The Beam Bourbon Legends Boxcar Tour Comes to H-Town
Beam Suntory rolled into Houston last week with their Bourbon Legends boxcar tour. While not an actual train of boxcars, it was a well developed traveling show highlighting four of their main-line bourbons: Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Maker's Mark, and Basil Hayden's.
This was the second of four stops for the tour and I was thrilled to see they chose H-Town as one of the stops. The event was held over two days at a local art studio/warehouse space and was free to all. I attended with my wife and a good friend on the second of the two nights, Thursday October 4.
After hearing some reviews from the previous night, we made a b-line to the Maker's Mark area to snag some wax dipped shot glasses (which ran out before the end of the event the night before). Maker's very nicely upgraded my pour from their standard offering to Maker's 46 after showing them proof of my Maker's Mark Ambassadorship. They also had a very interesting tasting experience with two types of bread: standard wheat bread and a rye bread. Tasting the bourbon with the bread accentuated the difference between Maker's and other wheated bourbons compared to the more typical rye bourbon mash bills. Nice touch!
Our second stop was a very long line to have our head shot added to the Beam family history on a bottle of Jim Beam. In retrospect, we should have listened to the rep that suggested we get a cocktail before we get in line. My friend and I did have a good time catching up, so all was not lost.
After a long wait we finally got our labels and a chance to take a photo in the giant Jim Beam rocking chair with the help of H-Town's Beam Suntory rep Frank Fernandez Jr. I have interacted with Frank several times on social media including getting his help for a gift of tequila (which he knows a TON about) so it was great meeting him in person for the first time. Now I guess I need to go buy a bottle of Beam to slap this bad boy on!
By this time, we were definitely ready for a cocktail, and the event did not disappoint. Some well trained bartenders were furiously pumping out Knob Creek Rye Old Fashioned’s, Basil Hayden Boulevardier’s, Maker’s Whiskey Sour’s, and a Jim Beam Whiskey Smash’s.
While over at the very busy bar and trying teh bit of food that was available (brisket mac n cheese and a biscuit with sausage gravy), I ran into Kris Hart. Kris is one of the admins for the Houston Bourbon Society Facebook group and is the host of the Whiskey Neat podcast. We had a nice conversation about how well the event was run and when the next Houston Whiskey Social will be held.
Overall I had a great time. Despite being very familiar with these bourbons and without any super special rare releases, this was just fun. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it was completely free, but I think Beam Suntory did a great job representing these iconic bourbon brands.