Eighteenth century whiskey has always been a subject of interest for me. The concept behind this whiskey is that when the settlers came to Kentucky, they made their whiskey out of corn because corn is what grew well in Kentucky. What Jade Peterson and his team have done at Kentucky Artisan Distillery is to make some 100% corn Bourbon and aged it for four years. To this, they have married in some barrels of high corn content Bourbon from Indiana. The resulting whiskey was then bottled at 80 proof.
This is a good Bourbon with a surprising amount of flavor at 80 proof. It lives up to the name of “Honey Hole Selection” on the label. It is a fun concept, but of course, we all know that there was no such thing as an 18th century Bourbon since the first written mention of Bourbon whiskey was in 1821. In the 18th century, this whiskey recipe would have not been aged in charred barrels, but stored in jugs instead.
Whiskey Row 18th Century Recipe Bourbon
Age: Four Years Old
- Mike: Very complex. Corn and vanilla with a little sweet maple syrup or honey note – I am not sure which, but it may be both as it breathes and changes. There is also a hint of fruit that could be either ripe apples or pears, but it could be ripe apricot or very ripe peach. Hardly a hint of oak wood in the nose.
- Matt: Very sweet with caramel and butterscotch notes with some floral notes that could be lilacs.
- Mike: A little thin with the mouth feel, but still a surprising amount of flavor. Vanilla and corn with some of that elusive fruit flavors with only a hint of oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the fruit becomes clearly ripe apples. Tasted with a pecan and finally some spice comes out with some cinnamon and oak.
- Matt: Corn husk with notes of butterscotch and cherries. The dried cranberry gave it a thin mouth-feel with lots of corn and cherries. The pecan made it taste of buttered toffee popcorn.
- Mike: Short with a hint of sweet oak. The dried cranberry had lingering ripe apple and oak. The pecan brought out sweet oak and cinnamon spice.
- Matt: Very short finish but tasted of buttered popcorn. The dried cranberry tasted mostly of the cranberry. The pecan was a buttered popcorn finish with a hint of oak.
I would pair this Bourbon with a Nat Sherman Pan Americana Gordo cigar. The vanilla and earthy tobacco would pair well with the fruit and vanilla flavors of the Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller