DBC x Arts
Man, did it feel good to put a suit on again.
Dallas Bourbon Club was invited to the Fall Gallery Show at Nuu Muse in the Design District this past Friday. Honestly, as a patron of the Dallas arts scene, I've seen my theater, ballet, and modern dance subscriptions sit in purgatory as venues determine if they can safely turn up the house lights, and invite in the masses. But gallery owner and artist CJ Cowden made it work, and we're all the better for it. She turned over the wall space normally adorned with her own abstract pieces, and curated a splendid showcase of local Dallas artists whose mediums were just as diverse as their subject matter. The creators were on hand to dive as deep into their canvases as we desired, and it was a great opportunity to support these working creatives during this season.
Texas Whiskey Trail's own Five Points Distilling helped sponsor the event, and Marketing & Sales manager Brandon Choate held court himself, showing off the artistry that is Lone Elm Texas Straight Wheat Whiskey. Offering up their small batch and single barrel expressions, the small crowd stayed lubricated and hopefully some palates were broadened. Personally, the dried fruits and cocoa notes were muted behind grass and oak in the 90 proof small batch, but cask strength single barrel continues to win me over as the golden raisin and tobacco shines through. And while I'm not normally a fan of wheaters or wheat whiskies in general, these guys have a lot to work with down the road. Stop by if the trail takes you out to Forney, and check out the operations. Or give them a shot at your local mom & pop package store and judge for yourself.
DBC Happy Hour #18
What better way to end the year of DBC virtual meetups that with our friends at Buffalo Trace. Beau Beckman, who manages their personalized barrel program, also orchestrates picks at Barton and Casa San Matias. He is also a direct descendant of Colonel E. H. Taylor himself. Buffalo Trace sees their single barrel program as a customer service, and Beau shared the toughest single barrels to get for consumers to get in 2020. Club members also got a good dose of his favorite celebrity guests at the distillery and his uncomfortable fanboy moments!
Dustin Stone did a great job of leading the discussion and ALMOST convinced Beau that he'd promised us an Eagle Rare SFTB pick! (fingers still crossed on that one) Beau did share the limitations of private barrel picks, and the operations challenges of offering selections in different sizes and proof points. We also learned that buyers can request our favorite ambassadors at the distillery to pick a barrel for us. I know, what's the fun in that? but imagine taters rolled out by Harlan Wheatley or Freddie Johnson! That all said, we know that a single barrel program goes against the grain of everything a distillery normally does, and we appreciate the service.
Starting off with about 1000 experimental barrels when Beau joined the team, Buffalo Trace is now paying taxes on upwards of 35,000 experimentals, believing they've yet to find the "perfect barrel". We couldn't get Beau to give us the deets on a top secret barrel being warehoused, but here's to the search for perfection continuing!
Dave Ensler, regional marketer for Sazerac, joined us all the way from Las Colinas, TX, and praised the work that Dallas Bourbon Club is putting in for the community. He shared his thoughts on how so much value is lost on the bourbon secondary market that he believes could be going to charity.
And, of course, Josh Steely was on hand to give us the latest news of the OFC 1995 drop and George T. Stagg Batch #15 coming to stores @ 131.1 proof. There may be time for that stocking stuffer yet!
For the final happy hour of the year, there's still a lot of work for the Club to take care of in 2020. But cheers to the men and women at Buffalo Trace making it a little easier!
December 5th holds a special place in the hearts of all of us who like to enjoy our spirits without knocking on a speakeasy door, dealing out of the trunk of a bootlegger, or taking a prescription to the local druggist. Back in 1933, the country (& the world) was in the throes of the Great Depression, and the repeal of Prohibition arguably helped bring the country back.
2020 has too been a rough year for America. The triple hit of the pressures of pandemic proliferation, economic distress, and social/racial reconciliation may have driven many of us to indulge in our vices a bit more than normal. And yet, we're making it through somehow.
Fred Minnick is closing out the year bringing us the Repeal Day Expo, which promises to be an immersive virtual conference like none you've ever seen during the shutdowns. And in the mood of the times, he has also shown a commitment to showing off the diversity and inclusion shifts that are happening in the world of spirits & hospitality.
Highlighted speakers include founders of Black Bourbon Society & Diversity Distilled--Samara Davis--and Kentucky's Original Black Bourbon Enthusiasts (KOBBE)--Jamar Mack. BBS is a nationwide community of thousands of bourbon lovers that continues to be overlooked in marketing and advertising by the brands. Diversity Distilled was formed to help educate the industry on D&I initiatives and help create a pipeline for bringing in diverse talent to distilleries and back offices, working from the ground level up. KOBBE is a nonprofit that continues year after year to give back to schools and children's organizations and has started to grow beyond its Louisville roots. KOBBE's mission rings well with what we do every day here in the Dallas Bourbon Club--"Drink Good Bourbon, Keep Good Company, Do Good Deeds".
Women are also getting the spotlight at a table that they've rightfully been at since the beginnings of distilling in America. If you've ever read an article by Maggie Kimberl, you'll know she brings a unique style and vantage point to her stories, making Whisky Magazine a not-so-stodgy read as you're thumbing through the pages. The inimitable Bourbon Hall of Famer Peggy Noe Stevens will also have a session where we're sure to get some good stories of the Beam legacy and Kentucky bourbon industry in general. Her organization, Bourbon Women, continues to grow in loyalists, and is committed to help ensure women who enjoy the world's finest spirit are mentored, elevated, and celebrated!
To bring it home, we'll also get a little Texas flair: hearing from our friend Kristopher Hart down at the Houston Bourbon Society and Whiskey Neat blog/podcast. He's also the founder of one of my favorite whiskey festivals--and the last one I was able to attend before the Covid shutdowns--the Houston Whiskey Social! The stalwart Balcones Distilling will also be featured to represent for the Texas distillers and continues to be a reminder that when it comes to American whiskey, like it or not, the south has something to say!
Tickets available at www.repealdayexpo.com