This review was originally published on July 3, 2019 at Bourbon & Banter.
DISTILLER: Union Horse
- MASH BILL: 4-Grain
(Corn, Wheat, Rye, Malted Barley)
- AGE: Each of
the whiskies used is 5 y/o, and then upon blending, they’re aged another 18
months in the barrels they originated from to properly marry the flavors
- YEAR: 2018
- PROOF: 92
Proof (46% ABV)
- MSRP: $40.00
Molasses | Oak | Honeysuckle | Vanilla
Corn | Maple | Nuts | Stone-Fruit
medium-length finish alternates between vanilla, dry oak, and rye spice.
SHARE WITH: Folks
who can appreciate an unusual whiskey and treat it as an adventure.
WORTH THE PRICE: $40 for
a 750ml isn’t a barrier for most folks. Rolling Standard isn’t your average,
run-of-the-mill American whiskey and, despite the grain content, is an atypical
BOTTLE, BAR, OR BUST: I had
an enjoyable experience with my sample and wish I had more to explore again.
This isn’t a whiskey for beginners, but it gets a Bottle rating from me.
Standard Midwestern Four-Grain Whiskey is a very interesting approach to
creating a four-grain. Instead of using all four grains together in the same
mash, Union Horse Distilling distilled a wheated Bourbon, distilled an American
Single Malt, aged both for five years, and blended them together. After the
blending process, the whiskey is returned to those barrels for another 18
months before being blended again as a small batch. It is non-chill filtered
and bottled at 92°.
My first thought was this
was just a fancy marketing gimmick. But, after asking more in-depth questions,
it went from that first thought to my being impressed by the ingenuity of the
whole process. The big question, of course, is how does it taste? Time to
#DrinkCurious and find out.
In my Bourbon &
Banter branded Glencairn glass, the appearance is a golden amber. It left a
thin rim that produced slow, thick legs that dropped back into the pool,
suggesting a fuller-bodied whiskey.
The first aromas were big
on molasses and oak. As I lifted the glass closer to my nostrils, honeysuckle
came out, and just under my nose was pure vanilla. Inhaling through my lips
brought a flavor of thick maple syrup.
The thicker mouthfeel
coated my palate immediately met with a mix of sweet corn and maple. Underneath
that was a nutty flavor that dissipated and led to a gentle stone-fruit
quality. All of that ended with an engaging, medium-length vanilla and dry oak
finish mingled with slightly warming spice.
Honestly, I believe it
takes a slightly sophisticated palate to appreciate the nuances of everything
going on with Rolling Standard, especially the finish. This didn’t fit the mold
of a typical four-grain, likely due to Union Horse’s creative approach. The
need for that more experienced palate would normally steer this into the Bar
recommendation. Still, as nothing could be considered “offensive” to newer
whiskey fans, I changed lanes. It earns my Bottle recommendation, especially
considering the reasonable barrier of entry.
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.