Bourbon Blitz – Week 7; October 9, 2023

“In case you’re wondering, seven words I never thought would leave my lips in my career: Taylor Swift is not at the game.  That’s a first. I’ve never said that before. There’s some brokenhearted people I just saw in the stands.” – Jim Nantz

Okay, enough of that… let’s move onto the real stuff.

This weekend was a bit different than usual, as I was in Louisville with a group of friends to celebrate my 40th. The big day actually occurred in June, but I had no desire to drink bourbon the heat and humidity of the Kentucky summer. 

The weekend saw stops at Michter’s, Bardstown, Heaven Hill, Willett, Maker’s Mark, and Angel’s Envy. We will do a deep dive into the planning of a Bourbon Country trip here on the site in a few weeks. Until then, let’s focus on the big college news this weekend: Notre Dame at Louisville. 

It was exciting being in Louisville for this game. The energy was palpable, and it was the big event that everyone was talking about. We had spent the day visiting four distilleries, and we were on our way back from the Bardstown area while fans were filling the stadium, getting back to our Airbnb just in time for kickoff. As we stopped for dinner at Emmy Squared pizza, the game was on every TV as the Cardinals took an early lead. The evening went from cocktails at Bar Genevieve to beers at West 6th Brewery, all while the Cardinals built a bigger and bigger lead. When the clock struck 0:00, the bar erupted as the locals cheered on the upset victory.

As a Buckeye, I wanted our victory over the Fighting Irish to mean a little more… but it was exciting to be involved in such a big win.

Speaking of my Buckeyes, they handled Maryland at home on Saturday. We were having drinks at Willett distilling as the Buckeyes opened up the game and took on a commanding lead. As our driver navigated the enhanced Louisville traffic, we watched the click tick to 0:00 as the Buckeye’s clinched the victory.

When we look at the NFL, the first call out is the big win by the Chicago Bears, who took care of the Washington Commanders on Thursday night. This was big for the Bears, who had yet to get a win this season going into this game — and also for Paulie Pabst of the Dan Patrick Show, who was banned from Meat Friday until the Bears won. 

The Browns had a bye week, so my Sunday was guaranteed to be a good one.

The Ravens and Steelers played each other… which is the only time that I actually hope for a tied game. Unfortunately, the Steelers won the game. (To be clear, I would consider it unfortunate if the Ravens won too.) However, the game of the evening was the 49ers taking the Cowboys out behind the woodshed. That game was painful to watch — especially so for me, since the 49ers of Santa Clara visit Cleveland next week. I’m bracing for another painful game.

When it comes to food and drink, the highlight of the weekend was our dinner at Repeal Oak Fired Steakhouse. To start, we continued the bourbon taking theme and enjoyed Maker’s Mark Cellar Aged Bourbon, which was delicious, rich, and complex. While most Maker’s Mark is aged no longer than 6 years, the Cellar Aged variety is aged 11 years in their limestone cellar that is VERY chilly. If you find a bottle, or can get a glass, I highly recommend it.

While the entire dinner was good (the steak could compare against the high end steakhouses in Chicago), the highlight was the French onion soup. Now, if you’ve never had French onion soup (what is wrong with you?), it’s a delicious concoction of beef stock and caramelized onions, served with croutons in the broth, topped with cheese and fired under the broiler. Repeal had some of the best I’ve ever had – and not only that, but they served them with a small pair of scissors! This is game-changing! The most difficult part is always using a spoon to navigate the thick melty cheese, the side of scissors make that so much easier. If you are a restaurant that serves French onion soup, get some scissors. 

There will be more to come on planning a trip to Bourbon County, as well as some highlights of distillery-only spirits after we conclude our spooky season focus on the scary, cheap spirits. Until then, remember to tune in every week to the Bourbon Blitz for your fix of football, food, and drinks. Cheers and see you soon.

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