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Castle & Key Bourbon Review

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Castle & Key Bourbon Review
Castle & Key
Small Batch
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Batch 2
99 Proof
MSRP: ~$50

Please enjoy my Castle & Key Bourbon Review!

It’s Been A Long Time Coming!

Well, it has been a long time coming, but Castle & Key’s first bourbon has finally been released! Castle & Key Bourbon Batch 1 sold out at the distillery in only a few hours on March 26, although it may be available in stores. Due to the rapid sale of Batch 1, Castle & Key started selling Batch 2 at the distillery in limited quantities on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in April. Batch 2 started appearing in stores, but has also been selling out quickly.

Mash Bill, Aging & Proof

Both batches of Castle & Key Bourbon use the same mash bill: 73% White Corn, 10% Rye and 17% malted Barley. Both are first distilled to 125 proof, then to 135 proof in the doubler, and are proofed down to a low 107 barrel entry proof. Each batch is made of a blend of 80 barrels. Each barrel is aged minimum of 4 years on the first floor in Warehouse B, which is the gigantic warehouse remaining from the Old Taylor Distillery. Interestingly, the mature bourbon dropped in proof, to 103, and then was proofed down slightly for bottling; Batch 1 to 98 proof and Batch 2 to 99 proof. Both batches have very different flavor profiles.

Tasting Notes

Let’s taste Castle & Key Bourbon Batch 2:

🛏 Rested for 30 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Cinnamon dominates, with light spearmint and a mild honey sweetness; light floral notes, cherry, soft caramel and mild graininess are in the background; moderate alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Spices, like cinnamon with some added baking spices; light caramel and soft honey sweetness; fairly full mouthfeel
👉🏻Finish: Sweetness and cinnamon linger; black pepper spice develops and continues into the moderately long finish

Cinnamon Forward

This is quite a cinnamon forward bourbon, from start to finish. The added spearmint in the nose is a bit reminiscent of Dentyne gum. In the background is a graininess that reminds me of oatmeal. The cinnamon continues to dominate throughout the taste and into the finish, where it is joined by noticeable black pepper spiciness. However, there is a sweetness throughout which does balance nicely with the spice. After a few sips, as I get acclimated to the cinnamon and spice, I notice lightly buttered popcorn, and the soft caramel becomes more noticeable as well. Did I mention the cinnamon?


Overall, I like this bourbon. I am wondering if the cinnamon will mellow out some as the bottle has been open a while, as flavors like this sometimes do. Don’t get me wrong – I do like it the way it is now. The strong cinnamon just seems like a flavor which will soften a bit with time. It is interesting how different Batches 1 and 2 are, also. Batch 1 really doesn’t have this pronounced cinnamon spiciness at all, but is a more mellow bourbon with softer flavors. Having said that, at recent tasting that I went to, Batch 2 was the favorite. But on Batch 1’s behalf – it has been selling out the second it appears, so in that respect, it, too, is a fan favorite! I’m still hoping to get a bottle of Castle & Key Bourbon Batch 1 myself! Cheers!🥃

I hope you enjoyed my Castle & Key Bourbon Review! Would you like to read about another Castle & Key Whiskey with a cool story? Check out my The Untold Story of Kentucky Whiskey from Castle & Key Review! If you are a rye fan, then maybe my Castle & Key Restoration Rye Review might interest you!

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