- DISTILLER: Released by Campari America with barrels sourced from the Wild Turkey Distillery
- MASH BILL: Undisclosed but since it’s sourced from Wild Turkey we assume it’s likely 75% Corn | 13% Rye | 12% Malted Barley
- AGE: Minimum of 7 years
- YEAR: 2017
- PROOF: 100 (50% ABV)
- MSRP: $49.99 for 375ml
NOSE: Vanilla Cream | Green Apples | Orange Zest
TASTE: Green Apple | Baking Spices | Toasted Oak | Hint of Mint
FINISH: The finish has that familiar Wild Turkey dry, tannic oak mingled with spices – more peppery than cinnamon. It’s not long but does regroup with a nice slow burn in your chest that managed to surge a few times. (That’s a good thing in my book.)
SHARE WITH: This is a solid bourbon to share with just about anyone. It drinks lighter than it’s stated 100 proof and has a well-balanced profile that most will enjoy.
WORTH THE PRICE: The MSRP of $49.99 seems right on until you remember that it’s only for a 375ml bottle – not a standard 750ml bottle. I asked Campari why they were releasing this as a 375ml and they told me “The Bond & Lillard and Old Ripy 375ml bottles are a nod to pre-Prohibition. Bottle sizes were not standardized then, and smaller format bottles were frequently sold.”
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Despite my feelings on the 375ml bottle, if you’re a serious bourbon drinker it’s worth getting a bottle to try and share with friends who share your love of bourbon. At almost $50 per 375ml it probably won’t become anyone’s everyday drinker, but then again, that doesn’t appear to be Campari’s goal with this one or any other release in the Whiskey Barons Collection.
OVERALL: I really enjoyed this bourbon. It has a beautiful nose and a well-balanced taste/finish. Its profile is different enough from other Wild Turkey distilled whiskey to make it worth your effort to check it out if the price doesn’t dissuade you from buying a bottle. As for me, I’ll get a bottle for my home collection and enjoy it with friends. Campari is doing nothing new by taking advantage of a hot whiskey market by introducing some fancy retro brand labels but I wish they would have been a little more conservative on their pricing. But hey, at least they’re not slinging BS about finding these whiskey stocks sitting in an old abandoned warehouse.
You can read more about the origins of the Whiskey Barons Collection via this post on our site.
Bond & Lillard was a trusted name in the pre-Prohibition whiskey industry. It was first distilled by John Bond in what was then called, Cedar Run, KY (now known as Anderson County), in 1820. A veteran of the American Revolutionary War, Bond moved his distilling operation closer to Lawrenceburg, KY after the war. In 1842, he left the company to his son and grandson, David and William. William would go on to form a partnership with his brother-in-law, C.C. Lillard in 1869, and they began labeling the product Bond & Lillard. The business stayed in their families until 1899 and was so revered that it won the Grand Prize at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Using the same tasting notes the judges wrote down during the World’s Fair in 1904, we recreated this winning recipe.
Distilled and bottled and at the Wild Turkey distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY, this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged a minimum of seven years in timber warehouses and is charcoal filtered. This filtration process simulates the aeration process that happens in the barrel, converting more aggressive congeners to esters that end in more elegant top notes. The result is a lighter colored and flavored bourbon with more floral notes. As the judges at the 1904 World’s Fair declared, this recipe represents “real delicacy of flavor, beauty in the sparkle and superiority in strength – it bears no equal”.
COLOR: Bright gold
NOSE: Creamy vanilla, citrus and stone fruit
TASTE: Fruity and delicate with dry peach and apricot and hints of baking spice
FINISH: Slight dryness with lingering fruits and spice
AVAILABILITY: Wild Turkey Visitor Center and in select markets, including California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York City, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Disclaimer: Bourbon & Banter received a sample of this product from the brand for review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.