Redwood Empire is bottled by Redwood Empire Distillery of Sonoma County, California. I had not seen this bottle before when I visited Schreck’s Liquors, a neighborhood store with a good selection and a knowledgeable staff, so I inquired about it. The owner’s son was behind the counter and I know he has a decent palate and he said it was a good product. It was not terribly expensive with a price in the $50 range, so I decided to get a bottle. I am glad I did as I enjoy drinking this Bourbon.
Redwood Empire has an interesting label that has some good information. The company itself pays homage to John Muir, the naturalist and they say on the bottle that if you “Buy a bottle and We’ll plant a tree”. The Pipe Dream is a redwood tree in the Patriarch Forest of Humboldt Redwoods State Park, that is 367 feet tall. The whiskey is a blend of Bourbons from California, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. They don’t state whether they distilled the Bourbon from California, but they do state that the whiskeys are at least four years old. They also say that aging their barrels in the temperate climate of northern California allows for “balance and complexity”. That might indicate that the California Bourbon is distilled by them. It is a good solid whiskey and Matt and I enjoyed tasting it.
Redwood Empire Pipe Dream
Age: Four Years Old
- Mike: Very sweet aromas – cotton candy, French vanilla with a hint of oak. Not a complicated nose.
- Matt: Very simple but sweet nose – strawberry cotton candy and vanilla with a hint of oak.
- Mike: Vanilla, floral white pepper, lemon zest and a hint of oak. Not complex at all. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the lemon zest comes forward and the pepper becomes black pepper. Tasted with a pecan a hint of milk chocolate comes out with black pepper and oak.
- Matt: Lots of vanilla with some lemon and white pepper spice. The dried cranberry brought out some cherry notes with lemon and vanilla. The pecan made the mouth-feel creamy with milk chocolate and nutmeg spice notes.
- Mike: Not overly long with some oak wood and a bit of white pepper spice. The dried cranberry made the finish longer and enhanced the pepper spice, making it more black pepper in flavor. The pecan made the finish the longest with oak and black pepper spice.
- Matt: The finish was white pepper with a bit of dry leather. The dried cranberry made the finish short and peppery. The pecan made the finish dry with cocoa and toasted oats like a granola bar.
When I tasted this whiskey, the first cigar that came to mind was a RoMa Craft Neanderthal cigar with its earthy tobacco, vanilla and cedar spice in the smoke. I think that it would help bring out more of this Bourbon’s flavors.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller