Unveiling the Bourbon secrets with Matt Jones

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Last night, College Street Bar witnessed a mind-blowing presentation of Bourbon and its secrets courtesy of Whiskey Chef Matt Jones and Beam Global. And when I say secrets I mean it. Bourbon is one of the most underrated spirits outside of the US, not only when compared to other more mainstream spirits such as vodka or rum but even compared to its cousins across the pond, nonetheless, as Matt explained Bourbon is a key element of the American cultural heritage, so any self respecting connoisseur has to experience its unique flavor at least once.

For this bourbon adventure Matt displayed five different whiskies in front of us: Jim Beam, Devil’s Cut, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Bookers while he proceeded to explain the particularities that make Bourbon what it is

To get started, Matt made us sample a non aged whiskey. This was a unique experience that you will hardly experience outside of specialized events like this, one of the things that stood out the most besides its transparent presentation was the strong corn flavor of the whiskey. Matt proceeded to explain how the wood from the barrels where whiskey is stored not only contributes with flavor but also in the color the whiskey gets, this was an eye opening revelation for most of us who weren’t aware how deeply involved is the process of storage with the final outcome of whiskey.

Afterwards, we proceeded to taste each sample while Matt explained the story behind each of them. Beam certainly prints a unique anecdote to each of its products. The story about the origin of the Devil’s Cut name was just astonishing. I’m afraid I cannot share it here since I might spoil the surprise element for when you join the next tasting but I can say it just tells you a lot about Kentucky approach to life in general.

From the shape of the bottle, to each particular label and of course every flavor and alcohol content of each and every sample, Matt took us through an hour of stories that kept us on the edge of our seats. And if this wasn’t enough to satisfy our palates, one by one, the delicious, southern inspired bites started to appear: Shrimps in Bourbon Sauce, Pulled Pork Sliders and many other delicacies which just made us think this was too good to be true.

If I was to choose one sample from all the ones we had the chance to taste I’d definitely choose Booker’s. Few times in my life I have experienced such an intense flavor, where the spirit is so good you feel your mouth can hardly handle it. Basil Hayden’s also looks like a serious option for something a little softer and smoother.

In conclusion, this Blues n Bourbon evening went way ahead of what I was expecting. A totally charismatic and knowledgeable speaker plus a collection of delicious spirits plus mind blowing delicious food is a combination as likely as getting a Royal Flush in Poker. This is definitely something you have to experience and enjoy like an authentic Kentuckian.

See you behind the bar!

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