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The Deerhammer Distillery is located in Buena Vista, Colorado. Recently they sent me some samples of their Bourbon to taste. I have here notes on their straight Bourbon but as an added bonus I have a sample of the same Bourbon at cask strength. The cask strength is a year older and was finished for a short time in a wine barrel but it can still be fun to see what the difference in proof makes to the common flavors. I rather liked both products. They are young but well made. I feel that in another two or three years, they will have a very good Bourbon in the market.

Deerhammer Straight Bourbon

Proof: 88

Age: 2 years old

Nose: Corn, Vanilla and baking spices.

Taste: Corn, Vanilla, a little sweet cherry and baking spices. Tasted with a dried cranberry moves the corn forward and brings out cinnamon in the baking spices. Tasted with a pecan reduces the spiciness and brings out apples and cherry fruit notes.

Finish: Long and dry with oak and spice. The cranberry brought out more oak and less spice. The pecan shortened the finish and made it much more dry and oaky.

Deerhammer Barrel Proof Bourbon

Proof: 104.6

Age: 3 years old plus about 6 months in a wine barrel

Nose: Corn, vanilla, caramel, fine leather and oak.

Taste: Corn and vanilla with ripe apple and berry fruit notes. There is a little baking spice and oak hiding in the back of all of this. Tasted with a dried cranberry and caramel comes forward with a little cinnamon spice. Tasted with a pecan and the vanilla is enhanced and there is a lot of cinnamon spice.

Finish: Long, dry with oak and lots of baking spice. The cranberry enhanced the spice as did the pecan. This was the first time I noticed very little difference in the finish between the cranberry and the pecan.

I chose an Arturo Fuente Special “Curly Head” cigar to pair with this Bourbon. I find the smoke to be mild tobacco with a hint of cedar. I wanted something mild since I was trying it with two versions of the Bourbon. The straight Bourbon brought out some nice vanilla notes in the smoke while the smoke brought out some citrus notes in the Bourbon. The barrel proof Bourbon reacted much the same with the smoke by adding notes of vanilla. However, the smoke enhanced the fruit in the barrel proof Bourbon with lots of apple and cherry with a little lemon zest, plus it added a little honey sweetness to the Bourbon. It was a very interesting pairing.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller