Tailgates, Barrel Picks, and Merchandise

Happy Thanksgiving Gamecock Bourbon Society!!!! 

We feel like it has been long enough since we updated you on some of the happenings and behind the scenes work that has been going on since the beginning of the football season.  We have had dozens of new subscribers to our newsletter in the last month; so, it was high time to update everyone on what is going on.

It’s been a whirlwind football season, and it truly is hard to believe we only have one more game on the schedule. My hope is that we see the return of the Tiger King this Saturday, and that Spencer and Xavier have their best games in a Carolina uniform. It will provide those guys with one more game to play together, to showcase their talent, and to enjoy themselves. This team never gave up and deserves to go out with a 6-1 record at home this season with a statement win. Just 3 ½ weeks ago, we were a 2-win team. Beat Clemson, and we are riding a 4-game winning streak into a bowl game. You can choose to look at it like a failed season, and you wouldn’t be totally wrong. We choose to look at it as a springboard for 2024. There is no question in our mind that the atmosphere we help create is going to have electricity flowing through every corner of Williams-Brice for 4-5 hours. We can be that spark they need like we were last Saturday against Kentucky. 

With a former President of the United States in the house, it only adds to the drama of the Clemson-USC rivalry. Plan to get there early, and plan to walk in the game early. Security will be much tighter, so leave your flasks in your cars and trucks!!

Jimmy Red Single Barrel release date and Name: This Friday November 24th at Bottle’s Beverage Superstore in Columbia, we will be dropping our first ever barrel pick from the state of South Carolina. The bottle will cost $83.99 for the first two weeks and then will increase to its normal MSRP of $90.00. Tiffany Gibson, who owns Bourbon at Tiffany’s, will be there as a liaison for High Wire pouring samples of our Jimmy Red Store Pick from 3:30-6:30PM. Those of you in Columbia who are headed out on Black Friday should stop by Bottle’s in Columbia to see Tiffany! The rest of the Bottle’s Stores across South Carolina will receive their shipment 1 week later on Friday December 1.

Reserve Your Bottle For Pickup

If you aren’t familiar with Jimmy Red from High Wire Distillery, it’s a 100% red corn whiskey. The first thing you’ll notice is a full/creamy mouth feel that is unmistakable due to the natural oils from the corn; the finish is long and smooth. High Wire distills on the grain, so the 3” oil cap that sits atop is blended back in during distillation. It creates one of the most unique distillates I’ve ever tasted off a still. Incredible whiskey needs a name, and this is the first time we’ve ever asked the community to help us name a barrel.

We couldn’t think of a better tribute to the SINGLE best coach we’ve ever had (Dawn Staley) in any sport than to name a SINGLE barrel after her: Garnet Dawn. Well over 100 people voted and almost 70% were in favor of “Garnet Dawn” over “Lowcountry Private Stock”. The color of Jimmy Red can vary, but it does carry a more Garnet hue….so our barrel was appropriately named to say the least. Thanks for your help!

Clemson Tailgate: Longtime Gamecock Bourbon Society members, husband and wife Chris and Jenny Grizzard, have kindly given us a spot in the fairgrounds for the Palmetto Bowl. We will be in the fairgrounds at LOT 2B, ROW 2, SPOT 773. We will have a tent set up, corn hole, TV with some games on, & plenty of bourbon. If you plan on coming and staying for the duration, bring a bottle of bourbon to share with everyone if its within your means. If not, just come enjoy some of our bourbon and talk some football with us. We look forward to seeing some old and new faces this Saturday!

Limited Merchandise at the tailgate: We have a limited number of Richardson Hats with leather patches in both Garnet and Black, and those will be available until they are sold out. The logo on these hats has never been done before, so we are excited about them! We will also have the tasting glasses that we used during the Chicken Cock Whiskey tasting dinner for sale. They are my new favorite glass to drink with at home by far.  The stem and weight of the crystal is just infinitely better, more durable, and higher quality than anything we’ve ever done. They will be sold per glass or you can buy 5 and get 1 free for a set of 6.

Peter Millar Polos and Quarter Zips: It’s Quarter Zip Season and Lamont is cookin’!! We have been trying for nearly two months to offer something to our group, and we are finally close enough to announce that we have it in the works. I have a call scheduled today with the embroidery division about our logo, and once that is handled and approved, we will send another newsletter announcing the drop.

This will work differently than most sales you’re accustomed to, and it will be a “timed sale”. To explain that further, we will offer several different items and colors for 2 to 3 weeks on our website. Unless we get an email from Peter Millar saying they are sold out of a size or color, then all sizes and all colors of all options will be available for that 2–3-week period. Since these are custom orders, they may take 5 weeks to arrive, but we will be able to keep the cost to you down and the waste for us down. Had we pre-ordered to eliminate that waiting period, it’s likely we would sell out of one size in a day. We don’t want that, and hope that the time it will take from purchase to your door will be well worth the wait! 

For the ladies, this will be our first ever merchandise release that includes you, and we know it won’t be the last! We have chosen two different fits: an oversized quarter zip and a quarter zip with a sportier fit. Both will be available in White and Black.

A quick story about our founder G.C. Ramey and Julian Van Winkle; We knew that Julian enjoyed Jimmy Red from our tour at High Wire and from learning that he signed his name to a couple of barrels of Jimmy Red for charity. One of which sold for well in the 6-figure mark, the other still aging. As some of you know, G.C. is studying for his PhD in Bourbon history, so he naturally reached out to some people in the bourbon world with Julian being one of them. Knowing their newfound relationship, we have decided to gift Julian Van Winkle one of our bottles from our first High Wire barrel. Yes, if you buy a bottle of our Jimmy Red, you and “Pappy” could be enjoying the same whiskey on the same day…and it’s not from Kentucky. We thought that was cool enough to share with you guys and can confirm some of the rumors around the bourbon world: Julian Van Winkle is one of the nicest people in the business.

Notre Dame Basketball Game: Our 5-0 basketball team hasn’t had the best support for a couple of years, but what I see from them on the court this season deserves my extra effort to recruit people to come and support them. I’m driving from Aiken that Tuesday night and will be in the parking lot outside of the Colonial Life area with CocksBy90 and hopefully LK, Lamont’s girlfriend. They are both huge Gamecock Basketball fans, and they offer some great insight into our program. If you come meet up with us, make sure you say hello and pick their brain a bit. I’ll have some bourbon, a tent in case of bad weather, and I’ll bring my corn hole set. Should be setting up around 5:30 with the tip-off being at 7:00. Come get loud with us in the Colonial Life Arena and get some payback from the bowl game!

Previous Barrel Picks currently available: We still have some Chicken Cock “The Roost” (Green’s Beverages) and Blue Run Chosen “Black Magic” (Bottle’s Beverage Superstores) available throughout the state of SC. We hope that you have plans to go grab a bottle for the holiday or to give a gift to another Gamecock/Bourbon fan who may not know about us. They are both exceptional, and anyone you share them with will not only think they are delicious, but neat to have something so rare. The Black Magic bottle will be $165 through 11/25/23, and then will increase to $185.

Reserve Your Bottles Before They're Gone

For those that are new to our newsletter; we do not profit off of barrels or whiskey. We actually come out of pocket to procure them for everyone. The sooner the stores sell out of our barrels, the more buying power and trust to bring in unique whiskey is more likely to be realized. We feel like it’s important to make that clear, because we want to bring in barrels like Weller and Russell’s Reserve on down the line as well.

Future Barrels (Maker’s Mark and Broad Branch “Big Winston”):  In less than two weeks, we have a team of 6 headed to Loretto, KY at Maker’s Mark to hand select the staves we want to put in our private barrel. If you aren’t familiar with Maker’s Mark Private Selections, you wouldn’t know that we can make a whiskey taste and smell like anything from cinnamon toast to cotton candy. Our hope is that USC grad and Maker’s Mark heir, Rob Samuels, will be able to join us and give us some hints on what makes the single best whiskey that comes out of Loretto. We want that, and we aim to pick the best Gamecock Bourbon Society pick we’ve ever done with the top dog over the entire program. The barrel, once picked and oak staves soaking, will age another 90+ days. Expect a spring 2024 release.

Our next barrel to be released in December is out of North Carolina’s Broad Branch Distillery. One of the best whiskies I’ve had this year, “Rye Fidelity”, came from Broad Branch. Every whiskey I’ve had from them impressed me to a point where we had to choose a barrel. The cellar master, the master distiller, and the two owners all chose their personal favorite barrels that had laying down. It was a game for them to see which one we picked, and we loved that. We did not know the proof of the 4 whiskies as we tasted them.

We actually had a tough time narrowing down which barrel to select, but ultimately were unanimous in our pick. We are their first ever private barrel sold to the state of SC and have finally gotten over all the red tape to have it distributed. This is the one whiskey I hope that everyone can learn from because of its incredibly high alcohol content at 144 proof. We knew it had a high proof, but at its Cask Strength, it had the most incredible flavors we just didn’t want to proof it down. That’s where the “learning” from this whiskey comes in. Once you taste it, if it’s entirely “too much” alcohol for you, proof it down with a very slow pour of good water or an ice cube. That will take the proof down from 144 to let’s say 115. Try it at that proof, and the flavors will begin to pop for someone who prefers a much lower proof. 

“Hazmat” is any whiskey over 140 proof and the Jack Daniels Hazmat “Coyhill” 375ml bottles go for $700+ on the secondary market (which is crazy BTW). It may not be the right bottle for you, but I hope you know it’s very special. They haven’t decided on the price, but I’ve asked them to keep it below $100. We will know more once we have a bottle count, and it gets through distribution.

As always, thank you for your continued support of the Gamecock Bourbon Society. Bourbon and the Gamecocks are two of my biggest passions in life outside of spending time with my family, so thank you for allowing me this outlet to enjoy them all on a weekly basis. As always, if you have any questions or ideas for future gatherings across South Carolina, send me an email at PaulMiles@GamecockBourbon.com. Feedback is always welcome. Cheers!

Forever to Whiskee!!

Paul Miles

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