The other day, two of my favorite people in the world came over to have some time on the porch – Maggie Kimberl and Sara Havens. I always enjoy talking with them and we always have some good whiskey when they come over, but Rosemary stated that I need to taste the bottle of “The Wiseman” with these two excellent palates and write about it for the blog. The Wiseman is the latest expression from Stoli, who purchased the Kentucky Owl brand. This Bourbon is a blend of high rye and wheated Bourbons that range from 5 ½ to 8 ½ years old.

The Wiseman

Proof: 90.8

Age: No Age Statement

I have known Maggie Kimberl for about 10 years now. She has been a whiskey writer for well over a decade. We became friends when she attended Bourbon related events at The Filson Historical Society She helped me set up this blog six years ago and continues to help me manage it. She writes about whiskey and cigars and has my respect in both fields. She has gained a great reputation in both fields and writes for many whiskey and cigar magazines and works as the content editor for American Whiskey magazine. She is also presently serving as the President of Bourbon Women. Here are her notes.

Nose: Cherries and roasted nuts.

Taste: Thin mouth-feel with notes of cherry, brown sugar and sweet cornbread muffins. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the flavor is reduced but notes of milk chocolate come forward. Tasted with a pecan and it gets hotter with a lot of baking spices – clove in particular. 

Finish: Soft and sweet with a minimum “Kentucky Hug”. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter, but sweet and the pecan made the finish very hot!

I have known Sara Havens for about as long as I have known Maggie. She was writing for a local newspaper, LEO, (Louisville Eccentric Observer) her column called “The Bar Belle”. She too would cover Bourbon events at The Filson Historical Society. She has since become an independent whiskey writer and sometimes tour guide for Mint Julep Tours. Recently, when Bardstown Bourbon Company held a competition for the best taster in the United States, she won the Kentucky region. Personally, I think she should have won the final competition. She is that good. Here are her notes.

Nose: Apricots and vanilla bean.

Taste: Rich malted barley and corn bread with a light caramel drizzle. Tasted with a dried cranberry and it has a thinner mouth-feel but notes of toffee come forward. The pecan gave it a thicker mouth-feel and brought out notes of chocolate.

Finish: A medium finish with notes of malt and chocolate. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter and the malt flavor became more of a graham cracker flavor. The pecan brought out some citrus notes.

We enjoyed tasting this together and their comments are very interesting. So that you have them, here are the tasting notes from Matt and myself.


  • Mike: A simple and light nose with vanilla and berry fruit.
  • Matt: Brown sugar and molasses with notes of cinnamon.


  • Mike: Vanilla and citrus with a little cardamom spice. Tasted with a dried cranberry and most of the flavor is washed out leaving only a little vanilla and corn. Tasted with a pecan and the flavor is enhanced with notes of citrus, chocolate and baking spices.
  • Matt: Caramel, brown sugar and ripe apples. The dried cranberry brought out notes of lemon zest. The pecan brought out lots of molasses and rich milk chocolate.


  • Mike: Medium long with oak and baking spices. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter with less oak and a slight hint of lemon zest. The pecan made the finish longer with oak and chocolate notes.
  • Matt: Oak, allspice and leather. The dried cranberry lengthened the finish dramatically with oak and lots of spice. The pecan brought out spice, tobacco and cinnamon.

I would pair this Bourbon with a milder cigar. I would reach for a Nat Sherman Metropolitan with its vanilla and spice notes in the smoke.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller