So, I always thought that the only difference between Old Grand-Dad 114 and the Bonded (100 proof) and 80 proof versions was just a step up in proof. Come on, I know you did, too.🙂 It turns out, though, that’s not quite the case. While all of the Old Grand-Dad bourbons (and Basil Hayden bourbons, for that matter) share the same mash bill, the similarities end t
Have you heard of OH Ingram River Aged whiskeys? I had posted about their rye, which was their second release, back in February 2021. Since then, I have enjoyed their whiskey on multiple occasions. So, when the newest addition to their line, this OH Ingram River Aged Straight Bourbon, showed up on my front porch (Thank you OH Ingram!!) I was eager to give it a try!
Don’t worry! I haven’t become Armagnac Obsessed, but I actually am about this particular one, because it’s part of a bourbon and armagnac love story, so to speak. Sort of like Romeo and Juliet but with a happier (and tastier) ending. If you’ll remember back in the early summer of 2020, the Bardstown Bourbon Company released their Château De Laubade Bourbon, which was finished in Château De Laubade Armagnac barrels. So the cool thing is that these barrels, after first aging armagnac and then finishing BBC bourbon then went back to Château De Laubade to finish an armagnac. The circle of life. Isn’t that cool?! I have really wanted to get a hold of a bottle of this armagnac from the time I first time that I had heard of it, but it seemed like none of the 698 bottles made it to Kentucky. Fortunately my wonderful wife tracked one down in California and my wonderful brother-in-law muled it back for me.
Four Roses Small Batch Select is the newest addition to Four Roses’ main lineup. It was first introduced back in 2019 with limited availability, but now is significantly more widely available. At around twice the price of the Small Batch, Four Roses gives us 6 recipes instead of four, boosts the proof to 104, and delivers the bourbon non-chill filtered.
Four Roses is a unique distillery. They make all of their bourbons from 10 different recipes. They can use one recipe to make a single barrel, or multiple recipes to make a small batch. So, today I thought I would just start with the Four Roses basics, and review the 10 Four Roses recipes used to make all of their bourbons.
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon is one of the bourbons in Four Roses main lineup. The others being Four Roses Bourbon, Four Roses Single Barrel and Four Roses Small Batch Select. It is made by mingling together 4 of Four Roses 10 recipes after they have aged a minimum of 6-7 years, and it is bottled at 90 proof. According to Four Roses, those recipes “have been expertly selected by our Master Distiller at the peak of maturation to create this very mellow and perfectly balanced Bourbon.”
There isn’t much information out there about Rowan’s Creek Bourbon. According to the label, the bourbon takes its name from Rowan’s Creek, which runs through Willett Distillery. In reality, the creek is down the hill from the distillery, but we’re all friends here, so that’s close enough.😊 It seems that at one time in the not too distant past Rowan’s Creek Bourbon bore a 12 year age statement; but alas, those days are gone.
The origins of this bourbon and its mash bill(s) are also a mystery, although that mystery has been partially solved. Originally, Rowan’s Creek was made from sourced bourbon, as were all of Willett’s bourbons. The label now does state that it is distilled, aged and bottled by Willett Distillery, so the origin is no longer a mystery. The bottle I am reviewing however only says that it was “Bottled by Rowan’s Creek Distilling” (a Willett dba), so whether it was distilled all, or in part, or not at all, at Willett is unknown.
Willett Distillery is perhaps best known for its highly sought after Willett Family Estate whiskeys, but there are many, many more brands also produced at this distillery. In fact, the Willett Family Estate is just a small percentage of the whiskey produced by Willett. One of these other brands is Noah’s Mill Bourbon.
There is not much information out there about Noah’s Mill, other than that it once bore a 15 year old age statement, as recently as the early 2010’s. It now may or may not be a blend of bourbons aged anywhere from 4-20 years and both wheated and rye bourbon recipes. That is purely conjecture, but info found all over the web.
Wilderness Trail Four Grain Bourbon is the distillery’s latest release. This limited edition bourbon was available for purchase at their holiday open house, and it is part of their cancer series.
The folks at Wilderness Trail Distillery have had prior releases to support families impacted by cancer, notably the F*ck Cancer bottles which had included the famous 15 year old Willett Bourbon purchased at the Bourbon Crusaders’ American Cancer Society benefit in 2018 and then aged another year at Wilderness Trail. There were other whiskeys also released in this series.