Bourbon Obsessed℠ https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/ Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information Tue, 06 Dec 2022 03:23:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/cropped-Glencairn_Outline_BW_v1.1_square-32x32.png Bourbon Obsessed℠ https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/ 32 32 Kentucky Owl The Wiseman Rye https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/kentucky-owl-the-wiseman-rye/ Tue, 06 Dec 2022 03:14:58 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3236 Dixon Dedman, the great-grandson of Kentucky Owl's founder, revived the brand back in 2014. Their initial The Wiseman release, back in September 2021, was a bourbon. Kentucky Owl released The Wiseman Rye in April 2022. So what's it like? Read our review to find out!

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The Wiseman
Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
Kentucky Owl
Proof: 100.8
MSRP: $49.99
Review

Please enjoy our Kentucky Owl The Wiseman Rye Review!

Kentucky Owl’s initial The Wiseman release, back in September 2021, was a bourbon. However, they released The Wiseman Rye more recently, in April 2022.

Kentucky Owl Was Founded in 1879

Charles Mortimer Dedman originally founded Kentucky Owl way back in 1879. However, when prohibition came along, it all came to an end. According to Kentucky Owl’s website, the government seized 250,000 gallons of Kentucky Owl whiskey and placed it in a warehouse. As the story goes, this warehouse caught fire and burned to the ground. However, it was suspected that the whiskey had already been removed to be sold in illicit speakeasies.

Dixon Dedman Revives The Brand

Dixon Dedman, great-grandson of Charles, revived the Kentucky Owl brand, and released their first whiskey back in 2014. Since that time, the Stoli Group acquired the brand in 2017, and has most recently launched The Wiseman line of bourbon and rye. The Wiseman Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys are blended by Master Blender John Rhea. So what are they like?

Tasting Notes – Kentucky Owl The Wiseman Rye

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Rye spices, rye bread, cherry candy, dark plums & caramel; moderate alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Caramel, honey and rye spices up front, with rye bread appearing later on
👉🏻Finish: The flavors continue into the finish. However, capsaicin spice with a bit of cinnamon soon replace them. The finish is quite long, with a moderate burn.

The Wiseman Rye is made from a mash bill using 95% rye. However, it has many bourbon characteristics making it a bit of a conundrum on the nose. It has notes of cherry candy, dark plums and caramel, but yet there is rye spice and rye bread in there as well. The taste is the same, with components of both bourbon and rye, however the longer I sip it, flavors such as rye bread become more noticeable.

A Very Enjoyable Rye

I am enjoying The Wiseman Rye from Kentucky Owl quite a bit. However, don’t let that 95% rye mash bill fool you. It’s a quite different rye from the ones from Indiana which are made with a similar mash bill. I’m not sure where The Wiseman Rye’s flavors all come from, but I am happy to have them! Give it a try and see for yourself! Cheers!🥃

Thank you to Kentucky Owl for graciously providing the rye for this review!

I hope you have enjoyed our Kentucky Owl The Wiseman Rye Review!

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Shenk’s Homestead Sour Mash Whiskey https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/shenks-homestead-sour-mash-whiskey/ Thu, 01 Dec 2022 03:37:00 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3227 Shenk’s Homestead honors John Shenk, who founded a distillery in 1783 that would later become Michter’s. It’s a limited-production release shrouded by a little mystery. This is a “high rye” whiskey that doesn’t make its mash bill public. The 2021 release's aging process uses barrels made from Chinquapin Oak trees. Some use the oak as proof that Shenk’s can’t possibly be bourbon. It could be that the mash bill has less than 51% corn, which would knock it out of the bourbon sphere. Learn more about Shenk's Homestead 2021 release in our review!

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Shenk’s Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey
2021 Relese
Michter’s Distillery
91.2 proof
MSRP: $90 (however, given the limited availability, prices may be considerably higher)
Review

Please enjoy our Shenk’s Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey review by Ray Marcano

The price point keeps this from being a must buy.

History

Shenk’s Homestead honors John Shenk, who founded a distillery in 1783 that would later become Michter’s, according to the distillery’s website.  It’s a limited-production release shrouded by a little mystery. This is a “high rye” whiskey that doesn’t make its mash bill public. Its aging process uses barrels made from Chinquapin Oak trees. Some use the oak as proof that Shenk’s can’t possibly be bourbon. Still, Old Charter Oak uses Chinkapin oak — a different spelling of Chinquapin — and calls its brew “bourbon”, so that’s not it. It could be that the mash bill has less than 51% corn, which would knock it out of the bourbon sphere.

Mash Bill

Not disclosed

Tasting Notes – Shenk’s Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey

 Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Grain, brown sugar, caramel, toffee
👉🏻Taste: Cherry, citrus, pepper, oak, 
👉🏻Finish: Pepper, allspice, dried fruits

Summary

The grain speaks to the high rye content of this whiskey, but it’s quickly offset by some pleasant brown sugar notes that bring forward some sweetness. It’s an interesting pour, a cross between the lighter characters of a whiskey with the strong, long finish of a bourbon. It’s a pleasing, easy drink and will certainly warm you up on a cold night. 

Conclusion – Shenk’s Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey Review

I’m torn. I like Shenk’s Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey. It’s a fine sipping and unique whiskey, given its character and quality. But $90 is a tough ask, especially since (1) these are very hard to find in the wild and cost two times MSRP if you can find one on the secondary and (2) there are plenty of whiskeys and ryes available for half the price that are just as good. If money is no object, this is a good get.

I hope you have enjoyed our Shenk’s Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey review by Ray Marcano. Ray publishes a free monthly newsletter, The Bourbon Resource. You can subscribe here. Next, read about Shenk’s Homestead’s brethren in our Bomberger’s Declaration Review!

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Blue Run Emerald Rye https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/blue-run-emerald-rye/ Mon, 28 Nov 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3218 Blue Run Spirits recently released their second rye, Blue Run Emerald Rye. Golden Rye, which I have reviewed previously, was their first. In contrast to the Golden Rye, Emerald Rye was contract distilled by Blue Run Liquid Advisor Jim Rutledge at Castle & Key Distillery. In addition, Emerald Rye is bottled at barrel proof whereas Golden Rye was bottled at 95 proof. So how is the new Emerald Rye? Read our full review to find out!

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Blue Run
Emerald Rye
Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
Batch: Winter
Proof: 116.7
MSRP: ~$110
Review

Please enjoy our Blue Run Emerald Rye review!

Blue Run Emerald Rye Is A Blend Of Ryes

Blue Run Spirits recently released their second rye, Blue Run Emerald Rye. Golden Rye, which I have reviewed previously, was their first. In contrast to the Golden Rye, Emerald Rye was contract distilled by Blue Run Liquid Advisor Jim Rutledge at Castle & Key Distillery. In addition, Emerald Rye is bottled at barrel proof whereas Golden Rye was bottled at 95 proof. Interestingly, not all of the barrels used in Emerald Rye were aged on Castle & Key’s property; some were aged elsewhere in Frankfort and in Bardstown. Lastly, Blue Run used three different rye mash bills to make Emerald Rye.

According to their press release: “Emerald, a limited collection, was crafted from just 189 barrels and embraces the distinct, spicy characteristics of Rye Whiskey, yet with the approachability and depth of a fine Bourbon. Blue Run Whiskey Director Shaylyn Gammon expertly blended Emerald to highlight a myriad of Blue Run’s favorite flavor characteristics.”

Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Rye bread & rye spices, cedar; fruit, like apple and apricot; caramel and vanilla in the background, and even some light floral notes arrive later, once I am acclimated. Alcohol is fairly mild for the proof
👉🏻Taste: The fruits continue; there’s a brown sugar almost syrupy sweetness, cedar, rye spices and developing spiciness; and, dare I say, anise?
👉🏻Finish: Both black pepper and capsaicin spice rapidly build and linger for a good long time. There’s a bit of barrel char, too. The fruit, sweetness and anise linger, with the anise hanging on by its finger tips til the end, and becoming more noticeable with every sip.

A Very Complex Rye

Blue Run Emerald Rye is quite complex, presumably due to the different mash bills, aging locations and, of course, the blending. The flavors change quite a bit the more time I spend with it. The nose starts with rye bread and rye spices, cedar and some fruit, such as apple and apricot. Later on, other flavors such as vanilla, caramel and even a floral note, possibly roses, become noticeable. The same occurs with the taste and finish. The complexity really comes out more and more with each sip, as I become acclimated to the initial flavors.

Conclusion

I am really enjoying this rye. It has a very pleasant complexity of flavors not usually found in ryes, making it quite unique. Like all Blue Run whiskeys since the original 13-14 year old bourbons, the price is on the high side for their age, so it becomes a personal choice what something is worth. Price aside, this would definitely be one that I would enjoy having on my shelf. Have you tried Blue Run Emerald Rye? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

We hope you have enjoyed our Blue Run Emerald Rye review! Next, read about its predecessor in our Blue Run Golden Rye review. Or, read about a one of their bourbons in our Blue Run High Rye Bourbon Review!

Blue Run Spirits provided this sample for our review. Thank you! As per our policy, this in no way influenced my review. (photo credit: Blue Run Spirits)

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Would you like to learn more about distilleries and bourbon? Are you planning a trip to Kentucky Distilleries? Maybe you would like to live the bourbon life vicariously through us?🙂 If any of these are true, then check out BourbonObsessed.com today!

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Pursuit United Rye Review https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/pursuit-united-rye-review/ Sat, 26 Nov 2022 05:25:36 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3196 Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil, the creators of the Bourbon Pursuit podcast, founded Pursuit Spirits in 2018. They initially produced select sourced single barrels under the Pursuit Series label, but now focus on their own brand of blended whiskeys, Pursuit United. They released their first whiskey, a bourbon, back in early 2021, followed by their rye, later that year. The Pursuit United Rye that I am reviewing today is their second rye release, designated by Batch 7CC on the label. So how is it? Check out our full review to find out!

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Cecil + Coleman
Pursuit United
Blended Straight Rye Whiskeys
108 Proof
Batch 7CC (July 2022)
Blended & Bottled by Pursuit Spirits
Non-Age Stated; All component ryes are said to be older than 4 years
108 Proof
MSRP: $65
Review

Please enjoy our Pursuit United Rye Review!

The Second Pursuit United Rye from Pursuit Spirits

Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil, the creators of the Bourbon Pursuit podcast, founded Pursuit Spirits in 2018. They initially produced select sourced single barrels under the Pursuit Series label, but now focus on their own brand of blended whiskeys, Pursuit United. They released their first whiskey, a bourbon, back in early 2021, followed by their rye later that year. The Pursuit United Rye that I am reviewing today is their second rye release, released in August 2022 and designated by Batch 7CC on the label.

A Blend Of Three Different Rye Whiskeys

Pursuit United Rye is unique. It is a blend of three different rye whiskeys, each made from a different mashbill. In addition, the ryes are distilled by two different distilleries in two different states. Two of the ryes come from Sagamore Spirit in Maryland, whereas the third rye comes from Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown, Kentucky.

So What Are The Mash Bills?

The mash bills of the three component ryes are:
Bardstown Bourbon Company: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
Sagamore Spirit: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
Sagamore Spirit: 52% rye, 43% corn, 5% malted barley

Tasting Notes – Pursuit United Rye

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Brown sugar sweetness, clove, spearmint, cedar, light cinnamon & rye bread; Dark stone fruits like black cherries; a hint of raisin; moderate alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Rye spices, oak, caramel & brown sugar sweetness; dark cherry and grape juice arrive later on
👉🏻Finish: Oak, char and black pepper spice build in the finish, with the spice becoming quite noticeable; some sweetness and fruit linger, although there is a drier woodiness that develops later on. Long finish with a moderate burn.

Tasting Notes – Summary

Pursuit United Rye is quite the unique rye. While there are certainly some of the characteristic rye flavors up front, such as clove, cedar and some mint, the darker sweeter fruits that make appearances throughout and the caramel and brown sugar sweetness are a bit unexpected. Nonetheless, they are quite welcome and really provide Pursuit United Rye with an interesting depth and complexity. The noticeable spice in the finish provides the perfect contrast to the sweetness and fruit. Overall, this is a very enjoyable pour.

This rye is meant to be a bourbon lover’s rye, and I think it has achieved that goal. Have you tried the latest batch of Pursuit United Rye? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

We hope you have enjoyed our Pursuit United Rye Review! Next, check out our Pursuit United Bourbon Review!

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Would you like to learn more about distilleries and bourbon? Are you planning a trip to Kentucky Distilleries? Maybe you would like to live the bourbon life vicariously through us?🙂 If any of these are true, then check out BourbonObsessed.com today!

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Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/knob-creek-12-year-bourbon/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 05:43:22 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3178 Knob Creek 12 Year Old Bourbon was first released back in 2019 as a limited edition, but became a permanent member of the Knob Creek line in 2020. It was initially released at 100 proof, similar to their flagship 9 year bourbon. Interestingly, at the time of Knob 12 Year's release, the flagship bourbon had no age statement. Beam removed it back in 2016 citing shortages of 9 year old whiskey, but then brought it back in 2020. Also, to add to the confusion, their was a brief limited release of Knob Creek 12 year at cask strength back in the Fall of 2020. So how is the Knob Creek 12 Year Old Bourbon? Read our review and find out!

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Knob Creek 12 Year
Small Batch
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Aged Twelve Years
100 Proof
Knob Creek Distilling Company
Clermont, Kentucky
MSRP: $66-$73 retail as of Nov 2022
Review

Please enjoy our Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon Review!

Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon – A Limited Edition In 2019

Knob Creek 12 Year Old Bourbon was first released back in 2019 as a limited edition, but became a permanent member of the Knob Creek line in 2020. It was initially released at 100 proof, similar to their flagship 9 year old bourbon. Interestingly, at the time of Knob 12 Year’s release, the flagship bourbon had no age statement. Beam removed it back in 2016, citing shortages of 9 year old whiskey, but then brought it back in 2020. So this 12 year old was a very welcome surprise! Also, to add to the confusion, their was a brief limited release of Knob Creek 12 year at cask strength back in the Fall of 2020. However, we haven’t seen that one again. But the 100 proof version is still going strong!

First Taste Gone Wrong

I first tasted the Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon after a pour of a Knob Creek 15 year old 120 proof store pick. The 100 proof 12 year did not fare well. So I am trying to level the playing field by comparing it to a bourbon of the same proof. The flagship Knob Creek 9 yr 100 proof seemed like the perfect comparison. Plus, it will be good to know if it is worth the money to upgrade to the 12 year from the regular release.

Tasting Notes

Let’s Taste Them!

Knob Creek 9 Year Bourbon 100 Proof

👉🏻Nose: Rye spices, caramel, cherry, cedar, vanilla & light char; moderate alcohol.
👉🏻Taste: Caramel, brown sugar sweetness, rye spices & a hint of ginger snaps.
👉🏻Finish: Sweetness continues and then diminishes, but picks up some cookie dough along the way; oak, char & dryness build into the long finish. Moderate burn.

Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon 100 Proof

👉🏻Nose: Vanilla, caramel, cedar, oak, rye spices & brown sugar with cherry in the background; moderate alcohol. Although there are some similarities, there are full rich flavors in the nose of the Knob Creek 12 year which are not present in the 9 year.
👉🏻Taste: Caramel, rye spices & oak with some brown sugar sweetness.
👉🏻Finish: Sweetness continues and picks up a bit of spice. Oak, char, black pepper spice and dryness build in the long finish. Moderate burn.

Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon vs Knob Creek 9 Year Bourbon Summary

The flagship Knob Creek 9 Year Old Bourbon has its rye spices, cedar and cherry more at the forefront in the nose than the 12 year, which has more vanilla, caramel and rich pastry notes forward. In the taste, the flavors overall are more intense in the 9 year and have mellowed in the 12 year. However, that is not to say that the 12 year is bland, not at all.

The 12 Year Is A More Balanced Bourbon

The Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon is overall more balanced than the 9 year, with sweetness, caramel, vanilla and oak all combining in perfect harmony. The finishes are similar, but more subdued in the 12 year. Overall, the 12 year has much richer flavors throughout, mellowed and harmonized a bit by age. The one flavor that is more pronounced in the 12 year, which might be a bit controversial, is the oak, as would be expected. But, it is not overpowering at all, and the balance of flavors is pretty near perfect, at least for my palate.

Knob Creek Bourbon Twelve Years Aged Label
Knob Creek 12 Years Aged Bourbon Label
Conclusion

These two Knob Creek bourbons have similar flavors. It is the balance, and “richness” that is different between the two. The “in your face” sharper flavors of the 9 year old Knob Creek are a bit more subdued in the 12 year old, and definitely in a good way. The 12 year also has a more pronounced pastry-like character, and the richness in the Knob Creek 12 Year continues throughout. Indeed, that richness is just not present in the 9 year old Knob Creek at 100 proof. The 12 year definitely tastes older and more mature.

If I had to choose between these two bourbons, and I very well might, this is what I might do. For a delicious neat pour, Knob Creek 12 year is the clear winner. For cocktails, the 9 year probably would stand out more, and would certainly be the more affordable choice. Do you agree?🥃

I hope you have enjoyed our Knob Creek 12 Year Bourbon Review! Next, check out our Knob Creek 18 Year Bourbon Review!

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Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch 2022 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/makers-mark-community-batch-2022/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 03:29:23 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3168 The CommUNITY Batch bourbon is a collaboration between Maker's Mark and the LEE Initiative. First released in 2020 to help hospitality industry workers during the pandemic, this has since become an annual release. Learn more about the 2022 batch in our review!

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The CommUNITY Batch 2022
Maker’s Mark
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
Barrel Finished with Selected Oak Staves
108.7 Proof

Please enjoy our Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch 2022 Bourbon Review!

A Collaboration Between Maker’s Mark and the LEE Initiative

The CommUNITY batch is a collaboration between Maker’s Mark and the LEE Initiative. The LEE (which stands for Let’s Empower Employment) Initiative was founded in 2017 by Chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek and creates and implements programs to address issues of diversity and equality in the restaurant industry. One of the LEE Initiative’s programs is The Women Culinary & Spirits Program. Indeed, their mission is to address the void in women’s leadership in the restaurant and spirit industry. Therefore, this year’s CommUNITY Batch is a blend of Maker’s Mark® expressions that the mentees of The LEE Initiative’s Women Culinary & Spirits Program have created going back to 2018.

CommUNITY Batch 2022 Bourbon Front Label
Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch 2022 – Front Label
The Ultimate Maker’s Mark Private Selection

The CommUNITY Batch bourbon is the ultimate Maker’s Mark Private Selection. What is a Maker’s Mark Private Selection? As described on their website: “Private Selection is created by adding 10 custom wood finishing staves to each barrel. It’s then aged in our limestone cellar to extract a unique, flavorful taste profile.” There are 5 different staves to choose from, each with a different characteristics, and the combinations result in very unique flavor profiles. Maker’s periodically changes which staves one can choose. Therefore, since the recipes for the Private Selects blended for this batch date back to 2018, this year’s Maker’s CommUNITY Batch contains bourbons finished with 6 different staves instead of five. Isn’t that cool? The percentage of each stave used is listed on the back label of the bottle.

Maker's Mark CommUNITY Batch 2022 Stave Recipe
Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch 2022 Stave Recipe
Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Sweet cherry candy, but some dark cherry, too; vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, oak & cedar; some leather towards the back; moderate alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Cherry, chocolate, caramel, oak; some butterscotch later on
👉🏻Finish: Cherry sweetness continues; oak, char and a surprising degree of black pepper spice builds; all the flavors linger for a long time; moderate burn

If I had to pick one flavor comparison, it would be cherry Tootsie pop.

CommUNITY Batch 2022 Wax Seal
Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch 2022 Wax Seal
Summary

People talk about the Cherry flavors in Maker’s Mark, and occasionally I notice that cherry flavor to varying degrees. However, the 2022 Community Batch is just dominated by cherry in a variety of forms, from the nose to the finish. Mixed in are some of the other flavors I would expect from a Maker’s Mark Private Selection, although there seems to be a bit more oak and char than in the many others that I have tasted. What makes this, and the other, CommUNITY batches so special, other than the causes that they support, is that by being a blend of multiple Private Selection barrels they can achieve stave combinations that are not attainable in a single barrel. So some unique flavors can be created, as they are here.

This really is a special bourbon! Have you tried any of the Maker’s Mark CommUNITY batches? What did you think? Cheers!

We hope you have enjoyed our Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch 2022 Bourbon Review! The prior batches were a bit different. You’ll definitely want to read our Maker’s Mark CommUNITY Batch 2020 Review!

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Knob Creek 18 Year Bourbon https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/knob-creek-18-year-bourbon/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 02:17:46 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3158 Knob Creek 18 Year Old is a limited edition bourbon released to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Knob Creek Bourbon. If you are someone who enjoys well aged bourbons, and is a fan of oak, then this is a bourbon for you! Read our review to learn more!

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Knob Creek 18 Year
Small Batch
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Aged 18 Years
100 Proof
MSRP: ~$170
Review

Please enjoy our Knob Creek 18 Year Bourbon Review!

The Oldest Knob Creek Bourbon To Date!

Knob Creek 18 Year Old is a limited edition bourbon released to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Knob Creek Bourbon. The Knob Creek brand of today was born in 1992 as part of Beam’s new Small Batch Collection. The Beam Small Batch Collection was comprised of Booker’s (which was first released in 1988), Basil Hayden, Baker’s and Knob Creek bourbons. Interestingly, Baker’s is now a single barrel bourbon, so is questionably still part of the Small Batch Collection.

Before 1992 Knob Creek’s History Is A Little Murky

As the story today commonly goes, Knob Creek Bourbon is named after the Knob Creek in Kentucky. There are actually two Knob Creeks in Kentucky (of course there are). The Knob Creek in question, however, is the one which was said to have run through Abraham Lincoln’s childhood farm.

Interestingly, The Knob Creek brand dates back to 1898 and was owned by the Penn-Maryland Corp, or one of its precursors. The Penn-Maryland Corp ultimately became part of National Distillers, and when Beam acquired National Distillers in 1987, they acquired the Knob Creek brand, too. Furthermore, as the Penn-Maryland Corp apparently had its initial roots in Pennsylvania (although later on in Cincinnati), the namesake Knob Creek may not have been in Kentucky at all. Regardless, the Knob Creek Bourbon of today has nothing in common with its precursor other than the name.

Let’s Taste Knob Creek 18 Year Old Bourbon!

Tasting Notes – Knob Creek 18 Year Bourbon

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Vanilla, oak, crème brûlée, brown sugar; subtle cherry; relatively light alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Caramel, brown sugar sweetness, oak
👉🏻Finish: Sweetness and hint of cherry lingers, the oak is there, but is not overbearing; light char and a bit of black pepper spice develop, grow and linger. Long finish. Relatively mild burn.

Summary

Knob Creek 18 Year Bourbon really is a delicious well-aged bourbon. Accordingly, it does have quite a bit of oak, but the oak is not overpowering. The nose has a rich dessert like crème brûlée character, with a hint of fruit. Additionally, the taste has a notable brown sugar sweetness, and the expected oak makes its appearance. Finally, the finish has plenty of oak, but the other flavors continue as well, and a bit of spice develops later on. If you are someone who enjoys well-aged bourbons, and is a fan of oak, then this is a bourbon for you!

Conclusion

I am a fan of well-aged bourbons, and I am also a fan of oak, so this is a bourbon that I really enjoy. Although, I originally questioned the 100 proof, generally being a fan of higher proof whiskeys. However, as other have suggested, this lower proof point was likely chosen to keep the oak in better balance. I guess I would have to try it at both proof points to know for sure, but I do know the 100 proof works quite well.

Have you tried Knob Creek 18 Year Bourbon? What did you think?

I hope you have enjoyed our Knob Creek 18 Year Bourbon Review! Want to read about another well-aged Beam bourbon? Then, you will want to read our Hardin’s Creek Jacob’s Well Bourbon Review. Additionally, if you would like to learn more about the Jim Beam Distillery, check out our James B Beam Distilling Tour Review!

Buy Bourbon Obsessed Hats & Glencairns

Would you like to learn more about distilleries and bourbon? Are you planning a trip to Kentucky Distilleries? Maybe you would like to live the bourbon life vicariously through us?🙂 If any of these are true, then check out BourbonObsessed.com today!

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Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon Review https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/keepers-heart-irish-bourbon-review/ Thu, 10 Nov 2022 02:54:48 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3147 Keeper's Heart's inaugural release was Keeper's Heart Whiskey - Irish + American, and was a blend of Irish Pot Still Whiskey, Irish Grain Whiskey and American Rye. The whiskey I am trying is their second blend, Irish + Bourbon, which is also a blend of Irish Pot Still Whiskey and Irish Grain Whiskey, but instead of rye, bourbon is used. So what's it like? Check out our review!

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Keeper’s Heart
Whiskey
Irish + Bourbon
92 proof
O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company
Minneapolis, MN
MSRP: $44.99
Review

Please enjoy our Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon Review!

“Irish whiskeys blended with American bourbon. We combined the unique qualities of Irish Grain and Single Pot Still whiskeys with American bourbon for a remarkable drinking experience.”

Keeper’s Heart Whiskey

The concept of Keeper’s Heart Whiskey was born in the wee hours at an O’Shaughnessy family reunion a few years ago. Along the way they built a 30,000 sq ft distillery in Minneapolis and were joined by Brian Nation, formerly of Irish Distillers where he was Head Distiller at the Jameson Midleton Distillery. Also in the family is David Perkins, founder of High West Distillery and their Liquid Collaborator and Advisor.

Inaugural Whiskey Release – Irish + American

Keeper’s Heart’s inaugural release was Keeper’s Heart Whiskey – Irish + American, and was a blend of Irish Pot Still Whiskey, Irish Grain Whiskey and American Rye. The whiskey I am trying is their second blend, Irish + Bourbon, which is also a blend of Irish Pot Still Whiskey and Irish Grain Whiskey, but instead of rye, bourbon is used.

Tasting Notes – Keeper’s Heart Whiskey – Irish + Bourbon

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Sweet green apple, pear, apricot, apple juice, cinnamon; honey; baking spices; light anise & oak; mild alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Caramel, apple, honey, oak and mild char
👉🏻Finish: The flavors continue into the finish. The sweetness lingers, the oak becomes more noticeable, there is a bit of spice and growing barrel char towards the end. Mild burn. The finish lingers quite a bit longer than I would have expected.

Summary

This mingling of Irish Whiskeys and Bourbon creates a very pleasant and easily drinkable whiskey. If I had to pick, I would say the nose is more dominated by the Irish whiskey, with noticeable fruit, although the bourbon does make itself known, too. However, in the taste and finish the bourbon notes become more noticeable. I do not know what Irish Whiskey to Irish Grain Whiskey to Bourbon ratio they are using. I’ve been wrong many times before trying to guess the components of blends, so I won’t embarrass myself further by attempting it here. But whatever it is, it works!

Have you tried any of Keeper’s Heart’s whiskeys? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

We hope you have enjoyed our Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon Review! Would you like to learn about another Irish Whiskey with a bourbon influence? Read our Redbreast Kentucky Oak Edition Review!

Thank you to Keeper’s Heart Whiskey for sending me this bottle! However, that in no way influenced my review.

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Smooth Ambler Distillery Tour https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/smooth-ambler-distillery-tour/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 02:37:23 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3110 Smooth Ambler Distilery was originally established in 2009. Their initial success came from selling well-aged whiskeys from what is now MGP, and being transparent about it. That transparency continues today as Smooth Ambler produces whiskeys which are both sourced and distilled on-site, as well as a combination of the two. Come along and learn more as we take a tour!

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Smooth Ambler
Distillery
745 Industrial Park Rd.
Maxwelton, WV 24957
304-497-3123
https://smoothambler.com
Tour – Review

Please enjoy our Smooth Ambler Distillery Tour!

Smooth Ambler Distillery Tour

Smooth Ambler Distilery was established in 2009 by John Little and his father-in-law, TAG Galyean. Their initial success came from not only selling well-aged whiskeys procured from what is now MGP, but also the fact that the company disclosed that their products were sourced. This transparency continues today as Smooth Ambler produces whiskeys which are both sourced and distilled on-site, as well as a combination of the two. Come along and learn more as we take a tour!

A Time of Transition

We were fortunate to be able to visit the Smooth Ambler distillery in the small town of Maxwelton, WV. Our visit was two-fold as both a tour and barrel pick awaited; however, the focus of this article is the tour. We met our guide Andrea in the distillery gift shop. Andrea began by telling us that it is a time of transition for Smooth Ambler, because as of July 1, 2022, the company is now 100% owned by Pernod Ricard. Prior to that, Pernod Ricard owned a percentage of the company. As a matter of fact, Pernod Ricard is no stranger to the whiskey biz. Not only do they have a world-wide portfolio of wines and spirits, they also own a few American whiskey distilleries including Jefferson’s, Rabbit Hole and TX Whiskey.

On To The Production Area

While Andrea began by giving us an overview of distillery operations, the glass windows along the gift shop wall provided us with a great view of the main production area. Our first stop was “through the looking glass” and onto the production floor. The majority of the production at Smooth Ambler Spirits takes place essentially in this one large room. The focal point of the room is the centrally located 36 foot tall Vendome column still, with its copper pot still doubler off to the side. The “low wine” comes off of the column still at 125 proof, and then is distilled up to 140 proof in the doubler. Just in front of the still is a control center, where the operator keeps a watchful eye.

The Mash Tank and Fermenters

To the right of the still, on the way to the fermenters, is a relatively compact area. Here are housed the 800 gallon mash tank, water tank and beer well. The grain that fills the mash tank is non-GMO and locally sourced, supplemented with additional grains from the midwest.

Next, we arrive in the fermenter room. This room houses twenty-two 800 gallon fermenters. The bases of these tall tanks come into view as we entered the area. Walking past the tanks, we then ascend the stairs to an elevated walkway where open fermenter hatches allow us a peek inside as the yeast has its way with the mash. Andrea tells us that fermentation lasts around 4 days, with the final product being a distiller’s beer having an alcohol content of around 8%. Once the fermentation is complete, the “beer” is transferred to the beer well. Here it will remain until it heads to the still.

Barrelling

The barrel room is right off the fermenter area. From here, the filled barrels go to one of the 13 rickhouses to age. The rickhouses are located about 1/4 mile down the road, in a “holler”. Interestingly, the warehouses are numbered 1 through 12, and “G”. Because of superstition, there will never be a Rickhouse 13 at Smooth Ambler Distillery.

Blending

The magic behind Smooth Ambler’s whiskeys is blending. Whether it is sourced whiskeys, a combination of sourced whiskeys and their own distillate, or just their own, masterful blending accounts for the great flavor and success of the brand. Blending takes place in a single room containing the dump station and blending tanks. The man in charge is Stu.

Bottling

Smooth Ambler Distillery has their own full bottling line. Prior to bottling, the bottles are rinsed with high proof white dog. The bottling line was not running when we visited. However, the distillery operates 12 hours per day, 7 days a week. In addition, there are plans for expanded hours in the future.

Smooth Ambler Distillery Bottling Line
Smooth Ambler Distillery Bottling Line
Smooth Ambler Bourbon and Rye Tasting

Lastly, no tour is complete without a little tasting of the finished product! Smooth Ambler Distillery has essentially three different lines of whiskey. All are available for sampling at the gift shop tasting bar along with some limited releases. The Smooth Ambler whiskeys are:

  • Contradiction: “Mingled Whiskies”. These are a blend of house distilled whiskeys, as well as those from Tennessee and Indiana. There is both a Contradiction Rye and Bourbon.
  • Old Scout: “Procured Whiskies”, many of which come from MGP in Lawrenceberg, Indiana.
  • Founders’ Cask Strength Series: Smooth Ambler distills these whiskeys in Maxwelton, WV. Initially, these were rye whiskeys, but the series now includes bourbons as well.
  • (Big Level Bourbon, is the recently discontinued wheated bourbon distilled entirely at Smooth Ambler. The Big Level Bourbon lives on as a component of the Contradiction Bourbon.)
What A Visit!

Smooth Ambler is a unique distillery. They began like many, sourcing bourbon from larger distilleries. However, they were honest about it, and their customers appreciated it. Over the years, Smooth Ambler has grown to produce multiple lines of sourced and house distilled whiskeys. If you ever find yourself in the Maxwelton, WV area, definitely stop by and see for yourself!

We hope you have enjoyed our Smooth Ambler Distillery Tour! Next, check out our Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon Review!

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Would you like to learn more about distilleries and bourbon? Are you planning a trip to Kentucky Distilleries? Maybe you would like to live the bourbon life vicariously through us?🙂 If any of these are true, then check out BourbonObsessed.com today!

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Remus Gatsby Reserve Review https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/remus-gatsby-reserve-review/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 19:00:00 +0000 https://bourbonobsessed.com/Blog/?p=3102 The latest in the Remus Bourbon family, the Remus Gatsby Reserve, celebrates F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, “The Great Gatsby," which examines prohibition-era America during the Jazz age. The bourbon, crafted by master distiller Ian Stirsman and his team at Ross & Squibb Distillery, is made with 15-year-old reserves of straight bourbon whiskey. How is it? Check out our review!

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Remus Gatsby Reserve
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
15 Years Old
Ross & Squibb (MGP)
Proof: 97.8
MSRP: $199.99
Review

Please enjoy our Remus Gatsby Reserve review by Ray Marcano.

Remus Gatsby Reserve 15 Year Bourbon Review

This bourbon may be expensive, but it’s worth the investment. Exquisite.

History

The latest in the Remus Bourbon family, the Remus Gatsby Reserve, celebrates F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, “The Great Gatsby,” which examines prohibition-era America during the Jazz age. The bourbon, crafted by master distiller Ian Stirsman and his team at Ross & Squibb Distillery, is made with 15-year-old reserves of straight bourbon whiskey.

Mash Bill

Not disclosed

Tasting Notes – Remus Gatsby Reserve

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Cherry, licorice, vanilla
👉🏻Taste: Butterscotch, warm caramel, maple syrup
👉🏻Finish: Maple, caramel, vanilla

Summary

Cherry candy and licorice jump out on the nose and remain the predominant flavors. I let it rest in my Glencairn glass for a few minutes, tried again, and got a little vanilla this time but not enough to cut through the cherry. The tongue gets hit with a taste explosion, a mouthful of warm caramel and butterscotch followed by a little maple syrup so thick it felt like my throat was becoming coated in sweetness. There’s a little oak, less than I anticipated for a 15-year-aged product, and the finish is as long as a passionate kiss. Just a touch of burn, and I mean the good kind that makes you feel all toasty inside.

Conclusion – Remus Gatsby Reserve Bourbon

The Remus Gatsby Reserve is one special bourbon that immediately works its way into my top-tier bottles. It’s not a daily drinker only because of the limited availability and price. But it’s worth it. It’s delicious.

I hope you have enjoyed our Remus Gatsby Reserve review by Ray Marcano. Ray publishes a free monthly newsletter, The Bourbon Resource. You can subscribe here. If you would like to learn about more whiskeys from Ross Squibb (MGP) check out our George Remus Single Barrel Bourbon Review and our Rossville Union Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Review!

Buy Bourbon Obsessed Hats & Glencairns

Would you like to learn more about distilleries and bourbon? Are you planning a trip to Kentucky Distilleries? Maybe you would like to live the bourbon life vicariously through us?🙂 If any of these are true, then check out BourbonObsessed.com today!

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