Who makes it? Jack Daniel’s
Mashbill: 80% corn, 12% barley, and 8% rye
Where it’s from: Lynchburg, Tennessee
When it Started: 2012
We met Luke at a few of our events, being a fellow whiskey enthusiast he offered one of prized bottles for a review. We took him up on it and Luke dropped by with 2 bottles from the Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Series. Jess Motlow the second distiller was chosen plus Kris had a surprise in his #whiskeyventure backpack.
A little background, Jack Daniel passed away in 1991 and left the distillery to his two nephews Lem Motlow and Richard Daniel. Lem bought out Richards interest and was more interested in running the company so he put his brother Jess in charge of the distilling. The brothers made it through World War I, Prohibition(being one of the few that a medical license to distill and sell whiskey, and WWII. Lem died in 1947 and his brother Jess retired soon after. The company then went to Lem’s 4 sons that held onto the company for 9 years and then sold it to Brown-Forman for 20 million dollars!
Popping it open, it was easy on the nose. A little heat for Kris with a little sweetness to it. Erik said it didn’t smell like Jack and actually nosed like a good bourbon. On the finish Kris said that for an 86 proof whiskey he could feel the bite but dissipated quickly. Erik thought it was hotter than expected and thought the same that the flavor went away quickly. Luke was pleasantly surprised and found it refreshing. He liked that fact that the finish went away quick because he was ready for another sip faster.
Adding the ice smoothed it out some and brought the sweet flavors, where Erik got a maple flavor and Luke could taste honey. Kris felt it definitely brought the sweetness and could taste a little more of the char.
All in all it was a decent bottle and for 40 bucks but if you check the net you’ll find it all over the price scale. From 60 dollars on up to 400!
Who makes it? Iron Smoke Distilley
Mashbill: 53% corn, apple wood smoked wheat, barley and just a slap tickle of rye!
Where it’s from: Fairport, NY
When it Started: 2013
We were invited to come down and hang with Monte DeLeon at the Jefe Boutique Cigar, Whiskey and Wine event in Eola Park, Orlando.
Started to rain while we were setting up then a special guest arrived! Tiffany from Iron Smoke Whiskey dropped in, had some bottles so we decided to shoot a flash review on the spot!
The first bottle was one of our favorites the flagship Iron Smoke Bourbon. Always a great pour plus it doesn’t hurt that it’s the highest rated bourbon in Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible coming in at 95.5 out of 100. One of the things we like about this is how they smoke their wheat with apple wood for a subtle flavor that really comes through.
Next up was Rattlesnake Rosie’s Apple Pie Bourbon, WOW does that hit all the right notes with apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and you can almost taste the crust! All natural ingredients, that’s why they call these elixirs and not liqueurs.
Last was something special that Tiffany brought just for us. A new addition to the Rattlesnake Rosie line up, the Chocolate Peanutbutter Pie Bourbon. So dangerous because you don’t taste the alcohol! This would be great in a chocolate martini!
In the end it was a great event, loved hanging out with Monte DeLeon Cigars and huge thanks to Tiffany for stopping by, hanging out and shooting the flash review with us. Love her energy! Can’t wait for the next event!
Who makes it? Bardstown Bourbon Co. since 2017
Mashbill: 74% corn, 18% rye, 8% malted barley
Where it’s from: Lexington, Kentucky
Distributed by: Western Spirits Beverage Company
When it Started: 2013
There’s a little history there… Calumet started out as baking powder in the 1924 and made a fortune by William Monroe Wright in Lexington Kentucky. His son Warren got into horse racing and built out there estate to train horses. They ended up producing 2 Triple Crown Winners, 8 Kentucky Derby winners and 11 of their horses ended up in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. In 1947 they earned over a Million dollars from winning performances and stakes wins.
Western Spirits Beverage Company has the Calumet Farm Bourbon under it’s belt as well as Sam Houston, Bird Dog, and Lexington Bourbon Whiskey.
Starting with Calumet 8 at 90 proof, Kris on the nose could smell the heat, slightly sweet while Erik found the same and Dan said it tickled his nose hairs! Kris was surprised on the lingering finish, easy and smooth. Erik could taste the heat but it was good while Dan thought is was smooth and easy drinking. After adding ice, Kris got notes of cherry and definitely brought out the flavors and sweetened it up. Erik picked up the sweet, dark cherries and caramel. Dan said it dampened the fire and he may be odd because he doesn’t taste fruit in whiskies, only in cognac.
Calumet 14 was next and Kris already sampled this before but on the nose brought more spice and more heat. Coming in at 96.2 proof. For Erik, he could smell rubber cement and ethanol. The taste Kris said the spice really came through while Erik said it hit pretty hard. Dan could feel the heat as well. After adding ice it mellowed out and Dan said it took some flavor away but left all the spice.
Calumet 15yr was next clocking in at 105 proof and Kris did not expect that it would be much different than the 14 but he was wrong. On the nose more force notes pushed through and Kris could tell the difference and more spice and a long long finish. Erik could smell rubber cement again, on the finish he said “this is not my jam” and “it won’t go away” the funk won’t go away. Dan could tell of the nose it was entirely different and the taste the spice hangs on and doesn’t go away. Dan said, “you definitely know you drank somethin!” and good flavor but the spice takes over. Dan didn’t taste the funk but he and Erik were not fans while Kris liked it better than 14 and likened it almost to Wild Turkey Rare Breed.
Sam Houston 15 at 103 proof, lower than Calumet 15 but obviously not discernable. Kris could smell heat and sugar, Erik said it was similar to the rest but much steeper and Dan said it was a real eye opener. On the taste Kris could taste sweet, spicy and a woody aspect. Erik for the taste got candied pecans and Dan could taste a lot of things but it was hard to identify any of it but really like the flavor and the spices
Kris ranking: Erik ranking: Dan ranking: 8yr -6.5 -7 -6.5 14yr – 7 – 6 – 5 15yr – 7.5 -0 – 4 Sam Houston – 8 -7.5 -8
To wrap it all up, we all would pick up the Calumet 8yr. Nice easy sipping with no ice needed but one cube will bring out more flavors. The 14 Erik and Dan would pass up and Kris would pick it up unless the 15 was available. For the 15 only Kris would pick this on up and Sam Houston we all would pick up but this not easy to find so if you see it grab it! Unless they’re charging secondary prices, then that’s on you. In pricing the Calumet 8 will run you about $45 dollars, the Calumet 14 goes for around $99 and Calumet 15 about $110. The Sam Houston Kris picked up for $150 but we asked Google and they have it going for $299. Happy Hunting! Cheers!