Five Nine Kentucky Straight Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes


One of the cool things about whiskey festivals is they provide the perfect opportunity to #DrinkCurious. There are a bunch of brands pouring their wares. If you don’t destroy your palate after the first few samples, you can discover something you’ve never heard of and may even find a new favorite.


Such was the case this past May when I attended Distill America in Madison, Wisconsin. There were several new-to-me (and almost everyone else) whiskeys. These are the booths I hit up first, and one was Five Nine Kentucky Straight Bourbon.


“Five Nine is the ‘Tools-Down Whiskey’ brought to you by the Troll Co. lifestyle brand that celebrates blue-collar America. Crafted to honor creators, builders, fixers, and doers who measure time by the grit on their hands, not the hands of the clock. Five Nine was created to celebrate small wins after a long day on a job.” – Troll Co.


Troll Co.? That’s an interesting name. If you head to its website, you’ll learn they sell clothing and donate some of its proceeds to its veteran charity partners: Boot Campaign, Fisher House, and Valour Place. At the time of this review, they donated $335,038 to veterans.


Five Nine is distilled by Green River Distilling Co. in Owensboro, Kentucky, from a high-rye Bourbon mash of 70% corn, 21% winter rye, and 9% two- and six-row malted barleys. The corn used is 100% Kentucky-grown. It carries an at least two years age statement. Five Nine is bottled at 45% ABV (90°).


This Bourbon is available in California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Additionally, you can order a 750ml package directly from Five Nine’s website for $45.00.


The obvious question, of course, is, Why would you want to? And, again, obviously, the only way you’ll know for sure is if I tell you how it tastes. Before I do, I must thank Troll Co. for providing me with a sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance: I drank this neat from my Glencairn glass. Inside, the liquid was bright and coppery. A fragile rim formed, which shed equally thin tears that crawled back to the pool.


Nose: When I brought the glass to my nose, it was easy to pluck smells of dark chocolate, corn, plums, toffee, and toasted oak. Pulling the air through my lips brought sweet, thick caramel to my tongue.


Palate: A medium-weighted mouthfeel offered flavors of honey, cornbread, and cinnamon on the front of my palate. The middle found roasted almonds and maple syrup, while the back featured clove, charred oak, and leather.   


Finish: There was a taste of maraschino cherries on the finish that came from nowhere and was attention-getting. Equally curious was freshly-shredded tobacco leaf. The charred oak and leather dried the inside of my mouth and throat. Overall, it was a medium-long duration.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: As you can imagine, a whiskey with unusual qualities becomes interesting and demands further exploration. Five Nine falls into that category. I sipped it repeatedly to track down when those mysterious finish notes originated. Eventually, I caved and accepted they were born in the finish’s realm.


I believe Five Nine is a good value for two bucks a proof-point. Beyond the price, this Bourbon will hold your concentration. I’m happy I followed up on my introduction at Distill America. Five Nine is worth the investment and earns my Bottle rating. Cheers!  


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.