- Suggested retail price: $600 (if you can find it)
- Thursday, September 22 (for as long as it lasts), we're pouring one ounce for $17.50
In 1988, Booker Noe, the sixth generation of the Beam family to make bourbon in Kentucky, and the long-time master distiller at Beam, introduced Booker's Bourbon. Mark and I were at The Frog and The Peach, bartending. It was a category-changer. It was among the first of a line of forward-thinking bourbons that have changed the marketplace.
It was also the first cask-strength bourbon to be released into the mainstream. I was not made aware of this fact and a round of Bookers bourbon manhattans made with Bookers (at 124 proof) almost killed me.
Booker himself passed away in 2014, and his son, Fred Noe, now is master distiller. In his lifetime, Booker was always experimenting and pushing the boundaries of quality. In 2003, he laid down a few barrels of rye whiskey. Bourbon usually contains rye, but is predominantly from corn (minimum 51%). Well, Booker never got to see those barrels bottled.
Fred bottled them just this year. The mash bill (recipe) is over 70% rye and this is the first rye whiskey ever released under the Booker's label. Critics have proclaimed it one of the best rye whiskies produced. It has already all-but-disappeared from retail availability. If you can find a bottle for less than $600, buy it. There is no more stock behind it. Zero, zip, nada. It's all but gone. We acquired a few bottles back when they were released and we have not offered any for sale...until now.
We look forward to sampling a bottle with you on Thursday evening, and raising a glass to the late, great Booker Noe. I hope you can join us. We open one bottle at 6:30 precisely. When it's gone, it's gone.