By ROCKO JEROME
You probably already have heard of Lucky's and our mission. What you might not know about is our exquisite next door liquor store. The same way you will find experts of produce, meat, and natural living in our grocery, you will find similarly sharp tacks who can tell you everything you need to know to kick your adult beverage sipping nightlife into a new stratosphere. I got the chance to ask our bourbon genius some questions.
Jordan Morris, in his own words:
What is the one thing you wish more people understood about bourbon?
Without a doubt, I wish more people understood that an older bourbon will not necessarily taste better than a younger bourbon. There are many variables that go into the flavor profile for bourbon. Just with regard to the aging process, how bourbon ages in a barrel can be just as important to the final product as the duration that the bourbon is in the barrel. Distillers are very aware that temperature at locations in a warehouse, airflow at the location in the warehouse, as well as the wood of the barrel can be very influential on the final product.
Have you found that through your life, your tastes have changed?
Without a doubt, my tastes in bourbon have changed over time. Like many people when they first get into bourbon, my first experiences were with some of the larger labels like Evan Williams, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, etc. After trying most of the standard offerings and discovering that I liked bourbon (the price of bourbon when I was in college really helped with that discovery), I started to try different labels and try to pick out the differences in the offerings. Now, I find myself leaning more towards labels that offer something unique in the flavor profile – i.e., something a little bit outside the norm. For example, the high-rye offerings of Four Roses, the barrel proof and/or non-chill filtered offerings that many distillers are now releasing, the private barrel picks that many stores are offering, etc.
What's your current favorite bourbon, or is it situational?
Asking me what my favorite bourbon is like asking a devoted father which child is his favorite. My bourbon of preference is very situational. What bourbon I prefer at any time is dependent on the time of year and what I want to drink (mixed drink? budget drinking? special occasion?). Around release season for many of the limited allocation releases, I’m generally drinking whatever I was fortunate to find. If I’m on a budget, mixing a cocktail, or serving a bunch of guests, I think many of the bottled-in-bond bourbons are a great value. My personal favorites are Very Old Barton Bottled-in-Bond, Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond, and Old Forester Signature (technically not Bottled-in-Bond). I really like the high-rye offerings in mixed drinks, like Bulleit and Four Roses. Finally, I really enjoy many of the private barrel picks that stores and bars around Louisville have been doing lately. Honestly, there so many very knowledgeable people in Louisville doing excellent private selections that I cannot begin to list them all.
Do you still love your first favorite?
My very first favorite was Evan Williams Single Barrel. I still have a very soft spot in my heart for that particular label, and I will always have a bottle on hand. I still drink it for the same reasons – it is a very approachable bourbon, no discernible flavor overpowers the bourbon – it is a relatively low-rye recipe, so the intense flavors generally associated with rye are very subtle and balanced by the dominant corn sweetness; it is a very easy sipping bourbon at 86.6 proof, you won’t need ice or water; and it is still has a very reasonable price.
Where and when can you be found?
If you want to talk bourbon and perhaps do some interesting taste comparisons, I host bourbon tastings at Lucky’s Market Wine & Spirit Shop (200 N. Hurstbourne Parkway, Louisville) on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Otherwise, I can be found talking bourbon and drinking bourbon at many of the wonderful whiskey bars around Louisville.