Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: James Pepper Distilling Co.
Distillery: James Pepper Distilling Co.
Release Date: October 2023
Age: NAS (Website states average age of whiskeys is 5.5 years)
Mashbill: Undisclosed blend of corn, rye, malted barley, and malted rye
Color: Dark Caramel
MSRP: $65 / 750mL (2023)
Apricot | White grape | French vanilla ice cream | Light charred oak
Cinnamon | Golden raisins | Stewed peaches | White grape | Citrus | Light toasted oak
Rye spice | Oak spice | Leather | Dried dark fruits | Cinnamon | Long lasting
This vintage decanter style bottle is certainly eye-catching, and its sip has just as much to say.
Who doesn’t love a bourbon that comes in a great looking bottle? It’s one of the major selling points producers use to direct a customer’s eye towards their product. Rightfully so, some are suspicious of such practices as they tend to think a producer is over-compensating for a lack of quality of their whiskey, hoping to make it up with style over substance. James E. Pepper Barrel Proof Decanter Bourbon is definitely one of the better looking bottles released in 2023 and backs up its looks with substance. The company also doesn’t try to hide the fact that they want you to reuse the bottle as a decanter as it's right there in the bourbon’s name.
The bourbon is distilled by James Pepper Distilling Co. and contains a blend of their bourbons, which most notably includes their oldest stock. Balancing youth and age in just the right amounts, the bourbon is bright and fruity throughout with just enough age and barrel influence without it coming across as overly grainy. That’s evident right from its nose, as its aroma of apricot, white grape, French vanilla ice cream, and light charred oak is quite effective. The palate is equally pleasing, with strong cinnamon upfront that's quickly contrasted by a blend of golden raisins, stewed peaches, white grape, citrus, and light toasted oak. The finish is more on the simple side and dominated by rye spice, oak spice, leather, and dried dark fruits, yet still works well contrasting the rest of the sip. Overall, I expect many to thoroughly enjoy its pour and its great looking bottle, which is a throwback to the company’s original 1940s decanter. At $65, this has value written all over it.