Atlanta's Old Fourth distillery strikes gold with new bourbon

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Here’s the safest bet you can make about this weekend’s Kentucky Derby: a lot of people watching the race will be sipping on bourbon. But if you’re under the impression that good bourbon only comes out of the Bluegrass State, it might be time to pour yourself a glass of an award-winning whiskey produced right here in Georgia.

The Good Day feature team spent the morning at Atlanta’s Old Fourth Distillery, learning more about the company’s recently released 4-year straight bourbon whiskey.  In case you don’t already know, O4D launched back in 2014, famously becoming Atlanta’s first distillery since 1906. The company took its first steps into the “spirit world” with vodka, then rolled out its own gin and a liqueur product called Lawn Dart. But distillery co-founder Craig Moore says what most of us didn’t know is that behind-the-scenes, O4D has had a bourbon aging in barrels – and the team patiently waited four years to release it.

Now, we know what you’re thinking – bourbon is only really bourbon if it’s made in Kentucky, right?  Wrong. Explains Moore, it only has to be made according to the laws and regulation of the United States. “The mash that you make the alcohol from, the fermentation, has to be at least 50% corn,” he says. “Also contrary to popular belief, there’s actually no time limit.  So, the liquid can sit in a new, American white oak barrel – that’s one of the rules – that’s charred on the inside, for literally a day, and you could technically, legally call it bourbon.

Again, O4D bourbon has been aging four years – and good news, it was apparently worth the wait. At the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the bourbon won Double Gold, which is only awarded to products which receive a Gold medal rating from every member of the judging panel.

An easy way to try the bourbon is to stop by Old Fourth Distillery for a tour and tasting, which happen Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Cost is $10 per adult, and O4D is located at 487 Edgewood Avenue SE in Atlanta.