Blue Run "Chosen" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey The Prime Barrel Pick #79
In February 2023, the Chosen program started with what they dubbed "The Scouting Season." Blue Run was on a mission, like Indiana Jones hunting for relics, but instead, they were looking for retailers and organizations that shared their wild passion for whiskey diversity. They were also busy spreading the word about the program within the whiskey community, like a bunch of whiskey-loving town criers.
Then, just after the chaos of Super Bowl LVII on February 13 (where some folks were more interested in the commercials than the game), they unleashed "The Portal." It wasn't a mystical gateway or a sci-fi wormhole but a digital playground where whiskey enthusiasts could dive headfirst into a thrilling lottery-style adventure. The prize? Their very own Blue Run Whiskey barrels! Think of it as a whiskey lover's version of Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket.
But the fun didn't stop there. Participants were free to let their creative juices flow like a fine bourbon. They could customize their bottle designs by changing the strip stamp, neck label, proof label, and even the color of the iconic Blue Run butterfly medallion. With more than 750 design combinations, it was like being a whiskey Picasso. We polled our Discord whiskey community and settled on a "blacked out" version of the bottle, with all customizable elements done in black.
Fast forward to March 23, and it was "Draft Day" - not the NFL kind, but equally thrilling. Every lucky entry from "The Portal" got tossed into a digital lottery barrel, not a real one, mind you. The outcome? Sixteen lucky winners emerged, and they celebrated this digital draft extravaganza at the Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown, KY. It was like the whiskey version of the Hunger Games, but with happier endings.
These lucky few (including yours truly) then embarked on what they cheekily called "The Season." It was like being on a reality show but with fewer paparazzi. They teamed up with the brand and spent the spring to mid-summer season exploring their unique whiskey profiles. It was like Tinder for whiskey, with choices like picking a single barrel or crafting a micro-blend from a selection hand-picked by Blue Run Whiskey Director Shaylyn Gammon. These barrels were like the spice of life, varying in age, proof, and even mash bill, offering a smorgasbord of flavor possibilities.
Our selection took place in person in Boston while working on another exciting blending project with the guys from Found North (this project will also be announced soon!). Six of us tasted through four different barrels, and the pick was almost unanimous (5 to 1). Unbeknownst to us, the whiskey was distilled by the one and only Willett Distillery and carries a custom mashbill of 74% Corn, 20% Rye, 6% Malted Barley. The selection is 7 years of age for those who are keeping score.
The grand finale will be the Blue Run Butterfly Gala next week, an exclusive VIP launch party where the brand will let loose and show off its creative concoctions. Guests (including some of the premium members of our club) will get to taste a variety of this year's whiskeys, chat with fellow participants and draft entrants, and even compete for awards like the best barrel, best blend, and best design. It was a whiskey journey that will end with a bang and probably a few hangovers, too!