Swilled Dog Bourbon and Rye Review Header

Swilled Dog Spirits Bourbon and Rye Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews, Rye Whiskey Reviews by Lee StangLeave a Comment

Swilled Dog Bourbon 90 Proof Bottle Photo
"Swilled Dog Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a great sipping bourbon. Its bold profile is balanced by its sweeter and more subtle characteristics derived from the 75 percent corn mash bill. This bourbon still delivers some spice from the rye yet ripe cherry flavors provide balance to create the perfect sipper.
Swilled Dog

JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS

SWILLED DOG STRAIGHT BOURBON REVIEW

BOTTLE DETAILS

  • DISTILLER: Swilled Dog, Upper Tract, West Virginia. The bourbon is sourced from North Carolina.

  • MASH BILL: 75% Corn  |  21% Rye |  4% Malted Barley

  • AGE: NAS - No age Statement. According to the distillery, 4 Years in #3 Char American white oak barrels. 

  • YEAR: 2021

  • PROOF: 90 Proof (45% ABV)

  • MSRP: $44.99

LEE's REVIEW


SHARE WITH: Those who enjoy trying new craft whiskies or looking for a solid beginner’s bourbon.

WORTH THE PRICE: The price is about what you would expect for a new distillery just starting out. Also, it is sourced. I would prefer to see this one about $5 cheaper.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Try this at a bar or the distillery. It is a solid four year old sourced bourbon but it shows a hint of youth that some may not appreciate.

OVERALL: This was my first taste of Swilled Dog Whiskies and right off the bat it was an impressive start. A very drinkable four-year-old sourced bourbon. Yes, you get a hint of youth but not much. A very solid 90 proof bourbon.

The Swilled Dog bourbons are sourced from North Carolina which is surprising to me.  Vanilla and spice on the nose with a hint of candy corn. A little taste of dough on the palate mixed the vanilla and pepper. A medium finish.

BRAND TASTING NOTES


In creating Swilled Dog Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the distillers hand selected whiskeys which specifically expressed the characteristics and nuances of the bourbon that is being laid down at Swilled Dog. Aged for a minimum of 4 years in American white oak barrels, the whiskeys were blended in small batches and bottled at 90 proof without chill filtration.
Swilled Dog Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a great sipping bourbon. Its bold profile is balanced by its sweeter and more subtle characteristics derived from the 75 percent corn mash bill. This bourbon delivers some spice from the rye yet ripe cherry flavors provide balance to create the perfect sipper.

  • NOSE: Strong Vanilla
  • TASTE: Well balanced sweet candy flavors of nougat, ripe cherries, and butterscotch
  • FINISH: Smooth, medium finish with strong vanilla

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Swilled Dog Bourbon Barrel Strength Bottle Photo
"Swilled Dog Barrel Strength Bourbon has a full flavor profile that excellent bourbons exhibit. This  is a complex whiskey that beautifully celebrates the quality of the corn with subtle sweet candy flavors while the barrel provides just the right amount of vanilla and caramel undertones."
Swilled Dog

JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS

SWILLED DOG BARREL STRENGTH BOURBON REVIEW

BOTTLE DETAILS

  • DISTILLER: Swilled Dog, Upper Tract, West Virginia. The bourbon is sourced from North Carolina.

  • MASH BILL: 75% Corn  |  21%  Rye  |  4% Malted Barley

  • AGE: NAS - No age Statement. According to the distillery, 4 Years in #3 Char American white oak barrels. Finished 6 months in Oloroso Sherry Casks.

  • YEAR: 2021

  • PROOF: 117 Proof (58.5% ABV)

  • MSRP: $49.99

LEE's REVIEW


SHARE WITH:Share with bourbon drinkers who like a barrel proof bourbon.

WORTH THE PRICE: Yes. Great price for a craft barrel proof bourbon that is sourced. Hard to believe it is  4 years old.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: For me this is definitely a bottle. Great taste, great price.

OVERALL: This was quite the surprise. A four year barrel strength bourbon with a great taste. Again, a slight hint of youth but this one certainly hit the mark for me. I would like to have a bottle of this in my cabinet all the time.

Vanilla and Cherrywood on the nose. Vanilla, Baking Spices and Pie Crust on the palate. A creamy warming finish with a burst of pie crust and then lingering pepper on the tongue.

