Boasting a product that exudes the quality and the mystery in its name is no easy feat, but the producers at Blade & Bow have managed to improvise and overcome with a truly spectacular product.
On a thunderous summer evening of late, we had the magnanimous opportunity to celebrate the New York rollout of a new Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The gorgeous rooftop of the Gramercy Park Hotel was an ideal location to introduce New York City to this fabulous new bourbon, highlighting its elegance and its drinkability by pairing it with a tasting menu from the Gramercy Park Terrace’s expert chefs. We were able to sample incredibly rare, gloriously amber colored bourbon alongside a beautifully crafted meal.
Despite its emergence as a new player in the bourbon marketplace, there is quite a bit of history surrounding the production of this award winning Kentucky straight bourbon. The Blade and Bow story begins with the founding of the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery, which opened on Derby Day in 1935, home to the fathers of bourbon and Louisville icon. The pledge of these great artisans was a deep rooted commitment to quality and craftsmanship, and eventually elevated its status to its inclusion on the legendary Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The distillery unfortunately shut down in 1992, but that isn’t where this narrative ends. Blade and Bow’s prevalence in Kentucky has aided the re-opening of this historic distillery, restoring the emphasis on the five pillars of bourbon making by the symbolization of five keys on the front door of the distillery. The keys represent grains, yeast, fermentation, aging, and distillation, and were incorporated in the distribution of bourbon samples at the tasting we attended, as well as holding a prevalent place in the company’s logo. Blade and Bow is named after the two parts of a skeleton key—the blade shaft and the ornate bow handle.
One of the most unique aspects of this tasting was the ability to taste some of this product in its raw, original state – before it is filtered and bottled. Clocking in at 120 proof, and aged in oak barrels that are never fully drained, this gorgeously potent liquor was incredibly powerful.
The next bourbon of choice was Blade and Bow’s signature bottle, a 91 proof Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. This bottle is the recipient of a gold medal at the San Francisco Spirit Awards. Ripe pear, vanilla, and candied fruit all make appearances on the palette with this one, and it was an excellent way to follow up the potency of the 120 proof raw bourbon.
The star of the show, however, was the 22-Year-Aged 92 proof reserve. The deep amber color was smoother and richer than the previous glass, and the flavor complexity was something to behold. Matured with the same attention and care that made this distillery famous, this 22 year old liquid is an ode to traditions of the region.
Blade and Bow’s superior products symbolize so much of the history of the bourbon industry, and represents the forward thinking progress that that has challenged the industry to this point. It is truly a manifestation of the American spirit.
Twisted Talk: What’s your favorite bourbon? Have you tried Blade and Bow? Discuss below!