Sourced by: Krogman’s, Bloomington, Indiana, USA. For Vine & Table, Carmel, Indiana.
Distilled by Ross & Squibb (MGPI), Lawrenceburg, Indiana, USA
Pi= Pink label, Pu= Purple label
Pi: High rye bourbon (60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malt)
Pu: Single barrel, standard recipe bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malt)
Age: 5 y/o
Proof: 112 (56% ABV)
Purchased for $40 (Vine & Table)
Pi: Light copper.
Pu: Slightly darker.
Pi: Bubble gum, alcohol.
Pu: Grape juice, spiced plum.
Pi: Full-bodied and fruity, with nutmeg and burn. Spicier and dryer with water.
Pu: Lighter with caramel and char. Water brings out cherry pie.
Pi: Allspice, clove
Pu: plums and burn.
Parting words: Bourbon World is the relatively new line of V & T selections of Ross & Squib (formerly MGPI), single barrel, barrel proof (or close to it) bourbons. The person I talked to at the store said they were “very similar” mash bills, but as you can see, they are not. The Pink Label is high rye, and the purple is lower in rye and higher in corn, though it doesn’t quite qualify as high corn, like the Buffalo Trace rye bourbon recipes. Interestingly (but not surprisingly given R & S’s and Four Roses’ shared Seagram’s heritage), Pink Label is very close to the mash bill of Four Roses’ B recipe bourbons and Purple is very close to the E recipe.
Vine & Table is one of the retailers that I will always buy a selection from. They very rarely, if ever, miss. One of the reasons for that is their spirits buyer, Dave Helt. I don’t know Dave especially well, but I was friends with his father, Tom (and I’m still friends with his mother Barb). Tom Helt was the embodiment of the spirit of the pre-boom bourbon enthusiast community. He was relatively tall, had a bushy beard before it was cool, and was legendarily generous. His palate was amazing, and his basement was a magical land of bourbons and Scotches that most people can only dream about now. In these days of the still-overheated bourbon secondary market, the value of his collection would be easily in the millions of dollars, maybe even higher. He, of course didn’t PAY millions of dollars for it, given when he started collecting. Tom was also well known for dry sense of humor and for making George T. Stagg Bananas Foster for the bourbon pilgrims who used to gather at the General Nelson motel in Bardstown, Kentucky twice a year. Sadly, Tom died of cancer in 2018.
Like I said, Tom’s palate and generosity were legendary and those qualities were passed down to his son Dave. These bourbons are both excellent examples of the R & S style , one that is very similar to that of my beloved Four Roses. If you don’t believe me, you can always try a little at V & T’s in-store tasting bar. You could even do your own head to head. I know Tom would be very proud of the bourbons Dave is bringing to V & T. At $40, these are easy buys. Bourbon World Purple label is recommended and the Pink label is highly recommended.