RD One Small Batch Bourbon


Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: RD1 Spirits

Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery(ies)

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 98

Age: 4 Years

Mashbill: 70% Corn, 21% Rye, 9% Malted Barley

Color: Light Gold

MSRP: $59 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

RD1, which stands for Registered Distillery One, was founded in 2020 and is located in Lexington, Kentucky. Originally Ashland Distillery, it later changed ownership and became known as the William Tarr Distillery, which, coincidentally, was Lexington’s first federally registered distillery. Earlier this year, the company announced it plans to build a new $4.8 million brand destination, which will allow the brand to produce whiskey onsite.


The overall aroma produced by the whiskey is surprisingly light, considering the proof. Light oak and vanilla extract mingle with faint burnt almond cake. Rye grain and mixed peppercorns add an additional earthiness to the mix. A twinge of ethanol is present, but not enough to be off-putting. The aroma is a straightforward if not unmemorable combination of scents to kick things off.


A slight creaminess is immediately noticeable as you get to the midpoint of the sip. Yellow cake and vanilla bring forth light dessert-like flavors, while light brown sugar adds additional sweetness. Exploring further brings about a gentle rye spice and dry oak. The end result is a nice balance between sweet and spicy dry flavors that form the peak of the sip.


A quick burst of rye spice and vanilla comes forward. As the vanilla sweetness fades, it leaves behind a slightly dry oak and rye spice undertone. These stay for a short period before fading away. It’s an efficient and straightforward way to end things for this bourbon.


RD One Small Batch Bourbon is a Kentucky straight bourbon that has a hard time standing out from the crowd. It reminds me of a slightly more developed Basil Hayden bourbon, but still, just average where it counts. With its base sweeter notes along with efficient rye spice notes, it’s easy to justify that this would be a bourbon that most would be hard-pressed to find fault with. However, in that same vein, the whiskey feels encamped in a world of mediocrity that never strives to be more than just a run-of-the-mill bourbon.


Bourbon prices have continued to rise, and with their rise, there is an expectation that the whiskey generally correlates with the price being asked. While $59 isn’t an eye-popping number compared to some recent releases, it still holds that same thought amongst consumers. Unfortunately, in the case of RD One Small Batch Bourbon, the sip produced is just average and doesn’t stand out in the sea of readily available bourbon. It’s a hard justification and one that is priced about $10-$20 too high.


Easy to please, but quick to forget, RD One Small Batch Bourbon is an easy-drinking bourbon that has a hard time standing out from the crowd.

Sometimes, it’s okay to be average. Not all bourbons can be better than others that surround them, but they can certainly be a lot worse. Thankfully in the case of RD One Small Batch Bourbon, it delivers a sip that few will find fault with. Its easy-drinking flavor profile, while light, produces common flavors that many will find pleasing. It’s a great bourbon to pour for others who are looking to graduate from 80 proof whiskeys, due to the fact that while it may be 98 proof, it drinks much, much lower. Its price is too high for the bourbon in the bottle, and this may be one bourbon that’s better off being sought out for a pour for those who are curious.

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.
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Written By: Jordan Moskal

May 3, 2024
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