Company: Sonoma County Distilling Company
Distillery: Sonoma County Distilling Company
Age: Aged no less than one year
Mashbill: Undisclosed amounts of American yellow corn, Canadian rye, and Wyoming barley smoked with California Cherrywood
Sonoma County Distilling has been making whiskey since 2010. According to the company, they use direct fire copper pot stills for their distillation process that is both labor intensive and requires them to distill twice for their new make in order to reach a high enough alcohol concentration before barrelling. They also predominantly feature “Grain to Glass” on their label. Near every level of the production is handled in-house including the milling, mashing and fermentation of grains, direct-fire copper alembic pot distillation, American oak barrel aging, bottling, and labeling.
West of Kentucky Bourbon No. 1 features a bright and fruity nose that is quite peppy. It also has a noticeable degree of youth to it but it doesn’t distract from the fruit aromas. It actually helps add an additional layer of depth and overall I found this nose to be quite enjoyable. The palate is creamy and a bit punchy thanks to its grainforwardness and proof. This is then backed up by a different intensity of cherry flavors that really shine. It finishes with mild smokiesness, salty caramel, and more grain.
Despite Sonoma County Distilling Co. being eight years old, this bourbon’s youth can still be tasted throughout the sip. It’s not so overpowering that it interferes with the other flavors, but it’s hard to escape. If you’re someone that is generally turned off by this, than you should know what you’re getting into here. I would add that the other flavors have an enjoyable intensity and you may find yourself focusing on them more. I usually don’t love grain-forward bourbons, but this single barrel cask strength bourbon features a lot of character in its sip and I find myself eager to go back for more. Eric - 05/2018
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy ofThird Base Market & Spirits. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.