McFarlane's Reserve Bourbon Review

McFarlane’s Reserve Bourbon Review

McFarlane’s Reserve
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
90 Proof
Aged a minimum of 3 yrs
Bottled by IJW Whiskey Company

Please enjoy my McFarlane’s Reserve Bourbon Review!

This is another enigmatic bourbon from the IJW Whiskey Company. I had posted about them and their first releases, the First Call line of whiskeys, way back in March. As a refresher, IJW is a company that has been quietly stockpiling whiskey at the corner of Wilderness Trail Distillery’s property since 2016. They apparently have partnered with 5 distilleries and have a wide variety of whiskeys maturing in their warehouses. They may or may not have a relationship with the University of Michigan and a Canadian-run private equity fund.⁠

IJW has slowly been releasing their products since March, seemingly only to be sold at Total Wine.

So what about this bourbon? Well, what’s on the label is pretty much it. Other than what I stated above, the label otherwise only gives a colorful history of the Whiskey Rebellion and Major James McFarlane’s role. The Total Wine listing says this is a wheated bourbon, and the price: 21.99. So that’s all we know.

Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Cherry, apple, strawberry, dried apricots, butter and cream, oak, caramel; noticeable alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Honey, oak, strawberry, light caramel; sweet
👉🏻Finish: Flavors continue, some oak comes forward and barrel char builds. Burnt caramels quickly rises and fades. The fruit subsides and dryness takes over. Relatively short and soft finish. Mild burn.


This is an interesting one. The flavors seemed a bit different since the neck pour yesterday, and honestly they change with every sip. Initially I got lots of fruit and a bit of chocolate. I am not noticing the chocolate so much now and there’s still tons of fruit, but I now get some butter and cream, and strawberries, none of which I’ve ever noticed before in any bourbon. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten a quart of strawberries and cream ice cream right before tasting this?😀

Final verdict? Well, at a price of $21.99 I will never be overly critical. This is an easy drinking bourbon, and although it confuses me a bit, I am enjoying it. Have you tried McFarlane’s Reserve bourbon? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

I hope you enjoyed my McFarlane’s Reserve Bourbon Review! Would you like to read about another IJW Whiskey Co. whiskey? Check out my First Call Rye review!

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