Raw Bourbon. That’s what it’s being called. Bourbon that comes straight from the barrel with no filtering of any kind. No chill filtering, no mesh filtering…nothing. Open up the bung and let the bourbon flow into the bottle.
A simple concept to grasp, yet it seems foreign based on what we’ve come to expect from the bourbon industry. Sure, it’s been done before with Scotch – the Blackadder releases being the most recent example of bottles containing char – but not our precious bourbon.
The responses to the photo I posted earlier this week and shared via social media sum it up pretty well for most bourbon drinkers.
- “Lol! Hipster brain douche!”
- “Shit. Just put the mash in the barrel then.”
- “What a gimmick. If you’ve tried a whiskey straight from the barrel that has a lot of oak and char floating around, you know it’s not always that pleasant of an experience.”
- “No thanks!”
What did you think when you first saw the photo and realized there was char in the bottle?
According to the distiller, they’re releasing this in response to the growing demand from bourbon aficionados for unfiltered and unadulterated whiskey. It makes sense knowing how passionate folks get about chill filtering and the impact it has on the flavor of bourbon. By bottling raw bourbon, the distiller can release a product immune to such debates. Factor in an initial release proof of 128 – that’s full barrel proof folks – and you’re basically drinking right from the barrel minus the whiskey thief and rack house experience.
Someone asked about the logistics of pouring the bourbon with all of that char present, concerned that it would wind up in their glass. I’m happy to report that once you let the char settle down to the bottom, you’re able to pour the bourbon without any risk of the char rushing into your glass. There’s no need for a pour top filter or use of cheesecloth when serving. Just make sure not to shake it up before serving.
So how’s the bourbon you ask?
The nose is amazing! I could sit and smell it for hours. It has all of the traditional notes you’d expect from a classic bourbon with a wheated mash bill. The taste…omg, what can I say about it that won’t seem like I’m kissing the distiller’s ass? I haven’t been this excited about a bourbon release in years. Hell, I don’t think I can do it justice in writing. Check out the video below where I go into much greater detail about the aroma, taste and finish along with additional background on the distiller, mash bill, and age. You might just be surprised at what I share about this “raw bourbon.”
Check it out and let us know what you think about raw bourbon and how it might change the industry in the comments below. And don’t forget to share this with your friends via social media so they can learn more about the future of bourbon.