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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Ole Smoky Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey

By Eric Ducote

Good morning Tiger fans and welcome to an undefeated week 2 and a huge jump in the polls following an ass whipping of Miami.  I'll admit, I didn't see that coming, I expected a good game and wouldn't have been shocked with a win or a loss, but going out to a 30-point lead on a top 10 team was unforeseen.  So I guess the question really is, was Miami overrated, was LSU underrated, or was it some combination of both?  I'm not a genius prognosticator, but with Southeastern Louisiana University (SELU) coming into Tiger Stadium this week, I feel like 2-0 is a strong possibility.  On a side note, Baton Rouge's Tin Roof Brewing and Hammond's Gnarly Barley Brewing put out a collaboration brew to commemorate the meeting of the two teams.  Tin Roof brews an official LSU licensed beer, and Gnarly Barley brews one licensed by SELU, so the collaboration makes perfect sense.  Look for that one out now and coming soon as a Feature Beer Friday?

Back to the wakey whiskey (#wakeywhiskey) though... last weekend I was in Knoxville for the game, and of course I hit up a local liquor store to buy a few local bottles.  I had already picked up a few directly from Postmodern Spirits in Knoxville proper, but I saw this bottle from Gatlinburg that caught my eye.  It's the Ole Smoky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the term "straight" means that in addition to all the qualifications for a bourbon, this one has been aged for at least two years. Ole Smoky primarily makes mooonshine, although more of the flavored variety as opposed to the illegal variety, but they also produce some flavored whiskeys and a few unflavored bourbons.   

Ole Smoky Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Now, the whiskey itself, because that's the important part, right?  The color is a little darker than caramel with a bit of an orange hint to it.  The smell is fairly muted, with hints of vanilla and oak but nothing too overpowering. The taste is a little on the harsh side at first, but once it settles down the typical bourbon flavors come out like corn sweetness, a bit of a mineral quality, a little vanilla, and the oak char comes out even stronger.  After a few sips neat to work out the palate, I added an ice sphere to see what opens up, and found first that the oak flavors on the aroma come through stronger than before.  On the tongue the initial harsh notes are reduced and then the whiskey flavors emerge with vanilla on the strong side.  I feel like this one benefits from the ice to open up the flavors.  

Not a bad pour, not the best I've ever had, but I'm all about trying new whiskeys and this one definitely has a place on my shelf.  Now, time for LSU to get to work and make it a 2-0 start.  Geaux Tigers!