September is here and that means one thing (no, I’m not talking about football games, fall weather or deer season). September means it’s National Bourbon Heritage Month!
According to CNBC, bourbon sales jumped 8.1 percent in 2017, bringing the total to $3.4 billion. That’s a whole lotta bourbon. But it’s easy to see and taste why the spirit has so much appeal. In addition to its variety of price points and rich history, bourbon has the paradoxical (big word for a big month) quality of having a unique, identifiable taste, while still being infinitely palatable. It’s flavor appeals to so many people, it’s hard not to love.
Due to bourbon’s flavor profile and immense popularity, other categories are jumping on the bourbon band wagon with delicious results. Ever wonder what would happen if red wine met bourbon? Wonder no more. How about a nice, dark ale and bourbon mash-up? We’ve got that too.
Taste for yourself with the four picks below.
- What it tastes like: Bright and bold with a hint of acidity. It rounds out with familiar notes of bourbon including vanilla, toffee and hazelnut.
- Bourbon interaction: 20% of the wine is aged for 60 days in charred American oak bourbon barrels.
- Pairs best with: BBQ, beef or pasta.
- What it tastes like: A full bodied wine with flavors of berry and hints of smoke and vanilla.
- Bourbon interaction: The wine transitions from aging in wine barrels to a combination of new and used bourbon barrels to complete aging.
- Pairs best with: BBQ, pasta or game meats.
KENTUCKY BOURBON BARREL ALE
- What it tastes like: All the best parts of bourbon (oak, toffee, caramel and coffee) are brought together with a smooth texture and robust burst of flavor.
- Bourbon interaction: The brewery’s Kentucky Ale is aged for six weeks in bourbon barrels to complete this award-winning ale.
- Pairs best with: Spicy foods, BBQ beef or desserts.
BOULEVARD BOURBON BARREL QUAD
- What it tastes like: Subtle cherry notes with pronounced tastes of toffee and vanilla.
- Bourbon interaction: Various bourbon barrels are used to age the beer for as long as three years with the final ale becoming a blend of the different barrels used.
- Pairs best with: Dark chocolate, strong cheeses and anything wrapped in bacon.