The Wm. Tarr Distillery was founded in the 19th century in Lexington, Kentucky. Prohibition closed the distillery and the brand faded into the pages of history. Recently, a group of investors revived the brand and are building a new Wm. Tarr Distillery. They have sourced some barrels of Kentucky Bourbon and have released two brands – Manchester Reserve and Inheritance. The Manchester Reserve is a 7-year-old small batch Bourbon bottled at 114 proof. The Inheritance is a 12-year-old single barrel Bourbon and bottled at variable proofs, depending upon the barrel. The distillery sent me sample bottles and the single barrel does not list a proof on the sample, but I suspect it to be around 120.
Old Wm. Tarr Manchester Reserve Small Batch Bourbon
Age: 7 Years Old
Nose: Corn, caramel, fine old leather, baking spices – allspice and nutmeg, oak.
Taste: Corn, caramel, allspice and nutmeg, a little apple fruit, leather and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and there is less caramel and more oak and spice. When tasted with a pecan a little citrus fruit comes out and the caramel is enhanced.
Finish: Long and spicy with oak tannins, cinnamon and allspice and a hint of leather. The cranberry makes the finish very spicy and tannic. The pecan makes the finish less spicy but adds a note of citrus to the oak and leather.
I would pair this Bourbon with a cigar that is strong in the caramel flavors. For me that is a Nat Sherman Pan Americana Gordo.
Old Wm. Tarr Inheritance Single Barrel Bourbon
Proof: ca. 120
Age: 12 Years Old
Nose: Caramel, oak, baking spice, fine old leather and a hint of dark fruits like dates or prunes.
Taste: Caramel, dates, baking spices – ginger and cinnamon, fine leather, and oak. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the dark fruits and ginger spice are enhanced but the caramel is reduced to a background flavor. When tasted with a pecan, a note of tangerine comes out with less spice and oak, but more of the dark fruit notes.
Finish: Long and dry with oak tannins and a hint of ginger spice. The cranberry shortens the finish and makes it less tannic and more spice-forward. The pecan makes the finish a little sweeter with notes of citrus and dark fruit in addition to the oak and spice.
I would once again pair this Bourbon with the Nat Sherman Pan Americana cigar, but not for the caramel., but for the earthy notes of tobacco in the smoke. I think they would enhance the dark fruit flavors of the Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller