Matt and I taste a lot of whiskey, and some of them we find to be exceptionally good. We have decided that they need to be more in the spotlight for our readers, so when we find one we really like, we are going to start doing a “whiskey of the month on the fourth Friday of each month.

Our first whiskey is the Old McBrayer Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon. The McBrayer family decided to get back in the whiskey business four years ago and released an excellent Bourbon in 2021 with a Bourbon using Bloody Butcher corn and a low barrel entry proof called William H. McBrayer. This whiskey was contract-distilled at Wilderness Trail Distillery for them. It is an excellent Bourbon and they have laid down more barrels of this Bourbon for future releases. Batch two will be released in April 2022. 

In the meantime, they sourced some excellent barrels of Bourbon from Bardstown Bourbon Company for the release of a Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon. This Bourbon has a barrel entry proof of 115 and is five years old at the time of bottling. The mash bill for this whiskey is 70% yellow corn, 18% rye and 12% malted barley. 

They plan on releasing a second batch in October of 2022. Their long range plan is to have three labels with the McBrayer name on the label. They are going to revive the Cedar Brook label that was used by Judge McBrayer in the 19th century. They hope to roll out this brand in the near future. If the first two labels are any indication of their quality standard, the third label will also be an excellent product I look forward to tasting. They have proven to me that they have very high quality standards for whiskey bearing the family name. Here are our tasting notes for their second venture in the whiskey market.

Old McBrayer Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon

Proof: 100

Age: Five Years Old


  • Mike: Caramel and baking spices – nutmeg and allspice with a hint of stone fruits – cherries and plums with a little sweet oak wood.
  • Matt: Vanilla and chocolate with sweet oak wood.


  • Mike: Caramel and berries –raspberry and cherry with some cardamom and allspice with sweet oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and a citrus note joins the fruit flavors. Tasted with a pecan and vanilla and chocolate flavors take center stage but the fruit notes are still playing a back-up role in the flavor.
  • Matt: Vanilla, molasses and brown sugar are the dominant flavors with a hint of fruit and oak. The dried cranberry brings out notes of cocoa. The pecan adds a lot of chocolate flavors and strengthens the oak flavors.


  • Mike: Medium long with sweet oak and baking spices. The cranberry adds stronger spice notes and lengthens the finish. The pecan made the finish very long with lingering notes of chocolate.
  • Matt: A very nice warm finish with oak and tobacco. The dried cranberry made the finish sweet with oak, spice and lingering vanilla. The pecan made the finish long with oak and sweet pipe tobacco.

I would pair this fine Bourbon with a cigar that is rich in vanilla and chocolate notes in the smoke. I would reach for a My Father The Judge cigar with its rich chocolate notes. A fittingly named cigar to pair with a whiskey named for Judge McBrayer.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller