Little Book 5 with Mike

The greatest thing about whiskey is the people that you meet because of it. An acquaintance made through a common interest in Bourbon is one thing. When that relationship develops into a true friendship…well, that is a whole other, much better thing, altogether.

I have been fortunate enough to have many friendships emerge from a shared interest in Bourbon. Friendships that are far more treasured than any whiskey collection ever could be. Once such friend is Mike Lisac.

I met Mike through his work on the YouTube / Facebook show called My Whiskey Den, with Patrick Belongia and Benjamin Eaves, both of whom are also wonderful friends. (Side note: My Whiskey Den is an entertaining show that you should check out each Monday at 9:00 eastern). Alan Bishop (@thealchemistcabinet) had told me about My Whiskey Den.

Mike lives in Kansas City and we had an opportunity to hang out together yesterday afternoon in Louisville. We visited Westport Whiskey & Wine and sampled a couple of beverages in the tasting room. That afternoon we also tried the new release from Jim Beam: Little Book Chapter 5 “The Invitation”.

Little Book is the passion project of Freddie Noe (son of Fred, grandson of Booker) and he continues to knock it out of the park with these. I’ve enjoyed each of the annual releases and “The Invitation” is one that I will immediately RSVP “yes” to.

The Invitation is a blend of 2 year straight bourbon whiskey, 3 year 100% malted rye, 5 year bourbon whiskey and 15 year bourbon whiskey. There is no breakdown of percentages of each whiskey in the information provided.

Mike and I enjoyed a pour of LB5 while watching college football on Saturday. There was no unpleasant harshness from the 116.8 proof. Aromas of Karo syrup, vanilla, and baking spices were on the nose.

On the palate, I got a lot of brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon with a #FatGuyTastingNote of pecan pie filling. Mike was also intrigued by the pepper and spice notes that he surmised was largely influenced by the 100% malted rye in the mash bill.

The finish was a real treat, too. After a little pepper dancing on the roof of the mouth, we got a rich, sweet finish that lingered for awhile.

Little Book 5 is a fun and tasty whiskey, that I would recommend at retail prices. Best of all, it was a real pleasure to share it with a good friend.

When It’s Not All About the Bourbon

A wise man once told me for every situation there is a Seinfeld quote, an 80’s rock lyric and a Bible verse.  Challenge accepted.

If you love bourbon (and you likely do or else you wouldn’t be reading this) you may have a favorite way to drink it.  You may like it neat.  You may like it on the rocks.  You may like it in a cocktail.  You may even like it mixed with Coke…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

All of those are great ways to enjoy bourbon.  OK.  Almost all of those are great ways to enjoy bourbon.  Personally, my favorite way to drink bourbon is with friends.  George Thorogood may sing “when I drink alone, I prefer to be by myself”, but even he had the Delaware Destroyers.  Plus, it is a terrible song anyway.

Booker’s Kathleen’s Batch is a Bourbon Fellowship favorite.

I’d bet a Michter’s 20 to your Kentucky Gentleman that most every bourbon story you have is one you’ve enjoyed with friends.  Maybe it’s the time you celebrated a son’s wedding with friends by opening that elusive bottle of Pappy.  Or it could be the time you shared an Elijah Craig 18 with the guys on your birthday.  Or the time you had a pour of a newly acquired George T. Stagg with a friend simply because you hadn’t seen each other for a long time.  I am blessed to have done all of these (and more).  These were truly great times with great bourbon.

Not every story, mind you, may be with friends. I’ve got a Booker’s story between me and a bartender named Randy with cameo appearances by former NFL quarterback Marc Bulger and pro golfer J.B. Holmes. We’ll leave the details of that tale for another day, however.

However, the point of life isn’t the stories or (gasp!) even the bourbon.  The point is the relationships.  What I’ll explore in this blog is that relationship side of bourbon.  In future posts I’ll share the formation of my own bourbon group, The Bourbon Fellowship.  I’ll give you some ideas you can use to start your own group, including some of the themes we’ve had for our meetings.   There’ll be some of the traditional bourbon blog fare: reviews, tasting notes, commentary on bourbon news, etc.   The main focus, however, will be the goings-on of The Bourbon Fellowship and how bourbon is the “connector”.  It is the excuse to gather with friends as a respite from the stresses of life and share a few good pours and a few good times.  Because it is true: “a friend loves at all times and a brother is born for a time of adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).  The best friends I have in this world – the guys I share my life with – are the same guys I get to share my bourbon with.