• Symbolism on a Bottle •
The Name: Why Left Bank?
The term Left Bank Descending is from a nautical term referring to the shore on the left side of a river as you are sailing downriver. Left Bank Distilled spirits are produced and aged along the Ohio River. They are perfected during their downriver journey to New Orleans. Each batch is married and bottled just off the Mississippi river in New Orleans.
This is our homage to the historical roots of bourbon whisky as it was first crafted in Kentucky, floated downriver in charred barrels, and sold in New Orleans just over two hundred years ago. The river journey and the connections between Kentucky and New Orleans are at the core of our brand and our products.
Our brand story is intrinsically linked to the history of the spirit as well as our current day process of creating each release.
The History: Bourbon by Accident
Bourbon would not have become “bourbon” without the journey down the river from Kentucky to New Orleans.
During the Golden Age of River Steamboats, narrow cigar-shaped keelboats carried Midwest and Northeast cargo downriver to New Orleans, transporting a variety of goods including corn, wheat, hay, tobacco, cotton, and whisky. The keelboatsmen who made the journey discovered the barreled whisky would change in color and flavor, unknowingly inventing bourbon by the time they arrived at their final destination. New Orleanians were thrilled with this new spirit.
The Label: Story of Design
The label of Left Bank tells the story of our brand, our product, and the connection between Kentucky and New Orleans.
One significant item to note on the label is the presence of Alligator Horses. This is a reference to Kentuckians who helped Andrew Jackson defeat the British in the Battle of New Orleans.
The Legend: Alligator Horses
When you sip Left Bank, an essence of vanilla, caramel, honey, and spice give you a "Kentucky hug" with each swallow. Each flavor profile seeps into the spirit during the bourbon-making process as the charred barrels of whisky are finished with French oak staves and "tortured" by heat, movement, and age. Such radical exposure to the elements during a downriver journey pays homage to the Kentuckians who fought during the War of 1812.
These legendary riflemen, often referred to as the "Alligator Horses" gained the nickname after Davy Crockett described notorious keelboatsman Mike Fink as "half horse and half alligator" when Fink proclaimed he could outshoot, outfight, and outdrink all challengers.
Along with livestock and raw materials like lumber and iron, the flatboats were sent down the Mississippi stocked with barrels of river-aged bourbon. The ferrymen enjoyed the drink during the transport, amusing themselves by shooting cups of whisky from each other's heads. Songs and poems were written about these semi-mythical characters, and from there the legend of the Alligator Horses was born into American Frontier folklore.
The Brand: Why Left Bank is Different
New Orleans is essential to the history of Bourbon. Modern-day bourbon-makers use land transportation to distribute their brands, while the owners of Left Bank purchase whisky in Kentucky and then bring it down the river to New Orleans where they bottle it in very small batches. Therein lies the crafted process of torture and age that only Left Bank brings to their unique brand of bourbon. The time spent in barrels on the river turn the raw distillate into smooth brown bourbon.