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Kentucky Gentleman, or "Don't Get Distracted at the Liquor Store"

Posted on by Eric Burke

Sometimes I go into a liquor store, and I know exactly what I want. Other times, I know roughly how much I want to spend. When I visited the Party Source with a fellow blogger back in September, neither of these were true. 

I was in Kentucky to stock up for a few months of blog posts, see some friends and drink some bourbon. And when we made plans to visit the Party Source, I knew I would probably be picking up a few things that I had on the list to bring home. I figured this would be a good time to get some of the non-limited, everyday items out of the way. What I didn't expect to do was get so carried away with tossing things into the cart that I didn't bother to read the labels...either that or I was too busy chatting and wasn't paying close attention. In any case, I found myself with two miniature bottles of Kentucky Gentleman in my cart. 

Now if you know what Kentucky Gentleman is, you are probably wondering what could have caused me to pick that up? To you I will say, please see above. If you don't know what Kentucky Gentleman is, be assured you are not alone. I knew it was a cheap whiskey brand and I knew that it probably wasn't worth buying a full bottle of. 

It turns out that Kentucky Gentleman is not a bourbon. It is: "A Blend of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Spirits from the Finest Grains." In other words, it's bourbon mixed with neutral grain spirits (NGS or as it is more commonly known unfiltered vodka). It's an American-style Blended Whiskey made from 51% three-year-old bourbon and 49% NGS. And to be honest, it's the first one I've reviewed and possibly the first one I've had since I got serious about whiskey. 

So...yay? There's learning to be done here.

Kentucky Gentleman

Purchase info: $0.99 for a 50 mL at the Party Source, Bellevue, KY.

Details: 51% three-year-old bourbon and 49% neutral grain spirits.

Nose: Delicate with light mint and faint baking spices.

Mouth: Flat in the mouth with faint mint and baking spices.

Finish: Short and unbalanced. Medicinal vodka and whiskey notes fight for prominence (and the loser is my mouth).

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Thoughts: So...this is not the worst whiskey I've ever reviewed. That honor still goes to the Hayes Parker Reserve. But this is really close to the worst I've reviewed. To be fair, I'm tasting this neat in a Glencairn, which is just the opposite of what it was intended for, which brings me to my major problem with this whiskey. 

I'm just not sure what it actually is intended for. 

I know that this style of whiskey has long historical roots. I know that it was a way to stretch supplies after prohibition. I know that Seagram's built their business on it. And I know that maybe 40 years ago, people may have hoped it would compete favorably with vodka. 

But today, why does anyone buy this stuff? If I want ok whiskey, I have plenty of ok whiskey to buy, much of it sold at the same price point. If I want vodka, same thing. Hell, if I want something that has just a little more flavor than vodka to put a spin on a vodka cocktail, I can buy plenty of new make spirits. 

I'm sure that this fills a hole for someone, but I think I've learned that there isn't a hole in my life that an American-style Blended Whiskey can fill.


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