This Bourbon is bottled by the Leiper’s Fork Distillery near Franklin, Tennessee. They purchased barrels of Bourbon distilled at a major distillery in Tennessee to create a brand while they are aging their own Bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys. The distillery is a beautiful little distillery that is well designed for both distilling and tourism. Their distiller, Lee Kennedy, is a very good distiller. His new make Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey were well crafted. Yes, he is making a Bourbon as well as a Tennessee whiskey. In fact he told me he wants to make Bourbon but feels obligated to make a Tennessee whiskey as well since he is in Tennessee. I feel he will do both with both types of whiskey. He is doing it right in many ways. He is aging it in 53 gallon barrels and not overly worried about getting the whiskey in the bottle before it is ready. He told me he just wants to make a good whiskey that he can be proud of when people drink it.
This version of Bourbon is what he has purchased to give him some income until his whiskey is ready. I think it is a very good start. There will be some flavor drift if he keeps the same label for his own whiskey because of the age and production differences. I look forward to tasting his own whiskey in a few years.
Hunter’s Select Barrel Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey Batch 1, Bottle 77 of 800
Age: 9 years old
Nose: Vanilla, caramel and ripe apples with a hint of leather and spice.
Taste: Caramel, apples and a bit of pepper spice and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the apple comes forward as a very ripe and sweet apple and the pepper is pushed to the background. Tasted with a pecan and the vanilla comes forward with some baking spices as well as pepper.
Finish: Very long and dry with oak and pepper. The cranberry brings out the oak with less pepper. The pecan makes the finish very dry with oak and spices but less pepper and more cinnamon spice.
I like this Bourbon. It is well balanced and flavorful. I am going to pair this with a CLE Maduro Azabache cigar. The smoke gives a creamy and fruity flavor to the Bourbon while the Bourbon adds a nice vanilla quality to the smoke. A very good pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller