I first met Tom Herbruck when I went to Cleveland to do one of my Bourbon classes in 2014. He had invited me out to visit his distillery and I knew that at that time he had purchased the old setup from Michter’s distillery in Pennsylvania and was using it to make whiskey and apple Brandy. It was a small distillery with those nice old Cyprus wood mash tubs and copper stills in a small out building at his place.

His distiller had worked in the craft brewing industry and was playing around with the mash bill to include some beer malts and I really liked the one he made with chocolate malt. He told me at that time he was waiting to release his Bourbon as a bonded whiskey so it would be a couple of years before that would happen. In the meantime he was looking to expand his distillery and move it to a place where he could actually have distillery tours. Since then he has sold that distillery setup to Michter’s where it will go in the Fort Nelson Building on Main Street in Louisville and purchased a new distillery setup at a new location. I need to get back there and check out the new place but for now I will have to be satisfied with tasting the release of Tom’s Foolery Bonded Bourbon made at the old distillery.

Tom’s Foolery Bonded Bourbon

Proof: 100

Age: 4 years, distilled Spring 2012, Batch 2, Bottle 470

Nose: Corn and Vanilla with a hint of ripe apples and baking spices. Not overly complex but nice nose.

Taste: Corn, vanilla and some green apple fruit and pepper spice. Nice mouthfeel that is almost creamy. Tasted with a dried cranberry the pepper is tamed and the fruit becomes a little more citrus rather than green apple. Tasted with a pecan makes it more spice forward with pepper and cinnamon with vanilla and corn.

Finish: Medium long with pepper spice, oak tobacco. With the dried cranberry the finish becomes more baking spice – cinnamon than pepper and the oak comes forward. With the pecan the finish is very spicy with baking spices and longer and drier with more oak.

Notes: I really like this Bourbon. It is complex and I look forward to trying it again to see how it might change. I also think I will pour a glass and let it sit as a I read a book to see how that changes it over time. Right now I am enjoying this pour with a Rocky Patel Decades cigar and it is pairing well with the smoke bringing forward some deeper vanilla notes. I am also hoping that I can try some of that chocolate malt Bourbon he made after he releases it, if he has not done so already and sold it all.