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Isaac Bowman Port Finish Straight Bourbon Whiskey Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Lee StangLeave a Comment


A. Smith Bowman Distillery is excited to announce it will be launching Isaac Bowman Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Barrels, as part of the Distillery’s core line of spirits. This bourbon will be made using the same process as the 2016 World’s Best Bourbon. A. Smith Bowman Distillery
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Isaac Bowman Port Finish Bourbon


  • DISTILLER:  A. Smith Bowman, Fredericksburg, VA
  • MASH BILL: Undislcosed
  • AGE: NAS – No Age Statement but according to the distillery 4.5 to 5.5 years
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 92 (46% ABV)
  • MSRP: $39.99
  • BUY ONLINE: Presently only available at the distillery and Virginia ABC stores. Wider distribution coming.
NOSE: Red wine | Vanilla | Tea

TASTE: Grapes | Tea | Vanilla | Hint of spice

FINISH: Short finish with some port and tea notes remaining on the tongue. Not a lot of burn.

SHARE WITH: I would share this with anyone who enjoys bourbon especially those that like a wine or port finished bourbon.

WORTH THE PRICE: Yes, at this price I find this to a very nice bottle of bourbon.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I have reached a point in my bourbon journey where I would like to try anything before I buy. In this case however, I went with a bottle without trying and was pleasantly surprised.

OVERALL: I am a big fan of the Bowman Distillery offerings so back in March when I saw they would be bringing out the Isaac Bowman Port Finished Bourbon I was very excited and bought a bottle the first day it was in the store. I had the opportunity about a year and a half ago to try the Abraham Bowman Port Finished Limited Edition and it was exceptional. It also won a Whisky Magazine World Whisky Award as World’s Best Bourbon in 2016.  The Isaac Bowman Port Finished Bourbon is supposedly made in the same process as the award winning bourbon and will now be a part of Bowman’s permanent offerings. According to the press release, it is a small batch bourbon blended from a number of the finishing port barrels. One thing to note is that the Bowman Distillery does not make their own mash. The mash is made at Buffalo Trace and distilled twice before being shipped to Virginia, where it is distilled again, barreled and aged. To learn more about A. Smith Bowman distillery you can read my review here.

The port finish gives the bourbon a reddish tint and gives the bourbon nice port/red wine notes. As I sipped this, (yes I had a few pours) there was a range of tastes and mouth feels which I found interesting. My first thought was that this was their Bowman Brothers Bourbon finished in port barrels which would make it about 7 or 8 years old. After a while however I felt that this wasn’t quite as rich tasting as the Bowman Brothers. I reached out to the Bowman Distillery on the age of this one. According to them, the bourbon is not Bowman Brothers but is aged for 4 to 5 years and then finished in port barrels anywhere from 3 to 6 months. The mouth feel became slightly richer with a little more air.  With some sips I would get a wine/tea taste and some a rich cherry vanilla. All in all it was very enjoyable.

I like this much better than Angel’s Envy. It is higher proof and has a richer taste. It is not as good as their award winning limited edition but that bourbon was about 11 years old. I plan on having this bottle as a permanent part of my cabinet.

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

Isaac Bowman Whiskey modeled after the 2016 World’s Best Bourbon

Smith Bowman Distillery, home to the 2016 and 2017 World’s Best Bourbons is announcing an addition to its permanent line of spirits. In 2016, one of A. Smith Bowman Distillery’s limited edition Abraham Bowman releases was named the World’s Best Bourbon by Whisky Magazine –Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon, which was released in limited quantities. Now, due to popular demand, A. Smith Bowman Distillery is excited to announce it will be launching Isaac Bowman Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Port Barrels, as part of the Distillery’s core line of spirits. This bourbon will be made using the same process as the 2016 World’s Best Bourbon.

Smith Bowman Distillery finished its bourbon in a variety of port barrels from across Virginia and from Portugal for between three to six months, depending on flavor, before marrying them together to create Isaac Bowman Port Barrel Finished Bourbon. These barrels were made using American Oak and French Limousin Oak, with some barrels originating from Minnesota, Kentucky, Missouri, Virginia, and others. Master Distiller Brian Prewitt tasted these barrels every month to determine the optimum time to be emptied.

Prewitt describes this bourbon as having a dark amber color with a reddish hue.

“The nose greets you with our characteristic cherry and baked apple but supplemented with jammy fruit notes and balanced with the enticing aroma of vanilla, brown spice, and toasted pecans,” Prewitt notes.

He describes the flavor as “bold and sweet with the toasty notes of French and American oak rounding out to a long smooth finish that pleasantly lingers on the palate.”

A portion of each batch will be held back for blending with the next batch to ensure consistency in flavor and color going forward.

This port barrel finished bourbon is named after Captain Isaac Bowman, the youngest of the Bowman Brothers, who was a soldier and Virginia militia officer in the American Revolutionary War. Isaac was at one point taken as a prisoner of war, but was able to make a historic escape before embarking on a two-year adventure and then returning home to Virginia. He then settled down at Fort Bowman Estate where he became a prosperous farmer and landowner. The Distillery felt it fitting to name this bourbon after Isaac whose great American spirit was evident throughout his life and many adventures.

While Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon was only released once in limited quantities, Isaac Bowman will be offered as an everyday item as part of the Distillery’s standard line of spirits for the suggested retail price of $39.99. Isaac Bowman will launch initially in Virginia only, but eventually spreading into North Carolina and a few additional markets


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.

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