Mr. Boston Drinks website

I don't make a lot of cocktails. Wait, check that. I make a ton of cocktails, they just all happen to be a variation of the Manhattan. And over the course of the last couple years, I've been trying to expand my horizons. Which is why last year when Sazerac launched the Mr. Boston site, I bookmarked it.

And then waited a year to remember that I had done so.

Last week, I was cleaning up my bookmarks when I remembered it was there. Of course, this seemed like a great excuse to put it through its paces and see if I could find anything interesting. 

According to Wikipedia, Mr. Boston was started as a distillery in, you guessed it, Boston in 1933. Within a few years, they were publishing their Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide to help promote their products. For the next 77 years, the company and its various owners published the book with the last edition being published in 2012. In 2009, Sazerac bought the brand and its guide as part of their purchase of the Barton Distillery and brands. According to the company, they immediately started working on bringing the venerable old publication into the modern age by putting it online. 

And this is the part that I find pretty cool. They have digitized the records of every edition they could lay their hands on. That means, if a drink was in multiple editions, you can swap back and forth between the editions to see how the recipe has changed over time. I find that pretty cool and is a step that many companies wouldn't have bothered to take since it probably took a lot of extra time and money to accomplish.

So is the site any good? Yeah. I love it. It's designed with a cool Art Deco feel that is very appropriate for a site that celebrates a history that goes back to when Art Deco was cool the first time. It is easy to use both on the desktop and on your phone. The directions come with an image of the glass you might want to use and a difficulty level so that you know what you are getting into. You can search for recipes by ingredient or name or you can use a "Discover" option that allows you to find recipes based on an event or occasion. If you log in, using Facebook or Google, you can save your favorites and even add your own recipes. 

While doing research over the last week or so, I decided to try as many new cocktails as I could find. I have limited ingredients in the house and even so, I was able to find more than I had time to drink. I even learned that my homemade cranberry juice goes well with bourbon. I have a feeling that I am going to be keeping this particular bookmark and trying a lot of new options.


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Announcing: BourbonGuyGifts.com

A little over a month ago, I got it into my head to buy 1000 whiskey barrel bungs. It took a little fast talking to convince the wife that it was a good idea. Especially since we had recently learned that my biggest client was going to be drastically reducing their need for me. But I had an idea that I wanted to try. 

About six months ago, my wife filled her tasting journal. She asked me to come up with a new one for her. I tried a few things, but I finally came up with a workable design and format a couple weeks ago. Now she can stop using the spiral bound notebook she picked up in the school supply aisle at Target.

Two weeks ago, I noticed someone from South Dakota selling used wine and whiskey barrels on craigslist. At this point, it was a foregone conclusion that I'd be getting at least one. Even though I had other things to do, the barrel had to come apart first. 

What do any of these things have to do with one another? Well, it is no secret that I love whiskey. Bourbon especially. I love bourbon in a glass, but I also love everything else about it. I like seeing barrels and bottles. And every time I go to Kentucky, I have to convince myself to not buy the things created from barrels and bottles. 

I love building things. I like creating real things with my own two hands. It's exciting and real in a way that creating a digital file never will be. And since I had the time and opportunity to do so, I decided to start creating things. Some big, some small. And as of today, I am offering them for sale. I've created an Etsy store, but you can get there by going to BourbonGuyGifts.com

I've created a lot of things so far. Art prints, holiday ornaments made from whiskey bungs, coat racks and candle holders made from staves, Bourbon Tasting journals, a bourbon tasting kit complete with glasses and more. And with more to come. I have a lot of ideas and to this point, I've only made enough to get the store up. so check back often and if you have an idea you'd like to see created that I don't have up yet, drop me a note in the comments. 


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!

Recommendation: The Bourbon Country Reader

Way back when I was a young bourbon-lad, transitioning from a bourbon drinker to a bourbon geek, Chuck Cowdery's The Bourbon Country Reader was the first whiskey publication I subscribed to. Over the years, I subscribed to other whiskey publications, Whiskey Advocate, The Bourbon Review and others. But one-by-one I let those subscriptions lapse. Sometimes it was because I didn't find anything between the pages that I found valuable enough to pay for. Sometimes it was due to lack of time or interest on my part. 

The one publication subscription I've never let lapse is The Bourbon Country Reader. The content is well-written, well-researched and isn't available anywhere else. Chuck knows bourbon and though he has his opinions, that's part of the draw. The subscription, being about the price of a cheap-ish bottle of bourbon, is inexpensive at $20 for six issues. These appear roughly 4-6 times per year but your subscription is issue based, not time based. They appear frequently enough that they become part of your routine and not something that you've forgotten that you subscribed to by the time the next issue arrives. And in what might seem a paradoxical statement I like that it is short. It is 4 pages long with three to four articles per issue. I can get through it in one sitting. There is no filler.

If you are reading bourbon blogs, you are probably reading Chuck Cowdery's blog. If you read bourbon books, you might have read his books: Bourbon, Straight and Bourbon, Strange among others. But if you read only one bourbon publication, it should be The Bourbon Country Reader. Go to Chuck's blog to subscribe. 


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!

If You've Had... Heaven Hill Bonded Bourbons edition

Tonight I finally get around to presenting the If You’ve Had… that inspired the whole idea, Heaven Hill’s line of bonded bourbons. Heaven Hill has a lot of bourbons in their bonded stable. I believe I got all of the readily available ones (even if only in Kentucky). But in any case, there are enough that these were compared to one another over the course of a few days. 

As a refresher, the setup is like this: "If you've had Whiskey A then Whiskey B is..." hotter, spicier, sweeter, more floral, etc. Each section is written as compared to one of the whiskeys. So if you've had that one, but not the others then that section will be of the most use to you. Remember there are no value judgments here. You get to decide based on what you know of Whiskey A if Whiskey B sounds like something you'd want to try.

Up tonight are the ones I had on hand, or could buy locally, including: Evan Williams Bottled in Bond, JTS Brown Bottled in Bond, JW Dant Bottled in Bond, Heaven Hill (6 year old) Bottled in Bond, Old Fitzgerald (wheated) Bottled in Bond and Henry McKenna (10 year old, single barrel) Bottled in Bond. Your mileage may vary on that last one being a single barrel product.

If you’ve had Evan Williams Bottled in Bond then…

JTS Brown is: more grain forward on the nose, mouth and finish. The finish is more bitter. 

JW Dant is: more caramel forward on the nose. It shows more caramel and floral notes in the mouth and the finish is more tannic.

Heaven Hill 6 year Bottled in Bond is: fruitier on the nose. It’s sweeter, warmer and more complex in the mouth. And has a longer and warmer finish.

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond is: more floral on the nose. It is softer and sweeter on entry, but hotter and rougher on the finish.

Henry McKenna 10 year Bottled in Bond is: hotter and shows more oak on the nose. It is sweeter, hotter, fruitier and shows more oak in the mouth and has more oak on the finish.

If you’ve had JTS Brown Bottled in Bond then…

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond is: oakier on the nose. It’s breadier and sweeter, showing more vanilla and caramel in the mouth and shows more oak on the finish.

JW Dant is: very caramel forward by comparison. It is sweeter, more caramel/toffee forward and hotter in the mouth. 

Heaven Hill 6 year Bottled in Bond is: softer and sweeter, showing more caramel and oak. The finish is warmer and longer

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond is: softer and more flavorful on entry, transitioning to a hotter and sweeter experience as it moves back. It has a much longer and warmer finish.

Henry McKenna 10 year Bottled in Bond is: Spicier and fruitier on the nose. Sweeter and spicier in the mouth with a warmer finish.

If you’ve had Heaven Hill 6 Year Bottled in Bond then…

JTS Brown is: much more grain forward on the nose. More vegetal and grain forward, showing more ethanol on both the mouth and finish. 

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond is: very similar on the nose. It shows more mint and baking spice in the mouth and has a shorter finish.

JW Dant is: sweeter on the nose. It shows more butterscotch pudding and baking spice in the mouth and has a more tannic finish.

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond is: sweeter in the nose. It shows more mint and is more grain forward on the mouth. The finish is much hotter.

Henry McKenna 10 year Bottled in Bond is: sweeter and a little more complex on the nose, showing more oak. It’s hotter with more oak flavors in the mouth and is hotter and longer on the finish.

If you’ve had JW Dant Bottled in Bond then…

JTS Brown is: more vegetal and rougher on both the mouth and finish. 

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond is: less sweet on the nose. It’s maltier and shows more baking spices in the mouth. It’s less tannic on the finish.

Heaven Hill 6 year Bottled in Bond is: sweeter and fruitier with more caramel and oak in the mouth with a less tannic finish.

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond is: softer and sweeter on the nose. It is softer and less flavorful in the mouth and more vegetal on the finish.

Henry McKenna 10 year Bottled in Bond is: spicier and less sweet on the nose. Sweeter in the mouth and shows more oak. It’s hotter and oakier on the finish.

If you’ve had Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond then…

JTS Brown is: mintier, showing less caramel on the nose. It’s hotter and rougher on entry and shows more grain and baking spice in the mouth. The finish is more bitter. 

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond is: less floral on the nose and shows more brown sugar and baking spice in the mouth. The mouth is hotter on entry but softer on the finish.

JW Dant is: much more butterscotch forward on the nose. It is sweeter and shows more butterscotch and baking spices in the mouth. The finish is longer with a lingering baking spice.

Heaven Hill 6 year Bottled in Bond is: softer on the nose. It is sweeter on the mouth showing more baking spice. The finish is less hot and harsh.

Henry McKenna 10 year Bottled in Bond is: fruitier with more oak on the nose. The mouth is sweeter, fruitier and shows more oak and baking spice. The finish is richer showing more oak and baking spice.

If you’ve had Henry McKenna 10 year Bottled in Bond then…

JTS Brown is: more grain forward on the nose, shows more grain and ethanol on the mouth and has a finish that shows more bitter grain flavors. 

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond is: similar on the nose but shows less oak. The mouth isn’t as sweet and shows more grain and baking spices. The finish is shorter.

JW Dant is: sweeter on the nose showing butterscotch and a touch of campfire smoke. It is less sweet on the mouth, even though Dant’s primary point of difference on flavor is more butterscotch. Dant has a softer, but more tannic finish.

Heaven Hill 6 year Bottled in Bond is: less sweet on the nose. It shows more sweet grains and less oak on the mouth and has a softer and less oak forward finish.

Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond is: less spicy and more sugar sweet on the nose. It is softer and more grain forward on the mouth. It is hotter and more grain forward on the finish.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!

If You've Had... Ezra Brooks Edition

This weekend I found myself with two-thirds of the entire Ezra Brooks line up. As I probably wouldn’t have more than one of the lineup at a time for quite a while, I decided to pick up the missing piece and do the second install meant of the If You’ve Had… series

In case you missed it last time, the setup is like this: "If you've had Whiskey A then Whiskey B is..." hotter, spicier, sweeter, more floral, etc. Each section is written as compared to one of the whiskeys. So if you've had that one, but not the others then that section will be of the most use to you. Remember there are no value judgments here. You get to decide based on what you know of Whiskey A if Whiskey B sounds like something you'd want to try.

Up tonight is the Ezra Brooks family. Ezra Brooks Black Label 90 proof, Old Ezra 7-year-old 101 proof, and Ezra B 12 year Single Barrel 99 proof. Mind you that with that last one, your mileage may vary since it is a sourced Single Barrel product.

If you’ve had Ezra Brooks Black then…

Old Ezra is: much darker in the glass and shows much less grain on the nose. It is thicker in the mouth and hotter. It has more pronounced fruitiness, baking spice and oak and a longer and warmer finish.

Ezra B is: darker and richer in color. It is sweeter and fruitier on the nose with pear and maple showing instead of grain. The mouth is richer, sweeter and spicier with an oilier mouthfeel. The finish is longer, warmer and shows more mint and oak.

If you’ve had Old Ezra 7 year then…

Ezra Brooks Black Label is: lighter in color and more grain forward on the nose. It is thinner in the mouth with a more watery mouthfeel. By comparison, the mouth is delicate and grain forward. The finish is much shorter, more gentle, but also more bitter.

Ezra B is: sweeter and fruitier on the nose. It is also sweeter and fruitier on the mouth with a creamier mouthfeel. The finishes are similar in heat and length but Ezra B is showing more baking spice.

If you’ve had Ezra B 12 year then…

Ezra Brooks Black Label is: much lighter in color. The nose is more delicate and more grain forward. The mouth shows more grain and baking spice but is also more bitter. The finish is more gentle and much shorter.

Old Ezra is: more tannic on the nose showing more black tea. It shows more oak in the mouth and is less sweet. The finish is similar in heat and length but shows more oak tannins.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!