiskey wasn’t as bad as we remembered.    We aren’t changing our disappointment level by anymeans but we are willing to give it a second chance.

That second chance made us look past that spice flavor that we smelled upfront, it made us look past the iconic name in whiskey and honestly it made us look past our humbled ways and enjoy the whiskey for what it is..   Charred and aged barreled whiskey produced in the United States.    As we said, we aren’t going to give you a review on the whiskey but set a story.  Maybe in the future, we will talk more about this story and give you a full review on our second chance at Pappy Van Winkle.

Rebel Yell® Bourbon Releases 2017 Edition of Single Barrel

(St. Louis) May 4, 2017 – Rebel Yell® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has released the 2017 edition of its highly sought-after Rebel Yell® Single Barrel, meticulously aged for a full 10 years and bottled at 100 proof, one barrel at a time. This hand-bottled wheated bourbon launched in 2016 in limited quantity, with 2,000 cases available nationwide. In 2017, Rebel Yell Single Barrel will once again be available nationwide in limited quantity – 2,000 cases.

An ultra-premium bourbon, Rebel Yell Single Barrel is robust in flavor with a mature finish and is hand-bottled for a uniquely rebellious experience. By bottling the bourbon barrel-by-barrel, each bottle will have a unique flavor profile – depending on how it aged, its location in the rick house and the flavor development within that particular barrel.  Each bottle, complete with a premium matte finish closure and natural wood cork, is sold in individual boxes.

“Rebel Yell Single Barrel was incredibly popular in its 2016 release and we are pleased to offer another 2,000 cases this year,” says Fletcher Buchman, brand manager at Luxco. “Due to the bottling and aging process, this bourbon offers a unique tasting experience that may vary from bottle to bottle – consumers really enjoyed this concept and the flavors that come with aging bourbon for 10 years.”

Top industry experts also recognize the bourbon’s excellence – Rebel Yell Single Barrel recently earned a double gold medal at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. As with the 2016 release, the bourbon will be available in 750 ml bottles, bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV).

Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye

New in 2017, the brand will be offering a 1L option of Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye, in addition to its traditional 750ml bottle. This smooth and spicy rye is bottled at 90 proof (45% ABV) and offers a mildly woody flavor with a touch of sweetness.

Just like the original Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which also took home top honors with a double gold medal, Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye recently earned a double gold medal at the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In addition, Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye recently won Masters Gold from the American Whiskey Masters. Both variants have earned many accolades in the past few years, which recognize the brand’s growth.

Rebel Yell Growth

The Rebel Yell brand has seen immense growth, outpacing the domestic whiskey category by 37%. The brand has seen more than 41% growth in the past year.*

“Consumers really gravitate to the wheated mash bill, smoother taste and sweeter finish,” says Buchman. “In the last four years the brand has also expanded its reach, and we have seen our sales grow by 316% since 2012**.”

For more information on Rebel Yell and its product lineup, visit www.rebelyellbourbon.com. Fans can sign up for the loyalty program at www.bandofrebels.com.

*Source: NABCA 9L rolling 12 months vs last year through June 2016  **DIVER YTD Shipments 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Southern Sour Ruby & Rye

  • 2 oz Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • 2 oz Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye
  • 1 oz simple syrup
  • 1.5 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
  • Shake and garnish with a habanero pepper slice
  • 0.25 oz raspberry puree
  • Shake over ice and garnish with a raspberry

For more information, please contact:

Pia Reinhold at preinhold@commongroundpr.com

Maggie Hallam at mhallam@commongroundpr.com

About Luxco

A leading producer, supplier, importer, and bottler of beverage alcohol products, Luxco’s mission is to meet the needs and exceed the expectations of consumers, associates and business partners. Founded in St. Louis in 1958, Luxco remains locally owned and operated by the Lux family. Currently, Luxco is constructing its first bourbon distillery – Lux Row Distillers – bringing the Lux family’s legacy to the heart of Bourbon Country in Bardstown, Kentucky. Lux Row Distillers will be home to many of the company’s bourbon brands, such as Rebel Yell, Blood Oath, David Nicholson, and Ezra Brooks. Luxco has also built a new distillery in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico – Destiladora González Luxco – where the company’s 100 percent agave tequilas, El Mayor and Exotico, will be produced. Luxco’s innovative and high-quality brand portfolio also includes Everclear Grain Alcohol, Pearl Vodka, Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream, and other well-recognized brands. For more information about the company and its brands, visit www.luxco.com.

Where Have We Been?

Well this is a very fitting topic since we have been asked this question over the past couple of months.   We would love to say that we were galivanting across Europe and the lower 48 states.   We would love to say that we were out finding the perfect ice cube to fit within our GlenCairn Whisky glass.   Heck, we would love to say that we were in the space training program trying to have that perfect sip of whiskey above the earth.

Any one of those excuses would be great drinking excuses but the reality is we have been living our normal lives.  You know work and family, professions and wives or trials and tribulations.   Either way, we are still alive and kicking and drinking whiskey on a daily, weekly and monthly basis as pals.   That has been the key since when we started this avenue together, we had the same agreement when it came to our recordings.   If we both can’t record together, we can’t put together an episode.  What I mean by that statement, we aren’t going to farm out co-hosts and guest hosts when one of the two main contributors can’t be there to attend.   We started this podcast together and we are certainly going down with the ship together.

Now, with all of that being said, you will certainly start seeing more weekly blogs coming out in the next couple of months.   You know that whiskey from the road type of feel and looking back at a few of our prior whiskey reviews for a second chance at a first impression.   Either way, we are still going to be putting out some new and improved whiskey and cigar blogs.      We will still continue to put out our same great daily entertainment and also some new items during this summer.   I think the simple answer to the topic of our blog would be this..  We haven’t gone anyplace, we are still two guys, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars.    The same path we started and the same path we will continue.

Double-Barrel To Kick Start Your Weekend

When we get a single charred barrel bourbon, you know you got a great opportunity for something good..  Regardless of the name, it could rock but then again it could suck..   Well, we skipped the single barrel and went with a Double-Barrel Whiskey from Jim Beam.   It was Jack last week, so we needed to step up with some Jim this week.   The bottle is open, the review is on..  What happened?   Did we talk whiskey?   Yes, we did..  Find out what we thought of it..   Train..  Train..

In this episode we were talking a little bit of Double-Barrel whiskey from Jim Beam.    This was our first chance to try out a Double-Barrel whiskey from Jim Beam, which we had double barred whiskey in the past (with a Makers 46).   We have learned a lot of people are starting to chase these types of whiskies like beer drinkers would chase hop tastes.

It gives a unique taste that can’t overly be replicated to get the same flavor.  Yes, that is a bold flavor but our batch would certainly be different with other batches..   Now, while we aren’t long on our blogs, we are always searching for great flavor..  Check out the podcast and learn more about our Double-Barrel podcast..

Now, we have said it before and we will keep saying it again.   We are so very greatly with the awesome line up of companies we are working with during this podcast.    We like to think of each of our sponsors / partners as part of our extended Whiskey On The Rails family.   When you get to pair up such great products, it is really fun to come out and record every week because we stand behind everything we talk about and enjoy each of the products we get to use during the show.      Even Eric and Rob get along during the podcast because of these great products and that right there is a miracle..

You can find our sponsors at the following sites:

V2 Rebooted With Russell’s Reserve 10 Year

We have kicked the rust off the wheels and are out of the gate running in 2017.   With each week, we are bringing in a new whiskey for our tasting and review sessions.   Well this week, we have the 10 year Russell’s Reserve Bourbon sitting in our great GlenCairn Whisky Glasses ready for our review.   This was a cliff hanger choice after our week 1 selection of 2017..  How is the best way to you enjoy it?  Well you are 30 minutes away from that answer..   Train.. Train…

It is tough when you already start 2017 and Pappy Van Winkle is moving down the list on the best tasting Bourbon’s of 2017..  Yes, you read that correctly..  We got a new number one but that isn’t overly suprising if you listened to our last podcast.    That is all we are going to say in this blog..   Not that we are disappointed with Russell’s Reserve at all, just that Pappy Van Winkle didn’t measure up..

Now, we have said it before and we will keep saying it again.   We are so very greatly with the awesome line up of companies we are working with during this podcast.    We like to think of each of our sponsors / partners as part of our extended Whiskey On The Rails family.   When you get to pair up such great products, it is really fun to come out and record every week because we stand behind everything we talk about and enjoy each of the products we get to use during the show.      Even Eric and Rob get along during the podcast because of these great products and that right there is a miracle..

You can find our sponsors at the following sites:

2017 Begins With Pappy Van Winkle

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand..  We back!!!   After our holiday break to re-charge some batteries, we kicked off 2017 with a unicorn..   We kicked it off with a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle (12 year) thanks to the outstanding efforts of Eric..   Not only did he win a bottle at Pappyfest (or Bourbonfest) in Indianapolis but he gave it as a house-warming gift as we officially opened our new studio.   How did 2017 start?   How will it end?   You know what, we are so excited to be back behind the mics..  Check out the podcast and find out how the Pappy went..  Train..  Train..

We don’t know how long this blog is going to be today.  The reason being, we were completely blown away by the mystery and unicorn nature of Pappy Van Winkle.   As a podcast and a couple of buddies, we had tried to get our hands on this for the past couple of years.    Well lets face it, for longer than that but since we were part of the podcast, we just put the two year guarantee on that search.   We didn’t really care what year we got, the 10 year or the 23 year, we just wanted a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle.

When you got that allusive bottle, you don’t know what to do with it..  If it is the 23 year bottle, you know exactly what you are going to do with it..  Not a blooming thing but find a great display case of it and have it on your bar..  But when it is a drinkable bottle, you know you gotta try it..  And that is the case for the hosts with our 12 yr bottle..   Now, we are going to save both our excitement and disappointment for the podcast.   However it is nice to have a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle sitting on our trophy case at Whiskey On The Rails..   Our new bar is already more classy with this new bottle..

Now, we have said it before and we will keep saying it again.   We are so very greatly with the awesome line up of companies we are working with during this podcast.    We like to think of each of our sponsors / partners as part of our extended Whiskey On The Rails family.   When you get to pair up such great products, it is really fun to come out and record every week because we stand behind everything we talk about and enjoy each of the products we get to use during the show.      Even Eric and Rob get along during the podcast because of these great products and that right there is a miracle..

You can find our sponsors at the following sites:

Bugatti Cigars – http://bugatticigars.com

2016 Year In Review

When you look down the line of whiskey’s you have sampled over the past year, it is really difficult to find those who would be the best of the best.    Granted, it doesn’t take as much effort to remember those that didn’t make the cut during our podcast reviews.   Some we loved, some we hated, some we wouldn’t even share with our buddies when we wanted to mess with them..    Which ones made the cut to be labeled our favorite of 2016?   Check out our year end podcast to find out!!!   Train..  Train..

Now while we are recording all of these podcast, we have our gut reviews on all of the whiskeys that come onto the rails.    What we have learned, we don’t always dislike the whiskeys we have lower on the list when we give it a second or third try down the road.   Anything could have affected our tasting palate during the sessions…   Multiple tastings, multiple flavors, multiple spices or even just the way we were feeling on that specific day, anything can change our taste buds for that review.

Now, one whiskey that Rob wants to give credit back was one that we really bashed on earlier in the year.   In Episode 43, we brought in a Dickel 10 year whiskey for our review and this whiskey was blasted by both hosts.   It was a sour mash whiskey from Tennessee and we couldn’t find a way to enjoy it from neat, on rocks and using whiskey stones.    Just didn’t cut the mustard when we were reviewing it.    Now that same day, we reviewed Colonel E.H. Taylor first (because lets be honest, we usually record two episodes when we get together) and it was one of our top 5 whiskeys in 2016.   One that had a great flavor profile and built up our expectations for that day of recording.    So when we got into our recording session with Dickel, we had already been jaded for that day..

Now, take 2 of Dickel..   I won’t say that my second or third time of Dickel dramatically changed my opinion of the whiskey..  It didn’t..  However at Bourbon Fest and down at a tradeshow, I had the opportunity to try it again..  Not because I ordered it but because it was free for sampling and honestly, I don’t know if I was overly thirsty or just wanted whiskey but it wasn’t as bad as a remember from the podcast recording.    Granted, the best way to enjoy it at the end of the day was mixing it in a Coke but still straight, it wasn’t all that bad..    It goes to show you, first impressions aren’t always the best impression when it comes to whiskey tasting..  Give it another try and it might change your mind..   Then again, it might not

Now, we have said it before and we will keep saying it again.   We are so very greatly with the awesome line up of companies we are working with during this podcast.    We like to think of each of our sponsors / partners as part of our extended Whiskey On The Rails family.   When you get to pair up such great products, it is really fun to come out and record every week because we stand behind everything we talk about and enjoy each of the products we get to use during the show.      Even Eric and Rob get along during the podcast because of these great products and that right there is a miracle..

You can find our sponsors at the following sites:

Christmas Branch Toasting Rowans Creek

It is that magical time of the year when the alcohol tastes just that much better when you are stuck with mixed company.    That magical time of the year when the whiskey make everybody just that much more tolerable or entertaining.   Well as the guys are gearing up for Christmas, we are drinking some 100.1 proof Rowans Creek whiskey.   Because we didn’t want to only have 100 proof whiskey, we needed that .1 one to really kickstart our holiday season.   How did this review go?   How will we end 2016?      We only know that next week, we will have another whiskey..   Train.. Train..

When you think of holiday’s, most family gatherings have some sort of alcohol mixed into the equation..   It is a tradition to sit around, have a few drinks and play some games as friends and family.   Well it is the perfect time of the year because people usually make treks out to visit those who they only see a couple of times a year.    While both of the hosts have family both local and down the road, we know the importance of family.    Well we both act like a couple of “Step Brothers”, we understand that this time of the year is geared towards the Christmas spirit and enjoying how our families enjoy the holiday..

So this blog won’t really talk about anything in the podcast, we hope that everybody has a great Christmas and enjoys the holiday season.  That is what is important, now being fueled with the right whiskey is another great way to make it through the day.

Now, we have said it before and we will keep saying it again.   We are so very greatly with the awesome line up of companies we are working with during this podcast.    We like to think of each of our sponsors / partners as part of our extended Whiskey On The Rails family.   When you get to pair up such great products, it is really fun to come out and record every week because we stand behind everything we talk about and enjoy each of the products we get to use during the show.      Even Eric and Rob get along during the podcast because of these great products and that right there is a miracle..

You can find our sponsors at the following sites: