The Huber family first settled in Floyd Knobs, Indiana in the 19th century. They farmed the land, grew grapes and planted fruit trees. They made wine and cider and distilled brandy and whiskey. They were true American farmer-distillers. They were never a large distillery, but they sold their products in the local markets. Prohibition put an end to the tradition until the 1970s when the Huber family started making wine and cider once again. In true farmer-distiller fashion, wine and cider led into making brandy, and then whiskey.
About five years ago, The Starlight Distillery, which had been making brandy for several years, expanded and started making whiskey. The brands started with some contract distilled whiskey, but today they finally have some four year old Bourbon from their own distillery. I have reviewed the Carl T. Bourbon when they released a two year old straight Bourbon and I enjoyed it and thought it had real potential by the time it was four years old or older. This four year old expression did not disappoint me in any way.
Ted Huber, the owner of the distillery has a great palate and is very knowledgeable about distilling both brandy and whiskey. When he started the whiskey distillery, he hired Lisa Wicker as his distiller and even though she has moved on, I am sure that Huber has kept the same quality in his choice of a distiller to make his whiskey. It is very good whiskey.
Carl T. Bourbon
Age: 4 Years Old
Nose: Corn, vanilla and a little fruit – apricots and peaches, with sweet oak and a hint of baking spices.
Taste: As the nose indicated there is corn, vanilla, apricots and peaches with some cardamom, nutmeg and sweet oak wood. When tasted with a dried cranberry, there is less spice and more peach and apricot notes. When tasted with a pecan, there is less fruit flavors and more vanilla and oak flavors.
Finish: Long and dry with the oak and baking spices. The dried cranberry brings out some ginger spice in the finish and the pecan brings out some more oak tannins making for a very dry finish.
I would pair this Bourbon with a full-bodied cigar with lots of chocolate and caramel notes to the smoke. I would lean toward a Padron 1964 maduro wrapper as I think it would complement the flavors of the Bourbon rather than compete with them.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller