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Welcome from the President

Love is Blind


Dear Bourbon Women:

What a time to be alive as a bourbon drinker! Our bars and liquor stores are chock-full of enticing new bourbons, vintage bottles and special barrels. I can’t even manage to sample all the single-barrel offerings from my local favorite store. It’s an embarrassment of riches for bourbon fans.

With so many choices, how can you narrow down what you like? How do you cut through the hype and marketing, and decide how to spend your best bourbon dollars?

My advice – close your eyes.

A blind tasting forces you to consider what you actually like, without labels or endorsements.

Here’s how we do it at my house. We choose three different bourbons, and set out clean glassware for each person, including a small water bottle.  Pour a sample of each bourbon, careful not to reveal the name. Ask each person to try the bourbon neat, then if they like, with a splash of water. Sip, then talk about your findings.

If you prefer cocktails, you can make the same cocktail with three different whiskeys and compare what you liked.

I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by what I learn in a blind tasting. The priciest bourbons aren’t always preferred, and sometimes the mass-marketed classics are the clear winners.

Blind tastings force you to consider the most important question – what do you like?  Fortunately, in the world of bourbon, there’s no wrong answer!

I hope to see you all soon at our upcoming events. Make sure to click on your Bourbon Branch page to see what’s happening in your area, and mark your calendar for August 24-26 for our annual Sip-osium in Louisville.  I’m already working on a special President’s Tasting!


Kerri Richardson

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