Cheers to the members of The Bourbon Society, who graciously welcomed me to their monthly meeting earlier this week.
The Society formed in 2006 as a way for local aficionados to explore not only the diversity of bourbon, but also its culture and lore – or as they put it, “Drinking in history, one glass at a time.”
At this week’s meeting, bourbon historian Mike Veach of the Filson Historical Society discussed the development in the late 1980s and early 1990s of super-premium brands, which led the resurgence of bourbon’s popularity. We sampled Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, a single-barrel bourbon; Old Pogue Master’s Select, a small batch; 13-year-old Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, an extra-aged bourbon; and Angel’s Envy, a specialty bourbon.
We also learned that there is no official definition for “single barrel” or “small batch” and heard Mike describe one super-premium brand as “a good $20 whiskey in a $40 bottle.”
“People think, ‘Oh, if it’s in a $40 bottle, it’s gotta be good.’ But higher-priced is not always better,” he said. “Better is better.”
The Bourbon Society meets the third Tuesday of the month at the Pendennis Club in downtown Louisville. Annual membership is $100, renewing in July. Considering the rare bourbons the members typically sample, that quickly pays for itself, says membership chair Evan Thurmond. If you ask me, they could use a few more female members. For more information, click here.