BRAND TASTING NOTES


In creating Swilled Dog Barrel Strength Bourbon, the distillers hand selected whiskeys which specifically expressed the characteristics and nuances of the bourbon that is being laid down at Swilled Dog. Aged for a minimum of 4 years in American white oak barrels, the whiskeys were blended in small batches and bottled at 117 proof without chill filtration.
Swilled Dog Barrel Strength Bourbon has a full flavor profile that excellent bourbons exhibit. This is a complex whiskey that beautifully celebrates the quality of the corn with subtle sweet candy flavors while the barrel provides just the right amount of vanilla and caramel undertones.

  • NOSE: Vanilla with caramel undertones
  • TASTE: Well balanced but bold with flavors of toffee butterscotch, and ripe fruit
  • FINISH: Smooth vanilla with hints of Brulee
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Swilled Dog Sherry Cask Finished Bourbon Bottle Photo
"Swilled Dog Sherry Cask Finished Bourbon was aged for 4 years in American white oak barrels and bottled at barrel strength to show off the  whiskey’s full flavor profile. The raisin, floral and fruit qualities derived from the sherry casks are  balanced with the bourbon’s complex earthy and ripe cherry undertones."
Swilled Dog

JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS

SWILLED DOG BOURBON – SHERRY CASK FINISHED REVIEW

BOTTLE DETAILS

  • DISTILLER: Swilled Dog, Upper Tract, West Virginia. The bourbon is sourced from North Carolina.

  • MASH BILL: 75% Corn | 21% Rye | 4% Malted Barley

  • AGE: NAS - No age Statement. According to the distillery, 4 Years in #3 Char American white oak barrels. Finished 6 months in Oloroso Sherry Casks.

  • YEAR: 2021

  • PROOF: 117 Proof (58.5% ABV)

  • MSRP: $54.99

Lee's REVIEW


SHARE WITH: Bourbon drinkers who like a finished bourbon or a finished cask strength whiskey.

WORTH THE PRICE: $55 for a cask strength finished bourbon is about right in line with the market right now. Given it is a sourced and finished bourbon the price may be somewhat low. This is definitely worth the price to me.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Definitely a bottle. This is my favorite Swilled Dog expression and one I would be happy to always have around.

OVERALL: This is my favorite of the Swilled Dog whiskies I tried. Yes I do like a good finished bourbon. This cask strength finished bourbon is excellent. It reminded me of a cherry pie with a dab of vanilla bean ice cream and some moonshine cherries. The bourbon is sourced and finished in Oloroso sherry casks that Swilled Dog sourced from Spain. The bourbon was finished in North Carolina. I enjoyed this immensely.

BRAND TASTING NOTES


Swilled Dog Spirits unique approach to crafting spirits is evident in its Sherry Cask Finished Bourbon. The distillers hand selected whiskeys which specifically expressed the characteristics and nuances of the bourbon that is being laid down at Swilled Dog. Aged for a minimum of 4 years in American white oak barrels, the whiskeys were blended in small batches and finished in hand selected ex-Oloroso sherry casks.

Swilled Dog Sherry Cask Finished Bourbon was bottled at barrel strength to show off the whiskey’s full flavor profile. The raisin, floral, and fruit qualities derived from the sherry casks are balanced with the bourbon’s complex earthy and ripe cherry undertones.

  • NOSE: Floral with noticeable dried raisins
  • TASTE: Complex with a distinct dryness from the sherry with raisin, ripe fruit, hazelnut, caramel and vanilla flavors
  • FINISH: Smooth with a medium to long, slight floral finish
Swilled Dog Rye Whiskey 115 Proof Bottle Photo
"Aged in # 3 char American white oak barrels for 12 months, Swilled Dog Rye Whiskey has a spirited flavor profile that makes it a perfect whiskey for a classic cocktail like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. It has omplexity and balance while delivering a bold, spicy yet approachable flavor profile."
Swilled Dog

JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS

SWILLED DOG RYE WHISKEY – BARREL STRENGTH REVIEW

BOTTLE DETAILS

  • DISTILLER: Swilled Dog, Upper Tract, West Virginia. Sourced from North Carolina.

  • MASH BILL: 95% Rye  |  5% Malted Barley

  • AGE: 12 Months in #3 Char American white oak barrels

  • YEAR: 2021

  • PROOF: 115 Proof (57.5 ABV)

  • MSRP: $39.99

LEE's REVIEW


SHARE WITH: Rye Whiskey drinkers who like to try craft rye and especially one with a higher proof.

