Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Dread River Distilling Company
Distillery: Dread River Distilling
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: 2 Years
Mashbill: 60% Corn, 30% Wheat, 10% Malted Barley
Color: Light Gold
MSRP: $53 / 750mL (2023)
Grain | Light vanilla bean | Freshly sanded oak | Touch of pine | Fresh baked bread | Youthful scents
Bland oak | Watery vanilla | Dough | White peppercorn | Flavors come across as muddled
Pop of peppercorn spice | Oak | Baked bread | Touch of leather | Light lingering spice
The first bourbon distilled in Birmingham, Alabama in over 100 years, Dread River Straight Bourbon Batch 1 is a reminder that all whiskey journeys need to start somewhere.
According to the company, “Dr. Jeff Dugas and John Cubelic began the Dread River journey in the spring of 2017.” Opening their distillery doors in 2019, the company was delayed in initially focusing solely on producing bourbon thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to produce hand sanitizer. With the pandemic in the rearview, the company now produces a line of spirits including bourbon and rye. Dread River Distilling Company states that their Batch 1 Bourbon is the first bourbon distilled in Birmingham, Alabama in over 100 years.
All first steps of a journey need to start somewhere, and for Dread River Distilling Company, their Bourbon Batch 1 is just that, a starting point. The bourbon comes across youthful with unrefined notes prominent throughout the sip. Opening with youthful scents of grain, freshly sanded oak, and baked bread, the aroma does little to hide the bourbon’s age. Transitioning to the midpoint of the sip brings no reprieve as oak, vanilla, and dough come across as muddled and slightly inert. The finish provides familiar notes of oak and baked bread and ends with a pop of peppercorn spice that lingers, providing the most intrigue of the entire sip. It may seem cliché to say, but I’m looking forward to revisiting Dread River after they’ve had time to age their bourbon longer. For now, Batch 1 does seem like an accurate representation and merely serves as a starting point for what will hopefully be an upward journey for the company from here on out.
The bottle being reviewed comes from batch 1 and was bottled in 2022.