Drinking Up The Past
I remember about a month ago, I ran into a name I recognized; that name was Cyrus Noble. Now to me, this holds a special place in my heart. My grandfather was a wine and spirits salesman throughout most of his life in the Bay Area and collected a lot of bottles, barware and other trinkets. My father and I are now proud owners of what is left of his collection. After my grandfather passed away, I remember going through some things and coming across these “restaurants” that I had always loved as a little kid. What I didn’t realize until I opened the boxes was that these “statues” were actually Whiskey decanters. Cyrus Noble Whiskey decanters to be exact.
These decanters were made in the early to late 1970’s. The ones that I really liked were called “The Cyrus Noble Mine Collection”. I probably have about 20 or so, most of them unopened with their seals still intact. Today, Haas Brothers (located in S.F.) is remaking Cyrus Noble Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey.
There are several stories behind the name of this Whiskey that has always intrigued me. The name “Cyrus Noble”comes from the man himself, who was a distiller in Lynchberg, Ohio in 1871. It’s believed that while he was testing some new Bourbon, he became intoxicated and actually ended up falling into one of the vats. The Bourbon batch didn’t have a name, so everyone started called it “Cyrus Noble” Whiskey. This Whiskey grew in popularity and moved out West once everyone heard about gold being found out here in California. Cyrus Whiskey moved along with the people to the Bay Area and became the steadfast ritual. In 1901 a miner by the name of John Coleman wanted to trade a claim of land for anything he found useful. Turns out Cyrus Noble Whiskey was considered “the best Bourbon in town,” so when someone offered it to him for his claim, he took it. As time went on, it turns out the mine yielded around $250,000 in gold (imagine how much that is today!) and was known as the Cyrus Noble Mine.
The Bourbon itself is aged 5 years in American Oak barrels in Nelson County, Kentucky. It comes in at a bold 90 proof (45% ABV) and is distilled from its traditional sour mash. It’s very light amber and burnt orange in color. Notes of cinnamon, butter, toasted oak, dried fruit and caramel float out of the glass once you take a few short breaths in and out. Take a first sip and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth to warm up all your senses. On the palate, it begins soft and mellow then it works into creamy toffee, brown sugar, roasted almond with a medium to long finish that makes your tongue tingle afterwards.
Drinking this Bourbon is really nostalgic for me. It brings back some great memories of my grandfather and the great man he was. I can drink this Whiskey anytime, whether it’s neat with some friends for a ball game and some grilled food or for dessert with the sweet and creamy factor it holds. Cyrus Noble Whiskey is available at any liquor store now. Cheers!
Can also be seen on www.cocktailgogo.com!
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