Among award-winning writer Susan Reigler’s books are Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide (3rd ed.), The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book, The Bourbon Tasting Notebook (2nd ed.), and The American Whiskey Tasting Notebook. Her latest, co-authored with Peggy Noe Stevens, is Which Fork Do I Use with My Bourbon? – Setting the Table for Tastings, Food Pairings, Dinner, and Cocktail Parties, was released in 2020.
From 1992 to 2005, Reigler was restaurant critic and beverage columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Currently she is a contributing writer to Bourbon+, American Whiskey Magazine (for which she writes whiskey tasting notes and ratings), LEO Weekly, and is bourbon columnist for Food & Dining and Covey Rise magazines.
Reigler is past president of the Bourbon Women Association and has hosted tastings and been featured in whiskey festivals throughout the United States, including in Chicago, New Orleans, Savannah, Seattle, Louisville, and Smithfield, Virginia. From 2020 to 2021 she served as president of Kentucky chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, an organization of women culinary professionals. She is a Certified Executive Bourbon Steward, a member of the Order of the Writ, and a graduate of Indiana and Oxford Universities.
Introduce bourbon to people new to the whiskey. This would involve three or four bourbons.
All four would be under $25/bottle. There are a lot of excellent, inexpensive bourbons. Old Forester is a sterling example.
Lots to choose from including Four Roses.
Anything from Woodford Double Oaked to Angel's Envy (port barrel aged).
Rye vs. Wheat
Comparison of traditional bourbons with rye in their mash bills to wheated
Eat Your Wheaties
All wheated bourbons. (Larceny, 1792 Sweet Wheat, any Weller
bourbon, Old Fitzgerald, Maker’s Mark, Rebel Yell, and others.)
Bourbons from the small distillers. Could be Kentucky only, or a mix.
World of Whisk(e)y
Comparison of bourbon, rye, Tennessee, Scotch, and Irish whiskies.
Bourbons that be produced at one distillery in one distilling season (January -December), must be aged at least 4 years, and bottled at 100 proof. Col. E.H. Taylor, Jr. and Henry McKenna are examples.
A blind tasting of Kentucky-produced and non-Kentucky-produced bourbons. Can you tell the difference?
Compare bourbons made by one distillery that make different expressions of the same mash bill. They vary by age and proof. Examples include bourbons from Beam, Brown-Forman, and Wild Turkey.
A tasting of barrel proof/cask strength bourbons. Almost all the big distillers have a least one of these, though some are available as private selections only.