Milam & Greene Unabridged Volume 2 Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

Marsha Milam has had an impressive career. For the most part, she’s been in public relations. In 1993, she founded Unplugged At The Grove, now the longest-running, free live music event in Austin, Texas. That same year, she co-founded the Austin Film Festival. She’s a big-time music live event producer and does business under Marsha Milam Music.


And in 2017, she decided to get into the whiskey biz, beginning with Ben Milam Whiskey. It is located in Blanco, Texas. Marsha and Ben share the same surname; they must be related, right? Ben was her cousin six times removed. But why name a brand after him?


Well, Ben just happened to be one of the heroes of the Texas Revolution. He fought side-by-side with Americans during the Mexican War of Independence, then fought with Texans during their own battle to become a sovereign nation. He was killed in action, and many places, including a county, are named in his honor.


Heather Greene is a name that many whiskey fans recognize, especially after being named Master Blender of the Year at the 2023 Women of Whiskey Awards. She’s a pioneer for women in the industry, the first American woman to sit on the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society Tasting Panel. She’s the author of Whisk(e)y Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life and the first woman to write a whiskey-centric book shortlisted by the New York Times. 


Marlene Holmes began her career distilling for Jim Beam at its Booker Noe plant. Her tenure ran 30 years, and she worked closely with the legend himself. She also worked with Pam Heilmann, the Master Distiller Emeritus of Michter’s.


These three talented women joined forces to form what is now called Milam & Greene Whiskey. Today, I’m exploring its newest Bourbon, Unabridged Volume 2. Unabridged Volume 2 is the first release of the 2023 Autumn Blender’s Reserve Collection, which consists of high-proof Bourbons that will come out over the next four months.


Unabridged Volume 2 is a blend of cask-strength Straight Bourbons incorporating some of the rarest stocks in the distillery’s portfolio.


“Only a tiny percentage of our finest casks make it into Unabridged Volume 2. Some of these vintage casks lost 68% of the liquid in them from evaporation over time. What’s left is a rich and luxurious bourbon that adds the perfect amount of wood notes. We also selected young casks for bright flavors popping with fruits and florals. The lucky seven-year-old casks were influenced by the hot summer Texan climate, adding a richness you wouldn’t otherwise find at this age. Blended together, the whiskey from these barrels creates an exciting novel.” – Heather Greene


The Bourbons in the blend come from Milam & Greene’s 300-gallon copper pot still and Barton’s large column still. Milam’s proprietary mashbill in both locations includes malted rye content and two proprietary yeast strains and is a sweet mash. Milam & Greene is transparent about what’s included:     


I asked Heather what size barrels were used, as many Texas distilleries opt for smaller cooperage. She indicated while the distillery does utilize a mix of 30-gallon and 53-gallon barrels, only 53-gallon were used for Unabridged Volume 2.


There are only 800 cases of Unabridged Volume 2. A 750ml bottle of this 58.8% ABV (117.6°) whiskey has a suggested price of $94.99. I must thank Milam & Greene for providing me with a sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Now, let’s #DrinkCurious.


Appearance: I sipped this Bourbon neat from my Glencairn glass. It took on a deep, orange-amber impression. Thick tears fell from the medium rim.


Nose: The most prominent part of the aroma was figs. But I also smelled pipe tobacco, caramel, leather, chocolate, and cotton candy. When I pulled the air through my lips, I found milk chocolate.


Palate: The mouthfeel was oily. The front featured a blast of cherry cola, raisins, and orange peel. Midway through, I tasted spiced nuts, oatmeal cookies, and thick caramel. The back offered dark chocolate, oak, and clove.


Finish: Unabridged Volume 2 possessed one of those Energizer Bunny finishes. It included almonds, oatmeal, raisin, tobacco leaf, oak, dark chocolate, mint, and clove.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: This Bourbon blend is stunningly delicious. It is layered and complex and drank far below its stated proof, throwing it into that “dangerous” category where it could sneak up and smack the back of your head with a 2x4. The price is reasonable considering that almost 20% of the barrels contained 16-year whiskeys.


Many of my friends see or hear “Texas whiskey” and have already decided it isn’t for them. I used to be in that camp. A handful of distilleries over the last two or three years have proven me wrong, and I can now add Milam & Greene to that list. Marlene and Heather earned every bit of their accolades, and I’m curious as Hell as to what their other whiskeys taste like.


It should be evident by now that Unabridged Volume 2 takes 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 to do so responsibly.