Seth Dettling makes some good Bourbon. He is the owner and distiller for Big Escambia Distillery in Southern Alabama. This is a four-year-old bonded Bourbon made from six grains. He uses an heirloom corn from southern Alabama that he chose because he believes it makes the best cornbread. He has sent me some cornmeal from this grain and it does make excellent cornbread. He also uses rye, oats, chocolate malted rye, Caramel malted barley and malted barley. He says he was inspired by an oatmeal stout beer. It does make for an excellent Bourbon. Not the traditional flavor profile you would expect from a Bourbon, but still an excellent Bourbon. I look forward to trying other bottles of Big Escambia bonded whiskeys. I see that they also have a rye whiskey Bottled-in-Bond. Their whiskeys have a limited release area, but I will certainly be on the lookout for a bottle of the bonded rye.
I like the fact that the bottle has the distillation date – Fall 2015 – and bottling date – Fall 2019 – on the label. This is information that sets bonded whiskey above other bottlings. The consumer has knowledge of the age of the whiskey and the more knowledge the consumer has available, the better. The DSP number – AL -20004 and the proof complete the required information for bonded whiskey.
Dettling 1867 Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon
Age: 4 years
Nose: Caramel and citrus notes with lots of fruit – berries and raisins, with oak and a hint of chocolate. Reminds me of a well-aged brandy.
Taste: Fruit forward, citrus, raisins and tart berries – raspberries and blackberries, caramel with a hint of chocolate, oak and a little black pepper spice. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the caramel and chocolate come forward and the fruit moves to the background. Tasted with a pecan and the citrus becomes lemon zest and the caramel becomes vanilla cream with a little white pepper spice.
Finish: Long and dry with oak, pepper and a hint of dark chocolate. The cranberry enhances the chocolate notes but shortens the finish. The pecan made the finish longer with oak and citrus.
I am tasting this Bourbon on St. Patrick’s Day so I am pairing it with an Alec Bradley Shamrock “Filthy Hooligan” cigar. I find the smoke to be a rich tobacco with dried grass or hay and a bit of cedar spice. The Bourbon brings out some sweet notes of vanilla and dried fruit in the smoke. The cigar smoke made the caramel and chocolate flavors of the Bourbon very intense and added a note of hazelnuts to the drink. It is a very good pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller