$25 each, or FIVE TICKETS for $100. Ticket buyers must be 21 or over.
Raffle DRAWING held THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2022 at 7pm
(need not be present to win.)
Raffle DRAWING held THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2022 at 7pm
(need not be present to win.)
The First Tee Greater Miami Valley was established in 2005 to teach young people life skills and character education through the game of golf. Its research-proven programs are having a positive impact on participants, their families and in their communities. They would normally be planning a huge 15th anniversary event, but instead due to corvid 19 they’ve pivoted to celebrating virtually! Help them celebrate this milestone by purchasing a ticket to their Bourbon Raffle!
Even with the endless obstacles presented this year, The First Tee stand by our mission to positively impact youth through their educational golf program. To accommodate as many participants as possible while following health guidelines, they have rearranged the summer program schedule.
Please join us in celebrating this milestone by purchasing a ticket to our Bourbon Raffle! Share with your friends, family and coworkers so they can join in too!
Bourbon Raffle Details
When: Raffle sales start today, June 3rd, and ends September 1st at Noon.
Where: This is an online only raffle. Please visit the link below to visit the raffle website.
Ticket Cost: Raffle tickets are $50 each. Purchase tickets here.
Ticket Quantity: There is a limit of 700 raffle tickets for this event.
Raffle Prizes: There are 5 raffle prize baskets. Each basket includes different types of bourbon. Some of the bourbon in these baskets includes: Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year, George T Stagg, Weller’s Black Label 12 Year, and much more!
First Tee of Greater Miami Valley serves the youth of Butler, Montgomery and Warren counties. Depending on the location, PLAYer through Eagle level programs are available in the summer in Dayton, Hamilton, Lebanon and Oxford. National School Programs also exist throughout the region.
First Tee builds positive character traits in young people through The First Tee Life Skills Experience, a curriculum developed by experts in the field of positive youth development and delivered by trained coaches. Through this experience, participants learn to apply life skills and transfer the positive values of golf to everyday life.
First Tee Nine Core Values:
Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgment
The Century Bar, Dayton’s only bourbon bar, located at 10 S. Jefferson Street is locally owned by Diane Spitzig and Joe Head. Named The Century in 1942 and bought by Diane in 1996, it was at Joe’s urging that they started to focus on bourbon in 2011 and has since been voted one of the “Best Bourbon Bars in America” by The Bourbon Review for seven consecutive years. It also made the “10 Best Bourbon Bars in America” list by Men’s Journal in 2015, and was named one of the “Best Whiskey Bars in America” by Travel & Leisure in 2014 and continues to rack up accolades and recognition across the country.
The new winter drink menu rolls out today and I had the chance to preview it with Dayton’s bourbon expert Joe Head. It seems only right that this new menu comes out on the 21st anniversary of Joe’s hiring as a bartender at The Century.
The menu changes seasonally, Joe explained and he basically gives each of the bartenders an ingredient challenge and then allows them to creatively craft a cocktail based on that suggestion. Once each of their 11 bartenders (which include their 4 current apprentices) perfect their drink, then the entire staff sits down for a tasting, often helping each other perfect the taste profile of the winter cocktails.
I tasted a few of them, starting with Nick’s Cured and Crafted. His challenge flavor was bacon. His cocktail is a collaboration cocktail derived from an Iberico ham leg provided by Crafted & Cured on Wayne Ave. He used a hickory bacon based syrup blended with Jim Beam double oaked and garnished with Drops and Sansimone cheese
The Cigar City was the next one I tasted and the aroma of this drink brings back memories of my father’s den with the pipe tobacco bitters and a sweetness from the port.
Next up was a cocktail created by bar manager Kelli, Strawberry Fields. Her challenge was to create a sweet cocktail, which was a challenge because she tends to usually steer towards smoky gin based drinks. She succeeded in making a cocktail that looks like pink and frothy, or as Joe described it- it’s an episode of Happy Days in a glass!
Another collaboration cocktail is the Winter in Versailles which is created using maple syrup that Chef Mike from the Inn at Versailles aged in a bourbon barrel provided by the Century. With notes of vanilla, rosemary and chocolate from the mole bitters.
Malia, the newest apprentice at The Century (apprentices must study, work and demonstrate their liquor knowledge for months, culminating in a 2 hour verbal test while bartending, with all current bartenders voting on whether they pass) was challenged to create a champagne cocktail for the winter menu. She chose the fermented raspberry flavor of Framboise complement the bubbly in creating her Red Dahlia, with a little gin and lemon juice and of course it is garnished with a flower.
If you like your cocktail on the savory side (Don’t Fear) The Reaper is the one for you- made with Pusser’s Rum, Falernum- an almond, ginger, lime, clove syrup, coconut curry, absinthe and curry bitters and it’s VEGAN.
