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Rolling Standard Midwestern Four-Grain Whiskey Review

In American Whiskey Reviews by Jeffrey Schwartz6 Comments


A complex whiskey of barley, wheat, corn and rye, aged no less than 18 months in both new and used Missouri oak barrels. Born through distiller experimentation, Rolling Standard is our expansion into something new. A marrying of two different styles of whiskey, a wheated bourbon and American single malt. Union Horse Distilling
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UNION HORSE DISTILLING ROLLING STANDARD FOUR-GRAIN WHISKEY


  • DISTILLER: Union Horse Distilling
  • MASH BILL:  4-Grain (Corn, Wheat, Rye, Malted Barley)
  • AGE: Each of the whiskies used are 5 y/o and then upon blending they’re aged another 18 months in the barrels they originated from to properly marry the flavors together.
  • YEAR: 2018
  • PROOF: 92 Proof (46% ABV)
  • MSRP: $40.00
  • BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com

NOSE:  Molasses | Oak | Honeysuckle | Vanilla

TASTE:  Sweet Corn | Maple | Nuts | Stone-Fruit

FINISH:  A medium-length finish that alternates between vanilla and dry oak and rye spice.

SHARE WITH:  Folks who can appreciate an unusual whiskey and treat it as an adventure.

WORTH THE PRICE:  $40 for a 750ml isn’t a barrier for most folks. Rolling Standard isn’t your
average, run-of-the-mill American whiskey and, despite the grain content, is an atypical four-grain.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST:  I had an enjoyable experience with my sample and wish I had more to
explore again. This isn’t a whiskey for beginners, but it gets a Bottle rating from me.

OVERALL:  Rolling Standard Midwestern Four-Grain Whiskey is a very interesting approach to creating a four-grain. Instead of using all four grains together in the same mash, Union Horse Distilling distilled a wheated Bourbon and distilled an American Single Malt, aged both for five years, and then blended them together. After the blending process, the whiskey is then returned to those barrels another 18 months together before being blended again as a small batch. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at 92°.

My first thought was this was just a fancy marketing gimmick. But, after asking more in-depth questions, it went from that first thought to my being impressed by the ingenuity of the whole process. The big question, of course, is how does it taste? Time to #DrinkCurious and find out.

In my Bourbon & Banter branded Glencairn glass, the appearance is a golden-amber. It left a thin rim that produced slow, thick legs that dropped back into the pool, suggesting a fuller-
bodied whiskey.

The first aromas were big on molasses and oak. As I lifted the glass closer to my nostrils, honeysuckle came out, and just under my nose was pure vanilla. Inhaling through my lips brought a flavor of thick maple syrup.

The thicker mouthfeel coated my palate, which was immediately met with a mix of sweet corn and maple. Underneath that was a nutty flavor that dissipated and led to a gentle stone-fruit quality. All of that ended with an interesting, medium-length finish of vanilla and dry oak mingled with spice that was slightly warming.

Honestly, I believe it takes a slightly sophisticated palate to appreciate the nuances of everything going on with Rolling Standard, especially the finish. This didn’t fit the mold of a typical four-grain, likely due to Union Horse’s creative approach. The need for that more experienced palate would normally steer this into the Bar recommendation, but as there was nothing that could be considered “offensive” to newer whiskey fans, I changed lanes and it earns my Bottle recommendation, especially considering the reasonable barrier of entry.

Cheers!

Learn more about Jeff’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…


Disclaimer:  Union Horse Distilling provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.


About the Author
Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz

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Known throughout Wisconsin (and now the world) as Whiskeyfellow, Jeff was a late-bloomer to the Wonderful World of Whiskey. At the suggestion of his wife, he started with Scotch and was hooked. He was under the impression that he was happy. A friend asked him several times to try Bourbon, and he eventually gave in, only to fall completely in love with it. Those first steps started him on his #DrinkCurious adventure that led him to #RespectTheBottomShelf. Jeff now relishes many types of whiskeys, ranging from the super-affordable to the super-premium and everything in between. Aside from simply sipping and writing about it, Jeff now enjoys spreading the whiskey gospel by hosting educational tasting events. Read Jeff's full profile.

Comments

  1. Steve Coomes

    Great review, Jeff! I always enjoy thoughtful, relatable commentary. You’ve definitely piqued my interest in this.

  2. Avatar

    Where are you getting the 5 years + 18 more months from? Even on their website, they say the whole thing is “no less than 18 months”. They don’t say anything about the 5 years part.

  3. Avatar

    Can you ask them why a craft distillery would age something for a minimum of 6.5 years and then only claim It’s 1.5 years old? Maybe the first batch is their best, the cream of the crop, the one they send out to reviewers, while later batches might be several years younger?

    You didn’t think that the difference in age statements between what they told you and what they claim publicly was weird?

    1. Avatar

      Ben, I went back to my contact at the distillery and received this response:

      “The age statement confusing, I agree. Each of the whiskies used are 5 y/o and then upon blending they’re aged another 18 months in the barrels they originated from to properly marry the flavors together.”

  4. Avatar

    Could you please include the UPC number in your review page? I’m a manager of a liquor department in a grocery store,and the easiest way for my to find out if a product is carried anywhere in my company is by the UPC code.

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