Dan’s Bourbon of the Week: Calumet Farm

Dan’s Bourbon of the Week: Calumet Farm

Ahh, What a bittersweet weekend. The name of this blog may be “baseball and bourbon,” but if you’ve read a few posts, you know that I am equally a football fan. Last night, my college – the University of Missouri – lost a nail-biter of a game in double overtime to South Carolina. This hurt as Missouri was in fifth place in the BCS, and could have been headed for a national title chance. When I woke up this morning, the loss still lingered. But with the Detroit Lions playing Dallas at 1 o’clock, and a new bourbon to try, hope sprung eternal.

The Detroit Lions. Oh what an exasperating team they can be. In my 36 years on this earth, I have been able to witness one playoff win. Optimism has been high this season, and the Lions have responded by playing the style of up and down, win one lose one football they have played most of my life. Today’s game against the Cowboys seemed particularly important, as losing would definitely move them to the far edges of the playoff picture.

The game was thrilling, but the ending…what an ending. Taking the ball 80 yards in less than a minute, with quarterback Matt Stafford diving in to score the winning touchdown with mere seconds on the clock: amazing. So maybe my newly uplifted spirits guided my review of this weeks selection, the Calumet Farm bourbon. But like the Lions, this drink was sweet.

Dan's Bourbon of the Week: Calumet Farms
Dan’s Bourbon of the Week: Calumet Farm

My take: Calumet Farm comes courtesy of a recommendation (like many of my selections) from the guys at Kakos in Birmingham, MI.  It’s a newer bourbon line, with the name from a farm well known for it’s Kentucky Derby winning steeds. I do not know the source of Calumet Farms, and it has no age statement. This one was right up my alley.

The nose was sweet – vanilla, corn, caramel.  

The taste is a little thin, but full of butterscotch, vanilla, caramel,charred oak and a slight, white pepper. It didn’t taste like an older bourbon, so my guess is that it’s 6 years or under. But it was still flavorful and smooth.
 And the finish – absolutely delicious, sweet and so very smooth.  I actually had  more than my usual first tasting because it was so smooth.  I should mention Jen found it a bit bitter, and she is less of a fan of smooth than I am (she likes single barrels more, where I am a bigger fan of blends).

I feel weird saying this about a bourbon that is so new on the scene, but I loved it.

Dan scale (1-10): 8.7

*Update – I have since been told that Calumet Farm Bourbon was a very limited run, and will probably not be available again after this year.  If you’ve heard something different, please let me know.  Otherwise, best gettn’ while the gettin’ s good!

Dan’s Bourbon of the Week: Elijah Craig 12 Year Small Batch

Dan’s Bourbon of the Week: Elijah Craig 12 Year Small Batch

Well, a new NFL football season is upon us, and I’m an unrepentant Detroit Lion’s fan, so who knows what this year holds in store.  The team hasn’t looked great in preseason, but adding Reggie Bush in the offseason can’t help but make us better, and we still have Stafford, Suh and Megatron, so I suppose hope springs eternal!

For this week’s bourbon, I tapped a local resource.  A few years back, when I decided to take my bourbon fandom up a notch, my family jumped in to help me try to find some good selections.  In her endless calling around, my mother stumbled upon a store in Birmingham, MI called Kakos Market.  The people at Kakos were wonderful, talking with her for long periods of time and making recommendations for other bourbons that might fit her son’s flavor profile. They pointed her toward some absolute winners, which I will reference at another time.

I dropped into Kakos myself last week, looking for a few specialty bottles, and while in the store, they showed their own small batch barrel of Elijah Craig 12 year. I had a taste in the store, and took a bottle home for myself, to try today.

Dan's Bourbon of the Week: Elijah Craig 12 Year Small Batch
Dan’s Bourbon of the Week: Elijah Craig 12 Year Small Batch

Every once in a while it happens where I can taste a good bourbon, know it’s a good bourbon, but just not feel it myself.  This is exactly what happened here.

My take: This is a spicy bourbon.  The nose was full of autumnal scents – apple, corn, nutmeg – a lot of fruit and nuts. And wood, lets of wood.

The taste carried this over.  The flavor popped with spicy oak, corn and fruit.  It fills the mouth, and has a pleasant taste, but as you may know by now, I like sweeter bourbons, and this one has some burn.  It’s dry, and has a long, strong finish.

I know it’s a quality bourbon, but (and maybe it was just my mood that day) it was too harsh for me.

Dan scale (1-10): 7.0