This was a pleasant surprise. I have had the opportunity to try a number of KO Distilling whiskies including their Cask Strength Offerings at 120 proof and at least 3 years in age. I found them very hot and a good bit of youth showing through. The Distiller’s Reserve is a different story however. The sample I tried was 52 months. A wheated bourbon that is Non Chill Filtered. I would get a slight hint of youth every now and again but overall, this was a very enjoyable bourbon. Soft and sweet going in with a good bit of spice at the end for a wheated bourbon. I have in my collection a 4-year-old Bottled in Bond wheated bourbon from a craft distillery in Kentucky that many people are raving about and I can say that I liked this KO bourbon a lot more.
It’s Not The Destination But The (#DrinkCurious) JourneyView Post
Now we’re talking! If you have been following my Black Button Bourbon reviews you know that their Signature Four Grain Bourbon and Double Oaked Bourbon didn’t quite do the trick for me at 84 proof. This cask strength version at 110.2 proof has something going for it. Yes, on the nose you still get that young bourbon note, however on the palate the richness of the bourbon starts go come through and has a very nice finish. Still a slight hint of young bourbon but more flavors as well. Note that Black Button bourbons are non-chill filtered.
This bourbon was started as the Black Button Four Grain expression aging in barrels of New York State White Oak, hand charred over open flames. After the first year, the wood was too tight and began to split. The bourbon was re-barreled into new, hand charred American White Oak from Missouri.
This is the signature bourbon for Black Button Distilling. This bottle of the Four Grain Small Batch Bourbon is Batch 19. It consists of a blend 20 to 24 barrels. The blend includes bourbon aged in both 15 and 30 gallon barrels. While the label states it is aged at least two yours, according to Owner and Head Distiller Jason Barrett, the 15 gallon barrels run almost 36 months in age and the 30 gallon barrels about 44 months. The label states “aged at least two years” so they don’t have to keep changing the label.
Bringing The Distillery To You: Virginia Direct To Consumer ShippingView Post
Rabble Rouser Bottled in Bond Rye Whisky is released by Catoctin Creek Distillery (you can read my distillery review here), once a year in mid-February. The 2020 version was released on a Saturday. Although there were 900 bottles released nationwide, the distillery had 150 bottles and allowed each person to buy two. I remember that Saturday. It was very cold and I’m not much for standing in line for a chance that might not happen.
Walking into the VIP area at the Mount Vernon Whiskey Fest back in November, Patti and I see a familiar face and head over to the area where Ragged Branch Distillery Owner Alex Toomy is pouring samples. One bottle in particular, is a barrel proof rye whiskey, 126 proof. Alex identifies it as samples from a private selection. That was the best whiskey we tasted that night even though Bill Thomas owner Jack Rose was pouring from some dusties over in the corner.
I have written several articles about Ragged Branch for Bourbon and Banter since they first invited us to their distillery in 2017. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, they started distilling bourbon in July 2014 under the tutelage of Dave Pickerell. In addition, they also distill rye whiskey and at Mount Vernon, Alex told us his rye whiskey would be bottled soon and invited us to visit the distillery for a tasting.
I don’t drink a huge amount of rum but have on occasion had the opportunity to try a number of high-end pours. I would put this rum in that category as well. The Papa’s Pilar Marquesas Blend Rum is “inspired by Ernest “Papa” Hemingway and his adventures on his boat, Pilar. The limited-edition blend pays homage to Hemingway’s experience with rum and whiskey in the Marquesas Keys, a wild group of uninhabited islands near Key West.”