Our Bourbon Tasting Networking Event was held the evening of Wednesday, November 13.

Members were encouraged to bring a new member for FREE access. For two hours the premium bar was open and tasty appetizers flowed through the night.

The Bourbon, Whiskey and Rye tasting was hosted by the New York state award-winning distiller, Southern Tier Distilling Co., a company established in 2002 outside of Buffalo. This is what we learned.

American Whiskey:  We narrowly miss the bourbon category by 1% of corn, and the whiskey is aged “on” New American Hand Charred Oak staves in-house. Finished in whisky barrels – Oaky and vanilla notes with toasted Oak, dark Coffee.

Mash Bill:  50% Corn & 50% Wheat, 84 proof.

Straight Bourbon:

  • Mash: 80% Corn, 15% Wheat, 5% Malted Barley.
  • 88 proof (slightly more burn than the American Whiskey).
  • Aged 2 years – in 53 gallon barrels sourced from Canton Cooperage in Kentucky. The oak staves are left outdoors for three years to naturally season before being toasted and charred.

Smoked Bourbon:

  • It takes experience mashing grain to know that 4% chocolate malt will provide that distinct finish.
  • There is a lot of complexity in this:80% Corn, 16% Cherry Wood Smoked Malted Barley.
  • The malt is smoked before the grain is mashed, similar to Scotch but with the use of Peat Moss & 4% Chocolate Malt.

Straight Rye:

  • The mash is Rye, balanced with corn – to soften out the spice.
  • This is a good “gateway” Rye for Bourbon drinkers looking to expand into the Rye category.
  • The 30% corn balances the spice in the rye and the Malted Barley ties it all together. Aged two years in the same barrels as the bourbon.

2X Hopped Whiskey:

  • This whiskey is made using the same recipe as the 2X IPA. If you aren’t a beer drinker; think of the 2X as the double strong “Kool-Aid” version of the IPA. You basically double the alcohol.
  • The NYS malt is mashed on the 30-barrel system, and is then sent down the street to the distillery where its Fermented, Dry-Hopped, Distilled & barrel aged.
  • “Dry-hopping” means that you add the hops to the wort after fermentation. When you dry-hop you are adding aroma.

We were given a sample swirl and encouraged to get our nose over it. It had a funky, pungent aroma. We were able to sip from all the available options. The guys from the spirit company were very excited to tell us about all the awards they received the past few years.

See photos from the event on Facebook!