by Lee Williams, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Sarasota-based Gecko’s Hospitality Group blends own “Spirit of Our 25th Anniversary”
Gecko’s Hospitality Group co-owners Mike Quillen and Mike Gowan recently trekked to the Four Roses Bourbon Distillery in Bourbon County, Kentucky, to see if they could make a great bourbon even greater.
Once the Mikes were invited, they said they “couldn’t pack quick enough.”
“Working” alongside a group the pair call their “internal whiskey experts” and Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott, their goal was to create a special reserve bourbon for their Sarasota-based family of restaurants, and as a way to commemorate Gecko’s 25th Anniversary.
Their canvas for the whiskey mission was Four Roses Single Barrel — an already great bourbon — made from a handcrafted blend made with Four Roses’ high quality, non-GMO grain which the distillery has procured from the same source for over 50 years.
The Mikes insisted on adding more rye to the mix, which resulted in a bourbon that’s not as sweet as some competitors.
The result? An incredible bourbon with a slight bite that belies its 100 proof.
It’s definitely full-bodied, but smoother than most other 100 proof blends.
“It’s just really good bourbon,” Mike Quillen said of the Gecko’s 25th Anniversary Single Barrel spirits last month during an invite-only tasting. “We’ll be selling it over-the-counter at all of our stores.”
While a bold elixir like this is best sipped neat or maybe over ice, Gecko’s is offering it in three classic cocktails: the Classic Manhattan, the Bootlegger and the Chocolate Old Fashioned.
Try it before supplies run out.