As a reviewer, one of the things I really appreciate is transparency. Actually, as a consumer, I appreciate it even more. So when a brand goes out of its way to not play games or hide behind a cute backstory, I give them props.
One such brand is Proof and Wood Ventures, a company that brands itself as Purveyors and Blenders of American and Global Spirits. Founded by Dave Schmier, it takes what it considers only the best barrels and tries to improve upon them. That's a heck of a task that several folks have attempted, and few with much success.
Today's review is Tumblin' Dice Straight Bourbon Whiskey Heavy Rye Mashbill. If you think that's one heck of a name, I'm guilty of shortening it. Before that big name, it says, "Deadwood Presents." Tumblin' Dice is sourced from MGP of Indiana. It is made from a seriously high rye mashbill. I'm talking 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley. It carries a four-year age statement, and this one weighs in at 100°. MGP doesn't have a standard char level for its barrels, but, because this is Bourbon, we do know new, charred oak was used. Retail of Tumblin' Dice is about $40.00.
All of this, short of the price, is on the label. That's disclosure!
Before I go any further, it is time for my own disclosure. Proof and Wood sent me a sample of Tumblin' Dice in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Now it is time to #DrinkCurious.
Appearance: In my Glencairn glass, Tumblin' Dice appeared burnt umber in color. I saw a thicker rim that generated even thicker legs to slowly drop back to the pool of liquid sunshine.
Nose: Aromas of orange peel and stone fruits started things off. Underneath those were cinnamon, nutmeg, and caramel. Finally, I got a whiff of milk chocolate. When I brought the air through my open mouth, vanilla and oak rolled across my tongue.
Palate: A warming, oily, medium-bodied mouthfeel presented caramel, plum, and citrus flavors on the front of my palate. As it moved along, dark chocolate, nutmeg, and a hefty cinnamon punch took over. That, in turn, led to charred oak, creamy vanilla, and rye spice on the back.
Finish: The cinnamon from mid-palate continued into the very long finish. That was married with toasted oak, cocoa, and at the end, plum.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: If I'm going to be honest, and that's what you expect of me (and I expect of me), this is a damned good four-year Bourbon. The nose, palate, and even the finish are complex enough to keep things interesting. I loved the plum bomb at the end. As varied as things were, they all seemed to compliment each other. If you tried to describe Christmas in a bottle, this would be it. Think of grandma's fruitcake. Her good recipe, not the garbage that everyone regifts for decades.
Now let's look at the two Andy Jacksons it'll take to get a bottle. I wouldn't blink twice handing that over. As me for an Alexander Hamilton on top of it and I'd not even flinch. If you see this, buy it. You won't be disappointed. I shouldn't even have to say this, but it earns a Bottle rating from me. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It