The tale of Lone Whisker began a dozen years ago with a crash - and a whimper - along Kentucky's storied Bourbon Trail, Route 127.
John Schwartz and Kent Jarman had grown to share similarly discerning tastes for whiskey. During their years of crafting small-lot, world class wines, it became regular, almost ritualistic, practice after a late night's work to challenge (and reward) their palates with finely-crafted bourbon.
By the time this series of events unfolded, John and Kent had contemplated whiskeys and small batch bourbons from all corners of the globe. They were self-taught, well-rounded students in admiration of bourbon's finest professors - the producers they'd never met but yearned to emulate. Thirsting to learn the tricks of the trade, they journeyed to Kentucky and embarked along the fabled Bourbon Trail. They coursed through green pastures, getting a little lost along the way. The duo was surrounded by history and legends; and little did they know as they cruised down the trail, they would soon encounter the catalyst for their own 12-year, barrel aged, Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.
Rounding a sharp bend, they screeched to a stop only yards away from a classic green '69 Chevy, flipped on its side. A few good samaritans already were working to free the driver from the truck's cab. A timid whimper drew them to a young Blue Tick Hound cowering in the brush. He limped toward them, scratched and bruised from tumbling out of the Chevy's flatbed. His collar read: Whisker.
John and Kent called to the group gathered at the truck, "What do we do about the dog?"
"Better take him, friend," a somber voice returned.
Whisker's original owner never came for him; and they preferred not to speculate about the reason. Down the trail, John and Kent soon found a home not only for their budding bourbon project, but for their new friend as well. Whisker became the faithful distillery dog - and showed them the tricks of the trade.
A dog’s greatest fear is that his owner will walk out the door without him…never to return! I see the worry on the faces of my Bernese Mountain Dogs (aka BMDs) whether I’m leaving to the office for the day, or embarking on a week-long business trip overseas, and it breaks my heart a little each time. Happily, there are plenty of enticements, beyond the invariably ecstatic welcome of the loyal pups, to keep me eager to get home. We want to ensure that at least one true indulgence awaits you – if nothing else… an exquisite glass of exceptional Bourbon. We are pleased, therefore, to offer you our second release of Lone Whisker 12-year- old Kentucky Bourbon!
Lone Whisker is a proprietary blend of 74% corn, 21% rye and 5% malted barley. Proofed at an elegant 93.8 ABV, our Bourbon rests 12 years in oak barrels. Our inaugural 2,000-bottle offering sold out last year in record time; and with the accolades Lone Whisker has been amassing, we expect this second release to be snapped up faster than a rawhide bone in the jaws of a 120-pound BMD.
Some of you have asked me why we don’t age our Bourbon longer and offer a special release. My answer is simple: I find that 12 years is ideal. At this age, our Bourbon exhibits balance and grace. The amazing aromas of cherry, spice and toffee on the nose, and palate, are not masked by excessive maturity. Also, we would have to charge you more for a 15-year- old, (just because). So, trust me, this 12-year- old version is perfection!
Each bottle of Lone whisker delivers in a burlap sack, with a dog tag around its neck in tribute to the brands namesake (RIP, ol’ Whisker!). A mere 2,000 bottles will be made available annually—one bottle per customer only, allotted on a first-in basis. So whatever you do, don’t dog it. Shipment is scheduled for summer 2018. Due to varying laws for shipping spirits, you may also pick up your bottle either at the distillery (by appointment) or at Backroom Wines in Napa. (The latter can ship to most business addresses in the US). The cost per bottle is $150, plus 8% California sales tax and $35 (flat rate) for shipping.
As always, we are grateful for your support and loyalty. Your reward is that blissful glass of Bourbon waiting for you at home.