Brother's Bond Original Cask Strength Bourbon Review

Pour this one for those who care about their bourbon but not their budget. The nose, taste and finish are classic MGP, which longtime bourbon drinkers will enjoy immensely.

Brother's Bond Original Cask Strength Bourbon Review


  • DISTILLER: Bottled and distributed by Brother's Bond Distilling Company. Bourbon is sourced from MGP.
  • MASH BILL: A four-grain, high-rye straight bourbon whiskey with a mash bill of 65% corn, 22% rye, and 13% wheat and barley.
  • AGE: Aged min 4 years in virgin American oak, barrel staves #4 char, barrel heads #2 char.
  • YEAR: 2023
  • PROOF: 114.08 Proof (57.04% ABV)
  • MSRP: $84.99
  • BUY ONLINE: Reserve Bar


SHARE WITH: Pour this one for those who care about their bourbon but not their budget. The nose, taste and finish are classic MGP at four years of age.

WORTH THE PRICE: I'm afraid not. Good bourbon. Bad price point.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar to see if you agree on my value judgement.

OVERALL: What a difference proof makes. I recently reviewed Brother's Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey bottled at 80 proof and found it lacking in the bold flavors I prefer from my bourbon. This cask-strength version is more in line with my preferred flavor profile. It has a solid nose filled with caramel, cocoa, dried fruit and walnuts (and Red Hot cinnamon candy once you've had a few sips.)

Each sip combines traditional bourbon flavors laced with leather, tobacco and more dried fruit. The mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I anticipated from an unfiltered bourbon, but the long finish makes up for it a bit. The brand claims a "2-minute long" finish, but who drinks bourbon with a stopwatch? Let's call it a long finish with a light Kentucky hug.

So far so good, right? Where this bourbon falls short is its age, or more precisely, its lack of age and high price. At four years of age, this MGP-sourced bourbon is right on track to eventually mature into a fabulous bourbon with all of the classic hallmarks that come with an 8+-year-old MGP whiskey. But today, it's just an "meh" bottle of bourbon. Put this one at $40 (the SRP of their 80-proof version), and I would give it a "Bottle" rating. However, at an SRP of $85, I can't even get close to recommending this to anyone outside of a bar scenario. There are too many other MGP-sourced bottlings that have a combination of better flavor, more age, and a lower price to add this one to my collection. This is clearly an example of folks trying to jack up the price simply because they can call it "cask strength." Give it another four years to mature and bolster the proof north and we can revisit to see how it's improved. For now, most folks should focus their purchasing power elsewhere.


Brother's Bond™, created by Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley, known as "The Salvatore Brothers" from the famed TV series, "The Vampire Diaries." The true bonds of their friendship strengthened over drinking bourbon, both on and off-screen, for over a decade.

The brand name is a nod to their on-screen characters, their shared love for great bourbon, and a reflection of the sense of brotherhood they have formed over the years. Ian and Paul hand-selected 70 of the finest Brother's Bond Bourbon barrels to create this limited release for bourbon lovers.

Savor each sip and enjoy each moment. Time to bond. Cheers, Ian & Paul

Our award-winning limited releases of the original cask strength expression showcase Brother's Bond Bourbon in its undiluted form, unfiltered and uncut. Proof ranging from 115.1 to 115.8. Each release is a four-grain, high rye bourbon, with a mash bill of 65% Corn, 22% Rye, Wheat, and Barley making up the rest. Copper column and copper pot-doubler distillation. Aged min 4 years in virgin American oak, barrel staves #4 char, barrel heads #2 char.

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.