If you prefer your drink with some heat, Bar Manager Tim has created the cocktail for you: Ring of Fire- a raspberry Habanero pepper based cocktail made with mescal and hellfire bitters
The menu includes some classic cocktails that Joe explains are standards on all of their menu’s, like the Whiskey Sour, Manhatttan, Sazerac and the drink they make the most of, the Century Old Fashioned. For the bourbon purists, the bar continues to add to their extensive line of whiskey and scotch and Kelli shared that currently there are about 3000 members in the Century Club. I can proudly share that I’m #13 , but alas I doubt I’ll ever catch Michael Colvin, who holds the record for drinking the most bourbon, Joe thinks perhaps even more that he has.
Of course in talking with the staff, I had to ask about the future plans. As many of you know the long talked about plans for the speak easy never came to fruition, due to complications from the first developer associated with the property. Perhaps it’s for the better, because the new plans are even grander! Hopefully within the next 6 months or so, The Century Bar will move one door south, bringing the bar and all the decor with them to a space that will allow them to seat up to 150 guests (current space seats about 75), with expanded bar seating. But that’s not all, they’ll add a 2nd floor intimate cocktail space with some booth seating and windows looking out on the city and on the 3rd floor, an event space that will allow The Century to host small weddings, corporate and charitable function for about 100 guests.
In the meantime, there’s plenty of reasons to stop by, and Joe said plans are underway to bring back the classic blind bourbon tastings, that were a monthly occurrence in the early days of their transition into a bourbon bar. Since the bar is often at capacity, Kelli suggests making The Century the start of your evening out, reminding folks they open at 3pm. You can also reserve the back room for meeting or host small bourbon tastings, which they’ll happily curate for you. They continue to purchase bourbon barrels, and Joe even told me about a recent meeting he had with the folks at the liquor commission where he was able to represent independent bar owners and help them to work on understanding the needs of small bar owners.
After a great afternoon of tasting, Joe’s parting words were “how proud he and Diane are of the business they’ve built and the staff they’ve created that not only care about bourbon, but are continually working to expand their knowledge and create great experiences for their guests.”
The list of reasons that the Century Bar is one of the best bourbon bars in the country is a long one. It starts with the well-curated whiskey collection, brought together by the staff over the years. Everything from daily sippers to rare bottles saved for special occasions. Once that was assembled, they began a cocktail program that is one of the best in the city. Not only are they making specialty cocktails, they are making the syrups, shrubs, and bitters that go in it. They are doing the research to revive some of the classic, lesser known libations and creating some modern delights. They use local ingredients and spirits when they are able, building an impressive library of recipes. Even the atmosphere feels like you have stepped out of Dayton and into a little pocket where time stopped just before Prohibition. The back bar is over 150 years old, and has been sitting in that building for the last eighty years.
The most important differentiator, however, is the staff. Joe Head, co-owner of this fine establishment, has established a system that makes sure the bartenders employed there know more about liquor and cocktails than anyone walking through that door. They can tell you the history of any of the bottles they grab off that elegant back bar, right down to the best way to enjoy it. It is possible they can discuss the actual tree the barrel was made from. One of these bartenders, Jerrod Claytor, knows as much as anyone else about what is going on behind that bar.
Jerrod, like many bartenders, followed a wandering path to get to be in one of the more coveted bartender gigs in Dayton. He started off working towards a job in the finance sector, filled with its own unique perils. When he discovered that was not the right fit for him, he started to explore other career options in the Miami Valley. When the Century made its transition from a dive bar to a bourbon house, Jerrod was one of the first people they brought in to help with their expanded hours and new direction. He has been part of this new chapter since almost day one, and it looks like he is going to be there for a long time.
I started serving and bartending 15 years ago after college. Frankly, it gave me an opportunity to meet lots of people, make fair money, and have the freedom to pursue other endeavors. It wasn’t, yet, a career choice. The more experienced I gained (at one point I worked at four locations) and more responsibilities I was given, I realized this path was apt for me and my personality. I now feel both incredibly fortunate and comfortable to be working alongside such professional people who’ve walked this path with me. Not too many people can say they work with their family and best friends in a nationally recognized bar.
Well-executed classics are great. I am always happy making a simple old-fashioned. It’s a no-fail and for some, a gateway to bourbon and whiskey (my love). I make Manhattans mostly at home.
I honestly love cocktails and drink just about anything myself, so I don’t discriminate. I suppose I may internally roll my eyes when folks still order chilled shots or shot backs. Just seems unnecessary.
Aside from bourbon and whiskey, I really find cognacs, brandies, and their variations highly versatile and tasty.
Breweries, restaurants, etc. I really enjoy quiet afternoons on days off at small family bars.
I served Arlo Guthrie once. I thought that was pretty cool. I had a room full of astronauts including every one of the first moon-landers. I still get goosebumps when I think of that. Surprisingly, the nicest celebrities I’ve served were Donahue and Arnold Palmer.
Relaxing, cooking, backpacking, cycling, pseudo art projects, and of course, drinking.
The emergence of more high-end rums, mezcals, and the continuing validity of handmade or fresh ingredients in bars and restaurants.
More availability of unique whiskey blend and finishes, along with Eurasian malts (Americans curiosity is swiftly fueling these).
Be patient, pay your dues, and work hard. Never sit on your hands, keep your mind open and continually learn. Of course, take pride in your work. Oh, don’t make it snooty either.
Dayton is culturally my kind of city – historically and philosophically. It fits my personality. I transplanted here over 20 years ago and it’s always felt like home.
Generally, the refocus on quality spirits and ingredients as opposed to synthetic and faux martinis. I think it’s mostly an extension of this generation’s ability to eat better. They also want to drink better!
There’s really no need to start a tab for one drink.
Something with plants. Maybe I’d have a greenhouse or something. Don’t really know. I never liked jobs.
For many a bartender, there is a certain allure to the Negroni. It could be the of the simplicity of the recipe: one part gin, one part sweet vermouth, and one part the bitter Italian liqueur Campari. These basic proportions make the cocktail ripe for experimentation. Which means that the gin can be replaced with bourbon or champagne. The Campari can be replaced with any wide variety of bitters, from Aperol to Zucca. Every time you change one of the ingredients, you change the overall flavor profile. While the Negroni will always stand on its own among the classic cocktails, the variations it has inspired have covered the flavor and color spectrum.
The best legend of the creation of the Negroni starts with an Italian nobleman fleeing to America after having a child out of wedlock. Count Camillo Negroni spent some time in the American West, becoming a cowboy and enjoying the lifestyle of a rancher. When everything was a little calmer, he returned to his native country to settle back into his old lifestyle. He sauntered into town one day, looking for a stiff drink. Thinking the popular Americano (1 oz. sweet vermouth and 1 oz. Campari, topped with soda water) was not going to satisfy his thirst, he asked the bartender to substitute the soda water for gin. It was at that point a legend in the cocktail world was born. And like many other cocktails of the era it was mostly lost after Prohibition, showing up once bartenders started to discover the old recipes.
Several years ago, Imbibe Magazine declared the first full week of June Negroni Week. It is a celebration of this vintage cocktail all over the country, as well as an opportunity for bars and bartenders to give back to their community. For every Negroni purchased at participating venues, a portion of the proceeds is donated to the charity of their choice. You can see the participating venues every year by searching by city or zip code on the Negroni Week website. This year in Dayton, there is one venue celebrating the week: Doctor Doodles is also offering the classic version to help Muttville. If you are planning to spend some time there this weekend, make sure you order one to help either of these amazing pet charities.
What is a classic Negroni, you may ask?
1 oz. gin
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari
Glass: Cocktail or Rocks
Garnish: Orange peel
Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass over ice. Stir until the mixture is chilled, then strain into the glass. Twist the orange peel over the cocktail, then drop it in and serve.
If you are a fan of gin and all of its herbal glory, this is an amazing cocktail. The bitter Campari is an acquired taste, but it is blunted by the gin and the sweet vermouth. Start here, and work your way forward…
1 oz. bourbon
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari
Garnish: Orange peel
Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass over ice. Stir until the mixture is chilled, then strain into the cocktail glass. Twist the orange peel over the cocktail, then drop it in and serve.
For those of you that enjoy whiskey more than gin, here is the Negroni variation for you. Swap the herbal gin for the smooth bourbon, and it is like you have an entirely different cocktail. If rye is not your thing, exchange that for bourbon and make yourself a Boulevardier. Either one is fantastic.
1.5 oz. sparkling wine (stay in Italy and hit the Prosecco)
1.5 oz. sweet vermouth
1.5 oz. Campari
Glass: Champagne flute
Garnish: Orange peel
Pour the Campari and sweet vermouth into a mixing glass over ice. Stir until chilled, then strain into the champagne flute. Then top off with the champagne and GENTLY stir. Twist the orange peel over the cocktail and drop in.
It is said that while making a Negroni, a hapless bartender accidentally grabbed an open bottle of champagne instead of the gin and poured it in. Instead of dumping it, he served it to his customer and this star was born. I want to see the bar set up that has the gin ANYWHERE close to the champagne. It seems like a stretch. However, the word sbagliato in Italian means “bungled” or “mistaken”, so there could be an
Garnish: Orange peel or Grapefruit peel
Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass over ice. Stir until the mixture is chilled, then strain into the cocktail glass. Twist the orange (or grapefruit) peel over the cocktail, then drop it in and serve.
If the boldness of the original Negroni is too much for you, Ms Voisey developed a cocktail that dials back all of the intensity. Henrick’s is an amazingly light gin, more cucumber and rose petal than juniper. The Lillet is not very vermouthy, and the Aperol, while bitter and orange, is not as intense as the Campari.
1 oz. dark rum
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Jägermeister
Garnish: Orange peel
Pour all of the ingredients into a mixing glass over ice. Stir until the mixture is chilled, then strain into the cocktail glass. Twist the orange peel over the cocktail, then drop it in and serve.
I will never stop experimenting with one of my favorite spirits, Jägermeister. I have been fiddling with this concept for a while, and finally figured out that the dark rum is the answer. The cocktail leans to the sweeter side for a Negroni, but the herbal notes hit the nose and the palate at the end.
There are many, many more variations of the Negroni out there. If you want to really see the variety of what people have done with the basics of the cocktail, buy the book Negroni: Drinking to La Dolce Vita, with Recipes and Lore by Gary Regan. It has dozens of recipes, some that stay true to the original, some that stray so far off that it is hard to call them a Negroni. But all of them stay true to the idea of the slightly bitter, herbal original.
Find your favorite cocktailing venue and order a classic. They are a delight on the palate, even though for some it is an acquired taste. And if the original is not to your liking, you can see there are many ways to modify it into something you will enjoy. Count Negroni did it over a century ago, and look how well that has turned out. Cheers!
There’s something so perfect about a simple glass of whiskey. The amber-tinted spirit has charmed generations of drinkers across the globe, from Ireland to Scotland to Japan and, of course, the United States.
This winter, steal away to one of these eight whiskey emporiums and indulge in a dram (or two or three . . .) of the best darn booze the world has to offer.
OK, OK, we know what you’re thinking. Dayton? As in Ohio?? But trust us, you’re going to want to check your doubts at the door when it comes to this world-class whiskey joint. As the Midwest’s best-kept boozy secret, this distillery-turned-saloon has been charming those in the know since 1862. Today, Century’s historic back bar is a testament to American spirits, with stained glass skylights; a long, gleaming copper-topped bar; and a handful of bourbon barrels repurposed into tables and stained to match the exact hue of Maker’s 46. The dedicated folks behind the bar are known to put on a slew of themed tastings, brand-specific events and educational classes throughout the month, attracting locals and thirsty out-of-towners alike. Start packing your bags, whiskey fans, because this is one tavern well worth the trip.
Of course this is just one of many accolades the bar has received since going morphing into a bourbon bar under the tutelage of Joe Head. The Bourbon Review has named The Century Bar to their Top Bourbon Bars multiple years, Men’s Journal named it as one of The 10 Best Bourbon Bars in America and Travel and Leisure included The Century in their round up of the “Best Whisky Bars in America.”
No one appreciates champagne like they used to. The bubbly wine was created, accidentally, in England in the 16th century. The process was developed over the next two centuries, first to get the bubbles on a regular basis, then to create a bottle with the strength to contain the pressure of the carbon dioxide in the wine. Once the bottles stopped exploding, this treat became a favorite in the French courts. The French leaned to the sweeter sec and demi-sec varieties, while the English preferred the drier bruts. The wealthy were the only people that could afford it initially, turning it into a status symbol for extravagance and a rare treat for the working class. Champagne and all of its sparkling white wine compatriots have become much more common since the beginning of the 20th century, but the effervescence of the liquid and the pop of the cork kept the drink in celebratory circles.
New Year’s Eve is here, and champagne corks will be exploding for the evening. Most people will just enjoy the bubbles and the flavor out of either a toasting flute or a coupé. Experts and extreme lovers of champagne will drink it out of a white wine glass, which combines many qualities of the flute and coupé. This is a fine way to enjoy any sparkling wine, but it is not the only way. There are many cocktails over the years that have been developed with champagne as a co-star to other flavors being created. The cocktail, and your tastes, should dictate the type of champagne you choose to add. The list of champagne cocktails is a long, long one, so I have selected a handful that include spirits people usually have on hand or are easy to find.
The Seelbach is named after the Louisville, Kentucky hotel it was created in. Most cocktails ask for a dash or two of bitters. This one calls for multiple dashes of two different bitters. They help balance out the sweetness of the champagne and the Cointreau (orange liqueur).
1 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. Orange liqueur (Cointreau is what the recipe suggests)
7 dashes Angostura bitters
7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
Pour the orange liqueur, bourbon, and bitters into a mixing glass over ice. Stir, and then strain into a champagne flute. Fill with champagne and enjoy.
There are two great reasons to go with a punch when it comes to rum. First, from a traditional standpoint, rum is very common in classic punch drinks. Rum and brandy were very popular libations in the heyday of the punch in the late 18th century through the middle of the 19th century. Second, having a punch cocktail at a party allows guests to help themselves to something delicious as they arrive.
2 c. fresh, low pulp orange juice
.5 c. orange liqueur
.5 c. dark rum (Belle of Dayton has a 1775 Colonial Reserve that looks perfect)
2 750 mL bottles of chilled champagne
Blend the orange juice, orange liqueur, and rum into a medium bowl. Place in the refrigerator to chill and allow the flavors to marry for an hour. Before guests arrive, move the mixture into a larger bowl and add the champagne. Serve chilled.
The 75 mm field gun the French used at the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century was a massive anti-personnel weapon. It delivered a variety of ammunition to the enemies of France, from shrapnel filled explosive shells to canisters of toxic gas. When Harry’s New York Bar in Paris blended gin and champagne into one glass, many said the cocktail had the same kick as this powerful weapon. Like the versatile weapon this is named after, it can be made with gin or cognac.
.5 oz. lemon juice (about half a lemon)
.5 oz. simple syrup (1:1 mixture of sugar and water)
1.5 oz. gin
3 oz. champagne
Combine the lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin in a mixing glass over ice. Shake, and strain into a champagne flute. Add the champagne and enjoy!
This is something like the marriage of Jesse James and Sandra Bullock: you are not sure how it happened or why it worked, but it did. For a while, at least. Fortunately, liquors stay together for a longer time. The tequila-lime-sweet combination is a classic, and the champagne adds an extra burst of flavor.
1 oz. blanco (silver) tequila
.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
.5 oz. agave nectar (you can use simple syrup, but the nectar adds some richness)
Combine the lime juice, agave nectar, and tequila in a mixing glass with ice. Shake, and strain into a champagne flute. Fill with champagne, and serve.
When Prince Albert of England passed away in 1861, the country went into mourning. His wife, Queen Victoria, was inconsolable, and mourned the loss the rest of her life. At the time of his death, everything was draped in black. Clever bartenders at the time poured some Guinness into the champagne served at royal events, giving it the same black covering the rest of the décor had. It did not, however, make the people who drank it sad.
Stout (Guinness is the traditional selection, but any will do)
Fill the champagne flute half way with champagne. GENTLY float the stout on top of the champagne. If you pour too quickly, the champagne will foam up and over the edge of the glass.
There is a wide variety of cocktails that incorporate vodka and champagne. Vodka is neutral enough to just add some kick to the cocktail and allow any other flavor, usually fruity, to shine through. This is another champagne concoction that modifies a base cocktail by adding some sparkle.
1.5 oz. vodka (Buckeye Vodka fans, this one’s for you!)
.5 oz. orange liqueur
.5 oz. cranberry juice
.5 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
Pour the vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry juice, and lime juice in a mixing glass. Shake well, and strain into a champagne flute. Fill with champagne, and serve.
Whether you are christening a boat or celebrating a major event, champagne’s traditional hold on the celebration market is far from over. There will always be a thrill when the cork pops out and the bubbles start to fly. Keep the cork flying to a minimum, though. Shooting someone’s eye out is not the best way to start the new year. For them or for you. Cheers!
Germantown’s Mudlick Tap House recently added liquor to their offerings and tonight at 6pm they are celebrating with a bourbon dinner. Smart Guy In A Tie Cocktials owner, Brian Petro, will be conducting a Bourbon 101 throughout dinner which includes education on the basic nosing and tasting techniques of bourbon whiskey, as well as the rich history of the spirit. Chef Lee Anne House has created each course to pair with the featured bourbon cocktail. Here’s what’s on the menu:
Gold Rush: Something to cool off the pallet while you are enjoying your Sriracha BBQ ribs
Pork spare ribs slow cooked to perfection. Finished with a sriracha BBQ and served with a cornbread muffin topped with lime cumin whipped butter.
Whiskey Buck: Rye Bourbon with a little bite. It’s a classic American cocktail to complement to a modern twist on a classic!
Braised chicken thighs with a parmesan potato gratin and a brussel sprout and bacon hash.
Bourbon Chiller: A vanilla infused Bourbon with coffee as a balance to the apple, rhubarb, and cinnamon
Apple and rhubarb cobbler served a la mode with cinnamon ice cream.
This is an exclusive event and the Tap House will not be open to the public. Reservations are limited and required. Cost is $50 per person and includes 3 courses and 3 cocktails (beer available upon request). Make reservations by emailing email@example.com!
When I was younger, one of the first concerts I went to was a sold out show at the Richfield Coliseum on the Aerosmith “Get A Grip” Tour. The Coliseum was an amazing venue south of Cleveland, seeing many great musical acts come through there and hosting some incredible sports teams. It was the home of the Cavaliers for three decades (and the home of Larry Bird’s final game), and where every major band that came to Cleveland played. Thus the rock legends from Boston touched down there, bringing another, lesser known band to open for them. Jackyl was entertaining to watch and blended in well with the rock that was going to be the main course for the day. Their big hook was one of their songs, called “The Lumberjack”. Their front man, Jesse James Dupree, played a chainsaw on stage as part of the song. It was an interesting way to kick off the show, but not as interesting as you can kick it off now. Dupree has been fronting Jackyl since the late 1980’s. That is a lot of bars played at, and a lot of beer and whiskey sold. And by his reckoning, he has been “personally been responsible for millions of gallons of beer and whiskey that have been consumed over the years.” He rectified the beer part of that equation, releasing Jesse James America’s Outlaw Beer around 2008 and may still be available in Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota. A few years ago, American Outlaw Bourbon hit the scene, taking care of the whiskey.
Being from the South, Mr. Dupree knows something about whiskey. Jesse James Spirits was launched in 2010, the same year of Jackyl’s studio release When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide. It brought the American Outlaw Beer under a solid home, and allowed the release of The Original Jesse James American Outlaw Bourbon Whiskey into the world. Distilled in Kentucky and rested in charred oak for three years, it is an uncommon find when you are roaming the liquor stores of Ohio, or many other places in the United States. Lest you think that Dupree went into this as a lark, American Outlaw won a Bronze Medal, along with Four Roses Yellow Label, at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. He has also planned some expansion into Trimble, Tennessee, butting heads with the state over being able to create a product labelled as Tennessee Whiskey. Jack Daniels has a lock on that title, and on the process, that it requires to be called a Tennessee Whiskey. He
was one of many voices that argued that the requirements listed in the law were the process Jack Daniels’s used to make their whiskey, and shuts out the small distillers like his.
If you are either a bourbon or Jackyl enthusiast, today is (somewhat) your lucky day! The lucky bit is that Jesse James Dupree will be selling, and signing, bottles of his American Outlaw Bourbon and Michael Balard’s Full Throttle S’Loonshine at Manor Wine and Liquor on Airway Road. The unlucky part of it is that his second stop of the evening, Oddbody’s Music Room, where Jackyl will be performing with Transylvania Hellhounds and Four Star Revival at 7 PM, is sold out.
A good deal of time has passed since that concert in 1993. The Coliseum is now a field in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and Jackyl is no longer a little known opening act. They have become a powerful force in the rock world, with a new opening act they are looking to introduce to a broader audience. From what we have seen and heard about it, and with the continuing growth of the craft bourbon and whiskey scene, we may be seeing American Outlaw Bourbon eventually making a big name for itself. Cheers!
Travel the Whiskey Trail to all eight stops and enjoy a whiskey tasting from each of the featured brands. The distillery representatives will pour you a half ounce taste of your choice while discussing the nuances of the whiskey that you are about to enjoy. Take your time at each stop and learn as much as possible from the experts at each location.
After you have finished your journey along the Whiskey Trail be sure to head to the Oscar Event Center Pub to continue your tasting adventure. In the pub we will be serving 8 signature cocktails provided by each brand from the Whiskey Trail. Your ticket entitles you to one complimentary cocktail. After that you are welcome to purchase additional signature cocktails as well as any whiskey or bourbon you enjoyed on the trail in the pub.
Much like wine, whiskey works wonderfully with food, not only as a pairing, but also as an ingredient. As you journey down the whiskey trail be sure to stop off at the many food stations to enjoy some whiskey-inspired food. Our Oscar Event Center chefs have teamed up with our brand ambassadors to produce some wonderful recipes using the featured bourbons and whiskeys as key ingredients.
What accompanies a fine whiskey or bourbon better than a fine cigar? Do you want to know which type of cigar goes best with different styles of whiskey? Be sure to stop by our cigar booth and speak with our expert who will guide you to the best cigar to accompany your favorite drink. You can purchase right from the booth and step out on the Oscar Event Center terrace to enjoy your perfectly matched cigar and whiskey.
Join Pete Wagner, Whiskey Ambassador to Brown-Forman, and Mark Coffman, Master Distiller at Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Company, as they each lead their own version of Whiskey 101. These free 30 minute seminars are a perfect opportunity for both beginners and avid spirits lovers to learn more about whiskey. They will each be talking about how their whiskeys are made, how the flavors are developed and why whiskey has a signature taste. They will share insider tips on the proper way to taste and evaluate the flavors and quality of whiskey. You are sure to walk away from these seminars with a better understanding and appreciation of whiskey.
Tickets to the Whiskey Trail cost $50.00 and include:
There are only 400 tickets available so be sure to buy them before they sell out.
Bourbon is complex. It starts off as any ethanol does, trapped in corn kernels and barley shells. Those grains, the proportions of which are known as a mash bill, are warmed up to release the sugar. While the meal is still warm, the yeast and a little sour mash feast on it in stills made of a variety of materials. The completed wash is then poured into unused, charred white oak barrels, where they take a nap of two years or more. After that long nap, they are usually blended from their 65 percent (130+) proof) or higher barrel strength down to a more drinkable 40 to 50 percent (80 to 100 proof). The aging process at that point it stopped, and it is ready to be enjoyed. According to Travel and Leisure, in Dayton you can enjoy it at one of the best bourbon bars in the country, The Century Bar on Jefferson. Joe Head, the driving force behind that bar, has been patiently guiding it for over a decade to where it stands now. Where it stands now is changing.
The changes started to occur around the end of summer/beginning of fall this year. “It was time to get into the cocktail world,” states Joe. Through the urging of Molly Wellmann, a Cincinnati-based purveyor of bourbons and fine spirits at places like the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar and Japps Since 1879, and his own exploration of craft cocktails, he discovered one he had an affinity for. The venerable whiskey sour rose above the rest. Joe’s reasons are ones that many loves of this cocktail site. “It is light and airy, and the egg white adds some smoothness to it. The ingredients are simple and fresh, so you know where they come from.” This led to the creation of Whiskey Sour Sundays at The Century, as well as a seasonal craft cocktail menu. “The bartenders decide the whiskey sour we are going to feature. It gives anti-sport fans something to look forward to on Sunday,” he states. By the look of some of the images they have posted on their Facebook page, they have some innovative sours. Joe’s favorite sour is the traditional one, but of the ones his staff has created, the Smokehouse Sour stands out most in his head. It features smoked sugar and vanilla, with fresh lemon juice.
The fall season is ending, so it is time for a new seasonal menu! That menu will be introduced after Thanksgiving, and will feature “drinks that make sense for that time of the year.” It will have figs and other popular winter flavors on the menu, as well as spirits other than bourbon. According to Joe, “We use a variety of spirits, but on a limited basis. Summer is going to be for gin. We are going to use spirits that enhance the cocktail, not just using them for the sake of making a cocktail.” You are not going to see any recommended brands, either. What you will see, though, are cocktails with eggs in them. Turning through the pages of any classic cocktail book, you will see many recipes with eggs as an ingredient. The Century makes their sours with egg white in it, to enhance the richness and the mouthfeel of the drink. Their customers enjoy them as well. “You have a better chance of choking on a bar nut than getting sick from eggs,” Joe states with a wide smile. They shake it warm as well, to minimize and possible risk of illness.
The shift to the craft cocktails, among other pursuits, reflects a shift Joe sees in the clientele. “People are drinking differently,” he notes. “They used to drink to get drunk. Now they are drinking for an experience. They want to watch their drink being made. They want to be educated on what is going into it.” The foodie culture is making its way into the cocktail realm, and just knowing the ingredients is not enough. They want to know where those ingredients are coming from, how they are made, and what is unique about them. That is another angle that lead to the creation of the cocktail menu and its seasonal rotation.
Bourbon barrels, as mentioned earlier, can only be used once for the creation of bourbon. After that, they are typically sold to a variety of industries to be reused for other purposes. One of those purposes is to rest another liquor in it. Most of the flavor components that give bourbon its caramelly, sweet flavor have been extracted, but all of the bourbon has not. Even after pulling out the excess liquor from the staves, some of the flavor still remains. Joe and Tim Fry of The Century Bar recently collaborated with John Haggerty of Warped Wing Brewing to create Whiskey Rebellion. Using barrels from Angel’s Envy, they married bourbon with a locally brewed Russian Imperial Stout, creating a beer with a delightful bitter chocolate flavor backed with a sweet bourbon finish. It has been available locally at many brewpubs and bars, including Warped Wing, The Century, Chappy’s and soon at Fifth Street Brew Pub for an event with ARC Ohio!. The beer has been immensely popular, not only for the outstanding flavor but the limited availability as well. Joe and his team did not stop there. He is also working with the team at Toxic Brew Company on another bourbon barrel beer, this time utilizing a Belgian quad (much like Toxic’s Abby XXXX) and used barrels from StillWrights in Fairborn. It will be released exclusively at Toxic in early December, so keep an eye out for an early holiday present!
