Review of Blue Run Spirits Flight Series II: Miami Sunset Bourbon


Brands are always trying to come up with something new. Modern-day marketing is about staying relevant and giving the consumer something different to look forward to. This crosses nearly every genre: smartphones, potato chips, laundry detergent, and, yes, whiskey.


Blue Run Spirits' entire mission is about doing something new. When he co-founded the company in 2020, CEO Mike Montgomery aimed to change what Bourbon looks, feels, and tastes like to attract a younger audience.


"We've drawn from the great work that the people before us and currently in the industry have put forth, but we've also looked around the world at different examples of the art of the possible." - Mike Montgomery 


Blue Run Spirits has just released its Flight Series II, a collection of six micro-batch whiskeys. While micro-batch has no legal definition, the brand says it is a blend of at least two but no more than five barrels.


What’s new is that all six whiskeys were designed outdoors to be enjoyed outdoors by Shaylyn Gammon, Blue Run’s Head of Whiskey Development and Innovation.


“I envisioned these blends being enjoyed in a favorite outdoor setting when nature is trying its hardest to capture your attention and deserves a toast in appreciation. That is why I conducted my sensory tests outside since no whiskey fan is ever going to be experiencing their whiskey in a distillery laboratory. I fondly call this my ‘In Situ Whiskey’ because it is made, in part, where I thought it best to be enjoyed.” -  Shaylyn Gammon


One of the better Bourbons I’ve had in 2024 happens to be Blue Run Spirits High Rye. I reviewed it last month. I was blown away. I bring that up because it is a component in each of the six offerings in Flight Series II. The remaining barrels are sourced from Castle & Key, Bardstown Bourbon Company, and an undisclosed third. All of the barrels involved were subjected to #4 alligator char. Each of the six expressions has a suggested price of $119.00 for 750ml.


Blue Run Spirits provided me with a sample of Miami Sunset in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review. It is a blend of four barrels and packaged at 57.5% ABV (115°). It carries no age statement, and 934 bottles were produced. Distribution is limited to Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.


Let’s #DrinkCurious and see how this turned out.


Oh, just for kicks, I’ll try this twice: once in my whiskey library, which is my usual “lab” environment, and once on my back deck because, well, it is outside. Believe it or not, the atmosphere matters, which is why I do 99% of my tastings in the same chair in the same room.


The weather is slightly breezy, about 73°F, cloudy, and there’s rain on its way. The birds are chirping loudly. Nature seems pretty distracting today, fitting what Shaylyn Gammon suggests.


Appearance: I sipped this Bourbon neat from my Glencairn glass. The liquid was like copper that was slightly tarnished but not patinaed. The microthin rim shed wide, wavy tears. Yet, it left droplets on the rim that stuck like glue.


Nose: The aroma smelled of crème brulee, cherries, marshmallows, orange zest, and cinnamon spice. When I inhaled the air through my lips, I found orange peel and vanilla.


Outdoors: My olfactory sense plucked cinnamon spice, vanilla, raw almonds, and orange zest. Drawing the air into my mouth, it was all raw almonds.


Palate: Miami Sunset’s texture was thick and dense. I tasted cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar on the front. The middle offered toasted almonds, caramel, and oatmeal. The back featured oak, black pepper, and chocolate.


Outdoors: The texture was exactly the same as I had expected. On the front, I tasted chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. The middle had flavors of oatmeal, almonds, and creamy caramel. I found black pepper, ginger spice, and oak on the back.


Finish: Oak spice and black pepper dominated the finish. Yet, I could also discern caramel, oatmeal, and toasted almonds. While warming, it was not what I could classify as hot. The duration was a whopping 2:16.


Outdoors: This Bourbon became a spice bomb with black pepper, cinnamon Red Hots, and dry oak. Vanilla and cocoa attempted to tame them but failed. I timed the duration at 1:57, which is still considered very long.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: There are two facets to cover: Is the Bourbon any good, and does sipping it outdoors change anything? Let’s start with the latter. Yeah, it does. The differences were nominal but definitive, especially on the finish. As I stated earlier, atmosphere matters.


Is this Bourbon any good? I think the descriptor good does Miami Sunset a disservice. I believe it is aptly named. There’s warmth and flavor, and everything slowly melts into a lovely mix. Inside my whiskey library, this was a delightful experience. Outside, things went from warm to hot in my mouth.  


I wouldn’t blink at the $119.00 price. I’d grab a Bottle and go home happy. 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.