For anyone who doubts Indiana distilleries are capable of crafting bourbon, Jeff Wuslich, co-owner of Cardinal Spirits, wants them to stop by the Bloomington distillery to taste what’s being offered or purchase a bottle from a retailer. There are now more options than before and Wuslich is confident his will stand up to what’s made in Kentucky.
He was quick to point out the misconception that Kentucky is the only state where bourbon can be made. What is true is that bourbon must be made in the United States with 51% corn and placed into a new, charred oak barrel to age.
“The things that make bourbon in Kentucky good, they are the things that Indiana does better,” he said, adding Indiana corn is better, the state has the same limestone watershed providing water and has an abundance of straight hardwood trees.
“I think people are being surprised by the great bourbon coming out of Indiana,” Wuslich said. “Especially at craft distilleries in Indiana. People are seeing that we are getting some national attention for our brands.”
Cardinal Spirits has launched three bourbons this month
Birdhouse Bourbon is the new house bourbon exclusively sold in the Bloomington tasting room. Birdhouse Bourbon will be available at all times and will be available neat and in cocktails. In the past, Cardinal Spirits only had bourbon cocktails on the menu when they released a small batch. Now, those cocktails will be available throughout the year.
Also available at Cardinal Spirits will be a limited release Four Grain Bourbon. There are bottles from two barrels of this spirit that includes corn, barley, wheat and rye.
Hoosier Gold Bourbon won’t be available at the Bloomington distillery. It’s a blended bourbon using small-batch whiskeys aged for three to seven years and will be sold at retailers, restaurants and bars in Bloomington and in Kentucky and Wisconsin.
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In addition to the three new releases, Cardinal Spirits has Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which was its first. That was followed soon after by Straight Rye Whiskey. Both are still available.
While the newer releases haven’t been out long enough to be judged in contests, Wuslich said the feedback from customers has been positive.
As a craft distiller, Wuslich said the new bourbons not only provide unique spirits, but also will become essential. He believes some of the larger brands of bourbon and whiskey will become more difficult to purchase in the future, due to higher prices for supplies and difficulty in procuring necessary items and equipment. Because of that, he said spirits created at small craft distilleries are needed. He advises people to support their local craft distillery to ensure there will always be a plentiful supply.
Cardinal Spirits is at 922 S. Morton St. To order online or check out where their spirits are sold, go to www.cardinalspirits.com.
Pinoy Garden Cafe joins Food Truck Friday
Filipino food will be at Food Truck Friday now that Pinoy Garden Cafe is joining the weekly event at Switchyard Park beginning Sept. 2. Pinoy Garden Cafe has a booth at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. At both locations they will have pork adobo omelet with rice, pork adobo with rice, pancit stir-fry noodles with vegetables or with pork adobo, lumpia spring rolls and Halo Halo dessert.
Contact Carol Kugler at email@example.com, 812-331-4359 or @ckugler on Twitter.