Cocktails…beer…there is plenty going on with Joe Head. He has his eyes set on more things as he prepares for 2015: expansion. “We need to expand, as it makes sense for us to do it. Some people will not go downtown, and there are some limits to our downtown location that prevents us from exploring certain concepts.” The second location of The Century is going to be in the south of the city, near the Dayton Mall. It will have two patios, one for smoking cigars and one for the non-smokers just wanting to enjoy a fine bourbon outside on a warm summer evening. Another expansion in the works is not as far from their current location. In fact, it is right next door to it. “There is going to be a speakeasy attached to The Century, with a false store front and a secret entrance in the back of our bar. We are only going to have it open on Friday and Saturday only with reserved bar stools, so we can know the numbers better. That will allow us to know how much we need to prepare and keep all of our mixers fresh. Because it is a speakeasy, it should also be something that is a little elusive.” And if that is not enough on his platter, he is also considering a tequila and taco bar on a corner near The Century.
More locations for any business means hiring more staff. One of the hallmarks of The Century, and what keeps people coming back night after night, is not just membership to the Century Club. It is the atmosphere that the employees have created of educating their customers, not just serving them. It is talking with the customers and finding out what bourbons they enjoy, suggesting similar bourbons, and making non-bourbon drinkers feel right at home at the bourbon center of Dayton. “We have an apprenticeship program for anyone who wants to become a bartender here. I need to know that when I am away from the bar, the brand is still being well represented.” Joe requires that anyone interested in becoming part of the team to work as a bar assistant for six months, learning not only the technical specifications of the cocktails and bourbon, but the culture that The Century has developed. “I want to see that you can educate and entertain the customers while you make the drinks. There will be timing for the drinks, but I want to hear how you speak and interact with people.” The final test is over 150 questions, in front of a panel of judges. The Century’s move to the south does not mean you are going to get less of an experience. The quality is expanding too.
“The Century will always be about whiskey. The cocktails will make us well rounded.” Joe was very matter of fact about what was important to him: no matter where he expands to, from collaborations to new locations, the quality of the product stays the same. The Century had twenty bourbons when he began, and he has grown the small bar to over one hundred bourbons and a top stop in the country for bourbon enthusiasts. The respect he has for the industry, his guests, and his community is evident. It is one of the pieces that makes The Century such a great place to sit down and have a bourbon, beer, or any cocktail with friends. And say hello to Joe while you are there. He would love to make a few more friends over a nice glass of whiskey.
Back in June The Bourbon Review published their list ofAmerica’s 60 Top Bourbon Bars, in the magazine’s sixth anniversary issue. Dayton’s only bourbon bar made the list again and here’s what they had to say:
Century Bar, Dayton, OH: In what could be the most underrated Bourbon bar in the country, the Century Bar takes you back to 1862 with its 150-year-old back bar. The home of the former Kette & Sons Rye Whiskey Distillery, Century Bar packs 87 Bourbons and regularly holds blind tastings. It’s the sort of place every Bourbon drinker should visit at least once in his or her life.
“The criteria for the list was simple,” Justin Thompson of The Bourbon Review said in a press release. “The bar needed to prominently display bourbon, educate patrons about bourbon and provide a superior selection. The winning bars also have a reputation for creating both unique and traditional bourbon cocktails.”
To celebrate the list, The Bourbon Review has again partnered with Four Roses Bourbon for a nationwide toast to each of the 60 bars and restaurants. The toast is scheduled to take place Tuesday, Sept. 30th at 7pm when bourbon lovers are encouraged to to raise a glass and make a toast via social media to honor their favorite bar! We encourage you to engage in the toasting by uploading your pictures and tagging The Century Bar, The Bourbon Review, and Four Roses Bourbon. The toast can be made via facebook, twitter or instagram and please use #60toast.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of attending one of The Century Bar’s blind bourbon tasting, you’re in luck. After taking the summer off, they’ve just announced the return of the tasting. Tickets will go on sale Monday for the Oct 18th 3:30pm tasting. The tasting will be $60.00 which includes six bourbons, and lunch catered by Smokin BBQ. Not only will you get to try a variety of bourbons, the knowledge shared by bartenders Joe, Tim, Nick and Jarod at these events is mind boggling. You’ll learn about the history of this brown liquor, the science behind the flavors, the family feuds and politics of the business and trends impacting the supply of your favorite bourbons.
If you want to attend, buy your tickets quickly, these tastings always sell out! And tell them MostMetro.com sent you!