The Steward’s Solera Bourbon
Tasting bourbon never gets old. Seriously, I never tire of tasting bourbon. Sure, I try bourbons that should probably go back to finishing school, but for the most part, I taste pretty good ones.
I’m not just a bourbon lover (and as regular readers know, I’ve only been drinking it for a few years now) and I’m a wine lover. One of my favorite styles of wines are meritages or blends, for a lot of reasons. There can be a certain complexity to a blended wine that can be difficult to get with a single varietal. Same holds true with bourbon.
“Let me introduce you to The Steward’s Solera Bourbon, a meritage of bourbons. Now, before you go and get all high and mighty that bourbon has to come from a single source, don’t. You will leave a lot of good bourbons to the side if you do.
Steward’s blends bourbons from four different states: Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Colorado. Why would they do this? As with wine, terroir (a region) plays a big part in the flavor profiles because of the soil, air, rain, and humidity, and its effects on the corn, wheat, and rye. Keeping with tradition, Steward’s is bottled at 100 proof, which helps it stand up to other ingredients when you make a cocktail. Overall, you will find Steward’s an enjoyable bourbon. With a minimum age of eight years, it shows its promise to grow up and sit at the table with the big boys.
If you’d like to try The Steward’s, head over to Schoolhouse in Arvada. Schoolhouse is an interesting restaurant/bar in that it looks and feels like a classroom complete with a “pencil bar” and presidents on the wall. Andy, the bar manager, will be happy to pour you a glass. And after you finish your bourbon, you can choose from the over 1,100 whiskeys with an inventory worth over $100,000.
With that many whiskies, I asked Andy what the most expensive one they have on hand is. At time of writing this article it was Lady Burn scotch; for $250 you can have a pour all to yourself…and you should. Considering the distillery closed 41 years ago, they aren’t making any more. Want to stay on the bourbon trail? Their most expensive bourbon is Jim Beam Distiller’s Masterpiece. (I’ll have to make a note to taste that one too.)
So, now that we have a background on Steward’s and you know where to get it, let’s get to the reason I write about bourbon—the tastings!
|Neat||A lot of tobacco and caramel—you can really smell the tobacco; good heat, not overpowering.|
|One drop of distilled water||Tames the tobacco, brings out the caramel and a lot more of the flavor of the bourbon|
|One ice cube||100-proof bourbon becomes velvety, still stands up with great body and structure, still a bit of heat, great with one cube|
|Manhattan||A bit of a chocolate flavor—very surprising to have that flavor note, extremely smooth, a little bite, coats the tongue, flat on the finish|
*All Manhattans are made with the same ingredients: Carpano Antica dry Vermouth, dash of bitters and bourbon, stirred and served up and with a Luxardo cherry.
“Overall, I prefer The Steward’s Solera Bourbon with one ice cube. I think the texture and flavor stand up well to it and more of the flavor comes out. Quite enjoyable, actually.
Schoolhouse is located at 5660 Olde Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, CO 80002
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