fbpx

Bourbons & Ryes

Our passion is enabling YOU to create YOUR personal bourbon. We also love sharing with you what we’ve created. We offer the Riverboat Collection, that celebrates Cincinnati’s heritage as the heart of pre-prohibition whiskey and Dexter Straight Bourbon, that celebrates famous whiskey maker Edmund Dexter. We also release special edition bottles that are available on a limited basis throughout the year. Cheers!

Paddle Wheel

200 Year Oak

Bourbon

Paddle Wheel bourbon is our BEST SELLING & MOST FLEXIBLE whiskey.  Being finished with 200 year Oak and European Oak gives it a level of richness and complexity that is normally only found in bourbons costing twice as much or more.  This is why it wins great value awards.  It’s also the most flexible – it’s spectacular neat, over ice or in all classic and craft cocktails – as evidenced by it getting the very rare 95 point rating. 

Paddle Wheel 200 Year Oak Bourbon is our flagship whiskey. It’s also our most popular. It was inspired by a trip to Scotland by our co-founders Doug & Joe….

Inspiration for Paddle Wheel – a Tasting in Edinburgh Scotland

In the early days of Brain Brew –  Doug and Joe set up a tasting of their most recent discoveries In Edinburgh Scotland with three long time friends and whisky industry experts.  

The clear winner of the tasting was a product tentatively called Kentucky Club.  It was finished with 200 Year Oak.  The experts were captivated by the unique taste plus long and delicious finish or aftertaste. 

As one said “Doug and Joe, I knew you could create great modern whiskies.  But this 200 year Oak has the flavor of very old whiskies that I’ve had the honor of tasting. It’s amazing!” 

Eventually Kentucky Club became Paddle Wheel as the Brain Brew Crew decided to celebrate their home town.  The idea was very simple.  Create a bourbon that is as close to a luxury Cincinnati bourbon of the 1800s as possible.  

Joe in the UK holding distillery bottles of Kentucky Club the first 200 year oak bourbon.  It got rave reviews from experts.  In time it was renamed Paddle Wheel in celebration of Cincinnati’s role as the commercial center of Pre-prohibition American Whiskey.

FUN FACTS

  • Paddle Wheel is as close as you can get to tasting what bourbon would have tasted like on the upper deck of a luxury riverboat in the 1800s. 
  • The 200 year oak comes from reclaimed oak boards from old barns in Kentucky/Ohio.  The barns themselves were well, well over 100 years old.  And the wood used to build them would have been 100 years old as well.  
  • Paddle Wheel is crafted from 21% rye bourbon. 
  • When the 200 year wood was tested it was actually “cleaner” than wood from trees today. We believe this is because of less pollutants in the air and soil when the trees were growing.
  • In addition to 200 year oak,  Paddle Wheel is also WoodCraft Finished with European oak. In the 1800s, European oak would have been what Madeira and other luxury spirits shipped from Europe would have been shipped in.  Then the barrels would have been used to finish luxury bourbon.

TASTING NOTES

Vanilla, caramel, anise and sherry bouquet lead to dark fruit, raisin, caramel and allspice that fills the pallet. The taste concludes with a long complex oaky finish.

BOTTLE AWARDS

Connoisseurs love the results of Paddle Wheel Bourbon – awarding this product a 95 rating (Ultimate Recommendation) at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge and a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

BOURBON SMASHCo-Founder, Joe Girgash’s Personal Favorite

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 oz of Simple Syrup
  • 5 to 8 Mint Leaves (depending on size of leaves)
  • 1/4 of a Large Lemon Cut Into Wedges (or 1/2 a small lemon)
  • 2 oz of Paddle Wheel Bourbon
  • Ice

Directions 

First, muddle simple syrup, mint leaves and lemon together. Next, add Paddle Wheel with a lot of ice and shake for 12 seconds. Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a wedge of lemon & mint. As an optional addition, you can add some ginger ale to it.

BOURBON SOURA Craft Version of a Whiskey Sour

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz of Fresh Orange Juice
  • 1/2 oz of Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz of Paddle Wheel Bourbon

Directions

First, combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake with a lot of ice for 12 seconds. Next, strain into a glass with fresh ice. As an optional addition, you can add some zest from lemon and orange.

