Tasting Notes for March 15, 2013 Holly Hill Inn Menu

Around the World in 80 Days • New York City, 1872 • Bourbon & Cocktail Flight


The Boulevardier Cocktail

This is the precursor to the Manhattan. It seems to have been developed in the 1890s, about 20 years after Fogg would have been through. The cocktail is sharp, robust and slightly bitter with almost no sweetness.

Recipe: 2 oz bourbon,1 oz sweet vermouth, 1 oz Campari. Stir over ice for 60 seconds, strain and garnish with an orange twist. (For the flight, pour size is half.)

Larceny Bourbon (Alternate for non-cocktail drinkers, 1.5 oz pour)

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Grain bill: corn, wheat, malted barley (very high wheat; specific proportions not released). 92 Proof. Blend of 6 to 12 year old barrels.

Larceny is named for John E. Fitzgerald, who, in the 1870s, was a federal bonded treasury agent who made a fortune by ‘appropriating’ the best bourbons and reselling them under his own name. He was part of a tax evasion conspiracy so large it reached up to O. E. Babcock, then President Grant’s personal secretary.

This bourbon is a small batch containing less than 100 hand-selected barrels. Nose is strong wheat with notes of toffee and butterscotch. Taste is buttery caramel, honey and mild spiciness with a rich mouthfeel. Finish is long, gently sweet and savory with subtle grain and grass notes.

2012 Malt Advocate “Best Buy.”


Old Forester Signature 100 Proof 

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. 72% corn, 18% rye, 10% malted barley. 100 Proof. No age statement.

From the marketing department: A spirit so finely crafted that in 1870, bourbon pioneer George Garvin Brown bottled it, sealed it, signed it and pledged: “This is mine, I guarantee every drop.”

Old Forester was the first bourbon to be sold by the bottle only. It launched in 1870 and would have been just appearing in New York in 1872. The newly released 100 proof Signature edition is a small batch from hand-selected barrels and most likely is the closest we’ll get to the flavor profile of the 1800s version.

Nose is strong and complex with the typical caramel, vanilla and oak plus rich spiciness with cinnamon, clove, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg and orange. Taste matches the nose with excellent balance of the flavors. Finish is long with the sweet notes falling away early letting the spices linger.

2003 San Francisco World Spirits Competition “Gold Medal.” 2004, 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition “Double Gold Medal.” 2004 San Francisco World Spirits Competition “Best Bourbon of Show.”


Bluegrass Sundown Kentucky Bourbon Coffee Cocktail

Bluegrass Sundown is a dark roasted coffee liqueur infused with Kentucky Bourbon and designed to produce a velvety, rich dessert drink. (It’s like an Irish coffee with Kentucky pride!) It’s made by Alltech, the company that produces Peirce Lyons Reserve single malt whiskey, Town Branch bourbon and KY Bourbon Barrel Ale.

Recipe: 2 oz Bluegrass Sundown, 4 oz boiling water. Stir together in coffee mug. Float heavy cream on top. (For the flight, pour size is half.)

2012 International Spirits Competition “Gold Medal.”

Old Fitzgerald Bottled In Bond (Alternate for non-cocktail drinkers, 1 oz pour)

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Grain bill: corn, wheat, malted barley (specific proportions not released). 100 Proof. No age statement.

Like the Old Forester, the Old Fitzgerald brand hit the market in 1870. Unlike the Old Forester, which was sold only in the bottles and targeted the average whiskey drinker, Old Fitz was sold by the barrel and originally exclusively to steamships and railways giving it a certain allure. (It was later discovered to have been sold to gentlemen’s clubs in larger cities as well.) If Fogg were to have had a fine bourbon on his railway journey across the United States, this would likely have been it.

Nose is very soft and sweet with oak, vanilla and some fruit. Taste is a bit rough with notes of grains, barrel char, leather and light spice. Ice brings reduces the barrel flavors and brings up the sweet and nut character. Finish is medium length, hot and slightly oily with flavors of raisins, orange peel and oak. Ice reduces the heat and oiliness.

Distilled at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, KY (owned by Heaven Hill). Bottled by Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, KY.


A New York State of Mind

March 15-16. $40. Wine pairing available. Vegetarian options available.

Hors d’oeuvre

“Lobster Roll”

Buckwheat blini with lobster salad

First Course

Grand Central’s Oyster Bar Oyster Pan Roast

Fresh-shucked oysters sautéed with a little cream and butter over toast points

Benito II’s Mozzarella en Carrozza

Fresh Mozzarella sandwiches pan fried in olive oil with lemon caper sauce

Second Course

Caesar Salad

Nicola Paone’s way

55th Street Lobster Bisque

Rich with lobster butter and toasted croutons


Pan-Fried Flounder Canal Street Style

Dusted in corn starch and soy and sauced with fresh ginger black bean sauce over scallion dumplings

Midway Meets Mulberry Stuffed Veal Chop

Boneless 10-oz. veal chop, butterflied and stuffed with thin-sliced prosciutto, Taleggio and golden raisins with Marsala mushroom sauce

Le Cirque’s Original Spaghetti Primavera

Lexington Pasta’s fresh spaghetti with Sirio’s original recipe of broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, tomato, fresh herbs and a touch of cream and Parmesan


New York Cheesecake

High and light

Hannah Davis’ Baked Apple Crunch

Spiced apples with a butter crumb crunch topping