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July 2020
ROUNDUP

Further Straight Rye

Classification: Straight Rye

Company: BC Merchants

Distillery: MGP

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 101

Age: 2 Years

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Color: Light Honey

MSRP: $40 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Apples | Summer fruit | Light & approachable

Palate: Caramel | Maple sugar candy | Rye spice | Sweet with a spicy pop

Finish: Touch of oak | Caramel | Sticky | Lingering

Further Rye is named in honor of “Further,” a 1939 school bus that was owned by novelist Ken Kesey, author of best selling novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The bus is symbolic of a time of change, and portions of sales from Further Bourbon and Rye are being used to restore the bus. Inside the bottle is 2 year old MGP rye, a common source for a variety of brands, however the particular barrels used or simply the overall blend represents some of the best young MGP rye I’ve had.

Written By: Nick
June 29, 2020

Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye “Distiller’s Edition”

Classification: Rye

Company: Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

Distillery: Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

Release Date: 2020

Proof: 92

Age: NAS

Mashbill: 100% Rye

Color: Rust

MSRP: $53 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Sugar Cookie | Brown sugar | Pine | Light grain | Light intensity but clean delivery

Palate: Herbal | Powdered cocoa | Cedar | Light Oak | Thin mouthfeel but silky smooth

Finish: Pine | Honey | Lemon | Young oak | Short to medium length

Founded in 2009, Catoctin Creek Distillery has been around a lot longer than most realize. For the “Distiller’s Edition” of their Roundstone Rye, the company selects 10% of their aging barrels they feel offer an interesting flavor profile and release them as a single barrel product at 12 proof points higher than their standard release. This particular single barrel tastes a bit on the young side, especially for being at least 4 years old. It’s a clean tasting distillate that drinks extremely easily, but lacks necessary complexity.

Written By: Eric
June 30, 2020

New Riff Backsetter Bourbon

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: New Riff Distilling

Distillery: New Riff Distilling

Release Date: Spring 2020

Proof: 100

Age: NAS (4 Years)

Mashbill:  65% Corn, 30% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

Color: Copper

MSRP: $50 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Vanilla | Light oak | Smoked barley | Campfire | Smoky & sweet

Palate: Sweet vanilla | Straw | Light smoked wood chips | Green peppercorn | Touch of brown sugar

Finish: Charred Oak | Light vanilla | Light smoke | Earthy with lingering spice

For this limited release, New Riff used their traditional bourbon mashbill and a backset collected from a distillation of peat-smoked malted barley. The end result is a bourbon that tastes like it was barrel-aged in a used scotch barrel like High West Campfire was. It noses like a scotch yet has a distinctly bourbon palate. It’s great to see New Riff experimenting and innovating on what it means to be a bourbon.

Written By: Jordan
July 1, 2020

Coppercraft Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskies

Classification: Blend of Straight Bourbons

Company: Coppercraft Distillery

Distillery: Sourced (from undisclosed distillery[ies])

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 100

Age: NAS (Blend of 4+ and 11+ year old bourbons per company website)

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Color: Warm Amber

MSRP: $45 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Leather | Oak | Raisin | Cigar box | Dry & mellow

Palate: Caramel | Seasoned oak | Black pepper | Tobacco | Full-flavored but light in its intensity

Finish: Spicy pop | Brown sugar | Vanilla | Dry oak | Spice fades to sweeter notes

Coppercraft’s Blend of Straight Bourbons delivers an approachable, full-flavored experience that the company says is ideal for cocktails. The spicy pop that leads the finish will certainly give cocktails structure, however given the price point this might be a harder sell, especially given the competition coming out of the bluegrass state. The bottle design will certainly grab your attention, but in the end I could see myself sipping this neat versus using it in cocktails.

Written By: Nick
July 2, 2020

Daviess County Kentucky Straight Bourbon French Oak Cask Finish

Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in French Oak Casks

Company: Lux Row Distillers

Distillery:  Sourced (From undisclosed distillery[ies])

Release Date: February 2020

Proof: 96

Age: NAS

Mashbill: Blend of a wheated and a rye mashbill

Color: Golden Straw

MSRP: $45 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: White grape | | Wine cellar | Oats | Fresh oak | Musty & weird, but not in a bad way | Very unique

Palate: White grape | Pear | Wheat grain | Fresh oak | Light to medium body

Finish: Oak | Light malt | Agave | Mild spice on the aftertaste

This is part of the re-launch of Daviess County Bourbons by Lux Row Distillers in February, 2020. When I read that this bourbon was finished in French Oak cask for six months, I expected a heavy double barrel profile. Instead the opposite is true. It’s surprisingly delicate and its oak notes, which are plentiful, somehow aren't overpowering. In fact they are nicely layered and the French Oak finish puts a fun flavor spin on them. This is a very unique tasting finished bourbon that drinks more like a Scotch.

Written By: Eric
July 3, 2020

Bardstown Bourbon Company The Prisoner

Classification: Straight Bourbon finished in Prisoner French Oak Red Wine Barrels

Company: Bardstown Bourbon Company

Distillery: Sourced (From an undisclosed distillery in Tennessee)

Release Date: January 2019

Proof: 100

Age: 9 Years

Mashbill: 84% Corn, 8% Rye, 8% Malted Barley

Color: Ruby

MSRP: $125 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Baking spice | Light strawberry | New oak | Bundt cake | Dark fruits | Notably influence from wine barrels

Palate: Dominant dark red fruits | Fruit pie | Light oak | Vanilla

Finish: Oak | Leather | Muted red fruits | Lingering dry oak | Slightly tannic

Bourbon finished in wine barrels is always a dicey proposition as the end result is either a love it or hate it product. The Prisoner is no exception. The wine barrel imparts deep red fruits on the sip and influences it in ways that you can only get out of a barrel-finished product. The asking price is pushing its limit, however if you’re a fan of wine finished bourbons, The Prisoner is worth seeking out.

Written By: Jordan
July 6, 2020

Old Dominick Huling Station Bourbon

Classification: Bourbon

Company: D. Canale & Co.

Distillery: MGP

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 100

Age: NAS (4 years old per company website)

Mashbill: 52% Corn, 44% Rye, 4% Malted Barley

Color: Medium Amber

MSRP: $38 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Rye spice | Dark fruit | Leather | Savory

Palate: Cherries | Seasoned oak | Tobacco | Rye spice | Nice balance

Finish: Dark fruit | Graham cracker | Caramel | Lingering spice

According to the company, “Old Dominick Huling Station Bourbon is an homage to the whiskeys of 1866 Memphis, bottled at 100 proof and made from a high-rye mash bill reminiscent of the spirits offered by Domenico Canale.” Labeled as “bourbon” (vs. straight bourbon), it’s possible the company plans to blend its own aged distillate with the now sourced bourbon as time progresses. In the meantime, what’s in the beautifully designed bottle is a quality representation of 4 year old MGP whiskey.

Written By: Nick
July 10, 2020

77 Whiskey Distilled from Local Rye & Corn

Classification: Rye

Company: Breuckelen Distilling Company

Distillery: Breuckelen Distilling Company

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 90

Age: 2 Years, 8 Days

Mashbill: 90% Rye, 10% Corn

Color: Dark Gold

MSRP: $45 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Fruit Stripe Bubble Gum | Strange but totally awesome

Palate: Tropical fruit | Sugar | Faint cinnamon | Mild oak | Yummy

Finish: Cinnamon | Oak | Ramp up in heat | Fruit Stripe Bubble Gum aftertaste

What is going on here? This whiskey is so strange but also oddly compelling. Why does it smell and taste like Fruit Stripe Bubble Gum? More than anything this whiskey will take you down a sugar-filled nostalgic trip if you’re an adult of a certain age who grew up with the gum. This whiskey won’t be for everyone, but if this sounds appealing to you, buy it now. The company continually ages their distillate so its flavor profile may change with additional aging. For me, I’ll be heading back to my room with my bottle and lounging in my beanbag chair listening to Debbie Gibson. Don’t judge.

Written By: Eric
July 11, 2020

New Riff Backsetter Rye

Classification: Straight Rye

Company: New Riff Distilling

Distillery: New Riff Distilling

Release Date: Spring 2020

Proof: 100

Age: NAS (4 Years)

Mashbill:  95% Rye, 5% Malted Rye

Color: Light Copper

MSRP: $50 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Wet oak | Fresh grass | Soaked rye kernels | Earthy & complex

Palate: Smoked cherries | Cherry wood | Chocolate cake | Burnt sugars

Finish: Oak | Malt | Light peppercorn spice | Hint of smoke | Short


For this limited release, New Riff used their traditional rye mashbill and a backset collected from a distillation of peat-smoked malted barley. The end result is nuanced and unique. The nose and palate bring complex flavors to the sip that you normally don’t find in too many ryes. The finish is good but falls short comparatively, which holds back in allowing the rye to truly shine. This one will challenge many rye drinkers who get a chance to try it.

