The Roxy (Bar Review)
The Roxy hosted a bourbon tasting the night before my birthday, and bourbon is something I’ve definitely grown to love during my time in NC. And let’s be real — I’m down for tasting any sort of alcoholic beverage. This was the first time I went to a bourbon tasting, although I did LOVE the bourbon dinner that Jujube held a few years back in which I tried a bacon bourbon cocktail for the first time. But that was spread out over several dinner courses. Bourbon tasting at the Roxy is a more casual affair with chips and salsa and some cheese pizza strips as snacks.
That’s Chris Houldsworth on the left from Republic National who talked us through the tasting. We tried a total of four bourbons and learned plenty about the spirit in general. There was a group of around 20 people drinking together, and it was a friendly crowd, skewing toward the forties in age. Here’s what I learned:
- Standard bottles of bourbon are generally aged around 4 years. Any longer than that and the bourbon makers get bragging rights. Bourbon isn’t aged as long as other whiskeys because of the hotter weather in the central and southern US. Scotland and Ireland, with their cool climates, can maintain ideal aging conditions for longer periods.
- To be bourbon, the spirit must be at least 51% corn and made in the US. It does not need to come from any specific region in the US. It does need to be aged in American white oak barrels.
- Bourbon stops aging once it’s out of the barrel, so no need to store it away for longer.
- Those barrels are usually charred, thus creating a natural filtration system as the bourbon seeps in and out of the wood as it ages.
- Adding a drop or two of spring water is the ideal way to enjoy bourbon. And no sloshing of that glass to smell the nose! It actually makes it more difficult to taste the bourbon.
Now on to the shots! I don’t have many pictures because it was dark, and well, bourbon really just looks like bourbon for the most part. We started with Elijah Craig 12 year. Elijah Craig, Chris told us, is the largest holder of bourbon in the world. Also, bourbon’s very popular in Japan. Elijah Craig is a top seller there.by