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Gillman
04-10-2004, 01:31
"Saveur" is a glossy food magazine which reports on local or regional foods and beverages of interest and presents them in a bright, appealing way. The photography is particularly good. Articles in the current issue include one on cornbread - a festival in Tennessee concerned with same is described with charm - and another delves into the intricacies of Madeira wine. This issue also contains an article called, "Bourbon Rises Again" ("it's back with power and charm"). The piece is a pithy one-pager with good tasting notes on twelve premium and super-premium bourbons. It explains why they have gained popularity in recent years. Brands such as Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Elmer Lee Single Barrel, Jefferson's Reserve and EW Single Barrel 1994 Vintage are described and lauded. The notes are accurate and informative, e.g., Blanton's is tipped as "... delicate, with seductive flavors of caramel, honeysuckle and nuts". The article states that the increasing appearance of craft-style bourbon on the back-bars of the nation is a "vibrant revival" reflecting "a succesful mingling of family pride, innovation and economic necessity".

Clearly, adroit marketing and innovative branding have finally focused the food and drink cognoscenti on the excellent bourbon available today. That is a good thing even if some of the pre-small batch-type products are unfairly dismissed. The article implies for example that mass-produced brands such as Old Grand-Dad and Old Forester lack sophisticated flavour but that is not always true. Old Grand-Dad 86 proof is a fine whiskey which trumps a number of the whiskeys featured (I think it smokes Basil Hayden, for example). Still, it is good to see fine bourbon getting its due from the tony precincts of Park Avenue South..

Gary