This whiskey is a product of the Kentucky Artisan Distillery in Crestwood, Kentucky. It is an American whiskey because it is a marriage of rye whiskey that they made at the distillery and some sourced whiskey from Canada. This bottle is the 110 proof version they offer for sale at their gift shop. The label was created by the owner of the distillery, Steve Thompson, and named for the alley in Louisville, Billy Goat Strut. Legend has it that in the 19th century, the people of Louisville would gather in the alley to watch Billy Goats race. It is in honor of this bit of Louisville’s heritage that they named this whiskey. It is their plan to eventually make this brand 100% their own rye whiskey. I have tasted their maturing rye whiskey and it is very good. I look forward to tasting this when they are not sourcing whiskey from Canada, but what they are bottling now is very good.
Billy Goat Strut North American Whiskey
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Caramel and baking spices – like a fresh baked spice cookie, with fine leather and sweet oak.
Taste: Very good mouth feel – thick and chewy. Caramel, cherries and ripe apple with notes of anise, cinnamon and nutmeg, with oak and leather. Tasted with a dried pecan and notes of citrus come forward with the baking spices and sweet oak wood. Tasted with a pecan it becomes less sweet and the spice becomes peppery with a little oak tannins.
Finish: Long and dry with citrus notes of lemon peel and sweet oranges with leather and oak. The dried cranberry brings out some ripe apples, leather and oak, but reduces the spice into the background. The pecan made the finish very long with pepper and oak and a hint of leather.
I am pairing this whiskey with a Foundation Menelik cigar. I find the smoke to have barnyard notes of hay and an earthy dryness with some vanilla and cedar spice. The whiskey makes the hay come forward in a strong manner and added a little smoke as from a wood fire. The smoke makes the whiskey very buttery, adding to that nice mouth feel, with lots of tart cherry and cinnamon spice. It is a very nice pairing on this wet and cold evening.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller