VanWinkle Bourbon Talk

Last post about the Charleston Food and Wine Festival! But this one really needed it’s own post, promise.  After a few hours at the Culinary Village we headed over to Proof where our next and final event was being held.  This was Sean’s (my husband’s) idea just to be clear, but it was SO neat.  We open up the door and this is probably one of the smallest bars in Charleston.  Most everyone is already seated and at each place setting were four tastings of bourbon.  At most, there were about 40 people in this spot. IMG_4849

Once everyone had arrived, Preston VanWinkle, from the VanWinkle family of bourbon began talking.  Let’s just say this was another moment where I was truly in awe of how much one person could know about a certain subject.  You name it about bourbon, he knew it.  He even said that he tries close to 100 bourbons in one sitting to plan for upcoming seasons.  He was the man.  In short, this is what I learned from our hour and a half with Preston:

  • Bourbon is only bourbon if it is aged in an oak barrel
  • Bourbon actually starts out as clear and gets it’s color from the char of the wood (they burn the inside of the barrels)
  • A bourbon barrel can only be used ONCE.  Funny enough, most barrels are sold to scotch makers and winemakers after being used for the bourbon.
  • The product produced this year, won’t even be considered for consumption for another 10 years.
  • There are spots called “Honey Spots” which produce the best bourbon.  There is an idea temperature and humidity etc. that produces the best bourbon and there are so few of those spots, which is why there are more expensive and rare bourbons.
  • Bourbon can come from anywhere! It doesn’t have to be made in Kentucky, just happens to be better there 🙂
  • Preston VanWinkle himself drinks Buffalo Trace and Four Roses Single Barrel…cool to know what the experts drink

So, I’m sure you’re bourboned out, just as I am, but it’s been a fun ride on the bourbon train to celebrate Sean’s 30th birthday this past weekend.  Look for more posts about wellness coming soon! Goodness knows I need a weekend of lovely. IMG_4858


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