J.W. Dant first started distilling whiskey in 1836 on a still he made from a hollowed out log. His whiskey became popular and he soon was able to purchase a copper still and eventually grew to become a well-known distiller in Kentucky. He was also known for having several sons who shared his talent for making whiskey.
His son J.B. Dant would later found a distillery of his own just down the road from his father’s distillery and create the brand Yellowstone. Prohibition closed down both of these distilleries, but J.W. Dant Distillery was rebuilt after repeal.
The Schenley Distilleries Company purchased the distillery and brand in the 1950s and the brand quickly became one of their leading whiskey brands. The distillery was closed in the 60s but the brand was still produced at other Schenley distilleries, usually Bernheim or Stagg. It became part of United Distillers when they purchased Schenley, but in 1993, they sold the brand to Heaven Hill and Heaven Hill produces it today.
J.W. Dant Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon
Age: Five years old – Made Fall 1972. Bottled Fall 1977
- Mike: Old leather, a little citrus, vanilla and oak.
- Matt: Tobacco and leather with orange zest, vanilla and oak.
- Mike: Caramel and lemon zest with a bit of tobacco and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the taste becomes very one dimensional with lots of pepper spice and oak and not much else. Tasted with a pecan and there is a lot of vanilla and baking spices with only a hint of pepper – floral white pepper.
- Matt: Tobacco, vanilla and orange zest fruitiness. The dried cranberry made it spicy with vanilla and citrus fruit. The pecan brought out vanilla with a little brown sugar.
- Mike: Very long with oak, leather and pepper. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter and more peppery. The pecan made the finish very long with oak and baking spices and notes of lingering vanilla.
- Matt: A long finish with leather and black pepper. The dried cranberry made the finish full of black and cayenne peppers with some oak and leather. The pecan brought out baking spices, leather and oak in a very, very long finish.
I would pair this Bourbon with a cigar that has some sweeter notes to the smoke as there is already plenty of spice in the taste. A My Father The Judge cigar would do just fine with its caramel and chocolate notes in the smoke.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller