Conviction Bourbon is made at the Southern Grace Distillery in North Carolina. The distillery is located in an old prison, thus the name. I first tasted this whiskey at the New Orleans Bourbon Festival (where it won best bourbon under 4 years) and really liked it. This whiskey is distilled by a very talented distiller and she was kind enough to send me a bottle. I am impressed. At two years old it is quite good. I look forward to tasting a four or more year old version in the future.
Age 2 years old
Nose: Honey wheat bread dough with a little yeastiness in a good way. Corn and a little fruit – not sure what fruit – sometimes peaches and apricots, sometimes citrus, with just a hint of caramel and chocolate.
Taste: Honey, sweet corn and that elusive fruit note with some dark chocolate and oak. When tasted with a dried cranberry it is orange blossom honey and caramel forward with a hint of oak. When tasted with a pecan it becomes more vanilla and pepper spice with only the slightest hint of fruit.
Finish: Dry with oak, chocolate and hazelnuts. The cranberry makes the finish shorter with lots of oak and hazelnuts. The pecan makes the finish very long and dry with oak, pepper and dark chocolate.
I am pairing this Bourbon with a Nat Sherman Timeless Limited Edition TAA cigar. The smoke is a rich vanilla and tobacco with a bit of umami Worcestershire Sauce note. The Bourbon lessens the umami note and brings forward caramel and chocolate. The smoke enhances the chocolate notes in the Bourbon. This is an excellent after dinner dessert Bourbon and cigar pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller
In Memory of Leanne Powell (1968-2019)
I was sorry to learn that on July 20, 2019, Leanne Powell passed away at the age of 51. I first met her at the 2019 New Orleans Bourbon Festival. She was pouring whiskey at the booth for Southern Grace Distilleries at Mt. Pleasant Prison in North Carolina, and I took a sip of her Bourbon. It was young, but very good and I told her so. It must have pleased her because she later contacted me and offered to send me a sample for review. I happily said “please do”. I received the sample in June and that is what I have tasted here in this blog. My last contact with her was on Facebook when someone noticed the bottle in the background of a photograph for my blog. I posted that the review would publish July 31 and Leanne replied with something like “I can only imagine”. I told her she should be pleased. I like the whiskey, and I am sorry she is not here to read this review. I hope she would have been pleased with this blog. My condolences to her friends and family. I was looking forward to visiting her distillery later this year just so I could talk further with her about her Bourbon. She will be missed. She was a true talent who made her best whiskey every time she went to work. I will think of her every time I sip this whiskey.