Written By: Jordan
July 13, 2020

Daviess County Kentucky Straight Bourbon Cabernet Sauvignon Finish

Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Cabernet Sauvignon Casks

Company: Lux Row Distillers

Distillery: Sourced (From undisclosed distillery[ies])

Release Date: February 2020

Proof: 96

Age: NAS

Mashbill: Undisclosed (Blend of wheated and ryed bourbon mashbills)

Color: Amber

MSRP: $45 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Creme brulee | Raisin | Dark fruit | Candy apples | Light & inviting

Palate: Caramel | Vanilla | Burnt brown sugar | Cracker Jacks | Rich, velvety mouthfeel

Finish: Sweet rush | Cane sugar | Dark fruit | Sweet wine | Light spice

Part of the re-launch of Daviess County Bourbons by Lux Row Distillers in February, 2020, the Cabernet Sauvignon Finished Bourbon is one of three unique limited edition variants with only 4,000 bottles of each released. In this case, the base blend of wheated and ryed mashbills and 6 month finishing really works well, softening and sweetening the bourbon and yielding a rich, velvety mouthfeel. A dessert whiskey in every sense, this is definitely one to pick up if you happen to come across it.

Written By: Nick
July 15, 2020

Starlight Carl T. Huber’s Small Batch Straight Bourbon

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Starlight Distillery

Distillery: Starlight Distillery

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 92

Age: 4 Years

Mashbill: Blend of 60% Corn, 20% Rye, 20% Malted Barley & 51% Corn, 20% Rye, 20% Malted Barley, 9% Wheat

Color: Dark Copper

MSRP: $35 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Caramel | Vanilla | Oak | Pear | Traditional bourbon aroma

Palate: Oak | Pepper | Trail mix | Banana | Thin and quite oaky

Finish: Oak | Pepper | Dry

If you revel in traditional bourbon flavor profiles, this is for you. Caramel and vanilla are the stars of the show, with a hardcore influx of oak and pepper notes to back it up. It features a surprising amount of oak and color for a 4 year old bourbon aged in 53 gallon barrels. This is probably the result of it being aged in “barrels from three different cooperage companies and four different barrel styles.” Its 3 and 4 grain blended mashbills add some much needed dimension to the palate, but I expected more from such a mingling. For an Indiana bourbon, it drinks more like a classic Kentucky one.

Written By: Eric
July 17, 2020

Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #2

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Bardstown Bourbon Company

Distillery: Sourced (From an undisclosed distillery[ies] in Kentucky)

Release Date: December 2019

Proof: 122.2

Age: Blend of 10, 12, and 14 Year Straight Bourbons

Mashbill: 44% 10 Year: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley; 39% 12 Year: 74% Corn, 18% Rye, 8% Malted Barley; 17% 14 Year: 78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley

Color: Bronze

MSRP: $130 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Aged oak | Brown sugar | Dash of cinnamon | Light butterscotch | Slight ethanol | Classic bourbon notes

Palate: Dry oak | Candied sugar | Light rye grain | Vanilla

Finish: Leather | Cinnamon | Sweet vanilla | Dry oak | Lingering sweet & heat

A blend of double digit aged Kentucky bourbons over 120 proof is a rarity nowadays. Discovery Series #2 doesn’t disappoint for those who like higher aged, higher proof bourbons. The age shows through with oak being a dominant trait. However, it’s nicely balanced by more subtle classic sweeter flavors which allow the sip to produce a more distinguished well-rounded flavor profile.

Written By: Jordan
July 20, 2020

77 Whiskey Bonded Rye

Classification: Straight Rye

Company: Breuckelen Distilling Company

Distillery: Breuckelen Distilling Company

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 100

Age: 6 Years

Mashbill: 100% Rye

Color: Copper

MSRP: $65 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Smoky | Malty | Rye spice | Chocolate | Unique & surprising

Palate: Chocolate | Rye | Malty | Clove | Creamy mouthfeel

Finish: Light rye spice | Cocoa | Short but pleasant

Milling, distilling, aging, and bottling whiskeys in Brooklyn, NY since 2010, Bonded Rye is the oldest whiskey released by the distillery. The change to 6 years old must be recent, as a 6 year sticker rests over the original 4 year imprinting. The rye is anything but familiar, with a 100% rye mashbill that I could have mistaken for a malt whiskey had I not known what I was drinking. It is definitely a whiskey for those wanting something less familiar, with the only fault being the unusually short finish.

