As a general rule, we are really excited about the whole craft/small batch bourbon market. The quality and variety of bourbons out there bottled for our consumption and enjoyment can only be a positive for the consumer. In our opinion, this flood of new product is prompting the big producers to get innovative as well as encourgaing better distribution to satisfy this emerging palate change. That said, just because a particular bourbon is marketed as a “craft bourbon” or a “small batch” it tends to command a higher retail price, regardless of quality, simply because of the small number of bottles produced. Needless to say, we were very excited to tackle two highly regarded bourbons from the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. Today we tackle Rowan’s Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
First, a bit of history about Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. While they just started to do their own distilling in Jan 2012, they are primarily an independent bottler, meaning they purchase whiskey from other distillers, continue to age it or even re-barrel it (not the usual practice), then blend until they achieve their desired flavors.
Rowan’s Creek, which we are reviewing today, has won the Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2005 and 2011. Bottled at 50.05% ABV, and listed as being aged for 12 years, it may be cut with water if you prefer, or taken neat, as we tend to prefer. It is KBD’s best-selling brand, although it is only available in 27 states. Fortunately, we were able to find it in Spokane.
SWC Group Review
Nose – Sweet vanilla, tangy oak punch with an herbal, floral spice.
Taste – Viscous, pleasant mouthfeel. Buttery with candied vanilla notes. Oak, a mix of dry and sweet with herbal spice. Mellows some with water.
Finish – Medium length finish with spice cabinet. “Mouthful of tree.” Bold. Cut green grass, sweet cocoa.
Comments –This is by no means a small player. It has some wonderful characteristics, and is definitely worth trying. We have also found other bourbons we like better for less money, but that is part of the fun. Enjoy!
SWC Rating – 80/100
Contact us at SpokaneWhiskey@gmail.com