The Whiskey Row brand is the product of Kentucky Artisan Distillers. This is sourced whiskey as they are still aging the whiskey they have made for the brand in the last several years. I am sure there will be some flavor drift when they start bottling their own whiskey, but I think it will drift in a good way. This is very good Bourbon already, and since their Head Distiller Jade Peterson is a very talented distiller I am sure the whiskey will be even better when his whiskey is in the bottle. He is the distiller for the four barrels Bill Thomas of Jack Rose Dining Saloon and I had made and we both agree it is well crafted.
Kentucky Artisan Distillery is also the home for Jefferson’s Reserve brands. Jefferson’s Reserve has bought into the distillery and makes whiskeys there. None of these whiskeys are bottled yet since the distillery is only a few years old, but Jefferson Reserve likes what they are making so well that they are helping to expand the distillery to make enough whiskey to meet their demand. The distillery now is an eclectic collection of stills from various places collected by founder Stephan Thompson. My favorite is the still that he collected in France that was a mobile still used in Armanac country. For vineyards without a still, this still could be brought to them to make brandy.
Whiskey Row is named for Louisville’s “Whiskey Row”. In the 19th century there were so many distillery offices, rectifier shops and liquor stores between Brook Street and 10th Street on Main and Market Streets, that the area became known as “Whiskey Row”. The brand pays homage to this history while celebrating the rebirth of “Whiskey Row” in the 21st century. It is interesting that they do not claim to be a straight Bourbon on the label, yet it does not have an age statement making it at least four years old. Bourbon is on the label so that means there are no added colors or flavors, so leaving off the straight is puzzling.
Whiskey Row Distiller’s Select Bourbon
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Caramel corn and apples with a hint of tobacco or leather. Very light nose but pleasant.
Taste: A bit thin in mouth feel but very sweet with vanilla and fruit – pears and apples, with a hint of tobacco and spice, like a fine cigar. Tasted with a cranberry brings out the vanilla and makes the mouth feel a little more creamy. The fruits are still there but the spices become more baking spices. Tasted with a pecan it becomes a bit more buttery with vanilla and berries. The spice is subdued and the Bourbon becomes almost brandy-like.
Finish: Not overly long but it dries out to a nice oak finish. The cranberries make the finish a little longer and fruitier rather than dry. The pecan makes the finish very dry and oaky with just a hint of pepper.
This is a very good Bourbon. Today I have decided to pair it with a cigar, an Avo Syncro Short Robusto. This is a cigar with some of that cigar spice I found in the Bourbon. They pair very well. The cigar brings out a bit of a citrus note in the Bourbon while the Bourbon makes the cigar less spicy and adds an earthiness in a good way.
Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach