Episode 8 – Hotel Tango Joins The Sponsorship Rails

In this sort period of time since we have started this whiskey podcast, we have learned one important lesson when it comes to whiskey.   Find those who have a passion of what they enjoy and you will find some excellent whiskey opportunities.    With that simple logic, we haven’t only found some outstanding whiskey but we found ourselves our new Whiskey Sponsor of the show, Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery located in Indianapolis, Indiana.   The guys from Whiskey On The Rails took the owners of Hotel Tango up on an offer to come down, check out their location and talk about their spirits.  Which it all started with four bottles and the conversation was flowing.. So check out this entertaining podcast while we introduce everybody to our newest sponsor..  Train..  Train…
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Hotel Tango Joins The Sponsorship Rails

In this sort period of time since we have started this whiskey podcast, we have learned one important lesson when it comes to whiskey.   Find those who have a passion of what they enjoy and you will find some excellent whiskey opportunities.    With that simple logic, we haven’t only found some outstanding whiskey but we found ourselves our new Whiskey Sponsor of the show, Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The guys from Whiskey On The Rails took the owners of Hotel Tango up on an offer to come down, check out their location and talk about their spirits.  Travis, Brian and Adam not only opened up the doors of their historic building but they brought out some of their yet to be released Whiskey for our conversation.    Let me expand upon that statement, they brought out some 60 day, 120 day and 150 day aged Whiskey which as we progressed through each bottle, they got better and better and better..  However, lets hold off on the whiskey for now and tell you more about these guys..

While the key in every good whiskey story is the whiskey, lets take a step back and tell you how this great company came together to form Hotel Tango.  If you take a moment and read their story from the website you will learn quickly how Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery came together as the brainchild of Master Distiller Travis Barnes, his wife Hilary and a few of their closest friends of Adam Willfond, Brian Willsey and Nabeela Virjee (per their website).    The overall naming convention reflects the military roots of Travis, who is a Marine and also the use of the military alphabet.   By using the military alphabet, he took H (for his wife) and got Hotel and then took his T (from his name) and got Tango to pull together Hotel Tango.   They have used the same alphabet when pulling together the rest of his spirts across the board from Vodka, Gin, Moonshine and Rum.    Which I am sure in a later blog, we are going to go into a lot more description of the rest of their fine spirits.    However for this introduction, we are back to being on location or at-least giving our perspective as we officially got to their location.

Hotel Tango has their operation in a beautiful historic building which used to be a horse carriage repair shop in the 1890’s.   Before you even walk into the building, you are taken back by the active street traffic this building has thanks to the community.   You have farmers markets, you have lively street folks and tons of individuals who are out running and biking in downtown Indianapolis.    Which that right there is awesome because foot traffic brings thirsty individuals ready for something good.

When you first walk into this place, you can see some of the history from the 1890’s with the repair aspect.   It is a very rustic type of building with an awesome fireplace right in the middle of the tasting room.   Which both of the hosts thought it was from the original building but to our surprise, well I think we will let you listen to the podcast for that story.    What might also catch your eye is their mascot who is keeping an eye on everybody who enters to make sure they don’t get out of line.    Fletcher, who as it was described by Brian, is the most popular figure of the tasting room because patrons have actually called to see if he was there that day so they could see him.   He might only be a cat but that is only half true because he is also half bobcat..  Which I learned if you bring your daughters lunch cooler in to keep your Whisky Stones cold, Fletcher will laugh at you and apparently so does everybody else.   However that is a great story left for the podcast to tell.

Before we get back to the whiskey, let us tell you a great piece of information about Hotel Tango and honestly this was one of the biggest reasons we wanted to engage them and learn more about their story.   Travis proudly served our country as a Marine and we are appreciative for his service to our great country and we made sure to thank him during our podcast for that.    The coolest thing Hotel Tango can boast is they are the first craft distillery in Indianapolis but just as important, they are the first service-disabled veteran-owned distillery in the country.  We both applaud the efforts of our military and we both take great pride in volunteering our time to support our military, which another great piece you can learn about in our podcast.

In our podcast you get to hear about a variety of items mentioned above but you also get to hear us talking about Hotel Tango’s Whiskey that the gentleman were kind enough to share.   As I said earlier in this blog, as we progressed from the 60 day to the 200 day distilled whiskey, we enjoyed a progression of whiskey which only got better and it was distilled.  Please don’t take that statement as we didn’t enjoy the first 60 day bottle because that was the furthest statement from the truth.     Each of the bottles started getting more color from the time it spent distilling in their barrels which started to add some great complexity in each tasting.   To Eric’s enjoyment, he got that burn in each of the bottles which made him really excited to keep tasting and trying, which you will certainly hear more about during the podcast.   While we want to keep this as much as a teaser as possible, words can’t describe how great the spirits were that we tried and the company that joined us for this podcast.    We had been looking forward to this podcast recording for almost a month and we left extremely excited to work with this awesome company.

Which all great things should be celebrated and we have one final piece to celebrate.   We are proud to announce is Hotel Tango and Whiskey On The Rails have created a partnership for Hotel Tango to become our official Whiskey Sponsor of Whiskey On The Rails.   Each of our guests, each of our social media questions, all of our call-ins / call-outs and our periscope videos are all going to be sponsored by Hotel Tango.      You will continue to see all of their social media promotions, upcoming activities and general spirits promoted on our website and social media campaigns.    We look forward to a great relationship and even more look forward to recording on location in the upcoming months.  We will certainly be promoting our upcoming recordings if you would like to come down and share a drink with us during our recording, you are more than welcomed.   Which this is a teaser, they are the first of our three sponsors we are going to be announcing over the week.   So stay tuned to our announcements, check out future blogs and more importantly check out our podcast with Hotel Tango.

Here is information so you can find Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery:

Website:            http://hoteltangowhiskey.com/

Facebook:         https://www.facebook.com/HotelTangoWhiskey

Twitter:              https://twitter.com/HotelTangoIndy

Instagram:        https://instagram.com/hoteltangoindy/

Episode 7 – Cheers To The Basil Hayden’s

While we are taking our journey on the rails, we get the pleasure of mixing in some of our favorite whiskeys in the weekly podcasts and blogs.   We know that we aren’t always going to pick a winner at random, so when we have the control on the choosing our whiskey, it makes for an easy podcast.   Plus when one of the hosts is a virgin to the whiskey, it just makes life even better.   So this week, we are talking about one of Beam Suntory’s own whiskeys, Basil Hayden’s.   In the next couple of weeks, we are going to be talking about new great things coming down the line for our listeners..   So check out this entertaining podcast while we were drinking on the rails..  Train..  Train…
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Basil Hayden’s, The Perfect Whiskey With A Cigar

While we are taking our journey on the rails, we get the pleasure of mixing in some of our favorite whiskeys in the weekly podcasts and blogs.   We know that we aren’t always going to pick a winner at random, so when we have the control on the choosing our whiskey, it makes for an easy podcast.   Plus when one of the hosts is a virgin to the whiskey, it just makes life even better.   So this week, we are talking about one of Beam Suntory’s own whiskeys, Basil Hayden’s.

Thanks to a whiskey dinner at Claude & Annie’s in Fishers, Indiana, one of our hosts had the pleasure of drinking this wonderful whiskey before the event began and was educated on the proper way to say the whiskey’s name.   “Ladies and Gentlemen, yes the collection of whiskey’s we have had tonight does come from the same location as Basil Hayden’s and no it is not pronounced like an herb like I heard earlier in the evening” was said by our whiskey host..  Yeah, that guy who said it wrong earlier was yours truly..   When we were recording another podcast, I made the comment before dinner that it was one of the whiskey’s I was introduced to by a local patron during a bartending shift.   Which that is when I learned, if you pronounce something you enjoy incorrectly you better be willing to be the butt of jokes for the evening..   Oh well, I just had to drink a few more..

So when we brought this whiskey into the recording for our podcast, we learned that the other host had never had this whiskey.   He is a beam guy and never had this whiskey..  He was a virgin, a whiskey virgin to Basil Hayden’s fine whiskey..  You know what, this is an opportunity when you want to take care of one of your friends and make sure he is no longer a virgin..  When drinking whiskey, that is the rule..   I am not sure about other areas but hey, only in whiskey..    I even shared my original story on when I first met Basil Hayden’s whiskey..   People say that love at first sight is rarely achieved and/or rarely possible but I gotta believe this was love at first sight when I first tried the whiskey..  Alright, maybe I am sharing too much information and we should go into some information about the podcast.

As we have said before in our tasting, we try it three ways..  Neat, Rocks (soon to be stones) and finally with a mixture.    Honestly, I didn’t want this tasting to make it past the second step because this whiskey isn’t meant to be mixed with coke, diet, sprite, ginger ale or even dr. pepper..   No No No..  It is meant to be served neat..  It is meant to be served on the rocks..   After trying it for a new podcast, it is awesome with whisky stones.   It doesn’t deserve to be mixed to take away or hide the great taste.  You should never, ever order this drink at your local waterhole with a mixture..  If you want a great whiskey mixture with soda, please just order a Beam and Soda (which is something I enjoy)..  It was save you money.

However in this podcast, we did get to enjoy quite a few samples of this great whiskey.   Thanks to our followers on Twitter and Periscope, we did field a few questions during the podcast.   One question specifically was what sort of a cigar would go better with this whiskey.     While I will keep that as teaser, we did talk about a few different cigars that might hold up but sadly a black and mild didn’t make the cut.

While we keep on drinking, we hope that people are enjoying our teaser blogs for our upcoming podcasts because we are enjoying each of the whiskey’s we have tried.    There is no better feeling than introducing one of your friends to one of your favorite items.    In this case, my whiskey..   I suppose the only thing that would have been better would be him paying for it..   Yeah, that might do.   Stay tuned for the podcast on Whiskey Wednesday’s.

Episode 6 – Down The Stretch They Come With Lexington Bourbon Whiskey

Alright, so as we gear up for another podcast, Eric and Rob looked up at the scoreboard and decided to pick Number 6 – Lexington Bourbon Whiskey for our horse in this race.   Well horse race or a podcast, it all has a starting point, a half-way and at times a photo finish.    We took this opportunity to bring together another opportunity for something new.  Check out this entertaining podcast and remember..  Train..  Train

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Down The Stretch They Come With Lexington Bourbon Whiskey

Alright, so as we gear up for another podcast, Eric and Rob looked up at the scoreboard and decided to pick Number 6 – Lexington Bourbon Whiskey for our horse in this race.   Well horse racing or a podcast, it all has a starting point, a half-way and at times a photo finish.    We took this opportunity to bring together another opportunity for something new.

While working your way through the bourbon trail, you will certainly stumble upon some great whiskey’s and outstanding distilleries.   You can have that same experience of finding new liquors while venturing through your local liquor store..  Granted there aren’t samples, an expert tell you the history about the whiskey’s or even cool people to share the experience.   What you do have is a history lesson with each whiskey bottles in the store because each tells a story..

Well this story was sort of a ruse at first because I saw a bottle that looked like a Woodford Reserve on sale for $29.99 and said, holy crap!!!  Once I started getting closer to the bottle, I realized that it wasn’t anything close to what I originally thought but the price still had my attention and it was something I had never had before so I figured this was a great bottle to try three different ways on the rails..

As we fired up on our recording, we got to learn something real quick about this whiskey..  If you take it lightly, it will burn your face off..   Yes, that is more of an inside joke that you will get during the podcast but it had a great burn when you tried it neat..    The burn and overall heat quickly went away once we added some ice and water to the whiskey.    It made the whiskey a bit more tolerable because it took the edge off and really took away from that bite we might have feared once we tried it but actually look forward to it, once we try our whiskey’s.

We have made the statement prior, if you have to provide a mixture on the best way to enjoy your whiskey, it might not be the best whiskey to try unless you are saying “whiskey & coke please” to your bartender.    Lexington’s website provided a drink called the “Horse’s Neck” in their mixology section.  Well this was a drink that we fired up in our third section with some ginger-ale, bourbon and while we didn’t add it you would need a dash of bitters to complete the drink.      This caused a first between the two hosts because the two completely disagreed on the taste of this drink.

We both enjoy ginger-ale for our mixtures when it comes to whiskey’s but this drink wasn’t favored at all by one of the hosts.   Yes, another teaser for listening to the podcast because the story each told on the flavoring really showcased our bartending skills.   Yes, another bartending plug..  At the end of the day, we added this whiskey to our shelves and found some great ways to drink Lexington Bourbon Whiskey.     There are some great details in our podcast, which will be released on Whiskey Wednesday.   Check out our additional thoughts on the podcast and look forward to your thoughts..

Episode 5 – Three Degrees Of Bulleit Rye

As the guys from Whiskey On The Rails continued their epic voyage around the state of Indiana, we stumbled upon a Rye Whiskey that is bottled down in Lawrenceburg, Indiana..   Bulleit Rye was the whiskey of the week and wow did we choose a great rye whiskey..    We didn’t know what to expect from this whiskey until we tasted it three ways..   It was tough to walk away from the first test (neat) because it was just that smooth of a drink.   We even tried to disprove some of the reviews that this rye wasn’t a great whiskey for a Manhattan.  We did have our resident spirits traveler Patrick joining the guys and giving his thoughts on Bulleit Rye Whiskey..   In August, we are going to be giving away some great products to our social media followers (21 and over) which Bulleit was kind enough to donate for your pleasure..  So, check out this entertaining podcast while we were drinking on the rails..  Train..  Train…   

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Locked And Loaded With Bulleit Rye

This week Rob and I sat down with a longtime friend, local whiskey aficionado, all together good guy who goes by the name Patrick and most importantly….Whiskey on the Rails first official guest!  Being graced with such royalty we thought we would pull out a bottle of Rye Whiskey and see what happened.  The Rye of choice this day was Bulleit Rye Whiskey, and I couldn’t have been happier about our selection.  This 95% rye, 5% malted barley is distilled by Lawrenceburg Distillers in the state of Indiana for Bulleit Distilling Company in Lawrenceburg Kentucky.  We decided rather than dwell on the logistics of this fine company, we would much rather crack this bad boy open!

