Saturday, May 14, 2016

Bourbon Review: Joey D's Oak Room

Billy Hill Here, blogging remotely but had this on his mind and had to dump it before it fell out.  And it is not r-e-a-l-l-y a bourbon review but rather, a review about bourbon and bourbon people and well . . . just read it and see. 

Billy Hill had to trek into the big ATL this week for some meetings and a little bit of crow eating.  You see, Billy Hill got pissed at a client last week and in the midst of Billy Hill and the client yelling at each other over the telephone, Billy Hill just fired him on the spot and told him to go find another attorney . . . . and then immediately as the words rolled out of his mouth he remembered his mentor's advice "it is always easier to make a bad client good than it is to get a new client".  So, Billy Hill asked the client to meet him at his Office in Atlanta (they had never met just talked on the telephone) and so they did.  Turns out the guy, though quite annoying on the telephone was really quite a sporting dude and Billy Hill had a blast meeting him and getting things back on track.  

So, after all the meetings for the day, Billy Hill Here headed out to meet a great friend, owner of the award winning Goodnitelite, at Joey D's Oak Room in Atlanta.  It had been quite awhile since Billy Hill had crossed their threshold but, they are worthy of a visit if you are in town.  Aside from the fact that their food is spectacular, the first thing that really smacks you in the face is their liquor wall with a fine selection of bourbon, and i mean fine.  

After being cheered as I entered the bar, evidently my total tardiness was shared by my buddy with the bar staff and as I rolled in, a mere 45 minutes late (yikes) I was greeted by hoops and hollers and out stretched arms, sometimes it pays to be late.  

Well I ponied up to the bar after a bear hug and spotted some W.L. Weller way up high on the bar wall and asked for a pour.  

I was admittedly mesmerized as the young 6'2" blue eyed blond bar tender lady rolled the library ladder around and scurried up to the top shelf.  So mesmerized in fact that I did not even notice the older gentleman behind the bar pulling out a bottle and sliding a pour in front of me.  He smiled as he walked off and said "try that". 

I did and I must say, it was a step out of Billy Hill's neighborhood but, it was a pleasant jaunt.  There is not much that Billy Hill enjoys more than seeing the smile on someone's face as they wait for you to try their go to, or experience one of their latest finds, and so I gladly lifted the glass, breathed in the aroma, turned it up, and filled my mouth with a delightful liquid gold.  And man, did Billy Hill like it!

It was not a bourbon, but rather a rye whiskey.  And although rye whiskeys are really hot on the market these days, Billy Hill, being a straight up bourbon man just hasn't bothered to deviate from his bourbon path until this fine gentleman at Joey D's reached out.  Well, you will now find this has a reserved spot on Billy Hill Here's personal bar. It was Michter's, Single barrel straight rye.  And like Billy has said before, Billy Hill does not get into the fruity, nutty, spicy nuance descriptions of a whiskey.  If it makes him slap his leg and say "Dang, where can I get a bottle of that for my shelf" then it is good.  Otherwise it is Maker's Mark, only fit for mixing and, Billy Hill don't mix. 
But for those that do get into those fruity nuances, and for the Democrats, here is an excerpt from Geoff Kleinman's website:

"Why is rye so hot? Most American whiskey on the market is bourbon, which is made from at least 51% corn. While corn delivers some really nice flavors, it can sometimes lack complexity. Rye is often added into the mix to help give whiskey depth, spice, and character. Popular bourbons like Woodford Reserve, Four Roses and Wild Turkey use a fairly significant amount of rye in their mix.
To be labeled an American rye whiskey, you must include at least 51% of rye in the mix. Many of the rye whiskeys on the market are exactly that, as rye is an expensive and difficult to use grain, however some go even deeper into the rye pool to make the rye the centerpiece of the whiskey. The most profound example of this is Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Rare Rye, which is made from 100% rye." Geoff Kleinman