5 Bourbons for the Big Game
We put together a list of our #1 draft picks for this year’s Big Game. As the game comes just a few days before love’s special day, this list would work for Valentine’s Day, as well. Just make sure you’ve secured enough of your favorites to last the days between these two iconic national holidays.
Four Roses Small Batch ($32 - $36)
In 1967 – the year of the first Super Bowl – Seagram’s turned the great Four Roses bourbon into a blended product and included grain neutral spirits and coloring. Today, you can celebrate the resurgence of the Four Roses brand with its signature Small Batch. A blend of two mash bills consisting of 75% corn, 20% rye, and 5% malted barley, and a second with 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley are introduced to two yeast strains to arrive at a spicy, full-bodied, and floral (think rose petals) to create the finished product. The 90-proof finished product fills a heart-shaped bottle that will carry well into Valentine’s Day – if it makes it that long.
Old Forester 1920 ($55 - $60)
In August 1920, seven men met to organize a professional football league at the Jordan and Hupmobile Auto Showroom in Canton, Ohio. Legendary football star Jim Thorpe helped to organize the session that ended with the creation of the American Professional Football Conference – the predecessor of the National Football League. Celebrate that momentous year with a bourbon that’s reminiscent of the time – Old Forester 1920 that represents a Prohibition-style whiskey. At 115-proof, this is surprisingly smooth, with classic vanilla, baking spices, dark fruit and light floral notes. Created in the day by then Brown-Forman distiller Marianne Barnes, this is complex without the heat you’d expect from a high-proof bourbon.
Bradshaw Bourbon ($46 - $50)
Who can forget Terry Bradshaw, the outlaw quarterback, who led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl appearances? The namesake bourbon, developed in collaboration with Silver Screen Bottling and the O.Z. Tyler Distillery, proudly highlights his quarterbacking Super Bowls IX, X, XIII, and XIV.
A corn-heavy mash bill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley produces a straightforward and smooth-drinking bourbon with vanilla, some grassy and banana notes, light spice, and a long finish, While I wish this might have aged a tad longer, this is a bourbon with a great name and a championship story.
($32 - $35)
In celebration of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes alma mater (Texas Tech), we selected an appropriate bourbon from Wild Turkey with a Texas twist. Developed in collaboration with Marketing Director Matthew McConaughey, this small batch bourbon utilizing the traditional Wild Turkey mash bill of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley added a unique filter for the finished product. Texas Mesquite and oak charcoals are used to filter the bourbon before bottling. A first filtration process uses charcoal made from American White Oak; a second uses charcoal made from Texas Mesquite wood imparting light notes of smoky sweetness.
The result is a 90-proof bourbon that is a lovely, lighter and softer Wild Turkey expression. There are vanilla and light wood notes, as well as honey, light citrus, and even a fleeting mesquite smokiness present.
Pinhook Bohemian Bourbon
($26 - $36)
In the 2000 NFL Draft, University of Michigan standout quarterback Tom Brady was the 199th player selected (in the 6th round, no less) by the New England Patriots. Love him or hate him, many still feel he may have been the NFL’s biggest steal and bargain. The name “pinhook” is a thoroughbred racing term used to describe the process of purchasing young, inexpensive, but potentially outstanding thoroughbred horses, raising them until maturity, and selling them to become racehorses. Sounds an awful lot like what the Patriots did in 2000.
While we’ve enjoyed the 2018 release and 2019 release, Bohemian was a true treat – the first to not only be aged, but distilled, barreled, aged, and bottled at the Castle & Key Distillery (the former Old Taylor Distillery). The mash bill is 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% malted barley. Bottled at 114.5 proof, you’ll find butterscotch and toffee, along with lighter peach and citrus notes. Like a young Tom Brady, this is youthful and uncomplicated, but did not disappoint.