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Issue 113 - Straight from the barrel

Whisky Magazine Issue 113
July 2013


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Straight from the barrel

Witnessing a little piece of Bourbon history

?It's 9:52 a.m., and the colorful 91-year-old Penny Chenery uses a walker to stroll pass 56 cases of Four Roses Yellow Label and five weathered Bourbon barrels. She stops. Smiles and looks toward the assembled cameras.
The television crews, national writers, Bourbon bloggers and horse writers are all here to watch Chenery drink. “Mmmmm...I love Bourbon,” says Chenery, the owner of legendary Triple Crown winner Secretariat and whom actress Diane Lane portrayed in the 2010 movie Secretariat.
It's a good thing Chenery likes whiskey, because she sits down to 10 empty glasses awaiting a whiskey thief to pour straight-from-the-barrel samples. Chenery's favourite from each flight were to be bottled for either the 500 barrel-proof Four Roses' Secretariat decanters with jockey Ron Turcotte or the 3,500 commemorative Secretariat Four Roses bottles.
The commemorative bottles were available at Triple Crown venues in Kentucky, Maryland and New York. Unfortunately, since this March 28 tasting, Four Roses and the Secretariat Foundation announced the Chinese supplier failed to meet quality standards and there will be no 40th anniversary decanter. The 3,500 commemorative bottles are still available.
But let's face it: the media and fans did not drive Kentucky's winding roads to the Four Roses Cox's Creek facility to talk decanter details. They were here for Chenery, who even made Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge star struck.
Next to Four Roses reentering the U.S. market in 2...

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