Thursday, May 21, 2015
Rowan's Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon
I've always known Rowan's Creek to sort of be the little brother to Noah's Mill bourbon, both produced (sourced) by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (KBD), who also produces Willett. Yet, I had never tried either. So when I saw a single, lonely bottle on the shelf for exactly the amount of money I was looking to spend that day, it seemed like it was fate that I adopt the poor guy.
After all, the bottle is cute, with the appearance of a scribbled out label as though it were done by hand (though it's clearly not). Plus, at 100.1 proof, the higher alcohol content drew me in as well.
As I had hoped, this bourbon is solid on the vanilla and caramel with an undertone of honey, both in the nose and immediately on the palate. Also immediately noticeable was a black pepper spice, but it was more subtle, and not necessarily in your face as some of the spicier bourbons tend to be.
It also had a strong wood flavor, making it a drier tasting bourbon, something you usually find in much older bourbons. This bottle does not have an age statement. I've noticed that earlier bottlings were aged for 12 years, but my guess is this NAS bottle is much younger.
As I made my way through this bottle, it sweetened significantly, making it hard to keep from going back to the bottle. The woodiness died away a bit and it smoothed out to a very drinkable bourbon.
Nonetheless, it still ultimately came across as a not-so-complex, younger bourbon, a trait that stuck out from beginning to end.