Uniquely the ‘Ville with Kevin Gibson – and We’re Giving Away Russell Dickerson tickets

We’re continuing to eat and drink our way through the city, and talking about her on the city’s only podcast devoted to the ‘Ville’s culinary scene. And this week, listen to the show to learn how to get FREE, yes, FREE, tickets to the Russell Dickerson concert at Fourth Street Live!

Our guest this week is an expert on the city’s unique eateries. In fact, Kevin Gibson wrote a book about it. In the studio, he talks about some of his old favorites, like Ollie’s Trolley, and a new one, Oskar’s. Then there’s Rick’s old haunt, Angilo’s Pizza on Berry Boulevard. Kevin has three books about Louisville to his credit, and writes frequently about food and beer for Insider Louisville, LEO Weekly and others.

Our Eat of the Week segement includes Carolyn’s visit to the Kentucky Taco Co., near the U of L campus, where she and her husband tried one of about everything on the menu. Rick got special treatment at Hull and Hi

Eat of the Week – El Taco Luchador

gh Water in New Albany for a blackened grouper, a dish that fits with his healthy diet.

Around town, there’s plenty going on, including the opening of 80/20 Kaelin’s, and a steak and sushi spot on Brownsboro. And we let you know where a restaurant called Fort Knockers, not kidding, is going to be. For bourbon lovers, the Kentucky Bourbon Affair has events scheduled all around town this week, and the opening of the Old Forester Distillery downtown is just around the corner.

Remember to listen to the show to learn how to get your FREE tickets to Russell Dickerson. Join us for more at EatDrinkTalk.net, on Twitter (@eatdrinktalklou) and on Facebook at eatdrinktalk.

 

Old Forester launches Statesman bourbon in partnership with “Kingsman” movie release

If you’re a fan of the Kingsman series of action adventure movies, then you know the next release, The Kingsman: The Golden Circle, is due out in September.

If you’re also a fan of Old Forester bourbon, all the better, as a new 95-proof release dubbed Statesman will be featured in the film—but not in a mere product placement role. In the movie, the Kingsman, a London-based elite international crimefighting organization, meets its American counterparts, the Statesman, who operate their namesake distillery as a front.

“Bourbon isn’t just part of the movie, it’s central to the plot,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer at a Monday morning press conference. “And if you’re going to take bourbon as your theme in your movie, what better place to frame those scenes than here in Kentucky.”Kingsman pic

According to Campbell Brown, president of OId Forester, when the movie’s writer-director, Matthew Vaughn, requested the brand participate in the movie, he said he was intrigued. Vaughn wanted technical advice on how to represent a distillery in the movie, and he wanted it to have connections to Louisville and Kentucky.

Accepting Vaughn’s offer was “a little bit of a leap of faith for us, but I think you will see this film is intended to be Matthew’s love letter to Kentucky,” Brown said.

He joked that movie “certainly isn’t to be mistaken as a film documentary on bourbon film making,” but he said Old Forester was thrilled to be a part of the picture and is proud of its “ties back to the Commonwealth.”

In the movie, Statesman members wear belt buckle flasks filled with, presumably, Statesman Bourbon.

In the movie, Statesman members wear belt buckle flasks filled with, presumably, Statesman Bourbon.

Stacy Yates, vice president at the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, said her group is launching an international marketing effort to promote the city alongside the release of the film. The promotion will include a sweepstakes named “A Statesman Experience in Bourbon Country,” which will see guests win trips to the city for extended stays and visits iconic attractions that are mentioned in the movie.

After Brown presented Mayor Fischer with what he said was the first bottle of Statesman to come off the line, attendees then were treated to a sip of the new release. Its official market launch is set for August, but a few cases will be available at select spots throughout Churchill Downs this weekend, and at a few retailers.

Master bourbon specialist Jacquelyn Zykan said that by law, liquor brands aren’t allowed to release product to just one location, but she didn’t know which Louisville stores would receive what amount to small allotments.

“I’m thinking it’s probably just a few bottles for those stores that get them,” she said. “And all that is up to the distributor.”

So how does it taste? It’s fantastic and already in the running for my favorite Old Forester release. It’s complex, big, round and balanced, with lots of stone fruit, spice and a wisp of smoke.

Old Forester’s official notes on the spirit are aromas devil’s food, clove, oak and an undercurrent of raw vanilla. On the palate “buttery leather is quickly dominated by a bold flash of pepper, cinnamon bark and sharp citrus. Finish is intense spice and eucalyptus which fade into orange cream and caramel.”

