- DISTILLER: Fern Creek (original source not disclosed)
- MASH BILL: 78% Corn | 10% Rye | 12% Malted Barley
- AGE: 5 Years and 10 Months
- YEAR: 2019
- PROOF: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
- MSRP: $59
- BUY ONLINE: 1st release is on-premise only in KY
POPS' REVIEW OF FERN CREEK SMALL BATCH BOURBON
NOSE: Fruity | Buttery | Rye Spice | Cinnamon
TASTE: Vanilla | Oak | Pepper
FINISH: Medium-long spicy finish with some barrel tannins. The spice notes linger quite a while and then eventually merge into a welcomed Kentucky hug surge that was unexpected.
SHARE WITH: Folks that like their bourbons to be a bit tannic and spicy versus sweet.
WORTH THE PRICE: For a NDP (non-distiller producer) release the price point is fair. However, when you look at the source and age, it's a bit expensive compared to similar bourbon you can buy from that's released from the distillery that provided the barrels that are in this release.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar. You should try it to see if you like it versus cheaper releases from the distillery source.
OVERALL: This is one of the first expressions released by Fern Creek along with a single barrel and "rare and exclusive" expression that we will be reviewing shortly. Owen Powell is the man behind Fern Creek. He's a well known member of the online bourbon community, so I was thrilled to take him up on his offer to check out his new releases.
The Small Batch release is a solid bourbon. Its origin (Heaven Hill Distillery) guarantees that for the most part. While the tannic and spice-forward flavor profile is outside of my preferred taste profile, I know plenty of folks who will enjoy it. But for me, I would probably enjoy using it in an Old Fashion more than sipping it neat.
That said my main critique in the price point for this release. Compared to existing Heaven Hill brands in the market that use the same mash bill and are close in age and proof, Fern Creek Small Batch is a tad pricey. Sure, there are other variables to consider when it comes to pricing (like the fact it's a sourced whiskey) but based on taste alone, it's not worth the price difference.
In summary, it's good bourbon, albeit not in my personal flavor strike zone. But even when accounting for differences in personal preference, the price gives me pause from recommending you rush out and try to get a bottle for your home collection.
Fern Creek sources the finest of bourbons available from the biggest named distilleries in Kentucky. Transparency on whom produces our bourbon will always be stated, whenever our lawyers allow us to divulge that info.
This bourbon is a batch of selected barrels generally bottled at 100 proof. Great for daily sipping after a hard days work. Drink it straight, on the rocks, or mixed into your favorite bourbon cocktail. This bourbon can be found on the shelf for around $59.
Disclaimer: Fern Creek 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.