Stephen Curry's Gentlemen's Cut Kentucky Straight Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes


Celebrity whiskeys used to be a-few-here-a-few-there type of thing. In the last two years, it seems every celebrity has their own whiskey brand. For some, it is a blatant cash grab; they’ll slap their name on anything and couldn’t care less if it is good, bad, or ugly. Others are genuinely interested in having their names attached to a quality spirit. I’ve learned to stop the eye-roll thing whenever another hits the shelf.


Today’s celebrity-influenced whiskey is a Bourbon released by Game Changer Distillery in a joint venture with Boone County Distilling Co. The man the whiskey is attached to is Wardell Stephen Curry, the four-time NBA champion and MVP. He calls the whiskey Gentlemen’s Cut Kentucky Straight Bourbon.


“Celebrations take on many different forms, from intimate gatherings to major milestones, and at the center of each memorable moment is a spirit rooted in history and tradition. I’m proud to have helped carefully craft a new signature Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Gentleman’s Cut. This rich, complex, and bold bourbon is the perfect offering to commemorate life’s great occasions, and will be part of a raised-glass toasting moment in the lives of my fans, friends, and family.” – Stephen Curry


Curry indicates he has personally helped craft Gentlemen’s Cut, from distillation to marketing and everything in between. Is it true? I have no idea. But he is transparent about what’s in the bottle and who makes it, which scores several three-pointers for me.


Who is Boone County Distilling Co.? Originally founded in 1833 as the Petersburg Distillery in Petersburg by brothers John and William Snyder. The building was a steam mill on a 1000-acre farm. Despite producing over a million gallons of whiskey in 1860, the brothers found themselves in serious legal trouble due to non-payment of taxes. The government seized all of their assets, including the distillery. In 1861, their son-in-law, Colonel William Appleton, purchased it from the government.


As it turned out, the Snyders didn’t just leave the government high and dry; they owed a lot of people a lot of money, and the debtors all came to Colonel Appleton. Between the $30,000+ the brothers owed and the new $1.50/gallon liquor tax imposed to fund the Civil War, he sold the distillery to Joseph C. Jenkins and James Gaff.


Production continued at full throttle, and the Petersburg Distillery became Kentucky’s largest by 1880. But, by 1910, production and income dropped, and the distillery was shuttered. It took another eight years to sell off the assets, and by 1919, the distillery was razed.     


Almost 100 years later, Jack Walsh and Josh Quinnan resurrected the brand and opened a distillery in nearby Independence in 2015. They called it Boone County Distilling Co.


Gentlemen’s Cut Kentucky Straight Bourbon is made from a mash of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley, utilizing a 500-gallon copper pot still. Here’s the fascinating part: Boone County distillate is always 74% corn, 21% rye, and 5% malted barley, harkening back to the original 1833 recipe. That means what is inside the bottle was a custom mash, which lends credence to Curry’s claim that he was personally involved.


The Bourbons used in the batch aged between five to seven years in new, charred oak barrels. Packaged at 45% ABV (90°), a 750ml bottle has a suggested price of $79.99.    


I’ve given you a lot of backstory here, and we do need to #DrinkCurious at some point, right? I’ll get to that right after I thank Game Changer Distillery for providing me with this sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.


Appearance: I poured this Bourbon into a Glencairn glass to sip neat. The liquid inside was a reddish-brown amber. It formed a heavy rim and shed thick tears.


Nose: The aroma featured smells of corn, tobacco, cedar, and baked apples. Drawing the air through my lips offered potpourri.


Palate: The Bourbon possessed a thin, very oily mouthfeel. The front of my palate encountered corn, baked apples, and stewed peaches. I tasted tobacco leaf, chocolate cereal, and black tea as it flowed to the middle. Dry oak, nougat, and fennel were on the back.    


Finish: Stewed peaches, baked apples, corn, cocoa, and tea remained for the medium-long finish.  


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Gentlemen’s Cut is a Bourbon unlike many on shelves. Despite the small malted barley content, it seems to have a heavier influence than expected. It is fruity and earthy, yet the sweetness from the corn competed with that earthiness.


I’ve had several five-plus-year Bourbons that command an $80.00 price tag. For Gentlemen’s Cut, that’s a big stretch. It isn’t an unpleasant whiskey but hasn’t scored enough points to approach that premium category. My Bar rating is appropriate; you should definitely taste this one before signing it to your team.    


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.