A friend of mine from Indianapolis contacted me and said he found an artisan distillery northwest of the city that was making an interesting Bourbon from 100% sweet corn. mash. He wanted to know if I would like to taste it and I of course said yes. I trust his taste buds and if it was good enough to impress him, I would be happy to give it a try. He said he would send some samples. To my surprise, he had the distillery send me some bottles. They make a corn whiskey, a Bourbon and a single barrel Bourbon. I liked all three expressions, but found the regular Bourbon to be the one I would go back to from time to time so I thought I would review it first.
The Bourbon is a farm to bottle product using 100% sweet corn raised on the family farm. The brand and the distillery. Old 55, is named for the highway that runs in front of the farm. There is no age statement on the bottle but I am quite sure it is less than four years old and would be surprised if it was much over two. It is not a straight Bourbon. It is an attractive packaging with a cork top.
Old 55 Bourbon
Age: No Age Statement but there probably should be. I doubt it is 4yo Bourbon.
Nose: Cotton Candy and caramel corn – or is that bubble gum? It is a sweet aroma with no spice notes or fruit on the nose.
Taste: Banana pudding with vanilla wafers! Caramel and banana with a bit of cinnamon spice and oak. There is still that young whiskey taste but not a very intense part of the taste. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the banana is still there but subdued and vanilla comes out adding to the flavor. Tasted with a pecan and the banana pudding taste is intensified with more banana and caramel.
Finish: Long and dry with oak and spice. The cranberry makes the finish a bit even more spicy and lingers even longer. The pecan dries the finish out to oak and lots of it but it shortens the finish.
I like this young whiskey. I look forward to tasting an expression at four or six years old. Today I am enjoying it with a Rocky Patel Decades cigar. They pair well together. The smoke tames some of the banana while the Bourbon adds some caramel notes to the cigar smoke.
Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach