Join us April 4 for the Bourbon Salon at Oxmoor Farm!

Kentucky Owl is an old brand created the C.M. Dedman distillery of Harrodsburg, in Mercer County, Kentucky. It was DSP 16 of the 8th District and a rather small distillery with Mida’s Criteria only placing a value rating of “F” ($10,000-$15,000) in 1909. For example, big companies like Bernheim Bros. were ranked “AAAA” with a value of $1,000,000 or more. The brand died with Prohibition and lingered as an unclaimed trademark for decades. That came to an end when the family decided to re-claim the trademark and to bottle whiskey once again. The Dedman family owns the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg, Kentucky and Dixon Dedman grew up with the stories of his great-great grandfather’s distillery and decided that even if he could not distill the brand, he could bottle it. He started picking barrels of whiskey to bottle and after about six years of work, his dream came true – he bottled the first batch of Kentucky Owl Bourbon since Prohibition. In 2017 a rye whiskey was added to the portfolio.

Kentucky Owl Rye

Proof: 110.6

Age: 11 years old

Nose: Rye grass, apple cider and just a hint of vanilla and caramel. A little honeysuckle blossom after it sits and opens up a little. After letting it breath, the nose gets better with caramel and tobacco coming forward.

Taste: Rye grass, apples, caramel and cloves. A very thin mouth feel. Tasted with a dried cranberry. The rye grass diminishes and the apples and oak come forward with a taste of vanilla. Tasted with a pecan the rye grass and the s[ice are gone leaving green apple and a hint of caramel.

Finish: Very oaky dry with tannins and cloves. Not overly long and ends abruptly. The cranberry makes the finish less clove and more oak. The pecan really makes for a nice dry oak finish that lingers a bit longer.

This is a nice rye. I am pairing it tonight with Por Larranaga, Habana cigar a friend of mine gave me. The smoke brings out some caramel in the rye, while the rye adds a floral sweetness to the smoke. Not a bad pairing.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller