Reviews of Freeland Spirits Bourbon and Cask Strength Bourbon


Freeland Spirits was founded in 2017 by Jill Kuehler. She had a career in agriculture, which had been something she was excited about since she was a little girl gardening with her Meemaw (grandmother). Jill also served in the US Peace Corps, stationed in Guatemala. The distillery is women-owned and women-run. Even the grains come from farms grown by women!


Meemaw had two words of wisdom that Jill uses in her daily life as a distiller:

“1. All good things come from scratch.

Meemaw Freeland figured that if you’re going to do a thing, you might as well take the time to do it right.

We couldn’t agree more. Our process doesn’t start in the distillery—it starts in the farms and forests of Oregon, where we source the freshest ingredients nature has to offer.

Just as Meemaw loved preserving the harvest from her abundant garden each season, we do the same with our spirits, capturing the essence of each botanical when it’s at its peak of flavor.


2. Women can do—and be—any damn thing they want.

Yeah, craft distilling is a male-dominated industry. But we’re not about to let that stop us.

As one of the very few women-owned and run distilleries in history, we’re kicking ass and taking names one bottle at a time.

Bucking tradition clearly runs in the family—back when women weren’t supposed to be the primary breadwinner, Meemaw built a thriving career. By staking our claim in a male-dominated industry, we’re just following her lead.” – Freeland Spirits


Freeland’s master distiller is Molly Troupe. Molly has a degree in biochemistry and a Master’s Degree in Distilling, the youngest woman to earn that degree from Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University. She spent a year in Scotland learning her trade.


Their still is named Hellbitch. I freely admit I laughed – not at them; I just loved the name. I told Mrs. Whiskeyfellow about it, and she gave two thumbs up and a big smile.


Something I don’t speak much about is packaging. Freeland Spirits uses the same bottle design for its gins and whiskeys; it is shaped like a teardrop and represents rain from the Pacific Northwest. The distillery is located in Portland, Oregon. It is an attention-getter; I haven’t seen anything like it.


Freeland Spirits graciously provided two of its whiskeys in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest reviews. One is its Bourbon, the other its Cask Strength Bourbon. I’ll #DrinkCurious from fresh Glencairn glasses.


Distilled from a mash of 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% malted barley, these Bourbons carry a three-year age statement on the label; however, Freeland Spirits indicates they’ve been aged four years plus a six-month finish in former Pinot Noir casks from Elk Cove Vineyards. While Molly distills gin from grain to glass, Freeland Spirits source its Bourbon from MGP.


Enough of the background… let’s do this!


Freeland Bourbon


  • 46% ABV (92°)
  • $49.99 for a 750ml


Appearance: A neat pour revealed a bright, coppery liquid. A medium rim produced lightning-fast, thick tears.


Nose: There was no question of the Pinot Noir influence from the finishing process. I smelled blueberries, cherries, plums, oak, straw, and nutmeg. Drawing the air through my lips enhanced the blueberries.


Palate: The Bourbon had a silky texture and a cooling sensation across my tongue. That latter part is definitely new and unexpected! The front of my palate encountered cocoa powder, vanilla, and corn, while the middle offered caramel and nutmeg. The back featured clove, cinnamon, and leather.


Finish: The long duration left a taste of clove, leather, berry fruit, and oak in my mouth and throat.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: If you asked me if this was MGP-distilate, I’d say it is unlike any I’ve had. While the nose confirmed this was finished in a wine cask, there was little evidence with the palate. Despite its 92°, my hard palate tingled, although there was a complete lack of heat. This Bourbon is delicious, and I could taste Molly's love for this whiskey’s finishing and blending. It earns my Bottle rating.



Freeland Cask Strength Bourbon


  • 59.67% ABV (119.34°)
  • $56.99 for a 750ml


Appearance: This expression possessed a fig-like coloring. It was deep, dark, and slightly reddish. The liquid formed a medium-thick rim and thick, crooked tears.


Nose: Caramel and butterscotch exploded from my glass. Oh, there were also cherries and vanilla. I didn’t smell anything else (and I didn’t care). Inhaling the vapor into my mouth brought pure vanilla.


Palate: The thick, creamy mouthfeel allowed me to taste caramel, mocha, and plums on the front of my palate. Midway through, flavors of ripe berries, nutmeg, and cocoa were evident. The back included dry oak, leather, and tobacco leaf.


Finish: What remained included tastes of fresh-roasted coffee, nutmeg, cocoa, caramel, ripe berries, and leather. The duration began boldly and quickly dropped off. Instead of going away, it leveled for several minutes.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: There’s a 27-point difference in proof between the flagship and this cask-strength Bourbon. That’s significant. I’m impressed that Freeland Spirits has only a $7.00 upcharge. The flagship was delicious but couldn’t hold a candle to this cask-strength expression. There was absolutely nothing to dislike and everything to love about it. It still didn’t resemble MGP distillate. There are good buys and you’re-stupid-if-you-don’t-buy-it whiskeys. This falls deep into the latter. The nose, taste, finish, and price will blow you away. Color me impressed: it is everything that my Bottle rating was set up for. 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.