First step of our review is the bottle.  Bulleit kept it classy with clear glass, raised lettering and a green label to let everyone know that this is a Small Batch Rye American Whiskey that would look great behind any bar.  The bottle really allows for the golden straw color to do the talking.  This small batch rye is aged 4-7 years and packs a decent punch at 90 proof (45%ABV).  Ok, I know what you’re thinking…. “Enough already, tell me about what is INSIDE the bottle!!!”  Folks, I couldn’t agree with you more!

So for those of you just discovering us here at Whiskey on the Rails, we like to review our whiskey three ways: Neat, Rocks, Mixer/Cocktail.  So we started with a nice shot of the Bulleit in our beautifully crafted and personalized Glencairn Whiskey Glasses and gave this rye a whirl.  The initial sniff test hit us with a sweet cherry, caramel mix.  First taste….AMAZING!  Extremely smooth and ridiculously clean on the mouth with a delightful burn on the way down.  The cherry that was picked up on the sniff test really stands out during the taste and also has a nice cinnamon finish.  The whole drinking experience is incredibly smooth and extremely well balanced, making this one of my new favorites!  Adding some rocks to our glasses mellowed it down a tad, but the tones didn’t fade and almost seemed to enhance most of the flavors.  For the first time after one of our reviews, I took this bottle home and enjoyed quite a few on the rocks for the rest of the day!  General consensus of neat and rocks was unanimous, this booze is delicious all the way around!  For the third way, Rob showcased his bartending skills,  whipped us up a tasty Manhattan and gave away his great recipe, but you are going to have to listen to the podcast review for that…wink, wink!  We all agreed that there is no way we were going to mix this with anything other than a good cocktail.  A Bulleit Rye Manhattan would be a great choice to sip on while drawing from a good cigar or a nice nightcap.

The votes were tallied; Patrick loved it neat while Rob and Eric were huge fans of Bulleit on the rocks.  With a modest price of around the $30.00 mark, this is a bottle that should be tried by everyone.  It is complex and strong enough for the experienced whiskey drinker yet mellow enough for the rookies.   Since its release in 2011 Bulleit Rye has chalked up numerous awards including 2 Double Gold Medals and 3 Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  I never knew how good something had to be to win a DOUBLE gold medal, but I couldn’t agree more!  If you haven’t had a chance to try Bulleit Rye, do yourself a favor and do so, not enough good things to say about this product!

Episode 4 – Indiana Whiskey Viewed From Periscope

Back home again in Indiana takes on an entirely new twist with the review of Indiana Whiskey.   The guys from Whiskey On The Rails broke out a bottle of Sweet Silver Corn Whiskey from the Indiana Whiskey Company in South Bend, Indiana..   We learned quickly that this is definitely a whiskey that needs to be tasted just to pay homage to the old school ways of distilling.   It is all copper these days..   We also introduced some new technology to the show so people can watch the magic happen with whiskey while we record..  Check out this entertaining podcast while we were drinking on the rails..  Train..  Train…   

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Hoosierland White Lightning

Your boys here at Whiskey on the Rails hail from the great land of corn, basketball and mullets. We are proud to be from Indiana (minus all of the negative press in recent months), but found yet another reason to brag upon The Crossroads of America-other than Michael Jacksons birthplace. The Indiana Whiskey Company is making some rather tasty mild rocket fuel out of South Bend!

We cracked open a bottle of their “Silver Sweet Corn Whiskey” and began to sweat. This unaged beauty is made from 80% Indiana grown corn and is bottled between 80-90 proof (40%-45% ABV). The nose on this is an extremely crisp, clean corn with an underlying grain alcohol aroma. If you are looking for something to warm your belly, look no further! While this bold tasting whiskey is reminiscent of the hooch your grandfather kept in a mason jar, the finish is clean and refreshing. Along with a sweetness that makes you keep going back for more, Indiana Silver Sweet Corn Whiskey has been proven to turn bare chested Justin Bieber fans in to Tom Selleck stunt doubles…..Ladies, you’ve been warned! While we always try to review a whiskey three ways; neat, rocks and mixer, we felt that the Silver Sweet corn was just too strong to add a mixer and agreed that it is a great rocks whiskey.

This variety may not be for beginners, but is definitely a whiskey that needs to be tasted just to pay homage to the old school ways of distilling, adding nothing to the liquor but the bare essential flavor. The Silver Sweet Corn Whiskey earned the 2014 Silver Medal at the World Spirits Competition, Indiana Whiskey Company also makes two other varieties that will be reviewed by us in the very near future! So now that we have bragged about how delicious this whiskey is….comes the bad news. Indiana Whiskey is only for sale in, you guessed it, Indiana. So until then we suggest you come on up to the great state of Indiana, cheer on the Irish and while your in town swing by and get you a bottle of this clear corn deliciousness!