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Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Jim KnudsenLeave a Comment

Far from a distillery trying to quickly crank out a product with small barrels, we’re trying to pay homage to the rich distilling history of our great stateMatt Blaum, co-founder CEO and distiller
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  • DISTILLER: Blaum Brothers Distilling Co.
  • MASH BILL: 72% Corn | 23% Rye | 5% Malted Barley
  • Fermentation: Standard
  • Cooperage: 18-24 month air dried white oak barrels, char level not disclosed
  • AGE: More than four years
  • YEAR: 2019
  • PROOF: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
  • MSRP: $49.99

NOSE: Sweet Corn  |  Rye Spice  |  Slight Caramel and Oak

TASTE: Young Grain  |  Rye  |  Faint Cinnamon

FINISH: Medium to Short, smooth with sweet vanilla at the end.

SHARE WITH: Friends who will enjoy a simple and drinkable bourbon.  A fine introduction to a high corn and rye mash bill.

WORTH THE PRICE: At about $50 MSRP, it is right in line with other craft bourbons.  Perhaps a little pricey for what it is, but not overly so.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: If you get a chance, definitely try this a bar if you can.  Buying a bottle won’t break the bank and it is interesting enough to grab if you are the drink curious type.

OVERALL: In the press release they say their goal was to produce a “legit and bonafide bourbon whiskey”, which may sound like a modest goal.  Having tasted my share of craft bourbons, I will say it is no easy thing.  I believe they accomplished their goal.   In addition, I really respect what these guys are doing in their quest for authenticity.  Craft distilling without a fake background story and mystery mash bill or blend.  This is one of their first non-sourced, aged whiskies and it is a credible offering.   They waited a full four years to offer a straight bourbon and I think it was worth it.  I also, appreciate the discipline of offering at a reachable price point, not an easy thing for a new distiller.

The juice itself is good although not overly complex.  At 50% ABV  it is creditable with very little burn. It will benefit from more time in the barrel.  I was struck by the sweetness in the nose, which really didn’t show up in the tasting.   Being a rye fan, I do appreciate the balance of the rye in the mash bill.

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

Family-Owned Craft Distllery Releases Oldest Distilled Illinois Bourbon Whiskey With Four Year Old Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon Whiskey

GALENA, Ill. -- April 8,2019 – Independent family owned Illinois distillery, Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. announces the release of its Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  This is the oldest craft distilled Illinois bourbon whiskey readily available in decades, aged a minimum of four years in 53-gallon barrels made from oak that has been air dried for 18-24 months. This achievement is the result of two brothers’ goal of producing a “legit and bonafide bourbon whiskey” when the co-founded the distillery in 2013.

“We could’ve taken shortcuts to bring a product to market sooner, but we’re in this for the long haul.  A four-year-old bourbon is pretty old for a craft distillery, but it’s the youngest whiskey you’ll ever see from us moving forward.  We’re proud of all the work we’ve done on this product and even more excited about the future,” says Mike Blaum, co-founder and chief distiller.

Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon Whiskey (4YO) is a 100 proof (50% ABV) whiskey made from 72 percent corn, 23 percent rye and five percent malted barley.  Grains include non-GMO corn and rye sourced from a single farm in Illinois.

Nose: Honey, apple and leather – with a hint of wet oak and hay

Palate: Rich and complex, with caramel, roasted peanut, cinnamon, and dried orange.

Finish: Wood spice, with a kiss of nutmeg and rye bread.

“We’re so excited to release this Illinois Bourbon Whiskey, using Illinois grains and using traditional production techniques.  Far for a distillery trying to quickly crank out a product with small barrels, we’re trying to pay homage to the rich distilling history of our great state,” says co-founder CEO and distiller, Matt Blaum.

Base in the historic town of Galena, Illinois, the Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. includes a retail shop and tasting room that welcomes over 125,000 visitors annually.  Offering several 45-minute tours daily ($10 per person, under 14 free), the Blaums show visitors how the family-owned craft distillery selects the best grains available in the local area and abroad, then hand crafts spirits by meticulously controlling the entire process – from the milling of the raw grains, to the mashing, fermentation, and distillation on their custom-made copper stills.

Now available in fine establishments and retailers where premium spirits are sold (CO, IL, KY, TN, WI)., the Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon Whiskey (4YO) is available for the suggested retail price of $49.99.

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. is located at 9380 W. U.S. Highway 20, Galena, IL 61036.  For tour reservations, call (815) 777-1000 or visit

Disclaimer: Blaum Brothers Distilling Co. 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

Jim Knudsen

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Jim Knudsen has lived in every region of the United States, traveled the world, and always enjoyed spirits along the way. While he has sampled local spirits in 50 countries on 6 continents, he always comes home to bourbon. Jim is an accomplished global sales and marketing executive, with a degree in Physics from Michigan State University and an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College. Growing up in Michigan, in a household rich with the experience of enjoying drink. He now lives in Georgia with his wife Karen, the love of his life, his personal editor, and style consultant. When not drinking bourbon he likes to golf, reading, and enjoys professional football and boxing. Actually, these are more often enjoyed while drinking bourbon. His four great kids, with families of their own, have blessed him with 6 grandchildren. While coming to bourbon late in life, he is working diligently to catch up. Read Jim's full profile.

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