Duration 26 minutes
I met up again with Olly, creator and owner of The Bottle Bunker, to taste and share our favourite American drams in celebration of National Bourbon Month. Choosing two bottles each we tasted bourbons from Knob Creek, Willets and Blanton's and finished off with a whiskey from Michter’s.
American bourbons tend to be a little sweeter than single malts and are very on trend at the moment as an introduction to the world of whiskies. Bourbon is one of the fastest growing areas of the UK spirits market and are a great way to start exploring the world of whisky.
Olly’s cask strength Knob Creek is one of his collectors gems and seems impossible to find easily in the UK. If traveling, do snap a bottle up if you see it in duty free! It was a mouthful of flavour and a great introduction for me to the world of cask strength spirits.
The Willet Pot Still Reserve came from my Whisky Wardrobe and brought a complexity of spices to the tasting - mace shone through for us both and started our usual banter about wild duck and whisky/recipe matching. In chatting about the bourbon I also confessed that I fall easily for sales pitches from handsome young men!
For elegance of bottle and spirit we were both strongly attracted to the Blanton’s bourbon, full of vanilla and elegance and a very accessible, slightly softer and easier flavour. The octagon bottle is a great talking point but the spirit is the star. All three of the bourbons tasted are from Kentucky, the home of bourbon, but the spirit is available from other states too!
We finished with another offering from Kentucky, this time a whiskey from Michter’s with a complexity from it’s corn, rye and barley pedigree. The nose was completely different and, although this is a favourite of mine and Chichester’s Whisky Women, it was perhaps unfair to taste it against these three bourbons? Sweet - but not so sweet: how to describe that?! I find it mellow, rounded and interesting (self portrait in a bottle?!) but it wasn’t for Olly. There is no right or wrong in these things - just try it for yourself!
Olly had a business visitor in the middle of our tasting. A whisky enthusiast himself we would have invited him in but only had 2 sets of glasses! Next time!!!