BOURBON SAZERACCo-Founder, Doug Hall’s Personal Favorite

Ingredients 

  • 2 oz of Paddle Wheel Bourbon
  • 1 tsp. of Simple Syrup
  • 4 Sprays of Absinthe Bitters*
  • 3 Drops of Brain Brew 1862 Bitters – optional

Absinthe Bitters (Employees Only NYC recipe*)

Mix the following together and bottle in small spray bottles:

  • 3 cups of Pernod
  • 1/2 cup of Green Chartreuse
  • 1 teaspoon of Peychaud’s bitters
  • 1 teaspoon of Angostura bitters
  • 2 tablespoons of Fee Brothers mint bitters

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker and shake with a lot of ice for 12 seconds. Next, strain into a glass with fresh ice.

Deckhand

Five Wood

Rye Whiskey

Deckhand Rye is our BIGGEST and BOLDEST tasting whiskey.  This is a result of its 95% rye mash bill  and five wood WoodBill™ – American Oak, European Oak, 200 Year Oak, Maple Wood, Cherry Wood.  It’s fantastic neat, over ice and in whiskey forward cocktails like Manhattans, Sazaracs and Paper Planes. 

Deckhand Five Wood Rye is rye whiskey taken to a new level of flavor. Deckhand was inspired by a visit to a classic “working mans” pub with a good friend….

Inspiration for Deckhand – The Working  Man’s / Woman’s Rye

Deckhand was inspired by a visit to the Coat of Arms pub in Portsmouth New Hampshire.  Doug and a friend discussed different ideas for a new whiskey.  The friend talked of the need for a whiskey that spoke to the everyday person.  He said, “Frankly I’m tired of all the hype and over priced whiskies.  What is needed is a whiskey that celebrates the the working man / woman.”

The friend’s insight resonated.  The obvious choice for mash bill was rye.  Rye is the favorite of of the  “working men and women” of the spirits industry – bartenders – chefs – restaurant owners – and even our team members that produce and package all our bottles.   

The Coat of Arms Pub where the idea for Deckhand was born.  Sadly the Coat of Arms is now closed but the “working man” spirit lives on. 

FUN FACTS

  • Deckhand is our salute to the working men and women who work hard – in factories, hospitals, restaurants, bars, distilleries, breweries, wineries, offices, and all the various service industries.
  • Rye whiskey was the whiskey of the American colonies. George Washington distilled rye whiskey at Mount Vernon. In time, bourbon became the best selling American whiskey with rye being number two.  Today, rye whiskey is growing rapidly.  
  • Because rye is such a big flavor, the Brain Brew Crew decided to go even bigger, finishing it with five woods:  American oak, European oak, maple wood, cherry wood and 200 year oak.
  • A “sister” product of Deckhand that we also produce, Noble Oak Rye, received an earth shattering 97 point rating and selection one of the top 100 spirits in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge.  
  • Deckhand is crafted from 95% rye.  

TASTING NOTES

Dried cherry, currant and honey on the nose carry throughout, along with a cardamon, black pepper, vanilla, cherry cola and honey create a complex finish.

BOTTLE AWARDS

Connoisseurs love the results of Deckhand  – awarding this product a Double Gold at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and 94 points at the 2020 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

BIG CITYA Fresher, Brighter Version of the Manhattan

Ingredients 

  • 2 oz Deckhand Rye
  • 1/2 oz dry vermouth (Dolin)
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier

Directions 

First, combine all of the ingredients in a shaker. Next, add ice and shake for 12 seconds. Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with cherry

PAPER PLANEA Big Flavor Cocktail That Stands Up to Deckhand

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 oz of Deckhand Rye
  • 3/4  oz Aperol
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Amaro Nonino

Directions 

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Then, add ice and stir for 40 revolutions. Next, strain into coupe glass or rocks glass with fresh ice. 

RYE SAZERACA Bigger Version of the Bourbon Sazerac

Ingredients 

  • 2 oz of Deckhand Rye
  • 1 teaspoon of simple syrup
  • 3 Drops of Brain Brew 1862 Bitters – optional
  • 4 sprays of Absinthe Bitters*

Directions 

First, combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake with lots of ice for 12 seconds. Next, strain into a glass with fresh ice and enjoy. 

    Keelboat

    Easy Drinking

    Whiskey

    Keelboat Whiskey Bottle

    Keelboat Whiskey is our SMOOTHEST & EASIEST DRINKING whiskey. This is a result of its unique four grain mash bill of wheat, corn, rye and barley.   While some love it over ice – it’s most commonly the basis of amazingly delicious cocktails. 

    Keelboat Easy Drinking Whiskey is the most relaxing whiskey we make. It was inspired by our desire to create a whiskey with no bite or burn…

    Inspiration for Keelboat – Create a chill out and relax whiskey. 

    Keelboat was inspired by a desire to kick back and relax. To create a whiskey that didn’t take itself too seriously. A product for sipping on the deck by the lake out back of our distillery.   

    Our product goal was to create the smoothest, easiest drinking whiskey on earth. Most importantly, it had to work served neat, over ice, mixed or in cocktails.  Basically – the no stress whiskey. 

    Having created the whiskey we then set out to created unique culinary cocktails. While we love the “cocktail classics”, at Brain Brew we pride ourselves in adding a smart twist or bold innovation to all that we do.  The recipes below are only the start. 

    Chilling out on the dock by the lake behind our distillery is the ultimate Keelboat easy drinking whiskey moment. 

    FUN FACTS

    • Keelboat is a unique blend of the four great grains of whiskey – Corn, Rye, Barley and Wheat.  The magical grain in this combination is the high Wheat content in the mash bill.   It smooths out the other grains creating a product that is just crazy smooth and relaxed.
    • Well over 50% of American whiskey is drank mixed with soda or in cocktails.
    • As one of our very first whiskies – learning from Keelboat provided a foundation for all that followed. 

    The Garage – yes the Garage where Brain Brew was born.  It’s also where our R&D Lab is located. Keelboat and every other product we’ve created is born here. 

    TASTING NOTES

    Light nose of vanilla, citrus and brown sugar. Smooth on the tongue with flavors of honey, caramel, oak and butterscotch. soft finish of cinnamon and toasted oak.

    SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

    PEACE TREATY™The Luxury Cocktail for Everyone

    Ingredients 

      • .75 oz Maple Syrup
      • 1 oz Fresh Orange Juice
      • 1 oz Cranberry Juice
      • 1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
      • 2 oz Keelboat
      • A Splash of 7 Up or Diet 7 Up

    Directions

    Combine ingredients in a tall glass, add ice and stir 20 times. Lastly, add a Splash of regular or diet 7 Up. 

    EMBASSY™The Ultimate Refresher

    Ingredients 

      • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice (Or Pineapple Juice)
      • 3/4 oz Honey Water
      • 2 oz of Keelboat

    Directions 

    Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir. Next, strain ingredients into an old fashioned glass with fresh ice. 

    Making Honey Water: First, heat equal parts local wildflower honey and water. Next, chill in refrigerator. You can store for up to 3 weeks.

    WINNI TINIA Summer twist on an Old Fashioned

    Ingredients 

    • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
    • 1/2 oz Maple Syrup
    • Handful of Strawberries & Blueberries 
    • 2 oz Keelboat Whiskey

    Directions 

    First, muddle the maple syrup, lemon juice and berries. Next, add the whiskey and shake with ice for 12 seconds. Serve in a coupe glass or in an old fashioned glass with fresh ice

    Tall Stacks

    Three Wood

    Smoked Bourbon

    Tall Stacks Bourbon

    Keelboat Whiskey Bottle

    Tall Stacks Bourbon is our MOST UNIQUE whiskey.  It’s a three wood “smoke bomb”.   The smoke flavor is more American BBQ/Campfire then it is Scottish Aisle peat.   While some drink it straight – it’s most commonly used in cocktails.  It makes a killer SMOKE STORM Highball (Tall Stacks + Coke + a splash of Grand Marnier or Cointreau) – or Smoked Old Fashioned, Smoked Bourbon Sour, Smoke Manhattan, etc. 

    Tall Stacks Three Wood Smoked Bourbon is a culinary masterpiece. It was inspired by crossing our love of cooking with the challenge of creating an American twist on the smokey flavor of Islay Scotch…

    Inspiration for Tall Stacks – An American Twist on the Smokey Flavor of Islay Scotch

    Tall Stacks was inspired by crossing the Brain Brew Crew’s love of cooking with an American version of the smokey whiskies of Islay, Scotland. Prior to Brain Brew, Co-founder Joe Girgash and Master Whiskey Maker, Phillip Kurtz lived in the culinary world as chefs.  

    The challenge was simple: create a bourbon with the smokey intensity of the peaty Islay Scotches – BUT with an American Twist. After many experiments, Joe and Phillip settled on the smoke of American BBQ.   

    Phillip and Joe preparing to carve the pig they roasted all day at our distillery at the Eureka! Ranch. The smoked flavor of BBQ is the essence of Tall Stacks smoked bourbon.

    FUN FACTS

    • Tall Stacks is a 21% Rye Bourbon that is smoked with a mix of Hickory, Apple and Cherry Wood. 
    • It was our first product to win a double gold medal – one of 8 that were awarded at the North American Bourbon and Whiskey championship. 
    • While some will drink it neat or on ice – most people use it in cocktails creating Smoked Manhattans, Old Fashioned and even the tropical drinks like the Painkiller. 

    Petar, Jeremy, Phillip and Joe toasting our first festival with Tall Stacks. If you stopped by the distillery at the end of the work day on Friday, Tall Stacks is the favorite of the Brain Brew Crew.  Often times as a Smoke Storm cocktail (see below). 

    TASTING NOTES

    Hot chocolate, malt and peat nose. Caramel, vanilla malt and oak are rounded out by a long smoky finish. 

    SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

    Smoke Storm A new take on Bourbon and Coke

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz of Tall Stacks Smoked Bourbon
    • 1/2 oz of Grand Marnier
    • 3 Drops of Orange Bitters
    • 3 oz of Coke or Diet Coke

    Directions

    Combine all ingredients and stir gently. Lastly, garnish with orange peel and enjoy. Additional options include Tall Stacks and Ginger-Ale or Tall Stacks and Fresca. 

    Painkiller – The #1 Drink at the Brain Brew Beach Bar

    Ingredients 

    • 2 oz Tall Stacks Smoked Bourbon
    • 1 oz coconut cream
    • 2 oz pineapple juices  
    • 1 oz orange juice

    Directions

    Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake with ice. Pour in glass over fresh ice and garnish with nutmeg. 

    Smoked Margarita A Bizarrely Awesome Drink

    Ingredients 

    • 2 oz Tall Stacks Smoked Bourbon
    • 1 oz Cointreau
    • 1 oz Lime Juice
    • 1/2 oz Simple Syrup

    Directions 

    Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake with ice for 12 seconds. Pour over fresh ice and serve in margarita glass with salted rim. 

    Smoked Perfect Manhattan

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz Tall Stacks Smoked Bourbon
    • 1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
    • 1/2 oz Dry Vermouth
    • 3 drops of 1862 or Angostura Bitters 

    Directions

    Combine all ingredients and shake with ice for 12 seconds. Serve over fresh ice in coupe glass with maraschino cherry. 

    Dexter

    Luxury

    Straight Bourbon

    Keelboat Whiskey Bottle

    Dexter Straight Bourbon is one of the BEST BOURBONS IN THE WORLD!   It’s the product we would bring to a “shoot-out at high noon” versus any bourbon in the world.   It’s also our first product to win the coveted “Top 100 Spirits” award (one of just 20 bourbons and ryes on the list in 2020).  Most folks enjoy it neat or over ice.  That said –  it also makes for true luxury cocktails – if that’s how you prefer your bourbon. 

    Availability: Dexter Straight Bourbon Whiskey will be available at our distillery on June 8th and in New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets in late June. 

