Whiskey lovers get ready: Blue Note Bourbon, a locally-produced bourbon, will make its debut in mid-July.
The bourbon is the first bourbon produced at Big River Distilling Co. LLC in Memphis.
“Blue Note Bourbon is made to honor the deep, music history of Memphis,” says Big River co-owner McCauley Williams. The bourbon is “as smooth as the blues.”
In addition to being “extremely smooth,” Blue Note Bourbon has “strong notes of caramel, butterscotch, and spice.”
The bourbon will be “an extremely limited release product. We are releasing 950 bottles into the Memphis market.”
Big River Distillery opened at the old Pyramid Vodka site, but vodka no longer will be made there, Williams said.
“We bought the company and have pivoted away from vodka and are now doing Tennessee whiskey and bourbon,” says Williams, who owns the business with Alexander Folk, who, previously, was an owner of Pyramid Vodka.
“There’s a much larger market for whiskey,” Folk says. “It ages over time and becomes more and more valuable each day.”
“Vodka,” Williams says, “is an un-aged spirit and is designed to be tasteless. It’s a mixture to mix with. It tastes as close to nothing as possible. Bourbon is more like a red wine. You take a more artistic approach to it. There are bold flavors that taste like a caramel note, a a smoky note, a caramel pecan note. There are similar terms for red wine.”
Williams, who was with Baker Donelson law firm, and Folk grew up together.
“The long story short, the company kind of fizzled out before it really got off the ground, Williams says.
Williams represented Pyramid Vodka “during these disputes about what to do with the company.”
He and Folk began talking about what it would be like if they bought the company and changed the product.
Blue Note Bourbon is the first of many brands from Big River Distilling Co. “We do plan on doing a number of different brands here in town all to be produced by us,” Williams says. “We’re going to do a rye whiskey, a Tennessee whiskey and multiple varieties of bourbon.
“We think the Memphis market deserves its own premium small batch bourbon whiskey that it can call its own. A good drinking product they can enjoy.”