Friday, November 6, 2020

Davidson Reserve Four Grain Tennessee Straight Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

Recently, I reviewed Davidson Reserve Genesis Bourbon from Pennington Distilling Co. and rated it a Bottle. It was an annual, limited-edition release.  Today I'm exploring their Four Grain Bourbon, another annual, limited-edition release. 

Distilled in Nashville, this Bourbon is not a standalone product.  Rather, it is a blend of three of Pennington's other whiskeys:  Tennessee Straight Rye, Tennessee Sour Mash, and Tennessee Straight Bourbon. At a later date, I'll provide reviews of the individual three component whiskeys. The four grains used in the mash are Tennessee White Corn, Tennessee White Cereal Rye, Tennessee Red Winter Wheat, and malted barley. The finished product carries a three-year age statement and is packaged at 100°.  A 750ml bottle will set you back $44.99. 

If you're wondering how something that is made a 100% rye whiskey can become a Bourbon, never fear. So long as the main ingredient is 51% or more corn, and everything else in the process meets the definition of Bourbon, you're safe. 

As with the Genesis, I'd like to thank Pennington for sending me a bottle in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. And now, it is time to #DrinkCurious.

Appearance:  In my Glencairn Glass, the Bourbon presented as a copper-amber color.  It left a medium rim that fabricated slow, sticky legs to drop back to the pool of liquid sunshine.

Nose:  Aromas of cinnamon and almond were easy to discern. As I continued sniffing, I came upon cherry,  plum, and caramel.  When I drew the fumes through my open lips, a mixture of vanilla and mint traipsed across my tongue. There was no ethanol blast.

Palate:  Things began with an oily and warm mouthfeel. It coated everywhere. On the front, I tasted plum, date, and toasted coconut. As it reached mid-palate, I discovered chocolate, rye spice, and oak. Then, on the back, dominating tobacco leaf followed by cocoa powder and nutmeg.

Finish:  This was a very long, very dry finish. It sucked the moisture out of my mouth. It took several swallows to pick out toffee and that big tobacco leaf.

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I understand what Pennington was trying to do here and I applaud them for the effort. This wasn't a bad Bourbon, but it was much less impressive than the Genesis. I can handle dry finishes all day long, but this was, in my opinion, way over the top. It also drinks much warmer than 100°, but that may also be the dry finish playing tricks on me.

Overall, $45.00 for craft whiskey has a slightly below-average hit to the wallet.  There are some good flavors here. If you're a wine drinker and enjoy Sangiovese, the finish may appeal to you. For me, I found it distracting. As such, I'm ponying up a Bar rating for the Four Grain Bourbon. Cheers!

My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System
  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

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