Friday, November 09, 2007

HWT Christmas Gift Guide

Many people enjoy giving (and getting) spirits for Christmas. If you are looking to give a friend, family member or colleague a bottle of some fine libation for Christmas you would have to look long and hard to fine any better than Maker's Mark bourbon whiskey.

I recently shared a bottle of Maker's Mark with a pair of young ladies who remarked that it was the smoothest bourbon they had ever tasted. They were right.

The unique process used to produce Maker's Mark, from the proprietary yeast to the cypress fermentation tanks to the double distillation process, guarantees a magnificent bourbon bottle after bottle.

The story of the creation of bourbon whiskey is as follows:

There was a baptist minister in the state of Kentucky named Elijah Craig who operated a distillery in Bourbon County. Rev. Craig was a man who believed in maximising the return on his investment (in other words he was a skinflint).

As a part of his cost cutting he got the idea of recycling barrels by taking used barrels and burning out the inside then pouring in his corn whiskey to age. As the whiskey aged in the barrels the liquid was forced through the charcoal lining the barrels by the changing temperatures of night and day and the different seasons.

At that time the largest customer for Kentucky whiskey was the city of New Orleans. The whiskey would be floated down the Ohio River to the Mississippi River and eventually wind up in the Crescent City. As Rev. Craig's corn whiskey was served the people noticed first the rich caramel color which the charcoal filtration imparted (corn whiskey is normally clear like vodka). Then the noticed the smokey flavor and the wonderful smoothness of the drink.
Since each barrel was stenciled with the point of origin the demand grew for this whiskey from Bourbon and the rest, as they say, is history.

BTY, for anyone who finds it odd that a Baptist minister would be making whiskey remember that the whole "alcohol is a sin" thing was invented by an insane woman named Carrie Nation without a shred of Biblical support.
While Maker's Mark is available at any purveyor of fine spirits (neighborhood liquor store) it can be obtained online here.