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Black Button Distilling Four Grain Bourbon Review

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Black Button Four Grain Bourbon Bottle Photo
My distillery pays homage to my grandfather and the world he knew – where real men worked hard and drank real pot distilled whiskey. … I hope you will try our small batch, grain to glass spirits and join me in raising a glass and Live Large in Small Batches.
Jason Barrett. Owner and Head Distiller – Black Button Distilling

JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS

BLACK BUTTON BOURBON FOUR GRAIN STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY REVIEW

BOTTLE DETAILS

  • DISTILLER: Black Button Distilling, Rochester, New York

  • MASH BILL: 60% Corn  |  20% Wheat |  9% Rye  |  11% Barley

  • AGE: At least 2 Years

  • YEAR: 2020

  • PROOF: 84 Proof (42% ABV)

  • MSRP: $59.99 at the distillery

  • BUY ONLINE: Check out the brand's BUY ONLINE page to purchase your very own bottle.

NOSE: Caramel  |  Corn  |  Spiced Cherries  |  Toasted Oak

TASTE: Rye Spice  |  Oak  |  Faint Sweet Honey  |  Green Apple

FINISH: Medium with lingering sweetness and some grain

SHARE WITH: While young, this is a blend to share with your “drink curious” not too judgy friends.

WORTH THE PRICE: I found Ingram an interesting expression. I am generally a Midwest Grain Products fan, and I like to support craft distillers/blenders with innovative ideas. With all that being said, at over $70 for a less than 4-year-old, sourced, blended whiskey, this would be a tough sell for me.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This whiskey is not a bust. It has interest and depth that you wouldn’t expect by its age. The blending is done well and with the innovative take on aging, I will give it a BAR rating. Try it first, if you can, before you buy. In the fifty dollar range, I would be tempted to go bottle.

OVERALL: O. H. Ingram River Aged Straight Whiskey, I found interesting whiskey. Aged in a floating “rickhouse” at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, in Ballard County, Kentucky. The theory being the gentle rocking of the barrels enhances the aging process. This process has its roots in the river transport of barreled distillate from Bourbon County delivered to New Orleans, with the transformed taste that apocryphally led to our native spirit. Does it make a difference? I have no idea, but there are a lot of people putting barrels on ocean voyages, riverboats, playing music to them, and even aging in cranberry bogs.

I have an issue with brands using invented or unrelated stories to support the “marketing” of their spirits. I don’t see that as an issue with O.H. Ingram. They have family history tied to the river and actually age on floating barges. They don’t hide the source, age, or mash bills of their product. Starting from typically quality rye and bourbon distillate from MGP in Indiana, aging for over three years and blended well, has produced a straight whiskey. It has a surprising depth for a young age. I found it drinkable neat, better with ice, but not particularly suitable for cocktails. My only issue with this product is the price, which is high for what it is. Understanding that the cost of sourcing and barreling probably drives this cost. If you find it in a bar, or you have the resource and drinking curiosity, I would not dissuade you from giving this one a try.

NOSE: Young Grain  |  Baking Spices  |  Cherries

TASTE: Tea  |  Pepper  |  Vanilla

FINISH:A short finish with a hint of vanilla and kick of spice.

SHARE WITH: Those who like trying different craft bourbons or who are interested in Four Grain bourbons. Also someone new to bourbon.

WORTH THE PRICE: $60 is at the high end of the craft bourbon range and is high for a bourbon this young and at 84 proof

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Given the price, age and proof of this bourbon, I would suggest trying this at a bar or at the distillery.

OVERALL: 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.

I tasted this bourbon on several occasions.  Typically, I am not a huge fan of bourbon at this low of proof. I found this bourbon to have a thin mouth feel and that young bourbon taste. During one tasting I told my wife, Patti, that it tasted like tea. Unfortunately, this bourbon is not my cup of tea.

Having said that, however, I find myself interested in this distillery. Located in Rochester, NY and labeled as a New York Farm Distillery, in order to hold that distinction, they must source 75% of their ingredients from New York. Black Button states that they exceed 90%. The distillery started in 2012 and started distilling bourbon in 2014.  According to Black Button there are 53-gallon barrels aging and the plan is to release an older bourbon at the proper time. Their goal is to move the Small Batch Four Grain Straight Bourbon and Cask Strength Whiskey to 5 years, and their Distillers Reserve Bourbon to 10 years.

The distillery states that a recent Inc. 5000 announcement lists Black Button as the second fastest growing craft distillery in the United States. Not only do they produce a number of bourbons, they also produce rye whiskey, and several types of gin and vodka. Presently Black Button can ship product to 38 states. You can learn more about Black Button Distilling by visiting the link at the top of the article.

Stay tuned, I still have two more Black Button Bourbons to review.


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Disclaimer: Black Button 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
Sr. Contributor |

Lee’s bourbon journey started with one mistaken gulp of bourbon and coke as an eight-year-old. While bourbon was always part of his life, Lee followed a beer, wine path for the most part until a bartender poured him a taste of Buffalo Trace about ten years ago. It was at that point Lee’s love of bourbon really took off. Not only does Lee enjoy a good pour of bourbon but he is more than willing and excited to talk about it. Lee believes that bourbon, and for that matter all spirits, is enhanced by the experience of good company, good conversation and good bars. The combination leads to great stories. Say hi to him when you see him. Lee lives in Leesburg, VA, with his wife, best friend, and drinking partner, Patti. You might find her having a bourbon as well. Both Lee and Patti like to read mystery thrillers and travel. Most likely the travel leads to visits to new bars. Read Lee's full profile.

About the Author

Lee Stang

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Lee’s bourbon journey started with one mistaken gulp of bourbon and coke as an eight-year-old. While bourbon was always part of his life, Lee followed a beer, wine path for the most part until a bartender poured him a taste of Buffalo Trace about ten years ago. It was at that point Lee’s love of bourbon really took off. Not only does Lee enjoy a good pour of bourbon but he is more than willing and excited to talk about it. Lee believes that bourbon, and for that matter all spirits, is enhanced by the experience of good company, good conversation and good bars. The combination leads to great stories. Say hi to him when you see him. Lee lives in Leesburg, VA, with his wife, best friend, and drinking partner, Patti. You might find her having a bourbon as well. Both Lee and Patti like to read mystery thrillers and travel. Most likely the travel leads to visits to new bars. Read Lee's full profile.