Dread River Straight Bourbon (Batch 1)


Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Dread River Distilling Company

Distillery: Dread River Distilling

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 90

Age: 2 Years

Mashbill: 60% Corn, 30% Wheat, 10% Malted Barley

Color: Light Gold

MSRP: $53 / 750mL (2023)

Official Website


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.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
360 video

Written By: Jordan Moskal

November 20, 2023
photo of author
Available at these retailers
Dread River Straight Bourbon (Batch 1)
Also Check out
No items found.
Reviews By This Author
Recent Reviews
Recent Articles
  • Exclusive Content
  • new content summary
  • bourbon in the news
  • social media roundup
Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyEthics PolicyCommenting Policy