I was in the Kroger Spirits Shop on Bardstown Road the other day and saw this Bourbon. The clerk told me it was a special label just for Kroger. It has a fun story behind the name and it is bottled by Clear Springs Distilling Co. of Louisville, Ky. It is made by Sazerac.
The story behind the label is that Thomas Metcalfe (1780-1855) was Kentucky’s 10th governor. He was a stone mason by trade and became known as “Old StoneHammer” as his opponents mocked his trade. He won the governorship in 1828 and brought about many improvements in Kentucky’s infrastructure. This Bourbon was named to honor Metcalfe and even has a replica of his signature on the label. The label proclaims that the Bourbon is “As Strong and Bold as our Namesake”.
Old StoneHammer Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Age: No Age Statement
- Mike: Vanilla and bananas with some oak. Not overly complex, but pleasant.
- Matt: Lots of vanilla with notes of plums and rhubarb.
- Mike: Corn and vanilla with an interesting blend of spices – floral white pepper and allspice with some oak tannins. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the pepper is enhanced and there are notes of citrus coming through. Tasted with a pecan and the taste becomes vanilla and caramel with only a hint of fruit.
- Matt: Lots of vanilla and cinnamon spice with little oak tannins. The dried cranberry brought out the plums that were in the nose. The pecan enhanced the oak tannins and also brought out the plum fruitiness.
- Mike: Fairly short and mild with some oak tannins and a hint of spice. The dried cranberry made the finish a little longer and stronger with more spice notes. The pecan made the finish long and dry with lots of oak.
- Matt: Short with some oak and cinnamon spice. The dried cranberry made the finish a little longer, but did not change it otherwise. The pecan made the finish longer with oak and some lingering notes of plum.
I would pair this Bourbon with a cigar that has lots of vanilla notes in the smoke. The Bourbon has plenty of spice notes and needs a little more vanilla or even chocolate flavors to compliment the spice. I think a Jaime Garcia Reserve would be my first choice.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller