The Whiskey Row label was created by Steve Thompson, the founder of Kentucky Artisan Distillery (KAD). The label is still owned by Thompson, but the distillery is now employee-owned. He created the brand using sourced whiskey and has been adding a percentage of the Bourbon made at KAD to the whiskey with each release. This is the fourth release and I feel each release has gotten better. It is available for sale at the distillery gift shop and I have seen it in retail stores here in Louisville, but I am not sure what the distribution is in other states. If you find it, try it. This one is differentiated with an orange strip stamp across the cork topper and orange on the label.
Steve Thompson retired from Brown-Forman and decided to open Kentucky Artisan Distillery. He started by purchasing a used still from Brown-Forman and quickly started to collect other vintage stills and other distilling equipment for the distillery. He has a very interesting collection that includes a still purchased in France that was used in the making of Armagnac brandy. This still is made to be portable and built upon a wagon. It would travel to small vineyards and distill their wine into brandy. It is worth a trip to KAD just to view this piece of history.
Jade Peterson is KAD’s very talented distiller. The whiskey he has made does the label proud. I believe that it is a mixture of 4-year-old Bourbon made at KAD with some 8 and 10-year-old sourced Bourbon. I am looking forward to seeing this label with 100% KAD Bourbon. It will be an outstanding Bourbon without any sourced whiskey. Maybe the next release or the one after that will be 100% KAD distilled whiskey.
Whiskey Row Bourbon 2019 Release
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Peaches and apricots with vanilla and oak with a little corn and hazelnuts coming through in the background.
Taste: Caramel, corn, apricots and oak with a little baking spices in the background. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the spice comes forward and it has a nice cinnamon note. When tasted with a pecan the fruit becomes tart with a little citrus and the spice becomes a floral white pepper.
Finish: Medium long with some oak and pepper. The cranberry makes the finish sweeter and fruity without much spice. The pecan makes the finish longer with lots of spice – pepper with a hint of paprika. I am pairing this with a cigar called The Wiseman El Gueguense. I find the smoke to be a rich tobacco with some caramel and cedar spiciness. With the Bourbon, the smoke becomes very creamy with a hint of pepper spice. The smoke brings out the hazelnut and oak in the whiskey. It is a very good pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller
October 31, 2019 at 5:43 pm
Michael- To clarify, I was the designer of the label and selected the bottle that was used. The concept was to stay true to the heritage and rebirth of Whiskey Row, in Louisville. I worked with Steve at Brown-Forman, where I managed the Package Design department. I retired in 2013 and have been doing various design consultation projects primarily because I really enjoy coming up with unique design solutions that will intrigue the consumer and build the brand. Steve’s next product, which I also created from initial concept to final, is Billy Goat Strut, taking it’s name from the street here in Louisville which also has a deep rooting in the history of the Whiskey trade and the people involved in it’s many colorful stories.
November 20, 2019 at 5:15 pm
Great job on both the Whiskey Row and Billy Goat Strut labels.