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Bluegrass Soy Sauce from the country’s only soy sauce microbrewery in Louisville, Ky.
Bluegrass Soy Sauce from the country’s only soy sauce microbrewery in Louisville, Ky.Handout

Before its earthy flavor with hints of coffee and molasses touch the palate, you pick up the scent of smoke, which is surprising for a soy sauce. Bluegrass Soy Sauce, made in Kentucky, is crafted in small batches and aged in repurposed bourbon barrels. Each flask-like bottle has the batch and bottle number hand-written on the label. The condiment comes from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, the country’s first soy sauce microbrewery. The soybeans and wheat that create the sauce also come from the Bluegrass State. Matt Jamie, a chef, founded the company more than a dozen years ago, inspired by Japan’s small soy breweries. The barrel-aged soy sauce becomes the base for a second condiment, Small Batch Bourbon Ponzu. Lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, and a splash of Kentucky bourbon is added and produces an even deeper, nuanced sweet, salty sauce for dressings and seasoning vegetables ($9 for 3.3 ounces of soy sauce and $15 for 3.3 ounces for the ponzu). The company also offers a variety of bourbon-aged products, smoked spices, condiments, bitters, and other specialty foods. Available at bourbonbarrelfoods.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.