Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Henry Farms Prairie Spirits
Distillery: Contract Distilled by an Undisclosed Wisconsin Distillery
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: 5 Years
Mashbill: 60% Heirloom Red Corn, 14% Heirloom Glacier Winter Wheat, 14% Heirloom Spooner Rye,12% Malted Barley
MSRP: $54 (2022)
Green grapes | Orange peel | Light honey | Approachable
Stone fruit | Dried apricot | Caramel chews | Sweet corn | Light rye | Slight graininess | Robust
Brown sugar | Caramel | Butterscotch | Very sweet & pleasant
J. Henry & Sons is a farm-based whiskey company who have been producing the same variety of red corn, rye, and wheat (the malted barley is sourced from another Wisconsin farm) they use to make their bourbon since 1946. Managing through the farm crisis of the 1980s that nearly shut this family farm down, Joe Henry, with the help of his wife Liz, worked to keep it alive during that time. Fast forward to present time, and the company now contracts with an undisclosed Wisconsin based distillery to distill a four grain bourbon mashbill. The company ages their bourbon at least 5 years before bottling.
Three of the grains used to make J. Henry & Sons Small Batch Bourbon are heirloom grains. This means the same seed has been used for generations, and the grains most likely have a more distinct and potentially robust flavor than their standard counterpart. The flavor of the grains seems to have translated fairly prominently to the bourbon, as it’s aged 5 years and there is still a grainy element that pulls through in the palate. This presents itself as sweet corn, slight rye, and light graininess in a general sense. The grain-forward nature echoes stereotypical craft bourbon, but thankfully does so in a pleasant and approachable way. It also offers an array of fruit flavors on the nose and palate, along with a sweet and dessert-like finish. While robust, it maintains its sweet characteristic throughout, never edging towards the spicy side. The overall combination is a unique one, and at $54 worth seeking out if you're looking for something different.
The bottle in review is No. 3973 from Batch No. 65.