WORTH THE PRICE: The price is fairly low for a craft, barrel strength rye. It’s worth a bottle if you are interested.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: The only thing that keeps from saying bottle on this one is there is a slight taste of youth that comes out. I would say try this in a bar or at the distillery.

OVERALL: About what you would expect for a 95% rye whiskey. It has  thin mouthfeel. Lots of pepper and rye spice with the pepper remaining on the tongue for quite a while. Also a slight taste of slightly undercooked bread. Definitely warms the chest.

This is a one-year-old barrel strength rye whiskey. Upon tasting I am surprised it has only been aged for one year. While I found it spicy, it was also an enjoyable sipper. There are some doughy notes that come through on the palate to note the youth of this rye whiskey but it is surprisingly good for a one year whiskey.

BRAND TASTING NOTES


In crafting Swilled Dog Rye Whiskey, the distillers hand selected barrels that brought together complexity and balance while delivering a bold spicy yet approachable flavor profile. Using the Limited Edition Rye Whiskey as inspiration, they selected mash bill of 95% rye. The whiskey will hold its own against some of the best in the business. Aged in #3 char American White Oak barrels for 12 months, Swilled Dog Rye Whiskey rye has a spirited flavor profile that makes it a perfect whiskey for a classic cocktail like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Be adventurous and enjoy neat.

  • NOSE: Cinnamon with subtle almond and vanilla flavors
  • TASTE: Bold with rye spice upfront followed by black pepper, mint, ripe fruit, clove, cherry, and vanilla
  • FINISH: Cinnamon and black pepper with gradual sweetening through the medium to long finish

Swilled Dog Spirits, Upper Tract, West Virgnia

“Almost heaven, West Virginia.”  Everyone knows these words from the famous John Denver song “Country Roads.”  I can almost picture the country road that Swilled Dog Spirits sits on in the mountains of West Virginia. Located in Upper Tract, WV, about 100 miles northwest of Charlottesville, VA, Swilled Dog has been producing spirits since 2016. Family owned, Swilled Dog first started producing hard ciders in the family basement and in 2019 moving to the current location.  The ciders and ready to drink cocktails are now available in six states and available to 38 states via online ordering. As you might expect, a new distillery with an interesting story and of course a distillery dog.  You can find more information at the Swilled Dog website.

In 2018, Swilled Dog started sourcing bourbons and whiskeys. They looked for liquid that they felt would complement the current stocks they are laying down and plan to lay down over the years to come at Swilled Dog. They expanded their search to other distillers outside of the normal sourcing network to find the right liquid for their first expressions.   While waiting for their own distillate to age, the initial bottlings of bourbon and rye are sourced from North Carolina. Yes, this surprised me as well. The distillery would not disclose where in North Carolina. They did say that they have also sourced from Indiana as well for subsequent bottlings. The initial bourbon release was in March 2021 and the limited rye release was in January 2021. Presently Swilled Dog Spirits are available at the distillery tasting room and in select West Virginia liquor stores.

These initial releases have already garnered some awards with the Barrel Strength Bourbon winning Double Gold at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The Barrel Strength Rye was awarded a Gold Medal and the Straight Bourbon won a Silver Medal at the same competition.

About Swilled Dog: Since its founding in the mountains of West Virginia in 2016, Swilled Dog has been focused  on transforming the bounty of West Virginia’s natural ingredients and its unique terrior into fun, flavorful, and refreshing beverages.

Like most new distilleries, until our home-grown stores reach appropriate age, our initial bottlings contain sourced spirits hand selected from our trusted network in North Carolina and Indiana. Beginning with the 2021 harvest, Swilled Dog Spirits will be sourcing corn from the fields which surround our distillery.

Swilled Dog is a majority woman-owned, leading craft beverage producer providing the Southeast with quality approachable, beverages that are flavorful and refreshing. Our hard cider, ready-to-drink cocktails, premium, small batch spirits and infusions are handcrafted to bring friends and family together for better today and tomorrow. While crafting delicious beverages, we also aim to make a significant impact for our favorite animal causes and each year donate at least 1% of sales to local charities. Swilled Dog offers a unique tasting experience in Upper Tract, WV and our products can be found throughout our expanding six-state footprint (WV, VA, IN, KY, OH and FL) For more information visit https://www.swilleddog.com/


Disclaimer: Swilled Dog 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.