The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2018

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Page 58 of 124

58  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2018 quality of the spirits," Ethan says. "It is a fantastically crafted product that has a direct lineage to this man, who had a significant life that meant something to millions of people around the world." The original 88-proof Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon ($40), crafted from a cache of whiskeys and writings discov- ered by Ethan among his father's archives, closely duplicates Wayne's favorite bourbon by blending five- and eight-year- old whiskeys. "It was a challenging and rewarding experi- ence recreating the magic the Duke started so many years ago," says Radomski, himself an accomplished wine and spirits pioneer. The recently introduced Duke Grand Cru Reserve 9-Year- Old Bourbon ($125), meanwhile, is a truly unique pairing of Old and New World characteristics. Finished in French oak barrels used by award-winning boutique wineries in Napa's Oakville, St. Helena, and Yountville appellations, the spirit possesses a smoothness that belies its proof of 110. The rich, silky, 98-proof Duke Double Barrel Founder's Reserve Rye ($125) also achieves its layered flavor profile from periods spent aging in both French Grand Cru cult California Cabernet barrels and French oak barrels previ- ously used for finishing the Grand Cru bourbon. Needless to say, the two Duke Grand Cru whiskeys are extremely limited and only sold on allocation due to the scarcity and expense of the French oak barrels. "Both of these recipes were developed over years of wine and spirits adventures," Radomski says proudly. Duke Spirit's Premier line portfolio comprises Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Duke Grand Cru Reserve 9-Year-Old Bourbon, Duke Double Barrel Founder's Reserve Rye, and the very-limited Duke Extra Añejo Tequila, which has yet to be released. Trudy Thomas, Director of Beverage for the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN, has been named the first Modern-Day Duke. PHOTO: ALAN DE HERERRA PHOTO: JASON MYERS

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