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Jim Schue

Lux Row Distillery

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LuxCo, makers of Everclear and other white spirits, and a longtime sourcer of Bourbon, had the grand opening of its new Bardstown distillery today. That is where they will now be making their Rebel Yell, Ezra Brooks, David Nicholson and Blood Oath labels after 40 years of getting their whiskey from other suppliers, primarily Heaven Hill.

 

It's a magnificent facility in a beautiful location on the old John and Nancy Ballard family farm on the east side of Bardstown. The facility makes heavy use of repurposed barnwood from the farm to create a rustic feel along with the old-style brick that is designed to look similar to the old Ballard farmhouse, which is on the historic register.

 

Pretty first-class event, and a neat tour. They even bused in all their employees from their plants in St. Louis and Cleveland for it. Ol' Jim even got out the Oxford and blazer for the occasion like I was going to Keeneland. :D

 

They'll be great for Bardstown and a must-visit along the Bourbon Trail.

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Well, as a purchaser of Rebel Yell (for it's great price), I feel like I now am purchasing a reputable Bourbon as opposed to the shame I felt before when mentioning my choice. :D

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That is where they will now be making their Rebel Yell, Ezra Brooks, David Nicholson and Blood Oath labels after 40 years of getting their whiskey from other suppliers, primarily Heaven Hill.

 

I had Rebel Yell and Ezra Brooks both in my younger days, and didn't care for them at all then. I'm guessing I wouldn't likely much change my opinion on those nowadays either. David Nicholson, I've assumed, is a similar kind of product.

 

I can't remember whether I had the 2015 or 2016 release of Blood Oath (they completely vary top in mash-bill, age, and conditioning depending on the year, so they're 100% different each year), but the glass I had was good. The guy who gave it to me said he paid like $110 for the bottle, and even though it was a good glass of bourbon, I didn't feel like it was a "$110 per bottle" good glass of bourbon.

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Just looked up the full line of LuxCo bourbon brands:

 

Bellows

Blood Oath

Bourbon Supreme

Bower Hill

David Nicholson

Ezra B

Ezra Brooks

Kentucky Choice

La Salle

Limestone Barrel

Old Dan Tucker

Old Ezra

Rebel Reserve

Rebel Yell

Straight Western

Wall Street

Yellowstone

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I had Rebel Yell and Ezra Brooks both in my younger days, and didn't care for them at all then. I'm guessing I wouldn't likely much change my opinion on those nowadays either. David Nicholson, I've assumed, is a similar kind of product.

 

I can't remember whether I had the 2015 or 2016 release of Blood Oath (they completely vary top in mash-bill, age, and conditioning depending on the year, so they're 100% different each year), but the glass I had was good. The guy who gave it to me said he paid like $110 for the bottle, and even though it was a good glass of bourbon, I didn't feel like it was a "$110 per bottle" good glass of bourbon.

 

Whatever last year's and this year's Blood Oath was came in fantastic (but each is slightly different). It's one I will drink neat or with 2-3 small cubes. Very good stuff, and compared to some other ones that come in with a $110 price tag per fifth, it rates well in my book.

 

The regular Ezra Brooks and Rebel Yell aren't that good. The 7yr Ezra and the 12yr Old Ezra B especially are quite good. The 12yo is hard to find these days because of the limitations on the sourcing market since the bourbon boom in recent years.

 

The Rebel Yell single barrel is fantastic. The higher grade Nicholson is quite good as well. Like most, once you get past the entry-level version it's pretty good. Jim Beam white is not fit for human consumption, but Jim Beam black is good. Four Roses yellow label stinks, but the small batch and single barrel are quite good.

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Just looked up the full line of LuxCo bourbon brands:

 

Bellows

Blood Oath

Bourbon Supreme

Bower Hill

David Nicholson

Ezra B

Ezra Brooks

Kentucky Choice

La Salle

Limestone Barrel

Old Dan Tucker

Old Ezra

Rebel Reserve

Rebel Yell

Straight Western

Wall Street

Yellowstone

 

Luxco bought Limestone Branch in the last few years, and it was another nice label for them to acquire. Some of those others I've never heard of, or I've rarely seen them. Must be kind of like the Boone County Bourbon label.

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Luxco bought Limestone Branch in the last few years, and it was another nice label for them to acquire. Some of those others I've never heard of, or I've rarely seen them. Must be kind of like the Boone County Bourbon label.

 

Is Limestone Branch the distillery that was opened by one of the Beam/Noe family descendants?

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Side note on Luxco — they've been sourcing bourbon since the '60s and most comes from Heaven Hill. At the event yesterday the company brass talked about how the people at HH gave them a friendly nudge toward starting their own Ky bourbon distillery, as much to help Lux Row as to help themselves in keeping as much of their own stock around for sale under their own labels.

 

Putting it simply, Heaven Hill is so busy they have none left over to sell to other companies. Heaven Hill filled its 8 millionth barrel Monday. The company did 4 million barrels between their 1935 startup until 1998.

 

Only Jim Beam historically has filled more barrels than HH — they hit 15mil last month and have long been the leader of the pack there.

 

I'm told that Buffalo Trace is supposed to be filling their 7 millionth barrel this week. Big times in the bourbon industry. Fun time to live in Bardstown.

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I wish I could comment but I haven't tasted any of their products.

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Is Limestone Branch the distillery that was opened by one of the Beam/Noe family descendants?

 

Yes. Members of the Beam family have been involved in seemingly all the major distilleries for years. Some even bootlegged for a spell during Prohibition and "possibly after."

 

Earl Beam joined HH as Master Distiller in 1946, just a decade after the company's founding. The special Parker's Heritage line is after Parker Beam, who died last year of ALS. Funds from the sale of that line go to ALS research.

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I wish I could comment but I haven't tasted any of their products.

 

See my posts above for a guide. :D

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Luxco bought Limestone Branch in the last few years, and it was another nice label for them to acquire. Some of those others I've never heard of, or I've rarely seen them. Must be kind of like the Boone County Bourbon label.

 

Was just at Limestone Branch today and they didnt mention that. Even saw and spoke to Mr. Beam himself. Tour guide said they source their Yellowstone from existing barrels around the other distilleries and said the Lux Row was a very impressive facility.

 

Ended up buying a bottle of a 95 proof bourbon containing 28 percent malted red wheat, 12 percent malted barley, the rest corn and it was tasty! Also hit Makers to buy my ambassador bottle...always great to visit and has changed so much in the last 6 years since I've been. The independent stave your was really sweet. Gotta salute those who produce bourbon barrels....not an easy job by far.

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Just drank about a 1/4 of a bottle of Blood Oath. Very good. More spice, more oak than 1792. 1792 is the bourbon that is my measuring stick. Above it good - below then ehh.

 

I'd still have to rate Michters higher - Blood Oath will take a solid number 2.

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