Last week I went to Frankfort to do a bourbon tasting for the KDLA (Ky. Department of Libraries and Archives). Mark Meyers from the KDLA asked me to do a bourbon tasting for their guest in Kentucky. They are working on a grant from the Library of Congress so they had some people in town from Washington D.C., North Carolina and Utah. It was a small group of about a dozen people and it was held in Frankfort on the second floor of the "Completely Kentucky" store owned by one of the KDLA staff. This is right across from the old State Capital building on Broadway. The building used to house meeting rooms for state Senators who would meet there. A very lovely place and I can guarantee, not the first bourbon served in the room.
Since it was a small group, I decided to use whiskey from my own collection rather than ask the distilleries for the whiskey. I decided to make it a "barrel proof" tasting and picked 2002 Geo T. Stagg, Parker's Heritage collection (122 proof), Four Roses 40th Anniversary, Thomas Handy and Red Hook Rye (2nd barrel). I had everything poured before they got to the tasting from their meetings at the KDLA. everything had breathed for about 30 minutes or so. I talked about doing a tasting and then warned them that they should add a little water to these as we tasted them. The only exception to this was the Four Roses that was only 102 proof to start with. We tasted them in that order. I placed the ryes at the end because I wanted them to see how age can effect the flavor since the Handy is about 8 years old and the red Hook is 21 years old.
After the tasting everybody enjoyed a meal of Bar-b-que ribs, corn on the cob, salad, and other sides with an apple crisp for dessert. Everybody enjoyed themselves and Kentucky has now raised the bar for entertaining for these grant meetings. I ended the night smoking a nice cigar given to me by one of the North Carolina members. It made the long drive home very enjoyable. The perfect end to a fun bourbon tasting.