    Dexter Three Wood Straight Bourbon is our never ending quest to craft the best spirit In the world…

    Inspiration for DEXTER – Craft the Best Spirit in the World

    Dexter is our never ending quest to make the best spirit In the world! This means a fullness of flavor – a luscious mouth feel – and a satisfyingly long finish.

    To create the best spirit in the world took the combined brain power of all three of our Master Whiskey Makers – Doug, Joe and Phillip. Importantly, it also took rethinking and revising everything we knew about WoodCraft Finishing. The final product contains the wisdom from each of our whiskey makers. 

    The hard work was rewarded when the Ultimate Spirit Challenge awarded Dexter a 95 rating and selected it as one of the best spirits In the world!  Specifically it was named as one of the Top 100 Spirits (one of just 12 Bourbons on the list).

    FUN FACTS

    • The brand name was an easy decision. The best spirit in the world deserved a branding that is equally epic. In the 1800s, Edmund Dexter was a world famous American whiskey maker. Guests at his home on fourth street in Cincinnati included the Prince of Wales (future King George VII) and Charles Dickens.
    • Importantly, Edmund Dexter was an EXPERT whiskey maker not a distiller. He would buy special barrels from farmers and distillers. Then, he’d use his expertise, like brands such as Pappy Van Winkle did, to create world-class whiskey.
    • Our first bottling of Dexter was released on January 2, 2021.  It sold out in 57 minutes!
    • Dexter is crafted from a 36% rye straight bourbon
    • Dexter was a Covid project. When the world shutdown and our bottling moved from whiskey to hand sanitizer (we ended up giving away over 500,000 bottles worth of hand sanitizer), we challenged ourselves to create the ultimate bourbon – the result was Dexter.

     Joe, Doug and Phillip (taking picture) tasting another round of Dexter candidates. Our quest is simple – create the best spirit in the world. 

    TASTING NOTES

    Bitter Chocolate, Orange Peel, and Vanilla nose. A Palate of Earthy, Peppery Rye combines with Cherry, Caramel and Cocoa gives way to a long and supple finish

    SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

    Dexter is a product that is most often drank neat or over ice. That said, it also makes for luxurious cocktails. Here are three of our favorites. 

    Charles Dickens Bourbon Smash

    In 1842, Charles Dickens stayed with Edmund Dexter at his home in Cincinnati.    Dickens was a fan of mint juleps. The recipe below is a modernized version of a recipe he shared with fellow writer Washington Irving. The drink is a cross between a mint julep and a sour (using orange instead of the classic lemon).

    Ingredients

    • 1 Orange Wedge 
    • 5 Mint Leaves
    • 1/2 oz of Simple Syrup
    • 2 oz of Dexter

    Directions

    Combine the orange, mint leaves and simple syrup in a shaker and muddle together. Next, add 2 oz of Dexter and shake for 12 seconds. Serve in a chilled coupe glass or in an old fashioned glass with fresh ice.

    Prince of Wales Cocktail

    In 1860, the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII) stayed with Edmund Dexter at his home in Cincinnati. He is credited with this cocktail in a book written by a member of the royal household. We’ve modernized it to the tastes of today. 

    Ingredients

    • 2 oz of Dexter
    • 1 tsp. of Simple Syrup 
    • 1 tsp. of Pineapple Juice
    • Dash of Angostura or Brain Brew 1862 bitters
    • 1 oz Sparkling Water or Champagne

    Directions

    Combine Dexter, syrup, juice and bitters in shaker. Shake the ingredients with ice for 12 seconds. Pour in glass with ice and finish with 1 oz of sparkling wine or champagne.

    Paper Plane Cocktail 

    This is a modern classic invented in 2008 by Sam Ross of New York City.  It strikes a beautiful balance between bitter, sour and herbal notes. 

    Ingredients 

    • 3/4 ounce of Aperol
    • 3/4 ounce of Dexter 
    • 3/4 ounce of Amaro Nonimo
    • 3/4 ounce of lemon juice.

    Directions

    Combine ingredients in shaker and shake with ice for 12 seconds. Serve in a chilled coupe glass over fresh ice.