Lafayette’s underground bourbon aficionados now have a suitable atmosphere to share their affinity for fine American bourbons with the Bourbon N Bon Temps social group, which will hold its first meeting this Thursday at Marcello’s Wine Market.

 “We’re trying to get people interested in some of the finer bourbons made in North American, primarily the United States,” says the group’s founder Jeff Regan.

The quarterly event will feature several bourbons hand selected from Regan’s private reserve, which will then be offered in half shot samples to guests. There will also be a small presentation on the finer points of each bourbon, which will range from some of the smoother bourbons to what Regan refers to as “harsh” bourbons. Cigars will also be discussed, but not smoked.

“It’s really interesting for most people to think of bourbon as just one or two different types, but there are a lot of premium bourbons out there,” says Regan. “It’s kind of like wines, we’re trying to take bourbons and just let people taste the different types.”

For the event’s trial run, Regan has chosen to highlight a Four Rose Single Barrel Bourbon to start things off. He will then introduce one that is a bit stronger, a Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Bourbon, which Regan warns is 134.5 proof in contrast to the 80 to 86 proof regular bourbons that are cut with water.

Regan will then bring out a Balcone’s Baby Blue, which is a 100 percent corn whiskey, that he says has a vastly different taste than the other bourbons. And finally, he will have a Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream Liqueur, which he says is similar to Bailey’s Irish Crème but with a superior taste.

Several foods will also be available at the event to best complement the bourbons including Croccantini toasted crackers served with apple smoked cheddar and tasso ham, in addition to smoked chicken tamales. And for dessert, Regan will have double vanilla ice cream served with a salty caramel bourbon sauce.

“Our whole idea is to experience American bourbons and whiskeys and to pair them with really great Southern and Cajun food and, if they’re interested, to try a good cigar,” adds Regan. “So it should be a lot of fun.”

The first Bourbon N Bon Temps event is free and will be held at Marcello’s Wine Market at 2800 Johnson St., on Thursday, Jan. 10, beginning at 6 p.m.  For more information call 344-3813, visit the group’s website at BourbonNBonTemps.com, or see the group's Meetup page here.

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