Monday, May 27, 2019

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. Straight Bourbon Whiskey Review & Tasting Notes



Dangerous waters exist when a distillery has sourced its own whiskey, has earned a reputation for selecting great barrels, and then releases their own distillate. Fans can fall in love with the known, sourced product, but can easily be lost when the unknown is fair, perhaps substandard, or even undrinkable. That can destroy an investment of money and time that may never be recovered.


Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. of Galena, Illinois has a reputation of selecting excellent MGP barrels they sold under the Knotter Bourbon label (there is a play on words there, Not Our Bourbon). The brothers, Mike and Matt, have been doing this since 2013. While they were selling their sourced Bourbon, they were busy distilling their own and waiting for it to age.


And now, that time has come. The release of Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon Whiskey has hit the market. Made from a mash of 72% corn, 23% rye, and 5% malted barley, this non-chill filtered whiskey was distilled to 130° on their hybrid pot still, then proofed down to 117.5° before resting four years in barrels that were air-dried 18-to-24 months. Eight barrels were then selected for each batch, and then bottled at 100°. Suggested retail is $49.99, and it is distributed only in Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Tennessee, and Kentucky. 


I'd like to thank Blaum Bros. for providing me with a sample of their Straight Bourbon Whiskey in exchange for a no-strings-attached honest review. And now, let's get to it... time to #DrinkCurious.


In my trusty Glencairn glass, this Bourbon presented as a bright amber that left a thick rim on the wall. That rim yielded fat, slow droplets that eventually worked its way back to the pool of liquid sunshine.


Initial aromas of thick caramel and ripe berries permeated the air. As I worked my way through the nosing zone, I was also pulled apple pie spice and honey.  When I inhaled through my lips, it was a fruity combination of apples and berries.


The mouthfeel was oily and coated my entire mouth. Up front, a splash of caramel danced on the tip of my tongue. As the Bourbon worked its way over my palate, the caramel drifted to apple pie spice and orange peel midway through, and then, on the back, it was toasted oak, rye spice, and peanut butter. 


The finish was long and lingering with rye spice and, strangely enough, thick, chewy bread. The tip of my tongue tingled with nutmeg, and my palate kept picking up a hint of sweet berries.


Bottle, Bar or Bust:  If I re-read the "ingredients" listed on the nose and palate, I might think this was a dessert whiskey. That's not the case at all. Instead, these flavors complimented each other, and the finish really tied everything together into a complete package. Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon Whiskey is very enjoyable, is fairly priced in line with many "craft" Bourbons, and leaves me with a smile on my face. Matt and Mike mastered the feat of making the transition in a positive manner, and I happily rate this one as a Bottle.  Cheers!



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