Green River Bourbon Review

I’m pleased to report that after scientifically tasting about half the bottle of Green River Bourbon, I can confirm that it’s beyond good. A nose of enticing warming spices greets you thanks to the high-rye mash bill followed by the standard bourbon flavors.

Green River Bourbon Review Header


  • DISTILLER: Distilled by Green River Distilling Co.
  • MASH BILL: 70% Corn  |  21% Winter Rye  |  9% Malted 2 and 6-row barley
  • AGE: NAS - no age statement but distillery states it has been aged more than five years
  • YEAR: 2022
  • PROOF: 90 Proof (45% ABV)
  • MSRP: $34.99


SHARE WITH: This is a bourbon made for drinking and sharing. Too many people buy a new release only to let it collect dust in their bourbon "bunker." Buy this one and share it with anyone that enjoys whiskey - novices to aficionados. Just make sure to buy more than one bottle and clear your schedule. You'll be drinking and bantering for a long time when you pull this one out.

WORTH THE PRICE: It's been a long time since I could say without any reservation that a new release(not to mention a debut release) is worth the price. With an MSRP of just $34.99, this is a bottle that everyone should be purchasing to add to their daily drinker lineup.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: in multiple bottles.

OVERALL: If you've been following my reviews for a while, you know that I'm hard to please. I'm cranky when it comes to overpriced limited releases and celebrity bourbons. And my palate gravitates towards higher-proof and complex whiskeys. In other words, it takes a lot for me to be impressed with any whiskey, not to mention a debut bourbon release from a distillery. That said, mark today's date down as I share my thoughts on the new Green River Bourbon.

Roughly a week ago, Steve Coomes, Bourbon & Banter's editor, penned a post about Green River Distilling Co. and their launch of Green River Bourbon. I read his post with great interest, knowing that a bottle of the bourbon was in transit to my home via the good folks at the distillery. Was it truly possible that their debut release was as good as Steve indicated in his article?

I'm pleased to report that after scientifically tasting about half the bottle, I can confirm that it's beyond good. A nose of enticing warming spices greets you thanks to the high-rye mash bill followed by the standard trio of bourbon flavors (vanilla, caramel, and a hint of oak) with the addition of cinnamon and sweet candied fruit. It's a lighter bourbon (especially compared to what I usually drink), but the mouthfeel is luscious, and the finish is surprisingly long, warming, and flavorful.

I have to say the candied fruit notes are the star of the show for me. They remind me of the sweet vanilla, honey, and orange citrus notes I enjoy in Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon. But since Green River Bourbon is a high-rye mash bill, adding those spicy, warming notes help isolate the candied fruit flavors a bit in a way that makes me keep reaching for another sip.

Based on the flavor alone, this is a bourbon I wouldn't hesitate to add to my daily drinker lineup, especially when I'm in the mood for something a bit lighter in proof. Factor is the MSRP of just $34.99 a bottle, and OMG, this becomes a must-have in my daily drinker rotation. I have no doubts that inviting a friend or two over to sip on this bourbon while enjoying some banter will result in an empty bottle (or two).

2022 has just begun, but Green River Bourbon is leading the pack regarding new releases that I'm willing to spend my hard-earned dollar on. I encourage you to grab a few bottles and remind yourself that good bourbon doesn't need a celebrity endorsement, fancy cask finishes, or an exorbitant price point to be worth your time.

It's easy to drink. It's flavorful. It's affordable. Green River Bourbon is the "whiskey with no regrets."


Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is 90 proof and has been aged more than five years at the distillery in Owensboro. It is rich in color with an amber hue and made with all Kentucky-grown corn, most from Daviess County. The mash bill is 70% corn, 21% winter rye, and 9% malted 2 and 6-row barley. The higher rye content results in a bourbon with warming spice notes on the nose and palate. Additional aroma notes to look for include cinnamon, dried cherry, and light leather. For taste, it has notes of cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate mint. The finish is rich, thick, and lingering.


