Saturday, September 22

The Perfect Gift for Bourbon Lovers

So I'm sitting in my easy chair relaxing with a lovely Maker's Mark Manhattan and my wife asks me what I'd like for my birthday. As I'm a man of little needs I have no clue.

So I go browsing around the web and head to my favorite sites one of which of course is The good folks at the Mark found it a good idea to have an online gift shop. It's a good one.

After browsing for several minutes between the barware, hats, shirts, barrel heads, I find what really caught my eye was a coffee table photo book called The Ambassador of Bourbon Book. I thought sure that will do as good as anything else, so I sent my wife a link among a few other things.

To my delight on my birthday I got the photo book and its gorgeous.

The description of the book in the gift shop doesn't do it justice so allow me to elaborate.

The book is a photo essay on the mecca of bourbon making. It is filled with a narrowed down selection of 250 photos from the 10,000 taken by David Toczko. The book starts with some history of the brand and the Samuels family. Then it flows into a pictorial description of the labor of love to produce the nectar from the heavens known as Maker's Mark. Everything from the raw ingredients, mashing, fermenting, into the fired new oak barrels, moving to the maturation process, and ending with a bottle of glory.

Whether or not you have had the opportunity to visit the distillery in Loretto, KY this book will transport you there in an instant.


Photos by David Toczko

Sunday, September 16

How long does liquor or liqueur last?

Reader Question:

Just found your website last night, it's delightful!  Very useful and I'll be using it a lot.

Just a quick question about Chambord: how long does it last and how can I tell if it has turned.  There's so much conflicting info on the web and got two different answers from the nice people at my favorite liquor store.

So glad to see someone else enjoys a Manhattan!

My response:

Thanks for reading! Basically the higher the alcohol content, the longer the shelf life.

Over 40% (or 80 proof) has no expiration
30 to 39% would have an expiration of about 2 years
16 to 29% would have an expiration of about 1 year
Less than 15% would expire in about 6 months

In all cases it will last longer sealed in a cool dry place. The variation of proof is probably why you get different answers. Chambord for example is 33 proof (16.5% Alcohol) which I would put just at the 1 year mark on shelf-life.

Proof by the way is times 2 the percent of alcohol. One or the other will be displayed on the bottle in question.