Brother's Bond Bourbon: Head-to-Head Reviews of Straight Bourbon v. Cask Strength


There was a time, not long ago, when American whiskeys had a brand, fun (many times invented) backstory, and what was inside the bottle. Nowadays, it is becoming commonplace for celebrities to get involved in the entire process.


When celebrity whiskeys started popping up everywhere, they were lousy for the most part. I considered them nothing more than cash grabs. Yet, in the last year or so, a handful have impressed the hell out of me. As such, my knee-jerk reaction to roll my eyes every time a celebrity rolled out a whiskey doesn’t happen anymore. They’ve earned the benefit of the doubt.  


Brother’s Bond Distilling Company was founded in 2021 by actors Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. Not being one to keep up with pop culture, I had to Google them. Shame on me for not recognizing Wesley, who plays James T. Kirk on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. However, he is best known for portraying Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries. Ian played Damon Salvatore on that show, and the duo became close friends.


“Brother’s Bond is a story of time and quality; two things we all cherish in life. We feel each moment of our friendship has led us here, to create this exceptional Bourbon that we are thrilled to share with you.” – Brother’s Bond Distilling Company


Apparently, Wesley and Somerhalder have a genuine interest in whiskey. While they didn’t distill their whiskey, they were involved first-hand in selecting the barrels. 


Distilling occurred in Indiana (meaning MGP) from three different mashbills; the result is a four-grain Bourbon. Brothers Bond utilizes #4 charred oak staves and #2 charred oak heads to age its whiskeys.


Today, we’ll explore two of Brother’s Bond Bourbons. One is its flagship Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and the second is a limited-edition Original Cask Strength Bourbon. There is also a Rye offered; however, when choosing which whiskeys I wanted to review, I considered that a head-to-head tasting of the two Bourbons would be more helpful.


We’ll #DrinkCurious and start with the flagship. However, before I do, I must thank Brother’s Bond for providing these samples in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Both were sipped neat from clean Glencairn glasses.


Straight Bourbon Whiskey


  • Age: 4 years
  • Mashbill: 65% corn, 22% rye, 13% undisclosed wheat/barley content
  • ABV / Proof: 40% / 80°
  • Price: $44 for a 750ml package


Appearance: This Bourbon presented as a light golden liquid. The bold rim formed even thicker legs.


Nose: When I brought the glass to my nose, I smelled corn, cinnamon, bananas, and rose petals. Drawing that air through my lips offered a note of maple syrup.


Palate: This whiskey’s texture was light and a tad creamy. At the front, I found corn, caramel, and vanilla. My mid-palate encountered apples and raw almonds. The back hinted at allspice and toasted oak.


Finish: There were hints of vanilla, corn, and muted oak tannins. It was medium in duration.  


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I found Brother’s Bond Bourbon to be proofed too low. It was challenging to pull flavors; the nose was the best part of this experience. It isn’t a bad whiskey by any means; it just gets lost in itself. If someone was timid about Bourbon, I would consider this flagship expression because nothing could be taken as offensive. For $40-something, I’m rating this one a Bar.  



Original Cask Strength Bourbon


  • Age: 4 years
  • Mashbill: 65% corn, 22% rye,  13% undisclosed wheat/barley content
  • Uncut and Unfiltered
  • ABV / Proof: 57.04% / 114.08°
  • Price:  $80.00 for a 750ml package


Appearance: This version was the color of caramel. The medium rim created slim, fast tears.


Nose: The aroma included banana pudding, butterscotch, rose petals, and toasted oak. I tasted bananas when I pulled the air through my lips.


Palate: The cask strength Bourbon’s mouthfeel was airy and provided the front of my palate with a big blast of honey, then cinnamon and caramel. Midway through, there was cinnamon spice, strawberries, and vanilla. The back tasted of black pepper, clove, and nougat.


Finish: The Original Cask Strength Bourbon had one of those Energizer Bunny finishes. Brother’s Bourbon suggests it is two minutes long. When a brand makes a specific claim, I like to verify it, so I set my timer.

I was pretty generous, but at the same time, duration can be very subjective. Meanwhile, caramel, honey, cinnamon, strawberries, and nougat remained.  


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I really liked the Original Cask Strength Bourbon. It is an easy sipper, one without “burn” despite the higher proof. Flavors were easy to pluck. That finish was lovely. Is it a bit on the pricey side? Yes. However, I believe there’s still enough value to justify the investment. I’m rating this one a Bottle. It is worth picking up. 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.



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