OWENSBORO, Ky. — Green River Distilling Co., the 10th oldest distillery in the state of Kentucky, announced the launch of its flagship Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Aged more than five years, this is the first Green River bourbon to hit shelves in more than a century and comes on the heels of the distillery’s historic revival in September 2020.

Green River Distilling Co. was founded in 1885 by John W. McCulloch, a man focused on quality and considered a visionary in sales and marketing. McCulloch traveled the world to promote Green River Whiskey, and it quickly became known as some of the finest in Kentucky. Green River won many international awards, including a gold medal and “best of show” at the Paris Exposition in 1900, and later a grand prize at the 1905 Liege Exposition in Belgium. It was also known as “The Whiskey Without Regrets,” one of the most memorable advertising slogans in bourbon.

Fire and Prohibition relegated Green River to history. Now, more than 100 years later, history has come full circle with the release of the new Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

Today’s Green River bourbon was distilled by Master Distiller Jacob Call, an eighth-generation distiller and Kentuckian. Call’s family distilling history stretches back to the earliest days of bourbon when his ancestor Samuel Call distilled whiskey on his Kentucky farm in the late 1700s. Green River was known for its quality whiskey, and Call and his team are proud to bring the same commitment to distilling Green River bourbon today.

“For the first time in more than 100 years, Green River bourbon is flowing inside the walls of its original home,” said Call. “As someone with a family connection to the first days of Kentucky bourbon, being a part of the revival of such a legendary whiskey has been the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Pre-Prohibition, Owensboro was an epicenter of bourbon production in Kentucky with more than 20 distilleries in the city. Green River was one of the most important, and its rebirth helps bring the city’s rich bourbon heritage back to life.

“Visiting the Green River distillery in Owensboro is like stepping back in time to earlier days of bourbon production in the United States,” said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. “Many bourbon lovers don’t realize that Owensboro and Western Kentucky were among the most important regions for bourbon production in the 1800s. When you’re standing on the Green River campus, you’re standing on hallowed ground.”

Each bottle of today’s Green River bourbon includes the phrase “The Pride of Owensboro” to pay homage to the city and its bourbon legacy.

“I’m proud of our team’s great work bringing Green River back to life in Owensboro after years of dormancy – not only because of what it means to our company, but what it means for this wonderful city,” said Simon Burch, CEO of Green River Distilling Co. “In its heyday, Green River’s success was intrinsically linked to Owensboro’s proud whiskey making heritage. The revival of the brand will make this true once again, and we plan to sell it far and wide, just like the original Green River.”

Burch worked closely with John’s great-grandson Rob McCulloch to revive the Green River brand. “We’re so grateful to Rob for sharing his family’s history with us, and it’s a privilege to continue to build on the legacy that John McCulloch created,” said Burch.

On the revival, Rob McCulloch said, “I’ve always wanted to see Green River whiskey made at its original location in Owensboro. It completes the story my great-grandfather started in 1885.”

The new Green River bottle design took cues from the brand’s past, including key icons like horseshoes, rivets, and the original Green River colors. “We worked with local historians and spent time in museums and Owensboro libraries to immerse ourselves in the Green River pre-Prohibition world,” said Cathy Steen, Chief Commercial Officer. “We had a wonderful archive that inspired us to think about how the brand design would have organically evolved for today’s bourbon fans.”

A limited release of Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey will be available for purchase at select retail locations in Kentucky in February for $34.99 (SRP). It will be available for purchase at the Green River Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky, beginning at 10 am CST on Friday, February 11, 2022. The distillery will be open that day with a celebration of Bluegrass, BBQ, and Bourbon until 6 pm CST. In the coming months, Green River Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey will also be rolling out to select retailers in Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, and Northwest Florida. For more information on availability, including online availability in Kentucky and a select few other states, visit

Disclaimer: Green River 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.