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This is week 30 in my year of drinking adventurously and I have veered off course.  This week’s selection, per the author, is geuze.  I just didn’t have the time or patience to go on this week’s quest since I  knew I’d be going on one of my own.

Our guide

Our guide

A couple of girlfriends and I piled in the car Saturday morning to go to Bluegrass Underground.  There are several wineries and distilleries in the area we were going to, so I let the map be our guide.

Our first stop was Beans Creek Winery in Manchester, Tennessee.  We tried a few whites, a red, rose, and a port.  You may recall, I skipped ports a few weeks ago, so I’m counting this as a makeup.  I came home with two bottles.  One of which, the Cynthiana  is “a Tennessee grown varietal.  This wine has hints of tart cherry, cedar, cracked black pepper, and spice.”  At first sniff you get the tart cherry and it immediately reminds you of port.  Our tasting guide Lynn told us that this is the wine they use for their port.  I enjoyed this wine so much, I couldn’t wait to try the port.  The same nose of cherry came across, but with the sweeter, more fortified finish and now some cinnamon and coffee notes come through.

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Saturday night we hit the caves for some Bluegrass Underground to see Keller Williams.  We had a brief moment of excitement when a fuse blew and the entire cave went dark for a second.  Quickly back in action, the show went on.  I discovered Zach Deputy whose music style is something like a cross of reggae and bluegrass.  What energy and an amazing sound!  These two are touring together into early next year.  Go see them!!

Sunday morning we enjoyed a leisurely start.  We stayed at a beautiful home I found on Airbnb.  We were surrounded by fields and flowers, with the sounds of doves and chickens, and one very friendly cat.  Once we got on the road we drove a short way to Jack Daniel’s Distillery.

When I was there last time, we didn’t have time to do the tasting tour.  This time there was  no rush and good thing.  They just opened their new tasting building the week before and  it is beautiful.  While I’ve had several of their whiskeys, and have some on my bar, I’ve never tried them side by side.  Our tasting included Gentleman Jack, Old No.7, Single Barrel Select, Tennessee Honey, and Tennessee Fire.  The Honey and Fire are things I would never have tasted on my own and I can say they don’t suck.  The Honey was quite nice actually and I may try and find a way to play with it for some cocktails.  The Fire tastes just like eating a bag of cinnamon imperials or red hot candies, which are my favorite, but not in a drink.  I don’t know what you’d do with this other than purely for entertainment.

The other tastes were quite good.  Tennessee Whiskey is made by doing a charcoal filtration before it’s aged.  Gentleman Jack goes through the charcoal again after the maturation process to take out some of the color and woody flavor, giving it a much more mellow flavor.  Without this extra step, we have good ole’ No. 7.  Tried and True, same recipe Mr Daniel started using all those years ago.  The Single Barrel Select was the winner for me with hints of vanilla and this beautiful natural sweetness that came through.

A wonderful weekend with good friends enjoying good music, good food, and good booze.  It can’t get much better.  Be sure to see what Meg drank this week.

Here’s to Toasting Tuesday!

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