Last month we attended the Masters of Bourbon at Big Cedar Lodge and had the opportunity to share a blending experience that ultimately led to the barrel choices for the November bottling. It was the first time we have included anyone from the general public in our decision-making process and it was an experience I won’t forget. We made up a few different options together during the class and I also offered some of my own pre-bottled blends.
Each participant was set up with vials from different barrels to sample from. There were ten options that could be voted on and were categorized by the ricks of the rickhouse. For example, one could be floor 2, rick 7, tier 2. We went through and sampled bourbon from those vials as we normally would, then blended the top votes together and found just the right ratio.
We ended up going with a blend that was heavy on the second floor, which was actually a premade blend I brought to the table. This bottling came out to be 62% second floor, 24% third floor, and 14% fifth floor.
After everything was said and done, we had the crazy thought to bottle this at full-proof and the participants were all for it. I enjoyed the November batch at full-proof so much that I knew I didn’t want it to be a one-time offering. This whole process came together rather quickly but it just made sense. Everything fell together perfectly and I think it was meant to happen at this time.
We plan to offer a limited release of Rickhouse Proof each month that we bottle Ben Holladay Bourbon. For now, Rickhouse Proof can be found exclusively at the Holladay Distillery and is very special to us.