Written By: Nick
July 22, 2020

Bardstown Bourbon Company Fusion Series #2

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Bardstown Bourbon Company

Distillery: Bardstown Bourbon Company and an Undisclosed KY Distillery

Release Date: December 2019

Proof: 98.9

Age: Blend of 2 Year 10 Month, 3 Year, and 12 Year old straight bourbons

Mashbill: 40% 12 Year KY Bourbon: 74% Corn, 18% Rye, 8% Malted Barley; 18% 3 Year Bardstown Bourbon Co: 68% Corn, 20% Wheat, 12% Malted Barley; 42% 2 Year 10 Months Bardstown Bourbon Co: 60% Corn, 36% Rye, 4% Malted Barley

Color: Light Yellow Gold

MSRP: $60 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Oak | Hay | Light vanilla | Light baking spice | Light summer fruits | Lacks complexity

Palate: Sweet vanilla | Yellow cake | Oak | Light bubble gum

Finish: Oak | Light leather | Light rye spice | Short & crisp

Bardstown Bourbon Company is transparent in disclosing the blend of mashbills for their bourbons, which is appreciated. With so much of the blend being 12 year old bourbon, I expected a more complex sip. Instead, I was greeted with a light and subtly sweet flavor profile that is heavily influenced by the younger Bardstown distillate. While it doesn’t have an overly youthful flavor profile, the sip certainly left me longing for a lot more, especially for an almost 100 proof bourbon.

Written By: Jordan
July 24, 2020

Blue Note Juke Joint Whiskey

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: B.R. Distilling Company

Distillery: Sourced (from an undisclosed distillery[ies] in Kentucky)

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 93

Age: 3-4 Years

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

Color: Light Gold

MSRP: $30 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Caramel | Vanilla | Maple | Traditional bourbon aroma

Palate: Warm cinnamon | Vanilla | Nutmeg | Thick oily mouthfeel

Finish: Spice | Rich vanilla | Oak | Orange | Slightly dry

Largely focusing on traditional bourbon notes across its flavor profile, its thick oily mouthfeel is the star of the show. Considering it's only 3-4 years old, this is even more surprising. Distilled in Kentucky but aged in Memphis, Tennessee and then combined in 20 barrel batches, these small batches are notable for their lack of graininess typically found in young bourbon. Although the bourbon is light on complexity, which is the only thing that gives away the bourbon’s age, its overall drinkability ends the bourbon on a high note.

Written By: Eric
July 27, 2020

Four Gate Batch 7 “River Kelvin Rye”

Classification: Straight Rye

Company: Four Gate Whiskey Company

Distillery: Undisclosed distillery in Indiana

Release Date: June 2020 (Available in Kentucky, Tennessee, and online via Seelbach’s)

Proof: 113.2

Age: 7 Years

Mashbill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

Color: Bright Amber

MSRP: $175 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Dill | Pepper | Rye spice | Lively

Palate: Black peppercorns | Vanilla extract | Rye spice | Mint | Orange zest

Finish: Caramel | Vanilla | Black pepper | Spice lingers

With 1,484 bottles released in total, this is the first straight rye and unfinished rye released by Four Gate. The company has plans to release two different finishes of the same whiskey within the next 12 months. A high rye likely distilled at MGP, it brings forth a lively flavor profile highlighted by citrus and black pepper notes. While a good whiskey in-and-of-itself, this will provide an interesting base for further finishing.  

Written By: Nick
July 28, 2020

Black Button Empire Rye Whiskey

Classification: Straight Rye

Company: Black Button Distilling

Distillery: Black Button Distilling

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 84

Age: NAS

Mashbill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

Color: Light Gold (2020)

MSRP: $75

Official Website

Nose: Raw rye grain | Oak | Light bubble gum | Youthful yet inviting

Palate: Black peppercorn | Oak | Light rye spice | Hints of vanilla beans | Thin mouthfeel

Finish: Rye Spice | Oak | Light vanilla | Dash of leather | Medium length

First released in 2018, Black Button Empire Rye is considered an Empire Rye representing the “whiskey style of New York State.” Its flavor profile is more on the youthful side which comes across throughout the sip. However, the combination of sweet notes with rye spice make for a good combination that shows good potential for this brand in the future. The bottle being reviewed is from Batch #3.

Written By: Jordan
July 28, 2020

Sweetheart of the Rodeo Bourbon

Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Kooper Family Whiskey Co.

Distillery: Undisclosed

Release Date: Ongoing

Proof: 90

Age: NAS (4 years per company website)

Mashbill: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malt

Color: Rose Gold

MSRP: $40 (2020)

Official Website

Nose: Caramel | Vanilla | Orange zest | Dark fruits

Palate: Toffee | Gooey caramel | Vanilla | Dark chocolate | Light oak

Finish: Rye spice | Caramel | Chocolate | Seasoned oak | Tobacco | Savory & sweet with a nice backend

The Kooper Family Whiskey Co.’s signature bourbon, this whiskey embodies everything about a traditional bourbon style that bourbon fans will love. While it was likely distilled at MGP based on its mashbill, the years aging in the Texas heat likely had a drastic impact as it tastes much older than the 4 years stated on the company’s website. This approachable bourbon would be hard for any bourbon drinker to dislike.

Written By: Nick
July 30, 2020
The samples used for these reviews were provided at no cost courtesy of their respective companies. We thank them for allowing us to review them with no strings attached.
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