The Ballanytne Hotel & Lodge’s Gallery Bar may not be your usual drinking hole. And “bourbon neat” may not be your usual order. But this month it’s time to up your sophistication factor and go with both.
Here’s why: Last year, the hotel introduced an exclusive blend of Woodford Reserve bourbon. They had 180 bottles of it, but they’re down to just 18.
Next Saturday, they’re launching the second edition of the Woodford Reserve Personal Selection Bourbon with another 180 bottles.
So, if you want to try two exclusive-to-Charlotte bourbons together, this is your best bet.
This week, I had the chance to try both bourbons with the hotel’s Director of Outlets, Cameron Brobst. He’d taken the original tasting voyage to Kentucky to blend the first batch, but this was his first time sampling the second.
“It’s much more dry,” Brobst said after his first sip. “It’s not as sweet, not as round, but very direct. You can taste the first one more on the sides of your palate, but this one splits it right down the middle.”
(Side note: Is there some kind of spirits tasting school where they teach you to talk like this? I took a sip and declared that I felt the exact same way. Totally split my palate right down the middle.)
Brobst is serious about his bourbon though—especially after his trip with Ballantyne to the renowned distillery in Woodford County, Kentucky. Here he is talking about the process of creating the distinctly different bourbons:
The spirit’s kick-off is a BBQ dinner on Sept. 11 created by Chef Mike Rayfield.
The evening will include live entertainment, rare bourbons from Woodford Reserve, bourbon-inspired desserts, and the chance to compare the two selections and learn about the process from Woodford Reserve Brand Ambassador Kyle Morgan.
It’s $75 per person and you can make reservations by calling 704-248-4100.
Can’t make the dinner? Go to the bar after Sept. 11. You can order both the bourbons (until the original runs out) for $12 each.
Photos: Sarah Crosland