The bourbon is a mingling of an undisclosed number of 4- to 6-year-old barrels Zykan said were pulled from the hot spots in its rickhouses. “Since we heat cycle, the temperature stays pretty consistent throughout our warehouses,” she said. “But there are some spots that skew a little hotter than others, whether it’s right in the sun (near a window) or near a heat duct.”

And here’s the doozy of a marking spin: “The whole premise behind this brand was, the Statesman and Kingsman, their true character shows when they get into a little heat,” Zykan said. “So that was the idea behind the bourbon: to pull from the hotspots to see what it does. And it turned out awesome.”

Whiskey News: Bourbon rocks Ky., where’d Ol’ Fo’s ‘Signature’ go?

In case you needed a reason to drink bourbon: Earlier this week, the Kentucky Distillers Association reported that bourbon pours $8.5 billion into the state’s economy each year, generating an annual payroll topping $800 million, which provides $825 million in tax revenue. Plus, distillery start-ups and expansions are fueling a $1.2 billion building boom in the Bluegrass.

This is one of those moments when I think, “Wow, Prohibition was so monumentally stupid!”

Where'd the "Signature" go on the 100-proof Old Forester bottle?

Where’d the “Signature” go on the 100-proof Old Forester label?

 

New Look for Ol’ Fo’—minus “Signature”: This is a big year already for the state’s most legendary bourbon, Old Forester. A $45 million-dollar tourist distillery is slated to open this summer on Whiskey Row, and in the coming weeks, you’ll see new labeling for this historic brand.

But what’s interesting is the new label for its 100-proof bourbon no longer bears the word “Signature.” A press release on the package upgrade didn’t mention the change, which I’m assuming means no changes to the contents of the bottle either.

**If you’re an Old Forester Signature fan like I am, you’ll want to know that it’s on a serious sale at Prospect Party Center on Hwy. 42. Can’t beat $39 for a 1.75L or $24 for a 1L.

Michter’s made me a rye guy: My first taste of rye whiskey was at the Bourbon Classic three years ago, when Michter’s was pouring its 25-year-old rye in the V.I.P. area of the event. I tells ya, angel’s was a sangin’ with every sip. It was that flavorful, complex and powerful, and it spoiled me, of course.

And though it’s not a Michter’s 25, the brand’s master distiller, Pamela Heilmann, just approved the 2017 release of its 10 Year Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Rye for sale in March. Among Michter’s portfolio, this is one of the most prized by the brand’s fans, even at its $150 price tag. Click here for more details.

First pick for Pam! Michter's master distiller, Pam Heilmann, by her first special release, 10-year old rye.

First pick for Pam! Michter’s master distiller, Pam Heilmann, by her first special release, 10-year old rye.

**You going to the Bourbon Classic? You can taste this great rye with me during a whiskey, country ham and chocolate pairing I’ll co-conduct on March 4. Click here for tickets.

This makes me Double-Double Happy: Woodford Reserve is rereleasing its incredible Double Double Oaked bourbon. If you like whiskey with complexity (mocha, burnt marshmallow, fruit jam) and boldness (toasted bread, smoke, baking spices), but without the burn, this is your pick. I had it back in 2015 at a press meeting at the distillery, and it was a good thing it wasn’t available that day in the gift shop. I might’ve gotten in trouble with the finance director (Mrs. Coomes). It’s easily my favorite Woodford expression.

It’s made by finishing fully mature Woodford Reserve Double Oaked for an

Double Double Oaked Woodford Reserve. By far my favorite whiskey from Woody.

Double Double Oaked Woodford Reserve. By far my favorite whiskey from Woody.

additional year in its second, heavily toasted, lightly charred, new oak barrel. (Toasting a barrel is done using lower heat for an extended period, as opposed to blazing a barrel’s insides for 50 seconds to char it. The result is greater heat penetration into the wood, and better flavor extraction from the barrel.)

Double Double Oaked is presented at 90.4 proof with a suggested retail price of $49.99 for a 375ml bottle. This is a small-batch available at the distillery in Versailles and at select retailers. It’s a special occasion buy for most, but I promise, it’ll be memorable.

Weekend Prep – Check Out the new Eagle, Doc Crow’s and NuLu Cocktails

Yes, we’re a country divided on many issues, but we can all agree on the quest for good food and drink. Here’s some of what’s going on right here in Louisville, KY.

Eagle Food and Beer Hall Open: The long-awaited Eagle, in the spot formerly occupied by El Camino, opened Thursday in the Highlands. The first Eagle opened three years ago in Cincinnati by the Thunderdome Restaurant Group, which owns five other concepts and 30 locations in all. Initially, it has hired 70 employees. If you are into craft beer and fried chicken, this is your place.

Nashville Night at the Levee: A couple of country music “stars” from around here will perform Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Levee. If you go see Mt. Washington’s Shane Dawson and Crestwood’s Chase Skinner, you can buy $5 glasses of house wine and a special menu including fried chicken biscuits. Sounds like a good excuse to wear those cowboy boots.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-10-48-05-amNo Drive-bys on Main Street: If you haven’t driven down Main between 1st and 2nd, you don’t know that the stretch of Whiskey Row is closed to traffic for construction. So Doc Crow’s is giving you some incentive to park and walk a block — a Perfect Old Fashioned with Old Forester Signature for $9 — with a promise that it’s the best in the city.  For the same price, Doc’s is serving a seasonal Lady Geisha – also with Old Forester Signature 100 Proof.

Bourbon Lovers Plan Ahead: The Kentucky Derby Museum announced the lineup for its 2017 Legend Series: Bourbon Masters, featuring Fred Booker Noe III, the Master Distiller of Jim Beam (Jan. 27), Tom Bulleit, founder of Bulleit Distilling Co. (March 23) and Campbell Brown, president of Old Forester (April 20). The events are hosted by bourbon expert Fred Minnick, who talks with each of the industry pioneers, while guests sample bourbon and appetizers. Sign up soon to get a package to attend all three for $150. It’s the fourth year of the series.

Bourbon in NuLu: Yes, we’re going to start talking about the holidays. Starting Saturday in NuLu, 10 hotspots will offer their own signature holiday cocktail — your challenge is to try all 10, then vote for your favorite by posting a photo of the cocktail on social media with the hashtag #NuLuDays. Don’t worry, you have three weeks to finish. Four Roses sponsors the 2nd annual contest, offering $500, a signed bottle, and a signed barrel head to the winning bartender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now on Tuesdays, EDT Talks with Isaac Fox at La Chasse and Wayne Sweeney at Merle’s

The show moves to Tuesday and Rick and Steve are raving about their experience at 8UP. The hotspot atop the Hilton Garden Inn downtown is featuring a special Chef, Feed Me dinner — offering three special items chosen by chef Jacob Coronado for $33. The restaurant treated us to a brilliant rabbit roulade (with sweet pepper sausage), a tasty shrimp and grits selection, plus a sweet yolk dessert to top off the meal. We call it a bargain, delicious and filling.

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Isaac Fox, owner, La Chasse. | Photo by Steve Coomes

Steve’s interview with Isaac Fox, the operator at La Chasse in the Highlands, includes details on how he overcame an MSD issue that closed his popular restaurant briefly. Rick talked with Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen G.M. Wayne Sweeney and found out about some exciting future expansion plans for the newly renamed Main Street eatery. The move from modern Mexican to Southern has gone down smoothly so far.

In the news, we discuss the closing of Bearno’s in the Highlands and the opening of The Manhattan Project in Clifton. We wonder about an announcement this week by former general manager Adam Seger that the story behind a famous cocktail was a made-up tale created for marketing purposes. There’s also a new line expansion for Falls City Beer, more evidence of the growing thirst for more craft beer here.

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Wayne Sweeney, GM, Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen. | Photo by Rick Redding

In our Favorites segment, Steve chose the shrimp and grits from 8UP mentioned above, plus a taste of old Forester 115 proof from his personal collection. For Rick, there was the Oh Well, Oh Well concoction from the drinks menu at 8UP, and he sampled several tasty options at the Yelp! Art in Action event at the Palace Theater. We hope you enjoy the move to Tuesday by our podcast, and will tell your friends about it.

Distilling in French Lick with Alan Bishop; Stacie Bale and Kate Lewison on Bank Street’s Menu

It may be the dog days of summer for many restaurateurs, but the news keeps coming for followers of EatDrinkTalk.net. The bad news is there seems to be a crime wave going on, with three local establishments suffering recent burglaries. Steve and Rick speculate on what may be driving that unwanted trend. Plus, the story behind the closing and anticipated relocation of our pal Danny Mac’s pizza joint in Germantown. And we noticed progress on restaurant projects in the Highlands.

We moved our most popular segment, Rick and Steve’s faves of the week, to the middle of the show and marveled at eats and drinks from Old Forester, the New Albanian brewery, Heine Brothers and Chuy’s.

Steve’s interview with Alan Bishop comes to you from French Lick. Bishop knows the science of distilling as well as anyone, and the result will be some great spirits in the near future. Rick has a lively conversation with an energetic twosome, Kate Lewison and Stacie Bale, who are getting plenty of local attention in New Albany after reviving the menu at the Bank Street Brewhouse.

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Alan Bishop in French Lick

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Stacie Bale and Kate Lewison at the Bank Street Brewhouse